And So It Starts...|
It's always fun to come into chat and see that someone has found a potential new trailhead that isn't launched through a cryptic email or an annoying IM chat. This one started out with imbri telling the room that she had just seen a trailer for a movie called The Host and at the end there was an url for something called Monster Hunter Club.
Note: I keep finding myself wanting to to add an 'S' to the end of Hunter each time I type this name out even though that is not the name of the website. So if you see an inadvertant S stuck in randomly, that's just me forgetting to doublecheck stuff.
Now, I'm always one to at least look at new websites, and the less ads, pop-ups, pop-unders and mispellings I see, the more I'm willing to throughly explore the site. It's really amazing how good web design makes people want to explore a site. And you really do have to explore this site to see that it's an ARG and not just another random cryptozoology site/viral marketing site.
First of all, the site is registered to Magnolia Films
- which pretty much guarantees that it's not a real site that the movie trailer just happened to link to.
Magnolia Pictures Company
1614 W. 5th Street
Austin, TX 78703
Record expires on 11-Aug-2011
Record created on 11-Aug-2006
Database last updated on 23-Oct-2006
Second, it doesn't appear to be your average viral site. It's not at all flashy and there is a lot of content on the site, some of which 'dates' back to 2005. There are no games to play, no little 'input your number and have someone famous call you' box, just a whole lot of blog reading. You can sign up to win a limited edition Big Foot toy, but so far there is nothing to really catch the average person's interest on the site to a: want to come back later and b: tell their friends about it. So, as a pure viral site, it fails pretty miserably.
Third, there are two other sites that are linked off of MHC, both of which are owned by Magnolia Films. So now we're at least getting into the realm of 'Extended Reality' - which is still pretty cool even if there is only so much you can do within it. But most 'Extended Reality' sites I've seen concentrate more on apperance. That is, they'll throw a lot of pretty looking sites as window dressing, but they lack alot of deep background and interaction. MHC and its sister sites are all about deep background and you can interact on the MHC forums with the 70+ 'members' that registered before the game started. Seventy people pre-registered?! I really don't remember the last time I've seen such attention to detail before. Most games usually just launch with lame excuses as to why everything is only showing from the launch date forward. This game actually has posts 'dated' back until 2005 - how cool is that?
Monster Hunters Club|
So, let's talk about MHC. The first rule of MHC is that you don't talk about MHC unless you want people to look at you funny. You try telling random people on the street that you're playing a game that has you looking through a website about Bigfoot and Nessie and see how many strange looks you get.
But besides that, MHC is run by Derek, a Pittsburgh boy who goes to school at NYU. It's a place where people who enjoy cryptozoology can hang out together and possibly eat donuts. The older posts in the MHC archive focus a lot on field trips that MHC members have taken - or at least tried to take - as well as significant developments in cryptozoology. The more recent posts seem to be more personal as Derek sort of drifts away from cryptids and deals with real life. It ends with Derek, after deciding to get rid of his cryptid collectibles, finds them stolen! Oh noes! Maybe we'll have to scour the country looking for them. That might be pretty cool. Luckily, Derek still has his Bigfoot models which he is gonna give away at some point in time.
There are a number of reoccuring names on the MHC blog and in the forums that it might be a good idea to know:
- Matt Wheeler: - VP of MHC and Derek's roommate. Orginally from Corpus Christi, Texas, he was raised in Austin by his mother. His dad died when he was two, and his mom just died over the Christmas holiday. While going through the papers at his mother's house, he found evidence to suggest that both his father and grandfather were murdered after being involved in secret goverment projects. He started his website Rainbow of Death to investigate just what happened to his father and grandfather.
- Sun-Yi: - Film student at NYU. She has helped Derek create his 'How to Fake a Crytpid' video series. She's also one of the few people that still comes out to the MHC meetings. She has a Myspace site at http://myspace.com/koreanfilmfan.
- Cryptidtruth: - New member of MHC. He has alerted Derek to some of his videos (1 | 2) on Youtube showing a possible new cryptid. Strange stuff.
- Amie Adams: Derek's ex-girlfriend. She's now currently dating body artist Jon Paine and runs his website EnhanceYourself.org. Derek seems to be a bit hung up on her.
Domain of the Golden Dragon|
When Matt was home going through his mother's belongings, he found a certificate that had belonged to his grandfather. On the back, there is a strange series of letters and numbers. Being unable to figure out what they meant, Matt posted a scan of the certificate on the MHC site, hoping that one of the members there would have some idea of what it meant.
The Domain of the Golden Dragon is one of many different unofficial certificates that Navy personnel could earn while sailing. It was given out when the sailor would cross the International Date Line. Although initiation ceremonies weren't always held after WWII, the certificate was still given out, and it's a bit unusual that this isn't filled out with the information of Mark's grandfather's crossing.
On the back, there is some faint writing in pencil.
Obviously a code of some sort, but as to how to decode it, we have no idea. Maybe there will be more hints as we go through Matt's website.
8 - 11 - 6 - 6 - 8 - 4 - 6 - 7 - 5 - 8
7K^ 4P> 0Ev 1N> 1R^ 4S<
0R> 7Cv 4I> 3H^ 9B^ 9T<
3Sv 0D< 4D^ 6K> 3Rv 0Dv
6Ev 2L< 9E> 5E< 1P^ 4N<
4I> 5Sv 3Hv 8Sv 2A< 2H^
7Uv 0Rv 0D< 4S< 8S< 4L<
Rainbow of Death|
How cool is the name of this website? It sounds like something the Care Bears would have. Or maybe Care Bear Stare of Doom. So fraking cool.
Anyway, this site is dedicated to discovering the truth behind the deaths of Matt's father and grandfather. John Wheeler, Matt's grandfather, is the one that coined the term Rainbow of Death after he discovered "that the top-secret government project he was working on, in fact, had quite the opposite of its intended effect."
Up until his mother's death, Matt didn't question what he was told about the deaths of his grandfather and father.
However, after he started going through the papers he found in his mother's attic, he began to see an entirely different version of events.
For the first 21 years of my life, this is what I believed:
- My grandfather John Wheeler was a biologist, and a damn good one. He specialized in animal biology as it relates to the ecology, still a relatively new field in post-WWII America. In 1955 my grandfather, then 25, was hired by a company called Termes Laboratories in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he helped to develop vaccines for deadly diseases that were still epidemic in Third-World countries.
- John Wheeler's work examining the healing properties of honey and bee pollen caught the attention of the scientific community, and he was chosen to work with the US military at the end of 1957. Working in a facility on the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station for the next 9 years, he helped develop vaccines and other medical treatments.
- In June, 1966, under the auspices of a US-Thai military assistance agreement signed after the Korean War, my grandfather was sent to lend his expertise to Thailand's leading team of vaccine researchers in Bangkok.
- In June, 1967, while en route to deliver a supply of vaccines to a hospital in the town of Trat, near the Cambodian border, John Wheeler's plane went down in the Gulf of Siam. The plane was never recovered, nor were the bodies of the pilot, my grandfather, or his other 2 project team members. The cause of the plane crash was attributed to "pilot error." A more complete accounting was not given to his 12 year old son or his wife, who merely accepted it as being "God's will."
- Inspired by his father's bravery, dedication and sacrifice, my father, John Wheeler, Jr., joined the ROTC in high school and went to Texas A&M, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Biology.
- In 1982, while serving a Master's internship at Termes Laboratories, the same facility where his father had worked in the 50's, John Wheeler, Jr., was also tapped by the US military. He went to work for a newly-commissioned agency designed to help plan and implement the decommissioning of old military bases throughout the world. With the long-term effects of Vietnam-era chemical defoliants now firmly in the public consciousness, one of my father's top priorities was the safe recovery of the thousands of unused barrels of these chemicals still scattered throughout Southeast Asia.
- While traveling throughout SEA on a tour of military bases in 1987, my father was reported missing and presumed dead after he failed to show up for his meeting at Don Muang Air Force Base in Bangkok. An official investigation revealed no promising leads, and the case was closed later that year. My mother and grandmother agreed that my father had most likely been a victim of Bangkok's "terrible crime problem."
Matt has now started to systematically document the story of his grandfather's life. So far he has several entries from John Wheeler's journal with promises of more to come. Sadly, Matt hasn't taken the time to transcribe all of these journal entries, so you're stuck reading the handwritten notes - unless you come here and read my transcriptions which I'm sure are riddled with typos and whatnot.
So there is some definite mystery going on here. What was the project that John Wheeler was working on? Was he killed because of it? Was John Jr. killed because he went in search of the same information? Is the Rainbow of Death at all associated with the Care Bears? Only time will tell.
- John Wheeler Jr. farewell letter §
I suppose you must be pretty surprised to be getting a pks. from a "Phat Li" (get it?) delivered c/o your neighbor, but better safe than sorry, you always said, even though I'm mailing this from off-site. I hope you enjoy the candy, assuming Mrs. Birkett didn't tear into it before giving this to you. I alos hope you tore into the correct side of this box when you opened it, or this might be hard to read, haha.
