Friday, December 25, 2009

first scene

Merry Christmas everyone...instead of a generic xmas post, I'll just give a regular one today.

For my first scene, I did a scene from "Two for the Seesaw" by William Gibson. The play takes place in NYC in the 1950's. My character was Jerry Ryan, a lawyer from Nebraska who was recently separated from his wife. My scene partner is Gittel Mosca, a failed-dancer that owns a dance studio. The scene is when Jerry follows Gittel home when he sees her walking out with another guy, suspecting that they slept together. Gittel has just found out that Jerry is still talking with his ex-wife, and that he might still have feelings for her. The scene is mostly about Jerry coming to the realization that he doesn't give all of himself in the relationship, and Gittel finding out that she does mean a lot to Jerry.

There were several challenges to this scene that weren't in the first year:

1) We now worked with impediments/mannerisms that were required in the scene, while previously they were ignored for the most part.

2) We read the whole play in order to get a better sense of the entire character. When we did scenes before, the text was just used primarily as a vehicle for connecting with the other person, now we had to relate to our character and find out what his intentions and his goals were in order to find appropriate meanings for different parts of the scene.

3) In the first year, we did the scene however it came out of us. However, this year, we wanted to concentrate on developing an action for every moment in the scene. Not everything in a scene will be relatable to the actor, so for those parts we need to come up with particularizations. We need to come up with concrete actions that we are trying to accomplish with a line, so that our meaning becomes specific instead of general.


The scene itself was complex blocking wise. We had to pre-determine what actions we were going to perform to make the lines make sense in the scene, and at the same time have reasons for those actions. The challenge is having a worked out scenario where all of our actions have a distinct purpose and goal behind them, but living through it organically as if it were all happening spontaneously.

At the end of the scene work, I was a bit unsatisfied with how it turned out for our final run through, but it is what it is. I was unsuccessful in working with a Midwestern accent for the scene, it put me in my head while doing it. I also did not fully particularize my actions for the entire scene, which is why some of it felt flat at times.

I didn't feel fully emotionally connected to the circumstance. I don't know what it is, perhaps I'm not delving deep enough, because I know I would be going insane if a girlfriend of mine was cheating on me right in front of me. I'll have to experiment with different scenarios to try to tap into my rage (I know it's there somewhere, hiding).

Next scene will have to wait as we're doing a whole bunch of other stuff before that when the new year starts.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

STEL-LAHHHHHHHHHH

My script analysis class has given me a greater appreciation for plays and works that I would have considered too weighty or anachronistic to be of interest to me in the past. It has also been a while since I have truly been able to pick up a book and read it from start to finish with ease. While I do read a lot of content on the internet, it is in short 1-2 page bursts, anything else is tl;dr. Some of the plays are not that enjoyable, but I can see why the teacher picked them to discuss. Others are good enough to bring back old times where I would lay in my bed till I finished the book at 4 in the morning (which by the way is annoying if you wear glasses because you have to shift constantly from laying facing up and down because putting the head down on the side doesn't work).

Today, we went over the play "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams. The play is about a Southern Belle, Blanche, in the mid 1940's from "Old Money" who has recently lost her estate. She visits her sister, Stella, who moved to New Orleans with her husband, Stanley, into a urban and "common" type of lifestyle. The power of this story is the way Williams interweaves multiple themes into one story, while developing characters into human beings you can relate with. There are no real heroes or villains, just two people with conflicting desires and motivations. I want to someday also be able to create characters that have fundamental flaws that inevitably create conflict with their environment yet are also understandable.

The most poignant thing about today's class however, was not the play itself, but when our teacher read to us a preface to the play that Williams wrote. It was an essay titled "The Catastrophe of Success" where Williams delves into the idea that the "success" of an artist can deaden his sense of life itself. Reading this essay before reading the play gives an insight into what Williams is truly interested in, in life itself, in the animal-like pleasure loving sensuality of the Marlin Brando played Stanley, and the aesthetic admiring dreams of Blanche. Here is an excerpt from that essay:



This is an oversimplification. One does not escape that easily from the seduction of an effete way of life. You cannot arbitrarily say to yourself, I will not continue my life as it was before this thing, Success, happened to me. But once you fully apprehend the vacuity of a life without struggle you are equipped with the basic means of salvation. Once you know this is true, that the heart of man, his body and his brain, are forged in a white-hot furnace for the purpose of conflict (the struggle of creation) and that with the conflict removed, the man is a sword cutting daisies, that not privation but luxury is the wolf at the door and that the fangs of this wolf are all the little vanities and conceits and laxities that Success is heir to—-why, then with this knowledge you are at least in a position of knowing where danger lies.

You know, then, that the public Somebody you are when you “have a name” is a fiction created with mirrors and that the only somebody worth being is the solitary and unseen you that existed from your first breath and which is the sum of your actions and so is constantly in a state of becoming under your own violation— and knowing these things, you can even survive the catastrophe of Success!

It is never altogether too late, unless you embrace the Bitch Goddess, as William James called her, with both arms and find in her smothering caresses exactly what the homesick little boy in you always wanted, absolute protection and utter effortlessness. Security is a kind of death, I think, and it can come to you in a storm of royalty checks beside a kidney-shaped pool in Beverly Hills or anywhere at all that is removed from the conditions that made you an artist, if that’s what you are or were intended to be. Ask, anyone who has experienced the kind of success I am talking about— What good is it? Perhaps to get an honest answer you will have to give him a shot of truth serum but the word he will finally groan is unprintable in genteel publications.

Then what is good? The obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction, that first made the experience of living something that must be translated into pigment or music or bodily movement or poetry or prose or anything that’s dynamic and expressive—that’s what’s good for you if you’re at all serious in your aims. William Saroyan wrote a great play on this theme, that purity of heart is the one success worth having. “In the time of your life—live!” That time is short and it doesn’t return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, and the monosyllable of the clock is Loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.




When I heard this spoken, it was like a Braveheart moment when the speech is said and you just want to go out and do battle and kill some Englishmen with a Scottish accent. But seriously, the whole reason I wanted to go into this profession was to experience life itself more fully than I had been before. Williams is an inspiration for me not to sell out and always remember that life is not fulfilled by "success" but rather the constant yearning for truth of the human experience.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

new additions

a lot of these are adapted from Tom Wang, a fellow poker pro that i met this year living together in vegas. we basically discovered that we were soulmates and that with our powers combined we pretty much annoy the crap out of anyone within a 50 meter radius.

