red, green

It is a time of hellos, new beginnings. I got a couple of new guitars because I couldn’t stand not having clutter around the joint.

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This is my first venture into vintage guitar ownership. This is a 1966 Fender Duo-Sonic II. These were originally brought out as student guitars. The colour is known as Dakota red — it’s a very red red. I’m assuming it lived most of its life in and around Birmingham, Alabama, since that’s where it came from and there’s a little sticker on the back of the headstock that says Phipps Music, Birmingham, Alabama. I’m fascinated by the history of it, but mostly it’s for rocking out. I’m calling it Tallulah because I happened to watch Hitchcock’s _LIfeboat_ the other night and Tallulah Bankhead is in that and I thought, that’s a nice name, and as it turns out she was from Alabama too.

I know beating a Kraut to death with a boot-heel is wrong, even when they are smug, but hey it was wartime.

Around the same time I finally decided to get an acoustic. That was supposed to be part of the whole country rock plan which hasn’t unfolded quite the way I imagined it would.

<a href=”” title=”IMG_4651 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”375″ height=”500″ alt=”IMG_4651″ /></a>

It’s green which is a non-traditional colour for acoustic guitars, but it’s not like I was able to afford an interwar Gibson or anything like that. The Segovia brand is Korean, and I’d been looking at this one on and off for a year or so. The price came down recently. It has a Mexican vibe to it that I like, and it’s not as big as most acoustics — more like a Hank Williams size. I like the inlay on the fretboard. I didn’t notice if much until I was playing it and seeing it from an ‘up-side down’ position but it reminds me a bit of the Hitchcock Presents silhouette.

Paranormal Activity

I just watched the movie called _Paranormal Activity_. Pretty scary!

Eventhough it was made a couple of years ago it’s great to see something that’s being made in these (uncertain economic) times that makes me feel something other than disenchanted with cinema.

The freaky thing was about ten or fifteen minutes into watching it — I just d/loaded the torrent and was watching it here in the apt., by myself, with the lights off, as I normally do with movies, and my fucking clothes rack collapsed. That’s a pretty big co-incidence that it should happen then, it’s been standing fine for the last 8 months. Get this: I was just reading the wikipedia article on the movie and I saw this

They were impressed by the film as well and handed the DVD to Steven Spielberg, who took it home to watch.[8] Spielberg allegedly returned to DreamWorks the next day with the DVD in a “garbage bag” because he thought the DVD was “haunted”. According to Spielberg, minutes after he viewed the film, his bedroom doors “locked by themselves” and he could not get out without calling in a locksmith.

I mean, that could be hype… but interesting.

Anyhoo, there was some point in the film where because they limited themselves to one camera, and needing to keep the suspense building, the plot started to poke through the suspension of disbelief, but it did very well for at least the first 40 minutes, and even when I could tell it was a fiction I was still scared by it. I’m still scared now! :O

I’ll eat every cake in New York City

*<a href=”″>Where’s the cake? Gimme the cake. GET the cake!</a>*

<a href=”” title=”indignant about havin to light ‘er own candles by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”indignant about havin to light ‘er own candles” /></a>

It’s probably wrong to have to light your own candles but I was taking der fotos.

I’ve been here 6 months and there’s this section on the other side of town that I’d still never been to. The study is killin me. I should be doing it right now. If I’m not working, or studying (very little time involved) then I’m sitting here think I should be studying (most of the time) and so, I haven’t been out exploring all that much. I actually dreamed about this other part of town the other night, so I thought time to do something about it. Took a taxi there. Trekked around for ages looking for this one Indian restaurant. Eventually found it. THe lamb was awesome – it had no fat at all. It was J-e’s birthday the other day. I’ve never known anyone to be so crazy about cake. They don’t even let her into cakeshops anymore. She’d punch somebody in the head for some cake.

*   *   *

Here are some other things. There’s a good fastfood place in the Jongno area in Seoul, called <a href=””>Sultan Kebab</a>. They have a very good ‘lamb sandwich’ as they call it, but it looks more like a roll to me. Jong-gak stn exit one, walk straight for 70 metres. Itch on your right.

