4 shows

Mar. 8th, 2017 09:59 am
sarea: (park bo-young)
I have watched the pilot or more of four shows recently, and I have two I recommend, one I semi-rec, and one I don't rec at all.

Let's start with the bad news, shall we?

Riverdale: I'm sorry, [personal profile] slitherhither, but this show is not good at ALL. The writing is bad, the acting is... not terrible, but not great, certainly not enough to overcome the bad writing, and the overarching mystery feels like such a retread of shows that actually did it well. Basically, this is another CW shallow teen drama. And I'm not necessarily anti-shallow teen dramas as a rule, but you have to give me something to hang my interest onto (like Vampire Diaries). Going in, I didn't even have the reservations that [profile] jade_okelani and [personal profile] adelagia had about the show; they both said the same thing, that they were really into the comics as kids and what they were doing with the show felt "wrong." I read Archie a bit and shipped Archie with Betty, but it wasn't a passionate interest of mine. So I was more than willing to be swept up in whatever guilty pleasure Riverdale had to offer. Sadly, there was no GP to be had at all. Spoilers. )

Goblin: This is my semi-rec. I'm enjoying it, but also... not. I was realllllly excited about this one, because the story sounded good and Gong Yoo was cast as the lead -- I believe it's his first drama since being discharged from the military -- but the reality of it has been somewhat lacking. The theme song is haunting and lovely, the cinematography is gorgeous, the acting is great... basically everything but the story itself. Spoilers )

The OA: I knew almost nothing about this show going in; I had learned about it in an article about the lead actress. I knew it was sci-fi, and that was enough for me to give the pilot a shot. Unlike Goblin and Riverdale, its overarching mystery is pretty intriguing, and they are able to successfully balance the mystery with giving the audience enough bits and pieces to keep us interested. I'm not crazy about the lead actress, but the story and writing are good so far, and the characters aren't two dimensional. It kind of feels like a sci-fi version of The Breakfast Club, lol.

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon: I rec this one unreservedly, with my whole heart. <3 Park Bo-young is almost impossibly adorable, sweet and likable. Well, to me, anyway. I've liked her in everything I've ever seen her in, starting with You Call It Passion, a movie I saw on one of my flights somewhere. She seems to be transitioning from doing movies to doing dramas, and so far, I'm loving it. Oh My Ghostess was her first drama in awhile, and her transitions from being the mousy restaurant worker to being the bubbly ghost were impressively night and day. I don't think she looks as good with the lighter brown/orange hair she's rocking as Bong-soon, but she's a different character so I'll live. ;)

Park Hyung-sik is a very pleasant surprise as Ahn Min-hyuk. I've never seen him in anything before, and usually when I watch K-drama these days, part of me laments that the hero isn't being played by SIG. ;) In this case, there's no lamenting at all! Jade and I both loooooooooooooove him!

I also love Ji-soo as In Guk-doo. I first saw him in the movie One Way Trip, and I had liked him very much there, too. Jade isn't as crazy about him, but honestly he's helping me like even the secondary pairing. I like the actor, I like the childhood friends thing (hello, Answer Me 1997!), etc. I do prefer her with Min-hyuk, but I can enjoy the Guk-doo ship too, which is a nice change of pace from my usual feelings about K-drama triangles (that the second lead should just GO AWAY).

Spoilers. )
sarea: (Default)
IT'S HAPPENING. [personal profile] adelagia and I are taking a Korean I class at BCC in the spring. I'm super excited, but also disappointed because I have to miss at least two classes (that's 20% of the course! :() due to work travel. I really, really, REALLY hope that I don't have to miss more, but who the eff knows. I've told [personal profile] adelagia that she has to take good notes on my behalf so that I won't be forced to take her first-place underwear (Answer Me 1997 reference! WATCH IT!"). :)))))

You know how when you take language classes in high school, the teacher has you pick a common name in that language? In preparation, I have consulted this Korean name generator. My Korean name: Shin Yeon-Ji. (If I input Sarea Okelani, it's Kan Sung-Ra, which sounds like a medieval warrior princess! :D Well, IMHO.)

[profile] jade_okelani and I have finished watching Boys Over Flowers. The most terrible thing has happened... she DIDN'T LIKE YI-JEONG/GA-EUL. /cry I don't even know what to say about it. She and I agree on almost every ship, and I didn't imagine this would be one where we diverged, when it is the ship EVERYONE WHO EVER WATCHES THE SHOW PREFERS. Sigh. She says that she doesn't feel like YJ "wants" GE enough. Whereas the people who ship them obviously feel differently. But you can't "convince" someone about a ship; that's like making someone feel something they don't, which is impossible.

Jade and I are now watching Goblin, which we've both heard good things about. We saw the pilot last night, and I thought it was okay. I love Gong Yoo, though he looks weird... I don't know if it's that he aged, or the military made him skinny, or what, but he doesn't seem as good-looking/charismatic as he was before, lol. But maybe it'll come through more once we get his character to loosen up more; I definitely liked him most in Coffee Prince and One Fine Day when he was smiling and being goofy. The girl seems okay, though she kind of reminds me of the girl from Cinderella and Four Knights, who I was meh about. (But that might've been more the character/story than the girl herself.) What's weird is that there are two guys in Goblin who remind us of SIG, but only in a disappointing way because they're not him. :))))

