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Chicago Road Trip | Meeting Sophia

1:53 PM

The K-pop concert was only one of the exciting things I got to do in Chicago. I also met up with Sophia from Ravens and Writing Desks!!


It was so much fun and I have pictures. ;)



The Saturday after the K-Pop concert, I got up around 7:20 to get ready to meet up with Sophia at 8. The hotel room we stayed in was so. freezing. cold. And the blanket was kind of little for a full or queen or whatever size the bed was. My sister is a blanket-hogger.

I never forgive people who steal sleep hours away from me. *villainous cackle*


So, I got ready. Got dressed. Sophia and I had already been messaging back and forth, making sure we were still meeting up at the same time and telling each other what we were wearing so we wouldn't accidentally try to hug strangers. Sometimes my brain doesn't process picture to real-life transitions okay.

My mom wanted to meet Sophia too so she went down to the hotel lobby with me. And, you know what, it wasn't hard to recognized Sophia at all. She looked completely like her pictures (surprise!) and apparently I looked like my pictures too so we were all good. Crisis averted. Whew.

Sophia had driven over, so we got in her car and went to a place called Park Ridge which was really cute and pretty and had a few restaurants (which was our goal. food, duh).

Car rides are one of the highest things on the list of awkward-places-to-be-with-new-people. It wasn't awkward though because we are both bookworms and avid stalkers of each others' blogs. So we talked about what we'd been doing recently (school, blegh). Apparently, she went to the beach with her friends and if you were talking about a Lake Michigan beach, Sophia, you're insane if you swam. IT WAS SO DARN COLD.

It was chill (spending time together, not the lake).



We ate breakfast at Panera Bread.

This steak & egg bagel thing was delicious.

Sophia! Her shirt was awesome. It's a fox.

After we ate, we walked over to the library to find a place to take a vlog for Sophia's blog. It was super fun and hilarious because we are both so awkward at taking vlogs (because people). And we kind of brainstormed on the spot because we're awesome like that. We made a guide for you if you ever go to meet any of your online/blogger friends. I promise it's the most helpful thing ever. ;)


(Sophia was super on top of things and actually had this video up yesterday. *hangs head* :D)

It was really gorgeous weather at first. There was a nice breeze and it was sunny, a huge difference from muggy Tennessee. 


The street right beside where we vlogged.

A super cool sculpture. We sat down & vlogged on the stone wall behind it. 

There were some minor technical difficulties like Sophia's phone running out of room constantly which resulted in the murder of many games and pictures. And of course I didn't have any space on my phone because of the BTS concert. 

Sophia murdering unnecessary phone things. 

Selfie timeeee.

But we did it! (And again, you should go watch the vlog we made.)

Then we went off to take some pictures for my blog. At this point, it was a lot hotter than earlier. Apparently, Chicago is not cooler because it's north. It just has extremes of heat and cold (source: Sophia). 



Pillars were made for taking pictures by.

I decided to keep my long hair for the trip hehe. I'm going to cut it pretty short before school though.

That fountain blessed us with mist. Also I'm not this skinny. Promise. My purse is big and obscuring XD



This was my second attempt at taking a picture of both us with my camera. You don't want to see the first. It was literally so bad that we both burst out laughing. I have no skillz for such things. 

I feel like our purses are pretty good representations of our personalities.

Finally, we were like okay, Skylar's selfie-taking-skills-with-a-camera suck so let's use Sophia's phone. Front-facing cameras are lifesavers, guys. 

Our nice-smiles picture.

Ugly faces.

#swag
We had SO much fun and it was the greatest thing to be able to actually meet Sophia in real life. I am in awe of her driving in Chicago because Chicago traffic scares me so much. I would probably just hide in my closet and make people drive me places. :D

That was our awesome get-together! Hope you liked the pictures and remember to check out Sophia's vlog. Have you ever met up with online friends? How did it go?

