Archive for June, 2007

26
Jun
07

song do.

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To note: I hate green leafy vegetables. My friend said, “ganyan naman kayong mga lalaki eh.”

For the non-Koreans, (like me) hearing the words, “Korean Restaurant” evokes memories of koreanovelas, kimchi and koreanovelas. After almost making a right turn to Congo Grille in El Pueblo, (to eat the ever-reliable, ever-heart-stopping Sisig) my friend suggested we eat Korean, for some Korean barbeque. We took a left for Song Do.

Upon entering, we were greeted, “Annyong Haseyo,” which is “Hello” in Korean, then we climbed the stairs for the main restaurant itself. By the side of the stairs, (where the railing should be) are tons of Korean trinkets, dolls and décor to emphasize, that indeed, a Korean restaurant named “Song Do,” is a Korean establishment. Finally reaching the top, we were hungry like lions. (Could that be the point of the stairs?)

They had the traditional “sit on the floor” seats for large groups, (to further insist that you ARE in a Korean restaurant, just in case you know, you forgot.) and they offered traditional chairs and tables (with an oven in the center) as well. The place was spacious, and, being relatively new, was tidy and white as a koreana’s complexion. Metal chopsticks, the Korean-ish plates and the oven in the center of the table subtly suggests that, yes, you are in a Korean-themed restaurant.

We were about to order two sets of Pork belly, but the waiter told us that one order was enough for the two of us. Just moments after ordering, the waitress gave us corn tea and started placing a variety of appetizers on the table, which included, (and this is from what I remember,) kimchi, mashed potatoes, spicy radish, squid, lumpia, quail eggs, kangkong, soup, and the ingredients for the veggie meat sandwich.

When the pork was cooked, the waitress cut it up to little pieces. I asked her to teach my inner caveman what to do next. She washed her hands, took a piece of lettuce, dipped a piece of meat in sesame oil, dabbed a bit of this red sauce, (then she asked what vegetable I wanted on my veggie meat sandwich) and a piece of garlic. She then proceeded on folding the assembled food stuffs into a veggie meat sandwich. As I mentioned above, I abhor green leafy vegetables… and yet I found myself making wraps myself, trying on the other vegetables, and how spicy it would be if I tucked in a piece of kimchi in there.

After all the appetizers, the veggie meat sandwich, and me suddenly remembering that, yes, we did order rice, I tapped out. I was simply too full of Korean goodness. Then they placed a slice of pineapple, for dessert, which was also part of the meal. (Fiber for better digestion?)

The damage? Surprisingly light, for a place that looks like it’d cost more than your usual baon. For 465, we got the massive meal, (which, I think could easily handle 3 people, or 4 people with tiny appetites.) the appetizers, two orders of rice, a melon shake and a Coke. Service charge was 0, so we left a little something-something for the great service. (I do wonder how they do when the place is packed — if they could accommodate more cavemen like me — but it turns out that most of their customers are Koreans anyway, so there’s hardly need for a guide on those ones.)

This place is great for large functions, or for when you want to show your friends a little culture without the big dent in the wallet. Compared to the expensive, fastfood-style service that another restaurant offers, (you know who you are, Basement, Megamall B) Song Do is way, way better. Before leaving, the friendly manager asked us from which offices we were from, we both answered, and then he said, “you’re always welcome here.”

And isn’t that what you’d want to hear from your new favorite place? 4 out of 5 spoons!

4/5

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( photo shamelessly taken from http://wats0n.blogspot.com/2007/01/song-do-korean-experience.html )

19
Jun
07

toycon day2.

(My feet were throbbing when I got home.)

Volunteering to man the Yehey! booth, I arrived just before opening — and the rumors were true! Exhibitors get first picks on the stuff that’s on display, even before they let the attendees in, I spotted a few checking out each other’s goods, and I considered myself lucky to have witnessed this. (Been hearing this since ’04)

Collectors who were out for the best bargains arrived before the mall’s opening hours to get the best bargains, and to avoid the crowd that would manhandle the goods before they do. (hah! :p) With eyecandy as far as the eye could see, or, up to where the stage starts on one side, and where the walls start on the other end; wallet-juicing temptation was everywhere. Only men (or women) with strong wills or empty wallets could resist!

When day 2 officially began, droves of toy/comicbook/mmorpg/transformers/cosplay enthusiasts (greeks without the ‘r’ — myself included) rushed their appropriate corners, to satiate their curiosities and desires. Conventions like these being the avenue for which they could celebrate the culture with kindred souls.

When the booth finally opened, first-time registrants/interested passers-by got a glimpse of both TOL and Dangka, which got some pretty good response. Some passers-by actually told me they found the concept for Dangka really cute, while others say that TOL’s emoticons were cuter than their ates. (P.S. It also helped that they stood a chance of winning the very tempting ‘V’ mask… if you guys only knew how many people tried the mask on, hahaha!)