*(12/Mar/10) Update!:* Sultan Kebab has closed!  I don’t know why. Maybe something happened in the old country and the man had to go home. Damn shame. There’s still a small one in Itaewon but they’re menu isn’t as wide. *(End Update)*

<a href=”” title=”사진 041 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”사진 041″ /></a>

This company has made the bold move to use the correct phraseology, ‘grand opening’ instead of the much more common, fucked up ‘grand open’. Good for them.

<a href=”” title=”사진 042 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”사진 042″ /></a>

Peace, love and a nagging feeling that ur not right

I watched the movie ‘Woodstock’ last night. All of the footage of the late-60s young people, sometimes called hippies, made me uncomfortable. I think it was their aimlessness, pretending to be fine when they weren’t, and looking for something in all the wrong places that got under my skin.

Obviously there wasn’t three days of music on the movie, usually just one song from a bunch of people, but it was interesting how many of them were playing old stuff. Joe Cocker singing British popster song, ‘with a little help from my friends’ — not very counter-culture if you get what I mean. I know I like Jefferson Airplane, but the song from them on it wasn’t that good. The only two bits that had a sound that was pushing into the future were Sly and the Family Stone (I love their horn section. And they were so dancey they were almost electronic before electronics were invented) and *Jimi*. He’s still light years ahead of the game even today. The way they edited it, he comes out onto the stage, just for a moment looks out into the dried-mud disaster area, says “I see that we meet again”, like Kung Fu and launches.

<a href=”” title=”jimi by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”520″ height=”295″ alt=”jimi” /></a>

Q.Freedom of Choice? A.muju

I’d been starting to think music was dead. I haven’t to listened to any good radio stn in years s I don’t know if there’s any good new stuff out there. I would keep an eye out for any of my fav artists to see if they’d put out anything new — but then what happens when they’re all retired?

Here’s three things:

There’s this person who puts all the songs made in australia and NZ in 1980 on youtoob. I thought this was pretty neat. I was just six then. A small boy. And these products of my mind were wearing vests made out of safety pins and the like.

Next is that william shatner album I’d heard about but not got to listening to. There was a couple of interesting things in it. Henry Rollins and bill shatner as muppets.

And while I those ones are the past, this one is new. I heard about the band, Battles, from reading my close personal friend’s blog – david byrne. He said at their gig they had their guitars slung up really high which is interesting and nerdy. I’m doing it now. It’s much more comfortable. I gather they are what is called post-rock. I like the middle part of the song where it actually does rock a bit. Not sure about the vocal style, I think I prefer the conventional rock style of singing. There’s a fair bit of chipmunk voices on the album ‘Mirrored’. In any case – I do like them and it’s a whole heap better than another so called post rock band I heard called Explosions in the Sky, which was dreary.

Also, it’s a time for saying goodbye and I sold another guitar. Goodbye to gold bass.


I’m having a bad day re getting the studies done. Sometimes I’m right on it, other times it’s like I just can’t get the water hot enough to make steam and drive the wheels. Fuzzy.


Sometimes the writing I am forced to do each week leads to interesting juxtapositions. Like, What about a film recombination of the literary classic, _heart of darkness_, a few elements of _Apocalypse Now_ and the basic plot outline of the 1966 science fiction film, _Fantastic Voyage_? I don’t know how these thing fit together but maybe it could be a cautionary tale about nanotech, and the invasiveness of technology on the body.
I remember seeing fantastic voyage when I was a small boy and it was interesting to see it again. It included the nervous englishman who went nuts or psychotic, a subtle message on the ills of cigartte smoking, a hat tip towards hinduism and Racquel Welch, although I was expecting Racquel Welch to be in a swimsuit at least once but this did not happen.

ps. how much does google love blogs? I just googled the phrase, ‘tuo yaw’ to see what else had used it and this post was _already_ listed — 30 seconds later.

