The strange case of VIXX

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Last night I went to bad, finally losing the battle of not getting sick. My plan today was to post 3 videos as to not forget this weekends post.

But seeing as I will be using one of my sick days to leave work early (I am proud to say I’ve never missed work…simply asked to leave after my classes are done) I am only going to post one today.

It’s VIXX once again because who does dark/creepy/concept better?

It’s HYDE which came out first. It’s dark, it’s creepy. Then they had a repackage a few months later called Jekyll which was their super happy, fun single (and my personal favorite song).

I thought it was so well done: not only did they use literature to convey their concepts (Hyde talks about not being a bad person but just someone they “can’t control” while Jekyll talks about falling in love and thinking about “losing control”) but they pulled it polar opposite back to back concepts SO well.

So enjoy!

 

And then there were 5 ….

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Can’t believe there are only 5 more days of this 13day of Halloween Song challenge!

Today will also be an update as well because it’s Thursday and due to another school event (the amount in this month alone is staggering) I have no class.

Lesson Plans:

So with the Halloween holiday coming up, I wanted to do something special for my kids. I remember as a student, anytime there was a holiday, school schedules were a little different. It was exciting and fun and the best time.

But Halloween isn’t really a thing in Korea (like it is apparently in Japan). The students know the general idea-costumes and candy. But that’s about it. There’s no special event or anything (which makes sense) but I always was told that I’m not only introducing English to them but also to bring a little American culture as well.

So I decided last year to do some things that I remember loving as a student myself.

Now sadly there aren’t really costumes and I doubt the school would be happy if I asked the students to dress up next Monday.

So I decided to purchase some cheap things from the local store.

The first activity is called “Candy Guessing Game”

And to celebrate the holiday in class, I bought a clear glass jar, filled it with peanut M&M’s (I hate regular M&M’s and I will be eating them afterwards 🙂 I counted them as I put them into the jar. Then I have the students line up, look at the jar and guess how many candies are in the jar.

Now in my youth, the winner usually kept the jar of candies, but due to the fact I have 8 classes and Peanut M&M’ s aren’t cheap here, I bought chocolate bars for the winners. If you have smaller classes or find cheaper candy, then you can give the winner the jar of candy. I used Peanut M&M’s because of their color, size and the fact I want to eat them afterwards. I’m a little selfish.

I suggest though if you have multiple classes you wait until all classes have done the activity. If you announce the winner, students from other classes will ask what the winning number is and eventually all the kids will know the winning number. It sucks especially if some of your classes are on different lessons (trust me I know) but unless you want to put them in a different jar and redo it, it’s just better to wait until all of your classes have guessed.

The next activity is a Halloween word search to be done while waiting for their turn to guess the candy. Korean students really love word searches for some reason. It’s really easy to find these online. I chose a medium level one so the smarter kids have something to keep them busy for a while, and the lower level students can work with partners.

The final activity is showing a little bit of “Nightmare before Christmas”. Kids here love slightly bizarre things and animation-so I assumed they would love this. It’s a different type of animation than they are used to and as we all know Tim Burton is into some weird shit. I would suggest if you don’t have this than try Corpse Bride maybe….Corline apparently has a weird scene that involves some…kind of animation nudity  or something and showing that to kids without parent supervision might be considered bad taste.

Music:

Since there are only 5 more days left I chose Beast/B2st “Shadow”. This is one of my all time favorite KPOP songs though it’s less popular than their infamous “Fiction”. It’s maybe not as “themey” as other videos, but it’s definitely creepy…..especially the end.

It’s also appropriate I chose this for the 5th spot if a little sad.

Though not entirely surprising, Hyunseung left the group earlier this year.  He’s always been a little bit quieter and 4D but I felt like after his dad died he really changed a lot. I thought he was getting better the past year or so but with all the “scandals” he’s been involved, and his own solo album, it really felt like he didn’t want to be part of the group anymore. I think the saddest thing is that the members revealed they don’t speak anymore.

So now there are only 5 members.

To me this was a group that was way more talented than some of the bigger groups out there-because every single one of them had a talent. And while as individual members they were great, together they were perfect. They always sounded like the swallowed a CD. Their performances were always on point. There really was no fault with this group.

And then CUBE really ran them into the ground. No promotion, nothing. And they weren’t the only group to feel this in CUBE.

So I was relieved to see them leave. I’m grateful to CUBE for giving them the second chance they all deserved but it’s time for them to make their own label.

 

Aside for the typical post about music, I also went to the Lotte Duty Free Family Concert last Saturday. It was a first come first serve type of thing so I didn’t really want to wait too long because I would be far away anyway. Didn’t really matter because the seats didn’t fill up as much as I thought. I was pretty close to the field, though still far away. Luckily I was alone so finding 1 seat open is much easier.

