Roundup of the Week: Part 2

Sunday, May 29, 2011

H. has got me hooked on Bubble Bobble, a really old game from the time computer screens were black. It's the classic beat-a-whole-obstacle-course-full-of-monsters-and-rescue-the-girl kind of scenario, except the heroes are a couple of bubble-blowing dinosaurs that make happy sounds as they bounce and eat cherries and cake and ice cream, with the mother of all ear worms playing in the background:

When—that is, if ever—we get the chance to live together, H. and I are going to beat all one hundred levels of this game, which he hears is near impossible to achieve without two players.

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I've passed by 팔당호, just beyond the eastern tip of Seoul, several times without ever really knowing what it was. I'm usually returning from a backpacking trip in the rural areas—the kind that are more fun to reminisce about than to actually experience—on a bus creeping through traffic along 강변북로, following the Han River back to Seoul and to the corrosive glitter and ease of civilization. It's usually evening—sometimes very late in the evening—and I'm usually heavy-lidded, worn-out, and about ready for a shower and a nice soft bed. Weariness sometimes turns me introspective and even poetic, and the weird blue of the falling dusk, the dark shapes of the mountains looming like sleeping forms—often, in late spring or summer, shrouded in a thick mist off the water—and the broad, still, mirror-like river provides a good backdrop for the peculiar mood I am in.

Before the coming summer is out H. and I will have at least made plans to visit the place, instead of being content with a glimpse from the window of a bus speeding by. I imagine us standing side-by-side, watching the outline of the mountains dissolve and their shadowy forms seep into the deepening blue mist. Holding hands but off in our separate worlds, each of us thinking our own strange thoughts.

Roundup of the Week: Part 1

The weather is getting warmer, though at night breezes still raise the gooseflesh on bare arms. I first heard this song on a summer night, when I was lonely and depressed but did not regret having taken the leap to being single for what was perhaps the first time in my adult life. I'm not single anymore, which I regard as a bit of a mixed blessing, but weather like this still reminds me of that feeling, and of this song.

Teresa Teng was such a lovely lady, in the truest sense of the word. It was a shame she died so young.

This rabbit feeds Chuck Norris clover. In fact, I bet it not only pumps, but eats pure iron on a daily basis.

How to beat a hangover

Friday, May 20, 2011

Last night, while he was out, H. sent me a text ("Miss you") for absolutely no reason at all, and even called once to ask "how I was doing," something he never does, at least by phone. It was pretty cute, until I remembered that H. dislikes electronic communication (instant messenger, internet phone, video chat, phone calls, etc.) and therefore he must either be drunk or otherwise not in his right mind. Indeed, I later found out that H. had knocked back three mugs of beer, three shots of whiskey, and four shots of Chinese liquor that night&#8212and that was just up to the point where he could still count reliably. Which somehow made it all the more endearing, that the man could be sloshed out of his mind and still think of me.

Hello world.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I would not have had any reason to care, if it had not been for H. It's been years and many things have changed since he was at KEK, not the least of which was switching majors, but he still knows people from those days, some of whom were still in Ibaraki as far as he knew. It became apparent from the downing of the home page servers and the news reports coming in from Ibaraki Prefecture that KEK had not escaped damage, though how bad there was no way of knowing.

A Deceit of Lapwings

All happy people are more or less dissimilar; all unhappy people are more or less alike.