Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Guess we need a post for today, eh? Especially when you drink every day, eh.

(l'union des provinces en une dominion!)

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Wire Depreciation No. 28889 (82221)

(Skip ahead to 1:15)

For all the praise I give The Wire, I have to take it to task for this scene. The scene is great, sure*, my ties to Korea the only reason for my nitpicking, but it's endemic of Hollywood's oversimplification and general ignorance/laziness in depicting Asians.

First, a translation. After Monk shoots cutty in the leg and Michael offers to call an ambulance and stay with Cutty until it arrives, a Korean store owner comes out of his shop to deliver these stiff words, translated from the vernacular:

What is this? Are you OK? This is bad! I'm going to call the police right away!

Keep in mind that the Korean was -- thankfully, for artistic purposes -- not translated, and my translation could be tweaked a little (for instance, 큰일 could literally be translated as "a big deal," and, duh, of course it's a big deal, which goes to show you that literal translations are cold fucking dumb). My complaint about the scene is that it's glaringly obtuse on a screenwriting level and a cultural one.

Monk shoots Cutty in the leg and ambles off with his crew sans Michael, who holds back to make sure our favorite ex-con pugilist and lady killer is all right. Then, a Korean store owner steps out (after gun shots have just been fired, remember) to play the good Samaritan. Is that logical? Is it realistic?

I don't know about you, but if I'm an elderly store owner in the inner city who has just heard gunshots outside of my establishment, the last thing I'm about to do is hop outside to see if everything is copacetic. I'd be clutching Linoleum like a motherfuck; and, yeah, that probably means I'm a pussy, but it also means I'm an elderly store owner in the inner city.

More confounding is the Korean's dialog, crassly inauthentic in my opinion. I might catch heat for this, but does anyone believe that a Korean store owner -- an elderly one at that -- would use honorific speech toward a black man who has been shot on a crime-ridden corner in Baltimore? I'm dubious.

I may have read somewhere that the Korean extra was a friend of the film crew's who got a small part for his cooperation with the production, or maybe I just retconned my brain because that scenario makes a bit more sense; regardless, for such an authentically real show**, the scene is jarring in its inauthenticity. Word to Brother Mouzone.

* even though it somewhat betrays Michael's meteoric, one-episode transition from a conflicted kid with good principles to a cold-hearted street soldier

** Or so I'm told. I'm not ready at this point in my life to move to Baltimore, so based on my own critical analysis and those of professional critics, I have to take a leap of faith.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The PK 27 -- Game No. 8

This is the second ninja-related game to appear on the illustrious PK 27, and I make no apologies for this developing fetish of mine. To be candid, the concept of ninja has become iconic over the past thirty years, however bastardized that image may be. Regardless of medium, ninja (ninjas?) have bombarded our senses, and I dare say that most everyone under the age of forty has encountered them in some shape or form.

(If I'm mistaken, so be it, but if you're reading this post, and you've never heard of, let alone seen, a ninja of some kind, I'll proceed to kick myself in the nuts.)

Short story made shorter, the PK 27 is about video games, and Ninja Gaiden II - The Dark Sword of Chaos is but one example amidst a plethora of titles associated with the aforementioned shadow assassins, but what a gem it is. On the surface, NGII is standard fare: side-scrolling action game for the N.E.S. (and god knows, there was an endless supply of those), hack-slash-run-jump game mechanics, life meter suspiciously similar to that of the Castlevania series, a variety of secondary weapons that required ammunition of sorts (in Castlevania, it was hearts, while in NGII, it was chi or some shit like that), repetitive yet endearing tunes, etc.

Yeah, yeah, the list goes on and on, but borrowing from other games was -and still is- a staple of the industry, and thus it's unfair to fault Tecmo all that much; I mean, the game centered around a ninja! Ryu Hayubusa, super ninja, to be precise. He could climb walls, toss 'ninja stars'* like Sparkles throws temper tantrums, create shadows of himself to provide additional support, and swing a mean sword. And swing he would, again and again and again and again, because the enemies would constantly reappear, much to the player's agitation. He'd also die countless times, but that's okay, as the game was so addictive that you didn't care.**

NGII also had a storyline involving demons, secret service agents, and some lady named Irene, but whatever; the cinematic sequences looked great at the time, and they kept you playing. To be honest, I don't remember the finer details of the plot, except that the primary villain of the game, Ashtar, was the epitome of over-the-top-bad-guy awesome, and that I wanted to be just like him when I grew up. I have yet to achieve such a lofty goal (a work in progress, mind you, given that as of today, I am not quite a grown-up) but there's something to be said about a boy devoted to his dreams, right?


* My brother had one of those, and as a kid, I would practice tossing it at empty boxes of Life cereal. Bet you ten bucks Mikey didn't like it.

** Unless you loathe video games, in which case, you probably dislike alcohol, sex, Cheetos, convenience store sandwiches, cigarettes, and gingivitis as well, so don't let the (bathroom) door hit you on the way out, Pat Boone.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm not Superman

Still the best song to throw Prince Be off a stage to:

Listless Addendum

Here is the soundtrack to my fever rage:


It's also the song that plays during the credits to the film adaptation of Blood, Sweat, and Eye Water (currently in turnaround), and fuck me if it wasn't used in the The Last House on the Left remake's trailer.

Anyway. Did I really drown?


