Sunday, April 30, 2006

off with your head, into my belly

shrimp!Shrimp, "The bugs of the sea." My goodness! They are nasty, smelly, and creepy looking, but they sure are tasty. Thanks to Mechum, I started the weekend off properly--by deheading and cleaning some of these bad boys for a fabulous pad thai dish. YUMMY!

So here we go:
shrimp(duh)
rice noodles
green onions
garlic
oyster sauce
soy sauce
fish sauce
an egg
peanuts
bean sprouts

Voila! Yummy Thai food = a super happy miss koco.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

little red


cute little red egg
today quiet with buddha
tomorrow you'll stink

Sunday, April 23, 2006

the place to go

Bathrooms in Korea fascinate and occasionally irritate me. Without a doubt there is a bathroom culture unlike any other place I've been before.

Bathrooms range from super clean fabulously designed palaces with heated toilet seats, to outhouse-esque squatters with no tp. Let's explore the wild wonderful world of the hwjangshil.

Location
The bathroom is not always in the same area as the restaurant or bar you may be at. Sometimes it's outside in a corridor. Many businesses in a building will share the same restroom. Because of this, it's hard to tell by the establishment what the quality of the bathroom is going to be. You could be at a great restaurant with nice decor and find that maybe you would have been better off going to the Lou in the subway station.

Temperature
The bathroom is always freezing. In the middle of winter, it may be warm and toasty in the bar (or in the office, the classroom, the theater, etc.), but Siberian winds are blowing over your bare ass in the washroom because they aren't heated and often the windows are kept wide open. Just heat the freaking bathroom!

In addition, the sink almost never has hot water. And frequently I've seen women skip the essential step in the bathroom process of washing their hands. However, these same women won't forget to fix their hair or makeup.

TP
A lot of places have a trash can next to the toilet, and often signs (even in English) alerting you not to flush your toilet paper, but to put it in the bin. I understand that maybe this has to do with some kind of plumbing issue, but come on... Korea is a developed nation. If you can figure out how to make a cell phones with TVs, then you can figure out a better system for the pipes so I can flush my TP. Maybe I'm being too American, but I just think it's unsanitary.

Oh, and by the way, that's IF THERE'S TOILET PAPER. Sometimes, you have to provide your own.

As a side note on toilet paper, it's not sold in 4-packs. You either buy huge quantities, like 48 rolls, or you can buy a single roll that only comes in the ever so popular sandpaper variety. You have no other options.

Also, toilet paper is a common house warming gift. If you are going to someone's place for the first time you bring them tp. It has something to do with good luck. I don't know.

Coed Bathrooms
This doesn't mean that they are unisex. For example, there was a club in Philly called Fluid that was unisex. There were a couple stalls and you'd go into either stall and do your thing. There wasn't a distinction between women and men. Cool.

In Korea I often find bathrooms where you walk in and directly in front of you is a urinal, possibly two. Just beyond the urinals is a stall. You can walk into the bathroom, and there's some guy peeing. They don't lock the door. And sometimes there isn't a lock on the door to the whole bathroom to prohibit someone from coming into the bathroom after you go into the stall. I remember one where there wasn't a door at all, just a beaded curtain. When I came out of the stall there was some guy who had walked in after me at the urinal across from the sink. In essence, I could argue that this is just a men's bathroom that women are permitted to use. Not cool.

Communal Bar Soap
In the bathrooms at the university, as well as at my last job, and many other places I've encountered, they have this communal bar soap. It's on pole that comes out of the wall. I'm not into it.

FANCY FANCY! Bidets, Hair products, Mouthwash
Some bathrooms are extremely nice. The Mega CC at the Lotte Hotel, for example, has bidets in each stall. These aren't separate from the toilet like you would find in say France, but rather they sit as an addition on top of the toilet seat with a remote control. I'm not into the idea of a public bidet, but the seats are warmed and that's pretty nice. The Herzen, a brewhouse in Kagnam, is heated, has warm water, hair products, and even a machine that dispenses mouthwash.

The main attraction of the Namsan Tower observation deck (besides the view, duh) is the bathrooms. namsan tower bathroomLook at the fancy entrance!
And how cute is this! Just behind these mirrors is an amazing view of the city. Another feature of this bathroom is the cool looking sinks with warm water!

