Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tiberious aka Sparkles > JRR Tolkien

JRR Tolkien, the great linguist, is credited as claiming that cellar door is the most beautiful combination of words in the English language; and while it's great and all, conjuring both images of a D&D character and something Ron Popeil might hawk in an infomercial, I do believe I, myself no slouch as a proficient wordsmith, have Tolkien beat.

With an ungodly proclivity

I believe I coined the phrase in this very blog, sometime last year, in reference to my onanistic tendencies.

Go ahead, say it to yourself a couple hundred times. It just rolls off the tongue.

Next goal: write a trilogy of novels that will one day be considered the greatest work of fantasy literature ever written.

Kid's stuff.

Take, Double Take

A month or so ago someone, possibly my mother, sent me a comment calling me a bigot for claiming that certain NBA players (Dallas' Darrell Armstrong and Detroit's Ben Wallace, to be exact) look similar to the two male African-American actors on ABC's Lost.

I deleted the aforementioned comment, because dude was obviously trippin' like Jack Tripper. But just to show that I don't discriminate based on creed or color, here are some similarities between this year's NBA draft class and past-and-present entertainment icons:


Blue Oyster Cult's Donald Roeser (a rock-and-roll name if ever there was one), pictured 2nd from the left.


Gonzaga's Adam Morisson.


Uber-hunk Jude "I fought myself, and I won" Law


Potential no. 1 pick Andrea "I'm a boy, I'm a boy, but my Mom won't admit it" Bargnani.


Psychedelic Kimchi-endorsed party animal JJ Reddick.


This dude.

PS - Only just a week ago I promised I'd try not to write any basketball-related posts until the fall. I guess this makes me a filthy liar.

And, like a dog is wont to drink out of a toilet, I doubt I'll change my errant ways.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Psychedelic Kimochi

Ms. Han Jang-Hee, who, according to people who will likely never have sex, apparently looks like an elf from the game Lineage.


Like Gary Larson's The Far Side, an inordinate number of my Psychedelic Kimchi posts are bug-themed.

And this one is no different.

Last night I, my wife, and our daughter went shopping for groceries at E-Mart, which on a weekday feels kinda eerie, sort of like when you were a kid and had to visit your school on Parent/Teacher Night.

We shopped. I stocked up on the four food groups: hot dogs, SPAM, potato chips and beer, and further amused myself by emancipating canned goods from their labels; my wife had fun tasting every free sample offered -- WARNING: AJUMMAHOOD APPROACHING! -- and spent roughly 20 minutes trying to decide which brand of milk to buy; and our daughter, the precocious scamp, ran amok until she became mesmerized by the king crabs, and in a voice filled with deep longing said she'd like to hop in the tank with them. She chickened out when I picked her up and tried to toss her in, though, the wimp.

But the real fun didn't begin until we reached the check-out counter upstairs on the main floor. My wife, ever the Frugal Francine, pulled an old plastic E-Mart bag from her purse. Because plastic E-Mart bags cost an astronomical 50 won. Outrageous, non?

Anyway, she handed the bag to me. That's when I noticed there was a round black insect of considerable size -- what do I look like, an entomologist? -- on it.

Initially I didn't do anything. Because, you know, bugs are icky. I instead pointed the bug out to my wife.

In retrospect, probably a bad idea.

Now, it's kinda late in the story here, but I should mention that, as all this occurred, two children -- brother and sister -- of the mother behind us were standing next to me, gaping. I think it was my handsome eyes. Might have been my alluring smell.

Regardless, these two kids were standing close by, mouths ajar. And when my wife saw the bug, she hastily flicked it.

Right into the boy's open mouth.

[Marv Albert Voice]


And no. See, as funny as I found it, the little boy felt the opposite, and that's an understatement. After taking a couple of seconds to register what had just happened, he spit the bug out and started to wail. Amazingly and perplexingly, his sister started crying too. Their mother, who was behind my wife and busy unloading her groceries, became startled. I, on the other hand, was riveted. The whole scene weirdly reminded me of the part in A Christmas Story when Ralphie's parents take him and his brother to the department store to see Santa Claus.

My wife did her best to try to calm down both children and placate their mother. Meanwhile, every shopper and clerk in the vicinity looked on, trying to figure out what the hell had happened.

And as much as I enjoyed the show, I was pretty relieved when, groceries bagged, it was time to fly.

(I kill me.)

Friday, June 23, 2006


In case you've ever wondered what my day job is, Marvel Comics recently revealed my secret identity in issue no. 2 of their ground-breaking/sales-whoring series Civil War.

I'm not one to get spooked easily, but right now I feel like the chick in that old Twilight Zone episode, Mirror Image.

Freaky stuff.

Tell me it's all in my imagination:


Every day before I leave for work, my wife tells me to be careful. She's afraid I'm going to get run over by a car or something. I appreciate the sentiment, but, as I've reminded her hundreds of times, being careful doesn't have much to do with it. One can be as careful as a neurosurgeon performing brain surgery and still get struck down by misfortune.

Just ask Kobe Bryant.

The awful reality is that we never know when hard luck will befall us, and all the precautions in the world don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy, dangerous world.

Case in point: today, as I was getting dressed, I pulled a pair of socks out of my drawer, only to notice that they were mismatched. Subsequently, I rummaged in the drawer until I located my sock's twin, bundled up -- in what I colloquially like to refer to as a sock grenade -- with a stranger.

I yanked my sock free, but it was still bunched up, so I cracked it like a whip to unfurl it.

