Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beat and Meat (Pt. One)

Like it or not, 2007 is nearly finished. It was a year of highs, and most certainly lows, but that's cool; I'm not one to complain about performances upon the World's stage, given that I play no part. I just do my job, listen to music, play video games, masturbate, swear as often as humanly possible, and eat a lot of steak. Basically, I'm Sparkles without the classy girlfriend (she's no girl, mind you), and minus the desire to write about the monumental size of my penis (mostly because I lack either, but mainly because such things don't concern me whatsoever).
On a totally unrelated note, you know what bothered me in 2007? The way Balboa has been duckin' me, it's a disgrace. You know what I mean, yes you do, but enough about that.

I tried to listen to a fair amount of recently released music this year, as opposed to reveling in past glories (even if, in the case of In Rainbows, I should ask the question of why). In the spirit of the fleeting season, I'd like to present a brief recap of my listening experiences, in no particular order.

A Weekend in the City, Bloc Party: the album began, and ended, rather magnificently but, in all honesty, the middle of the disc was mediocre at best. Still, Hunting for Witches is a fantastically catchy tune, so I'll forgive the British bastards.

Alpha, Sevendust: I'm not quite sure why I acquired this disc, but it served the purpose of giving me something like rock to engage. It seems like time is not the best pal of Lajon Witherspoon's project, but age is a bitch, so I'll forgive him, too.

April, VAST: speaking of an era past its prime, I get the impression that Jon Crosby keeps clinging to what once made him cool. Don't get me wrong, in that April is worthy of a listen, but is it anything comparable to the titular Visual Audio Sensory Theater, or Music for People? The short answer is a resounding no but, to be fair, the two aforementioned discs wouldn't be terribly impressive if newly released today. I still buy your discs, Crosby. Don't you fret one bit.

Because of the Times, Kings of Leon: I can't help but wonder if this is an album that our very own TMH would adore. I don't intend for the previous statement to be slanderous, it's just that I can't identify with this disc whatsoever, just as I lack the ability to fathom the intricacies of one Big T. Thus far.

Distance and Time, Fink: I thoroughly enjoyed Biscuits for Breakfast, and this album, while not quite as wondrous, still manages to press the right buttons for yours truly. I look forward to his next effort with muted anticipation. The fourth track, Blueberry Pancakes, manages to rock my balls, for your information.

Dumb Luck, Dntel: depending upon my mood, I either love, or loathe this disc. Bringing in random vagrants to contribute to an album doesn't endear me to your effort, Mr. Dntel, but I can't deny the rhythmic beats. You're on the fecal fence.

Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, Foo Fighters: Dave! In Your Honor was an awesome, disc-spanning collection of tunes. The new album is great, and superior to your late-nineties attempts to cash in on the burgeoning grunginess-turned-skater crowd, so please don't misunderstand me. I just liked your previous effort a bit more.

I-Empire, Angels & Airwaves: is this a new face of rock? Is it progressive, or digressive? I can't say, nor can I determine if this album is preferable to We Don't Need to Whisper from 2006. Tom DeLonge is such a pretentious fuck (like a contributor to this site, no doubt) but, nonetheless, he is able to make a decent, interesting disc when he puts his heart into it. Much akin to the debut disc, I-Empire keeps you occupied, pleasantly enough.

I'll Sleep when You're Dead, El-P: bet you couldn't surmise that I was, initially, hesitant to listen to this album. I'm not well versed in hip-hoppish music (if you would classify Meline's masterpiece in such a way), and it took a significant amount of prodding from Sparkles to even acquire the disc. I'm grateful that he did, as El-P has created what is, in my mind, arguably the album of 2007, even if Habeas Corpses is a bit weak. I wouldn't begin to compare it to Fantastic Damage, as Sparkles would go ballistic, but even so...

In Rainbows, Radiohead: look, I'll be blunt in saying that the version I paid for, the version consisting of ten tracks, was a worthwhile addition to my CD collection, but it didn't knock the ears off of my penis, if you get my drift (Mr. Potato Head, that is). The later, additional tracks may offer a bulbous amount of orgiastic audio pleasure (as noted in a previous PK post) but the fact remains that Yorke and the gang could have done a whole lot more, the polished perfection of All I Need notwithstanding.

Life in Cartoon Motion, Mika: an ineffectual, inoffensive, and inarticulate but still jovial romp through an otherwise dismal year for feel-good music. It's like the A-Team of musical journeys, so to speak. Normally, the Scissor Sisters would fulfill my metrosexual quotient, but Mika was a plausible substitute.

Next episode, we delve into the far reaches of...I'm uncertain.



Thursday, December 27, 2007

Testes. Testes. One. Two. Three?

I Wanna Rock.

What's PK? Addendum -- The Psychedelic Kimchi Men, For the Discerning Man

Before I start, a belated Christmas gift to Idealjetsam, who -- God bless his mutinous heart -- said what you all feel by calling for more transparency (and boobies) from PK in the future. My only caveat: be careful what you wish for.

Today I woke up at 11:30. That's pretty late for me. I usually wake up shortly before 10. I have been constipated lately, so I wasn't very eager to start the new day. Besides, I had nothing to do. Literally. I finished Phantom Hourglass, a videogame available for the Nintendo DS handheld videogame system, the day prior, and the next game I planned to immerse myself in, Lego Star Wars, based on the popular toy for children and the equally popular series of films directed by George Lucas, isn't very fun. Around 12 or so I went to the local Buy the Way -- picture an Asian version of 7-Eleven -- to wire money to my real estate agent and buy some cup ramen (fried noodles). I ate it with regular Pringles and a 500mL bottle of Gatorade, a popular sports drink. I was quite full afterwards. I had a bowel movement roughly 30 minutes later, but it wasn't very successful. What I mean is, I still feel backed up. My girlfriend tells me I should eat more kiwis. The fruit, mind you, because kiwi is also the name of a flightless bird. It is also a colloquialism for people who are from New Zealand. I am moving on Saturday, so I started to get my possessions -- clothes, books, DVDs, etc. -- together. They are currently taking up most of the available floor space in my apartment. My dog, a Shih Tzu name Jikko, is a little nervous. She thinks I'm leaving her behind, I suspect. I tried to assure her that that is not the case, but dogs cannot understand complex human dialogue, at least not yet. Presently, I shall smoke a Dunhill Light cigarette and have a can of OB Lager beer. Research has shown that smoking can lead to myriad health risks, but despite such evidence cigarettes remain a vice for me. I plan to quit, though, when I return to Canada, a North American country with a population of around 30 million. Cigarettes are just too darn expensive there, like 10 dollars for a pack of 25. No thanks. I'm not that rich, though I wish I were. Ha ha. Well, that was my day. Hope yours was more eventful. In a good way, I mean. Like if a stray bullet hit you while you were going to your car after purchasing a coffee at Dunkin Donuts and you spent most of the afternoon in the emergency room, that's eventful but pretty crummy. Or if you lost your job and now don't have the option of eating ramen (fried noodles) because you want to, instead because you have to, and then you found out your ex girlfriend is making Internet porn movies with your father, that's eventful, too, but in a very negative way. Anyways, it's getting late and I should probably hit the sack (go to bed). If anyone reading this knows whether there really are more chickens on Earth than human beings, please leave a comment. That one has been eating at me (perplexing me) all week.

Now, on to the list of men who exemplify the spirit of Psychedelic Kimchi. I was going to create a list of women who do the same, but it's pretty short. Like one-name short. Word to big fish in small ponds. Still, some female names might creep into it. Also (legal stuff), this list is by no means comprehensive. I hope, however, that it is comprehensible. Word to IDJ.

Film: Christopher Reeve, Terry Michos, Emilio Estevez, Bill Hader, Kurt Motherfucking Russell, Stanley Kubrick, Sergio Leone, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Mandy Moore, Frank Darbont, Wong Kar Wai,

Television: Rod Serling, Jim Henson,

Comedy, Stand-Up and Otherwise: Mitch Hedberg, Dmitri Martin, Andy Motherfucking Kaufman, Bill Murray, Russell Peters, Bruce McCulloch, Will Farrell, The Lonely Island Collective,

Music: Thom Yorke, El-P, Chuck D, David Bowie, Ennio Morricone, Karen O, Morrissey, Isaac Brock, James Murphy, KRS ONE,

Literature: Stephen King, W. Sommerset Maugham, Jack London, Fyodor Motherfucking Dostoevsky, Haruki Murakami, Ernest Hemingway, Theodor Geisel, Rudyard Kipling,

Journalism: Roger Ebert, Bill Simmons, Bob Woodward,

Internet: Byron Crawford, Free Darko, CHUD, Psychedelic Kimchi,

Art: Paul Gauguin, Walt Simonson, Jack Kirby,

Publishing: Johannes Gutenberg, Hugh Hefner, Paris Hilton,

Science and Humanities Malcolm X, Louis Pasteur, Albert Einstein, Jesus,

Sports: Gilbert Arenas, Kobe Bryant, Ricky Williams, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Bison Dele, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Eric Lindros, Brett Hart, Peter North, Jason McElwain,

Fictional Characters: Holden Caufield, Santa Claus, Ivan Karamazov, Tiberious aka Sparkles, Ferris Buehler, You (Choose Your Own Adventure), Jimmy McNulty,


Happy Holidays, gentleMEN (and sisters Duff, Hilary and Haley)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What's PK?

