My buddy Jay Ridler has come out swinging this past year with a slew of e-books over at Amazon.
So far I’ve been digging the Spar Battersea novels, the first of which Death Match got described as “a rock ‘em sock ‘em addition to the noir canon. Gritty, relentless, and wry as hell, Ridler brings the pain” by the likes of Laird Barron and “Fast, breezy and barbarous, Death Match is a fine, innovative noir from an exciting new writer. Reading the book is like eating a corn dog while watching a lard fire run through a greasy-spoon, it’s both tasty and nasty” by Lucius Shepard (if you’ve never read his horror/weird/crime novel A Handbook of American Prayer, you should, like, right now).
And the second Spar novel, Con Job, takes place at a comic con… so what are you waiting for! But… among the many good things Jay has done this year my favorite is this Game that goes like this:
New game I’ve invented. If you’re keen, play along!Whenever you feel the urge to look at X, look at your work in progress instead. +2 ptsWhenever you feel the urge to look at X, start reading a new short story. +1 ptsWhenever you feel the urge to post on X, write 100 new words instead. +5 pts.When you reach 50 points, you may look at X and do what you want with it all day. Then start again!
Buddhist monks invented tea thousands of years ago in what is today southwestern China. These monks lived atop the mountains and found the beverage improved their ability to meditate over long periods of time. Also it complimented their other super-powers. Soon the habit spread throughout the lowlands, and in the 7th century Lu Yu wrote his now famous panergeric to the beverage, A Fistful of a Cup of Tea. People became ecstatic — so much so that when Lu Yu died he became God.
The first westerner to have drunk tea was the north African traveler Ibn Battuta who traveled to India in search of a job. He was impressed by how the beverage invigorated the spirit and increased energy.
After watching one too many of his coworkers get torn apart by angry elephants, Battuta decided to return home. When he got there no one believed a beverage like tea could possibly exist.
It wasn’t until George Orwell wrote his seminal essay, Tea, after singlehandedly defeating the forces of Spanish Fascism, that the English stopped drinking boiled mud and adopted the habit.
The rest is more or less history.
The characters on the glass doors read “Naengmyeon Jonmun” and that means “Naengmyeon Specialty”. I like restaurants that have only two things on their menu and both of them are wonderful.
The where? Rotary is located up the street from the CGV movie theater at the 6 Street Intersection (AKA yuk-gori, the “go” is pronounced like it would be in “got”) across the street from one entrance to the pedestrian shopping street. It’s a family-run restaurant that’s been in business for 50 years. The city hall used to be a few blocks up the street in what’s now the public library.
Wiki-quote for the uninitiated: “Naengmyeon is served in a large stainless bowl with a tangy iced broth, julienned cucumbers (Korean cucumbers are like the gourmet cukes. Remove seeds if using the ubiquitous waxy cukes), slices of Korean pear, and either a boiled egg or slices of cold boiled beef or both. Spicy Mustard sauce [or Mustard oil-use sparingly] and vinegar are often added before consumption. The long noodles would be eaten without cutting, as they symbolized longevity of life and good health, but modernly, servers at restaurants usually ask if the noodles should be cut prior to eating and use food scissors to cut the noodles.”
The why? Rotary makes their own noodles, the broth is incredible, and the beef slices are better (quality and quantity-wise) than I’ve had elsewhere.