Thursday, March 30, 2006

Damn skippy

From today's chat (might require logging in) with Anthony Bourdain:

"I just got back from Seoul. Did a great show there. Everything is good. Be careful with the soju. Prepare to drink way too much of it and I hope you like karaoke because you will find yourself singing Anarchy in the U.K. from a table top with your shirt wrapped around your head with kimchee breath I love Korea. They know how to party."

And I bet they loved ya back, Tony. If you're willing to get drunk and sing in public, you'll always be accepted. Also, he gets one hundred million points for naming one of my favorite karaoke numbers. In Korea, the concept of a karaoke bar isn't really widespread as karaoke places with individual rooms (hence the name "norae bang" or "song/singing room" for these establishments). Usually you end up with four or more friends paying by the time you spend, not the room itself unless it's some fancy shmancy luxury room.

The group dynamics of being able to do whatever the hell you want with your friends makes for great fun. For example, my friends and I liked to headbang to System of a Down's "Chop Suey." The closing? Usually Crying Nut's "말달리자" and plenty of moshing/skanking...I'm surprised we never broke anything.

I love "No Reservations" and I'm certainly looking forward to the Korea episode. I wish I could've volunteered myself as a guide, then I would've gotten to hang out with Anthony Bourdain AND get a trip back home out of it.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The following post contains objectionable material

(I only give that warning because I talk about sex in the end)

This article on Slate had me scratching my head a little. Reading the title I was intrigued, because yea, I did feel like there was an agenda behind "V for Vendetta" that the Wachowskis really wanted to get across that kind of made the movie heavy-handed at times, but this article goes into some comparison of "V" to "Brazil."

I just felt the premise was a little flimsy about depictions of dystopic/totalitarian Britain, but beyond that, it just seems badly thought out. Definitely the evolution of the view of how future Britain is portrayed is interesting, but I don't know, this article just sort of fell short. It seems like the writer set it up for one thing and did a switch and bait. I mean if anything comparing "1984" to "Brazil" makes a lot more sense, and others seemed to notice that when going to read the comments. At the same time someone mentioned that this writing was being done for stylistic comparison. Now that, I can kind of get, but even going back to reread the article, I don't get that feeling. At least, the way it's presented doesn't make me think that.

The New York Times' take on the movie was interesting. They don't seem to have a problem with the movie so much as they have a problem with the movie's agenda. I don't really disagree with it because I's MTV-packaged anarchy. I don't know, while I liked the movie, some parts about it definitely made it hard for me to say I fully enjoyed it and maybe it was this kind of smug undertone going through it.

And now, to the sex...

While looking about Metafilter over the weekend I ran across Shaï's new interactive catalog SexPacking (go look for it online yourself, but I worn it is very very much NSFW. I don't mean pornographic as in whatever the hell Abercrombie is doing. I'm not trying to get anyone fired and would warn you against seeing this if you are underage or you have underaged persons in the house)...which basically is three different types of porn depending on your sexual persuasion that give a whole new meaning to product placement. All I want to say is as a media junkie who is really into how images are packaged, I was first surprised that, "Holy crap...they really meant the 'sex' part in 'Sexpacking,'" and second, "Whoa, whoever directed/edited this is AWESOME."

I'm serious, this very well done. It's visually intriguing (yea yea, it's porn, but I mean beyond the obvious), and the's all just so interesting. As for the music...I swear it sounds like the Sneaker Pimps. Anyhow, I don't know if their catalog strategy worked, but I really really really want the dress Oksana D'Harcourt is wearing in the "/Women++Men/" video. Unfortunately they only seem to have locations in Europe and no online store to speak of.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Possibly a new addition to the household?

I'm seriously contemplating getting a cat. I will most probably adopt so I'm going to visit a shelter or two to see what it's like and go on from there. I figure if I don't actually get one, maybe I'll volunteer at a shelter. I did it once in college and I liked playing with the dogs and cats there. I've had pets growing up and I'd really like something fuzzy around the house. Anyhow, we'll see what happens.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Another random bit of my life

Let's out bag to switch over from weekend mode to work mode. Supposedly the contents of your bag can tell a lot about you, so lets see.

- one knitting bag with yarn, my mittens (from the store, I must've stuffed them in there when it wasn't particularly cold), knitting needles, and my first knitting project...a sad moth-eaten looking scarf (there's a whole sad story behind why I decided to take up knitting, but let's just say it kind of lost its purpose now, but I'm still doing it because it keeps me busy on subway rides).

- CVS Extra Care Card...shows I'm frugal.

- a battered tin of Cargo lip gloss. "Bora Bora" color combination. Actually I left this out in the sun on its side for too long and both colors (what smidgen is left of it) are all smooshed into one compartment.

- a free-floating $20 bill....weird...didn't know I had it there.

- my kogepan day planner...I know I'm too old, but I don't want to spend the money on something new...I'll just have to keep looking like some fool who never grew up whenever I pull it out to scratch something in my schedule.