Bad news, my EXO lightstick batteries died. Good news…I was surrounded by EXO-L’s.

I always forget how crazy EXO-L’s go at any event EXO is at. I mean this in the best way possible.

Other than EXO, TWICE, NCT (both units minus Dream), EXID, G Friend (the place was really quiet during their performance…I’m not a huge fan because I think all their songs sound the same, but I felt bad for them), Mamamoo (who were SOOOOOOOO amazing-the past few times I’ve seen them they looked super tired but they were all on fire and the place was SOOOOOO loud for them)….I think that’s it. There weren’t many groups but they each did at least 5 songs so it was really nice.

Also there weren’t any idiot hosts and filming so it went super smooth. It was nice seeing Lay do his song, but sad that EXO only did 4 songs. Though they finished with “Lucky” which is one of my favorite songs of theirs so it was okay.

 

Travel:

So I’m hoping finally this weekend, I can get to hiking in Goyang. My weekends have been so busy and I haven’t had time -plus it rained last weekend. I was invitied to go hiking with some of the teachers at my school last week but they didn’t tell me until I had been at school for a few hours already…and had no way to change before they left (I don’t understand how they thought that I would be able to go with no warning-like a day in advance would have been nice).

I really wanted to go hiking in the fall for the colors, but it’s been on and off rainy this fall (wow rainy season is finally here!)

So I’m hoping, weather barring (and physically -I started a new workout regime) I can make it to the mountains this Saturday and see some great fall colors, enjoy the crisp air, visit the town, and get a great hike in.

 

 

You’re Once, TWICE!

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Happy 8th day of this 13Days of Halloween Song Challenge!

Today’s song is “Ooh-ahh” by Twice.

Twice is a group that I’m still really torn about. I really like some of the members, and think they are super talented but the others…I’m not sure about. Also the fact that they put out Cheer Up will never fail to make me mad.

This was their debut song which came out about a year ago-so right around Halloween time.

Though I really HATE zombies, it’s not too noticeable in this MV, and the song is so catchy! This is my favorite TWICE song and when I saw them last Saturday, I totally rocked out to this.

I think that even though the song at times is a little disjointed and kind of messy it works really well…unlike Cheer Up which was messy and disjointed to the point of no return. (Thank god their new comeback wasn’t anything like that).

It’s the kind of song that will get stuck in your head in a good way. So enjoy!!!

It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus!

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A typical “cult” movie (I had to explain that meaning to my friend and I’m not sure she really got it) that is THE Halloween movie for many my age.

Even though the movie was made in the early 90’s it still plays during Halloween these days. Sure the graphics aren’t great, and re watching it made me realize there are a lot of obvious errors (like how Winifred knew what a driver’s license is, or why Thackery Binx didn’t just tell his parents he was the cat since he could obviously talk).

But everyone loves this movie-how can you not.

I used it as part of the Halloween festivities for my students. Since we are leaning about physical appearance, I asked about hair color, and clothing after letting the children watch this small clip.

So sit back and enjoy this amazing scene from “Hocus Pocus”!!!

 

 

It’s just a Fantasy (I wish was real!)

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Ok so true to my word, today is the second day of the 13 Days of Halloween Song Countdown.

We kicked things off with the iconic “Thriller” but today we are venturing back to the KPOP world.

Usually KPOP fans think of creepy/dark concepts and think VIXX. So today is one of few VIXX songs in the countdown.

This was the most recent comeback in August which actually felt a little out of season which is why I think it took me a little longer to get into it. The sound and MV both feel like they should be set in the Fall, not summer.

However after listening a few times it really grew on me. The orchestral arrangement is really impressive, not to mention the Moonlight Sonata in the opening chords.

This is actually the second part in their 2016 3 part series-the album is called Hades.

I chose this one as the first one for VIXX because even though it’s not as dark as some of their others, it is devious in it’s own way-not to mention the creepy fairy tale-like aspect.

Hope you enjoy it!

(They also released a full dance and drama version that is worth checking out as well)

I feel Witty, oh so witty

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Today marks first day of my second annual 13 Days of Halloween Song Countdown!

As mentioned prior, last year was a KPOP only theme but this year I decided to add in some other varieties as well.

I will also be updating my usual once a week update today as well.

So to begin…Lesson planning:

So apart from teaching bratty hormonal teenagers 8 times a week, I also teach hyper, daycare as well.

For the better part of almost 2 years I didn’t know how to teach them. I had no plan, no co teacher and worst of all an inconsistent class (some kids go and come day to day).

So there is no real way to make it a formal class -and I’m supposed to “teach” them for an hour.

Well quickly I learned that worksheets only kept them busy if I implicated a sticker system.

After much stress, annoyance and frustration on my part I finally hit a wall-I asked around but no one really had any answers because none of them had my problems.