A very good question, that. I sometimes aloofly claim -- when I'm having espresso and biscotti with Wolfes Tom and Thomas -- that Psychedelic Kimchi is the alpha and omega of nothing, to make myself sound profound in a self-depracatingly ironic way. No one ever gets the joke. Or they pretend they don't. Myself included.

However, the truth is that when I started this hallowed blog back in the halcyon year of double-oh-five, I drew up a manifesto, at the end of which was my goal to, in 2009, interview and bed a recognizable Korean starlet. Sometimes life has other plans, though, and so it was that, when my ultimate goal was reached three years earlier than I initially hoped, I had to revise that shit, like George Lucas pretending the original Star Wars was part four of a six-part saga.

In these, the waning days of the year 2007, I fear I may have to return to the lab yet again to rework my master plan. Because scarce time remains for me to play pool against -- then bed -- Shanelle Loraine. Four days left, and I try to stay optimistic, but I am only fooling myself.

Still, one particular section of the PK Handbook (Dungeon Master's Guide) stands unblemished by time or time-travelling device. For you, Constant Retard, I present* it now as a belated Christmas present**, in all its heavenly glory, as it was originally conceived.

April 9, 2005:

PK is...

PK is Humpty Hump and Shock G together, without the use of editing or trick photography...PK is an army, nigga, a navy, nigga...PK is fall down seven times, get up seven and a half...PK is your first erection quickly followed by your first gaming experince, then your first birthday IN THAT ORDER...PK is fire up this funk, fire symbolizing rebellious youth, funk it sucks to grow old (no Hunter S. Thompson)...PK is inside baseball, outside basketball, and, in some nations, within volleyball. Word to the Pink Spiders...PK is indellible. Costanza!...PK is I drove all the way to Sokcho on foot and all I got was this crappy T-shirt...PK is television, the drug of a nation, breeding ignorance and feeding radiation (and beefaroni!)...PK is Memph Bleek is...PK is every smile you have when you catch an obscure reference: 50 points...PK is secretly controlling the world's finance in Switzerland with the help of 12 Tall Israelis who suck at backgammon...PK is Charlie Rose vs. Larry King at Wrestlemania, no holds barred...PK is a cheese sandwich. A banana bread and cottage cheese sandwich...PK is that anonymous fear thing, sitting in traffic, thinking, ''I'm sure I'm supposed to be doing something else"...PK is a product of its environment, although it wishes its environment were a product of it...PK is that time you were comfortable settling down, only PK couldn't settle down, so you and PK parted ways, and you still hate yourself for it, because PK was huge amongst the avid readers of your cavernous novel, and these days you receive little fanfare...PK is trial by fire. Because there's no such thing as half-way crooks who are both scared to death and scared to look. It's ride or die, dun. But if you want me to circle around the block a few times, I'll keep the car running, waiting. Because YOU ARE THAT GOOD...PK is a breath of fresh air after a sigh of toxic cloud...PK is indulgence, better yet, hedonism. And then some...PK is all the things I wish I could say but don't have the time to...PK is K-Hot's reluctance to peep The Departed, and mine to make sense any longer...PK is "what have you done for me lately?" and "didn't I blow your mind this time? Didn't I?"...PK is Q-Tip circa 1991-1993...PK is an unlockable level unless you finish it on EASY, NORMAL, and HARD modes...PK is Bundang, and it has the tattoo to verify. A washable one, however...PK wants to suck your soul, lick your funky emotion, and take some time getting to know you better...PK is cyanide pills in the form of good ideas...PK is typing "busty japanese hot" on YouTube and staying home all day to bask in the glory of its results...PK is that warm feeling you get when all in the world is right for you, everything seems perfect, and then some asshole doctor tells you your ghetto pass has been revoked because you have rectal cancer. Like Contra 4, some things in life are not only unfair, they're downright criminal...PK fucks your head up like getting corn rows put in by blind giants.


That's PK, I guess. Truthfully, I made up half that shit as I went along (micro managment to my dungeon master's macro), deleting only the faggy stuff.. But if you're still here, I'll fill you in on a little secret:

PK, at its core, broken down to its purest form:

* stress on the second syllable

**stress on the first

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The PK 27 -- Track 20/20

Our reader would find this astonishing, I'm sure, but only a select few frequent this site. Hell, excluding my colleagues, Sparky's mum, that chubby girl that Kmart takes everywhere and the Google spider that relentlessly searches the Internet for greatness, it's really just you, dear reader. Well, you and the guys looking for pictures of Nancy Lang naked - and that's usually just me and my colleagues.

But rue your solitude not, sir or madam, for you are a witness. A lone witness.

See, what you have here is the blog equivalent of a pick-up game, in a quiet suburban park, with maybe just a wide-eyed kid and a couple of old folks watching absently. Manifold not. And five guys that can flat out play. Manigault yes.

Fuck the association.

I've seen some game on this court, so has that kid. I wrote about the pen and the roundball being the same, way back when. Truth still holds. All told.

In a field of dreams.
Stands an old hoop with no net.
French Lick, Ind'ana.

Haiku me not.

What we do here is write, right? Whether it's a short story, an interview, a lesson, a review, a joke or, insh'allah, a tome -- what we're looking for is one in the same: Perfection. Looking for the ideal form, an infinite arc, nothing but net. No flash, no gimmicks, no fancy shorts. Just dusted Chucks, TMH's funky tube socks and some pornography for the rainy days.

Praise we seek not. If these guys tell me I'm right, that's all I can ask for. If you want to stick around, kid, welcome aboard. And if not, forget us not, for the fact is, you were here. You were once a witness to it. Even if you didn't realise at the time. Folly of youth and all that.

We know that we'll be long dead before before scientists and theologians again discuss etching a snapshot of life on a gold disc and slipping it out into that implacable ether. We'll be ashes when the dust is first blown from that record. Gone like Blind Willie.

Cold will be the ground.

But that's not what motivates us. For now, each of us is satisfied to pursue perfection. Shoot the roundball and if something, anything, we write sticks and is added to that record... well, sir, that'd be nice. And if it don't, hell, we'll never breathe a word of our loss, because in the end, it was all about the game anyway.

In the meantime, kid, you're welcome to watch, but if you wanna play, you best pick up the fucking ball.

Blind Willie Johnson
Dark was the night, cold was the ground.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Very Kimochi Christmas

This holiday season, let us not forget the true reason we celebrate Christmas. Sadly, the true meaning of Christmas is often lost in the whirlwind of Santa, Presents and Mistletoe. I, of course, am referring to your friend and mine, Jesus...


I'm sure Jesus would want us to celebrate his career resurrection with some eggnog. Tis being the season, and all:

Aiight, now I'm off to Midnight Mass.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Mist (Review)

I like Frank Darabont a lot -- though more for his passion for filmmaking and easy-going, non-pretentious demeanor than for his actual output. The Shawshank Redemption notwithstanding, Darabont's oeuvre consists of interesting ideas that just haven't been executed properly. Still, he takes chances. In that regard I have no qualms about calling him an auteur. (Jesus, oeuvre and autuer in the same paragraph. George Orwell must be spinning in his grave.) The man has a passion for cinema, and even his failures contain glimpses of something special.

To put a finer point on it, Frank Darabont is part of Hollywood fraternal geekdom, someone who prefers to make the movies he wants to make -- in Frank's case usually Stephen King adaptations -- in favor of the run of the mill. I imagine he's had his fair share of offers to direct any number of crappy films, so it's admirable that he would decline such offers and instead patiently wait to helm a project for which he has a nerdlike affinity.

So it was that The Mist, based on the 1980 King novella, finally made it to the big screen after years spent in development hell. The big question: was it worth the wait? Financially, no. The film floundered pretty spectacularly at the box office; not much of a surprise for a Frank Darabont film, sadly. Critically it fared a little better, though by no means achieving the accolades heaped upon Shawshank (deserved) and The Green Mile (the most overrated film not titled Gladiator). But fans of Frank Darabont or Stephen King -- of which I am both -- only care about those successes as they relate to the propagation of their idols' future works, to which financial gain and critical acceptance are inexorably linked. King, let's face it, could perpetually write the same book, changing only the characters' names, tweaking each plot slightly, and still make a bundle (in fact, he kinda has), because he's become a brand name. Like McDonald's and Free Mumia. Shit, if he wrote six hundred pages containing the ingredients of various condiments and snackfoods' labels -- in fact, he kinda should -- for the remainder of his career I'm fairly certain his legacy wouldn't be damaged too badly. Word to the Washington Wizards' starting shooting guard, Michael Jeffrey Jordan. As for Darabont, this recent failure is much more severe. I suspect studios are going to be a lot less willing to listen when he pitches his next ambitious film -- and that's saying something, because for a man of his expertise Darabont has already had a hard time pushing his projects through the system.

There is, of course, a lesson to be learned here. Namely, save your dream projects for when you have been granted enough freedom within the Hollywood system, so that a cinematic black mark such as, say, Scorsese's New York, New York, won't hinder you in the long run. The Shawshank Redemption, a monetary triumph on video and cable years after its theatrical release, afforded Darabont the luxury of bringing another King adaptation, The Green Mile, to the big screen. You can praise it all you want, but the film's success had more to do with Shawshank's -- The Little Movie that Could -- prison nostalgia and the weird zeitgeist of the nineties which demanded every Tom Hanks vehicle receive an Academy Awards nomination. Par for the course vis a vis Darabont films, it's full of big ideas that fall flat, and the supernatural aspect, quite understandably, threw people for a loop. It's not a terrible film, but neither is it a particularly good one. Plus it's long as fuck; and intervening years have proved that Michael Clarke Duncan, as an actor, is good at snivelling and little else.