And in doing so clocked myself in the nuts.

Now, a bundled-up sock to the scrotum may not sound very painful, but believe me, it is. I felt a jolt of pain, shouted out, and curled up in a ball (no pun intended) on the floor.

My wife of course found this the funniest thing in the world, going so far as to suggest we take a photo of me writhing in agony. Needless to say, I was not amused.

As far as my ongoing list of scrotal assaults goes, it wasn't the nadir, but it was close.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Polyester/Cotton Blend

If there's one inanimate object I'm most fond of, besides sandwiches and Gary Payton, it's T-shirts. It's the ultimate article of expression (and comfort), and tells a lot about a person.

Having lived in Korea for nearly 6 years, my search has been somewhat inactive, due to my discerning taste and a substantial lack of good product.

I've flirted with a few good ones, but the T's I've bought here invariably turn out to be one-night stands. And I need a stable relationship. No shrinking or turning into a beach umbrella after one wash, what I want is a T that I can spend the next 5-10 years of my life with, without fear of abandonment (or color fading).

I want to find the perfect T-shirt.

Relatedly, I'd like to hear any Favorite T-shirt anecdotes from youse guys (and gals). A solid T-shirt story -- good or bad -- is riveting to me. Seriously.

If you have a passionate T-shirt tale, send me an e-mail at, or post it in the comments section.

Photos are encouraged, but not required.


PS - No V-necks.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Just Hangin' Out

Number 1, Competition is None

MVP sixth ma...uh, 18th Letter.

Me: Sweetie, the Heat won. They're the champions!

18L: 어디?

Me: Where? In the Finals.

18L: Finals 어디?

Me: Uh, in Dallas. The Heat won in Dallas.

18L: Dallas 어디?

Me: It's a city in Texas. Texas is in the US.

18L: Lakers 는?

Me: Sweetheart, forget about the Lakers. The Lakers got bounced in the first round. Miami. Miami. They're the champs!

18L: Aw! Lakers!

Me: Just put on this jersey and stick out your index finger. I'll let you watch Sesame Street until your eyes pop out if you do.

18L: Index finger 어디있어?

That's how it was and that's how it is

The Miami Heat are NBA Champions.

I repeat, the Miami Heat are NBA Champions.

Sorry Dallas, you're going to have to postpone that ticker-tape parade indefinitely. The Larry O'Brien trophy resides in South Beach.

What a season.

I repeat, what a season.

Never in a million years did I imagine this scenario. When the Heat were down 2 games to none, I and everybody else thought the sweep was on. Everybody still believed that until the stunning comeback of game 3, unequivocally the greatest 4th-quarter comeback in Finals history (yes, it beats the Bulls coming from behind in game 6 of the 1992 Finals against Portland).

That was the night everything changed.

The Heat went on to beat the Mavs 4 games in a row, something that never happened to Dallas all season. And they closed out on the road in a surprisingly non-hostile American Airlines Center.

So for any bitter Mavs fans still harboring a grudge after the Heat's game-5 victory, let the record show that now there can be no doubt: Miami was the better team.

Down by as many as 14 early in the game, they fought back. Because that's what champions do. When Miami took the upper hand and stretched the lead to 11 in the 3rd, Dallas fought back as well, but they would only see the score tied briefly; the Heat never let them retake the lead.

The Mavs defended Dwyane Wade as hard as they have all series, closing up the lane and forcing him to shoot in traffic or take outside jumps shots, but it didn't matter: Wade gets his a number of ways, and no team can shut him down. He finished with 36 points (to go with 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks; whoa!) and was the unanimous choice for Finals MVP (in only his 3rd season!).

His teammates stepped up, too, on a night when Shaq was far from his dominant self. Udonis Haslem had probably his best game of the year, hitting wide-open 15 foot jumpers when the Heat needed them badly. It was great to see after watching him struggle offensively through most of the series.

It was also Antoine Walker's night. He almost singlehandedly out-rebounded the Mavs in the 3rd, and he made a bunch of smart plays. You read that correct: 'Toine played a smart game, with very few errors and no blunders.

Then there's 'Zo. O'Neal wasn't feeling it, and Mourning stepped up, particularly on the defensive end. Down the stretch he had a number of key blocks that helped close the door when the Mavs were trying to push their way in. Very cool to see him rise to the occasion like that.

How about James Posey's 3? Both teams shot terribly from beyond the arc, but that late 3 on a pass from Dwyane Wade was clutch, pushing the Heat's lead to 6.

Jason Williams did some stuff too, I guess. OK, he played like a sack of manure, but he helped get them this far; as did his teammates, and they all deserve a lot of credit (well, except for Wayne Simien, Michael Doleac, Derrek Anderson and Jason Kapono, who did nothing but sit around and cheer: nothing I didn't do*).

So there you have it. I'm not sure there's much more to be said. A memorable season and playoffs have been capped off with my favorite team winning a title.

This is the best NBA season I have ever witnessed.

Here's hoping we see a repeat next year.

Way to Go Heat!

PS - Kudos to Mark Cuban for applauding Miami at the end of the game, even though I think it was contrived.

