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A fic update? Whhaaaatttt???

I actually updated Crossing into Chaos.  What IS this madness?
I am completely obsessed with Brilliant Legacy.  Any free moment I've had has been consumed with it, and as a result, I'm on episode 17.  So much has happened - I can't even believe that the Hwan from the first episode is the same person I'm watching now.

I think what makes this series so all-consuming is that it isn't just a romance story - it's really about family, and how families can be destroyed (or saved) by greed.

So much rambling about the brilliance of Brilliant LegacyCollapse )

That's enough rambling for now... I'm also re-watching Full House!  It was my first kdrama ever, and I barely even remember it, so I decided to give it a rewatch. It's still super-fun, and I can see why my friend (the one who started my drama obsession and introduced me to HYD so many years ago) thought it would be a good drama to introduce me to kdramas.

K-drama binge

I've been stuck at home for almost five days with a terrible cold.  Let me tell you, the only time I ever hate living alone is when I'm sick.  It's so BOOOOOOORRRRRRIIINNGGGG.

But, I've been spending my time completely binging on k-dramas.  I watched all of Bottom of the 9th with 2 Outs (a.k.a. 9 Ends 2 Outs) which was so amazing - I'm a sucker for th "life-long BFFs fall in love" trope.  It was very whimsical, and while the main OTP were certainly the drivers of the plot, it wasn't entirely about them - it's about coming to terms with life in your 30s and whether or not you've lived up to all the ambitions and goals you set out for yourself in your 20s, before 'real life' began to wear you down.  It was really great - I finished the entire thing in abot 36 hours.

I also rewatched the first 14 episodes of Goong.  Crazy, right?  As much as I loved it when it first came out (it was the first series I ever watched while it was airing - saw the first 18 episodes in a marathon session, and then learned how HORRIBLE it was to have to wait for subs for the first time when you're addicted), I've never actually rewatched any of it, so it was a lot of fun to do.  Chae-gyul is one of my favorite k-drama heroines (even though she does let herself get trampled on quite a bit, doesn't she?), and Shin... Oh Shin, you poor repressed block of ice. Good times.

Also, I've watched 14 episodes of You're Beautiful, which is the k-drama series that Ikemen Desu Ne (a.k.a. my huge j-drama obsession right now), and I LOVED IT SO MUCH.  It's easy to make comparisons between the two, and decide which one is better, but I don't really have a preference.  The j-drama is slicker, the story telling a lot more compact (especially as they have about half the airtime that the k-drama did), but the k-drama is quite amazing.  Like, it makes me so giddy.  I'm going to have to do a seperate post on it and why I love it so much.  It has an incredible amount of flaws (the heroine is slightly more intelligent than a brick wall, the fashion is just... so so bad), but there are moments when I've laughed RIGHT out loud, and that OTP is more adorable than kittens.  He's pouty! There's an adorable nickname!  Heavy-handed metaphors! Jewelry of Emotional Significance! LOVE IT.  In fact, I love it so much, that I'm not really ready to finish it yet.  I have 2 eps left, and... I'm just not ready to let go right now.

I've also powered through 5 eps of City Hunter, which I'm loving. I had to take a break, because You're Beautiful, and the pretty, giddy, fluffiness just ATE MY BRAIN, but I plan on picking it up. I think this is one I'm going to have to wade through, instead of marathon. I think it deserves a bit more thought and observation.

In the meantime, I've also started Brilliant Legacy, which should be very interesting.  I know who the OTP are supposed to be, but right now, I simply cannot stand the 'hero' of the story. He's just an unrepentant jackass, and I have no idea how he's possibly going to come around and change enough to, you know, NOT be a jerk who doesn't deserve the heroine.  Of course, I hated Domyouji from HYD with a passion for about 2 eps before the love kicked in, so you never know what could happen.

