Monday, May 31, 2010

From E to R 'n' Yoo




This one's for the Forbester.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wolf Like May




Werewolves, man.

Eerie, Ontario


Am I dead and just don't know it yet? Like anyone with an imagination or someone who has watched a few Twilight Zone episodes, I've asked myself that question over the years, usually when I'm high*. And while I usually don't ponder for long even the most bizarre of coincidences, today I'm left thinking hard about the question which opened this paragraph.

Something's weird. Let me explain.

My fear of flying + my fear of dying + the duality of living abroad and feeling between worlds both at home and away + the Lost finale** + getting carded at thirty-two + malaise + the two most-recent Arcade Fire singles, titled Suburbs and Month of May = spooky.

That, to quote Mos Def, is Mathematics. And math don't lie.

Or maybe I'm not dead; maybe I'm just bored.

Same same.


* That's a lie. I don't get high. I get low.

** Which, the more I think about it, was godawful, more the bi-product of network interference/budget than a creative statement. Not to be crude, but Lost is the network television equivalent of blue balls on many levels. Level One: the island never took its clothes off. Level Two:

*** A great, great song. I loved it better when it was called "Wolf Like Me" by TV on the Radio, though.

Prostrated



I'm so sorry that I haven't been able to see everyone and spend enough time with loved ones while I've been home. One month isn't nearly long enough. Not nearly. My bad.

Can I get a Rahne check?

Monday, May 24, 2010

When Worlds Collide



Point: Mister Potato is a shameless rip-off of Pringles and don't you forget it.
Counterpoint: Yeah, but Pringles in Korea are a miserable excuse for an incest joke anyway, so it's not like it really matters.

Point: I never knew you were a fan of ketchup, to say nothing of your well-established aversion to mayonnaise.
Counterpoint: Separate, they're weaker than my sex drive, sure, yet for all their inadequacy, the marriage of ketchup and mayonnaise fosters a harmonious blend of delectable delight (on a fried potato slice no less).

Point Less talk of snacks, more about me, me, me!
Counterpoint: You, you, you!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Found


Lost is over. If you didn't watch the finale, good luck reading a synopsis anytime soon, because I'm pretty sure the Internet is broken due to nerds -- and I say that as endearingly as possible -- flooding message boards worldwide to speculate/complain about the show's final moments. You're just going to get a busy signal. Oddly, it doesn't work the same way for porn. Why is that?

My advice, which you won't read because the Internet is broken: let go. Boone did. Accept. Lost has never been about answers, only questions. Questions that freaks with little time on their hands obsess over then analyze until their sole purpose in life centers around such questions. It's probably why no one loves you.

I loved the finale. Like a hoagie. Like a submarine sandwich. Like a po' boy. There were no pickles, onions, jalapenos, or Walt, but I'm satisfied. The meat was still there*.

I was so touched to see the primary cast members together again. It was, admittedly, a cheap shortcut, but also was it a fitting culmination. But I didn't cry!

Turned out they were dead after all. And Benjamin Linus is God. Or something. Of nothing in particular.

I'm not scared to die anymore.


* My epitaph!

For the Good-Old Days

McNulty Car-Kick

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Crush, Kill, Destroy...Celts



Some thoughts while watching Magic-Celtics Game 3:

- Rondo's hustle play might just be the highlight of these playoffs. Also: if you don't want to be called "Big Baby" anymore, Glen Davis, you might consider not dancing like, well, a big baby after making a big play.

- I might go to Hell for this, but was that halftime piece on Wince Carter supposed to be a spin story to excuse his sucky play and choking? Wince should put as much effort into winning as he does into trying to get his brother clean.

- If the Celtics play the Lakers in the Finals, which, statistically speaking, is likely, they will absolutely crush them. Of that I have no doubt.

- I took the 18th Letter bowling this afternoon. It was fun. In three games I bowled 120, 130, and, get ready, 186. Rahne, God bless her, never got discouraged. She bowled 54, 40, and 54 again. And she loved it. She observed, adjusted her game accordingly, and played enthusiastically the whole time. What I'm trying to say is this: 1) The Celtics might blow out the Magic by a wider margin than the Daddy-Rahne frame disparity, 2) I'm pretty sure, based upon what I've seen this series, that my daughter could outplay the Magic's starting five, and 3) $27.50 for two games of bowling is a goddamn ripoff.

- Jeff Van Gundy just asked, "If Carter had Kobe's will, how great would he be?" We will never know, JVG, but I find myself asking similar questions:

If feces tasted like bacon, how reticent would we be to flush the toilet after defecating?

If Ryan Seacrest were as big as Godzilla, how tall would he be?

If the Middle East was largely Christian, how many strip clubs would there be?

If the Diet Pepsi I'm drinking right now were Bacardi 151, how drunk would I be?

If Rosie O'Donnell had Lee Hyori's body, how hot would she be?



And that's your ballgame, the Boston Celtics 1038, the Orlando Magic 18. Stay tuned for our player-and-coach interviews after this commercial break, which will last infinity.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wild at Heart


If I'm anything, I'm a terrific carouser; yet I find my proclivity for carousing hindered by my present location, Canada in this case. Everything is so far, public transportation sucks and is expensive, there is no 대리 운전 (call-to-order chauffeurs), and bars close at the early hour of 2 AM. Going out for a night on the town here is, logistically, a pain in the fucking ass.

That didn't stop me, however, from venturing into Toronto last night for beers and reminisces with a good friend. My mom dropped me off. I'm thirty-two. How embarrassing.

