Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What's this world coming to?

So, I'm still a little spaced out so this is going to be fairly brief, but I just want to ask: What's this world coming to when this...

...is consider sane and even fashionable and its wearer worthy of admiration and awards, but a dual lightsabers wielding man who managed to successfully deflect a police tazer is being said to need "mental health treatment?"

Oh but this isn't insanity her fans would argue, this is creativity, an expression of her free-spirit. Yeah well, deflecting tazers with a pair of lightsabers isn't insanity either, it's skill!  (Especially considering the off-hand penalty.)

Thursday, January 26, 2012


These are a couple of trailers that I thought were really well done and in the case of the Jaws Disney movie one, pretty hilarious.

This first one uses the audio from the trailer for the new G.I. Joe movie and clips from My Little Pony.

This one I particularly enjoyed, even though its silly, in general I think it's a cool when through creative editing you can change the whole tone and concept of a movie. 

And this one was JUST posted in my subscription box so I'm adding it now. I think this is a cool blending of Disney's the Little Mermaid, with Doctor Who clips. It's not perfect but it's still really well edited I think.

Hope you enjoy! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Drama Master List

Okay so I've realized lately that I've been watching so many different shows they've all kind of become a bit of a blur. So I'm going to keep a list here of the shows I've watched, and I may include a brief synopsis and what I thought of them, but I will refrain from going too in depth. If you have any questions or want more details about any of the shows I list feel free to ask. Here we go!

*UPDATE* Viewing links included for many of the dramas.
*UPDATE* New dramas added.

Hana Kimi - A girl disguises herself as a boy so she can attend an all-boy school in an effort to get closer to her sport idol, who has given up the game. It's her goal to get him back into high-jumping and see him do it in person. It's full of funny moments as she deals with keeping her gender a secret and the three dorms compete with each other. (This was my first Japanese live-action show, and it kicked off me seeing all the rest of these. I think it's a fairly good jumping off point if you're new to Asian dramas.)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/japanese-drama/hana-kimi-episode-list/

Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge - Three good looking students receive an amazing offer from their landlady: Turn her reclusive young niece into a proper young lady and never have to pay rent again. Naturally they accept only to find out things will be much harder than they'd anticipated. (I enjoyed this one quite a bit, mostly because I enjoyed the main girl. Although I did skip one episode that seemed to deal with ghosts. And the whole thing is crazy. Just sayin.')

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/japanese-drama/yamato-nadeshiko-shichi-henge/

Hana Yori Dango - Eitoku Gakuen, it's a school for the uber-elite, and the entire student body is under the control of F4- the four richest and most powerful boys in the school. Unfortunately they use that power to bully any who oppose them, until the day the one poor girl in the school happens to stand up to the leader of F4. (A really good drama, although many are understandably turned off by how much of a bully the main guy is. If you watch it just be forewarned he's on the violent side. But he does improve.)

Streaming link (season 1): http://www.dramacrazy.net/japanese-drama/hana-yori-dango/
Streaming link (season 2): http://www.dramacrazy.net/japanese-drama/hana-yori-dango-2-episode-list/
Streaming link (special): http://www.dramacrazy.net/japanese-movie/hana-yori-dango-final/

Kimi wa Petto - A woman comes home from work one evening to find a young man badly beaten in a cardboard box outside of her house. She takes him in, cleans him up, feeds him and lets him stay the night. He's essentially homeless and a stranger to her, yet somehow he's reminiscent of her old dog, Momo. Having recently been dumped by her long term boyfriend for being 'too tall, too well educated, and making too much money,' when he asks her if he can stay she says he can only stay if he's willing to live there as her pet. (Okay this one, I really liked how they developed the relationship between the two main characters, and I liked the over-all story, but I will also say this drama is more on the adult side. If I had to give it an American rating I'd say it's PG-13ish.)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/japanese-drama/kimi-wa-petto/

Mei-chan no Shitsuji - One day Mei-chan's life is turned upside down, when she becomes orphaned and nearly is killed herself when her family's udon shop explodes. Suddenly she finds herself whisked away to an elite school where the favored mode of transportation on campus is helicopter and every girl comes with her own butler. (I really liked this one. Like many of the other shows out there it's a pretty far fetched concept, and it had a lot of humor but it was also surprisingly a bit on the sinister side. I loved all the different girls and their butlers. All in all it was a fun show.)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/japanese-drama/mei-chan-no-shitsuji/