Well, I'm sure by now you've heard I'm going over there. Probably by the time you get this I'll be there already. I know you've been worried about me but I want you to know everything is going to be fine. This has been a long time coming, even before I started at TL, maybe my whole life. You know how I just can't stand not knowing. Remember how you used to tear the last chapter out of my mystery novels and hold onto them so I couldn't skip to the end? That used to drive me crazy. "I didn't pay 60¢ so you could just read the last page, mister!"
I get the feeling you think I'm "skipping to the end" once more in doing this, but this is a story I've been following all my life, Mom. I've been laying the groundwork for a long time, working on the science of human behavior almost as much as my cellular biology. Shaking hands the right way, with the right people. Learning to sit politely and have tea and cake with the same people who may have been responsible for this. Learning to channel my rage into a Trojan Horse that looks like a shy, meek kid in a labcoat. These are all the things they didn't teach me in school, which is probably why I didn't get to do this years ago.
Please know how much I love you and that I'm not just doing thins for myself. I'm doing it for your, my wife, my son. I don't want Matt to have to go through his whole life the way I have. But mostly I'm doing it for Dad. For the honor of his memory, of the man that he was, of the man he made me, Dad deserves justice.
You know how bad I am at goodbyes, so I'll just end with a terrible, tasteless joke.
Q: How many mutants does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
- John Wheeler's SEA Journal
~ Dedication ~
Hearts are linked to hearts by God. The
friend on whose fidelity you can count,
whose success in life flushes your cheek
with honest satisfaction, whose trium-
phant career you have traced and read
with a heart throbbing almost as if
it were a thing alive, for whose honor
you would answer as for your own;
that friend, given to you by circumstan-
ces over which you have no control,
was God's own gift.
Not where the sun is playing at high noon
But where the rain comes tapping off your sill
When there are neither stars nor moon
You'll hear me still
Not in the sigh of spring or summer's glow
But when an autumn wind passes you by
Stinging and sharp. 'Tis than you'll know
That will be I.
Not when laughter is gay and lights are bright
But deep deep in your heart's most secret place
You'll see my face.
My Song of You
Let me but hear you speak, no matter what
The tone or burden of the uttered word.
Language inflection meaning matter not,
So that the music of your voice is heard.
Within the sounding-chambers of my heart
The magic notes will melt, and from anew,
And to the eager listening strings impart
Pulsation that will sing my song of you.
If Wishes Were Horses
If wishes were horses just for one day
We, my love, what a wild stampede!
Gray and sorrel and brown and bay,
For every wisher a splendid steed.
A black for us, with the wind in his mane
And a star in his forehead as white as snow
Stirrups of silver and scarlet reins
I'd fling you up to the saddle bow.
Sparks would fly from his flying feet
Slivers of light as the road unfurled
And we'd ride to the end of the world, my sweet
Clear to the east of the world.
Nancy Byrd Turner
- Journal Entry #1, 6/13/66
Grace, you'd be pleased to know I'm writing in the journal you gave me. What a lovely surprise to open it and find your inscriptions. But then you've always been full of lovely surprises. You needn't worry, my dear, I'll be home safely before you know it.
I'm quite grateful for this journal right now, since I've got a couple of hours to kill before my next flight. I already finished my book during the flight from CC, and have been giving no briefs to study yet. Since I am a bushel of nervous energy right now, sitting and scribbling seems much more appropriate behavior than pacing back and forth. And certainly spontaneous jumping jacks are out of the question in an AFB terminal. I'm not sure how long the flight from Travis to Hawaii will be, and a C-130 Herc is not exactly a Cadillac ride through the clouds. But it's not really the flight that's got me jittery, it's what lies ahead. This is my big chance to help finally finish this important work, something the world doesn't even yet realize it needs. That, with any luck, will never even know it needed in the first place. To use the power of science to correct these possiblly catastrophic mistakes before they become uncontainable - mistakes of men, not science, for pure science is always neutral. Always perfect. It's the ambitions of men that muck it up, as Dr. G says. Toiling on Project Rainbow these last two years in CC has been fullfilling. A great life, big promotion, doing what I love, coming home to my family every night. But actually finishing the work in SEA, while difficult in many ways, will also bring the work into a sharp, new focus, I believe. Actually seeing the faces of the people we may very well be helping to save - it will just be so much more real. More urgent. I'm sure it won't be easy, especially with my wife and son thousands of miles away, but this isn't about me, it's about our country. About doing what's right. I'm proud to be a part of this project, and I hope some day soon John Jr. will be proud of his Daddy as well. The name John Wheeler may never be mentioned in a science textbook - indeed, if we truly succeed, my name should be remembered for little me than the best Labor Day BBQ's our sleepy little neighborhood has ever seen. But my work will live on.
I can't stop looking at the extra photo of John Jr. that Grace tucked into my bag (another lovely surprise). It was taken just a year ago but I can't believe how much he's changed since then already. How different he will look in another year when I"m home? How can I miss him so much already? It certainly will be a comfort to gaze on my boy's smiling face whenever I need to. I sure hope that smile returns to his face soon. Feeling his tears on my my neck this morning was almost too much for me to bear, but I think he understands. At least I hope he does. If I've done my job as a father, the discipline with which I've raised him has left him strong enough to endure my absense. He's a good boy, he understands selflessness and sacrifice. When I asked him again if he knew why Daddy had to go away for a while, he said "to help save peoples lives." But he said it as if he were rattling off a verse he'd just memorized in Sunday school. In his tousle haired little head, those unseen multitudes halfway around the world must seem about as consequential as Nebuchadnezzar's beard. Some day, though, perhaps he'll truly understand how important this work is. My hopes are not as high for all those ignorant campus agitators who despicable actions have made it impossible to develop this project on our own soil. If only they knew that we're trying to heal, not harm. To preemptively heal wounds which have yet to even rear their ugly heads. At the end of the day, though, it's not anger I feel towards those misguided kids, but pity. How sad it must be to not believe in the greatness and goodwill of one's own country - especially when you've been blessed enough to be born American.
- Journal Entry #2, 6/16/66
Hawaii is even more beautiful than I'd imagined - my hotel is right in the heart of Waikiki! Already the waves are trying to lull me to sleep, but I want to record my thoughts before I drift off.
Grace would be flooded by the beauty here. We've definitely sailed through some perfect day of our own in the gentle-sunkissed waters of the Gulp, but there's just something about this place. We were afforded a stunning view of Diamond Head as we landed at Hickam, which almost made up for the rest of the godawful flight. I'd considered myself to be an air travel veteran, and was fully prepared for the Herc's infernal noise and lack of creature comforts.
The turbulance, however, was something I can't bargained for both in duration and intensity. The weather got so bad, we thought we'd have to turn back a couple of times. The flight ended up almost an hour longer than it should have been. It was far too bumpy to write my journal, so I passed the time reading through the movie camera book Grace got me a couple of weeks ago. I read it three times in fact, so I should be a regular DeMille by now! Too bad I didn't have time to start fiddling with the camera before I left - it would have been nice to get some movies of Grace and John Jr. There was just too much prep work to be done, though, and it turns out I wouldnt' have been allowed to bring a projector anyway. I'm looking forward to taking some movies to send back home though, so they can get a better idea of Daddy's new "home away from home." I've tought Jr. to find Thailand on the map practically with his eyes closed, but movies will make it much more real to him than a little purple shape in the Orient. Hopefully the pictures will stir and inspire him, perhaps even make him study harder so he can travel the world some day, too.
Stiring and inspiring were not words that sprun to mind when I met Dr. T in the hotel, however. The fellow's always been affable enough towards me, insisting I call him Tom from our very first meeting. He always complements my work when we meet up to report our results to TL. But he's never taken great pains to hide his contempt for Dr. G. (Now tht I think about it, I remember at our very first meeting he also told me that, unlike himself, Dr. G was never to address by his first name "even if you're the goddamn Queen of England.")
Perhaps our relocation has him on edge, but his feelings for Dr. G seemed to have intensified tenfold since I last saw him. Dr. G was already several hours late to our rendevous, and had forwaded no word as to his arrival time, which had Dr. T in a blaze of cussing like I've never heard. I reckon settling into his new assignment might be harder than I thought.
After waiting for Dr. G in the hotel lobby for over an hour and stubbing out what must have been his 25th cigarette, Dr. T suggested we take a walk. I was more than happy to oblige. I thought of bringing the movie camera, but didn't want to make Dr. T wait wile I ran to my room. It's too dark right now, but hopefully I can take a few shots before I leave tomorrow morning. If not, I can at least send Grace and Jr. the postcard I picked up.
We still had a couple of hours before our official briefing at 19:00, so we walked around for a spell. From across the street I heard laughter and saw a ew kids trying to surf, despite the small and quick-breaking waves. I bet John Jr. would have a grand old time here. I thoroughly enjoyed soaking up the sights and sounds of Waikiki, especially after being cooped up in that C-130. Dr. T seldom even looked up from the ground in front of him, except to cross a street or light another cigarette. Being in one of the most beautiful places on Earth did not seem to quell his annoyance much.
