I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately and I feel so sad.
I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately and I feel so sad.
Today was otherwise clouded by negative thoughts and feelings so I wanted to list three good things instead of complaining about life and the sleazy Yinzer couple making out in the Strip during my walk.
*(Speaking of that referenced live blog, ever since I re-read it last week I have been re-obsessed with Mr Happy Burger and found some poor quality YouTube videos about it which I forced Henry to watch and he was just like, “I still don’t get why you thought that place was so great though.”)
Hey, Chooch here! The last day of Korea went by with many tears and broken heart fragments left behind. The morning was the same as any morning in Korea, with my feet still sore from the pain and agony of the hills and miles we walked the night before. Although, we never know what we are going to do next during the day. I’m pretty sure this day was actually planned; we were going to Itaewon. We took the saddening subway, not because it was gross and disgusting in there, GOD NO! It was pretty much our last time hearing the beautiful subway jingle. I heard the *bloop* as my tear hit the floor. We made it to Itaewon, it was still early so nothing was open, except for the convenience stores that are open 24 hours; like every convenience store. We walked around and noticed that the streets were not cleaned yet after all of the clubbing and drunks the night before.
[Ed.Note: Chooch makes it sound like Itaewon was some unsavory area but it’s just a neighborhood that’s a popular hangout and go-to for bars and clubs. Seoul in general was pretty squeaky clean as far as litter goes which is a mystery considering how challenging it was to find garbage cans!]
As I wept inside my mind just thinking of leaving, I noticed the Line Friends flagship, the main one we were looking for the whole 10 days we were there. The reason we could not find it was because it just wasn’t listed on any website. The main thing that made this particular store so special was because this one sold BTS’ line of animals; BT21. Sadly, they were not for sale the day we went, otherwise we definitely would have got one or two. Other than that, I was promised something from this store because of the agony I went through during our journey through complex Gangnam, you know the city we almost died in because Henry got us lost and said, “Oh. There is no subway we can take to get there faster.” Although, we went back to our hotel through the subway down the street from where we went.
These are the BT21 animals that weren’t on sale. I found it hilarious how the horse/unicorn character is on his head. You know what? It probably isn’t a unicorn. If it was his horn would be snapped either completely or in half.
In the Line Friends store, there were many rooms, being used by the mascots for the company. The one I am in is Brown’s room. He was the most popular.. I should say the main mascot for Line. I should say what Line Friends is. DUH. Line Friends is owned by Line, a messaging company as like Kakao. Koreans use Line, or Kakao instead of the actual texting apps on their phones, I guess because it’s more aesthetic?
Staircase with the BT21 characters on the individual steps. My favorite character is the little cookie! He comes in a group and is just flat down cute.
Sally was my favorite character. No, Sally is not the rabbit on the ceiling of the yellow room, that is it’s own room. Sally is the chick you can see painting through the red, round window. I actually got a stuffed Sally. She is dressed up as a chicken, a grown up version of herself. I don’t love her as much as Peachy Boi “Apeach” from Kakao, though. Peachy Boi is definitely the best of all of Kakao and Line Friends, but Line Friends does have those BT21 character, so I’ll give em’ that.
This guy was really cool! I ordered Turkish ice cream an I guess to show that the ice cream is sticky and sturdy, the man was taunting me by flipping the cone upside down and around, trying to make me grab it, but quickly pulled it back. He then proceeds to tap my nose with THE ICE CREAM. I don’t think he realized, and I really don’t care, but, “DARN YOU, MAN!”
As a conclusion to this post, here are 5 things to know before you travel to Korea.
Number 5: You should know some Korean, if not all. Entering stores, Koreans may not always say hello. They might say Annyeonghaseyo, or 안녕하세요, which is Korean for “Hello!” You would also need to know some Hangul, the Korean alphabet, because you may have to read menus/signs.
Number 4: Be aware of the ajummas, or the old women. They may seem like they hate you, but really, they stare at and push everyone. Don’t feel special.
Number 3: Learn how the currency works. If you don’t understand, obviously, you will not know how to trade in the U.S Dollar for Korean Won. $1 is equal to about ₩1.
Number 2: Know that Northeastern Asia is very mountainous and steep. Many interesting cultural villages are located on a mountain or hill. A VERY STEEP HILL. On the other hand, the pleasant hand, the trek is worth it. The view is also very delightful, from the top and from the bottom.
Number 1: Finally, know how to read a map. It is NOT very hard, especially if you were in the service for a long period of time. You need to know how to read a map because you may want to go somewhere on the subway and you might not know how to get there, so you need to read a map. If you don’t know how, you will probably get your family and yourself lost.
In conclusion, those are some things you need to know before traveling to South Korea.
One morning last week, I was walking by Lauren, who eschewed all socially acceptable versions of salutations and instead exclaimed, “Erin, where is your machete?!” She was in the process of struggling to open a box of crackers as she said this so I thought she was facetiously seeking the aid of a machete. BUT NO! She was literally asking where my machete was because apparently a bar in my neighborhood had been robbed by someone wielding a machete!
Now, it’s pretty common knowledge among work cohorts that I have, and am terrified of, a machete in my house. So it was hilarious to me that there were several others in addition to Lauren who also said that they thought of me immediately when they saw this on the news. Oh I love my reputation.
Anyway, I hadn’t heard of this robbery so I went back to my desk and Googled it, and came upon this awesome write-up:
OK, some thing to note:
2. Twitter Crazy
The other night, I got notification that some old ass tweet of mine from April 2008 had been liked and retweeted. Super random, so I decided to investigate and it turns out that this Helen lady who is Twitter verifed and followed by Skrillex (lol) was challenged to tweet something crazy and the first thing she found was this tweet of mine from 10 years ago, which has now been RT’d several more times and liked by a bunch of weirdos when the reality is that I really think this was true when I tweeted it!!
3. I Looked Like This One Day Last Week
4. ART RAGE
Two Friday nights ago, I realized that the last day of school was fast approaching and told Chooch to log on to his student portal thing so I could get a feel for what his last report card would look like and that’s when I was shocked—NAY, TRAUMATIZED—to see that he had his first C ever in the history of Chooch attending school.
A ‘C’ IN ART.
HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?!
I was getting more and more worked up and he was like, “LOOK IT’S NOT ME, IT’S HER, SHE HATES ME AND SHE THINKS I SUCK AT ART!” and he was crying about it a little bit by now so after I made him swear 8 times that this wasn’t because he misses some classes occasionally on the days he goes to the gifted center, and that he doesn’t have any unfinished projects, I searched for this broad’s contact info on the school’s website and then stabbed out an email to her. Chooch wouldn’t let me send it until he read it over because he wanted to make sure I hadn’t “called her the c-word” in my blind rage.
He adjusted some things but then gave me the OK to hit send.
It was terse, but professional. I told her that as an artist myself (LOL, I mean, I guess I used to see my stuff on Etsy so that must give some artist street cred?), I appreciated that public schools offered art classes but that it made me sad that instead of finding it to be a therapeutic and joyful (lol) experience, my son was panicked and dreading it.