The evening started off superbly: patio beers, acquaintances well met, televisions in restrooms. Goat-sperm fajitas. Free shots of Jägermeister.

The evening got bad: After leaving 이차 to drop our backpacks off in your favorite blogger's favorite blogger's best Canadian friend's car, we returned to discover that some fiends had smashed his driver-side rear window and stolen his and my backpacks. I'm never going to Torontno again.

The evening got better: lesbian waitress, FISH BURRITOS, homemade hot sauce, free pug hugs*, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, FISH BURRITOS, FISH BURRITOS, FISH BURRITOS!

The morning got slept through: ZZZ.

The afternoon got through: or, rather, I got through the afternoon. To quote Egg Shen, it wasn't easy. My mom picked me up to take me home (such a shameful thing for me, a man in his thirties, to admit), and during the one-and-a-half hour commute back to Mere-et-Pere Sparkles my bowels were cramping as frequently as Roger Ebert tweets. The levee, so to speak, was poised to break. Blessedly, I persevered; for, like the Montreal Canadiens and the Phoenix Suns, I really can't play well away from home. But boy when I play at home can I ever play.

The lavatory got occupied: reverse-meta description here. Oh, there was a reckoning. This man was felled. Like a hoary oak.

The belly got hungry again: so I had a Mott's Caesar and some plankton. Then I went to The Beer Store for a case of Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale. I bet Keith wasn't even from Indiana.

The boy got carded: In case you haven't read my autobiography, The Portrait of Dorian Gay, I'm basically an old man in a young boy's body, like Gary Oldman (star of Diff'rent Strokes) or that kid from Hannah Montana, the one who plays Andrew Jackson. The truth is, ladies, I'm thirty-two. That's twenty-five plus seven, thirty-seven minus five. Still, I was stunned -- and more than a little flattered -- when, at The Beer Store**, the clerk-lady asked to see my ID.

"I'm thirty-two," I said, masking a smile. "I don't have any Canadian identification because I've lived in Korea for ten years. I'm just here on vacation."

("But if you need proof that I'm a man I can prove it less paper, more carnal, Cougar Beer-Store Lady.")

I pulled out my Korean residence card as proof and handed it to her. She looked over it, front and back, with a confused grimace the size of Ronald McDonald's fat purple friend.

Five cents was my change.


* Legs and I sometimes talk about what replacement pet we're going to buy to fill the lonely hole of our frigid coupling after Jikko, our Shi Tzu, dies, and now I have the answer: a pug. I want a pug like Violet Beauregarde wanted Wonka's three-course-dinner gum, damn the consequences! I will have my pug.

** Canada has The Beer Store. You might have missiles that can kill nukes from space, venomous reptiles of all kinds, pandas, citrus fruit, cave pictures, the alphabet, phones...but you will never have The Beer Store.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Creeping

These are some of the things I've learned about you so far, and please don't be mad at me for taking an interest in you as that -thanks to our friend, the Internet- is just the way the world works.

- You look sexy in cargo shorts and M*A*S*H t-shirts.
- You can make a casserole from nothing but a piece of sky and a bowl of wet Bisquick.
- You can write a snappy blog post faster than you can say "POTENTIALLY PERFIDIOUS, PET"
- You know all the words to "The Gambler"AND don't try to deny it.
- You want to title your PhD dissertation: "Stickin' it to Korean High School Teachers and Policy Makers: Why Teaching English in English is a Flawed System Doomed to Fail" and don't care that you'll never, ever get post-doc funding.
- You don't know when to walk away, but do know when to run.
- You know just what to do when someone leaves their Blogger/Facebook/Twitter/email account open on your computer!
- You have excellent taste in music, which just so happens to mirror a good portion of my own.
- Short bangs suit you.
- Your mother sounds as if she's one of the most caring and generous mothers a person could have even though she abstains from alcohol and other recreational drugs.
- You're well-educated and detail-oriented.
-You keep your blog posts to six paragraphs or less, since more than that renders a post unreadable.
- You look great in a hat and sunglasses.
- Contrary to what you've been told, you have an extraordinary smile.
- HTML is your specialty.
- When you're mistaken about something, you'll readily admit such errors.
- The readers of your blog are fiercely loyal to the point of sheer rabidity, and woe to the woman with four children who doesn't know when to quit teasing you.
- You're enamored with motorcycles.
- You know how to work a camera, be it from behind or in front of the lens.
- You're probably in love with me. Just maybe...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pretty



It's been pretty cold around these parts for late May. I'm pretty sure I'll have to don a jacket into June.

It's getting pretty late, but I'm not tired. I was pretty excited to watch Game 2 of the Habs-Flyers series, even if it was pretty ugly in retrospect. Celtics-Magic Game 2 was better: it was pretty close for most of the game, but in the end the Celts took a 2-0 series lead. It'll be pretty hard for Orlando to catch ground once the series shifts to Boston.

I was pretty hungry earlier, but then I had some Ruffles and some Doritos and some Stella Artois, and now I'm not hungry anymore. To tell you the truth, I'm feeling pretty drunk. Not too drunk, though; when that happens, it's not pretty. I can get pretty mean when I'm in my cups.

I feel pretty good, actually. I was pretty bored, but now I'm pretty interested. Guy's Big Bite is on The Food Network. He's making pepperoni lasagna, and it looks pretty tasty. I'm pretty sure I could never replicate his recipe, but if I tried pretty hard I think I could produce a pretty good facsimile.

You know what? I'm pretty happy to be home. It's pretty nice to experience the things I can't when I'm abroad (sleeping in, cocaine). I get pretty antsy being cooped up at home, but overall it's pretty relaxing. I'm pretty happy.