It is a rare man who can use profanity and make it sound eloquent. That man is not me, at least not now. Motherfuck this bitchass fucking virus that I've had now for two goddamn fucking weeks. What began as a fever and nothing else has since reared its ugly head as: a sinus infection, a prolonged cough the likes of which I haven't experienced since high school, a sore throat that comes and goes, and a fever that, just like the sore throat, keeps coming back like Michael Myers (to wreak havoc on my immune system and my bank account, and the latter hurts more because, after all, what good is a sick gigolo?).

I have not been a very happy man these past two weeks, and for good reason. Just when I think I'm getting over the hump, I'm hit with another high temperature. At this point I don't fucking care if I have H1N1 or not; all I want is for the torture to end. The Halloween sequels after II and III (both terrible in their own rights, but they have their charms) are shitty, shitty films.

Here I sit, in front of my laptop, face flushed and sore-necked, another fever making the rounds. Legs sent me a text message a few minutes ago to inform me that she, too, has witnessed Beetlejuice's return*, and I have to selfishly wonder: is it my time to go?

Never that, but the above might explain why the Maniac Dawn resurrection was so poorly written (I mean poorerly written). It could also explain the following proclamations:

The Top 10 films of This Decade

10. The Two Towers
9. There Will Be Blood
8. The Prestige
7. The Dark Knight
6. No Country for Old Men
5. Children of Men
4. The Fellowship of the Ring
3. The Return of the King
2. The Aviator
1. Zodiac

The Top 5 Characters on The Wire

5. Bunny Colvin
4. Bubbles
3. Stringer Bell
2. Omar Little
1. Jimmy McNulty

The Top 5 Nintendo DS Games

5. New Super Mario Bros.
4. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
3. Contra 4
2. Chrono Trigger DS
1. Mario Kart DS

The Top 2 Types of 냉면

2. 물냉면
1. 비빔냉면

The Top 2 18th Letters

2. Rakim
1. Rahne

The Top 5 PK Contributors

5. Idealjetsam
4. TMH
3. Denz
2. Kmart
1. Tiberious aka Sparkles

The Top 5 PK Contributors in Terms of Quality

5. Idealjetsam
4. Tiberious aka Sparkles
2. Denz
2. TMH
1. Kmart

The Top 3 Reasons to Leave Your Air Conditioner on with the Windows Open

3. Fried fish
2. Bad fart
1. Smoking

The Top 5 Reasons Jack Burton is the Greatest Action Hero Ever

5. Even with lipstick, he's still more of a man than you or I will ever be.
4. He's not scared at all. In fact, he feels kinda invincible.
3. He realizes that a man would have to be some kind of fool to think we're alone in this universe.
2. He shook the pillars of Heaven.
1. It's all in the reflexes.

The Top 5 Picks in the 2009 NBA Draft

5. Signability Issues
4. Tyreke Evans
3. James Harden
2. Hasheem Thabeet
1. Blake Griffin

The Top 3 'Thriller' Singles

3. Billie Jean
2. Beat It
1. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

The Top 5 Corleones

5. Fredo
4. Tom Hagen
3. Sonny
2. Michael
1. Vito

The Top 5 Short-Term Flu Remedies

5. The Wire
4. Alcohol
3. Sex
2. Tylenol Cold
1. Psychedelic Kimchi


This can't get any worse. It can't.

* Fuck mixed metaphors, I'm all about the mixed Hollywood analogies.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Maniac Dawn -- The Deformed Infant (and Baby Makes Three)

[Note: This never would have happened if Kmart hadn't forced me, at gunpoint, to watch Neon Maniacs late last year. An awful movie with certain charms, I couldn't stop wondering if such a shitty, shitty movie could be successfully turned into something halfway interesting and/or chilling. Thus the Psychedelic Kimchi Maniac Dawn project began. As is too common with my generation, however, I quickly lost interest in the experiment when I realized I could be doing other stuff in my free time like playing video games and criticizing everyone and everything on Internet message boards, and so Maniac Dawn, like Blood, Sweat, and Eye Water and my Brothers Karamazov sequel*, got pushed to the back burner in favor of Chrono Trigger and trolling hipster websites. But I'm back on track, for now. Maniac Dawn has been resurrected, and we'll see -- you, Constant Retard, and I -- where this admittedly pointless exercise in fan-fiction takes us. All aboard.

If you want to get up to snuff, here are the previous chapters in the Maniac Dawn oeuvre:

Deformed Infant -- Father
Deformed Infant -- Mother



"You're under arrest for possession of a concealed weapon," Nicole said as she turned back to him, one hand on Jack's crotch, the other on his shoulder.

Girl doesn't waste time, Jack thought. They had only just stepped into this dilapidated cabin -- nearly half of which appeared to hang over a bluff, precariously so -- when Nicole took him (took him) by surprise. Jack was quickly discovering that Nicole was all about surprises.

"Got a permit for that sucker, Paladin?" she giggled.

Jack couldn't speak. A dry croak would have been impossible. So he simply stared at her. At Nicole. Nicole Westbrook. That was her name, and he promised himself he would never forget it, not ever. Nicole Westbrook. Nicole Westbrook. She wanted to have sex with him. She wanted to make love. She wanted to take him higher, lead him from the desert and into the Promised Land, the fraternity of all men, and Jack was more than willing to join them. Men like his father.


