May 2016 Favorites: In which I indulge in Everything Korean

favorites, Monthly Favorites, Uncategorized

May alternated between really fun and exciting to almost frustratingly boring. There were periods where I just lazed around doing nothing and then other times, I had so much to do. This was just the last time I had to really spend time with my friends before we head off into the “real” world (my graduation is this Saturday..*starts breathing really heavily*). I had such a great time at my school’s Spring Splash concert. The lineup was awesome. The Naked and the Famous performed which was kind of like my dream come true because I’ve been a fan of them since high school. Although why I didn’t get a picture of them is beyond me.

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Spring Splash stage

Some of my other favorite performers were Trey Songz (he played all his slow songs), TY Dolla Sign, and RL Grime (he was sooo good)

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May was a very music-y month in general which is weird because I’m the type of person to just become obsessed with 4 songs a month and listen to them over and over again until I get sick of them. But even more interesting is that I listened to a bunch of kpop this month which if you know me well is not something that happens very often. I even learned what the word “bias” means in kpop fandom. My friend introduced me to Apink’s The Wave this month which I loved. But then, he told me that Jeong Eunji (who was the lead in Reply 1997 aka one of my fave kdramas) came out with a solo mini album “Dream” and I listened to it and oh man, do I love this album. It’s one of those rare albums where you love every single song. I’m just honestly so mesmerized by her voice. She just drags out words with just the right amount and it’s so strong but so clear..ugh I love it. My favorites from the album are:

Home

Hopefully Sky

The music video is so soothing and whimsical…

and It’s Ok

Can I just say flawless??

Besides Apink, I have been loving BTS‘s new releases: Forever Young, Fire, and Save Me. Fire wins for favorite song (and weirdest music video, like why is that guy ironing the guy’s shirt that’s still on him???)

Save Me definitely wins for best choreography. It’s so precise and controlled but so graceful at the same time. Love it.

I also did not know khiphop was a thing until I looked at the spotify playlist and started listening to Okey Dokey.

It is so catchy and energetic. Also, sidenote, one of the lyrics in English is “I want cheesecake”. Do I even want to know the context?

Continuing my trend of loving Korean culture, I also ate a lot of Korean food. I went to a tofu house in Koreatown. I think I just love Korean side dishes in general and how you can just mix everything together and it would taste great regardless like bibimbap.

 

And of course, kbbq. Bulgogi and brisket for life. Also goodbye money..

And what is Korean culture without a korean drama? Coincidentally out of all the TV and movies I watched, a korean drama just happened to be my favorite this month. I did not plan this guys. But anyways, congratulations to my favorite TV show this month, Signal, for pulling at my heartstrings BUT also winning Best Screenplay, Best Actress, and Best Drama at the 52nd Baeksang Awards. I stayed up till 6am watching the livestream of this. This is literally the only allnighter I’ve pulled in my four years of college. But anyways, Signal seriously deserves all the praise. A mystery thriller with a touch of magical realism that was so suspenseful but so touching. I write all my rambly thoughts about it here.

The rest of my month was going to some formal events with my fraternity including initiation and banquet. The banquet was to celebrate the seniors’ graduation and our progress this quarter.

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We joined as freshmen and 4 years later, here we are :’)

 

It was bittersweet going to my last formal event as an undergrad which seems to be a theme for this month.

Misc Favorites

Music

Jumpman by Drake

Pop Style by Drake

Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake

Chainsaw by Nick Jonas

Beauty

Micellar Cleaning Water (actually makeup melting)

 

Trailers

Star Trek: Beyond

I have to mention Star Trek 3: Beyond trailer because it’s gonna be epic and because confession so far I’m liking the Star Trek movies more than The Force Awakens..please don’t kill me.

I’m so sorry if this post was just overload of music and Youtube videos for you but I couldn’t seem to narrow down my favorites..Let me know how your May went and what music you’ve been listening to or basically anything that went down in May, I want to know =)

Recent Watches

Misc, Uncategorized

I usually post the things I’m watching in my favorites of the month post but I really liked the stuff I watched this month so I wanted to go more in depth with my thoughts on each of them. It’s not book-related but I think I wanted to change it up a bit. Enjoy!

Star Wars #4-6

What it’s about: People being badass in space and trying to defeat an evil Darth Vader.

