Category Archives: Korean

Reply 1988

I finished watching Reply 1988 recently. I can honestly say, that this has been one of the best series that I’ve watched in a long time.

Reply 1988

Plot:

“In 1988, Duk-Sun (Hyeri), Jung-Hwan (Ryoo Joon-Yeol), Sun-Woo (Ko Gyung-Pyo) and Dong-Ryong (Lee Dong-Hwi) are high school students and Taek (Park Bo-Gum) is a go player. These five people have been friends since they were little kids. They all grew up together and are neighbors to this day. Their families are also very close to each other. They always hang around Taek’s room and spend time together.”

It was cute and funny, but it was also a bit sad. It made me miss my childhood friends. This is one of those series that tugs at the heart strings and makes you wish that you would’ve done things differently in life. It’s that good.

I admit, I only started watching it because it has one season (of 20 episodes). I wasn’t expecting each episode to last almost two hours. I thought it would be a nice way to fill my free time and relax. Instead, I cried my eyes out at the final episodes.

tumblr_nykucsXO9R1s3dngxo1_500

“Time will always flow.
Everything will pass by.
Everything will age.
That might be why youth is beautiful.
It shines, blindingly bright, for just an instant.
But to it, you can never go back.
A time when many tears were shed.
The time of my youth was like that as well.”

— Sung Deok Sun – Reply 1988

I feel old now. I am 29 and I feel much older than that. All of my childhood friends have moved on and made a life of themselves. They followed their dreams and took their chances. I think this is how being left behind feels like. Sure, not all of us have the same aspirations and dreams. Some of us might be slower when taking decisions or might not be sure of what we want from life. But, it still feels sad.

Even feeling like that, I know for sure that I will re-watch Reply 1988. It is not a filler series for my free time, but a sweet reminder of times gone by. A reminder of what we had, what we are and what we can become.

“In the end, fate and destiny do not just happen out of coincidence. They are products of earnest, simple choices, that make up miraculous moments. Being resolute, making decisions without hesitation, that is what makes timing.”

— Jung-Hwan – Reply 1988

When your favorite idols fail you

How things change over the years.. I am not sure if I am in a rotten mood (because of reasons), or because I’m getting old (turning 29 next month), or because I cannot seem to enjoy certain things as I used to. For example, kpop is turning into a strange kind of music for me. Some of my favorite idols are coming up with songs that just leave me speechless.

Idol number 1:

Idol number 2 Kang Jiyoung

Former Kara member, Kang Jiyoung,  has debuted (in Japan!?) with a new song “Radio” which is in English

I am the only one that has the feeling she is yelling?! It doesn’t sound like signing, just constant yelling. It really hurts my ears and unfortunately, the video also hurts my eyes.

Her second song (from a total of 3, I might add), also in English, is a bit better than the one above.

I’m not sure in which direction she wants to go with her career, or what language for that matter, but I wish her the best (with the yelling and all).

Idol number 2:

Idol number 2 T-ARA Hyomin

T-ara Hyomin made a solo comeback just yesterday. When T-ara were in their prime, they shinned because they combined amazing vocals with amazing visuals. I swear those girls where the first ever group to combine the two perfectly. Yet, it feels that we were left with just the visuals and the vocals went on vacation.

This is one of the flattest songs I’ve ever heard!

 I know for a fact that Hyomin has a good voice and can use it. But why did she choose to make a comeback with her body instead of actual talent? From all the hype that surrounded her comeback, I was expecting more. In fact, I was expecting something along the lines of “Paradise Lost” from Gain.

Gain nailed it! Hyomin missed the mark by a long shot.

I dunno. There are others that I really liked and now I cannot stand their new songs or projects. Either my taste in music in changing, or the music itself is changing (and not for the best, in my case).

Also, it irritates me to no end how hard it is to find the latest single from Choshinsei. I swear, each time it takes me up to 2 hours just to find an updated website with info regarding them. I wish I would also find their YouTube channel; that would make things much easier for me.

Last day of September!

Last day of September!

September

#3 months till 2015 ends. September came and went as fast. And what a better way to end a month than with nice catchy song from Supernova: “Moving On”.

The weather is gloomy and it’s cold.

Autumn leaves Autumn colors

It rained the last couple of days and I’ve made an important decision: I need to buy rubber boots. I do have a rain cape which is amazing. But I don’t have any footwear that would provide adequate protection for long walks.