Then followed The Majestic, Jim Carrey's third attempt to parlay his acting competence into Oscar gold. Again with the big, sentimental ideas (which, like lightning, rarely strikes the same man twice; word to Norwegian Wood), Darabont tried, again, to recapture the emotional sensibility of Shawshank, mix it with the supernatural bent of Green Mile, and hopefully turn out a film that would unite the two, thematically. Tricky as fuck, I know; which is why I probably appreciate The Majestic a lot more than I should. Darabont failed, but he went out swinging.

Since The Majestic's release and merciful death, I wonder what went through Darabont's mind. Was he crestfallen? Inconsolable? Or did he shrug it off, keep the faith, and, word to White Snake (again), confidently walk down (again) the only road he's ever known? Was his decision to direct The Mist a stubborn attempt to validate himself in the medium on his terms, or an impassioned "fuck you" to Hollywood and moviegoers?

Regardless, it worked. On both accounts. The Mist is neither refreshing nor revealing -- no wonder, since it was adapted from a King Novella derivative of the Twilight Zone episode The Monsters are Due on Maple Street, and which, as well-written as it was, doesn't exactly call to mind comparisons to Madame Bovary. What it is, though, to paraphrase Dennis Green, is what we thought it was: a claustrophobic sci-fi horror film, a creepy and astonishing one at that.

Meet David Drayton, will you? Picture a man, an artist, just now putting the finishing touches on a poster for -- geek orgasm -- the film version of Stephen King's The Dark Tower. Lightning flashes, and all that you love will be taken away, Mr. Drayton. Soon. A storm hits. In the morning you discover that your painstakingly beloved Work of Mart is done, as in dead. Your wife and son, on the other hand, are okay, so you breathe a sigh of relief, an ominous one. Your boathouse is totalled, but you never liked it that much anyway. Too many cobwebs. Your asshole neighbor, Brent Norton, you notice, has it worse than you. You contemptuously smile and pity him equally, because, while an asshole, no one deserves to have a bitching ride like that crushed by a fallen tree.

You bond over fallen trees. Yours crushed my boathouse, yours crushed your car. Let's be friends. Let me give you a ride. I noticed on my way over that I was a lot less hostile towards you because in the film version you're black. Still, you're gonna be an asshole when all is said and done. Blame the screenwriter.

My son is coming along for the ride. Cool? Seriously, he's going to be a lot less annoying than most movie kids when the shit hits the fan. You're not gonna want to strangle him or anything. So take him into the Food House while I try to call my wife at this pay phone. I'll meet up with youse later.

Oh, shit. Some guy just came running into the supermarket. He has a bloody nose that will never be explained, and his friend, the prosaically-named John Lee, is lost in the mist, probably dead. This revelation has totally fucked up the check-out order. And I'm pretty sure someone took the last Clark bar. Damnation.

Just like that time you caught me beating off to Kraftwerk, all in attendance try to keep a straight face despite their fears. I, embarrassed, aimlessly wander into the back storage room, notice the generator is spewing fumes into the store, and shut it down. Then I hear a noise. You, cameo boy, will soon be dead because I mention it to a few surrounding idiots, and you have the gall to GO OUTSIDE AND LOOK. I try to stop them, but my mind is far too occupied with visions of Kim Kardashian's cleavage. Hope you understand.

After you die, I punch a few people then calm down. Because it is my duty. I don't like it, though. I'd much rather continue punching, because it's a catchy tune that my fists play well. But I have a son to think about. So I placate him and tell Mr. Plot Device, AKA the singularly wasted talent of Andre Braugher, that something fishy is out there. He reacts like a man on PCP, totally killing my buzz for being a savior. I lose my cool. Somewhere, my son is watching me, but I don't sweat it. I'm going to shoot him in the head later, so best not to give him false hope.

You know who's weirder, though? Mrs. Carmody, that's who. At first she starts proselytizing like "fuck you, bitch," but soon she has a congregation, like "fuck you, Oprah." I see now that my time here is short. I'm finna execute a plan to get out of this cursed place. I think my son is sleeping somewhere with a volley ball net twisted around his neck. Check out the tits on her!

You know what else? In the novella I at least got to sleep with a hot woman before all the madness occurs, my son asleep and my wife probably dead. What can I say, people do far out shit when the apocalypse is nigh. (It's all about perspective.) Far out shit like getting tang before bugs and other weird shit cock block me. I want out of this movie, stat.

Told you; now gargantuan insects and the dinosaur-birds they love have invaded the store. Blue. Balls.

Some people die. Not. My. Fault. Just wait, though, it will be. Everything is eventual, after all.

I organize a crew to leave the store: Me, my son, two old people who won't die, and a few young ones who will. You're gonna feel bad, because I handpicked them. You believe me, right? I'll tap your shoulder before I ejaculate.

There. Is. No. Other. Option. I was all "Ride with me, I'll keep you safe," and suddenly I was all "buck, buck, buck, buck."

Somewhere -- possibly stationary, in his gwave -- Rod Serling is smiling.

3/4 *_* (but it will live forever in our conscience)

Friday, December 21, 2007

The PK 27 -- Track 3 (Feet High and Rising)

Back in 1992, the Australian High Court handed down the Mabo decision. The Court found, inter alia, that Australia's history had been predicated on a legal fiction, that being the declaration of terra nullius made by the British on first settlement of this wide brown land. The Court held that Mr Mabo was right - Australia did have a people and system of law that predated the white man. Australia was anything but a land of nothing.

At about the same time, my Ma decided that our family needed a sea change. Perhaps without thought to the true consequences for me and my two brothers, our family upped and left Oz's second most populated metropolis for a small tropical tourist town in the deepest northern tip of Australia. 3000 or so kilometres we flew. My mother had elected to relocate us to the end of existence.

It'd be years before I picked up a constitutional law text book and first read about the plight of Eddie Mabo, but if you'd have summarised it for me just as I disembarked the plane at the end of my journey north, I could have confirmed, without need of legal qualification, that the Court had got it wrong. Terra nullius was in full effect.

4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42

Flashback noise.

I was raised in Melbourne's inner city (griots). Lived in an apartment in a marginal 'migrant' suburb. Poor, they called it back then. Grew up next to towers that blocked the afternoon sun. It wasn't a postcard, but it had an unrelenting pulse and, more to the point, it was home.

My best friend in primary school was a refugee from Laos. Came over on a boat and nearly died when he swallowed his tongue, or so his mother was fond of telling us. I remember his grandparents, sitting on a woven mat, laughing at my whiteboy ways, their red smiles broken from betel nut. When I'd visit, we'd eat ox tongue soup and ramen raw out of the packet, the entire chilli sachets included. I made the mistake of rubbing my eyes once and ended up crying like a fucking baby. Asian kids must get taught not to do this shit.

Another kid I used to run with, Achilles, came from Cyprus. He lived with his sister Maria, his mother and grandfather. They used to dry orange peels on their window sill and eat them as a snack. We'd sit there and chew that stuff, although I never knew why. Damn things tasted like shit. I remember Achilles lost his shoes after soccer practice one day, his grandfather beat him and made him wear his football boots to school for a week. I still remember the sound of his plastic molded studs sliding on the concrete as we walked to class. Poor Cypriot bastard.

Growing up in this environment, I came to love, and at the same be immune to its diversity. In my first grade photo, I'm one of a handful of white boys amongst a sea of yellow and brown kids. Fuck Benneton, we owned the patent pending. On the flipside, growing up poor, I could never quite identify with the well-to-do white kids. They all had two cars, two bathrooms, two parents, two incomes in a two-level house. All I had was two homes, homes.

It's probably unsurprising that I took to hiphop in this context. My older brother, visionary that he is, first introduced me to it. First song I heard? The Message. We used to listen to it in secret when my Ma wasn't home. Even then, I knew, that some black music could be more relevant to me than white music ever could.

As I got older, I also took to ball. I first started shooting with an old Chinese guy who, come to think of it, probably wasn't all that old. I loved hoops immediately. As I have said many times before, it's one of the few sports that makes sense with ten guys, four, two or one. All you need is a hoop, a ball and some will. Sometimes all you need is a hoop.

Consciously or not, I had consumed a lot of black culture by my midteens. And whilst it would prove to bring a lot of love and relevance to my life, I never felt the compulsion to not be white. Never fronted that I was a hoodlum. Didn't even own a baseball cap. I loved hiphop and I loved hoops, but I also had other things on my mind. Poetry and pussy, mostly. That said, I was more coloured than I realised.

Flashforward noise.

The first thing I noticed was the unceasing heat. It was late in the summer when we first arrived, and you wear that kind of humidity like a fucking G-suit. Our place was located ten minutes north of the main strip of town, but even at this short distance we were edging the town's limits. I remember my pasty white legs strolling through the wide fucking streets, gazing up at wooden houses that disappeared into the mountains, subsumed by the tropical forests with greens so deep they swallowed the unrelenting sun. As I walked, people stopped to say 'hello' for no reason. Where the fuck was I? Kansas?

Starting school in a town like this may have made for a good sitcom pilot, but it was a dark HBO comedic hell for me. The kids were all tanned, all wore short shorts, spoke slowly and didn't know a fucking thing about the city or hiphop.