LIC - like it's cute/cool

me: like how he shoved all in with gak lic

LT - like that, shortened version of YLT, used now as a standard greeting and pretty much after every statement we say

me: lt
tom: lt

CG - cool guy (used sarcastically, in a derogatory manner)

me: hey cg
tom: lt

NS - nice story (i don't really use this one, it's just like a "yeah, right" statement)

me: zomg i'm going to pwn you
tom: ns


sip - meaning lose

tom's friend: can you just sip all your monies at 500/1000 NLHE

gak - also listed in my previous entry as what the gak, gak is a very versatile word that can be used in pretty much any context.

WTG (what the gak) - similar to wtf, but with less anger and more lol as in a piece of gak
gakball - someone who is overly MR and does things that incite a lot of WTGs
gakking around - being silly

other phrases known to be used are gaktastic, gakfest, gakker

jack the ripper - a person who shoves all in with retarded gak. they "rip" their money in the pot, hence they are a ripper.

unbirthing - this came from me and another poker player, kenny. kenny constantly was saying that he was going to make the other players wish they were never born, so i ask him if he's in the process of unbirthing as a greeting.

GOTM (grind on the mind) - another greeting that i use with kenny, it just asks are you playing poker

me: gotm?
kenny: obv

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Impediment work

So in the first couple months or so of class we have been performing the regular domestic or relationship exercise (refer to previous Acting entries for more info) but with different twists and turns involved. This is the start of character work, to develop characteristics about ourselves that are almost second nature.

Each week we would have a different impediment to work with, but the exercise would remain the same, the focus would be working off the partner while maintaining the impediment.


Point of view:
A partner would develop a certain point of view, something that was totally different from what they believed. They can just be outlandish ideas like it's fine having sex with another woman than your wife because you have a point of view that it's ok as long as you don't share an emotional connection with that woman. One I was going to use was cooking dog for my partner (with the idea that eating dogs is cool), but I never got to do it unfortunately. The trick is really researching that point of view to get behind it, what are the arguments for it, and how could you conceivably put yourself in the shoes of a person who actually believe it.

Physical impediment:
Each partner would have some sort of physical impediment (blind, paralysis, tick, etc.) that would prevent them from doing something normally. A lot of this involved watching people who were actually afflicted with the impediment to find out how they reacted to everyday scenarios. It's almost like practicing a dance step, I suppose.

Pain impediment:
Each partner would come in with an ailment that would affect their pain thresholds. This is harder because now you have to simulate being in pain while not actually being in pain. The circumstance and emotion almost becomes secondary to the pain because the pain takes over as the one thing you are focused on. However, there still needs to be an objective that you have to get to, otherwise there is no behavior that comes from suffering through the pain.

Hot and cold impediment:
Both partners must decide whether the room is hot or cold and act accordingly. There are certain actions that one does when it is freezing (rub extremities, shiver) and scorching (wipe sweat, air out clothes) that have to be almost routine. The temperature tends to enhance emotions in different ways, cold tends to make people more on edge while people tend to want to slow down when it's hot.

Imitation:
Partners choose a person that they know in real life and try to emulate their physical behavior. This was tough for me because I don't know very many people that act too out of the ordinary in real life. I didn't particularly enjoy this one for that reason, I figure if I had a better palette of people to work with I might enjoy it more.


With all impediments, practice is key to make it second nature. I remember practicing a Scottish accent but it faltering completely during class because it was only a few days of practicing. It has to be to the point where it's like you're speaking Scottish all the time. I'd try to find random phrases to practice with and sounds I needed correcting over and over again, until I could try doing it in everyday speech. Then when you're actually in the exercise, you have to forget that you're "doing" a Scottish accent because you'd have practiced it enough so that it comes out naturally out of you.

Also, an important thing to remember is cause and effect for impediments must be clear. If you're in pain, any movement should affect you in one way or the other, it should be clear what the source of pain is and what alleviates it and what makes it worse. If you're physically impaired, you can't all of a sudden lose it by doing something that an actual person with that impediment would never do, such as pointing the head in the direction of a bag when you're grabbing something.

Impediment work was interesting, but I thought it was too quick because we only spent a week on each one. I suppose more independent work will be done on it in the future as we take on roles that require actual impediments.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

departing from the structure

i've decided to cancel my series on songs because i've realized that it's very hard to bring anything original in terms of views towards the content. i will probably start blogging again about acting soon because it is becoming more interesting in my life anyway lately.

in the meantime, i performed a song at a church event at columbia this past saturday. i was kind of upset for not being prepared enough and not doing what i thought could've been my best, but i'm happy that God was able to use what little i gave for His glory. i'll post up my edited testimony for now, copying lauren.




My entire life experience has been defined by performance and living up to economic, educational and social standards of this world. My post-Korean War born parents' paranoia made sure that my sister and I would avoid a life of poverty. I had been living my life with a scorecard, keeping track of wins and losses. However, much of reflection of my life consists of me saying to myself "What was I thinking?"

Even my church life consisted of trying to fit a certain standard, making sure I didn't do x, y, and z and followed all the rules. There was something missing from the heart of my actions. I wasn't looking for praise from my peers per se, but more was trying to fit my life into the "plan" I had created for myself.

A fortuitous event changed my life three years ago, and then I tried my best not to let it. I thought that the "right" thing to do was to continue with the "plan" that I had for my life. However, after encountering people in higher positions than me that had achieved this "goal" I was pursuing, I realized this wasn't what I was meant for. Fortunately, God intervened and changed the direction of my life.

Using His blessings, I took a leap of faith to pursue a creative career. It is refreshing, albeit a bit scary, to have a sense of purpose higher than my own, casting aside foolish goals. However, this is not to say that I have it all figured out. I am not completely free from the trappings of this world; I still harp on my past failures and wonder about my worldly future. I'm still selfish, immature and unwilling to take initiative with my faith. But I want to be stronger, faithful, pursuing His will, His truth, His justice.

The song Twenty-Four by Switchfoot was written by Jon Foreman, before his 24th birthday, on reflection on how he had lived his life up to that point. The song resonates with me because it notes that there are many distractions of this world that overwhelm us and are ultimately unfulfilling. Foreman writes, "I am the second man, now" indicating that he has recognized that his own visions of life should be replaced with those of Christ; to make Christ first, and himself second. It's an important lesson I still am in the process of learning that it's not how we fit God into our plan, but how God shape our lives into His plan for us.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

we return to our regular scheduled programming...

So I suppose I'll write an entry now that might appease the Philadelphia people, to maybe offset the Yankee love that I had expressed in the past couple weeks.



