Friday, November 16, 2018

Broadway Show Review: Come From Away



We went into this one only knowing a little of the premise.. and we came out LOVING IT! Oh my word, but it blew me away. So much energy. So uplifting and powerful and happy even though the subject is sad. The actors were amazing and never stopped. Like... it was a non stop show... we only had a chance to clap for them like three times through the whole thing! Crazy!

If you don't already know, this show is about when on 9/11, and the air space was closed and the planes were all ordered to land. This tiny island in Newfoundland had an airport that could hand them... and 38 planes landed and were then stranded for five days until they allowed them to fly again. This little city of Gander... population 9000, took care of these stranded people.... 7,000 of them. They opened their homes and hearts and gave them everything they needed. And there was bonding all around. So much so, that when it was time to leave to go home, everyone was sad and wanted to some back!

I couldn't figure out how they would make a musical from something like this, but believe me, they did, and it was awesome. The cast is only 12, and they play all the parts... both the Gander people and the plane people. And somehow, it works and you can keep them all straight! It's so cool. They songs are very upbeat and fun and in the end, like I said. the story is very heartwarming and happy.

Anyway, here's a little taste of it:





So if you ever get the chance to see this one, don't pass it up!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Kdrama Review: Shopping King Louis

Drama: Shopping King Louis
Genre: Romantic comedy
Starring: Seo In Guk, Nam Ji Hyun
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

So there's a new Seo In Guk drama airing right now and I wanted to watch it, but before I did that, I wanted to watch this one with him... because it's one I started awhile back but never continued with... and I felt the need to finish it first before starting the new one. You know? Kinda like books.

And I'm SO GLAD I DID! Because... dang. Why have I not watched this actor before????

So in this drama, he is a silly happy carefree character. He has been hidden away in France by his rich grandma... she's afraid something will happen to him or something. And he's so isolated that he gets all his fun and pleasure from buying things.. so he's very very very into STUFF. But then, one day his grandma (in Korea) gets sick, so he goes to visit her. On the day he arrives, something happens to him while he's driving... and his world changes.

His family believes that he died in a car crash... but we the viewers know that he has survived, but woken up with amnesia and is homeless on the street. But we still don't really know what happened, and all is revealed as the show goes on.

Then there's our girl who lives up in the mountains.. isolated, having no real knowledge of modern life. When HER grandma dies (that's who she's been taking care of up there) she decides to come down to the city to find her brother who has disappeared. When she arrives, she finds our main character guy.. homeless on the street... and dressed in her brother's clothes.


So. They end up helping each other out... trying to navigate the city and modern life when neither one of them knows anything... and they don't have any money. And so it goes from there!

And it's very cute and funny and heartwarming and all that. I loved it. It is a bit over the top silly at times. But you know. Who cares. So much fun!

And this actor has now risen to the nearly top of my list... and now that I've started the other drama with him in which he plays someone COMPLETELY OPPOSITE of his character in this one, it shows what a great actor he is. I'm so gone with him. Wow.


This show features a song by one of my favorite bands, Monsta X.... called Tiger Moth. So here's a lovely video someone made with that song and so many cute clips. Dang. All those smiles. Now I want to watch it all over again.



Sunday, November 11, 2018

Currently: Full






Listening: Spotify has created a playlist of my favorite and most listened to songs from last year. So I'm playing that and enjoying some memories! It's true that some of these songs have been forgotten about in favor of new stuff. Sad! But thank you Spotify for helping  me to remember.

Watching: A very awesome drama called The Smile Has Left Your Eyes. It's a crime suspense sort of drama with a murder mystery that a lot of you murder mystery lovers would... you know... love. Also, keeping up on Survivor! How is it that that show never gets old??? I am not watching Walking Dead this season. Maybe I'll catch up someday. I have some desires to see Bohemian Rhapsody at the theater, but it hasn't happened yet. Queen was one of the first groups I ever had physical music for...We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions... for 12 year old birthday. On a 45 record. One song on one side, and the other on the other. Y'all know what that is, right?

Oh, we saw Come From Away this week. The musical. I didn't know much about it going in, but I came out LOVING IT! I plan to gush in a separate post. But, yeah. SO GOOD!

Reading: I'm in the middle of Hank Green's book (well actually more toward the end) and I just want to get done with it. Sigh. This one is not going down as one of my favorites this year that's for sure.

Writing: I really wish I was doing NaNo. Seeing everyone's updates on this is killing me. I totally still have the bug and think about my stories pretty much every day. I just can't convince myself they are worth writing. Sigh. The struggle.

