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. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Kdrama Review: Uncontrollably Fond

Drama: Uncontrollably Fond
Genre: Romantic Drama
Starring: Kim Woo Bin, Bae Su Ji (Suzy)
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Sigh. Add another favorite leading male dude to my list. Does this ever end? Will I get over these guys at some point?

This is a brand new drama that just finished airing. I hate it when I start watching the ones that haven't finished because then you have to WAIT!!! Ugh... but I managed it and it just finished and then the episodes became available and....

... it was not at all what I expected. I started watching it because of the stupid funny clips that DramaFever puts on their Facebook page. And it looked funny and silly and romantic and much banter and lots of romantic tension and all that.

So I started watching... and while some of that was there... mostly it was all drama and sadness and craziness and oh my word, a lot of tears running down faces!!!

This is the story about a quite obnoxious dude who is the top Korean drama star (sort of like he really is) but, as we find out in the very first episode... he is dying of some brain disease and has only three months to live. So what does he want to do with these three months?

Turns out that he runs into a girl that he quite liked in high school, though he teased her relentlessly. Anyway, now he wants to love her "fiery and passionately" for three months. But of course, she wants nothing to do with him. She is hired to film a documentary for him and he is back to teasing her now and she is like... dude... you are so full of it and you are just a player and you are so not genuine and even though I DO like you and I HAVE liked you forever... forget it!

Meanwhile, we are all going... BUT HE'S DYING!!! YOU HAVE TO LOVE HIM NOW!!!

Well. And so it goes. And there's a back story about her dad being killed in a hit and run and how that was all covered up and she is just really wanting to bring justice and revenge to that case and when he finds out about it (well, he was kinda involved actually) that is all he wants to do with his remaining days, but in order to do it, he has to pretend he doesn't like her... and he decides this JUST when she finally decides that she will go ahead and like him after all.

Ah, the timing!!!

Sigh. There was no way this drama would end up happy. You know.. ALL DRAMAS END UP WITH A HAPPY ENDING, right? Well...

But.... BUT.... this dude. Oh my gosh. I just. Seriously. He's...well... awesome.

I loved this one because of him. Because of the conflict and the agony. Because of the romantic tension mentioned above that WAS there. Because it surprised me (as so many of them do) with its depth and thought provoking themes.

So... go watch it when you get sick of the dumb American stuff. :)

There's a gazillion little trailers for this one.... here's one I liked:

 And surprisingly, the song for this drama is not Korean! In fact, my guess is you'll know this one:


 But wait! You want to hear him singing, right? Of course he sings!!!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Book Review Thoughts: Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Book: Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating:★★★☆ ☆

This one of those books that reads quickly and is engaging and compelling but in the end you just wonder why you put yourself through it. Well, at least that's what I felt. Because, this is a sad sad story. The story of a youngish person (because I know this for a fact, 50 is still young) who gets Alzheimer's. This is the story of how she watches herself slowly slowly slowly get worse and worse and worse. It's the story of how her family deals with it, each in their own way.

You know how we sometimes say about nonfiction books, that they read like a novel? Well, this is a novel that feels like a nonfiction book. It feels like this is a real person that this really happened to. It's not, but it is. As many people end up dealing with this very situation.

Which brings me to wonder, why do we enjoy reading (and authors enjoy writing ) these types of stories. It made me wonder if I'm supposed to walk away feeling scared to death every time I forget something. Or feel foggy. Or can't quite think of the word I want.

Or am I supposed to walk away feeling all depressed about a disease that there really is nothing that can be done about. It's such a helpless feeling.

Or, and I suppose this is what we decided at book club, do we read these books just to be aware that there are people who are dealing with this and that when we come across them in our lives (both the youngish people and the many oldish people that we know who deal with it) we feel more compassionate and understanding then we otherwise would. Yes, I suppose this is what we should take away from it. Because I for one, hate walking away from a book that makes me feel helpless, scared and depressed. You know?

Bottom Line: Quick and compelling. You should read it and become more compassionate!

Other Reviews:

Lisa did a great job in telling the story from Alice's perspective. This is the kind of book that makes you appreciate those who have the disease better. From Reading on a Rainy Day

I felt that the author also does an excellent job of describing what is going on in Alice's head as the dementia increases. In fact, she does such a good job that I sometimes forgot the book was fiction and not about a real person. From Always With a Book

I loved Still Alice and can’t recommend it highly enough. It offers such insight and would make a wonderful gift for anyone touched by this devastating, incurable disease in some way. From Books on the Brain

I thought the author really understood the experience of a person who is diagnosed and then lives with the disease of Alzheimer’s. From Semicolon


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