When the Liebster rains, apparently it pours! A pass-it-forward way of spreading blogging love, I was thrilled to receive one last month (you’ll find all the rules and such in that post). But I am completely touched and overwhelmed by the further nominations I’ve since received!
It took me time to get all the questions answered, but it was so much fun doing it. I highly encourage you all to click through the links to the nominators’ blogs — because these are awesome bloggers asking me questions. If you don’t already know them, you should definitely check them out.
To the questions!
1. Who is your favorite K-ent actor and actress? This isn’t written in stone — it can and will change depending on what new shiny crosses my path — but right now Yoo Ah-in and Lee Mi-sook are the actors that have me eager to check out a drama without any further information needed.
2. Talking about favorites, what are your favorite movies, TV serials, actors and actresses outside Kdramaland?
- For television: Game of Thrones (of course). Also, weirdly and unexpectedly, I’m really enjoying Grimm — which I did not see coming. Finally, the husband and I just finished Attack on Titan and realized — to our horror — that the second season isn’t even out yet.
- For actors: It’s a cliche, but I’m one of the millions who adore Jennifer Lawrence. I’m also really impressed by Bradley Cooper. (Liked him since Alias so I feel like we go waaay back.)
- For movies: I haven’t seen a lot this year, but of course Hunger Games: Catching Fire was made of awesome. And Gravity really was worth all the buzz.
3. If your life were a drama, which one would it be? None — thank goodness. Because the drama in dramas is usually pretty darn high. (Which is why they’re so watchable!)
4. Dramas or novels? Why? Novels. I sink far further into a book than I ever do a visual medium. However, dramas are the most novel-like which is why I enjoy them so much. And I’m watching more dramas than I’m reading because I don’t have the time (unfortunately) to dive deep into a book. With a drama — you can press pause. With books, I find it a lot harder to put them down.
5. Which color do you like the most and why? Blue. Because it’s so, so pretty and familiar and welcoming.
6. Your dream cast for a drama: main leads as well as second leads… Well — I’d love to see Song Joong-ki and Yoo Ah-in in another drama together. Oh! And if Im Joo-eun (who’d I’d love to see really shine in something) and Yoo In-na were in it, too… That would be pretty cool. (Who do I see about making this happen?)
7. What is the best thing about blogging in your opinion? Two things: First, getting to talk drama with people who share my passion (my friends and family are grateful, too). Second, having something to write about every single day — I’ve found it’s improved my writing confidence. (And hopefully, my writing, too!)
1. If you could change a drama’s ending, which drama would it be? What would the new ending be? I’ve still not changed my answer on this one — because it could have been such a good drama if it ended well! That Winter the Wind Blows. Have the ending connect, logically and organically, with the story actually being told.
2. 5 cool facts about yourself?
- I can clover-leaf my tongue. (A step beyond curling — yup! I’m that cool!)
- I’m left-handed.
- I seriously love Beowulf, beyond the literary reasons. Which I understand is a bit rare?
- I have read Frank Herbert’s Dune series in its entirety — even the last few books where it became less a story and more a philosophical discussion. (Just the once, but still! Pretty cool, I think.) Erm — the ones he actually wrote — not the ones his son wrote, or his estate wrote or whatever that workaround was and… I’ve lost all my cool points, haven’t I?
- I was a barista once!
3. What got you into watching dramas? A clever ad-campaign on HULU. I was watching Glee and they suggested I’d probably also like Boys Over Flowers. I dipped in out of curiosity and haven’t yet managed to climb back out.
4. What is your favorite drama? And why? It’s not set in stone — “favorites” usually aren’t with me — but I’ll say Queen In-hyun’s Man because it’s got so many of my favorite things: romance, game-playing, supernatural elements, highly intelligent characters, action.
5. How much time do you devote a day to blogging? Really good question… I’ve not kept track but I’d guess… it probably averages out to a couple hours a day? Sometimes (a lot!) more, sometimes (though rarely — unless the day before was a long one) none at all.
6. How much time do you devote a day to watching dramas? I like to watch at least one episode of something a day — it’s a nice break. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. But then I make up for it later.
7. If you could create a drama, what would be the plot? I would love, love, love to see a sequel to White Christmas. So, a dark mystery/thriller would be the plot.
8. Do you watch dramas by yourself or with other people? Mainly by myself — though I’ll sometimes wrangle the husband into joining me. Which is always insightful!
9. What’s your favorite food? I love, love, love rhubarb pie (hold the strawberries — but do add some vanilla ice-cream).
