How I started exercising again

That title sure sounds gimmicky… is what you’re probably thinking.

My clarification? No dietary supplements involved!

Okay, I think I made things worse. That makes me sound like I’m trying to sell a product even more. No, no, no. This is just a story and here it is:

Early this year, I planned to become a basketball player. I’ve been writing a post about that but it never came out because I felt awkward and silly for being so obsessive about basketball. Anyway, I initially thought I would sign up for classes and play ball next semester. While I was in that moment, I thought, oh man, I gotta start preparing and get my exercise game on if I plan on getting amazing calves like that.

I was also getting influenced by Kpop. It was hard to keep in how much I wanted to break out in dances from watching a ton of live performances and I wanted to find an outlet for that. I figured that those girls were looking so good because they were dancing every day. I have always disliked doing structured workouts because I have a hard time focusing on my form so I was like, hey, why not dance?

In the end I didn’t find good dance workouts and settled for short and effective workouts because hey, I need some stamina to play ball, right? I started to enjoy those workouts after a while. I was tired but it made me feel better after a long day at school. I kept to one workout and loved how it got easier every day. After ditching all my interests and insane study-bug behaviors to become a lazy person, I finally felt like I was improving at something.

I have also been in denial about my weight. The dreaded Freshman 15? More like Freshman 20. And it was very real, no matter how many times I looked at the scale and thought, no, the numbers are wrong and went on to stuff my face with more food. When people around me started to suggest things like how fat my face looked, the reality began to sink in. Pants I used to wear didn’t fit me anymore. The funny thing is, I always thought I was exercising enough but it was disproportionate to how much I was eating.

We always focus on things that seem “wrong” in that moment but those same things become right in retrospect. I used to think I was overweight but when I look back now, I feel like I was better back then.

I’ve been eating a lot less and that has been pretty convenient for someone who hates thinking about what to eat at school. I enjoyed my walnut and granola bar moments, though getting cravings is not fun at all. I’m glad I have my sister to keep me in check. I can get pretty crazy once I start exercising (high five, dad!) so every time she starts talking to me, I’m like, okay, if I exercise crazily for an hour, it won’t go unnoticed so I should just stop. Or more like, Would you rather choose a lecture or self-control?

I’m kidding. My sister is too nice. She’s always cooking when I’m exercising and every day I feel lucky when that happens so I try to wash the dishes without any complaints.

Long story short, I don’t really want to be a basketball player anymore. This post wouldn’t be mine if I didn’t throw in a big thesis statement about my current obsession: Super Junior is currently a big part of my life so I kind of want to be a dancer now. I hope I can continue working towards losing ten more pounds or so (not extreme since that’s about how much I put on).

Stay inspired and peace out.

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The story of a keyboard

I finally understand why English is considered one of the hardest languages to learn. So many different meanings, so few words. My friend was telling me about how she bought Fulterer keyboard slides and I kept imagining it as a piano keyboard. I finally asked her how one would attach slides to a piano. She actually meant that the slides were for computer keyboards. No wonder I was so confused! We had a good laugh after that.

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Here I am

Today has been one of those really strange days. My emotions have been all over the place. Okay, maybe this has been happening more in recent weeks but today has been one of the days I feel like writing about it.

First, today I dropped my sister off at the health center. I think that was the first time this semester I’ve been alone in the car. As I drove in silence to the building I needed to be at, I pinpointed the emotion I was experiencing. Emptiness. The seat beside me was empty and the silence was deafening. It was strange. It really was. It made me think about how I wouldn’t be the person that I am (the positive parts, of course) without my family behind me.

This morning we had an exam. The kind of exam that requires you to process and memorize so much information that your brain feels like it’s being squeezed and your eyes glaze over the words at the information overload point. I think that exam drained a lot of my energy today. I was ready for it to be over and when it was, I felt… nothing. Don’t you just hate feeling like you need to study even though the test is over already?

We had leftover Thai curry (yesterday), rice and vegetables (from two days ago) for lunch. Remind me that black rice by itself is not a good idea.

I was supposed to turn in two thank you letters today – well, I set the deadline myself – but by the time I got to the post office to get some envelopes, it was closed. I kept overthinking what I wrote in the letter, wondering if the reader would find me childish or inadequate with words. Speaking of which, I am a terrible email respondent and I have a reply sitting in my draft box, waiting to be perfected. I can only hope that when the person receives my reply, she won’t think poorly of me. I suppose if she does, it’s my fault anyway.

