Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ten Favorite Songs of the Year 2016

So, as you may (or may not) know, my music life took a drastic turn this year. It was such a life changing event that I remember the exact day... Saturday January 9th. That was the day I listened to kpop for the very first time... a song by an older (they celebrated their 11th anniversary this year) group called Super Junior... a song called Spy.. followed closely by one called Superman.

I loved it. It was weird. It was unique. It was upbeat and catchy. It was awesome.

You may, like me, have thought this was just a phase, a passing fancy, a glitch in my normal music loving life, but we have almost reached the year anniversary and all I can see is that the obsession will just get stronger and stronger.

I don't know why I was grabbed by this music in such a strong powerful way, when other people are just like... blah...that stuff is weird....and you are so weird for liking it... and just don't get it at all. It's a strange thing that makes me confused and perplexed and I don't know what makes us all different like that but it's a good thing.

Anyway, I truly didn't listen to anything else this year. I mean. I really really didn't. So all my top ten songs of the year will be songs that I especially loved from my first year immersed in kpop... both old and new songs. I hope that you, even if you fall into the "this is weird" category, enjoy my list and even maybe listen to a couple of songs, just out of curiosity!

I'm tempted to show you performances and music videos and dances, etc, but instead this time I will just embed only the audio of the songs. So if you do happen to click on one, you won't be distracted by the other things and can just listen.











Yes... even though the year started with a fascination with a group called Super Junior... it ended with an obsession with a group called Bangtan Sonyeondan or BTS for short. And they have three songs on my top ten favorites. VIXX also ended up with two. Wow VIXX! Way to edge yourselves into my favorites list!

Anyway. Yes. I love these songs. I hope you click on a couple and see what I'm talking about it.

In the meantime, if you want a fast and easy glimpse of some of these favorites, here's a compilation of what our Kpop Konverters channel voted on as favorite songs that came out during the year 2016 (which include many of mine listed above.)

What songs did you love this year?

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Airing of Grievances 2016 Version

So, very many years now I've done an "airing of grievances" blog post as part of the Festivus celebration. I have no idea now where I learned about this tradition, but I look forward to it just as a chance to be especially snarky and overly negative on my blog.

Something that is oddly fun and cathartic.

The other day I thought of all the things I could grieve about. Let's see if I remember any of them now!


  • ...when I'm wide awake when I should be sleeping... and dead asleep when it's time to wake up. WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN???
  • ...that people deem some activities worthy and others... not. (For instance, if your hobby is running or hiking, people think that's commendable. If you your hobby is crafting something, people think that's cool. But if it's reading, people think that's boring. If it's youtubing, people think that's downright weird and a waste of time. Did I say I hate this? I hate this.)
  • ...when some people think they are so so nonjudgmental and open minded, and yet, they turn around and judge everyone (meaning, people who think differently than them) just as much as they are accusing the judgey people of judging. 
  • ...getting old. And I hate that getting old means fitting into some sort of stupid mold that old people are supposed to fit into. I really really hate that.
  • ...that I hardly read any books this year.
  • ...that most people seem to have had a terrible bad year and, despite the fact that I suffered (am suffering) a bad reading/blogging slump, I actually had a really fun and unique year. I mean, I like that I had an interesting year but I hate that everyone else (it seems) did not so much.
  • ...that I've gotten way way too fat! Gah. Something has to be done.
  • ...that all my kids have pretty much grown up. I mean, way have kids if they're just going to go and grow up on you? 
  • ...that in a cleaning frenzy the other day I'm pretty sure I threw away something that was definitely not garbage. Why does so much garbage sit around not touched be anyone but then the NOT garbage gets thrown away?
  • ...that I have to go grocery shopping for Christmas food today.  Ugh. 
  • ...that Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram and even Facebook all work in a weird way these days that messes with my brain and makes it so I don't see stuff that I want to see. Why people, why? 
  • ... that bad for you things taste good and good for you things taste bad. I think I may have mentioned this hate before. I mention it again because I still hate it.
  • ... that my ipod doesn't work well in the car anymore.
  • ... that I had to give my rental car back after driving it across the country and back.
  • ... speaking of, I hate that my kids took my grandkid and moved across the country. 
  • ... that my laptop is on its last legs.
Hmmm... I'm thinking I could go on and on, but I'll stop there.

What do you hate these days???? Air your grievances with me!!!

And P.S.  Happy Christmas Eve Eve!!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Rambly Thoughts

Remember when I used to do random rambly thoughts all the time? Or at least from time to time? Well... I thought I'd give it a try again, and maybe actually get a blog post written.

