Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Posted by Kmork at 8:58 AM
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Posted by Kmork at 8:04 AM
Thursday, July 23, 2009
"I think...I think," and it doesn't help that you stammer when nervous, "I th-think this is getting out of hand." Bathed in pale moonlight, she looks at you, head tilted, almost as if she's perplexed, and pulls the professional-grade Dr. Zaius mask completely off her head.
Posted by Kmork at 9:21 AM
Posted by Kmork at 7:05 AM
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Star Fox 64, and don't you dare ask the platform on which this game was released.* Another point you need not question is the rationale behind listing this title as opposed to, say, the original Star Fox, which is a better game in some respects.**
Posted by Kmork at 7:05 AM
Monday, July 20, 2009
1.2 million won was a small price to pay for revenge, Kibok reassured himself, and the Russian agreed.
"You pay this guy what again? 30 million won? What is another million or so to get back money he stole from you and humiliate him, put him in hospital?" Ioseph asked through closed teeth and wide lips.
Only Kibok wanted to do more than put Louis Madison in the hospital. The Russian probably knew it, too. Kibok Bae didn't want to "put him in hospital," at least not for long. No. A steel pipe or any other similarly blunt object could perform that task no problem.
What Kibok wanted was to murder the man who had destroyed him, and the gun the Russian was selling was the perfect means to such an end. Kibok didn't care about the money he had lost, not really. Not anymore. Let him keep it, he thought. What good is 30 million won -- 100 million won, a billion won -- to a dead man, anyway?
Sitting in the corner of a near-empty Haebangchon dive bar, the two men discussed the transaction. The city was eerily quiet due to the Chuseok holiday, but regardless of the date or number of patrons in the bar the two men enjoyed a conspicuousness unique to their location. A Korean man talking furtively with a Russian -- or a Zimbabwean, or a Brazilian -- might raise eyebrows in other areas of Seoul, but not here. He could be holding a conversation with a cross-dressing Pygmy and no one would bat an eyelash, Kibok knew. Which is why he had spent, at first, every weekend after Louis Madison's deception was revealed, and, later, every evening after his wife's suicide, here, in Haebangchon.
It took months to get in touch with the Russians. Kibok's poor English played a factor, but it was mostly because a well-dressed, middle-aged Korean man inquiring about purchasing a handgun raised obvious questions, even in Haebangchon. Hell, especially in Haebangchon. Surely, anyone with even an ounce of intelligence would immediately turn and walk away after such an inquiry, afraid that he was being set up by the police. Thankfully for Kibok, however, crime and intelligence don't always go hand in hand, and through sheer persistence, good luck, and the idiocy of strangers, he was eventually put in touch with Milan, the man who would introduce him to Ioseph.
Their first meeting did not go well, at least not for Kibok. Ioseph, a wiry, almost-skeletal man whose age could not be approximated, reacted to Kibok's handshake offer by extinguishing his cigarette into the palm of Kibok's extended right hand, and it grew worse from there. Smiling maniacally, the Russian proceeded to strip Kibok naked, beat him about the face with the sides of his fists, and then whip him with the Russian's own belt until Kibok (at first) was begging for life and (finally) lost consciousness. Ioseph carried the limp man's body into an alley, threw him onto a pile of garbage bags, and spit on him, calling him every crude epithet in the Russian lexicon.
Their second meeting went comparatively better. Kibok and Ioseph got prodigiously drunk and slept with two hookers. Each. Kibok, of course, footed the bill. This endeared him to the Russian, although Kibok was unaware of the fact, was still terrified of the man.
This, their third meeting, was all about business; and while the Russian sipped a vodka martini, Kibok slowly groped a glass of club soda in the palm of his damp, scarred right hand. Kibok supposed he should consider Ioseph his tormentor, but compared to the damage Louis Madison had forever inflicted upon him the scar on his hand and Ioseph's beatings were necessary, subtle annoyances -- obstacles he had to face en route toward his ultimate goal. In fact, Kibok wanted to kiss this man, this benevolent Russian. For hidden within the black leather bag at the man's feet was power. Power that he would weild in front of Louis Madison's unbelieving eyes before shooting him square between them.
Kibok removed a thick white envelope from the inner pocket of his sports coat and nervously placed it on the table. The Russian swallowed Kibok's hand with his own and swept the envelope away like a magician performing a trick.