Jack hadn't had many experiences with women (read: none, unless you counted that time in the fourth grade when he unloosened Bree Daniels's bra clasp from behind and over her shirt during a school assembly, ironically enough, about harassment), and did have far too many with men -- dirty, greasy men who gave rides in exchange for touching, sometimes more, the degree of "touching" determined by how far Jack was willing to go, literally and figuratively, but usually out of his hands, because, they said, and Jack used to actually believe it, that was part of the deal, The Rule of the Road -- so when Nicole took her hand off of his increasingly bulging, increasingly eager denim surprise and led Jack into a door to their immediate left, he followed like a purebred in the Westminster Dog Show.

"Good boy," she cooed, and Jack was alarmed at what he saw in this new room, but it was more what he sensed. Musty and mildewy, the room was more dust than air. Jack stifled a cough, sneezed in spite of himself, and wiped dry eyes.

Nicole walked toward the bed, her blue ankles the only part of her visible in the moon-drenched night. She turned on a table stand and walked back to Jack, her arms upraised, her chest bare.

"Nice trick," Jack whispered, the words puffed from his mouth with no support from his diaphragm. His head swam. In the new light he could see motes of dust rising all around, collapsing on that abject light like matter into a black hole. Her feet were -- inexplicably, irrationally -- bare now, and as Nicole approached he could hear crunching sounds.

Thousands of dead flies on the floor. Tens of thousands. Millions, maybe.

Get out of here. Run. Run! Lose your virginity another time, boyo. You're only sixteen, you got plenty of time. An eternity. Because if you stay here, you'll likely lose something, and not your virginity. More like your life. Hear me? This is no joke.

"I need to go," Jack mumbled, his lethargy betraying his panic. "'Nother time, maybe?"

She smiled. The wood paneled walls lurched. The multi-colored checked bedspread (red, all shades of red) slid down to reveal not a mattress but a grave of dead insects, ground bones, and a viscous, bitter-yellow liquid.

"You know you're not going anywhere. I want one thing from you, one thing only. And vice-versa. I told you I was raped tonight?"

"You did," Jack answered, swaying.

"A half truth," Nicole said. "I was raped, but it wasn't today. It wasn't last week or a month ago, either."

Jack teetered like a pendulum, his tongue instinctively trying to find the back of his throat.

"I was stoned, actually." Her eyes flared. "In the biblical sense. I was called a whore and stoned to death. All for something I didn't do. This was hundreds of years before your grandparents were even born."

"Bloodied, my face caved in and my heart weaker than a feather, someone came to me. He wore a tattered black robe and he promised me I could be redeemed. All I needed to do, he said, was recruit somebody, somebody like you. 'Don't worry,' he said, 'he'll have the same chance, one life taken, one life given.' And the result, he promised, would be miraculous. I believed him, and I still do. He brought me here, a millennium later, Jack, so lie down with me. Make love to me. Please? I need to have a baby, Jack. I need to."

Jack could only look at his sneakered feet.


* Alyosha, Ivan, and Dmitri have a Mexican standoff, and that's just the first chapter!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The 67th Patient

After finishing Dave Eggers's fantastic PK tribute, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, yesterday, this morning I cracked open Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island, and damn if I didn't plow through six-eighths of that badboy before forcefully putting it down when it became dangerously clear that I was about to become one of those weirdos who reads an entire book in a day. Close one.

Sure, I've felt like utter sheisse these past ten days, this mysterious virus inflicting on me every ailment in its arsenal (I'm anticipating diarrhea or vomiting tomorrow, and then my flu bingo card can be complete), but there's always an upside, and my silver lining has been a smorgasbord of entertainment: reading, watching The Wire, and alternative medicine in the form of blowjobs. I've got my own Make-a-Wish Foundation up in here, and perhaps that's why I haven't gotten any better since the Thursday before last. Maybe I don't want to.

But I digress. Shutter Island is, despite Lehane's tendency to fall too much in love with his characters' dialog, as though while writing it he realized its potential as a screenplay and intentionally tried to Hollywoodize the back-and-forth repartee between his protagonist and his protagonist's partner, and the author's flogging of the word "and," one helluva read. My impetus to read the novel arrived when I realized that Lehane wrote Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone, two novels that inspired terrific films. That impetus grew more intense when I remembered that Lehane also wrote for The Wire, and anyone who wrote for that show, The Greatest Story Ever Told (my apologies to The Holy Bible, King James version) is forever canonized. Oh, the film adaptation is set to be released this October, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, you say? In. Ininininin.

I'm a little dubious at the casting decisions to have Mark Ruffalo play yet another cop, Max von Sydow yet another menacing doctor, and Jackie Earl Haley yet another sociopath, but, hey, it's Scorsese, and America's Greatest Living Filmmaker has, after a couple of letdowns in the late 90's, been on somewhat of a roll. Sure, Gangs of New York was, all told, pretty crappy, but the master redeemed himself tenfold with The Aviator, the best film of 2004 and perhaps this decade, and The Departed. At his best, Scorsese is complemented by his actors, particularly Robert DeNiro, and his editor, the tremendously perfect Thelma Schoonmaker. Schoonmaker is editing Shutter Island, and Scorsese's new-millennial DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio, plays the lead.

I ask, what's not to like? Besides the iffy hallucination scenes in the trailer, that is. Not exactly a fan.

