Saturday, June 17, 2017

K-Pop Monthly Spotlight: April 2017

Sadly this month's Monthly Spotlight is once again late.

:(

I'll try to do better so let's get straight to it.

The following 5 are the K-pop acts/scandal/whatnots that stood out to me:

Source Link



Dreamcatcher


Source Link

Comeback title: Good night

My Rating - MV: 3.5/5
                    Song: 4/5

Two singles and they are definitely on my 'to look out for' list.
Dreamcatcher are back with 'Good Night'. MV wise it continues the story told in their debut track 'Chase Me'. What's the story about?......umm....I know there's witchcraft and magic stuff in it......after that I have no clue. But the music is what's important and they continue to drum up my interest. Rock and idol groups? Not that many but Dreamcatcher are definitely changing that especially in the female group department. Amazing instrumentals and backing track that you can let loose and rock out to. Choreography is a standout. It's still your 'perfectionized' (is that a word? I doubt it but we'll roll with it) dance moves but it's actually dancing and not just posing and feminine style seductive movements. Sorry, I suck at these descriptions but you'll get it when you see it. Vocals are complementary and not washed out or made weirdly cute. It's just a hardcore rock idol girl group. And it's awesome.



Minzy
'my wallet is ready! it is LIT!' by chibiJ 2017


Source Link

Solo debut title track: "Ni Na No" (니나노) (featuring Flowsik)

My Rating - MV: 4/5
                     Song: 4/5

FINALLY!!!!

THE SOLO ALBUM THAT SHOULD'VE BEEN OUT YEARS AGO!!

ok

I am being overly excited but this is really something that Minzy deserved.

I have been waiting for years for Minzy to get solo work while she was in YG and for those of you who followed 2NE1 you know how that turned out. Well, now she's in a new company and is now a solo artist with her debut track Ni Na No" (니나노) featuring Flowsick. First, Congratulations Minzy for this is an amazing feat to reach. I love the instrumental and backing track. It has that slight club and pop tone going for it and I have been leaning towards it lately as I get older. Minzy's voice is not over powered and performs very nicely. The choreography is not over the top and matches the smooth and slightly sultry tone of the song. This song and MV is quite tame compared to what I expected. But then I realized while watching the MV, that this is most likely the real grown up Minzy that she wanted to showcase. All I've known is the image that YG entertainment had for her and seeing this side of her is exciting and refreshing. MV was entertaining. Didn't really have a plot but showcased her dancing and how gorgeous she is. Like YG.....why you keep her from traditional feminine clothes. Dang.

Please give her full album a listen on Spotify. It's really good especially for a solo artist debut one.



Oh My Girl


Source


Comeback title: Coloring Book (thumbs up)

My Rating - MV: 3.5/5
                      Song: 4/5

OMG are back again with 'Coloring Book' and continue to fill one of the holes in my K-pop girl group heart (Thanks 2nd gen disbandments :'( ). Coloring Book continues to showcase OMG's signature style (or what I see it as) . High energy. Great choreography. Bright colors. Appealing aesthetics (*cough*Mimi*cough*Bini). The song has some elements of their previous releases e.g. Cupid (marching band sound/feel) and Liar Liar (high tones and energy). The MV was pretty interesting due the literal incorporation of splattering paint all over the walls and themselves that were stark white. This is also the 2nd set of activities that member JinE will be absent from. I am truly impressed and happy that WM Entertainment is taking her anorexia seriously and are looking for long term treatment. I look forward to seeing her on the stage again or if she chooses not too I will not be heart broken as I'll know it'll be in her best interest.



