Monday, June 29, 2020

A small battle

This is a video of a small naval encounter and its aftermath. In December 1944 the US submarine Bergall engaged the Japanese heavy cruiser Myōkō and its destroyer escort the Ushio. cruiser and the submarine were both damaged, but neither was lost. Often the small details of history are lost, but they are none-the-less interesting.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

French poster art

Click any image to enlarge
These are French posters circa 1900. These examples, and those after the jump, are from the The Masters of the Poster collection of the New York Public Library. There are many more examples at the link.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

O-Negative (two of our cast finally pair off)

Art says goodbye to his fellow students
Episode 23 of the Thai TV show O-Negative (Episode 22 ) starts in a classroom where Art is talking to O Group and the other students in his class. As we may recall, he was kicked out of college for slapping Ong-art's mom around, so he is there to say good bye. He says he enjoyed his time there and learned a lot, including not to use violence to try solve problems. He thanks them all and they applaud his speech.

With that out of the way Mekin, one of the regular senior Hazers (don't those guys ever graduate?), walks up and gives Chompoo a bouquet of flowers. He's delivering them from Go with the message that Go is preparing a party for them later at his bar.

That night they're all at the bar waiting for Art. When he arrives he comes with thee bouquets. He gives one to Foon, another to Prim and - by passing Chompoo - he gives the final one to Peun. Chompoo is miffed that he skipped her, but he's just teasing. He gives her a garland of flowers because she had earlier gotten her bouquet from Go.

They celebrate for a while and then Tum arrives. Chompoo is surprised that Art is still working at the Foundation, but Tum is not there for that. He's there to take Art to the airport. They're upset that he is leaving so soon. Art takes a final picture of O Group. They say they'll go to the airport with him. He says it's best to have this be the their final goodbye and leaves.

Art bids O Group, his mom and Tum farewell
We cut to Art and the airport saying goodbye to his mom. Soon the rest of O Group run up. Peun says they have something they forgot to give him. It is a Thesis book, which is a sort of Yearbook. Art says he has one, but Peun insists he take this one as well. They then have a group hug before Art disappears in the crowd as he leaves to board his flight.

While Art is waiting for final boarding he looks at the Thesis book. Because he had been kicked out of college after cronking Ong-art's mom he wasn't in it, so the O Group made a special version for him that included his thesis as well. They tell him to show it any new friends he might make in Paris. I don't know about that, wouldn't that just lead to him having to explain that he got kicked out of college for slapping a little, old lady? He then jets off to France.

Anyway, toodles Art, it's been nice knowing you.

We jump to the graduation. The students and their families are celebrating. First we see Chompoo with her mom, dad and sister. Go is taking the pictures, but it isn't clear if Chompoo's parents know that he is her boyfriend. Foon is with her parents. Her dad, as a graduation present, gives her a key to her new vacation beach house at Pran Buri. Prim is wandering around forlornly because she has no living relatives to celebrate with her. O Group sees her and invite her into group photos with their families to cheer her up.

We cut to later where Prim asks Foon if she's going to work with her family or do something else. Foon says she plans on staying in school and getting a master's degree. She wants to study abroad, in either Italy or New York, but then adds she may do nothing because she is lazy. Peun is going to be working at an editing company. I guess his intern experience of spritzing water on scantily clad models payed off for him after all.

Prim and Chompoo are still working at the magazine they interned at. Foon wonders about Nit, and Chompoo tells her that Nit is always buying Prim lunches and hovering over her. Peun looks alarmed at that news.

The kids get a new pen pal
They then get around to talking about Art. They all miss him. He hasn't emailed or messaged any of them. At that exact moment Professor Buddy walks up and distributes a postcard from Art to each of them. Wait? Art sent his postcards to Professor Buddy to give to O Group? Well, to be fair to the writers, even they know that's ridiculous because they have the kids ask Professor Buddy "why did he send them to you?" and Professor Buddy just shrugs and has no answer.

We cut to Art wandering around Paris. In the voiceover of what he's written in the postcards he congratulates them and says he's sorry he couldn't be there to celebrate with them. He adds that he's fine, that Paris is beautiful and that he's learning a lot. He doesn't post to Facebook, but he does read what they post.

Later we join Prim at her job. Nit comes to her desk a with cactus that he gives her. Along with the cactus he gives her a schmaltzy line that it doesn't need much water, just like he only needs a smile or two from her, to keep going. They make plans to eat lunch together and they'll invite Chompoo as well.

When Nit leaves she gets a call from Peun. He wants to talk to her. He tells her he quit his job. When she asks why he says he doesn't know, that he just got tired of it. He then wants to come to her office to talk to her. She doesn't like that idea, but she says she'll meet him after work. He tells her not to tell Chompoo, he just wants to talk to her. The creepy, love-struck, stalker vibes are strong in this boy. None the less, she agrees to meet him.

Prim lectures Peun over his career choices
When Prim meets Peun the first thing he does is ask Prim if he can get a job where she works. Prim, no doubt considering the hit her reputation would take if she recommended that they hire this slacker, tells him no. He blabbers that it's no problem, he'll do any job and just quit if he doesn't like it. She lays into him, telling him he needs to get serious and figure out what he really wants to do with his life.

An artist has to look the part
We cut to a shot of Professor Buddy in his studio painting his heart out. He's striking all sorts of ridiculous dramatic poses as he lathers the paint onto the canvas. From the little we see of his painting, it makes Foon's body painting look like the Sistine Chapel ceiling in comparison.

