Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kingdom of the Wind - Teaser

Twitch Rocks!

Blockbuster Sageuk 바람의 나라 (Kingdom of the Wind) Starts the Dances
Posted by X at 4:20pm.
Posted in Trailer Alerts , Asia.

Pardon my execrable vernacular but.... holy shit. That’s pretty.

We’re quite close to the start of this year’s most awaited sageuk, 바람의 나라 (Kingdom of the Wind), adapted from an insanely popular Kim Jin manhwa, and telling the story of Muhyul, who would later become King Daemushin. But that’s just history we can talk about later. The bone of contention is… these are the guys who made 해신 (Emperor of the Sea), and it will look good. Preliminary shoot in China will probably look a lot better, pump on the battles (I’ve heard 800 extras) to bring up the ratings, and then probably settle down. But, hey, I’ll take that over 식객 (Gourmet) any day, thanks. Visuals look a bit on the 卧薪尝胆 (The Great Revival) side, which is a nice sign, and there’s really nothing to worry about in the acting front, with Song Il-Guk, Jung Jin-Young, Kim Myung-Soo, Oh Yoon-Ah and many others. More than anything, it’ll be interesting to see how Park Jin-Woo of 한성별곡-正 (Conspiracy in the Court) adapts to this environment, as he’s working with Jerry Br… I mean Choi Wan-Gyu. Which, in the long run, could mean the wind mind not be the only thing blowing.

Ok, that’s enough. Let’s just watch the goodies below the break. Show begins on September 10.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kingdom of the Wind - Production Stills

(Me: I like the bandana look more than the Daemushin wig look)

Just about two more weeks to go before the broadcast of KBS “The Kingdom of the Winds“. I guess every fans, especially those of Song Il Gook, will be excited about this. Three production stills of the upcoming sageuk drama were released today, and guess what, they are all featuring Song Il Gook. Hmm where’s my Choi Jung Won?

This 36-episode historical drama adapted from Kim Jin’s comic, depicts the life of Prince Moo Hyul (Song Il Gook), who is the grandson of Jumong. Prince Moo Hyul, who later becomes Daemusin, wages war against neighbouring countries and eventually conquers the largest land mass in the history of Korea. He is known as “The God of War”. Choi Jung Won plays as Princess Yeon, who is the love interest of Daemusin.

Among the photos revealed, the one where Song Il Gook wore a bandana, aroused the most interest from the viewers. In order to fully portray this greatest conqueror in the history of Korea, Song Il Gook had started training and building up his body before he even receives the script.

“Daemusin is a tough character. I am currently working hard on exercising and even had martial art lessons in order to convincingly portray a great conqueror,” Song Il Gook said.

Having already played “Jumong” that ends with a magnificent 51.9% TV ratings on its final episode, I wonder how this new Song Il Gook drama will fare. It will be a heavy burden on him to ensure that his drama receives a high rating. My personal guess is at least a 20+% though.

The special episode of “The Kingdom of the Winds” will be shown on the 4th of September and the drama will debut on the 10th.

Source: Newsen

Translated by:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lee Eon / Park Sang Min

He played a bright and innocent light in Coffee Prince. His smile was engaging and sweet. I am so sad.

By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Staff Reporter

Lee Eon, a model-turned-actor who starred in the popular MBC drama "Coffee Prince", died in a motorcycle accident at dawn Thursday, Yonhap News reported.

Lee, whose real name is Park Sang-min, was on his way home after attending a party celebrating the end of his KBS drama "Choi Kang Chil-woo" ("Mighty Chil-woo"). He was riding his motorcycle when he hit a railing of the elevated roadway in Hannam-dong, Yongsan at around 2 a.m.

The 27-year old actor died on the spot and was taken to Soonchunhyang University Hospital in Hannam-dong, Seoul. The police have not yet determined if Lee was drunk when he got into the motorcycle accident.

Lee gained fame last year for his role as a dim-witted but loveable Min-yeop in "Coffee Prince".

When he was in elementary school, Lee started participating in ssireum or traditional Korean wrestling. He proved to be an excellent athlete and won gold medals at Korean national ssireum competitions in 1997 and 1998.

However, as a freshman in university, Lee saw model Cha Seung-won on TV and decided to become a model. He worked hard to lose 30 kilos in order to gain the slim physique of a model. He made his debut in a fashion show in Busan in 1999.