Predicted greatness hits theaters October 9, three years after, to the day, North Korea tested its first nuclear bomb, three years after -- also to the day -- I fell in love for the first time.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Round Robin's Inflammation

(Would you be so kind as to listen to this while you read? You'll thank me later.)

This is what it looks like. I don't think we're liars. We did our job, several times over. We agreed to kill the girl, and we did. I think so. I don't ask questions about that. That requires real thought, and I hate thinking too much. We haven't been paid, and I hate that, too. I hate having to try hard at anything. Guns, for example. Loading, reloading, aiming, cleaning. It bothers me. Give me a sledgehammer or baseball bat and I'll get results. Usually. But I've gotten past that piece of angst. I still wanna crush her skull with my bare hands, but that's not why I'm here. I'm here because doors need smashing, walls need burning, and jaws need removing. I want to lose some weight while I'm at it. But I'm not fat. She says we're not getting our money, and she's probably right. I've been in that situation before. People never want to pay, or they can't, but that's the way of the world. That's what my best friend Todd says, and I believe him. Mostly. He also says that my face is getting uglier by the day. Maybe. The girl is starting to be a friend of mine. I like her because I've killed her. Twice. But I don't understand what she says. She talks like she's smart, even if she's not. She tells me that I killed her, but not well enough. I don't get it, and I don't really want to. Easy is what turns me on.

Easy is splashing gasoline along the corridors and on the doors of the first two floors. I have to keep going back to the car to get more. First from the trunk, and then the back seat. It's a pretty big building, bigger than I'm used to. That's okay. I'm big, too. This guy comes out from #103 and asks me what the hell I'm doing. I tell him. In his bathroom. As I'm kicking his teeth into his nose. Closer inspection reveals that there were at least a few gold bridges involved. Same difference. I drink a glass of skim milk from his fridge and catch a few minutes of a Herzog documentary on A&E. Air balloons are stupid. That's why I don't wash my hands before leaving the apartment.

Splish. Splash. This isn’t my style, but she says I have to be crafty about it. Sometimes gas spills on my jacket, pants, and shoes, but that’s okay. I’m not staying long. I guess I should walk backwards, but I don’t plan on catching fire. If I’m going backwards, I can’t see what’s in front of me. And I’m hungry. Skim milk doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. It’s milk, but it’s not. Like me. She says I’m not to harm anyone unless it’s necessary. I don’t get it. Pass by #210 and hear music playing. Not too loud. Some laughter filters through the door. The music is vaguely familiar. I wanna say it’s a Glass Tiger song. Weird. Sounds like teenagers having a small party, probably drinking. I never had fun like that, but it doesn’t bother me too much. I believe in equity. I believe that the world is my oyster, and fuck, I’m starving, but I wanna shed some unwanted pounds. We’ll go to Happy Chef after we finish, except that I don’t know when that’s going to be. I’m not wearing a mask or anything, but I don’t plan on getting spotted. Ask the guy in #103 what he thinks, and he tells you nothing, nada, zero. Kinda funny.

The girl’s not a girl, and she says I don’t need to start the fire right away. She says to wait for the signal, but doesn’t say when, or what, that will be. I can wait. I’m patient. I’m hungry. I’m on a diet. I’m going to drop a match. I’m going to punch that bitch in the face. Even though I’m beginng to like her.


The music seeping out from #210 isn’t bad, just odd. What is the name of the song? I wanna say Don’t Shed a Tear, which is strange. I shouldn’t know that, and these kids shouldn’t be listening to it, unless the year were 1986, which it is not. I’m in middle school, or at that age, anyway. I eat Jumpin’ Jack Doritos from inside a dumpster in South Bend. I borrow Steve Erusha’s old J.C. Penney lawn mower, pay him a buck for the gas inside, and head out for the afternoon. Do Mrs. Wenzel’s lawn, avoid most of the flowers. Get five dollars. Take my time bringing the mower back to Erusha. There’s a tabby cat hog-tied and wrapped up in a Hefty sack. It hisses and wiggles valiantly as I bury it up to its scrawny neck in the dirt of a vacant lot at the dead end of Woodside Drive. I can hear it screech over the roar of the mower’s engine, and then poof. Like when you step into a rotting log intentionally. Not fully rotten, but getting there. That’s the noise it makes. I collect any tangible remains of its skull, brain, and teeth and place them within a baggie. Erusha asks me if I need the the mower tomorrow. I nod. This is 1986.

I knock. Someone shouts “It’s about time you got here, Cathy!” and the door opens to reveal a girl of no more than seventeen years old. Short black hair, not sure of the style. Petite, as I look down at her, and she up at me with eyes wide open in bewilderment. Navy blue pajama bottoms with white stripes running down the legs. Probably cotton. Oversized Kid Rock T-shirt, possibly charcoal, but faded, so hard to say. Probably cotton, as well. I smirk, while she elects to narrow her eyes. I’m not Cathy, but close enough.

Sitting on a plush leather couch, I gorge upon a half-empty can of mixed nuts. Blood on my fingers mixes with an assortment of cashews, peanuts, almonds, and something else I can’t identify. Salty. Don’t Stop Believin’ plays on the stereo. Alphabetical order? One of the three girls, a blonde stained magenta, whimpers from her darkening spot on trampled, beige carpeting. The sound is like when I speak with food in my mouth. I want to say something to her. I mix some Sour Apple Pucker with the glob of mixed nuts inside my mouth. The greenish-brown nugget drops from my lips onto her broken face. Don’t You Want Me. Baby. Kids’ liquor is refreshing. I sorta hope Cathy arrives soon. Easy is what turns me on.

