**Warning: If you don’t want to risk being grossed out of your mind, you may want to risk this post altogether… Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!**
Take a look at the picture on the right. What do you see? Dried apricots? Raisins? Caramel or candy? Not quite. You see, I’ve gone under the knife.
First, some background. I’m not hopelessly vain, but one aspect of my face has been bugging me for a few years: puffy bags under my eyes. It’s definitely genetic; my mom and my aunts have all had them, although interestingly, my brother doesn’t. Anyhow, those bags have often led people to ask me, “Oh, you look so tired. Are you okay?” (such a question is not considered rude in Korea; rather, it’s considered a show of concern; this also applies to comments about weight, like “Oh, you look like you’ve gained a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!”) In the last couple of years, the bags have become even baggier, and frankly, they’ve started getting on my nerves whenever I looked in the mirror. So with my extended time off, I decided to do something about it.
Several weeks ago, I visited a clinic in Apkujeong (the Beverly Hills of Korea and also a mecca for plastic surgery) for a consultation. There, a pretty young woman very nicely explained the procedure to me. There was only one bum note when she asked me–staring at my face intently, almost hungrily–“Have you ever considered doing anything to your nose?” Now my nose is kinda big and looks like an upside down arrowhead, but I actually like my nose, so I just laughed and said, “Yeah, I know it looks kind of goofy, but I don’t mind.” The woman paused a beat–perhaps to hold in her disappointment–before going back to talking about my puffy eyes.
To make a long story short, there are two variations for the surgery. Fortunately, since I was relatively still young, I could opt for the less serious type, which is less invasive with a quicker recovery period. Apparently, there wouldn’t have to be any cuts made with a scalpel, and instead, lasers would somehow be used to get the fat out from under my eyes (if you guessed that’s what’s in the picture above, TA-DA, CONGRATULATIONS!). I was assured that the surgery was quite simple, involving minor, if any, swelling and bruising. The only part that seemed rather scary was when she mentioned some patients do shed “tears of blood” for the first couple of days. That was definitely a “Yikes” moment, although I supposed it would have been cool if I were a statue of Jesus.
So one week ago, I showed up early at the hospital with 1,000,000 won (about $800). I was soon led to the operating table where they hooked me up to an IV and took my blood pressure. Apparently, it was a big high, as the nurse exclaimed, “Oh, you must be nervous!” Damn straight! Then she said, “You’re going to fall asleep soon,” and I closed my eyes and started seeing waves of red. The last thought I remember having was, “I wonder if Michael Jackson’s last moments were like this,” and then I fell asleep.
About 30 minutes later, I woke up, feeling drunk out of my mind. My aunt had shown up to drive me back home, and I just started babbling to her about what I can’t even remember, although I do remember talking about Michael Jackson for some time. Anyhow, it took me a while to kind of get my senses together (I was in no pain; I just felt dizzifyingly drunk), and then I went home.
Since then, I’ve had some swelling, but my recovery has been even faster than I expected. By the 3rd day, you couldn’t even tell I had anything done. My only discomfort was on the night after the surgery when the swelling led the lower eyelashes of my right eye to go up right into the eyeball. That really hurt until I finally said, “Screw this!” and snipped some of the offending lashes with a small pair of scissors. After that, it was smooth sailing, and I’m already quite happy with the results. Even with the minor swelling left, I already look more refreshed and no longer exhausted (though to be fair, my 11 hours of sleep per day this week may have something to with that, too). All in all, I’m a very satisfied customer.
Okay, with that gruesome tale behind us, on with the Countdown!:
1) Semi-charmed Life –Third Eye Blind: Ooh! A rock time warp to the 90’s. I love this song. It rocks; it’s catchy; listening to it on a walk makes you want to break out into a run. The fact that this happy burst of energy of a song is all about the perils of drug abuse makes it even more awesome.
2) Do You Remember –Phil Collins: Yet another goodie from the early 90’s. I’ve gotta say something about Phil Collins here. I’ve seen and heard people slag him and his music so many times, but just because he did a lot of easy listening music doesn’t mean he only came up with crap. Yes, some of his songs were rather embarrassing (“Invisible Touch,” “Sussudio,” and the whole “I Can’t Dance” mess with Genesis), but he not only wrote some of the best ballads of his time (“Separate Lives,” “Against All Odds”), he also showed real edge at times (“In the Air Tonight,” “No Son of Mine”). In fact, according to Randy Tarrabelli’s biography of Michael Jackson, Phil was one of the few white artists that Michael respected for having a genuinely “soulful” voice. Who’s gonna argue with Michael?
3) I Should Be So Lucky –Kylie Minogue: Okay, another time warp, but one maybe not quite as welcome as the previous two. I’m a big Kylie fan, but this is not one of her best moments by any stretch of the imagination. This is from her beginning pretty puppet days, and although it is kind of catchy, but it’s also painfully annoying in its repetitiveness. To make my point, I’m going to go back and count how many times Kylie sings “I should be so lucky”… And the grand total: 22. And the number of times Kylie sounds like she really means it: 0.
4) Can’t We Try –Dan Hill & Vonda Shepard: Now we’re talking. This is one of the great duets of the 80’s, and they just don’t make em like this anymore. It’s basically Dan and Vonda in a public couple’s therapy session, bickering at each other. Dan’s mad, because Vonda’s calling her girlfriends and talking to them about their problems instead of talking to him directly. Vonda basically answers that he never listens to her anyway, and they squabble on and on. Can’t get any more real than that!
5) And So It Goes –Billy Joel: Whoa. This was THE very first song I ever posted on this blog. That was back on March 1st, so the blog is four days short of its five-month anniversary. That’s pretty cool, considering I’ve always given up on writing diaries in a month or so. Anyhow, a big thank you to people who visit the Tommyland blog!!! (And a big sorry for grossing all of you out with today’s post)
It’s a close, close call today, but in the end I’ve gotta give it to Dan and Vonda’s squabble-love-fest over Billy’s sad lament.
The Winner: Can't We Try – Dan Hill & Vonda Shepard