The Knock
This is by far the most interesting bit about bathroom culture in Korea. I'm in the bathroom and there's a knock on the door. I say "just a minute" or "yea." Then I hear another knock on the door. I figure someone is trying to hurry me up for whatever reason. I'm thinking, I just got in here. You wanna chill. What's the deal? Well, apparently they are just checking to see if anyone is in there. They knock instead of checking for feet under the door, listening for activity, or just trying to see if the door will open. SO, what you have to do is knock back. It took me months to figure this one out. I didn't understand this at first, I mean the door is locked, so even if you tried, you're not getting in. I didn't get why they kept knocking but now I return the knock like I've always done this.

However this whole knocking thing isn't a perfect system. Sometimes the toilet is too far from the door to be knocking back. And why isn't a vocal response equivalent to The Knock?

Smoking
Though this is changing, it's seen as unladylike to smoke in public. If you smoke in front of men, you're probably a whore(?). Men smoke everywhere and anywhere, women still mostly smoke in the restroom. It's so like 50's!

DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS
I love the women's bathroom. Though the lines are longer, it's a great place for socializing. I used to meet all kinds of women and have great discussions to distract each other from bladders. NOT in Korea. There's no chit-chat about where you got those shoes, how cute that skirt is, why it takes men like 3 seconds to go to the bathroom, or any of that good stuff. Unless you know the woman standing next to you, there is NO TALKING.

Furthermore, there's not enough graffiti in the bathrooms in Korea. Not that I'd understand it all, but I miss finding a phrase on a wall that tickled me or just something to read or look at.


Oh Korea...

-------
Lastly, here's something fun I found for your phone to help you find a bathroom

Sunday, April 16, 2006

nipples and more

Went out to Gangcheon with Team Canada and like 20 other heads. Matt cooked up amazing food, the drinks were flowing, and I was getting people to play with my nipples. Check the new documentation.

over the shoulder nipple set

Knitting and crochet are supposed to be a winter and fall activities. Spring is here and all the sudden crochet has jumped back into my life. First, I found out about The Nipple Project (thanks Rose, the Nipple Project women were so pleased to find a nipple freak like me to submit work). Then, I stumbled upon The Institute for Figuring and the crafty math stuff they're doing. Two days later I get an email about the Crochet Hyperbolic Coral Reef Project and I find out that there is a crazy lady who makes knitwear for her 2 eggs (and for her lizard). And then today I found myself making a crocheted nut.

This guy Paul said he didn't want a nipple. However, he said he'd really like a nut. And by nut he meant a testicle. He said it in a way that made it sound like a design challenge, a dare of sorts.Paul's inner voice: I bet you can't make a testicle. Miss Koco's inner voice: Oh yeah? How big do you want it? I thought about my friend who has one nut, and my other friend who has prosthetic nuts, and decided that for whatever reason this guy wanted a nut, this was something I'd gladly make.


So I made a ball. It's made of a silk and merino blend and stuffed with barley to hold the shape. It is meant to hang, so I attached a hook to a string at the top of the ball. Without the hook and string, it's just a misshapen hackysack.


Since it's my first crocheted nut, I'm a bit concerned about the size. I asked a bunch of my guy friends what they thought and I got a whole bunch of answers. Some sorta thought it was small, where others thought it was a bit too big, and none of them could really give me a straight answer. I guess mostly because they would openly be comparing this ball to their balls and they weren't really okay with having this conversation with me. Which got me to thinking about how guys feel about their nuts. Do they get conscious like women do about the size of their breasts?


I didn't feel like thinking about guys thinking about their nuts too much, so I went back to making nipples, taking pictures, drinking, and eating (basil hummus, pita chips, some lamb kebabs, and grilled veggies).

Saturday, April 15, 2006

green tea cereal

green tea cereal
Does someone want to explain this to me? Who thought this was a good idea? Was this meant to be like a St. Patrick's Day thing? or is it part of this whole "well being" revolution/scam that's going on here in Korea?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

rediscovery

I'm not the type to get starstruck or obsessed with a "famous" person. However, there are a few people in this world that I absolutely adore. The main reason they deserve this kind of admiration is that, to some extent, I feel they posses amazing divine powers that are simply beyond this world. These Goddesses include: Karen Finley, Madonna, and Lady Miss Kier.

