Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Not sure if I've put up a picture of Seogwipo's new-ish bridge. It looks just like the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, and it leads to Saeseom, or 'Bird Island'. If there ever were birds there, there are none now, thanks to the maze of walking trails carved though what must have been prime habitat for migrating birds. Dozens of tour buses crap out hundreds of clucking mainland tourists every hour onto this island. My old band used to have a song called 'Truckloads of dead tourists', and the chorus went like this "Make meeeeeeeeee.....HAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPY!" Oh, don't worry, it was only teenage musical ebullience.
Is he a seahorse? Rainy these days. Woke up with a sore throat, as I made the mistake of leaving my bathroom door ajar overnight. My neighbor (like most Korean men) is a chain-smoker y'see, and he apparently stays up and smokes all night in his bathroom, which happens to be linked to my bathroom via a crappy 'air vent'. Anyways, I woke up in a smoky little apartment, cranky and disoriented, like a newborn giraffe.
Monday, 29 March 2010
Hit Gwangju this past weekend on a whim. Gwangju ain't much to look at, but I had a blast anyways. Had a good tour-guide, who also happened to be an expert on Korean birds. Still not used to being inside canyons made up of apartments, defo a country boy these days. I got me old fiddle, when the sun's comin' up I got cakes on the griddle, life ain't nuthin' but a funny funny riddle.
Thursday, 25 March 2010
Hamtopia is a wondrous place, and I'd be honored to go there after my death. I could hang out with Elvis and Babe Ruth. I imagine we'd get loaded on Gin, wear suits tailored of ham, sit regally upon couches upholstered with ham-leather, and eat gigantic ham sandwiches the size of helmets. These things would be so damn massive, they'd be called 'hamwiches', or better still, 'hamdos' - a clever combination of the words 'ham' and 'sando.' Old Arkansas Mike, who was seen spreading Korean Benjamins and packing a heater a few posts back, had a nickname. I gave it to him. I dubbed him 'The Ham King'. This is because one time he made a single epic sandwich that contained an entire pack of ham. A whole pack! He's going to Hamtopia for sure, and he's also about as awesome as they come. A whole pack.
I had a buddy from Seoul come down to see the Green Pigeon. We re-found it, which was awesome. But not as awesome as The Ham King.
By the way, I visited Hamtopia's website, and for some reason the joint is called 'Hammore' online. A clever combination of of the words 'ham' and 'amore'? If so, Korea - you just blew my mind.
Monday, 22 March 2010
I made almost the exact same post over a year ago but it bears repeating - If everyone listened to this song right after waking up, every day, the world would be a problem-free place. Irie.
These are two brilliant Konglish words invented by a couple of my Korean gunning pals from T-Halla. These naively shiny new words aptly describe the blurry night of soju, guffaws, soju, meat, soju, beer, broken glass, soju, ruckus, and soju of which I recently partook. Koreans love to raise a glass of the shite every few minutes and say some words, and it's rude to say no. Who wants to be rude? Not me. I kept saying "I feel fine! The soju does nothing!" all night. That is, until I woke up to find myself hanging out of a taxi's window, drooling. Then I'm in my apartment, and Cobain and new guy are there, shouting "Steal all his stuff!", and then I think I threw change at them and shrieked "Get outta heeeah!" Next, I thought I lost my phone, but couldn't move, so was unable verify this mistaken supposition. People - let me say this once, and never again: Don't fucking drink soju. Still not sure how the hoof-prints got on my ceiling.
In all my time in Korea, I've avoided having to drop a deuce in one of these old-school misery-holes. Save once. A few years back I was sequestered on an island in the Yellow Sea (from the amount of urine my friend was pumping into it, I suspect I know where the name came from), and there were no 'civilized' commodes available. I had to do 'it', so I walked in and looked grimly at what lay at my feet. Ominous. There were little raised foot platforms on either side of the slimy maw of death, but I couldn't figure out which direction the toe parts of my feet were supposed to point, so I guessed and hoped for the best. I undid my shorts and tried to squat, balancing on my haunches, but I couldn't get it so that the 'trajectory' seemed right. My shorts were in peril of getting besoiled. I took the logical next step - I geared down to avoid crapping into my shorts, but a quick look around the shit-dungeon revealed no hooks for clothes, so I stuffed them under my arm. So there I am, squatting low, calves quivering, a shower of change, lip balm, and other assorted possessions falling from my shorts and clinking off filthy porcelain, when I made an extra-grim discovery: no shit-tickets. It was a bad, bad day.
On Saturday, a terrific yellow dust storm whipped Jeju. Yellow grime is everywhere, and I was angry all damn day because of it. But life is too short to get upset, so I made some soup, drank a Heineken, and now yellow dust can't hurt me anymore.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
I probably spent close to 15 combined hours looking for this White-bellied Green Pigeon last year, and didn't see it. Why? It sits in trees and it's GREEN! I finally found it yesterday, and I almost fell over - my hands were shaking. Serious birdwatchers aren't called 'twitchers' for nothing. I kind of feel bad for this bird - she's been returning to the same park year after year, presumably to mate with a fine green fella. Unfortunately for her, she originally must have been blown here by a storm or lost her way. Finding her favorite kind of tree, she returns year after year, waiting for a mate that won't appear, as her potential green baby-daddies are all in Japan. That's how it goes.