1. If you could travel back in time, what would you like to change? It’s hard to beat Doctor Who: “I’ve got a gun. You’ve got a time machine. What the hell. Let’s kill Hitler.” If you’re talking personally, though… nothing. I’ve seen too many time-travel stories to not know messing with time is a road to pain and distress. (Save the dodo bird, wipe out the human race. Improve your school-grades, your husband’s now your brother. Etc.)
2. Do you have any plans to learn the Korean language? If you have already done so, do you have any tips on how to improve your Korean language ability? Good question. Really good question. I had plans on learning Korean. Even made some good first steps. Then Real Life was all, “I see you’re learning a language. You obviously have too much free time. Let me fix that.” I’d still like to learn it and I do find I follow the shape of the language more, so… someday!
3. Which actor/actress/singer would you like to meet in this lifetime? Assuming loss of shyness and the ability to speak Korean fluently… Song Joong-ki, Gong Hyo-jin, and… Ga-In? Sure, Ga-In.
1. If you could write the script for a drama, what would it be about? A continuation of White Christmas. Ten years later someone is killing the parents. A dark thriller/mystery that continues the “what makes monsters?” discussion.
2. What is your favorite genre of dramas and/or movies? Science Fiction or Fantasy — something with supernatural elements.
3. Has an OST song ever made you shed tears? If so, which song(s)? Not that I can recall. I’m not a huge fan of ballads, though.
4. What one scene in any drama/movie have you ever wanted to happen to you? A horseman coming out of nowhere, being all action-y and badass and then totally getting distracted by little old me. (That would be from Queen In-hyun’s Man)
6. Do you have any other obsessions beside watching dramas? I don’t have the time for any other obsessions. Which is how it usually works for me. I’m a focused obsessor.
7. Does anyone you know in real life know about your life as a blogger? Yup! Friends and family. But they’re not k-drama fans so they’re aware but don’t really read me.
8. What song do you have stuck in your head currently? I’m watching the SuperBowl and with all the commercials no song is stuck at the moment. (I did have a Lilly Allen song in my head previously. Not one you want to sing out loud though.)
9. If you could replace the leading lady/guy in any existing drama, which drama would you pick and why? Ooooh… dangerous question right there. Okay, I’ll dive in. I’m not sure if it would have full on saved Who Are You? but if a more nimble actor had played the male lead, I think it would have been more compelling. So I’d have switched out Taecyeon and put in Yoon Shi-yoon.
10. How has watching dramas changed your life? It’s gone a long way towards shrinking the world for me. In learning more about Korea’s history and its current events, I’m more aware of the history and current events of its neighbors. Always a good thing.
1. Which drama character would you marry in real life? Kim Boong-do from Queen In-hyun’s Man, because come on. He’s perfect.
2. What actors/actresses do you love so much that you would watch a totally terrible drama just because they were in it? Any examples? I watched Fashion King, in its entirety, for Yoo Ah-in. (Though to be fair, Lee Je-hoon made for a compelling watch, as well.)
3. Did you have a moment in your drama watching history when you just suddenly realised you were totally hooked? I can’t think of a specific drama… but I’m sure it happened at 1am in the morning. On a work day.
4. What do your friends and family think of your obsession? Do they know? They know. They think it’s a quirky and inexplicable interest of mine. But they’re used to me having quirky interests. (Which might be tainting their view of K-dramas, unfortunately. I’m sorry!)
6. What is it about your favourite drama that makes you love it so much? Which we’ve established as Queen In-hyun’s Man for the purpose of this experiment… I loved the main characters — Boong-do’s intelligence and devotion, Hee-jin’s adorableness and assertiveness — and their romance. I loved the time travel elements. And I loved the challenge Boong-do faced and the mystery of how they’d ever get their happily ever after.
7. Why did you start a blog? A writing friend said writers need a blog. So I got me one.
8. Have you ever walked up to a non drama viewing family member or friend and started singing ‘Almoost Paraaadise” at them? No. …not yet… *mwahahaha* (Seriously awesome idea.)
9. What is your guilty pleasure drama? A guilty pleasure… meaning not that good but I enjoyed it anyway… hmm… Okay, I’ll say Fashion King. It’s a terrible drama — I laughed at the big dramatic ending. And yet… I’m not angry or upset that I watched the whole thing. It was a mess, but I stayed entertained even as the story fell completely and irretrievably apart. (Won’t be watching it again, though. I suspect whatever magic carried me through, it’s gone now.)
10. Tell us 5 random facts about yourself (presuming you haven’t done this already): I’ve shared 5 cool facts, so here are some random ones:
- Tomato soup is my comfort food.