YouTubing: Well somehow I still have videos to put out. Kpop for Beginners, album collection, watching videos with Emily, and Friday Fives. We crossed over to a new 1000 subscriber mark...which is always fun. I have no idea who keeps subscribing to us. By the way, my sister and partner in YouTubing took off and went to Korea to live. Yeah. So hopefully we'll have some videos of her experience soon to share.

Picture Taking:

First Snow

Fall

Birdie

Trunk or Treat

Brandon Sanderson at the library


Misc: So my granddaughter number 2 was born yesterday! I will be going in a few days to see her! YAY!! I will also be having a birthday in a few days. I'll let you know if this the one where I will suddenly not like doing all these things that I like... I guess it will hit some year, yeah? That's what they say anyway. (I will stop now before my snark gets worse.)

Have a great week my friends!


Friday, November 9, 2018

Book Review: Please Look After Mom by Kyung Sook Shin

Book: Please Look After Mom by Kyung Sook Shin (translated by Chi Young Kim)

Genre: contemporary literary fiction
Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


This is our first book in our new kpop book club! I'm thinking I might be the only one reading along! LOL! (Maybe Emily will still? )

Anyway, fabulous book, this one is. It's about a Korean family and one day when the older parents (I think they are in their 70's maybe) come to Seoul to visit, the mom gets separated from the dad at the train station. He gets on and she does not. (This has actually happened to us in Rome only we all got off and my husband couldn't get past the crowd to get out and the train left with him still on it!)

And now they can't find her. So they begin to search everywhere, with no luck.

As they search, we learn all about this family. The first part is from the POV of the daughter (using second person which was strange at first, but then you get the hang of it) We learn this daughter has grown up to be a famous author (making me wonder if much of this story is based on the author's real life family) and she and her mom have not really got a long much of late, but she had noticed a few times when she visited that her mom wasn't doing too well, but hadn't said anything. We learn lots of other things too.

The second part is from the oldest son's POV, this time in third person. And we learn many other things about their mom. How she was so hard working, and did so much for her family. And how everyone pretty much just took her for granted. The story flips between past and present a lot... between these kids growing up and the current day as they try to find her.

The third part is from the husband's POV, back to second person. And he is feeling bad about all the crap he gave his wife, like leaving her for another woman. But then coming back as if nothing had happened. We learn about their first meeting and their backgrounds. We also learn some interesting things about the mom that no one knew. She had her secrets.

The fourth part is now from the mom's POV, which is told in first person. And it's a bit stream of conscious and a bit hard to follow as she bounces from place to place and person to person. Is she a ghost now? It seems something like that, but it is never really explained. But we get her thoughts about all the people in her family, especially the ones we've just met. Also, more secrets!

Finally, we are back with the daughter who ends the story with an epilogue that ties it all together.

And so we are left with this overwhelming powerful feeling to love those that are with us WHILE they are with us. And to have no regrets about your relationships. To not leave things unsaid. And most especially, to not take your mom for granted! And to realize that she is a person just like you are with her desires and dreams. That she wasn't BORN a mom, but is a normal person like we all are.

All of this while also learning about the Korean culture... both now and in the recent past. Kimchi and rice. Ancestral rites. Holidays. Buying your family underwear with your first paycheck! (I get a kick out of that one!) And so many more. It was all fun and fascinating. I do wish they would have left in a few Korean words. They said Mom so many times, I think if they would have left that one iin we would have caught on, you know? And it would have given it a little more Korean flavor I think. But just a thought in passing here...

I really enjoyed it and think this was a great book for our first kpop book club pick! What's next????



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Kdrama Review: to.Jenny

Drama: to.Jenny

Genre: romance
Starring: Jung Chae Yeon, Kim Sung Cheol
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤

Here's a cute little drama, only two episodes, which basically means "like a movie."  It's about our guy, a wannabe guitar player star, but instead is working in a convenience store, and our girl, who actually IS a music star, but she is struggling with her company and needs to step up her game in order to survive and one of the things she needs to do is learn how to play the guitar.

And so, the two of them went to high school together and in fact the guy crushed on the girl big time. At the end of the year talent show, he tried to sing her a song, but his voice squeaked, and he has never lived it down. The girl doesn't really remember him, until he reminds her of this incident.

Because yes, they do meet... at the convenience store.. and yes, he finds out about her need to learn the guitar and yes, he starts to teach her.

All this came about because his little sister forced him to get an instagram account, so he did and he dedicated it to her.. thus we have.... to.Jenny. :) And then he followed her and yeah.. know he knows what she is up to.