Dr. T didn't seem to like talking much about the project at all. When I tried to bring it up he said "Come on, not now, we're in Hawaii," something I'd begun to wonder if he even noticed.
He wasn't much on discussing family live either. I asked where his loved ones were, and he laughed that his boys "Jack and Jim" were waiting patiently for him at the hotel bar. One thing he does seem to thoroughly enjoy, though, is telling off-color jokes. The one the told me about the barrel in the old California mining town made me blush, but damned if it didn't make me chuckle anyhow. Despite his often gruff manner, I like Dr. T.
We got back to the hotel around 18:30 and the desk clerk said there was still no word from Dr. G. There was a message from our contact at Hickam, through, saying our briefing has been postponed until 05:00 tomorrow, just before our flight to the Philippines. I was sure Dr. T would go off the deep end but instead he just said that left us plenty of time for Dr. G to buy us dinner. I was a bit puzzled as we took a cab to a pretty swanky restaurant in the nearby Kahala district. Dr. T requested a table the for "Genero, party of 3" and told the maitre d' to please keep an eye out for the Dr. He then ordered filet mignon and lobster and drank as many neat burbons as he smoked cigarettes. Halfway through, he excused himself and went to use the phone. When the bill game, he waiter asked if it would be going on Dr. G's house account as usual. Dr. T grinned ear to ear and said, "I've just spoken to the good Dr. who sends his apologies for missing his dinner and tying up one of your valuable seats. He insists you add on a 30% gratuity for your inconvenience, my good man." My heart was pounding but the waiter just said "Very good, thank you sir." I excused myself to the men's room and took the waiter aside. I gave him the money for my meal and told him to take it off Dr. G's tab. He said the exact same "Very good, thank you sir." So I'm not sure if he actually did it or just treated himself to an extra $10 tip, but at least I tried. I'm not sure what the reprecussions of this little stunt could be, and I don't want to start off my new assignment on Dr. G's bad side. Come to think of it, I can't say I really want to be on Dr. T's bad side either after seeing the glee with which he rang up an almost $50 tab on our colleague's dime.
I'd better turn in, since my 3:30am wake-up call will be coming before I know it. I must say, I'm looking forward to meeting Dr. G in person again, despite the ample misgivings I get from Dr. T. I'm sure everyone will be jazzed to start working once we're all settled into our new facilty. I'm excited about the possibilities with the three of us putting our heads together every day, working so closely with each other. We'll have our formula before you know it.
- Journal Entry #3, 6/18/66
Well, it took some rough going but ol' John Wheeler is finally in Thailand! I thought the Herc to Hawaii was bad, but that was just a heap of Grace's apple cobbler compared to the Philippines flight. I even had to use an air sickness bag! Despite the bags printed encouragment to "not be embarassed by this precaution" I was mortified. There I was, the green-horned civey sent to amuse our brave, non-gutted men in uniform. Who needs Bob Hope? Fortunately, I don't think any of the fellows on board are continuing onto NKP. And Dr. T slept through almost the entire flight, quite an accomplisment in a C-130. I don't know he does it.
I'm in Bangkok right now, after a brief refueling - and stomach settling - stop at Clark. Dr. T and I are once again in a hotel lobby waiting for Dr. G. He never showed up in Hawaii. And we were informed at our preflight briefing that morning that he was already in-country. Well that made Dr. T madder than an old wet hen. Said he should've ordered a bottle of Dom at that restaurant. I don't really mind waiting for a spell, though, since it gives me time to catch up on my thoughts.
The drive drom the airport into the city of Bangkok was an adventure in itself. So many sights to see, I thought I'd throw my neck out trying to take all of it in! For this CC boy, Bangkok is like going to the big city and the country at the same time. A whole different world. John Jr. will probably thinking I'm pulling his leg about water buffalo walking right down the street! And there are for more bicycles on the road than cars (which drive on the left!) so it makes for some slow going. But talk about your history. I remember the pride I felt when I first took Jr. to the Taylor Memorial but actually seeing buildings that are thousands of years old is truly awe inspiring. These beautiful towering structures called "Stupas" sort of like a big old bell with a spire on top. They're dedications to the Buddha, symbolizing his path. That seemed to be the gist I got from the fellow I talked to on the street anyhow. I had a good laugh after I realized he was staying "Stupa, stupa!" and not calling me stupid!
His English was a bit broken, but he was very friendly and happy to tell me about Stupas. ALl the people here seem very friendly, in fact. Lots of smiling faces, eager to give directions and what not. A couple of people told me to keep an eye out, that there's a lot of crime here, but so far I haven't had any problems. Knock wood.
I had my first taste of Thai cuisine for lunch goday. The national dish called "Plaid Thai." It was a little like spaghetti with chicken and peanuts, with just a little bit of light gravy. It was served with a piece of lime and what I later found out was a slice of banana flower. The flavor is a bit hard to describe, but it was pretty good. Not spicy like I thought it would be (I've heard some of the disher here can be murder on the American stomach). I hope there are some good places to eat in the town. I figure I'll need a break from the show hall now and again. I've been avised to only eat a places the folks on the base recommend, though, unless I want to risk spending a day in the latrine!
I'm looking forward to finally getting into NKP tomorrow. Seeing Honolulu and Bangkok has been great, but it'll be nice to get settled into my new home. I'm looking forward to jumping into the project with both feet. Speaking of, I should wrap this up, as Dr. G should be arriving in the hotel any minute now. I reckon between setting up both my quarters and the lab in the coming week, my reflective time may be cut a bit short, but that's OK. Best to stay focused on the work above all. The sooner we figure this out, the sonner I'll be home with my wife and son.
Although the work's been satifying so far, it's nice to finally have a day off, my first real one since getting into NKP. Satisfying and exhausting are two words I've used to describe my time here so far, probably in about equal measure. We've made lots of progress in a short amount time. But I've been averaging only about 4 hours of sleep a night, and not much of it is too restful. Most of my meals lately have been C-rations, since I hardly leave the lab. It's just as well, I suppose, since we arrived smack dab in Thailand's monsoon season - all the torrential rains and muddy
This is the rather creepy site of Jon Paine and Amie Adams. Jon is a "Body Artist - Mad Scientist - Mutant" who enjoys modifying his body for the sake of progress. If you thought the cryptozoology people were nutty, you ain't see nothing yet. I don't think this guy is gonna be happy until he's the first Borg.
So far, Mr. Paine has had a RFID chip inserted into his hand, tried to have a bluetooth device installed into his jaw, and has had a PDA device implanted into his forearm - complete with bloody videos. The PDA graphics totally give me the heebie-jeebies.
But beyond the mystery of why anyone would do that to themselves, there is something else that needs our attention. Jon Paine is missing! Maybe he's hiding out in Thailand with the Wheelers after having stole all of Derek's toys. I just hope he's not trying to graft any of the toys onto his body - because that would just be a little too weird, even for me.
What we know: Derek, a NYU student who could have a great future in blogging, runs a pretty decent cryptozoology website. His roommate and best friend, Matt Wheeler, lost his mother over the Christmas holiday to cancer. While cleaning out her papers, Matt discovers that both his father and grandfather may have been murdered by some government agency. And if that wasn't enough to keep Derek from thinking about MHC, his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend has gone missing and you know that is gonna cause a whole lot of issues for Derek.
Sites we've visited: Monster Hunter Club, Rainbow of Death, Enhance Yourself
Sites we haven't visited: Sun-Yi's Myspace page
Things that are unsolved:
Korean Film Fan|
Happily, Sun-Yi is not one of those Myspace denizens that thinks having a readable page is some sort of taboo. It's still a Myspace page so you kinda have to look all over for the information, but at least you don't have to highlight all the words on the page, or try to squint to see the text admid a horrid background.
I'm an aspiring film maker enrolled in the NYU film program. I'm totally knee-deep in homework most of the time, but I watch movies as much as I can (and call it research). I've also developed a recent interest in cryptozoology. I'm originally from Annandale, VA (Atoms represent!). I secretly loathe the smell of roasting chestnuts. How can people romanticize that?? Ugh.
Who I'd like to meet:
Asian film enthusiasts, aspiring film makers, NYU students, directors, actors, producers, Bong Joon-Ho *swoon*, Ahn Jung-hwan *swoon^2*, Kang-ho Song *swoon^3*, Bigfoot.
- Korea Herald - your best source for Korean news in English. Their culture section is particularly good.
