27 February 2008

Bandit & the Snowball

Bandito is now available for performances in the greater Seattle area.

Random note: I was trying to switch over and share my videos with Vimeo because it has something to do with HD and its interface and design are visually pleasing. But, to my horror, it was going to take 340 minutes to load my little "Bandit" video because Vimeo was very "busy." What's the deal, Vimeo? This is why I'm now back to Jumpcut.

24 February 2008

Good Eats: Ddeok Sam

I know that I sort of swore off celebrity-owned restaurants, but this one's in my neighborhood. Plus, I didn't even know that he was a celebrity until Cyndi told me.

I still don't know this actor's name, but he's apparently appeared in a lot of sageuk, historical dramas. I don't know how he is as an actor, but he's definitely a great restaurateur. He's very attentive. He even goes around to all of the tables to replenish your garlic or lettuce supply.

There are many samgyupsal restaurants in Bundang, but I particularly enjoy Ddeok Ssam because service is great, portions are fairly generous, and you can wrap the samgyupsal in thinly sliced ddeok, Korean rice cakes.

Kang Ho Dong needs to take note.

You know the deal. Take a look at the video for more detail.

TAEIN oppa
: Don't you think the actor kind of looks like your dad?

Ddeok Ssam from Annalog on Vimeo

Speaking of celebrities, I spotted an adorable actress at the Coex Mall today.
엄마: It was the little girl from your favorite movie:

We wanted to take a photo with her because she's so cute, but we felt a little awkward. She was in the toy store just trying to be a regular kid. Instead, we just openly gawked at her. That's less awkward, right?

16 February 2008

Teacher Annalog: "How to be an Awesome President"

I recently started teaching a small class of fourth grade international school students. Because they are nine-year-old boys from privileged backgrounds, they can be quite antagonistic. As they remind me on a regular basis, they hate me and think that I am a devil because (a) I am a "girl" (b) assign them homework (c) make them take a vocabulary quiz and (d) make them write an essay every week. For some reason, they are under the impression that I am their babysitter or royal entertainer, and not their highly esteemed reading and writing teacher. These boys better recognize.

I'm determined to win them over through patience, candy, vocab games, and a generous tolerance for references to violence and video games.

Today, they started referring to me as "Ms. Devil." I see this as a step in the right direction. In fact, one student even gave me a piece of bubble gum. It was wrapped, so I don't have to worry about the gum being poisoned. Plus, I let the other boys eat the gum in class for safe measure.

Even though they can be quite horrid, I'm starting to enjoy the class. I especially enjoy reading their essays. My elementary students may not be strong writers, but they often prove to be quite insightful, despite their limited writing skills. Meanwhile, the essays of my older students are poorly written AND lack creativity or critical thinking.

Since the Homeland is in the midst of an election year, I thought I'd share a couple of essays courtesy of my fourth grade demons. The topic was: "What are the necessary qualities for a good president?"

Obama and McCain need to take note.

Editorial comments are in italics.

President !!!
Written by: Too Smart for his Own Good

Presidents are really serious when they are talking what about to do for the future. They also need to be clean and look good. They also need to have the responsibility to speech.

They need to be clean when there doing there speech. But they could be clean or dirty in there home. The reason is that the people won't like to see a dirty president doing speech.

They also need to have the responsibility to speech. The reason is that they should make there own speech because they can't just stay there saying nothing. They also need to have a responsibility because they can't just say something wrong then the people will be thinking they are crazy.

These are my reasons why presidents have to be serious and be careful when they give a speech.

Teacher Annalog: Seriously, future Mr. President. Just be sure to look good and prevent yourself from saying anything foolish. I guess our current president would argue that it's easier said than done...


Written by: The Nice One

If you want to be a president, you need to make laws for the country. Laws are very helpful, because people will be safe, and country will not ruin.

Second, you need to be responsible so everybody can believe you, and you can hear good things about you or some people can peak you for president again.