Bangtan

Chicago Road Trip | BTS Red Bullet Tour Concert

11:21 PM

Sooo I have been to Chicago and back. And I promised many awesome posts on everything I did. This will be the first part of a few posts talking about my trip.

No, I'm not freaking out because I saw BTS in concert. Live. Like their faces were really there. Announcement: They're not fake, peoples. They are actual people and I actually got to see their beautifulness (don't question my vocabulary).

Welcome to my Chicago Road Trip series: Part 1. 


We live over eight hours away from Chicago as the car drives, so the trip was already kind of going to be a little tiring and a little stressful. But then we hit almost every bad thing that can happen on a road trip. There were something like THREE accidents on the same interstate and road construction on what seemed like every other part of the interstate.

And then when we actually got to Chicago and saw the beautiful skyline...

I have never seen so many tall skyscrapers together before. It was amazing.

We hit back-to-back traffic. At first I thought, well, maybe it's like some kind of late rush hour or something but it turns out it's like that in Chicago almost all the time.

It's very... intense.

So, we hit this huge lump of traffic after we'd already gone through every obstacle imaginable. And we think well, maybe, this will be okay. Maybe we still have time.

It's friggin 7:55 at night and we still have ten minutes of more driving to do and that's if we were traveling at normal speeds and not 5 miles an hour. The concert was at eight.

I was freaking out.


We finally got to Rosemont Theater and as we're like run-walking (and at this point everybody needs to go bathroom too) to the entrance, I look at my phone and it's 8:17.

Rosemont Theater

My whole family goes in (because, bathrooms) and there's a lady and she goes, "Do you have tickets?" I kind of shoved my ticket at her distractedly and frantically because I COULD ALREADY HEAR THE CONCERT UPSTAIRS.


So, my sister gets her ticket scanned too. And then we both just look at each other and run. I have never run up stairs so fast. I could hear Rap Monster talking to the crowd and the crowd screaming and oh my god. The stress and excitement.

A guy takes us into the concert, which is already hyped up and in full swing, and he's in the middle of telling us he can get us better seats. I'm just trying to not trip over the steps and watch the stage at the same time.

I remembered to acknowledge the dude a tiny bit. At this point, my sister was completely focused on the stage (BTS is her bias group) and I am seriously surprised she didn't fall on her face or pass out or something.

Rap Mon is already good looking, but he seriously looked beautiful in real life. Actually all of BTS looks way taller and more built than they do on TV or in pictures. Especially V, Jin, and Rap Mon. They got shoulders man. (Rap Mon is not gangly.)

I literally could not believe that I was seeing and hearing them IN REAL LIFE.

I could barely look to see where I was sitting because I was trying to watch them at the same time. And then I didn't need to sit down because everyone was standing up for another song. The energy and noise was unbelievable. At first I felt really awkward screaming and moving to the beat but then I was like there is no way anybody else can hear me scream when I can't even hear myself scream and nobody's looking at me. Not when friggin BTS is right in front of us.

So I screamed. Loud. And a lot. I was actually surprised at myself that such screams could come out of my mouth because I never scream in regular life.


I barely remember some of the song names and even songs because I was just so caught up in the hype and the beat (and it was really, really loud).

The rappers have such gifts. They did Cypher I and II (I think) and the place was rocking from all the energy. Like I said on Twitter, Rap Mon needs to keep his Dope MV hair for the rest of his life. And he owns the stage. He's as funny in real life as he is on TV and he really does speak good English. He's the only one that could say Chicago right. And, his rapping is as powerful as heck. (*whispers* He's my bias. Which means absolute favoritest ever out of the group.)

HIS FACE. *squee* Yes, this is Rap Mon.

Here's a better picture that I did not take.

At the end, he talked about how he'd heard about Chicago ever since he was a little kid and some of his favorite artists came from there. I'm not even from Chicago and I was proud of Chicago.