Anyway, she emailed me back the following Tuesday with a scanned attachment of CHOOCH’S UNFINISHED PROJECT and said that she gave it to him to work on at home and that if he returned it completed, she would change his grade. Oh, and that she also sent him home with some markers, as he told her that he doesn’t have ANY ART SUPPLIES AT HOME.
YOU LITTLE SHIT, I LITERALLY JUST TOLD HER IN THE EMAIL THAT YOU PROOFREAD THAT I’M AT ARTIST AND NOW SHE PROBABLY THINKS I’M A LIAR!
Oh, also he would prefer to spend the class talking to his friends and this part I know for sure is FACT.
So then I had to eat crow and apologize to her and that, while Chooch might not be the best artist, HE SURE IS A GREAT ACTOR.
There were people following along with this Shakespearean tragedy at work.
“Wow, this story is very layered,” Lou said when I vented about it in the office kitchen and you know I must have really needed to talk about this if I was TALKING TO LOU.
Wendy thought it was hilarious.
So did Glenn and Amber, of course.
I couldn’t wait to get home and verbally annihilate the little brat-face, but then he threw a wrench in my anger by giving me MORE INSIGHT INTO THE DRAMA!
So his side is that she hates him (I can partially believe this; she practically defenestrated herself when she saw us approaching her classroom last year during Open House and then said she had to go to a meeting while literally RUNNING OUT OF THE ROOM. Wow.
Anyway, Chooch’s defense was, “DO I TALK TO MY FRIENDS IN CLASS? YES! I TALK TO THEM ABOUT THE PROJECT, HOW I HATE THE PROJECT, HOW I HATE THAT CLASS!” and that also his project wasn’t incomplete in his eyes. The assignment was self-portrait but he doesn’t like drawing people so he drew a blimp because he identifies as a blimp? I have no idea, he lost me there. But then the art teacher was all, “ROAR ROAR ROAR YOU DID THIS WRONG” and he was all, “I THOUGHT ART WAS ABOUT SELF-EXPRESSION!?” and she was like, “NOT WHEN I’M TEACHING IT, DO IT THE WAY I ASKED” and then he didn’t want to color it either because in his eyes he’s a gray-scale blimp which makes sense because isn’t that what color they are? So then he had to bring markers home to color in his new self-portrait since he lives in a house devoid of all art supplies because his parents don’t believe IN THE ARTS and his finished project was himself spray-painting the word “blimp” on a brick wall.
5. Penelope-Sanctioned Snuggles
This happened one day after work last week for a few seconds. I’m not sure if you can tell by her face, but she doesn’t like being cuddled unless it’s bedtime and she’s come to make our sleep as uncomfortable as possible.
6. G-Dragon, the Melania of Korea
The subject of G-Dragon came up in an email chain going on last week between me and my work-group of Amber, Lauren, Todd and Glenn. I mean, I don’t know WHO would have brought him up…but then Lauren was inspired to google him since I don’t sit over on their side anymore to blurt out GD-updates on a whim, and she replied all to ask me if I knew how his ankle surgery went since that was the most recent thing her search brought up, and you guys, that was MID-MAY. I actually didn’t have more information than that because none of the Korean sites have said anything more than he was admitted to a hospital to have the surgery, which allegedly went well, and then was expected to be released back to the military once he recovered BUT HAS HE RECOVERED OR…?!
I even asked Twitter and no one answered me. Fuck you, Twitter.
7. Fifty First Drews
One day last week, I had my hair in a ponytail, but I guess it was positioned differently, maybe it was lopsided, up higher than usual, who knows, but Drew DID NOT RECOGNIZE ME and she looked like she was hunting prey the way she kept her eyes locked on me as she slowly crept closer. It was super stupid. Oftentimes, she and Penelope act like it’s their first day in our house and we have to wait patiently for them to assimilate.
Anyway, this picture was taken after she calmed down and accepted my new (?) look.
Pretty much spent all last week watching every single SHINee stage on all of the music countdown shows (of course they lost to BTS on every single one too and you know I love BTS but COME THE FUCK ON BTS, GO HOME AND LET SOMEONE ELSE WIN A LITTLE TOO, FUCK) and also their new reality show which is FUCKING ADORABLE and I just have the hardest time comprehending how Taemin can be such a brooding God on stage and then be the biggest seal-clapping dork in real life. IT MAKES ME LOVE HIM EVEN MORE. I love this part of their show where they’re touring the SHINee exhibit of the SMTown museum and the rest of SHINee keeps scolding him for touching everything.
Give SHINee some love you guys, and help Jonghyun’s memory alive. <3
Well, that’s pretty much all of the things that happened last week that are worth noting.
Somehow a weekend that included a dentist appointment ended up being one of the nicest ones I’ve had in a while.
HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS TO SHOW WHY.
First of all, we had our first group-hang with Tommy and Jessy since 2016! HOW DID THAT MUCH TIME GO BY!? Henry was trying to play it cool and coy but he was stoked to resurrect his bromance with Tommy. And Tommy was stoked to get to torture Chooch again.
He was literally saying, “LEAVE ME ALONE” right before I snapped this picture.
Anyway, we met them out in Oakmont at a small family restaurant called What’s Cookin’ Casey? and while there were some annoyances, I think we overall agreed that it was a good choice. The annoyances had nothing to do with the food and service, but the seating arrangement was kind of haphazard and even though we were in a booth, the tables that were set up in the middle of the floor were situated in such a way that we felt extremely crowded and boxed in. In fact, I started to have flashbacks of a similar discomfort and I realized that I had been there several years ago with Evonne and Wendy, and Evonne’s friend Barbara, and experienced the same panicked I MIGHT BE STUCK IN THIS BOOTH FOREVER collar-tugging sensation.
Meanwhile, Tommy was searching and squinting at the menu like he was prepping for the SATs, trying to find the “vegan” option that he swore he saw earlier when he looked at the menu online, and then finally acquiesced and said, “I think what happened was that I saw ‘veal’ and read it as ‘vegan.’ Oh well, sorry Erin.”
I was content with my rigatoni and marinara, though!
The other annoyance was the ASSHOLE KID IN THE BOOTH BEHIND US WHO FUCKING KICKED THE BACK OF THE BOOTH THE ENTIRE TIME AND JESSY, CHOOCH AND I WERE IN A STATE OF SLOW-SIMMER. At one point, we heard a huge BANG, CRASH and it turned out that little fucked fell off his booster seat, what a dumb shit.
Henry, who was sitting on the Safe Side of the table, mind you, kept trying to White Knight this little hooligan by pointing out that he “was little, like three” and that “it’s his parents’ fault, not his” but Chooch finally was like, “OK I see your lips flapping but I’m not hearing what you’re saying” and then stood up and said, “COULD YOU PLEASE STOP KICKING?” in the most terse, faux-polite, BOY ON THE EDGE voice I’ve ever heard come out of him and we all just collapsed in laughter.
