July 2nd, 2002


Friends Don't Let Friends See Crack


This was how my Friday evening began. The exposed buttocks, believe it or not, belong to a Harvard MBA named Devon, who works for a prestigious investment firm. The type of ass many Asian mothers try to get their daughters to marry. So how did we end up here?

Earlier that day, a bunch of us were calling around to see who was up for watching the World Cup conciliation match between Korea and Turkey. A friend of ours had found out that the game would be shown at the Staples Center for free. For the past few weeks, the World Cup had been one mind-blowing experience for Koreans everywhere, something we didn’t want to end. But on the last day, we wanted to be there to savor every last second. The problem was all the tickets sold out in about an hour. Luckily our hookups came through, and we got eighth row seats.

Like the last game, this one wouldn’t start ‘til around 4am. So what to do in the mean time? The initial plan was to hit Karnak, then grab a few bites at Hodori before heading over to Staples Center. But around dinner time, people felt that going to Karnak would wear our asses out before the game even began. So half of us decided to nap ‘til 2 am, and the other half chose to spend that time hanging out at Café Bleu.

I was one of those people hanging out at Café Bleu. During that time, Devon ended up playing a drinking game against a girl whom he’d met recently in his Korean language class. It wasn’t really a drinking game: the girl would challenge him to see who’d finish his or her beer first. The winner could then choose a dare for the loser to do. The girl lost every single time, but refused to do any of the Devon’s dares. This might’ve had to do with the fact that all the dares involved her having sex with Devon, his buddy Ray, or Jungle G.

Devon obviously didn’t care. He simply wanted an excuse to get loaded. And that he did magnificently. When Devon achieves this level of intoxication, the man transforms like the Hulk into the craziest mofo this side of Olympic Boulevard. A walking Korean episode of “Jackass.” So Lord knows what the reason was – and my guess is there was no reason – but suddenly Devon stood up and proceeded to unbuckle his belt.

I pulled out my camera, expecting it’d scare him into putting his pants back on. But methinks this actually spurred the freaky bastard on. Next thing you know, the boy dropped trow. At first I thought it was only half of his ass; but later on my computer, I realized I’d captured the full spread in all its horrific glory. That’s the problem with high-resolution digital cameras. The massive amount of detail can become a hideous curse. Because not only did I get his entire hindquarters, but to my horror I could’ve sworn I saw butt hairs and – most unholy of unholies - dingleberries. I immediately shrank the image, just moments before I gouged my own eyes out.

After that, the other people started to show up, not realizing how fortunate they were … that is until I post the above picture on Ofoto.com.

One of Chuck’s friends showed up with her best friend from high school. Soon after they joined us at our table, the following conversation occurred …

GUY: I’m not sure you’re aware of this, but you’re smoking hot.

GIRL: Uh… thank you.

GUY: No, THANK you.

At around 3am, we headed over to Staples Center. I’d become used to seeing lots of Korean people covered in red. But walking through the court entrance, into the stadium, blew me away. I was like Russell Crowe in “Gladiator” when he sees the roaring spectacle inside the Coliseum for the first time. They’d sold over 20,000 seats for this game. From ceiling to floor, the Staples Center was all awash in red like a single giant organism.

The last time I saw anything remotely like this was the Rose Bowl in 2000, when Stanford played Wisconsin. Both school colors were red, so you saw all 100,000 fans in the same color. But this was different. This time we were in an enclosed environment, so the undulating sea of crimson was all-encompassing.

The game itself was hectic, but Turkey won. Even then, I’d never seen so many happy people. Fourth place was a blessing. Being Korean the past few weeks was a blessing. Me, I was sorry to see the party end; but sleep would be a blessing too. Because after all that World Cup drama, and dingleberry trauma, I was one tired bloke. And at 8am, this tired bloke finally went to sleep.

Don't Worry: No Ass Pic On This One

Birthdays. More birthdays. If you think about it, it’s strange how it’s you who gets all the attention, presents and free meals when it was your poor mom who did all the work birthing your chubby ass. Yet another one of those overlooked injustices involving the uterus.

Today we were celebrating two birthdays. Chuck’s birthday was – what – three weeks ago, but Jill hates celebrating her birthday alone. It’s strange because the girl has approximately five million friends but hates being the center of attention. She’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a Prada dress.

Ophelia organized the birthday evening this year, but it was Jill who picked the restaurant: some Eye-talian joint called Maggiano’s located at the Grove. Like all the new restaurants in the Grove, Maggiano’s was built to be highly atmospheric to the point of being a Disney ride. In this case the ride would be the Haunted Mansion, because if it weren’t so packed with people, it’d be one spooky place. Every time I walked down an empty hallway to use the restroom, I half-expected to see the twin girls from "The Shining" at the other end.

All paranormal activity aside, it’s a cool place to have a birthday dinner. The second floor is filled with banquet rooms, each with its own bar; and the food is decent and bountiful. Beyond bountiful. It’s one of those Italian restaurants that just give you a shitload of food. The girls didn’t even make it past the appetizers. They just sat through the main course, waiting for the dessert part. Women have a separate stomach when it comes to dessert anyway.

By the time dinner was over, it was well past eleven. Whoever invented five-course meals had a lot of time on his chubby hands. I think it finally dawned on people that there were over a dozen other friends waiting for us at Palm Tree for the second half of the birthday evening, which was supposed to start at 10:30.

While driving over to Palm Tree, I turned around and noticed that Chuck was literally pouting. I think he was upset that it was almost midnight and he was still sober. Normally this is when I smack him and tell him to stop feeling sorry for himself. But it was his birthday, so as soon as we got to Palm Tree, I ordered the strongest possible liquid they had: Bacardi 151.

I’ve done 151 shots before, but for some reason this was easily the most borderline lethal 151 shot I’ve ever had. Both Chuck and I felt our mouths go numb and our bellies scream "What the fuck was THAT?" It was so rancid that we used vodka as a chaser. Eventually the moody sober Chuck slowly melted away, and the jolly Chuck returned.

To his credit, Chuck stays on good terms with almost every girl he dates, even when they don’t end well. Two of the more recent ones showed up for his birthday: TV Reporter Girl and The-Girl-Who-Liked-Chuck-Too-Much.

After a while, most of the group went to sing in a Palm Tree noraebang, while about six of us sat around shooting the shit. We ended up talking about a lot of interesting things that night. It would’ve been cool to write about them here, but I’ve already used up too much space writing about the dinner part.