In addition to Michael Jackson and the Beatles, my sister also introduced me to Boys II Men, arguably the most influential male vocal group of our era. In addition to reading, which apparently my sister gave me at the age of 2, she also had some musical influence. It was probably the Cooleyhighharmony CD that made me enjoy singing a lot, although my voice is definitely not R&Bish by any stretch of the imagination. Listening to a bastardization of "In the Still of the Nite" that I recorded in college made me realize that I don't have a voice that really is a lady wooer, lawl.

Anyhow, their first album had numerous hits. However, at the age of 10, I didn't really understand the I'll Make Love to You or It's So Hard to Say Goodbye, or the End of the Road until later in my life. (And I still don't relate to them completely, YLT?) However, a song I could relate to was "Motownphilly". You can listen to the song here:




When I used to listen to this song, two parts would stick out to me. The first part is when Wanya (pronounced like Kan-ye, I believe), sings, "Back in school we used to dream about this everyday, could it really happen, or do dreams just fade away, yeah." I think this particular lyrical idea stuck in my head for the longest time, just wondering what if we COULD pursue our actual dream, and make it a reality? I would describe myself as a cynical idealist, which is why this idea was so potent for me.

The other part was the harmony part where he goes "yo mike, check this out, see if this one moves you." And then they go into the

ba dum dum da da
ba dum dum da da
yadi yadi yadi ya da da da whoa whoa whoa whoa

I guess I just really like a cappella things (I mean I was in a Christian one at my school for a year, so it makes sense I suppose).

Today's perspective on the song:

I love the personality that Boys II Men brings with this song, expressing where they came from and how they got where they were. It's amazing that they got to that level when they were literally around the ages of 18-20, and it makes me feel like I have a lot of catching up to do (just turned 26 last week, fml). I doubt they knew the extent of the impact that they were going to have at that age, that's something I hope to have even a fraction of down the line.

Something I like now about this song is that they do showcase every member of the group in different parts of the song highlighting the different vocal ranges that they have...which is always fun for me when singing because I love imitating various types of things.

The song isn't as powerful to me now as other Boys II Men songs, but this one for sure is probably the one I could listen to repeatedly back when I was younger. I think I will stay with a one song per album quota, unless I feel otherwise compelled.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Number 13. Third Baseman. Alex Rodriguez.

as the yankees finish the celebrations for their championship and my sports attention starts to shift towards college basketball this week, i can't help but beam in pride for the third baseman on that most excellent 2009 championship team. he remains the only person posted on my wall. YLT?

alex. emmanuel. rodriguez.

the following entry may be too long, too emo, or too OMG STFU WTF BBQ YOU NARCISSISTIC DOUCHE to read for some...if so, die. i suppose i'm going to write a selfish offensive personal blog entry because it's therapeutic. preempting the tl;dr, imo.

so i suggest making yourself a nice warm drink, cozying up in the bed, and putting on some relaxing music.

here's arod on a boat:



he wears boatshoes. awesome.

i'll spare you his accomplishments, for they are well documented. suffice it to say that just 2/3 of his career complete, he is already among the greatest baseball players of all time. and yet it wasn't until now, his sixth season as a yankee, that he was completely accepted by all yankee fans. of course, that's not to say every fan was a new york post (i swear that newspaper makes me dumber every time i read it) reading, analytically flawed thinking, "what have you done for me lately remarking", and downright unappreciating fan, but there were enough that it irked me. ignorance irks me.

most people don't realize this, but alex had a postseason OPS (on base percentage + slugging, a somewhat standard measure of offensive production) pretty much at the same level as derek jeter. that's right, alex rodriguez performed at par with everyone's clutch hero derek, who was prematurely called "Mr. November" during a world series the yankees ultimately lost. in fact, most sportswriters quote arod's postseason stats post 2004 to try to create a more sensational effect when criticizing his ability to perform in october. as if postseason games in seattle or games where the yankees win but ultimately lose in an epic collapse in boston don't count towards a player's postseason resume. as if it's his fault that sometimes pitchers don't pitch to him and he takes a lot of walks but doesn't rack up RBIs.

but all that is past now. after having a pretty epic postseason performance, he actually now has a postseason OPS higher than his regular season OPS, (which is also over 100 OPS points above derek's) which just goes to show how a few games can quickly change a players statistics and how fickle playoff performances can actually be. that's not to say he didn't look a bit different at the plate this year than some of his other postseason performances, but i firmly believe it was maybe just a small tweak that made alex become a destructive force this year.



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i was still somewhat of a non-sports fan in the summer of 2003 (read: nerd, yes yes, i'm still a nerd ok) and i remember the first conversation i ever had about alex. i asked my high school friends over a plate of cheese fries at outback,

"Hey, so who's the best player in baseball?"

they debated for a while, and finally came up with the answer, A-Rod.

"Uh, what?"

A-Rod. Alex Rodriguez. He plays for the Rangers, has the biggest contract in baseball.

"How come the Yankees don't have him?"

Jeter's the shortstop, A-Rod is a shortstop, there's no way it'd work.

"Oh, well, okay."

thus the prospect of rooting for the best player in baseball and the best team in baseball weren't aligned, until Aaron Boone decided to not only gift the Yankees with a pennant victory walk-off home run against the Red Sox, but with a contract violating sports injury that allowed the Yankees to talk a deal with A-Rod, who then agreed to shift over to 3rd base in order to fit on the roster (because who was going to move the beloved Jeter from shortstop even though alex was defensively superior as well)?



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back when i was but a young boy, i had many expectations that were laid upon me. my parents, while having a nice cookie cutter appearance on the outside, were the typical strict asian parents who laid down the law when it came to studying. although it wasn't like we had a tradition of a bloodline of family members who have graduated from harvard (an impossibility as a 2nd generation korean family), it was pretty much preordained that both my sister and i would attend that school, and that was the goal. we were almost chess pieces in a match they would play with other asian parents that would be in competition, especially since many of my parents' friends from church also went to the top college in korea that my dad went to.

and the goal seemed attainable. indeed, it seemed i did have some intelligence, and the course was sound. i picked up the necessary accolades and awards throughout the year, until the end of my schooling career, my "postseason", i had a few setbacks. a 1510 was not an acceptable SAT score (my parents made me retake it), a 99 on nysmma doesn't get a violinist into all state orchestra, and several non-5 scores on APs on my record were like bulging blemishes on a beauty queen.

of course it was my sister who had achieved all these records and who had achieved the goal, and i was the bumbling idiot who ended only 3rd in his own high school class (i maintain that i would've made an awesome valedictory/salutatory speech). i had not met the bar, and ended up making only the 7th choice college on my list of 9, while the "Jeters" in my grade were making it into every choice they wanted. i suppose that's what annoyed me the most; it would've been comforting if the people i thought were less talented were also rejected.

college was kind of the same deal, the first couple years were depressing because i wasn't doing so hot. my parents were constantly on my case for failing in the "clutch", making my freshman summer miserable. my junior summer in 2005, i failed to obtain an internship and had nothing to show for on my resume. it didn't help that my best friend at yale, who was also my parents' competition in kid showing-off sport, was gainfully employed.

that summer was a time where i needed clarity and was provided none.



