This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.
(oversized matte hair clips from SHEIN)
Helllllooooooooo. I’m writing this intro on Thursday night, from the dining room table, where I’m folded up on my chair in cute floral-embroidered sweatpants and an ancient, ratty sweatshirt that may have once belonged to my uncle. The cat is curled up in a softly meeping circle on a nearby chair, snoozing on top of my partner’s sweatshirt, while my partner is at his desk, partially hidden by a piece of cardboard we hung up so I wouldn’t show up in the background of his video calls.
Since my last update, I…
…finished reading all 12 available issues of Fence by C.S. Pacat x Johanna the Mad. It was a TREAT and I’m excited for more!
…finished reading The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert. It was sexy! It was fun! I love consent!!! This book was written by a pan woman of color, whose writing voice was probably a huge factor in why I wasn’t squicked out by the sexual content, as I sometimes am in M/F romances. (The male love interest is bi, which also helps.)
…finished reading The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World by Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips. I didn’t really like it, but eh. It was largely about VR and how to build empathy into tech, but the author lost me within the first few pages because I have very little interest in listening to someone who thinks politics are a matter of opinion, not morality. When children are being held in cages and hate crimes are on the rise and people are being urged to risk their health to go to work in the middle of the pandemic for the sake of the economy, it is… literally a matter of morality. I just didn’t think the information in this book was particularly insightful, and I was disappointed that it took an entire book to basically say “People want to use VR for sex, but also for therapy” and “We need more diversity in tech.”
…started reading Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (aka the author of several of my favorite Drarry fics), and it is SO FUCKING GOOD. It’s magical! It’s dark!! It’s feminist!!! I don’t even want to finish reading it because I don’t want the book to end!!!!
…somehow came across and read “unbelievable” by mullethyuck, a Bee Movie AU NCT fic where Mark Lee is introduced as “Mark. Mark Bee.” I truly love fandom.
…bought a pack of English muffins on a whim during a 6AM grocery run (a decision fueled by 3 hours of sleep!), made wannabe Egg McMuffins for breakfast three days in a row. We just used shredded cheese, butter, and eggs, and they were very tasty. (We also tried adding sun-dried tomatoes and spinach to the eggs, but I prefer ’em plain.)
I tried using A) a ring of aluminum foil and B) a mason jar lid to get the eggs properly circular. The aluminum foil worked okay, but a fair amount of egg leaked out of the ring and I lost quite a bit of egg when separating it from the foil for plating. The mason jar lid worked quite well, with only a little leakage, and the egg circles popped out of the lids easily, but the lids themselves were a HUGE pain to clean afterward because of all the little ridges. For my third and final attempt, I chose to just fry+steam the eggs up in imperfect shapes, which was much simpler and easier, though less aesthetically pleasing.
…had my first California burrito (with carne asada and stuffed with French fries), LOVED IT. It was really heavy, but my god was it good.
…ate chicken tikka masala and palak paneer and vegetable samosas! From a restaurant!! Felt JOY!!!
…made this Instant Pot beef stew to change things up from the Instant Pot Hawaiian beef stew we’ve been making on repeat during this shelter-in-place. It was a welcome change of flavor, and the frozen green peas really brighten up the look and taste of the finished stew.
i hope all 2.5 people reading this blog are used to my shitty food pictures by now
…made a sort of kitchen sink shakshuka using veggies we had lying around. I basically just followed someone’s very vague instructions on Twitter to cook your veggies on low until they’re a jammy consistency, then crack some eggs in and season with salt and a ton of pepper and whatever other spices you like.