This is what it looks like.

The Wire Appreciation No. 4677 (6433)

A better cultural observer than me could probably go on at length as to why mainstream horror -- films, fiction, that two-month-old, half-drunk carton of milk lamping at the back of your fridge next to the dead French babies -- doesn't work on lower-class urban dwellers as well as it does on their predominantly white, middle-to-upper-class counterparts; but why would you want to read an essay about that when you can see the obvious, what's right in front of your eyes, courtesy of The Wire?

Horror, at its most terrifyingly fictional or dreamlike level, benefits from a lack of reveal. Real-life horror, though, can only be experienced, seen, and it is the purest form of horror any man, woman, or child will ever know. Jaws is scary, so is Halloween. But if, God forbid, you ever find yourself in a broken elevator plunging down to your assured death, or in an airplane crashing into the ocean or earth or a, God forbid, building...If you find yourself held at gunpoint, a bullet a trigger pull away from your classification of being alive (Jack Daniels) or dead (formaldehyde)...If you are surrounded by flames, smoke, and your only survival instinct is to jump...

The Boogie Man only works in your imagination. The real Boogie Man is far more horrific, far more tragic.

False Prophet

I stand before you ashamed, disgraced. Mortal. Alcohol, that hydra of temptation and woohoo! deceived me; and, full disclosure, it wasn't the first time, nor will it be the last. It helped stave off my oncoming cold/flu for a few days only to, yesterday, allow that virus (H1N1?) to rend me, incapacitate me. Sooner or later, we all get what we deserve, and I deserved that flu/cold like the kids in those shitty Final Destination movies deserved to die. It was only a matter of time.

Therefore, sober and at one with my god, I must admit that alcohol, while the perfect hangover remedy, does not cure the common cold or flu viruses.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

The PK 27 -- Game No. 27

"At the end of the day (not quite today and not yet tomorrow), memento mori."

- Eoin Forbes

"It's good to be alive, because you can do stuff."
- The 18th Letter

Bloodlines, y'all. Bloodlines.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Some people will tell you that alcohol has no restorative properties, that it cannot alleviate cold symptoms, that, in fact, it can compound those symptoms. Those people are liars. (Their motive for such falsehoods? Beats me. It's probably a knee-jerk response stemming from the culturally instilled belief that alcohol -- and heavy metal -- only causes harm, never help. Blame Christians and Alcoholics Anonymous.) Suffering from my second fever -- this time avec sore throat -- in six days, yours truly did what had to be done. I drank approximately 3 liters of beer and 8 ounces of scotch before bed. (Sorry for the mixed units of measurement*. I'm Canadian.) I didn't like it, either. Sure, as anyone who knows me will Ron Artest, I am fond of my libations. That I love drinking like Bubs loved heroin goes without saying; but I'm only human**, and even I have a hard time imbibing when my temperature is close to 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit).

I did, though, and I'm damn glad I did, too. I woke up this morning with only a slight pain in my throat, nothing some ice cream couldn't fix (ice cream!), and spent the rest of the day reading, playing video games, and watching The Wire. Today's my day off, see, and instead of lying in bed all day, I actually did stuff that made my day off pretty neat as opposed to really fucking shitty. I think I'll do some more of the same right now.

Oh, how nice it would be to remain sick forever. I could stay at home every day! I might teach myself how to bake really tasty cupcakes, ones with orange icing that doesn't taste at all like oranges. I'd invite people over, and when they asked, "What are you up to these days?" I'd answer, "I'm working on a novel about a kid who synthesizes a new drug for a science experiment a la The Manhattan Project, but this new drug is too "dangerous" because it's going to put the big pharmaceutical companies out of business because no one will ever have to take any other drug ever again, this new drug does it all, kinda like how computers will eventually consolidate entertainment, and the kid is marked for death. I don't want to give away the plot any further, but there's this big part, comprised of two long chapters, where the protagonist has to make an ethical decision that's really a Catch-22, and the reader discovers, hopefully, that we're all doomed, that all of our altruistic decisions are damning, all of our selfish ones equally so, and everyone, I mean the earth's entire population, dies," and then I'd watch their eyes light up like they just had an epiphany. "That sounds pretty good," they'd say, and I'd respond, after a pause, three quick drum beats in succession, "It's only one of the several ideas I'm kicking around."

All before breakfast.

* Also sorry for the mixed written-digit numerals. I threw out my AP press guide by mistake/in protest to their shitty idea of journalism.

** Or am I dancer?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The PK 27 -- Game No. 19

The year is 1982, and I am four years old. I'm living in Ottawa (well, technically Nepean, but "Nepean" sounds like a urinary tract infection, and, fuck anachronisms, it's part of the Greater Ottawa Area now). My hobbies include staring at the television for an ungodly number of hours each day, occasionally coloring in coloring books (because that's what they're for!), and being told what to do by my parents (Aw!) and my brother (Ow!). I have a pretty good memory, but oddly enough I don't remember ever farting. Weird.