It's not that I don't want to blog anymore, it's just that when I sit down to actually write a blog, my mind goes blank. Or sort of shuts down. Like it says... you know, you really have nothing to say on this blog anymore. So why try? And then I get instantly tired and overwhelmed.

And then I get up and never write the post.

It makes me sad.

So that's thought number one I suppose.

More thoughts:

* Is it truly almost Christmas? Christmas seems to have changed around here. There's still a frenzy of things to do but it's just different. Only one kid still at home. The others are trying to figure out how to split their time between two families. And it's hard. But I plan to still have fun... even if it's different, you know?

* Reading continues to be a a struggle. I thought I was about 30 books behind in my Goodreads reading goal. We were discussing this at book club and so my ever enabling friends looked it up for me (since I truly have been paying it no attention) and informed me that I was actually about 50 books behind. I'll think I'll be lower my goal for next year!

* We saw the latest Star Wars. I liked it. I will try to review it here with my "deeper" thoughts. But yeah, quite the story, eh?

* On the YouTube front, we got our first true copyright strike! That means we either hit the big time, or are really stupid. Probably the second. Yeah. Those YouTube people don't mess around when it comes to that stuff. Here's hoping we can learn our lesson and follow the rules better! But before we were caught, the video in question doubled our subscribers and was on it's way to 1 million views. No joke. It was exciting but then BAM! They shut it down and took it all away from us! (well, we could keep the subscribers obviously, but they took away our views. It was a very sad day.)

* WE GOT TICKETS TO BTS!!!!!! I know most of you (that is if I still have readers besides Jenni and Jenny!) don't know who they are but just know this... they are BIG TIME popular with a certain set and tickets sold out in minutes and there was much agony and angst involved... but WE GOT THEM! April Fool's Day will see us in California to experience the ride that is Korean hip hop boy band dancer singer rapper dudes. Ah. They are so good. Just believe me when I say this!!!

* All is going well with our Korean exchange student. She has been with us for four months as of yesterday, which also means we are nearly half way done with this experience. That is crazy. Time flies way too fast. And that's really all I want to say about that before I get too sad.

* Anyone have any good ideas on what to get husbands for Christmas?

* Oh, I made it just over a week with Nanowrimo... 18,000 words worth of a really cheesy, but fun story. Here's hoping I will come back to it and finish it. just like I hope to come back to and finish my other two unfinished Nano stories.... sigh.

* Blogger has changed since I was on and blogging. Do you know how weird that is? There's a smiley faced thing up there and everything. Wait what? It does Hangul????   대박 That says awesome by the way. But is way way too hard to use. Nevermind. Not so awesome. Unless I get way better at my Hangul....

Okay. There you go for some of my thoughts. Was it worth a blog post? I'm not too sure!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Genre: Harry Potter (that's its own genre now, right?)
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell
Rating: PG 13
My Rating: two thumbs

We went in the late afternoon to this movie. I was kinda tired and the first half was a struggle for me to keep my eyes open. Very slow. And Eddie, I love him, but... man he is hard to understand sometimes. These days, I'm used to subtitles and he really could have used some subtitles!!!

That being said, it was a fun movie, with awesome creatures and some pretty cool special effects. And I enjoyed the familiar music.

I'm afraid I don't know my Harry Potter history quite well enough to have made the connections I think I was supposed to make between this story and the books. But even so, it's cool to know there are the connections.

The "no maj"... and already I've forgotten the character's name

My favorite bits in the movie was the other dude actually, the baker dude. The "no maj." He was great! And I got a bit weepy in the end when... well, you know that one part at the end where rain is involved.

Anyway, I don't really have much else to say except Harry Potter fans should really go! And also, there's a little surprise at the end that somehow wasn't spoiled for us. And it was awesome.

Here's the trailer in case you've missed it somehow:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Movie Review: Dr. Strange

Movie: Doctor Strange
Genre: Super Hero
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch
Rating: PG 13
My Rating: Two thumbs up

I really looked forward to this, even though I know absolutely nothing about Dr. Strange. I'm not your most well-versed person in the Marvel Universe... like... AT ALL. So I had no idea who this superhero was/is.

But who cares. Because... Benedict Cumberbatch.

It was a great story. Famous doctor gets in an accident. His hands get ruined. He goes on a quest to figure out how to heal them. He ends up in some mystics house in some remote place in Nepal I think it is... and learns how to do some pretty cool mind tricks.