Because I'm with my daughter.

She's pretty.

Vanish

One of those days, folks. One of those days.

video

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wall



Canada, I love you, but you're bringing me down.



Disappointed people, clinging on to problems.

Holy Diver


Ronnie James Dio, dead at age 67.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oh It's Like That Now



During one of my many deep talks with the illustrious and praiseworthy 18th Letter, she confided that she's not a big fan of her school lunches. She has catered meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which she likes, and Fridays are Pizza Day, also agreeable, but on Mondays and Wednesdays the fare her grandfather prepares is, according to her, lacking. So we held an ad hoc bull session, kicked around some ideas vis a vis how she might further enjoy her déjeuner.

Soup and pasta were out; it seems that, if you're a kid in the first grade, taking a Thermos to school for lunch these days is akin to owning a Sega Master System rather than a Nintendo. Eventually, as things naturally do, talk turned to sandwiches. The following dialogue ensued:

18th Letter: I like sandwiches.

Me: Everybody does.

18th Letter: Especially ants!

But what kind of sandwich? Ham and cheese, as faithful as that geyser in Yellowstone? Tuna and mayo, also a reliable standard? Or, how could I forget, PB&J?

The 18th Letter looked at me as though I'd suggested she take a gun or a bag of crack to school. Anything containing peanuts, she explained, is verboten; and the "law," as I hear, is strictly enforced. I pictured kids getting patted down before entering school, handcuffs slapped on the wrists of ne'er-do-wells venturing to sneak inside a Snickers, or, talk about contraband, a Reese Cup.

This shit has gotten a little out of hand, hasn't it? I have a bee-sting allergy, so I'm an advocate for awareness when it comes to life-threatening allergies, but there's a fine line between awareness and outright paranoia/scare mongering. It's gotten so bad that the 18th Letter twice asked me if the food she was going to eat contained nuts. (Keep in mind that she has no allergies except for homework on Sunday nights.) The first time it was a brownie she put on her plate at a buffet last week, the second time after I bought her a chocolate bar to benefit a charity for missing children and adults.

Forgive my language again, but she's picking this shit up at school, I'm sure, and it isn't from her classmates.

That's not even the worst of your favorite blogger's favorite daughter's fears: she's terrified of lightning storms, convinced she'll be electrocuted; and, according to her, you can die choking on blood from a nosebleed.

To quote the Bard (in this case the Bard is Biggie Smalls), things done changed. Kids these days are scared because the adults they're around are scared. Parents, teachers, astronauts. You don't have to be Dr. Spock, Dr. Phil, or Doctor Strange to figure it out: adults in the modern age, largely, have no idea how to rear their children. And child caretakers know even less.

It's a society of compounded fear. There's a reason why children eventually become adults, and it has nothing to do with nursing or coddling. Kids are resilient; that's why they're called kids, if I can borrow from David Mamet. They will figure it out for themselves.

This trend of overwrought protection, where kids are trapped from developing as humans and instead treated as purses that might get stolen, needs to end.

End. Fin. 끝.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kurt Russell was a Friend of Mine



To me, Kurt Russell is the greatest genre actor in film history. That might seem blasphemous to some, but it's my blog, so whatever. You get what you don't pay for.

Russell's adult movie career is weird; it's an anomaly when such a talented, charismatic, good-looking actor is relegated so often to, arguably, B pictures, but that's what Russell has done. He's never been in an art film, has never made an Oscar-bait movie*. And maybe -- probably -- that's why I/we love him. But in an industry that relies on bankable stars, isn't it odd that Kurt Russell hasn't received meatier roles?

Hey, I'm not complaining. Russell has cemented his legacy by starring in some of the coolest movies of my generation. Based solely on the roles he's played, he's an icon. Snake Plissken. RJ MacReady. Wyatt Earp. Jack fucking Burton. He's not the best actor Hollywood has ever seen**, perhaps, but he's infinitely reliable. He's the John Starks of filmdom: you wouldn't rank him amongst the greats, but damn does he leave a lasting impression.

It's hard not to compare Kurt Russell to another "genre" actor of my generation: Harrison Ford. Ford's charisma came effortlessly. Some people are like that. But while Ford in recent years has coasted, accepting any film role and lazily going through the motions of what might, subjectively, be called acting, Kurt Russell has chosen his spots. Like an old, overweight prize fighter, Russell knows how to roll with the punches, and he adjusts accordingly.

Which hasn't always translated to success, critical or box-office. I love Kurt Russel like I love my collection of Playboys and Viet Cong ears, but the man has a few ink stains on his resume. Captain Ron. Stargate. Fucking Soldier***. He's not infallible. He isn't even inflatable.

What he is, though, is Kurt Russell.

And that's good enough for me.

Sir.


* There's still time. I would argue that Russell is too genuine, too what-you-see-is-what-you-get, to sway the Academy, though. But I will say this: if the day ever comes that Kurt Russell receives an Academy Award, that'll be the day I cry tears of joy for only the third time in my life.

** That honor goes to Skeet Ulrich.

*** Which is insanely watchable if you enjoy seeing what drowning looks like. Hey! I have an idea! Let's take a genial actor like Kurt Russell and give him the personality of a toaster oven. Works for me!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Home Ice Advantage



Again I ask: is there anything in sports greater than playoff hockey? To paraphrase the Bard (if the Bard were Rasheed Wallace), puck don't lie. Basketball is my sport, and damn it feels good to be home during the NBA Playoffs, but what I've appreciated more is the Canadian zeitgeist that is the NHL in spring.

