Archive for January, 2011

Evolution of my name?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 22, 2011 by yujinishuge

A rose by any other name… wouldn’t be a rose, you dumbass.

Okay, so I got a request from my old high school friend Emily to write about the evolution of my name. I am not really sure what she means, but here goes.

These days, I’ve been going by Eugene Hwang, or 황유진 in Korean. This however is not my legal name.

My name on my birth certificate, passport, and anything else that is official is Eugene William Whong. My first name was cleverly chosen by my parents so that it would work in both Korean and English. Nevermind that 유진 in Korean is almost always a girl’s name. My mother says she named me after her uncle Eugene but had I been a girl, my name would have been Gina or 지나. My middle name is my grandfather’s first name.

So far, so good.

Now we have my family name… (I don’t use the term “last name” because in some societies, one’s family name comes first.  I do use “first name” though.. weird.) While there is certainly no dispute between how it is rendered in Korean 황 or Chinese characters, 黄, there is dispute as to how this should be written in English. Continue reading

Being Multilingual

Posted in Uncategorized on January 19, 2011 by yujinishuge

A typical conversation when Eugene is around other people who speak the same 3 languages. HUGE!

Okay okay. I don’t want to toot my own horn too much here even though it does look like what I am doing. I think however, it’s safe to say that I am trilingual. That doesn’t mean I am totally native in all three languages, (far from it), but I am at the level where I can reasonably converse in Korean and Japanese.

Now, often, when your mind is trained to speak in other languages, it devotes a single space in the brain for storage of this language. When the time is right, your brain will kind of switch modes.
Switching modes? What the heck are you talking about? Continue reading

Sports doesn’t appear to be a fun topic for any of you eh?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2011 by yujinishuge

Lovely lack of comments.

You guys don’t like hearing about sports or racial issues huh.

OK I’ll have to give you more lollypops and gumdrops about how awesome Korea is to get a comment around here?

My connection with the Redskins / The Native American Mascot Issue

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14, 2011 by yujinishuge

Edit: 2016.4.14 – Opinions evolve over time, and at the time this article was written, I believed it would have been appropriate to keep the logo the same but remove the racist name. My logic behind that is below, however I now think that if you’re serious about eliminating racist imagery in sport, it’s best to just make a clean break rather than a solution that some might view as half-baked.  It’s time to change. 
This post is going to be somewhat serious.  I have to start out by saying that I am indeed a Washington Redskins fan.  I’ve been a fan since as early as I can remember.  Actually, scratch that… I do remember my Baltimoron grandparents buying me some Colts memorabilia before I really knew what football even was.  (I think if I were able to search through old photographs, I’d be able to find a picture of me in a Baltimore Colts stocking cap…)  It probably looked something like this.  However, the Baltimore Colts absolutely sucked in the 1980’s, and the beginning of the Redskins’ heyday coincided with my older brother starting school in a suburb of DC.  He tells me that he remembers the bus driver making all the kids chant “REDSKINS! REDSKINS! REDSKINS!” before driving away from the bus stop.  This, compounded with the fact that the Baltimore Colts became the Indianapolis Colts in 1984, made it so that I was well on my way to indoctrination as a Redskins fan.  Even when I went to church, all people seemed to do was talk about the Redskins.  Then I myself entered school.  I specifically remember that my 1st grade teacher, Ms. Goldstein, tried many times to be a Redskinette  (Those are the team’s cheerleaders.)  The team went to back-to-back Super Bowls in 1982 and 1983, and they were reasonably good after that.  (Admittedly the first Super Bowl I actually saw was in 1986, where the ’85 Bears crushed the Patriots…  I think that’s when I first really started to like watching football.)

Anyway all throughout elementary school, it seems everyone was talking about the Redskins.

Oh, Riggins is retiring! Oh no! LT broke Theismann’s leg!  Hey! Jay Schroeder is pretty good.  Wow!  Jay Schroeder sucks!  Cool! The Posse!  The Hogs!  Doug Williams is Awesome!  Who the heck is Timmy Smith?

I remember one time back then, my Colt-less grandparents bought me some Dallas Cowboys pajamas for my birthday.  I almost cried, and was really embarrased to wear them.  I think they might have been the first set of clothes that I conveniently “lost” during one of my sleepovers at a friend’s house.

The constant chatter about the ‘skins continued into middle school, when the team last won the Super Bowl in the 1991 season.

Who’s this Mark Rypien guy?  Butterfingers Byner? Mark Rypien is not a winner! OMG Mark Rypien is AWESOME!  OMG Mark Rypien was only awesome last year.

And unfortunately the team declined into sucktitude during my high school years…. and the hated Cowboys rose to prominence.  This is when you could tell the true fans from the people who only liked the team when it was good. People who I had grown up with who had been talking about the Redskins as if they truly loved the team were now talking about Troy Aikman, Emmit Smith, and Michael Irvin.  But the faithful still were talking about the Redskins in this dark time.

We got Desmond HOWARD, REPEAT!!!  Gary Clark’s a Cardinal? We got Heath Shuler!!! Things are looking up.  OMG Shuler’s hurt again?  Wait a minute, who are these guys?  Gus Frerrote gave himself a concussion after celebrating a Touchdown? Why do we suck?  WHYYYYYY?!??!?!  Norv can’t win!!!!!

All right.. the point of all that is simply to illustrate that this team is very much a part of my identity.  I grew up in an era where the football team was in Washington, and the baseball team was in Baltimore.  I still like those two teams, even though now DC also has a baseball team and Baltimore also has a football team.  Sure, it was great when the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000, and I was hoping they would, but this wasn’t the team I grew up with.  I’m probably of a dying breed, as future generations of Baltimorons and Washingtonians won’t connect with the Redskins and Orioles.  They’ll either be Redskins-Nationals fans or Ravens-Orioles fans.

