[revivifying the palaverist]

It has been brought to my attention that I did in fact once have faithful readers, and that they’re kind of disappointed that this blog has slowed to the point of nothingness.

So I came rattling back around in here and found that the place had grown a bit musty. For one thing, my about page still had me working at the South Korean Mission to the UN, a habit I gave up back in January of 2008. And the picture was in need of an upgrade. I’m much cagier now.

I’ve also decided to embrace modern technology — blogs are so early aughts! — by creating a Facebook page where you can become a fan and pick up the feed for this blog. (The Palaverist shall not, however, tweet.)

More than any of that, however, is a renewed interest in actually producing some content. So enough of this meta-content! On to the other kind …

[a lack of palaver]

Okay, so I admit it’s been quiet around here lately. Partly that’s the summer doldrums — who can write when it’s five thousand degrees out? — and partly it’s that I have actually been pretty busy.

For one thing, I’ve been trying to get ahead on my Korean studies, because I will inevitably fall behind this fall when the General Assembly committees get going and actual work briefly becomes my primary activity at the office.

And then there’s the help I’ve been giving to Steve Harrison’s Congressional campaign. This week I wrote a Social Security speech that he’s delivering today, as well as a 60-second fundraising spot that will run nationally on AirAmerica, which is giving discount air time to candidates. I’ll be sure to post the speech and the spot once I get final versions, and hopefully I’ll get to find out when the ad is running and post the times as well.


After a long run at Angelfire, Palaverist is migrating to Blogger. The reasons include Blogger’s easier interface and searchability and the wonkiness of Angelfire’s comments function.

I don’t think this change should have much impact from your perspective as a reader. There are a few quirks to the new layout, but it should work much as the old site did. The posts from the Angelfire period will remain in place over at http://archives.palaverist.org/, while new posts will get archived here.

Please let me know if there are any problems with the new layout or interface. Thanks!

[name this blog]

So I’ve decided to start posting my essays and other miscellaneous babble to a blog (that’s a weblog, for those of you who follow neither Internet trends nor the rise of Howard Dean). I hope to start writing regularly about life in Brooklyn, and New York more generally, in much the way that I wrote about Korea, Nepal, and India. (Okay, probably there will be less emphasis on bodily functions than there was in the India stuff.) I would also be pleased if some of my friends here in New York (and around the world) wished to contribute with restaurant reviews, amusing happenings, musings on the weather, etc.

You can find the blog at the following unweildy address:


Which brings me to my point: I need a domain name. I’d like to start spreading this blog around, asking those of you who like my writing to recommend it to friends, whatever. But before I do, I think it needs a better name and address. I’m thinking some cool, obscure word would probably be good — something that isn’t already taken, and something that’s memorable and pronounceable. Anyway, clever ideas of all sorts are welcome. The winner will get a lot of gratitude and then no credit at all when I become rich and famous.

And don’t even bother with “zeuma.” It’s already taken.

[a space to fill]

So here it is, a new space for me to fill with words. We’ll see what comes of it, if anything.

For now, I intend to use it as something of a journal, never mind that no one in her right mind would want to read my journal, or at least not the bits of it I’d be willing to put on the web. But for those days when no grand essay is forthcoming, this is a place where I can let out the little thoughts, the small ideas, the notions that don’t quite lead anywhere.

For example, right now I’m stuck with a couple of writing projects, so instead of writing them, I’ll come here and write about them. First of all, I’ve been trying to formulate an essay about what it’s been like to return to the US after so long abroad. I feel like there’s something important in there, some kernel of experience that has value, and that it has a lot to do with September 11th. I feel like I missed America’s sense of organic movement from there to here, but that having watched it from the outside, I have a better notion of what the world thinks of us. I also want to get into the strange dislocation that I’ve experienced — to describe how weird it is to find myself homesick for Korea, or to feel at home in New York’s Koreatown. And there’s something else as well, the experience of being an immigrant and an exile, that I think is important and that I want to describe. But I’m not sure how to frame this all yet. Maybe as three separate essays, or three interrelated chapters? We’ll see.

The other project is my collected Korea essays, which need an introductory chapter to turn them into a book. I’ve been trying to work out how to explain how I ended up in Korea — possibly as part of my essay entitled “Kindergarten” — but that whole episode of my life was messy and complicated (the deciding, not the going), and I’m not sure how much of that I want to include in a book about what happened later.

In other news, MoveOn.org is holding its Democratic Primary today. Check in for very good information about all the Democratic candidates, including a lengthy question-and-answer sesion with each (except Lieberman, who is barely a Democrat anyway) and links to their websites. Where do I stand? So far I like Edwards, but it’s a long way to go yet.