Peun enters and tells Professor Buddy he wants some advice. Let me get this straight... Prim told him he needed to get serious about his life's choices so he sought out Professor Buddy of all people for advice? Anyway, Peun tells Professor Buddy that he want to be a professor just like Professor Buddy is (I think there are too many professors in that sentence, but I'm too lazy to fix it).

I guess it makes a certain amount of sense. If you can't do, teach. Still, the thought of Peun and his complete lack of impulse control in a class full of coeds is a pretty horrifying thought from an ethical standpoint.

We jump to another night. Chompoo, Foon and Peun are at Go's bar wondering where Prim is. Chompoo hears a motorcycle and says that must be her getting a ride from Nit. Peun and Foon go to the window where Peun glares at Nit. When Prim comes in Chompoo teases her about being an item with Nit. She denies it, saying they're just friends. Meanwhile, Peun is sitting off to the side with a lost puppy look on his face.

Chompoo then asks Peun why he suddenly decided to become a professor. He responds with a line of malarkey aimed at impressing Prim with how serious he has became in his career choice. Chompoo mocks him for being overly dramatic.

Foon, Prim and Chompoo plan a trip
Foon is doing nothing because she flunked her masters degree entrance exam. Chompoo is also, as usual, not doing much of anything. Foon suggests that, to break the monotony, they all take a trip to the beach vacation home her parents gave her as a graduation gift. With this group that's bound to be a relaxing and problem free trip.

That night Peun calls Prim and directly asks her if she and Nit are going out. She says no, that they are just friends. A direct question in this show and the answer isn't a lie? Am I watching the right stream? However, Peun then starts creepily pestering her about why Nit gave her a ride to the bar. He even questions Prim as to how Nit even knew she was going to the bar to be able to offer her a ride.

Admittedly I'm not the demographic this show is aimed at -- I'm an old goofball in Florida and not a young Thai woman -- but I wonder if anybody watching this show finds Peun's behavior appealing? Does the target audience see him as a tragic, star-crossed fellow who just loves too much? I do not know.

Foon starts casting doubt in Peun's mind
We next see Foon and Peun driving to her beach house. They get there well before the others. It is a very nice vacation house that is right on the beach. Foon and Peun go onto the beach. They send a picture to the others saying they are at the beach house and wondering where the rest are. Prim responds that she is still at work. He message includes picture of the cactus Nit bought her which is captioned "with Nid Ekkasit". I don't know why his name is Nit in the closed captioning, or for that matter, why Prim would include the information that she was with him in her message.

Foon latches onto it to point out to Peun that Prim is with Nit. She opines that she thinks something is going on between Prim and Nit. Later Foon and Peun are drinking wine on her patio. She continues to use the tactic of planting the idea in Peun's head that Prim and Nit are an item as she pours glasses of wine for him.

With Peun drunk she soon pivots to telling him she doesn't know what Prim thinks, but she still likes him. She then starts trying to get him to say that he still has feelings towards her. He doesn't answer, instead he gets up and goes to the beach. She follows and keeps asking, while he keeps saying nothing. She kisses him and we see a goofy smile on his face.

Then we cut to Prim getting off of the back of a Songthaew in front of Prim's beach house. She enters, sees their scattered luggage and, as she moves to the back patio she sees the empty wine glasses. Meanwhile, on the beach Peun's resistance to Foon's advances evaporates and off come their clothes. We then see Prim, standing on the back of the patio, in shock as she watches this unfold.

With the deed done we join Foon and Peun on the beach. She tells him she wants to be his girlfriend. Will he be her boyfriend? After his usually waffling and slippery question dodging he finally says yes, they'll be a couple.

They walk back hand-in-hand. When they get to the house they see Prim sitting at the table, with a drink in front of her and an unhappy expression on her face.

[Episode 24]


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Walking in Enoshima

It has been a while since I've posted a walking in cities video. The recent sheltering in place business has put a damper on strolling, but now things are loosening up. This is a walk on a little island that's about an hour away from Tokyo. There are a lot of people out, some wearing masks, some not. It was shot in June of 2020.

The walk also features a lot of cafes, lookout points, shrines temples and shops. It is a pleasant looking place that is a frequent destination for day trips from Tokyo.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

O-Negative (Art starts clobbering people again)

Foon wonders what these two have been up to
Episode 22 of the Thai TV show O-Negative (Episode 21 ) returns with Peun leaning in to steal a kiss from Prim. She sort of kisses back for a moment, but then pulls away and asks him what he's doing. He reaches up and touches her cheek, smearing paint on her in the process. He tells her he loves her, etc., etc., etc., and moves in to try to kiss her again. She pulls back once more.

At that point Foon walks in. Peun and Prim, who were nearly caught, stand in awkward silence. Foon notices that Prim has made no progress towards painting Peun. Prim claims that she didn't want to ruin the paint job. Ruin that paint job? Seesh Prim, you could of came up with as better excuse than that.

Foon then points out that Prim has paint smeared on her face. Peun and Prim are all, "uhh... err... umm... " until Peun comes up with the line that he was pulling a prank on Prim. Foon is obviously buying none of it.

We jump to Art in the dark room that night. His mom calls him. They talk about how busy he is, and then she gets around to discussing what she called him for. She's curious as to whether he's accepted the job in France or not. He's worried he would be too far away from her to visit if he did, but she encourages him to take advantage of the opportunity it presents.

After he hangs up he gets a call from Peun who's looking for a man-to-man talk with Art. They meet in the darkroom where Art is still working. Art tells him about his job offer in Paris. Peun tells him he should accept it. Peun then gets curious about what the picture Art is developing is about. Oh, come on Peun, I think we can all figure this one out. Eighty percent of the pictures Art takes are of Prim after all.