The jackets from YesStyle should arrive next week (the latest). I’m 18 books behind my book challenge. I’m still a smoker. The house still needs constant cleaning and no updates have been made (either to the kitchen or anything else for the matter). I got my requested night shift. So, another 2 months of sleepless nights. Still no money in my savings account (I tried but failed this month).

Yet, I am currently happy.

While I am still behind on most things, I am making progress. I’ve almost finished the Inspector Morse collection by Collin Dexter. I don’t smoke that much anymore, and there are periods when I do not need / feel the need for a smoke. I’ve grasped a few things about my spending habits. I’ve also made good progress on my needlepoint project.

Pluto and my needlepoint Needlepoint WIP

‘ve not been idle this month. I also have a game plan for October and I will work hard, both at work and for my personal gain. After all, what better time to do so than in the gloomy months of Autumn.

I’m ending this September on a good note, and also with a lovely photo of Marlanu’ and Pluto.

Marlanu' and Pluto

Pay day = shopping day!

I got paid and I went shopping. Online shopping to be more precise. A new order was placed today on YesStyle by yours truly.

Shopping

Winter jackets was this year’s target and I think I did well. For $100 I got 3 jackets (two for Johnny and one for myself) and a notebook. The package should arrive at the end of this month and I just can’t wait.

Since I started work this summer I decided that each month I will try to buy certain clothing items to improve our wardrobe. Upgrade it, if possible. I’m not referring to expensive clothes, but to certain items that we don’t have, that we need or which are work related (like shirts, skirts, things like that).

Last winter I kinda ruined Johnny’s jackets since I used to wear them whenever I had to take Pluto out. And, of course a lot of dogs jumped on me. The jackets are not wearable anymore. Well, they are still wearable, but only for dog walking.

So, to make it up I bought him 2 jackets. I hope to God that the measurements are good. I bought him one which was on clearance (so there’s no way to return it).

Stand-Collar Single-Breasted Coat

There were mixed reviews on it, so I went with 2 sizes bigger. It was funny really, each size was with 1-2 cm bigger than the other one. I just wanted to make sure it fits him well. I think it’s more of a autumn jacket, but that’s still good. Because the other one is more suitable for winter.

Zip-Up Padded Jacket

I went with navy blue with this model. Again, the product had some mixed reviews and I went with a bigger size. I even measured Johnny’s old clothes to be sure I am buying the right thing.

And for myself, I went with a classic black jacket.

Faux Fur Trim Hooded Padded Jacket

I was really tempted to go with red or any other color. But, I’m not the kind of person who likes to stand out in a crowd so black suits me just fine. I couldn’t help myself, and I bought a notebook as well. It’s a really cute notebook and I’m sure I’ll find a purpose for it.

Embossed Small Diary

I guess I just can’t help myself when it comes to shopping. Now the money is gone from my account we can only wait for the products to come.

The only productive thing I can do in the meantime if to work hard to make more money for next month. I still have boots on my list.

Awesome gifts

The best way to start off the working week (I don’t start on Monday but on Wednesday) is with gifts from far away.

Remember my friend that I was proud of? Well, she came back from South Korea and she brought goodies with her. I kindly asked her to buy me anything! There are a lot of websites that mention the best souvenirs one can buy from South Korea, but I didn’t want her to waste her vacation on running around for souvenirs. So anything was fine with me.

I gave her 50 RON, which is about ₩14825 KRW (I really didn’t have much to spare at that time). She came back with a cute pair of socks (which I will never wear), a pencil case, a face mask and, of course, a key charm.

Gifts

The pencil case I will actually use it for my cables and small electronics (like my mp3 player, USB stick, and so on). The key charm I added it to a pouch that I received as a gift from another friend 2 years ago (when she traveled to Greece) and the face mask will be used on a special “me time” occasion.

That’s not all. There are more gifts. Yes, I call them gifts even if I paid for them. I can gift myself from time to time, can’t I?

It’s been a month since I placed the order for these 2 beauties. Truthfully, it was worth the wait and the money. I just picked up the first 2 volumes from “Real” by Takehiko Inoue.

