SHINee and GOT7 week (I realize that’s a lot of capitalization)

It’s only been ONE month since I fell head over heels for Big Bang (TAEYANG IS MY EVERYTHING). I have spent a lot of time listening to their MADE album from start to finish and even though I previously didn’t like Zutter, I have ended up listening to it anyway. There have been more discoveries lately so here’s a post about that.

But first, I have something to say. I read a blog (I think) where two people were ‘reviewing’ the members of Big Bang and they were absolutely tactless and ruthless in attacking TaeYang’s looks and character. It was painful to read, mostly because I felt sorry for the authors. I hope for their sake that their thinking matures and they see how unnecessarily mean they were.

Somehow that’s an awkward paragraph to transition from but I’m going to try my best to mention female groups in this paragraph. If you couldn’t tell, I’m the one who digs for male groups while my sister is all about the girl groups. She has been trying to get me to watch some videos but I think my problem with female groups is my preconceived ideas of what they have to offer. So it’s on me to get over that and just try watching their videos.

Anyway, I found this video below and that’s how I’m listening to most of Taeyang’s Rise album. I thought I only liked Stay With Me and Ringa Linga (please check out the dance practice video which is the most music-video-like dance practice video ever) but Taeyang’s live performances have won me ovvver.

Omg, the way Taeyang twists the mic stand at 0:52. Part of the basis for this post was writing about the small yet oddly significant things Taeyang does during his live performances. Like the way he likes to tuck the hem of his shirt very slightly into his jeans and his signature poses. In the words of a 21st century teenager, Stahp, I can’t even. His harmonization is always on point and can we just stop to appreciate his cute swag factor?

Taeyang can sing and even though his hair styles are always questionable, he’s got a heart of gold and is probably as sweet and humble as his members say he is.

So who’s first on the new favorites list? Shinee!!! It’s stylized as SHINee but let’s just go with non-capitalized in this post.


L to R: Onew, Taemin, Jonghyun, Minho, Key

Here is what we’ve been listening to/watching:

1 of 1 is off their newest album which is 90s-inspired. Their fashion is A+, also something I don’t think I could ever pull off but props to their stylists for letting them rock ugly turtlenecks, leather vests, and classic denim.

I’m surprised that we have become Shinee fans because when a friend said she loves them, I was like, yeah okay they’re not bad. The one who didn’t want to watch ‘View’ with me – cough my sister cough – is now the bigger fan. Shinee is fun to watch onstage but as a group, they’re not very close and don’t mesh well so their interviews can be dull and awkward. I find it a shame that they’re not close but I guess there are reasons for that?

Next up: GOT7. I’m the only one on the IGOT7 boat right now but I’m having so much fun. I watched them on various entertainment programs like Weekly Idol then I watched their interviews before I started listening to their music. I like their personalities, that’s why I ventured into their music.


L to R: Yugyeom, JB, Jackson, Jinyoung, Mark, Bambam, Youngjae

ALSO CAN YOU SEE THE HAIR ON THEIR LEGS?!!!!! Never seen before (at least, for me) – body hair on male KPop idols. That’s what I wanna see.

JB comes across as a responsible but caring leader, like Teuk. The difference is JB can sing (sorry Teukie, you’re a wonderful DJ and MC with your silky voice but your singing is like umm, hahaha). YoungJae has a nice voice, too. There’s never a dull moment where Jackson is involved and the others seem decent. I think it’s great that they are a multinational group yet they function so well and seem close to one another.

Look at how dorky they are. I want to see Super Junior have a pajama dance party like this too. And just for extra measure, here is a video of them dancing to ‘If You Do’ at 2x speed on Weekly Idol:

Oh, and a fun fact I discovered today while looking up GOT7 member profiles is that only ONE of the members is older than me. That tickled me. Ahh, I can call them kids, right? Stay humble, kids.

As for BTS or Bangtan Boys (I had no idea they were the same), if you’ve been reading my tweets, I have dipped my toe in the water but I’m not convinced. I watched them on Weekly Idol out of curiosity and the member who stood out the most to me was Suga. Call it instinct or whatever you like; I can recognize my kind when I see them. And that is all I will say about this.

ENJOY!!! And yes, this blog has been taken over completely by Korean music fans.


On the topic of K-pop girl groups

The thing I like about our connection – us as the bloggers and you as the reader – is how quickly we acquaint you with our interests. It’s amusing to me, horrifying to you maybe, but it has always been this way since the day this blog was born. If you’ve been keeping up or if you need a refresher, we recently got into K-pop. You might have seen a few hints here and there, which led to the ultimate reveal that inspired several more posts.