"We are good now, yes?" Ioseph smiled, his broad mouth spanning nearly the entire bottom half of his face. "I don't know you, you don't know me. Pick up bag and pay bill after I leave. Have fun, don't shoot yourself by accident."
And with that the Russian was gone.
Kibok stayed for another fifteen minutes, smoking and occasionally glancing over his shoulder to see the bartender, a bald, fat man with glasses, talking to the lone customer besides himself, a plump girl, also bespectacled. Finishing his drink, Kibok picked up the bill, his cell phone, and the black bag Ioseph had left. He placed a single 50-thousand-won note on the bar and walked out before the the bartender could harass him about change.
When he got to his motel room, he stashed the bag under the bed and slept fitfully next to it on the heated floor.
Louis Madison. Louis Madison. Liar. Deceiver. You don't think I know your name, but I do! Bet you don't think I have a gun, either, but I do! It's waiting for you, right next to me, more comfortable than this hard pillow. I am going to shoot you in the face, Louis Madison. I am going to shoot you in the face and laugh, the same way you must have laughed after you stole my life out from under me.
It is May 21, 2007. Kibok Bae is desperate. Frantic. He is 37 years old. His wife, Imin, is 35. She is frigid, and no army of fertile seeds can resurrect her dead womb. Kibok has tried, unsuccessfully. Always unsuccessfully.
They consider adoption, but both sides of the couple's family shoot down the idea before it has a chance to take flight. What is wrong with her? Kibok's parents ask. What is wrong with him? Imin's parents question.
Kibok has a plan. His wife is dubious, but he sells her on the idea like the virtuoso salesman he is. They will buy a baby. On the Internet. There are plenty of women willing to be surrogate mothers, he insists. If the money is right.
It's an easy sell. Imin agrees once Kibok has found a surrogate. The price is steep, but they can afford it. 30 million won is a small price to pay for mental well being, they agree. And the baby will be so cute.
Imin goes to Gangwon-do two weeks later to meet the mother, a 23-year-old university student. She reports back that everything appears to be on the straight and narrow. The mother is healthy, attractive, and intelligent, her sole flaw being her mistake of becoming pregnant too soon in life. Kibok beams. They will have a child. They will name it Haengbok, regardless of its gender.
But first they will move to Gangwon. They'll tell their parents that Kibok has been relocated. Kibok will quit his job, hoping to get a new one after the baby is born. Imin will wear maternity clothes and stuff pillows under her dresses to maintain the facade. No one will know that the pregnancy was faked.
It is March 17, 2008. Kibok holds a hunter's knife against Kang Mijeong's throat, demanding the name of the baby's father. Mijeong is still recovering from the delivery and cannot answer, despite her terror.
March 18, 2008: Kibok returns. This time, Mijeong is far more lucid, far more candid. Weeping, she gives Kibok a name: Louis Madison.
"Honey, are you going out again?" Imin asks.
"I have to. I have to find that bastard," Kibok says.
"Don't. Leave it alone. I'm tired of all of this."
It is July 20, 2008. Kibok comes home after a long night of investigative work. He has an address, finally. Louis Madison's moment of truth has nearly arrived. But not before Kibok Bae's. Imin has hanged herself in the shower stall, the emergency fire escape rope her noose. Her legs are blue and fat.
It is March 16, 2008. Kang Mijeong has just given birth, delivery time 10:03 PM. Kibok and Imin wait in the appropriately titled room until the doctor tells them they can go in and see the baby, a boy. The nurses all look like they've seen a ghost.
It is March 16, 2008, 10:25 PM, and Kibok Bae has just born witness to a cruel joke. For Kang Mijeong has given birth to a Caucasian child.
This gun is loaded. This gun is loaded, Mr. Madison, for you.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 5:20 AM
Friday, July 17, 2009
Four, three, two, one...
All around the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel...
"I hope you know--"
This game is fun. This game is what it's all about, Cameron Radske reminds himself. In a few minutes he'll turn off his cell phone, but for now he lets it sit on his desk and vibrate in slow, buzzing circles with each ring.
It's like a petulant child, he muses, smirks: stopping after a minute or so and starting up again as soon as it catches its breath and remembers the reason for its tantrum. The caller, on the other hand, is nowhere near as interesting as her anthropomorphic extension, but that's just fine by Cameron. Vapid, materialistic, and -- best of all -- too young to know any better, Carrie (real name: 최가인) is a trophy of sorts. Sure, Cameron slept with her; slept with her the same night he met her, in fact; and while that was most certainly fun, a one-night stand or the subsequent sexual encounters they would have in the weeks and months after their first meeting has never been his goal, only a pleasant bi-product of the journey toward reaching it.
