Mike Map

View Mike Map in a larger map

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Jang Gi-Ha and the Faces

I have been falling behind on my interpreter of pop culture duties. Please let me introduce you to one of my favorite Korean bands, 장기하와 얼굴들, and the title song of their first album, "My Life Is Pretty Easy":

To celebrate the end of the semester, I showed my students an episode of Flight of the Conchords (Season 1, Episode 1: Sally, for all you fans in the know). Most of them don't find it at all funny - it seems to me that dry humor and awkwardness are extremely difficult to carry over in translation. How do you know if you're missing all the nuances or if the content is deliberately ironic and simplistic, and, therefore, deep and significant? Thus, I don't expect my own (very) rough translation to do justice to Jang Gi-ha. Nor, actually, do I think that I even understand fully. This translation is the result of many most likely annoying Q&A sessions with my friends.

I'm gonna tell you something really surprising.
Listen up.
You probably
won't be happy
when you hear it.
Wanna know?
My life is pretty easyyyyyyy
I got nothing to worry about
My life is pretty easyyyyyyy
That's right, not a single care.

I'm gonna tell you something
I'm almost sure
You'll find unpleasant.
There's no way, tonight
you'll just plop down in bed
and get a good rest.
Wanna know?
My life is pretty easyyyyyyy
I got nothing to worry about
My life is pretty easyyyyyyy
That's right, not a single care.

This next one, you'll definitely
not want to believe.
You'll really wish
that it weren't the truth.
I think life is fuuuuuuunnnnnnnn
Each day is pretty nice.
I think life is fuuuuuuunnnnnnnn
Every day kicks ass.
I think life is fuuuunnnnnnnnnnn
Each day is pretty nice.
I think life is fuuuuuuunnnnnnnn
Every day kicks ass

It's great.

My life is pretty easyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
My life is pretty easyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
I think life is fuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
I think life is fuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
Each and every day
Is really...meh!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November's CSBS

Apologies for the delay - with the help of my good buddy Niall, I cheffed for the Green Consumers' Network Earth-friendly Veg Night two Tuesdays ago, but I left my camera there at my friend's house and didn't get it back until the subsequent meal. Blogging about the 1KFTFFF has also kept me quite busy, as you may have noticed.

Last time, I was feeling a little guilty about my veg night offerings. Everyone liked everything, but the last-minute canned tomatoes and well-traveled chick peas and coconut milk made me a bit uncomfortable. Plus, I kind of slipped up and used some (decent) eggs from my CSA in the Pad not-quite-Thai, forgetting that just because I'm not as vegan as I once was doesn't mean that I don't have to follow CSBS protocol. Thus, this time, I resolved to shift ever closer to local and seasonal ingredients.

Sometime until about November 10th, everyone was talking about "Indian Summers" and wondering when the cold would hit. Then, it did, so Niall and I opted for something warm and hearty. We also wanted to keep it simple, given that it was a school night. Here's what we came up with:

The usual hummus recipe (yeah, I know, not local, but it was a special request and appears to have become tradition), this time with some spinach blended in. The taste didn't change much, but the color was nice, and it was probably a bit healthier. Served with sliced bread, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and bell peppers.

Niall's carrot/ginger stew. Stir-fry a bit of onions and garlic, then add in a bunch of carrots, ginger, water, and maybe a sweet potato or two to increase the creamy factor. Simmer for a while then blend it up and season with salt and pepper. Nice and warm, goes down easy, and has a nice kind of kick. Almost certainly good against the cold. And...uh...VERY easy to digest, yaknowwhattImean?

(one benefit of cooking soup: napping opportunities)

My lentil soup: admittedly not the prettiest thing I've ever cooked up, but definitely among the most delicious. Again, sauté some onions and garlic, add in some potatoes, carrot, and celery, fry for another minute or two, then add in a bunch of lentils and slightly more water than is necessary to cover them. Drop in a few cubes of your favorite vegan bullion (or use stock to start with) and cook for 30 or so minutes, checking every now and again to make sure the water hasn't boiled off. When pulled off correctly, the potatoes absorb the broth and turn out all creamy and delicious, nicely balancing against the heavy graininess of the beans. Squeeze a little lemon juice into the soup for some extra awesomeness and you're good to go.

And...that's all!

Astute enough to notice the unusual decor? This time, rather than dining at our usual headquarters (known as the "Un-awkward Warehouse"), we gathered at friend and dependable member Bohemian's house in order to warm it. After the nice meal, we hung out and I taught everyone a card game ("Oh Hell") that I learned this summer staying with my family out west. Ever tried explaining the rules to a card game in a foreign language? When there are people who don't know the difference between Ace, King, Queen, and Jack present? It's a chore, but once you've mucked through it, very satisfying in that hey-we-all-share-the-basic-elements-of-humanity way.

In any case, Bohemian, congratulations on the new place and the completion of all repairs.^^

Oh, and happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I thank you for reading and caring about me even though I'm so far away. There's a song lyric that has been more meaningful to me for the last five years than just about any other, and now seems like a decent time to share it:

"I do not exist," we faithfully insist,
Sailing in our separate ships and from each tiny caravel.
Tiring of trying, there's a necessary dying,
Like the horseshoe crab in its proper season sheds its shell.
Such distance from our friends,
Like a scratch across the lens,
Made everything look wrong from anywhere we stood.
And our paper blew away before we'd left the bay.
So half-blind, we wrote these songs on sheets of salty wood.

(MewithoutYou, "Messes of Men")

Hope all is well with everyone!