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at the end of 2004, all was wrong with the yankee universe. we had obtained perhaps the best player that ever lived that year, and instead of glory we experienced defeat beyond imagination. an epic collapse of immense proportions, losing to our rivals after being up three games to none in the american league championship series. not only that, they had broken an 86 year drought of championships, and broken the image of yankee dominance. the horrid town of boston had its moment of glory.



and who can forget the slap play? a simple slap of bronson arroyo's wrist had defined arod's entire postseason career until this season, a lapse in judgment that erased everything he had done that year. even his hits against the minnesota twins in the ALDS, and his production against boston in the first three games of the series.

we expected the great success from alex, but what we suffered was ultimate failure. the pundits were already remarking the "curse of A-Rod" and other such scapegoating tactics. never mind that our team was full of aging pitchers who couldn't throw a strike across the plate without it getting nailed to deep left center, never mind the failings of sheffield, matsui, and other yankees who whiffed when it counted, never mind that we were actually the worse team that year statistically and were slight underdogs to win the ALCS in the first place. we had FAILED because alex came up short.



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for most of my years i have had conflicting visions of self-perception. a lot of that has been shaped by my parents, who i realized believed in me so much and yet harped on every single failing moment i had in my life. i go through phases of suffocating self-deprecation and overwhelming megalomaniacy.

i consider my WSOP experience 3 years ago a success in my life not because of the obvious achievements, but because of the way it opened my eyes to the futility in what the world views as important and being able to stray from that and carve my own destiny.

so was it any surprise that i would pull for a player who was deemed the best in the world but was hated by his own fans? mike mussina aptly describes alex's predicament coming to new york, quoting from another blog:

“Try to imagine this,” he said. “You’ve been told, with a good deal of justification, that you are the best baseball player of your era that, in fact, you might end up being the best baseball player of all time. Then you come to New York and you’re told this: ‘You might be the best player in the game today but you’re no Derek Jeter.’ No matter what he does he’s always going to be in Jete’s shadow. He can’t escape it. If he wins a World Series, Derek will have five. If he wins four, Derek will have eight. He’s like a little brother trying to be as old as his big brother. It isn’t going to happen.”

but it seemed that in the summer of 2005, alex was making a statement with his MVP season, hitting like a machine. he came out to bat to a new song that year, made by his friend jay-z, titled "Numb/Encore". this song is an awesome mashup; the lyrics of numb's coming into one's own outside of others' perceptions, combined with encore's affirmation of self-worth totally embodies who alex is.



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i wrote a previous entry about my summer 2005 experience in my senior year of college. it's pretty interesting looking back at me looking back at how things were and what my perceptions of the world were at the time.

i remember watching yankee games in the basement of a house in the burbs that summer and playing "numb/encore" on my computer every time alex came up to bat during the summer. it'd annoy the hell out of some of my friends, others were amused at my obsession. somehow watching alex suffer through what he did made me realize that it doesn't matter sometimes what other people think, because the masses can be idiotic.

i wanted to believe that someday, vindication, redemption, JUSTICE, would be at hand for me and alex. and we've both now experienced it in a world series.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

we interrupt this blog for a public service announcement




The New York Yankees win their 27th Championship.

Massive A-Rod post to come. Be prepared. Some may need barf bags while reading, but it will be a shameless post describing why I love Alex Rodriguez, next to Minute Maid fruit punch, and hot asian females with British accents.





Thursday, October 29, 2009

off the florida keys

It seems I did remember a song from the 80's after all (that is, remember listening to it when I was young, not retroactively).

Every so often, our parents would have hangouts (I suppose they would be in their mid-30's so is that what I'm going to be doing in 10 years? Scary.) with two families from our church (and sometimes they'd let another family in the cool kids group), both of which were alumni from my dad's college, Seoul National University. Naturally, after some group activity, the parents would hang out in the living room, while the kids would hang out in one of the bedrooms, playing Monopoly, or an awesome computer game called Cyberia (where after you kill people and come back to the room, the hero quips, "You guys still dead?" Classic.) or watching some random TV show. One of the families had two girls, the other had two boys (the oft mentioned Brian Lee being one of them), and we were the boy girl family, yay. (Funnily enough, the two girls both went to MIT, the two boys went to Yale, and my sister went to Harvard and I failed to complete the trend by being well, a failure. Ok, really I'm over it though. Really.)


Anyhow, Aimee, one of the two girls and being the oldest of the bunch, introduced us to this song called "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys. You can listen to the song here.

Lyrics:

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go, Jamaica

Off the Florida Keys there's a place called Kokomo
That's where you wanna go to get away from it all
Bodies in the sand, tropical drink melting in your hand
We'll be falling in love to the rhythm of a steel drumband
Down in Kokomo

(Chorus)
Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo Montego, baby why don't we go
Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo,
we'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow
That's where we wanna go, way down in Kokomo.

Martinique, that Monserrat mystique...

We'll put out to sea and we'll perfect our chemistry
By and by we'll defy a little bit of gravity
Afternoon delight, cocktails and moonlit nights
That dreamy look in your eye, give me a tropical contacthigh
Way down in Kokomo

(chorus)

Port au Prince, I wanna catch a glimpse...

Everybody knows a little place like Kokomo
Now if you wanna go to get away from it all
Go down to Kokomo

(chorus)


This song definitely has nostalgic value as we listened to it on those hangout nights, probably instilling some wistful Caribbean dreams in us (though none of us had probably ever been to the Caribbean at that point). I think I didn't actually know what Kokomo was until a long time afterwards, all I knew was it was a place where we wanted to go, apparently.

Oh, and now I remember I kicked ass at Monopoly. Sweet. Ah the memories.


Today's perspective:

This song still makes me want to get away from it all. I don't think I've been to the Caribbean yet actually. ANYONE WANT TO GO DOWN TO THE KOKOMO? Actually, I hear the cruises there are better than the cruises in Greece. (For more info on cruises in Greece, click here) Something else just makes the song tropical (probably the combination of the hand drums, steel drums and accordion-like sounds).

