Monday, 31 October 2011
I saw these guys with Yossarian about a month ago. They were good, but unfortunately they played at CEPSUM, a cavernous and echoing hockey arena. Needless to say, the sound was shit. The opening band was some lame punk band whose main lyric was ‘Waaa-oaah-ooooh!’.
I’m going to go make me some tea. Some sweet sweet tea.
I’ve been looking at maps lately. Islands, always islands.
What has become of this blog? More pictures of pizza! How exotic. Anyways, like I said, I’m posting this so that I can look at this picture one day when I’m in a country that puts corn on their pizza, as I stare out the window, smiling blankly. This bad boy is the shit-bomb-diggety. A slice of veg from the Double Pizza near Concordia, the best pie in town. Look at all them damn olives, a constellation of perfect black and green. I could eat olives all day. Yup. I find that olives are one of those polarizing foods items. Folks love them, or hate them, with little middle ground. If you don’t like olives, I’m wary of you. If you don’t got Mojo Nixon then your store could use some fixin’.
It hailed a couple of weeks ago. Hailed like crazy, the stuff was ticking down the chimney. Neat.
Talked to Jeppuh on the phone from Kenya the other day. He’s doing well - he’s got plans to climb some big Kenyan mountain, and live with a tribe out in the bush for a week. Luckee. I was actually gonna go with him, but I had some stuff to do. I just hope he keeps his head down and stays out of Nairobbery. I mean Nairobi. I'm pretty sure I’ll be seeing Jeppuh several times in several countries in the relatively near future.
Good ol Jeppuh, we were an unstoppable force when we got together and drank and got silly back on the Jej. I have fond memories of sitting on the window frame of the passenger-side door of a moving Jungmun-Seogwipo cab, high-fiving Jeppuh, (who was sat on the rear window frame on the driver’s side) over the roof of said cab. Antics! Shennaniganery! Oh here’s a picture of a drunken cab ride with Jeppuh. It must have been a cab from Geck’s, because I see a road cup of Red Rock there in my hand. Someone in the front seat was whipping stuff at us, I think. Possibly icecubes, sticking with the fast-moving ice theme.
The boards for the outdoor rink are up in NDG Park, which means winter is almost here. Yaaay!
I went for a few Halloween pints with an American kid in my course. It was like drinking with me from 10 years ago. Instead of giving my young self some sage and hard-learned life advice, I filled his head with heady tales of Asian misadventures. I have a feeling I’ll see him a bit further on down the road. We ended up seeing a wicked band at Brutopia called Goldman, that played meaty and tight rock covers. Incidentally, I was dressed as Steve Zissou, making this the third time I’ve been Stevesie over the past five years. Last year I was a sunglasses-wearing Chilean Miner, and the year before that, I‘m not proud to admit, I was Waldo (Wally to the Brits).
Ah, so walking home up the shitshow called Crescent Street, my path was blocked by two drunken Korean guys that were grappling with one another and throwing wild haymakers while screaming “Ship-sekki-ya!” A half dozen of their friends screamed at them to stop – “Hajimaaaa!” The diminutive scrappers were in my way, so I shoved them solidly with two hands as I walked past, sending them flying. They were all stunned. I walked away smiling, very proud of myself. I’m number one! I’m number one!
In related news , I’ve discovered that being a lame pedestrian is not an affliction restricted to Koreans, as my years of being run off the sidewalk by mean old ladies had led me to believe. People here in Montropolis will also walk right into you with alarming regularity. Here I’m gonna sound old-fashioned, but in my books, here’s what should happen when two pedestrians find themselves walking towards one another. Each person adjusts their trajectory slightly to the right, ensuring a collision-free merge. Sadly, I usually find myself adjusting my trajectory accordingly, only to watch in disbelief as the other person keeps on trucking, forcing me to tip-toe along the edge of the sidewalk. Well, I’m done. All you fuckers are getting the shoulder from now on. I’ll body-check every last one of you that fails to yield for me. Fuckers. Me and my first-world problems.