One day my old man -- though he was a relatively young man then; it's just a figure of speech, dude -- comes home with something called "a computer." It's all pretty lame, seeing as how you have to spend hours upon hours typing in code in order to get anything on the sucker to work, but then I learn, probably with a grape drink box in my grubby little hands, that it plays games, and who doesn't like games? (Dogs?) It's made by some unassuming calculator manufacturer called Texas Instruments. It and one game in particular will change my life forever.

That game is Munch Man. Obviously, it's a ripoff of Pac-Man, a fact I knew at the time; but kids -- and Koreans -- care little of such trivialities. Because it's fun! Imagine a world in which one Mr. Eoin A. Forbes's first home gaming experience is a letdown...Now there's a goddamn scary thought.

Just look at that demonic fucker up there. You're mine, Cone! Not so fast, Triangular Prism! And you, you purple thing that looks like a portion of either a guitar neck or a picket fence, I'm saving a special level of torture for you, one reserved for enduring talky Diane Keaton movies and withstanding the inane chatter of newbies at my local watering hole. (You know what, that is so weird! Your family and friends back home will positively have aneurysms after laughing so hard at the fact that Koreans write the number nine backwards.)

If Pac-Man is a jolly fat yellow man not unlike Samo Hung, Munch Man is his Jack o'Lantern-faced evil twin, content to shit all over your living room floor. The eternal question of why the dude's name is Munch Man when he does not in fact eat anything is pretty clear now, isn't it?

He already ate.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Artesian Water



"It's good because it's cool." Translated from the vernacular, so reads the box of beer sitting on the floor against the wall. And it is cool. It is. The condensation from my glass is proof of that, but "it" defines far more than simply the temperature of my beverage, which isn't just cool, it's cold. No. "It" is everything in this place, living and non-living. See that Shih Tzu lamping on the sofa like a bloated waterskin? She's cool. Sure, she can't jump for shit, and her affection for you is determined mostly by whether or not you have food, but she's cool nonetheless. Shih Tzus are inherently ugly, but not this bitch. No. She's as pretty as they make 'em, even if her toenails aren't all the same color.

See that big window with the spectacular view? See it well. Who needs a television when you can look out that badboy anytime you please? If you do need a television, though, look to your left. 42 inches of South Korean electronic craftsmanship. It has presence, like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey turned sideways. Yes.

I want you to look at these bookshelves occupying the two corners of the apartment next to the window, the only window necessary, the only window that matters. Unassuming, right? Look more closely. See? What they lack in aesthetics they more than make up for in taste. Of Human Bondage and The Moon and Sixpence. Alexandre Dumas. The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack. Dostoevsky, and Murakami for a modern touch. Very, very cool.

There's an oak chessboard nestled between the TV stand and a wicker basket full of towels. Obviously a thinking man lives here. Wanna play? Not your thing? No problem. This place screams variety(!), and a starkly more pedestrian approach to leisure can be found mere inches away, on both sides, in the forms of a Nintendo Wii (right) and a Nintendo DS (left).

Look up, will you? Dwight Howard couldn't touch that ceiling. Whoever designed this place had neoplasticism on the brain, and that brain was sharp. No surface is rounded, no fixture anything except a paean to 90-degree angles. Boxy, in a good way. A great way. An obsessive compulsive's wet dream.

The sandalwood floor? Thanks for noticing. The jade-green carpeted stairs? Nine of them, and I hope the symbolism isn't lost. This is where the magic happens. Ha. A dual effort of foam and springs, that mattress is well worth its price tag, and then some. Sure, you can't stand erect up here, but that's not this floor's purpose. Or maybe it is. Ha.

How's about a drink? Some wine, perhaps? You are in good company, my friend. Pop the cork and clink glasses made in Austria. If spirits are your thing, don't worry, you are covered like a duvet. Some fine scotch? A snifter of brandy? A decidedly more pedestrian variety of libations is available in the form of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Sipping Whiskey. Burns so good.

A beer, then. Okay. A beer it is. One glass of...what? Pilsner? Ale? Stout? Anything cold, you say? Fine. One glass of cold for the gentleman, and hey how about them Lakers? No, I haven't been following the NHL finals.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lead Paint (Elevator Emptiness)

This building houses 264 residences. There are 12 floors and 2 elevators. Since many of the apartments are also businesses, there's a lot more traffic, a lot more coming and going, than your average apartment; and those elevators are rarely idle from early morning until late at night.

I live on the sixth floor with Legs, the love of my life. We both smoke (I far more than her), but even before we moved in we agreed we wouldn't smoke in the apartment. That rule was soon amended to "We can only smoke here if we have guests," and not long after further revised to "And on Friday and Saturday." For the four months that we've been living here, I've heeded the no-smoking rule...except when Legs is at work, I mean, and at which times I smoke like a fiend. When Legs is around, however, and it is neither Friday nor Saturday, nor are there any guests, I have to go outside the apartment to satisfy my nasty addiction to nicotine.

When we first moved in, I would take the elevator down to the first floor and smoke in the aboveground parking lot. Wait, that's inaccurate. I started smoking in the parking lot after the management posted signs that smoking wasn't permitted in the windowless stairwell. I adhered, Legs didn't. I prefer, perhaps ironically, some fresh air while I smoke, and she just don't give a fuck. Also, I have this thing about authority. I don't like breaking rules. Not usually, anyway. So when I was banished from smoking in the stairwell, I started smoking in the parking lot. Take the elevator from the sixth floor to the first, smoke a square, and then take the elevator from the first floor to the sixth. Easy money.