With his good looks, Lee soon became a sought-after model, appearing in numerous fashion shows, including the Seoul Fashion Artists Association Collection. He also branched out into acting in dramas, which led to his role in "Coffee Prince".

Source : ( English Korean )

My God Grant him eternal rest and may perpetual light shine upon him.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Proud to be Catholic

Good article.

Proud of Being Catholic

Excerpts of an article written by Sam Miller,prominent Cleveland Jewish businessman -( NOT CATHOLIC )

Submitted by Dee Lynd.

18 April 2008

Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States, namely the Catholic Church?

Do you know - the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to your Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. Your graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%, all at a cost to you. To the rest of the Americans it's free.

The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students. The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people - not just Catholics - in the United States today.

But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage.

Let me give you some figures that you as Catholics should know and remember. For example, 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church, 41.8 % of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior; 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed. Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia. 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic problem.

A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnox ious PR the church has been receiving.

The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests that have probably been totally weeded out by now.

Walk with your shoulders high and you head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental agency in the United States. -Then remember what was written in Jeremiah:'Thus says the Lord: Stand by the earliest roads, ask the pathways of old. Which is the way to good, and walk it; thus you will find rest for your souls.' (Jer 6: 16).

Be Proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions.

...... Be Proud That You're A Catholic......

Monday, August 18, 2008

Squalor of the Mind

I've posted about being "emo" before. Wallowing in the squalor of my mind, tired, crabby, churlish. The mood elevator stuck between the impatient/frustrated and the irritated/bothered floors.

I try to add more upbeat stuff in addition to the emo junk. I'm not Brain Tail though. I've not been gifted with the natural ability to bring people hope during times of great strain; pointing out that through all things, God is in charge. That's not my muse. My muse gleefully places skinny gas pump humping citizens in my path so that I must write about them or explode.

So speaking about emo, I'm thinking about one friend in particular who has gone through some tough times in the last few years for sure. But all in all, life is good; has a home, bills are well paid, money in the bank, two cars in the garage, is healthy, and has all the mental faculties one needs. Got a job that is sucking the life force out, but still - got a job.

It put me in mind of my 16 year old daughter. One night about 8 months back, while I was moaning about all the things I didn't have and whining about the cards that were dealt me, she started ticking off the losses she had endured in her short life and how she chose to deal with them.

"I could be miserable. It would be easy. My dad lives 800 miles away, but you know what? I have a dad. We moved away from the only home I ever knew my whole life and I lost all my friends, but you know what? I made new ones and I love them. My brothers don't live near me any more, but I know they love me. Stop looking at what you don't have and start looking at what you do have and just be thankful for that."

This is the girl who told me how beautiful my wrinkles were, which I have to repeat because it makes me happy.

I was admiring my daughter’s hands the other day. Smooth, slender, and lovely. I compared her hands to mine and mine came up wanting. Wanting botox. But my youngest child exclaimed, “Oh, I LOVE your hands!”

“You are just being nice, they are hideous.”

“Oh NO. Look at them, they’re beautiful!”

“Oh, really.” I was unimpressed.

“I look at these hands and I see life! I can see all the foreheads you’ve checked for fevers, all the neck rubs, the aspirins you gave us, the peanut butter sandwiches you’ve made. Do you know you are able to make a peanut butter sandwich with one swipe of the knife?” she kept stroking and admiring my hands as I stared at her with an open mouth.

“How do you make peanut butter spread across the bread like that? That amazes me! I tried to do that once and I just ripped the bread. These hands have washed thousands of dishes, folded tons of clothes, swept floors, driven me places. These hands have loved and hugged and lived! Look at my hands! They haven’t lived! They’ve done nothing! I love your hands! I think they are beautiful! And your face,” she started to smooth my cheeks. “Look at those lines! Look at those smile lines by your eyes! I love those, you’ve laughed so much, you’ve smiled so much, they make you so beautiful!”

We are so accustomed to focus on what we don't have, on the negative, that we forget the blessings we have been given. May we remember to thank God for what we have and what we have lost.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Still Hypermiling

Well, hot damn! Hypermiling efforts this week squeezed out 42.09 mpg! I drove 9 days between fill ups, some highway, some not, and traveled 424 miles. I achieved 43 mpg twice last year, and with one tank of gold a few weeks ago that surpassed 46 mpg. To be fair though, that was all highway on my way home from New York. My last 6 fill ups average 41.63 mpg.

