Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Weekend

Our contributions to rebuilding the U.S. economy

Yesterday, Target offered Mordecai a 750GB Western Digital external hard drive for $88.88, and "Gremlins" and "Batman Begins" for $3.99. Best Buy tried to get rid of sold Guns-N-Roses' new album, "Chinese Democracy," for $11.99, and we also got the special edition (as opposed to the mere widescreen edition) of "The Departed" for $6.99.

Today, the quest for bargains continued. American Eagle had these scratch-n-discount cards, so I got 20% off of a long sleeved t-shirt I'd been needing since I can no longer wear short sleeved t-shirts indoors without something over it. We then moved on to NYC Bagel Deli and ordered 4 bagels, but they gave us a giant bag of 18 bagels. I believe this had nothing to do with Black Friday/Saturday but was more about getting rid of soon-to-be-stale bagels before closing. Later, at Jo-Ann's, I got a bunch of fabric for 50% off (I plan to DIY American Apparel's circle scarf). And Microcenter had USB wireless keyboards for some discounted rebate thing, which may or may not be kept depending on online options. This was bought basically for Animal Crossing, so I don't have to use the Wiimote to "type" (pain in the ass) or move the sensor bar so that I can continue to lie down and play. Which inevitably leads to falling asleep, but there is nothing better than an Animal Crossing-induced slumber.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Testicle Festival

For "Thanksgiving Eve," we went out the 26th Annual Turkey Testicle Festival in Huntley, Illinois. I was imagining a dimly lit bar, low attendance, and strange antics, but it turned out to be well-attended by a wide range of people (well, in ages at least, since I could count the number of minorities on my hands), at least one decent cover band, testicular jokes and general immaturity kept to a minimum, and a live turkey!

We shared a cup of deep fried turkey testicles. It didn't taste bad--it was like fried chicken nuggets, with almost a spongy kind of texture. If you don't think about it too much, it's totally edible, but I overthought it and couldn't get past a bite per nut.

This giant man stuck out among the crowd--that vest! He was getting some beer near us and Nik asked him if he hunted the animal for its fur himself. The man started talking about beavers being unable to chomp on wood because trees are getting cut down, so their teeth overgrow. His point seemed to be that there are a lot of beavers out there who are unable to live a meaningful beaver life if their teeth don't function properly, so they are trapped and made into properly lined fur vests with deer hoof buttons and an interior pocket for flasks. Properly justified or not, the vest was undeniably remarkable. It was soft; I touched it when he wasn't looking.

Apparently there was some bet that had to do with when the turkey was going relieve itself where, or something like that, but we missed out on that event. For some reason it was facing a crate full of live ducks (?) and it was guarded by a turkey-like lady. I wanted to show how the turkey was huge, but the lady isn't helping. Please refer to the litter on the ground for proper scale.

I was satisfied with our trip after getting the picture of the vest-man and seeing the turkey. We convinced Nik that there was no point in getting trashed in Huntley when we needed to return to Chicago, and that there was no more reason to be there since a crappy cover band took over the stage. I bought everyone Lion Bars at Meijer (and picked up other things along the way and used their clean, non-port-o-potty bathroom) and pushed Nik around, who was thisclose to vomiting.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Animal Crossing: City Folk

Following in the footsteps of Joe, I will post random pictures and comments about the new Animal Crossing.

Mordecai and I went out of our way to secure it last Saturday night at Meijer out in Rolling Meadows. Meijer is open 24 hours, and they released it at midnight. There were some other kids waiting for the game man to deliver the goods, but they didn't really look like Animal Crossing types. I thought this one young girl who ran up to the games was going to be aboard our ship, but she ran past the Wii games and pointed gleefully at Imagine: Fashion Designer. Our ship turned out to be kind of lonely. At least I got a few Lion bars out of the trip as an added bonus.