Why are you bothering to tell us how you love some frickin’ sports teams that only people who grew up in your area would even care about?

Fair question.  This blog post has probably been very interesting for any Baltimore/Washington area readers or football fans, but my readership at large is probably bored out of their wits at this point.  There’s a second issue I’d like to talk about though.  That is the issue of Native American mascots.

What are they?

Well, in America, there are a lot of teams (not just at the professional level) which have names or mascots based on Native Americans, or stereotypes of Native Americans.  Some examples include the Cleveland Indians, the Atlanta Braves, the Florida State University Seminoles, the University of Illinois Illini, the Northwood High School Savages, and of course, my beloved Washington Redskins.

So what’s the issue?

Well, it appears that some Native American groups object to these mascots, as they are either downright offensive, don’t portray them in a good light, don’t portray them accurately, or simply, they don’t like them.  I mean, come to think of it, would we feel good about a team called the Chicago Chinky Chinamen?  The New York Niggers? The Philadelphia Faggots?  The San Jose Fighting Jews?  The Wisconsin Wetbacks?   No, we wouldn’t.  So why is it that Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, and Washington Redskins are okay?  They are not.

I’ve heard that argument over and over before.  It’s necessary to look at INTENT.  None of these teams means to offend Native Americans.  Furthermore, Redskins, Braves, and Indians aren’t even pejoratives! Continue reading

Unemployment is fun….

Posted in Uncategorized on January 10, 2011 by yujinishuge

That about sums it up...

I guess I can look at it like it’s a vacation or something.  Before, in any stretch that I was unemployed, I would always feel like I am worthless and a burden to my parents or anyone else I happened to be living with.  Right now, I live with my wife, but I still have enough money saved up that I can probably survive two or three months comfortably unemployed.  Anyhow, I’ve gotten so many chances to meet some friends, and I don’t have to wake up all early.  It’s pretty cool.  Later though, I’ll have to look into if I can collect unemployment.  I mean, afterall I paid into it (through my taxes) so shouldn’t I be entitled to it?

 

I wonder what my team at KOTRA is doing right now?  Probably they are working really hard on some kind of online survey thing.  I’m kicking back.. about to watch the NFL playoffs.

 

Don’t think I am too lazy though.  I have been going to job interviews and doing radio work….

 

Haha, anyone want to go snowboarding?

Meeting old friends in Itaewon

Posted in Uncategorized on January 7, 2011 by yujinishuge

Itaewon is like Roppongi, minus everything nice. (I bet only Ken will get that joke.)

I’ve been to Itaewon a total of 5 times since I have been in Korea.  That’s 1.25 times per year.  I kind of hate Itaewon, even though it’s the only place to get decent western food.  By decent, I mean, not Korean version.  Western style restaurants owned by Koreans tend to be .. how should I say… disgusting totally inauthentic.  Well, when I say inauthentic, I mean… just wrong. There’s always too much or not enough sauce, the wrong kind of cheese… and pickles.

Koreans like to eat Kimchi with every meal, so I guess they need something comparable when they eat foreign food. But kimchi is too “Korean” for the atmosphere of a foreign restaurant. So you’ll find sweet pickles with every kind of western restaurant imaginable. Ever heard of Fettuccine Alfredo with a side of sweet pickles? Neither has the rest of the world. Pickles are just as inauthentic as kimchi would be, so they might as well just serve kimchi.. I mean, who are we kidding?
The restaurants aren’t catering to Western customers. They are catering to Korean customers.

While that’s true, why is it that whenever any Korean finds him or herself in the U.S. and eats western food there, they always seem to like it better than whatever the Korean version is? Korean customers would be better served if the food people are purporting to serve was actually made to taste like what it should taste like. I know I can’t really talk, because I like places like Olive Garden and Taco Bell, but I definitely like authentic Italian food and Mexican food better.

So what I am saying is that American bastardizations of Western food are better than Korean bastardizations of Western food. Haha.

Not my picture... but this is a common site in Itaewon. Now imagine multiplying it by 30. That's about 100 meters of Itaewon.

Anywho, back to why I hate Itaewon..

Well, I don’t really have a reason to hate it anymore, I guess. It’s just that the only reason I’d think to go there is if there is some gathering of friends there, or if I need to get my fix of some non-Korean food.

But Itaewon is basically.. the Ghetto. The worst kind of expats go there regularly and the worst kind of Koreans go there to be around those expats. They have sections of Itaewon called “hooker hill”, “homo hill”, “tranny alley” and one can only imagine what goes on there. I’ve been to tranny alley actually, and saw a tranny show. That was fun actually, but I think people who frequent most of these places go there for the sex trade. I’ve never been done anything with the sex trade other than see some strip shows (In the US and in Japan) when I was younger.

Anyway it was good to see all my friends at least.

Migration complete!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 6, 2011 by yujinishuge

Off I go!

Well it appears I’ve been able to migrate everything that I had from the Seoul Searcher website to here. I wanted to delete a lot of the stuff that I didn’t enjoy writing, but since I’m so lazy, I think I’ll just leave it there. You are free to peruse everything that I wrote in the past, but keep in mind, I was being paid to talk about how awesome Korea is. You will find that some articles try so hard to do this to the point that the author (me) doesn’t quite sound believable.

Anyway not much is going on blogwise besides that.

I went on the radio today to talk about sports on tbs. It looks like it might be something that I can do regularly for some extra cash.

Goodbye for now.