Berry Good

Source

Comeback title: "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo"

 My Rating - MV: 2/5
                       Song: 3/5

My initial listen and watch for this comeback left me feeling nonchalant and disengaged.
Now, after doing that again I can confidently say
that the MV made me have immense disdain for this song. The song is decent. Your standard kpop idol girl group song: right from the formulation to MV. It's not something I would want to spend my money because there are better cookie cutter idol songs that have a more interesting twist to them that make them interesting enough to not bore me. But the MV is such a low budget production that I felt bad for these girls. In a lot of the cut scenes they look like they are slightly cringing and some seem to be half-heartedly performing the choreography. The outfits were horrible. Seriously. Those dresses. Those cheerleader outfits......URGH!!! I know they don't have a large budget to splurge but an attempt would have been nice. I came hoping to get back into them but left solidified in my decision to not look out for them in the future. Sad as I was a fan of their debut track.


IU

Source


Comeback title: Palette 

My rating - MV: 5/5
                     Song: 5/5

IU is back and continues to impress. I love seeing IU's growth as a woman, an adult and a musician. She seems to have found her sound and style as shown through 'Palette'. Smooth, jazzy, pop, slightly sultry. I can put more words but these really stood out to me. I love how the MV and the song lyrics are connected together telling the story of IU as she ages and matures. I was concerned about G-Dragon's part but was pleasantly surprised by how much his part fit in and made me think he was meant to be on this track. Everything was mellow but bright to me. An excitable mellow feel. The story of one's life as they mature from a baby adult to a mid tier one. The album is a pleasant and enjoyable listen. Never on the dull side. I highly recommend it.



Till next time.

~ chibiJ

Saturday, May 20, 2017

K-Pop Monthly Spotlight: March 2017

Welcome back to another K-pop Monthly Spotlight! (late I know!!)

This edition is for March 2017 and it's a relatively quiet month (from my side that is). Let's get into it.

1. Produce 101 Season 2 a.k.a boy version a.k.a Scandals 101


Source

Honestly, I wasn't sure what to think about the male version of this show when it was first announced. I wasn't surprised but not that all intrigued. All I could remember envisioning is all the horrible treatment the girls got but it was guys instead. However, that quickly changed after news broke about certain changes that would be applied to this version of Produce 101 e.g. the promotion time will be longer (..........HUH!!!!). That right there pissed me off but then things started happening and the damn show hadn't even started yet!!

You would think that the producers for the series would've learned their lesson from the debacle that was Season 1 (female version) but it seems they still have a long way to go. Who knows, this could be what they wanted to get even more viewers than last time. I mean people love gossip and scandals and it'll definitely get peoples attention.

NB: All listed below will not be in order of when the events happened!!

a) Contestant Han Jong Yeon left the who due to a controversy regarding rumors of him severely bullying a classmate when he was in elementary school (Soompi article link: Click Here)

b) 2 Contestants left due to health issues: first to leave was Kim Si Hyun then Nam Yoon Sung. (Soompi article links: Click Here and Here)

c) There were accusations of discrimination based on the ranks that the boys held. In a nutshell, higher ranks got to eat, shower and whatnot first while lower ranks got the scraps. (Kpopstarz article links: Click Here or Here)

d) There's also the issue of already established groups and/ members taking part in the show ( 4 members of Nu'est, a former ToppDogg member, 2 members formerly of HotShot). Please politely correct me if I have the wrong groups or # of members.
(Soompi  related article link: Click Here)

e) And there's also reports of Mnet staff coercing participants into being quiet about the controversies that we out circulating in the media. In 'not so nice' ways. (Soompi article link: Click Here)

And all this before the dang show even airs. Congratulations Mnet, you continue to show the industry and its fan base how incompetent you are. At least netizens won't have to work to dig up info on you....I mean you are constantly digging a grave for yourselves with every new release. Is it that hard to go without avoidable scandals for once?........no?.......Okay!

I will be watching this season but not when they are released. I prefer to binge watch things so I'll be back once I've watch at least 3/4 subbed episodes.


2. T-ara: Final group album release in May and possible disbandment?


LOL!
MBK CEO says 'nope!' and gives vague reasoning. As expected. But would you look at that......turns out it's true! Well, there goes all my 2nd gen groups...the ones who brought me into K-Pop. Sigh!!

