25 November, 2013

Another Year of K-drama: Sort of a Liebster Award Post

So the 25th is my anniversary for starting to watch Korean drama. It feels a little strange to think that this marks the two year anniversary of when I began this crazy-down-the-rabbithole journey.

A while ago I had decided that I wanted to take all those awesome Liebster Award nominations and make my 일 (saeng-il) post a response of sorts to them...I know, I know - you guys all did that ages ago. Let's just say RL has been insane!!! So yeah...here goes. Oh, and all the screenshots for this post all come from VIXX's Only You and SPICA's Tonight - two of my favourite K-pop numbers for this year (and yes, there is a post for a top 100 coming some time soon).

First off, I was touched and overwhelmed by the lovely nominations (in chronological order) from:

Kfangurl at The Fangirl Verdict - A Liebster Award. Kinda.
Deeno at Mad Dino Asylum - Crazy Talk ❘ Not a Liebster Award
kakashi at The Problem of the Unproblematic - Hello Liebster Award Mania!
Orion at Orion's Ramblings - Orion Rambles About Orion's Ramblings - Liebster Award
Eye Candy & Miss D at All that Drama - A Liebster Award

Now, call me a rebel, but I think I am going to do this a little differently, perhaps take a leaf out of Deeno's book, and do things a little differently. Don't worry, I'll answer your questions...I'm just not sure what I'll do after that. Before we go any further, I want to say a word about these lovely ladies who I've become Internet friends with. A few years ago if someone had told me that I would be friends with random strangers, and tell them about myself and my life, squee over gorgeous people with them, share opinions, thoughts, crazy life stories, and just generally hang out virtually with people - let's just say that I wouldn't have believed you. My life is honestly richer because of them. Sometimes I catch myself thinking...so-and-so would really appreciate this, or they would laugh at this. You are as real as the flesh and blood people around me. That feels weird to say, but I do mean it.

kfangurl is one of the nicest, kindest, cutest people ever. She is always ready to chat and I love her love and enthusiasm for Gong Yoo and Kim Woo Bin. I always love finding Woo Bin related things to share with her because I always know she'll appreciate them. I also once upon a time made a "mixed-tape" for her to help her get at least a little addicted to K-pop.

Deeno is one of my favourite people in the universe as well being completely hilarious! I have actually hung out with her in real life as we live really close to each other and I feel like somehow I know a super-heroine's secret identity because I actually know her in real life ㅋㅋㅋ She has also made me a rather adorable piggy-bunny (I won a contest she had. She is also a fabulous nail artist, and has all sorts of cool designs she blogs about. She is also a guru when it comes to having watched a bazillion dramas!

kakashi is one of the coolest people I know. She has always been a supporter of my micro-blogging start, and I hope that when I am next in Europe we can hang out. She is also super-crazy-smart and has a really cool RL job. She is also the queen of gifs. I never actually watched When a Man Falls in Love but her Shuk and JoAnne's posts and gifs had me rolling on the floor laughing. They were an absolute joy to read.

Orion is pretty dang cool. She is so well read, and always has such interesting things to say. I always like seeing her tempered opinions and her acerbic wit. I definitely do plenty of spit-takes at her funny comments. She is someone I want to get to know better here on the Internets.

Sadly Eye Candy & Miss D have taken a hiatus from the blogging world. I stumbled across their blog while looking for a review for Love 911, and I am a big fan of their short and sweet approach to reviews, opinions, thoughts, and just general all round awesomeness. I hope that they will be able to come back soon so we can see more of their cool thoughts!

