Odds and Ends: Hammers, Boston, and makgulli
by | February 23, 2014 | 47 Comments

javabeans: So! How was your week?

girlfriday: Well, I got food poisoning… so not that great. My body is angry at me.

javabeans: Probably for good reason, given the workload that will not die.

girlfriday: Or maybe this is the universe’s way of forcing me to be in bed.

javabeans: You need to sleep. Here, have some pain to go with it. I always knew the universe was a perverse mofo.

girlfriday: Well, yeah. Anyone who’s seen a drama knows that. Finally meet the love of your life? Here, have some cancer. Or alien vanishing disease.

javabeans: I’ve been catching up on emails, which in some cases means replying to long overdue questions, and in some (more) cases means guiltily clicking “archive” so that it disappears from my inbox, and as we know, if we can’t see things, they are not our fault for being neglected.

girlfriday: Yeah so it’s probably time for a confession. I suck at emails. I know somewhere on our site it says I respond to them. That’s a lie.

javabeans: This is what you get for false promises! I promised up front I would be terrible at replying and I have stuck by that promise faithfully.

girlfriday: I was trying to be hopeful! Optimistic! Full of idealistic fantasies in which I was this person totally on top of my inbox like a badass!

javabeans: We DID reply to every recapper applicant, however, so in the scheme of things I count that as a victory. If you have not received a reply at this point, you might want to check your spam filter.

girlfriday: Our awesomeness on that one score motivated me to clear out my inbox this week, which was getting horrifyingly large. Now I’m determined to no longer have email guilt and just be good about it from here on out. This is my problem with all adult things. I like to ignore, ignore, deny, deny, and then suddenly binge clean-organize-Do-All-Things.

javabeans: There you go being all overly optimistic again. I just give in to the fatalism. Because it will continue to be true that I will suck at emails. Giving up is the path of least resistance! Go with the flow, don’t be the nail that gets hammered, we are all specks in the universe anyway.

girlfriday: Specks in the universe, yes. Nails and hammers, I never liked. I will be that one straggly nail that refuses to go in straight!

javabeans: …sticking out and giving people tetanus?

girlfriday: If that’s what they deserve, yes.

javabeans: Wow, this chat took a turn. Ummm…. oh, on the announcement front, girlfriday and I will be in Boston (well, Cambridge) in April, so if you can make it out to see us talk at a Harvard ASA event, we’d love to meet you! The event will probably be ticketed with a fee ($10 or so, I hear), but it’ll be open to the general public so anybody is welcome to come.

girlfriday: Yes, come join the festivities. We’ll make sure to announce the full details once we know more. There will be talk of dramas, and gender, and… stuff. And probably jokes about Boston baked beanies.

javabeans: …badum ching. I laughed, I groaned, I had a horrifying mental image.

girlfriday: That should be a drinking game on Dramabeans—see a bad pun, drink!

javabeans: Speaking of drinking, I did learn how to make makgulli from scratch, thanks to the help of a Beanie with mad cooking skills, which I do not have. I take after my mother, who called me in triumph this week to tell me she had finally learned how to make kimchi and could offer me advice, to which I said, “Mom, I’ve been making kimchi for yeaaaars. For shame.” (Okay, I did not shame my mother. But I thought it!)

girlfriday: I’ve never even heard of a mom who doesn’t make kimchi.

javabeans: My mom wears gloves while cooking because she thinks the whole sohn-mat (“hand taste,” aka hand-mixed-with-love) concept is unsanitary. She’s like a Millenial yuppie in an ajumma’s body.

girlfriday: So are you a fancy small-batch makgulli brewery operation now?

javabeans: PWAHAHAHA. I repeat, PWAHAHA. I “made” that first batch because mostly someone else made it for me and gave me a container to take home. I’m not above buying bottles in stores! Although the one caveat is that: Did you know store makgulli is made with aspartame and not sugar? Corollary to that: Wouldn’t real sugar taste so much better? Corollary to that: But better enough to endure home brewing? This may be a question with no real answers.

girlfriday: I didn’t know that, and yes it would taste better, but only if the process were easy enough that a child could do it. Not… that a child should be making liquor.

javabeans: I have to say, and this goes for much of Korean home cooking: The process is super simple, actually, but it requires time and patience. Kimchi is the same way—how hard is it, really, to salt some cabbage, mix up some hot paste, and let it sit? It’s just… who has time for that?

girlfriday: But don’t you have to like, WAIT for the makgulli to do its yeasty thing?

javabeans: Yes, but you don’t actually have to do anything. So the level of personal commitment is pretty low, once you get it going. It’s just that if you go to the store, you can drink it RIGHT NOW. Well, you might want to wait until you get home.

girlfriday: Yes I think the immediacy would be my downfall. After slaving over a batch of delicious makgulli, I would want to drink it right now.

javabeans: The home-brewer’s answer to that is obviously: Always have a batch going. Best of both worlds!

girlfriday: The next time I come over you’re going to have an entire kitchen filled with those stone jars, aren’t you?

javabeans: And my house will smell like baking bread, only it will all be alcoholic!

girlfriday: Already on my way over.