How I miss my scooter, I do miss her so.
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
|Get it brah!|
|Check the look on both their faces...|
Or a chicken, goose, or cow. This little book has it all. This passage, in the cow butchering section, got my attention:
“Pen the calf up a week or two before butchering and give it plenty of feed, quiet, and attention. Keep it in familiar surroundings, if possible, with quiet, reassuring sounds. A softly playing radio nearby is a help.”
That sounds like a perfect little vacation, up until the part where you “...aim for a spot just above the eyes in the middle of the forehead.”
Gruesome and creepy. I bet most meat cows these days don’t get romanced like that before they get the bolt.
The Habs are off to an admittedly weak and disorganized start this year, but the ridiculous fans and media in this town need to calm the fuck down. It’s October, we don’t need to put anyone’s head on a pike just yet. Well, maybe one brylcreemed head. I still believe in them. I doubt if they’ll make it past the first round of the playoffs, but I still believe in them. I know one thing - that the Oilers will hoist the cup this year though. You heard it here first.
What else? Been writing and plotting.
|I'll have one Fender Musicmaster bass on a stick, please.|
Picked up a strat copy and jammed with my bro (bass) and Suhcott (one-armed snare), in musical basement land. We only jammed for 15 minutes, but it reminded me what rock jams were all about. Distorted amps and de-tuned strings. Zroing! Fwing! Budung! Without all the beer though. I’m still working on plunka-plinkie on the mando. One day I’ll learn how to play some proper bluegrass chop chords. Riveting.
I learned something from watching TV today: The TV shows of today Suck. Capital ‘s’. Also, the music of today Sucks. These blog posts lately have been unproductive and mostly unfunny, but life is squirrels, so deal.
Speaking of squirrels, I saw one get squashed by a car the other day. It was looking good - it had made it across the street with seconds to spare, but then it turned around and headed 2/3 of the way back the other way. It looked like it was still going make it, but then it turned around again (‘No!’ I yelled), and jumped back the other way. The car squished it, and I said something that sounded like “NoooOOOOOAHFUuuuuuug!” Ah well, I guess the squirrel gene pool on that street just got a bit smarter. It didn’t make much of a sound when it got squished. A sparrow I saw getting hit by a car a few years ago, on the other hand, made a loud and sickening ‘Pop!’ when it was squished. Maybe sparrows are filled with compressed air of some kind? Couldn’t tell you. Pop!
This guitar pedal makes such a sludgy shitfizz of a racket that Mudhoney named an album after it. Righteous. The original was made of thin, metal-coloured metal. I used to have one of the original pedals, but I seem to remember trying to fix it with a soldering gun and frying it badly. This green beast was made by a brilliant Russian company, Sovtek. When the USSR failed, there were a lot less tanks to make, so Sovtek took to making music gear. The pedal is made of satisfyingly heavy military-grade steel and cold war toggles. This particular pedal has seen a lot of action – it’s covered in a thin film of dried fake blood, real blood, beer, and several other assorted spattered liquids. The orange MXR pedal was trippy, man.
Things are clicking. Good clicking.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
These were a couple of my favourite spots to scoot to on Jeju, in the name of birds. The farm field in a massive crater (biggest in Asia) was always foggy/mystical, and was reliably a good spot to find weasels and snakes. Good ol weasels and snakes. Then there was the little 'international peace park' or whatever it was called, on the west coast. Good for buntings, but also a good picnic spot to take a backseat passenger to, drink makkeoli and eat dill styrofoam. Nearby is the massacre oreum, where hundreds were slaughtered in the not too distant past. A heavy place, and I felt it every time I went there looking for rare migrating passerines, which was often. Thing of it is, every time I went for a scoot I passed little back roads and mountain trails I meant to explore one day, but never got around to. Dozens of them, waiting for me. Calling my name at night. Rosebud...