At one point, the boy left the booth, presumably to go to the bathroom (good luck squeezing through the tables of elderly people, kid) but then he stopped next to our booth and FUCKING STARED AT US WITH THESE HUGE-ASS ALIEN EYES and he had super blond, lightning white hair like he just Uber’d here from Village of the Damned.
So fucking bizarre! We all just stared back at him, totally bullying this three, maybe four year old kid with our eyes, until he finally went back and sat down with his family.
MAYBE YOU HAD TO BE THERE but it was chilling.
Henry ordered a burger and Jessy became entranced by the pickles on his plate. So she asked the waitress to bring her one and she came back with a whole bowl of them! Jessy hadn’t even officially finished offering them to us before Chooch and I attacked the bowl with our dirty orphan mitts. WE ARE A HOUSEHOLD OF PICKLE-LOVERS. There were a bunch left over and Chooch tried to put the entire bowl in his pizza to-go box but Henry busted him and was like, “YOU CAN’T DO THAT, THAT’S STEALING” so then Chooch dumped the pickles out into the box and then somehow got pickle juice all over his leftover pizza so congratulations on ensuring that Henry and I won’t dip into your leftovers, son.
I’d eat pizza with pickles on it, but something about pickle juice makes me feel sick.
And by something I mean everything.
Chooch and his pickle pizza.
Henry has been obsessing over our waitress’s ear tattoo ever since. “THAT HAD TO HAVE HURT!” he cried today when he brought it up out of nowhere.
After dinner, we walked across the street the Brr-Kees, where I immediately had ordering remorse.
For some reason, I wasn’t prepared for this place to have hard ice cream and had already in my mind pictured Future Erin eating up some soft-serve, so when I was met a few minutes later with numerous ice cream flavors, I panicked and Henry was like, “COME ON, ERIN, YOU’RE UP” and so I blurted out, “KEY LIME, I DUNNO!” and it was not great.
I ate half and then gave the rest to Henry, who had just finished a strawberry shortcake sundae, but that’s Henry’s role in our family. He takes the extra calories for the team.
If it were just the three of us, I would have pouted but Tommy and Jessy were with us and the bigger picture was that getting ice cream was just an excuse to extend our hang-out sesh anyway, so I was content!
But you guys! While we were in line waiting for our ice cream, THE EVIL TOW-HEADED KID AND HIS STRANGE FAMILY ROLLED UP! We started laughing so hard and I’m sure it was obvious what was going on, so this made Henry bristle because HE HATES SCENES.
Oh man, that kid’s frog-eyed stare though. It will haunt me.
Tommy tortures him.
And Chooch tortures Henry!
Then some lady came by with two golden doodles and Jessy, Chooch, and I got to pet them for an extended amount of time because their owner was super talkative and told us all about their lives as therapy dogs (well, the younger one is still in-training). She was a cool broad and her dogs were beautiful, so that was a nice highlight!
At one point, Jessy asked Henry if he’d ever go back to Korea and HE SMILED, YOU GUYS, HE SMILED AND EMPHATICALLY SAID, “OH, YES.” And then when she asked him what his favorite part was, he didn’t hesitate to say, “The markets.”
I finally found something that all three of us love equally and not just tolerate for the sake of one of us.
Great time hanging out with great friends. I know that schedules and responsibilities get in the way, but I am going to push to see them more regularly like we used to. Plus, it’s good for Henry’s self-esteem because Jessy is always complimenting him and Tommy talks to him about boy stuff.
And then today, we took a family walk in one of my favorite cemeteries – Uniondale. This is where we typically have our Xmas picnics, but it occurred to me today that it’s been a minute since we spent any time there; I needed some steps and Chooch is back on the Pokemon Go* bandwagon for whatever reason so we dragged Henry with us and it was actually really nice with zero arguing!
*(Apparently, Blake plays too so now that he lives next door, he comes over all the time to get Chooch and they go off on their dork adventures. It’s hilarious to me, because he’ll knock on our door and say IS RILEY HOME like he’s just another neighborhood kid and not Chooch’s 24-year-old brother who is also a dad, lol. “Blake plays Pokemon Go?” I asked last week, and Chooch matter-of-factly said, “Yeah, he’s a member of the Pittsburgh Pokemon group on Discord.” OMG.)
I still don’t understand Pokemon Go.
And now it’s pouring down rain, which cut the humidity, so Henry and I will be nice and comfortable when we embark on our Kpop Dance Cardio journey later on tonight!
Also? This is my summer jam, which is unfortunate for Henry, who does not like Vixx.
I used to write on here a lot about mental health and my own experience with being bi-polar, and being open about it was something I prided myself on because, after all, it’s not something to be ashamed of.
Have I been suicidal? Yes.
Have I been hospitalized? Yes.
Have I been over-medicated? Yes.
Have I self-harmed? Yes.
I don’t get into it very often on here anymore, but with two recent high-profile suicides shining a light on the issue again, all I see are tweets and Instagram posts reminding people that it’s OK to ask for help.
And this is great!! I love that there is so much love being spread on social media because it helps counter all the inevitable comments and obtuse beliefs that people who kill themselves are selfish or “deserve” it. I don’t care how rich you are, how wonderful your spouse is, how many exotic vacations you take – that doesn’t make a person exempt from mental illness. That shit doesn’t recognize social status.
Today I snapped and ranted about something to Henry:
When you reach a certain point of depression, numbness and ambivalence take over and frankly, maybe you don’t give a shit about asking for help because talking is so goddamn exhausting or you’re afraid you won’t be heard, or you don’t want to burden someone else. Asking for help is not an easy thing to do either. I’ll admit that I mostly just ride it out and those around me are none the wiser. #actingskillz
But second of all, can I tell you how many times in my life I have cried for help, and was met with eye rolls, smirks, flat out derision? Called a drama queen. Accused of “just wanting attention.” Told to “get over myself.”
The amateur explanations and justifications are cool too: “Is your period due?” and “You’re probably just hungry” are among my favorites.
You hear these things enough, and you tend to build walls. I’ve lost so many “friends” (good riddance!) for trying to be honest about what’s going on in my head, how I don’t want to go to their party because the thought of being in a room with strangers makes my throat feel like it has hands around it.
This is why the suicide hotline is available. I know, but sometimes you might just want a familiar shoulder to cry on.
So if someone is trying to open up to you about why they’re sad or feeling flat-out hopeless, try not to judge and rank the severity of their problems because what might sound like something that’s easy for you to shrug off might feel like a ton of bricks on that person’s back. And maybe they’re really struggling to explain it to you. It’s not easy pulling these vague thoughts and abstract emotions out of our hearts and brains and transforming them into some perfect, understandable, familiar package, like spun sugar on a stick.
Sometimes are all I can muster is an “I don’t know!!!” followed by a geyser of tears when someone asks me what’s wrong.
Yes, I talk to Henry about this a lot and he always holds my hand while I wade through through the muck and mire. And I take daily walks while running through the mental list of why my life is worth living, things to look forward to, memories that make me laugh. It’s a struggle, it requires effort, and the sooner we can get everyone on the same page where this is a real problem, not a “phase,” and it’s not going to go away if it’s ignored, then a ton of lives will be saved.