I ended up using most of a sad onion (sliced), the leftover third of a can of diced tomatoes, a double handful of spinach, and maybe an eighth of a bell pepper (diced), slow-simmered in leftover beef broth until things got dry enough to start browning and caramelizing. Then I made two little wells in the veggies and cracked in eggs and let them steam for a couple minutes while I toasted some bread (homemade and store-bought) from the freezer for accompaniment. It was DELICIOUS.
truly a terrible photo of an ugly meal but oh my god was it tasty
…made this Ethiopian cabbage, carrot, potato, and onion dish (aka tikil/tikel gomen, though this one’s a variation with no ginger). I’ve made this once before, and I remembered it was good but not amazing, so I took the advice of the allrecipes commenters and doubled the spices (except the salt), which really punched up the flavor. We also only had one potato, so… we used 1 large potato instead of 5 medium ones, which made this more of a vegetable side dish than a filling, starchy one. I’m also not sure you need the entire quarter-cup of oil, because I just eyeballed a generous amount. Anyway. It was delicious.
…roasted our remaining half-head of cabbage, drizzled in olive oil and seasoned with red pepper flakes and this barbecue spice rub (we make this in double or triple batches so we usually have a big jar of it sitting around). It was better than I expected!
look at that mf’ing char
…worked through some of my skincare samples, including the following (which I am making tiny because it’s just a wall of text for my own reference):
- Purito Pure Vitamin C Serum (This turned my face really red for a few minutes, which I was not expecting at all because my skin’s used to a 20% Vitamin C concentration and this one’s only 10%, but my skin looked good after?)
- CNP Laboratory Invisible Peeling Booster (I thought this would be harsher on my skin, but I think you have to use it for several days in a row to see major effects, good or bad. I had no adverse effects using this, and it dried down with a slight film so my skin felt… sealed in.)
- Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil (I’ve had my tiny sample bottle for ages, but I rarely use it and only use a couple drops per application, so it’s lasted quite a while. I can’t say this doesn’t anything special for my skin (I can’t say that for any of these samples because I’m using them for such short intervals), but it’s not overly greasy?)
- Innisfree Cica Balm with Bija Seed Oil (Again, I’m not sure this does anything special for me, but it didn’t make my face greasy.)
- CNP Laboratory Vita B Energy Ampoule (This ampoule is on the runny, watery side, and it dries down slightly tacky.)
- Sunday Riley Face Cream In-Flight Remedy (I was pleasantly surprised by this. It’s lightweight and decently moisturizing, while I’d been expecting something heavier and greasier. (For the record, Spenser gifted me this because he got multiple complimentary skincare sets from traveling so much for work.))
- Innisfree Jeju Cherry Blossom Tone Up Cream (This was one of the few samples I tried that left an impression on me. It has a sweet, powdery smell as well as noticeable whitening and mattifying effects. I’d imagine this wears well under makeup if you have light skin. My T-zone was slightly greasy to the touch by the end of the day (as it is with my normal moisturizer), but I wasn’t visibly shiny or anything.)
- Innisfree Youth-enriched Cream with Orchid (Ugh. I’ve received and disliked samples of this before, and I still dislike it. It smells faintly floral and has a weird, unpleasant slip to it, like it’s formed a slightly waxy seal on your skin.)
- TonyMoly The Chok Chok Green Tea Gel Cream (I think this might be a Korea-exclusive product, because I can only find it on Korean skincare websites, but anyway! This is lightweight, dries down quickly, and has a smooth but not slippery finish. I’m not sure how it’d perform long-term, but I was pleasantly surprised by how nice this cream was, considering that TonyMoly isn’t really a prestige brand.)
- TonyMoly The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream (This one’s the green tea cream that’s carried by US retailers. This one was definitely more moisturizing than the gel, but somehow still not overly oily on my skin. It was nice! My skin has always seemed to like green tea products, so maybe this is just a sign I should switch out my AM moisturizer from the Nature Republic Argan 20° Steam Emulsion to something that will keep me non-greasy for longer stretches. And something that’s cheaper!)
- Purito Centella Green Level Recovery Cream (My skin had no adverse reactions to this, and it was weirdly mattifying.)
- Innisfree Tangerine Brightening & Pore-Caring Sleeping Mask (Weirdly enough, I had two samples of this, and for the first one I wrote in my notes that it “has a gentle tangerine smell and is lightweight and dries down fast,” but for the second one I wrote that it “left my face feeling too wet to put on my pillow.” I’m not sure which impression was more accurate, but perhaps I applied it too quickly the second time, so my normal moisturizer didn’t have time to be absorbed yet.)
