Saturday, March 15, 2008

Does this make me simpleminded?

Soundtrack: hit play and start reading.
Ambulance, by TV on the Radio, live.

Great song, fantastic arrangement, cool video, really interesting band. They sing with imperative and authority that makes me really enjoy them. Also totally unique: I haven't heard anything like them elsewhere.

As always, the littlest things make me the happiest. It's spring now, and spring is nice (though fall is still my favourite). I'm reading the third draft of my best friend's novel, and it's friggin' good, and I'm doing the third draft revisions on my own novella, as well as the two plays I wrote last year; soon they'll be ready to put into circulation.

Meanwhile, I've said it before, but I love this about Seoul: behind the main street of Jongno, there's a little back-alley network full of little mom and pop restaurants and winding "head-in-there-drunk-and-you'll-never-find-your-way-out" pathways and things.

You get a little alley like this, (above and below) where the average age for the owner/operators of the restaurants is about 59. . .
Then take five more steps, point the camera the other way, and this is what you have across the street.
What a wonder Seoul can be! (Especially north of the river, where the history goes back longer.)

by the way: I named the the picture above "alleyotherside," which sounds like a great name for the protagonist of a children's book. I love good names. "Alley Otherside" is a winner.

Check the end of the handrail here, above Chunggye Stream in downtown Seoul -- the little stuff you notice out the corner of your eye. . .
Get in a little closer. . .
I suppose it's good they didn't flick their cigarettes onto the pedestrians walking by below. . . but it's still a little tiresome when so many people use the city as an ashtray. It's just ridiculous how many men smoke in Korea (though women are starting to catch up, as the taboo against women being caught puffing slowly fades).

Anyway, this creative disposal method make me snicker, even if the principle behind it is kind of. . . whatever you call the opposite of civic-minded.

But even when something like that chokes me up, all it takes to cheer me up again. . .

is an olive tomato ciabatta. Sweet Goliath's sandal-goo, those things are great. Wood and Brick (by Gwanghwamun station) serves up the best ciabatta breads I've found in Seoul, though I still haven't found anything to match the focaccia breads or bagels my mom's old boss, Martin served over in Agassiz.

One for the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks.

I found these comics, uncredited, on a random website, and liked them. . . but I wish I knew who to blame for their awesomeness. If any of my readers recognizes the style, or can connect me with the source, please let me know! Meanwhile. . . topical. I like these ones. Especially after all my harping on moral authority on this blog in the last year.

from the movie Munich, re: Israel's answering violence with more violence: "We are supposed to be righteous. That's a beautiful thing. And we're losing it. If I lose that, that's everything. That's my soul."

If you don't like the "F" word, don't look at these next two pictures, but they sure made ME laugh out loud.

Actual shop sign I saw in Itaewon (and you know it's me because who else posts such bad quality pictures from his dumb cameraphone?)

His mom probably went out and said "My son's going to an English afterschool academy; maybe I should get him some English-language T-shirts so he'll fit in."

(found this in a collection of random, submitted photos from a "crazy konglish koreans" facebook group.)Look a little closer at this Starbucks "Hey! We do fair trade now, too!" poster:
Isn't that guy a dead ringer for a young George W. Bush?I wonder what the story is here:
This shop seems empty, it looks like it's been empty for a while.

The volume of ads that have been slid under the door by advertisers implies at least a month since anyone took any kind of care of the shop. . .
and there might have been somebody sleeping inside: saw a lump behind a wooden lattice, but didn't want to investigate too closely; being chased by a hobo is not my idea of a good time.

Meanwhile, I'm a happy cat, generally. Send your good wishes and prayers out to Girlfriendoseyo, as she's in a stressful time at work; a slowly souring situation just started quickly souring, and we hope we can make the best of it, but that means she'll be pretty busy for a little while, and poor old Roboseyo will have to gather scraps of time togetheroseyo where he can, until things are back stable again.

Another simple pleasure for this simple mind:

Lindt 70% dark chocolate (milk-free, and therefore non deadlyoseyo for me and my milk allergy) is available at Starbucks (which also serves soy milk, still the only coffee shop to do so in Seoul, and therefore recipient of my dogged loyalty, despite being a global conglomerate and therefore the antichrist, and despite spreading like a virus in downtown Seoul). Get the dark, bitter chocolate for 1500 won, and then a caramel maquillado (maybe with an extra espresso shot if it's too sweet on its own, and soy milk for the allergy, if you're me) for [more than I'd like to admit paying for a single drink of anything less than Guinness, or a Belgian lager], and sip the maquillado while you have a bit of chocolate in your mouth: the bitter rich chocolate gets molten by the hot sweet maquillado and makes a tasty combination. It's like a liquid tootsie roll, with caffeine! Really, how could it get better than that, short of giving you really awesome dreams the night after drinking it, where you can breathe underwater, or fly, or grow into a giant with ninja skills and get back at Jason Moesker for picking on you in grade school!

Sorry. No pictures of my lindt chockillado: tastes just don't translate into pictures. . . though you gotta see how they use image and sound to explain tastes in the pixar movie Ratatouille, my favourite, and possibly the best, movie of 2007 (in my opinion). Couldn't find a clip of that, but I recommend you go see it.



Anonymous said...

I just about died laughing at the picture of the "lovely" store, so much that I caught the attention of my toddler, who stood beside me and laughed as well. He has no idea, but it was pretty funny. You just made my day, Rob!


Roboseyo said...

Hi there! If this is the melissa I think it is, well, welcome to my blog! If it isn't, welcome anyway, and it's good to see you here!

Glad you enjoyed the pictures; the one of the kid is the one that made me whoop in disbelief.

I hope I didn't upset any of my other five readers (do my grandparents still come here regularly?) -- that's one of the dangers of enjoying outrageous shock humour. I also can't use it in my conversation class, though I have a coworker who giggles at jokes that go over the line, the grosser the better.

Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

If I am the Melissa you're thinking of .. I am? That makes no sense. I'm sure you know which one I am :)
I've actually been lurking around your blog for a bit now. I like what you write, it makes me think or it makes me laugh, and that's a good thing.
Happy Easter!


Roboseyo said...

See, I have so many friends named Melissa it's a little weird (a Melissa E [formerly R] a Melissa V [formerly S] a Melissa T [formery Y], a Melissa F, and those are only my Melissa friends on Facebook; Melissa S/V has a toddler and comments here frequently, and I know Melissa Y/T has a toddler. . . but I guess my attempts at being cryptic failed miserably.

I was guessing that you're Melissa Y/T, but for all I know you could be a totally different Melissa (I'm sure there are more on the internet whom I've never met).

I'd make a terrible mystic gatekeeper; I'd word all my riddles badly and have to let people through for free.

once again, thanks for stopping by and saying hi! Glad you like the site.

Anonymous said...

Melissa Y/T :)
You were correct.

Anonymous said...

Actually, now that I've looked over my post again, I think I may have been the one to word things badly - I've never been good with words. Sorry about that and thanks for being patient with me!

Melissa, now known as Y/T! :)