Not a big deal, considering some non-hybrid users are getting between 50 and 60 mpg, but seeing my efforts bear fruit make me happy.

I still haven’t changed my oil to the lighter grade nor have I checked my tire’s psi gauge. So I may have a little more room for improvement.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Want to Go Home

At the Naval Base, inside the compound.

I was treading above the surface in a sea of shorn Officer Candidates in tan uniform. My senses were bombarded by the sights and sounds of men and women greedily consuming coffee and goodies from Dunkin’Donuts. The young men all looked the same, but my mother-eyes searched for my son. He wasn’t in the room. I waited.

He finally came in at roughly 8:30 am. He seemed eager to introduce me to his particular friends; the officer candidate that helps him fold his clothes, the other young men in his class who endured the same Drill Instructors, those same officer candidates who had not passed first inspection either. I listened to stories of boot camp, what this D.I. said, how that recruit had a melt down and left and I watched my always-conscious-of-his-fat-intake son drink 8 large cups of coffee and eat 2 ice cream bars, half a dozen donuts, one yogurt bar and three homemade chocolate chip cookies.

We talked about how he loves what he’s doing, how he’s excited about his future and what it all means, how he’s part of something much bigger than he and how it fills him with awe. I let him use my cell phone to call his friends allowing him to touch base with people who’s friendship and affection have a new meaning from where he now sits.

My visit with Adam was fleeting, wonderful and worth every hour of the drive up. But the ride home was a &*^%$ nightmare.

Upon leaving at 11:30 am, I stopped at a nearby Mexican restaurant just on the other side of the traffic circle, ordered a quesadilla, charged my phone for the long ride home, and changed my clothes. Clara and I talked about the ride back. I consulted my mapquested directions, which concurred with Clara's suggestion. I was to drive I-95 N, then S through Rhode Island, Connecticut, NYC, New Jersey, Maryland and then on to Virginia.

Anyway, the &*^%$ nightmare. Once I got on 95 it started raining hard – a glorious thunderstorm with dramatic lightening and sheets of rain. A storm that backed up traffic. At least I thought that was what backed it up. Until I maintained speed at 25 mph through Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York City and New Jersey. Stop and go the whole time with occasional bursts of 0.8 miles long at 40mph. Kill. My. Self.

I had to stop once for gasoline – a full service station where 20 cars were lined up along the five rows of pumps they had going. Once I reached the pump, though gasoline jockeys were in evidence everywhere, no one came my aid, so taking matters into my own hands, I got out to fill up. I swiped my card…tic…tic…tic…tic…system is thinking…..I didn’t mind, I was enjoying standing up and moving around actually.

Then a skinny employee gave me the crazy-eye and decided to welcome me to his beautiful State of New Jersey in the way of his people. He pushed his face into mine and declared firmly; “If you put an American Express in there it won’t work!"

Quick as the lightening that decorated my drive thus far, out of my bra I whipped out my visa and flashed it at him; “It was a Visa."

Frustration wafted from his every pore. “WELL THE G-D SYSTEM’S DOWN!” and he started dry humping my gas pump and beating it's top in an effort to spur the pump into life. No lie. After 3 very long seconds of humping and as I watched in horror, he stormed the perimeter of his world shouting, “System’s down!”. Fortunately my pump started working. Perhaps it had been seduced by the hump.

I pumped my gas, and as my receipt printed, my aggravated little friend came back over to declare: “System’s still down!” I left.

10:30 pm. Ten hours. Ten hours it took me to get home. Home, finally, Sunday night, exhausted and sore and knowing full well that I’ll never, with the full consent of my will, drive on I-95 again. I walked in the door, hugged my daughter and went to bed.

Nineteen hours of driving. I saw a movie, I saw my friend, and I spent three hours with my son. I’d do it again in a second.

I'd just book a hotel room in advance...and I'll never stop in New Jersey again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Want to See My Son

After a leisurely lunch, and a spirited drive around Moosic, Pennsylvania looking for a gasoline station, Brain Tail and I subsequently filled up on gasoline and Starbucks Coffee. My part in the drama was next; the transfer of the Shiner Bock from my trunk to Lacie's. We bid our adieus; she back to her upstate New York home, I to Newport, Rhode Island.