On my own, I finished watching Mirror of the Witch, which was seminal for my K-drama watching because it's a period drama. It's the first Korean period drama I've ever watched more than the pilot of, and I actually finished it! It starred the girl I liked from High School: Love On, Yoon Shi-yoon from Flower Boy Next Door, the guy who hates Onew in Descendants of the Sun, the second female lead from Answer Me 1997, Kwak Si-yang from Oh My Ghostess, and the guy who plays opposite SIG in The King's Face, another period drama that's on my watch list. WHEW. I'd forgotten how much I liked Yoon Shi-yoon, and this brought it back. :) I liked the show for the most part. Spoilery comments. )

Bad news about Talis... it looks like he has an ACL tear. Ugh. Last week, the day after I took him to the vet to have him checked up because I suspected he needed a dental (he's been yelping randomly and has really bad breath; I know the signs as I've been through it before), my mom took him on a walk to the park. On the way back, she says, he started limping badly and she had to carry him home. She mentioned that he had been obstinate about moving with her to the trash can after he was done with his business (typical for him), so she had to pull/drag him (I've been through it myself), and I suspect that this is when the tear happened. So now I have to take him to a specialist, and either he has to have surgery (he's old, so I'm not thrilled with the idea of putting him through that), or he has to get one of those custom braces made. Ughghghghgh.
sarea: (park bo-young)
A disgusting story ahead: My dog is old (he'll be 15 in August) and he has diabetes. I give him insulin shots twice a day, but whereas it used to be well controlled, it seems to be less so now. I'm supposed to do a blood curve for him, and have the kit to do it and everything, but I haven't gotten around to it. The last time the vet did a blood curve, his blood sugar didn't drop down to where it should've been, so she increased his dosage from 4 units to 5. It seems to have helped a bit, but the problem is that he seems to be hungry all the time. When he's not looking for food, he sleeps. This is a dog who, when he was younger, refused to even eat burgers that my dad bought for him from Burger King, or the pork chop rice that my mom gave him. Now he's after anything and everything, including the cat food. Usually my mom takes him out for a walk twice a day. But because it's been snowy and rainy, we've just been letting him go out in the backyard. Yesterday, TWICE, he ate his own poo. Like, it is so disgusting!!!!!! I ran out to stop him the second time, but he had already consumed some. I looked it up online, and "nutrition deficiency" seems to be a commonly listed cause, but there are also reports that there's no proof that this is actually the case. I think he is just hungry. :/ It breaks my heart that he would be that hungry, but there's nothing we can do! He's fed a normal amount of dog food, and in any case we can't overfeed him because his insulin has to be able to control the spike in blood sugar. At this point I just don't know what to do.

*****

I have purchased a domed cast-iron grill pan. My plan is to put it over a portable gas stove, so that I can do Korean BBQ at home. Can't wait to try it out.


*****

For B.'s visit, we're going to go to Snoqualmie Falls first thing in the morning (he's going to be at my house at 7 a.m. -- what is WRONG with people who get up that early on the weekends?!), then will have a late breakfast at Dough Zone, which opens at 9:30. We will then head back to my place and he and his wife will hang out a bit, then they'll probably set off for downtown and walk around Pike Place Market or whatever, and my mom and I will meet them for a late lunch at Etta's before they head off to the airport.

*****

Jade and I finished ep 11 of Answer Me 1997 last night. She's confident about the ending, and it's all my fault. :)) She knows my preferences, and she knows I wouldn't recommend or want to rewatch a story that didn't have a good ending for my ship, so unlike me (and all the people who watched it the first time around), she's not feeling angsty about who Shi-won might choose in the end. Sigh. I feel bad, because the uncertainty is part of the fun! I mean, sure, I was 80 percent sure they would end the way I wanted them to -- all the promotional materials, the duets the lead actors did, etc., all pointed to it -- but it was also fun to have to fear they wouldn't. It made the reveal more satisfying! Le sigh.

Also, she finds the second lead attractive. When watching I found him OK, but after reading all the comments on Viki about his "duck lips," I can't unsee them, and no longer find him very attractive. :))))
sarea: (SIG hair)
It snowed here over the weekend, and I worked from home the last two days because I hate driving on icy, snowy roads. It's supposed to rain a lot over the next couple of days, so hopefully that will melt everything away.

*****

A coworker of mine's mother has her cosmetology license, and she offered to put in an order for us if we wanted anything (at wholesale). I ended up buying Kevin Murphy and Davines shampoo and conditioner, along with Davines's Oi All-in-One Milk treatment. I can't believe how much this stuff normally costs! Woohoo for hookups!

*****

I've been watching Shut Up Flower Boy Band. It's been on my DF watchlist for forever, even though nothing about it appealed to me enough to actually get me to start watching. I finally did it after finishing Answer Me 1997, and seeing several comments from people mentioning SUFBB in the same breath.

Wow, lucky I wasn't expecting too much, because it is NOT good. It's not bad -- well, some of it is bad -- but it's nothing I'd ever recommend to anyone. I do like some of the music, and the story as a kind of wish fulfillment is okay, but... yeah.

The lead actor is pretty much the opposite of attractive. The lead actress is pretty but bland (well, her character is, and she doesn't help). The high school drama part of it is super weak, full of the same stuff that I can't stand from other K-drama high school dramas -- a ridiculous amount of bullying, with the student population constantly changing their minds about who's cool and who's not, rumors that get blown completely out of proportion, etc. The supporting characters are also incredibly annoying -- the heroine's best friend, the second male lead's minions, all ugh. The second male lead is played by one of the standout actors from BOF, who played brothers, I believe -- one who was bullied by F4, the other who took revenge for his brother. He is FAR less compelling in SUFBB, and his career seems to have petered out since, so I can't be the only one to feel that way.