So here goes 7 random facts about myself. (I don't really like the number 11, but I do like 7, and I figure you'll get to know me better with all the other questions anyway)

1. I am a synesthete
This means that my brain does funky things with colour. For me this means that I associate numbers and letters with colour and characteristics. For example, the number four is always pink for me (like a light pink). Four is also male, and rather fat and sometimes wears a top hat. Five also likes to bully four. Seven is green for me.
The letter "L" is dark, midnight blue and likes to be aloof. Yeah, it might sound a little weird to you, but I actually only recently discovered that not everyone thought this way. My best friend growing up (and my family members) all have some degree of this. I kind of like it.
2. I have met and shaken hands with Nelson Mandela.
As some of you may know, I am South African. When I was about 14 or 15, my dad was working on a project and the South African government was going to use it. Nelson Mandela was coming to inspect the project, and so all the spouses and children of the engineers were invited to come and meet him. it was AMAZING to meet him! He has such an aura of peace around him, and I feel immensely lucky that I've had the experience to meet a living legend.

3. I am a complete linguistics nerd. 
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE words!!! When I read this recent Mental Floss post about old words that survived in English by becoming fossilized in idioms, I really exclaimed: Be still my nerdy heart! Well, that was mostly about the whole go-went-gone verb irregularity and why it's irregular. It's so cool! I also really love to learn new languages, and I have dabbled in quite a few languages. I think words are really powerful and that sometimes understanding others comes as we seen to learn culture through their language.

4. I am an INFJ, Red-Blue.
So according to the Meyers-Briggs test, I am an INFJ - though a lot of people are surprised when I say I am introvert. I am also a totally Type A/Red person, but with a giant dose of blue. I am sure those tests can only capture a part of who I am, but I definitely exhibit some of the stereotypical characteristics of those personality classifications.

5. I have a thyroid auto-immune disease.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with a thyroid auto-immune disease. Basically it sucks. One of the crappier symptoms is chronic fatigue - it's rather nasty. And the whole major weight gain thing isn't really fun either. It also makes me want to crawl into a ball sometimes or just to run away (if I had the energy). I generally put up a good front though, and most people don't realize just how hard it is to get out of bed every morning and do what needs to get done.

6. I am a TCK (third culture kid)
When I was a teenager, my family moved to Germany for my dad's work. It has been one of the best things in my life and has opened so many doors for me in so many ways. It also helped me to realize that I've always had a love of being part of an international crowd. It's also probably why I feel so comfortable with all the Twitterpeeps, drama-watchers, and the peeps online. We are a crowd that doesn't let borders and nationalities stop us from being friends. If only the world were more like that. :)

7. I absolutely adore cooking and baking.
Ever since I was small I have enjoyed cooking, baking, and experimenting with trying new recipes. It has meant that I quite an accomplished cook. I had a roommate once who also loved to bake and we joked about how people thought it was weird that we were feminists yet we were so "domesticated". I guess that's another thing, I hate gender stereotypes. I think men can dance, and women can do science, that both parents need to be home more with their children, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I won't get into. I myself would love to have a bunch of kids...but well, I don't want to be a single parent; it's so hard and challenging enough to be a parent without doing it by oneself.

And here are all the other questions. There were so many questions collectively that I didn't answer all of them...sorry...The first are from kfangurl.

1. Of all the posts you've written, which one are you most proud of and why?
I would have to say that is super-crazy hard to choose. I think one that has a dear place in my heart is my Ode to Kim Boong Do that I wrote at the beginning of this blogging journey. It might not be the best post I wrote, but it's special to me. Probably though the one I am most proud of is Cruel City: Through a Glass Darkly that I wrote with bustered. I think I also remember it so fondly because of all the lovely conversations we had that ended up in the post being written.
2. What's the biggest thing you've learned through blogging?
Eek! How do I answer that?! I think more than anything, blogging has reaffirmed my belief that when people find things in common that they both love, that all our other differences fade into the background and that we can really get along. While there are some crazy people online, there are some really lovely people I think are fabulous!
3. If you could have one k-related superpower, what would it be?
To be super rich - mostly so I could travel the world and take time to paint, read, blog, and then spend the balance of time working on making education a reality worldwide.
4. If your life were a K-drama, who would you cast as your co-star and why?
I would have to say Choi Jin Hyuk would be cast as my co-star because his voice mesmerizes me. He also said in an interview that his personality is closer to the cute Wol Ryung in Gu Family Book and I like that. He is also ridiculously handsome ;) And perhaps this sounds really weird, but I could totally imagine him as a really great dad (I guess I am baby-hungry today ㅋㅋㅋ). He also appears to kiss really well...