- Information about the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) between North and South Korea
Here for: Networking, Friends
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Luckily the blog pages are better organized. She mixes it up a bit with writing, audio and video (in which she seems to emulating LG15). She also seems to have quite a crush on Derek, and he's the reason she joined MHC in the first place. I wonder how much he reads her Myspace blogs. I'm guessing not much as it doesn't sound like he knows that she likes him in his blogs. Unless he does know and he's just jerking her around like Dee did to Billy. And then she has the nerve to bitch out Lee. She totally get what she deserves. If Anders wasn't in the picture, I say let Starbuck and Apollo get it on, but Anders certainly doesn't deserve that. Oops, way too much BSG lately. Sorry.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
INT. NYU LIBRARY
Damn, I have been here almost a month and I've really only spent a couple of days exploring the city. People who have lived here all their lives still find something new every time they look. There's no way I will keep up. Not to mention that I have no social life to speak of and hardly know anyone here. I guess while I'm keeping my head above water academically, I've been sinking personally?
Ok, note to self: find happy medium. Also, remember to change socks, because these stink.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
INT. OFF-CAMPUS COLLEGE PARTY
Wow.So my roommate Jana took pity on me because she thought I didn't get out much. I'm not sure whether she was trying to make friends or just make sure that her roomie didn't end up flipping out and massacring everyone on the hall with knitting needles or whatever, but in any case, she has a crush on this guy named Matt and she knew he'd be at this party tonight and so she made me come with her. Actually, looking back on it, it's likely she wanted backup in case Matt turned out to be a raging psycho. Oh well, whichever, it's all good.
But the thing is, Matt has this roommate named Derek. Can you see where I'm going with this? Yeah, probably. Okay, so Derek is really cool, he's really funny, he's cute, he's a couple of years older than me, and he's, like, 100% white, and to my consternation I'm completely attracted to him. I guess I just never pictured that possibility. (Would Mom and Dad freak out if I married a white boy, or would they be relieved? Hmmm...)
Anyway, Derek is really into... well... monsters. It's cute, right? He collects information on stuff like Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster and something called Ogopogo and he's got this website all about it. Don't be surprised if little ol' Sun-Yi is the next registrant on the forum over there. Getting to know someone online is so much easier than doing it in real life. And despite my cool and calm exterior (yeah, right) I am still terminally shy.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
INT. CROWDED MOVIE THEATER
Ah ha! There are totally benefits to being in NYC! Last night, we went to see The Host at the NYC Film Festival. They were really interested in seeing the movie because it has a monster in it, of course, but I have been wanting to go forever to see the film itself. I don't want to give too much away, but... WOW! It's totally worth begging, borrowing, and stealing to go see. I was a little nervous about the effects, but they were outstanding, as was the acting, cinematography, and directing, of course.
I got to sit next to Derek(!). Well, actually I was between the two guys, so I was in charge of the popcorn tub, and every once in a while my hand would brush his while we dove for more popcorn. Do I sound disgusting or what? Since I was the only one who understood most of the movie (there were a couple of short parts in English), the guys kept asking me to translate. Guess those sneaky Korean lessons paid off. I'm sure I missed a bunch while I was playing Little Miss Translator, though. Oh, yeah, and "Hey, you have the same last name as them! I bet you're related." Oy!
I hope the movie comes back to town soon so I can sneak off by myself to see it. I mean, it's nice to be there with a guy(s), obviously, but I want to study it more from an analytical viewpoint, which I didn't get to do this time.
As far as midterms - I'm pretty sure I got a B on one of them, but I'm trying to tell myself that it's not the end of the world as I know it, and I still feel fine. I'll just be over here, breathing into this paper bag.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
INT. NYU DORM ROOM.
It has been decorated with HAND TURKEYS, at least 20 of them.
Late Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. It was nice to be home for a couple of days and spend time with my parents. I mean, I talk to them practically every day on the Helio, which is nice, but seeing them in person is nicer - especially when I know it's just for a little while (ugh, am I awful or what?).
I just got off the phone with Derek, who called me out of the blue, and that definitely got my heart pumping. He was mostly calling for advice, though. He was a little weirded out about the amount of civilosity at Thanksgiving this year, and he's absolutely convinced that there are Ulterior Motives in play. I'm going to see if I can take him out for coffee or something and let him cry on my shoulder.
Ugh, am I scheming, or what?
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Screening coming soon!
Hi, my name is Sun-Yi Park and I'm a film student in my first year at NYU. I wanted to let you know that there will be a screening of the hit Korean movie, The Host, on Monday, Feb. 12th from 8 to 10PM . It's a great monster movie, but it also has a strong family plot, so it really has something for everyone. I hope you can make it - I can't wait to see it again! Check back here soon for more details!
See you there.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Video - My little space on the web
Check out my very first video blog! Hope you enjoy it.
Hello there to all you people in internet lands. My name is Sun-Yi Park and this is my little space of the web. I'm of a certain age where I'm old enough to know better but young enough to do it anyway - and that's as specific as I'll get. Currently I'm attending the film program at NYU and I hope to graduate in four short years.
I spend most of my time studying, studying, or umm... studying. Sometimes, when I have a free minute, I do exciting things like wash my hair or socks. I am living la vida loca, I'll tell you. Well, I guess that's not entirely true. Lately, I've gotten very interested in cryptozoology thanks to my friend Derek who runs the excellent MonsterHunterClub.com website. Joe Bob says 'check it out'.
I'm orginally from Annandale, Virgina where my dad works hard at the Korean Embassy. My mom works hard keeping a nice home for people to come to. As you might be able to tell from my net nickname, I'm a big fan of movies. Esepcially Korean[?] ones.
You might be wondering about the flyers I've been passing out. Well, check back here tomorrow for some news about the screening and posting on Monday, February 12.
Okay, that's about it. Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back soon.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
A Little About Me
An audio blog from Jan. 25th, 2007. Listen.
Hey folks, Sun-Yi here and I'm totally procrastinating right now. I'm supposed to be studying the history of something or other and it's ramifications on whatchamacallit's society. After the third time, I found myself being so bored with the reading that I was actually trying to count how my threads per square inch my backpack material has in it. I decided to take a quick break, find an unoccupied study room and do a little audio blogging.
Hmm, what should I talk about. I'd just like to tell you a little more about myself.
My folks were orignally from Korea but they moved to the US when they were kids. When I was little, I spent hours and hours on my grandmother's lap, listning to stories about how things were for her when she was a child. I really gained a love of Korea from her. My parents don't really care that much about their native culture or anything. They just say that they're American now so they live like Americans. I'm a lot more interested in Korea than they are. Of course, they grew up there. I [?] for a few years and I only visited it once after my grandfather died.
Wow, I guess I'm ranting. Someone just stuck their head in here and gave me a dirty look, so I'll try to keep quieter.
So, I love films, obviously. I also love soccer, especially the fact that we made it into the world cup last time. Yay! Well, I say "we" but I meant Korea. Anyway, I totally have a crush on Ahn Jung-Hwan along with about 5 billion other girls. Maybe I can bake him cookies or something to make him forget about his wife. Even if she was a former Miss Korea. Yeah, probably not. Nevermind.
Speaking of cookies, I'm a total sucker for a good chocolate chip cookie and I can be bought. Although, I don't know what you'd be buying exactly. But that's beside the point.
And speaking of cookie monsters, I feel really bad for my friend Derek right now. [?] boxed up his beloved creature figures stolen from his house the other day. He's really bummed about that. And on that note, I think I'm gonna try to get my work done here so that I can head to the dorm kitchen and bake cookies - I wonder where I got that idea - and take some to Derek. For sharing of course.
Uh-oh, another peek into the room and a dirty look. I'm gonna make like a tree now. Later.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
INT. NYU DORM ROOM - DAY
Welcome back! I promised more details about the movie screening, and I always keep my promises, so here we go... It will be held at 8:00 PM on Monday, Feb. 12th at the Magno Review Center, 729 7th Ave. (between 48th-49th Sts.) New York, NY, in Room 1. Ok? So go!
What do you mean, you want to know what you're going to see?
Oh all right, if you insist. I am just so excited to be able to say this... the movie will be Joon-Ho Bong's new masterpiece The Host, a.k.a. Gwoemul. I don't know if you've heard of this movie or not, but you will soon. Bong is a modern master of comedic pathos, making you laugh through your tears and leaving you touched and ponderous afterwards. The Host is a family drama in the guise of a really excellent monster movie. Chicks will dig the storyline. Dudes will dig the beast. It's a total crowd pleaser. And check out the feature on Artforum about it!
Ok? So go! ;-)
So in other news, I've been working with my friend Derek on a music video and I'm tickled pink with how it's coming out. Speaking of monsters, this video is chock full of them. I can't wait to show it to you. I'm having severe guilt seizures from the time I'm spending on the editing and not in the library, but I'm justifying it to myself by saying that I'm gaining real-world, hands-on experience, which is just as important as book smarts. Right? (Right!) So yeah, the video's full of Derek's monstery goodness, which is fitting, because he's the founder of MonsterHunterClub.com, dedicated to ferreting out information about cryptozoology worldwide. It's kind of bittersweet, too, since Derek's had most of the figures I used for this stolen. Poor guy. Well, at least he'll have the video I filmed before he packed them up to remember them by.
Make sure to clear your calendars for the screening on Feb. 12th!