While there is definitely much less stigma than when I was diagnosed in the 90s, it still sometimes feels taboo to talk about, in my own experience, and I know I have definitely made some people uncomfortable with my honesty and bluntness on the subject. So too often, I keep my mouth shut.
What makes it easier to succumb to the sadness is all of the rampant hate in the world. Just walking around the streets of Pittsburgh on my lunch break, the prevalent vibe seems to be ANGER. People screaming at each in traffic, on the sidewalks, into their cellphones. So much anger and hate in the news, too.
I mean, we do live in an age where the go-to Internet roast is telling someone to kill themselves and the current US President is one of the biggest bullies of them all, so clearly there is a lot of work to be done.
Until then: Be patient. Be kind. Be open-minded. Be outspoken. Let’s all turn our phones off more often and paint a picture, write a letter, read a BOOK.
After all, we’re all going through this together.
Well, today was Chooch’s last day of school thank god. For a minute though Henry and I were convinced that maybe it was actually next week and for some reason I felt panicked about this because I had already posted the above photo on Instagram, GOD FORBID don’t wanna get caught in a lie on zee social meeds.
I’m grateful that we had a relatively drama-free year right up until last week when I made Chooch check his grades and then let’s just say LETTER WRITIN’ ERIN emerged and a terse email was sent to the art teacher but that story turned out to have several layers to it and I worked late shift today and am too tired to regale my three readers (plus the 100s that have come here today because someone posted an old blog entry of mine about a county fair on Facebook and I’m not on there anymore so I can’t see where it was posted but I do expect to be getting some nasty comments at some point because I talked shit on ALL WALKS OF LIFE in that post).
Um anyway, farewell 6th grade, the grade that teaches kids the meaning of being “stressed out.” Trust me, some of the assignments Chooch had to do in his Communications class had him in such a harried state you’d have thought he was writing a college dissertation.
My co-worker Missy was selling fundraiser pepperoni rolls a few weeks ago and normally I’d walk away because what does a vegetarian want with a pepperoni roll, but then I saw that the delivery day was June 6, which is Henry’s birthday, and Henry likes pepperoni rolls.
I know what you’re thinking: WOW ERIN DID SOMETHING SELFLESS FOR ONCE AND BOUGHT HENRY PEPPERONI ROLLS!
And you’d be half-right. I bought Henry 5 pepperoni rolls but it was mostly selfish because it was an easy out and now I would be able to say once again that I did something for his dumb birthday when he does nothing for mine.
I mean, it’s not like I’m keeping score or anything…
Before any celebratory pepperoni roll action took place, though, Henry had to come into Instagram like a wrecking ball. Our friend Alyson was sweet and remembered his birthday, so she posted an old photo of the two of them from one of the times she visited us after Chooch was born. She tagged him in it and I commented that it was going to make his day. The next thing I knew, he was replying to my comment with a bunch of jibberish and I was like, “OMG ARE YOU HAVING A STROKE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY?!” and then after that he left another 20+ comments in quick succession and then texted me, “I just got temporarily banned from Instagram for posting to [sic] fast?” because he didn’t realize he had been butt-commenting, and for some reason, this just seemed so apropos: When Quinquagenarians Are Let Loose on Instagram!
After dinner, I came out with this flaming roll and Henry was all, “OH COME ON” because he “wasn’t hungry” but I was like “WE HAVE TO DO IT FOR THE BOOMERANG.”
All jokes aside though, life has been coming at us hard over the last few weeks so I knew all he would want was a normal, relaxing non-event. And brother, that’s just what he got. Chooch and I were moderately nice to him, he made us an easy dinner, and we started watching a new K-drama that we’ve both been really anticipating, him for the storyline, me for the SEO KANG-JOON:
I MISSED HIS FACE BIG TIME.
I mean, Henry’s face. I missed it big time while I was at work.
He turned 53 this year and that isn’t really a milestone. Maybe next year Chooch and I will make another list of things we like about him since it will be an even number that we can split, and maybe when he turns 57 we can have a ketchup-themed party. WHO WANTS TO ACCEPT THE KETCHUP CAKE CHALLENGE?!
I think Henry was perfectly content. And like Nate pointed out at work today, I mean I did let him go to Korea with me, so…
Anyway, if you like some more Henry posts, I did a small round-up for one of his past birthdays here, and also here is the list Chooch and I made when he turned the big 5-0, lol.
When I first got into kpop several years ago, I was all about the girl groups. 4Minute’s “Hot Issue” was the first kpop song I bought on iTunes because I loooooved the kpopx routine for it so much, and I even made it my alarm for awhile. But then I started watching actual kpop music videos and DON’T HATE but that’s when the girls kind of sort of got put in the corner in favor of the boy groups because have you SEEN THOSE BOY GROUPS?!
Hold on, let me go and walk this off for a minute or 4.
Honestly though, the girl groups are just as hot as the boys and we should all be getting way more hyped on them, so I’m going to share you with, for Woman Crush Wednesday, several videos from girl idols that I’m super stoked on lately.
First up is the brand new video from Fromis_9!
These girls are performing at KCON later this month and at first I was feeling “meh” about it, but something about this song really hooked me and now I’m really looking forward to seeing them! So the title of the song translates to something like “pit-a-pat” or “throbbing” in Korean, which is definitely what happens to my heart when I see a cat, too! And if you’re wondering why there is a “9” in their name when there are only 8 of them, I guess one of them recently left the group.
Probably, and allow me to make some generalizations and assumptions here because this is just some dinky blog and not a fucking college thesis, when people think of kpop, they probably think of what you just watched (assuming that you watched it! MORE ASSUMPTIONS! YOU GET AN ASSUMPTION, AND YOU GET AN ASSUMPTION, ASSUMPTIONS FOR EVERYONE!): super cutesy and cheesy. I mean, sure, this is definitely its own chunk of the k-niche.
But there’s so much more….
(G)I-DLE is the new girl group on Cube and I think they’ve got a bright future. This song in particular blew up FAST and they were owning it on all of the music countdown shows. It’s also Henry’s latest favorite workout routine, lol.
I’m obsessed with their name because I think, and I could be wrong because I didn’t see anything the last time I searched, it’s a play on Korean and English. So, my take is that (G)=girl and idle=idol (maybe?). The Korean is (여자)아이들, and the part in parentheses means woman, but when you combine it with the part that follows, the entire word is “girls.” So I thought that maybe since they’re breaking the “woman” part off on its own in parentheses, the part that’s left means “children” because 아이 means “child” in Korean and the 들 pluralizes it; but when you say it out loud, it sounds like the English word “idol.” I’m probably way off and over-analyzing this but I thought it was kind of interesting!
Anyway, I think they’re fierce and edgy with just the right amount of playfulness.
