Tuesday, June 24, 2008

join the slow club

Ugh. I am sucking at life. Because my attention is being caught by a hundred shiny things. Or my attention span is composed of a hundred shiny things. Twinkle twinkle. Any focus contained within me refracting (diffracting?) into a lot of little parts. Or maybe just mush. I'm either a bunch of sand or a pile of mashed potatoes. I vote to be mashed potatoes. With lots of butter. There, I feel better about myself.

I think this is because I am in between stages or chapters or whatever. That part can suck. Like what is ever between chapters, except maybe a page that says "Part II" or sometimes it's a nice picture, but usually it's nothing and dependent on the nice transition or narrative skill of the writer. MY LIFE HAS NO NARRATIVE SKILL.

This bridge hasn't really happened since that stage between high school and college. Here I am in what I've been doing and there, over yonder, is that future plan that will come to pass. Provided I am not run over by a bus. And then these past four years have been just floating around somewhere. But now the water is draining out and I feel like a pile of mashed potatoes.

When I know where I'm living, I'll feel like I've got butter, at least. And even garlic. If I had more money, I'd even be truffle oiled. But alas.

Uh. Yay metaphors.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

pun on seoul

I've come to expect an article about some aspect of Korean culture to pop up every few months in the NY Times. Oh Koreans, we love: golf; kimchi; learning English and studying a lot; drinking; drama; Rain; the internets; and changing social/patriarchal codes. These nutshells provide quite the concise kaleidoscope of a culture! I've been wondering how or why such coverage gets such regular airtime. Or maybe it's just one of those things you notice once you keep an eye for it and there are plenty of regular features on like Norway or Toronto or Indonesia.

Sometimes there are pieces that are like styrofoam that get into print for reasons that elude me. So many things irked me about this NYT Lives column -- a first person essay about an American living in Seoul. Perhaps his intention was to provide a lens, himself, through which we could understand something larger, something sharper, something clearer. But all Narcissus does is hold a mirror up to himself and admire it.

He's all: I am a foreigner in Seoul but that's okay because I feel like I belong! Because even though I do not speak the language, I can tell you the names of dishes and what they mean! I will even go so far as to use both the Korean and English term for dumpling, because either I or my editors forgot to include italics or parentheses. If it works for Little Caesars, it works for mandu dumplings! Seoul is, like, from the future! And the women here are, like, 75% plastic! And did I mention my students bow to me? Because I am the teacher, the Ivy-League Manliest American Writer and Gourmand. Dumpling dumpling! Bow to me, because my Korean girlfriend says I eat Korean food better than Korean men do. Bow to me because I have a Korean girlfriend! Bow to me, because I am so capable of understanding that Korean men think that I am stealing one of "their own" and I can use quote marks to indicate particular awareness of cultural sensitivity. Bow to me, because I am big enough to admit that I, too, have had to adjust to this Matrixy-Plasticky-Spicy world - I mean, what a surprise. Bow, kowtow to me because I take up the spotlight, I run the show.


p.s. I don't even know where to START with this vile vapidness.

*Despair, blurgh*

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

priscilla ahn ep

Priscilla Ahn's A Good Day is released today. I reviewed her EP awhile back but never linked to it. Maybe because the writing was clunkier than I would've liked. Clunk clunk clunk. That's me trying to write in a suit of armor. It is hard to type that way.

She has a very pretty, clear voice and the stuff I've heard off the full-length seem to escape the few complaints I had about the EP. Here's my favorite song off the EP which appears again on the album -- Dream.

Monday, June 09, 2008

you gogurt

There's a supermarket in my town that is totally lame and should have given way to another REALLY NECESSARY bank branch or drug store. It's the store where one grabs one or two things because it's on the way. A recent trip there included a five minute search for avocados. When we found them, we realized, Oh, it's because they look like shriveled green walnuts. GROSS. Were they fossilized? Tiny New York bodegas are stocked better, luxuriously even, in comparison.

This particular supermarket, like many others, has a wall of yogurt. Next to the six brands of shredded cheese. MM! Mexican cheese! This particular wall of yogurt seems to offer that proud American freedom of choice. The challenge?? Finding full-fat yogurt. Not one. A WALL-FUL OF SUBSTITUTE FOR HUMAN EXPERIENCE!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

now that's chicago manual of style

Slate blog Trailhead notes that Michelle and Barack exchange a close-fisted high-five before his big speech. Aw!