The Missing Toys|
It seems whomever stole Derek's toys has a sense of humor. They have taken to mailing them to random people, along with some sort of little puzzle grid. So far dashcat has gotten a Yeti, konamouse got a Bigfoot, Sylvia received Dracula, and RedHatty got another Bigfoot. ScarpeGosse and Spacebass both got some poster promoting The Host. |I got jackshit. They must be following the WIBS method of handing out goodies. I've determined that there is no glory in writing guides and being a moderator other than people detesting you. But that's okay, because it means when I tranform into the ESG, I'm just that much scarier. I'm like my own cryptid! I take it all back - see here for why.
molecularr was cool enough to paste together the different puzzle grids that everyone received. All of the grids are different, and we haven't seen any duplicates yet, making me wonder if these are stand-alone puzzles or are they part of something bigger?
Derek was eventually clued into the fact that his missing toys were no longer so missing. But as he is A Nice Guy™, he's not demanding that these random strangers send back his toys. However, he has absolutely no clue about the puzzle grids that say "This item courtsey of the Monster Hunter Club". He seems to think they are sudoku puzzles. Well, they are in a 9x9 grid, but other than that, I have no idea why he thinks they are sudoku puzzles.
In his latest blog update, he talks a bit about his missing collectbiles, Sun-Yi's film screening (and I'm sure it's breaking her heart when he says 'I'd better not stand to close to her') and attempts to bribe Cryptidtruth with donuts in order to get more information about their strange creature. While donuts are all well and good, everyone knows you bribe people with chocolate chip cookies for information, not donuts. Donuts are good bribes to get people to come to meetings, although pie works just as well. Pie and punch.
We've seen quite a few new members joining the forum the last few days; I think that weird thing in the water (armor-plated white turtle? rhino with fins?) is really capturing the imaginations of CZ fans out there. Cryptidtruth posted a longer movie of it -- s/he thinks it's a fish of some sort, but further details have been maddeningly absent thus far.
Cryptidtruth, if you come back and fill us in, I will buy you a dozen donuts of your choice, even though I vowed long ago to not use donuts as an MHC bargaining tool anymore. Perhaps Bavarian cream is your thing? Or the classic jelly-filled? Well, my friend, these and 10 other donuts could be yours, free of charge! All we ask of you is, WHAT THE HECK IS THAT THING?!?
Speaking of movies, how cool is it that Sun-Yi was able to set up an advance screening of The Host here in NYC? (Check out her blog at myspace.com/koreanfilmfan) And get this -- she's now writing a film column for Twitch! Plus, she's working on a video for Cryptid Love, all while taking a more-than-full course load. Only in her second semester of college, and already she's movin' and shakin' more than my Grandpa Ed without his pills. I'd better not stand too close to her, some of her ambition might rub off on me....
Oh yeah, I got a couple of private messages last night from people saying some of my missing collectibles (blog) had turned up in their friends' mail! Very strange. Haven't received a ransom note or anything yet, but I'll keep you posted.... o_0
Journal Entries 4, 5, and 6|
Matt has scanned (photographed?) three more entries from his grandfather's journal. We're still in the first few weeks of his time in Thailand, so we haven't really seen anything ominious yet. That doesn't mean there isn't drama happening! There's a sniper outside the compound and the relationship between Drs. T and G is even more strained once Dr. G declares himself the boss. But John is fairly content - and extremely patriotic which is really odd to see in this day and age.
- Journal Entry #4, 7/4/66
Although the work's been satifying so far, it's nice to finally have a day off, my first real one since getting into NKP. Satisfying and exhausting are two words I've used to describe my time here so far, probably in about equal measure. We've made lots of progress in a short amount time. But I've been averaging only about 4 hours of sleep a night, and not much of it is too restful. Most of my meals lately have been C-rations, since I hardly leave the lab. It's just as well, I suppose, since we arrived smack dab in Thailand's monsoon season - all the torrential rains and muddy walls make it easier to stay in most of the time anyhow.
The general conditions here make me appreciate the incredible work of the Seabees even more. Not too long ago, this was all just thick, overgrown jungle on the banks of the Mekong. Now it's the beginning of what will soon be a major facility in our fight against Communism. What started as a couple of modest landing strips carved from the jungle will soon, I believe, become much more than even the crucial Air Commando Unit that it houses. The very fact that Dr. G, Dr. T and I are here speaks to this. But I know there is other important top level work being done here as well. In fact, I began to get a bit uneasy when I heard talk among the enlisted men of "The Project." Thinking there may have been a leak, I reported what I'd heared to Dr. G (I'll get to that whole deal in a minute.) But he assured me the men were talking about Igloo White, another top-secret project for which a huge facility was being built. Dr. G and I shared a laugh at the idea of an igloo-anything in these steamy environs. But then, I reckon that project probably has about as much to do with Eskimo houses as Project Rainbow has to do with leprechauns and pots of gold. I don't think any of the military personnel I've talked to here have a clue what we're working on, which is for the best.
The weather today's pretty nice - still muggy but at least you can go outside for a spell. I even heard talk of some fireworks later. I hope Grace and John Jr. have a nice 4th and aren't too sad that I"m not there. I know it's got to be hard for Jr, seeing other boys around with their Daddies, and I just hope that old hen Maybelle ain't still crowing up and down the street about the diamond necklace Gene bought her. Grace doesn't need that. But then, there's lost of other husbands and Daddies who aren't right around now either. It's a sacrifice we've all got to make for the cause of liberty.
God bless the boys at NKP Radio. Yesterday I heard "Hey Good Lookin" which is what I seing to Grace whenever I smell her chicken frying up downstairs. Boy, I already miss her fried chicken something awful. I wonder if she'll be making some to take to the park today, since it was usually me who ate up just about all of it. Jr always did like hot dogs better anyhow. I'd cross my eyes and tell him was cockoo, which always made him laugh. Maybe he'll remember that if he eats a hot dog today and they'll get a chuckle out of it. I sure hope they got the postcards I sent them.
Well, Dr. T is telling me to get my nose out of this journal and come outside. I guess he's right, don't know when I'll get another outside day like today. I didn't even get into the bombshell that Dr. G dropped on us when we first got into NKP, but I'll get to that story as soon as I can.
- Journal Entry #5, 7/5/66
Well, the fireworks came a day late to NKP, and they're not the kind you want to have! There's been a sniper firing on the base on and off today. The Base Guards have been unable to locate or eliminate him, so everyone's movements have been strictly controlled and limited all day. Consequently, I've got a bit of unexpected journal time. We're right across the river from Laos, but they're supposed to be friendly, so Lord only knows whoever is doing this. I hope they catch him soon so we don't loose too much more lab time.
I didn't get to see proper fireworks or eat fried chicken yesterday, but it was a good 4th regardless. Anyhow, fireworks couldn't have added much more to what I already feel just seeing our flag here each morning. Sure, I wouldn've loved to spent yesterday laid out on a blanket, cool grass under my feet, Grace's head on my shoulder. But being here with these brave men, doing our part so the folds at home can stay free, well that's what it's all about. I missed my family like never before, but I don't think I've ever felt quite as proude on a 4th of July as I did yesterday.
That pride is a good thing for me to have, it's something I keep coming back to. Reminding me that what we're doing is so much bigger than just myself and my little woes. I just wish some of that prode would rub off on Dr. T. Well, he does have lots of pride, but not really the kind that fits with the goals of a team. I know it might sound corny, but now more than ever, I can really appreciate the humility that I learned from Coach Harris when I was a kid that ability to put your own ego on hold. To realize it was the teams touchdown, not yours. Dr. T says he played ball when he was a kid, but I guess he didn't have a Texan coach, haha.
I must admit though, I did feel a bit peeved with Dr. G as well when we first got here. After all that waiting around for him in Hawaii and Bangkok, turns out he was in NKP all along! Dr. T and I arrived to find that he'd already unpacked and set up his office, as if he'd been there for some time. He said he was sorry for the confusion, but that there must have been a miscommunication with the Staff Sergeant. (Dr. T told me later that was bullshit, but I choose to take Dr. G at his word.)
Dr. G then told us that he'd been placed in charge of the project, and that Dr. T and I would be reporing directly to him. I thought the bout of cussing that brought out of Dr. T would just about wake the dead! He said he was one of the leading researches in the country and that he didn't go to Harvard Med School to learn how to work "for this Nazi." He demanded to know why we weren't informed of this news before we left for Thailand, and threatened to pull out of the project. Dr. G just smiled and said he was sorry but turning back now was simply not an option.
Unfortunately, he's right. This news did throw me for a loop, but it's right there in black and white, signed by top military brass and TL execs. Reporting to Dr. G doesn't really ruffle my feathers personally - he is one of the world's leading geneticists, after all - but the news definitely could have been handled better.