To start off my HeeChul ramble (because HeeChul is best known for his girl group mania that is not too far off from my own), I started off my K-pop adventures with one girl group and that spawned a musical expansion into other girl groups. From the vibrant stage outfits to the outrageous hairstyles and hair colors to the catchy and modern songs to the impressive and effortless dancing, K-pop was so darned appealing that I couldn’t help falling into the spell that captured the hearts of other young people all over the world.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I was initially hesitant about getting into male groups because I didn’t want to feel weirder than I already was if I were to, let’s say, fall for some cute K-pop dude with thick eyeliner, blue contact lenses, bleached blond hair and flawless foundation on his face (of course my worries were not uncalled for and that’s the truth now, HAHA), so I listened mostly to girl groups. I even have ‘biases’ a.k.a favorite members for each group. I’ll go ahead and introduce them to you now:


Choa, Chanmi, Hyejeong, Seolhyun, Yuna, Jimin, Mina

1. AoA

Having glimpsed the word ‘AoA’ on a friend’s Twitter update before a long flight, I found myself listening to my first ever K-pop album, Like A Cat. I was hooked after the first listen and danced all the way until touchdown in California. It was no surprise that I was curious to see who these girls were. Song after song, I was impressed and completely captivated by the dances and fashion. It didn’t help that there were so many dance practices out there. This is random but I wanna know what hair products the members use and what I can do to get hairstyles like that.

Favorite member: ChoA. Favorite song and dance: Like A Cat (Fun fact: I listened to this song more than 100 times within the first month I discovered it).


MoonByul, WheeIn, Solar, Hwasa

2. Mamamoo

After much dabbling, I discovered a group that did not fit the mainstream girlish or sexy image that the K-pop scene was overflowing with. When I think of Mamamoo, I always think Christina Aguilera. Strong vocals, jazzy music, and fabulous dance moves. While I’m not a fan of the rapping in their songs, I’m a big fan of their energized performances. They always look like they’re totally into their dancing. They also seem to have genuine camaraderie, which is evident in their on-stage interactions.

Favorite member: WheeIn. Favorite song and dance: Piano Man. Special mention: Mr. Ambiguous.

iu3. IU

It took me a while but I warmed up to IU’s music after listening to her latest album, Chat-shire. She has a whimsical and girlish style and very unique voice, and her music is what I would describe as ‘fairytale’ genre. That’s not even a genre but if you listen to her songs, you’ll see why. I think she pulls off simple and casual fashion very well, nothing too bright and bold yet nothing too plain and boring, and it really suits her image.

Favorite song and dance: Twenty-three. Special mention: Glasses.


Subin, Ah Young, Serri, Woohee

4. Dalshabet

They had a few controversies with their dance moves previously, but I think they are doing pretty well now. I was first introduced to the genre ‘jazz swing’ through one of the songs, and now every time I see any song that has ‘swing’ in it, I catch onto it and devour all that musical goodness.

Favorite member: WooHee. Favorite song: Someone Like U (love their suit jackets). Favorite dance: Have, Don’t Have (The crazy fashion and makeup describes everything I love about K-pop styles). Special mention: Ya Heart (their latest song and so good!!)

apink5. APink

I was searching for 80s-inspired K-pop songs and found APink! I love the music in all their songs and I also love their girly image. They recently released a new song and the maturity is obvious in their dancing and fashion. Fun fact: This is the first girl group my sister has actually listened to more than twice.

Favorite member: Eunji. Favorite song: Only One.


Yuri, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Yoona, Taeyeon, Sooyoung, Tiffany, Seohyun

6. Girls’ Generation

What would this list be without the female counterparts of Super Junior, right? I initially wasn’t a big fan of theirs. Gee was my first ever K-pop video in school which I quickly forgot about. Like SJ, everyone around me talked about them but I didn’t really think too hard about who they were. I actually heard their songs in Daiso this summer and somehow recognized Taeyeon’s voice even though I probably only listened to one of her songs. I just knew she had a strong voice and sorta guessed it was her? Anyway, their songs made me want to dance badly and dancing is a good thing so that’s how I ended up liking their songs.