At first he's crap at it, and then he becomes a master really really fast. And then it's time to fight the bad guy.

And there's a really cool cloak/cape thing that reminded me a lot of Alladin's magic carpet.

Anyway, the special effects in this movie are TRIPPY... and I felt like I'd been on some sort of phsycaldelic  high after watching it. It was cool, but... trippy. The whole rest of the day I felt a little woozy and dizzy. (Yes, I did see it in 3D Imax... so that might have added to it!)

But I enjoyed the ride!

My only complaint is... LET HIM KEEP HIS BRITISH ACCENT!! I don't care if Dr. Strange is America. Whatever. Sigh. Benedict Cumberbatch speaking with an American accent was just WRONG.

And that's pretty much all I have to say about that.

Do you want a trailer? I have one:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Book Review Thoughts: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Genre: Historical Fiction

Wow. I read a book! And a big adult type one at that! And guess what? I liked it. I really really liked it!

So yeah, there's been a ton of buzz about this one. I'm glad to have finally managed to read it myself. Thank you book club!

It's about two kids during WWII. One is a blind French girl who gets displaced during the German occupation and ends up living in a village outside of Paris for the duration of the war with her great uncle who has PTSD from the first world war. She adapts to things very well and is living a fairly nice life, helping her uncle come out again and learning all about his radio hobby.

The other kid is a German boy who is extremely smart and gets recruited to work in the war as the guy who seeks out people doing illegal radio transmission. Yeah. Do you see the connection here?

Well, after much much time, their stories converse for a brief moment. But before that happens, we get completely invested in BOTH of them. Who cares that they are opposite sides of the war!? I truly love stories that can do this... make you realize that there are just people involved doing what they have to do to survive and that there is no good guys or bad guys. I mean, there are, but the people are just the people, know what I mean?

Anyway. There's also a bit of a strange element of the supernatural in this story... but it didn't really bother me that much. Some at book club could have done without it though. What made me crazy was I was DYING for their stories to converge and when they finally did, it was for such a short period of time. Ah. I wanted more there!!! I wanted a nice little romantic happy ending.

But, you know, you can't have it all I guess.

Still, I really enjoyed this book. The storytelling was awesome. The writing was beautiful. The characters were fascinating. And it held my wandering and unfocused attention unlike any book has done for a long time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Author Signings: Jeff Kinney, Cressida Crowell, Marissa Meyer, Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, Shannon Hale, Jennifer Nielsen, James Dashner

We've had a plethora of author signings lately, so I figured it was time to catch you up! Plus a few that happened that I never reported on. Because... life.

Last night we managed to BARELY get to Jeff Kinney! (Dumb traffic and dumb accidents!) It was in an auditorium full of crazy excited kids! And I felt just like one of them. I don't know what it is about these books, but they make me laugh pretty much like nothing else. It was fun to see what this author was like and see his method of drawing and planning and plotting. I'm amazed how such a simple idea has been so popular and successful for him. It's awesome. 

He came through the audience answering questions
and walked right by us. Here's the blurry result.

They had the most awesome balloons out front of the event!

The night before last we meet the author of the famous and popular How to Train Your Dragon books, Cressida Cowell. She was an absolute blast.. so animated and funny and spunky!

Sangi meets Cressida Cowell

Toto meets Cressida Cowell

Tori and Sangi with Cressida Cowell

 The week before that was Marissa Meyer, who we've met too many times to count now. She has a new book in a new series out about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland fame... and what she was like as a teenager. It's called Heartless. Yeah. I hope to fit it in somehow. When we talked to her, we asked her if there as any truth to the fact that she was inspired by the in real life Kai from the kpop group EXO for her very own Kai... she said... no.. but when someone sent her a picture she said... I approve! That's him!!!

Kai from EXO

We got a pretty good crowd of friends to go to this one with us! 

Marissa Meyer

Last year I was disappointed that these awesome authors of my favorite book last year, Illuminae, came on a night that I couldn't go. But they came BACK! All the way from Australia! Thank you for that Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman! So I got to see them this time and.. it was awesome. I find them to be pretty amazing and I've started the next book, Gemina, and am reading while cringing... it's so intense!

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Probably last month it was, these group of crazy authors came to the library, all sporting read hair like Squirrel Girl... whoever that is. LOL! I'm not totally up on my superheros... but they've all written stuff to do with her and so they came together and talked. They are: Dean Hale, Ryan North, Margaret Stohl, and Shannon Hale.

And then there was on my other favorites, Jennifer Nielsen. She was promoting her latest book called The Scourge about a plague of sorts.