3. Dal Shabet's Subin's solo music: PRECIOUS GEM!!


I am a huge fan of Dal Shabet especially with their later releases. It's such a shame the group has never gotten a firm hold in the industry. But that hasn't stopped Subin from doing what she's good at...and that is singing and producing music. Her works are hidden gems. I do warn that if you are not interested in quirky, indie, slower or slower pop mood type songs then her releases won't be your cup of tea. However, if they are definitely give her songs a listen. My first song by her was 'Flower' and I was smitten. I then binged listened to whatever was available on Spotify. Then proceeded to YouTube and found the MVs for some of releases e.g. Strawberry (beautifully shot).


Just 3 this month.

See you next month! (Well, since this is late, so it'll be this weekend but you get it....right?)

Bye!

Friday, April 14, 2017

K-Pop Monthly Spotlight: Jan/Feb 2017

K-Pop Monthly Spotlight: Jan/Feb 2017


Disbandments: Rainbow, 2NE1, 4Minute, Wonder Girls and Spica are gone. The goodbyes were all sad but some were: pleasant and acceptable (Rainbow and Wonder Girls), upsetting (4Minute and Spica) while 2NE1 got the short end of this stick. I will never accept the sh*tty way that 2NE1 ended as they deserved better. 2NE1 were pioneers for their generation and to get this kind of a.....ugghhh....'disbandment' is a disgrace and slap in the face of all that the diligent and hard work the 4 (YES 4!) members did for those 7 years. Hmph!

T-ara 'bullying' scandal: FINALLY the truth behind this witch hunt comes to light (5 damn years later) even though the truth had come out immediately when the story first broke but everyone wanted to jump on the 'hate' wagon at the time and became so irrational that they ignored the truth and believed ill-informed and falsified information regarding GIFs of tiny moments of certain events involving the members that were made to tell one story when there was no story to begin with. Honestly, I'm glad the truth came out but at a time like this all it's doing more harm them anything. It's been 5 years of unwarranted hate, which started from a witch hunt from someone who just didn't like T-ara, and it accomplished one thing......it showed the power of a made up mind. That regardless of truth or facts laid out right in front of them as long as they choose they not accept it they carry on on their merry way regardless of who they trample. T-ara lost so more than we can imagine and if that was the end goal of the original perpetrator, they already accomplished it.



Music (mainly follows girl groups): title tracks

JAN 2017



  • APRIL - April Story 

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Nice haunting opening leading nicely with an echoing but soothing verse. Vocals are sweet and nice. Almost gave me a "Closer" by Oh My Girl feel but not as in your face. It seems April is going for a fantasy/mythical concept and (if I'm on the right track) I'm all for it. It's like they are solidifying who April is and that's a good sign. DSP needs this as they lost KARA and Rainbow. Good thing is that April doesn't resemble them in one bit. 

Song 4/5; MV 4/5

  • WJSN"I Wish" (너에게 닿기를) 'From WJSN' 

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I really like the planetary themed concept they have going and I have liked every title track release except Momomo. "I Wish" is simple and sweet. Surprisingly I thought I wouldn't care about this group's
releases as I only really know Exy and 
Yeonjung but with every release it's like they are luring me back to them. Sadly for me it's slowly but surely working. The song is simple and to the point, a sweet girly song with nothing extra. I like that. Going for something that simple and sweet is nothing bad. Hopefully they'll continue on this upward path because they have a nice concept that I hope starship utilizes properly. 

Song:3.7/5; MV: 3/5 only interesting part was the choreography. 


  • [CHINESE] Meng Jia - Single - 'Who's That Girl' 

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Now that she's back in her home country, I wanted to like her debut. Jia was bae in Miss A, along with Fei, but this song felt lackluster and only showed her doing a pretty mediocre dance that's an insult to her capabilities. Looked really good though so that counts for something.


  • [ENGLISH] A.Leean (Ailee) - US Debut Single - 'Fall Back' 


All I can say about this is....Ahem!.....Ailee, girl, please, you are worth so much more than this. This is embarrassing and I'm glad that it's not your name on this but it's still you and I think you should cut ties. Seriously though, cut them ties!!