Life up north would quickly drive my brother south. While I eventually acclimatised to some parts of life in the tropics (tanned girls are easy), I never truly felt comfortable - I always missed the rattle and hum of the city. A tropical town always slept and on hot humid nights the lack of noise, apart from the high pitch of mosquitos and the low thud of falling coconuts, is enough to drive a city boy mad.

Blasting holes in the night 'til she bled sunshine.

At school, I fit in well, but I was always the city kid. I never could convince anyone to embrace hiphop. Hiphop is for black people, they told me. See, underneath all that tan, my friends were white. They liked rock music and lived in nice wooden houses. They didn't eat orange peels and they ate their ramen cooked and watery. The sun would last long into the evening and set beyond the mountains. What appeal or relevance would Illmatic have to a kid who has never felt a city's respiration? Not fucking much.

So I did my time. Learned to appreciate the whiter things in life, like cricket, cucumber sandwiches and Sonic Youth.

After three years up north, I finished school and headed back down south to colder and cooler climes to study at university. Back to civilisation. I recall immediately feeling at home on my return. Truth told, I miss the north sometimes. Stockholm Syndrome, I suppose.

So what prompted this little trip down memory lane? Thanks to that cancerous little social networking tool, I am starting to hear from people I knew way back when. Some I'm even happy to hear from. One such girl from my high school days in the tropics, I hadn't heard from in close to 12 years. We weren't all that close, but I seem to recall we took an art class together.

She sent me a message recently, out of the clear blue. She wanted to tell me that I was, in fact, right. She explained that it took her a few years to realise, and some travelling, but she now loved hiphop. She told me that she was most partial to A Tribe Called Quest. And that's pretty much all she wanted to say.

For the life of me, I can't remember the conversation to which she referred, but it made me smile, nonetheless.

This one is for Bec:

I left my wallet in El Segundo
A Tribe Called Quest

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Back to the Grill, Again

The prodigal son returns. And ain't a damn thing changed but the weather.

Longtime readers of this hallowed site of journalistic ejaculate* -- that would be you, Constant Retard -- will recall that, as recounted in my initial Memory Lane post from a few years back**, my life as an expatriate began nearly eight years ago, in the Hongik University area, PKA Hongdae. Well, friends and Navers, serendipitously your favorite blogger's favorite blogger is set to return there at the beginning of the year of the rat. (I mean 2008, not 2020.) Babies stop crying, women start having orgasms again.

Forgive me for being so literary minded (you've been blinded...), but, in the long-ass novel that has been my life in Korea, a return to Hongdae serves as a fitting final chapter for what will likely be my final year in the Land of the Alonzo Morning Calm.

And while I am indeed excited and eager about my new job and giddy (Lee) to reacquiant myself with the sights, sounds, and soaplands of the old 'hood, I am simultaneously filled with an almost unbearable sorrow at the prospect of leaving my home of five years, Bundang (PKA The Planet). For, like Mrs. Todd's shortcuts, Bundang is not a place revealed on any map. It is a state of mind. It is a state of grace. It is where the 18th Letter was brought into this world, and where, on October 28, 2006, true love seemed possible. Bundang is all those things and more. If you haven't lived here you wouldn't understand. Especially if you're a slow mutant from Ilsan.

On the eve of relocating, we tend to make promises we rarely keep. Perhaps I'm doing that now, because I ardently intend to visit Bundang as often as possible. But I know how it goes; in the beginning I'll be there every weekend, then every other weekend, then once a month, then maybe never again, as my affection for the place first recedes and then eventually becomes in my memory just another way station I've passed en route to WHO THE HELL KNOWS. In that way, the places in which we've lived are similar to relationships, friendships, and all that we once held fond. And that's why I'm feeling misty eyed at the moment, because, deep down, it doesn't feel as though it's time for me to move on. It feels as though there is so much more left to be said.

Bundang, It's not you, it's me. It happens sometimes. Affluent suburbs of Seoul come in and out of our lives like busboys in a restaurant, and there's not a damned thing you can do about it. I'd like to think that you understand, that some birds aren't meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright. And I hope you don't feel too drab and empty when I'm gone. I'll miss you, baby. I'll never have as much fun later on as the fun I had when I lived in you. (Jesus, will anyone?) And I'll always remember the time I came in your mouth without warning, and you shrugged it off like a champ. That was boss.

Bundang, don't you cry. Don't you cry. Don't you dare shed a tear. Because there are other worlds than this, and hopefully I'll see you again in at least one of them.

When we are both cats.

* Naturally, I mean that in a good way.

** Don't peep the archives, Bruce; them shits were brutal. At least they are now, avec perspective, sans complacency.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The 2007 PK Awards -- Sparkles

Lamentably, due to personal issues

(I went to prison)

I failed to comprise a "best of" list last December. My bad. The next time I cop dust in Itaewon, I promise not to jump from a third floor window and bite a police officer's shoulder. At least I'll try.

That out of the way, I present to you, Constant Retard, a far-from comprehensive list of everything great about this past year, least how's I sawed it.

If there is any justice on this godforsaken interstellar commercial towing-vehicle we call Earth, Beowulf will be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards in March. What do you know, Ivan Reitman made a boring-ass epic poem, which people only read because they are forced to, interesting. Scratch that, profound. Best. Adapted. Screenplay. Ever...

People -- usually stupid people, occasionally academics with agendas -- tend to unfairly criticize white men who are fond of Asian women. But I ask you, who is more foolish: the man who devotes his time to pointing out stereotypes of such relationships, or the man who disregards biased analyses and perpetuated stereotypes and instead follows his libido vis a vis what he believes is the apex of feminine beauty? In this writer's opinion, Asian women are simply prettier than their western counterparts, and this view has nothing to do with culture. That said, Katherine Heigl is crowned, by me, as the sexiest woman alive, until tomorrow...

Ever since I stopped drinking water in favor of Gatorade and started using nuchaku in favor of birth control, The Nintendo DS has made me smile like a man possessed. A man possessed by smiles, like David Guest. Unintentional poetry aside, the Nintendo DS Lite is Viagra for former late-twenties gamers. Best. Invention. Of. The. 21st. Century. Ever.

That said, fuck Contra 4. Man, fuck it 'til it bleeds. The inimitable and illustrious K-Mart posted that it is a game harder than having sex with nuns (maybe I'm paraphrasing; maybe you just wanna slam a nigger's head through a plate-glass window). The man wasn't wrong. In the King of Kong documentary, Donkey Kong is described as "almost impossibly hard." As per Contra 4, omit the "almost" part. That game gives me nightmares. Shit, I played it today on Easy level and couldn't make it past the second boss, although, in all honesty, I was high on dust...

Psychedelic Kimchi is meta. You know this. Therefore, post of the year goes to TMH for A Materials Darkly. It's not as amazing as Aggressive Mistakes, which I will forever be thankful to the author for kindly passing me, but it's close. TMH walks softly and carries a big stick; and when you see his posts on this hallowed site, you, Constant Retard, are in for a treat indeed. No Idealjetsam...

Psychedelic Kimchi is also, among other things, a revelation. At least it was to me when I belatedly discovered that one half of PK's resident rhyme is finna be a father soon. Congratulations, KMart! May your first child be a masculine child! And may he type fast. Prediction: God's Son posts a missive on Dora the Explorer before Idealjetsam reawakens from his ancient slumber. Word to Mumra...

Word to missed opportunities, the best unseen post of this and any other year is the follow-up Nancy Lang interview. You will have to trust me on that point...

Best vacation goes to the time we went to Gangneung and I bought you a bikini we both knew you'd never wear in public. I'm not mad. Word to the Secret Weapon...

Let's run through the rest of the list like Adrian Peterson snorting the Konami Code: Modest Mouse's We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is the year's best album, "Tarantula" by Smashing Pumpkins the best single; KMart the world's sexiest replicant, myself the ugliest clone; cigarettes my biggest vice, women a close second; ballerina of the year? Easy, Tiballerina aka Spandau, aka the 18th Letter in the alphabet; best sampler? Easy, the SP-1200; biggest regret: no Super Mario Galaxy, not calling "Spitting Venom" the year's best song*, being an insufferable asshole.

Wear your seatbelt, Pineapple.

* Cues: 1:27, 2:19, 4:16, 4:59...fuck it, the song deserves its own post. Until then, the Mumra Award goes to Johnny Marr. Now I can die peacefully.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The PK 27 -- Track 9

Six years ago, when the idea of the PK 27 entered its preliminary phase, we had several great ideas for our musical selections. Since that time, we've come up with a few good choices, but we still haven't finished. We could chalk it up to a plethora of things: creative differences, displaced fervor, leprosy, demanding career choices, sex, idealjetsam, etc. Whatever the rationale, we're still a few songs short of the nebulous twenty-seven track delineation.*

I shall condemn our inability, but not our intention; which remains as pure as babies' flesh (and twice as delicious, I may add). I will also, dare I venture into unwelcome crevices, suggest that we suffer a dearth of female vocalists, and/or musical talent in our bombastic collection. Please don't misunderstand me, or my brethren; that we neglected our effeminate readership for such an extended period of time was unintentional, and has no bearing upon our adoration of those of the female persuasion.**

Before I throw down a track, I'd like to mention just how much I wanted to suggest a song by Stevie Nicks. That lady shits lyrical gold when she's in the mood, and the instrumentation follows suite, but alas, she doesn't have the PK vibe. Wild Heart and Bella Donna are stellar albums, surely, but that shall not influence my selection.

To rectify the errors of omission, the ninth track is thus:

Dumb, by Garbage.