My thoughts: Yeah, I’ve waited 21 years to watch Star Wars and this is coming from a girl who loves scifi. Well technically that’s not true. I did watch it once in 5th grade but I don’t remember what I ate yesterday much less what I felt about Star Wars in 5th grade. I think my favorite has to be The Empire Strikes Back although it would have been The Return of the Jedi if not for the slave Leia part *rolls eyes*.  I love how even though it was made in the 1980’s there’s still some shots that manage to awe me. I love the humor, the characters, the imagination, the soundtrack, the near perfect encapsulation of the hero’s journey. Also R2D2 > C3Po

Sleeping With Other People

What it’s about: About a woman who is a serial cheater and a man who is afraid of commitment and they fall in love (awwwwww)

My thoughts: Nothing much actually happens in this movie at least plotwise but I loved all the little conversations and the chemistry the two main characters had. Recommended if you need a little pick-me-up.

Hot Girls Wanted

What it’s about: A documentary follows a bunch of girls as they make their way into the amateur porn industry

My thoughts: It’s interesting actually seeing the faces and getting to really know the girls who work in the amateur porn industry. It was like exploring a secret underground club except porn is not exactly “secret”. Americans seem to hate porn and yet porn websites have more views than twitter and even Facebook. I wish they had explored this contradiction even more. The documentary kind of sheds a sympathetic light onto their situations and often the demeaning practices that they have to go through. And even though the documentary may not offer anything especially new to the topic, it at least offers an insightful and empathetic view on these girls’ lives.

Blackfish

What it’s about: Exploring the inhumane practice of Seaworld capturing killer whales from their natural habitat but also the inhumane conditions they live in as a performer at Seaworld

My thoughts: A documentary is suppose to unbiased but I love that this documentary can be objective but also incredibly emotionally wrenching at the same time. It’s been said that humans can get emotionally attached to basically anything if that anything displays humanlike tendencies (I mean look at Ratatouille, Wall-E, Toy Story) and I think the documentary does a good job of helping you care about the fate of these whales beyond just saying “aww, that’s sad” and moving on. It’s effective and shocking. And if you were doubting the effectiveness of this documentary, after it was released, Seaworld suffered a loss of $15.9 million and a 5% decrease in attendance at the beginning of 2013. Seaworld San Diego has also announced their plans to end killer-whale shows in November 2015. So, there you go.

The Imitation Game

What it’s about: Someone getting a plastic surgery to imitate Benedict Cumberbatch’s cheekbones. Jk. It’s a fictionalized movie about the life of Alan Turing, a famous code hacker as he tries to break the German code for the British government during WWII.

My thoughts: There are two sides of the coin to this movie that I felt kind of took away from it. In the movie, Turing (Cumberbatch) is depicted as a very socially awkward, snobby person with Asperger syndrome. In reality, it was said that even though Turing was a little odd, he definitely had a social life and good working relationships. The reason why this matters is because I feel like they tried to capitalize on the emotional side of the movie because Turing was kind of romanticized as this person with Asperger’s even though that’s not really how he was and they only made him that way so it could be more emotional. I’m surprised the film decided not to spotlight Turing’s homosexuality but I think that just made it all the more heartbreaking seeing someone who who has done so much be seen as somehow less because of his orientation. The plot was intense, the characters sympathetic, the story heartbreaking so overall, a very memorable movie.

The Intern

What it’s about: A sweet friendship that blossoms between the founder of a fashion company and a retired businessman.

A funny and very sweet feel-good movie and surprisingly very feminist which I appreciated. But then again, that was kind of tainted by the ending. Ugh the ending was so bad…

Superstore (TV)

What’s it about: A workplace comedy following a group of employees working in a store called Cloud-9 (which is very similar to Walmart lol..)

My thoughts: If you liked Parks and Recreation at all, you need to stop what you’re doing and watch this. It has the same kind of humor and eccentric characters that I’m a sucker for. Whoever had the idea of having a comedy in a retail store is a genius. Think of all the possibilities!! The writing is a little formulaic but what really makes it good are the actors, their chemistry together, and of course the jokes. This show is so funny, not even kidding, at least funnier than Parks and Rec was in season 1.

And that’s what I’ve been watching in January! Let me know if you’ve seen any of these and what you thought of them, would you watch any of them?

A quick sidenote that if you don’t see a lot of me in the next two weeks, it’s because I’m burrowing under mountains of notes that I need to study for midterms :// Joy.