Peun then tells Art about how, when he was alone with Prim at Foon's body painting session, he impetuously kissed her. Peun is worried that Prim will be angry and says he doesn't know what to do. Of course Art is upset by that news. Surprisingly Art doesn't give his usual 'just wait' advice, instead he says not to ask him for advice about those sorts of matters.

Art decides later, after laying in his bed sadly looking at the picture of Prim he developed, to accept the job offer in Paris.

We join Peun the next morning. He's waiting in Foon's home studio for her and another day of body painting. Instead her parents arrive. They tell him Foon is going to be a little late because she is accompanying Prim to her house. Prim is moving back to her house. As is always the case after one of his boneheaded moves, Peun is nervous at the news. He's worried that Prim and Foon got in a fight. Her parents say no, that Prim just wanted to return to her house.

A comment Peun could make about nearly every decision he makes
The next morning when Prim leaves her house Peun is sleeping just outside her gate. She wakes him up. He says he's been there since dawn because he was worried he might miss her leaving. He wants to apologize and says he is sorry if he made her mad. She asks why did he kiss her if he was worried she might be mad. He says he didn't think about it, he just did it because he felt like doing it. He again tells her that he has feelings for her. He asks her if she has feelings for him, all she'll just say she isn't angry. They go to breakfast together.

At school Art is in a breezeway talking on his phone. He is arranging to meet somebody. Soon a young woman arrives. She sees him and hesitantly asks, "are you Art?" He says yes and they go inside. I wonder what that's all about?

We jump to Foon's home studio where she is body painting up a storm on Peun. They briefly talk about Prim moving out. Foon thinks it is because she was being too noisy and distracting Prim. Peun says nothing. Her dad then comes in and tells her Ong-art is there to see her. She doesn't want to talk to him, but her parents have let him into the house. Ong-art is whining that he just wants to talk to her. She angrily tosses her paint brush down and goes to confront him.

Ong-art wonders why she sent all the stuff he gave her back. He thinks it must be a misunderstanding and accuses her of being childish. She tells him to "go back to your little girl with big boobs." Well yea, if you want to get technical Foon, I suppose his wife does complicate things a bit. He tells her it wasn't serious, that it was just for fun. Foon says that's not the way she sees it.

Foon's silly paint job doesn't add much to Peun's intimidation factor
Ong-art then notices Peun and mocks Foon by saying that he sees that couldn't talk to him or answer his phone calls because she was too busy painting Peun. Peun stands there and tries to look intimidating with paint slopped all over him, but he does nothing.

However, Foon's dad then walks over to confront Ong-art and that causes Ong-art to quickly change his demeanor to that of a Thai version of Eddie Haskell. He starts trying to suck up to Foon's dad, but Foon cuts off his weaseling by calling him a liar and a jerk. Foon's dad ends up politely kicking Ong-art out of the house.

The mystery girl appears
Meanwhile Art, Prim and Chompoo are on campus. Several earlier shots have shown the group sitting near a conspicuous product placement motorcycle. That's done in this scene as well.  They are sorting postcards for this year's Silpakorn Gift Festival when Wah, the mystery girl who had earlier met Art in the breezeway, walks up and greets him.

As Wah and her friend look through the postcards Wah tells Art she'll be free to meet him that Monday night. Naturally that piques Prim and Chompoo's curiosity. When she leaves Chompoo starts asking Art about Wah. He tells her she's French major who is going to tutor him in French. Chompoo wonders why he needs French lessons and that's when he first tells Chompoo and Prim that he's going to France for a job.

Prim tells him it's great that he got a job before even graduating. Art gives her a long look and says it may not be great, but it's something he has to do. Naturally that comment, along with the significance of the 10 bazillion pictures he's taken of her, whooshes over her head unnoticed.

While Peun knows about Art's job, Foon doesn't, so Chompoo calls her so they can meet at the Festival that night where she can share the news.

When Foon leaves her house she discovers Ong-art in her driveway. His car is parked to block her car from moving. He's still blathering his nonsense about needing to talk to her. She again tells him to get lost. He refuses to move his car so she walks past him and gets into a cab.

Art, Prim, Chompoo and Peun are at the Festival setting up their postcard booth when Chompoo asks Art to send her postcards from France. Art wonders why email isn't good enough, and Chompoo says she likes a more personal written postcard. Remembering the postcards they once sent each other, Prim and Peun exchange meaningful glances. Peun says he likes reading  postcards and recalling how he felt at the time. Prim smiles and says she does as well. Art looks disturbed by this and leaves to get something to drink.

Ong-art plays his trump card
Ong-art has arrived to the Festival. He is sitting in his car at the gate of the parking garage. He's talking to Foon on his phone. We don't hear what she's saying, but we can gather from his reaction that she's telling him to buzz off. Eventually she hangs up on him. He then starts beeping his horn and demanding that the parking attendants open the gate for him. They say he can't park without a sticker. He says he'll just park his car where it is, they say no. He pulls out money and tries to buy his way in, they won't take it. He asks them if they know who is father is, they don't care.

As all that is going on Art walks by drinking a beer. He's already upset, and seeing Ong-art's obnoxious behavior doesn't improve his mood.

We return to the Festival where a band is setting up to perform. To our surprise Peun is on-stage as the singer fronting the group. As an aside, Thanapob Leeluttanakajorn, the actor who plays Peun, later in his career joined the Thai boy band 9x9 (Nine by Nine). I guess he had musical aspirations when he filmed this show.

Peun and Prim reunited by a song?
He starts singing and soon Prim, who's played by Violette Wautier who also is a Thai pop singer, comes prancing onto the stage to sing with him. The lyrics aren't translated, but I assume it is a peppy love song. Peun gives her a flower which she sticks in her hair. In the audience Chompoo is fan-girling, Foon looks upset to see Peun and Prim together, and it is too much for Art. He visibly deflates as the song goes on. Eventually he just leaves.