Monday, 17 October 2011
It’s Fall. I used to list Fall as my favourite season. I guess it still is. Sometimes I’m not sure what my favourite season is though. I don’t have a favourite color. I must have listed off a different color as my answer for each of the dozen or so times in my life I’ve been asked ‘What’s your favourite color?’, and it’s a weak question in the first place, if you ask me. Ask me what my favourite band is, and I’ll have an answer for you. People are just full of stupid questions, innit? My favourite answer-with-a-smile to the inevitable ‘Where are you from?’ in Korea was ‘I’m from mind your own fuckin’ business. Where are you from?’
Skies are purple-gray outside, and I keep hearing a Blue Jay, but I haven’t seen it yet, so it may be a ghost bird. It’s rainy, windy, and mini-haily. I’m overly excited about watching American Chopper: Sr. vs. Jr. in 45 minutes. I’m easily amused, I know. I’ve been trying to get better at playing diddly-biddly and duh-neer-neer-neer type stuff on the mandolin, with varying degrees of success. I saw a mandolin for sale in a catalogue for 25,000$. That’s just fucking stupid, really.
|Senei Hoshino's mastery of the yari is apparent in this exchange.|
|Net fight! It's a net fight!|
|Kick to the groin! To the GROIN!|
|One of each, please.|
If it wasn’t clear, we took ninja-ism pretty seriously back then. I recently unearthed a stack of musty Ninja magazines. We used to pore over them religiously, learning how to Play the fool and win the fight, Win the fight with advanced spear-fighting techniques, and Master the art of net-fighting. My favorite article was Secrets of the snow ninja revealed. My dad actually bought me some authentic split-toed ninja tabi boots one year, and I wore them until they literally fell apart. With them, I could sail up trees and over fences like a homesick monkey, and I was convinced that they made my feet impervious to the cold. So here are some wacky pics from the good book Ninja.
In other news: I’ve been putting sauerkraut in everything, because it seems to work. It was hailing today. I think Twitter is stupid and I will never buy into it. Also, I slept for a grand total of seven hours over the weekend, but made up for it by sleeping 14 last night. Taking a course, y’see. I awoke this morning like a, you guessed it, newborn giraffe. Turns out the instructor of the course lived in Gimpo at the same time as I did for an overlapping three months in 2005, but I never met her back then. Small world. We knew some of the same rabble, and the first foreigner I ever met in Korea was her drunken roommate Jeff, who pulled me over to Wa Bar and forced me to sit down and drink yogurt soju with him on my second day in country. Small, small world. A few weeks later at Wa Bar I witnessed an insane running fist fight that lasted for the better part of 20 minutes. Hectic, bru.
That was an entirely different lifetime ago. I went to Korea in 2005 not knowing a seoul. Heh. I met some good folks there though, including a fussy Mancunian girl that I improbably became involved with for three years, and the singular Ham King. Then I left Korea, and returned, not knowing a soul in my new town of Ilsan. I met tyrann-E, B-Dogz, and T-Bagz, among others. Then I left again...and returned again, not knowing a soul on Jeju. I smell a pattern. Since my co-workers weren’t big on getting crazy, it took me a month or two before I met the members of what would become The Thunderbots on Jungmun beach at the Penguin Swim. B-Mil is back in the USA, in my boat, J-Rock is back in Canada with his woman back in school I believe, and Piss-Bottle-Man is up in Seoul, livin’ the dream and working hard on killing his liver, as you do in Korea. Jeppuh is in Kenya building karma, Cobain is up in Yeosu for now, and our boy The Joelster is back in NZ, selling time shares and doing exactly whatever the hell he wants. Makes me wonder what kind of misfits I’ll meet when I go back to Korea for the next round. Holy fuck, I did not just write that.
Here’s Humdinger and I back in the day, doing what we most loved – being ninjas. Wow, I had dark circles even then. So how does one become a ninja? The first step is making swords out of de-bladed indoor hockey sticks that we sanded to a fine point on the sidewalk. Humdinger is holding one of these bad boys in this pic. Where did we store these fine weapons? I’m sure glad you asked. We made scabbards out of two lengths of red Hot Wheels tracks, taped together. These scabbards were then strapped to our backs using...wait for it...breakdance laces! You can make anything with breakdance laces. The short weapon I’m clutching in this pic is a hand brake from one of my sleds. Incidentally, ‘Ol Blue’ was her name, and she took me down the hill at King George Park many hundreds of times before plastic fatigue sent her to the land of wind and ghosts forever.