  • Dreamcatcher - (Re)-Debut Single - 'Nightmare' 



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Wow! I was not expecting a hard rock feel from this group and it was a surprise well appreciated. Formerly known as the group MinX, their company revamped the group in what I believe to potentially be the best revamp of a group and decision of a K-Pop company. Look forward to me gushing about this group in the future.

Song:4.5/5; MV: 4/5


  • CLC - Mini Album - "Hobgoblin" from 'CRYSTYLE' 



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CLC,CLC,CLC.......Cube.....what the hell are you doing?!?! WHY ARE YOU MAKING THEM INTO 4MINUTE 2.0?!?!? JUST WHY?!?!? It's not that the song is bad or anything but it's literally giving them a song that COULD'VE/WOULD'VE/ MOST LIKELY was a song designed with 4Minute in mind. I really wish Cube would've have stuck with their 'Pepe' image because that had a really nice and quirky sound that wasn't prevalent in the K-Pop scene when they debuted.



  • Seohyun (SNSD) - Solo Debut Mini Album - 'Don't Say No' 



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I wanted to love this one but I just couldn't. I really like it. The beginning got me hooked but then the chorus kinda let me down. Visuals are on point. instrumental is nice but overall the song left a lot to be desired. The breakdown verse with the claps I really liked as it added a nice touch of excitement, but it's not a song I'll remember. I love Seohyun's vocals and how there are used in TTS's albums. I know they wanted to go for a different image and style for her but it was Alright for me. I still will look out for any of her future releases though. 

Song 3.6/5; MV 4/5 just cuz she looked amazing and everything else did as well. No clue what was really going on. Don't really care either.



  • Suzy (miss A) - Pre-Release Single - 'Yes? No?' 



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I have always liked Suzy's voice. Sweet but not diabetes inducing. Smooth and melodic. This track utilized it to it's fullest potential. It's sultry. it's captivating. It's alluring. The instrumental is good and captivating. Everything is just perfect. Vocal and lyrical performance along with the instrumental was pure gold. Did I mention I liked the MV? I didn't? Well, yea....I really like it. Everything together was like a journey through a story that Suzy was telling and showing. I read that the MV was influenced by a Chinese director she loves and that made me like it even more. 

Song: 4.5/5, MV 4/5 would rate it a 5 if I knew more about the director who influenced it.


  • I.O.I - Final Single - 'Downpour' 



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I.O.I is no more! But they left us fans with a promise of their return....in 5 years!! Heh, it could've been worse but honestly this song was to be expected. A melancholy goodbye song. Not their best and I would've preferred something like 'Hold On' but hey they chose this song as it represented what they wanted to share with their fans. I got the message and I await your return I.O.I. 



  • 2NE1 - Final Single - 'GOOD BYE' 



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I don't want to talk about this song as makes me remember why it exists as a 2NE1 song but I really liked it. It showed what made 2NE1 unique with vocals from Bom and Cl. Even with Dara's more light and airy tone it worked well with what the song was trying to portray. However, it really lacked that solidifying vocal prowess that Minzy had while she was in the group. I already spat out my annoyance with this song at the beginning so I won't repeat myself here.

Song 4/5; MV 2/5 like what the hell MV director!!! it's like you're trying to make it even more obvious that 2NE1 became CL and the crew or what!! Only positive about it was the visuals!! I'll give them that!

FEB 2017


  • Red Velvet - Mini Album - "Rookie" 



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The title track, "Rookie", is one that took me for a surprise roller coaster ride and I didn't know how to feel. The "Lookie Lookie" (obviously Rookie Rookie) sound irritated me at first but on my 2nd listen I was hooked. I have not stopped playing this track (and album) since it came out. It's another defining track for the combination of the 'Red' and 'Velvet' concept that worked for them with "Russian Roulette" and it's another plus in my bias group book. The production on this album shows how to utilize the vocals of the RV members and showcase in such a fun and captivating way. Looking forward to what else they come up with. 


