Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dildo Quest 2010

“It’s a dildo hunt, you can’t just go in and assume you are going to find what you are looking for easily. It’s a dildo quest.”

The One was amused as I tried to explain that going to the antique store where one can procure stone and marble dildos was not like going to a sex-toy shop.

“Basically it is full of all sorts of junk and antiques. What you need to do is sort through all this and find the stone dildo you are looking for.”

We met downtown in Daegu to go on the quest. We were supposed to be meeting to take a Korean friend along, but sadly she couldn't make it, so we decided to quest alone. We walked down the street as I explained the ways and means of the dildo hunt to her.

“So, are they like antique stone dildos?” the One asked.

“I’m pretty sure they manufacture them for tourists. Still they are not the easiest things to find.”

We entered the store, which was overflowing with clutter. Brass, silver, stone, marble, and wood, everywhere the eye looked. I found an ancient gramophone; I think I saw it there once before. There are old cameras, video cameras, turntables. I recalled when last I had ventured out on the Dildo Hunt that there had been several in the window, yet on this occasion there were none to be found.

“Are you sure they have dildos in here?”

“You have to find them.” She kept looking. I spotted the first dildo before she did. A large black one that I believe I had classed the executive when I had gone dildo hunting before. It was a heavy piece and she marveled at it a bit.

“It’s kinda big, don’t you think?”

“A Korean sense of either hope or delusion, not sure which way you’d want to go with it.”

We kept hunting about. She managed to find her first dildo, a wolf-like creature at the base with a protruding member that would make Ron Jeremy feel inadequate. Sadly it was also crusted in something that was either dirt or rust.

“This won’t do.” She says to me.

“Keep hunting. “

We squeeze back into parts of the shop, behind shelves and poke around. We find another, this one made of granite, porous and scratchy.

“It has some potential.” I venture.

She is starting to lose hope. She’d been poking around the front area of the store for a bit and I figured maybe the dildos really were low in stock. I offered to ask the ahjussi who owned the shop to see if he had more. I still had the executive in hand, just in case, so I would be able to explain that what I was looking for were a larger selection of marble phalluses.

“I’m going to tell him we are buying this for your mother,” I say to her.

She giggles.

And I do. I ask the ahjussi for more and he points me in the direction where the One had been standing earlier. I look around seeing nothing. He pushes carefully past me, and pass the piled antiques, and like a magician, pulls a large dildo from right in front of me. It was hidden carefully behind some petrified coral fans, and a large Buddha.

“Huzzah!” I marvel and the peaches-and-cream stone beauty. And then I spot another executive. And another. And four dozen more.

“Girly, you are really not good at finding dildos; there is like a motherlode of penis over here.”

She returns to the area she had scouted before and begins to see the dildos practically jumping out of the walls at her and giggles more.

We pick up several dozen until finally she settles on the pièce de résistance that she had been looking for. I haggle a bit with the shopkeeper to get a fair enough price for her. He wraps us up and sends us on our merry way.

“It’s so nice. I think I might just keep it on a bookshelf or something, see if anyone notices.”

“I used to display mine on the shelf you would see when immediately entering my apartment. Right next to the good-luck kitty from Japan.”

She laughs and we stalk down the street like mighty Amazons who have ventured into the fierce dildo jungle and emerged unscathed and armed for future battles.

A Little Out of Sync: New York Meets Chicago

While in Chicago I had the chance to entertain New York. She offered to come for a visit and I was only to happy to invite her to my fair city. There was a little place downtown I knew so we arranged for a stay and to meet there. She was lovely in the Chicago morning, coming in just on the crest of a heat wave, the weather slightly cooler than it had been in days. Most certainly cooler than New York. 

In a few days I’d be leaving for Korea for a short-term contract that I was both looking forward to and lamenting. Sometimes there is just not enough time in once place or the other. She agreed to walk me to the Korean consulate, where I would get my passport stamped and all my documents in order to be ready to leave. She was in awe of the city. Chicago is so different from New York.

“It’s the open spaces,” New York remarked. “There are just as many buildings but I can see the sky. It feels more open here; not so crowded.” She’s right. Chicago is a very open city. There is so much room to move and breathe. As we sauntered along the sidewalk in the mildly warm afternoon she remarked at how easy it was to walk a bit slower, to take your time. 

