Friday Links (aren’t feeling very newsworthy)

Today’s links are mostly a bunch of pictures/videos, but I suppose that’s the way things end up. I’ve been watching more Wimbledon than anything else, to be quite honest. But we’ll start with a few blog posts.

    • In a lot of geekish circles I read/travel in, gaming and women has been a pretty hot topic. There’s been a lot of drama about women playing video games, about who the audience of games are and so on. Skepchick has a really good article about the lack of women characters in World of Warcraft, but the article is more meta that just that. I recommend giving it a read.
    • Phil Plait, of Bad Astronomy always posts really good time-lapse videos (which I really love) and the other day he posted a great one by Tor Even Mathisen, filmed in northern Norway, it includes auroras and snow — the perfect thing to watch since SE Michigan is under a heat advisory at the moment.
    • I recently finished a great Korean drama (tv show) called Hero (2012/OCN). I plan to review the whole show (it’s only 9 episodes) eventually, but if anyone is interested in what it is I like, you can watch the whole show on Hulu. Also, be sure to check out the kdrama City Hunter on Netflix Instant, it’s also good.

Wednesday Nights: kdramas, martinis and Running Man

Starting the week after Christmas (last year), my friend (I’ll call her H) and I started hanging out on Wednesdays. We’ve been doing this every Wednesday (except for three: we missed one due to a family emergency and two due to illnesses) since that week after Christmas and it’s a lot of fun. It started out with us meeting at my job and going out to eat, then spending hours in Barnes & Noble. But after my bad experience with acquiring a signed copy of John Green’s A Fault in Our Stars (B&N never did send it and it’s still on my account), we stopped going there and instead spent time all our time at Starbucks. Until the day we decided to watch episodes of Rooftop Prince  (watch for free at DramaFever) together. We managed to watch one and a half episodes one week and then the wireless at Starbucks just couldn’t handle it. What did we do? Started going to my apartment.

One of the things I really love about getting into kpop/Korean culture/etc is that I’ve ended up developing a really great friendship with H. I forgot how awesome it was to watch TV shows with other people — in the same place (my sister and I watch Star Trek via Netflix and chat online at the same time, but it’s not quite the same). I used to do this all the time in college. We never went out Friday nights, because that’s when X-Files was on (yes, I was in college in the late 90s). And it’s so much fun to be able to do this again.

photo via soulbeats

We’re almost done with Rooftop Prince (by the time this gets posted, we should have hopefully finished it) and then who knows what we’ll be watching. But it’s not just kdramas we’re into. We spend a lot of time talking/fangirling/just generally having fun. But we also plan to watch some Chinese movies. Though at the moment, we’re both really into this variety show called Running Man. It’s so hilarious that sometimes I laugh so hard that my face hurts. There’s just something about Korean variety shows that makes them way more interesting than anything on English speaking TV (I mean, my reality TV shows in English are stuff like Mythbusters, Top Gear, etc).

I know what you’re thinking, what about the martinis? We both realized that spending so much money eating out and getting drinks was costing us and solved by making our own martinis. We don’t do it every week, but it’s fun. Especially since my mom gave us a recipe for the pineapple upside down martinis.

Moral of this entry? Hanging out with H, watching Korean (or Chinese or American or WHATEVER) is way more fun than doing it alone. I didn’t know I was missing this until we started and I didn’t realize how much I needed this every week until my family emergency. The best part is that we’re both doing something that’s fun and sharing what we love. There might be other problems in our lives, but at least we have our Wednesdays (at sometimes Thursdays. Or Fridays. Or Saturdays. Or Sundays ….).

Song of the Day

The song is Expiration Date (유통기한) by Tablo. The video’s a short film, unrelated to the song/artist and taken in Boston. It’s the best video I’ve found of Tablo’s song, too. I’m a fan of his music, but he’s had a really rough life, you can read more about it here: The Stalking of Korean Hip Hop Superstar Daniel Lee (Wired).

And since the song’s in Korean, the lyrics are below the cut.