I hadn't planned. Not a jot. As I told you before, Lace had skillfully pre-planned our day trip to see "X-Files: I Want to Believe". Me? I just drove. I suppose part of me was on a Kerouacian journey, the spontaneous prose of travel. But the weather was fine, just me and my Honda man.

Aaaand a borrowed GPS system.
Aaaand a satellite radio.

Yeah free and cruising on the open road. Windows were open, Miklos Rozsa's beautiful score to Ben Hur was turned up. I was mistress of my own fate and I reveled in it.

Until I got closer to Newport. Did you know that Rhode Island is called "The Ocean State"? Yeah, I forgot:

  • And it was July
  • And it was Saturday
  • And it was 9:30 at night
  • And I didn't have a hotel room

My borrowed finery, that lovely GPS system, sported a nice lady's voice (with whom I bonded and named Clara). Clara guided me to a cemetery and provided me with a list of lodgers in the locale. Twenty calls later, still with no hotel room in my name, alternative plans were forming

Plan B: Go back over big $2 toll bridge, head north on 95, look for a hotel room

Plan C: Go back over big $2 toll bridge, head north on 95, find rest stop and sleep in parking lot (as Guest Blogger said later – this was not a bad plan; since only pedophiles and homosexual men cruised those parking lots, a 43 year old woman would be safe.)

Plan D: Save $2 toll, stay in cemetery, sleep in car, devise excuse for Rhode Island law enforcement official when Johnny Law came knocking on my door at 1:37 am

Plan E: Go back over big $2 toll bridge, head north on 95, don't stop until I reach home, disappoint my son, emotionally self-flagellate for own stupidity, never tell another soul. Live with the secret shame of my failure as a parent and Kerouacian traveler.

I decided that if the gettin' was good anywhere, it was across that $2 bridge. I drove and drove, took an exit here, a ramp there, ran in to some road work and eventually drove 30 miles for what I discovered the next day was really about 7 (Clara couldn't tell from road work). I found a Wendy's; I needed to pee and eat food. After doing both, I decided to sit in the parking lot and see if I could make Plan B viable.

Oh, yeah, and I prayed a lot.

"All things work good toward those who love God" which Google tells me is from the book of Romans. My prayers were answered, I found a hotel. I was fully prepared to spend $300 a night for a clean room and a shower. I was so desperate I would have spent that amount of money for a room at Flowered Schmonson's Hexpress if it had a lock and credibly hot water (which after that last experience, we all know are not guaranteed amenities for the Hexpress). Thankfully, I did not have to place myself in Schmonson's Peril; The Hampton Inn had one smoking room left, for $159 a night. I scooped it up, threw down my chicken sandwich and asked Clara how to get there.

By 10:30 pm, I was in a room that, while it reeked of cigarette smoke (I would have taken up the vice had it been a requirement) was clean, with lots of fluffy white pillows and bed linens. The water was hot, bathroom coffee maker was in evidence and while the radio didn't work, the television did. Not that it mattered; I checked in at 10;30, got to my 6th floor room, showered, established a comfortable room temperature, crawled into bed, saw nothing was on and was asleep by 11:10 pm.

Up at 5:30 am, I drank bathroom coffee maker coffee, got dressed and was on the road by 6:00 am. I eventually discovered the fatal error in my directions-to-chapel, typed in the address of the Naval Base from my memory (all those cards and letters I've mailed) and got to where I needed to be.

I got to see my boy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I Want to Believe

I invested a lot of years into the characters of Mulder and Scully. I came in during season four and it took me some time to catch up. I was a bigger fan of the MotW (monster of the week) episodes than I was of the government conspiracy arc. I loved CGB Spender and Walter Skinner. I had a very soft spot for the Lone Gunmen and Krycek. I adored the snarky Morris Fletcher. I despised Bill Scully and Diana Fowley. I can tell you which episodes Darin Morgan wrote and/or starred in. I even participated in a gregarious group of religious on-line Scully-enthusiasts just so I could get spoilers every week.

I was a shipper - someone who thought that Mulder and Scully loved each other and should be together romantically. The chemistry between Duchovny and Anderson was electric. It was what kept me coming back each week. Don't get me wrong; the writing was excellent and the creepy feel was fun. But it was the characters and my investment in them that brought me back to the screen last month

Home Again - Mark Snow

Abductions, a psychic X-pedophilic X-priest ("Stupendous Yappi, tell me what I'm thinking now." "So's your old man!"), Russians (Poor Krycek, he SO could have helped Mulder what with his Russian-as-a- second-language thing and his fake arm and all) a non-believing FBI agent and one who wants to believe. Hospitals and doctors and incurable diseases, O MY! Pictures of aliens, flying saucers, fluke-men, and Samantha.