Now, onto the ninja uniforms. The only pants a ninja (or BMX rider) should wear are sweatpants, racing stripes optional. For the shirt, a dark blue v-necked polyester sweater works best, and don’t forget to tuck it into those sweatpants. If your mother has purple fingerless gloves you can share with your ninja wingman, then good for you. If the ninja spirits are smiling upon you, the fingers will be rainbow-patterned. The most important part of the ninja uniform is the neck-warmer. Without a neck-warmer, you may be many things, but you certainly are no ninja. The final step is to watch every Sho Kosugi movie ever made, and learn how to climb trees and whip rocks.
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
So there’s me hammering on a uke like a little troll in my flannel cowboy jammies. One of my earliest memories was that those jammies were comfortable as all get out. That uke is still around, but the hair sure ain’t.
Then hey! There’s Dance and I, kickin’ it in Willingdon schoolyard, BMX, sweatpants, and ski jacket (unzippable sleeves, of course) styley. Both our bikes were Team Raleigh (boo-yeah!) – his blue with yellow and black writing, mine silver with...yellow and black writing too. We would pop wheelies off curbs, swap paint, and hop off and let them ghost-ride the length of the schoolyard all day, because we had no internet.
I also found this little pic from an oh-so-Asian photo booth. Oh the antics! We had a great crew of folks out on Jeju, who’ve since scattered, as happens. I wonder what the current Jej-crew is like? I bet there’s a new version of every single person that left, as happens. Bizarro Jeju.
Me? I’m making moves left and right behind the scenes, don’t you worry. Plotting. Setting things in motion.
I’ve been loading epic mountains of useless stuff into garbage bags lately. In the process, I’ve been stumbling across a lot of stuff I did or collected that I have no recollection of doing or collecting. The 90’s was a hazy decade. So I guess I drew these musicians one night up the hill at Dance and Resolute’s place. Impressive, and what a larf! Bill Haley is my favourite.
The comic I do remember doing, using a clever pseudonym, for the CEGEP paper. They’ll print anything. SONIC BOOM!
I’ll put this up so that one day, when I’m nowhere near a ridiculously large platter of melt-in-my-mouth smoked meat, I can look at this picture and smile weakly, as I shovel some form of vile shit into my mouth.
Still reading books and stuff.
Saturday, 8 October 2011
|Made of the finest Bristol Board and apple cores around.|
|Insert joke here|
|I swear I saw sparks when we wedged it in.|
|Worst. Lane. Ever.|
|Mere moments before Chopper was unleashed.|
|Fortunately for us, 'wedge' is both a noun and a verb.|
The little bastard barely fit onto the trailer. But it did. Then, for some reason, we found ourselves in the most ominous laneway on earth, behind a decrepit warehouse in the worst part of the red-light district. The eccentric old hippie, who lives in said warehouse, was nowhere to be found, in spite of our best efforts at pebble-throwing and dumpster-assisted window-knocking. I wasn't looking forward to getting the car onto the second floor by means of 'tilting it on its side' in a freight elevator. Things got really adventuresome when the grumpy homeless guys that live in a shipping container (so therefore not technically homeless) down the lane came over to see what the all the racket was about. Crusty Dude #1 had a large fucking dog, and he launched it at us (Chopper, sic balls!), all snapping jaws and foam. We barely made it into the car with our nuts intact, and sped away as fast as you can speed away while towing another car. We did this as Crusty Dude #2 was busy leaning through the window of the Citicar, mumbling in French about how the trailer was stolen and that the feds were on the way.
Onto plan B, we jammed the wedge into my garage, after some artful boat moving, and when we were done, Jakey swung from a tree and tried to fart into my mouth.