These next ones are from Deeno.

5. Where do you hail from?
Pretoria, South Africa.
6. Why do you visit my blog or what do you like about my blog?
What don't I like might be a better question :) I love Deeno's blog because it looks so classy. She is also super hilarious, sardonic, and very tongue-in-cheek. I had a friend mention her blog to me, and so I checked it out, and loved it. Soon after that I realized we lived in the same area, and we've since hung out a few times.
7. If you could meet five drama bloggers who would you want to meet?
Ooh! That is hard! I would love to meet Raine, JoAnne, kakashi, and Shuk who outdo themselves with squeecapping. Like it's a fine art when they get together. I would also love to meet kfangurl. Man, I could go on and on with this list! (I have already met Deeno as I already mentioned). Oh, I would love to meet Ricky oppa as well.

The next part is from kakashi's post.

8. Tweet a 140 character description of their all-time favourite K-drama. 
I did back then, but I am too lazy to go and find the tweet from all those months ago...wait, I can't remember if I did or not...oh well. Here goes. Cruel City, dark, moody. Beautiful camera work, compelling story. Jung Kyung Ho. Sexy and sad in all the right places. Stays true to itself. I had to pick one drama...so this choice might change later on down the road. 

And these are from Orion's post.

9. What kind of posts do you wish you had more of in your blog, or what kinds of topics do you wish you talked more about, and what is stopping you from doing it?
I actually have some really great partial drafts of posts I really want to do - reviews, k-pop posts, episode commentaries, etc. I just haven't finished them. What it really comes down to is time. The only Korean TV I've watched since August has been Running Man. I've been wrapping things up with my graduate thesis (I've defended, and now I am just wrapping things up with the revisions). Sadly, I might not have time in the near future either as I will be moving and finding a job and all sorts of craziness. I did have two people today ask me if I am watching Reply 1994, so maybe I should just watch that one. 

10. If there were a zombie/monster/alien apocalypse and you could only take 5 actors/actresses (not characters) with you to fight by your side, who would choose and why?
Hmm...I would have to say Jung Kyung Ho. If he can pull of the moves he did in Cruel City in real life, I totally would want him on my side. He also seems to be able command good leadership skills and generally common sense and just like he could get stuff done. I would also choose Choi Jin Hyuk because I have a huge crush on him, and that man has muscles! Speaking of muscles, I would most definitely want Lee Jae Yoon along. Yup. I don't think I need to say anymore. Jo Jeong Seok would also be nice. Not only can he channel his soldierly Shi Kyung from King 2 Hearts, but he sing away the blues for us. And then maybe Kim Jong Kook...I would definitely want the Tiger on my side in any sort of apocalypse. 

And then last, but not least, some questions from Eye Candy and Miss D:

11. What were doing before you watched K-dramas?
Well, I am still doing some of that. I am wrapping up grad school, and getting ready to work full-time teaching ESL (I've been doing it part-time while in grad school). I watched a lot more Bollywood movies (these days I feel like they just haven't been as good, though I still watch them as well). I think I was less of a squee-er pre K-drama ㅋㅋㅋAnd I definitely did not spend as much money on music *shakes fist at k-pop*. Other that, I am pretty much the same. Oh, I also have a blog under my real name and I write poetry as well (for which I also have a blog). I guess I am just a wordy person :D.

12. What show ending do you wish you could re-write and how would you?
Pretty much most K-dramas need an ending re-write. Okay, I kid, I kid. Probably one drama that I think drastically needs a rewrite is King of Dramas. I feel like the drama completely flat-lined at the end. I wrote about it here. In reality though, it wasn't all that bad. Another drama I would rewrite the ending for (or pretty much everything from episode 9 onwards) would be That Winter, the Wind Blows. I wrote fairly extensively about it here actually. I would have most definitely had Young be a more clued-in character much, much sooner and had her figure out and confront Soo about who he was. I think it would have made the narrative much more interesting. I was okay with the fauxcest when I thought she actually knew. I would also probably have one or the other of them die at the end, or something more drastic. The whole ending was super shoddy, and had so little resolution for pretty much all the characters. It was just so rushed, and the problems started about half way through the drama. 