Jennifer Nielsen

And I just had to throw in this picture because he's so freaking famous now... we said hi to James Dashner at Comic Con, and yes, he still remembers me from back in the days when he was still a little author.
Toto and Sangi with Mr. Dashner Dude

Hmmm.... it seems like we went to see Brodi Ashton this past summer too, but I must not have taken pictures. Wait, Really?

I can't remember who's in the queue coming up! But I'm sure there's someone!!! What fun authors have you all seen these days?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Kdrama Review: Cinderella and Four Knights

Drama: Cinderella and  Four Knights
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Drama
Starring: Park So Dam, Jung Il Woo, Ahn Jae Hyun, Lee Jung Shin
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I really didn't have plans to watch this one. It looked to "normal" to "basic." But we watched the first two episodes during fall break when we had our kpop party with Megs and friends. And so I was hooked. A couple episodes is all it takes.

This plays on the familiar Cinderella story in the sense that it's about a girl who is living with her step mom and step sister that treat her like crap. Her dad is around, but always gone working and he has really no desire to step in and help her.

In day when she is delivering pizza to a party, the guys there are making a joke that whoever walks in next the one guy will take to his grandpa's upcoming wedding. And this girl walks in with her pizzas. He is at once intrigued after watching her deal with the rudeness she encounters right there in front of him. And she he approaches her and she ends up going the wedding with him.

Only, he makes her pose as his fiance which is quite the surprise to her but in so doing, she catches the eye of this grandpa dude, who is of course the head of a big rich company. Anyway, after these first two episodes, she ends up coming to live at the grandpa's house because he is hiring her to rein in his grandsons and make them into better guys. For some reason he thinks she can do this. Besides, she finds herself suddenly homeless and so she decides, what the heck.

And now she is living with these three really really stuck up guys who give her all kinds of crap. Well, except one of them who is pretty sweet to her from the get go. (The fourth guy is the secretary that runs the household who is also really sweet to her.)

And so it goes from there. Will she fall for one of them? Even though the grandpa has said NO DATING? Will one of them fall for her? Or are they just plain too obnoxious after all in the end and she walks away?

There's other bits to the story that make everything complicated, including another girl for the past, and we end up with a sort of love square/pentagon kind of shape that is head spinning but fun in it's complication.

All the players in the love game.

The girl in this one is so cute. I loved her. The guys made me a little crazy except for the secretary dude who is over the top handsome and the other guy played by yet again a CNBlue kpop idol. One of the guys grew on me as the show went on and when he finally smiled a few times, I got it.

Our main angsty dude... smiling.

Lee Jung Shin from CNBlue
The secretary /body guard... smiling. 

This one is also compared to Boys Over Flowers for good reason. A no name girl is suddenly being sought after by four (three?) rich guys. And then they all end up loving her in different ways. Very very similar.

Bottom Line: So I ended up quite liking this one and getting all involved and worked up as usual, though it didn't quite engage the intense emotions that some of these dramas tend to to do.

A trailer:

Here's the theme song that I love of course, with some clips:

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Book Review Thoughts: Demian by Hermann Hesse

Book: Demian by Hermann Hesse
Genre: Classic-ish
Rating:★★☆ ☆ ☆

Guys. Do you find it weird that kpop led me to this book? I mean, who would think that a Korean band made up of boys ages 19 to 23 would base their extremely popular (I know this crowd thinks they aren't popular, but believe me they are. EXTREMELY!) music videos on an obscure German novel written a hundred years ago?

Who would think?

And who would think that in doing so they would get a gazillion people, including me, to pick up said obscure German novel and actually READ it?

Well, it happened. These boys, this band, known as BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan in Korean) over the past year has made a series of music videos inspired by this book. Now, because I've been fascinated by the videos, naturally I wanted to check out the book. And besides, I loved it that my two fandoms come together for a time!