Napoleon III and ‘the stone’.

I am pleased to announce the first in a series of short pieces focussing on famous people through history and their ordeals with kidney stones.

* * *


– Emperor Napoleon III

– Dr. Henry Conneau, Napoleon’s personal physician.

– Marshall MacMahon, an eccentric fellow, (62 y.o.) quoted as saying, “Typhoid fever is a terrible sickness. Either you die from it or you become an idiot. And I know what I’m talking about, I had it!”

– General Ducrot

Sedan, France. September 1st, 1870.
After being caught and bested by the 3rd Prussian Army at Beaumont, the French Army of Chalons withdrew to Sedan, hoping to rest and resupply there.

Chateau de Sedan, Chamber room’s ante-room (Morning)

MacMahon: I say, one good thing about this turn; bivouacking in a Chateau’s a bit more comfortable than tents.

Ducrot: I would agree with you if we hadn’t spent the entire night sitting in this wretched little room.

[Dr.Conneau enters from the chamber room proper.]

MacMahon: Well Doctor, how is the old boy?

Conneau: No better I’m afraid. The stone moves slowly.

_[Faint moaning emanates from the next room.]_

MacMahon: I say, what’s that?

[Marshall MacMahon, spritely for his age, hops up, whiskers bristling and opens the connecting door but doesn’t look in.]

MacMahon: What are your orders, Emperor?

[Napoleon, still only heard but not seen.]

Napoleon: Oooh Gawwwd… you sort it out.

[MacMahon closes the door.]

MacMahon: Very well then. Where’s my man? Prepare my horse! I’m off to the field.

[MacMahon marches out. Ducrot facepalms.]

Ducrot: When can we expect the Emperor back on his feet?

Conneau: It’s difficult to say. He experiences great pain when passing water and the gravel by all accounts has not yet moved through the kidney organ.

[Several hours pass. Ducrot waits in the anti-chamber. The doctor passes in and out of the room from time to time.
Suddenly much louder wailing and moaning comes form the other room.]

Napoleon: OOOOHHHH! God in heaven have mercy on me!

[Napoleon is heard stumbling about, followed by the sounds of strenuous vomiting and wrenching. Durcot, dismayed, goes to the door, opens it and looks in. Emperor Napoleon III, his breeches down around his knees, is crumpled over the hollow wooden seat that serves as a toilet. The doctor stands beside him, hand on shoulder, looking concerned.
Marshall MacMahon abruptly bursts into the the antechamber, dirty and dishevelled. He is dragging himself on one leg but heads straight for the chamber room door.]

MacMahon: By Jove! What is this devilry, Doctor?

Conneau: The gravel is moving.

Ducrot: What news from the field, Marshall? Good God, look at your leg man. What happened?

MacMahon: Got us from both sides they have, Ducrot. Prong manoeuvre! I don’t like our chances.

Conneau: Marshall, you better let me take a look at that leg.

MacMahon: What this? It’s just a flesh wound.

[The wound is now bleeding steadily.]

MacMahon: However, I do believe I’ll lie down and have a glass of brandy. General Ducrot I’m putting you in charge.

Ducrott & Conneau: [simultaneously] What?

MacMahon: Oh? You like to have a stab at it Doctor?

General Ducrot: We are in a chamber pot, and we’re going to be shit on.

[The wrenching in the other room turns back to moaning. Several minutes later the Prussian Army bursts into the Chateau amid the hysterical wailing of Napoleon III finally passing his stone.]

… and the rest is history.

lacking motivation

You know I first came across these de-motivator posters on the internet 5 years ago but it appears that the chuds have finally caught up, this being helped along by web-apps that allow you to make your own de-motivator. The problem is that every image search I do now is swamped with ‘de-motivator’ posters created by chumps who have no understanding of brevity or wit. Here, I made one that parodies these idiots who fail to understand parody:


Very occasionally I do come across one that’s been made with a little spark. A little bleak, but I like:
(found here)