PPS - Save for perhaps a quick shot later tonight, this is my final basketball-related post until October (I think; there's still the World Championship, right?). Thank you all for reading. In case you missed something or wanted to go back and reminisce on the season, here are most of my b-ball posts, from last November until May:

Random B-ball Thoughts

Very Inaccurate Predictions


Premature All-Star Picks

I Hate Antoine Walker

Shorts Controversy

Welcome Back, Riles

More Quickies

Crazy Predictions (peep the last one)

Peja's a Pussy

Picks for the 2008 Olympic Team

Some love for 'Melo

Kobe's 81-point Performance

Back to Back Rhymin' I (denz)

B2BR II (me)

B2BR III (denz)

Nuggets vs. Suns

All-Star Saturday

Game Log: 2006 All-Star Game

Late-Season Predictions

Game Log: Heat vs. Knicks

Game Log: Heat vs. Pistons

Tights Controversy

Game Log: Heat vs. Nets

More B2BR (denz)

More B2BR (me)

Game Log: Rockets vs. Blazers

2006 Playoffs Preview (tee hee!)

Game Log: Bucks vs. Pistons

TMH Doesn't Like Ron Artest

Game Logs: Mavs vs. Grizzlies and Suns vs. Lakers

Even More B2BR (denz)

Even More B2BR (me)

By the way, Kobe's apparently changing his jersey number to 24 next season because adidas, like a vindictive girlfriend, is re-releasing the original Kobe sneakers under the new name Crazy 8s.

Round 2 Predictions

Tough B-day


* In fact, as I mentioned a few days ago, I watched the last three games -- and half of the 4th quarter of game 3 -- while standing. Where's my ring?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Nervous Wreck

The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
Job, 1. 21

I've read too much media hype regarding game 6 of the NBA Finals. I'm officially shook. Everything I've read suggests that Dallas, on their home floor, will play with the intensity -- plus some residual anger from their lackluster vacation in South Beach -- they possessed in games 1 and 2, and that the Heat are stepping into a lions' den.

Honestly, I'm scared. No bullshit. I'm not normally one to get bad nerves, but the game tomorrow has me in such a state that I've not been able to sit still for more than 1.9 seconds without getting jumpy.

Shit, I was supposed to write the final Spring Cleaning review today. Promised to have it done with before the start of Cree Summers' Solstice. Couldn't concentrate and had to take the 'L' (a bad omen if ever there was one).

Can't stop writing fragment sentences, either.

I can't eat. OK, that's a lie: today I had a bowlful of Oreo O's (if you've ever wished your dookies were darker than Tim Thomas's complexion, Oreo O's are, my friend, the cereal for you), half a plate of spaghetti and a handful of Skittles (Skittles + humidity = sticky rainbow hands; take it from me); but my stomach was about as agreeable as a durian in a Singaporean hotel room, and all day I've felt queasy and uneasy.

I can't take this anymore. These playoffs, which I initially approached with low expectations, have turned me into a basket case the further the Miami Heat have advanced. What with the frenetic outcomes of games 3 and 5, in the past week I think I've lost 3 or 4 (or 8 or 9) pounds off my already-slender frame, and my visage has assumed the look of terrorist flushed out after spending two months hiding in a cave in southern Afghanistan.

This is not healthy, this is not how a sane man should live.

Thusly, I can't but believe that the basketball gods -- heed ye their wisdom -- aren't playing on me a cruel game of tribulation, testing my faith by leading me closer to the promised land, with the ultimate intention of, at the brink, snatching it all away.

The Heat don't have to win game 6 tomorrow, but they motherfucking better.

I'm through being toyed with, done being a pawn on your divinely comical stage.

It ends tomorrow.

It fucking ends tomorrow.

(But if it doesn't, we're still cooler than a polar bear's toenails)

Your faithful servant/whipping boy,


Monday, June 19, 2006

Gucci Time

I think he's God disguised as Dwyane Wade

-- Me (after Bird)

I've had just over six hours to reflect on the Miami Heat's epic game 5 victory earlier today, and I honestly don't think I've ever experienced and been more elated by a win like that. Maybe the Alan Houston buzzer-beater; perhaps the Larry Johnson 4-point play. But those were, respectively, first and third round games -- this is the NBA finals, and the Heat are one win away from greatness: a greatness which, as I wrote what seems like years ago in the preview for the 2006 playoffs, I've never been a part of as a b-ball fan.

Of course the ghosts of 1994 still loom (remember, the Knicks were up 3-2 and dropped the last two games in Houston), so I'm not going to get too far ahead of myself and proclaim the Heat champs already; but I hope I can be forgiven my exaltation after game 5.

After a game like that.

Once again the Heat persevered, this time in an extended, nail-biting elongation of what happened in game 3. Unlike Superman on laundry day, the Mavs didn't fold quickly; they stayed in it to the very end, and they deserve a lot of credit. Heck, even Dirk the Jerk, who's been playing this series with both hands tightly around his neck, nearly showed the world that he has the ability to shoot daggers with the best of 'em.


But -- sorry to say, Mavs fans -- Dirk's continuing legacy of these Finals is the role of the ineffectual, the star who just can't get it done when it matters. Maybe things'll go better for him once the series resumes in Dallas on Tuesday (Wednesday morning for my ass), but he now has a few more failures to haunt him on his disappointing Finals debut resume:

Another missed free throw in the clutch, another poor shooting night. And that foul on Dwyane "can't chill because the sun don't freeze" Wade which cost them the game.

How do you say choke in German, anyway?

Thankfully for Nowinski (childish, I know), his teammates stepped up for him and the suspended Jerry Stackhose (respect the architect), especially Jason Terry, whom, if Dallas does come back to win this series, is the undisputable MVP for the Mavs. Josh Howard played great, too, save for his 2 missed free throws in crunch time and the boneheaded time-out call between Wade's decisive free throws, meaning that the Mavs couldn't set up a play and inbound the ball at half-court with 1.9 seconds remaining.