It's been nearly eight months, Cameron marvels as he removes the small Samsung battery from the back of the cell phone and lights a cigarette, putting the cell out of its misery for the time being and undoubtedly tormenting Carrie to no end. Three months was his previous record, before that two, and the high of nearly tripling his former achievement elicits not a smirk but an ear-to-ear grin.
This, Cameron tells himself, is what it's all about. This is why we play the game.
He knows the routine like he knows his multiplication tables up to five. First, she'll fruitlessly keep calling his cell. Next, she'll take a cab -- from Jamsil to Sinchon, no small fare that -- and go to all the bars he's known to frequent. And when that doesn't work, finally, she'll show up outside his apartment, standing in the rain like a retarded latchkey kid, banging on his door all night, crying.
Eight months! Cameron goes to the fridge, opens a bottle of MGD and drinks it down all at once, goes to the bathroom to take a piss, and then goes to bed. The crowd's applause is still echoing in his ears as he crosses the threshold into blissful sleep.
"Why'd you send me that nasty text message? Hello?"
One, two, three, four...
"Listen, I bumped into your friend, Tony. Hello?"
Tony: "Sometimes Cam just gets like that. Don't sweat it. He probably had a bad day."
"I hope you know I'm with Tony and--"
Tony: "Like I said, try not to let it bother you. Let's go have a cold one, take the edge off. Sound good?"
"Sounds fucking great."
(All around the mulberry bush...)
This game is fun. This game is what it's all about, Tony Burke reminds himself as he sidles up to the bar and orders two rum and Cokes. In a few hours he'll ask Carrie to come home with him, watch a movie before they fuck on his studio apartment floor, but for now he lets it all sink in. Cameron, you poor, stupid asshole.
"You think he knows about us?" Carrie asks demurely.
"Cam? Hell no! That dumb prick can barely count past twenty-nine. Trust me, you're not the first of his girlfriends I've slept with. In all honesty, you probably won't be the last. Don't you remember last Halloween when he went out to buy more beer and you gave me a handjob in the bathroom of Jason's apartment? We came out of the bathroom together just as he was getting back and that moron didn't even notice. I think it's safe to say that Cameron Radske has no clue whatsoever that you and I have been fucking for the past three months."
Three months! Home, Tony goes to the fridge, opens a bottle of Coors and drinks it down all at once while waiting for Carrie to exit the bathroom. When she does, Tony gives her a peck on the cheek, slaps her ass and says, "Sorry, but I'm too tired to screw you tonight, darlin'. Now you have something to look forward to when you wake up."
His own wit is still echoing in his ears as he stumbles into his bedroom and passes out, fully clothed.
Carrie Choi, PKA 최가인, doesn't have a body to die for, although she wishes she did. What she lacks in physical attractiveness, however, she more than makes up for in mental prowess. Cunning to a point as sharp as a laser, she feels her skills are being wasted. These ESL teachers are too easy, she scoffs as she heads underground and waits for the train to Wangsimni to arrive. She checks her bag to make sure she has everything: credit cards, debit cards, cell phones, address books...check, check, check, check. It's been a long night, but it was worth it.
Today she's going to rest, have some breakfast at the taxi restaurant before going home to sleep for four or five hours (if she's lucky). Tomorrow, it's off to Guam for two days and one night with her little sister, Yijin. The day after that? Back to Seoul. She has an appointment at a cosmetic surgery clinic in Gangnam. Chin, cheeks, breasts, and eyes.
(One, two, three, four.)
After that, the real grifting begins. It's been a long process, she knows, but to the winner goes the spoils.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 4:30 AM
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
When the erstwhile Kmart and I get together on weekends, our topics of conversation are pretty much limited to what you, Constant Retard, read (daily) on this hallowed blog: movies, music, fiction, women, booze, video games, and food. Regrettably, that last topic is one rarely broached on Psychedelic Kimchi, because, boy, do we love talking about food*. Seeing as how I'm not a gourmand, though, I find myself at a disadvantage when it comes to describing tasty shit. I am simply bereft of adjectives. A filet mignon is "fucking awesome" in my books, but that same compliment could be paid to a Burger King bacon-double cheeseburger. Raw squid freshly caught and presented to my table at a 횟집 on the east coast elicits the same praise I'd give a french fry-encrusted corn dog bought from a street stall in Seoul: "killer!" I'd like to think I'm a talented writer and well-spoken individual, but when it comes to describing cuisine I lose my eloquence.