So, this drama is basically a musical because these two sing songs .... like... all the time. So it's lovely if you are in the mood for that. Some songs are really silly, and some are really nice.

I enjoyed it. The little sister stole the show. The dude is a great singer. The romance is cute. The friends are fun. I totally enjoyed it for a quick one night of viewing!

Here's a funny little trailer:



And this is the song he writes for her:

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Movie Review: Little Women

Movie: Little Women
Genre: Classic retelling
Starring: Lea Thompson, Ian Bohen, Lucas Grabeel, Sarah Davenport
Rating: PG13
My rating: two thumbs up

So it's been awhile, but Jenny and I randomly at the spur of the moment went to this movie together about a month ago and I've been wanting to tell you all about it!

I went in knowing nothing except that it was a modern re-make of Little Women, which was intriguing, but made me a little nervous.

But no need, I was pleasantly surprised! It's a really great retelling and I loved what they did with it! Especially the Freddy/Mr. Bhaer dude!

So the story is told in flash back mostly, since we are with Jo in the present day as she is trying to become a writer in New York. We see her pitch her book to a panel of judges and they reject it, including Professor Bhaer, but Jo tracks him down and persists and he becomes her mentor and friend. As she is doing this, we get flashbacks to her childhood days, and thus the main parts of the book we know so well!

So I really enjoyed seeing them form a relationship and it made that whole romance much more plausible and real. In fact this time I think I was actually rooting for it to happen! WEIRD!

Not a bad Professor Bhaer, eh?

The cast was great. All the girls were awesome and perfectly cast. The banter and tension between Amy and Jo was tangible and real. I died seeing Stuart Edge (a favorite local YouTuber) playing Mr. Brooke. He did great, but WHAT? No kissing scene for him???


I thought I recognized the dude playing Laurie the whole movie, but wasn't totally sure. So afterward we looked him up and YEP, the High School Musical dude! (Not Zach of course, but the brother, I forget his name!) And he did great too. Though I am still quite the Christian Bale fan when it comes to Laurie. Yeah. Not sure that will ever change.

Anyway, I really enjoyed it and having it the present day totally worked for me. Way to go guys!


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Concert Review: JOSH GROBAN!



I few years ago, I become a Josh Groban fan. Many of you might remember. :) I resisted, as I usually do these things. But when I finally listened to his album, I was smitten. And it went from there. In 2007, I went to my first concert of his, and promptly experienced my first real PCD! (post concert depression) I couldn't think of anything else for weeks. After that, every time he came to our city, I went. And I got tickets as close as I possibly could every single time.

Well, this year he came again. At first I wasn't going to go. I've pretty much spent my concert allowance lately! But then I suddenly realized, I don't need to get close. I can buy the "cheap" seats and just go and sit back and enjoy and listen.

So that's what I did! At the sort of last minute, I bought nosebleed section tickets (for a fourth of a kpop concert ticket, and half of a Broadway show ticket!) and convinced my husband to go with me, something I thought would never happen (it helped that Idina Menzel would also be there!)

And so I found myself at my FIFTH Josh Groban concert this week. Way at the top... and when he came on, he was a blur. We were even too high to see the jumbotron (the speakers were in the way). But it was all good as his voice FILLED the arena and I got chills many many times over. My love for Josh has not gone away. Only taken a back seat for a time!

Idina Menzel opened the show and sang for an entire hour. She is full of spunk and personality and is a joy to see. (This is the second time seeing her. We went to a concert for just her a few years ago.) She sang several new to us songs... but also included the ones everyone wanted to hear... Let It Go and Defying Gravity. So Much Fun!!!

Then after a quick stage change, Josh came out . (With much less fanfare than he usually does. I think he must be mellowing in his old age too!) He sang quite a few from his new album, and several of his old standbys too. Idina came back out and sang Lullaby with him, and I forget what else. A couple others. He did several covers, Billy Joel's She's Always a Women, and Paul Simon's Bridge Over Troubled Water to name a few. And he of course sang several Broadway numbers like Pure Imagination and Bring Him Home. Ah... SO GOOD!! He only sang a couple of his famous Italian songs... but one of them is my all time favorite: Alla Luce.

He "ended" the show with You Raise Me Up as he usually does, but then came back for the encore of Bridge Over Troubled Water and what else? Gah I forgot already. He did sing Awake, which brought me memories of that first concert mentioned above and also memories of life during that time.. and I was suddenly weepy. Dang good times those.

I'm so glad I decided WHAT THE HECK at the last minute and bought those way up high tickets. It was awesome seeing him again.  And so it turns out, I still love Josh Groban. :)








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