J-Hope was the sweetest. And dang, can he rap for a long time without stopping. Also, he gave the audience a thumbs up and told us we did really good when we sang along to Miss Right when we were actually pretty awful. But we tried. And we did better the second and third times of the chorus. They had a karaoke version up on the screen (thank god).

J-Hope

You have not known the feeling of invincibility until you have sung a BTS song with 4,000 other people. 

And near the end of the concert, J-Hope told us "Saranghaeyo" and twirled around in a circle (whilst making a heart over his head). 

Suga has a Transformer voice. It is so low. He is so swaggy, yet so squishy in real life too. When he was talking to us (near the end of the concert), he kept being interrupted by the screaming hordes of us (the awesome fans) and I could tell it made him really happy and kind of like "What do I do? They're so excited. Oh my gosh." He grinned and laughed. *clutches heart*

Sugaaaaaa

V. Taehyung. My gosh, you adorable puppy. His smile literally lit up my world. 

And look! I got a somewhat awful, grainy picture of him too. At least I captured the moment. :D

Kewtie

His voice could convert anyone to anything. It is the most soulful, smoky thing ever. I could listen to him all day. At one point in the concert, he went over to Jungkook and started just whupping his butt with the biggest grin while looking at Kookie. And then Jungkook had enough and started to turn towards him and V ran away. XD 

At the end of the concert, when it was his turn to talk, he kept singing notes and making us copy him and he went so high that his voice cracked (and we didn't sound so hot either). And then he just randomly yelled, "I LOVE YOU." (We love you too V. You adorable thing.)

JIMIN. He is an angel with a devilish side. Such. a. tease. If any of you know BTS, you know that Jimin is known for giving fan service. Which basically means doing body waves and showing off his abs and stuff. 

*le cute*

Which he did. Of course. He also fooled around with J-Hope which the crowd loved. And this boy. *shakes head in wonder* This boy has the voice of an angel. He hits high notes like it's nothing. And he kept doing this adorable thing where he talked in a deep voice and pumped his fists. I don't know how to explain it so that you understand how cute it was. Chicago = Seecago. 

Normally, I am not that hugely biased towards Jungkook. I mean he's cute and he has a great voice but that was all really. Um. Um. When he was saying goodbye to us, he was so awkward and cute and he didn't know a lot of English. He is not a "cool Busan guy." Which is awesome. He's kind of an intimidating maknae sometimes. It's good to know he's adorable and actually a normal seventeen year old guy. 

*le youngest*
His voice is actually so gorgeous. My sister described it as chocolate. I'd say that's pretty accurate. And he looks stinkin' built in real life too. Apparently, I have the worst attention span in energetic situations because I felt like a cat following a laser or something. THERE WERE TOO MANY THINGS. But, my point is at the end of the concert Rap Mon led us all in saying "I like you" in Korean to them and my sister saw Jungkook grin when that happened. 

Jin is actually full of quiet sass. When it was his turn to talk to us, he made everyone be quiet first. It was amazing how fast everyone stopped screaming. And when the crowd would start cheering again, he'd give us a disapproving look and shake his finger at us. 

King Fabulous

And oh my gosh, his English is actually horrible. XD But he was so sincere and sassy. It was the best. His voice is like crystal. Crystal clear and high. I don't know why I didn't notice it before in their songs but it's so strong in their live performances. 

Um, so, to sum it up. Well, I can't really, but I'll try. They're all precious. Jimin and J-Hope are actually the best mood-makers ever. Rap Mon is boss. Jungkook is a normal teenager which makes him so much more endearing. V is an actual puppy that could probably make me do anything if he smiled at me. Suga is the swaggiest cutie. And Jin is fab. 

I almost forgot! All of BTS had to play rock, paper, scissors to decide two people to do aegyo. It ended up being Suga and Jungkook. 

Rap Mon: Oh, I can't wait for this, because they are really terrible at aegyo. 

And then they had to play rock, paper, scissors again to see who would go first. Jungkook won and had to go first, and Suga did the most adorable frog happy dance across the stage. 