I'm fully aware of the fact that Garbage is scarcely the world's greatest band, just as this is less than their greatest song and, furthermore, that Shirley Manson isn't nearly the sexual icon that a generation of angst-ridden, unbathed, patricidal youths deemed her to be.*** Having said that, I still think that it works especially well, given the venue. We're not the brightest bunch, even with such belying monikers as Sparkles.**** Conversely, you (dear reader) aren't the Harvard Ph.D material that you'd like to think you are. Once we all fathom the circumstance, we're sufficiently prepared to enter into a reciprocal appreciation of lyrics like:

Maybe I could write a letter
To help me with my self-esteem
You should get to know me better
No one's ever what they seem


Now that you know what you know
I bet you wish you could let it go
You'll never come sucking your thumb
Better off dumb

If there were a place for female-fronted groups on the PK 27, it would be here, just prior to Jay-Z's Girls, Girls, Girls. Crucify Denz, not me.


King Astarte

* A nebulous delineation of twenty-seven tracks? Once you apprehend that notion, grasshopper, you're ready to become a contributor.

** Unless we're talking about females involved in the comedy scene.

*** Version 2.0 is, nonetheless, a fantastic album.

**** I still love you, my sexy liquor locust.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Radiohead, In Rainbows Redux (Review)

Hey (Staci!), it looks as though I'm going to have two In Rainbows reviews before Idealjetsam puts up his first (if he ever does). Neat.

If you look back at my original review of the album in early October, you might think that I despised it. That is truly not the case, however I found it to be quite disappointing, as far as Radiohead albums are concerned. Still, any Radiohead album is better that no Radiohead album, right? I suppose so, but the axiom doesn't make me appreciate In Rainbows as anything more than a pleasant diversion while I await a genuinely great album to come along. If I had given In Rainbows a rating out of five *_*s, it would have been three and a half -- and that's still my opinion today. The album lacks even a single outstanding track (though "Bodysnatchers," "All I Need," and "Videotape" come very close), and that just ain't right on a release containing a paltry ten songs. Worst of all, after a few weeks I stopped listening to the album altogether.

So there you go; my opinion hasn't changed since my original review, although I still feel bad for appearing to dislike the album much more than I how I honestly feel about it. It is a very good album (hell, I probably stated that in my original review). It's just not great; and, as far as Radiohead goes, seeing as how their last effort shares a like sentiment, that should be a fucking crime.

Today, I am acquitting Radiohead of any and all wrongdoings.

This past week I got a chance to listen to In Rainbows as it is meant to be listened to -- whether the band's members agree with me or not. (And I'd like to think some of them would.) You see, the discbox release of the album contains a second CD comprised of eight tracks. Why these tracks weren't included on the original release befuddles me, because on their own they are terrific songs, and when integrated into the original ten-song release they help make a very good album a superlative one, right up there with The Bends, OK Computer, and Kid A. That declaration may be a tad hyperbolic, but fuck it, I'm riding a high right now. After suffering through the "good-great, not great-great" punishment of Hail to the Thief and The Eraser, it is so refreshing to be reacquainted with the warmth of what a Radiohead album should be.

I need to reiterate something. I am not saying that the second CD contained in the discbox makes In Rainbows as it was originally released any better; and, on its own, the second CD is merely a random collection of eight great songs, as a whole nothing more than a B-album, if I may coin the term (though I suspect at least one music critic came up with it years before in reference to Amnesiac's release). No, the second disc's songs must be properly integrated into the original ten.

How, you ask? Don't thank me; thank iTunes.

Upon opening the songs -- in any random order -- in iTunes, the 18-track listing looks thusly:

1) Mk1
2) 15 Step
3) Bodysnatchers
4) Down is the New Up
5) Go Slowly
6) Nude
7) Mk2
8) Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
9) All I Need
10) Last Flowers to the Hospital
11) Faust Arp
12) Up on the Ladder
13) Bangers and Mash
14) Reckoner
15) House of Cards
16) 4 Minute Warning*
17) Jigsaw Falling Into Place
18) Videotape

Try it yourself. I'm not one-hundred percent sure it'll work for you, but that's the order in which they appeared for me, and, aesthetically, it fits perfectly, particularly "Mk1," which serves as a nice intro and foreshadows the piano from the album's closer, "Videotape".

Look, when I'm not writing blog posts or making love to a woman I'm a firm believer that less is more; but not only does the inclusion of those eight songs make In Rainbows a superb record, it actually makes some of the album's lesser tracks much more enjoyable. Ask the band members themselves and they'll tell you that their albums are meant to be listened to as a whole. I agree completely, which is why I'm perplexed that they didn't realize that songs such as "Faust Arp," and especially "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi," don't work on the original release because they need to be heard in their proper context. I suppose majority rule deemed the second disc's songs unfit for the album's cohesion, but I also suspect a vocal minority objected, thus leading to the eventual release of CD 2. Were In Rainbows a conventional release, most of those songs likely would have been relegated as b-sides, which would have been a great oversight, because they really do make the band's seventh studio album a remarkable experience. And I have to believe someone was on dust when the decision to omit the -- wait for it -- sublime "Up on the Ladder" from the Internet release was made.

As mentioned, I didn't assign a rating in my original review. Giving a Radiohead album a three and a half out of five sickens and scares me a little. Fuck that, a lot. Thankfully, with the amalgamation of In Rainbows discs one and two -- the real In Rainbows, as far as I'm concerned -- I'm allowing the boys a mulligan for the Internet release. I am furthermore pleased to type the following:

5 *_*

(Still not the best album of the year, but fuck it, I'm riding a high right now.)

* Radiohead hate proper punctuation, apparently (and grammar; word to Weird Fishes). There should be a hyphen in there. I don't know why that bugs me so much.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Hey Staci! Did you know that Christmas is just around the corner? I'm sure you are well aware of the concept, but then again, I have little idea of just what goes through your mind. To be honest, I'm comfortable with that actuality; you are you, after all, and I am me, and I'm often uncertain what goes on inside my own head, let alone yours.

Hey Staci! Did you know that when I think about you, rarely though it may be, the Battle of Hoth springs to life. That may sound weird (creepy, even) but it's not so bad, as a film from 1980 is about as distant as I am from you, except to say that an AT-AT does more for me than you do.

Hey Staci! Did you know that I once had a crush on you? You knew that, most certainly, just as I was vaguely aware that you fancied me, albeit rather minutely (c'mon, admit it). I was a tad shy regarding the issue, but there's more to it, insomuch that, truthfully, what could there possibly have been between the two of us? You thought I was intriguing because you hadn't really known me, and I thought you were fascinating because of the raging, reverberating dissonance that barricades me from the female gender in its entirety. It's a congenital thing, so we shouldn't feel guilty about it.

Hey Staci! Did you figure out that the above admission doesn't particularly trouble me? To rephrase, just for you: that it took a while for you to ascertain that I'm usually full of shit isn't your fault, nor is it mine. No one is to blame, although we may decry our inability to grasp the obvious at leisure. We're stupid like that.

Hey Staci! When reality finally stepped in to sweep the cobwebs away from your consciousness, did you begin to loathe me? For the record, I've never quite understood my apathy toward you, but I can appreciate the fact that you superficially despise me. Sometimes, I envision the kennel scene from John Carpenter's rendition of the Thing when I try to understand such antipathy, and I still don't hate you.

Hey Staci! Would you care if I mentioned that I have finished Dragon Quest VIII? Probably not, but I'll mention it anyway, and furthermore (to continue with game references), I was tempted to entitle this post Stardust Speedway. Not that it aptly describes the mood; I just like the fucking name.

Hey Staci! Just for kicks, I'd like to proclaim that I'm not the same man I used to be, but that's a lie on so many levels, so I won't. I'm the same old same, and I don't think that we could have a productive conversation for greater than, say, five minutes, without a massive headache setting in.

Hey Staci! Take a look at the picture shown above, will you? I can't, for the life of me, decide which individual I most identify with, so would you be so kind as to inform me?

Hey Staci! Fuck that, your answer is incorrect. Get used to it.


Rudolph the Red Nosed Woman that Shields Her Face

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Agent Negro

I like Gilbert Arenas because, like me, he is a legend in his own mind. Ask either of us and we'll tell you that we are the greatest, despite contrary evidence. For my part, it's mostly hip-hop's fault. For his and countless other NBA ballers, it's -- mostly -- MJ's*.

Blameless fault, mind you, for it doesn't take a Ph.D. in anthropology to ken that human beings emulate what we individually perceive as great. It's the reason why I smoke cigarettes (Bogey), masturbate too much (women), and can't stop playing Pac Man (Billy Mitchell**). My biggest fault is that I spread myself too thin and thus become marginally adept at most of my interests save writing, where I sometimes excel by applying the kitchen-sink theory, or the wet-noodle method. (Word to Jackson Pollack.) Truth be told, though, I am a hack. And lazy. I can't remember the last time I challenged myself, professionally or creatively; and on the occasions which I have, I've mailed it in so egregiously that I feel a deep, pulsating shame.

I am about to do that right now.

Arenas's biggest fault, least how's I see it, is similar. He has all the skills, but somewhere along the way he became too much a part of his own personality cult that it has hampered his output (that, and the NBA Live curse, which, this season, was eerily preemptive). The larger question is: does he care? Judging from his lackadaisical approach to the game on court and off, the answer appears to be negatory. Sure, he likes winning. Who doesn't? But perhaps it's for the glory, not the riches. Glory being individual accolades, riches team success.