Then dinner was surprisingly upbeat. We ate out with friends at a popular Mexican restaurant. The food was good – I have this newfound love for fish tacos – but for the price, the portions were underwhelming. Finally, one of us announced: I’m still hungry. Everyone chimed in wholeheartedly and we decided to go get dessert at Yogurtland which is obviously our new obsession. Confession: I’m hungry as I write this and it has only been a few hours since dinner.

Last week, this is what I wrote but never posted (today’s thoughts will be added in parentheses):

“My emotions have been overflowing lately (nothing has changed since last week, huh?). Yesterday I poured my feelings into one thank you letter, one thank you post, one very brief speech, one un-brief speech to my sister about holding important positions, and one (I didn’t finish this sentence and I can’t remember what I meant to say here). I wound down with a 40-minute-long video that had me wishing I vacationed in Bern last year lol (and today I wound down with 2 40-minute-long videos that still have me wishing that I vacationed in Bern).

Then this morning a panic attack woke me up. My pillow was already damp with tears from the nightmare right before the one that woke me up. I tried to shake off the terrible feeling and immediately got to making the lists that I needed to make. All semester long, I have been feeling inadequate, feeling like I’m not doing enough, and worse still, knowing that I haven’t been doing what I need to do. It usually always boils down to this feeling.

I have asked myself over and over again this semester: Have you been slacking off? Have you been doing enough? No, is the answer I keep coming up with. I haven’t been able to bring myself to clean the apartment consistently, I haven’t put 100% into my studies, I have let my hobbies and passions slide like hot butter, I feel like I haven’t been half the responsible person that I was last year (when will I go easy on myself?), I feel like I’m letting the people I love down. I’m not and don’t want to make excuses for myself. Discovering Kpop has given me an avenue to conveniently put everything aside but when I return from those dance-y and stress-relieving videos, everything is still here waiting.

Right after that, I read a girl’s post on Fb about her depression and anxiety. We’re not that close since she took a gap year after I got to know her but after reading her post, I felt like I needed to say something to her. I wanted her to know that she’s not alone in feeling helpless and unmotivated. So I did. Sometimes I think I have no sense when it comes to timing when I say stuff and how much to say, sometimes I just let my heart lead. Today was one of those days the latter happened.

Random: It’s surprisingly easy and quick to print photos out at Costco. At 17c per photo, I’d say that’s a good deal.

Just like that, a friend that we seem to click with and feel comfortable around – the feeling is rare – is going back home to Europe next month. I feel sad that we didn’t meet earlier but what we have, I’ll treasure it. Last year, a girl I enjoyed working with moved back to the East Coast. I regret not keeping in touch with her and am considering sending her a Fb message though I am not sure if she feels the same way about me as I do.

The other day at a club meeting, I passed up on the opportunity to hold an officer position. I was very upset with myself for a few hours after that. My family tells me I’m already doing a lot. I feel like I should be doing more. The struggle… is real (on some days harder than others).

Random: Remember in my previous post about Super Junior I talked about being envious of Kpop stars’ ‘perfection’? Well, I think I began to feel that a little bit until I saw pictures of their bare face. They have the same skin tone as me under all that makeup, yay. It was beginning to feel unsettling to see their flawless shiny faces, I’ll just admit. (DongHae is everything)

Apparently, my sister can read me like an open book. She asked me while I was writing this from right across the table, “Writing an emotional post?” If anyone had any doubts that she is my better half, I think that’d be dispelled by just that one line.”

She also apparently just took one look at my face and said, “Don’t be emo.” -_- Am I that obvious?

Oh, and it’s been getting HOT. I am already getting flip flop tan lines which I swore last year I would try to avoid.

I can only be honest at the end of this post: I’m mentally tired. And also hungry.

Raine
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This is love

Since we haven’t been able to stop at just one video and I’m prone to turning Youtube inside out to watch as many videos as I can, here are some more Super Junior music videos for you to enjoy:

The drama version of Mamacita is hilarious and tells the full story that this music video doesn’t. We also voted that LeeTeuk looks the best in this video.

I will just admit, we started out hating this song and finding it repetitive but it has grown on us to the point where we find ourselves doing the chorus dance. What has become of us haha?

This was my favorite song last week. The opening makes me want to break out into a dance and everyone – well, that one teacher in elementary school – knows that I am no dancer. The bridge is also my favorite and the fact that LeeTeuk sang it makes me happier (my sister is going to burst out laughing at this… or she might not because she likes it too ahahah).