- Innisfree Hydrating Sleeping Mask with Green Tea (This has a mild, inoffensive scent and is lightweight and dries down quickly. I’m not a fan of the little ~hydration “beads”~, but I admit that having to massage them into my skin does ensure that I’m distributing the product evenly.)
- GlamGlow Galacticleanse Hydrating Jelly Balm Cleanser (This is the first jelly cleanser I’ve tried. It’s a semi-sheer glittery black color that reminds me of the @ohwindyside PVC diary pictured later in this post. The texture is indeed similar to fruit jelly, and it seems to work perfectly fine, but because of the consistency, I had to tug at my skin quite a bit to get the product distributed all over my face. I think I’ll be sticking with oil cleansers.)
- The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser (This was actually my first or one of my first foaming cleansers, and I switched to CosRx because this was too drying for everyday use. It’s still too drying and leaves my skin squeaky, so I’ll be glad to get through my last few sample packets.)
- The Face Shop Dr. Belmeur Daily Repair Foam Cleanser (It has a sort of lemon soda scent and a gel-like consistency that lathers up very easily. It didn’t leave my skin squeaky, which was a plus.)
- TonyMoly Floria Brightening Foam Cleanser (The theme here seems to be me being surprised by TonyMoly products. I liked this. It has a pretty strong but pleasant and short-lived floral scent, and it lathers easily
and doesn’t make my skin squeaky. [EDIT: After using this for a few days in a row, I have to say that actually it does make my skin unpleasantly squeaky.])
- Sunday Riley Facial Cleansing Cloth In-Flight Remedy (PHEW. The scent for this cleansing wipe is… a choice. It smells like a eucalyptus-y hand sanitizing wipe (aka not something you would put on your face), but at least it didn’t dry out my skin. (Actually, the articles I’m seeing say it’s peppermint, not eucalyptus, but either way: It’s a little too strong.))
…rewatched Despicable Me because my partner’s never seen it before. It’s still excellent and Vector still cracks me up.
…continued wearing my hair clipped back with double barrettes, 90s-style:
…watched WayV’s “Beyond the Vision” Beyond Live concert. It cost $26.70 and, like the SuperM “Beyond the Future” concert, it was SO worth it.
It felt kind of special for me because they spoke in Mandarin for most of the concert (and they sing almost exclusively in Mandarin), so I was able to understand a solid 70% of what they were saying without waiting for the live translations to kick in. I noticed that Kun talks really quickly and uses more phrases that I’m unfamiliar with (like, phrases that don’t map directly to Mandarin from Cantonese, which is usually where I get confused), which makes sense because he’s WayV’s leader and does more of their public speaking, but for the most part, when they’re talking to fans, they tend to use simpler vocabulary and phrasing, which helped me a lot (lol). I would guess my fluency is comparable to Ten’s or Lucas’, given that I could understand virtually everything those two said.
Once again, I did a livetweet thread on Twitter, but here’s a more coherent list of things that really stood out to me during this virtual concert:
- I really truly love “Take Off” and the English version of “Love Talk” and “Dream Launch”.
- Every time any of them spoke in Cantonese, I MELTED.
- Xiaojun’s voice is Beautiful!!!
- Ten’s long blond middle-parted hair is truly devastating.
- Xiaojun did his first ment in Spanish/Mandarin and ended up saying “¡Hola! 你好! 然後… ¡Gracias!” which just… broke me.
- At one point, Lucas lapsed into Cantonese in the middle of a Mandarin sentence. Also, Winwin said he would do his ending ment in Chinese and ended up saying “Bye-bye! See you again!” in English.