Yes, they are both awful at aegyo. 



I only took a few pictures with the camera before some dude came and told me to put it away. (Oops. Sorry not sorry.)



I am SO excited that this picture turned out okay. Sorry J-Hope, I swear I didn't mean to cut you in half. I was distracted.

Rap Monster on the big screen again. All of them on stage. Swag. 

REALLY bad quality. But I couldn't not post it. It's Jimin's face close-up.

I did not see the "no photography/video-taking" sign outside the doors. I really didn't. To be honest, I probably would have ignored it anyway. BUT, due to my bravery (or ignorance), you shall have a video of clips of BTS. Eventually. I had it all ready to go this evening and then I found out I couldn't actually create it all the way without spending big bucks on the program.

Which sucks, because I spent hours on it today. But when I pull myself together to make it again, I will share the link on Twitter and put the video on this post as well.

But I won't be able to post it up today. :((

Edit (8/8/'15): I have now finally completed editing and uploaded the video to YouTube. I'm really sorry that it's not HD quality or that it doesn't have a thumbnail image. Any opinions on why that would be?? ANYWAY, here it is. 



Now that I've thrown so many BTS things at you, I bet you have an urge to check them out. You do, don't you. ;)

Here are some of their less well-known songs that are extremely gorgeous (like Bangtan's faces):

Beautiful


Miss Right


You can check out my sister's recap here.

Any BTS fangirls out there? You must make yourselves known so we can screech together. This whole experience has made me want to vlog more. What do you think? Yes? No? 

BTS

Life Update

5:07 PM

Hey, guys, thought I'd pop in and tell you that no, I haven't dropped off the edge of the world or been kidnapped or anything crazy. The truth (real and un-interesting) is that I've been freaking out and studying, simultaneously, because of a CLEP exam. It's tomorrow. *terrified screeches*

The week after I take and hopefully pass my CLEP exam is also super busy for me since I have to get a load of school things done in about 3 and a half days before I head out with my family for our summer trip.

!!!!

This entails exciting things.

It stars with "k" and ends with "pop." YUP. It's finally almost time to go see BTS (an awesome K-pop group that you should really check out) live. In Chicago. It will be a horrendously long road trip but it will be worth it. And because I'm a licensed driver I shall have to share the burden. >.< But again, worth it.

Also, (yes there's more) I'll be meeting up Sophia from Ravens and Writing Desks! We're going to hang out for a couple hours and probably take awesome videos or photos or both for you all. I'm so excited to meet her. *happy dance* It's the first time I'll be meeting one of my blogger friends in real life! Her sarcasm levels are at goddess levels.

ALSO. (I'm sorry. I promise I'll try to finish this up fast-ish.) My college roomie from last year and I got approved for a tiny little campus apartment which is so. frigging. awesome. I probably should not be this excited about packing dishes and curtains but I am. There shall be a "Welcome to My Apartment" type post some time in August which will include the roomie. Finally.

I think that's all.

Once I come back, I should be able to get back into a blogging rhythm. So this is just a heads up that while I'll try to post soon, it may not happen (and by "may" I mean "probably won't). 


characters

Discussion: What's Your Name?

11:13 PM

Hello, there. I've just finished doing like a gazillion writing assignments (well, two, but still) and studying for CLEP exam and stressing. I stress a lot about school.

I also have a headache. Ews.

But I have come. More specifically, I've come to hit you with a few things you should definitely never ever have in your character names and then go to collapse in bed and nurse my wounds.

Note: 1. SQUEE. Minho. 2. I had to verify that I in fact wasn't
hallucinating and this was Minho with my sister. I'm tired.
I also have a headache (refer to above GIF). I am justified.