I talked to Dr. T about it while we were settling into our quarters, telling him we'd all just need to put personal feelings aside and focus on the work. I finally did get him to calm down and even laugh a bit. "At least that snake's not bunking with us," he saidd. I think having me around to talk to is helping Dr. T stay on a more even keep, which is good because there's a lot of work to be done. By now, I can tell by the look in his eye when he's fixing to fume about something, usually related to Dr. G. When I catch that look I'll say, "Tom, why don't you tell the boys that limerick you told me yeterday, that was a good one." The fellows seem to enjoy hearing them, too. Dr. T is an amazingly bright doctor and has a lot to offer his team, once he gets his ego in check. Fortunately for us, he seems to have an endless supply of dirty jokes and limericks.
- Journal Entry #6, 7/14/66
Well ain't that a kick - the miniskirts made it all the way to Nakhon Phanom Thailand! Dr. T and I were allowed to go into town today for a bit of R&R. While we were waiting for the bus, I showed one of the fellows how to work my movie camera. He grabbed it again once he spotted some very Western looking specimens of womanhood strolling up. He told them he was a famous American movie maker from Hollywood and was going to make them bigger than Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor combined. The ladies didn't speak English, lucky them. Or maybe they just pretended not to see. Seeing this ellow trying to tell them "I'll make you movie stars" though chrades provided loads of laughs for the whole bus, though. I was just happy he didn't get any drool on my camera.
I reckon I shouldn't be too surprised, seeing as how many of the boys refer to Nakhon Phanom as "Naked Fanny" but I just can't get over these young men today. So different thatn the days when I courted Grace. Maybe it's just that the Thai people are so friendly, or maybe it's our boys that feel emboldened by the language barrier, but some of them say things to the ladies that would make your hair curl!
Dr. T and I took the opportunity to enjoy some Thai cuisine, from a little stand that was not on the "recommendation list." We both had some kind of prok dish with rice that was a bit spicy, but very good. Heck if I know what it was called though - we just pointed and gave the lady our money. We washed it all down with a couple of native beers, which tasted a little odd but hit the spot, especially on a hot summer day like today. If I closed my eyes, I could even pretend it was Grace's pulled pork and a Shiner. So far, so good - a couple of burps but nothing's doing someersaults in my gut, knock wood.
Domain of the Golden Dragon - Solved|
Matt was nice enough to give us a better scan of the Golden Dragon certificate. Now we can read what it says.
Which is a pretty good thing since we need the text of this certificate to figure out the answer.
Ruler of the 180th Meridian
To All Members of the Armed Forces Wherever Ye May Be: and to All Mermaids, Sea Serpents, Whales, Sharks, Dolphins, Eels, Skates, Suckers, Crabs, Lobsters and other living things of the sea Greetings: Know Ye: That on this _____ day of __________, in Latitude __________, Longitude 180.00 there appeared with the limits of Our Royal Domain the _______________
Be It Remembered
That the said Vessel and Officers and Crew thereof have been inspected and passed on by ourselves and Our Royal Staff And Be It Known: By All Ye Members of the Armed Forces, Landlubbers, and Others Who May Be Honored By His Presence, That
Having Been Found Worthy to be numbered as one of our Trusty Golden Dragons - and duly initiated into the Mysteries of the Far East. Be It Further Understood: That by Virtue of the Power Vested in Me I Do Hereby Command All My Subjects to Show Due Honor and Respect to Him Whenever He May Enter Our Realm.
Disobey This Order Under Penalty of Our Royal Displeasure
Ruler of the 180th Meridian
It's a form of book cipher. The first string of numbers tells you number of letters in each word you are going to be using. The string of numbers cooresponds to the names of the creatures in the first bit of the certificate.
The next step is to set up the names of the creatures into a numbered grid.
0 m e r m a i d s
1 s e a s e r p e n t s
2 w h a l e s
3 s h a r k s
4 d o l p h i n s
5 e e l s
6 s k a t e s
7 s u c k e r s
8 c r a b s
9 l o b s t e r s
Now you follow the directions given in the large code block. The first character tells you which row to start on. The second character tells you which letter you need to go to. The third character then tells you which direction to go in to find your final letter.
So to decode the first letter from 7K^, you first go the K in line 7. Then you move up to the T (in skates). The second letter (4P>) will be H, which is right of the P in line 4.
molecularr was the one to figure out that the answer is The Tinman has disappeared into the rainbow. Although we have absolutely no idea who the Tinman is or even when he disappeared into the Rainbow.
Derek Tries to Help Amie|
Derek has finally found out that Jon Paine, the boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend Amie, has gone missing. And like any guy who is still completely hung up on his ex, he agress to help in anyway he can - which in this case is putting a link to Enhance Yourself up on MHC. |
You just know that Derek is trying to think of how he'll be the one to save Jon and that Amie will realize that Derek is her knight in shining armor and will fall into his arms. You also know that will never happen in a million years (unless this takes some sort of Hollywood ending turn). Of course, there is Sun-Yi we have to worry about as well, since I'm not sure she's going to like Amie coming back into Derek's little world one bit. Maybe we'll have to investigate the disappearnce of Amie later and then try to keep Sun-Yi out of jail when we discover Amie's corpse buried on the grounds of the Korean Embassy!
A Fifth Grid|
I guess it's nice that whomever stole Derek's toys didn't send them all to random strangers. At least one old member got a toy and a grid. He talks about it being a sudoku puzzle, which is really making me wonder what the hell is in the donuts that Derek passes out at his meetings if everyone thinks this is sudoku. He does seem to stress one bit about the puzzles tho: "I started working on it, and Iím thinking the numbers are the important part. All the rest of the shit just looks like gibberish (except for one part that reads TV Quiz?) And why have pairs of numbers if youíre not supposed to do something with them?" Clue? Red herring? Won't know until we figure this out.
Thing in the Water|
Bastiages! Someone else is doing a guide too. Sadly it's been registered via Domains by Proxy, so we can't tell who is the real owner. However, even though it doesn't have the same info as the other 3 sites and wasn't registered until after the game started, I'm not really convinced that this is a just a fan guide. Maybe it's because I'm so used to this particular style of game having an in-game guide built in. I guess time will tell.
Sun-Yi has a couple more videos up on her Myspace page.
The Cryptid Love video is pretty freaking funny. Of course, so is the song. I can't get the stupid thing out of my head now.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Here's a little ditty that is absolutely guaranteed to get stuck in your head for several days, but the cool thing about it is that instead of an ear-worm, it's more of an‚Ä¶ Ogopogo worm. We had a lot of fun working on this and I hope you enjoy it, too. I present Derek Young's next Top Ten hit, Cryptid Love!
Watch the video.
Read the lyrics at Derek's website, www.monsterhunterclub.com.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Video - I hate waiting
Video blog, take two. Action!
Happy Monday everyone! I am so psyched right now. All the details have worked out and the screening is all set to take place on the twelfth. I can't wait! I hate waiting. I'm like Inigo Montoya that way.
You killed my father. Prepare to die.
I think I'm getting a little sidetracked. That happens when I get excited. So yeah, screening on Monday night at Magno Review 1. Second floor of 729 Seventh Avenue, between 48th and 49th.
February 12, 2007 8-10pm
Magno Review 1
729 Seventh Ave 2nd Floor
(Between 48th + 49th), NYC}
Not only is it exciting for me to be able to see a killer movie, a killer movie again, but it's really kinda like watching your favorite horse go all the way at the Kentucky Derby and win it. Or something.
I'm not really sure what I'm trying to say. Let me try again.
I guess to me, The Host sorta represents the next wave in Korean cinema. And the fact that it's getting a lot of press and screenings in advance of its official US premiere is not only good for the movie itself, but for Korean films as a whole. You know what I mean? It's like they're finally taking us seriously. And it's a great thing to see. And really encouraging for aspiring filmmakers like me.
Now, If I could just get people to watch Memories of Murder ... hmmm. I tell you folks, Bong who directerd Memories of Murder as well as Host is a bonified genius.
The only fly in the ointment right now is that I haven't been able to pin down the attendance my monster hunter friend, of friends. Who knows? They're probably planning to spend the evening watching exciting videos over and over and over. Back and to the left. Back and to the left. How exciting.
I hope I'm not being overly optimistic that they are going to make it. And I hope to see all of you there too. uUntil then, I remain your humble video blogger. Sun-Yi Park signing off.
I do wonder how many people are going to show up to the screening. Since it's on a Monday in NYC, I know there is no way that I will be attending, although I have been amused enough by this game to see the movie when it comes out here.
The Today Show with the MHC|
Okay, this title is a bit misleading, but that's the way Derek's blog entry stated it.
As I said when I got back to school, I had a lot of thinking to do. (blog) Well gang, I'm done thinking (which is good, 'cause it makes my forehead kinda wrinkly) and I've made up my mind -- Monster Hunter Club is here to stay.
With all this synchronicitous stuff happening lately -- CanuckChik's Bigfoot photo; cryptidtruth's videos and photos of that weird thing-fish; all the smart new MHC members; both my best friend and ex-girlfriend needing the help of some smart people; my stolen collectibles being anonymously mailed out with puzzles attached (?!); a good friend's infectious enthusiasm making me feel like a wide-eyed CZ noob again; strange creatures and cryptozoology all over the media in general -- I really feel the world needs Monster Hunter Club now more than ever. And I know I still need the MHC. So what if my toy shelves are now empty and I'll have to sell my soul to the job market at the end of the semester...we've got a fan site!
