Busyness in School

5:44 PM

So, everybody at my college kinda had a second winter break when we had one week of snow days (aka Snowmageddon). This, while it was very awesome, made my class assignments and stuff all wonky. 

This week is "catch-up-week". I've got big design projects to work on and exams to study for and when I'm done for the day, I just need to relax and de-socialize and do nothing for a little bit. 


I'm sad to say it, but it looks like I'll be taking this week (and maybe more depending on schoolwork) off of blogging. LOVE YOU GUYS. Please hang on through the drought of posts. ;) I have some good stuff in store. 


K-Pop 101 (Guest Post by Ely)

9:44 PM

I recently developed a (healthy) obsession with K-pop, Korean pop music, and all the things that come with it like reality shows and dramas. :) I waste so many hours on it now (don't tell anyone I said that).

I regret nothing. 

When I started learning more about K-pop I remembered that Ely (whose blog I was already following) mentioned K-pop a lot and I was like *snaps fingers* She's an expert. I should ask her to do a post so my followers will know what I'm blabbing about. 

So I did and she did and wallah! She's an awesome person/blogger and you should totally go check out her blog and her twitter (because she tweets some hilarious/legit things). 


Ely is a sleep-deprived blogger who has been writing this post for like four weeks (and by writing she means staring at a blank page mentally headdesking at the lack of inspiration). She likes Oreos (but can't eat them), anime and kpop (obviously), and is currently attending Bible College because she doesn't do math (like, at all.). Check out her blog here

Welcome to the world of amazing dance moves and colorful hair, where everyone wears eyeliner (seriously, it's like the stylists went Oprah Winfrey on everybody--"You get some eyeliner! They get some eyeliner! Everybody gets some eyeliner!"), and where there are sasaengs and oppas and antifans and biases and weird things that you've never encountered before.

Welcome to Kpop 101.

It's going to be a fun ride.

First, a little about myself, your teacher. I'm a brand new college student named Ely, who sometimes scribbles at her own blog called 'what can I say?' Which is ironic, because I tend to ramble. And by tend, I mean, I always ramble. I got pulled into Kpop about a year ago, by a weird song called Bonamana sung by an even weirder group called Super Junior (seriously. SuJu's weird.)

see? weird.

One important thing you need to know about me: I use the word seriously a lot. Seriously.

So. Kpop. What is it? I like to think of it as a phenomena of music that is kind of like a bunch of bright colors, sugar, and pop music thrown into a pot and left to boil for a few hours, but Wikipedia says that "kpop is is a musical originating in South Korea that is characterized by a wide variety of audiovisual elements."

Wikipedia, has anyone ever told you that you're a killjoy?

Kpop kind of has a language of its own, so it's my duty to be a guide to you through this crazy mess. Trust me. It's crazy.

{five words/terms/names you must know to survive in the world of kpop}

1. Oppa

*shudders* Oh how I hate this word. I don't know why, but ever since I started learning Korean and getting into kpop, oppa gives me the creeps. Literally makes me cringe. The word itself is pretty okay; it's just the polite term a girl calls her older brother, older guy friends, or boyfriend. (heh, Wikipedia's being a killjoy again--'The term 오빠 is used by a female to refer to an elder male, often as a polite replacement for a second person singular pronoun ( (neo) or 당신 (dangsin)' *gags* ) So I guess it's not the word itself that gives me the heebie jeebies. It's the overusage of the word. I blame fans like this: "OMO MY OPPAS LOOK JINCHA DAEBAK TODAY OMO!!!!"

Yeah. That happens. One of the main things I hate about Kpop. Bleh.

2. Aegyo

My sister and I say this one all the time at home and my dear mother constantly thinks we're talking about egg yolks. Yes, mother, egg yolks are a crucial part of kpop. Along with chicken (all those SHINee fans know what I'm talking 'bout, yup they do.) Anyways, the aegyo or egg yolk, whatever you wanna call it, is that deep dark place in the human soul where the urge to act all cute and fluffy and almost painfully adorable comes from. And this isn't just for kpop artists or Koreans in general (although it is a Korean term). My sister is an aegyo-artist. However, I believe I was born without any, which probably confirms my belief that I was born without a soul. Whatever.

One example of aegyo is that of Jung Ilhoon's Gwiyomi or Cutie Player song. I always get confused because 귀 or gwi is Korean for ear, so I don't know how all that fits together. Anyhoo, this song is cheesy and makes my fingers curl up painfully. I can hardly watch it. And I'm an Ilhoon stan.

3. Maknae

Maknae on top! The golden maknae! Cute maknae! Our little baby!

All things Kpop fans will say about the youngest member of a group.

Also on the same list: evil maknae. Man-Hyuk. (he he) Satan.

Urban Dictionary sums up maknaes with this (it, unlike Wikipedia, is not a killjoy because I giggled for a good solid minute over this): "The youngest members of bands or groups in Korea. They are cute and sometimes shy and quiet. Other times they are loud and proud and attention seeking. The rest of their group looks after them since they are the youngest and therefore the baby of the group. Maknaes are very popular and fans love to grab at them because they are easy targets to capture and kidnap."

Ladies and gentlemen, my night has been made.

observe maknaes of the k-pop world:

4. Stan/Bias

Above, you might've noticed I said I was an Ilhoon stan. You might've just passed right over that because you assumed my middle name might be Stan (which would be weird, but hey! who are you to judge?) or you sat there and looked at that strange word and wondered what the heck it meant.

Fear not. I too was in your shoes less than a year ago.

Basically, stan means you're a little more than just a lazy fan and a little less than a stalker or a sasaeng. It's the gray middle area. I'm proud to stan multiple individuals (I would mention them in their entirity but you would probably pass out from trying to sound out the strange Korean names or from trying to figure out why anyone would choose to have the name Rap Monster (though I don't exactly stan RapMon....)