I like the boys in the band, especially Kim Min-seok and L, but I've liked them from other things, so I'm predisposed to liking them. Kim Min-seok I first saw in High School: Love On, playing one of the bully's minions, but I ended up loving him, and he also has a small role in Descendants of the Sun. L I know from playing the younger version of So Ji-sub's character in Master's Sun, and thought he was really cute. He's also in Infinite, the boy band that the lead guys from High School: Love On are in, as is Joon-hee from Answer Me 1997.

L (I have no idea how he came to be know as that; his real name is Kim Myung-soo) reminds me of Kim Bum. They actually look alike, with handsome, babyface features and dimples -- L could literally be Bummie's younger brother. Unfortunately they also have the same acting ability, in that it's a little questionable. >< You can see them trying so hard, particularly in scenes where they're trying to be intense. Poor dears. :))

The thing I like most in SUFBB is the secondary pairing (like BOF all over again!), of Hyun-soo (L) with Ye-rim. But they give the secondary pairing hardly any screen time at all -- I would say it takes up about 5% of the overall story, whereas Yi-jeong/Ga-eul was at least 30% in BOF, from what I recall. Maybe it's because of L's lack of acting ability, but I definitely would be more into the overall story if there was more of it. The main pairing started off well, then devolved into something that didn't seem to make a lot of sense or have much feeling behind it.

*****

OK, so I knew Seo In-guk was an excellent actor and singer, who could also play the guitar and piano. But the fact that he can also dance like this is insane. INSANE!
sarea: (goong bear)
I just used the Pretty Woman nail polish from January's Ipsy Glam bag, and I was really impressed with it. I'm only OK about the color I got (gray), but I really loved the formula/texture, and seemed to dry quickly (I hate it when I put Seche Vite on and the brush smears the still-wet polish below). The one weird thing about it is that it has a larger-than-normal brush, so that if you have very small nails, it would be quite the chore to not paint outside your nailbed. I don't know if it was the polish or the brush, but I was able to paint ALL the nails on one hand without having to redip the brush, and what went onto my nails was still highly pigmented and even. I don't know that I have EVER been able to do that with a polish. O.o And I'm not sure if it was this particular color or formula, but it seemed to me that I could have just stopped with one coat. I still did two out of habit, but afterward concluded that there wasn't much of a difference and really needed only one. Again, very unusual. All that, plus being 5-free, cruelty free, and vegan? I'm in! Since it's one of this month's Ipsy samples, you can get 30% off an entire order (discount code: IPSY30), so I ordered 8 polishes (and there's free shipping for orders over $15, which is so reasonable). I hope I'll like the others as much as I liked my sample!

Because the gray is kind of boring, I'm thinking of putting some black nail art on them. If they turn out well, I'll share here! If not... I won't. LOL.

Since I enjoyed Answer Me 1997 so much, I've now started Answer Me 1994, and so far I am extremely underwhelmed. Spoilery comments. )

[profile] jade_okelani and I finished Goong yesterday and started Answer Me 1997. :D I had the same reaction to Goong as I did the first time, lol. It gets so terrible and draggy at the end that you forget all the good stuff that came before and just want it to end. Chae-kyung is probably one of my favoritest heroines EVER, but they take so much agency away from her! Spoilery comments. )

Jade is LOVING AM1997 so far. She's so innocent right now, not knowing of the angst and pain to come, that I feel very protective. Haha. But soon, SHE'LL KNOW.

My cousin is coming into town next Friday to interview for a job up here... that would be so awesome if he moved up here! We're going to get together on Saturday, and I'm drawing a blank as to where to take him for meals. O.o I've already taken him to some great places during a previous trip: Staple & Fancy, Lola, Paseo, Señor Moose... I don't want to re-do any of those. I also am trying to avoid Asian, because he lives in LA and can get good Asian food any time. What to do, what to do...
sarea: (min-seok & soo-young)
All right, so I binge-watched the rest of Answer Me 1997 the previous night, BECAUSE I HAD TO HAVE MY HAPPY ENDING ONCE AND FOR ALL.

Spoilers! )
sarea: (SIG suit)
Tonight I made ganjang-gejang, raw marinated crab, Korean style. I've had it in restaurants and enjoyed it, and I've even made it once before, but I've never used Maangchi's recipe so I'm giving it a go. I cut my palm on one of the sharp crab shells, but I'll accept it as my due for being a crab killer. :(

I've just finished episode 10 of Answer Me 1997, and I wanted to get some of my thoughts down before I finish the whole thing.

Spoilers! )
sarea: (SIG hair)
[profile] jade_okelani and I are 4 episodes from the end of Goong, and it's enraging her the same way it apparently enraged me the first time I saw it. :)) I say "apparently," because my long-lasting impression of it is one of fondness, possibly because I really loved the two leads, particularly Yoon Eun-hye as the commoner princess. But in reading old LJ entries about the series, I clearly had a poor immediate reaction to it. It's safe to say that Jade feels exactly the same, but that just makes it even more frustrating when the story turns to the line of succession stuff, and the machinations of Lady Hwa Young. The other thing is that the show is entirely too long -- it's 24 episodes, instead of the typical 16, and you really feel it. Not only do they have to fill the airtime with the stuff no one cares about, they're also getting extremely repetitive with the conflicts that Shin and Chae-kyung have to face -- namely all the misunderstandings, with Yul and Hyo-rin trying to get between them. It's a frustrating watching experience, even as much as you're rooting for that HEA and knowing it will come at some point. The question is just: When it happens, will it actually be satisfying after all that?