*drumroll* Behold my fabulous knowing.

my list of 5 things to never dishonor your character's name with

1. Last names are not a thing. I'm already bad at remembering names. In no situation do I also want to have to remember last names, especially if they're necessary to identifying the person. It is frustrating. And honestly, it's as frustrating reading such a long name as it is saying it out loud. If you must put your main character's last name in, that's okay. That's totally fine. But no more. *scary condemning face*

2. Please no long names with unpronounceable-ness. As I said, person who has no ability to remember names right here. I can forget the name of someone I just met in like five seconds. That has to be a record (an embarrassing one but still). Long names with Russian letter combinations or German or basically just long names with confusing letter combinations. If I can't pronounce them in my head, it's more likely that I'll forget their name as soon as I finish your book. I bet you want me to remember your character's name dontcha. *wiggles eyebrows*

3. Multiple characters whose names start with the same sound or letter. So, who do we have? James, John, and Jared. Let me crawl over to my corner and scream. This is so confusing to my poor brain. How do I process this? I won't, I'll get the names confused, and I'll never find out who actually did the thing that matters in the book. Bummer.

4. Weird nicknames. Personally, I love weird and fantastical names. So why is this on my list? Because no one should be nicknamed Pink or Shaggy or you know. I'm actually making all these up because I'm blanking out on all real-life book examples. But I know I've read some really weird, out-there ones.

5. Be adventurous with your name choices. Everybody has read about a Samantha, an Ellie, or a Jessica. You want your character to stand out and be memorable. As long as you don't violate rules #1 and #2, that's something you should aim for.


Hope you liked my little discussion! Are there any things you can't stand in character names? Or are you chill with everything? (Come on now, you're lying.) Comment away. :D




book review

Review: Red Queen

5:00 PM


Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Orion
Format: Hardcover
Source: library
Pages: 383
Series: Red Queen series


~~
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
~~


I wasn't sure what to expect when I started Red Queen (I didn't want to. Cue ninja skills of avoiding all reviews.). I'd seen it around the blogosphere a lot though.

To be honest, at first I was a little disappointed. The pacing was a little slow... there were a lot of things that reminded me of The Hunger Games. Like the Reds (district people) and the Silvers (Capitol people). The main character Mare was short, slender, and nondescript. Mare had a younger, talented sister. Nobody likes Mare really though because she's blunt, steals, etc. I could go on. Even though there were a lot of similarities, I decided to keep reading because it's hard to write about an oppressive society without being similar to the gazillion other YA books featuring oppressive societies. You need the oppressed and the oppressive, you want a character that your readers can identify with and not be intimated by gorgeousness. It's understandable even though it's a little tiring and disappointing sometimes.

One more disappointing thing (but also a work of art) was the romance plot. There was a love triangle. *groans* How long are authors going to keep writing these?? It's not realistic. I've read too many for me to even like them a little bit anymore in most cases.

I read past the first bits of the book though, and got into the complex Silver society and powerful families. And powers (uh, yes). And I felt like Red Queen redeemed itself with its characters and the twisting plot. The aspects of the powers and their origins was fascinating. Mare isn't another Katniss in my opinion.

Everything's jumbled and confused. You don't know who to trust, who's on your side, who could betray you. It's awesome.



I love books that crush my emotions and deal with heartbreak and betrayal and moving on. There was so much of that. I literally had to stop and collect my feels.

I know there are a lot of people who think that it's boring and slow or that it's a rip-off of the many other similar-genre books that exist. I can understand where they're coming from, but I think that Red Queen is a gorgeous work of art and I can't wait for the second book! *squee* It has a title (Glass Sword) and it's cover is going to be revealed soon. :D

My Rating:

Disclaimer:  I was not reimbursed for this review in any way. All opinions or thoughts expressed are my own. 

books

July TBR

5:00 PM

I've decided to start posting monthly TBR posts as something to remind myself that I need to read these books and not get distracted by shiny library books.

Just let me dream please.

This month's TBR pile is:




Here, There and Elsewhen by Charles Fontenay
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (I've actually already finished this one)
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
Compulsion by Martina Boone


(fun fact: two of these books are library books)

Have you read any of these? Do you want to?

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