Third, you need to be smart, because if you foolish, everybody have a much complains to president, and your country will ruins, or your country will be going poor, and you may be impeached.

Last, you need to be kind to everyone so that everyone will love their president, and support the presidents party. If you want to be president, I think you need these qualities.

Teacher Annalog: As most presidents will attest to, the presidency is not about leading the country per se. The presidency is about your LEGACY. What will the history books say? Are you going to go down as the chump that "ruined" the country or will you be remembered as the charismatic president that everyone loved (and narrowly escaped impeachment). Also, don't forget about your party. They MADE you. You better represent or else... you just might wake up one day and find the severed head of Ann Coulter in your bed.

14 February 2008

A "Love Song" from Annalog & Cyndi

In Korea, it is customary for the girl to give out chocolates to her special someone on Valentine's Day, while guys are expected to reciprocate on "White Day" on March 14th. If you don't get any love on Valentine's Day or White Day, then you're suppose to commiserate with your other single, loser friends over a bowl of black bean noodles on "Black Day" (April 14).

Looks like Cyndi and I will be eating some jajjang myun in April, because we are surrounded by a bunch of ajusshis and married people. We're definitely not giving out any chocolates this year.

Instead of chocolates, I've decided to send all my family & friends (and I guess a couple of random strangers) a little virtual video valentine.

Yes, it is another one of my zany music videos.

Now, before my mom can say, "this is why you two are single," I should note that I coerced Cyndi into participating in the video. She is normally not so yupki. She is a lovely, sane-minded young woman, who is normally above such foolishness and absurdity. It's just that she's a good sport, and I can be very intimidating. :)

If you were impressed by Cyndi's performance, and you are a charismatic young bachelor, 180 cm tall, at least 28 years old, employed, likes dogs, and possess a good sense of humor, then you should holla at Cyndi in the comments.

Hope you have a good Valentine's!

11 February 2008

Queens Park Bakery

There is a plethora of bakeries in Seoul, but I find that most of them offer similar fare -- pastries and buns in a Frenchish vein.

Weaned on American delicacies such as box mix cakes, brownies, and Nestle Tollhouse cookies, I've become quite particular in my palette for sweets.

Until I recently got all the fixings to make my own brownies and cookies, I often stopped into bakeries looking for a brownie or chocolate chip cookie. Though not common, I've managed to find a number of brownies and chocolate chip cookies, but they've all turned out to be bland, dry, and definitely overpriced. Let's not skimp on the butter, people!

The only bakery that has come close to making a decent brownie is Queens Park in Apkujung. The selection of pies, cakes, loaves, and pastries all look very lovely, but I have to warn you, they're quite pricey. But, if you're like me, and willing to spend more on baked goods than you do on shoes or clothing, then perhaps Queens Park won't seem like such a bad deal.

In addition to baked goods, Queens Park offers a nice looking brunch and dinner menu. I've only sampled the baked goods, but I imagine that the sit down menu is pretty nice.

Good Eats: Roti Bun Challenge

While folks back home are just starting to ooh and aah over the Red Mango fro-yo trend, Koreans have already moved on to the next hot food item: roti buns.

Based on my source (i.e., google), the roti bun trend originated from Malaysia. The roti bun is a soft, butter-filled bread, topped with a sugary coffee-flavored crust. I also read that this bun is based on a Mexican recipe. So basically, roti bun is a Malaysian concoction based on a Mexican recipe, now sold in Korea. You got that?

A few months ago, two roti bun shops opened up in my neighborhood: Roti Boy and Papa Roti. They opened for business on the SAME DAY, and virtually just around the corner from each other. I'm no business major, but I suspect that such close competition does not make for good business.

Cyndi and I decided to do a little product comparison and give our expert opinions on which roti bun shop will prevail; a roti bun rumble, if you will.

Frankly, I don't think either shop will be around in a year's time because that's the way Korean businesses seem to roll.

I should note that I'm a little partial to Roti Boy, because they gave me a stamp card. (Arg, they trapped me with their stamp card!).