I didn't know this was a song made in 1988 until I researched songs from this time period, but man had the Beach Boys aged even at that point. I guess you can still sing about taking a hot babe to the Caribbean when you're a creepy old guy, as long as you're a Beach Boy.

I can't put my finger on it, but I suppose descending chord progression of the verses make for a potent nostalgic feeling, even without the memory of the song being from my childhood. The traditional Beach Boy style also pack a 60's type vibe into this song which makes it kind of looking into the past, in the past. Definitely would be an awesome song to play if one were to have a lot of friends at the Caribbean with a tropical drink melting in the hand at night, enjoying a nice breeze, ZoMG.

edit: Extra note, there's a scene in a How I Met Your Mother episode where Barney communicates to Ted with his eyebrows and this song starts playing where it's utterly classic.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

it don't matter

Much of my musical influence has come from my sister, who introduced me probably to the biggest musical icons of the world, such as Michael Jackson and the Beatles. In the early nineties, she bought the Dangerous album. Michael Jackson is one of the few artists who released albums where you could really listen to the whole album and not have to skip tracks cause a track sucked (yes, some purists never skip tracks, but frankly, imo VERY few artists deserve that treatment).

My chronology must be a bit off, because it appears that the album came out in 1991. I'm not sure when my sister brought it into the Kim household, but it might be around the same time as the previous two songs.

The most catchy tune to me of the album was the biggest single, "Black or White". You can listen to it here.

Lyrics:

I took my baby
On a saturday bang
Boy is that girl with you
Yes were one and the same

Now I believe in miracles
And a miracle
Has happened tonight

But, if
Youre thinkin
About my baby
It dont matter if youre
Black or white

They print my message
In the saturday sun
I had to tell them
I aint second to none

And I told about equality
And its true
Either youre wrong
Or youre right

But, if
Youre thinkin
About my baby
It dont matter if youre
Black or white

I am tired of this devil
I am tired of this stuff
I am tired of this business
Sew when the
Going gets rough
I aint scared of
Your brother
I aint scared of no sheets
I aint scare of nobody
Girl when the
Goin gets mean

(l. t. b. rap performance)
Protection
For gangs, clubs
And nations
Causing grief in
Human relations
Its a turf war
On a global scale
Id rather hear both sides
Of the tale
See, its not about races
Just places
Faces
Where your blood
Comes from
Is where your space is
Ive seen the bright
Get duller
Im not going to spend
My life being a color

(michael)
Dont tell me you agree with me
When I saw you kicking dirt in my eye

But, if
Youre thinkin about my baby
It dont matter if youre black or white

I said if
Youre thinkin of
Being my baby
It dont matter if youre black or white

I said if
Youre thinkin of
Being my brother
It dont matter if youre
Black or white

Ooh, ooh
Yea, yea, yea now
Ooh, ooh
Yea, yea, yea now

Its black, its white
Its tough for you
To get by
Its black , its white, whoo

Its black, its white
Its tough for you
To get by
Its black , its white, whoo


My sister got annoyed whenever I reset this song on repeat, but I was addicted to the intro part where Slash melts your face off with the guitar going into the main catchy riff (the version is a video is a lot longer than the one in the actual recording).

I feel like this song brought out the feel goodness of the early 90's. The line "I believe in miracles, and a miracle has happened tonight" I remember resonated with me at the time. I remember I sang this and another song when I was a kid as my first times at a karaoke place in Korea with my parents and other relatives, and remember them loling at my song choice (although MJ is pretty big in Korea, too).

The little trademark sound bites (ow, whoo hoo, shamon, etc.) that Michael interjects into his songs to color them definitely made an impression on me. It's little moments in the song like this where you really can feel the artists connection to the song they're singing through non-verbal cues.


Today's perspective:

The song is still awesome imo, which shows how much staying power Michael Jackson's music has. The overall theme and message of the song doesn't really make me too excited, but whenever I hear the intro to the song I just want to do a little jig down the street.

I have to say though the song does get weak towards the end; the rap in the middle of the song does take away from its quality a bit, which is unfortunate, but by that part of the song I already reset it to start over.

Friday, October 23, 2009

what's goin on? (not marvin gaye)

Somehow, I changed to arial font last entry, so to keep it consistent, I'm keeping all my music entries arial, because I am OCD.

So as I was perusing (looking through thoroughly, not the often misused definition) through the dearth of comments (I still after 7-8 years of blogging do not have a readership of a hot chick who wrote about how cool her boyfriend is or what she had for pinkberry last weekend, ef em el) I was reminded by my good friend Brian Lee (i don't know why i mentioned his last name, particularly because adding the Lee after Brian doesn't add to any specificity because the Brian Lee subset is probably 90% of the people named Brian) when he commented on my past entry on the next song on my emo playlist, called "What's Up" by Four Non-Blondes.

The song was ubiquitous, a hit at our elementary school for some odd reason, as little of us could probably relate with 20-somethinng lesbian angsty rockers at the time. I just remember one kid singing it to a teacher in defiance, and it was pretty funny at the time. Might be one of those you had to be there moments.

Anyway, listen here.


Lyrics:

Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination
And I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man
For whatever that means
And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream at the top of my lungs
What's going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what's going on?
ooh, ooh ooh
and I try, oh my god do I try
I try all the time, in this institution
And I pray, oh my god do I pray
I pray every single day
For a revolution
And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed
Just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream at the top of my lungs
What's going on?
And I say, hey hey hey hey
I said hey, what's going on?
Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination


I suppose any rambunctious 9 year old would love a song that involved screaming at the top of one's lungs. I used to be produce high pitched noises at octaves not known to normal humans (resembling the sound of a pterodactyl, should one know what a pterodactyl sounded like 65 million years ago) using a technique that didn't involve an open throat sound as in normal screaming. Though I suppose the actual chorus isn't a scream, per se.

Anecdotally, I can only remember playing this numerous times whilst playing at this friend's house of mine that I do not have any contact with anymore (even facebook was unable to rectify that). As somewhat of an outcast during my earlier years growing up, I could understand the not fitting into the world part of the song that the singer goes through. Without going too deeply into the details of that, it would sufficeth to say that I often wondered, "What's going on?"

Today's perspective on the song:

It's kind of funny looking back since I'm 25 now, and the song probably has more relevance for me now. I suppose this was the "quarter-life crisis" anthem before John Mayer wrote his first song. Watching the music video kind of makes me like the song less, particularly because the whole lesbian non-blonde thing is too feminine power (brotherhood of man, for whatever that means, etc.) thing going on for me as I used to have no idea what exactly the Four Non-Blondes were, save that they were four...non-blondes.