Zettai Kareshi - A woman is approached with an offer to help her find an ideal boyfriend. After completing a survey of what her preferences are she goes home thinking that's the end of it. The next morning she comes out to discover a huge box containing what appears to be a sleeping man. Turns out he's an android that's been programmed to be her ideal lover and she's obligated to keep him for a trial period. But naturally things don't just end there. (Okay this one I really loved the story of, but it does end sadly.)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/japanese-drama/zettai-kareshi-episode-list/

Ikemen Desu Ne - Japanese version of You're Beautiful. It improved upon the few things that bothered me about the Korean version, but I found the characters less enjoyable to watch, less emotionally engaging and I didn't like how rushed it felt sometimes. But it was alright. (Ren is too pretty to die!)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/japanese-drama/ikemen-desu-ne-episode-list/

Ouran High School Host Club - So this one I'm still reading the manga and watching the anime, but I have finished the live action. If you're in the mood for something humorous but not very time consuming this is a pretty good choice. I'm kind of amazed that they pack a decent amount of story into episodes that are only about 22 minutes long and there's only 11 of them. But anyway this one is about a poor girl who is accepted (due to her academic merits) into a school for the rich, and while no one bothers her, she does have trouble finding a place to study quietly on her own. Until one day she stumbles upon the school's Host Club. It's a group of bored young men, whose mission is to entertain all the bored young women in the school, and even make a little profit off it if they can. Unfortunately she also stumbles upon an extremely valuable vase of theirs breaking it and unable to pay them back for it. So they enlist her aid first as an assistant doing mundane errands, until they decide she has far more value as a host. This does have an element of your typical 'girl hiding her gender' but it doesn't play it like many other dramas do. It seems many of the school officials know she's participating in the Host Club as a man but since it's a co-ed school they don't really care. I will say it is a VERY silly show, but it also has some nice more serious moments. I wish it had lasted longer to be honest, but I hear a movie is in the works, so I'm looking forward to that.

Streaming link:http://www.dramacrazy.net/japanese-drama/ouran-high-school-host-club/

You're Beautiful - My first ever K-drama and still one of my favorites. I would call it a mix between Hana Kimi, the Sound of Music, and Twelfth Night. Twelfth Night in that there is a set of twins nearly identical, one boy and one girl, and the girl ends up dressing up as if she were the boy. The Sound of Music in that this is a very musical drama and the girl starts out as a nun in training in the beginning. I seriously expected the nuns to burst out in song any second with their own version of "How do you solve a problem like Go Mi Nyu?" And like Hana Kimi for the cross dressing, and how she has to live among a bunch of guys trying to keep her gender a secret and yet they all manage to fall for her. (Anyway I love just about everything about this drama. I love all the characters, even the 'villain' type characters end up not being truly horrible people in the end, they're just flawed. And I like being able to go through a drama without hating anybody. This is a rare thing!)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/korean-drama/youre-beautiful-episode-list/

Boys Before Flowers - Korea's version of Hana Yori Dango. It follows the manga better in many respects, and it definitely highlights the other members of F4 better. I'll talk more about this one in a future entry so I'll leave it alone for now. (If you particularly love the story then go ahead and watch it. It definitely has its funny moments, but it also has probably one of the all time worst Rich-Korean- Mothers-Bent-on-Decimating-the-Unworthy-Girl-Who-Dares-Vie-For-Her-Son's-Attention.)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/korean-drama/boys-before-flowers-episode-list/

Personal Taste - A woman in sore economic straights takes in a roommate who, due to a series of misunderstanding, she thinks is gay. He is extremely irritated that she's under this impression and the fact that she won't believe him when he denies it, however he has to stay there in order to research a project for his job. (This one is cute in some respects, but I did tend to skip around toward the end because when the drama really kicks in and over-takes the cuteness I tend to get bored unless it's really awesome drama.)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/korean-drama/personal-taste-episode-list/

Secret Garden - This is an odd one, it involves an ultra-rich executive who falls for a stunt woman, but they wind up lost in the woods and find a restaurant where there's an old lady who gives them each a bottle of 'medicinal wine.' Later than night they both drink it and when they wake up they've swapped bodies. (This was actually a pretty funny show, BUT it was never really explained why any of this happened, and I think the body swapping could've been utilized better than it was.)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/korean-drama/secret-garden-episode-list/

Coffee Prince - Another gender confused story, which I'm not going to go into explaining because I didn't really like it that much.

