Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Some Thoughts

Five items I can't live without: "My Bible, Coldplay albums, computer, snowboard, and clean underwear."

Item I don't like to admit I own: "Teddy Ruxpin Talking Bear"

My favourite item: "Sony PSP"


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

DiGRA Conference

This past Saturday, I helped my buddy Brian with the drop in video game event of the DiGRA conference. DiGRA stands for Digital Games Research Association, a non-profit, international association dedicated to the study of digital games. The conference was held at Renaissance Hotel in downtown Vancouver. There were gamers, programmers, and researchers from all over the world. Brian conned me into volunteering for the event. I'm kidding, he asked me to help out and me being a video game nut with no girlfriend was totally on board. We had no sponsorship with Electronic Arts so it was quite the task for Brian to coordinate all the gaming units. He had to run around to different Rogers Video stores to rent the XBoxes, Playstation 2, and Gamecube which was quite an ordeal. Apparently, the Rogers staff didn't know what they're doing.

In the morning of the conference, the setup portion was basically organized chaos. We were running around trying to setup a room in one hour with projectors, TV's, booths, and game machines. We had so many wires it was crazy how it all connected. We had set up four projectors and four Xboxes for the Halo 2 tournament. The room looked awesome when it was finally setup. We had a Pacman arcade machine that drew quite a crowd, but it didn't work for some reason. One of the busiest booths was the Playstation 2 video karaoke. Brian and I were so surprised how popular it was. You could hear a lot of women singing all afternoon.

The Halo 2 tournament turned out quite well. At first we were going to have teams, but it was impossible to coordinate as we didn't have enough players. We just had deathmatches which means whoever gets the most kills advances. The top two would advance to the next round. We had four rounds and the finals had eight people participating. I was one of them. I had only played it one other time with Tom, but I enjoy first person shooters so I caught on pretty quick. The top four winners won an iPod shuffle. I almost won an iPod as I hovered around 4th place during the game, but ended up in 6th place. Oh well I enjoyed the competition and was quite pleased with 6th place.

At the end, Brian and I, felt so wiped. It felt like we were there for 24 hours. We went with another volunteer and friend of Brian's, Mark, and Brian's wife, Vanessa, to a Chinese restaurant in Port Coquitlam. Brian was falling asleep as we ate. It was funny.


Friday, June 10, 2005

My Sassy Girl

I've been thinking a lot about my roots lately and seeing how my identity as a Korean fits into the Canadian way of life. Growing up, I tried to become as Western as I could be. I was even proud of the fact that I couldn't speak Korean. I had been annoyed that I was brought up Korean and even the way I looked. I would get uncomfortable in Korean environments whether it be the grocery store or restaurants. I always felt my place among non-asian friends, going to Canadian churches, and hanging out in Western places.

But since graduating, I've continued searching for who I am. I realized that I've wasted so many years of my life trying to reject the Korean culture. There is something about it that intrigues me and drives me to dig deeper. I've been watching some Korean films over the last few years. The first one I saw was "Shiri" about a couple of years ago. It's an action film that wasn't my cup of tea, but it was pretty cool to see a Korean made film. A year ago, I watched "My Teacher, Mr. Kim" on TV. It was actually quite good.

Today, I watched one of Korea's most popular movies called "My Sassy Girl" made in 2001. It's about a college guy, Gyeon-Woo, who crosses paths with a drunk girl on a late-night subway. Just before she passes out, the girl calls him "honey." The other passengers assume he's her boyfriend and they tell him to take good care of her. He doesn't want to look after her, but he also doesn't want to leave her behind. From there, the two develop a quirky relationship and go on quite an adventure. I really enjoyed this film. I actually bought the DVD from Ebay for $8.00. It was a sweet deal.

As I watched the film, I felt involved and the taste of Korean culture only made me thirst for more. I hope that I can visit Korea very soon. It seems like a magical place to me. By visiting the country, it will definitely open my eyes to a world I've kept locked for so long. I've also thought about years of my parents telling me to meet a Korean girl and saying I never will. After dating two white girls and seeing how it can truly be a challenge to date someone of a different background, it just makes sense to want to meet a Korean girl. There is an understanding. But regardless of race, I really do need to find someone who challenges me and who I want to be with from the things I have found within myself.

P.S. Dreamworks just bought the rights to "My Sassy Girl" and are planning a remake for Western audiences in 2006. It will be directed by Gurinder Chadha who did "Bend It Like Beckham."


Thursday, June 02, 2005


I was having dinner with my parents and there was a Korean side dish my mom put on my plate. She asked me to eat it, but I refused. She has tried to convert me to new Korean dishes ever since I was a boy. She used to put Kimchi on there, but knows after a decade of putting it on my plate that I don't like it.

My mom called me a Kokanee. I was like what? The beer? She said, "It's a Canadian beer?" I said, "Yeah." She said, "And you are Korean." She said, "You are a Korean-Canadian so you are a Kokanee." I just started laughing.