To celebrate and show your support for MHC in what is surely to be its greatest year ever, COME BE ON THE TODAY SHOW WITH US!
That's right, Sun-Yi, Matt and I will be there this Thursday morning, February 1, outside the Nintendo store at Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan, near where the show tapings are held. I'm giving you advance notice so you can go ahead and hit the hay, oh now-ish, since we ask those that wish to join us be there at 5:45AM. Yes, it's early, but you'll get the chance to not only show your support for MHC on TV and get a free club logo t-shirt, but you'll also get to live the dream and see Bigfoot, whose attendance has been confirmed! Come on down -- a couple extra cups of coffee are a small price to pay for all the fun we'll have!
I just can't help thinking about how similar this feels to AotH. Slow opening to give you a chance to read all the stuff on the website, and a mention of a little gathering a few days later. Why do I have a feeling something is gonna happen Thursday morning to change the dynamic of the game?
Sorta wish I could go, but weekdays in the City are just not my thing. Actually, any day in the City is not my thing. Leaving here at 1:45am in the middle of winter isn't the smartest idea in the world. However, I will set my DVR to record the Today show just in case something strange happens on air.
A Body Mod Conspiracy?|
Amie is now convinced that Jon's disapperance is a part of something bigger as he's not the first modification artist who has dropped off the face of the Earth. I dunno, one guy a year seems to be stretching things a bit. For all she knows, they could have found someone else to shack up with. Wouldn't be the first time it happened. But maybe, just maybe they have all been recruited into Project Rainbow and are living it up in Thailand. I wonder if John and John Jr. liked to get piercings all over their bodies.
Alternate theory: the amount of piercings and tattoo ink in their system has caused an allergic reaction, causing them to them to suffer a psychogenic fugue and they are just out there wandering around lost, and completely freaking out the locals.
Journal Entires 7, 8, 9 and 10|
Matt has put up four more of his grandfather's journals. Although, certain evidence could be construed as him 'writing' up four more journals. I thought it was funny that Entry 6 originally ended with a lot of blank space at the bottom. Sadly, I didn't think to check my cache for the original large version until the new version was loaded - but you can still see it in the thumbnail (which Matt forgot to fix - oops!) Of course, this might explain why we're only getting three/four entries at a time - someone is still writing them up!
In other news, I now find out that Matt is gonna start transcribing the journal entries. All this work for naught? I'm beginning to feel like this whole guide is gonna be a waste of time - but I'll try to soldier on for a little while more at least.
- Journal Entry #7, 7/20/66
This weeks' been pretty hectic, and I might not get another chance to record my thoughts again for a while, after seeing what's on my agenda the next couple of weeks. Dr. G just brought in 3 new lab techs this week, with a couple more coming in next week, too. So between catching them all up on everything and trying to stay on the new schedule, my 4 hours of sleep a night might be starting to look like the "good old days" very soon.
Project Rainbow has really been ramped up, construction has even begun on a bigger facility for us. Some reports coming back fro the pilots of Operation Ranch Hand made their way up the chain, all the way to the Oval Office. It looks like the time fram is going to be even worse than we thought. I thought we'd still have a couple more years before the sid [sic] effects of Agent Orange really starting showing up. They're not sure how long they'll be able to keep a lide on this so Dr. G has vowed to redouble our efforts. He told the General he'd have his Agent Yellow in 6 months! When I first started on the project, I'd hoped it'd be 10-12 years. Emphasis on the word "hoped." Really, I reckoned I'd be 40 before we had the silver bullet. My optimism was tinged in the realism, since I know it takes much longer to heal something than to destroy it. We have been working for years now, and the finish line is in sight, in my opinion. But this 6 month deadline I have no idea where Dr. G pulled that out of. I wish he would have consulted me before meeting me with the General, for I would have told him that I do not share his optimism. 6 months does not leave nearly enough time to examine transgeneration effects (except with insects perhaps which we're not using anyhow) of the substances we're already testing. Let alone the ones that are still being developed. A geneticist of Dr. G's caliber should know this. I am more than willing to work even harder than I have been, because I know how important this is. Some night when I'm going through my 5th thermous of coffee and my brain feels like it's going to melt, just thinking of the beautiful land and her people right outside my door, gets me through another hour. And seeing the pictures of the old campus research building, a reminder of how far I've come, helps me sleep at night, eager to start the next day. So I want to get this thing done ASAP. But I want it done right. And I don't want Dr. G's mouth writing checks our butts can't cash.
I haven't had the chance to talk to Dr. G about my concerns yet, as I've been swamped. But I did mention them to Dr. T before bed one night. I asked him advice on how to broach the subject when I get the chance. He said I shouldn't even bother, since Dr. G clearly does nt give "one lab rat's ass hair" what either of us thinks. That even though I've done the Aggies proud by being one of the best and brightest in my field making the scientific world rethink animal biology as it relates to ecology, it didin't matter. To Dr. G, I may as well be a secretary.
I told him to stop being so cynical, that the Dr's just overworked, which is true. For as much as Dr. T and I have had our noses to the grindstone, Dr. G's nose should just about be filed off by now. I never see him outside. He never eats at the chow hall. Sometimes I'll coem back to the lab at night and work for a while and he'll startle me coming out of his dim little office when I thought he went home hours before. I've sometimes wondered if he doesn't just live in the lab since I have never seen his bunk. I reminded Dr. T of all of this, and told him Dr. G must be under an awful lot of pressure, and probably just didn't have time for all the niceties and whatnot. But deep down I wondered if Dr. T was right.
Dr. T thought about it and said I was probably right. That he should start being more positive. He said on the bright side, now that he memo from Dr. G had set a 6 month deadline, he had a "get out of jail free" card stamped Jan 1967. He laughed and showed me the 6 month memo from Dr. G which he kept folded in his wallet. I think he's going to try to hold Dr. G to this crazy deadline and weasel his way out of his contract in 6 months. He said he would still give the project his all while he's here, though. If not for himself, then for "the best pal the fine state of Texas ever spat from her loins." I hope he's true to his word and doesn't plan on just biding his time.
Then he got me good. He said, "Wait a minute, you say you've never seen Dr. G's quarters? I have plenty of times." My eyes must have gone wide with wonder, like John Jr's when I'd tell him all about Jesus lizards or foliate frogs. Dr. T said, "Yeah, just go to the very top of the observation tower and look up - you'll see him hanging from the faters by his feet!"
- Journal Entry #8, 8/1/66
Grace, darling, you must be reading my mind from clear across the world. And predicting the future too, I reckon. Got a letter from home today! Right before that, I'd heard "Girl from Ipanema" on the radio, which got me thinking about that warm summer evening a couple years back. Just the two of us on the boat, Grace humming that song softly, the breeze blowing her honey-scented hair across my face. Then I opened the letter and there's pictures of the boat! Me, Grace and John Dr, fixing to go catch some trout and redfish. Last summer. Can't see Grace's face too well, but it's a great shot of the boat! As if that's what I missed the most. Wish she'd included another one of herself, but then, no photo of that evening would ever be as perfect as the one in my mind. Still, another one to change it up would be nice. Sometimes if I'm just reading or doing paperwork or whatnot, I'll find myself just staring at this picture of Grace. I could just look at her till the cows come home. Feels like there should be holes burned in the photo by now, as much time as I spend staring at it.
Everything's good back home. John Jr's looking forward to starting 6th grade and has been checking out lots of library books, Animal bioloty and Thailand, mostly. Maybe he'll grow up to be a scientist just like his daddy some day. Grace mostly talked about John Jr. in her letter, not too much about herself, although she said she's doing fine. I reckon she must be putting most of her energy into John Jr. though, trying to keep him happy and occupied. Maybe focusing more on him makes it easier to deal with me not being there. I hope she knows how much I love her and think aobut her. I was beginning to worry she didn't get what I sent her. I'm glad I finally heard back. But I think the nature of my assignment throws a wrench in the already slow intercontinental mail process - nobody back home really knows about this NKP base. I just need to learn to be more patient.
Speaking of boats, I went on a little boat ride up the Mekong a few days ago with Dr. T. Dr. G let us go just after lunchtime that day since Dr. T and I were mostly doing paperwork, which he said he's just have the lab techs do. I took my movie camera and got some good shots of the hustle and bustle of people from Nakhon Phanom and the Lek. Lost of traffic on that river. I'm amazed at the skill and resourcfulness of some of these folks - what some of them can load up in the tiniest of canoes and dart around is nothing short of amazing. I think taking a few hours off was good for Dr T. For me too, but for him especially. At first he started complaing about Dr. G and I just told him, not to be rude, but I didn't really want to think about work when we actually had some time off from it. Especially since we had Dr. G to thank for the break to begin with. And you know what? It worked. Dr. T took a deep breath and didn't mention Dr. G the rest of the day. Which was good, because I don't think most of those folks on the boat would've appreciated his dirty jokes!