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Singing Live (in a studio)

I’m a sucker for live shows, though I’ve noticed that a lot of kpop groups don’t really do the whole singing live thing very well. There’s a lot of lip syncing going on, which makes sense because they do a lot of dancing, and no one wants to hear panting instead of singing. It doesn’t really bother me, especially since I’ve mostly stopped listening to kpop boy bands (CNBlue doesn’t dance, they sing and play their own instruments and a lot of the solo artists I like might dance, but they don’t necessarily do a lot of it while singing). But one of the bands I do like (if not necessarily their music when they’re together) is ss501 and my favorite of their members (my bias, as it were), is Heo Young Saeng. He’s just come out with an album (my copy of which I’m (not so) patiently waiting for) and has been doing some promotions, which including singing, almost karaoke style, to his own songs. And he’s, um, awesome. I love his voice and his adorable little self. So, you know, enjoy. Because I did.


Super Hero Movies + My Parents

I’ve written in the past about my love for The Avengers and I really want my parents to go see the movie (when my Mom’s ready), so when I went home over Memorial Day, we spend the first three days I was hoping catching them up on The Avengers movie-verse. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. We seriously watched three super hero movies: Captain AmericaIron Man 2, and Thor.

I know that my relationship with my parents is different than most people’s. I feel this way about my relationship with movies, too. The first R-rated movie I ever saw in the theater was Rain Man. The first movie I ever rented with my good grades was Rear Window and the first R-rated movie I saw at home with my parents was Four Weddings and a Funeral. I have always, always loved going to movies with my parents, basically as much as I like going to movies with my friends. Over the Christmas holidays, my dad and I went to see Hugo and my whole family went to see the second Sherlock Holmes movie and The Artist. Sometimes when I’m at work, I’ll be looking through our DVD collection for something for a patron and stumble across movies I’ve seen with my parents. I can still remember the excitement of going to go see The River Wild (I was 16 and kind of in love with Kevin Bacon, so sue me). But also, my mom and I have seen a ton of movies, just because (Spy GameThe Usual Suspects,  and The Pelican Brief).

So it came as no surprise that my parents would like super hero movies. After all, my mom and I waited in line, when I was little, to see the Batman movies (you know, the Michael Keaton ones). And last May, when my dad was taking care of me after I’d sprained my left ankle and right foot (seriously), we went to see Thor. We’ve always liked the Superman movies as well. And when I saw that one of my libraries had Captain America in, I knew I had to check it out, and I did.

Captain America was way, way better the second time. I still don’t like tiny, CIG’d Chris Evans, but now that I have all these Captain America feelings, it wasn’t so bad. I also found that seeing these movies in close proximity with each other makes a huge difference. I got all of these connections (the tree on the wall that Red Skull knocks over, where Agent Coulson goes during Iron Man 2, etc etc) that I didn’t get the first time through. Back to Captain America, both my parents liked it — it wasn’t their favorite (it’s not mine), but was enjoyable. Then we watched Iron Man 2, which I’ve seen at least twice (it was on Netflix and I left my copy of the original Iron Man, along with my copy of Thor, at home). I love it, even though it’s probably the worst of the bunch so far. We mostly like Mickey Rourke and his electric whips. But what was also quite amusing that we watched it on Saturday, and then Monaco Grand Prix (which Tony Stark is racing in) was on Sunday the 27, aka the next day.

Then we watched Thor, which I’ve actually only seen once and my mother’s never seen. This was the favorite movie of the weekend (though I think we all agree that Iron Man is best). I’m in it for Loki/Tom Hiddleston. My dad doesn’t have a specific reason, though he does like Natalie Portman (she didn’t really annoy me this time through, which was nice) and my mom, well, she really took a liking to Thor. I found myself studying Loki far more than I had the first time through (because my dad and I had just watched Kenneth Branagh’s Wallander, which also stars Tom Hiddleston, so for most of the moving I was omging over him) and found him to still be a quite interesting character. But I also found the movie to be amusing, which made me realize that’s one of the things I love about these Marvel movies that I don’t like about the new Batman movies (aside from not liking Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne). They’re far too dark than what I’m looking for. Which is why even though not everything worked in The Avengers and some of the jokes weren’t quite in character, I didn’t mind so much because they made me laugh and that’s what I wanted.

Overall? It was a totally successful super hero weekend. I don’t know when my parents will see The Avengers, but now I know they’re prepared. Oh, and I totally saw Hawkeye in Thor. I didn’t realize who he was the first time around, so that was an added bonus.

Did I need to show them these movies? No. Am I glad I did? Totally. Should you see them? What are you waiting for?

Friday Links (are all over the place)

Today’s Friday links are brought to you by the first of June, with it’s chilly and rainy weather, along with the dulcet tones of Yoga Lin (I’m currently listening his album Perfect Life).