BTS winning award after award for their latest album called Wings which is inspired by this book

Well, I must say that after having read the book I'm pretty much just as confused as ever. Here's what I got from the book (spoilers!):

  • a boy (let's call him Sinclair) gets teased by a bully and another kid (let's call him Demian) comes to his rescue and now Sinclair thinks of the rescuer as a sort of savoir
  • when Sinclair goes of to boarding school, he becomes rebellious mostly by drinking way too much. He yearns for contact with Demian but alas, he seems to have disappeared.
  • Then Sinclair sees a girl and basically falls in love... even though he has no contact with her, just the thought of her brings him out of his rebellious stage and he suddenly becomes spiritually enlightened.
  • He draws a picture of her, but somehow, it looks like Demian. Weird.
  • After boarding school, he goes off to college. There he finds another friend who teaches him a sort of religion where Abraxas is the god. And Abraxas is this bird thing, but to be honest, I can't even remember how this bird thing came to be in the story. I think Sinclair drew him too.
  • And then suddenly, Sinclair bumps into Demian again. And they become friends again. In fact Sinclair hangs out at his house a lot. 
  • And falls in love with his mom. LOL! I mean weird. 
  • And they have all sorts of strange over-my-head conversations 
  • And then the war (I think WWI?) starts and both of them go off to fight. 
  • And then Demian dies and the end.

Rap Mon in all his dimpled and genius glory.
So what does that all have to do with the kpop videos? I really don't know! They have wings, and a statue with wings, and a mom named Eva, and you know... maybe I should just go watch all those videos again!!! I think it has more to do with all the strange philosophy and the Abraxas stuff that went over my head than it does this actual story. Rap Monster, (I know his name is strange, but you get used to it. Or we can just call him Namjoon if you'd rather.) who is a genius and the leader of this band, read this book and was so taken with it that he instigated this whole concept. Which I find to be the coolest part of this, shall we say, experience. 

And anyway, at least now I can say I've read the book behind the videos even if I still don't get it. 

And now you want to read the book too, right? AND watch a video? Yes? Well, I can help you with the video part:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

September and October 2016 Reading Recap

Bryce Canyon was beautiful for fall break.
Look at that sky!
And the silhouette of the unknown hiker is even cool!

Since my reading has suffered so much, I've taken to recapping only every other month and this month, we're on. So here's what I've read:

Hinges of Broams Eld by Jennifer Cano: A girl learns she is a key part of fairy world and has to find the cure for the Blight.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova: We get to experience the progress of Alzheimer's through the eyes of this character.

The Immortal Throne by Bree Despain: The conclusion of this awesome series about Hades and the underworld.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: The classic story about a guy who creates life and then regrets it like nobody's business leaving the monster to fend for himself.

Demian by Hermann Hesse: There's a dude who is struggling in life with all sorts of things and he finds friends who help him. Or do they? (Review to come soon! Beware!)

So, I'm reading but at a slow slow pace. It's my new normal I suppose. My favorite from these two moths is The Immortal Throne for sure. The others were just, you know, okay. Or weird. Or both.

Plans for November:

  • I've just barely started Gemina, the sequel to Illuminae. So excited. I know I've got this one!
  • Read All the Light We Cannot See for book club. 
  • After that I don't know. I need a really good love story. Suggestions? Anyone?

How's your reading going? 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Kdrama Review: W

Drama: W
Genre: Romantic suspense
Starring: Lee Jong Suk, Han Hyo Joo, 
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Oh my word you guys! These dramas. I'm just.. I don't know. They are so much fun and so crazy!

Again, I went into this one thinking it was one thing but having it turn out to be something else. I had no idea what the premise was except that the two main characters live in different worlds. But let me just explain. This idea is so cool!

Especially for writers/authors... so listen up all you writer types!!

So we have this guy who is the author of a very famous webtoon called W.  One day he disappears for a time. His daughter comes to the studio to try to see what's up. She is looking at his computer where he draws the comic and suddenly, out reaches a hand and pulls her in!

She finds herself now in the world of the comic, where the main character is dying. Since she is a doctor in training, she saves him of course. The episode of the comic ends and BAM, she is suddenly back in the real world. She looks at the computer again and there on the screen is everything drawn out that just happened. She is now a character in the comic!

Kang Cheol as the main character of the comic series: W

And so it goes. Her father comes back because he too has suddenly been sucked into his comic world. And they discuss this but have no idea what's going on. Thought in reality, the dad has some idea. He's just not going to reveal. She continues to get brought into that world whenever the main dude (Kang Cheol is his name) thinks about her or needs her. Which, as it goes, turns out to be a lot!

He starts to get a clue something strange is going on and basically forces her to tell him the truth. When that happens, his comic world comes to a grinding halt. He is so fuming mad and he wants revenge. So what does he do? He comes into the real world, seeks out the author and nearly kills him!

So, authors, what if your main character comes to find you for revenge for all the crappy and sucky things you've put them through? Would they be wanting to kill you? This main character is furious! But then he calms down, and realizes he probably shouldn't kill the father of the girl he loves.