Favorite song: Galaxy Supernova. Favorite dance: Mr. Taxi (my summer workout jam!!). Special mention: Mr Mr. I don’t have a favorite member but…

I watched several of Taeyeon‘s videos during summer and kinda liked her song called ‘I’, came back to that song after summer, ended up watching more of her videos, and falling for her other song ‘Why’, which introduced me to another genre known as ‘house’ or ‘tropical house’ that is apparently all the rage now (where, though? The radios are congested with mainstream pop?).

Favorite song: Good Thing. Favorite dance: Why (When I think of the dance, I think of the word ‘contemporary’, I don’t know why but I love the dance at the second verse and especially when the male dancers lift the female dancers up and they do that cool kicking thing that suits the song so well; you can tell this is my favorite of all favorites because I’ve become super wordy).

Well, that’s all I have to say about girl groups. I feel like their music has really diversified my taste. When I first started listening to K-pop, I felt really special because the songs were totally unlike the Japanese and English songs I like. It has really opened my mind to a lot of genres and, musically, I really love that.

But wait…

I have a surprise on this list?!


Jonghyun, Taemin, Minho, Onew, Key

SHINee is my latest male group muse. It was unexpected but it’s great! Another name I’ve been hearing for years yet did not think too much about. I actually thought they were Japanese before this (check out Jonghyun’s Ring Ding Dong era hair). My sister and I tried to watch their videos but I was having a mini K-pop burnout where pretty much everything I listened to sounded the same. Then I was at a point where I was looking for new music and saw that SHINee was having a comeback and somehow I had a sixth sense that I would like their new song. And I did!

I’m finally understanding what a SHINee trend is because I’m totally in love with their fashion sense!! If I were a guy, I’d be making fashion choices based on these guys’ casual and colorful styles. I don’t have a favorite member as of now but Key seems cool and I really really like Onew’s voice.

Favorite song: 1 of 1. Favorite dance: View. Special mention: So Amazing.

It’s been so hard to choose between all the songs and dances because I really love all of them and I’d love to share all of them with you. And I’m sorry, not sorry that this post totally gave away my taste in fashion. I’m working towards being more carefree about my own opinions but that’s a story for another day.

As I’m proof-reading this post, I realize that I have a thing for main vocalists and that most of the songs I’ve mentioned I’ve spammed the repeat button for days and weeks. That means I’m recommending good songs, guys!! I hope I helped someone find new music, if not I’m just pleased that I managed to write about something I like.

Happy weekend, everyone!


Awkward Encounters: the apartment on the second floor

You know the basketball player I successfully had a conversation with last semester? I meant to wish him good luck in his future endeavors since he was graduating at the end of the semester. Well, as it happened, I only ran into him once and I was in a rush so I simply and breezily said hi to him. He said hi to me and that was it.

I went home for summer and he graduated. Summer went by and basketball season seemed like years ago.

Two weeks after returning to our apartment, we were outside one day giving the car interior a quick antibacterial spray. We heard someone’s door opening and closing then two people talking.

We are, um, rather antisocial neighbors so we try not to bump into anyone but if we’re forced to, we’ll just exchange greetings.

I looked up and saw that there were two people coming down the stairs from the apartment opposite ours. My eyes couldn’t believe who I was seeing but yes, it’s true. It was him – the basketball player. I mean, our new neighbor. He was with his girlfriend.

My eyes couldn’t believe it but my reflexes were quicker.

“OH MY GOD, IT’S HIM!” I think I whispered to my sister.

“WHO?” She tried to look over her shoulder.

“GET IN!” I dove into the backseat and pretended to be busy digging for something.

We both were lying across the seats and had our legs flailing outside the car (obvious dramatization) but better than an awkward situation where we meet each other’s gazes and he recognizes us and is like, wth??? No, no, no.

So yes, hello, new neighbor, how bizarre.

He spotted us last week. He seemed confused and surprised and probably doesn’t believe that it’s us. Same. Well, I’m over my reluctance to run into him but still, the initial surprise lingers because how the heck is the world so small?

Not sure if we’ll see him at this season’s games as an audience member but until then…

He has a small dog and lets the little thing run around and does its business on the grass between the apartments. First off, that’s not considerate and second, THE SMELL!!!

Maybe we need to have a word soon.


What working out means to me

Today marks my 14th day of working out (with breaks, of course). Actually it’s the 14th day for this month, not counting the number of days before this. It’s amazing to think that I have been working out for about 6 months already. I haven’t always been this way though.