47 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. tokkioncrack

    You ladies are the best.

    You never fail to make me laugh and I’m probably half in love with you guys.

    That being said how do you ever manage to get things done ? Work, home, family, the DB family, and all these guest events you keep going off to, the book and overall awesomeness.

    You guys are like my version of ideal James Bond, brainy with lots of wit. MY HEROES!!!!!!! (ermm,, HEROINES!!!!!!)

    I want to be like you when I grow up. 🙂

    And I’ve got to say Odds and ends is soon becoming the thing I’ll most probably refreshing the site repeatedly for.

    • 1.1 divyrus

      Same here, your odds and ends just knocked things vs things to second place !

      Thanks for the laugh ! Keep up the awesome work !!!

  2. Linh

    Javabeans and Girlfriday, I happened to hear a segment of your interview on Kdrama on NPR the other day. Great job!

    • 2.1 Juno

      What NPR program? Do you have a link?

        • Linh

          Thanks August. I was trying to find it but couldn’t. 🙂

          • August

            You’re welcome. 🙂

        • Juno

          Thanks, August! I just forwarded this link to all my friends who don’t understand my K-drama viewing habits. NPR makes it legit!

          • August

            @ Juno, Saya, & pohonphee

            You’re welcome.

            Usually, I am active on the weekly Friday Open Threads. However, I unable to really fully participate this week in the 02/21/14 Open Thread # 331.

            Literally, I just finished reading all 301 comments posted in the OT. And, I discovered that yesterday in the OT ilikemangos shared the news and the link in Post #44.

            I just want to acknowledge this and make sure that credit is given to ilikemangos as well.

        • Saya

          omg javabeans and girlfriday finally are named on the internet.

          Mind. Officially blown.

          • pogo

            noooooo take it back, they’ll always be javabeans and girlfriday to me!

        • pohonphee

          Ah thanks August, been looking for this 😀

        • Pearl~ai88

          Omg, I now know your guys’ real first names!! I feel like I shouldn’t know that for some reason…

          • Lizzy4e

            Secret Identity Revealed!

            (Bruce Wayne [JB} and his ward [GF] but who is Alfred the butler?)

  3. mekko

    Boston! Yay!!!! I was in California a few years ago, but I could never see you guys. Now I only have to two stops down the red line. So excited!

  4. sotongpok

    I was trying to find a picture of the stone jars in Cinderella’s Stepsister, but instead I found…

    And then I realised I’d read the article where these three pictures come from! Now wondering how much of my memory is occupied by db-related stuff…

    • 4.1 PlumWine

      Thanks, I now have to go to my local asian market! Not that I wasn’t already leaning toward going to stock up for the final of YFAS; but now I don’t have a choice. 🙂

  5. Babs

    WHOOPPP! Boston!! I am sooo there!!! I wanted to go to the New York meet up but had class, for this one I can take a train, bus or cab and I’ll be there watching you ladies do your thing!!! Cant wait! About the makgulli I had a classmate last semester who was experimenting with creating a HIS version of it… Who knows what that means LOL.

  6. Shadow-chan

    Thanks for your hard work, seriously!

    I was wondering if there’s any news on the mobile site though…?
    I just noticed that even commenting doesn’t work, because when I click on the comment box, I get directed to the recap overview page… ~.~

    (I made this comment from my phone via the desktop version, but that’s really quite uncomfortable…)

    • 6.1 Emily

      Its good to know I’m not the only one having problems with the cellphone site. is this a known glitch? Whenever I click links on the mobile site I’m always getting sent to random pages – like I’ll click on the “read more” for a recap and end up on the about page, or go to the recap page and click a link for a recap to end up at the drama ratings page. :/

      • 6.1.1 Shadow-chan

        Well, I DID send an e-mail via the contact page, but… no idea whether it was actually read xD
        But yeah, I’m having exact the same problems.

        Although at least clicking on an episode on the recap page worked for me yesterday…

    • 6.2 Shadow-chan

      It’s working again! 😀

  7. pogo

    You guys have had a rough week, but congratulations on clearing the inbox, and on the makgeolli (must learn how to make that, now, booze that smells like bread and contains sugar? AWESOME.)

  8. Saya


    ^ is my response to the whole post.

    But! Everyone seems to have gone down with food poisoning this week. I’ve been off work and miserable all week, too. When I dare to eat solid food, it’s rice porridge, rice porridge, rice porridge (the SA version of jook, I think – plain rice cooked with a lot of water, and seasoned with salt and ginger). Yum.

    Hope you feel better, girlfriday! Wait, I have to go again-

    • 8.1 Julia the Berkshire Beanie

      now I want the porridge recipe. sounds yummy.

  9. jomo

    Hey! I want to make Makgeoli, too.

    There isn’t a store within 2 or so hours that sells it.