"I Want to Believe" was a monster-of-the-week episode. An FBI agent goes missing, our X-priest has visions and a flailing FBI calls on a hermetically sealed Mulder for help. To be precise, they call on Scully who calls on Mulder for help.

Our Dr. Scully works at a
Catholic Hospital; "Our Lady of Sorrows" (HA!) and she's trying desperately to save a little boy's life (Christian! HA!) through radical treatments that no Catholic Hospital worth the name would condone.

We learn that Mulder and Scully are shacking up in a messed up...uhm...shack...somewhere in West Virginia. Mulder is obviously depressed yet still obsessed, given the wallpaper in his office and the growth of beard on his face. Scully has her own obsession going on trying to save little William…whoops, I mean Christian from his brain disease. Let's face it; Dr. Scully should probably go back and take the course on clinical detachment while Mulder oughta shave, shower, clean up, something, I don't know. In an effort to get him off his ass and out of that filthy hole they live in, Scully tells him about the FBI's request and urges him to action. Off they go.

Scully, to the detriment of the poor abducted FBI agent, clearly doesn't have the stomach for the fibbie chase anymore leaping down the throat of X-Father Joe for his past horrific crimes. Mulder (with his "distinguished profile" season 6, episode 8) smells a real psychic and is on the job. He even shaves. Scully can't stomach being in the same room with X-Father.

Mulder's faith is rekindled; he wants to believe again. Scully struggles with her faith, seems that she no longer has any
. But when X-Father Joe tells her not to give up, she doesn't want to allow it in, or to give it meaning. Yet in the end, we find she wants to believe too.

Our heroes come to a crossroads in their relationship. Mulder feels alive again; he's driven to get to the bottom of the case. Scully fears where the obsessions take him; she can't follow him into the dark anymore and does not want to be a party to it. But in the end, Scully, ("…stomach contents include ... pizza ...(gasp!) Chloral hydrate's in the pizza! The pizza guy! (gasp again!) Mulder!") by googling the dots between dogs, Russians and stem cells, saves Mulder's ass as usual. One abductee ("Do you prefer the term ab-duct-ee or experiencer?) is saved from the creepy dog pound and we get to see the only person with balls in the FBI: Walter Skinner swoops in to save the day.

But look; our MotW turns out

to be a dark Russian slice of a

fabulous 1962 B movie. If only it had been "The

Screaming Skull" my life would have been complete. But even so - "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" - works for me (Scully: " do I die?" Clyde Bruckman smiles, "You don't.").

What didn't I like? I thought the political commentary, panning over to the picture of President Bush and playing the XFiles music was clumsy and pretty 8th grade. During the entire nine year run of the show they never did that to Janet "Elian Gonzales / Branch Davidian" Reno. I thought that the pedophile priest angle and Scully's subsequent angst would have worked better in 2002, which is probably when they wrote the screenplay. As a faithfully practicing Catholic I was annoyed that all of the priests in the movie looked like John Mark Carr. I mean, come on. Oh, yeah and it doesn't snow that much in Virginia; certainly not in Richmond where our pedophiles have checked in to the sex offender concentration camp.

What did I love? I loved the affection for the fans; the shout outs. The nuns, the red swim trunks that replaced the red speedo, the pencils in the ceiling, the poster, the fish tank, Mulder's cell phone with the names of X-Files writers in his contacts list, Scully's cross necklace, and beautiful beautiful Walter Skinner; Assistant Director; the Skin Man. The "I Want To Believe" poster, sunflower seeds, and references to two of my favorite characters; Luther Lee Boggs and Clyde Bruckman.

Mostly, I loved that these characters were back. I really hope that there is at least one more in the series - that one will have to be the government consipiracy to hide the truth that the end of the world is 12/12/12.

If I were them, I'd schedule a Thanksgiving release.

PS: Thank Brain Tail for the contribution: a beautiful score by Mark Snow enveloped this movie. "Home Again" is my favorite cut.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I Want to See My Friend

Brain Tail and I had been planning to meet since Chris Carter announced plans to film the second movie in the X-Files series. God Bless Brain Tail, she did all the foot work; decided upon a date, determined the half way point, found a theatre, googled showing times, and established the location of the closest Starbucks.