So, despite the fact that they've shown they're a bunch of whiners (hard to imagine when you look at who the team's owner is), I'm giving Dallas their props for a hard-fought, classic game. They could have lied down and died after the drubbing they took in game 4, but instead Avery had them playing with all the heart they could muster.

It just wasn't enough.


How about the motherfucking Miami Heat? Specifically, how about Dwyane Wade? In just his 3rd year, this kid is proving that he has the heart of a champion. Sure, he's got Shaq -- but the Diesel hasn't exactly set the world on fire in this series.

Wade has, and anyone who still thinks Lebron is, as of right now, a better all-around player is tripping.

I'll say it again: Dwyane Wade is the best basketball player in the world, Shaq or no Shaq.

To boot: with Shaq, he's averaging more points in his first finals appearance than MJ did.

Holy shit.

But, for now, enough of my obsessive and much-documented man-love for Wade. How 'bout the rest of the Heat? How about Gary Payton?

Gary, you're really starting to freak me out. Did you sell your soul to Satan (please, no Pat Riley jokes) or something? Is that why, when you hit the game 3 winner on Sunday and that crucial bucket today, you actually looked scared?

To quote Buck Swope, "Doesn't it scare you? Working with evil forces?"

Whatever, man. Just keep doing whatever it is you're doing.

Kudos to the rest of the squad as well, particularly Shaq, but this game was, despite his poor shooting percentage, Dwyane Wade's. His performance today was one of legend, a remarkable display of ingenuity, skill, and ice-cold precision (well, except for those 17 misses).

This quote from Dan Wetzel, though it seems a cliche, best sums up the game:

The Heat didn't lose Game 5 of the NBA Finals to Dallas because Dwyane Wade wouldn't let them.

And that's the truth.

Make no mistake, it is going to be tough for the Heat to take 1 in Texas (shades of 1994), but you can bet your Vida Guerra they're going to give it their all.

And under the leadership of the best player on the planet.

Let's. Go. Heat!

PS - We're one Heat win away from hopefully finding out what the hell is in that bowl. My guess is that, similar to the climax of the movie Se7en, it's Stan Van Gundy's severed head.

PPS - A few days ago I erroneously wrote that the guy who does that gay flag thing during the player intros is Asian. Upon further inspection today I realized that he is, in fact, African-American. My bad, though my mistake is easily explainable: no one with a shred of dignity would look at that dude for more than .5 milliseconds.

PPP(always got sum fly shit on deck)S - The superstitous rituals worked again. For those curious: I watched the game while standing, ate a pickled chili pepper prior to tip off, logged onto Stream TV though I didn't use it, not even to catch the halftime show (and I've heard the halftime segments have been positively awful), and a long list of other things which I'm not particularly eager to relate. But Mark Stein told me not to mess with success, and I'm following his sage wisdom.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Psychedelic Kimochi

Ms. Choi Yeo-Jin, whom, dressed in a tight soccer uniform, I became captivated with when I saw her on TV yesterday.

(B-ball thoughts to come later tonight. Needless to say, and to quote John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, yeah, we happy.)

Take Another Little Piece of My Heart

With the World Cup and NBA Finals in full swing, let me ask you a truly important sports question: if you were making 13 million dollars a year and batting .206 would you feel good about yourself? Would you be able to sleep at night knowing that you make more than fucking Ichiro but are barely keeping your head above the Mendoza-line? Or would you think that you should give some of that money back? Maybe not give it back, per se--the owners probably have plenty of money, but maybe give some of it to a long-suffering Mariners fan who has to watch you every fucking day.

Also, who does Mike Morse have to sleep with to crack the line-up? Do we really have such a Murderers' Row where a guy who gets a hit and an RBI every time he comes to the fucking plate can't crack the line-up? We know what Bloomquist and Reed can do; they are no longer prospects. They just are what they are and they suck. Both of them should be traded (I'd say trade Sexson too but nobody would be stupid enough to take him) and Mike Morse should be our everyday center-fielder and some of the young guys from Tacoma should start getting chances for at-bats in the Majors.

We now return you to sports events that actually matter, already in progress.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Michael Corleone

For the first time in my life, I can't wait for Monday morning to arrive. I'm not going to go on at length about the MIAMI HEAT'S TOTAL OBLITERATION of the Dallas Organ Donors, save for these quick(long) points:

1) Yeah, Avery deserved Coach of the Year honors; but what's up with him holding Eric "Shaq Killer" Dampier and Keith "Knowledge be Born" Van Horn out for most of the game? Because, you know, the Mavs actually could have used them. (I can't believe I just typed that, either.) Not that I'm complaining. Hey! DJ Mbenga will be back for game 5. Talk about your impact players. Changes the entire series, doesn't it?

2) A big middle finger to all the sports writers -- especially Steve Kerr and Mark Stein -- who wrote shit such as The Mavs will be fine; no need to change their gameplan, no need to tamper with success; nothing has changed; you'll see a different Mavs team come game 4. That last part is technically true; we did see a different Mavs team. Only I don't think that's what all those overpaid numbskulls had in mind.

By the way, how many big leads have the Mavs blown in these playoffs? A lot, that's how many. How many blowouts have the Heat won in these same playoffs? A lot, that's how many.

Warrants mentioning. And the only reason I do so is because, should the Heat win the championship, you're going to hear a lot of They only won it all because they put together a talented Frankenstein team of free agents and journeymen to complement Shaq and Wade, as opposed to the No way they could have dreamt to win a championship with a roster full of exiled, undependable and selfish journeymen/free agents talk that's been going on all season.