As a kid, I would follow my mom and sister to the gym but I only used the treadmill, which formed my love for running. I know, what a shocker. I always came out last on the track field. I never participated in a sport in school, though I sometimes dreamed of joining the basketball club or soccer team. At the gym, I was always too embarrassed to join my mom and sister for their floor exercises because I was afraid of having bad posture and injuring myself.

I never thought I’d like working out, but now I do. I genuinely love working out. I freaking LOVE working out. I love it so much that one fine day during summer, I thought to myself, Maybe I should be a fitness instructor…

These days I’ve been trying more floor exercises, something I’ve always shied away from. I’ve been making a conscious effort not to focus on weight loss, so my current fitness goals are to master the roll-up (as much as I can) and master more planks!

I never thought I’d been saying this but I really kind of like planks. And now back to the title, which is what working out means to me:

Mindfulness, love, practice, confidence, fun, smiling, happiness, a lifestyle, lightness, agility, and finally, being STRONG.


People you may know

Good evening, it was a long day at school today what with dealing with adult bullies and listening to lots of racial micro aggression (ooh, I found this and it’s so accurate to the point of making me want to punch something) during the Q&A session at a cultural presentation. Yes, it was a day of trying to hold back frustration and anger towards insecure cowards and insensitive jerks.

But that’s not what this post is about.

This post is dedicated to all my blogging friends who have quit blogging. Yesterday marked the day the last person on my ‘favorite bloggers’ sidebar quit blogging. Mallory, Britt, Bailey, Heather, and finally now, Victoria.

It’s a bit sad but at the same time I think these ladies have thought things through and I support their decision wholeheartedly. I, myself, have had countless ‘maybe I should stop blogging’ or ‘blogging is getting stressful’ thoughts.

I’m so immensely glad that I found these ladies even though I’ve never met them in real life before and talking about internet friends is always weird but I loved their blogs, they keep it real all the time and I feel like they would be really lovely people to be friends with in real life.

I’ve had internet friends on Neopets and MapleStory before but sadly, that happened at a time when Twitter wasn’t used often and ways to keep in touch with those people wasn’t something I thought about. Sometimes when I think about those people, I wish I’d done something to keep in touch with them. No, I don’t remember their names/don’t think I even know their full names. I have Tumblr friends now though, mostly people who share the same anime/manga interests as me.

After reading Victoria’s well-written and perfectly-put blog post, I realized that some parts of what she said resonated with me.

I have lost track of the number of times I have used the phrase or variants of the phrase: I’ll be blogging regularly very soon or This blog is not dead yet, don’t worry. When in truth, I really didn’t have much motivation to fire up the blog and post content regularly. I’m also, if you haven’t noticed, a blogger with no specific direction… I suppose they now call it ‘no niche’ or ‘lack of branding’. I’ve never liked the ‘branding’ or ‘niche’ bus. First off, it’s hard for me to think of myself as an ‘expert in my niche’ because I’m multi-passionate, how does one think of one’s self as an ‘expert’ and what makes anyone an ‘expert’ at anything anyway? Second, I just blog about whatever I feel like writing about, like a diary… which is what I thought blogs were originally meant for. For a while, I tried to stick our blog into a box and write for an audience – um, yeah, non-existent one – but that failed quickly and just stressed me out because I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t (cue Mulan soundtrack). I was just fooling myself when I thought I could actually make something out of this blog. After all, this blog – which was and is still a very generous gift from our mom who pays for hosting and other blog-related stuff that until today I still have no idea about – started out as a place where we posted 1 million pictures of bands we liked at those specific points in time. Yeah… (See what I mean with this oddly irregular-length paragraph that would make SEO experts scream? I promise I tried to break the paragraph up but it didn’t seem right.)

But, like Victoria said, I’m not who I was when I started this blog with my sister. At the core, I don’t think people change that much but people do change – likes, dislikes, styles, small yet significant things like that. When I started this blog, I was a high school freshman (at least, that’s how old I was in US school terms lol). This blog turns 8 this month!! Crazy!!! It’s been a really long time and so much has happened, so much has shaped who I am today. This blog’s flow has changed with the times and oh, how nostalgic it gets when I scroll back and look at posts from previous years. This blog is in many ways is a reflection of the process of growing up which is both cool and awkward at the same time. I’m content with the way our blog is now. I’m just writing whenever and whatever I feel like. I can also tell you honestly that not having an audience or getting comments or ‘being popular’ doesn’t bother me. That shiz doesn’t suit me anyway. Wait for my post on not having any friends (though when I usually say ‘wait for this or that post, I overthink or abandon it quickly so we’ll see).