At the end of the song Peun and Prim hold hands as the crowd applauds. Foon looks like she is about to throw up.

Elsewhere Art is drinking a beer as he walks. He comes upon Ong-art, who is whining on his phone to his dad. He wants his dad to do something about them not letting him park his car so he can talk to Foon. Art, who is already upset, listens to that nonsense. Finally, in disgust, he tosses his beer can at Ong-art.

Ong-art, one second away from getting
knocked so silly his kids will be born dizzy
Ong-art is understandably mad over that and turns around to confront Art who sarcastically says "sorry man." That gets Ong-art even angrier. He grabs Art's collar and Art punches him. They have one of those TV/movie fights where they take turns throwing undefended haymakers at the other until Art knocks Ong-art down by kicking him. Art then hops on top of Ong-art and proceeds to beat the bejabbers out of him.

We cut to later that night at the Chokchai Police Station. Art is sitting in a jail cell when the rest of O Group run in. Foon wonders if they can bail him out, but the guard says not yet because Ong-art has been seriously injured. However, he does transfer Art into a holding cell where they can talk to him. Foon has called her dad to help Art.

As they wait for Foon's dad Ong-art saunters into the area where the rest of O Group is. Peun asks the guard why is Art in a cell when Ong-art isn't? Ong-art sneers at him that is because his father is an influential Thai muckety-muck. He then, after a bit of chest puffing, swaggers out with a grin on his face. Foon and the rest go after him.

Ong-art's negotiation tactic fails
When Foon catches up with Ong-art he tells her he won't prosecute Art if she agrees to be his girl friend again. All that gets him is Foon calling him a dumbass and pointing out that him using Art's freedom as a bargaining chip is a sleazy thing to do to try to win her back. Ong-art, lovable dirtball that he is, then turns it back on Foon by telling her he doesn't want to do it but her unreasonable actions give him no choice.

At that moment Peun, Prim and Chompoo arrive. Peun starts to go after Ong-art, but the girls restrain him. That leads to a ridiculous staring contest where Peun and Ong-art have their faces about two inches apart as they issue idle threats to each other.

This is interrupted by Foon's parents arriving. Ong-art turns on his oily, good boyfriend persona for them. However, they ignore him and ask Foon where Art is. Ong-art is surprised by that, asking, "are you here to help him?" Again they ignore him and leave to help Art. He is furious as he stares at them leaving.

We next see Art getting released from the jail cell. I guess Foon's rich parents are more influential than Ong-art's family. Art thanks Foon and her parents and they all go home.

We jump to several days later where Art is taking yearbook photos of the students. After O Group's photos are done the rest of them head off to Go's bar, but Art stays behind to take pictures of other students. During a break in the shootings one of the students assisting Art treats him as if he is a mentor and asks questions about how to get good at photography. Art gives long, detailed answers.

Earlier, when Art had gone home alone on the school break, there was a scene where he watched his mother giving advice at a school. They had talked about being an advisor, and Art had said he didn't think he could do that. Considering these two scenes -- particularly in the context of Art being violent this episode -- I suspect I'm missing something important about Art that was being established.

We cut to a scene of the kids sitting outside on the campus. Chompoo runs up and tells them that Ong-art has brought his mother to the school and that she is talking to the Dean, Professor Wichit. Art angrily gets up and starts to head towards Wichit's office. Foon stops him and says that she knows Ong-art's mom and that she'll talk to her. She leaves and the others stay with Art to stop him from doing anything rash.

Ong-art looks on fiercely as he shelters behind his mommy
We next see Ong-art and his mom in the Dean's office. She wants Art punished, claiming that he nearly beat Ong-art to death. She threatens the Dean if he does nothing. The Dean tells her he can't do anything because the incident happened off campus. She threatens the Dean again and he tells her to calm down.

Ong-art interjects a claim that he was nearly beaten to death. The Dean points out that Ong-art doesn't look like he's on death's door to him. Ong-art, ever the delightfully ridiculous weasel replies, "is it my fault that I recovered quickly?" Oh Ong-art you rascal, I may have to start a fan club for you.

As the Dean rolls his eyes over that Foon runs in. She appeals directly to Ong-arts mom, saying Art isn't a thug, that it was just a fight between two men and the issue had already been resolved at the police station. This is all news to Ong-art's mom, who turns to him and says, "You said he trampled you down while you did nothing." When she finds out Ong-art did in fact fight as well she apologizes to the Dean for wasting his time and leaves.

As luck would have it Ong-art and his mom walk past Art and the rest on the way out. Ong-art points out Art, but his mom tells him to shut up. Ong-art gives Art the finger, which gets Art out of his chair and confronting him. An argument follows. Ong-art's mom tells Art he is ill-mannered and insults his parents for raising him poorly. Art responds by telling her that she raised a spoiled brat who needs his mom to clean up after him.

Lady, I wouldn't slap him if I were you
Ong-arts mom is furious at that insult and she steps up and slaps him. Oh-oh. I think we all know what's coming.

Art being Art, he responds to that by hauling off and slapping her back.  Entertainingly, Ong-art leaps forward to punch Art, misses by a mile, and ends up on the ground again after Art clocks him. Everybody then jumps in to break up the fight.

The Dean has came out of his office and seen this, so he promptly boots Art out of the college. Prim protests that Ong-art's mom started it all by slapping Art, but her pleas fall on deaf ears. Chompoo tries to get Art to apologize, but he just says that he didn't do anything wrong. The final scene is of him walking off the campus.