After I've finished Brilliant Legacy and City Hunter, I plan to try Boys Before Flowers.  I watched the first few eps like an addict rediscovering their addiction, but then Real Life took over and I stopped. I've heard that the 2nd half is a flaming, torturous train wreck, but my devotion for all things HYD is pushing me to give it a try.  Also, I'm probably going to check out Hong Gil Dong.  I've never watched a historical series before, and from what I've read, this is more 'fantasy' history (think A Knight's Tale) and might be a good way to ease into the genre.  It's by the Hong Sisters, and I tend to love their stuff (My Girl, You're Beautiful - ooh, this reminds me! I also need to add Delightful Girl Chu-hyang to my watch list)

Man, I go a good year or so without watching anything (the last series I attempted were Prosecutor Princess and Personal Taste, and did not finish either of them) and now, I'm right back in.  Have 5 days to yourself when you're too sick to do anything else will do that to you, I guess!
I cannot believe it's been over 9 months since I last posted!  That's crazy!  But, so is the reality of being a working single lady in these crazy times.  Throw in the fact that I work in capital markets, and you've got a recipe for very pathetic social life.  Like, seriously, global economic markets, get it together already. I'm wasting my precious youth with all this craziness (I say this as I'm sitting on my couch with a glass of wine, all dressed up and ready for some dancing! ... man I am too old for this).

So, what have been doing in the past nine months?  I went to Africa, went to England, went to Spain, and capped it off with a visit to Reno, Nevada. I'm so glamourous, I know.  In all seriousness, I'm cultivating quite a love for the southwestern United States, and I love heading down there to visit my parents, who are there for at least another 4-6 years, so I'll be dropping a lot of vacation time there.  If only it were an easy place to get to... Seriously, what is up with the gong show that is traveling through a US airport?

I've been bitten by the Asian drama bug again!  My old obsession kinda went the way of my social life over the past few years, but it's back!  I'm currently working on three - one is currently airing (gasp! I hate waiting for new episodes), and two are older, yet so amazing, I'm ashamed I haven't caught up with them yet.

Jdrama 1: Ikemen Desu Ne (slight spoilers right up to Ep 07)Collapse )
J-drama: Buzzer BeatCollapse )

K-drama: Coffee PrinceCollapse )


After I've worked my way through these, I'm thinking of giving City Hunter a shot.  I really liked Lee Min Ho in Boys over Flowers, even though I abandoned the series (I just couldn't take it any more. I've said before that I would and could watch Hana Yori Dango in every format, and I also didn't finish Personal Taste, but I should give him a shot in a series I have a shot of watching all the way through.

Hope everyone on my flist hasn't forgotten about me! I'm going to try to post a little bit more frequently, and become a less terrible LJer.

Fiction coma

I've been reading basically non-stop for a week now.  Like, I've literally had to have books taken from my hands and set aside for me so that I would remember to eat.

It's been fantastic.  It's like my soul has been craving for words, and I didn't realize it until now, and I'm determined to indulge as much as possible, to the point of making myself sick.  It's a fiction coma.

(I did, by the way, decide to go with the Kindle - I got the Kindle DX with 3G, and I heart it so much, my iPod touch is now ranked #2 on the list of electronic devices I might die without.  I didn't go with the iPad because of the backlit screen and the Kindle's amazing battery life - after reading ebooks on my iPod touch for so long, I couldn't deal with the retina-burning display.  Also, I can get weeks of battery life off one charge on my Kindle.  Plus, I love it - have I mentioned I love it yet?)

I've been powering through a huge list of YA novels that have been building up on my Must Read list...

I sat down with Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss at about 11 p.m. the other night, thinking I'd read a bit before going to sleep... Yeah, I didn't put it down that night.  I read until 5 a.m. straight (which, with the time difference, is actually 8 a.m. Toronto-time), and had to actually restrain myself from flipping it over and starting it all over again.  It's a pretty simple story, about an American girl sent to a boarding school in Paris for her last year of high school, who meets and falls in love with a classmate - who happens to have a girlfriend - so they become best friends.  But, it's just SO SO SO good, I can't even.

I just can't even.  It's the kind of story that makes me want to pull out my notepad and start writing, because of all the ideas I now have, and then stare out the window, dreaming about the male protagonist.

