Luxury is Relative

A female friend made a quick visit to my studio this morning, and she kindly brought over a sweet gift…

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And no, they weren’t these flowers. Though flowers are nice too.

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She’s known me for about 3-4 years now, and knows my alcohol preferences to a tee.

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…Which leads me to the next photo…

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What my friend didn’t know is that I’ve already put myself on a whiskey ban..but I was deeply moved by her gift. She just didn’t know, what can you do? This little box was a rare find for her, which is why she decided to get it for me. She knows I like small things, and she knows my favorite whiskey is Johnnie Blue, so basically it’s the most thoughtful gift ever. Made me incredibly happy. This small bottle is extremely seductive, the proportions just look better than the normal sized ones. This little bottle also set her back $65. Of course I have to post about things that get me excited! Love receiving the best gifts like this.

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Whiskey in a coffin, like a dead corpse. Is Johnnie Walker trying to send me a message? Maybe.

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I actually know very little about whiskey, how it’s made, flavors, etc., but the main reason why I like Johnnie Blue is because it’s got a dry, insanely smooth flavor, and the next morning you wake up clean..meaning no haze no headache..A month ago I got used to drinking Makers, even though it’s not my favorite kind, you just get comfortable with something I guess, a little too sweet for my taste and I can’t afford to be drinking Johnnie Blue regularly… But the real reason why I love Johnnie Blue so much is more historical/cultural, I actually started drinking it with my father, it is his favorite too for the same reasons. The day I started drinking whiskey my life changed. I realized there’s scotch whiskey bourbon, and then there’s everything else (wine, beer, rum, vodka…etc). Same for my father as well. He drank Whiskey starting at the age of 15 and said it kind of changed his life too, but it wasn’t Johnnie Blue, it started with Johnnie Red.

And you know the story about Koreans and Johnnie Walker right? Similar to the story of Spam and Koreans. There’s a reason why Koreans are partial to Johnnie Walker, and it’s not necessarily because of quality or taste.. During the war when the American Army was in Korea protecting us they brought over Johnnie (Red Label) which is actually the cheapest kind you could get, bottom of the bottom but it’s what the men in the army were drinking at the time. Back then, Korea had nothing. We had Soju but nothing that was being widely distributed or marketed, because the country was poor. People made Soju in their backyard basically. Americans realized we had very little, and that this Whiskey would seem magical to the people in our country. The soldiers started selling Johnnie Red to Koreans (black market style) and this dirt cheap whiskey became such a valuable form of alcohol, not because it was great quality but #1 it is strong alcohol (cuts to the chase) And Koreans had never tried Whiskey before. Same thing happened to SPAM, even though this cheap luncheon meat held very little value over here in the states, in Korea during that time, it was like caviar, and the American army brought it over too and started selling it through the black market. Spam still feels like caviar to me, very luxurious, I like to eat it with piping hot rice. We also put it in our stews, we have this thing called ARMY stew which uses a good dosage of spam, sad story actually because imagine how poor your country has to be for Spam to be considered so valuable. Back then, for Koreans, if you had Johnnie Red and a cupboard full of Spam, you’ve arrived. Baller status. I know that it may gross some of you out, but I can’t help it if I’m a creature of habit/culture/geography. I am Korean, after all. Luxury has nothing to do with money, at least for me.

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Anyways, I did pick up this random wine magazine, but this month they are focusing on Whiskey…Right now I’m not drinking whiskey but as an indirect source of pleasure I just want to know everything about Whiskey. I want to make my own whiskey..Luxirare Whiskey…I don’t know if it will work but I WILL do my research, mark my words, and there might be a good chance I do a post on this, and you know how I get when I get obsessed with something, I just have to know everything and then do my own version, don’t know if I will have the final product ready though as it will take a while for it to age. I had no idea that there is a whole Whiskey World out there, whiskey fanatics, kind of like that guy from the movie SIDEWAYS (one of my favorite movies by the way) with Paul Giamatti (one of my favorite actors). Anyway if you haven’t seen the movie he plays a wine fanatic and just knows everything about wine because he loves it, but apparently there are people who feel this way about whiskey too, I found his character very attractive because he just knew everything about wine, he was so passionate about it. Experts are scary though, you can’t fake anything around them. I would like to meet a whiskey expert, I need some education. Any interesting facts you can leave about whiskey in the comments section are welcome….Photo below.. Whiskey trails in Kentucky… this sounds very tempting to me. I will have to go when I decide to put myself off this ban, which will be in a while…but doesn’t that sound so fun to go on a Whiskey trail and learn about it all? The process and everything…I have also never been to Kentucky, so that state itself is enticing to me at this point…but..Kentucky bourbon festival?! I guess any of you who live in Kentucky are lucky…Any Kentucky residents who read this blog, hello!

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In this magazine there are at least 4-5 pages of whiskeys and their reviews, prices, etc. I circled the ones I’ve tried, very dorky, but I like to do things like this, this way I can see which ones I haven’t tried for future reference and look for them.

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I really really really like Wild Turkey, it is possibly my second favorite to Johnny Blue. Also a favorite of Hunter S. Thompson.

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So many different kinds of whiskey, but I’ve only tried the tip of the iceberg…Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Knob, Makers.. Makers, again, a little too sweet, but decent.

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Now what I need to know, is it ‘Whiskey’ or ‘Whisky’? Spelling confusion.

Fashion posts coming soon, thanks for reading.