Case in point: this past Sunday Kmart and I had dinner and drinks at one of the legion beer halls here in the mighty 'burb of Bundang, and our meal, 통삼겹 김치찜, was, as you might expect, fucking awesome. It honestly was one of the most sublimely delicious dishes I've ever had the pleasure of eating, yet when I try to explain exactly why it was so amazing I feel like I'm an eight-year-old girl telling her friends that the new Miley Cyrus album sosososo rocks (^^). I cannot write about food. I just can't. It's one of those things I guess I'll have to deal with, like being a basketball player with Tourette's syndrome or a blind porn star.
Still, like David Bowie, I try, especially when I'm confronted with a snack food that puts my trust back in God and man. A few weeks ago Kmart
(beat me at Mario Kart DS)
asked me if I'd ever had Flamin' Hot Cheetos, and I wasn't positive I had. I thought I'd eaten some sort of hot/spicy/BBQ-flavored Cheetos at some point in my life, but I couldn't say for sure, which is evidence now that I'd never had FHC; because, if I had, I damn sure would have remembered it.
Fast forward to the more recent past, last Saturday. After dinner in Jeongja, Legs suggested I stop by 'I Love Cookie' for necessities (read: deodorant and man-size condoms), and when we got there it clicked. Outside of the shop were bags of Flamin' Hot Cheetos, visually recognizable but memorically** elusive, like that hooker you slept with and saw shopping near Gangnam Station. Since they were only 6,000 won per bag (roughly $6 US), I bought only one.
I should have bought the store's entire stock, price be damned.
Because, and here's one hell of an endorsement, Flamin' Hot Cheetos are, in three words, REALLY FUCKING AWESOME. Frito Lay reinvented the wheel. FHC are the alpha and the omega of snack foods. Flamin' Hot Cheetos make me want to be a better man -- a better man who eats Flamin' Hot Cheetos. Morning, noon, night.
Life's checklist, fucking awesomely amended.
* Usually, in in my own case, more than I enjoy actually eating it. The same can be said for Kmart vis a vis women, I suppose (oh yes I did!).
** Daddy just made up a new word!
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 5:18 AM
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Sparkles's journal, July 14, 2009:
아침에 골목에서 개 형해, 타이어 파열 복부에 떠있다*. The Tancheon flooded this afternoon. Yaysers! It's coming down in sheets as I type this. Sheets! Hopefully the rain will drown all the whores, politicians, and vermin and stop in time for me to make my rounds tomorrow without getting drenched (drenched!) to the bone yet again, but I have my doubts. The peninsula is, after all, a land of passionate extremes where nothing is ever half assed, always either full assed or no assed, and this is even reflected in its weather. When it rains, it pours; so, no, I don't expect this spate of foul weather to end (mon)soon, but neither do I particularly want it to. For while it's a climatic hemorrhoid of an experience firsthand (how many fucking pairs of socks do I have to change today?), it's nothing short of beautiful to sit back and absorb from the comfort of one's home.
As luck would have it, here I am right now, at home. If I could blog from the trenches I'd have had a starkly more expletive-strewn report for you earlier, but I can't so I don't. No, all is copacetic right now, me dry in a literal sense and wet in a colloquial one**, as it should be on days like today. I can sit on my windowsill, dog in lap, and watch nature take its course. I might even break out some 동동주 and have Legs fry up some 파전. That might be nice. That might be pretty great. I might even, for literary effect, throw on a Beatles tune and reminisce about a girl I used to know, a girl named Naoko.
But, look now, the rain has abated, if only for a short time. Remember the great rain of '09? they'll ask, and I'll say, Sure do. Have two ruined pairs of shoes to prove it. Coulda sworn I saw Adrian Mellon being carried off downstream when the Tancheon flooded, a sight it was. Body never turned up, but I saw what I saw, God as my witness.
* I'm not gonna even pretend that's accurate.