- The Ten x Winwin dance stage for “lovely” by Billie Eilish x Khalid (original performance here) was really, REALLY beautiful. Like, I’ve said here several times that Ten is a gorgeous dancer, but Winwin REALLY shines in this stage, and them dancing together is just… soul-achingly beautiful. Winwin has a background in traditional Chinese dance, and it really shows in the way he moves with so much ELEGANCE. It’s like every motion he makes with every part of his body is intentional and so poised and so… well-framed?! I don’t know much about dance, but I’m pretty sure that Winwin has ✨good lines✨. My impression is that Ten is a better all-rounder in terms of dance styles, but Winwin excels at balletic styles. (Also, Ten said you can interpret the meaning of this performance as being about friends or even lovers! Ten said gay rights!!!)
(I’m interrupting myself to embed the “lovely” video here because it is BEAUTIFUL!!)
- I did not realize how much Ten sings in WayV!
- Kun and Xiaojun performed their cover of Khalil Fong’s “Red Bean” (original performance here), and their voices are so lovely together.
- They also did “Face to Face (面对面)” with Ten, and they all sounded so pretty together.
- A Korean fan was chosen for the Q&A and she started off by saying how much she loved WayV and how Weizennies would never leave their sides, and Lucas started crying, and he’s so pretty when he cries, but it was UNBEARABLE. I wanted to CRUSH him with LOVE. (Seeing Lucas cry was worth $27.)
- The interactive fan challenge was a dance challenge with the “Take Off” choreography and I absolutely bopped along on the couch.
- The Mandarin version of “Come Back” is the best version.
- The WayV Beyond Live concert didn’t have many AR effects like SuperM’s did, but they did plenty of things with the backdrop/scrim and floor and the 360 view. There were a lot of abstract visuals – like kaleidoscopic, Windows Media Player visualizer stuff, and for the “Moonwalk” stage, they projected these kinda art deco, kinda cubist clocks and architecture all over the floors and backdrop, and it was all moving and shifting with the song, so it was really visually engaging. But overall I think their aesthetic was less about over-the-top, almost shocking(?) performances and more about showcasing their skills in an immersive format. It makes sense, because SuperM’s whole schtick is that they’re reviving the “SMP (SM Music Performance) genre”, so the heavier use of AR suited their concert, but WayV is more about that boy-next-door who happens to be able to sing and dance vibe. I though it really suited them. It was interesting and exciting without being too try-hard.
- Shoutout to the two (2) very hard-working buttons keeping Ten’s button-down shirt on his body. Bless.
- Whenever Ten speaks Thai, his voice gets really bouncy, and I think it’s because he always has a massive smile on his face.
- YangYang did his ending ment in German, which, like, what a flex. The translators must’ve either been dying or VERY skilled, because over the duration of the concert, the members used at least Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai, English, and German.
- Fans organized a fan project where those who were selected to have their webcam views shown onscreen held up signs that said “I love you WayV” in their own language. The members spotted it during the broadcast and Kun was blinking his tears back. 🥺
…pre-ordered this 1000-piece puzzle of Suho’s Self-Portrait album cover because it’s sooo pretty:
kim junmyeon, my favorite art ho 👨🏻🎨🎨
…started a free trial of Scrivener, am loving it. I only downloaded it because I was starting to experience serious typing lag with Google Docs after my document hit, like, maybe 50 pages? (It’s like 25 pages of writing and 25 pages of notes to myself + discarded bits, so don’t be too impressed.) I thought about purchasing Microsoft Word to use on this laptop, but I ended up with Scrivener because so many people recommend it, and OH GODDD I love it.
I’d probably love it even more if I were an obsessive planner, but it’s really helpful to see what I’ve written broken out into chunks, and to have folders for reference materials and research notes and random scribbles. When my free trial runs out, I’m definitely going to be buying it. (Also it’s a one-time purchase! Unlike a lot of other subscription-based software these days.)
…tried to drink while writing (it woz for research ok), realized I cannot write at all while buzzed. Ballmer Peak whomst?
…answered some interview questions for my cousin’s school assignment, which made me feel very sad but also made me realize how much better I know myself now than I did on the cusp of high school graduation. (Side note: Why are 17- and 18-year-olds expected to have their whole lives planned out?!)