Because of course that love story... so intense! Oh boy! Can I just say, he is dang cute!

One of my favorite scenes when he is reading up on
how to be romantic.
Oh what the heck, you can just watch it:

But then, things get even more complicated and there's the problem with the villain. Or the real culprit they call him. Who is he? And he is also mad because he too finds out what's going and demands to know why he's never been named or given a face!!! Guys! Villains have feelings too! :)

It's so good. I can't even describe.

Once again I thought it was going to be a cute love story, but it turned out to be one of the more intense and suspenseful dramas I've seen.

And yes, there's that fantasy element going on that makes things a bit cheesy and sometimes unbelievable, but I loved it and thought it was the best idea ever. What would happen if the world and the characters you create come alive and begin to interact with your world? What if? The thought is just so cool and scary!

Anyway. Another one to mark down as awesome. Another actor dude to add to the love list. And on it goes.

I can't find a good trailer, but this is an awesome montage:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Book Review Thoughts: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Book: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Genre: Classic Horror
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

We've been looking forward to this book at book club for nearly two years. I can't believe it finally came! I love introducing this book to people because most have no idea what the story really is.  I can't even remember when I read it before, but I remember loving it, or at least being surprised by how different it was from all the movie portrayals. And it's fun to see everyone have the same awakening! Of sorts.

So as you may or may not know, this story is about a young man (we tend to think of him as old, but he's actually very very young) who gets this brilliant idea to create life. He studies and works hard and experiments and then one day after all this passion put into the project, he succeeds.

Now here's the thing that struck me this time around. As soon as he succeeds, he is appalled. Like, what was he expecting exactly? Frankenstein! Dude!!! What were you thinking?????

So he's so disgusted with his creation that he runs away and hides and leaves the poor monster to fend for himself. Guys, I really really don't like how our Victor handles himself in this book. He is such a pansy. Ugh. Either I forgot this or I didn't think about it before but man. He is so annoying!

And so our monster lives in the wild and learns stuff because dang, he is one smart cookie! He realizes his appearance (which truly is not really described so why is he portrayed the way he is in all the movies? Anyone? Anyone?) freaks people out so he hides from society and observes them instead. He attaches himself to one family in particular and learns to talk and read from watching them. He loves them and wants to be part of their lives. He thinks he can make this happen. But... alas... it is not to be. When he reveals himself, they freak out like everyone else.

It's then that he loses it and sort of becomes the monster we think of him as. But still, not really. He's just so angsty and sad and needy and.... he just wants a family! And he goes back to Victor and begs for one. Victor tries but fails (well, he quits actually)  and then the monster gets revenge.

And the fight is on.

Though the end is really quite unsatisfying. Sigh. I don't know what I would have liked better, but it's just quite anticlimactic.

Anyway. The story is a good one and quite fascinating when you look it all in a philosophical and psychological way. What makes someone human? And what sort of responsibility does one have for ones creations? There really is a lot to think about.

It was fun to revisit this one and I look forward to discussing it tonight at book club!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Lovely Blog..... Or Not

I was tagged for this by Kara from Flowers of Quiet Happiness awhile back but I didn't know it until the other day since I've been pretty scarce with the blogging and blog reading these days. Anyway, it's one of those "list interesting stuff about yourself" things and I'm wondering if I can come up with anything more interesting about myself that you haven't heard a thousand times already.

1. I accomplished a pretty big bucket item list this past month when I traveled to and from Illinois (total of 22 hours driving each way) by myself. I learned several things:

  • I enjoy driving alone which allows me to blast the music as loud as I want...which I did and was in heaven. I'm a serious addict to loud music. I wonder where this came from. Even at the end of a 12 hour drive I was sad to have to be done with the music. 
  • I enjoy staying in a hotel room alone, well, at least for a night. My guess this would get old after awhile. 
  • I don't enjoy eating alone, even going down to the hotel's breakfast made me anxious. And I refuse to even go into a fast food joint and sit there and eat alone. Drive throughs and eating in the car or hotel is how I survived this part.
  • I love seeing the country. It's big and beautiful and amazing. I've decided I don't even think Wyoming and Nebraska are boring anymore. They are both amazing. :)

2. I like doing laundry and folding clothes but I hate mopping floors and cleaning anything in the bathroom.

3.We're planning a trip for fall break to visit my sister and meet her friend that does our kpop channel with us....who we've never met IRL. Pretty excited about this. If you watch the channel you'll get to see us all meet for the first time 'cause you know we'll be filming it!