** I'll leave it up to the reader to determine whether I'm a) high on sherm, b) a sexually aroused female vagina, or c) drunk.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 6:03 AM
Monday, July 13, 2009
In my elementary school days (second or third grade, this was), some mornings my brother, Leopold, and I would go up the street so my best friend's mother could give us a lift to school. I think it was because my mother was at the time pregnant with my sister, Hannah, and was in the hospital, but I'm a little hazy on that*. Regardless, the two of us always had to wait 30 minutes or so for my friend -- let's call him Erik** -- to get ready, and when we weren't playing with Erik's Star Wars or G.I. Joe action figures*** we were playing games on his now-prehistoric PC.
Archon was one of those games.
Ostensibly a game of chess with D&D characters, Archon's selling point was that when a piece tried to take one of its opponent's the two pieces -- goblins, unicorns, a fucking manticore -- would duel it out, mano-a-mano. And while each character possessed his/her/its own strengths and weaknesses, Leopold and I, at our young ages, tended to resort to that faithful standard of video game-playing youth: button mashing****; so, while I realized the game's potential, it would be untruthful to say we experienced all that Lord Archon had to offer in the way of uniqueness. At the time, though, I thought Archon was the greatest achievement in gaming innovation, despite my ignorance of its nuances. I'd figure that shit out later, I told myself. Because time was on my hands. After all, who wants to play a boring game of chess when Archon offers you combat avec swords, balls of fire, and FUCKING BOULDERS? The king in chess can only move one space and has to be protected by his wife, that pussy. History would show, I was convinced, that Archon revolutionized games and gaming like Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile industry. In twenty years nobody would be playing chess. Everybody would be playing Archon.
Of course, things didn't turn out that way, which is for the best. Kids think of the stupidest shit sometimes.
* In my old age, I'm hazy on a lot of things. But while I might not remember your name, I damn sure remember your face, especially since we met just last week, dummy.
** because that's his name
*** Destro with a gold mask! The fucking rancor!
**** Or were we using the keyboard? Again, I'm hazy on this.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 3:55 AM
Friday, July 10, 2009
To paraphrase Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes by way of Simply Red via KRS-ONE, "If you don't know me by now I doubt you'll ever know me," because, girl, I ain't hard to figure out. After a day's work
I enjoy unwinding with a cold beer or ten, a few
Dunhills, and some entertainment, whether it be passive (watching OnStyle on the teevee) or active (reading, writing, committing moral sins in the form of masturbating and considering ordering paperbacks from Amazon that have Oprah's Book Club's logo on their front covers). Since the beginning of June, as my most constant of Constant Retards -- Kmart, my mother -- know, I've been rewatching The Wire in its entirety, occasionally posting my praise (and one time my scorn) here on this hallowed blog,
(Write That on My Epitaph)
Psychedelic Kimchi. And I've been doing so -- as I live my life, as I sin against God when I tug my wiener -- for my own gratification. I'm not here to solicit fans of the show or to convert the ignorant/unaware. No; this is me, holding a cool glass, smoking a square, and praying to my god. Your god may be The Sopranos. Your god may be Lost. Hell, your god might even be Desperate Housewives. I won't try to sway you regardless. Won't try to take you into my fold.
I can, however, point out that while taste is a matter of personal opinion, it doesn't mean your opinion is correct. To quote Roger Ebert:
I am fond of the story I tell about Gene Siskel. When a so-called film critic defended a questionable review by saying, "after all, it's opinion," Gene told him: "There is a point when a personal opinion shades off into an error of fact. When you say 'The Valachi Papers' is a better film than 'The Godfather,' you are wrong."
Which is a roundabout way for me to say that no show is greater than The Wire.
Sure, your god may be righteous. Your god might speak to the people, a lot of people at best, some people at least. But you are worshiping a false prophet, sir or madam. Again, I'm not trying to convert you; I'm not trying to sound elitist. I'm just stating a fact. I do that from time to time.
"Late Editions," the penultimate episode of The Wire, is the best episode of the series. That is opinion, because, like naming your favorite eat after a night on the piss -- shawarma, a BK bacon-double cheeseburger, 감자탕 -- there are so many good treats to be had, so many memories of past and future delicacies, greasy or otherwise, to reminisce over or anticipate having again. But it's the context surrounding the sublimity that makes it superior. And The Wire is life.
Or a reasonable, hand-drawn facsimile thereof, at least.
Posted by Harrison Forbes at 5:47 AM