Jade has agreed to watch Boys Over Flowers as her next K-drama, but now I'm wondering if that's a bad idea on the heels of Goong. BOF is only worth it for the secondary pairing, and while the main pairing is imminently more watchable than the unwatchable stuff in Goong, the overall show is still a little too wacky and based in manga reality than reality reality. As much as I'd love for her to know the joy of Yi-jeong/Ga-eul, it might be for the best if we went to something a little more modern, first.

On my own, I've been watching Answer Me 1997. It comes highly recced by [personal profile] akscully, but I avoided it until now, I think, because I knew it would probably be something I'd want to binge watch once I started. And I was RIGHT. >< :)) I'm really loving it, and I'm bummed that the episodes are only 30 minutes long (other than, apparently, the final 2). And yet it's still only 16 episodes! :( Spoilery comments. )
sarea: (Default)
It's that time of month again! Somehow! Crazy how fast it happens.

At work one of the gals created a "Glam Squad" group for the 6-7 of us who are really into this kind of thing; it's been great to hear everyone's experiences with products and get their feedback on my stuff, too. They all seem much more in the know about specific brands than me.

Onto the boxes! )
sarea: (SIG)
I have been watching a bunch more K-drama. :D

The only problem with watching K-dramas is that I can't multitask; I have no idea WTF is going on if I'm not reading the subtitles. (That said, it kind of explains why I am sometimes lost with my English-speaking shows; I think I am successfully multitasking when in fact I am only moderately successful.)

Anyway, I finished One Fine Day. It was one of the more maddening shows I've ever seen, even though the two leads were good and I liked the main storyline. What I DIDN'T like, however, far overshadowed those things. Spoilers. )

[profile] jade_okelani and I also finished a watch of High School King of Savvy, which is still one of my fave dramas of all time, due almost entirely to how amazing Seo In-guk is in it. <3 Jade liked the overall story of Oh My Ghostess more, but preferred the ending of HSKOS, which manages to have one of the most satisfying endings evar.

In a bid to see which drama we'd watch next, we went through six pilots this weekend. :D We each picked three dramas that interested us, and then we let the Decider Machine determine the order. In that order, we watched... )

On my own, I've also been watching What's Up Fox?, another show from 2006. It would seem that the leap from 2006 to 2007 was HUGE, because from 2007 onward, dramas all seem a step up in terms of writing, filming, directing, etc. Anyway, I've liked this one more than I thought I would. Synopsis and other spoilery things. )
sarea: (Default)
The budae jjigae was an unqualified success! [personal profile] adelagia and I both, surprisingly, enjoyed it. She felt that the American cheese was an unnecessary component, while I felt the same way about the baked beans. I like hot dogs, but wasn't too impressed with what they brought to the stew. You know what was surprisingly good, though? The Spam. :/ It turns out Spam is DELICIOUS. Dang it. It's really salty and full of umami... it's no wonder so many people like it. I've always thought of it as being this disgusting thing, because, well, canned meat -- it was clearly something only desperate people would eat during times of war. WWII was, after all, when it became popular. And it's the name of allllllll our unwanted email! Buuuut I kept hearing about various peoples who enjoyed it. The Hawaiians, for example. And while watching K-dramas, I'd see it here and there (pan-fried slices of Spam were Min-seok's favorite dish in High School King of Savvy). And now I know why! It's got to be horribly bad for you, but it's delicious, that can no longer be denied. Here's a gif of it bubbling merrily away. :D



I was also really happy with the mung bean sprouts. There were SO MANY, OMG. I waited an extra half day to harvest them so that [personal profile] adelagia and I could cook them fresh, but they grow very quickly the last couple of days, so they were SO TALL by then. I'd been keeping them in the oven, then the microwave (you're supposed to keep them out of light) with a wet paper towel over the top, but by Day 6 I just had to keep them out in a dark corner because they were too tall. You're supposed to water them every 3 hours, but I wasn't extremely religious about it; I tried to keep to that schedule (easier to do when on vacation), but just did it when I remembered and always kept the paper towel covering them wet so that they would keep moist that way too. Since they were all packed into the tub I couldn't really tell how tall they really were, or what color they were, etc. They weren't as plump as I might've liked, but I was really pleased by their length. It's weird though that homegrown bean sprouts have their "bean" parts still attached, but when you get them in the grocery store, they're not (whereas soybeans always have the crunchy bean parts intact; that's why my mom prefers those and I prefer mung bean sprouts). Anyway, also because they were so packed in, I couldn't tell how many of them there really were. And OMG there were a LOT. About 4lbs worth. Washing them (so that the green skins would wash away) was the most onerous part of growing my own, honestly! I hadn't expected that!

Pictures! )

All in all, a very cool experiment. It took constant care, but it was extremely simple and easy, no soil or anything required. [personal profile] adelagia and I each made sukjunamul-muchim from a pound of bean sprouts, and put a bunch of them into the budae jjigae, too.