Starting (or re-starting) a game is always kind of difficult. I hate working part-time for Tom Nook again, and this house is just tragic. Not having millions of bells at my disposal is difficult. I originally had the nasty haircut (the tri-ponytail), and this mint gingham check shirt is boring. But I was able to acquire some items from the city to spice things up--check out that trench and the bunny balloon! Notice that I also learned to keep my Nook shirt.

The trench is for gloomy British-like days; I needed an everyday outfit. Gracie's Grace featured the tuxedo and this white R. Kelly-Zorro-like mask, so I fished enough crap to acquire the bells necessary. I also got my shoes "shined," which doesn't necessarily mean adding sparkle to the boring red shoes. You can get new shoes! Nevermind the house; must look good!

Initially I didn't understand the simplicity of the picture-taking feature, so I was sitting in front of the TV with my camera. But today I started snapping photos within the game. Is mushroom picking seasonal!? You can eat them!

I've been stingy with my fossils and fish. It's so sad to see Blathers sad, but I want money more than I want to help him with his museum. I bought a Basic Painting from Redd today but it turned out it was fake. Damn!

Who is that character immortalized in the fountain? Is there a sad story behind it?

Friday, November 21, 2008


Meet Oji. He is the new addition to my parents' household, a 4-or-5 year old Akita rescued from Michigan via MARS. He's still new to everything, but is very gentle and trusting. His name translates to "prince" in Japanese, and is also close enough to the Japanese pronunciation of "Ozzie," his previous name. "Oji" also sounds to me like "O.G.," but he is hardly an original gangster--for instance, he is attached to my dad, can't sleep alone, and doesn't seem to understand the concept of playing with toys (sad!). But who knows, maybe he will start regulating Logan Square soon enough.

When Yuki passed away last March, I was really cynical about pet-ownership. I was even thinking of things to say to my future child about how owning a pet is ultimately bad. But time has made things slightly more bearable. I think Oji is incredibly needy and possibly overly trusty of people, so he's a good fit for my parents, who tend to be overly give-y. This is to say that among other borderline-crazy things that will happen, he will be fed organic chicken while they eat non-organic chicken.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Comme des Garcons for H&M

Early this morning I went to H&M to check out the Comme des Garcons collection. Basically, it was madness! I don't know whether to be impressed by the experience or embarassed by passively participating.

I left with no clothes, a bad taste in my mouth, my dignity intact, and the delusional-but-sweet feeling that I was refunded $180. I should've done my homework--of course Chicago would be overstocked with the tops, which range from tiny to enormous, but with none of the items that were probably only made in small sizes. Apparently there were only 6 of those $349 dresses, 5 of which were at 5th Ave in NYC, and 1 in San Fransisco. There were also no tux jackets in Chicago, and there were a total of 5 skirts on the floor. I saw two of them, one on a mannequin and one hanging high above on a weird cage apparatus. I don't even know where the other three were originally placed on the floor. It would've helped to know where things were on the floor; otherwise you just wander in, disoriented by pure chaos.

Everything else was incredibly mediocre and uninspiring, so it was especially surreal to see all these people get bestial. Most people were pretty decent, but there were some remarkably offensive characters. Both men and women were going for the "drop crotch" pants, which I don't understand. The $199 trench coats were coming back from the fitting rooms, and I felt one--so thin! A lady who was behind me in line got a deconstructed jacket (I only saw two of those) and let me feel it--so thin! I tried on one of the simple blazers, thinking it might be a sufficient replacement for the tux jacket--so thin! So boring! I looked like I was getting dressed to go to the accounting job I've had for 30 years. Maybe it's better that I don't even see the tux blazer or feel the skirt, because it'd be so disappointing.