Song 4.5/5; MV 3.9/5. 



  • Wonder Girls - FINAL SINGLE - "Draw Me"



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Well, an era has come to an end. After 10 years in the industry, with a few member changes, the Wonder Girls have officially disbanded. Honestly, it's not a surprise but with their last comeback that was winning awards and such I had some hope that things could've worked out. In the end, it didn't. However, it was a beautiful way to go out. They literally won 'Best Pop Song' at the 2017 Korean Music Awards for "Why so Lonely" and it's one of the best gifts they could've gotten to finalize their end as one of the greatest girl groups in K-Pop history. "Draw Me" is a simple and sweet goodbye to fans. Nothing more and nothing less. No video (which sucks) but song gets a 4/5 from me as it was pleasant enough to listen to it brought nothing new to the table of "solemn disbanding group" songs nor do I think I'll listen to it frequently (not up for 24/7 emotional distress!).



  • BTS - Full Length Album - "WINGS: You Never Walk Alone"

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Two of my best friends are avid fans of BTS and have been trying to convert me. It has yet to work but with each new release BTS has, I feel like that 'that day' is fast approaching. I listened to 'Spring Day' on Spotify before I watched the MV and I fell in love. The vocals, the harmonies, the instrumental, just everything about it I loved. It's a song I can see myself replaying for the foreseeable future. Same thing with 'Not Today'. Listened to the song on Spotify first then watched the MV at a later date. This song is a jam! It's hard and powerful! It makes you just want to get up and move. Not much for a MV as it's mostly their choreography (which is FIRE!!) but BTS never disappoints and this reissue of WINGS definitely shows that along with their musical growth.


  • TWICE - Special Album - TWICEcoaster: LANE 2, "Knock Knock"



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Twice. Oh Twice. You have a special place in my heart and wallet. I always love their title tracks (only Cheer Up being my least favorite) and 'Knock Knock' has joined the list. The MV showed that this is a prequel to 'TT' and it did not disappoint. That JYP cameo was funny and slightly disturbing.....like why you wanna have a slumber party with girls who could be your daughters.....but the director of the MV should be given a pay raise because all the effects (which some people detest) are beautifully done. My favorite parts are the knocking parts that seem to have a delayed reaction, that is prominent in entire video, the shadow effects with delayed effects. Just beautiful. The girls are gorgeous and the winter/mythical/fairy tale theme just upped that by like 1000%!! Song was it's catchy, the effects on their vocals don't make my ears bleed and the overall package was perfect.

Song 4/5; Video: 4/5


  • Lovelyz - 'WoW' from Full Length Album - "R U Ready"



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Lovelyz has been a group that just never really captured my interest. Reasons vary from the 'school girl' image (which I don't normally have issue with but with them I felt overloaded) to the overly sugary-sweet songs in their inventory. 'Wow' seemed to be the song that would change that. It did but not to the extent that I would've hoped. It still has that "sugary-sweet' vocal aspect to it but it's accompanied by instrumentals and disruptions in that help balance it out. On my first listen I really didn't like this song. The opening had me hooked and then sugar got shoved in my mouth that I had to run to the restroom and gargle. Exaggerating? Yes, but the sentiment was still accurate. However, listening to it again for this review, I'm actually really like it now. Maybe I just have phases where some songs irk me at certain points in my life and then I come to love them when that period has passed or been dealt with. I listened to the entire album and it's safe to say they are now on my radar.

Song:3.7/5; MV: 4/5 (quirky and fun especially the mini versions of themselves. So cute!)

