Thursday, February 25, 2010

Itaewon

I had an awesome weekend. I finally went out for a little clothes shopping for the first time in six months. I found out I can get cheap, medium-quailty New Era style caps doe like 12-15,000 won a piece, and that they have clothes that actually fit me over there. I wasn't aware at how expensive dress shirts are and can become over here, though. I literally spent $15 a shirt before I came over here and now they're marked around 40-60,000 in the only places they have my sizes. I'm really happy the weather is wamring up, too, because I just found out my only remaining pair of jeans has a small hole in the crotch. Levi's knows what it's doing, though. I've had those pants for almost three years. I just wish there was a place I could get some more pants like that. Apparently you can get whole custom stuis tailored to your body for 250-600,000 won each, depending on where you look. I'm definitely going to look into that in the coming months.
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I just got my power bill yesterday and it was a whopping 230,000 won. That is almost 100,000 more than my building mate's who used her heater almost the whole time. Truth be told, I think it was because Yun-ju would always jack up the heat when she came over. I'm not too surprised, however, since it was the dead of winter, and even in the States energy bills get higher during that time. It sucks I have to pay more than everyone else, though :P
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On a better note, we went to this amazing Japanese ramen shop in Itaewon. To be honest, Itaewon is not a good place for me to be. The first time I went there a couple weekends ago was for Valentine's Day and we went to this bar (Wolfhead Pub, I think) to have what was listed as one of the best burgers in Seoul.
As soon as we waded through the small, crowded room to get a table I was overwhelmed with the high volume of English being spoken all around me. It was like I had walked into a portal taking me to one of the bars by the college in my hometown. Cigarette smoke, guys dressed like tools, and girls with whiny voices and droopy asses filled the senses. I was overwhelmed, and it wasn't until Yun-ju asked me if I was ok that I was pulled out of the chaos into a safe place again. It was really weird. The reverse culture shock was a surprising experience for me but I guess it makes sense given I've been here for 6 months now, and not surrounded by foreigners.
The food in Itaewon makes it worth the terrible experience of dealing with most of the people there, people who dedicate most of their free time to meetingescaping the realities of life in a foreign country. The proper-sized bacon cheeseburger at the pub and the authenticly prepared ramen were both amazing dishes that I wouldn't mind making the trip just to experience again. It takes over an hour for me to get to Itaewon, but if I keep finding delicious food and want to buy some cheap hats, I'll make the trip.
Mmm, mmm, good~

Friday, February 19, 2010

Nature's Wingman

I was sitting at steak dinner with some friends of mine when a thought occurred to me. Lemons are seldom eaten alone, but they make any beverage delicious.
Example:
Steve: "Man, this party is great!"
James: "I know! Did you see they put lemon slices in the water?"
Steve: "Holy f**k!"
Okay, so this may be a bit exaggerated, but not much. A slice of lemon even makes water, the most boring of beverages, a desirable and tasty drink. It was immediately after this realization that it dawned on me. Lemons are Nature's wingman.
~
One of my favorite things in the whole world is when I'm slapped in the face with a childhood memory. When I was growing up, we didn't watch a lot of TV until I was in my last year of middle school. My multimedia exposure was primarily dominated by Saturday morning cartoons, video games (which entertained me long before I knew that there even were television programs to watch) and a vast amount of movies, which brings me to my point. I've always loved animated movies, and there are a lot of movies everyone recollects when they reminisce on growing up like Aladdin, The Lion King, Peter Pan, Robin Hood, and Beauty and the Beast (or as my friend Jonathon calls it, The Tragedy of Gaston). Basically, Disney was running the show. However, there are still some great animated classics that I only recently put my mind to remembering.

~The Thief and the Cobbler - Featuring the voices of Matthew Broderick and Vincent Price, this movie went through hell to be released. Check the link to see what I'm talking about. Anyway, it is a gorgeous film and very stylized. It has a lot of great action sequences and tells the story of how a shoe maker saves a kingdom and marries a princess. This is the kind of shit we should be teaching kids.

~Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland - Inarguably an amazing work of animation. I can remember watching this growing up with my little brother. A boy is whisked away into a dream world that seemingly revolves around him. In the end he saves the Slumberland from the Nightmare King using a magic staff and yelling "Pajama Kajama!" Awesome.

~The Princess and the Goblin - Another great story from Europe about a princess who is kidnapped by goblins and a boy who saves her with the magic of singing. Apparently, goblins can't stand merriment since they are such terrible creatures.


There are a lot of movies like these that I can remember helping to mold and shape the mind of our young hero. I just hope there will be some cool stuff around for my kids when they grow up
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As friends and family well know, there are few fighting games out there on which I don't kick royal ass. That being said, I'm really looking forward to the Super Street Fighter IV PS3 release later this year. I have always been a huge fan of the series and I can pretty much kick anyone's ass at SF II: anything as well as Capcom vs SNK: anything. Check out the newest vid of revealed characters and awesomeness!

~



Monday, February 8, 2010

The Super Bowl that never was... and my birthday!

The video this time is an especially nice supplement to the blog. Check it out!