If you like YA fiction, you should totally read it.  I almost died when I found out that the author is writing two companion novels, and the next one isn't out until, like, SEPTEMBER, which is going to KILL ME waiting for it.  I'm planning to re-read it during my 14 hour airport adventure Thursday.

Damn, you, publishing industry!  This is why you're in decline - I live in a world where I can click to download virtually every movie and song that I want.  It's time for books to catch up!

I've also read Jennifer Echols' The Boy Next Door, which was good, I'm halfway through her Forget You, and I've also just started her Going too Far.  I've also read Rachel Hawkins' Hex Hall (after which I had yet another meltdown, because the sequel doesn't come out until March, and I'd read a review of it, and thought that it was already out), Sarah Dressen's Just Listen, which I also really loved.

I'm on a serious Young Adult fiction binge.  What can I say, I love reading about high school angst.  My biggest source of anger right now (other than my "what do you mean, it doesn't come out for NINE MONTHS" meltdowns) is that the e-book of Daisy Whitney's The Mockingbirds isn't available to Canadians and I so desperately want to read it.  I'm heading out to Barnes and Noble tomorrow; I'll try to get a paper copy then.  But, this is exactly why I wanted an e-reader: instant gratification!  When I want to read a book, I want to be able to download and read it, dammit.  I blame the CRTC for this.  Or, the CEO of Chapters Indigo - I feel like it's somehow her fault.

Any recommendations out there?  After finishing Forget You and Going Too Far, I'm going to be needing something new to read. 

Various vacation musings...

A list:

1.  I will never fly United Airlines ever again.  My connecting flight was canceled, which was awful and stressful, especially when they told me that the next flight was in TWO days, but it was, hands down, the worst I have ever been treated by airline customer service. Period.  So, never again.

2.  I managed to get on the waiting list for the first flight out the next day, and have been happily enjoying my holidays with my parents thus far.

3.  As a result of my delayed flight, I spent a lovely night in San Francisco.  It was lovely despite the horror of holiday travel, the exhaustion, and truly terrible weather.  Once I got far, far away from the United check-in counter, everyone was so nice and concerned about the nice Canadian girl trying to get to her parents' place for the holidays.  My big brother (who was flying in a different city, and was on the same connecting flight from SFO as me) eventually showed up, and decided we might be best to rent a car and drive the 4 hours... to which every single person who heard us expressed concern (and rightly so, the roads were treacherous)... but it was very genuine concern.  So, rock on, San Francisco.

4.  The worst WORST thing I observed while stuck in travel chaos was an argument about the stand-by waiting list.  In a stroke of actual humanity, a United rep was quietly trying to bump someone up the list, and someone overheard and Was. Not. Having. It.  The person they were trying to move up the list?  Oh, that would be a US soldier, trying to get home for the holidays as he had very little time and couldn't fathom spending 3 precious days waiting around airports instead of spending it with his wife.  I mean, I wanted to get to my final destination as badly as anyone else, but I shut my mouth and smiled approvingly at the United rep for doing what he did.  I have 2 weeks to spend with my family; how much time do you think he had?  Spirit of the holidays, people!

5.  I've been reading and napping for about 5 days so far.  I polished off Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel, and am now re-reading all the Harry Potter books, something I haven't done since 2006 (and obviously, that was only the first 5 or 6 then).  I really enjoyed Clockwork Angel, as evident by my complete outrage to find out that the 2nd part doesn't come out until September.  In fact, I would venture a guess that I'll like the Infernal Devices trilogy better than the Mortal Instruments (which, have you heard, is no longer a trilogy?)  While some of the character tropes that Clare relies on get a touch stale after awhile (between her Draco trilogy, Mortal Instruments, and now this one, I can't quite tell the difference between Draco, Jace and Will as characters), it's still quite enjoyable, and the plot moves along quite nicely.

6.  Um, America?  Your Wal-Marts are AMAZING.  Like, mind-bendingly amazing.  It could be that I've lived in downtown Toronto for so long, that I forget what a big box store looks like, but oh my goodness, you can get literally anything there, all in one place, and usually for under $6.  What a beautiful thing.  I am single-handedly stimulating the economy of the state of Nevada, with all the shopping I've been doing here.