They've been perennial underdogs, yet somehow, should they take the series, it will, according to revisionist historians (aka coke-snorting sports writers), have been inevitable all along, and you can bet dollars to Dirk Nowitzkis those assholes will try to cheapen the greatness.

Mark my fucking words. No pun intended.

(And for the record, I think Kerr's a great guy -- mostly because, like me and Ron Howard, he's a member of the Dorian Gray fraternity. But he should stick to calling games. He prognosticates like I ably iron dress pants.)

3) Dwyane Wade is the best basketball player in the world.

4) I had a mini-heart attack when the Heat made like 200 consecutive turnovers in the 4th, but thankfully the Mavs took advantage of Miami's slippage for a total of 400 minus 400 points. I'd like to believe that Riles will have them protect the ball better next game, but it's worked these past two contests, so fuck it, why tamper with success?


5) If Dallas manages to regroup and win the series (big "if"), who are they going to give the Finals MVP to? Nowitzki? Very undeserving, especially after his performance today. Ditto for Howard. And can you imagine Jason Terry, NBA Finals MVP? Me neither.

Who's left? Stackhouse? A sixth man as Finals MVP? Pretty sure that's never happened before. Probably for good reason.

What I'm getting at is, is it explicitly written in the NBA rule book that a Finals MVP MUST play for the winning team?

If the Mavs end up winning it all (and I realize my hypothetical questioning only serves to dangerously anger the basketball gods), is it still possible for D-Wade to earn MVP honors?

'Cause that would be cool.

6) When your team is losing, those Tom Petty songs are excrutiating to listen to; but when they're winning, it's the sweetest music you'll ever hear.

7) I'll forgive the South Beach crowd for the white shirt theme -- after all, most of them are old and senile; you could probably coax them into watching the game shirtless with their socks tucked into their pants. But that middle-aged Asian guy with the buggy sunglasses who waves dual Heat flags at midcourt during the player intros is singlehandedly the worst thing I have seen in my 20 years as a basketball junkie (and that includes Kareem's jacket). Who the fuck came up with that idea, and how high was he when he did?

Worst. Player. Intros. Ever.

8) Due to nerves, I watched the game 3 comeback standing up. That of course led to me watch the entire game today while doing the same. Because I'm superstitous like that.

For those scoring at home, the Miami Heat are 128-93 against the Mavs when I watch the game while standing.

Somebody should inform Elias.

And even though I plan to wake up at 4am on Monday morning to watch the Korea/France World Cup match, and will likely be exhausted (and possibly drunk) by the time 10am rolls around, you can bet your Jennifer Lopez that I'll stand for the duration of Game 5.

I'm not crazy. Why tamper with success?

I only hope that denz, regardless of how much he despises the Heat franchise, plays his part and orders another roast beef roll for lunch.

Let's Go Heat

Bonus Track)

Well I started out
down a dirty road
Started out
all alone

And the sun went down
as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up,
the world got still

I'm learning to fly,
but I ain't got wings
Coming down
is the hardest thing

Well the good ol' days
may not return
And the rocks might melt
and the sea may burn

I'm learning to fly,
but I ain't got wings
Coming down
is the hardest thing

Well some say life
will beat you down
Break your heart,
steal your crown
So I've started out,
for God knows where
I guess I'll know
when I get there

I'm learning to fly,
around the clouds,
But what goes up
must come down

I'm learning to fly,
but I ain't got wings
Coming down
is the hardest thing

(Repeat Chorus)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Is this a "Lost" thing that I just don't get?

Jesus Tapdancing Christ.

What have I got myself into?

Well, Sparkles has invited me onto the team because he likes having lazy-arse apprentices to make him look diligent.

But he's in for a shock: I am determined to usurp his authority and stage the Republic's first psychedelic coup!

Stay tuned for the hijinks...


Bear Witness

Our Father, Rony Seikaly in heaven,

Hallowed be thy Mane.

Thy championship ring come.

Thy will be done,

At American Airlines Arena as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily boards.

And forgive us our turnovers,

As we forgive those who turnover against us.

And lead us not into foul trouble,

But deliver us from Nowitzki.

For thine is the Riley,

and The Diesel,

and the Wade,

for ever and ever.

Glen Rice.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

How I Saved the Heat

Let's get this straight. I hate the Heat. Like any fan of hoops, I have a soft spot for D-Wade, but I still hate the Heat. When I was fortunate enough to get the number 2 pick in the NBA Live 2006 dynasty draft, the New York Knicks selected LBJ. Wade would have fit in well, but no. No Heat on my bench. Shaq? He'll always be the man to me. But the Heat? How I hate the Heat.

I do not like them, Sam I am.
I do not like green eggs and ham.

When the Mavs popped into the finals a week or so ago, I was torn. Not only do I have an unfathomable disdain for the Heat. I also hate every single team from the Western Conference. In fact, with the exception of the Hawks, I hate just about every other team in the league. Why? I'm a Knicks fan. That's what we do. Probably. I forget what we do. It's been a long dark ride.

It's been an odd finals for me. I picked the Heat in 6. I upped games 1 and 2 from some Russo-Croatian server somewhere, which has probably flagged me on all sorts of terrorist-pedo ring CIA hitlists. The images were great. It's like what hoops would have been like if Communism had prevailed..