My next pick is from a group who has since disbanded but I wanted to include it because this video is so fun and they were so fantastic while they lasted:
IOI was the final product of a kpop survival show called Produce 101 and their contract was only for about a year, I think. They’ve all mostly moved on to other groups so it helped boost a lot of careers, for sure. For the longest time, this was my favorite song by them:
I still get so giddy when it comes on in the car and I start fake-punching Henry in the face which he loves when he’s trying to drive!
My last pick is from a new subgroup of Pristin (which is actually where one of the IOI girls ended up!):
This is another group that balances both sides so well and everything they wear in this video makes me yearn for the Delia*s catalogues from the 90s! Earlier today, Lori and I were talking about Danity Kane and Pristin V gives me some subtle DK vibes, for sure. I miss Danity Kane so much and I really think they could have done wonders for the state of American girl groups and by state I mean lack of.
I just think Korea has this formula patented at this point and will America ever catch up? Who knows, and also, who cares because I just gave you a bunch of girl groups to care about, and it shouldn’t even matter where they’re from!
If you’re feeling this at all, I have good news for you: the queens otherwise known as BLACKPINK are scheduled to make their comeback this month and I promise you, you will love them so hard. Here, I’ll leave you with one of their videos because I’m a nice blogger who cares about the well-being about your eyes and ears:
Of course, there are a shit ton of other girl groups out there, and ones that are much more popular too, but these are just my CURRENT faves. If you gave any of these a whirl, let me know what you think!
I’m going to make this short and sweet because I have a headache and I think I was poisoned.
—-THE PHONE CALL—-
Henry received a phone call from a friend on Saturday and for some reason, Chooch and I found this to be HI-larious.
“For some reason,” lol.
Immediately, Chooch and I activated our PEST SWITCH and clung to Henry with our ears pressed against his phone. He kept shrugging us off and eventually was able to get up from the couch (hello it was his fault for starting a phone conversation in the same room as us to begin with) and slowly moved onto the back porch.
I say “slowly” because we were hanging off of him. Finally, he turned around and snapped at us, getting busted by his friend on the other end who thought Henry was yelling at him. The last thing we heard before the porch door slammed in our faces was, “No not you. I’m talking to these two nebby* kids.”
*(Nebby means nosy if you live in Pittsburgh. YAY FOR LEARNING.)
“I bet he’s talking to the manager of Blush,” Chooch said, because we love to speculate that Henry is a regular at this stripclub downtown.
Then I had the brilliant idea to go outside and try to hear the conversation from below the open porch windows, but our fucking mechanic neighbor was drilling in his garage and some broad in a house behind us was screaming at her dogs. RUDE.
We tried to go back inside and act like we were just hanging out in the kitchen near the porch door for no reason, what, I’m just over here super naturally sweeping the kitchen floor like I always do why is this strange, but Henry caught us and started flashing us “I WILL KILL YOU” and “YOU FUCKERS CAN STARVE TONIGHT” glares with his eyes and then flipped us off too, wow, such class.
Chooch puked from laughing so hard.
BUT THEN I HAD THE BEST IDEA EVER.
“Chooch, go ask Blake if we can come in and try to hear through his side of the porch!” I hoarsely whispered. I hung back inside our front door because Blake is kind of an adult now and I wasn’t sure if he would be like, “Grow up, guys” but then dumb Chooch kept tossing glances at me from Blake’s front porch while he was asking, and then Blake poked his head out and looked over and saw me half-hiding, so he was just like, “Oh for god’s sake, come on in.”
Eavesdropping from Blake’s side of the house! We couldn’t really hear anything but baritone muffles. :(
By this point, we had lost interest and then Henry was off the phone and we were like, “What, you were on the phone?”
I don’t know, but something about this gave me Sunday Lock Out Vibes and I couldn’t stop laughing about it when I tried to tell people at work on Monday and they were just like, “Why are you like this.”
—-THE WHITE PIZZA INQUIRY—-
On Sunday, the three of us went to Anthony’s Coal-Fire Pizza to surprise my dad with a birthday lunch. Since we arrived first, we were perusing the menu trying to find a happy-medium for a large pizza the three of us could share. AW, A FAMILY PIZZA.
“Do you like white pizza?” I asked Chooch, a gentle inquiry if you ask me, yet this innocent question made him unhinged, you guys. He just snapped the fuck out on me.
“SERIOUSLY?! NO! NO, I DO NOT LIKE WHITE PIZZA! OH MY GOD, HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOU GOING TO ASK ME THAT?!” he screeched, and I was honestly stunned for a second, but don’t worry, Bitch Mommy came sprinting out on the heels of my initial stunned reaction.
So then the two of us were full-fledged quarreling in the middle of a restaurant and Henry was mouthing pleas at us. I DON’T READ LIPS, BITCH. Somehow though, the subject changed to Henry’s alleged conversation with the manager of Blush the previous day so then we remembered that we were wasting our energy fighting each other when we should have been using it to make fun of Henry. I think Henry was just happy that we weren’t starting kinetic ire-fires anymore because he actually told us that he was kicked out of a strip club in Florida too, not just Texas!
“That one wasn’t my fault though. It was the guys I was with,” he said, while ALMOST-KIND-OF SMILING.
Then my dad and Ryan arrived and luckily Chooch was able to restrain his shitty preteen attitude and we had a very lovely birthday lunch with my dad who I don’t see often enough and that’s totally my fault. Meanwhile, the waitress who brought over our pizza exclaimed out of nowhere how adorable Chooch is (??) and he sat there with this smug “I know” look on his face and Henry was like, “He’s only cute when he’s quiet” and THAT IS THE TRUTH. Then our waiter was all, “WHAT ARE YOU PLAYING?” because Chooch had his DS with him after a year of not caring about it (kids, amirite) and then they bonded over Pokemon and all I could think was, “BUT WHAT ABOUT ME?! I’M HERE TOO!”
But I got to tell my dad and Ryan about our trip to Korea so that made up for it not getting any attention from the waitstaff.
Anyway the whole point of this is that I was obsessing over the whole white pizza fiasco thing because if there is one thing you should know about me, it’s that I will latch on to the dumbest thing you tell me, whether it’s something you hate (don’t tell me you hate clowns, let’s put it that way) or some embarrassing moment you had that I witnessed — I will hold these things close to my chest and you’ll never know when I’ll throw it back in your face in the form of a greeting card or a homemade t-shirt.
Or a painting, like this one that I made for Barb which features her least favorite actor, Bill Paxton.
Naturally, I started trolling Chooch as soon as we got home. The first thing I did was run into his room and leave him a white pizza message on his whiteboard. (And please, don’t call CPS on me for the other message. I don’t even own a belt.)
And then it happened, my giddy obsession grew strong enough to push me out of painting retirement long enough to make him this wooden plaque, which he is less than pleased about but I think he secretly is craving white pizza now.
I think his next birthday cake should be a white pizza.
Anyway, I haven’t felt this inspired since HAM SANDWICH AF, when I made a commemorative painting:
OK, now I have to go lay down. I’ve had a headache all day and then it turns out Henry does too and we’ve since determined that it’s possibly from when I sprayed Chooch’s white pizza plaque with varnish in a non-ventilated area. It was nice knowing you, Internet friends.