  • gugudan - A Girl Like Me from Mini Album "Act 2: Narcissus"

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Gugudan....what can I really say about you? They are still new on the block and their debut (which I personally liked) didn't really hit a home run. Most only knew about Sejeong, Mina and Nayoung as they were part of the now disbanded "nation's" girl group I.O.I and the Produce 101 TV show, respectively. What I had previously assumed to be Gugudan's trump card, their "Theater" concept, turned out to be somewhat true. Their debut had them doing a specific concept/act. The Mermaid concept for Wonderland. The teasers were similar to what AKB48's live theater performances are about and that's what initially intrigued me. Now it seems they (or management) is keeping up with that theater performance concept with their comeback "Narcissus". Well, me not knowing what the hell that word meant went to find it's meaning. Wikipedia! Everyone's best friend! Learned that is the origin word of Narcissism and that's exactly what you get from the title track 'A Girl Like Me'. Sassy, confident, self-absorbed and all the rest that comes with seeing yourself as the best thing that happened to the world. The song is catchy and honestly caught me from the opening. Vocals on point (Nayoung!!! and there are 2 other vocalists can't remember their names but dang! I really like their voices.) Overall, really like the song and the video (fun, sassy, filled with color and texture). 

Song:4/5; MV: 3.7/5



This is a new segment I'm trying to do but I think I bit off more than I could chew as this is coming out 3 to 4 months late. I'm still tweaking it and hopefully by the middle of the year I can have a definite format down and a proper schedule.

Let me know your thoughts if you wanna let me know and till next time.
Take care and God bless!

Chibi J





Sunday, February 12, 2017

Life Update Feb 2017 edition

Music Shuffle: Red Velvet playlist on Spotify 

On January 29th 2017, my 6 month internship at Wellington Management Company ended.
On January 31st 2017, I graduated from the Year Up Greater Boston program.



My graduation from Year Up was an accomplishment and experience that I would've never asked for nor could've asked for.

In my last in dept personal update I went into detail about the program and my time there. So if anyone is interested in that, it's one of the last 2 or 3 posts. From now on I will talk about my last day at Wellington and then the graduation itself.

On January 29th, my mentor took me to lunch at a place next to the office called Trade.



My seared salmon
Salmon was delicious but why the huge plate?!?!










He had the burger and fries special while I had the seared salmon (he informed me about the lunch plan a few days prior so I had a chance to look at the menu and see if there's anything I needed to avoid as I have a very sensitive tongue and stomach). It was a simple lunch. Mostly chatting about my experience at Wellington, what I'll be doing afterward and everything in between. He told me about his work experiences and all that he has learned throughout his professional experiences. I truly couldn't have asked for anyone better then him to be my mentor. Full of energy, passion, curse words and a fancy for knowledge (and wanting to toss PCs of the roof.....Shhhh! that's a secret. Hehe). I'm starting to get emotional while writing this. My team, Trading FI Desktop Support, the EQ desktop support team and the CTS lab members, and everyone else I have encountered, from the bottom of my heart: Thank you and my prayers are with you for your continued success wherever you are or may go.

P.S the some of the lab members wanted me to smack one of my teammates with a loaf of bread and I almost went through with it. I bailed at the last minute. Here's what "K" (and possibly other lab members) left for me:


Hahahahahahahahaha!! I had a good laugh when I came back to this.

Now unto the graduation.

Music Shuffle: B.A.P Album shuffle

Date: January 31st, 2017
Time: nearing 4 pm
Location: On route to Graduation location
Weather: ............FREAKING COLD!!!!

So, yea, it was freaking cold!!
No snow!
Just so damn cold!!
It was a lovely time though.
The service commemorated a fellow student who passed away during the Learning and development tenure in a vehicular accident. The service lasted around an hour and a half. The speakers were a highlight as all who spoke embodied the message of what Year Up is and what they continue to grow into.

One of the speakers left an impression on me.
The speaker was Tito Jackson, District 7 Boston City Council. He shared his life story that was filled with heartbreak, distrust, hopelessness and so much more. He told the audience "your condition is not your conclusion". That moment was awe-inspiring. This man went through so much but he never let it define him. He rose up and fought to where he is now. He has hope and I believe that he imparted that with the audience.



There were many awards presented and I was one of the recipients. I knew I was getting one but was never told for what exactly so it was a pleasant surprise when they read the title and description of the award and then my name followed. And a bit later the diplomas were distributed.