Whenever I'm home (which is not often), I try to soak in as much Canadiana as possible. I've been drinking bloody caesars like they're water, using Sleeman's Cream Ale as body wash, trying my damndest to get my Canuck accent back, and, when I'm not busy (which is never), watching the NHL Playoffs. And I've realized, again, how beautiful the beautiful game is. The energy, the passion, the speed, the intensity...You have to be here to truly understand it.

Luckily, I am.

Without question, I'll watch an NBA game over an NHL one any time. That's just how I roll, how I butter my bread. I'm not saying it's the best decision, only that it's the most comfortable. I've been following professional basketball since before I could (jay)walk, and being home and able to watch games almost nightly while enjoying some barley pops has been pure joy. Fortunately, the sports gods stepped in in having the NBA conference semi-finals decided early, and tonight I was able to witness Game 7 of the epic Bruins-Flyers series, one for the ages.

It's a Friday night, and I could have gone out, maybe should have, but something told me Game 7 would be memorable, moreso than a night on the Robert Towne. I can go out anytime; it's rare, however, that I can enjoy the simpler pleasures of hockey at home.

I almost regretted that decision. Boston jumped out to an early lead in the first period, leading 3-0. All signs pointed to a blowout. The Boston faithful were wild, cheering at every hit, screaming at every open-ice advantage. The Flyers were done, right? I didn't care too much, had no dog in this fight; all I wanted to see was a good game. It didn't look that way in the first period. I have two good friends, one a Boston supporter, the other a Broad Street Bully, and I wanted both to have their moment of zen. It didn't appear to be an even match early on, like elephants and ants on see-saws, but near the end of the first period the Flyers saved a little ice-face, scoring to narrow the Bruins' advantage by two goals. Still, it seemed tonight was Boston's.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the Montreal Forum.

The Flyers, down 0-3 in the series and 0-3 in the game, pulled off a remarkable feat, scoring four unanswered goals to take the series in Boston, a stunning upset to sit among the pantheon of unbelievable sports moments. It was, like all great, transcendent moments in sports are, unreal.

For Flyers fans it's a euphoric moment; for Bruins fans a heartbreaking loss. As a bipartisan observer, for me it was a fantastic game, an instant classic, compounded by the fact that I'm here, in Canada, and I saw it live.

That's what I miss: those stark-yet-simple moments of glory that I can't appreciate fully when I'm abroad.

To quote the Rasheed-Bard again, both teams played hard. It could have gone either way, and in a Marvel "What-If" sense it might still; but in the 616 Universe the Philadelphia Flyers emerged the Victor von Doom.

PS - Gagne is French for "win."

Celebrate responsibly, PA.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Holiday Cheer


As everyone who's anyone already knows, May 13th is Masta Ace Day. A holiday steeped in debauched tradition yet always hip to the ever-shifting zeitgeist, Masta Ace Day is, surprisingly, not a national holiday in Korea. Considering the raging popularity of rap and African Americans alike here on the peninsula, you'd think the Day of Ace -or Día de As, as it's known in Latin America- would be an automatic day off from work but alas, you'd be wrong (though you'd best not sweat it, as the holiday's absence caught me off-guard my first year in Korea as well).

Disturbing though it may be to some of Psychedelic Kimchi's hypersensitive readers, today is indeed a day of work for this unfortunate lad. 'Tis a shame, to be sure, this day spent without a bottle of Jack Daniels, a bag of stale Hawkins Cheezies*, or a packet of suppositories; but rest assured it's not all bad news, for although I'm here at work doing jack shit work, I just received word that in celebration of Masta Ace Day the office staff will be treated to a late, late** dinner of galbi and soju compliments of the boss. To emulate Alan Alda's famous catchphrase from M*A*S*H, yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh boooyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, and to the naysayers who think that's not the Ace in Masta Ace Day I say word to your stepmother. Of course I relish the opportunity to hang out with my coworkers till four in the fucking morning! And don't you even attempt to feign indifference, either.

Given that I'll be out painting the town poop brown this fine evening, I'll have to cut this post short. During my absence, make sure to read up on the brief yet nevertheless illustrious history of Masta Ace Day via the following links:
Masta Ace Day '07
Masta Ace Day '08
Masta Ace Day '09

Enjoy some of his music, too:
Sittin on Chrome
Take a Walk

Happy Masta Ace Day!



* Which is not to say that I'd be able to differentiate between stale and fresh Cheezies since 'stale' is the default flavor.
** As in we won't leave the office till midnight.

He Shoots, He Scores



Chris Nolan and Hans Zimmer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Here, There, Hysteria



Here
Neuroses. Baskin Robbins. Fast trains. Miasmatic. Homeplus. Insularity. KFC. Taxing. Vexatious. Mutated rats and feral felines. Invasive proselytizers. 순대. Toddler photography. Ambivalence. Soccer. Canceled concerts. Communication breakdowns. A fuckload of shit. Taco Bell? You.

There
Psychoses. Dairy Queen. Fast cars. Hygienical. Wal-Mart. Suffusion. KFC. Taxes. Corrosive. Full-sized dogs and house cats. Intrusive missionaries. Gyros. Roadkill photography. Capriciousness. Football. Concerts. Communication letdowns. A shitload of fuck. Taco Bell!

Hysteria

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Afghan Star -- Not a Review


Truth be told, I'm no connoisseur of documentaries. If a documentary involves Werner Herzog or Billy Mitchell it's safe to say I'm game, sure, but otherwise I catch two, maybe three such films a year at most. I should watch more, I really should, but I spend enough time in front of the television as it is (video games, reruns of Knight Rider, Steven Seagal, footage of you taking a shower, etc.) so casualties are bound to occur, and thus our friend the documentary takes a hit for the team. Nevertheless, I recently viewed director Havana Marking's breakout film Afghan Star and I have to say it really hit the spot, both as a concept and a narrative.