She was right. It was slower. Chicago is smoother. When I walked in New York I always felt like I not only needed a purpose but a destination, anything less then this would lead in no certain terms to trouble. I was constantly seeking things on my maps, constantly trying to hide the fact that I needed a map. I felt so very other while I was there. Here in Chicago, in my hometown, in my fair city, with the lovely and fair New York, I felt nothing but a wave of absolute delight. Of being settled into a single moment in time and enjoying that moment for all it was worth.

That afternoon was moving quickly and I had a bit of work to finish up before I could take a few days off. We parted company with the agreement to meet back later. I went to a coffee shop and she wandered about, seeing almost everything there was to be seen in the city in almost three hours. I sent her a text to meet me on the steps of the Art Institute when she was ready. I waited with that certain kind of tension for her to appear on the streets and when she did she was so lovely to watch. I enjoyed the sheer joy on her face as she moved down the sidewalk towards me. New York, so perfect in Chicago. Chicago, so happy to have her.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Painting, Music, Magic

The crowd was huge. This year the festival had so many more people. I was hanging out with the Irish and the Apprentice. Added to our troop was also the One, who had most recently landed in Korea to join the Irish officially as his fiancé, and no longer as the invisible fiancé who the Irish may or may not have made up.

The One and I ditch the boys and walk stall to stall, both of us dressed for warm weather. Armed with bosoms at the ready we found ourselves the recipients of several free gifts, including lipstick, shot glasses, and body gems. The shot glasses ended up being the most fortuitous gift of the day as we were both packing different bottles of liquor to drink in our bags, since neither of us drink beer. I buy some cheap body paint and we find ourselves a corner where I can do our makeup. She gets large swirls in dramatic black and red. I go for mostly black with some red highlights for myself. We make up prettily on the windy day at the festival grounds.

BodyMagic is at the festival, judging. We had all run into him earlier, but as I sit and paint the One on our little stone bench  he comes over to appraise my work. “A little too heavy on the cheek; you want it to lift.” He has a point, but I’m still annoyed. We talk for a bit and make plans to meet later.

The One and I sip our drinks and crowd watch. A team of Korean girls comes running up and asks to take pictures with us. I’m amused and explain we are not models, but they don’t care. They think we look fantastic, so we pose with them. I pass them my camera and ask them to take a picture of us for me.

The One

The Saradevil

As the sun starts to go down and dinner hour approaches I suggest potential options. The One and I are sent off to get food and the boys go to find a place for us to sit and watch the stage as we wait for the show to finish so we can join the artists for the afterparty. We retrieve boxed chicken and go to find the boys.

What we find is the Irish and the Apprentice together on the lawn, having picked up a group of older ahjussis drinking Makgeolli.

“We figured it would be better to make friends.” Says the Irish, as we join the group.

The ahjussis' faces light up when they see the two girls who have come to join the party. They offer us their own chicken and we offer them beer. Soon we are offering them Hennesy from the One’s secret stash. I manage to keep my tequila squirreled away at this point. Soju is also in attendance and soon we are singing and dancing and drinking soju with the small group we pick up. The One is practicing her Korean, but it is not so good yet. She manages to convey, though, that I am the person responsible for painting her face to the ahjussi sitting closest to her.

“He wants you to paint his face,” she says to me.


“I told him you did my face and he wants you to paint his face.”



I break out the kit I had stashed away and paint a small red devil on his cheek. He wants more though; he demands swirls and patterns. I dip my tiny brush several times and manage to liven him up with red devil horns to match his devil cheek. Very Korean style. The ahjussi next to him grabs me before I can put my kit away and asks for the same. On the lawn I sit and paint the two sixty-year-old Korean men who are drinking fermented milk and clapping along merrily as women and men wearing only paint walk to and fro on the stage.

The sky is dark and stormy; we feel rain drops for only a bit. Some of the crowd packs up to the leave. The air is full of tension, maybe from the thunder that rumbles on occasion. Or maybe there is just the right amount of revelry, the right number of people, the right concentration of elements, to fill the grounds with a special kind of colored magic.

We drink and enjoy the show, passing glasses between ourselves and our new Korean friends, waiting for the call to retreat to the tents for the later party.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Body Painting 2010

The festival this year was one of the largest body-painting events in the world.

I have stories to tell too....

From the festival...

I thought she made a perfect cover model for the event.

He was a great drinking buddy.

The art was as usual, fantastic.

Don't leave any part unpainted.

Try to stay entertained.

Judge by BodyMagic and others.

Even I got to do some painting.

On myself as well.

Stories to follow.