 

After that was basically chatting, picture taking, and goofing off for a bit before it was time to part ways.

At this point I am now currently job searching. It's a challenging and fun process but I have put everything in the Lord's hands. He has brought me this far and I know He's not going to abandon me anytime soon if ever.

I hope that this was clear and cohesive.
My life is just starting and I can't wait to see what's in store.
Till the next one.

God bless!!
Chibi J


Friday, February 10, 2017

Hmmmm.......should I get SERIOUS about this blog?

It's been a month and a half since the new year has begun and life is......I guess chugging forward whether I like it or not.

I had plans.

I really did,

but.....

the sloth got a hold of me and I didn't resist it.

I want to be serious about this online journal/blog but now I am questioning if I should keep going on or just start fresh.
You know, from scratch.

For the time being, I'll be working toward keeping this blog alive by following my initial schedule and TO STICK with it.

Per month:

Week 1 - Personal life
2 - K-pop, J-pop/Entertainment/etc
3 - Faith related
4 - Review of any kind
NB: everything is not limited to the week alloted

Personal life - updates, rants, confessions, passions, thoughts.
K-pop etc - k-pop/j-pop monthly spotlight (4 -5 news that stood out to me)
Faith - progress in reading the Bible in 1 year (3rd/4th attempt), inquries/revelations about scripture and society etc
Review - anime, music, beauty, health, etc

I currently have 3/4 drafts just about finished. I'll be able to have about 2 of those out by Friday night/Saturday morning. Just in time for the weekend.

Thank you to those who still frequent my out of whack blog as I try to sort out my life.
I hope to present to you the content that clutters my mind in a much more presentable format.

Once again thank you and see you.
God bless.

Chibi J./Jasmine

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year! Welcoming 2017!

 Happy New Year’s Eve!


Today is the last day of the year of 2016.

I recently posted a life update and now it’s the end of the year.

I guess I can do a summary of what 2016 has thrown at me:

a)      I did the SATs. Honestly, that was pretty uneventful but I’m glad I got the opportunity to do it. It allowed me to learn about the (IMO) unnecessarily complicated process of applying to colleges and universities in the USA. Almost 6 months later I still stand by that as I continued to look into many higher ED options and it’s all tedious and annoying. However, there are many resources out there to help navigate the process (on line and in person communities and groups). I had the assistance of the staff at GED Plus and Year Up which gave me some comfort and a sense of reassurance that I was not alone.

         
                               Source                                                              Source                            


b)     Leading off from that, my admission and acceptance into the Year Up program in Boston. I personally don’t believe in the concept of “coincidence” and this event has solidified that belief. Everything, from the day I found GED Plus to my current internship through the program, was like a laid out course/track that, if I took the right steps, I would end up at an unexpected destination but one that would be a necessity. That is how I continue to see it. In the end, it seems I made the right choices because I am here because of them. I was blessed by the Lord God through all these events, just happening one after the other. Like pieces to a puzzle, with each section being completed the closer you get to the completed piece. I have not reached the ‘completed piece’ yet but I believe that as long as I continue in my faith and walk with the God of the Bible, I will get there.



c)      K-Pop, a topic I have yet to truly talk about on this platform. I am a huge fan, since 2010 I believe, but my hyper-active fangirling has declined over the years. From stanning and obsessing over every group that was active, recently debuted and hot, I now have less than 10 male groups I actively stan and follow, and around the same or a little more for female groups I’ll list them sometime later). 2016 was not a good year for the K-Pop industry and that’s putting it nicely. What I want to touch on is the groups that disbanded and lost members that affected me. The groups are as follows:

      Disbanded groups:
4Minute, KARA, Rainbow and 2NE1
4Minute: 2009 - 2016

KARA: 2007 - 2016


Rainbow: 2009 - 2016

2NE1: 2009 - 2016



Group member(s) departure:
Secret, Miss A, 9Muses

Sunwha, formerly of Secret (now a rookie actress)
Jia, formerly of Miss A (now solo)
Euaerin, formerly of 9Muses

Minah, formerly of 9Muses

Hyuna, formerly of 9Muses (Bae!!)