Some thoughts on the episode

Unless it was just pure drama, I'm not sure what they were driving at with Art's berserk behavior this episode. The writers had clearly set it up in the previous episode when Peun was asked what he did to protect Foon when Wax was harassing her and he said nothing, because Wax had too high of a status for a lowly intern to challenge. That was followed by Chompoo saying Go would have done something, and Go agreeing.

This episode is a culmination of Ong-art harassing Foon. Art, seemingly out of character and at great cost, does something about that. When he beats the pulp out of the high status Ong-art he does it, partly because he is upset with the direction Prim is headed, but primarily to protect Foon.

As for Ong-art's mom, I was dumbfounded to see the main character clobber an older woman. The other characters in the show reacted entirely differently, blaming her for starting that by slapping Art in the first place. I assume there is a certain amount of class commentary in that action as well. I would be curious to hear what a Thai's take on it was.

[Episode 23]

Art leaves the college

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Lost nuggets

Bamiyan Buddha before and after destruction
(click image to enlarge)
Forgotten History - Raymond A. Foss

A discovery in the boxed memories
forgotten history of childhood,
adolescence, years gone by
pearls in the oyster
treasures in the dark
still places, quiet like the grave
dirty too, with the dust of time
urging me to look further
in the next box
for another nugget
sifted from the stream bed
among the rocks
and the gravel

Friday, June 19, 2020

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Jo Mielziner set designs

Click any image to enlarge
Jo Mielziner was a successful set designer during the early to mid 20th Century. It was the golden age of Broadway and his sets, backdrops and lighting designs were very influential. He won seven Tony awards during his career. These drawings of his are from the Jules Fisher Collection of the New York Public Library digital collections. There are more after the jump and at the link.

Monday, June 15, 2020

O-Negative (a beloved member of our cast gets married)

View of Bangkok's skyline from Kwan's condo
Episode 21 of the Thai TV show O-Negative (Episode 20 ) starts with us back at Kwan's apartment where she is calling Art into her bedroom. He's nervous about what her intentions might be, but it turns out that she just wants him to get a case of camera lenses from an upper shelf. She grabs a camera and a tripod and leads him up to the roof of her condo.

There is a nice view of Bangkok's skyline from the roof. Kwan loans Art her camera and tells him to set up the tripod and start taking pictures. As he does that they have a conversation about how much they both like Bangkok. They also talk a bit about his home town of Kanchanaburi, how the city lights obscure the stars, and how beauty can be observed anywhere if you look for it.

The next day Chompoo is at a copy machine and, as usual, not doing much of anything. She sees  Kit ands Prim together so she jumps onto O Group chat to suggest they all get together at Go's that night. She wants to gossip about Prim, plus she wants to know the details on the car washing incident that caused Peun and Foon to quit their internships.

Meanwhile Art and Kwan are in the darkroom developing pictures. She tells him she's put the money for his night time photos in an envelope for him. Wait, aren't they just now developing those photos? Already they've been paid by somebody for them? Anyway, he tries to turn her offer of money down by saying he is just an intern and learning is a good enough payment. She insists, telling him she has already published them in a book (huh?). Art agrees to take the money, but he says he wants to treat her to dinner with his first pay check. She asks, "is this a date?" Art looks embarrassed.

Art arriving with Kwan gets Foon and Chompoo's attention
We jump to Go's bar that night. Chompoo, Foon and Peun are waiting for Art and Prim. When Art arrives with Kwan the two girl's perk up with interest over that development. Art introduces her and then, conveniently for Chompoo and Foon, she then goes to talk to Go. This gives them the opening to grill Art about who she is and why she is with him.

Chompoo teases him that he's now chasing older women. Art says to behave herself, that Kwan is his boss. He then asks about Foon and Peun's situation. Foon says they'll wait until Prim gets there so they don't have to repeat themselves. Art is surprised that Prim didn't come with Chompoo. Chompoo, looking miffed, tells him Prim doesn't come with her anymore.

At that moment, we hear a motorcycle arriving. Chompoo announces, "There she is." Prim comes into the bar with Kit. She introduces him, but he was just dropping her off and has to leave.The look on Art and Peun's faces is priceless. Art looks shocked and Peun, who normally looks like he just got hit over the head with a 2x4, looks even more dazed than usual. Meanwhile Chompoo and Foon are grilling Prim as to whether she has feeling for him or not. She says no, but they don't believe her.

That's pretty much the same look Peun has given her multiple times
They then ask Foon and Peun about what happened that caused them to quit their intern jobs.  She explains how the director and his crew were perverts who creeped her out. That they dressed her up in a skimpy outfit, made her stand next to a car and squirted water on her.

I suspect the next little bit of dialog went over my head. Chompoo asks, "Peun, what did you do?" Peun insinuates he did nothing (as much as I mock him he did intercede for Foon), saying that he was an intern and that he couldn't punch somebody as lofty as the director. Chompoo replies, "No, but of I was treated like Foon, Go would definitely protect me." Go smiles and nods his head to that remark.

In Asian dramas, at least in the Korean and Chinese ones I've watched, the notion of couples protecting each other is very important. The characters will explicitly promise to protect each other, and there are usually scenes -- for example a guy pulling the girl out of the path of traffic, or a girl jumping in front of a guy to keep him from being splashed -- that reinforce that they are in fact protecting each other. For Peun to so clearly deny actually being able to protect Foon is interesting from that light. We'll see if it goes anywhere.

Peun then worries that If they don't get another internship they may fall behind in school by a year. Foon reminds him that her father, who we may recall is wealthy, can pull strings for them. If worse comes to worse he can even arrange for them to pass the year without interning at all.