Henry rues the day I ever found the Joan Day vlogs on YouTube because a lot of what we did in Korea was influenced by her suggestive Seoul videos. Lots of pink cafes and trendy boutiques and, you know, Gentle Monster. I might never have known about GM if not for Joan Day vlogs! She also frequently vlogs from a place in Gangnam called Garosu-gil, which is full of high-end shops in the Sinsa neighborhood but the area is so pretty and fancy and also, the best Gentle Monster is there so I was like, “We are not leaving Korea before going to Garosu-gil” and Henry was silently cursing Joan and her constant promoting of all that is extra in Korea.
It’s also worth noting that the district of Gangnam is a hotbed of plastic surgery activity, and you will know you’re there before even leaving the subway stations which are lined with billboard and advertisements for plastic surgery centers. Henry wasn’t exactly thrilled about revisiting this area because even if he found a blank t-shirt to buy, it would cost 789% more than the ones he buys at home and he’d probably have to wade through a ball pit just to pull it off the rack.
(Seriously, there is a boutique in Seoul that has a mini ball pit-type installation going on in one of the rooms but I can’t think of the name of it now, and this is not to be confused with Urban Space, the bar that has a pool in the middle of it filled with white balls and unicorn innertubes.)
On the subway there, Chooch and I made friends with an old Korean man who insisted that Chooch sit down and then talked to us about having a friend who moved to Pittsburgh and it was one of those golden moments that made me love Korea even more. Our experience was that people were either very nice and helpful to us, or were just flat-out ambivalent. But we were never on the receiving end of any mean stares or rudeness which is also a concern when traveling to a foreign country and what so many people sadly experience here in my own dumb country. Get it together, America.
But first, Henry had to get us lost in Apgujeong (apparently the RICHEST neighborhood in Seoul so we felt like American hobos) while looking for K-Star Road. There was this awesome moment where Henry took all of his money out of his pocket and punched it into my hand and said, “GOOD LUCK FINDING YOUR WAY BACK TO THE HOTEL, ASSHOLES!!!” and stormed off down into the subway station. After a few seconds, Chooch said, “Um, I’m going to go and get him” because it didn’t take us long to realize that we were fucked to the nth degree if he didn’t come back, also who would we make fun of, lol.
So then he came back and we all had a grand chuckle and I was like, “Let’s just go to Gentle Monster!” and then Henry wasn’t laughing anymore.
Our time in Sinsa was smooth-sailing! We stopped at Latte King to get some beverages and allow Henry time to stare at maps on his phone while he had wifi and grow back some of the balls he lost after Chooch and I forced him to apologize for yelling at us. Family vacations, amirite? Korea was fucking perfect but it would have felt too artificial if there wasn’t some family-realness sprinkled up in there.
My drink was a hazelnut Jeju green tea latte. Chooch got some strawberry thing and Henry amazingly managed to order something without getting lost.
We were able to find the majestic Gentle Monster shortly after leaving
You guys. I know it’s weird to put a sunglasses store on a MUST SEE IN KOREA list, but each one of these locations was just so delightful—if you like bizarre art installations, that is. If you’re the type that just wants to walk into a plain store and grab what you need, then avoid Gentle Monster. Or most clothing shops. And also skincare stores.
Even Henry said he thought it was interesting! But then I asked him if he would recommend it to anyone and he frowned, so I guess not.
This is a mixture of pictures from my phone and Chooch’s phone. Chooch was super into it. THAT’S MY BOY.
Anyway, as soon as we walked into this particular flagship, we were greeted by the sounds of cawing crows.
I have no idea what these are supposed to be but I wish they were in my house.
Or in my front yard.
The nice thing about GM is that the staff doesn’t swoop in and pressure you. In fact, when I bought my pair in Busan, I had to get someone to help me. I liked that a lot because I tend to make rash decisions when a salesperson is following me around. Also, they don’t discourage you from take pictures and video.
Which is great because right as we were leaving, the girl at the door pointed to steps and said, “Please go in the basement for our closing.” At first I thought she said “clothing” but after seeing that were no clothes down there, I realized it was must have been like their “send-off” room which was extremely stimulating:
There was another GM right across the street! It was the Gentle Monster: Parallel store, which showcased their limited edition/special designs most of which were way out of my price-range and also super over-the-top.
Now I kind of wish I had bought that pair on the right. :/
I love that their building facades are so minimal, though.
We didn’t eat here but I thought it was super cool and had 1980’s arcade vibes. AND I WANT THAT NEON PIZZA.
We couldn’t walk by Mr. Holmes Bakehouse without stopping in for a famous cruffin. The original shop is in San Francisco, but for whatever reason, they opened a location in Seoul too. I actually just heard that this one closed so I’m glad that we got to try it while we were there!
Black sesame croissant and cookies and cream cruffin (not what I would have chosen but sometimes I throw Chooch a bone and let him choose ugh). Totally worth it.
There were two floors with lots of seating. Look at how beautiful it is in there! There were several other people there but they left shortly after we got there and if you ask Henry, it’s because Chooch and I chased them away with our loud cackles. Whatever, Hank.
I like how Chooch is trying to have serious-Instagram face while his feet don’t even touch the ground.
We also went to Dr. Jart which is also super strange and cool. It’s a Korean skincare line and the entire bottom floor was lit only by dangling strands of lights which are sound-activated.
The top floor was a lounge area where a Dr. Jart employee in a lab coat whipped us up a sample of the Peptidin energy drink they were promoting. I really liked it but Henry and Chooch were like “No thanks.”
We couldn’t spend too much time in Garosu-gil though (much to Henry’s delight) because we had other things we had to cram in, like stopping in Itaewon and going back to Insadong for last minute gift procuring, plus our Last Night Pizza & Noraebang Extravaganza. Sniff sniff.
Hey boy. Hey girl. It’s the end of another workweek and here are 5 photos & 5 bullets that I would like to share.
On Tuesday, I was outside on my break and for one fleeting, frozen moment in time I thought I was about to get punched by some Yinzer-skinhead hybrid who glared straight at my face like he knew me and I wronged him and his whole white trash family, and just as I was beginning to cower against the side of the Benedum Center, he veered to his left and stalked away. IT WAS SO SCARY. And then the next day, another man gave me a flower for no reason (and not because he wanted money, like Henry the Callous D-Bag insinuated). You never know what you’re going to get here in downtown Pittsburgh, you guys. You just never know.
We didn’t use the backporch at all over the winter because it was too cold and Henry the Tightwad wouldn’t buy a space heater (or A KEROSENE HEATER, like I really wanted) so we basically just kept that door shut for months. But now that it’s been consistently above 60 degrees, that room is being used almost primarily by the cats (this is their favorite room in the house!) but also this is where Henry sometimes eats his dinner, sitting in one of the wheelchairs, because I’m busy hogging the living room with my kpop cardio and I don’t want him to watch me (it’s different when we’re doing it together, OK?!). Anyway, I’m excited to start filling this room with plants again because I’m a sucker.