Real by Takehiko Inoue

This might not seem much, but for me it means the world to be able to indulge myself in my hobbies. It gives me a boost whenever I go to work. After all, we shouldn’t work just to make a living but also to enjoy a little bit of life.

~~~~~~

Patrick from Spongebob

As a bonus, this little gift was from Johnny from our trip to Brasov

Feeling proud for my friend!

Yes, I’m feeling proud for my friend!

Proud

Source: Tumblr

One thing that I enjoy about me being back at work, is the fact that I’ve made new friends. There are a lot of interesting characters, with different hobbies and interests. And, by chance I was able to find someone with common hobbies! That’s a rare thing and I am really giddy about it.

This new friend is very much in love with the Korean culture.

She is very active in learning and pursuing her own interests (culture, language, and so on). She is on a different level than I am, and I couldn’t be more happy and proud of her. Proud that she is actively pursuing her goals and dreams.

She is currently in Korea! Yup. She’s participating in the World Samulnori Competition! I’m guessing she is having a lot of fun and seeing a lot of awesome things. I can’t wait for her to get back. I want details and amazing stories to be shared. Most likely, an outing is in order so we can enjoy ourselves better.

One thing I do know for sure, I’m probably gonna want to go all out as well. So, she’s going to be a good muse for me. That, and I also want to speak Korean and Japanese (need to get back to practicing).

Ahh, the joys of having a friend with common interests. That never happened to me before.

Hope, she’ll come back soon and I hope she had a great time there. HWAITING!

tumblr_n99dqyf1H81rbbgu3o1_500

Source: Tumblr

T-ara – So crazy

Yesterday it was Wonder Girls with “I feel you”, today is T-ara with “So crazy”.

T-ara

This is week is getting better and better.

For the very first time we get to see two of the top kpop idol group perform at the same time. While, this means nothing much for outsiders, in Korea is a big deal. There will be comebacks stages, show appearances and the fight for the number one spot will be highlighted. That and Girls Generation already had a summer comeback with “Party” (another summer themed song with a cute video showcasing the girls). So, a lot of comparison and fan wars will be taking place in the next month (at least).

I’m just happy to see more singing activity from my favorite groups. While with “I feel you” from the Wonder Girls I needed some time to get used to it (maybe because I was missing Sun’s and YeEun strong vocals). With “So Crazy” from T-ara it was instant love.

I’m not sure if it’s from the cute concept of the song, but as usual it’s a catchy one. Another summer song to be added to the list. The theme of the video proves it. I am still waiting for a more serious theme (like “I go crazy because of you”) or a beautiful ballad (from both groups).

 There’s still one more comeback I am waiting for, and it’s not a girl group. In September, the guys from “Supernova” (ChoShinSung or ChoShinSei) will release their newest album. I know for sure they will have a few ballads thrown in there, and that makes everything much better.

Kpop deja vu: Wonder Girls, T-ara and Supernova

Is this kpop deja vu: Wonder Girls, T-ara and Supernova in the news at the same time?!?

What year is it? It feels like I’m back in 2009? It seems way too familiar.

~~~~~

Back in 2009 the Wonder Girls were in the news because SunMi was leaving the group to finish her education and Sun was getting married. It was really big news back then, first of all because the Wonder Girls were trying to break the American market, and second because they were the top girl group in kpop.

Wonder Girls with SunMikpop deja vu: Wonder Girls, T-ara and Supernova

I admit I was really heartbroken back then, because I really loved them (as a group, as individuals, for their songs and concept).

Now, Sun is officially withdrawing from the group to focus on her married life and SoHee because she is pursuing an acting career. The Wonder Girls will be left with 4 members for their comeback (I’m guessing no new members will be added this time!). It’s great to see SunMi back with the others and it’s even more awesome to see them make a comeback. But, Sun was the voice behind Wonder Girls (I know there’s still YeEun and SunMi with great vocals) and SoHee was the charm.