I like Gilbert Arenas, because like me...

While I hate to say it, Gil's nonchalant smart/not smart slacker attitude fits perfectly with white people who want to embrace black people who occasionally act like white people. Word to Blur and TV on the Radio.

Let's examine that for a second. Why exactly do white people -- myself included -- love Gilbert Arenas like Hispanics love Morrissey? Is it because he's quirky, the NBA equivalent of Cosmo Kramer? Michael Richards's racist tirade notwithstanding, that's an apt comparison. Stephen Jackson is certainly quirky; so is Ron Artest; yet we label them thugs, because they're too aggresive for our inherently unique passiveness and sensitivity.

Arenas, however, is non-threatening, funny in a Kramer sort of way -- and that's how we prefer (our) black athletes. That's how we preferred Jayson Williams before he bodied his limousine driver with a shotgun, and how we preferred OJ in the Naked Gun movies before he bodied Ronald Goldman and his ex-wife.

So, Gilbert, here is my message to you: as quickly as we build you up we will tear you down. Play nice, and everything is copacetic. The second you transgress the law of the land, however, the collective hammer of (our) law will strike you down.

So play nice. We're on your side.

For now.

* and hip-hop's

** who, rumor has it, called Contra 4 the videogame equivalent of a snipe hunt

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Amongst Friends

Here's the thing, WayForward Technologies: it's not that I dislike you, or that I think you're incompetent. In fact, I'm confident that you are quite capable of producing a quality piece of programming. Consider the case of Contra 4, for example, and I'm sure that you'd agree with my initial statement. The graphics were spectacular, given that what you were trying to achieve (namely, something reminiscent of the 16-bit era) was done so remarkably well, as was the audio. Every pulsating beat is nicely accentuated by explosions galore, and I can appreciate the genuine effort put forth by your enterprising development team. The problem is that you took your job too seriously, and due to such zeal, you felt the need to make the aforementioned game so outrageously difficult that it effectively alienates a large chunk of your desired audience. No, I'm not referring the hardcore, twelve to sixteen year old boy crowd; as that demographic is always content to lap at the fountain of absurdity without a shred of remorse. Good for them.

A different, less enthusiastic portion of the audience is where I call home. It's a dank pit, populated by people once known as avid gamers, now resigned to the harrowing reality of having -partially- grown up. Whatever growing up may or may not entail, I firmly believe that one such factor must surely consist of not being willing to partake in fucking asinine bouts of digitally enhanced masochism, you know? Yeah, we can deal with the Nintendo DS, and its fancy stylus, because we're progressive thinkers like that, and due to the fact that it's a quaint novelty that occasionally tickles our fancy (the touch screen is so cute, after all). Additionally, the dual screen feature of the NDS is, invariably, an interesting addition to the video game experience, insomuch that it can come in handy, especially for checking out maps, statistics, and whatnot.

Mario Party DS, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, and Mario Kart DS are three good examples of utilizing two screens optimally, but with regard to Contra 4, not so much, and by that I'm saying that it pisses me the fuck off. Instead of filling one screen to its edges with random, generic bad dudes that emit an endless barrage of flashing bullets, grenades, lasers, ejaculatory substances, etc. at the player, you, Mr. WayForward, chose to fill both screens with such nonsense.

Some folks would contend that I'm just feeling bitchy today, and while they'd be correct (mostly), to those critics I ask the simple question of 'Have you actually played the game, without employing a modified version of the fabled Konami code* to ensure your success?' Probably not. Honestly, I have to wonder what the hell they were thinking about when playtesting the game with regular people. When children began to cry, some dude said it wasn't hard enough. When grown men began to cry, it wasn't hard enough. When the Japanese government determined that the game was a better way to annoy foreigners than incessant fingerprinting at immigration checkpoints, it still wasn't hard enough. When an aborted fetus (six days removed) began to weep at the mere sight of the title screen, the developers felt like they were on to something grand. Let's get straight to the politically incorrect, not-so-friendly truth: the game's difficulty is, at many points, fucking retarded, and you can quote me on that.

Granting that, I'll still finish the goddamn game, even if I have to forgo my illustrious E-2 status to do so. I completed Contra, Super C, Contra III, and Contra: Hard Corps (and fought my way to all six endings of that last one) during my formidable years, so I'll be damned if this is the straw that breaks the dysfunctional camel's back.

Red Falcon


* The one that grants you, the broken man, thirty lives to waste in battle.

Monday, December 10, 2007

SportsCentury and Beyond: The Tiberious aka Sparkles Story (Excerpts Pt. 1)

August 5, 1977: Two people whom I will later meet and call, respectively, Mom and Dad, get down with the get down. A Cat Stevens record is playing AND I CAN'T HELP THAT.

May 25, 1977: Star Wars premieres. I think Trudeau is still Prime Minister, but I can't tell for sure. God, I can't wait to get outta this place. Is Jimmy Carter still president? History is passing me by and I haven't even been born yet.

May 9, 1978: Nancy Lang's future husband is born. In a manger (aka Ottawa; no...make that Bundang).

June 11, 1982: I see E.T. with my parents and brother. We sit in the front row. I cry. Two weeks later, John Carpenter's The Thing sees its theatrical debut. I, however, see it fifteen years later. And the more I think about it, the more I wonder why allegations of parental abuse don't encompass shit like that. Don't worry; someday they will.

June 12, 1982: Battle of the Planets! Dig it.

December 25, 1987: My best friend, Hans, calls to inform me that he received the NES game Goonies II as a present. I react thricely:

Firstly) Santa Claus hates my ass, more likely my inaccessible chimney.

Secondly) My parents found out I'm getting boners watching Madonna and ZZ Top videos, and news travels fast.

Finally) Someone made a Goonies sequel, and I'm the sole 9-year-old unaware of the fact.

January 11, 1999: A gay hairdresser confidently tells me that the cut I've received will get me laid. I don't put much stock in his forecast, but, damn my eyes if he isn't on the money not four hours later. In retrospect, however, I would have preferred a female, and it took a long ass time to get rid of those frosted tips.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Parakeet Water Bottle

Last night was crazy. Have you ever bruised the tip of your dick? It's a glory wound, trust me. After the eighth tequilla shot it's amazing that I found the strength to ejaculate four more times, but, all bragging aside, I'm THAT GOOD, and after the first three you start to fall into a rhythm, like Reggie Miller draining treys. It comes naturally. Excuse the pun.

But my stamina did not stop there. Oh, no. I woke up at eight o' clock this morning -- with wood, I might add -- determined to keep the faith. What can I say, you're sexy like that. Lithe like an Amazon and feisty like a tiger.

I realize that it's a Sunday, so pardon me if I'm out of line in mentioning that I received the best blowjob in the history of fellatio. Because your vagina was sore from friction. Like

Stephon Marbury: I'm gonna shoot the lights out.

Isiah Thomas: Pass it to Jamal.

Nate Robinson: I've never tried whale meat.


Which I respect. Right now my cock is blue, on the injured list. But if you were here right now I'd lick your pussy like a parakeet in a cage drinking water.


And while I realize that I should have my cute mug pasted on the front cover of every single women's periodical for infinity, for posterity, I cannot lie nor feel a gnawing sense of guilt for whispering "I want to break your ovaries" in your ear shortly before I came the fifth time. That was wrong.

Love hurts.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Five Years

I turned 28 the other day. No, no, please. Save your sympathy. There are those more deserving.

But for some reason, when I turned 28 it started me thinking about when I was 23. Five years ago. When I first went to Korea. Two of my favorite movies then were Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl and Master and Commander: Far Side of the World.

I guess I was on a seafaring kick.

But I did. I loved those movies. Then I saw Piates of the Caribbean 2. I don't remember what the subtitle was. So, of course, having seen that, I didn't bother to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3 in the theaters.

But it just came out on DVD. So I put it on the ol' Netflix queue.

And it stunk. Hard. Don't get me wrong. From here on out I will officially pretend that Pirates of the Caribbean was a one off, and that there were no sequels. You have been forewarned.

But at one point, after he's risen from the dead in Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Captain Jack Sparrow is heard to announce, after someone tries to tell him, "The world is smaller now, Jack":

"No. The world's still the same. There's just less in it."

And it occurred to me that that's the biggest difference between being 23 and turning 28. That's the difference of five years, summed up right there.

In a fucking Disney movie.

The world's still the same. There's just less in it.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Never Forget the Blue Samurai

Psychedelic Kimchi is as rockin' as it ever has been. Despite appearances to the contrary, each and every contributor is preparing a massive, mind-blowing post to satiate our readers' interest. We've been busy, some of us preoccupied by our jobs, others by our passions. Nonetheless, we strive to keep you reading, and some of us, namely the site's progenitor, even keeps a diary. He's been bogged down by administrative nonsense, so he asked me to publish a chronicle of a past experience of his. To be honest, it's a tad lengthy, but then again, it's not like anyone else will post anything, so who cares.


Today was the day that I completed the construction of my best letter to date. I’m not that adept at correspondence, so I feel ecstatic. Currently, I have accumulated approximately three hundred magazines, each of which has been mutilated beyond repair. The destruction of my collection - Vogue, Playboy, GQ, Home and Gardening, Good Housekeeping, Esquire, Stuff, Gamepro, and Maxim, mainly - was almost heartbreaking, because of the effort involved in the decimation. You know that I had to purchase each and every single issue of those magazines, which was a necessary burden, but on top of that, to think that my hands would be capable of such laborious dissection! Yeah, my heart can look back with pride, but my hands are another matter entirely!