Dewdrops in the Garden
is one of my all time favorite cds. I'll play it over and over until it becomes embarrassing that I listen to it that much. Then I'll hide it from myself only to find it again in a few months and continue the cycle.

No matter where I am in my life, Lady Miss Kier puts me in a deee-licious, deee-lectable, deee-gorgeous, deee-groovy mood. I'll find myself dancing through everything I have to do. I guess the music makes me happy and I never get sick of it.

Also, she and I share a love for wigs, drag queens, and dance music:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sunday, April 09, 2006

the candy man

candy manI made a new friend last week when I bought a couple of antique paper dolls. This guy, The Candy Man, loads up his old Chevrolet pickup truck with candy and antique/old school toys and what not, and sells it on the street. There is something beautiful about all that sugar in one place. I've seen him two weeks in a row now, and despite my awful broken Korean, he insists on talking to me. We can hardly communicate, but he seemed to enjoy my company and got a kick out of trying to teach me new words. He asked all sorts of questions I don't understand. It was really quite a trip.

sugar sugar and more sugarToday, as a reward for sitting with him for a while, I got to try all kinds of candy and he gave me a box of those fun little paper things that explode and make a loud sound when you throw them on the ground. I love those!

Then this cute director comes up and starts talking to us--to me in English and to Ajossi in hangukmal. And all I could hear in my head was that 50 cent song, I'll take you to the candy shop, I'll let you lick the lollipop, go head girl don't you stop, and it just ruined the completely innocent nature of the whole thing. So, I had to leave. Till next week...

toys will be toys

Japanese toys kick ass
Reason number 4,903 that I ended up in the wrong Asian country: Japanese toys fuck n' kick ass.

worship the CHINKO

big cock Reason number 4,902 that I ended up in the wrong Asian country: The Japanese fertility festival with a huge penis involved.

Friday, April 07, 2006

BY MONSTER


Good weather means that Miss Koco is aimlessly walking around Seoul. Today I found work by Seung Ae Lee @ do ART.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

stepping out

stepping out

stepped out of his tights
then gingerly hung them up
sadly, forever

Clyde Michael Hayes passed away on Friday March 24th. His memorial services were on April 2nd at Freedom Theater.

He was so dear to me, and so many others.

make a wish

On Wednesday of this week, at two minutes and three seconds after one o'clock in the morning,The time and date will be: 01:02:03 04/05/06.
This won't ever happen again (at least not in our lifetimes).

This moment, this one right now, wait I mean now, no I mean now, will never happen again either. But I don't like to linger on that thought too much.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I can't believe this!

No one is backing me up on the shoe thing!

I'm having a flashback.
All I can think of is the time when two of my very close friends convinced me that I was fit to go outside in an absolutely horrendous outfit. I would often ask my friends for their opinions on my outfits, as I did like to put together some outrageous ensembles. I trusted these people... but, on this occasion they both stated that I was "working" this outfit that consisted of: a green sock with a picture of Elmo on it, another sock that did not match the Elmo sock(they may have possibly been silver and sparkly), black square toed shoes with a chunky heel, black and white zebra skin patterned stretch pants, a baby blue t-shirt for a website that read "hit on me," and a burgundy sweatshirt zip-up hoodie. We were wasted, and it wasn't until we got to the movie theater that I realized just how ridiculous I looked. I wanted to crawl under the seat. I was incredulous. I almost got angry, I almost started to cry, then I just started laughing. We just laughed and laughed and laughed. People were looking at us. It didn't matter, we were so insane. BUT, I couldn't believe they let me leave my room looking like a hot mess.

Well, I have learned. Those shoes could be the end of me. I can see it now... I get all these comments and eventually convince myself that they are ok, so I wear them out one night. And then the most gorgeous creature to ever walk the face of the planet, a drag queen Thai chef on a world tour, the potential love of my life, walks up and says to me, "Wow! Where did you get those shoes? They're AWFUL!" And I'll have to remember some nonsense like that for the rest of eternity... just like the ELMO SOCK. Yes, I have learned. Granted I could probably work a plastic bag, a box of Farm Chew, and... and a shovel (if I wanted to!), but I don't care what anyone says. Those shoes are BUSTED and you will not find me wearing THOSE shoes (in public).