Vices we love: March 2005

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Moody Blues

This is the man, the myth, the legend in his own mind, speaking to you live from Seoul. See, the thing about writers is that we are loners. We are moody. Quite a few of us drink until our livers look like swiss cheese. We write best in a dark Colorado skiing lodge, preferably in proximity to an axe, as Jack Nicholson so capably showed.

We also spend quite a lot of time on style- this is because the substance is always the same. To quote the Barenaked Ladies, philosophers par excellence: "And if I say I love you dear you'll just yawn and say it's all been done. " And it has all been done. I've loved, I've lost, I've been poor, I've been middle class (no riches just yet), I had great days/jobs/friends/lovers/moments and horrid ones.

Originally I picked up the interview style idea (by picked up, I mean stole) from a fellow Asia traveler. But it is probably getting old. So while the interviews may make a return on occassion, (if you know how to spell occassion please leave a comment) they are likely to be greatly reduced in number.

The ridicoulus moodiness (if you know how to spell ridicoulus, please leave a comment) however, will remain.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Spring has sprung

Interlude: Vices We Love is taking a short (or perhaps long) break as spring is finally here and we wish to spend time away from the computer. We will return as soon as we are sufficiently moody to write.

Friday, March 18, 2005

To a T

90S: You look ragged
A: First day of taekwondo lessons.
90S: Seriously?
A: Yeah- my boss signed me up for them. Damn my legs hurt.
90S: What is taekwondo anyhow?
A: Kickboxing. But I thought it would be just sort of cutting to the chase- wrong. First there is the whole greeting/putting on a uniform ritual. And then you start the stretching excersizes.
90S: Sit ups?
A: Those too. You start with leg stretches, then sit ups, and afterwards you practice punching and kicking.
90S: How long is the program?
A: an hour a day, five days a week. We'll see how long I'll survive.
90S: Have ye a lil faith.....

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Albert (the sequelae)

90S: You seem edgy today...restless.
A: Yes. Maybe moody or depressed is a better word?
90S: Let me guess. Albert is still on your mind?
A: How did you know?
90S: You strike me as the brooding type.
A: I can be, I suppose.
90S: Is there any special reason you're still thinking about him or is this just how you process emotions?
A: I was talking to my grandmother on the phone today and I guess it bought it back.
90S: How is your grandmother doing?
A: She is 89- and she has breast cancer. It kind of feels like the end- I miss her already.
90S: But how is she doing?
A: Oh fine. She is the sprightly sort- going about her business. I think she may be made of sterner stuff than me.
90S: You're very self-centered when you brood.
A: I think so too.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


An ordinary Wednesday...or is it? Nothing is as it seems in the land of the morning calm.

90S: I remember our conversation before White day when we agreed to discuss your past-
A: Maybe some other time. Let's talk about Albert.
90S: Well, if you insist. Who is Albert?
A: He is a nice old guy- hell I don't know if the late 60's counts as old or not. He used to live in my neighborhood in Philadelphia but moved back and he now has a cell phone business here in Seoul.
90S: He sold you your mobile?
A: Yes but then we go to talking about the whole immigrant coming back home experience.
90S: Something you can relate to.
A: Well yes. But what stood out was that he seemed hungry for any sort of companionship. We talk about three, four times a week when I come in his shop for coffee.
90S: A lot of old people are like that- loneliness is very pervasive among the elderly.
A: True. I guess it's hard when all your friends die off and your kids lead their own lives. It kind of scares me.
90S: That's a long way off for you.
A: Yes, I suppose. But I've always been too aware of my own mortality. Life passing me by each day, you know?
90S: As it does for us all.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Happy White Day

We at 90 seconds wish our readers a happy white day. What is white day? For that we turn to our anonymous source who not only knows about white day but is himself white.

90S: White day?
A: It's like Korean Valentines day, except that the girls give gifts to the guys. We also have plain old fashioned Valentine's day which happens on February 14th, just like out west.
90S: So did you get any presents?
A: The little girls at the hakwon give me gifts- mostly candy. It's pretty sweet. I know "pretty sweet" doesn't sound like something I might say. In fact, I may never say it again.
90S. Sweet. So what about you?
A: Why am I always being talked about?
90S: You're the subject of 90 Seconds, so it sort of comes with the territory.
A: Oh yeah. Gotcha.
90S: So about you. Ever been in love?
A: Oh constantly. I'm in love with love. But then I usually realize that most girls are way more practical than I am.
90S: How so?
A: Look, most girls want nice things, nice bodies, etc. Love is maybe number 50 on that list.
90S: Don't guys want the same things? Nice bodies, hot sex and so on?
A: Yeah but we also want love. That's what makes us so complicated.
90S: And do you think you'll find love?
A: I try not to look for it. It's completely counterintuitive but the harder you try to do something or find something the further it gets out of your reach.
90S: Damn you're deep today.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Soju Talking

Welcome to 90 Seconds . In this installment, Soju Talking, we return to the scene of the crime, Seoul, and it's anonymous perpetrator.

90S: You seem pretty chatty today for a recluse.
A: You know that's true. I just got my cell phone bill and even with all the international calls- to the Politburo, Scotland Yard, Elvis's estate- it still came in at just over twenty bucks.
90S: Nifty.
A: Damned right it's nifty. In America you pay a hundred bucks a month just to breathe heavy and then say night night.
90S: Degenerate.
A: You flatter me.
90S: What is soju anyway?
A: Rice wine. See, in Asia, everything is centered on rice, even booze.
90S: Does it taste, you know, ricey?
A: It tastes like tractor fuel. But after just two or three bottles, you pretty much forget the taste.
90S: And do you ever get to the point of drinking two or three bottles?
A: Sadly no. I'm weak when it comes to booze. Koreans see this and say "he is not very social is he"?
90S: Well you aren't very social. I mean here you are in a country where you don't know the language and people know you don't belong so of course, other than staring, they leave you alone. You're a hermit in the hermit kingdom.
A: True that.
90S: Well that's all the time we have, but next time I want to know how you learned to mimic ebonics with a horrid eastern block accent.
A: Nothing to it dawg.
90S: Stop that. Please.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Vices we love debuts from Sin City

Here in 'beautiful' east Seoul, where the temperatures are hovering in the zero metric digits, we have come to witness the creation of Vices we love a thoroughly excreable publication masquerading as literature. We at 90 seconds are interviewing the site's creator, who, for obvious reasons, wishes to remain anonymous.

90S: Our readers want to know. Why?
A: Because I'm a complete and utter bastard?
90S: That's a good start but could you share some details with us?
A: Certainly. I was born in a small village in Transylvania where my mother/sister was churning butter at the time. Sharing our one pair of shoes, we walked west towards the French coast when I was but a youth. As we prepared to swim to merry old England, a kindhearted Frenchwoman with ample bosoms and a nose ring pointed out that we could fly to America instead of swimming, We thanked her profusely and agreed to tell her the secrets of pasturization- which my dear mother/sister (moster for short) learned in the labs of the Communist Sciencist People's Army (biological warfare division) while stationed in Afghanistan. This really made the large bosomed lady's day.
90S: *yawning* Fascinating. I'm afraid that's all the time we have for today. Could we pester you in the future?
A: Certainly.

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