It was weird to write “college was a really hard time for me,” because it’s something I usually try to avoid talking about, especially with my family, but I think it would’ve helped me a lot if, as a high school senior, I’d heard from someone I looked up to that college was not the best time of their lives and that in fact, it was probably one of the worst times of their lives, but they were glad they followed through with getting a degree.
It was also weird to write “I’m not sure when I first started thinking about money so much” because it felt like I was showing my large intestines to someone. And it’s actually sort of a lie, because I found a diary entry from when I was 14 where I mentioned that I felt like I had to do better in my classes because my mom had just gotten laid off and I needed to make sure I’d be able to get scholarship money for college when the time came.
I dunno. It was all stuff I’ve thought about and talked about and written about before, but to stitch the pieces of my young adulthood together and to see that most of my decisions made sense in the long run, even the ones that felt terrible while I was making them, was kind of relieving. (I suspect that most decisions make sense in the long run, though. Things can go many ways and still be pretty good.)
Here’s what I wrote for the last question, where I was asked to give some advice for “living a good life,” which I hope will be helpful for my cousin or one of her classmates:
My advice for leading a life you’re happy with: Figure out what’s most important to you and structure your biggest life choices around it. Pay attention to what you find fulfilling and/or exciting and try to experience those things on a regular basis. Live close to the people you love, and see them often. Most people do not love their jobs because most people have things they would rather be doing instead of working, but while it’s okay to not love your job, it’s not okay to hate your job. If you hate your job, figure out an escape plan, because you basically spend half of your waking life at work; you owe it to yourself to at least find your job tolerable. Take care of your body; you only get one, and you’re not getting any younger. Buy a nice mattress and pillow, and nice shoes, because they support you for hours every day. It is easier to make good choices when you are not worried about money, so sort out the money first whenever possible. It is rarely too late to start anything in life (unless it requires a young-enough body, e.g. having children without fertility treatments, or being an Olympic gymnast or something), so don’t be afraid to try new things.
And my last piece of advice is this: Sometimes you hear the advice that in a romantic relationship, you should always prioritize your partner. This is bad advice. Sometimes the advice says you should prioritize yourself. This is good advice at the beginning of a relationship, but bad advice in the long run. What you should do is prioritize the relationship you have built together, because the stronger a foundation you lay, the harder it is for life to break it down, and the easier it is to take shelter under when the weather gets rough.
…joined a group order for Baekhyun’s 2nd mini-album, Delight, pre-ordered all 3 versions: Cinnamon, Honey, and Mint. (The title track is “Candy” and the teaser videos/mood samplers released so far are the Sticky and Sensual versions… 🍭👀)
…received some EXO stickers via group order:
Top photo has heart stickers from EXO’s Obsession era + stickers from EXO’s Ladder Seasons 1 & 2 (I love the Kyungsoo x deer one and the Jongdae x reindeer headband x sheet mask one and the crying Jongin ones lmao).
Bottom photo is an Instagram-themed sticker flake pack with a bunch of Suho’s outfits. I’ve said this before and I will say it again: As much as I love and want to emulate Baekhyun’s style and as much as Jongin looks good in anything he wears, I just think Junmyeon has the most interesting personal style out of all the EXOs and that’s hot. (Bonus: one two three four five six seven eight)
…received my EXO fansite seasons greetings!! I ordered a Xiumin/Minseok one from @ICETREE326 and a Sehun one from @OhWindyside. They were supposed to arrive in January/February, but between the coronavirus disrupting mail services and the GOM I ordered through being overwhelmed with major life disruptions, they took a while to get here, but they were worth the wait.
The Xiumin one is called “Endless” and it’s a hardcover diary with an ombre cover, and it’s SUCH nice quality. The pages are dated for 2020, so I may have to use the first few months for random scribblings, but that’s fine with me. The overall design is really elegant and classy, and I feel like it was well worth the price, considering the quality and how many freebies came with it.