Throwing in a D&E video because DongHae looks suuuuhhhhh good. *_* After discovering the D&E sub-unit, we’ve started paying more attention to EunHyuk. Now he’s one of our favorites – and also, anyone who saves up 8 years worth of salary to buy his parents a house automatically falls into my good books.

At this point, if you have watched Mr. Simple, you’re thinking that ACha sounds similar. It does… as does Bonamana. They’re all kind of repetitive and follow a similar beat, and though in the beginning it was hard to differentiate, now I don’t think they’re the same song haha.

All the dances are SO cool!! I haven’t found a dance I don’t like. In fact, I feel ready to sign up for a dance class.

Happy Monday.

Raine
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Happy Mother’s Day!!

Happy Mother’s Day to the one and only queen of our heart!! Every cheesy thing has been said but we want to say it anyway: You mean the world to us, we’re always here for you, and we love you sosososososo much!!

We’d like to dedicate this song to you:

English translation:

(Thank you) I can’t express with words
(Thank you) I’m here because of you
You always embraced my young and immature self

(Love you) Words I couldn’t tell you
(I love you) I’m finally telling you now
Now I know your heart and how you always believed in me

And I know, Yes I know, you always look to me
And I know, Yes I know, even if the world turns away

Love you mother, I love you
Like no other, I thank you
I endlessly shed tears when I think about you
Love you Mother, I love you
Like no other, I thank you
Now I’ll be your strength and return that bright smile

And you know, You know,
You know, I love you, I thank you

(Thank you) Wherever you go, don’t be small
(Thank you) Because I’m standing right behind you
Even if your back is hurting or your eyes grow dim

(Love you) Words I’m so bad at saying
(I love you) Finally, I’m saying them
You’re the prettiest in the world, I’ll place you in my eyes

Look at me, don’t rush anymore
Lay down your heart, it’s alright now, slow down
Because of your endless love, your unchanging love
I am here today

Thank you Mother, I love you

And obviously if your mom is already on her way to becoming a Korean karaoke champion, here are the romanized Korean lyrics:

Thank you
Mallo pyohyeonhal sun eopseoyo
Thank you
Geudae ttaemune na yeogi isseoyo
Hangsang gamssajusin naui eorigo
Cheoleopsneun nae moseup

Love you
Haji mot haessdeon geu mal
I love you
Ijeseoya na yaegihaeyo
Hangsang mideojusin geudaeui maeum
Da ije algesseoyo

And I know yet I know
Eonjena nareul barabojyo
And I know yet I know
Sesangi nareul deungjyeodo

Love you mother saranghaeyo
Like no other da gamsahaeyo
Hayeomeopsi nunmulman heulleoyo
Geudaeman saenggakhamyeon nan

Love you mother saranghaeyo
Like no other da gamsahaeyo
Ijen naega geudae himi doeeo
Geu hwanhan miso dollyeojulgeyo

And you know you know
You know I love you da gamsahaeyo

Thank you
Eodil gado jagajiji mayo
Thank you
Geudae dwie na yeogi seo isseoyo
Gubeojineun dwismoseube
Heurishan nuni goerophyeodo

Love you
Oh pyohyeoni seotun geu mal
I love you
Ijeseoya na bulleobwayo
Sesang gajang yeppeun geudael
Nae nune geudael dameulgeyo

And I know yet I know
Eonjena nareul barabojyo
And I know yet I know
Sesangi nareul deungjyeodo

Love you mother saranghaeyo
Like no other da gamsahaeyo
Hayeomeopsi nunmulman heulleoyo
Geudaeman saenggakhamyeon nan

Love you mother saranghaeyo
Like no other da gamsahaeyo
Ijen naega geudae himi doeeo
Geu hwanhan miso dollyeojulgeyo

Nareul bwayo ijeneun seodureuji mayo
Maeumeul nohayo
Ijen gwaenchanhayo slow down
Kkeuteopsneun geudae sarang
Byeonhameopsneun geu sarang ttaemune
Jigeumui naega issjyo

Love you mother saranghaeyo
Like no other da gamsahaeyo
Hayeomeopsi nunmulman heulleoyo
Geudaeman saenggakhamyeon nan

Love you mother saranghaeyo
Like no other da gamsahaeyo
Ijen naega geudae himi doeeo
Geu hwanhan miso dollyeojulgeyo

And you know you know
You know I love you
Thank you mother saranghaeyo

Love,

The two who think you’re the best singer in the world.

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The moment you’ve been waiting for: the plunge into Korean music

It has begun. Last year around this time, it was Chemistry every. single. day.

