Archive for the 'Preparing to Flee' Category

Tick Tock

At this time exactly 4 weeks from today I’ll be somewhere over the Pacific with Alaska Jae and Terry down in the cargo hold!

Dogs somehow know when you're about to shove them into a plastic cage

"Get me the fuck outta here!!"

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 12/16/2009 | No Comments

How long does it take to get an expedited passport?

10 days!

The guidelines given by the U.S. State Department tell you to allow 2-3 weeks but we all know that’s just so you won’t annoy the shit out of them until it’s absolutely necessary.

I mailed my photos and passport renewal application on December 1st via Express Mail which got it to the passport-making mothership the next day. The application I sent them was completed via the State Dept’s online form but I still had to print it out  because there’s no electronic submission. It seemed worth doing so it would look all nice and there would be no question about my handwriting being legible or not, and my (re)new(ed) passport arrived on December 11th via priority mail! The next day I got my old passport back – it was mailed separately.

Conventional wisdom suggests that if you’re truly in a hurry to get your passport “expedited” you should pay for overnight delivery both to and from the passport office, but I’m cheap and decided not to pay the extra $14 for overnight return delivery. Still got it in 10 days total.

I wouldn’t recommend waiting too long to get your passport renewed, but if you really need to get the fuck outta dodge there’s a good chance it won’t take as long as they tell you it will.

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 12/13/2009 | No Comments

I’m a lazy piece of shit

Things have been happening lately but I’m too goddam lazy to write here! So I’m gonna try doing it from my iPhone when I’m bored or idle, ie: watching tv (like I am right now), waiting for a burrito in the microwave, taking a massive dump, that kind of thing.

Here’s a quick rundown on recent events:

– Plane tix are bought… Alaska, there’s no backing out now! And my dad was nice enough to buy my Chicago – San Francisco airfare with his airline miles. Sweet.

– Smiling in passport photos is apparently no longer allowed by the US State Dept., or so I’m told by the lady at Walgreens who took my passport photo a couple weeks ago. WTF! I wasn’t even smiling, just trying to look surprised, but there were teeth showing so I did it again but I turned out looking more like I was squeezing off a log. Eh whatever.

– I visited Cory in NJ last weekend. And you know what? HE BLABBED MY BIG SECRET ARRIVAL TO DAN! Groan. Not only did he tell Dan months ago, but he REMINDED him just a couple days before i went to NJ! Note to self: don’t ever tell Cory another secret again. Dan says he’ll keep his mouth shut but he was one of the people I was planning to shock. He’s shocked alright but it’s not quite the same.

– Slingbox is fucking awesome. I bought one off of craigslist and it came with a Slinglink for $125 total. Don’t need the slinglink yet… I’m currently using a wireless bridge to watch tv in my basement dungeon… but it might come in handy when my brother Pat sets it up in his new house in January.

Oh yeah and someone caught me wacking off about a month ago! I won’t say who, but if you think about where I’m living right now it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. Hint: it wasn’t dad! My surprise visitor was horrified by the encounter but I laughed and immediately reported the incident to several people who, by now, have no doubt informed the entire world. It was bound to happen eventually and frankly I’m surprised it took as long as it did.

Btw this post definitely sets a record for the most nonsense I’ve ever tapped out on an iPhone keyboard.

4 weeks to go!

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 12/11/2009 | No Comments

Bringing pets to Korea

Yes, Terry the Dog is coming with me to Korea! Duh, like you even had to ask?

I’m posting this mainly for my own reference cuz I just know I’ll forget about these pages:

Incheon Int’l Airport page on bringing animals

National Veterinary Research & Quarantine Service (Korea)

Asiana Airlines pet FAQ

What I’m getting from the NVRQS site is that Terry won’t have to be quarantined as long as he gets a rabies shot more than 30 days before we land in Seoul, and Jisun has already called them to confirm that all he needs is that and proof of a physical exam by a veterinarian.

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 10/13/2009 | No Comments

Screw the Superbowl

I was originally planning to leave for Korea in mid-February because that’s right after the Superbowl and my pathetic life revolves around the NFL, but I’m starting to go a little crazy here and I know it’s just gonna get worse as 2009 comes to a close and Alaska’s also itching to get this ball rolling. Sooooo… we’ve agreed to take off in mid-January!

The initial escape plan had us visiting Jeremy in San Diego, but then we’d still have to either fly out of LAX or connect in San Francisco and both of those options suddenly make the pit stop in SD a big pain in the ass. Now I’m pretty sure we’re just gonna meet up at SFO on Wednesday 1/13 and go from there.

The only reason I haven’t bought plane tickets yet is because I need to call Travelocity to find out why I can’t choose our seats! We want exit row.

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 10/10/2009 | No Comments


I fucking rule!! When I first hatched my plan in February this year to move back to Korea I started badgering Alaska Jae about his secret desire to do the same, and that badgering continued on and off all year. He didn’t know what I was up to but he suspected, and now 8 months later he’s onboard!

I spent last weekend in Vegas with Alaska, Lee, Nik, Jeremy, and Ashly… Nik, Ashly, and I jumped out of a plane (awesome, btw) while the pussies slept off their hangovers, but other than that it was your typical kickass Vegas weekend: food, booze, gambling, strippers, the usual. We were the last two to leave and it wasn’t until everyone split that I really started to work on Alaska to move to Korea; his situation in Phoenix is a lot like mine in Chicago meaning that he has no life and no friends and not much going on in general.