In a stark capitalist contrast, the World Cup has been displayed in high definition. I have one whole channel dedicated to it, which is a lovely change of pace. And damn, what a few days. Australia, in defiance of the Da Vinci Code, had proven that somewhere there is a football god and had come back from the depths of defeat. South Korea, bounced back against a shifty looking Togo squad. Ensuring that I would be able to sleep in my house once again. The US, downed by 3.

The beautiful game.

Like a drunken Sparkles, I found myself in full paradigm shift. I was wholly entertained. And I thought 'fuck it', I wasn't even going to watch game 3 of the NBA finals. I was done.

I logged into Yahoo at work to check the gamecast this morning. Saw the Heat up by a little and thought that maybe I'd been too hasty. Lunch break rolls around, I log in, see the Heat way down and I knew it was time to write off what had, up until that point, been a wonderful playoffs.

I grabbed my coat, descended 10 flights and walked around the block trying to work out what to eat. Onto the food court, I grab a roast beef roll and decide its too cold to eat out. I proceed to jet back through the Telstra building lobby (and it was full of children, probably couldn't see as high as I be) Nice lobby. Black, marble... plasma screens.

I glance up to see ESPN (or whatever the Australian equivalent is) and one quarter of game 3 left on the clock. I look over to a couple of guys standing there, nod the hoops nod, and start eating my roll. The Heat were down about 14. It was me, two guys, a roll and D-Wade. I'll give them one quarter.

And then it started. Hoops in glorious HDTV glory. With all the shitty streams and downloads I had suffered of late, I had forgotten how beautiful the game was. The Miami girls in the stands. All those gay white shirts. God damn, I'd even forgotten how ugly Van Horn was. But it was that beautiful Miami hardwood that got me, and watching the game as it is meant to be watched.

So I stood there, eating my sandwich. Hating the Heat and willing, just willing, Wade to take the game back. Take it back for hoops. Make it a playoffs. Make me a believer.

And slowly, step by step, drive after drive, the Heat started to chip away at the lead, despite leaving Dirk and Terry open countless times on the same fucking play. I willed Wade to drive. I jedi mind tricked Dirk into falling short on jumpers. I made people remember that Jason Terry is still Jason Terry, after all. GP even made a shot. Nice.

Minute by minute, people stopped walking to watch the game. We must have been 30 or 40 deep by the last few minutes. The Heat took the lead. And then Dirk went to the line. 90FT% in the playoffs. 1 for 2.

Wade rebounds and leaves a few ticks on the clock. Makes one. Misses one. One bad inbounds play and it was over. Heat win.

In one quarter, the Miami Heat had turned it back into a finals to watch. In doing so, they'd reminded me why I loved hoops.

In the seconds that followed, spell broken, people ran back to their offices. Late for work. A bunch of people strung out from staying up late watching soccer, had been distracted by a different type of ball. I walked back to my office, wondering what I was going to say to my boss, but more importantly I was thinking about game 4. I was thinking about hoops.

The beautiful game.

Kickin' like Bruce Lee's Chinese Connection

Last night I met up with a friend (who, incidentally, will soon be a new addition to the Psychedelic Kimchi team) to watch the Korea/Togo match at Yatap stadium. The atmosphere was electric, the beers cold, and at the end of the evening everybody was ecstatic that Korea came from behind to secure a 2-1 win.

This morning I woke up slightly hungover, cooked cheese ramen (recognize) and reheated some buldak that was in the fridge, smoked a square, and at 10 turned on the TV to watch game 3 of the NBA Finals.

The soccer match the night prior, I told my companion, would be an indication of how game 3 would turn out. I'm superstitous like that.

Things looked good for the first two quarters, but the Heat began to slip in the 3rd. By the end of that quarter, with the Heat trailing the Mavs by 9, I felt like I was going to throw up, and it wasn't because of the cheese ramen. The Mavs were shooting lights out, and the Heat were making stupid errors.

Dallas took a 13-point lead with about six and a half minutes remaining in the final quarter. It was then that I admitted to myself that this series looked just about over; the Heat were overmatched, they couldn't hang.

Nevertheless, I stuck it out to see how the game's final minutes would unfold. Hope, you see, is a very powerful human emotion -- perhaps the most powerful.

And a funny thing happened.

Dwyane Wade played possibly the best 12 minutes of his life (with 5 fouls no less!), scoring 42 and pulling down 13 boards; Shaq hit 2 of the biggest free throws of his career, bringing tears of joy to more than a few, I'm sure; Gary Payton hit the go-ahead jumper, his only attempt of the game, and what would be the game winning shot; and the Miami Heat escaped from what seemed an inevitable defeat, notching their first win of the series in what was arguably the biggest 4th quarter comeback in NBA Finals history.

15 hours. 2 memorable games.

1 overjoyed sports fan.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Bowling off some steam

I've heard that it's accepted in Japanese business culture for an employee, when drunk, to tell off his boss. Maybe it's a silly urban myth, like Asian women having horizontal vaginas. Regardless, though I am neither a Japanese salaryman nor particularly drunk (give me an hour or so), I'm adopting the paradigm so that I may launch some harsh words at the Miami Heat.

Pta Riley: Way too rally the troops, you decrepit old bugger.

Shawheel O'Neil: Make a fucking free trow okay? Hell, might as weel start throwing em up like Rick Barry use to. Couldnt be anyworse.

Dwayne Wayne: You're supposed to be the man the guy who does amaxing things and makes amazing plays. So whay have you been so tentitive? You look like yo had all the life drained out of you. Im sure the flu bug is out of your systen by now. Take some fuckin leadership! Way to rotate the ball too, by teh way.