4. Last year at this time I had no knowledge about Korea's pop culture... or no desire to go there....this year it's all I can think about how fun it would be to go there and see... stuff and things and people. It's weird how a year can go by and life and can be so different. It sort of gives my brain whiplash.

5. I'm told my computer is ancient and that I need a new one. I'll ponder this for now and maybe act on it eventually. This is something about me, right? That it takes awhile for me to upgrade my devices. Or even to get them in the first place.

6. We don't watch normal TV much, but we just got a dish on our roof and are now Dish Network people. (They did a sweep through the neighborhood and either everyone was ready for a change or the dude selling it was especially charismatic, because he's been quite successful in his efforts! ) Anyway, I find this funny. But the cool thing is that when we DO want to watch regular TV we can do it on our tablets, which seems to be the way to watch TV lately at our house.

7. Well, this list has turned into more of a random thought list than a something about me list. Seriously. You know everything. I'm not even kidding. What does this say about me? Something I'm thinking.

All my bloggin' buddies have pretty much been tagged, but if you haven't and want to make your list, jump in and let me know so I can come and comment.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Book Review Thoughts: The Immortal Throne by Bree Despain

Book: The Immortal Throne by Bree Despain
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I was slayed when the second book in this series ended WAY TOO SOON and so I've been quite looking forward to this the third book. (Is it the last book? I mean, I thought it was but then there is one tiny little thing left not quite figured out which makes me think that it could be the end, yet there is a thread left just in case....but it does say trilogy, so....)

We pick up pretty much right were we left off... all of our main characters are in major dire straits. One has been captured and is stuck in a forgetting chair. One has been struck with a love dart that will kill him unless he has a kiss from his true love. And that true love is now been forced to pair off with the bad boy (who comes out of totally left field) to be the queen of the underworld!

How the HECK are they all going to get out of this mess? Well, of course they figure it out... not without help from unlikely places, which is awesome. And things get pretty much worse before they get better, as they always do.

But that all keeps one turning the pages and it was awesome. It only took me a couple of days to read this book! Guys! That's like... me from back in the old days!

I loved the tie in to all the mythology with this series. A great take on everything. I loved the main characters. Though I must admit that I liked them better in the first book when we were getting to know them and they were getting to know each other. I missed the romance. I mean there was a little but not much. Too many other life and death things to worry about! But I also enjoyed getting to know some of the new characters better. And the end was just... pretty much perfect this time.

Bottom Line: Read it if you are at all interested in a fun modern take on mythology stories.

Other Reviews:

Ms. Despain does a tremendous job utilizing Greek mythology as the basis for her story all the while adding her own spin to create something fresh and exciting. From That's What She Read

The Immortal Throne is an incredibly fantastic read that was everything I could have hoped for and more! I loved seeing where all the characters ended, both good and bad. It's the most perfectly right way to end an amazing series! From A Great Read

This tribute to the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades comes to an action-packed conclusion as Haden and Daphne struggle against the seemingly endless barriers to their romance. From RT Book Reviews

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Nanowrimo Dilemma

So I've done this fun writing event called Nanowrimo for three years in a row. I finished the first book, and only half finished the other two. That makes me so sad. I loved writing those stories! I wonder if I'll ever get back to them.

But the dilemma, and I bet you can guess it. Should I do it this year? It's like coming up in mere weeks! But, as you know, I'm not feeling the writing thing like I have the past three years, but yeah, this truly might get me going again.

But, I just don't know.

Is there anyone out there reading this that is going to do it this year? Like TRULY do it? Like really commit to it? Because if I have buddies, ones that will chat with me and share pieces with me and moan with me, then maybe... maybe... I'll try it again.

If I'm on my own, I don't think I have it in me.

And then there's the question of what I'd write. All my ideas sound so lame right now. The only thing I want to do is write kdrama fan fiction, which is just...silly. Or write the book I wish Kill the Boy Band would have also a sort of fan ficiton... which, yeah,  cracks me up.

What is fan fiction anyway? Taking someone else's story and messing with it to make it your own? But it's different than a retelling, right? You use their characters?  You use their world? The plot is pretty much the same, but you change up the characters? I don't know!!!

Really, how would you define this?

Because maybe, if I don't have to think up all my own stuff, I can try it.


So... fan fiction, with a buddy or two...can this happen?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Kdrama Review: Heirs

Drama: Heirs
Genre: Romantic drama
Starring: Lee Min Ho, Kim Woo Bin, Park Shin Hye
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 

Here's a drama that aired a few years ago and was massively popular as it stars one of Korean's biggest names, Lee Min Ho... and he has recently finished that hugely successful drama called Boys Over Flowers and everyone was dying to see what he'd do next.

