Saturday, October 13, 2007

wearing your stomach on your sleeve

went with jiyoun and yongsun to the conservatory of flowers Wednesday to see their temporary carnivorous plants exhibit. it’s titled “Chomp!”, but “Salivate!” is maybe more accurate. it was humid like a bungus in the greenhouse, which made picture-taking a bit difficult because the lens would fog over every 30 seconds or so. also, the room was periodically misted by overhead sprinklers, in the fashion of Safeway produce (no thunder effects, though).

i managed a few macro shots despite the moisture. here is a pitcher plant from borneo (click for larger):

and some sundew tendrils:

jiyoun said she could empathize with a hungry insect when she saw this. like, after seeing the big nectary drops, its time to rub your finger- and wristless hands together and maybe drool digestive liquid from your mouth.

kind of like this guy, who’s in the process of being consumed but maybe doesn’t know it yet:

this one totally knew he was goner. he struggled for about a half minute and then gave up, making this picture possible:

and, last of all, a flower bud whose stamens (stamina?) look like eggplant.

a bit of amateur psychology inspired by this image:

pistol is
pestle is
sausage is

and a notable etymological mishap: pistol and pestle do not share roots, but pestle and pistil do (lat. pistillum), despite the fact that pistil refers to girly plant eggs and pestello was old italian slang for weenis. (oh, those old italian! so saucy! pesto, "mashed or "pounded"). and eggplants, as already pointed out, also look like weenises.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


so I’m giving this a second shot. it’s been about two and a half years since that first post and it seems to me an appropriate time to begin self-documenting again. because for the next two weeks, jiyoun and I will be riding the biggest sea change of our lives.

of our lives.


(interesting gestational factoid: “sea change” comes pretty close to the description most commonly used by pregnant women who, when in their later months, can the feel the baby as it repositions itself and turns either into or out of breech (upside-down) position. “it feels like the ocean turning,” they say. a more personal factoid: until about two weeks ago our baby was in breech. she is still unnamed (thanks for asking). and one last coincidental factoid, of the i-totally-shit-you-not variety: among the various measures we took to entice the baby out of breech position – i.e., inversion, moxibustion, flashlights, cold/hot presses, etc. – was music from an itunes playlist (“baby have pitch”, earphones duct taped below the navel) that included tracks from beck’s “sea change”.)

at some point I’ll get into the nit-grit of apartment prep for the baby and our nesting improvements at large, but the more interesting story right now is that we have a houseguest – yongsun, jiyoun’s childhood from korea – who came over to the states to meet her internet boyfriend. they’ve been chatting online for about a year and will meet in person for the first time in about an hour. jiyoun and youngsun are doing some errands and then heading to the airport to get him. I think we’re all having lunch together today. it might be awesome.

to fill out some of the cultural details:

- the majority of single koreans live at home with their parents because housing is so expensive in seoul. moving out and marrying go hand-in-hand. and koreans tend to live at home during college, too, which means they’ve done very little unchaperoned co-habitating in close quarters with the opposite gender. what they do have is “MT”, or membership training, occasional weekend getaways with other members of the university club or organization they belong to. I think “MT” is also a post-university, workplace phenomenon. like office band camp, I imagine.

- south koreans don’t have tivo. totally backwards. I think yuppy koreans, since they live with their parents, spend most of their disposable income (which, since they're not paying rent, is all of it) outside of the house. drinking, eating out, karaoke bars and nightclubs, and the occasional traveling. and so home theater, mod or vintage furniture and all-clad cookware, etc., are I guess not as popular. according to yongsun, the occasional generous yuppy might give his or her parents an "allowance" of spending money, especially if the parents are retired.

- so i guess being young, urban and professional in korea is a strange combination of financial freedom and social restriction? hunh, it's just like being twenty-something in berkeley -- the bizarro version. sang says there are social stigmas to speaking to strangers in korea. and so everyone meets their boy/girlfriend through friends, family, church or work relations.

side note: yongsun’s english is really good and her pronunciation for the most part solid, but when I asked her where the boyfriend lives, she said, “he lives in the state of misery”, meaning Missouri. ha! and what’s he do there? he’s a graduate student.

okay, jiyoun just called. time for lunch.