But it was an interesting social experience. I recognized the tiny 12 year old Tavi, whose blog I sometimes read (she ditched her morning classes but not the social studies test--hehe, remember "social studies"?), and there were other bloggers taking notes and pictures. I talked to "The Sassy Peach," who has an inadvertent picture of me and quotes me in her post about today. (She was in fact not sassy, but perfectly peachy.) A number of women had apparently done this before, and register totals for a bag full of items were non-issues. I felt like some of them could just get, or have, real Comme des Garcons items. I'm sure there were resellers in there too, but they're harder to pinpoint. I was essentially left wanting to revisit the Comme des Garcons store in Tokyo and disappointed that "democraticizing" high end fashion via H&M is not giving opportunities to the masses, but really just letting the mob take over. I am looking forward to Old Orchard this weekend for some normalcy, where I will go "thinking" I have an extra $180 to dispense. Surely Mordecai will bring me back to reality, for better or for worse.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Prerequisite information: This was drawn right around the time that McDonald's Southern Style Chicken debuted. Also, buns matter.


Prerequisite information: These comics by Mordecai are half a year old, so the topics are a bit démodé. Most will probably not recall this video from the inna netz last spring, where Jermaine Dupri expressed frustration with a Danja/Usher double-cover issue of Billboard Magazine.

I hope the writing is clear enough; click to enlarge!


Who knew my tissue box holder would be a warm hat?
Or that one day I would get to wear the sunglasses my mother always wore when I was a child?

I am wondering if I should go to H&M tomorrow to check out their "Comme des Garcons for H&M" line. I don't really like my clothes to be "deconstructed" but the pleated skirt and the tuxedo jacket look like winners!

It's unclear to me how crazy these waiting lines get, and if it depends on which H&M you go to. Ours on Michigan Avenue is the only one not in New York or California where the clothes will be available. That sounds potentially scary. I don't have any commitments until 11AM tomorrow though, so maybe I'll just check the scene out even if I can't touch any of the clothes.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


I have been tagged by Richard to fill out this "Proust Survey." I'm not sure why it's called that, so I'm going to dub this the "Choi Survey" and put up a picture of a pensive Richard (he has one of a pensive Proust).

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Lack of self-awareness; pretension without good reason(s)

Where would you like to live?
Chicago and Yokohama. In another life, I'd like to live in L.A. This curiosity is completely spurred on by "The Hills" and most recently, "The Rachel Zoe Project."

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
To be surrounded by the people and things I love and to be free of imposed schedules. Splitting my life between Chicago and Yokohama at will!

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
Wasting time online; sweets; shopping; being spoiled; elitism

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Nakata of Murakami's Kafka on the Shore; Sensei of Soseki's Kokoro; Humbert Humbert of Lolita; Phoenix Wright and Godot from the "Ace Attorney" series

Who are your favorite characters in history?
David Hume

Who are your favorite heroes/heroines in real life? (I added "heroes.")
My lung doctor, Dr. Vigneswaran


(Not me)

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Josée (the protagonist) of the movie, "Joze to Tora to Sakanatachi"; Carla Jean Moss of "No Country for Old Men"

Your favorite painter?
I don't have a favorite painter. My favorite artist is MY DAD.

Your favorite musician?
Mariah Carey, Amuro Namie, Michael Jackson, New Order, Ohtaki Eiichi

The quality you most admire in a man?
Good sense of humor, empathy, consistency

The quality you most admire in a woman?
Good sense of humor, empathy, consistency

Your favorite virtue?

Your favorite occupation?

Who would you have liked to be?
A cat or a Buddhist monk

Jenni sometimes responds to these things within the comments to the relevant post, which is more inclusive for those who don't have their own blogs. Responses in any form are invited!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Friday afternoon

Train neighbor in need of a new hat. Or a haircut, in which case the surviving dots of the snapback might be reached?

Public square Christmas tree secrets revealed.

Lunch at Shalom Deli, owned by an elderly Japanese couple.

One more grocery item

I love the eyes. And fruit snacks in general.

Friday, November 07, 2008

For Joe

I can never remember Joe's hierarchy of dessert companies, but I feel that Little Debbie must be in there somewhere above mediocre. I'm not sure if this particular koala counts as above endearing for him, but Miss Debbie and Marcos Ambrose certainly did their best.

(Mordo's in the background checking out corn meal mush in a tube.)

Late night grocery run