The teasers for the Wonder Girls comeback have started coming out. The concept is incredibly different from the vintage/retro/cute concepts they had before. I’m guessing it was time for them to grow up and show the kpop scene that they’ve matured. Truthfully, I’m not sure what to expect just by watching SunMi teaser.

~~~~~

Then we have the long awaited Korean comeback for T-ara. Ever since the incident with Hwayoung, the girls of T-ara have been more or less inactive on the Korean scene. But, they were busy promoting abroad, either in China or Japan. Their popularity hasn’t decreased at all. IMO they are one of the top Korean groups. They are versatile, talented (both in singing and in acting) and have that thing that very few idols have: staying power.

kpop deja vu: Wonder Girls, T-ara and Supernova

They will be making a comeback at the beginning of August. Around the same time as the Wonder Girls.

Back in 2009, they were really hitting it big with one of my favorite songs: Time To Love. This was a collaboration with the guys from Supernova.

I would LOVE to see another collaboration between the two groups. While, Supernova is almost unknown on the Korean scene, they are pretty active and famous in Japan. They are one of the first Korean groups to break the Japanese market, make it big and keep their fame. They are also pretty low profile and I haven’t heard any scandal regarding them. They are like the perfect boy group.

kpop deja vu: Wonder Girls, T-ara and Supernova

They will be making an appearance at a very important event this year, and they will also have a Japanese comeback in September.

As usual, it’s really hard to keep an eye on Supernova. The only way you can keep track of them is by visiting the fan cafes or the fan forums. The news websites, rarely mention them. Which is a pity!

~~~~~

This truly feels like a kpop deja vu: Wonder Girls, T-ara and Supernova for me. Makes me feel nostalgic actually. My 3 favorite groups are in the news (some are getting more attention than the others), but it feels great nonetheless.

House of Bluebird

House of Bluebird or 파랑새의 집 as it’s known in Hangul is my first Korean Drama for this year.

House of Bluebird

I was watching KBS World one day and they were airing it. I really loved the connection/relation between Jang Hyun-do and Kim Ji-wan and decided to give it a try.

Below is a small sample from Tumblr:

House of Bluebirdtumblr_nmyb1fiPqF1ty9u1fo2_400tumblr_nmyb1fiPqF1ty9u1fo3_400 tumblr_nmyb1fiPqF1ty9u1fo4_400tumblr_nmyb1fiPqF1ty9u1fo6_400 tumblr_nmyb1fiPqF1ty9u1fo7_400tumblr_nmyb1fiPqF1ty9u1fo8_400 tumblr_nmyb1fiPqF1ty9u1fo5_400

I’ve reached episode 10 and as I found out from Wikipedia, it will have a total of 50 episodes. That means I will have to be patient since only 14 episodes have been aired so far. That or watch a second drama to fill up my time.

I’m really grateful they uploaded the episodes on their official Youtube Channel: KBS World TV. It makes things much easier for me, and I get an email every time they upload a new episode.

I like this drama because the characters are cute. Yes, they are cute! You can tell from the beginning that there’s going to be trouble later in the series, with all the tension between the older characters. It’s also plain as daylight that things are not straightforward and there are deep secrets between the two main families.

But, the thing that got me was the main plot:

“House of Bluebird addresses the differing inter-generational attitudes of Koreans towards work; and the conflict between the desire to fulfill personal dreams and the need to make a living.”

It’s a drama that hit home with me. I am trying to make a living but also trying to find myself/fulfill my personal dreams. I’m currently in-between jobs and truthfully, I’m back where I was last year. I decided to go back to my old job. It was a hard thing for me to do, but it was harder for me to stay where I was.

In a way the first 5 episodes of this drama kinda helped me realize certain things. It will be interesting to see how things evolve in the drama as well with my life.

It’s very cold

We had the first snow of the season a few days ago. It was quite nice during night time since everything was covered in snow. The morning was disappointing since  the snow melted away and it was a depressing sight. That’s why winter in the city will never compare with winter at the country side.

IMG_20131127_155011

I’m hoping this year I shall have a few days off for the holidays since last year I managed to work on every single holiday possible or known to man. But, I’ll know for sure on Monday. Till then, I shall watch movies (Bollywood, Korean and whatever I have saved on my hard drive) and knit.

Yup, I managed to finish a pink scarf for me. It’s really funny, since its pink as pink can be and all my winter clothes are dark colored. Of course Marlanu’ assisted me, making sure I won’t dare move until I finished the scarf. At least he kept me warm.

IMG_20131127_133232IMG_20131123_194802

I don’t mind that the new scarf doesn’t go with anything, I was just practicing for the real deal: a gift for Johnny. I always wanted to get him something that he will like and appreciate. But I failed miserably each time. So, this year I’m going for handmade, the element of surprise and just enjoying holidays the two of us.

IMG_20131130_140154

I wonder if I will have time to finish the scarf for John till the 6th of December, in time for St. Nicholas? Something tells me after work I will be staying up just to knit on it.