Art gets up and rejoins Kwan, who's been sitting at the bar talking to Go. She and Go had been talking about Professor Buddy. She tells Art that when she was a student she had a crush on the Professor, but she never told him. Art, who's watching Prim out of the corner of his eyes, wonders why Kwan never confessed her feeling to Professor Buddy. She tells him it all worked out, because now she and Professor Buddy are good friends.

Art is absorbing that as he gawks at Prim wistfully. She's taking to Chompoo. who apparently has knocked back more than a few drinks, because soon Chompoo turns into a maudlin, slobbering drunk. Chompoo tears up and starts blubbering to them, much to their amusement, that she loves them all.

We cut to a scene showing Chompoo writing in her diary about what great friends they are. We see the passage of time as Art give Kwan a hair tie, Kit gives Prim a sticky note with a heart on it, Peun apparently got another internship because we see him painting a dummy's head blue and Foon as well, who is body painting some guy's back.

We next see Foon talking to her dad. He tells her Ong-art is coming to town and wonders if she can meet him for dinner. She says she would rather not and then runs off before he can ask her anything else. That night she tells Prim she is tired of Ong-art. Prim advises her to tell him that to his face.

Ong-art has some 'splaining to do
Ong-art arrives at the airport. It looks like Foon runs up and hugs him, but when she turns and we see that she is another girl. Oh Ong-art, you rascal. Foon then walks up and when Ong-art sees her he has an entertaining 'oh, shit' look on his face. He tries to make an excuse to Foon as the girl asks him, "who's this bitch?" Foon objects to being called a bitch to which the girl replies, "Why are you messing with my husband, whore?"

Husband? Oh Ong-art, you naughty, naughty boy.

Ong-art continues to try to explain, although it is a bit hard to see how he can explain away a wife. Foon tells him to put a cork in it, and then she apologizes to the girl, saying that she didn't know her boyfriend was married. Ong-art continues to try to weasel his way out of this mess which just gets him slapped by Foon and his wife furious. Being the swell guy that he is, Ong-art just screams at her to shut up and chases after Foon.

We next see Foon in a familiar setting for her -- sobbing her eyes out in her car. After a bit she calls up Peun. We next see her crying and guzzling beer as she sits along side her car with Peun. She's mainly upset and angry that he was two-timing her before she could dump him. He had chased after her in the airport and tried to tell her his wife was just some girl he studied with when he was overseas. No offense Ong-art, but you're a worse liar than either Foon or Peun is, and that's saying something.

She complains that all men are jerks. If she would modify that to all men I date are jerks it would be hard to argue with her. She then says it was karma, that what she did -- I assume she means hopping in the sack with Peun -- has came back to bite her. She starts pestering Peun to tell her if he loves her. Fortunately for him, that doesn't go on too long before she passes out.

Peun takes her to her house where Prim is waiting to help Foon get to her room. Foon is drunk and cursing Ong-art for being a jerk. Prim, who's heard what happened to her, tells Foon that two-timers like him aren't worth being with. Foon asks Prim if Peun used to hit on her. Prim says yes, but then tells Foon she stopped it because she thought Peun was cheating on her. Drunken Foon is giggling by this point. She tells Prim that she knows who Peun was cheating with, that he was cheating with her.

Well, you told the truth - that's pretty weird for you
The next morning Prim is sitting in a chair looking monumentally pissed-off when Foon wakes up. Foon washes up and then tells Prim about what happened to her with Ong-art the night before. Prim is rather terse with her. Foon knows something is wrong and asks if she said something last night when she was drunk. Prim starts to answer, and then shakes her head no.

Foon knows something is wrong and keep pressing Prim about what's upsetting her. Finally Prim tells her what she said about Peun. If you guessed that Foon tries to lie her way out of her drunken confession give yourself a gold star. Foon tries to claim that Prim must have misheard, besides she was babbling drunken nonsense the night before. Prim clearly doesn't buy any of that malarkey.

Later in the day Prim is at her intern job. She's lost in thought when Kit comes up and starts flirting with her as usual. She asks him to please stop teasing her, that it is distracting. He's confused, thinking that she is mad at him for some reason. He keeps flirting, although in a much more low key manner, until Ms. Duang comes and asks him to stop as well, pointing out that Prim is the daughter of her friend. Daughter of a friend? Wasn't Prim her niece a while back? Whatever.

Peun and Foon are at their new internship when Peun gets a call from Prim. Needless to say Foon looks nervous as Peun agrees to meet Prim later because she has something she wants to talk to him about.

That's asking a lot of Peun
Peun is waiting for her in a cafeteria. Prepackaged food is moving on a conveyor belt. He tries to act normal, but quickly sees she's in no mood for niceties. She bluntly asks him if he used to go out with Foon. He has his usual stupid look on his face and he asks her who told her that, but she brushes his question aside and asks him again if he had a relationship with Foon. Seeing that he has no out he says yes.

Prim then asks him when. He tries a vague answer but Prim asks him, "When? Before, after, or while you're seeing me?" Again he has no choice but to tell the truth. Prim looks genuinely hurt, but he continues to try to worm his way out of his mess. He tells her he broke it off with Foon. She asks him, "Why, Peun? Did you get caught? Was she upset that you were seeing me?" Prim pretty much hit the nail on the head with those questions.

He tries to play the 'I have feelings for you' card and tells her he likes her, and her alone, a lot. She's having none of it. She tells him not to even go  there, and that at best they can just be friends. He continues to try to grovel his way into her good graces, but she just gets more and more disgusted with him. He even tries the dramatic Asian wrist grab trope, but that gets her even madder and she tells him to knock it off before she ends up hating him.