So I decided to end up using a project I used during summer vacation.

I altered it for 1st and 2nd graders. Instead of 6 new words and 5 phrases I just used 6 new vocabulary words, a review of 8 (they have to look back at the previous worksheets or do it from memory). They listen to me and write it once in Korean and twice in English.

Then we watch the movie-because they are so young I am afraid they can’t read fast enough or well enough so I put the sound on in Korean and the subtitles on in English. After we watch about 10-12 minutes of the movie we go back of the words .

Like I said it’s not much but  the kids have really become much more manageable, and they never want me to turn the movie off.

Some of them even have become great with remembering the vocab words.

I decided to use Mulan as the starter movie-it  has music, action, comedy and it’s “asian”. They kids (especially the boys) weren’t really happy about it but now they are obsessed with it.I used Tangled and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (I would advise against this because of all the food puns-they don’t translate well) but you can use almost any movie.

It teaches the kids some new words, you get them writing in English (something that is very important because parents apparently only want to see their kids writing in English-it’s not as important if they can’t read or speak it I guess) and then you get to keep them quiet for about 10 minutes. All in all…a win for everyone.

Music Review:

Today I will be using this slot for my first day of 13 Day Halloween Song countdown.

What better way than to start it off with “Thriller”.

Such an iconic song and Music Video and it fits perfectly with the theme.

Now this was way before my time so I didn’t really understand why this was such a big deal-the dance- the music video never looked overly impressive to me. But when I got older and realized it was a pioneer of sorts in that regard, I understood that it was really the first time anyone had done that.

Nowadays (especially in Western Music) the idea of a MV has really gone down. I think that’s why people enjoy KPOP-the quality and sets and costumes are just done like no other. It’s something you don’t get when you listen to One Direction.

Travel:

Sadly despite getting paid I have not been able to travel-this weekend was mostly spent in a 7 hour rehearsal and then being lazy on Sunday.

However this upcoming Saturday I am finally going to the Lotte Family Concert in Jamsil (AKA I get to see Mamamoo and EXO!!!!!!!!! Can you guess I’m excited?)

But the following week I finally have some time and the means to go to Goyang. I’ve been wanting to go hiking for a while and especially now that the leaves are starting to turn colors (this sadly did not happen in Seoraksan because it was still very warm at the time I went).

I also wanted to get a feel for the area up there as I plan on trying to find a job there this coming March.

So that’s it-a short post but nothing too exciting has been happening lately. Tomrrow I will update with the second day of my 13 days of Halloween countdown.

You can call me Monster (teacher)

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Ok so I am still attempting to update at least once a week if only for my only sanity.

This week was …interesting to say the least.

Today I will discussing: lesson plans (specifically dealing with discipline) new music reviews, and because due to funds and time I haven’t been traveling -so I’m actually going to talk about my plans for upcoming Halloween.

Lesson Plans:

Next week when it is in fact closer to Halloween I will talk about fitting that into my lesson plans. But this week’s theme both here on this blog and in my classroom was discipline.

In my school you get two types of teachers-the kind that has their kids well behaved and keeps them in line-and the kind that lets them walk all over.

I teach with one of each.

My one Co is very good at keeping kids in line, sometimes too much that it dampens the kids spirits but they do learn and pay attention well.

Then there is my other Co. Some of our classes are good enough they can take care of themselves without me needing someone to help keep them focused.

Then there are my other classes who are in strong need of something. This week their home room teachers have been mentioned how bad they are.

My 5-4 class is a class I try to get out of the way on Monday. Originally this was a great class but due to one weird trouble maker ( I say this in the fact that he is actually a very quiet student but he teases the other kids so much – I just never hea it because he says it under his breath all the time) they have become a fighting  and loud mess. So to my despair, I wanted to die when their home room teacher said I would teach them again the next day (I don’t know why -we didn’t need to make up a class-I think she just wanted a break from them-according to my Co their homeroom teacher doesn’t like them).

My other 2 loud classes are somewhat similar to 5-4 in nature but each class has their own personalities.

But the question is how do you deal with disruptive classes with a Co who doesn’t realize children need limits and discipline-and when scolding them for being rude maybe not do it with a smile or laughing or making a joke?

The answer? Gotta put your foot down.

I warned my 5-4 class two days in a row-many warnings-and they still acted out -so for two days in a row they stayed late (ran into lunch time) and copied lines.

Most people would say  “use a point system” -we do but these days the kids aren’t as motivated by points as they used to-if  a student is constantly told he loses a point he won’t care anymore and makes a joke of it (it happens). Not to mention that my Co’s only want to have the students cash in the points 4 times during the whole year. So the lure of points and candies kind of fades for them.

I would like to make it more often but My strict Co is very set in her ways as well.

So what can I do?