A memoir is a good idea though who knows if it will ever be complete… I’ve tried to start one a dozen times but the most I’ve gotten is maybe 2 or 3 paragraphs then it all goes downhill from there because my emotions and thoughts go all over the place and I can’t focus on the direction I plan on going.

Anyway, I just want to tell my ex-blogging friends: keep on keeping on and staying true to yourself, and thanks for acknowledging the existence of this awkward potato.

Thanks for reading (probably just Google bots, if I really think about it).

Also, the post title is totally a RyeoWook song title because RyeoWook just left for his mandatory military service. We’ll wait for you, Wookie.


Rediscovering myself

On a whim, I decided to dig for posts I wrote back in 2014 in hopes of finding something that would tell me when and how I started getting anxiety. What I found instead warmed me inside out. I found that in the periods of time when I was down, I often had nuggets of wisdom for myself. Reading those old posts, I was reminded of things – good things – about myself that I had forgotten.

It’s just that in this past year or so I’ve been using this blog as an avenue to let out all my anxieties and frustrations. Writing is my way of dealing with my emotions and while it has really helped to write what I’m feeling, in the process, I have forgotten to write happy things too. Life really is a rollercoaster but I’ve only been writing about the dips, not the peaks.

Perhaps I have played a role in feeding my negative emotions like I read in the book I bought my sister.

Sure, things are different now than two years ago, my anxieties are different now than two years ago, but things are always changing and I need to learn to go with the flow. I need to move forwards, nurture my likes, stop nurturing my dislikes, let my feelings come and go, take things one step at a time, remember that I am not alone in my worries.

After all, the only person who can help me the most is myself.

Here are some of my favorite posts (and also as a reminder to myself that I am capable of good, funny posts): 1 , 23 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10

Happy Sunday~


Super Junior AND Big Bang, not OR

I just came from looking up ‘Super Junior and Big Bang’. I was under the impression that groups from rival entertainment companies aren’t supposed to be pals but when I mentioned this to my sister, she was like, ‘why not?’

Funnily enough, I went to find a live performance of ‘Bang Bang Bang’ to convince my sister to like Big Bang and what else did I find? I found a video in which SeungRi is singing on KangIn’s lap and beside KangIn is YeSung. And my Teukie MC-ed for the event! In 2016!! That’s this year!! That made me very excited because I like when my favorite bands are friends with each other.

Naturally, that led me to look for more evidence that my now favorite Korean groups are less than rivals and more than friends. What my search led me to was forums with polls on whether Big Bang or Super Junior is better. Of course, people felt the need to include reasons for their choice, i.e. SJ is not even relevant, BB has more digital sales but SJ has more physical sales, BB has a bigger fan base. Mostly negatives about SJ. That made me upset.

Before discovering BB, I thought SJ was the most popular Korean group. 🙁 But apparently Big Bang was recently named best band, beating even Maroon 5, which I think is huge… And I understand that now because BB is a boundary breaker, a trend setter, a game changer, blah blah blah. You can’t deny their on-stage presence and the marks they’re making in the fashion and art world.

Does that mean BB is better than SJ? Here’s where I have a bone to pick. We can like something and not bash its competition. We can compare two things but there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer for some things. Some of the comments I saw were really angry and forceful. Unnecessary, I think.

For me, comparing BB and SJ is like comparing apples and oranges. Teukie and GD are the leaders but the way they act is so different. Teukie is the main speaker of the group while BB’s is Seungri, not GD. Teukie seems to have taken a parental figure role and does a good job of keeping everyone together while GD has more of a hands-free way of managing the group. You get the picture, right?

At the end of the day, each group does things differently and if it works for them – and it has – then good for them. Why must there be an absolute answer to who is better?


Here’s a gif of ShinDong (SJ), DongHae (SJ), YeSung (SJ), and G Dragon (BB).

This post is also dedicated to Teukie. I know it’s weird to be saying something like this since I don’t know him personally but thank you, Teukie, for all that you do and please take care of yourself. Super Junior’s Kiss The Radio program ended today after 10 years which is very sad because it’s basically what Teukie has poured his life and soul into for 10 years.

To me, Teukie is one of the people who is the kind of person you just know you connect to even though you’ve never met in real life. He’s also the kind of person you want to protect because he takes on too many things and gives too much of himself to the people around him.

Anyway, here’s to less critical comparisons and leaders who deserve a hug of encouragement. Thanks for reading.

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