I also made a sandwich that is supposed to be Korean street food; it actually turned out really well. >< It's basically eggs fried with various veggies, then put between two buttered pieces of toast along with sugar, ketchup, and mayo. O.o Sounds disgusting, right? I fully expected it to be, but it was actually really tasty. I didn't use as much sugar as called for, though, and instead of a slice of ham I just cut up some Spam (since I had some) and put it in with the veggie mixture. I tried it with and without American cheese; it tastes good either way. Oh and -- it appears that she uses Kewpie mayo, though she doesn't actually specify. Since it's a dish originating in Asia, given Asia's obsession with Kewpie mayo (and it's not just Asia, but legit chefs everywhere), I can only assume that's the type of mayo used on the streets of Seoul. Since I only had regular mayo on hand, I made my own version of Kewpie mayo by diluting regular mayo with rice vinegar, sugar and MSG. (No, MSG is not evil. And though that fact has been "thoroughly debunked," the conspiracy against it has been too vast to overcome. Same goes for egg yolks and Spam. :P)

I've also been watching more K-dramas... )

I also finished S2 of The Man in the High Castle. I enjoyed the season, particularly as it seems they haven't really given up on the Joe-Julianna thing. Either they want to keep it at a slow burn, which I'm fine with, or maybe they won't end up together at all, which I could also see happening. One quickie spoilery comment. )

My new Apple Watch arrived last night! It's sooooo pretty. I got the one with the rose gold plating and pink/blue band. I'm still figuring it out, but so far I've been happy being able to check my email, and I can tell that having Wunderlist on it is going to be awesome. I chose one of the Minnie Mouse variations as my watchface. :D (Min-seok has a Mickey Mouse watch, so I told [profile] jade_okelani that I was just like him now! LOL.) Her hands point to the time, but since it's digital, she's even dancing a bit and her foot taps out the seconds! So cool. However... I was in my open space office this morning, and I touched the watch somehow -- I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT I DID, there was nothing about this in the instructions and despite all my playing around last night, this NEVER HAPPENED -- and suddenly Minnie Mouse said in her squeaky little voice, "It's 10:30! Good morning!" and everyone stopped typing. So then I was like, "Haha, oops" and could feel myself turning red. :))))) HOW/WHY DID THAT HAPPEN!!! Why you do me like that, Minnie?!
sarea: (Default)
Well I have been a busy little cooking bee! It's amazing how much I can do when I'm not working. Turns out time + energy = motivation! :P Much of what I've made has come from Maangchi, so a lot of Korean stuff. It's all turned out really well, and there's still budae jjigae to look forward to with [personal profile] adelagia!

Over the last week I've made:

- Sigumchi namul
- Tongbaechu kimchi (in addition to the mak kimchi [personal profile] adelagia and I made last weekend)
- Kimchi jjigae
- Sea kelp banchan (as Maangchi suggests, I used the expended kelp from making anchovy broth, stir fried it with a little soy sauce and sugar -- it was actually really good!)
- Ttukbaegi gyeranjjim
- Japgokbap
- Chili (using [profile] corianderstem's recipe, plus added some red wine and chocolate)
- Peach crisp
- a pot of soup (pork and various veggies)
- And I've been growing my own mung bean sprouts (today is Day 4)!

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After my annual physical I found out I'm pre-diabetic. :/ My doctor says I should exercise more (natch) and stop eating out so much (which is more because of my mom than me). So my plan is to make big batches of homecooked meals, then freeze a lot of it, so that I don't have to worry about cooking on weeknights if I don't want to. To that end, I've ordered a 7 cubic foot chest freezer that will go in my garage, because my fridge freezer is so small and is constantly bursting at the seams.

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Other than K-dramas, I've been watching a couple of other shows:

1) Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy can get a bit much sometimes, but for the most part I really like this one. It's funny and charming, which is one of Tina Fey's singular talents, I suppose -- making something that shouldn't be funny at all somehow humorous.

2) The Man in the High Castle: It's good enough to keep me watching, but not good enough for me to rec wholeheartedly. I really want to like it much more than I do. The problem is that they don't really give you any characters to root for in any real way. They're all kind of superficially drawn and only vaguely interesting. I also don't really ship anything on the show, but I could ship Joe/Julianna if only they'd give us a little more on that front... Instead, they seem to be cooling off on it entirely. So now I'm just kind of like /shrug.
sarea: (mystic beach)
This weekend, [personal profile] adelagia and I made kimchi! :D We are totes ready for when we're dating and/or married to Onew and Seo In-guk, respectively. LOL. (Links go to pics of said celebs, in case you're curious.)

Here's [personal profile] adelagia mixing up our batch. I had a HUGE tub, so there's more kimchi there than it might seem. More than six pounds worth!



I also made buchu (Asian chive) kimchi and dwaejigogi-bokkeum (spicy stir-fried pork), both of which were AMAZING. Soooooooo delicious. I only have a pic of the pork pre-cooking because I was too hungry to remember to take a picture of it after it was cooked. >< Also, I didn't have a pound's worth of pork belly, so subbed some shrimp instead. ALSO DELICIOUS. I think you could easily substitute with firm tofu for a more healthy version... which I may try in the near future. The buchu kimchi is a little too salty, which may or may not be because I didn't have enough chives... I halved the recipe, but I was using older chives, so I had to weed out a lot not-so-good ones. Anyway, I will probably use less fish sauce next time.



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One of my Christmas gifts to myself arrived today, and I'm soooooooooo happy. I love American Giant's stuff, especially their Essential Full-Zip Hoodie. I have several of the Classic, as well, but I like the lighter weight and softer feel of the Essential.