For me I found the answer was time. I give them 3 warnings -if they get 3 warnings as a class they stay 10 minutes past the end of class. Yes I don’t like wasting my time but if it enforces the kind of behavior that they should have as 5th (almost 6th graders) than that’s all that matters.

Another issue is that my students are told what they need : folder, book, notebook and pencil pouch.

Most students bring these.

But in my classes with my lax Co , many students don’t bring their notebook or didn’t even buy one.

We use it a lot for warm ups. And I’ve asked them many times to bring it -some haven’t even bought them.

I’ve been asking since March. It’s October-they will be 6th graders next march and after that middle schoolers-they need to start taking responsibility -they aren’t 4th graders anymore.

And because as mentioned above, individual points don’t seem to matter, I’ve made the bold choice to take points away from the class a a whole. If one student doesn’t have his notebook the WHOLE class loses a point. If two students don’t have their notebooks the whole class loses 2 points. And so on-today my 5-5 class had 4 students who didn’t bring their books.

It might seem harsh ( my Co openly said “it’s not my decision it’s hers) but I am not going to supply these kids with paper every class because they don’t have an English notebook (like my Co does-this teaches them they never have to bring a notebook which is what happened).

I even told the class “if you can’t buy for a reason please see me after class”. I understand some kids might not be able to afford one and I don’t mind supplying one -the school bought many for me.

In Korea the lack of responsibility is something the WHOLE country top to bottom suffers from. But not in my classroom. Yes I am “only teaching them English” but I am also hoping they learn something else from my class-maybe how to behave or treat others …or learn to try something new…something that is beyond books.

With children I get why they do it “it’s not my fault it’s his”type of thing is common. But they are kids-adults should not be acting like this. It sets a bad example. So I try to teach my kids to be responsible for their actions.

Fighting is a common thing lately (great) but yesterday in my 5-1 class I had a girl and boy fighting. Normally I would let my Co deal with it but all she said was “stop crying” and to the boy “say sorry” which …literally all he said was “sorry.”

But maybe because I was tired of all the fighting or whatever, I had the two of them stay after class, explain to me what happened (hitting and calling one a name) write 2 sentences of an apology in Korean, read it to the other, and then give it to the other.

I didn’t want to coddle them but I didn’t want to just yell at them. I wanted them to actually apologize, know what they are apologizing for and face the other.

I don’t know if they worked or anything but it was better than just letting them walk off mad and crying.

Discpline is something that is so hard for foreign teachers. We are seen as a joke a lot. Many times students don’t believe we go through with our discpline and are shocked when we do. Many students treat out class like a joke (all classes not taught by their home room teacher-music as well) and will act in a way they would never in their home room teacher.

And I understand it’s a different class- a lighter class (they aren’t graded….) and I don’t mind joking or talking about silly things or even being loud in certain times, but when the students cross over into disrespectful territory and bratty behavior…then you have to check them back into line…otherwise you end up like my Co who couldn’t control her open class.

 

New Music:

Since I could talk about music all day and night I will just pick 2 songs (new or new to ME or just old goodies that aren’t popular etc) that I really enjoy.

And I will pick 1 new song I don’t really care for. This isn’t mean to offend anyone -this is just my personal blog.

So to start I would like to pick : Park Hyo Shin (박효신)

He is solo singer (not sure if he is considered a ballad singer or not) with the company Jellyfish and I first heard about him because VIXX (also with Jellyfish) has a member who is a major fanboy of his.

And with all the disappointing KPOP released lately I wanted to try something new. So I decided to look up his stuff. This is the single off his new album (I think it’s called I am Dreamer but i’m not sure) and it’s such a beautiful song. It’s called “Breath”.

*Side rant*

One thing that drives me nuts is when people say “I don’t understand what he’s saying” or “I would like it better if I knew what he was saying”.

1. google lyrics.  this is the generation of electronics right? and you can’t even work a simple google search?

2. pop songs (not in this case but for general KPOP) lyrics are typically not that great -I love the Backstreet Boys but “I want it that way” is no lyrical masterpiece -same with many pop songs of all generations. you aren’t missing out on much.

3. KPOP to me is discriminated for things that some other music isn’t. For example- if i gave you a video of the beautiful “Ave Maria” I bet all in, your first words wouldn’t be “I would like it more if I knew what the words were”. In case you didn’t realize, the song is in Latin and I’m pretty sure people who listen to this song aren’t native Latin speakers (dead language hello!).  You just enjoy the song, not caring that you actually don’t know what the song is saying-sure you have an idea but how many out of a random group of people would be able to translate it for me?  It’s just something I wish people would be more aware of.

*end side rant*

My second pick is going to be “Tonight” by SPICA. While the MV is kind of cool (in a super aesthic kind of way?) the song is just a great fun song that makes you feel happy.