But why hadn’t I been diligent in the pursuit? I hadn’t been lazy; perish the thought. The deal is, I have a life to lead, and let’s not discount the importance of appearances. Okay, so my job isn’t very crucial, in the sense that I could always find another lamentable position at some other pathetic institution; that’s a no-brainer. It’s the art, dude, the art that must be maintained. I’ve tried, so hard, to keep my spirits up, especially with my parents gently looking over my shoulder sixty-seven times a week. I want to be a prolific artist, I truly do, but that nagging mother of mine is really killing me, and due to that I drink often. By extension, the drinking causes me to lose focus, and I can’t paint, draw, or sculpt while my brain wanders away from me. You’d think that distraction of the mind would elicit extraordinary material, but that kind of talent eludes me. No joke. Up until today, there was that troublesome missive that hounded me, too. The situation is a snowball effect in motion, but at least the letter is finished. It was the first, and I think that things will be easier from now on.

I should also mention that I did some grilling this afternoon. As it’s nearing the fourth of July, my parents have been getting into the spirit of festive foods, and I can’t disagree with the sentiment. They like to refer to it as Bratwurst Madness, and the season dictates the insanity, because hot weather draws out the best of provisions. My mother was quite surprised that I had expressed an interest in helping out, and to that shock I simply shrugged and said that I was bored; she was appeased by my actions, and asked me to be careful with the amount of charcoal to use. It sounds like a stupid thing, and it was, but I’m not one to argue with her, given the circumstances. The brats? They were Johnsonville, and they’re difficult to screw up, basically. I used a bit too much starter fluid, but you must understand that there were things to burn, far beyond the meat itself! Along with the charcoal, I had thrown in a pair of dainty gloves, cotton perhaps, that had to be annihilated. They were flimsy, lavender things that had outlived their use, and potentially detrimental to my livelihood, and I’d be damned if I were to allow them to remain intact. The gloves had been used to deliver the letters, you see. (The bratwursts were delicious, by the way; burned just enough to acquire the charcoal flavor, and yet retaining the crucial amount of juice. My father knows what he is talking about, so again, I’m not one to contest parental opinion.)

Gloves are but one example of the myriad of items I have acquired in the past months, and as you may ascertain, these things cost money; and money is something that is carefully accounted for in my family. Such matters should be my business alone, but when you live with your parents, things have a tendency to spin away from you. My current job is not exactly lucrative, and thus my cash flow is limited. Mom constantly asks me about my financial situation, and I relentlessly reply that yes, I am saving my earnings, at least as much as I can. Inevitably, however, she lacks the capacity to refrain from opening my mail, my bank statement in particular. The numbers don’t lie, and the woman understands that words often do. Upon query, my line of defense is that I simply must spend money on art supplies; I cannot deny the lure of passion. This satisfies her, partially, and that satisfies me conclusively, because she figures that some of the money dissolves within the mire of alcoholism, as that is what often occurs. Given that my mother ingests a case of beer daily, she is not one to judge neither the situation harshly, nor me. Her estimation is not entirely accurate, but I tell a half-truth, so she cannot held to blame: I do spend money on supplies, and yet she doesn’t envision the breadth of my cravings. Gloves, for example. Magazines, too. Envelopes, postage stamps, paper, and so much more. All are required, but once they have served their purpose, what are they but garbage?

I shouldn’t even begin to discuss the issue of trash, but it’s of unquestionable importance, to be candid. As you know, I like to burn some of my less cumbersome materials, but others require different methods. My younger brother is in high school, but bless his heart, he does provide me with occasional insight, even if it often comes at the cost of considerable inconvenience. A while back, six months give or take a few weeks, Joey was trying to produce counterfeit money. A grand plan, to be sure, although there were, as expected, a few snags in the plan. Joey isn’t one to think in the long term, and by extension, if an idea appears viable when surfing the internet, he’s one to jump upon it rabidly, like a dog in heat. (Or at least, he was inclined to do so, prior to his arrest.) He used my printer to produce the money, that dick, and as you may surmise, my computer as well, all without my prior knowledge.

Yeah, he was caught, at the 7-Eleven no less! Not immediately, per se, but nonetheless, it did occur. He was trying to buy a pack of KOOL cigarettes with a counterfeit twenty dollar bill, and the pudgy bastard behind the counter had requested to see his driver’s license prior to the purchase. The identification checked out (he was eighteen, after all) but the shabby quality of the denomination alarmed the cashier. Joey panicked, and vacated the premises, minus the fraudulent twenty dollar bill, and his driver’s license. He’s a gem, isn’t he? My brother, while foolish in many regards, does have a bit of wit about him, however, and shortly after the incident, saw fit to remove my printer, as well as all unused currency, and ditch it somewhere, in a place where any authorities would not locate them. They can track printers, as I am sure you have been told. He packed the stuff up into my mother’s Dodge Intrepid and hauled it down a few blocks to the Spring Park apartment complex, where he proceeded to dispose of the incriminating evidence by placing it into one of the many A-1 dumpsters available to tenants (and to a few people that aren’t).

To summarize the ensuing scenario: Yes, they tracked him down, and yes, they confiscated my computer for a brief period of time, and yes, they questioned my entire family, and yes, Joey is now suffering because of his foolish endeavors, but they never located the printer, or the remaining junk currency. That hadn’t assisted my brother, given the situation, but it had fostered an epiphany of sorts, for me.

My family lives a few blocks away from the apartments, and while I’m uncertain as to the exact number of people that dwell within them, I do know that there are twelve dumpsters strategically placed throughout the location, and furthermore, the receptacles are routinely filled by tenants, and subsequently emptied by sanitation personnel. The inhabitants of Spring Park are prone to dispose of all manner of garbage, and believe me, I’ve seen far too much in the way of unique junk. Most recently, as I was bringing in a bundle of magazines, I noticed a Schwinn ten-speed bicycle, or should I say, the two halves of a ten-speed bike. Yes, you heard correctly, a perfectly functional Schwinn bicycle deliberately, and neatly, sliced down the center, along the horizontal bar. Beyond that deficiency, there hadn’t appeared to be anything wrong with it. Can you believe that? It’s as if some malicious individual carved the bike in two, just for the sake of tormenting the original owner. Perhaps it was a punishment of sorts for a child’s misbehavior, but nonetheless, it did seem to be a bit extreme.

During that same visit, in the very same dumpster as the bicycle, I spied -believe it or not!- a battered copy of the original Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual, the one written by Gary Gygax, from way back when. The one with the cover that had the red dragon flying around, and the troll holding a bone of some kind. I remember that edition so well because as a kid, I was fascinated by the artwork, especially the succubus, who was nude and posed in quite the suggestive manner, and at the time the drawing elicited an awkward, indecipherable emotion that swirled throughout my chest. Not quite lust, but not quite a crush, it was just something that wanted to be touched, and to reciprocate, I suppose.

I can scarcely imagine why someone would choose to discard such a treasure, but regardless I was determined to confiscate the book. Doing things like that is risky, and I should be scolding myself, but I couldn’t resist the temptation. My genuine intention is be discreet in my endeavors, as the last thing I need is to be discovered. The materials, like my letters, are best kept secret. I prefer to remain inconspicuous whenever possible, but that’s problematic from the start. It’s better to operate during daylight hours, because a twenty-six year old guy dumping stuff at night just begs questions, and street lamps accentuate what people do, and eyes are moths.

On the other hand, during the day, I often have access to no vehicle but my own, and that’s another headache. My father’s truck - a rusted, sooty Chevy S-10 -arouses little, if any, suspicion: A vehicle like that is par for the course. Similarly, my mother’s Intrepid purrs ‘family-friendly’ and no aspiring, white trash detective would bat an eyelash at the sight of it pulling beside a dumpster. But I am the proud owner and operator of a baby blue Suzuki Samurai, replete with a spotless ivory topper. Keep the locale in mind: Cedar Rapids, with its mammoth population of a hundred and fifty thousand enterprising individuals, is not particularly desensitized toward snappy, flamboyant imports. Cruise into Spring Park with a ride like that, and someone is bound to say ‘What’s up with that?’ eventually.

That’s a risk I am willing to take, if need be, although in such instances, brevity is the key. As luck would have it, I had been using the Samurai when I noticed the Monster Manual. Broad daylight, a load of dissected periodicals, and the festive Samurai: I fully comprehend the potential for catastrophe, believe me! I had even left the engine running, ready to vacate premises in an expedient -and yet stylish- fashion, but I couldn’t deny that abrasive urge. To dumpster dive, or not to dumpster dive? That’s a dumb question.

My right forearm suffered a noteworthy scrape during the incursion, but collateral damage hadn’t concerned me, at the time (you know what they say about hindsight.) It bled, but merely a trickle, and I just smeared the blood across my jeans, which were stained anyway.

The Monster Manual is a hardcover game supplement, so despite a few gratuitous lacerations - the centaur’s head had been torn away completely, but given that the centaur looked like a total douche bag with his face attached, I’d gladly suffer through the tragedy - the book was intact. I hastily flipped through the pages, past angry, nitwit bugbears and svelte elves, to the bestiary of demonic entities. I paused to admire the imposing visage of dread, sigmoid Demogorgon. Almost simian in appearance, the demon lord was a maniacal beast, and where arms should have been, were two flapping, hideous tentacles that seemed to leap from the page and into your eye sockets. I’ll freely admit that as a youngster, I was rather intimidated by Demogorgon’s inhuman intensity. I’m still paranoid about baboons, too.