Granted, this post isn't a review so I'll spare you the verbose summary and analysis you've come to expect from my reviews on Psychedelic Kimchi, though at the same time I want you to check it out, so I guess I should write something about the film, correct?

At its core, Afghan Star chronicles the experience of four hopeful contestants -two male and two female- on a televised Afghan* reality show of the same name. As one may suppose, the documentary is filmed entirely within Afghanistan; a backdrop worthy, perhaps, a film all its own, but Marking instead opted to focus upon the effects pop culture and television have upon traditional Afghanistan (and vice versa) as experienced by four amiable personalities.

To an extent, the narrative is more than a tad predictable. Even before the film begins, one can surmise that Afghan Star will touch upon such topics as gender inequality, juxtaposition of traditional and modern, clash between conservative and moderate, Islamic faith, pop culture, economic disparity, etc. Both experienced and cynical viewers alike will anticipate the aforementioned issues, though the two will most likely differ in their respective reactions; with the former appreciating the story told regardless of predictability and the latter sneering at its supposed banality.

As for me, I believe that although several aspects of the film are indeed predictable, they in no way detract from its efficacy. Like all (good?) documentaries, it exhibits slight bias on the part of the filmmakers in editing and asides, but at the end of the day Marking's film does what it's supposed to do without beating viewers over the head with any discrete agenda.

So you'll see it or you won't. If you're a cynical** viewer, you'll probably spend most of your time wondering why the film portrays everything as you expected it to be and I'd suggest avoiding it. Otherwise, I say give it a go.

If I were to give it a score: 3.5 / 4 *_* (but this isn't a review, so I'm not going to)

* No, not a rug, smartass.
** Just keep in mind that being a cynic doesn't necessarily make you witty, insightful, or charming: it just makes you cynical. Congratulations.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Turning



I'm resigned to my fate. Today I turned thirty-two years old, only eight years away from forty and nine from a Harley Davidson. I still feel young, still act young, but the slow, cold claws of time are ever reaching for my heart, searching in the dark for my chest pump.

Come and get it, fuckers. If I've learned anything this year it's that I don't want to live forever -- even though I really do -- but would rather have my legacy sealed...

Wait. Fuck, I'm kinda drunk. Ballantine's. Disregard everything I've written tonight. Give me a Blackjack Mulligan.

I can barely stand.

Mister bus driver!

Nocturnal Climax



It's gotta end sometime -or- When enough's enough already and I just wanna get some sleep.

Dear Ilsan,



Love,

Bundang

Sometimes I Envy Them



Cruel, cruel world, hear my cry. Of the many injustices in my life (Gretzky traded to the Kings, Large Professor leaving Main Source, Stephen King blowing the end of the Dark Tower series), the one most recent hurts most urgently.

There are no Flaming Hot Cheetos in Canada.

[self-inflicted gunshot wound]Fuck[/self-inflicted gunshot wound]

Conception



I’m not sure what day I died, what time I died, or how I died, but I know I’m dead. I’m sure of that. I don’t know how old I was, but somewhere between the age of thirty and fifty seems a safe bet. How I know this I couldn’t tell you; it’s just a feeling I have.

I can’t remember my name or the names of those whom I was close to, although I remember their faces perfectly. They flit through my mind constantly, children and the elderly and babies and men and women. They look sad, probably because they are. An unsmiling human face is a frowning one, isn’t it?

It almost resembles a corpse’s.

I’ve had a lot of time to think. Think, not remember. It makes me sad that there are people I should miss, friends and family I once knew. If I’m dead – and I’m sure I am – the greatest injustice is that my whole life was a waste. I have no memories now, no fond remembrances or tragic regrets. I’m just here in my head, trapped in blackness.

I suppose I’m being punished, but for what? Did I commit a terrible crime? Do I require rehabilitation? Am I in purgatory?

When will I understand? Will it take years? Decades? Centuries? Longer? The idea frightens me immeasurably. Time immemorial or time ad infinitum or no time at all, I fear, is the nexus, the place we all go to disremember. It doesn’t matter whether I’ve been trapped here forever or for a second, for this is no place to be.

I want to escape.

Yet how does one flee from imprisonment when she knows not where she’s confined? How does one exist when he has no form, no feeling?

Instinct. I have an immeasurable will to live and breathe. I want so badly to become.

I will be reborn.

I think I can.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Friday Night Lights Out



It rained all day today, and it rained all night, literally and figuratively. When I picked up the 18th Letter from school, a steady rain was falling. It let up as we drove home and then went to see How to Train Your Dragon in 3D*, but we were greeted to a downpour while exiting the theater. No weaklings us Canadians, we didn't need an umbrella to make it to the car. Another choice quote from the master: "Daddy, it's just water."

Indeed. Soon, though, "just water" became a thunderstorm, and as we drove home the 18th Letter confessed that she has a fear of lightning. I tried to explain how irrational her burgeoning phobia is, but like me and my similarly irrational fear of flying, sometimes you can't tell no one nothing.

She settled down once we got home**. Being home does that to one's nerves. An hour and some change later she was asleep on the sofa/couch. After taking the limp bag of potatoes up to her room, I turned on NBA TV to catch the last quarter of Game 3 of the Cavs-Celtics series, a blowout if ever there was one. I didn't care; what I anticipated was Game 3 of the Suns-Spurs series. Going back to CaliSan Antonio, I knew the Suns' 2-0 series lead was far from comfortable because the Spurs cheat by blaring arena music whenever their team has possessionthe Spurs never give up. Not ever.