I should’ve put a border between these images, but…
Upper left: prints (2 sets of the 4 photos shown) and little photo cards (2 BOOKLETS’ worth).
Bottom left: 2 different sets of stickers!
Right: mini diary/planner (comes with sleeve inserts and planner pages) and an acrylic keychain
she’s soooo prettyyyyyy ❄️
layout for the front couple pages, with Minseok’s birthday marked in purple 🙂
these photos are meant to show the weekly/daily layout but also can i just say THIS MAN IS SO FINE
monthly/weekly layout, and at the back of the diary is a whole section of full-bleed photos (and a section of blank pages you can write/draw on)
The Sehun one is called “The Wind Carries Happiness” and it’s a A5-size glittery black PVC diary. The pages aren’t specifically dated for 2020, which is actually great because that means it doesn’t matter when I start using it. Compared to the Xiumin one, this one’s got more of a cute, fun, youthful vibe, which (IMO) really suits EXO’s maknae.
It came with the A5 glitter PVC diary/planner, little planner stickers, a little tin with monthly calendar photocards, a little smoky gray glitter acrylic keychain, and a FUCKTON of photocard-sized stickers (fanned out in the top left).
(Also I just realized I mistakenly listed the size as A6 in all these image names… oh well.)
BEHOLD!! I’m in love with the whole aesthetic of this diary. The jelly cover, the rainbow glitter, the iridescent rainbow lettering!!! 🌈😍
Here are the cute lil planner stickers (I think some of those are little Vivi stickers, actually) and the keychain, strategically positioned over Sehun’s butt.
Wow okay so stitching these photos together made the image so big that the upload quality is pants, but you get the idea. The first image is the front cover page which features glorious Sebooty, the second image is one of the monthly layouts (each month starts with a double-page Sehun pic + the “Happy Tracker”), and the third image is where you fill in your personal information like you would in a fuzzy Limited Too diary (and it’s actually the 2nd or 3rd page in the planner; I just put these pics together out of order).
Some interior monthly and weekly layouts, and “Happy Things” and “Happy Spot” trackers.
And this wonderful double-page layout of Sehun’s beautiful face. Like the Xiumin SG, this one also ends with several pages of really nice full-bleed photos.
GORGEOUS, AMIRITE? I regret not getting Baekhyun or Kai seasons greetings now, but maybe next year… There’s also a reclaim I saw for a Taeyong diary set from @TyrantSyndrome that I’m thinking about snagging…
…received the wired mouse my partner bought me. It’s the Logitech G203 Lightsync in White, and I love it. It lights up rainbow(!!) and it’s made playing games with my cousins so much more pleasant now that I actually have left and right mouse buttons. (So has actually downloading the right graphics drivers for my old work laptop so I can run Windows games on a Mac.)
…played Project Winter with my cousins again, only this time I was running it on my own Mac-running-Windows laptop instead of my partner’s desktop, so I had a working mic (so the proximity-based voice chat actually worked), and I also had a proper mouse to use (so I could actually perform right-click actions). I still don’t think it’s particularly fun because the survival aspect is quite difficult and can make the game run really long, but we’ve gotten the hang of it enough so the traitors can actually trait (what’s the proper word? betray?), and it was pretty entertaining trying to figure out who was sabotaging the group.
…tried playing Spyfall for the first time, with my cousins, using netgames.io. It’s a card/talking-based deception game, and it was… fun? It was really ridiculous and a little hard to do over Google Hangouts, but none of us is very good at lying, so it was really funny to hear everyone struggling to make up, like, just absolute bullshit.
…played a bit of more of Gris, unlocked the color yellow, cried again, this time over a sea turtle.
…lost my mind over this “EXO as cheese” thread.
…lost my mind over this teaser video and these teaser photos for Baekhyun’s 2nd mini-album, Delight, and then realized I actually had a picture I could use for EXO-L Selca Day!
me & my kpop man & our bi lighting, baby!!!