09 February 2008

Good Eats: Kang Ho Dong's Samgyupsal

We really should stop eating at establishments simply because they're owned by some Korean celebrity. After getting our hair done at Leechul Hairkerker in Apgujeong, we decided to try out the restaurant owned by Kang Ho Dong, a mega popular TV personality.

Kang Ho Dong's 678 Samgyupsal was a major disappointment. The meat was overly thick and rough. I nearly broke a tooth while trying to chew the pork cartilage. The banchan was sucksville. The service was also lacking. I felt very neglected. Kang Ho Dong, we want our money back, or at least some free tickets to Yashimanman.

Anyway, check out the video for more detail.

Speaking of which, I think I need to stop with the videos. I seem to be losing all sense. My threshold for embarrassment seems to be on the rise. These videos have become some sort of shameless vice. I know I must stop, but I just can't seem to help myself...

More about Eyelash Extensions

I've gotten some inquiries about my fabulashes both online and offline, so I think it's time for me to blog a little more about the fabulous Ms. Summer, the 언니 responsible for my lash extensions.

Summer was previously working out of a salon who's name I will no longer mention. Unfortunately, the salon owner is a petty biatch so Summer has decided to take her business elsewhere. She's just not sure where. I'll let you know when she's found a regular work space. In the mean time, Summer's been trekking it to Bundang to maintain our lashes. Thanks, Summer! You are 최고!

By the way, fellas, Summer is single. Holla in the comments if you are a tall, employed, bachelor, with a good heart.

Here's Heng modeling Summer's handiwork.

I can't rave enough about these lash extensions. The application of the individual lash pieces can be quite time consuming (Summer is still a relative newbie at this, but the process can take about 1-1.5 hours). However, in my humble opinion, the ordeal is quite worth it. I recently looked at some old photos of myself, and realized that my fabulashes make a subtle, yet significant difference.

A number of people have asked Cyndi and me if our lashes our natural, and though we are tempted to say, yes, of course they are; I am greatly offended by your question, we end up telling them the truth: "We just use some really good mascara."


Maybe it's real, or maybe it's synthetic lashes painstakingly glued to my lash line.

I'm not sure about the consequences on my natural lashes, but I suppose I'll find out once I head back to California... As far as I can tell, my natural lashes haven't fallen out more than usual.

In addition to lash extensions, Summer is a skilled nail artist. Check out her skillz below.

Cyndi kindly captured a brief clip of Summer in action (as well as the big zit on my chin). I shamelessly sleep through most of the procedure, so overall it's quite an enjoyable experience for me; I wake up well-rested with voluminous lashes.

01 February 2008

Magazine Freebies

One of the things that I love about Korea's highly consumerist society is the prevalence of freebies! Give it up for free stuff!

You walk into any cosmetics chain and you're sure to walk out with at least some free cotton swabs or some face mask sample. It's like a frugal girl's version of Halloween. Me loves it.

If you decide to buy a Korean fashion magazine, be sure to get an issue that comes with some sort of free gift. Do not settle for less. It is your right as a consumer in Korea, a right called "service."

In America, all you ever get are some annoying subscription postcards that threaten to fall out every time you open the magazine. At most, you get some tiny sample of makeup concealer that is unlikely to match your skin tone. You certainly never get anything that you could re-gift...

Korean magazines are far superior in terms of freebies. I should note that the complimentary gifts may be seem a little random, but one should never look a (free) gift horse in the mouth. (Did I get the expression right? I think I'm beginning to lose my ability to speak Engrish).

Pick up an issue of CeCe and get a tube of Pringles (Pringles Light, of course. You are a woman after all).

Ran out of grapeseed oil? No problem. Just run to Kyobo Bookstore and pick up a couple of bottles.

(Thanks for the corrections HY) An issue of Cindy the Perky magazine will get you a scale and some sort of useless face shaping device.

It's a little disconcerting that all of these freebies reinforce the body consciousness inspired by the photo-shopped models in the fashion magazines, but then again... it's FREE!