Today, since it’s June 1st, I pulled out the next SHINee calendar for my desk area and was super excited to see that it’s TAEMIN for the month of June! I giddily hung it up and when Carrie turned around to tell me she wanted fruit salad, I gave the Taemin calendar my best Vanna White hand-flourish and said, “OK but look at this beautiful, perfect face!” and she was just like, “But…it’s not fruit.” Then a few minutes later, I thought she was walking by from behind me so I spun around in my seat to point out Taemin to her again, but it was someone else who I don’t know every well and we made eye contact while I was in mid-Vanna and then I slowly turned back toward my computer. Everyone there already thinks I’m weird, so it wasn’t a very big deal.
Then I took a picture of it and emailed it to Glenn and Todd, my ex-neighbors, and Glenn said he didn’t realize how empty his life was.
I went to Allegheny Coffee to get some ch-ch-chai and saw these wonderful tip jars and wished I had a buck to smash into the “or nah” vessel. Kenny Chesney plays here every summer at Heinz Field and brings alllllll the redneck riffraff to the yard. They trash the city, cause fights, piss and puke everywhere, get arrested. It’s just madness and I will be sure to avoid the entire downtown area tomorrow, thanks.
Also, the barista told me I had lipstick on my teeth and I appreciated that.
Then I saw this super tall guy on my way back and I was excited to take his picture. HE IS SO TALL. He had to have been 7 feet.
Some other things from this week that I want to remember:
Guys. I think Henry would be a great Kpop video reactor and I know he won’t go the YouTube route so I decided to just play him SHINee’s comeback stage and secretly transcribe his candid exclamations. He eventually caught on so I just started to flat out ask him questions which he answered less than enthusiastically.
“Key did that to his hair?”
“What the fuck is Key wearing? It looks like someone found a bag on the street and cut it up and said ‘here wear this’.”
I don’t know but it probably cost like $6000.
“Is Taemin wearing a jumpsuit and it’s not pulled all the way up? It looks like a jumpsuit from the 70s.”
And then he caught on to what I was doing and stopped saying stuff. :(
“There’s lots of color. But I don’t get it. What am I trying to get?” – This was when I asked him if he liked their comeback concept.
Other things to note:
Thursday and Friday of last week were so stressful because our system was down at work and caused major havok and then Friday was that dreaded trolley detour that I told you I was dreading and for good reason too, it turned out, because it was a clusterfuck and I have never been around so many people freaking out about something at the same time as I was on Friday when the driver shut the door and stopped letting people off because it was taking too long and he was trying to explain over the intercom that staying on and doing it his way and not the was the Port Authority told us would be easier and faster but we were IN NO POSITION to believe this guy so we were all like, “OPEN THE DOORS! LET US OUT!” and it was a little bit like Train to Busan except that there were no zombies and we weren’t in beautiful Korea and everyone was speaking Yinzer English so no, actually, nothing like Train to Busan really.
Some passenger very calmly explained to some of us what was going on and eventually calmed us down and we all went and found seats, and it turns out that the driver really did know what he was doing and everything turned out fine and I wasn’t even late for work! And he even got back on the intercom once we got downtown and thanked everyone for their patience and told us to have a great weekend and hello, that never happens! Those drivers are usually like GET IN AND SHUT UP.
Prior to this, though, the fucking trolley stopped for a ridiculous amount of time so that THE LOCAL NEWS COULD FILM US BEING MISERABLE. I looked up and saw this giant camera pointed at me and texted Henry, “WHY THE FUCK IS A KDKA CAMERMAN FILMING ME RIGHT NOW I’LL SUE.” Anyway, my dumb face made it on the news and I was less than happy about it but at least my hair looked OK and they didn’t use the shots of me making eye contact with the camera and covering my face with my hair.
Saturday morning started off great! Blake and Haley moved in next door (!!!!) and while that was happening, I drove out to Cranberry to meet my buddy Jessy at First Watch for some breakfast action. I don’t get to see Jessy very often but we always seem to pick right up where we left off and it’s just a delight. I have known her since high school – she used to live on my street!
I was really excited to go to First Watch because they have MATCHA LATTE PANCAKES on their seasonal menu and helloooooo matcha. But first we had to sit inside for an endless amount of time, waiting to be seated, and eventually Jessy pointed out that everyone who was there before us had been seated and they were now seating people who came in after us and if there is one thing I hate in life, it’s being forgotten. I felt so worthless! So Jessy flagged down a hostess and asked if we could just sit at an empty table outside and the hostess was such a little cunt about it too, and was all, “You’ll have to wait until I seat these people” but then she did eventually come back and seat us outside and it was so fucking annoying. Every last girl in that place was a fucking rude asshole to us, except for our waitress, who was sweet and delightful and we had a great rapport with her until the very end when she dropped off our check and then promptly forgot about us and Jessy needed a take-out box.
So Jessy was like, “Fuck this noise” and called them from her phone to tell them that we had been forgotten and could someone please her a take-out box, and I was practically sliding under the table with laugher. Jessy doesn’t fucking play, you guys.
“I’m sorry, but we shouldn’t have to wait this long for everything!” Jessy said, and trust me, there was no need for her to justify it to me, I was just as forgotten as she was! First Watch might have good food and interesting options (especially for those of the vegetarian species) but the staff they had working that day was just the worst. The manager might have been the bitchiest of them all, actually. I wasn’t impressed.
MAYBE I SHOULD WRITE A LETTER.
The rest of the day was pretty chill. Henry worked on some projects like a good boy while I jumped around the house while wondering what Blake and Haley’s noise ordinance threshold is. They claim that they can’t hear anything from our side of the house, so hopefully I can keep beating Henry with privacy while hysterically screaming the answers to “GUESS THE KPOP SONG IN 5 SECONDS” videos on YouTube.
Our house, man. Our house.
We went to Home Depot (*puke puke vomit*) that afternoon so Henry could get wood for the picture of Seoul he’s making. This project has been in the works since last September but he had to “think about how he wants to do it” and I guess that took 8 months? It will hopefully be magical and twinkling (it will light up!) when it’s done. If it’s ever done. It will also be super hard to miss because I think it’s like 6 feet wide or something which is actually smaller than I wanted but Henry started spewing out logistics and measurements and I walked away.
But yeah, I went to Home Depot with him because I wanted to get plants because I’m dumb and going to try and cultivate a plant family again. But then I got angry at the way mulch smells, and Henry had to listen to me rant about that.
Henry and I took a walk later in the evening though and stopped in the international market down the street so I could stock up on some new strange delights for the International Pumpkin of Horrors.
Sunday was kind of bad because I woke up in A Mood and it never really dissipated. I think I genuinely have food phobia/eating disorder/body dysmorphia — SOMETHING. Or I’m just flat out insane but that hasn’t been news since like, middle school. But yeah, even though I’m losing weight, I’m apparently still miserable so, there you have it. Sunday sucked.