- a disturbingly inordinate amount of change...I think I can buy lunch tomorrow with this.

- today's purchases from Virgin. Part of their "Two for X dollars." Motorhead, "Ace of Spades;" The Clash, "London Calling;" Patsy Cline, "Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits;" and finally, Janis Joplin, "The Hits."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Opinion: V for Vendetta

Before we go on, I saw the trailer for "Silent Hill." I had serious doubts about this one considering how video game movies have been going, especially with the unleashing of Uwe Boll on video game licenses. Also reading the initial plot change of a mother looking for her daughter I was immensely annoyed because it was sounding like the makers were just trying to ride the "Ring" wave and not really pay attention to the actual story. However, the trailer has me not as scared as before. There's some promise especially in the glimpses of how Silent Hill turns into rusty Silent Hill, but then again watching short snippets of interaction between the mom and the cop Cybil had me filled with dread again. It was a roller coaster of a trailer.

Anyhow, on to what this post was actually supposed to be about. The following's not a review. Overall I actually did like the movie. I feel like the following will sound too much like criticism, but not really, it's more my thoughts on the differences.

*******SPOILER WARNING********

First and was not bad. I kind of had low expectations for it, but in all honesty, some of the changes were actually understandable. Though my fear about the whole "Knowing who was playing V" thing kind of did play out. I mean, it really does a bit of breaking the mystique. Especially during the mindfuck Evey goes through you can totally here Agent Smith's "Mr. Anderson" type intonation and even a bit of Elrond in the guards V plays. Of course, if you didn't know the plot beforehand it's still a surprise. I did hear one girl go, "Wait..what??" when Evey walked out into the Shadow Gallery after she was told she was free.

One thing I found interesting was the change in Evey's character, especially in the dynamics of her relationship to V. Now this is of course my interpretation, but while reading "V for Vendetta" there was a lot of psychological issues woven into Evey's relationship with V...and basically her relationship to men in general. Anyone who has read the basic synopsis for the movie would probaby know this, but for one thing, Evey doesn't meet V the first night she's out to sell herself. She isn't a scared gutter-rat trying to make ends meet working at the factory (which also goes into a second point I found interesting in the movie, but we'll go into that a little later), she's actually a functioning member of society.

So when V saves her and her fate becomes entangled with his, it's not as hopeless as Evey's "really seriously I no place to go" situation. The Evey in the movie pretty much has no choice specifically because of V not because her life was in shambles already. Evey's anger after her mindfuck Larkhill reenactment in the movie is a more palatable anger in a way in the movie, but it makes her conversion/choice/brainwash/whatever less believable.

In the comic, V's method does seem twisted (and even more so in the comic considering how vulnerable Evey is in the comic), but at the same time, it makes sense considering the situation Evey came from. Especially the bit about not living in fear. Evey was a very psychologically damaged girl. She lost her parents, and Moore did a great job of conveying these different issues. Her initial clinging to V comes from a very basic place in the fact that she was a little girl looking for her father. Natalie Portman sort of nods towards this when she says V would've liked her father who is a writer, but it's more of tone as a "You know, you'd like Bob, he likes the Pogues too."

Evey in the movie, has a similar background of losing her parents, but she's portrayed too much as a strong upstanding person who has already overcome her past and is living her life to the best that she can with friends and a relatively normal life. V in the movie basically swoops in and upends the structure she already had, compared to the V in the comic who comes in and rescues a girl from the brink of destruction after a life of disaster.

The movie emphasizes more of the romantic overtones of Evey's feelings for V rather than delving into the complex relationship that rises from the combination of the feelings that arise from a lack of a father figure, a girl coming of age and seeing a male as a romantic figure, and basic Stockholm Syndrome. Once again, this makes Evey's final aligning with V a little less believable.

For example, one thing left out was the initial abandoning of Evey by V when she begins to question V's methods involving killing people. This is another crucial step towards knowing more about how Evey can finally choose to change. For one thing, it sets us up to know that V can indeed set up elaborate theatrics (another plot shortcut was the death of Prothero rather than how V makes him his prisoner, while an understandable omission considering movie time constraints, once again this was a bit of foreshadowing as to what V was capable of doing). Another thing is that this is another crucial development in Evey's character considering the series of "abandonments" she goes through. First her parents, then V, then the loss of Gordon.

I don't know if Evey's original incarnation was too Elektra Complex, thereby being a little creepy if not not as "crowd-pleasing" for what was supposed to be a blockbuster crowd draw, but considering the fact that the Wachowskis seemed to be trying to draw parallels with the current culture of "War on Terrorism," they missed a great opportunity. Considering cells of terrorists who are either from or live in the country they eventually commit their acts on (such as the British-born bombers from July 2005), Evey's eventually choice would've been an interesting study in how a person who may not manifest the ability (but may have plenty of motives) would choose to commit acts of terrorism. Then again, this all is kind of useless bantering since the ending gets rid of the idea that Evey becomes the next V since the Wachowskis wrote it to be that V is everybody. A fact very literally done in the ending.