    Kimchi, I can get…

  10. 10 hummie

    I found a work-around for the mobile site problem… You need to first click on the drop down menu. Then click on whatever link or input comment section. Though, hopefully, the mobile site will be fixed soon…

  11. 11 Mawiie

    Yay for homemade makgulli *thumbs up*

    Told ya that it would be make-able! ^^

  12. 12 xmerokox

    Omg. I am so buying a ticket to the Boston event! So I went to the Harvard student life website and there’s a *huge* list of Asian student organizations.. which organization exactly is hosting? Trying to buy my ticket in advance 🙂

  13. 13 Sadie

    you guys just amaze me…how do you do so many things? for me just going to college is tiring out…cuz I get so frustrated not being able to watch more dramas and variety shows…!! It’s so hard to NOT be lazy…

    • 13.1 Sadie

      & i sympathize with the food poisoning…my stomach’s been a mess for 3 days as well… 🙁

  14. 14 come2noona


    I was wondering why I didn’t like makgulli… that strange after taste that lingers and makes me feel crappy right away. No wonder. It all makes sense now.

    Thanks for an informative and fun post!

  15. 15 Eva

    Honestly, I think everyone should stop emailing you guys except for the business offers and then you wouldn’t have that email problem 🙂 jk, maybe?

  16. 16 m

    darn, it – everyone goes to boston once i leave. T_T

    let us know if you’re ever in the DC area!

  17. 17 kanz

    Thank you for sharing awesome stories!
    You guys should hire personal assistant to handle emails.
    Btw everytime I read makgulli it reminds me Cinderella Sister and the scene from Flower Boy Next Door

    • 17.1 ahjummabunny

      Reminds me of the makgulli porn in fantasy couple but I never remember that I’m thinking of fantasy couple. I stopped drinking makgulli because of the aspertame too.

    • 17.2 Gidget

      Hire? Bwahaha


  18. 18 azkiya

    Awesome chat, JB & GF!

    Get well soon, GF..

    Hearing of makgeolli, instantly I thought of Cinderella Sister just like some of you,haha..*amazing how k-drama could unite our thinking* XD

    Btw, could anyone kindly re-inform the link to the BBC program where Dramabeans featured? Couldn’t catch it last time..thx in advance!

  19. 19 karisaaltar

    Yay!!! So excited for the Boston event!

  20. 20 Waiting

    I always love the banter between you and the sohn-mat comment had me in stitches!

    Note on the Aspertame, I saw it on the ingredient list for some store brands of pickled radish. That was a big bummer when I had the urge to make kimbap.

  21. 21 Julia the Berkshire Beanie

    girlfriday. I signed up for once. Before I started, I promised that I would reply to every person who took the time to send me a voice mail. After all, that is polite, right? Then I got 100 calls in the first week. I actually made it thru returning 50 of those calls before I just got exhausted and gave up being polite.

    It’s all about VOLUME.

    I’m sure the volume of your email exceeds what you have time to deal with, or what you even might have imagined could come your way in the beginning.

    I give you permission not to answer every email.

    But of course, you should pay attention to any emails from jreidy (wink wink)

    you girls need a staff to handle your email volume!

    I have just started interpals to find a Korean pen pal, and I feel overwhelmed just keeping in touch with 4 people. You super stars have a lot more people who want to be in touch with you.

    Guess that is the price for being popular, funny, and so darn lovable.

    We all love you girls. Big hugs.

  22. 22 Julia the Berkshire Beanie

    Folks who will be joining Javabeans in Boston …

    I’ll probably make a swing by Burlington HMart in the same trip. Anyone interested in meeting me there, ooohing at the Korean food, grabbing a bite to eat in the food court?

  23. 23 Julia the Berkshire Beanie

    I use the one-touch-paper-management system. Same with emails. Imagine every time you touch a piece of paper, you have to make a small tear in it. Stops the paper shuffling/piling/avoiding.

    I also learned a lot from the Flylady about decluttering. 15 minutes a day as a habit is better than binge clean-organize-Do-All-Things. My life got a lot less stressful when I switched to FlyLady’s clean 15 minutes only what is most important and forget the guilt about the rest. House is a lot cleaner too. Principle can be applied to other things in life.

  24. 24 rainerust

    Would totally love to go!! I happen to be in New York in late April (a rare occasion since I live on the other side of the world) so I’m hoping if the dates collide I can head to Boston too! Can’t wait! Would love to catch you girls in action.

  25. 25 Cindersarah

    You guys should find someone who would answer/filter through emails for you. Someone who would be willing to have food given as payment.

    … it’s the thought that counts.

    You guys are awesome though. I commend you for all you do!

  26. 26 Elle

    Makgulli! I miss you so much!

  27. 27 korfan

    Aspartame in makgulli??! ….. Why oh why??! ….. I seriously did not know this.

    javabeans and girlfriday, always fantastic ….. thanks to both of you and the rest of the Dramabeans team for all the daily awesomeness!

    girlfriday, sending you get well wishes ….. hope you feel better soon!

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