My spleen was correct: the Spurs opened early with a wide lead, in the first half topping the Suns by as much as eighteen points. Still, I knew that the Spurs' hyperactive defense meant they'd grow tired fast, opening a window for the Suns to get back into the game.

The Suns did, narrowing the Spurs' lead by six at the half. The Spurs asserted themselves in the third quarter, but by the end of the period the Suns were a point behind. Suns' Coach Alvin Gentry knows how to substitute his players without panicking, it appears.

This looked like a game for the ages in the fourth, a back-and-forth slug-fest. And that's exactly what it was until Goran Dragic, Phoenix's No. 2 point guard, gave the performance of a lifetime.

Scoring 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting in the second half, most of his points coming in the fourth quarter, Dragic dominated the Spurs singlehandedly. He drove to the basket with a killer's instinct; he made shot after incredible shot, including an off-balance 4-point play. He was so fantastic that Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry kept him in the game alongside starting point guard Steve Nash with minutes remaining, a tribute to the second-year point guard's amazing performance.

Fittingly, Dragic took the last shot of the game, a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Nothing. But. Net.

What a performance. In a perfect world, the Dragic Game would be replayed on ESPN Classic for years and years. Hopefully, it will be.

The 18th Letter need not worry about the lightning. Goran Dragic channeled it and struck Texas.


* I've poo-pooed the 3D trend, but it works incredibly for CG-animated films. My only concern is that 3D isn't kid-friendly. The 18th Letter loved the movie, but she spent a third of it rubbing her eyes because the visuals were a little too intense and the 3D glasses were cumbersome to wear.

** In a 2010 Hyundai Accent. My folks also own a Chevy Equinox, and while that SUV looks nice, the Accent has more pep in its step. I feel like I'm driving a real-life Mario Kart vehicle when I get in that badboy's driver's seat, minus the koopa shells and rainbow roads.

Corpse Linguistics


This most recent of mornings* I had a dream, and in it was a girl -or maiden, if you prefer- that I'd been acquainted with throughout high school; someone I should have known better and understood less, I suppose, though it's unnecessary to extrapolate much anything beyond said rumination because, really, if you're actually reading this post then it's readily apparent you don't give a damn about its meaning. I for one applaud your acute disinterest.

But this time the woman was blonde -as she bore in the other, albeit few, dreams in which she's made an appearance, yet it always feels such the novelty that I welcome the disingenuous innovation with open arms- and wore green, or something like emerald green, much in the same way that one of my eyes is currently, discernibly a shade of creamy jade. Her eyes, on the other hand, were blue; not azure as mine had been at birth (in and of themselves by no means exquisite specimens), but a cheap blue you'd find encased within ballpoint pens or sprayed upon a Buick Century circa 1988; in other words, annoyingly innocuous, which only underscores the obvious, surrealistically disappointing fact that the dream reveled in its own mediocrity.

Like many a nocturnal remission, this dream had no discernible narrative structure and I won't bother trying to connect all the dots, suffice it to say that some of these points were utterly absurd. The important thing is that this lass and I were driving down an otherwise deserted street of my hometown in a maroon, 1995 Chevy Beretta at dusk (because as we all know, no one in Iowa drives at the close of day due to a crippling fear of deer run amok). I haven't the foggiest recollection of how I arrived at said juncture nor do I care; what can be said is that there came a time during our joy ride in which I, slapped to my senses by a moment of lucidity, pulled over to the side of the road, only to inquire about just what she had been doing there -as in my dream, period, though not in a snarky manner- to which she responded with a surprisingly straightforward yet nevertheless apathetic I don't know as she gazed out the passenger-side window. The stars descended and the car soon disappeared. After that, I vaguely remember dumping pillowcases full of Halloween candy into a wheelbarrow alongside a friend of mine, only to push it up a steep hill as the Smashing Pumpkins1979 permeated the crisp air. Whatever. It's a fucking dream.

At the risk of navel-gazing, I'm entirely content with the persona's nonchalant response since it mirrors my own lack of enthusiasm concerning her company. Indifference is, in the right situations, a man's second best friend (behind video games), after all. Besides, I'd much rather cruise down the street with someone else, but there's plenty of time for that anyway.

Be that as it may, I feel more than a bit like Tom Skerritt as he crawled through the air ducts in Alien right about now because, well, just because, and because if I divulge nothing else, you, Diarrhea Reader, may get the wrong impression of me; and if I do choose to disclose additional information you may formulate any entirely different impression, one potentially less favorable. What a predicament!

Or not. I stated earlier that the blonde girl has appeared in other dreams, though to be candid I couldn't for the life of me recount any of them save one. This other dream occurred roughly fifteen years ago and it's one of the few that never disperses with age. In said dream I walked the halls of a high school devoid of students, each classroom as still as a graveyard at midnight, until I came upon the cafeteria at which stage I encountered our favorite blonde lying upon one of the tables, savagely mating with a werewolf of the Howling variety, pointy ears and all. I could have intervened, perhaps, but please keep in mind that A) it was a dream B) it was a full-blown motherfuckin' werewolf and it's not as if I had any silver in my pockets and C) let me tell you, like a Great White song says, she was giving what she got! at least until, during orgasm, the werewolf began to remove her face with his teeth. Then it wasn't so mutual but hey, it was in that precise moment I came to realize that I had the hots for her.