The song isn't too complex, the concept and the structure are easy enough to understand at first glance. I think its simplicity and the somewhat catchy anthem like nature made the song popular.

What I do like is the techno remixed version, which you can find here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

my first song obsession

I hope that in these entries I will be reminded of something awesome or be inspired in someway, so bear with me if they seem rather boring. Or, don't read them. And die. Jay kay.

edit: My sister has notified me that this entry is too emo, proceed at your own cost. These entries will not all be emo, but I'm going through the moments episode by episode, I suppose I might find something about my own self that way.

"The details of my life are quite inconsequential.... Very well, where do I begin?" - Dr. Evil

In my almost 26 years (life's over btw, going from quarter to third life crisis) on this earth, I tried remembering as far back as I could for the song that has had an impact on me. I suppose the earliest I can remember is in my elementary school days, in 1992, when i was but 9 years old. Home Alone 2 had just come out and I got the Talkboy that Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin's character) uses in the movie. Unfortunately, the talkboy is around 2x the size as shown in the movie so you couldn't really fit it into your pocket, so basically I hate you Tiger Electronics (Hasbro). Anyhow, one thing I happened to record on my Talkboy was this song called "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum.

You can listen to it here.

Lyrics:

Call you up in the middle of the night
Like a firefly without a light
You were there like a slow torch burning
I was a key that could use a little turning

So tired that I couldn't even sleep
So many secrets I couldn't keep
Promised myself I wouldn't weep
One more promise I couldn't keep

It seems no one can help me now
I'm in too deep
There's no way out
This time I have really led myself astray

CHORUS
Runaway train never going back
Wrong way on a one way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I'm neither here no there

Can you help me remember how to smile
Make it somehow all seem worthwhile
How on earth did I get so jaded
Life's mystery seems so faded

I can go where no one else can go
I know what no one else knows
Here I am just drownin' in the rain
With a ticket for a runaway train

Everything is cut and dry
Day and night, earth and sky
Somehow I just don't believe it

CHORUS

Bought a ticket for a runaway train
Like a madman laughin' at the rain
Little out of touch, little insane
Just easier than dealing with the pain

Runaway train never comin' back
Runaway train tearin' up the track
Runaway train burnin' in my veins
Runaway but it always seems the same


It seems that even as a kid, I had a propensity towards music that was emo in nature. I think what drew me most to this song was probably the catchy chorus and the singalongability. My sister probably went insane as I played this song on repeat for hundreds of times, something I do when I'm obsessed (I watched the Matrix probably around 100+ times and once memorized the dialogue and choreographed fight scenes).

At the end of elementary school and beginning of middle school was also a big transitional time for me, some details I won't get into because, well you know, it'll be all "whine one one why don't I call a wambulance" if i do. But tying into that, a big thing with this song for me was that I could lose myself in the music (the moment you own it you better never let it go go, el oh el tangents) and for a sliver of a moment, not worry about the real world. It seems that theme hasn't changed.

Today's perspective on the song:

The song doesn't really reverberate with me as much as it did back then, but it does have some moments that still ring for me; the last verse is a very nice touch to the end of the song. The visual picture of an insane man laughing at the rain coupled with the quieter dynamics and the tripling of the hard "ah" sound of the verse makes for a pretty potent combination.

What I found interesting was the music video (I didn't have MTV so I watched 0 music videos back in the day, which will be an interesting experience as I go through all of these) while depressing, actually brought most of the runaways back to their parents when they saw the video on TV. I hope to one day create something that changes people's lives as well.

Monday, October 19, 2009

the new series

In my days of old when I was a budding xanga user, I delivered justice more frequently to my subscribers. I feel that I have not done the same justice to my current readership, thus making the title of my blog a misnomer.

In an effort to inspire my own creativity, and to start writing more, I will start a series on something that has influenced my life, which is music. I'll probably start by analyzing the effects of certain songs/bands on my life/mood/thoughts and seeing why that was at different junctures of my life. I will also welcome any suggestions to music to broaden my musical knowledge spectrum (is that a term)

If anyone has any other ideas on what they'd like to hear from the mind of the tech, feel free to comment in this space. Oh yeah, I will also try to blog about the acting again, I have yet to do that this year. Hopefully something interesting will happen soon.

Organized chronologically, I will start with the very earliest experiences with music I can remember.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The acroynm list, updated

So, a lot of you guise might have trouble deciphering what I say (sometimes because you are internet n00bs). I had a previous entry where I went through all the acronyms that I use in everyday speak, but I suppose it's time for an updated list where you can now figure out what i'm saying. Some of them are common phrases, some of them are my own or friends' creations.

The List:

the old classic unique tech-isms
gdd - God (as an exclaimation), dick (what i'm calling you), die (the directive). has not been in use too often as of late. brian lee made an alternate form calling someone a dd (dick die, as a noun)

tityta - this still means this is tech you're talking about. probably will be used more often when starcraft 2 is released (additionally, tisatyta, as in this is scout [my roommate] and tech you're talking about, this would be our team name in vid games. personally i think this is tech and scout you're talking about sounds better but tisatyta does sound better than titasyta)

sbsan - stop being such a newb (see below for newb explanation)

hhw - hey hey, wah (the first two heys are a quick 16-th note like staccato and then an elongated WAH, to emphasize the futility of your whining)

wdycai - why don't you cry about it (usually said after a hhw)


currently used phrases
lol/lawl/lowl/lulz/lul - pretty much a standard phrase with now many dialects of usage indicating something that is funny, i tend to use lowl now most often at the moment, but am able to use any at any time.

rofl - much less used

(variations on rofl and lol)
roflcopter
lollerskates
roflcakes
roflmao
lollercoaster

-z0rs - a suffix used to emphasize
sux0rs - sucks a lot
pwnz0r3d - got pwn3d, a lot

ty - thank you

wtf - what the fuck (bad surprise)
wtg - what the gak (question surprise)
wtd - what that do (another question surprise)

omg/Zomg - optional Z, this is usually a good surprise

MR - so this actually came from my dad who told a somewhat funny story of a patient because he was trying to communicate with him but failed to see at the bottom of the clipboard that he was MR. you can guess what this means, it's a bit politically incorrect. example:

my sister: "Hey what's 3% of 100?"
me: "Are you MR?"