I’ve actually seen SPICA twice and both times this song really stood out to me. They are a really underrated group -maybe because they are older? Some people say their visuals aren’t great (which I think they are all very unique and pretty without looking plastic) or that their songs just aren’t hits (which I can kind of understand after listening to a lot of their music). But their vocals are insane and their harmonies are amazing. I wish they had more songs like this that showcase their talents.

 

Now onto the song I didn’t really care for (This is going to be a SUPER unpopular opinion I can already tell) is the new BTS single “Blood Sweat and Tears”.

Now while I’m not a fan of theirs, I do listen and like most of their music. I even own a few copies of their albums.

One of the big reasons I never became a super fan is sadly due to their insane fans (yes I know I am an EXO-L so I don’t really have any room to talk) but within the past year or so I’ve definetly noticed their fans behavior …as have the rest of the KPOP community.

But I want to give their music a fair opinion so I do listen and watch the MV’s and try to ignore their crazy fans.

Now I really did enjoy I Need U, Fire and some of their older songs (Run was kind of boring and after my friend told me that Save Me sounds like a Justin Bieber song…well I can’t listen to it the same way). And the concept for this single looked interesting…but ….the song for me fell really flat.

I got a bollywood/sort of caribbean feel….it just didn’t work for ME (a lot of people loved it -their fans died so as long as their fans are happy that’s great for them). Also the MV …didn’t really do anything for me-it actually reminded me of the scne in Pride and Prejudice when Lizzie is at Darcy’s house looking at all the statues.

I also wasn’t really pleased with the way the lines were divided-I thought Fire did actually a good job-but Jin had ….1 line? (was it even Jin? I’m not a big enough fan to really know their voices and we all know MV’s are the worst way to tell who is singing what ). Groups these days are doing their best to spread out lines (evenEXO’s Sehun has lines now!!!!!) so I wish BTS would do that as well. Usually it’s V who gets jipped for lines with Jin. (I know at least that much about BTS). So at least he got that little bit of the chorus. But like I said a lot of people like the song(I do like their music…just not this one-so have a listen and make your decision.

Finally as I had mentioned I have no money (think 99 $ to last me until Monday 12pm) so I clearly can’t do much. I had planned on going to hike in Goyang this weekend but due to money and the fact I have a 7 1/2 hour rehersal on Saturday…that plan has been changed until the last weekend of October (I am going to the Lotte Family Concert on the 22 EXCITED!) So I can get some exercise in, and see the fall leaves.

So I will instead focus on “Halloween”. Last year I did a KPOP 13 days of Halloween on my personal SNS. This year I do want to do something a little similar but different as well-so I think I will expand it beyond just KPOP and post it in my blog. With Halloween being the “13th” day I will begin this series of posts starting next Wedneday the 19th. While I will (fingers crossed) being updating on this everyday for those 13 days -one most days it will only be the Halloween Video because I hve work and you know how life gets in the way.

So please look forward to that .

Ok that’s it for today. Hope you enjoyed it. I will most likely be combining the First day of 13 days of Halloween with my usual post.

Have a  great weekend.

 

Birthday Countdown! Day 5

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NOVEMBER IS HERE!!! Which means….no not Christmas everywhere! I admit, it will be much harder to keep the Thanksgiving spirit alive due to the fact I’m in a country that doesn’t celebrate it for obvious reasons (Korea has thanksgiving in September called Chuseok.

And when I went to Myeongdong yesterday I already saw one store with twinkle lights and presents …..

So my goal this month is to not get too absorbed into the Xmas spirit and hold out until after I celebrate Thanksgiving….on the following Sunday after Thanksgiving Thursday because we don’t get time off and I won’t be able to go to Emily’s until then.

Now, I’ve decided to do a few more of these so called “challenges” that I will get to right after I bore you to death with my weekend news.

*I will be adding in pictures from this weekend later but I forgot to upload them to my computer earlier.

So a typical Halloween night includes me making the living room spooky, watching Van Helsing and Harry Potter, and waiting for children to come trick or treat while eating candy and drinking hot apple cider.

This year it consisted of me throwing snickers at children and getting dragged out to Suwon.  Unlike back home where a costume may get you a look, here ….it gets you stares.  Although I only had a nose and whiskers thanks to my brown eyeshadow…it was more than enough.  I felt like a real foreigner.  At the end of the night my new friend said to me “I really envy you. You don’t have people staring at you at all times…except for now.” But my “costume” was no where near as obvious as my “vampire” friend and my “witch-i have a big ass hat and cobweb face” friend…clearly they got the “wtf ” looks more than me…so all in all a usual thing

We went to some bar in Suwon called Sam Ryan’s.  It’s extremely Western-the most I’ve seen since I’ve been here-all the employees speak perfect English.  There’s apparenly a British bartender and an Australian manager so it makes sense.