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Holiday Book Gift Guide

Book Recommendations, Uncategorized

Do you want to give the Christmas gift of reading but the person you’re shopping for doesn’t like to read? What do you do now? Well, I have a few suggestions and hopefully they won’t let the book gather to dust on their coffee table. I’m not going to suggest books for people who already read because chances are you already know what kind of books they like or they have a specific book in mind that they want. So in the next few days, when you go Christmas gift shopping, why not take a look at these?

For the reluctant young readers:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid*/The Invention of Hugo Cabret/Crossover by Kwame Alexander/The Familiars by Jay Epstein

I’ve read the whole series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid except the last one. No regrets. Amazing sense of sarcastic and dumb humor that kids are sure to love. The pictures are a hilarious bonus too.

The rest of the book also have stunning pictures to go along with the text. Selznick has also written a new book called Marvels but I haven’t read it yet.

For the movie buff:

Marvel encyclopedia/Lord of the Rings movie book/Star Wars comics

The Marvels one is exactly as you’d expect it to be, just descriptions of all the superheroes with gorgeous illustrations. The Hobbit one is like the making of the movie. This one comes with those cool flap covers. I think any Star Wars fan would love to read the comics so get them the latest one. Get them a BB8 while you’re at it or maybe just a BB8 cup

For The Visual Learner:

The Art of Ratatouille (They also have ones for most of the Disney movies)/Humans of New York

*The Art of “” Books come with all the Disney movies so you can get the Art of Tangled or Big Hero 6 or whichever one. I picked these because the full page photos are amazing but the text makes the experience so much more informative.

For the baker:

Nerdy Nummies cookbook by Rosanna Pansino

Extra bonus if your recipient is a geek like me because all the recipes are “geek-based” like textbook smores etc.

For the Youtube watcher:

A lot of people watch Youtube personalities and a lot of them write like they speak so these books are quick to read and just plain entertaining.

The Amazing Book is not on Fire by Dan and Phil/Binge by Tyler Oakley/A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day/Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grownup by Grace Helbig

For the TV/pop culture lover:

A Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes/Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari/Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

Game Lover:

Ready Player One by Ernest CLine, The Legend of Zeld/Minecraft: The Ultimate Survival Guide

*While you’re at it, maybe get them a League giftcard? (if they play League obviously)

For the Beauty Guru:

*I recommend the Michelle Phan one for high school aged people because any older and the advice will seem obvious.

*The Fluer De Force Glam Guide is also a book about tips on beauty and style.

Nonfiction lover:

A lot of people in my life who don’t read that often tend to lean toward nonfiction to read. I picked these because these are accessible to any reader but are also extremely fascinating.

Quiet by Susan Cain/Moonwalking with Einstein/What if? by Randall Munroe

*Quiet is one of my favorite nonfiction books of all time. It explores the power of introverts.

That was longer than I expected but I hope you found something that you might like to give 🙂

And just a reminder that “My Week in Favorites” poll is still open if you’d still like to comment. I closed it on the 14th but I extended it to today.

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Star Wars + Comic Book Day Mashup Workshop

Miscellaneous

So today is May 4th and my school held a Star Wars and Comic Book workshop. Nothing big but it made me happy. I rarely get to attend geeky/bookish events (aka Comic-con, YALL-west) so anything worked for me.

There were a lot of displays of different books about the superhero universe and of course, all the books set in and about the Star Wars Universe. I think the Darth Vader’s princess one is especially cute. Also, I still haven’t seen the 2nd Star Wars movie. I don’t know what’s wrong with me because I loved the first one (even though I watched it like a few months ago for the first time).

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eI also got a chance to listen to the Star Wars soundtrack on vinyl which made me feel really old but was nevertheless cool and the sound is surprisingly clear (The vinyl was attached to a set of headphones). I don’t know what I thought the sound would sound like but..

There were also some free comic books!! And I picked out these two which I’m super excited about because I’ve been wanting to read something in the Spiderman universe for a while now.

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I think the best part was the blind date with a scifi book because I’ve always wanted to try those out. I knew the books would be old but whatever.

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WHAT IS IT??

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It turns out to be a book called Turnabout which I’d never heard of before. But that cover is just cringeworthy lol. Why are they staring so intently at each other I ask you?!

All in all, a fun event, I even got to learn more about our school’s 3-D printers because 3-D printers always remind me of Big Hero 6 for some unknown reason.

Have you heard of this book before? What do you think of this event? May the fourth be with you!