7.  I'm considering buying a Kindle.  I travel enough now that carrying as many books as I like to have with me is getting ridiculous, and I already have the Kindle app on my iPhone... but I might also get an iPad... I can't decide!! Opinions?  I have an iPhone and a Mac already, so I feel like one more Mac device would just be excessive, especially considering I really only want it to read ebooks...  But if I'm going to drop some money on an e-reader, what not just upgrade to the multi-purpose iPad?  Ugh, decisions.

8.  Happy holidays everyone!

Hello, old friends!

Well, it's been quite awhile, hasn't it?

I had a brutally busy summer, followed by an equally brutally busy fall.  I now have 2 weeks of vacation looming before me, but with 1 day of work and 12 hours of airports and planes ahead of me before I'm finally free, I'm still pretty stressed out.

See, my parents moved.  Left the country.  Off they went, leaving me standing on my own two shaky newborn adult feet.  Okay, it's hardly as bad as I make it sound - they only moved to the US.

Hope everyone has been well, happy holidays and all that.

The Young Victoria

I rented the movie, The Young Victoria, this weekend, and have watched it exactly three times since.  I've fallen completely in love with it.

It's my new Shakespeare in Love.  It's a lot more low-key that it, though, very even in its pacing and tone, and a bit darker.  Almost like the 2005 Pride and Prejudice in that respect.

But it's so delightful and wonderful.  They do an excellent job of showing Queen Victoria as both a bright, mature young woman who grapples with rising to power, but is still an insecure, sometimes bratty, teenager like she is.  I love it. And I LOVE how they've shown the relationship between Victoria and Albert, and how it develops into a partnership, and how she was a bit defiant about not choosing exactly who her mother wanted her to chose, before she couldn't resist him any more. Oh, it's just so lovely.

If you like period pieces, and beautifully written, acted and filmed movies with steady, even pacing and a to-die-for OTP, this is one for you!

I just don't get it...

I just don't understand the point.

I support freedom of expression.  I support the responsibility of a democratic society to express their views, opinions and advocate their causes, and the requirement of elected officials to listen to and advance the wishes of the population.

But I just do not understand how anyone feels that smashing windows, vandalizing people's private property, BURNING police vehicles and attacking the media accomplishes any of those goals.  See what's going on:  www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/06/26/g20-saturday-protests.html

The G20 protests currently taking place in Toronto are taking place in MY neighborhood.  That Starbucks they smashed? That's where I get my coffee on weekends.  The subway stations shut down by the protests?  They're the ones I take to get around the city.  The streets that have basically become a war zone today? They are the streets where I walk to and from work every day, where I walk to buy groceries, where I walk just to walk, or where I get stuck walking behind super-slow-walking tourists.

Toronto is a generally accepting city.  Last summer, when the Tamil population of the city demonstrated for 5 days across the street from the US Consulate, the city was a little annoyed, but accepted that it's part and parcel of living in a diverse city such as we do.  They were allowed to make their point, and to continue to demonstrate for MONTHS (after they were moved off the street they were blocking - which they occupied for 5 days).  There is absolutely no need to bricks at windows, try to light still-occupied police vehicles on fire.  I just don't know what goals this accomplishes, other than to lash out.  Whose cause are you advancing by doing this?  How are the lives of people in underdeveloped countries going to be changed for the better by this?  What about the lives of the hourly worker who works in that restaurant you just smashed?  How are they going to make up the wages you just cost them?

This is all a bit too close to home.  If I had stayed in my apartment this weekend, I would literally be trapped there, unable to go out on the street for fear of getting caught up in the riot, as all streets around my building are currently filled with protesters and police officers in riot gear.  Riot gear! In Toronto!  How sad.

A city about to be invaded...

UGH.  The G8 summit is being held in a town outside Toronto, follwed by the G20 summit, which some GENIUS thought should be held right smack in the middle of Toronto's Finance District.  Down the street from the largest transportation hub in the country.  In the neighbourhood of the entire heart of the country's FINANCE and BANKING SYSTEM.  And, most important, IN MY NEIGHBOURHOOD.