Because it was my first time going, I’m not exactly sure where it is but if you exit out of Suwon station exit 8 and keep walking straight you will eventually find it.  It’s down the main strip with shops on either side and i think it’s like a 10 minute walk or so ….you can look it up online there are a lot of reivews about it.

But I was old and tired and I had planned on meeting a friend the next day in Seoul so I was boring, headed home early and wound up continuing my “Greek” marathon I started last week.

Sunday I had planned to meet a friend in Seoul but she wanted to go to the JJCC concert with our other friend.  There was no way I was going to make it and I didn’t want to sit in the cold so I decided to give myself a little solo trip and visit Bukchon Hanok Village.  Even though I’ve been to Gyeongbukgong Palace twice, I’ve never been to the nearby Hanok village.

It was really easy.  After getting off at Seoul station from the train, you take Line 1 (dark blue line) towards Soyosan (end of the line) / City Hall (next stop). You get off at Jongno 3 (sam) ga and transfer over to Line 3 (orange line) towards Daehwa ( end of line) / Anguk ( next stop).  You will be getting off at Anguk which is just 1 stop.

Follow the signs for exit 2.  Once you reach the street you will walk for a few minutes until you see a small information booth.  They have a guide map in English for you.  If you follow the map, continue walking straight until you see the pharmacy on the left side of the street. (약  this is pharmacy in korean). Cross the street and head up the road. You can go in many different directions but usually the main crowd will head to the “11” street which has the best picture spots.  If you choose to hike up on the street you can get some great pictures.If you’re a K drama fan, 43 hanok is the exterior for “Personal taste” with Lee Min Ho (you know, the one where he pretends to be gay”.

I had a great time wandering alone.  It reminded me that I can and do enjoy doing these types of things on my own.  Ever since my first trip to Seoul alone back in March, I haven’t done too much on my own.  But I really do enjoy having the quiet alone time, at my own pace.

I went a little later in the day so the lightning wasn’t the best (due to the earlier sunset now thank you impending winter) but I did get some pretty great shots and enjoyed walking through the village.

Now people do live here so it’s really important to keep quiet and make sure you pay attention to the no photo signs.  I think it must be difficult to live in one of the houses.  You could never really go outside, there would always be foot traffic…you’re living in a tourist spot. You would always feel watched.  I expect it would be similar to living in a house in Williamsburg where people can just walk up and down you street (except in closer proximity) and take pictures.  It would be a hard life I think.

There are oppourtinites to do a guest stay at one of these hanoks that I would like to try some weekend. It was amazing how walking out of exit 2 the city noise is gone.  The area around the hanok village is really cool too.  You almost feel like you’re in a small town, not a big city.  And there are some great mountains in the background too.

After Bukchon, I wanted to head to Kyobo bookstore which is exit 3 of the Gwanghamun station (purple line) .  I followed the paper map and it was an easy 10 minute walk. There were a ton of police men all over …I wasn’t sure what was going on but it was too many to be a simple guard.

Kyobo was insane.  I don’t know if it was the fact it was cold outside or it was a Sunday or what…but it was so busy.  I picked up the new IU album and EXO second box (and Ailee, but I had forgotten and had to get it later in Myeongdong) and debated whether or not I wanted the new FX album.  I decided to listen to it first (which is what I’m doing now) before.

After Kyobo I met the friends that went to the JJCC concert in Myeongdong for a bit before heading home.

While it wasn’t a packed weekend like previous weekends, it was decently busy and kept me from sitting on my couch at home.

I also managed to buy myself a birthday gift-a 100,000 Won winter parka.  My friend H told me that there really is no such thing as fall here.  It’s a short period of time.  And she wasn’t kidding.  Despite having a random week of 70 degreees a few weeks ago, it’s been high 60’s…

This past week it dropped to 60’s…sometimes 50’s during the day and 30’s/40’s at night.  It became so cold so awkwardly fast, that I’m still trying to understand what the hell happened.

When I got here in March, it was cold. And now that it’s only November 2 and it’s cold…I can’ only assume what November – Februrary will be like.

So birthdays.

I don’t like to make a big fuss out of them for a few reason.  Actually let me rephrase…I don’t like to make a big fuss out of MY birthday.  I love celebrating my friends and family’s birthdays.

  1. I had to put down the best dog in the world -Calvin- on my 22nd birthday
  2. I really don’t like having a lot of attention put on me…it’s uncomfortable and awkward.
  3. I’ve had friends in the past who have been birthday crazies to the point where it becomes a little obnoxious “IT”S MY BIRTHDAY SO…..”

I loved to do it as a kid but as I grew up, I’ve found that an ice  cream cake, a few gifts and then dinner is really all I need. No parties.