Years later, a friend employed a thesaurus to describe the abomination as vermicious. Maybe it was Kennan, or perhaps Philip Bowman, that portrayed him like that; as they were the only two guys that owned the compendium, either of them could have enriched my vocabulary. My memory sucks in that regard, probably due to smoking too much crap with Bowman. Philip would attribute vermicious to Demogorgon, while Kennan would have labeled the succubus in such a way. I pressed on, beyond something terrible, and into something beautiful.

What can I say about the succubus? As mentioned previously, there is something magical, and subversive about the depiction. The thing is, back in the day, censorship and political correctness weren’t on the collective mind of TSR, so partial nudity was the norm. Granting that, the succubus was no exception. She was portrayed as a nude, lithe female with diminutive horns and scant, leathery wings. There was nothing excessive about the fleshy exposure, and that’s what made it so intriguing to me as a lad, and why I am capivated still. Lounging upon the ground, propped upward by her arms, she gazes at a reader with devilish innocence, while her breasts mangle the designation of demonic. Scratch that; I thought that way during high school, but prior to that (and currently, as well), I was enchanted by her facial expression. If you read the description of the succubus, you would probably think that she was a monster, but I’m convinced that such words belie the image. For all that grandiose talk, there I was sitting in the belly of a dumpster, staring at the succubus while my crotch began to bulge uncontrollably. She reminded me of why I write the letters, of why I keep assembling hamburgers at Wendy’s, and of why Kennan was correct in his assessment; but he must have been referring to her effect upon a viewer.

The picture was not perfect, although the fault lie not with my memory, nor the ability of the artist, but rather the previous owner of the book. As I gazed upon the lovely creature, I couldn’t help but notice a few rough spots which peppered the page. They were coarse and warped to the touch, and the color of a banana that had begun to rot. I need not elaborate, but needless to say, someone else had thoroughly enjoyed this particular page. I will, however, admit to something atrocious, in that my erection was spurred on, unconsciously perhaps, by the pallid stains. I’m not the only one to have been infatuated by the sleek, demure seductress devilish delight!

Don’t worry, I didn’t get carried away, and I didn’t lose sight of my purpose; it was just a distraction, man, a distraction. The scrape had ceased bleeding, and the hum of the Samurai’s engine kept my mind afloat. I slapped the book shut and climbed out of the dumpster, with as much suavity as could be expected of me. Granted, the act of crawling out from a dumpster is ridiculous, and I’m sure that I did look quite the twit, but not half as stupid as I felt when I popped out of the bin and there was a kid peering at me. For a second I just stared back, slack-jawed, at this dopey boy with a shaggy, mahogany mullet. My guess is that he was ten years old, but it’s difficult for me to guess that sort of thing, really. He was wearing this comical, Fanta-orange T-shirt and shorts combo; on the front of the shirt was a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and etched along the sides of his shorts was the word Dinosaur! in enormous, yellow letters. I suppose I shouldn’t dwell upon his appearance, as I must have come across as utterly clownish by comparison.

The situation demanded that I say something, but all I could muster was ‘Haven’t you ever seen a guy crawling of a dumpster?’ and no, I wasn’t being a dick about it. It was spoken in a kindly, congenial manner. The boy responded in similar fashion.
‘Yeah, I have. What are you doing in there?’ He was unintentionally applying pressure to my precarious situation, so I gave him a casually dishonest answer.
‘Well,’ I began, and shrugged my shoulders, ‘I was getting rid of some junk, but I decided that I still wanted this old book.’ I held up the compendium, because I figured that the nature of the book would help endear him to me, or at least not go running to his mother. That would have seriously jeopardized my integrity. He seemed to be appeased, inasmuch that his face didn’t contort from distrust.
‘Did you see a bike in there?’ he quizzed me, and I for a moment I was speechless, as I struggled to refrain from saying something like No shit, kid. Like I couldn’t see the bike. I scraped my arm on the damn thing.
‘The bike cut in two pieces?’ To this the boy nodded, and then asked if I could retrieve it for him. ‘Dude,’ I replied, trying to be conciliatory, ‘it’s sliced in half, including the chain.’

The kid’s eyes were bright blue, and they seemed to ignore the obvious. ‘Yeah, but my dad’s at work now, and I want to put it back together while he’s gone.’ I couldn’t argue with logic, and more importantly, I wanted the boy to forget about what I was doing, so I said okay and submerged once more and fished out his beloved bicycle, in all its dismembered glory. The boy almost forgot about me once he began to study his bicycle, which was fine, but I was foolish to assume that I would escape unscathed. As I was entering the Samurai, the kid tugged on my shirt.

‘Do you have any duct tape? I need to put this bike back together?’
‘Why are you asking me, dude?’ I quipped back, eager to depart. ‘Doesn’t anyone (ahem) else in Spring Park have tape?’ To this the boy’s eyes narrowed, and for the first time he seemed concerned.
‘I live in Park Towne. That’s the real name, no matter what happens. Spring Park is just because the police come around.’ I knew exactly what he referred to; to that incident which had occurred about a month ago, and sent the owners scrambling to reinvent their image. That disturbance with the teenaged black woman.
‘I like the new name. It’s cute. Anyway, let me see what I have, okay?’ The tenacious little rascal waited by the door. I rummaged throughout my car. I didn’t have duct tape, mainly because duct tape sucks a donkey’s dick. I tossed a Plen-T-Pack of Wrigley’s Doublemint gum at the kid. ‘Try that, it could work.’
As I drove away, I looked in the rearview mirror, and saw the kid chewing some gum. Look, it’s the best that I could do, okay?


Egad Fortuna

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Toilet, She Cry Much of the Time

The women we love
The sacrifices we make
The condoms we wear
The condoms we break

Baby, can you dig your man?
He's a righteous man
Baby, can you dig your man?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Where You'd Head


You shouldn't admit that to yourself, and certainly not aloud. You won't, but idiocy is what makes you chuckle, nope, more like a cachinnation, but whatever. It's cool. So you mutter "Where would you head if trouble were coming?" and four souls heed your call, including you.

"Where?" Steph inquires, and you glance away from your Big Grab of Flamin' Hot Cheetos to catch her fucking with a dispenser knob, pouring Blueberry Slurpee into a nonexistent cup. From behind the sanctity of the checkout counter, Preston (cashier extraordinaire) states that Steph will have to pay for a cup, even if she's just running the machine. His name is Preston Podaril, but people refer to him as Pillsbury because he likes to chew on toothpicks like he pioneered the very act. Pillsbury is a bit pudgy, too, but not in that fat bastard kind of way. Steph is going to pay for something, yeah, but probably not for the Slurpee; she'll just buy a Mounds bar and they'll call it even. You paid for the Cheetos, so you're cool. That you've been ogling a bean burrito notwithstanding, you're inclined to pay for stuff. Whatever, pt. 2.

"Here, this place" you say, shrugging your shoulders haphazardly. Schumacher tells you to shut the fuck up as he eyes the rack of porno mags, but that's just his way. He doesn't really want it to be quiet, because moments of silence honestly seem to cause him unbearable pain. Bet you didn't know that underneath that brutish exterior, he's a softy for walks on the beach. Beneath that studded leather jacket and the meat hook nestled within its folds, he's a sentimentalist with a penchant for bukkake videos, Hustler magazine, and dealing cocaine. Such things won't matter in a bit, but that's neither here nor there.

Pillsbury snickers in disbelief, and if you didn't know better, you'd say that there were three toothpicks dangling from his lips. "I'd stay behind this counter, baby!" he jeers, because he thinks that he's got it made, that portly fuck. Chances are that he'd like to fuck you, in the ass most likely, but then again, wouldn't you enjoy screwing yourself in the ass? You can't blame him, even if he is a douche bag. Foxy whatever, phase three.

You shut him down by modifying your initial query as "Where would you head, if you were a customer?" Steph's moved on to free espresso at this juncture, and her wild bush of blonde hair kinda pisses you off, just because it's there, and just because it's no longer 1988. This is tonight, after all. Schumacher gently unwraps a granola bar and says something about the lack of necessity. Pillsbury sneers at you, and doesn't ask Josh 'the hook' Schumacher to pay for the merch. You wish you could recollect how much money Preston owes Josh for blow.

Steph informs you that it's three in the morning, and nothing bad, let alone exciting, happens around here -this 7-Eleven, this city, this state- at night, and you respond by munching on a few more fiery snacks. You're gazing out the window, past the neon haze, at a pair of automobiles, neither of which is your own, parked at the Aldi's lot across the street, but not really; instead, you're watching him, no fuck that, you're viewing what he's doing, and what he'll proceed to do, shortly.

Betwixt a rusted white import and a Ford Aerostar (and you'd recognize an Aerostar anywhere, ever since Brian Grimm tipped his over while driving - as you sat in the passenger seat, no less) He merely stands, arms outstretching progressively toward each respective car. You're too far away to hear anything, but when each of His gaunt hands tear a door from its steely mooring, you needn't be a prodigy to ascertain His intentions. His movements are so comically readable.

"Like I was saying," you mumble as you begin to shift with considerable speed, "if trouble were coming, I'd head to the Shazam machine.* That thing is a brick, for Christ's sake." As you begin to take refuge behind the mammoth block, Steph takes a sip of her coffee and asks if you need some cash. It's cool.

* Also known as an automated teller machine, for those cultured folks.