- I’ve recently changed from preferring lattes to preferring a good cappuccino.
- I know how to paddle a canoe (though it’s been a while).
- I don’t know how to sail.
- I can, in fact, bake a cherry pie.
1. If you are going to a desert island, and you can only take 3 k-dramas with you, which will they be and why? I’ve put it in my “favorites” place, so definitely Queen In-hyun’s Man. Next up White Christmas because it’d inspire me to write a sequel story (keep the mind working!). And finally, I’ll say Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. For the funny and because I like all the characters so there’s that family feel.
2. You are on the same desert island and you can make only three k-hotties to come spend time with you. Who will they be, and what would each be in charge of? (Who would do the cooking, etc?) Yoo Ah-in. Because he can cook. (Yeah… because he’s a really, really good… cook. I jest — but apparently he really can!) Kim Ji-hoon as mood maker and also, I feel like he’d have some idea of how to build a fire and shelter and stuff like that. Not that he’d do those things. So, of course, Joo Won. Who I see as a hard worker who’d cheerfully follow Ji-hoon’s directions and basically make it so.
3. I (DramaFan) am still not familiar with Kpop. What is the one korean singer I must definitely listen to, and which are his/her best songs? I’m not hugely familiar either, but from my tiny little library I’d say Ga-in’s Bloom and her group, Brown Eyed Girl’s Kill Bill. (Links go to the YouTube mv’s.)
4. The next time I go to a korean restaurant, what should I definitely order? I have no idea — I’d love to get to know authentic Korean food. There’s that soup with ginseng and a whole chicken that looks fabulous.
5. What was your first Kdrama crush? Lee Min-ho. Starting with his Boys Over Flowers performance, sealed with his Personal Taste. I’ve since moved on because there’s so many to choose from, but he was definitely my first.
6. What is the maximum number of episodes you have watched in a day? (Gumi: My record is 14, it was when I was on a Chuno run:P) I know the husband and I dove waaay into Gaksital one Saturday. I’m thinking we hit around 10 episodes or so — could have been more, though. It’s all a blur.
7. Which is the Kdrama cliche you just can’t stand? Weirdly… I’ve begun to get bugged by that slo-mo pass of epic meaningfulness every single drama-couple engage in at least once in a drama. Seriously. Every single one of them. Sometimes more than once. It just strikes me as a bit silly. I already get that they’re meant to be, guys. I don’t need a slo-mo pass underlining it for me.
8. Which is the Kdrama cliche you actually enjoy? There are always seats (and tables!) available at your favorite coffee shop. Always. (Well — that and the awesome, epic, not awkward at all first kisses.) I love them because they fill me with the envies. (My favorite coffee shop, with all the seats to choose from! Bliss!)
9. Who is your favorite korean actress? I said Lee Mi-sook early. But I’m also really, really enjoying Kim So-yun’s work. Really there are so many good ones it’s hard to pick just one.
10. Tell us your favorite Kdrama OST: The one for Heartless City — so, so gorgeous and evocative.
1. What got you so interested in Asian culture? Oooh, Asian culture in general… good question! I think probably when I was in grade school and realized there was this whole other part of the world of which I was learning nothing. China seemed too vast to try and wrap my arms around (more historically — China’s history goes waaaaay back). But Japan… Japan seemed semi-doable. Plus, I really liked the Japanese aesthetic.
2. Do you tend to express your love for Asian culture outside of the blogging world (with friends, family, work or school?) I took a Japanese Literature class in college and I have a lot of little facts and anecdotes I’ve picked up from here and there that I’ll share from time to time. But there’s a fine line between interest and fetishism which I’m highly alert to. So I don’t… I don’t know, run around wearing a hanbok or dropping Korean or Japanese words into my speech patterns. (I might be paranoid, but I’ve seen some things… so I’m cautious that my interest remains a healthy, world-aware, interest. I’m that way about any foreign culture I get interested in. Irish culture was one for a while.)
3. If you were able to become fluent in only one language overnight, which would it be and what would you do with such skills? The obvious answer is Korean and use it to watch all the dramas and movies and such (attempt a recap!). But since I live in Southern California, it’d make a whole lot of sense to become fluent in Spanish and use it to not be an ass.
4. Have you got another hobby apart from blogging? If so, what is it and how often do you do it? No, blogging is it. Because it’s pretty time-consuming and I’m barely able to squeeze it in as it is. (Though now that I’m playing around in GIMP… I don’t know, does that count? I’m doing it for the blog on the main, but…)
5. If you were only one of the last two survivors of a zombie apocalypse (cliqued, I know lol), who would your other survivor buddy be?(could be celebrity, family, even your pet ><) My husband. No hesitation. For one, he’s got the skills that would help us survive. For another, I’d be a useless wreck if he weren’t there, so… (Sappy, I know. Sorry.)