ANYWAY... Recently, they came out with a new product, a stadium blanket. I saw the email about it, but wasn't able to actually take a look until two hours later... and they were all sold out already! GRRRRR. A few days later, they said they'd made a limited quantity available again, and I was able to nab two in the only color that remained at that point, a heather navy. I would link it, but it looks like they're totally sold out now, and have even deleted those webpages. Sheesh. Like all their stuff, the blanket is really well made, heavy with quality material, and very warm. <333333

(I was going to link a promo code for 15% off, but it looks like it can only be sent through email. So let me know if you want it! And of course, I get something out of it as well, natch.)

I'm a big blanket person, kind of like Linus. Even when I'm not cold, I like having a blanket on me. It just feels so much cozier! Anyway, I have a lot of blankets.

=========

Watched another episode of Descendants of the Sun. I'm actually still OK with the show, despite the fact that, as expected, the two leads are already "broken up." It helps that I like the male lead, and the female lead isn't super annoying.

=========

I wasn't going to take any time off during the holidays -- other than the days off that everyone gets -- because it's a super quiet time anyway, and I was thinking I'd save my vacation days. Only... it turns out that I have so much vacation saved up (I can only carry over a year's worth, which for me at this point is 200 hours/5 weeks) that I would be forfeiting over 43 hours if I didn't take it! Which would be intolerable. So now I'm going to take Wed/Thu off, as well as all of next week. I still might be sacrificing a few hours, but that's better than 43. I don't work for free, yo.

=========

Speaking of work, we did a white elephant gift exchange... only I had my annual physical during that time so I couldn't actually participate. I contributed a set of R2D2/R2Q5 salt and pepper shakers and an R2D2 measuring cup set. (I may have little use for Star Wars, but I know other people love it, so that stuff makes for good anonymous gifts.) My manager played for me, and he had told me ahead of time what he'd gotten for the exchange (a cast-iron fondue set). Since they were going to allow "me" to go last, thus being able to nab whatever I wanted, I told him that that's what I wanted. I figured it was a safe bet -- I didn't know what random crap other people were going to bring, and I don't really trust my manager to know what I'd really want, so it seemed the most prudent course of action. I still need to get it from him, though.

=========

My December beauty boxes have arrived! I know, it's once a month but seems so much more frequent, doesn't it?

What this month brought! )
sarea: (Default)
Finished another one of my WiP K-dramas last night, Oh My Venus. :D Overall I do recommend it; it has a great cast, and for the better part of the first half, was extremely cute and charming. There was a whole chunk of the middle/end, though, that I really could have done without. The end was good, so at least there's that. It also manages to accomplish something pretty impressive... surprise and charm me with the hero's proposal. It happens in a way that I didn't expect, was unique, and was actually good. It's hard these days to have a proposal on a show that is any of these things, because it's done so much and in so many different ways.

I feel that this earns me the right to start another drama... I just have to decide which Seo In-guk series I want to watch next. Reply 1997, which stars a younger SIG? Hello Monster, where he plays a hot criminal profiler? Or Shopping King Louie, where he plays a chaebol who loses his memory? SO MANY LOVELY CHOICES.

I'm feeling fine now, but have lingering cold symptoms like having to blow my nose and a stupid cough. I have a dental appointment tomorrow AND my annual physical; I reallllly hope it's not going to be an issue.

[personal profile] adelagia and I are supposed to make kimchi over the weekend (rehearsal for being married to our future hot celebrity Korean husbands), and I have purchased a large tub, a fermented vegetables container, fresh squid, and a couple of other things. I'm planning to use regular plastic gloves as opposed to dishwashing gloves, but that should be okay. I've made kimchi once before and did the same thing, even if it was a slightly smaller amount. Then we're going to make tapioca coconut cookies. :D

I accidentally -- YES, IT WAS AN ACCIDENT -- opened [profile] jade_okelani's Christmas gift early, and it's awesome, a Breaking Bad-themed cutting board. I can use it for the first time for the kimchi making!
sarea: (Default)
Seahawks vs Green Bay... I don't... I can't... what an embarrassment. Does the team have an "off" switch when they play games on the road? They're 0-4-1 this season with 2 TDs. TWO. WTF. Our offense is offensive to me. Not that the D was that great this game, either. I realize Earl is gone, and that was always gonna hurt. I expected them to lose this game -- they were playing at Lambeau, they've been shitty on the road, they were coming off a big home game, Green Bay has been trending up, etc. But JFC. Oh and they snapped an 85-game streak of not losing by more than 10 points.

Almost as bad as the team doing poorly was the crapshow they made of my fantasy football games this weekend. I managed to squeak into the playoffs in both leagues with a 7-6 record (go figure; I have a whole different cast and play entirely different people, but still managed to get the exact same record). One game is now an impossibility to win, unless Ezekiel Elliot gets like 70 points ON HIS OWN, while the other one will take monster games from LeGarrett Blount and Julian Edelman tomorrow night, which, given my luck with these things, they will not have. UGH.

I even drafted Eli Manning with the intention of playing him in place of Russell Wilson. I don't how he'll do tonight, but it certainly can't be worse than how RW played today, good gravy. I didn't end up playing Eli because I felt that I was not being fair to RW or the team coming off a good game, and I would feel really bad if Eli was horrible (very real possibility) and RW was amazing, for multiple reasons.