A couple days ago Alaska told me he was 70/30 on going back to Korea which actually came as kind of a surprise to me. Later that day he talked to his aunt and uncle about moving back in with them after his apartment lease ends in November and they said sure, so he was suddenly 80/20. Then I finally came clean about my master plan (still the same day!) and before you know it 80/20 becomes 90/10. Next morning I check my email and… duh! …Alaska says he’s 100% in. Not only is he fully committed, he’s excited about it! He even said “I’m glad you talked me into this”. To understand why this is such a big deal you’d have to know that this guy doesn’t get excited about shit, except maybe big stock market gains and going on vacation. Seriously, he was almost giddy!



I’d still be going even if Alaska said no, but I love the fact that he’s saying yes. Nik’s already planning to move out of that old shitty apartment he inherited from me in 2005 and the move will most likely be around February when Alaska and I will be landing, so we’re gonna try to get apartments within spitting distance of each other in the Hongdae/Sinchon/Chungjungro area.

More recent news isn’t all that juicy, but it’s worth noting that I’ve already knocked out three months in Dad’s basement and have about 4 1/2 more to go. I like it here… Jim and Judi more or less leave me alone as I quietly build my iPhone empire… but the countdown is definitely on.

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 10/4/2009 | No Comments

I’ve got 5 weeks…

…to get rid of all my shit! This should be fun.

Lease ends June 30th and then I will be a resident of Naperville for the first time since 1990.

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 5/23/2009 | No Comments

Gettin’ there

I can’t say how or why, but the vast majority of my credit card debt is now effectively paid off! How & Why are both very hush-hush because it’s a MegaSecret that, if revealed, could destroy the very fabric of existence as we know it, and I say “effectively” because I haven’t deposited the check yet. Nonetheless, I’m WAY closer to departure-readiness now than I was a month ago.

On the business front, my iPhone website is doing pretty well and is looking like it could possibly become my main source of income when I flee the country again. I’m still almost a year away from taking off, and if I can manage to double my iPhone income in that time then I may never have to wear pants to work again. What, you didn’t know about my iPhone biz? Yeah, I started at the end of July last year and have been writing reviews of iPhone apps like mad ever since. I never really thought it would become a “business” but that’s exactly what it is and it’s growing like a weed. Nine months ago I started with 21,000 pageviews for the month of August 2008, and I just finished April 2009 with nearly 120,000 pageviews. Those numbers aren’t what you’d call massive, but still I think the appropriate onomatopoeia for that stat is booyah! Thank you, Stuart Scott.

And the last major development in my little odyssey is the decision to rid myself of this apartment lease this July and accept my dad’s gracious invitation to become his temporary Basement Dweller. Come this summer I’ll have lived in this place for three years which has been great, but saving $920/mo. would dramatically upgrade the kind of shithole I can afford in Korea… plus 6-8 solid months of father/son time will be a nice way to punctuate my tenure in the Chicago area. I just hope Dad doesn’t try too hard to recruit me into his Republican Army of Evil.

And FYI, Terry just got his annual haircut a week ago and strangely hot women from all directions are flocking to him in even greater numbers than usual… but of course they still ignore me! Groan.


posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 5/3/2009 | No Comments

Money Money Money

I need to make a shitload of cash in the next 12 months or my ass ain’t goin’ nowhere!

Yesterday I did a phone interview with a company called Euromonitor International. My friend Colin works for them and the job I interviewed for would have me gathering “market intelligence” on certain products. This means running around to stores to look for products and pricing, calling manufacturers and vendors to grill them for info, and completing other fact-finding missions. If I get the work I should be able to do it while still keeping my VOIP job which would be awesome, and if not then tough shit.

On the iPhone side of things, I just completed my first silent auction ad sale on iPhone App I was only selling four ads because the other six were already taken due to prior commitments, but the four ads did better than I expected.

Hopefully within the next week I’ll be launching my third and probably final iPhone website. This one will be strictly for announcing apps that are temporarily on sale which happens a lot with all the price wars that get waged in the App Store. I think the potential ad revenue from this kind of site could easily top what I’m getting from iPhone App Reviews if I build it right, and if that happens then I might have my credit cards paid off by this summer.

Oh yeah, and today I bought 20,000 shares of Westwood One Radio Network (WWON) at $.03. I probably should have taken that $600 and given it to Citibank, but it’s a small enough gamble that I think it’s worth taking.

If all else fails I’ll just start selling crack to finance my impending departure.

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 3/4/2009 | No Comments

My to-do list for the next 12 months

  • Pay off $13,000 in credit card debt
  • Put away at least $6,000 to take to Korea
  • Get a 2nd job to accomplish the two items above
  • Write an ESL book to be published when I get to Korea
  • Whittle down all of my worldly possessions to a couple of boxes small enough to ship overseas
  • Get a new $3000 eye
  • Renew my passport
  • Get my F-4 visa
posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 2/23/2009 | No Comments

E-2 visas are for suckers

I’m posting this here mainly for my own convenience.

From the Chicago Korean Consulate General website:

F-4 status

  • Naturalized Korean-American and his/her immediate descendants can apply for F-4 visa.
  • F-4 visa holders can engage in extensive activity including work in Korea up to two-years unlike other visa status, and this status is extendable with Local Immigration Office.
  • For F-4 visa to be issued, the applicant needs to fulfil his Korean nationality renunciation report with Korean Ministry of Justice or Korean Consulate before visa application.
  • The necessary documents are as follows:

  1. Passport
  2. Completed visa application form with photo attached.
  3. Documents proving applicant’s origin is Korean such as Korean family registry or, birth certificate, etc
  4. Document proving that applicant completed his/her Korean nationality renunciation report
  5. Other documents which are deemed to be necessary by the Korean Justice Minister.

* The Validity period for multiple visa is 3 years and maximum duriation of stay is 2 years.

posted by Michael in Preparing to Flee on 2/9/2009 | No Comments