I offered to bring Shiner Bock.

Decisions were made, plans were finalized. We would reach our destination at 10am so we could lounge over Starbucks coffee and do some immediate catch up. We would then catch the ultra-early 11:15 am show so that we could lunch casually and then dissect the movie. After which, I would transfer all the Shiner Bock I purchased into her car and we would go our separate ways – me to Rhode Island, she home. Flawless.

Saturday dawned bright and fine. A three hour drive was nothing, a walk in the park, a jaunt, a delight ~ splendid ~ if you will. I walked my dog, checked my email, made a pot of coffee, showered, lightly packed a bag, curled up with my daughter and kissed her goodbye. The gas tank was full, I had water in the front seat, the GPS was turned on, and back up mapquest directions were at hand. I glanced at the printed directions; lo and behold, my end of the drive was 3 hours 59 minutes. The first time I looked at them, all I saw was the 3 hours part. Well, crap. That meant I wasn’t going to get there in time for coffee and a chat, I was going to get to the theatre just in time to sit down and watch the movie.

Maybe I could make up time.

Nope, didn’t work. For the first hour, I got stuck behind someone I am convinced practiced rigid hypermiling techniques while I was determined to practice aggressive driving methods. Then I discovered that Pennsylvania is STILL making improvements to I-81N. In my 30 year experience, I-81 north and south has always been under construction. I’m told by my Uncle that for the 30 years before that it was under construction too. Whatever…it was putting me behind. I get a call from my friend who of all things left early and reached our destination at 9:30am. Well, crap again. I wasn’t going to get there much before 11am.

I got there just in time to get tickets and find seats; there really wasn’t a line at 11:00 am. We were two of about six people in the theatre. You know, if you were a diehard fan back in the day, it would really have been fun to sit in a crowd with other back-in-the-day-diehard fans. The shout outs to the fans were not too in your face and fun. Made us want to clap and shout “wooooo” which would have been ridiculous given the number of people in the theater. We left after all the credits stopped rolling.

I didn’t expect the film to overwhelm me with cinematic excellence. I was going because I had invested 9 years in the characters. I invested some amount of money in seasons 1-6 on DVD (blech – 7 – 9 – just blech). But mostly because I had invested years of friendship in the little Brain Tail friend I have.

Movie, lunch, catch-up, laughter, Starbucks, more laughter. A perfect day so far.

Next up: I Want to Believe

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Teetotaler gods

I am thoroughly convinced that I can no longer consume alcohol of any kind or in any amount.

I’m a fan of the dirty martini; very dirty, thanks, with three olives. I suppose someone should just call it Olive Vodka With a Whiff of Vermouth or something because that’s how I like it. To be precise, my preference runs toward the big fat olives stuffed with a pimento – not a big fan of garlic or almond or hot pepper stuffarifficness. It’s just who I am. I will test the occasional sweetened up “..tini”; i.e.; Apple-tinis, Chocla-tini, Cran-tini and the like, but only as a varietal of the genre, not as a steady diet. On a hot evening I do like a cold Cosmopolitan. But basically, I’m a simple, salty girl.

Beer = Shiner Bock, Wine = Beringer Chardonnay, Shots = Tequila

I am not a big drinker. I was always worried, due to some pretty significant boozified DNA, that I would have a problem with alcohol so I spent most of my formative years avoiding it. After my husband left in 2000, I decided that I could indulge if I wanted to…and I wanted to. I lived with White Zinfandel for a while – to my friend Ken’s elitist oenephilic horror – whored around with Woo-Woo for a little bit and have now settled into my current surroundings with Olive Vodka With a Whiff of Vermouth. But no, I am not a big drinker. One or two drinks once or twice a week is way plenty.

However, Father Time pummeled, I having recently surrendered to the Bifocal gods. I’m worried that other little demons are sneaking in, taking up residence and soon to deprive me of any pleasure. I refuse to think about it.

My last two Tini-Episodes were uncomfortable. Each time - one martini – just one – and both times I woke up at 3am with a splitting hangover headache intending to drill a hole in my temple to let the bad out. Nausea. Fatigue. Unladylike stomach activity. I wanted to die.