Not really, though, because waiting for the elevator is trying. The management here switches the two elevators' logistics seemingly on a whim, and while one elevator sits idle on, say, the second floor, people waiting to go up or down are left to wait for the other one. The pattern changes every few weeks or so, and, as far as I can discern, there's no rhyme or reason to any given pattern, only that it takes too fucking long to catch an elevator.

I stopped smoking in the parking lot a few months ago when I learned that this fucker has a thirteenth floor. Dig. Quieter than carbon monoxide poisoning, the thirteenth-floor roof is a paradise. It has a spectacular view of the area, nice flora, benches...hell, even surgical trays as makeshift ashtrays. Thing is, instead of going down four floors, I have to go up seven, and I've learned that people get positively pissed when the elevator has to stop for some asshole coming down from or going up to the thirteenth floor. Because, as mentioned, the elevators here are a bitch. Word to my ex-wife.

When you smoke as much as I do (you might actually smoke more, but definitely not as handsomely), you are always trying to find the perfect, most aesthetically pleasing place in which to stave off your abject reliance on tobacco. The thirteenth floor is my Xanadu in that regard (I can throw all manner of refuse -- banana peels, pizza boxes, water balloons -- down upon unsuspecting masses); but -- word to Tommy Carcetti -- I'm also a man of the people, and I cannot rationalize my flagrant elevator behavior. I will, therefore, limit my trips up to the thirteenth floor to twice, perhaps thrice, a day. Babies smile, Spike Lee wins an Oscar.

This was so much easier when I could just do whatever I wanted. I miss being an infant.

The PK 27 -- Game No. 15

Boys love cars. Boys love toys. Boys love explosions. Boys love wanton carnage. Boys love the fact that even as grown men, they're amused by the very same things.

That, decaffeinated reader, is why we love Twisted Metal: Black.*

* As an added bonus, it also pisses off the missus.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thai Chicken, Shrimp Scampi

I am Ray Liotta's brain, and you are my Hannibal Lecter, Psychedelic Kimchi. Also are you my Clarice, also are you my crutch and my sword.

I. Can't. Quit. You.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Conversational Betamax

CoyoteIris: What's up Mart?

MartianBlue: just checking my mail. how are you?

CoyoteIris: oh, just dandy. working on some junk for class. well, kinda.

MartianBlue: must be fun

CoyoteIris: yeah tell me about it. coming from a dropout, I'll take it as a complimentary statement.

MartianBlue: fuck off

CoyoteIris: yeah yeah. it's just some essay I'm doing for a lit class.

MartianBlue: are you ever going to join the real world?

CoyoteIris: nah, not my style. I just need to find some rich old coot to leech off of. either that or start eating raw meat all the time, starting with your mother.

MartianBlue: you're an idiot and I'll kick your ass next time I see you for sayin that

CoyoteIris: word up. we need to hang out sometime soon. I need something to be vindictive about and frankly I'm going through Mart withdrawal. you know? I've been thinking, too, like how cool it would be to write a story, or maybe even a script, about a cocaine-sniffing snake that likes to poison everybody with supposed charm.

MartianBlue: why don't you write something about a guy who gets drunk and jumps out windows like a rabid dog on acid? that would make sense to you, because it doesn't make sense to me.

CoyoteIris: maybe a combination of the two, plus your mother?

MartianBlue: whatever kennan

MartianBlue signed off at 23:34

CoyoteIris: thanks for the idea!

MartianBlue is not available: message will not be sent.

CoyoteIris: shit


Psychedelic Kimchi is, if anything (not that I'm saying it's about anything, because it clearly isn't), about one man's struggle to find peace and his place in the world. In that regard, I'll give myself a B-minus. Peace for the time-being, place to be determined at a later date.

But if the Internet and video games have taught me anything, it's that you can always start over, all fresh like. Picture me rolling, tomorrow is the dawn of a new era. That's probably bullshit (definitely, actually), but bear with. http://writethatonmyepitaph.blogspot.com/ is where you'll find me. When I'm sober, I mean. I'm going to consolidate my reviews, essays (hah), fiction, and astute musings on snack foods to the new blog.

Or I won't.

I probably won't, to be honest.

However, if I do it it's going to be me and only me. Psychedelic Kimchi started out as one man, and perhaps it's fitting that I call it a day by myself, alone, with the same sink-or-swim mantra that first lit the fire under my increasingly bulging belly.

Get ready for greatness. But don't hold your breath. I am, after all, pretty goddam lazy. Like your grandfather's recliner.

I'll see you when I see you. Unless, of course, I see you first.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The PK 27 -- Game No. 24

Lately, I've been talking to some folks about quizzes, and that got me thinking about my formative years (read: university), during which I spent many a 'Thirsty Thursday' at a quaint little bar called Pour Richard's -and yes, everyone referred to it as Pour Dick's- enhancing an otherwise boring education. If nothing else, this particular dive bar introduced me to Capcom's Quiz & Dragons, a seemingly innocuous title which, while one was under the influence of a copious amount of alcohol, became a demanding mistress.