Initial V - Episode 03
Uploaded by Vreeser.
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This year is the first year that I can remember in which Super Bowl Sunday (God's day) and my birthday coincide. And here I am in South Korea without the commercials, the half-time pick-up game, the greasy food, and the friends and family I have grown overly accustomed to. To be fair, I did have a wonderful weekend, but there's a part of me that wishes I could have been at home.
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Like I said, I did have a pretty amazing weekend. On Saturday I went to the Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds concert I posted about previously. It was everything I had hoped it to be. Here's the program from the show:
  • Final Fantasy VIII - Liberi Fatali
  • Final Fantasy - Victory Theme
  • Final Fantasy X - To Zanarkand
  • Final Fantasy VIII - Don't Be Afraid
  • Final Fantasy VIII - Fisherman's Horizon
  • Final Fantasy series - Swing de Chocobo
  • Final Fantasy V - Dear Friends
  • Final Fantasy IX - Vamo' alla Flamenco
  • Final Fantasy VIII - Love Grows (Eyes On Me Piano Instrumental)
  • Final Fantasy XI - Memoro de la Stono - Distant Worlds
  • Final Fantasy VIII - Man With A Machine Gun
  • Final Fantasy VII - Opening - Bombing Mission
  • Final Fantasy X - Suteki da ne
  • Final Fantasy - New Music Medley (Uematsu) from FF XIV
  • Final Fantasy VII - Aerith's Theme
  • Final Fantasy VII - J-E-N-O-V-A
  • Final Fantasy XI - Ronfaure
  • Final Fantasy IV - Theme of Love
  • Final Fantasy VI - Opera "Maria and Draco"
  • Final Fantasy VI - Terra's Theme
As I said, a spectacular list. They brought on multiple guest performers including a classical guitarist for "Dear Friends" and "Vamo' alla Flamenco" (one of my favs) and opera singers for "Distant Worlds" and the "Maria and Draco" performance. "Suteki da ne" was a little underwhelming for me since they had a Korean star sing it in the Korean released version (not the Japanese version from my memories), but it was still a great song to hear. I was really excited about "J-E-N-O-V-A" since it is one of my all-time favorite songs from the Final Fantasy universe. The conductor said fans were polled to see which songs they wanted to hear the most, and apparently the top two were "J-E-N-O-V-A" and my other all-time favorite "Dancing Mad" from Final Fantasy VI. They chose "J-E-N-O-V-A" for this show, but I can't wait to get a copy of the new cd with both tracks on there.



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Sunday was my birthday! I had quite an amazing day. Yun-ju (my girlfriend) woke me up with 미역국 (miyeok guk) and birthday cake, delicious breakfast.
Miyeok guk is a traditional seaweed soup that is eaten on your birthday and is also recommended to pregnant and nursing women due to it having a ton of nutrients. Not gonna lie, it is the most delicious soup I've had since I came to Korea and I still have a big bag of it in my fridge (whoo!). As I mentioned in the video, those little orange things are also very tasty especially if you like sour food. After we had breakfast and watched a movie we went to an arcade and played some games. For dinner we hit up my favorite pizza place over here, BringWell Pizza, that cooks whole wheat-crust pizzas. I go there at least once a week, and when I told the owner it was my birthday he went out and bought some drinks for us. Then we went back to my place and played games with a few of my friends. Although my Wii was out of commission for some time, it appears as though I have not lost my abilities at Smash Bros, Dr. Mario, or Street Fighter II. Other than the first game of Dr. Mario, I won every time on every game last night. Happy birthday to me :D
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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Merriam-Webster can piss off

There's this fun little game floating around Facebook that I had some rather fantastic results with. You have to go to UrbanDictionary, type in your first name, and post the first entry that comes up. Pretty simple, right? Check out what I got:
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Common name of a playa who'll leave you without saying a word. Also known as "hustla", this individual is particularly good in bed and has vast experience he'll never admit he does, which is why all of his xs still chase him.
Hard to catch, impossible to keep, the biggest mistake you can make is introducing him to your best friend, who of course, is going to wanna nail him.


This name can also translate to "Winner, triumphant, #1" in various languages.
"dam nigz, u is a Victor"
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On another note, I'm finally getting to see a Final Fantasy orchestrated concert this Saturday. I have been waiting almost five years for a chance to see one and I'm super excited. Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds looks to be a pretty exciting and amazing experience. It won't hurt that I threw down for a couple of the most expensive seats in the house. Go hard or go home, right? Final Fantasy XIII is shaping up to be the first decent-looking entry since X. Check out this excellent trailer for it and try to keep the drool to a minimal level~



I had my birthday party a week early this last weekend and it was an excellent time, to be sure. My buddy Ryan talked the manager at this bar we like to offer a sweet draft special in honor of my birthday. It was $15 for guys and $10 for girls all-you-can-drink, a badass deal since we were there for the better part of five hours. Here are some of my favorite pics from the evening~


This is a pretty multimedia heavy post. I'm going to finish up with another entry of Initial V. Bear with me on vid quality right now since I'm still new at this whole thing.


Initial V - Episode 2
Uploaded by Vreeser

Monday, February 1, 2010

It could be "vyogging"

This is my first foray into the world of video blogging, or "vlogging". I can't say or think of that term without an Anchorman quote coming to mind...

In any case, check it out, leave a comment if you want. It's a pretty simple first entry. I love you guys. Sorry for being out of touch on this thing for so long. I promise to update from now on~