Okay, so I'm not going to make anyone write another whole post answering all my questions etc. As much as I loved the idea, I think we need to wait a bit before showering the Internet with more posts. What I do want though are drama recommendations (of a sort). So here goes:

If there were one drama you think I should watch before I die, please write it in the comments below and also tell me why you think I should watch it (it doesn't have to be a super serious reason). It could be an older drama, a currently airing one, one that aired a million years ago. It could also be another Asian drama, like Taiwanese or Japanese, or just about anything. You can always double check our "Korea Drama Ratings" page if you're not sure what I've already seen, or the "Current Addictions" page. 

And there are some specific people I want recommendations from. I guess this is my "Liebster" nomination because I respect their drama guru-ness. So please will the following add their recommendations:

Deeno, Raine, kfangurl, lizabr3ff and Maralee (my most fabulous drama-loving and BIGBANG road-trip concert going friends - also M and I get to ooh and aah over all things BIGBANG and drama related. She keeps me sane since bustered has taken a hiatus from the drama world), my blogging buddy K-What?! who is the one who got me addicted in the first place, my sister who knows a lot about Anime, Tahira, kakashi, Shuk, JoAnne, Shel, Ricky, Mystisith, Joonni, Ayesha, missinelly, Orion, Eye Candy & Miss D...if I have mistakenly missed someone on the list, please still comment...it's late and I'm tired, I promise I'm not trying to exclude anyone ^^

Okay folks, I think that wraps up this rather long post. I hope you enjoyed it! 

◀ 안녕!!! A little dewaanifordrama update


  1. Drama recommendation... wow... *palms sweating*.

    Well, obviously 'Salaryman' and 'I Hear Your Voice' are each epic for what they are. One is simply hilarious, the other really goes into morality, right and wrong, what drives people to do things etc.

    I just wrote a huge text about 'Giant', before remembering to check. You've seen it, it seems. Ahaha. So I guess either of the two above. Obviously the more useful and serious choice is 'I Hear Your Voice' and it's truly a unique experience, but 'Salaryman' is great for some laughs and excitement.

  2. Haha, it's actually bustered who has watched Giant...so I guess I need to buckle down and just watch it ^^ And those other two seem like good ones to watch. Thanks so much Orion!

  3. Oooooh. Here's a wall of text for you then, since I can't let it go to waste. Bwahaha. I might turn it/copy-paste it into a Why I love 'Giant' post someday.

    'Giant', to me, is illustrating how messed up the world is, but is also a cautionary tale about what letting our anger and bitterness over that unfairness consume us can bring about. We often realize we live in a world that is run by people like the villain and it hurts. For me, 'Giant' feels way too real, melodrama and proportions aside.

    And by the end of it, I stopped being so angry. That is not to say I stopped hating these people and calling them out on their bull, but my anger and sadness turned into disapproval and finding them pathetic. They're monsters and they harm our lives enough as is. Letting them get to us and suffering while they enjoy is only adding to their "accomplishments".

    So I keep the poster from 'Giant' as my phone wallpaper. And I keep the epilogue theme as my ringtone. Seeing and hearing that just reminds me that these people are not worth losing your happiness or good things and people over. 'Giant' keeps me strong.

    I think our generation is very disillusioned about that. About how the powerful abuse us. And it makes people angry and it makes people sad. We need those emotions to fuel change, but when they overtake us, it's easy to let that become a false sense of entitlement and turn into people much like the ones we hate. After all, many of today's villains were once heroes of revolutions. They fought for change and still turned into exactly who they were fighting, by putting themselves through systems that corrupt.

    So, be it because of my personal struggles with the world or due to how the series portrays its themes or both, I would recommend this to anyone who feels lost and choked by all the wrongs in our lives. It's a strangely cathartic experience and personally, it just keeps reminding me to enjoy and live to the best of my abilities. I forget it often, but I feel relief when I remember it.