Sure, it was just a trivia game, but one with a fantasy motif, including dragons, warriors, dragons and warriors, and last but not least, a ninja. You selected one of four heroes and proceeded to traverse through several game boards, each filled with grotesque monsters whose best weapons were grueling multiple choice questions, such as:

How these fantastic creatures came to learn about Australia, The Jetsons, the Iran-Contra affair, etc. defies logic of any kind, but then again, so did wasting valuable beer money on this idiotic game.

(images from www.klove.com)*

* klove? Sounds more like a dating site than a reservoir of shitty games, but what do I know.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Meet Me in the Middle. The Middle of the Town.

PK Editor*: Forbes, we need more content. What's on deck?

Sparkness Monster: Um, not a whole lot, to be honest.

PKE: C'mon, you can practically squeeze blood from a stone. Think harder. Maybe a YouTube video of seagulls? You know, a think piece.

SM: Well, I was contemplating commenting on game 1 of the NBA Finals, but I decided to save myself the headache. That shit was worse than adult circumcision.

PKE: You can do better than that. "That shit was worse than a lawnmower blowjob," maybe?

Spark Messier: Eh. No one cares about my ersatz critique of the NBA. That's what Free Darko is for. Although if I did write about game 1 I'd probably bemoan the Magic's reluctance to shoot threes and the unconscionable decision to play Jameer Nelson. That shit was New Coke-level stupidity.

PKE: I think I can start the car!

SM: Nah. I thought about it for much of this afternoon until I realized it's a dead end. I want that game wiped from my mind. Preferably with the help of Tom Wilkenson, definitely with the help of some Tennessee sipping whisky.

PKE: I hope you haven't forgotten our deal. You want to keep those boyish features of yours (from the neck up, as we agreed upon), you supply me with fresh posts that I can use to command my army of transdimensional dwarfs.

Stan Mikita: And the Burger King. Don't forget that.

PKE: Yeah, that too. So you better bring the heat.

SM: Tell you the truth, I'm exhausted like tailpipes. I got this knot in my shoulder. I think it's from stress.

PKE: Things are tough all over, honey. Now give me what I crave.

Sergei Molotov: I had a kickass meal at the California Pizza Kitchen the other night. Jamaican jerk chicken pizza and avocado egg rolls to die in a Bangkok hotel room from auto-erotic asphyxiation for. I almost threw up I ate so much.

PKE: You have my ear.

SM: Neon Bible is the best album of the past 10 years. It's absolutely perfect.

PKE: I'm not saying you're wrong.

Super Mario: You know what?

PKE: Chicken butt. Can't fool me.

Eoin Alexander Forbes: I'm pretty tired. I think I'll go to bed now. Write that on my epitaph.

* What, you thought I made all these bad decisions myself?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

One Last Kick

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Wire Appreciation No. 8410 (2695)

Word to Detective James McNulty, sometimes you gotta be in the right place at the right time. Usually, you're in the wrong place at the right time and catch a bad one (or several), but these things have a way of evening themselves out. With interest. Believe me.

Word to Talk Talk, life is what you make it. Can't escape it. That's a lie of course, because you can escape it at any time if you're bold enough, but why would you want to do that? Every human being on this planet once upon a time won the prestigious honor of LIFE (not the magazine), and it vexes me that any person would want to sacrifice such a blessing, such a miracle.

(I should however mention that, while I'm against abortion, shooting doctors isn't cool, dig?)

It's good to be alive because then you can do stuff. Pardon me for relighting this saying like a cigarette in a windstorm, but that's the maxim I live by; and, later rather than sooner, it is also the one I'll die by. Hopefully with a wry smile and glossy eyes, preferably with some tit in my hand.

I must be honest here, Constant Retard; I am scared of death like...well, once death is your ultimate fear, there's not much to compare it to, is there? I'm scared to death of hornets. I'm scared of death full stop.

I'm 31 years old: not too young, not too old, I suppose. Just right, like Baby Bear's porridge. I'm old enough to not be sentimental, yet young enough to not know any better. The other day I was watching TV late at night and waiting for my blue bombardier's eyes to get heavy when I realized, not for the first time (nor the last, God willing), that whether I live another week or another three, four, or five decades, I don't have much in the way of time. I have an appointment next Wednesday morning with a dentist who in my imaginarium looks like Laurence Olivier, and right now next Wednesday morning feels like an eternity. Ask me how I feel next Tuesday night, however. Life creeps up on you like that. Death is a dentist's appointment that I am forever postponing. Please remember that the next time you call and I don't pick up the phone.

But I will go to that appointment. I will take that endoscopy. I will eat that strawberry jam- and kimchi-tuna blasphemy of a "sandwich." Because that's what life is: a series of obstacles to run past with the promise of living at the other end. Sometimes life tastes like a bacon double cheeseburger, sometimes it tastes like an old battery.

Smiles and cries, right? I, you, he, she, we: we were all in the right place at the right time. All the stars aligned. Human beings should come with a tag that reads, "Congratulations, now be nice and thankful that you're here...

Because you can fucking do stuff."


Yeah. That's what I think about when I watch The Wire.

(By the way, McNulty's "What the fuck did I do?" Omar's "Indeed," Lester Freamon's "...and four months," Clive Davis's "Sheeeit!" and Bunk's "You happy now, bitch?" may seem like simple catchphrases to the layman, but we all know better, right?)

Monday, June 01, 2009