My office tower is very much in the middle of all this nonsense.  My apartment building is just off a major street, which will undoubtedly attract lots of attention, given that, oh, you know, the US Consulate is located there, and there is a major police station on the corner of my street.

I'm moving for the week.  Luckily, my company has foreseen how much of an issue this whole thing will be, and has decided to allow everyone to work from home and has ordered us to stay as far away from downtown as possible, but how does that help when I'm living in the middle of all of this?  I am actually considering moving in with friends for the week, just in case.  I would go stay with my parents in the suburbs, but I actually have a lot of work to do, and don't want to take any chances not being able to get back into the city. (The convention centre basically stradles the train tracks by which 100,000 commuters travel into work each day, and is down the street from the highway into the downtown core - they are actually stopping trains on either side of the convention centre, and building a temporary platform so that they can kick everyone off the train and have them just walk to wherever they are going).

Not to mention that the World Cup beings very soon, and Toronto, being a seriously diverse city, often overruns with World Cup Fever.  My first real taste of living in Toronto was during the last major soccer tournament (not the World Cup, because it was less than four years ago... maybe the last summer Olympics?), and I lived between Koreatown and Little Portugal.  Well, let me tell you, any time one of their teams won, impromptu parade down Bloor Street, followed by massive street party lasting for hours (of course, the ENTIRE city did exactly the same thing after the gold medal hockey game, and shut down Yonge street for many, many hours).  Which, I am all for, considering it's a pretty great part of living in this city, but combined with all the imminent G20 nonsense, there's not going to be a lot of walking around places.

ALSO, one of the hotel unions could be on strike during the G20, and just yesterday, University Ave. was shut down by an anti-Israel march.  City living is SO MUCH FUN.

In other news, I've been watching How I Met Your Mother and think that it is the greatest sitcom since Friends.  In fact, I think it is better.  I started the first season about 2 weeks ago, and have been marathoning it ever since.  I'm almost at the end of Season 5, and I'm really sad about that, because there won't be any more until the next season begins.  It's just so... my group of friends!  These characters do and say things that we do and say, they have the same kind of inside jokes that we do, rip on each other exactly like we do... it's incredibly well-written (although, I have to say that Season 5 has been a bit of a downer), the actors are awesome and I may have developed a bit of a crush on Neil Patrick Harris as a result.  And, despite their best efforts to hide it during Season 4, Alyson Hannigan was STILL the most adorable pregnant woman in the history of the world.

You know how all good shows have the characters that you identify with, or that you "are"?  You know, some women refer to themselves as a Carrie or a Miranda from Sex and the City, my friends refer to themselves as characters from Friends (my best friend is SO Monica), I am so Cristina from Grey's Anatomy.  I really love shows that are written in such a way that you can see yourself in the characters, despite them living these completely extrordinary lives or getting themselves into unusual situations... I love that in HIMYM, they all go to the same bar because that's just what they do. It's not the best bar, but it's the closest one and they know the bartender and the waitress, and that's where there go.  Or that there is the one staple couple of the group that defines what love really is for the rest of their single friends.  Or that they celebrate family holidays together, because they are closer to their group of friends than they are to their families... It's just very real, despite the ridiculousness of a sitcom.

In fact, I take it back - it isn't the new Friends, it's the new Scrubs, which has and may always be my favorite show of all time (at leas the first 4 seasons).  I've clearly been immersing myself in it in order to escape the bleak reality of living in the city.

Confessions of a Drama Queen

I'm a drama queen lacking in Real Life drama. So, instead, I flail about things that I become obsessive over - which, usually, is everything, all the time, always. Be warned - I like to post AD NAUSEUM about what I'm currently in love with, and this changes about every other day.

I also occasionally flirt with the notion that I can write, and chose to demonstrate this deranged fantasy with the occasional fic bit posted from my one current fanfic project. I really only do it for the shallow praise - what, like you don't think a drama queen would have an ego?

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