Saturday, April 28, 2012

Boba poster by ThoughtsToPrint

Black bean noodles not for beginners?

My friends and I dined at a local Korean restaurant last night. Six of us ordered fairly run of the mill meals like bulgogi, jap chae, bi bim bap and rice cake soup.  When my girlfriend tried to order jja jang myun, however, the waiter stopped her. He told her the black bean noodle dish is not recommended for beginners. The waiter suggested she order bi bim bap,instead. She did, because she figured the waiter is more experienced in Korean cuisine.  I'm still on the fence whether the waiter is just in detouring new customers away from black bean noodles.  Is jja jang myun freakier than other Korean dishes?  I mean, this same waiter let another friend, who is obviously not Korean, order fermented bean soup the last time we were at the restaurant.

Photo via Korean Food Gallery

Friday, April 27, 2012

Meanwhile on the North Shore

 Grand Marais, Minnesota

 Along Lake Superior

Rocky Taconite in Silver Bay, Minnesota

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

So what, she's a rock star

I seriously thought this was singer Pink.  Then I looked closer and realized it's Whitney Houston's cousin, Dionne "That's What Friends Are For" Warwick.   Photo via Dlisted

Hump Day Happiness: Lee Byung Hun

Lee Byung Hun and his pectoral muscles are back in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. The movie sequel opens in theaters on June 29. The Blot Says.Com features more Retaliation character posters like of The Rock, ahem.

Here's a less animated, but equally cute Lee Byung Hun at the 2011 Seoul Doll Fair (via One Asian World)

Previously: Lee Byung Hun on Ajumma's Pad

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Party time: Lillian turns one!

Our niece Lillian turned one year old, today.  She came to the party decked out in a pink tutu, a cupcake shirt, and a birthday hat.

 Hey guys, I'm one.  Let's partay!

Scary uncle tried to stuff her into her high chair, which she didn't like.

Lillian's mom made cupcakes from scratch with puppy dogs on them.

Her mom also tried her hand at fondant.  "It only took me all day," she said.

The highlight of Lillian's party (besides her adorable birthday get up) was her homemade fondant puppy dog cake.

Three good types of wedges

1. The Wedge surf spot at Newport Beach, California
2. A giant wedge of smoked gouda cheese
3. These spunky coral wedges by Sofft

If I looked like The Rock

I wish I looked like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.  If I did, I wouldn't think twice about approaching people to harass the living daylights out of them.  Photo via Zimbio

"I am quite sure you didn't mean to go around my car while I had my turn signal on and TAKE MY PARKING SPOT."

"I am quite sure you didn't mean to throw your cigarette butt on the ground."

"I need you to stop shooting your gun at the squirrels in the trees this instant."

"I am going to need you to shut your flapper about how much you hate your job, because I can't take your whining one more day."

"You in the skinny jeans.  They're not working for you."

"Your cat is going to end up a shawl if it doesn't stop pooping in my garden."

"Since you never bothered to use your turn signals I'm sure you won't mind if I smash them in."

"Don't talk down to me like I'm some ditzy sorority girl.  Give me my fruity mix drink."

Old school Korean pop faves

In my two years in Korea I recall one absolutely perfect moment.  My boyfriend and I were racing across Seoul one afternoon in a cab.  The skies were grey and the weather warm despite it being fall.  I had my window rolled down so I could feel the wind on my face.  As the city flashed past me, lightly and magically, Tasha's As Time Goes By came over the radio.

Flash forward eleven years and imagine my surprise to see Tasha, the talented singer and rapper, interviewing her husband, musician Tiger JK on Mnet.  Watching her got me reminiscing about my other favorite Kpop from back in the day:

Baby Be Mine (2000) by Yoo Seung Jun

Before Rain ruled Korea with his abs, there was Yoo Seung Joon.  He had swagger and dynamic dance moves, but he also possessed a warm honey voice.  In 2000 there was no knowing the performer, who immigrated to the United States as a teenager, would be banned from returning to Korea after becoming a naturalized US citizen in order to avoid ROK Army duty.  Yoo Seung Jun lost legions of fans in Korea, but he gained a following in China where he sings and acts to this day.

Like Yesterday (2000) by J

Looking at the video for this lovely ballad, I marvel at how naturally Korean J appears.  These days female Kpop stars all seem to have the same oval faces, high bridged noses, and round eyes.

A-Yo! (2001) by JinuSean

Back in 2001, everybody pumped iron to JinuSean at my local gym.  I still get down to the beat when I hear this song.   A-Yo! is my favorite Korean video, though I get creeped out when the man rolls up to the little boys in his Mercedes Benz.

Lie (2001) by G.O.D.
Even as a boy band cynic I couldn't resist G.O.D.  Lead singer Kim Taewoo's voice is like butter.  I could do without the screaming woman at 2:51, however.  G.O.D.'s video for Lie is the cat's meow because not only is it filmed in Los Angeles, but Sung Kang plays the lead!

Passion (2001) by Koyote
I heard Passion on my first day in Korea in the Kangnam subway station. I was instantly hooked.  Years later I'd hum the song to everyone trying to figure out who sang it.  Once I knew, I gave my friend Han the no-win assignment to buy Koyote's Volume 3. album back in Korea.  At the same time I scoured Ktown CD shops for the 2001 disc with no luck.  One day Han showed up with the Best of Koyote CD set and I've never been without Passion ever since!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

No aliens for old men

See Josh Brolin as Agent K in the Men in Black 3 trailer.

Tiara bike helmet

I know as a modern day woman I'm not supposed to like pink or give into gender roles, but this bike helmet is pretty darn awesome.

Aziz Ansari on Fresh Air

Before hearing comic Aziz Ansari on last night's Fresh Air, he was just the Indian American guy with the whiny voice on Parks and Rec to me.  Now I am a fan.  I like the way Aziz rolls with Fresh Air host, Terry Gross.  There's a couple of times when Terry asks if Aziz was bullied or alienated as a kid he says not really.  You can almost hear Terry frown.  Listen to Aziz's funny and frank Fresh Air interview here. Photo by Buckner for Getty Images (with Donald Glover)