This year is the first time I will be away from home and for the first time since 1989, I will be celebrating it in the country I was born in.  It’s kind of cool.

But to celebrate with all of you sad souls who have nothing better to do than to read my sad little (often uninteresting) blog, I’ve decided to do a countdown of my favorite songs.  I debated back and forth with this between just KPOP and songs in general.  And I’ve decided this blog could use some flair…so we are going to songs in general which my choices may seem shocking to you.

Since I’ve decided to only a weekday countdown, and I couldn’t bear to limit it to 5, I’ve decided to do 10 songs with 2 each day.

Note, unlike Halloween which didn’t really have any order until we got to #1, this is a legit countdown where I list my top 10 songs of all the songs of all the genres…I repeat….all the genres.

So today…..

# 10: Hey Jude (The Beatles)

As someone who was known for disliking the Beatles for a long time, it might be shocking that this would be on my top 10 songs list.  It wasn’t my fault that in the third grade my music teacher showed the class The Yellow Submarine animation….so for 10 + years I associated The Beatles with the repetitive “we all live in a yellow submarine” chorus.  It wasn’t until I was in my senior year of college, taking a music history course, that I learned that the Beatles were more than that.  After watching “Hard Day’s Night”, my perspective on everything Beatles changed.  Not to mention my two best friends got on board too (we were all in the same class).  I got the entire restored Beatles collection for Christmas, the three of us made a spontaneous mid week trip to Strawberry Fields in NYC on John Lennon’s death anniversary, S bought a poster and hung it in our apartment.

It was the first time that I learned to like something I had been so set against (if you’ve ever sat through the Yellow Submarine animation you understand why-it wasn’t blind hate…it was legit) and it defiantly wouldn’t be the last time. Liking old music was never an issue growing up with the idea “I own the car, I control the radio” (which everyone knows that’s BS because our parents still tried to control the radio even in our own cars) so I listended to  golden oldies a lot.  But it allowed my dad and I to bond a little as well.  He was kind enough to never make me listen to the beatles growing up.

But this allowed us to have one more thing other than sports to talk about which was really nice. My dad isn’t a real big music person ( I think it’s because he’s tone deaf…..) so having the oppourtinity to share a music interest was really fun.

Hey Jude was the first song by the Beatles that I really fell in love with. I don’t know why exactly but to this day it’s my favorite song of theirs and was my favorite song for a long time.  It’s a pretty simple song that pokes fun at pop’s “fade out” instead of using an actual ending to a song. But the build of up instruments eventually ends up with this wall of sound that is so powerful you forget that the song started off so simple and soft.

Paul McCartney’s voice fits the song so well.  And though the lyrics aren’t anything spectacular, the sentiment that it was written for Lennon’s son during the divorce is really touching.

Not to mention if you listen really closely before the chorus of “nananana hey jude start” you can hear somebody ( I think it was Lenon) say “fucking hell” which is just….hysterical that it wasn’t edited.”

So while it might not be the most innovative or creative song in the world, it’s a really special song for me.

#9:Live Like We’re Dying (Kris Allen)

A lot of people probably won’t know this name, or if they do, it’s “the dude who won against the other better dude on American Idol”.

While yes, Kris Allen probably should have lost, he won and this was the song he put out (after that No Boundries mess) as his first single.

Yes Adam Lambert is probably a better singer.  In all facets of the aspect.  And by logic, he would my favorite.  But I fell in love with Kris Allen’s smooth vocal tone.  I learned that sometimes it’s not always about power and strength and throwing out every single trick in the book.  It’s not doing insane vocal runs.  But having a nice smooth tone and doing the best you can do with it sometimes makes it better than any powerful belter ( I say this as someone who prefers strong full voices ironically)

This song not only has Kris Allen’s smooth vocal tone all over it, a catchy tune but also the message behind the song isn’t just some silly love song.

Although he didn’t write it, I do think he carries out the message and the emotion of the song amazingly.  It’s all about the fact that we only have so much time to live and our life could end at any moment.  What would you regret? What would you wish you would have done?  There’s no point in putting off something until later because later might never happen.

So that concludes today’s long post.  I will hopefully remember to add in pictures later.  Tomorrow will continue with the #8 and # 7 countdown as well as dealing with the fact I was just told that my favorite co teacher (whom I rely on for so much) is going to fill the 4th grade home room position, leaving me to have to work with a brand new co teacher…..hate it

KPOP Halloween : Day 13: Final!! GD vs VIXX

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Ok I’m very aware this is super late but due to the fact it was a weekend and my friends dragged me out of my apartment to go to a bar in Suwon….be glad it’s here at all.