Next season, I am not drafting ANY Seahawks in my fantasy football leagues unless it would be absolutely ridiculous not to (like the next SEA player is miles above the next-best). It's too fucking stressful. Every week, I end up not playing FF the smartest way because I have to consider stupid shit like "feeling guilty" if RW has a good game. If I have no Seahawks on the roster, it won't matter who I put in; I just have to pick the best players, and the Seahawks doing well or poorly won't affect my FF games (well, other than when my opponent has a SEA player, of course).

==============

I was felled this last week by some kind of cold or flu or whatever the hell. This one was brutal. When I got sick in New York, it was like a little baby cold compared to this one. That one I was completely over with in less than two weeks, and never even got to the really bad symptoms. This time has been the mother of all viruses. (And how annoyed am I to get sick twice in such quick succession??) I'm still not fully over it, but am on the road to recovery. A few days ago I was like, LET ME DIE, I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. I don't even know how/where I got this thing. And if it's the flu, eff you flu shot for not covering this strain.

Oh, and even better? Aunt Flo came to visit. So I had to deal with that on top of body aches and hacking my lungs out.

On a more positive side note, have you heard of Thinx? It's period underwear, to put it bluntly. It's my second month using them (I have a full cycle set), and it's official, I love them. [profile] jade_okelani is a fan as well. You can read this article to learn more; I've read several like it where women tried to use them as their ONLY source of protection, and I think they're nuts. Or their cycles must be quite different from mine.

More TMI. Seriously, I am very frank in here, so don't click if you don't wanna know. )

==============

I have accomplished the feat of finishing two of my many WIP K-dramas. I finished High School: Love On, which was okay, and Coffee Prince, which was better than okay but had the most boring and annoying side pairing of all time. I've also watched a few more episodes of Oh My Venus, which has gotten to a super angsty part, and I have no idea where they're going to go from here. It's quite disappointing, actually, that it started out so lighthearted and cute and has now brought us to this. Sigh. Henry Lau is still the best part of the drama. Also? Much of it seems to hinge on the viewer finding So Ji-sub brutally attractive. I mean, he IS attractive; he's just not THAT hot (to me).

Because of finishing off two of them, I allowed myself to start a new one -- "Hello My Teacher" aka "Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy." It stars Gong Yoo and Gong Hyo-jin. Gong Yoo is the primary male lead from Coffee Prince that I ended up really loving, and Gong Hyo-jin is the female lead from Master's Sun. She's another one of those actresses who gets a lot of work and critical accolades, and I don't understand why. To me she's basically Korean Maggie Gyllenhaal. Anyway...

Synopsis: Na Bori is a 25-year-old woman who desperately wants to be a teacher at the high school she was expelled from, so that she can work with her high school crush, young art teacher Ji Hyun Woo. However, the only thing that enables her to get the coveted job is by signing a contract to essentially babysit Park Tae In, a 20-year-old troublemaker who starts attending the high school, of which he quickly becomes the king.

I'm sure I found it when looking stuff up on High School King of Savvy. Anyway, Gong Yoo plays the troublemaking high school student. :D I've only seen the pilot, and so far I'm "meh" on it. It seems to have all the stereotypical characters you'd expect of a K-drama, as well as flight-of-fancy fight sequences and such. I suppose such things should be expected, given that it aired in 2005. The content and the format (it's in 4:3 aspect ratio, *shudder*) shows its age. I'll give it a few more episodes to see if Gong Yoo and Gong Hyo-jin can somehow work their magic.
sarea: (stiles faceplant)
It snowed this morning! Only for about an hour and it didn't stick for more than another hour after that, but still... it was quite pretty, especially with all the trees in my "backyard." Next time I'll try and make a gif of it. :D

All right, it's time to update y'all on the various K-dramas I'm in the middle of. I've been giving my DramaFever subscription a workout, that's for sure!

It's funny, not too long ago, I remember saying in a post that I really loved my Chromecast, while my coworker preferred her Amazon Fire Stick, and I couldn't understand why. Now I do! If you use a subscription service, like Netflix or DF or whatever, and you have a Fire Stick, it's super convenient to watch it natively from the FS app, without having to bother with casting. It's a nice interface, if not extremely intuitive, but it comes with a remote control and you can also use your phone as a remote. I like it so much now that I even bought another one, and the latest version comes with Alexa voice controls, so it's even better! Chromecast is still better though if you want to cast random stuff from a browser... basically anything that isn't centralized enough to have a native app.

Anyway... on to the dramaz!! )
sarea: (earl thomas)
Wow. Words can't express how sad I am. Earl Thomas, my fave Seahawk, had to leave tonight's game early due to a broken tibia, and he tweeted that he's considering retirement. Honestly, he should do whatever's right for him... I love watching him play and there are certainly more important things in life than football. However, I also know how much he loves the game, and for him to say that, it probably hurts him more than it hurts me, which is what makes me sad. He's so passionate and crazy and I love that about him. I also think that whatever chances the Seahawks had in the playoffs just went down dramatically. They just aren't the same team without him; that's the plain, unvarnished truth. Look how horrific they were last week without him. And now the most important part of the Legion of Boom might not be back (certainly not for this season). :( Get well soon, Earl!!

I had a pretty productive day. It really helps when the Seahawks game is in the evening, because then I have all day to do what I need to do, and then watching the game is like a reward. When it's in the morning or middle of the day, it not only takes out that chunk of daylight, it also can affect my mood for the rest of the day, depending on how they do! Sometimes I'm too depressed to do anything than sit around like a slug!

