Thursday, October 04, 2007

Yo. So i finally got some vacation time here in the motherland. 3 whole days at the end of SEPTEMBER. why u ask? good question. At first, I didn't know either, I was just glad to get ANY time off after 180 straight days of work. YES... you read me...180 STRAIGHT days. SUNDAYS are pretty much work days here for me (helping out the parentals). Anyway, come to find out that the end of September is when Korea has its THANKSGIVING. Thanksgiving in September.... u KRAZY KOREANS! So some of the co-workers and I decided to take a trip. At first, we decided to go to JEJU island... the so called "Hawaii of Korea" but that plan fell through when we couldn't book a plane/train/ferry ticket to save our lives. Apparently, the KK's are early planners and like to mobilize all at once during holidays. (FYI, KK = krazy koreans, for those not paying attention). So we ended up taking a trip to the province of Kang-Won-Do. Its an area thats north-east of Seoul, by the ocean. Not to mention that it's a hop, skip and stone's throw away from NORTH Korea. But long story short, the mini road trip was fun. Had some good eats, good company and got to see the ocean. Didn't get to take a lot of pics but at least I got a decent jumping shot...

Squid drying on clothesline... 'nuff said.

So like i said, the road trip was a mini one so when i got back to Seoul, I still had a day left of vacation. Not wanting to waste these last precious hours of holiday freedom, I decided to go to an Art festival in northern Seoul. It was held in the business district...

Grabbed a quick bite of some delicious "SWEET BUNS" here... and got something to eat too. haha.

I went at night to avoid the crowd, but it was still pretty packed with peeps.

Go figure... the GRAFFITI here is in ENGLISH. haha

KK's under an orange bridge.

Most of the displayed work was "JUNK ART". Pretty tight.

I think this was my favorite piece. It's called "Tom and Jerry".

Every asian festival needs its token 'DRAGON' but this one's a cliche with a nice twist.

"Bak Qui Bul Lae" = Cockroach

I forget what this next one is... I think it's a Transformer.

"Crazy Legs"

They even had a cute lil' porcupine... oohhh, SHINY.

Tight lookin' Dragonfly

This one's 'HORNY'.

The sound of running water always seems to calm the soul.

...or make you wanna urinate.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Animoto - Cool Slideshows

Just a quick Happy Party of 6 Flashback.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Vimeo Cherry.....POP!

Drive - my first crack at Vimeo from Seong and Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

This is my new favorite drink. Its just a juice drink that's chock-full of sugar. But the flavor combination of apple and lychee make it taste like liquid WHITE GUMMY BEAR...mmmm.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

yo. The Korean word for this week is:
Mah-Shit-Da: adj. tasty, delicious.
i.e. This pasta carbonara is Mah-Shit-Da.
translation: This pasta carbonara is delicious.

Join me next week for another exciting Korean word.

Recipe of the week:

Mushroom Risotto

5 to 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil and more to drizzle on after
2 tablespoons (unsalted) butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (can substitute onion if ya dont have any shallots)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
12 ounces assorted mushrooms (golden chantrelle, oyster, porcini, and button), wiped clean and thinly sliced,
2 cups arborio rice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley and basil leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons truffle oil, optional
4 ounces prosciutto or Serrano ham, thinly sliced and cut into chiffonade (thin strips), for garnish

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to very low to keep hot.

In a separate large heavy saucepan, heat the oil and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft and their liquid is evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the grains are opaque, about 1 minute. Stir in the thyme. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until nearly all evaporated (this is called reducing to au sec). Add 3/4 cup of the stock, the salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the stock is nearly all evaporated (again au sec). Continue adding more stock 1/2 cup at a time as the previous addition is nearly absorbed, until the rice is tender and the risotto is creamy, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir in cream, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and the parsley and basil and mix well.

Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Here's where you can stir in the optional truffle oil or more olive oil to taste.

Serve and garnish each portion with a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and ham.

Bon appetite.

It rained pretty hard here a couple of days ago. Made everything wet and miserable while it lasted but it also brought a beautiful day after the storm. I took one look outside and had to take some pics from the roof. Here's what the neighborhood looks like from my rooftop...

(click to enlarge)

Here's to the days after the storm. Peace

Saturday, July 07, 2007

This is why everyone needs their own backup band...

You know you want one.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

yo. so the Korean word for this week is:
HYU-GAH : n. vacation.

translation: I NEED A VACATION.

Join me next week for another exciting Korean word.

recipe of the week:
JAP CHAE - rice noodle vegetable stir-fry

Makes 4 servings:
1/2 pound Asian vermicelli(glass) noodles
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 med. onion, julienned (thinly sliced)
1 carrot, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
3 scallions (green onion), cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 cup dried wood ear mushrooms (or any mushroom you prefer)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce to taste
1/2 pound spinach (optional)
1/4 pound of thinly sliced beef, sauteed (optional)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)

In a bowl, soak the vermicelli in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain the noodles, drop into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, and then rinse in cold water. Set aside.

Heat a large pan over a medium flame. Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Add the onion, carrot, red bell pepper, scallions, mushrooms, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are cooked but still a little crisp. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl. To the pan add 1 more tablespoon sesame oil. Add the noodles,(spinach) salt and pepper. Let cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring. Add the cooked meat to the pan to reheat. Add to the vegetables with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds and combine. Season to taste and mix well.

Transfer to a platter. Serve hot or at room temperature as a tasty side dish. Bon appetit.

P.S. - Here's an early recording I did with my new guitar here. (sry for the static. I need to get a better mic.)
Yo. Happy Independence Day everyone. Well, its almost been 4 months since I've been here in the S.K. (somehow doesnt have the same ring as the "O.C.") and I thought I'd share some nuggets of wisdom that I've learned / realized the last couple of months...

1. I've learned that there are a lot of different varieties of Korean food... way more than I had originally thought and my stomach loves trying 'em all out, BUT NOTHING beats a carne asada burrito / fries with an horchata.

2. Korea is way too DAM close to the SUN...translation: it is HOT as HELL over here.

3. No matter where you are in Seoul, if you're taking public transportation, it'll take you at least 45 minutes to get anywhere. SUCKS.

4. This one's a no brainer, but ASIAN in asian countries really do SUCK at driving!

5. The Definition of IRONY: being in a country that doesn't sell men's deodorant where SWEATING is the most common and popular activity for 3 months out of the year. GROSS!

6. Lights make roads look cool at night: View from my parents house at night:

Have a great holiday weekend. Miss you guys!