Mary Stayed Out All Night - Mary's father is deeply in debt and on the run from creditors when he comes across his old childhood friend recently returned from Japan. When his friend hears of his situation, he proposes a solution: allow Mary to marry his son, and he'll take care of all the father's debt. When Mary hears this she freaks out and runs away from home. She meets up with free-spirited rocker who is willing to fake a marriage with her so she can get out of the engagement her father made for her. (Okay this one I thought would be really good, and it sort of was, it had an interesting story, but the ONLY characters I found likable were the 3 main characters and there was an appallingly high number of piggy back rides for my taste.)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/korean-drama/mary-stayed-out-all-night-episode-list/

City Hunter - Okay this one is seriously like the Batman of Korean dramas. I love this show. It starts about 30 years ago when there is a terrorist attack against some South Korean officials. South Korea retaliates with a black ops type counter-strike against North Korea. However, the President has second thoughts while they're away on their mission, since this could end up having enormous backlash politically. So when the operatives finish their assignment and go back to the pick-up spot for retrieval, they are all wiped out by their own government. One of the men survives though, saved by his best friend, who makes him promise he'll take care of his wife and newborn son. The surviving operative returns to Korea, kidnaps the son (thinking this will be easier for the widow than having to be a single mother) and takes him off to raise him in another country, all the while plotting his revenge on the politicians which betrayed him and his comrades. Fast-forward thirty years, and the son that he's been raising is all grown up, returning to Korea to put into action his father's purpose for him, however they have a vastly different idea of what revenge should entail. Which leads to all sorts of wonderful conflict. (This one is definitely more PG-13, it's kind of intense in places and obviously there is some violence. But nothing worse than an average PG-13 movie.It's not a perfect drama, but it's easily in my top 5 favorites.)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/korean-drama/city-hunter-episode-list/

Heartstrings - I was too bored and not engaged with the characters to get even half-way through this one but I saw it so it's here on the list. lol

Lie to Me - Again I phased out toward the end so I don't have a ton to say about this one. It was cute in the beginning but it was like the writers didn't know what to do with themselves so the story just kinda went nowhere.

My Princess - This one was just okay. I really didn't like some of the characters and I really didn't like some of the video editing. But it was cute in places. I may come back and have more to say about it, but for now I'll leave it like this.

Flower Boy Ramyun Shop - I wanna take a brief second first to explain the name of this drama. "Flower boy" is the English translation of the Korean term for a 'pretty' boy or a guy who is really really attractive. In Korean the term is "ggot mi nam" (꽃미남). "Mi nam" (미남) means 'handsome man' and "ggot" (꽃) means 'flower.' This makes me appreciate the wittiness of Go Mi Nam's parents from You're Beautiful. But anyway back to what the drama is about. The story is about a girl whose father dies, leaving behind his ramyun shop. Surprisingly though it's not left to her, but rather a stranger she's never met before, who produces a will written by her father (in crayon lol) leaving him the shop and at the end mentioning he can have his daughter as well. Even though she'd been determined to have nothing to do with the ramyun shop, she decides to work there after giving up on her teaching internship, due to repeated run-ins with a very spoiled rich kid who is a senior there. He doesn't intend to make things easy for her however and manages to get a part-time job at the ramyun shop so he can continue to pester her. (This was a really funny show, and I really loved pretty much every character, but it's an example of Korea's love of toilet humor, which may not go over well with American audiences. I over-looked it because I liked watching the characters so much...It's not got a really in depth story but if you're looking for a cute rom-com that never gets super heavy or bogged down in major drama, this is a good way to go.)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/korean-drama/flower-boy-ramyun-shop-episode-list/

The Greatest Love - This one is about a middle-aged star at the height of his career who runs into a former pop-star whose career has pretty much hit rock bottom, ever since she was blamed for the break up of the girl group she was in. Despite the fact that she's a nobody to him, he finds himself being drawn to her, and his heart particularly goes crazy every time her phone rings. And I'll leave it at that. This one was written by the Hong sisters who wrote You're Beautiful. And I think it shows in that there's a heavy emphasis on star/idol life and for the most part there's very likable characters. (I will say on this one, the main guy...he swings from being kind of handsome and cool to being a bit crazy and even mildly deranged lol but in a funny way I think. But I could see some people having trouble taking him seriously as someone the main girl would like. I however find him funny and interesting enough that I enjoy watching him. Egomaniacs need love too, right? From someone other than themselves I mean.)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/korean-drama/the-greatest-love-episode-list/

Sungkyunkwan Scandal - Okay this is one I saw really early on in my drama watching days, so I'm fuzzy on details but I can tell you this is another cross-dressing drama only set in Korea's past so it's sort of a historical drama. I enjoy these sometimes because I like the costuming and having some glimpse into their history, even if it's not 100% accurate. This particular one involves a young woman who dresses regularly as a man to work in a book shop making copies of different books for students. Through a series of events she actually gets pulled into becoming a student herself under her sickly brother's name, and she has to live on the school grounds with roommates. So the gender thing is an issue, and a rather major one especially considering the time period. But there's actually a bigger issue that gets developed with some political intrigue going on with the King and something involving her father's death. It was an interesting story and I wish I could remember more of the details. Oh well...