YLT - this came from my friends and me in vegas this year constantly going you like that after every sentence we spoke. or, you like how such and such happened. comes loosely from rounders when worm shows his ace of spades tattoo and says, you like that?
ILT - i like that
IDLT - i don't like that

stfu/gtfo - shut the fuck up/get the fuck out (you need a big tall glass of STFU)

imo - in my opinion

newb/n00b/nub - a fledgling. a tyro. a novice. a beginner. a neophyte. a dilettante. someone who chooses easy mode in video games when you obviously should at least start with the standard medium.

obv/obfv - obviously/obfuckingviously (my own creation, used rarely though)

tbh - to be honest

sjj - sweet, juicy, justice (used when something is right with the world)

FTW - for the win (usually used in victorious moments)
FTL - for the loss (usually used in moments of fail)

srs/srsly - serious(ly)

FML - fuck my life
FYL - fuck your life
FOL - fuck our lives
FHL - fuck his/her life

ffs - for fuck's sake (if i'm feeling scottish/irish)

FNR - for no reason

icwudt - i see what you did there (used when someone does something clever)
ucwidt - you see what i did there (used when i do something clever)

alternate spellings
hai - hi
no wai - no way
wat - what, but meaning, more like wat the hell are you talking about

disguised and elongated ways of saying shit
shiza minelli - a combination of shit and liza minelli
shitake mushrooms - a food i don't eat
shitzu - a dog
shikaka - see "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls"

if i think of any more i'll add them to the list. if you remember any, please let me know.

Friday, October 2, 2009

College was teh awsum

i was bored one summer day, i want to go back to college, yadayada.

enjoy, and if you don't, die.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

i want to be sick in the head

behind every action we take, there's always an underlying reason we do them. on one hand we want security and we build our entire lives around creating, possessing and protecting things that create the sense of stability, a feeling of grounding. on the other hand, we want to feel free from these things, want to have that "fuck it" moment where we truly feel alive and go batshit insane and have a release so intense that you have that "THIS IS WHAT I LIVE FOR" feeling. so often in life, it seems that these things are mutually exclusive. i want to believe that they're not.

does self-sustainability need to be our purpose in life? i've been pondering this question as i consider whether or not to continue playing poker as a living. poker, has gotten difficult, to say the least. the game has vastly changed over the past 2-3 years because of various factors, the UIGEA bill, the emergence of online training websites, and the rapidly increasing knowledge of the game itself, making the game almost game theoretically "solved" in some aspects. of course, there's still money to be made, but that money is decreasing bit by bit daily. i have been doing extremely poorly in the past year which has made me reevaluate what role poker will play, if any, in my life in the next few years.

curiously enough, it is this need to stay afloat mentality that has kept me playing until now in the first place, the idea that if i don't keep playing, i won't have a backup for the future if the going gets tough. but lately, i've been wondering, what am i backing myself up for? am i just preparing myself mentally for failure in whatever endeavor i go into? sometimes i wish i was just given a road map of what it is i need to do to live a decent fulfilling life that won't be wrought with regret.

i recently went to vegas to help film the second episode of the documentary series called busto to robusto , a series about online poker players who have taken advantage of this boom and have had success in making large sums of money. these films will help serve to illustrate to the overall public the world of online poker and kind of illuminate poker players lifestyles and personalities. since this is a relatively new phenomenon, i feel like it'd generate a lot of interest among the public, many of which have no idea how professional gambling works, or could even be an occupation.

after talking with some of the players interviewed, and jay rosenkrantz, the producer of the series and a high stakes pro, you get the sense that in the end, even the people at the top are looking for a way out. because this is such a new type of occupation, it doesn't really have a long term plan and people are adapting to "what happens next" on the fly. jay brought an interesting point to me, that tommy angelo, an almost "zen" master of poker, had to stop playing poker for 1.5 years in order to write his book, "Elements of Poker". playing poker is almost perfect for people who want to pursue creative interests, except that the game almost does hinder one's own creative process because of the thinking involved is so taxing.

anyhow, this past year has been a lot of reflection of the path of my life and where it will go from here. i hoped to find more clear cut answers, but it seems that i'm going to have to make some tough choices soon. this is not to say i'm going to quit poker at the moment, i feel like these old bones have yet some life in them for that for at least a bit more. i just want to have passion for creating and living in the moment, and figure out what it is i'm supposed to be doing on this rotating revolving oblong spheroid.

Friday, August 21, 2009

In-N-Out vs. Shake Shack

So I came across a blog today that compared Shake Shack to In-N-Out Burger from an NYU law student from California. Unashamedly and incorrigibly biased (although qualified not to be), the blogger insists that In-N-Out burger is markedly superior to Shake Shack in every way. His entry can be found here. Now I'm not one to start flaming wars or what not with people I don't really know but this entry is an offense to all that is good and just with the world, so I decided to FAIRLY judge the two based on his "criteria" of excellence, with commentary on his judgments.

Now, my system will not be a winner take all, because a point system is obviously more fair in this regard, as a slightly marginal advantage in one category will be unfairly weighted against a huge advantage in another.

1. Name

What's in a name? Branding, marketing, but beyond that an identity. In-N-Out has a moniker that describes what you will be doing at In-N-Out, which is simply, going In-N-Out of a burger place to eat and coming out. The name implies a succinct and thoughtless experience, albeit efficient, kind of like when a SWAT team comes into a drug bust and gets the bad guys out, ASAP.

The N in between the In and Out actions and the hyphens lends itself to a cute and catchy name, and definitely one that's easy to remember and spread around. But what intimacy does that lend itself really? We like this burger so much that we just want to eat it as quickly as possible and then GTFO? Ok, I guess.

I give the name In-N-Out 7 points.

Shake Shack is an interesting name. I do agree with the blogger that their shakes are not something I enjoy particularly, but I haven't really tried much of them, so I cannot accurately assess the quality of the shakes. What I do know is that it is definitely interchangeable with what I like to call it, "the SHACK". I mean when I tell someone I want to go to "the SHACK", they immediately know what I'm talking about. And aside from the fact that the so called informed blogger pulled the shack picture on his website from a Wikipedia page, shacks have multiple meanings, one of which is, "a room or similar enclosed structure for a particular person or use shack" according to Miriam-Webster. Misleading? Maybe not.

The alliteration and the catchy name itself has been enough to allure all classes of people in NYC, not just the fast food crowd, it has almost become a legend, even though it has only been around for 5 years. However, I do agree that the moniker is not as tight or smart as it could be.

I give the name Shake Shack 6 points.


2. Convenience

It's true, Shake Shack has only two locations in Manhattan, and one in Citi Field, all of which usually run long lines. But when a restaurant is only 5 years old compared to 60, it's hard to really have that many locations, and sometimes excellence is in high demand but low supply.