Later on in the afternoon, esteemed members of the local toy community had a Q and A session with Dig Deep Entertainment. Of which, Walter Mcdaniel was part of, to announce his “Kodai Jinn” line here first in the Philippines. (That’s Deadpool artist Walter Mcdaniel to you — same guy who drew Deadpool giving Kitty Pryde a ‘shoryuken’! / And yes, in his presence, you’ll hear, “si Akon, si Akon!”)

Dig Deep also featured their Civil War Asia toy line. The first series comprising of four, interchangeable, interconnectible statues in street-art-meets-anime-meets-western-art urban toys. Of which, quite frankly, I found too pricey. Though it came in a beautiful tumbler packaging (which evokes memories of a KFC bucket), it also fails for being too big and doesn’t even show-off what kind of figure you’re getting. So let’s say you get another Wolverine, it might encourage you to either trade with another collector, or drop the line all-together. (But yeah, urban toys are really expensive.)

All in all, this was the best toycon yet. Big open space, a large variety of merchandisers (and bargains!) and activities to fill in the hours = happy collectors who look forward to the next convention. This is a big step up from 3 years ago, where the venue was cramped like a cross between a flea market and a moshpit, the slightest imbalance causing a domino-like effect. I imagined that sequence, but I was mostly out of the convention due to the heat.

Did I mention the short, short shortssss?

16
Jun
07

toycon day1.

*

Conventions are always holidays for collectors; giving them (us) a chance to purchase the things they (we) obsess about. Oh, and also, there’s the slight chance to feel empty afterwards, after being toyconned into buying over-priced goods. (But this is rare.) What, the booths/stands cost a mini-fortune, so merchandisers have to break even too.

The office was there promoting Dangka and TOL, which rocks, since I hear they got a lot of sign-ups. (and sucks, since two of the V masks were picked up! boo!)
(P.S. I’ll be at the booth tomorrow. Whee)

And what did my salary get me? Check it, this signature series Hush Batman costs 250 (two-hundred and fifty) dollars. I got the painted Batman for 900 pesos. Now THAT’S a bargain. Oh, I also got some pokemon figurines — a mudkip and a koffing. If you visit 4chan … “so, I herd you like …”

And in the years of convention attending, I find that I don’t go primarily because of the merch, but I go for the people. It’s always nice seeing my dameat friends, Toy Empire kids, the ZFC people and the AME people. (You guys rock.) Special mention: Mikko, Raz, Dodo, Jori, Blitz, Six-One, CK, Akutenshi, Pope, Mika, Darkmotives and Delru. (Delru even handed me a flier for this year’s AME convention … for December! Now that’s planning!)

(P.S. Ekis yung Grimlock ni Blitz. Haha, kidding, congrats!)
(Photo by Jori)

[this part was supposed to be for last night. fell asleep.]

**
Looking for pants is always tricky for me. Finding one with a great fit counter-balanced with the amount of money I have available is always the issue. Anyhow, what’s up with Levi’s? Do they only come out in buttonfly, oddly-washed and torn styles nowadays? From where I checked, they don’t sell flat-front, straight-cut and zipper-operated jeans anymore. (A man must never struggle with buttonflies when he needs to take a piss.) I tried on a lot of pairs, but it was either too-oddly-washed, the wrong fit or too expensive. Goddamn.

I could always break down and try on a pair of Rock and Republic jeans, only to seal them up and never wear them forever. (The lowest they cost here? 9999.01 pesos.) It’s just not practical with my salary.

I ended up going home with no new pants.

16
Jun
07

world war hulk 1.

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The Hulk’s on his way back to Earth, and he’s really, really angry.

It seems like DC / Marvel found the perfect way to cash in — a major “major” event every year! Think about it — core story books plus tie-ins plus guides plus the epilogue chapters? Cha-ching!

2007 is the year of World War Hulk! Following the events of “pre-Civil-War, Illuminati-sending-the-Hulk-to-space” plot, the Hulk comes back to Earth, ready to deliver a payback, for which the world has to pay for.

The opening chapter is an enjoyable read, just slightly flawed at different parts. The art, while amazing, leaves me wanting. I’ve just been spoiled by Copiel’s work for House of M and Civil War, I guess.

The good includes The Hulk’s loss of humanity — he refers to everyone on Earth as “puny humans,” who, according to him, “are all the same — they have to be crushed.” And the fight with Ironman? What sucks is what happens off-panel. He apparently took down Blackbolt, but we never get to see the whole fight. And what is up with the “full pardon” for fugitives who help out in the Hulk problem?

World War Hulk 1 is an entertaining start for a series that’s “bound to change the Marvel U as we know it.” (And how many times have we heard this line before?)

4/4

16
Jun
07

perfume: the story of a murderer.

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Cold. I feel cold and I want to relish in different aromas, regardless of the source.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a movie based on a 1985 novel of the same name. The likes of Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorcese have said that the book was unadaptable to film; until Tom Tykwer came along.

The story revolves around Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a peasant gifted with the keenest sense of smell that can dissect and analyze any aroma fed to him. “Scent is the very essence of a human,” he declares near the beginning of the film, and his inexplicable lack of a personal scent has him trying to find the perfect scent, and preserving it.