I've been anxious to finally watch this one since everyone talks about it almost as much as Boys Over Flowers and I needed to be in the know. And also, it stars the guy who starred in the drama I just barely finished... Kim Woo Bin.... and to see these two together I knew would probably kill me.

Min Ho on the left and Woo Bin on the right.
It is just me or are they beautiful? 

So it's the typical story with all the major themes popular in these drama. You'd think I'd get tired of these themes, yes? But no. The actors make it all new and awesome every single time. Our main guy is a rich boy who has been banished to America because he's illegitimate and his older half brother is worried he'll end up taking everything away from him. Though, our boy (his name is Kim Tan) really doesn't have much interest in that and only wants his brother's love.

The first few episodes are filmed in California, in Hollywood and Santa Monica and etc. It was strange to see this, but especially strange to hear Lee Min Ho trying to speak English! Ah! You'd think he'd be cute doing this but he is just corny! His Korean flows from his mouth in this beautiful poetic sounding wave, but English? Um nope. I was so glad when they all went back to Korea so he didn't have to pretend to know it anymore! LOL! Poor guy.

LOL! It cracks me up. He still dang cute though.

But while in America, this girl comes to find her sister. And he, Kim Tan, ends up rescuing her sort of. And he falls fast for her. So when they go back to Korea isn't it crazy that she ends up being the daughter of his mom's maid? And ends up living in his mansion? Yes! It's crazy! And he freaks out!

And then, she ends up going to his same high school because his dad thinks that's the best way to make her decide she should get away from him. But this backfires in a big way and they just continue to fall in love.

Sappy love song scenes which are awesome.

Meanwhile, he has a friend who hates him (and we learn why as the back story unfolds) so they fight like all the time, and that gets WAY worse when he, the friend, decides he too loves this girl. TRIANGLE!

There are many side characters who I also loved, especially this couple played by kpop stars Kang Min Hyuk from CNBlue and Krystal from F(x). And VIXX and Heechul from Super Junior even had appearances. (Heechul was awesome by the way! So funny!
Krystal with Min Hyuk.
His smile. Dang.
And do you want to see him drumming? I did,  so here's a  link.

There's too much going on here to sum up any more. So much detail and crazy stuff and side stories and great characters. But that is the gist of it. And yes, like I said, the same old themes, but you know, I continue to love it anyway. One of the episodes hit me so hard that I pretty much sobbed through the whole thing. I think it was all the mom stories. Sheesh, mom stories get me! These boys LOVE their moms and I LOVE that they do!

Kim Woo Bin's character with his mom.
He kills me.

Another thing I loved about this one was Kim Tan's characcter. I mean, he seriously was a GOOD guy in this one. He said what he meant and explained himself and cleared up all the misunderstandings fast and didn't get talked into anything stupid by all the crazy people around him. I mean, he just does what he feels is right and sticks with it and he's just so freaking nice and romantic and sweet and lovable and.... yes tortured! :) Of course I'm going to love him!

Kim Tan, illegitimate heir to billions!

And a trailer:

And with that, I think I only have one more Lee Min Ho drama to catch up on. Now that's sad. Good thing he is currently making another one!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Grandma Adventure: Half Way Point

Hey my friends. Is there anyone still out there????

I feel like I've come to a whole new world. As you may or may not know, about a week and a half ago I drove for two days (21 hours) to come half way across the US to where my daughter lives to help her and her husband with their seven month old baby while they did school and work during an especially crazy period of crazy scheduling that they were dealing with.

My plans for these two and half weeks?

  1. Hold the baby
  2. Feed the baby
  3. Play with the baby
  4. Read some books
  5. Watch some kdramas
  6. See the surrounding countryside
  7. Maybe blog a bit
Can you guess which things I've done and not done?

Here's the stack of books I brought:

In one and a half weeks I've managed to read HALF the top book which is about 130 pages total. Hmm. Fail.

And I've done two blog posts... this one makes the third. Woot! Fail? Maybe half fail.

I HAVE watched half of a kdrama though:

Heirs with Lee Minho and Kim Woo Bin

And I HAVE seen lots of the countryside:

And bonded a bunch with baby!!!

So you know.... it's been good, even if I'm not reading or blogging!!! 

Six days left, then I'll drove home for two days. And then back to non-grandma life. Which is both good and bad and happy and sad. Ah. Life. 


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