Thursday, 18 March 2010
More innocent and distorted music from the early 90's (not all of it has been). Saw these guys a few times, and my drummer's other band played a show with them (if I remember correctly, I don't always). That's one dude on a bass making all that noise. Bustin' skids and ghost-riding the back-peddler bike brings back the Willingdon schoolyard 'ries. The singer looks kinda like this guy I know, with a demon for a cat. This is a picture of that cat. It almost tore my face off once. It rumbled and roared. It squealed and wailed. I think he found it in the garbage.
More and more unsatisfying music links! Everyone's favorite androgynous, Spock-tastic, Swedish socialist dress-alikes! The (international) Noise Conspiracy! They rock effin' nations live. Only they could get away with this with a straight face. DISTASTEFUL, UGLY, AND CHEAP! Sing along! Jeah! What a rumpus!
Capitalism Stole my Virginity
Up for Sale
Smash it up
Fellas, now here's a secret sappy band you should keep in your back pocket. When there's some hottie you're trying to woo, you can casually bust out "Hey, listen to this", and she'd be like "Omigod! I've never heard of these guys, wow, thanks!" Pretend to know the lyrics, and nod your head at the right moments. If you really wanna go all out, close your eyes during a powerful and emotional chorus, and smile a secret smile. Oops! She caught you! When your eyes open, she's looking into them, and you look down in mock embarrassment. When you look up, she's sitting a little closer to you. Boom! Sebadoh, gentlemen, keep it to yourself, and thank me later.
Soul and Fire
Ok, so I've given up writing about the adventures of a hermit birdwatcher on Jeju. This blog is now devoted to songs from the 90's I kinda like, matched up with random throwaway pictures. Live with it. Here's a good one. The look on his face as the mom and daughter drive by is classic.
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
My old-school buddies and I used to spend way too much time huddled in the summer murk playing Scorched Earth while listening to 2 tapes - 'Daydream Nation' by Sonic Youth, and 'One foot in the Grave' by Beck. Those 2 albums are still firmly in my top 10. Top 10? Who am I, the nauseating John Cusack? Scorched Earth was a wicked game. You get 2 tanks apiece, throw some computer players into the mix, and wage VGA total war. If you'd earned enough bounty, the infamous Death's Head warhead was a game-ender when used properly, but a Heavy Roller was not to trifled with either.
Yellow dust = at yellow levels at the moment, but probably headed to a deeper shade of shit soon. Yes, I said tapes.
Looking at the yellow dust map this morning, I was glad I didn't live near Seoul anymore. If I needed more reasons. Seoul got whipped with ugly maroon dots - which means 'everyone stay inside'. Jeju dodged the yellow shit today, but I'm foolish if I think I won't be scraping the crap out of my eyes and whining about it in the near future. I hate yellow dust. It's no good. Oh, and yes I'm sure there are way better and tech-ier methods of capturing a screen shot, but I roll old school. No pillow cases for me, thanks, I use t-shirts. See? That's called rolling old school.
Monday, 15 March 2010
A fine fat finch, this one.
In other news, I met Corey Haim once, a lifetime ago. He came into the pharmacy where I worked, all shifty-eyed, looking for barbiturates. His prescription was sketchy, and he goes "I only have enough for 6. Can you pass me like 12, and I'll pay you back tomorrow?"
Saturday, 13 March 2010
I've mentioned oreums before - a set of 377 (or so) volcanic pimples that are spread out across Jeju like spilled marbles. I'm slacking, I've only been up about a dozen, but I checked one more off the list today. The central east side of Jeju, in from the coast, is one of the few spots on Jeju I haven't explored too much, so it was a treat to meander through the area today with my Korean birding buddy. He showed me the Ap Oreum - a tiny little bump with a spectacular tree-ringed crater in the middle. Neat. Did some interesting people-watching later on at Dunkin' Donuts in Jeju-si. Tired, so tired. Shootin' guns tomorrow, super-duper.
Thursday, 11 March 2010
Yesterday was super snowy. Today, not so much. Was sipping tea and reading (the second) Johnny Cash autobiography in the sun today. Decent! The weather in Seogwipo has more mood swings than a female. Har har! Winter is truly over now. The locals have a word that roughly translates to 'Winter's revenge on Spring'. It's true. February was filled with crazy-nice shorts weather, whereas March has been balls. By the way, I have no sympathy for the dog - it regularly keeps me up with piercing and wimpy mewling. Eat it, dog! Or...I will eat you, dog! There - my first eating a dog joke. I feel better now. Eat his noisy ass up.