The visually appealing 18th century setting evokes the feeling of almost-smelling the movie. (Too bad smell-o-vision hasn’t materialized yet.) Grenouille is an amoral obsessionist — his desire to capture scents has him trying to distill the scent of cats, copper, glass and desirable females. He succeeds, and that’s when the movie takes off, the murders and distillation of his victim’s scents to create the perfect aroma.

The movie doesn’t even acknowledge the extent of how cold his means are to acquire the scent, “wrong,” as a concept, doesn’t exist in the protagonist’s dictionary, and so should the entire film. And that fact doubles the sheer horror of the acts committed, and how impersonal the protagonist is, making for a creepy overall feeling after the credits appear.

It’s a very engaging film, (given that I can’t feel sympathy towards the protagonist himself) until the very end, that is, when the film suddenly starts to veer towards the preposterous, along with a scene involving mass orgasmo. (Although this maybe the ‘artsy’ part of the film, so maybe I just didn’t get it? I know I didn’t like it that much though.)

See it if you feel like it, or if deplorable/disgusting acts turn you on.

4/5

12
Jun
07

a state of urban decay.

*
“Pao, remember the guy you talked with last week? Karl? He’s Karl De Mesa, he’s the editor of this column, ‘Damaged People,’ and he has a published book with the same name. He’s looking for contributors for his new book, short stories/fiction that border on non-mediocre/urban decay blah. I think you should submit something.”

I have a big green notebook filled with short stories from my “angsty” (they call it ’emo’ nowadays) years. And yes, there’s nothing like being haunted by your own work. They still elicit the prerequisite piloerection (that’s goosebumps, whee) each line I read. “Did I really write this?,” and before I could answer the question, flashbacks of the span of a midnight kung-fu film in solar, a campy b-movie in cinema1 and episodes of The Jetsons (boomerang) at 4 am was usually enough time to give birth to a body of work. So my answer would be yes, I did write all of this. (If this is my version of writing about writing, then you should seriously pick-up The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Kundera — that book details writing in a sort-of commentary-story way, plus, it’s a lot more subtle.)

Although I must admit, I’m contemplating on it — if only American-Splendor-esque (and I do love American Splendor) type of work was accepted, then going gonzo on the keys might cut it.

**
“yoo-choob is yoo-toob in the US”

That Gretchen thing in TV Patrol.

Thank you tv! Hahaha!

07
Jun
07

netwhorage and the lack of subtlety.

*
Work with a message board long enough, and you tend to see a pattern — person A starts thread about problems with X (this may be a service or a product that person A is genuinely having problems with) and then you see person B replies with something that goes like, “oh that’s so bad why not try Y-product, followed by person B’s contact info and an assurance that a helping hand is just around the corner.” Or — person B starts with a faux testimonial about Y-product and before you know it, boom(!) — contact details on how to avail of Y-product.

It’s not that I have problems with getting namedrops every so often — and they do help sometimes — but dammit, where’s the subtlety? Where’s the feeling that someone sincerely wants to help me, and not sell stuff to me? Gad. That’s just pimping in the digital age.

If these are the trends for the new age, then I vote we skip on it — try to get with the inner hermit and live in a wooden cabin away from every person B out there. Next thing you know, we get product placement in dreams! (a la Transmetropolitan)

Res ipsa loquitur. If product B’s any good, it’ll sell like gas at a gasoline station — forcefeeding tends to make people vomit anyway.

(P.S. In the following paragraphs, I’ll be mentioning media that I really do like.)

**
Lily Allen makes me giddy. (ahihi) In between the clever lyrics and the cute british accent, it’s hard not to acknowledge that she’s also easy on the eyes.

So I listen to Lily, Chan Marshall and The Pipettes sing about boys who’ll never be me, while I go giddy over them. (ahihi)

***
I’ve been playing Defcon (and have been finding that the unscalable AI goes strategic medieval on my ass most of the time) and what it shows is that the Philippines is no nuclear terror.

To note, according to every simulation, if there ever will be a World War III, we’re all safe here.

****
Been inhaling mostly Transformers news these days, thanks to the fact that, like Spidey, we’re getting a taste a couple of days before the US does. And aside from Megan Fox’s participation, (Carla Santini, yeh!) I find that I have low expectations for the movie.

I’ve been pretty vocal about my complaints at the over-complexity of the ‘bots now, but what the hell—- check out this photo.

Didn’t a certain superhero have a similar pose in a poster? And did the fans take in his movie with open arms? (Clue: His name starts with S, and rhymes with ‘pider-Man’) What’s Optimus supposed to be doing? — flexing???! (It really just looks awkward, and leaves many fans questioning: TRUKK NOT MUNKY?)

*****
I mentioned the band Los Chupacabras in my last post, and I took the liberty of compiling these youtube videos: (PS. They don’t have the ‘satan’ song, or the ‘vibrator na saging’ song uploaded.)




your mind will go pi.hrudu@plurk.robopopjunk! cavefeci abditum.damit co.proudly pinoy!



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