Like bookends, these dreams.



* 'Cause that's when the sandman creeps into my pants bed pants, suckas.
** Released in 1979. It's fate, I say!



Apartment Number: 224, Section:8



My next-door neighbor is blasting Bob Marley at a high volume, "Get Up, Stand Up." That's now; before it was The Jesus and Mary Chain, before that Polvo, Gwar, The Cars, and, yes, I think so, John Tesh. The NBA on NBC theme.

It's 2:41, and I need to go to bed. I have to take my kid to the dentist tomorrow.

I want to kill that guy.

Instead, I'm going to put in my ear buds and fight fire with fire.

I'm going to make myself deaf.

Kindre(a)d


Stanley Kubrick, Isaac Asimov, Megan Fox, Heidi Range, David Bowie, B.A. Baracus, Dean Cain, Joseph McGinty Nichol, Whoopi Goldberg, Dennis Bergkamp, Jimmy Johnstone, John Madden, Benjamin Burnley, Kim Jong Il, Howard Stern, Lars von Trier, Robert Smith, Travis Barker, Barry Sonnenfeld, Ryan Stiles, Tony Kornheiser, Ritchie Valens, Mette-Marit, Shemp Howard, Marge Simpson.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Wednesday in Me




Children's Day.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Swear Words and Insight from the West



Retirement

Not too long ago, I announced my official retirement from Psychedelic Kimchi. You probably missed it, or, more likely, ignored it. I'm known now and then to make bold claims which I have no resolve to actually follow through on, and while my intent still is to concentrate my writing endeavors more privately and expansively, I failed to -- again -- understand and foresee just how vital Psychedelic Kimchi is to my writing routine. I can't quit PK cold turkey much in the same way I can't stop smoking or masturbating. For better or worse, I need PK. And so do you.

The new resolution doesn't mean a decline in quality, I hope, just a different focus. I'll still use this (hallowed) blog to test waters creatively, but I'm also going to make an effort to return to PK's blogging roots: sexy women and making fun of the elderly riffing loosely and not showing off so much. That last part makes me sound conceited, maybe; what I mean is that I've sometimes gone out of my way to write in a certain style solely as an experiment or to prove that I can, not because I genuinely wanted to. Or because I was drunk. Usually because I was drunk.

That ends now (no, not the being drunk part). What you'll get from PK in the future will, I hope, be organized confusion rather than confusion organized.

Will it be any good? I have no idea. But like I said, I need Psychedelic Kimchi. It's the aorta to my creativity, for better or worse.

One last point in this first point: the Moviepiphanies posts now have their own blog, http://moviepiphanies.blogspot.com/. The theme is movie scenes or related content that strike me in a very unique, personal/emotional/comedic/beautiful way. I have that pretty well covered, I think, but what I lack is a layout. I would appreciate any readers who could offer assistance in that regard.

Harrow

Flying, man.

Perhaps me traveling via air is a reflection of my personality, because when the skies are clear I love being on an aeroplane; it's only when things get a little bumpy that I start to freak out. It doesn't help that the last two long-haul flights I've taken home from Seoul over the past two years were nightmares of turbulence, and not "ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seat belts, we're encountering some turbulence" turbulence but stewardesses telling kids to buckle up because they might get slammed against the fuselage ceiling by a sudden altitude drop turbulence. I don't mind a few bumps over the pacific, but when the bulk of a ten-hour flight consists of white-knuckle seat grabbing, I can't calmly accept air travel regardless of how much I've tried in recent years.

I'm not stupid; I know the chance of an airplane crash is lower than me winning the lottery and having my duck sicked by Son Dan Bi on the same day. I know that the "danger" in air travel, however minuscule, is in taking off and landing. I know planes aren't made of paper and therefore don't crash to Earth from a little wind or a lot. I know all of this, yet I cannot for the life of me fly comfortably.

I could when I was a kid. Even when I was a teenager I could. It's when I moved to Korea ten years ago that I developed an acute fear of flying. (This was a year and some months before 9/11, mind you, when pretty much everyone became scared to fly, at least for a time.) As I've gotten older, I've become more and more aware of my mortality, and, I suppose, for whatever reason*, more paranoid.

Conversely, I've tried to confront my fears and neuroses head on in an effort to be a more resilient human being. I'm not like Howard Stern or Lars von Trier in that I refuse to fly, but with all these long, excruciatingly uncomfortable flights, I feel as though years of my life are being shaved from pure stress.

I'm not the only one. In regard to the TV industry's rush to produce 3D televisions, MSN writer Mike Schuster opined, "You know why nobody rides a roller coaster to work? Because not only would it lose its appeal after the first week, it's completely impractical." Air travel is practical, but I don't want to ride a roller coaster for nine hours. Unfortunately, until the physics in Stephen King's short story, "The Jaunt," are mastered, there's no other way.

What I Discover When I Experience Jet Lag

If there's an upside to all this traveling (besides the obvious like seeing the family and eating all manner of delicious, unhealthy food**), it's that I'm constantly encountering cool things. Yesterday, awake at 4:30 AM due to jet lag, I turned on Bravo to see this video:



What a great song. Also, randomly flipping through channels in the afternoon, I caught the entire Star Trek episode, "The Trouble with Tribbles." Somebody up there likes me.

(Or not. The downstairs television -- the one with over 500 fucking channels -- has no remote. Lovely. And the settings are set to German. Volumen? What the hell?)