That being said, I have been to plenty of In-N-Outs in LA, SF and Las Vegas, and I have to say that the lines aren't always a fun deal there. Sometimes the locations are crowded, with noisy children or what not, and even on a non-crowded day, it still takes a while for preparation for the food. It's not nearly as "fast" food as say, a McDonald's or a Burger King, it's more of a medium-speed food kind of place. And as far as travel goes, with LA traffic, good luck getting to a place when there isn't death traffic everywhere until late hours in the night.

I give In-N-Out Burger 6.5 points.

Shake Shack does have long lines. However, what the blogger FAILED to mention is that it has a Shack CAM readily available, so that you can snipe the times when you can find a short line. A good meal deserves a good hunt, IMO. Also, if you go really early or really late, the lines aren't long at all. And what really is a wait on the line in Madison Square Park? A time for intimacy with your friends in a nice area, a time to chat about the world, a time to not get so involved with the In-N-Out culture of our generation, etc. Oh yeah, they also have a B line that zooms you to the front if all you want is some custard or other dessert.

I give Shake Shack 4 points.


3. Menu Options

In and Out doesn't really lend itself to many choices, as you're really stuck with a burger and fries essentially. I guess it does have it's "hip" off the menu choices, like Animal Style or 3x3, etc. This reviewer even mentions that is has low menu choices as a con. Oh, and it also mentions that he once waited 45 minutes to get In-N-Out and never goes during peak hours, further clarifying its "convenience".

I give In-N-Out 3 points.

Shake Shack, now WHERE do we begin. There's the standard shack burger that's always an excellent choice, a shroom burger for vegetarians that I hear is excellent (personally not a fan of fungus), hot dogs, a new custard of the day . Did I mention they have beer, for those of you who enjoy a pleasant meal with a little relaxing brewsky on the side? Oh, and wine for all you who want to add a little romance to a already nice scenery in Madison Square Park.

I give Shake Shack 8 points.


4. Cost

Shake Shack does indeed cost more than In-N-Out. However, you're paying NYC prices, in the heart of Manhattan, so you're also paying for the experience, instead of some dinky random In-N-Out that's a clone of every other In-N-Out in California. And when you factor in that fast food places in busy locations of Manhattan are super priced as well, you see that the "huge" cost of Shake Shack is not really that "huge" at all, adjusted for NYC prices.

In-N-Out though does have advantage in being priced extremely low. A burger, fries and a coke will probably run you around 9 bucks at Shake Shack, where as at In-N-Out, adjusting for NYC prices, it'd probably be around 6 bucks by my estimation.

In-N-Out therefore gets 9 points, and Shake Shack gets 6. (See what I did there?)


5. Taste

I actually like In-N-Out Burgers. I probably ate it 3-4 times during a week stay in LA. Is it worth the time and effort to go to a place like this? Absolutely. Is it an experience to remember? Well, that's something different entirely.

The Animal Style thing is interesting to say the least, the combination of thousand island dressing and some sort of mayonnaise concoction does lend itself to an interesting flavor that is not really replicated. The quality of the food is definitely above regular fast food par. The fries however, are pretty nasty at In-N-Out, they're probably worse than most fast food places, IMO. They're just little stringy fries that don't really do much in terms of texture and quality, and are not really unique in any sort of way.

I give In-N-Out Burger 7 points, mainly due to the interesting burger.

When I first went to Shake Shack, I was skeptical. The whole waiting on line business seemed like a touristy thing to do. And trust me, I hate touristy stuff in NYC, nothing angers me more than seeing a bunch of Euro dudes taking a billion pictures when I'm trying to walk through the street. Ok some things anger me more, but that's for another post.

When I first got that Shake Shack burger, it was mildly akin to when Harold and Kumar go to White Castle and eat those 30 sliders, 5 fries and 4 large cherry cokes. Awesome. Soothing. Something that hits the spot when you're craving the ultimate burger. In a word (or three) sweet juicy justice. That combination of just enough greasiness in the taste with a touch of friedness on the side for the texture tripled with the convenient bun that is closed on one end so the juices don't fall into your hand, just does wonders for me. The special sauce that they have tops it off that can only be described as a bit tangy but warm flavored.

Oh and let's not forget the patented cheese on the cheese fries. I don't know how they make their cheese, but it's pretty much the best cheese on cheese fries this world has ever known. After I eat all the fries, sometimes I just scoop up the cheese and eat it itself. It's that good folks. The fries themselves have a nice harder and slightly crunchier texture to them

Dessert? Speak no more of the options. A lushious concrete jungle (my personal favorite) with bananas, fudge, and peanut butter concoction will gratify any sweet tooth from here to California.

I give Shake Shack a dominating 10 points.

These next two categories are pretty lame so
I'm going to downgrade to only being worth 5 points.

6. Iconic Status

Is In-N-Out an icon? It is an undeniably well known franchise. But to claim that it represents all of California's well known highlights might be a stretch.

I'd say In-N-Out earns 4.5 points.

Shake Shack has already become a well known place in the 5 years of its existence. It was normally only supposed to be a small kiosk of food to spark the conservation of Madison Square Park. It helped transform MSP from a dangerous area to a well visited location. Yes, Shake Shack FIGHTS CRIME IN NYC. That's pretty much as iconic as anything New York, like the Ghostbusters or Spiderman. Not to mention it's already in Citi Field, a huge NY establishment.

Shake Shack earns 2 points in terms of iconicness.


7. Happiness effect

How happy is one when they munch on an In-N-Out burger? Well let's take a look at the blogger's evidence. Both pictures were taken in MSP, so one can conclude that In-N-Out was not a factor in either of the blogger's happiness because it doesn't exist in New York. His argument is pretty much facepalm fail (FPF) in that regard.

In all seriousness however, how happy are you when you wait patiently and at the end of the day, receive perfection as your reward? When you strive towards excellence, and when all is said and done, you are granted access to true burger ecstasy? I mean In-N-Out is a fine choice if you want to have a good and I suppose more convenient meal, but when it comes down to it, satisfaction is hard to obtain. I compare it to settling for that girl you might kind of like, instead of going the extra mile (or 3) for that girl that doesn't even exist in your dreams because she's so awesome.

I give In-N-Out 3 points.

I give Shake Shack 5 points.



Total tally:

In-N-Out: 40 points

Shake Shack: 41 points



So there you have it folks, Shake Shack wins by a slim margin. I admit, I was surprised when I saw the final numbers of how close it was, but I believe I have given both a fair assessment, and was not surprised that in the end, justice was served.

Anyone who disagrees with this pretty much sucks at life, IMO.