6. Which is your all-time favourite variety show? Hmm… Variety isn’t really my thing. I like stories too much to ever do more than just dip into a variety show from time to time. But I totally guilty-pleasure-watched The Romantic and Idol. Oh, the heartbroken angst! Also, the adorable dating games! (But not adorable enough to prevent heartbroken angst. Ain’t no power that prevents dating angst, apparently.)
8. What is your ultimate guilty pleasure? A totally lazy day, on the couch, reading. Preferably a series. And preferably that lazy day stretches into two.
9. Who or what is your ideal male/female? Hmm… I could interpret this question a multitude of ways (the best kind of questions!)… But I’ll say my favorite type of male character is a highly skilled game-player, with a side of cold killer ruthlessness, and a warm and fuzzy heart (of course!). My favorite type of female character is confident, skilled (so confident for a reason), also got some ruthlessness to them, with a side of goofy.
10. One piece of advice for those who are currently blogging/wanting to start a blog: Give yourself permission to change your mind. Try out a type of content or a blogging style and see if it works, and if it doesn’t (or if it gets boring, or something shinier comes along), change it up a bit. It’s perfectly fine to tweak as you go. Blogs are always a work in progress — don’t worry about perfection, just keep on keeping on.
1. For some people, kdrama literally saved their lives. What does kdrama mean to you? It’s a whole lot of fun and wonderful source of really good stories and an excellent way of shrinking the world for me.
2. Which is your favorite comfort-food drama? Your go-to drama when everything feels bleargh and you just wanna feel better? I don’t have one in particular, but Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Flower Boy Ramyun Shop have served me well in the past. They’re both cheery and light — even the angst isn’t that angsty — but the stories are still very solid.
3. Who’s your favorite kdrama character and why? Ooh, tough question! This is one that will shift depending on when you ask but I’m going to go with Lee Jin-sook from Heartless City. In a world where there were no rules and kindness seemed a life-threatening weakness, she poured her heart into one kid and she stuck by him no matter what. She was such a vein of integrity in a pretty rotten world.
1. Name and elaborate on one of the most influential figures in your life. My mom, for obvious reasons. But especially her eagerness and willingness to try anything, at least once.
2. What are the countries that you would love to visit to if you get the chance to explore the world? Why? S.Korea (obviously), Japan, Turkey, Ireland, and Argentina. For the same reason the cat died: curiosity. (And also wanderlust. Which didn’t kill cats. But wasn’t so kind to Magellan. So… there’s that.)
3. What is your favourite book? Why? Usual “favorite” caveat applies: may change at any time with no advanced notice. But I’ll say… The Lions of Al-Rassan because it was the first book by Guy Gavriel Kay I read and he’s fabulous and I look forward to reading more of his stuff.
4. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Same town. Maybe a different house? Working on a new project because the old one was completed beautifully.
5. Name your favourite genre of music (it can be more than one) and elaborate a little on your favourite artists. I tend to love them all. Depending on mood. I’ve been listening to a lot of Lily Allen lately. Just because she’s witty and there’s a good beat and it’s not entirely predictable. (Not that hip and happening, but there you are.)
6. What are the traits found in your siblings that you wish you could have too? Confidence and courage. My sisters are pretty awesome.
7. What prompted you to create your blog? Briefly elaborate on it. Advice from a writer (as I’ve said). But I also view it as a way to practice writing discipline — give myself deadlines to fulfill. On the unexpected side, it’s also become a creative outlet I did not foresee.
8. Why did you nominate the blogs that you nominate? They’re bloggers I’ve either only recently discovered or feel like are fairly new on the scene. They’re ones I’d love to get to know better. (I nominated them in my last Liebster post, here.)
9. What are the lessons that you’ve taken away from year 2013? The biggest lesson was: IT’S OKAY TO DROP A DRAMA! A life-changer that one. Also, don’t try and see them all.
10. Tell us about your favourite things about blogging. The community you discover. Not just for sharing the drama love — though that is awesome — but for the many ways they inspire and encourage me. I’d never, in a million years, imagine myself making my own headers. But because of the lovely blogging community — I’m doing it! Pretty cool.
And that’s it! I’m done! Again, this was so much fun — thank you to my nominators for all those lovely questions. And now you know even more about me! I hope I didn’t scare any of you all away…