Time passes. O Group all successfully complete their internships. We join them in the auditorium watching yet another year's hazing. They are discussing what they are going to do for a senior thesis. They're kicking around ideas when Foon announces that she wants to do body painting. Unsurprisingly the body she wants to paint is Peun's. He sort of resists, but soon gives in and agrees to be her model.

Art meets with Kwan who has something to tell him. She has a friend in Paris who is looking for a photography assistant and she tells Art that she suggested him for the position. He is hesitant because Paris is so far away and he doesn't speak French. However, he tells her he will consider the offer.

Before modeling for Foon Peun calls Prim up and asks her if she has a problem with that. If she does he'll cancel. She tells him that she doesn't care what he does. He asks her if she's still mad at him. She says not really, although it is obvious that she is acting cold towards him. Regardless, he oddly reads this as a good sign and smiles as he gazes at the drawing of her that Art did. I'm beginning to wonder if it hurt much when Peun's mom dropped him on his head as a kid.

An artistic masterpiece is about to be born
I suspect Foon's only hope is grade inflation
He shows up to his modeling session at Foon's house. Her parents are working and Prim is out buying supplies for her thesis project. Peun acts shy when it comes time for him to take his shirt off, but Foon reminds him they have seen each other naked already. He takes his shirt of and she starts slopping paint on him.

Prim comes back from her shopping trip. After some small talk, Foon asks Prim if she would fill in an area on Peun's shoulder while she washes her brushes and takes a brief break. Prim says sure. Foon, are you sure that's a good idea? You are in the midst of a soap opera after all.

At any rate Foon takes over the painting duties. Peun is looking at her lovingly when he suddenly pulls down the hand she's painting with, leans in, and kisses her.

[Episode 22]

Once again, I doubt that Peun has thought things through

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Changli - the world's cheapest new car

Jalopnik is a YouTuber who makes videos about cars and trucks. He got the idea to buy the cheapest new car he could find. He ended up buying the Changli off of Alibaba. It cost $1200 with the batteries. Above he unboxes it. Then below he takes it for a test drive and shows us some details about the car.

It's really more of a glorified golf cart than a car, but it does have a number of car-like features. I do wonder how long it will be before the thing falls apart.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

O-Negative (it's open season on interns)

Once again Peun demonstrates his obnoxious lack of consideration
Episode 20 of the Thai TV show O-Negative (Episode 19) starts with Foon eagerly awaiting Prim's arrival to her house. Prim, who's mother died, is going to be living with Foon's family. When Prim gets out of the cab Foon is surprised to see Peun get out as well. She chides Prim for turning down her offer of help to ask Peun for help instead. Prim tells her she was surprised by Peun's coming to help her move.

Naturally Foon isn't happy to see him with Prim. Peun adding unwanted awkwardness to Prim's move to Foon's house is a nutshell study of what a self-centered nitwit he is so often. He rarely thinks anything through.

When they enter the house Foon's parents graciously welcome her. They have a banner hung for her arrival and Nian, their maid, brings her a fancy looking welcome drink. They take several group photos commemorating the day.

Wide open? I think that's normally called a smile
That night, when Prim and Foon are in bed and ready to go to sleep, Prim posts one of the group pictures from earlier to her Instagram. In Asian dramas it is not unusual for female friends to sleep in the same bed. In fact, considering Asian romcom's love of whacky cohabitation scenarios, it is not unusual for men and women to have to share the same bedroom for some contrived reason or another.

They're chit-chatting before going to sleep when Foon's phone rings. It is a call from Ong-art, but Foon doesn't answer it. Bear in in mind they've supposedly been the best of friends for three years. Prim gets around to asking Foon if likes Ong-art, and she says not really. That leads to both of them talking about boys for what is apparently the first time. Peun is really using the conversation to gauge if Prim likes Peun. It is a pretty unbelievable they've never had talks like this before.

Artist's rendition of Wax upon first seeing Foon
The next day we see Peun and Foon going to their intern job with some artsy-fartsy looking film makers. The director is Wax. He's very brief and matter-of-fact with the interns as they introduce themselves until it comes to Foon. He gives her a long look, and then asks her a series of questions and ends by telling her she is pretty.

The meeting proceeds and then Foon and Peun's phones beep from an incoming message from Chompoo. Ignoring Foon's beeping phone, Wax glares at Peun and tells the interns to turn their phones off.

Chompoo has also been messaging Art who is waiting for Kwan. Before long Kwan arrives, She has Art help her take some film into a darkroom. This is mainly to set up her telling him that her studio is going to have an exhibition called City of Light, which will feature photos of Bangkok at night. Kwan invites Art to enter the exhibition.

There is also a scene at the end where, because her hair has been hanging in her face, she asks Art to clip it back. This is another Asian trope. I don't know if this is accurate, but I've read that a lot of the goofier Asian tropes -- tying a girl's hair back, girls endlessly stumbling into guys, drunken piggy back rides, dramatic wrists grabs and so forth -- are because normally Asian men and women don't get so close to each other. These tropes are ways to get them to touch each other. Art is certainly shy as he pins her hair back, and it is filmed to show their faces very close.  

Chompoo messages him as soon as he gets out of the darkroom. She's bored because she has nothing to do. Frankly, that seems like just the sort of internship that a slug like Chompoo would like. Anyway, Art wonders how Prim is doing so Chompoo goes to find out.

Kit's subtle flirting technique
Prim has been working on a drawing of a terrace. Kit comes up to her, gets close and looks over her shoulder at her drawing. He says it is beautiful and then clarifies he means her, not the drawing. Prim looks uncomfortable and tries to ignore his ham-fisted flirting. To his credit, after that he does give her constructive criticism over her work, and suggests ways to improve the layout.