Third time’s the charm. I went to Guest Blogger’s house last night for dinner. Convinced that someone was trying to poison me, I eschewed the martini and went with the lovely J. Lohr merlot (I think it was merlot…let’s just say “red”) that was trotted out. I drank what constitutes 2 glasses of wine. A pleasant evening of conversation and laughter…it was lovely.

Today, headache and fatigue. Tummy is off the bubble. God and my body are telling me to stop drinking. Now. And completely.

It took me 2 years to bend over for the bifocal gods. The teetotaler gods can wait too.

Progressive Lenses

I mentioned it earlier, sneaking it in like it wasn’t a big deal; I now have progressive lenses.

I’d fought my need for bifocals for two years. Thinking that my inability to focus when reading was a fluke – positive it would clear up on its own. Thinking that somehow biting that pillow was an admission that I’d fully dried up. Thinking that the only thing left for me was to research funerary real estate.

New Job, New Vision Benefit, New Eye Doctor. We had a long and satisfying chat about my skyrocketing ocular hypertension ~ indeed, New Doctor seemed enthusiastic about the state of the art tests and dreamy technology that littered the office ~ practically clapping his hands together and gleefully rubbing. We then had a sincere conversation about bifocals and my options. The staff at New Eye Doctor’s Office was terrific. I must have modeled 200 frames and while I was tempted to reach for the same look I’ve had since 1983, I allowed the staff and my daughter to pick the frames for me. Progressive non-glare, plastic, no scratch lenses with purple, slim frames. Very different.

I’m still getting used to the frames; seriously, wasn't the height of eye frame fashion 1980s? Gibungous frames with lenses that covered your head, subtly tinted thanks. I’ve since chided myself for fighting my need for progressive lenses for so long: I can see. I can read. Even though I have to get the right lens adjusted, I can see better than I’ve seen in three years.

The good news is ~ I haven't dried up, I'm not looking into burial plots and I'm the first of my siblings or cousins to get fitted for progressive lenses. That means I win...don't I?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Kingdom of the Winds Wraps Chinese Shoot

Goguryeo Sageuk 바람의 나라 (Kingdom of the Wind) Wraps Chinese Shoot

For better or worse, 주몽 (Jumong) changed the face of the domestic TV industry, especially for what concerns sageuk. It had a legendary start, one of the best of the last 10 years, and an equally legendary last four months, one of the very worst of the last 10 years, milking the cow until it got mad. It changed the landscape of big budget productions in Korea, and made its writer Choi Wan-Gyu a quasi Jerry Bruckheimer-ish “creator,” influencing way too many shows in the last two years. This is where KBS’ 바람의 나라 (Kingdom of the Wind) made its start: a tremendously popular story to adapt, the manhwa by Kim Jin which sold millions and was even turned into a video game; the production team behind 해신 (Emperor of the Sea), and particularly the writing team. Choi played supervisor, but the ones writing the script are Jung Jin-Ok of Emperor of the Sea and Jumong, and particularly Park Jin-Woo, who wrote last year’s 한성별곡-正 (Conspiracy in the Court).

The show recently completed its 45 day Chinese shoot in Wuxi, Huangshan and Lanzhou, finally revealing to the press the complete top cast. Taking the role of Muhyul, the future King Daemushin of Goguryeo and grandson of Jumong, will be Song Il-Guk, in what looks to be an opening quite similar to 2006’s record breaking Jumong. King Daemushin (roughly “The Great God of War") was in fact known for his territorial expansion and military conquests, which will make for plenty of very pretty war scenes (KBS is the best in the business when it comes to this aspect, and if you count in the expertise shown by Park Jin-Woo in his debut, it could be pretty badass). Perhaps the most interesting detail is that the show will mostly try to stick to history, which will certainly disappoint fans of the original manhwa, more oriented towards fantasy. But I have no complaints whatsoever. There’s been enough fantasy stinking up sageuk in the last two years. Cast looks top notch, with Jung Jin-Young making his TV comeback after 14 years, sageuk veterans like Kim Myung-Soo and Jung Sung-Mo, and talented actresses like Oh Yoon-Ah and Choi Jung-Won (although they’re both fresh when it comes to sageuk). Now the question is, will this turn into another Jumong? That is, great start, falling into endless repetition in the middle, abandoning history for daily drama-like storytelling towards the end? Answer from this September 10, when Kingdom of the Wind will be part of the revival of Sageuk World, getting reviews every month.

[Daum News]

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