In the end however, I thought it was decently written. It was fun to watch, and the Wachowskis were doing things differently in an interesting way.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Shakira and new drawing

So I ran across "Inevitable" today while going through my music. And I thought, "What the hell happened to Shakira? Remember when she'd rock out on her guitar?" and then I thought, "Screw that, remember when she was a brunette? That was smoking..."

I remember how much I liked this song when I first heard it. Even with my minimal school-learned Spanish I tried really hard to decipher the lyrics and at one point in time I knew the lyrics by heart too (FYI: I know just 60% now). But...this was a bad idea since going over the lyrics again reminded me of the disgusting state I was in.

Anyhow, new drawings.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Korea is taking names and kicking ass

All I can say is, "Booyah!"

Undefeated, baby! I'm not even a baseball person, but trust me, how the World Baseball Classic is going is enough for me to pay attention to baseball.

Now let's just hope that the World Cup goes well.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Cute as all out dog alert

If you're ever at the Union Square Greenmarket, look for the Point of Star (I think that's what it was) goat cheese stand. I wish I knew what type of dog it was. It kind of looks like a Black Russian Terrier, but a little bit shaggier looking. It's a big, black, shaggy sweetie-pie.

But I needed apples and potatoes so I was down by the Greenmarket again. AND I got to eat at what can only be deemed pure genius. Golden Krust Bakery (warning: music with no way to turn off)...a Caribbean fast food soon as I saw it I had to stop in for a spicy beef patty. I love beef patties...crusty, flaky coco bread and beef, you just can't lose.

My new desktop. I tidied it up so I figured I might as well make it clean looking overall and chose a new background and changed the color scheme too.'s kind of spooky now.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Munch at MoMA

A friend and I went over to MoMA to check out the Edvard Munch exhibit. It is a great collection, and I suggest anyone who can make it to go see it. It's going on until May AND Friday's are Target Free Nights, it's win win.

Anyhow, I think seeing all of his work in front of me I preferred the woodcut or lithograph versions of his work more than his paintings. Though I still love how he can make a detailed piece of work with such what seems like very effortless brushstrokes. It's like some bastard child of Impressionism and Art Nouveau. If anyone knows where I can find a print of "Blossom of Pain" or "On the Waves of Love," please please PLEASE let me know. I really love those (especially the former).

Then it was on to Veselka for some goulash and stuffed cabbage and pierogi and the whatnot. My friend managed to get some cabbage soup which was actually pretty good, but after surmising the main ingredients were pork and what was probably sauerkraut we realized we were eating basically not spicy kimchi stew.

Ended the evening at Bruno Bakery.

Overall a good evening and I am really full.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Not an inspired drawing

However, it has been a while since I've drawn a kogal, so I seem to be running with the theme. At least it means more photoshop practice for me.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Touchpads are murder

This didn't come out too well, but I haven't used Photoshop in such a long time I needed to get the practice in somewhere.

I got bored and went with a kogyaru theme so I used a bunch of garish colors on this. I'll try a tamer theme next time.

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Random thought

This new haircut makes it very easy for me to dress up like Dr. Girlfriend.

Another drawing

I managed to get sick. I've been bedridden with a weird cold that's had me feeling fine one minute then miserable the next.

I'm going to color this.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

"The Best" indeed


Well, I now own "B'z The Best: Treasure." It's one of those albums with all those songs that remind you of something and this reminds me of one of the best times of my life, when I was 15. The time between the latter part of middle school and the beginning of high school are so chock full of musical imprints that there are songs to this day that jolt me back to when I'd sit outside with my walkman reading a two-volume Sherlock Holmes anthology or when I'd fall asleep with the radio on to one of my favorite FM shows or on the schoolbus where my friends and I barely convinced the driver to put on one of our tapes or the summer days when I had nothing to do but listen to the radio channel that the US military provided and call up and bug whoever was DJ-ing with requests or to ask who was playing the song. I'd stay up late on Sunday's just to catch Dr. Demento and hope Whimsical Will had something crazy to do that week. Or I'd find myself not being able to fall asleep thanks to the Korean FM show where I first heard about Baudrillard even if they played Ryuichi Sakamoto a little too much, they made up for it by playing enough of Stratovarius' "Forever" or even "Tiger Burning Bright," which are both songs I had a hard time getting the American DJ to play.

MNet, Korean MTV, Channel V were all on rotation. Channel V was more important so I could catch Aska's "Girl" and thanks to Takeshi Kaneshiro's cover, I found out about Fuji Fumiya's "True Love" and I listend to it so many times that the words "Bokura wa itsumo haruka haruka tooi mirai yo" were on my lips all the time. I also became highly addicted to singing out Nuno's "Crave."

Now, please excuse me while I go listen to B'z's "Motel" one more time.