Although it did get a little better in the evening. Henry was watching Kpop reaction videos and said, “Pfft, I could do that too” so now I’m trying desperately to get him to start his own channel: Truck-Driver Dad Warehouse Guy Reacts. He can react to unboxing videos because he’s so judgmental on how YouTubers handle box-cutters. “THAT’S A GOOD WAY TO HURT YOURSELF” is his catchphrase.
Chooch was out and about during Saturday and Sunday because he’s popular and has shit to do.
Memorial Day was OK, but SUPER HUMID. We spectated the parade and then basically tried to not dehydrate the rest of the day. It was OK.
We wanted to get ice cream at Millie’s Monday evening, but they were closed, and then Remember When was closed, so we ended up at some soft serve snack shack by Henry’s work and I made the poor choice of getting a s’mores sundae, forgetting that I ordered this once before and they use that tangy chocolate sauce that I hate! Ugh, talk about shitting all over a sundae.
And Chooch ordered “Sticks and Stones” which is such a dumb name for ice cream because what flavor could that possibly be, playground dirt!? So of course he felt obliged to get it since he had to ask the stone-faced window-broad what it was (chocolate-covered pretzel sticks and cookie dough). I mean, why not just put the description under the name when you fucking know you’re going to get asked 87 times a day what the fuck it is.
I’m not mad about it though.
I was also gypped on the marshmallow sauce! That was the main reason I ordered it! I FELT LIKE MY DAY NEEDED SOME MARSHMALLOW TO BE COMPLETE.
Oh, Henry got his standard order of “twist with crunchies.”
But let’s back up. While in line for our ice cream, we witnessed a mild altercation between two women. Woman A walked in front of Woman B because Woman A’s grandson was waiting at the window to order and she was joining him. Woman B said “Excuse me, yeah I said excuse me for you since you pushed me and didn’t say anything” and Woman A was all, “I didn’t push you” and Woman B went on a tangent about how rude she was for pushing her and not saying excuse me so Woman A just turned around and ignored her and then I asked Henry if Woman A really did push Woman B and he mumbled, “Nope. She didn’t even touch her.” OH AMERICA. Can’t even go get ice cream without becoming irrationally angry and trying to provoke a stranger to fight you.
(It’s different when you go to an ice cream place and become RATIONALLY ANGRY though.)
Don’t you sometimes wish you could use Instagram filters to make people’s words prettier? Same, fam. Same.
But hey, Americans literally died so that we can run our mouths at strangers for absolutely no reason. What a country.
This probably just looks like a weird-shaped building to the untrained eye, but even most kpop n00bs would know that this is the headquarters of YG Entertainment, the agency that has brought the world 2NE1, Psy, Blackpink, Ikon, Winner, and the ultimate kpop kings, BIGBANG. Even though you can’t go inside, visiting this kpop castle was at the top of my list because I just needed to look it all over, up and down, side to side, back to front, with my own two eyeballs.
So after eating the 8734082705 dollar breakfast buffet at our hotel (not worth it!), we set off early Sunday morning (a/k/a Our Last Full Day in Korea) for the iconic YG homestead.
Surprisingly, this was the easiest thing we found during the whole entire trip, I think! It was meant to be!
YG Entertainment is considered to be one of the Big Three Kpop agencies (SM and JYP being the other two). I know that BTS is taking over America right now, but BIGBANG was wooing the rest of the world way before that and everything they touch turns to gold. G-Dragon is Korea’s National Treasure! Just standing there and looking up at this structure, with so much talent within its walls, felt so surreal! I have seen it so many times in pictures and in videos, and now here it was right in front of me! I COULD HAVE PROBABLY BEEN STANDING IN THE SAME SPOT THAT G-DRAGON MIGHT HAVE MAYBE STOOD ONCE AT SOME POINT, I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE IT!
Right across the street is a GS25 (a large and amazing convenience store chain that we stopped in everyday) and I pictured G-Dragon strolling in there on any random afternoon to grab some ramyun or banana uyuu and can you imagine WORKING THERE?! I would never take a day off! Let me stand behind my register all fucking and night and wait to catch a glimpse of Seungri or Mino or Jenny.
I’m not going to try and act like I wasn’t shook. I was pretty giddy.
I loved that there were so many messages of love and appreciation scrawled on the walls behind the convenience store. It was early enough on a Sunday morning that we were the only ones there but I can imagine the crowds this area must draw, especially before 4 out of 5 BIGBANG members enlisted in the military. If I was a kid in Seoul, I feel like I would be loafing (lol, that word will forever make me think of my dad) in that area all the time after school.
“What did you think about going to YG?” I asked Henry just now.
“What do you mean?” he asked because he’s remedial and needs questions illustrated for him, translated into Caveman grunts, played out it in an interpretive dance.
“Like, did you think it was cool? Were you like ‘Oh cool, the YG building!’?” I coached.
“No, I thought it was just another building,” and then he mumbled other things that I couldn’t hear because he was walking away, and I think it’s funny that now that he knows he’s being interviewed, he’s trying to act like he doesn’t care about kpop because over the weekend I was like “WE DON’T HAVE ANYTHING IN COMMON!”and he quietly said, “Yes, we do. I like kpop” and I was like, “OH SHIT BOY I’LL NEVER LET YOU FORGET THAT YOU SAID THIS!”
But really, here are some signs that Henry is a Kpop dad:
“Jimin looks like he lost weight.”
“Is this SHINee’s comeback stage?”
“Pfft, probably” – after hearing the headline Did Hyuna Take Sexy Too Far.
“They got V’s name wrong! That said Jung Kook!”
YG will always be the most prestigious kpop agency in my eyes and I’m so excited that I got to see it. I WONDER WHO WAS IN THERE THAT DAY?!!?!? Blackpink has been preparing for a comeback, so maybe they were there?! OMG I would have died if I saw them. (Henry would have too — he loves him some Blackpink. He listens to them A LOT on his own time.)
I will leave you with two of my favorite non-BIGBANG YG videos, because it’s nice to give some other groups the spotlight sometimes.
I like to shout the 널 좋아해 parts real loud to the cats when I listen to this alone in the house. It means “I like you.” That’s your daily lesson from me to you.
One of my favorite kpop cardio workouts uses this song! Anyway, the first time we went to Hongdae, Ikon was there giving out free hugs apparently and I think I may have seen one of them but he was across the street and Chooch was like, “WE ARE GOING THIS WAY BECAUSE I’M IN CHARGE HERE” so I didn’t get to see what was going on. Thanks, Chooch.
LOL OK FINE TWIST MY ARM here is a BIGBANG video too. I just asked Chooch which BIGBANG he would share and he said, with little hesitation, “Fantastic Baby.” So here’s a three-song compilation from one of the award shows they performed on because it also includes Bang Bang Bang and that song is a, well, banger. Also I loved G-Dragon’s hair so much in this! HOW DOES HE MAKE A MULLET LOOK SO FUCKING HOT.
Kings. BIGBANG is the group that got me 100% obsessed with kpop and Korea in general, so YG will always be the best in my opinion. I can’t believe I got to stand before it, like it was a legit religious shrine and I just got off the church bus with a bunch of nuns.