Anyway, so I:

1) Made Pad Thai! I used Pailin's recipe from Hot Thai Kitchen (watch the video). She's like the Maangchi of Thai food. Other than fish sauce and peanuts, sooooooooo many of the ingredients were not a part of my pantry. It was worth it though; home run on the Pad Thai! I was eager to try her recipe, because a number of years ago, I had authentic Pad Thai -- which wasn't red, from ketchup or tomato paste or paprika or whatever it is that American Thai restaurants put in it to make it that color -- and it was so amazing that I'd always wanted to have it again. Making it seemed super arduous, and yet it's been surprisingly/depressingly difficult to find a Thai restaurant that actually makes authentic Thai food that doesn't cater to American tastes. The best place I've found in Seattle (actually, recommended to me by a Thai coworker) is Thaiku. But it's alllll the way in Phinney Ridge, so I can't get there regularly. Most Thai restaurant food is way too sweet for me. I mean, Thai food should be a little sweet. It's got a very well-rounded flavor profile, where everything is supposed to have elements of salty, sweet, sour, spicy, etc. But sweetness seems to be the predominant flavor of most Thai food in restaurants. :/ ANYWAY, after getting Pailin's recipe book and watching her video, I realized that Pad Thai wasn't hard at all; it was just a matter of getting the right ingredients. It was simple after that!

2) Made Vietnamese spring rolls! Okay, so this I've done before. It's also really easy and a matter of having the rice paper and all that. What I hadn't done before was make the peanut sauce that usually comes with them, from scratch. I made both nước chấm (a fish sauce-based sauce) and the peanut sauce... surprisingly -- though really, it shouldn't have been -- the peanut sauce was far more savory than I'm used to from restaurants, and it was delicious. I was a little meh on the homemade nước chấm; the recipe I used didn't call for any lemon or lime juice and I think it needed that element.

3) Built a cat washroom! :)) WTF? you might be thinking. Well, this was one of those things I ran across during Black Friday, and I was like, omg, this is brilliant! Must have! It hides the litter box, and I also bought a really good litter mat to put in it to help with not having bits of litter scattered all over the laundry room. At the same time, I also got a Litter Genie, which I wish I'd known about before. I always have issues with litter bags, and this thing supposedly even masks the smell of the litter, so bonus if that's true. The only problem is... it's wider than I expected. (This is what comes of not measuring before you buy something.) I was originally going to put it in front of the washer/dryer, with the Litter Genie and box of litter in the "hidden corner" next to the dryer. It would have been a nice setup, because from the doorway you wouldn't have been able to see any cat litter paraphernalia at all! But it juts out further than expected, so there's danger of hitting your hand on a sharp corner when loading the dryer, which means now I've put the washroom in the corner (with just enough room for Jaime to get in and out), with the other stuff exposed like they were before. :/ And now it's going to be (even more of) a pain clean the litter box, because I'll have to pull out the bench in order to open the door to pull out the litter box. >< Me and my great ideas...

I also woke with a sore-ish throat. It's not like my typical sore throats, it just... feels funny. Don't know what that's about, but I hope it clears up by tomorrow. :/
sarea: (Default)
So first things first... in case there was ANYONE out there who was actually waiting for the second part of the High School King of Savvy giftset, I decided to just add it to the original post, because really, it just all belongs together.

Next, I should be talking about the other K-dramas I'm in the middle of, right? Well I hate to be predictable, so NO! I am not going to run through those right now! Instead I'm going to talk about cosmetics and skin care and all that, because I have SO MUCH STUFF NOW due to Sephora's annual VIB sale and also Black Friday.

First, here are my beauty boxes from November: Birchbox, Ipsy, and Sephora Play! )

I got a ton of stuff during Sephora's VIB sale, most of which I have not yet used. I did try out Urban Decay's Sheer Liar, recommended by [personal profile] akscully, and I LOVE it. It's in their new formula, and I don't know how it compares with the old, but it works for me.

Then, over Black Friday weekend, I went to the Etude House site, and OMG. Their prices are reasonable to begin with, and there were a bunch of things on sale, and you could take an EXTRA 40% off on top of that! I'd practically lose money NOT to take advantage! :P Anyway, so yeah, I just piled a bunch of stuff -- mostly lipstick -- into my cart and hit purchase. I have since been contacted and told that one of the items isn't available, so they could refund everything, or reorder everything minus that item, and refund me the difference. I said I wanted to do the latter, but I haven't heard from them since, and it's already been 3 days. WTF Etude House? Are you sending me my piles of makeup or not?
sarea: (Default)
I've been watching a LOT of K-dramas, and it's a good thing, too, because that totally helped me get through the loooooong flights between Seattle and Hong Kong.

I'm embarrassed, though, because I have started soooooooooooooo many of them, but have finished very few. I'm not sure why that is... it's not that they're not good; it's just, I get distracted, and I feel like trying a different genre after a few eps, I guess. Very few dramas enthrall me from beginning to end, where I don't want to do anything but watch that drama. It's the same with books! I also tend to find myself in the middle of several books, rather than concentrating on one, unless it's a book I just can't put down.

The good news is that most of what I've been watching has been good; I haven't quit any of them in disgust. :))

Originally, I was going to briefly go through what I'm watching, but I found myself going on and on about one of them -- and I realized, given how much I loved it, it really does deserve its own entry. So here we are.

I'm breaking this up into two entries, because I wanted to share one of my favorite scenes, so this is GIF-heavy. Part two will likely be posted tomorrow.

High School King of Savvy might be my new fave K-drama of all time. )

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