No Reservations

Microwaveable shepherd's pie, macaroni and cheese, and two-dollar burritos make my Gene Colon blow, I've learned...It's always a shock to eat ruffled chips bigger than a cat's head...Mott's Clamato Caesar, now in a convenient bottle, already mixed. Can I get a soul clap? Tomato, clams, and liquor: not as weird a mixture as Frisbee and golf...

Funny Accents

I can discern the Canadian accent, yet I cannot replicate it, in writing nor in speech. Extended Os, dropped NGs. My countrymen tok funny.

Aliens

One weird phenomenom from living in Korea for ten years is that I rarely see non-Korean teenagers. Frankly, the youth of Canada frighten me.

Ann and Nancy Wilson

As a kid, I couldn't wait to get out of school. Yesterday, I couldn't wait for my kid to get out of school. A happy Children's Day to the 18th Letter. It's good to be back, angel.


* my epitaph

** This news broke my heart.

Kids for Children's Day


I speak to the children; not my children, mind you, but those other children, the ones both held dear and embraced from afar. To the children forgotten and childhoods regained, I bequeath a shred of passing whim, fleeting glory, and narcoleptic fascination. To you I am elation, to you I am charity, but to whom am I flesh?

Forbidden by, to, for, and from none, I roam untethered across the glimmering, simmering carcass of a peninsula splintered as the tots chant Give me candy! Let me cheat! Pick my shit right off the street! and to them, for whom buoyancy is innate, life is nothing if not for the taking; byrthynsak, however alluring, was intended for babes neither blue nor pink.

To you and your brethren, the youth beguiled, I propose a compromise. You seek the world, while I seek it not. Where you see opportunity, I see plague spots. Dimorphism notwithstanding, what we share is the hereafter; you are the future and I am what you shall yield. Possessed by this and that, sheepskins atop a rabid wolf, children crave what they need, yet for all such desires, what they end up possessing is me.

My proposition then, dear lads and lasses, is to feast upon the elegant reverie of youth as you would milk and cookies, for the sooner you relish the ethereal meal the sooner it shall dine upon your delectable marrow.  Open wide! it cries, as you are bound to ebb away, only to be replaced by that which remains to be unseen.


Moviepiphanies, Vol. 1, Issue 6

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Peter Cha



Who knew?

The bouncer outside the Gargoyle saw me, maybe recognized me, but he's too dumb and too tied up in meth sales to mark me. First base.

I bought a pack of Parliaments from a bodega, but the clerk was more invested in the Dodgers game to pay me mind. Second.

Third: cops never go to the beach. It's in their training or something. I guess they're scared of drowning. So am I.

I lay down amidst screaming children and orange ladies to hide out. The sand burnt my back through my black Nike T-shirt. The sun screamed at me from above. I didn't care. The bounty was secure. So was I.

Next up to bat, stepping up to the plate: me, Peter Cha, known by some as Pizza Pete. You would have had to have been there.

I started thinking about the ocean, how polluted it must be. The atmosphere is a burgeoning wasteland, but the ocean is -- literally -- going to shit, too. Whale barf and shark piss. It's a nightmare if you think about it.

I prefer not to. When I fly to Dallas, I feel like a man revived, up in the air, above the clouds. Is anything more magnificent than the blue sky? Is anything more incredible than white puffy clouds?

Probably not.

Moviepiphanies, Vol. 1, Issue 5

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Acting School

Truth be told, I've always wanted to dabble in acting* even if I'd be absolutely terrible at it (as I would be at any of the performing arts). The reasons are manifold, I suppose, but let it suffice to say that years upon years of watching people doing seemingly impossible things on the silver screen (swinging across crevices via whip, dueling with lightsabers, running around a deserted Pacific island hunting pigs and boys, getting laid, etc.) has instilled a great desire to lend my talents, however minuscule, to the theatrical craft. Inspiration comes in many forms of course, and there's no denying that Hollywood isn't the only place whence stimuli originates, be it television, stage, or low-budget productions. James Nguyen's Birdemic: Shock and Terror is no exception. Take the following scene for example.

video

From this, the lessons learned about successfully portraying a telemarketer are threefold:


1) Telemarketing is an extremely lucrative occupation.
2) Giving a fifty-percent discount on a two-million dollar deal is at the sole discretion of said telemarketer, and it's the kind of thing routinely handled over the phone.
3) High-fives are mandatory within the workplace.

But that's not all Nguyen's magnum opus has taught me, not by a long shot. I've also learned a thing or two about conducting important boardroom announcements.

video

Again, a useful tutorial to say the very least:

1) Make sure to repeat the sale number gleefully.
2) Populate your boardroom with goofy guys and attractive gals.
3) "You, you, you, you!" Don't forget to point.
4) Shit, I want to work at that company!

Yet it's not all work and no play in the town Nguyen built. When the time comes for a night on the town, it's important to demonstrate how a successful telemarketer unwinds with the woman he loves, and that's by dancing.

video

As you may have guessed, I'm at a loss but I'll do my best:

1) Karaoke in an empty bar oozes romance. As an actor, that shit works itself out.
2) Robot dancing is still in fashion so utilize it appropriately. Practice makes perfect!
3) Don't worry about the popularity of said bar (or restaurant) authenticating the experience. If you're dancing like you have canned heat in those heels** the audience will empathize.

To say this is all the wisdom Birdemic: Shock and Terror has to impart upon budding actors would be an egregious lie, yet there's only so much one can discuss in an evening. In the near future I'll highlight a few of the more shocking and terrifying aspects of acting but for now, take heed of the knowledge bestowed upon us all by James Nguyen and bask in his glorious ability to inspire the masses.



* And at being a radio DJ, but that's another post entirely.
** You know this boogie is for real.