This time it’s Korean music. What is up with this time of year? Okay, so maybe this was coming… My parents have been serious about learning Korean – they text each other in Korean now – and our household as of last year has been very influenced by all things South Korea.

I’m literally 10 years late to the party. Throughout high school, my classmates were into Kpop. The explosion of Kpop started around 2006 and it hasn’t stopped since. The first Kpop band I remember my classmates being crazy about was Super Junior.

My thoughts 10 years ago: EWWW!!!!!

My thoughts now: -tears of joy-

I was not impressed at all. I wasn’t into the whole eyeliner, synchronized dancing, 10-people-in-one-band thing. Then there was the excessive plastic surgery to make themselves beautiful (though beautiful is so subjective). I couldn’t understand that. Most of them looked kind of scary to me.

Tastes change and now I find myself totally loving ALL THAT JAZZ – eyeliner, dance, huge guy group. In fact, give me more. Miles away, my mom is horrified. Okay, the plastic surgery thing is still not okay with me but now I accept that it’s their thing and while some of them aren’t really my type, there are some who are.

We always find things at our own pace so 10 years later, here we are. The irony of it all??? Super Junior is my favorite Kpop group. While Super Junior is still relevant, I feel that the newer groups like EXO and BTS are more current and growing in fan size.

Disclaimer: I’m not into the girl groups (yet, I think) but my sister is. She will hopefully do a post on that soon.

Kpop is usually bright and lively, the dance moves are killer, their makeup and fashion are always flawless, and no, you should not be envious of their ‘perfection’ because take away their makeup and clothes – and video filters – and they are no different from you and me. I feel like this is important to say because my sister and I had a discussion about this.

If we were younger, their ‘perfection’ would have no doubt influenced us in some ways and it might have been something we would have wanted to achieve or have. Knowing what we know now, we can watch these videos and look at them without feeling like they are some unattainable creatures of perfection.

Oh yeah, this post isn’t just about Kpop. I am rather – no, very – fond of ballads and the ballads I’ve discovered have been extremely pleasing.

1. Super Junior

Our favorite songs right now are Magic and Devil from their 10th anniversary album. Magic is the song that successfully reeled us in. There are 10 – or was it 11 – members altogether (I found a picture where there are 15 guys, I have no idea why) and it takes a while to distinguish between some of them but you’ll figure it out. Because they have to complete their military duty, you’ll notice that some of them are missing during different years.

I still have to wade through their previous albums to find songs I like. We’ll get there.

Someone saved me the trouble of getting screenshots from the Magic music video.

I think this is their promotional poster for Magic. I’ll name them for you to save you the trouble of Googling for a specific one if you happen to be like: oh, that one’s cute. AHAHA.

From left to right:

Row 1: EunHyuk, RyeoWook, KyuHyun

Row 2: KangIn, SiWon, DongHae

Row 3: HeeChul, LeeTeuk, YeSung (MY FAVORITE)

And this is just another picture from the music video.

The original music video was meh since there were scenes I found dull. I much prefer to watch the dance version. It’s not so much that their vocals are great, more like they make fun pop music and music videos.

2. Chen (from EXO)

Everybody loves EXO – your neighbor, your friends, the store clerk at FoodMaxx, the person sitting beside you on the plane, that girl you don’t know, you get the drift. They are huge right now and there are also 10 of them. I watched some of their music videos today and they were not to my taste.

Chen is a member of EXO and his voice is decent. His solo work is good. He’s NOT 15.

Chen’s double eyelid game is strong.

3. JunggiGo

JunggiGo leans more towards R&B/soul, which after Chemistry, I appreciate more and more. He’s only becoming popular now so he needs to sing more. My sister introduced me to his music and now I love it.His trench coat game is extremely strong. If you didn’t already know, Koreans have this thing for trench coats and until I find someone who wears it better, JunggiGo is the winner.

He’s also kind of cute, behavior and expression-wise. Shhhhhhhh!!!

4. 4men

Okay, these are the oldest guys out of everyone I’ve talked about and they are the real deal because they can sing the real-est. Their music genre is R&B/ballad.

My mom discovered them first and because our taste in music is similar, I naturally started listening to their music.

Thank you for your undivided attention. This was fun to write about. I hope you find something you like. If you’re already into Korean music, I’d appreciate any recommendations.

I’m sorry this post isn’t as thorough as I wanted it to be. I’m struggling to balance everything on my plate. PRIORITIES.

But first, not coffee, but Super Junior. See you at KCon 2017.

Raine
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