Antoine Walker: Your pretty much blameless, sruprisingly. Wanna come ovr later and play SSX Tricky?

Jayson Williams: Miss another fuckinh layup, how bout? What was it, like 30 today?

Udonis Haslem: Your a hardened warier, but what's with the hagndog experssion while sitting on the bench? You looked like a kid who just got his bike sloten.

Gray Payton: I sprotted you when everybody esel said you play like an exumed corpse. Thanks for proving me worng. You play D like my grandmothers farts smell nice.

Alozno Morning: I think it's becaus I was never really close with my dad. You iknow, You're soo easy to talk to.

James Pozey: Cna you make a couple threes BEFORE we're down double digits?

Jason Kapono and Wayne Simian: What the fcuk or you looking at? You got a problem? Why dno't we step outside and handle this, thoughguys? It's past my bedtime. I'll wreck you like a 12 car pileup.

(I know I'm going to regret this in the Alonzo morning)

Friday, June 09, 2006

1 is the loneliest number

First, a symbolic recap of game 1 of the NBA Finals:

In related news, I was shooting around today -- as I'm wont to on a sunny Friday afternoon -- when 2 high school kids at the other end of the court approached me, and one asked if I would play them 2-on-1. Me being a dumbass who, not unlike a canine, doesn't consider the consequences of a situation until

(I'm in the back seat, headed towards the animal shelter)

it's too late, I agreed.

Then -- because I'm slower than Sunday church service to a 5-year-old -- when I realized they wanted to handicap me, I asked "Hold up, you want me to play you both?"

"Don't worry, we're beginners," one said.

I should have refused the offer then, but my foolish pride allowed me, for a moment, to believe that maybe I had a shot, maybe I could embarrass these brash young punks.

As it turned out, I nearly did. I was up 5-4, thanks in large part to my outside jumper, when my tormentors took the upper hand and had me playing Monkey in the Middle.

And if it weren't for the fact that both kids, wanting to win at all cost, did everything save beat me over the head with a lead pipe to stop me driving to the rim (seriously, the next time I play pick-up and some asshole wraps his arm around my waist or sticks out his leg to trip me as I'm driving towards the basket, I'm going to start throwing haymakers indiscriminately) I possibly could have beaten the odds.

But I didn't.

I badly want this week to end.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Word Fight!

Back in high school -- and I swear I wasn't high at the time -- a friend and I would regularly try to best each other with words that sound inherently funny. Few understood the humor then, and maybe that's still the case, but I ask: which is more fun to say





Rock the vote.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Call of Cthulhu

Whoever speaketh of Cthulhu shall remember that he but seemeth dead, he sleeps, and yet he does not sleep, he has died and yet he is not dead, asleep and dead though he is, he shall rise again.

-- H.P. Lovecraft

No time for the old in-out, luv

He passed out of the house and down the street. A wan delight came into his face at the sight of the lone tree. "Jes' ain't goin' to do nothin'," he said to himself, half aloud, in a crooning tone.

The Apostate, Jack London

"It's a lot of baloney and I'm tired."

Pete Bancini in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

The hardest part of stopping is starting again. When I decided to take it a little easier in June, I thought I'd still post something worthwhile (insert appropriate but Sparkles, you never post anything worthwhile joke here) every other day, but I can't even be bothered to do that. In essence, I'm pulling a Vince Carter: quitting when it matters. This is, after all, the first month of Psychedelic Kimchi's 2nd year. I should be working harder than ever. At least I feel that I should.

But I just don't have it in me. Maybe it's the oncoming hot weather; maybe it's a lack of iron; maybe it's because I'm a lazy bastard. It's probably a combination of those, plus a few other things. Regardless, I'm not doing my job (okay, my hobby); and I hereby promise that a resurgence will occur come July.

So no Memory Lane this month, no Catcher in the Lye (like anyone cares, right?); no Top Hip-Hop Songs this month, at least from me. Shit, I'm not even going to write an NBA Finals preview (the Heat are going to fucking win that badboy, though, make no mistake).

Instead, I'm going to make June a transition month. I'll perhaps post something new every day from now until the 30th, but, as evidenced by my last few posts, they'll be quickies.


Your Friendly Neighborhood Slack-Ass

PS - The Spring Cleaning review of Seven Samurai is coming before the 21st, though.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

When there's no more room in HELL...

I love you, Riles, but you're beginning to bear more than a passing resemblance to one of the undead.

Pat Riley

Roger from Dawn of the Dead

Monday, June 05, 2006

I Hate My Hands (a poem)


Feed myself
Play with myself
Pick my nose and make sure I don't get food or come
on myself