Streaming link: I checked for one but unfortunately for whatever reason this drama has been taken down. :(

Protect the Boss - A woman gets a job as a secretary for an agoraphobic, difficult to please, frequently child-like heir to a major company. His father is constantly pushing him harder and harder to take over the company, which he has no interest in. He's frequently plagued by panic attacks and his cousin, whose ambitious mother is always plotting to usurp power in the company for her son. It's a story deals loosely with corporate corruption, but dwells mostly on the relationship between the boss and his secretary as she helps him through his problems. (I thought this was a fairly good drama. I kind of spaced out toward the end as I tend to on dramas that are good but not thoroughly gripping. I will give it to them that they had a very likable cast of characters (with the exception of the evil manipulative mothers). I have things I could say about the second lead, but I think I'll save it for my follow-up entry on SLS.)

Streaming link: http://www.dramacrazy.net/korean-drama/protect-the-boss-episode-list/

Okay so I've been working on this for well...MANY hours so I'm going to finally give it a rest. I hope you enjoyed reading and if you made it all the way to the end seriously, you deserve cookies or something. lol

My 젓가락 arrived!

Think chopsticks are all basically the same? You might be surprised! Chopsticks come in quite a range of lengths, materials, and etiquette for proper usage. While most that we might come across are made of wood and tend towards the Chinese styling, long and slightly squared in shape, they are also made from plastic, bamboo, bone, metal, ivory, and jade.

I've been using chopsticks for as long as I can remember. My dad frequently went on business trips for his company, sometimes even out of the country. On one of his visits to Japan he brought back several sets of chopsticks for my brothers and me to pick from. I don't tend to get too sentimental over items, but this particular gift from my dad I do treasure. From my research I suspect he may have gotten a 'couple set.' It's common in Japan for women's chopsticks to be shorter in length then men's so they will sell matching sets one pair longer, one pair shorter for couples.

I don't own the shorter pair anymore, unfortunately after many years and multiple moves I've lost track of them, but I've always managed to keep this pair together. They're made of lacquered wood and from what I can tell are inlaid with mother of pearl. For more information about the subject including a breakdown of traditions and other details based on country I found this article very informative- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chopsticks.

While most countries predominately use wooden or bamboo chopsticks, the majority of Korean chopsticks are made out of metal. I'd noticed this in the different shows I'd watch and frequently wondered how different it would feel trying to use them. Metal tends to be more slippery, the length is shorter than my Japanese set, and on top of all of that they're almost more rectangular, almost flat shaped. So after much searching on eBay for an affordable set, I finally found one. Koreans also usually eat with a large, long handled spoon so the set contained both the spoon and the chopsticks or jeotgarak ( 젓가락).

You can also see the ends are blunt rather than pointy as is typical of Japanese chopsticks. It takes a bit of getting used to holding them because of their thinness and shape they tend to want to flop over, so I have to grip them a bit firmer, but beyond that they seem to function just as well as any of the other styles I've ever used. Although I've stuck mostly to noodles, we'll see how well they do with sticky rice, chicken, kimchi, and other dishes. I look forward to testing them out!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

PSA: Second Lead Syndrome

In recent years a growing epidemic has emerged. It occurs predominately in females aged 15-45 who habitually view television dramas of Asian origin. Naturally I'm referring to what has been termed, by its sufferers as, "Second Lead Syndrome."

Do you find the second male lead in dramas cute, sweet, and in almost all ways completely perfect and deserving of the main girl's love and devotion? Do you find yourself disgusted by the main girl choosing the bad boy main male lead in the end, no matter how much character development he's undergone to become a better person? Do you find yourself yelling at the screen, demanding to know what on earth is WRONG with this girl for overlooking the clearly superior second male lead who is the epitome of the ideal boyfriend/husband? 

If you've answered yes to any of these questions you too may be a sufferer of Second Lead Syndrome. If this is the case, you have my sympathies. In case you haven't noticed from the numerous dramas you've watched up until this point, the nice guy second lead hardly ever gets the girl so you are in for potentially years of future disappointments.

But thankfully you're not alone and there is help for those of you dealing with this condition. Further entries will help provide you with needed support.