  4. Oh! Drama recommendation. Autumn's Concerto. It always will have a special place in my heart and I'm positive that I've recommended this drama a million times, which means you should probably watch it a million times.

  5. That sounds completely fascinating and absolutely intriguing! Thanks for the wall of text! ^^

  6. Hahaha, I will most definitely watch it! And then I will tell you how much I love it. ^^

  7. Eeee!!! :D I'm here, I'm here!! So sorry to be late to the party, I was traveling for work last week & am just catching back up on stuff now. YAY that you did this post!! Knowing your schedule, I wouldn't have blamed you if you didn't get around to it, so THANKS for making time to write this! What a great, fun read!

    Also. Even though I'm super impressed that you've met Nelson Mandela, the thing that impressed me the MOST, is how cheery & warm you have been and continue to be, despite having to deal with the thyroid thing. I would've never guessed, ever. Coz you have always been such a positive, happy presence here on the internetz. HUGS, chingu. ❤ You rawk, for not letting an auto-immune condition rob you of your warm personality.

    My drama pick, for must-watch-before-you-leave-this-planet, is Chuno. It's gorgeous, mesmerizing and epic on the epic-est of scales. I didn't love all of it on my first watch, but came to appreciate it so much more on the second watch. I think I went in expecting all the wrong things. I thought there'd be a central love story like all other kdramas I'd seen before it, but I've since realized that the love story was never the point. It's more about growth, loyalty, and character. And it's so, so good. I recommend to watch it in HD, with as big a screen, and as good of a sound setup as you've got. Wonderfully immersive and totally kickass. :D

  8. Aw!!! kfangirl, as always you make my week!!! And not worries about being "late" to the party. Sometimes I wish I could just blog ㅋㅋㅋ And escape from all the craziness of life for a while.

    You know, we all have challenges, and while some days are rough, well I have it soooooo much better than so many people ^^

    I will most definitely make sure to watch Chuno. It's been on my too watch list, and I guess I had better get it on my watched list ❤❤❤

    Good luck with all your busy-ness too!!!

  9. Aw. Hugs to you, dear chingu!! ❤❤❤ I hope your super busy season ends soon, so that we can hang out more online! :D

    And I hope you enjoy Chuno as much as I did!! It slumps somewhat for a couple of eps from E18, due to focusing on court stuff, but overall, it's still a masterpiece. And those don't come along very often! ^^

  10. Me too! I can't wait to have some decent free time soon! ^^

  11. Glad to hear that you are back to the blogging and dramaing world! I loved this post of yours! It was very sweet and a very interesting read! Good luck on wherever life takes you after grad school! I'm glad that you will be doing something that you love!

    Anyway, the dramaa that I recommend for you to watch are: In Time With You, Autumn's Concerto and Two Weeks! They are all amazing dramas! You should give them a try! (:

  12. Aw, thanks! ^^ I think I spoke too soon...somehow or other I can't seem to catch a break from RL. All I would like to do is catch up on K-drama...but yeah. I will totally add those to the list. It really seems like I should watch Autumn's Concerto; I know that Deeno loves that one as well.

  13. hi... new to your blog but love it so far! :D I recommend

    rom coms: "The Greatest Love" "Shut up Flower Boy Band" and "Man from the Stars" <--still airing

    sageuks: "The Princess' Man" and "Da Jang Geum"
    melodrama: "Innocent Man" "Secret"

    ps I love VIXX's Only You as well.

  14. Welcome weiqifox! Sorry we haven't posted properly in a while!

    I LOVE "The Greatest Love", I have two episodes left of "Shut Up: Flower Boy Band", and I want to check out "Man from the Stars" so thanks for the recommendations!

    And I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE "The Princess' Man" and have wanted to check out "Da Jang Geum" for a while! Yay! It's like we're on the same wavelength ^^~

    I LOVE VIXX - and I am soooooo glad they are getting super popular as well!