Punch others
Kill others (sometimes with just one finger)
Shake hands and lie to

I love my hands

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down

I don't mind choppin' wood
and I don't care if my money's no good;
you take what you need and you leave the rest
but they should never have taken the very best.
-The Band, The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down
In December of 2004 I was in a good place in my life. I had stopped drinking, I had met and was living with the woman who would eventually become my wife. Things were going well and I wasn't letting minor bullshit get me down, or move me off course. I had a focus that was wholly incongruous with the way I had led my life up to that point.
So I probably didn't deal with, or think about the shooting death of "Dime-bag" Darrell Abbott as much as or in the way I would have in the past. I don't remember where I read about the shooting first, but I wasn't surprised to hear that Dime-bag was playing with someone other than the group he had risen to fame with, that being Pantera. Pantera had failed to release a new album for years, and I knew Dime-bag and his brother Vinnie had grown weary of waiting around for lead singer Phil Anselmo to pull his head out of his ass. It was a shame, too, because Pantera had made some of the best Heavy Metal music ever in a time when Heavy Metal was dying on the vine. They burst on the scene in the early nineties with "Cowboys From Hell," and as we all know the nineties were a time for Grunge. Grunge dismissed Heavy Metal en toto, grouping all Metal in with those deplorable Hair Bands of the eighties. Grunge took the Heavy Metal sound and mixed it with Punk sensibility to slow it down, and to try to give it a deeper resonance. Which was great. You won't find a bigger fan of Grunge music than me, and when the inevitable Grunge renaissance occurs I will be the first one lining up for the albums. Hell, I'd start a band to begin the Grunge renaissance right now if it weren't for the minor speed bump of not being able to play an instrument or sing.
Pantera, though, refused to redefine Metal or take it in any other direction. Rather than water Metal down, Pantera made a Metal-fan's Metal. They played it harder, they played it faster, they would not apologize for being the loudest, fastest band in existence. They would not apologize for instrumental virtuosity or lyrical content that spoke of Satan, guns, women and drugs and not necessarily in that order. Pantera was more Metal than Metal. To borrow one of their album titles, they were far beyond driven.
Sticking to their artistic guns led Pantera to totally unpredictable levels of economic success. They debuted an album at number one in a time when acts like Ace of Base ruled the charts. They were the lone standard-bearers of that type of music through some of its darkest days, and they carried a lot of us through some pretty dismal times.
I know it's strange for people who aren't fans of Heavy Metal to hear that you can be inspired by songs with guitar shredding, and heavy drums, and screaming. I know it's weird to hear that songs about cemeteries can make you feel better when you're down on yourself. But I think what Heavy Metal fans realize is that ignoring suffering and hoping it goes away is a less-than-effective tactic. When I'm feeling shitty, I don't want to hear some bouncy Pop song talking about how great life is. It marginalizes what I'm going through and makes me feel isolated. But if I can hear some fat, bearded guys from Dallas talking about the same things that get me down--existential suffering, anger, rage, substance-dependence--then I feel connected. I feel like I can identify. I feel like there is someone out there who can empathize, and that makes all the difference in the world.
But, like I said, that wasn't where I was at in December of 2004. I thought it was going to be straight uphill from there on out. I thought my problems were behind me. I intellectually knew that not everything would go my way for the rest of my life, but deep down I didn't believe it. Deep down I thought I was now unstoppable. So when I walked away from my computer and saw my girlfriend in the kitchen, and I said "Somebody shot and killed Dime-bag Darrell on-stage last night" she said "I don't know who that is." And I left it at that.
I hadn't been a good Pantera fan in the last few years, anyway. Their first three albums "Cowboys From Hell," "Vulgar Display of Power," and "Way Beyond Driven" had meant the world to me through junior high, high school and into my college years, but I had never bothered to purchase or listen to their fourth and final studio album, "The Great Southern Trend Kill." Their down-home, down-to-earth approach to rock-stardom had always endeared them to me and I would, from time to time, toy with the idea of getting the "Cowboys From Hell" circular logo tattooed somewhere, but eventually new groups and sounds lead me away and Pantera drifted by the wayside where they stayed, even through Dime-bag's tragic ending.
But when the inevitable happened, when my intellectual realization came to pass that not everything would go my way without exception for the rest of my life, I started thinking about Pantera again, and when I caught the back end of their "Behind the Music" documentary I determined to check my local listings and figure out when I could watch it top-to-bottom.
It brought up a lot of feelings for me, hearing those songs and seeing those faces again. The phrase "soundtrack to my life" is bandied around a lot these days, but cliches are cliches because they are true, and hearing Pantera flashes pictures of weight rooms, parties and apartments from my adolesence across the movie screen in my head.
I know what a lot of Evangelicals would say: if you write and perform aggressive songs about depravity and violence, and profit from them, that you can expect to come to a similar end. I understand that. Live by the power-chord, die by the power-chord and all of that. But I think Dime-bag, and Vinnie and Phil, I think they were just trying to write about what they thought was real, about what they thought was true and it turned out that I thought those things were real and true as well. And I owe them for that, even if it's not what some people think should be right or true.
In my adolesence and early adulthood I knew I shouldn't think about hitting and hurting people as much as I did. I felt guilty about being as aggressive and angry a person as I was, so on top of those feelings of aggression were poured feelings of shame and self-disappointment which, again, just redoubled the intial feelings of aggression. The fact that there were some people out there willing to sum up those feelings of aggression, willing to give voice to them, acknowledge them and suggest that maybe, just maybe, something constructive could come of them kept me from beating myself up a great deal. It mitigated the self-loathing, even if it didn't totally erase it, and I appreciated that.
So I guess I would just want to say that Dime-bag Darrell was the real talent in Pantera. Anselmo could scream and Vinnie could bang skins but Dime-bag was what separated them then, and will continue to separate them, when rock historians come to weigh in on all things Pantera in the coming years.
So, Dime-bag, I raise this Diet Pepsi to you, bro. Thanks for getting me through. If there is a place where we go when we shuffle off this mortal coil, I hope it's not all hymns and harps and white and wings. I hope you can still plug in, rock out, and down a little bit of Crown Royal. It would be such a shame, and so goddamned boring, for your eternal rest to be restful.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Roy Neary

This means something. This is important.

This is better than Goofy Golf!