…cycled through several Baekhyun lockscreens:
I currently have the middle one as my homescreen and the right one as my lockscreen, but I might change to this one for a bit while I’m drowning in OT9 feels.
…cried over “Love In The Shape Of Cut Fruit” by Connie Wang. This article is about Asian moms cutting up fruit as an act of love: “Life is filled with bitter and hard things. When you extract pits, piths, and peels, fruit becomes a reliable source of pure sweetness, only softness.”
(When I finally finished moving out of my childhood home, my mom texted me a few days later to say “I’m missing the part of prepping your fruit bowl in the morning. 🙁” which made me cry and which made my partner repeat “I feel like I stole you.”)
…cried over Junmyeon’s enlistment. We’ve already seen off Minseok and Kyungsoo, but it just feels different when it’s EXO’s leader enlisting… but at least they all look good bald.
EXO’s not going to be doing much of anything as a group for a long time, which bums me out, but at least there’s solo and subunit content to look forward to for now. Baekhyun’s solo stuff is coming out in a matter of days, and Kai’s solo is planned for later this year. I’m also hoping for another EXO-SC drop, as well as more Chen solo stuff, but I’m not sure how they’ll handle things considering he’s a new father and there are still people making death threats(!) because he had the audacity to… get married to the love of his life. 🤷🏻♀️
GOD do I love Taeyong’s and Taeil’s voices.
Unfortunately this is the only stage for this song that I feel comfortable embedding here because the other ones from this comeback include Winwin in a Black hairstyle. He looks INCREDIBLY good because… he’s incredibly good-looking, but the optics of a K-Pop group putting a Chinese boy in braids for entertainment/consumption in a society where actual Blackness is considered undesirable – even if that society doesn’t have a history of slavery and institutional racism in the same way the U.S. does – the optics are not great.
But it’s a bop!!!
…listened to ASTRO’s new mini-album, Gateway. I like the title track, “Knock”, but “When You Call My Name” and “Somebody Like” are both reaaallly cute, and “We Still” is so sweet. 🥺 I really like MJ’s voice.
this gave me cavities
…listened to Day6’s new album, The Book of Us: The Demon, which is very good. The whole album is really sad and kind of painful to listen to, and aside from the lead single “Zombie”, I also really like “Afraid” and “STOP”, but holy crap, the English version of “Zombie” just HITS DIFFERENT.
It starts out sounding like 2000’s-era pop punk and then Jae hits you with “Today’s a present that I don’t want”?!
@ young k @ wonpil don’t expose me like this
…listened to “Yours”, Chanyeol’s song with Raiden (and Lee Hi(!) and Changmo), on repeat. It’s really cute and catchy and soothing. I honestly wasn’t sure if my quarantine brain was going to like something so easy(?) to listen to, considering how often I’ve been craving the sensory overwhelm of NCT noise lately, but something about this track just feels very soothing, like applying aloe to a sunburn. (I also like the concept of “love me / don’t hurt me / just kiss me / don’t burn me” because does it not capture what choosing to love is like?)
I LOVE when Chanyeol transitions from singing to rapping, I love Lee Hi’s voice, and I love Chanyeol’s 90s fuckboy middle-parted mullet.
That about wraps it up for this past fortnightish.
It’s somehow Friday again as I write this ending segment.
I’m looking forward to watching NCT 127’s “Beyond the Origin” Beyond Live concert tomorrow, wherein I hope Mark will spout more gems like “Come and visualize the beyond with us” and I’ll get to hear Moon Taeil’s gorgeous voice live.
I’ve also got Spinning Silver to finish, a couple fic updates to catch up on, and a story I need to do some deep thinking about before I can continue writing. I’ve been stuck for a few days now because I haven’t sorted out how I want this story to end, and frankly, staring at my computer all day hasn’t been helping. Maybe it’s time to go old school and bust out pen and paper. Good thing I’ve got an abundance of blank notebooks lying around (and two very pretty new ones to fill up).
Until next time. Hope you’re doing well. 💖