Our honorable mention was…..G Dragon Coup D’etat. While not “scary” in the sense of halloween…the creepy factor is a 10. It’s weird, its strange…it’s 50 shades of freaky in a post apocalyptic world. The song itself is a little creepy sounding as well with the continuous mantra “this is my coup d’etat”.  However, for me it was deemed less creepy when my friend Brian decided to add his own soundtrack “this is my coup d’etat….ew” so now I just always think of that.

And our official number 1 Halloween song….VIXX Voodoo Doll.  I had been saving this since the day I decided to do this challenge.  There isn’t really any need as to why this is number one.  It’s gorey, it’s violent, it’s creepy, it sounds evil….there’s math.

It was extremely hard to keep the VIXX MV to two…easily the visually disturbing Error could have made it or the vampire on the mood On and On….but I didn’t think anyone would appreciate a list covered in VIXX…unless you’re a super fan…..like myself.

Heads up, this is the UNEDITED version, so if you can’t deal with soft horror…than you might want to youtube the clean version.  I mean I’m a scardey cat when it comes to even the slightest horror movie, but I got through this…..but at the same time I can’t watch previews for the walking dead so….watch at your own discretion.

From the beginning where Ken is flung through the air, to the awesome “controlled” dancing and the amazing vocals as usual, this has everything of an amazing VIXX song.

Which brings me to a small minor point-VIXX comeback! Promo’s are out and despite being very upset at Leo’s blond hair (it washes him out badly) I’m ready for this comeback…

Anyway, that concludes our Halloween KPOP challenge….it was fun..I got to watch some MV’s and listen to songs I never would have otherwise.

As for what’s coming next on the blog…I’ve decided to keep doing this once a day video thing.  It keeps me motivated to update everyday.. While it might not always be the focus of the entry or even a “challenge”, I think it will keep my and hopefully any of you sad suckers reading this, entertained.

With my birthday coming up, I’ve decided to do a countdown of my favorite KPOP songs starting today and running through Friday (because I’m not sure if I will remember to update during the weekend). This will be in the following post as well as my weekend visit to Bukchon village.

Day 12: Cute Zombies and “scary” wolves

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Second to last day of this 13 day KPOP Halloween Challenge!

I can’t believe it!

As today’s subject line says, you can expect cute zombies and “scary” wolves…as anyone who knows me well, these two are backwards.  I am terrified of zombies ( I don’t know when or why this started) and can’t even stand the sight of pictures or previews for the Walking Dead.

But today….that’s all changed.

First up is our honorable mention: SPEED’s Zombie Party.

zombie + party + KPOP = cute nonthreatening zombies.

I know next to nothing about SPEED except that I’ve seen them live at Dream Concert….that’s it. The video itself doesn’t have much to it.  Just them dancing around like zombies, then a girl is randomly in there at one point…I don’t know.  But to me it felt almost satirical-like we weren’t supposed to take them seriously.  I mean the dance …come on.

Also the song while at times had that harsher sounding guitar in it (much like Block B’s Very Good from yesterday’s post) overall it felt like a fun upbeat dance song.  Hence, why I think SPEED as zombies aren’t meant to be scary.

Honestly, the scariest part of the entire song is when they say “we zombie party.”

Official MV: EXO’s Wolf

Here’s the thing…this MV and song is scary…but not for the reasons you think.

  1. The fact that it was a hit.  This song is horrible.  I hated it before I hated EXO. I hated it when I hated EXO.  I still hate it now that I’ve accepted that I “stan” EXO. If I was given the opportunity to unhear a song or unsee a MV….this would probably be #2 right after ikon’s “Rhythm Ta” (sidenote it used to be #1 but ikon’s debut song pisses me off for multiple reasons…beside the fact it basically stole the hook from GDX TY  Good boy)
  2. Fashion Terrorists: Luhan’s fuzzy sleeve collars. Chanyeol in a fedora+  bandanna = painful to look at, D.O. ruffled sleeved shirt (why?), Baekhyun’s blonde perm that makes him look too pretty  which then in turn doesn’t match when you see his armpit hair…. Sehun’s rainbow hair which is bad in and of itself….but when you add in the fact this is supposed to be a slightly darker “wolf ” theme….
  3. The wolf ears choreography I can’t.
  4. The best part about this song is the first 10 seconds with the tree of life…then Chanyeol says : 촉이 와
  5. The translation……if you want to be both amused and slightly horrified….

But the real scariest thing about this entire MV…..

……Kai’s braids.

Ok that concludes my EXO Wolf rant…it’s probably hard to believe that I really do like EXO after that mess…but I just can’t stand that song….my friend suggested I use it and while at first it may not look worthy…but there are many “scary” things in that MV…aside the glowing red eyes wolf sounds.

Tomorrow is the last day! I will do my best because it is not a weekday and as you probably can see I do my best to keep busy on the weekends. But I will try to remember ….hopefully…considering I’ve been waiting to post tomorrow’s since this whole thing started