- Journal Entry #9, 8/4/66
The mood down at the lab is terrible. The rain and wind have been beating the hell out of our little steel building so hard, we've been having a hard time keeping the equipment dry. Just about every non-glass item heavier than half a pound is being used as a paperweight, since even just the air whooshing in through the cracks is enough to clear a desk a lot of the time. Seeems like if it's not rain we're trying to keep out, it's that fine red dust -- one or the other since I got here, pretty much. But the last couple days have been especially bad. That's why I'm typing this up instead of handwriting it. My precious red journal is safely tucked away in a couple layers of plastic bags.
An additional reality that somes with the muddy downpours is critters that like to swim. One that calls the Iesan region of Thailand home is none other than the King Cobra. And yesterday, one of them decided to pay us a visit.
Dr. T and I were in the main lab with Murphy, one of the new lab techs. Murphy and I were doing an LD50 with one of Dr. G's more promising samples. Murphy was holding the rate, and I was injecting them. Dr. T was a few feet away, looking at some tissue samples under a microscope. One of the rats suddenly became very agitated, slipped out of Murphy's grip, fell to the floor and ran off. Murphy shouted, which startled Dr. T. At the same moment, all 3 of us saw that had gotten the rat in a fuss, a 2-ft King Cobra on the floor about 6 ft. behind Dr. T. He jumped, knocking the microscop to the floor. The snake didn't have its hood out, but we all knew immediately what it was, since we'd seen them slithering around the base. This one was just a baby, but considering an adult King Cobra can inject enough venom to kill an elephant, there was still plenty to fear! We all stood stone still for a second. Murphy and Dr. T both looked at me. I've killed a couple of rattlers back home in my day, but I always had my rifle, or at least a shovel. I scanned the room quickly, but saw nothing useful. Dr. G rushed out to see what all the fuss was and spotted the cobra. Then he did something I probably wouldn't belive if I hadn't seen it with my own 2 eyes. Dr. G crouched down as he moved quickly by smoothly towards the snake. In one swift motion, he grabbed it it by the tail, picked it up, and whipped its head against the floor, hard. In the blink of an eye, his heel was o nthe snake's smashed head. He held it there until the tail stopped twitching. It all happenend in a matter of seconds. The speed, agility and let's face it, brass ones demonstrated by this stunt would've been impressive had they been preformed by an Olympic athlete in the prime of his youth. But to see a man of Dr. G's age do it was downright jaw-dropping.
After the snake was dead, Dr. T started in on a hail of cursing and yelling like I'd never heard from him. He screamed that it was Dr. G's fault for having everybody crammed in this little lab without a proper airlock system. That it's not bad enough, working day and night in a steamy tin shack surrounded by bottles and bottles of who-knows-what poison, now we have to worry about poisonous snakes as well. Dr. G started screaming right back, saying they were working on a new facility, and because of Dr. T's incompetence, he now had to add another USAF microscop to the bill. Murphy and I moved between them as their screaming match escalated, since Dr. T looked like he was fixing to clobber Dr. G. Then Dr. T just stormed out. Which was probably the smart thing to do. After seeing what Dr. G did to that King Cobra, I sure wouldn't have made a move on him. Dr. G told us to clean up the mess and went back to his office.
I never saw Dr. T back at the bunk last night, and his bed looked unslept in when I woke up this morning. He showed up at the lab looking like hell. I was about to ask him what happened when he said, "No. Not a word." So nobody said a word the entire damn day. Nothing but the rain pounding on the metal roof for 17 hours. It was miserable.
- Journal Entry #10, 8/7/66
Had a private meeting with Dr. G today. He let everybody go about 1530 hrs. but took me aside and asked me to stay and "chat" with him. I'd spent plenty of late nights at the lab, but there was just something unnerving about being there alone with him today after everyone had left. Maybe it was the King Cobra incident that had colored my perception of him. He had shut off all of the lab lights, so it was reather dark in his office. I sat across from him at his desk, which was a mess of papers and files. The shelves behind him were lined witih rows of jars, but it was too dark to make out their contents. In the corner, the edge of a cot jutted out from behind 3 metal filing cabinets, confirming my suspicions.
Come to find out, he wanted to chat about Dr. T's attitude which I had a feeling he might. He just smiled and sighed and asked if I had any advice which surprised me a bit. I told him that it was just a tense situation, and the cobra incident was just the match that lit the already overfilled powderkeg. I told him I knew that deep down, Dr. T was grateful to him, as was I, for his quick thinking that may have saved our lives, even if he wasn't too good at saying it. I said I would just try to give Dr. T a little breathing room for a bit. I told him that I'd talk to him, too, try to reinforce to him how important his work was to our team. Dr. G said that I was a good man, and that he was lucky to have me on the project. He said he knew the situation was tough for all of us, and he appreciated all the effort and good attitude I'd demonstrated.
Dr. G said he wanted me to come with him on a trip to a safe area in-country VietNam. He said he wanted to see first hand some of the effects of the Agent Orange we're trying to counteract. We're leaving tomorrow. The trip will take about a week but Dr. T won't be able to go as his work is at a critical phase which can't be interrupted. Dr. G asked for my help in getting Dr. T to cooperate. I told him I would do my best.
Since Dr. G was sking for my help and advice, I thought it would be a good time to bring up my concerns about the 6-month deadline. He waved his hand, smiled and said, "these military types, you just tell them what they want to hear. We're doing fine, my good man, just keep doing what you're doing." He gave me his word he wouldn't release the formula for Agent Yellow until it had been fully tested.
Then Dr. G apologized for the unfortunately dreadful conditions of our meeting. He opened his desk drawer and pulled out 2 Cuban cigars and a bottle of single-malt scotch that was older than me. He started to reminisce which struck me as odd since I wouldn't have pegged him for the sentimental type. He spoke fondly of our previous meetings which, before we came to Thailand, used to happen 3 or 4 times per year, at different locations around the country. He closed his eyes and smiled when talking about a particular lodge in upstate NY, his favorite meeting place. I remember the one he was talking about. It was about 3 years ago that I met with him and Dr. T there to discuss our research. A very peaceful place. Dr. G opened his eyes and the desk drawer. He said he had something special to give me, a token of his thanks. The gave me some photos of the lodge in NY, which he took several years ago. It was a bit odd, this gift, but I still felt humbled and grateful. I could tell he wanted to show his sincere thanks, but there wasn't muuch in his cramped little office for him to offer. I appreciated the gesture. It felt like getting a present from a kindly grandfather. One of the pictures is actually quite beautiful - the front of the lodge blanketed with snow and dripping with icicles. Maybe looking at it from time to time will make me feel a bit cooler in this Thai heat!
A Lead on Jon?|
Amy has been wracking her brain, trying to figure out a new angle she could try on Jon's disapperance. She's pretty sure that the best bet would be trying to track down the guy that Jon met at the Tattoo Convention, one Painted Soul. It seems Jon mentioned him a previous email, although by his German name. Amie for some reason deleted the email (she should get a gmail account - then she can just archive emails instead of deleting them!) so we're gonna have to figure this out on our own.
The easiest way would seem to be to just go to the Tattoo website and check out the guestbook - but it's broken, so that's not gonna work. Painted Soul in German is "gemalte Seele," but doing a Google search on that brings up no usable results. Even Painted Soul by itself doesn't really give us anything to go on - so I really don't know what we're supposed to do. I sent an email off to the tattoo site to see if they'll fix their guestbook, but who knows if/when we'll be able to look at it.
A Toy for Me!|
When I got home Wednesday night, I discovered that there was a package for me. Hooray! It was addressed to my ARG alter ego (instead of my real name), so I know it wasn't gotten off my website info. More than likely from signing up to win the Bigfoot from Derek (although there are any number of PMs in the ARG world who have my fake name with real address). But I don't care - I got a toy! And not just any toy - the very toy I wanted since I first saw Derek's picture of it.
Let me tell you, it's even cuter in real life. As you can see, it's made friends with my stuffed ferret. I absolutely adore it so there's no way I would ever give it back to Derek. I offered him some cookies in exchange, so we'll see if he takes me up on the offer.
I also got a puzzle grid. This one is #7 - and curiously enough it has 8s within the grid unlike all of the rest of them. Wonder what that means?
What we know: Derek still has big plans for MHC - especially after all the new members, and the new evidence from CanuckChik and Cryptidtruth. Matt is slowly |forging photographing his Grandfather's diary about his work on a possible cure/antidote for Agent Orange. Sun-Yi has a huge crush on Matt, although it's unclear if he knows about it. And Amie is convinced that the mysterious Painted Soul knows about Jon's disappearance - if only she can find him.
Sites we've visited (since the last recap): Sun-Yi's Myspace page, Thing in the Water
Sites we haven't visited: none
Things that are unsolved:
February 1st and Onwards >>
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