However, he soon goes back to flirting with a corny line about how a good design enhances the interior of a building just like a pretty girl does to a man's heart. Chompoo has walked up during that line and she is duly impressed by that line of schmaltzy BS.

She immediately jumps onto group chat to tell everybody about Kit, a.k.a. the cute guy, who's wildly flirting with Prim. Needless to say this works up both Art and Peun and they ask for more details.

Quit dawdling errand boy
While this has been going on Peun is at a food stall getting lunch for the crew. He gets a call and is more or less told to quit goofing off and get their lunches to them pronto. Elsewhere, Prim is telling Chompoo it is too hot to go out to get lunch. Kit then shows up with lunch he's bought her and tells her his social media name is kit_deil. Chompoo wants Prim to add him as a social media friend, but Prim laughs and shakes her head no.

Meanwhile, when Peun and Foon enter the conference room for their lunch Wax, who I notice has a couple of packs of product placement Dentyne handy, kicks the guy who is sitting next to him out of his chair and tells Foon to sit next to him. Peun is shuffled off to a chair by the windows.

Later, Prim has finished her work for the day and Chompoo is still doing nothing. Kit tells them they can go home if they want, but the staff will be having a meeting that they can attend if they want.

When Foon and Peun are leaving at the end of their work day one of Wax's flunkies runs out and tells Foon that Wax would like to take her to dinner. She fakes, with Peun's help, that she's not feeling well to get out of that. Wax looks like he wants to kill Peun.

A highly productive staff meeting
We cut to Prim and Chompoo at their meeting. They're sitting off to the side while the staff is gathered at the end of the table watching deadly car crashes and other gross YouTube videos. I must say that, like them, I am curious as to how the python got into the refrigerator. Anyway, this has been going on for two hours and both Chompoo and Prim think it is a waste of time. Prim asks Nit if they can leave and he says sure.

The next morning Foon is talking to Pop, one of Wax's flunkies, when Wax himself comes in and tells Foon he wants her to model for a photoshoot. Oh, this should be good, but before we get to see it we jump to Prim and Chompoo.

They're walking down a hallway when Ms. Duang calls them into her office. She asks them if they left before the meeting ended. They say yes, it was almost midnight and Chompoo needed to catch a bus.

A bus? Ms. Duang scoffs at that excuse and tells them they should have stayed all night if they had to. Seems kind of harsh to me. She then asks them if they know what the theme was that got decided on in the meeting. They don't, and Ms. Duang tells them that's why it is important to attend  the entire meeting.

Wax's high class photoshoot
When we jump back to the film crew there are two girls in shorts, t-shirts and high heels, reenacting the car wash scene from Cool Hand Luke. Peun's job is to stand on the side and squirt water on them from a hose. That seems like a decent intern job to me. Soon Foon comes out dressed in the same shorts, t-shirt and heels. She's clearly uncomfortable. Seesh girl, where's your work ethic? You've got to sacrifice a little to produce high art.

Finally Peun gets disgusted by it all, tosses the hose down and tells Foon they should leave. This leads to an argument between Peun and Wax which ends when Foon calls Wax an ass and quits. The two storm off the set.

We cut to Art and Kwan. She is looking at Art's night pictures of Bangkok for the exhibit. She tells him that while they are well composed and technically proficient, that they are boring. She's says that the location he chose was the one that all first time photographers use. She offers to teach him the next night.

We cut to Chompoo and Prim at the publishing house. It is late at night. Go has arrived to pick up Chompoo, but Prim, still worried about getting chewed out earlier, stays because Kit is in the building doing something or another.

One of our interns hard at work
Eventually Kit returns to the office and finds her sleeping. He wakes her up, chides her for staying so late and offers to take her home. She says she can make it home by herself, but he insists, pointing out that it can be dangerous late at night.

He takes her home on his motorcycle. When they get there he is impressed by the size of the house. Prim says it isn't hers, it is a friend's house. He asks, "a boy or a girl?" Prim tells him a girl who is cute and offers to introduce him if her is interested. He tells Prim he is only interested in her. Prim rolls her eyes at that, but she is smiling.

The next morning we see Peun eating a western style breakfast with his parents. He tells them about Wax trying to make Foon do a sexy dance for the carwash scene. He acts like he is shocked that such shenanigans can even occur. I don't Peun, I seem to remember you were just fine with your cram class teacher hitting on you. That said, it sure does seem like the young interns are fair game.

Speaking of that, we jump to Art and Kwan that night. They're in her car and she's taken him to her place. Art is all, "umm... so we're here to take pictures?" She says yes, but he's not that comfortable. As they ride the elevator up to her apartment she keeps looking at him with a half smile on her face. When they enter the apartment she tells him to lock the door as she goes ahead.

Finally she calls to him, "Art, can you help me with this? I'm in the bedroom. You may come in."

[Episode 21]

Another spider and fly?

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

An afternoon's work on the rails

Jaw Tooth is a train enthusiast who has posted a number of videos to YouTube. This one starts with the train engine parked near a Mr. Frosty for lunch. They then switch some cars and in one section of the video they drive on a track that  runs down the middle of a street. Odd to see a train moving through a mixed business and residential district in a small Ohio town.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Friend or foe (a matter of perspective)?

Wizard of Oz flying monkey costume test
(click image to enlarge)
The wicked can have only accomplices, the voluptuous have companions in debauchery, self-seekers have associates, the politic assemble the factions, the typical idler has connections, princes have courtiers. Only the virtuous have friends. - Voltaire