Project group:
I.O.I. 

Will disband next January after a year of promotions.


All the groups listed are groups that I stan (if you haven’t noticed yet I’m a big girl group fan ;)). Most of these are a result of bad management (Rainbow, KARA), low album sales (4Minute), contract issues/ending (I.O.I, f(x)) or a combination of some/all of the above listed (9Muses, 2NE1, Miss A). However, there were some positives: Jessica Jung’s 2 solo album releases since her departure from SNSD, B.A.P has been killing it with album releases (i.e. Noir! GET IT!) and international rewards (MTV EMA Korean Act 2016), I.O.I debuting (even though its only for a year), TWICE continuing their rein as the trendiest group with awesome and catchy title tracks and continuing to steal my heart and so much more. Here’s to an improvement to the K-Pop industry in 2017. Cheers!

d)     Mobile Idol games – to sum it up: “I’M OBSESSED AND IN IDOL HELL! SAVE ME FROM THIS PERSECUTION!!” 
      I play: Love Live School Idol Festival (ID: 567399089)


                 Deresute a.k.a Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage (ID: 593535269)


                 Tokyo 7th Sisters (still getting used to it so I have no idea where the ID is XD)



      The first 2 are main hooks. Add me if you want. BASK IN IDOL HELL WITH ME!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!

e)     Job – through Year Up I obtained a job. Well, it’s the internship that’s part of the program but it’s still my first ever adult job! It’s been a challenge.  I’m an introverted person so having to interact with 50+ people on about 3 floors can make someone like that extremely paranoid (e.g. “am I annoying them? Did I do this correct? Should I ask them for help or will they think I’m stupid?”). I have left than a month left and I can say with confidence that it has changed my life for the better. I have gained many technical and interpersonal skills that’ll be coming along with me on my next job (whenever I get one) and my personal life.




f)   Finally, my faith. If you didn't know, I am a Christian. A follower of Jesus Christ. The Son of God. I don’t adhere to a denomination anymore as I do not believe it is biblical. This year I attempted to read the Bible in one year. Well…..heh. it could've gone better. I was following The Bible Project’s yearlong guide and I was doing relatively fine for the first 2-4 months of 2016. After I started Year Up, that flew out of the window. With each month, the decline in the reading gap continued to widened. I tried to get back in the groove of things and even restarted it twice but I just couldn't. I lost the interest and passion which in turn became a burden. That was something I really didn't want to experience. I want to have an open and engaged heart and mind to read the Word that God left for mankind. During those times the Lord opened my understanding to the fact that I had hardened my heart to His voice in exchange for thinking logically. That was a hard pill to swallow. Nothing is wrong with logical thing (we need it to interpret many things in life) but not everything in the Scriptures will be comprehended in this finite and corrupt human mind. I’ll be trying to read the Bible in its entirety in 2017 but I might just go with the flow instead of following a daily guide. Maybe that might keep me engaged and I’ll have my Bible commentaries to help along the way.



So, that was long.

If you made it this far, thank you.

There were many other things that highly impacted my life in 2016 (e.g. the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States) but I don’t want this post to be an extreme downer.

As 2017 fast approaches me on the east coast of the USA, I want to leave you with some words of advice, encouragement and hope:

“Continue your fight in whatever the Lord has placed in your path. There will be challenging times, maybe even more than you have ever experienced before but you are not alone. Whether it be friends, family, significant others or someone outside your immediate environment, there is always someone there for you. Don’t block yourself off from others (unless its needed) but don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of by others (yes, it is possible to be open and not be a pushover). Be open to change. Change allows us to grow but remember it’s not always a smooth journey.”



I also want to thank you all who read this blog and its infrequent updates for the past year. I can’t promise that I’ll be better at managing my time (a work in progress) but I’ll still be here by the grace of God with more content.

To all who have or have not experience it yet:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2017!




May God continue to bless you and carry you through this crazy ride called life.