Bias is also a word that  is commonly used in the Kpop atmosphere; it basically means your favorite member of the group. *hypothetical conversation*  "Oh, my bias is Leo." "Really? My ultimate bias is Amber." Sometimes you bias a whole group, and that's how you know you're really screwed (aka me with VIXX.)

5. Visual

Going along with the maknae, we have the illustrious visual of the group. What, you say, along with a special term for the youngest member, we have a title for the prettiest one? Sadly, it's true, and that's not all. Sometimes, being the visual is ALL the visual does/gets known for. I know, it's sucky. I mean,  you look great, but your singing parts are mostly non-existent, unless you're really blessed. That makes me sad. Looks are one thing, but being known for your face isn't a fantastic way to live life.

So yeah. Have your horizons been broadened? Do you feel like you can take on the whole world of Kpop now? Can you wade through the waters of BTS, BAP, Block B, BTOB and all other B named groups? Do you feel the urge to memorize all the members of EXO--both M and K? (if you do, I'm thoroughly impressed). Even if you don't feel all this welling up inside of you, I'm very impressed you made it to the end of this post. Because reading all the way through this post completely about Kpop...that takes dedication. Like, a lot. So kudos to you, random blog-reader. You have all my respect.

Well, maybe not all of it. But a lot.


*applause* That was epic. :D And I'm very proud of myself for knowing about almost everything you were talking about, Ely. ;) Aegyo weirds me out too. A lot. I hope you enjoyed this look into K-pop everybody (with all it's weirdness and awesomeness). And if you're a K-pop fan too, you need to comment! You need to. 

Note: all GIFs, memes, and videos were inserted by mwuah. :)

kazam. kaboom. dance skillz.

book review

Review: Rules of the Road

8:00 AM

Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
Publication date: July 7, 2005
Publisher: Corgi Childrens (this makes me think of corgi pups. aww.)
Format: paperback
Source: me!
Pages: 224

Meet Jenna Boller, star employee at Gladstone Shoe Store in Chicago. Standing a gawky 5'11" at 16 years old, Jenna is the kind of girl most likely to stand out in the crowd for all the wrong reasons. But that doesn't stop Madeline Gladstone, the president of Gladstone's Shoes 176 outlets in 37 states, from hiring Jenna to drive her cross country in a last ditch effort to stop Elden Gladstone from taking over his mother's company and turning a quality business into a shop-and-schlock empire. Now Jenna Boller shoe salesperson is about to become a shoe-store spy as she joins her crusty old employer for an eye-opening adventure that will teach them both the rules of the road and the rules of life.


So...PROPS TO ME. Rules of the Road is officially the first book I've started and finished in college. Woop woop!

I know.

*sigh* I know. It's pitiful. As a dedicated bookworm, I should be doing better. But tell that to my school stressing.

But, the awesome thing is-- I did it! And now I get to talk about it. ;)

You wouldn't expect a book about shoes to be good. At least I wouldn't. This little 201 page paperback impressed me though, especially since I didn't expect to like it at first read (but it was only 5 cents. You know I gotta get some of that).

First of all, Jenna is a teenager. I didn't really get that feel from the blurb. She's an incredibly mature teenager who excels at selling shoes at Gladstone's. She dreams of buying a red sports car. She feels awkward because she's tall and overweight. She has an alcoholic for a dad. A mom who works all hours at the hospital. A sister who doesn't know what's going on. Jenna was SO mature and her inner dialogue was full of dry humor and the facts as she sees them.

She could be any of us, because she's ordinary. But she made herself grow and become more, because she's strong and determined and stubborn.

This book was all about being strong and beautiful in all the uncommon and most ordinary ways (try to figure that one out).

It was about discovering who you are, and liking it.

It was about loving people. And having to let them go.

It was about confronting your fears. I respect that Jenna took a driving job when she wasn't really a good driver. I can't even drive in my small college town at rush hour without feeling a little nervous. >.< And for the cranky owner of the business you work for no less.

It had all the ordinary things you would expect in a book set in the summer time that was about a roadtrip-- restaurants (good and bad), meeting different kinds of people, lots of driving...

But it hit all the hard parts of life too.

It wasn't perfect though. Even though I enjoyed it a lot! It was quite slow and boring at times. There's only so much I can take of talking about shoes you know. And I'm not sure if I liked the random headlines Jenna made up for events that just got thrown in.

Besides that, it was really deep and totally grabbed my heartstrings.

And there were some really good quotes.

Was it my imagination, or did everyone one the road suddenly start driving faster?
It was not your imagination, Jenna. In fact, Texas has a much higher speed limit for the interstate than other states.

You never know where the road's going to take you. I think sometimes it's less important that you get to your destination than the sidetrips you take along the way 

 Now I see that it isn't the problems along the way that make us or break us. It's how we learn to stand and face them that makes the difference. 

I recommend this to people who like roadtrip stories, shoes, and watching someone discover themselves. Also, plaid. Green plaid.

My Rating:

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

book blogger organization challenge

Book Blogger Organization Challenge: February

8:00 AM

Aaaaand we're back with the February section of the Book Blogger Organization Challenge hosted by Brittany at The Book Addicts Guide. I need organization in my life and my blog (lots of it), so I'm loving how this challenge gives me specific goals without strict deadlines hanging above my head. You can click here to read my January post. :)

You might remember the objectives I challenged myself with in January, some of which I did and...some that I wasn't able to do. It is now time for a whole new set of challenges. *dramatic jazz hands*

This month's focus: Blog Maintenance
This month's Twitter hashtag: #BlogOrganization

my goals


On another note, I'm still looking for people to guest post for Life of a Random sooo if you're interested don't be shy. :)

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