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Finding Mr. Right

In October, I met Kevo on OKC, short for the popular NYC dating website OK Cupid.  He was the first “normal” guy I responded to, and I message very selectively. Soon enough, an “online relationship” began to blossom.  The connection was almost immediate.  To start off, we were both Asian American kids with a rekindled appreciation for our Asian food, culture and language.  Apparently, we both enjoyed karaoke jams to Asian songs.  Who goes to karaoke to sing Chinese songs anymore?  Well, he and I still do!  As an added bonus, we were both medical students!  He was planning to do family medicine and I was applying for emergency medicine.  Personally, there is little else more comforting than to find companionship with someone in your field.  Some people want partners who are far away from medicine, so when they come home, couples can unwind and talk about other stuff.  Medicine is taxing on the mind and body, yet exhilarating to experience.  To find someone with the same background and fund of knowledge to share my experiences with is liberating and relaxing.

Scaredy cat when it comes to online dating?

Scaredy cat when it comes to online dating?

For nearly a month, we talked by text, Google chat and even video chat.  Not like I had anything to hide, but the concept of remotely chatting by virtual means was foreign and strange, especially for the first time. It reminded me of the MTV show Catfish, where shady strangers in these “online relationships” try to hide for months to years, always with an excuse and never the time.  Check the show out, it’s shocking, yet entertaining.  You’ll understand why I (and perhaps you) tread cautiously on the World Wide Web.

Twice, we video chatted at nighttime, but not without technical difficulties on Skype or Google Hangout.  Hey, at least I made the effort!  A few instances I got nervous during the call and my camera would drift to my forehead. He’d say, “Uh, could you move your camera down a little? I only see your forehead now?”

I found him decent-looking and fresh-faced.  He seemed like an honest, smart and nice guy, your typical Asian with boyish features and characteristics, even playful.  One time we were talking about our love for WongFu productions, the Asian American trio based in California who make videos poking fun and sending positive messages about the Asian American culture.  He took his Toon Spencer plush toy and played with it, putting it on his head.  That was also his profile picture, him with the Spencer bear atop his head.

 

What a cutie bear!  Meet Spencer!

What a cutie bear! Meet Spencer!

I liked Kevo and there was nothing to strike me as odd about this lad.  I’m sure I struck him as more odd, given that I told him how I’m a blubbering, bawling fool when it comes to sappy Asian love songs, music videos, dramas and movies.  He must think I’m a histrionic, emotional wreck with chronic wet-eye syndrome and tissues within arms reach to last a lifetime.

Tell me you will not cry a waterfall after watching “童話/Tong Hua” (Fairy Tale) by 光良 Guang Liang.  This was memorably the first Chinese song I ever listened to back in 2008, and what jumpstarted my iTunes playlist, Asian Addiction.

Tell me you will not feel a pang to your heart (and eyes) when you watch this love song, “Because I’m a Girl” by the 90s’ Korean girl group, Kiss.

Tell me you will not need a tissue with this Chinese classic, “老鼠愛大米/Lao Shu Ai Da Mi” (Mouse Loves Rice) by 王啟文 Wang Qi Wen.  This song has been so popular, it has been remade twice since the original release, one by 香香 (Xiang Xiang) and Cantonese duo, Twins.

And lastly, but not the least, Hins Cheung, Hong Kong’s prince of ballads. We went off on a long discussion about his music and videos. I just started listening to his music, thanks to Spotify. Now, thanks to Kevo, I was on a marathon of his sappy music videos and performances.

Up Next:  A surprise for you … and me!

200 lbs of Beauty

Koreans are known for their talent and beauty in the entertainment industry, at an expensive price: plastic surgery. Most popular places to fix: eyes, nose, legs, and breasts. Physical attractiveness is a priority and surgery becomes the norm, as my sister learned on her recent Korean cultural exchange trip. The most popular surgeries involve the nose and eyes. Because Asians tend to have smaller eyes, women (and men) like to have larger eyes to achieve a more ‘Eurasian’ look. Even my aunt in Shanghai got the double-eye lid surgery; I remember seeing her in old pictures where she had tiny eyes and when I went back years later, she had poppin’, wide eyes. And then there’s the flat Asian nose. Like for me, I’ve been called a pancake face back in elementary school and my glasses always slip down my nose because I lack the high-bridge. So it’s understandable why Asians like to fix those particular parts, but still, they’re going under the knife, going through high-risk surgery…

200 lbs of Beauty (미녀는 괴로워/Minyeoneun Goerowo) is a 2006 South Korean comedy, poking fun at the entertainment business and cultural preoccupation with physical beauty and the thin body ideal. The literal translation of the film is “Being Beautiful is Painful.”

Hanna works as a phone sex employee, but secretly has a beautiful voice. However, her large body size keeps her out of the spotlight and the entertainment business takes advantage of her talent for selfish, jaded purposes. She is the voice behind a skinny, gorgeous performer Ammy. At the same time, she has a crush on the head record producer, Sang-jun.

After an embarrassing night out where she gets mocked for her awkwardness and blatantly overweight body, Hanna vies to change and return famous.  How does she do it??  Apparently, plastic surgery is the right road in Korea. The scene with the doctor is particularly funny, because he says “This is crazy. You could die!” with all the changes she wants to make. Let’s see, there’s her dramatic liposuction, breast implants, nose-job, facial alterations, eye-lift… the doctor has never had to do so much on one body. So how does she convince him? Well, because she’s a phone sex employee, he was at her service one time, and she recognized his voice; she knows he’s having issues with his wife… scandalous. Of course, he gets blackmailed into giving her this life-changing, risky surgery, but is promised the jackpot after she becomes famous.

Fluffy friend

After intense recovery, she is absolutely… a beauty, skinny and sexy. She actually looks really plastic, like a Barbie doll. She is beyond recognition when she encounters her old friend at the police department. No one realizes who she really is- her sick father, her crush, or record producers, except her old, fluffy puppy. She returns as a new and improved “Jenny,” this time succeeding in the entertainment business. Her love life and career shoots off, but is she really happy living a lie? She pretends to be a ‘natural beauty’ after Sang-jun expresses his distaste for surgically-modified beauties. She hides herself when she visits her sick father, since Ammy goes to the nursing home to seek out the ‘missing’ Hanna and revive her own now-defunct career. How long will her secret last? Where will her long-awaited relationship with Sang-jun go?

Overall, this is a good movie mocking the Korean obsession with beauty and plastic surgery. I bet doctors there make the big bucks there, with all the entertainers and movie stars entering their offices. However, the movie ended on a bad message, that basically plastic surgery can have good prospects. If you are unhappy with your body, just get plastic surgery to fix your flaws and get all patched up to begin a new life. It is as if cosmetic surgery is the solution to a sore spot on the face or small breasts, the ‘easy’ way to get guys and be successful.

Well, enjoy the movie. The soundtrack is worth listening to. I really like the lead song by the lead actress, “Maria” by 김아중 (Kim Ah Joong), a more modern and awesome cover of Blondie’s song.

A closer look at some old pictures, you can venture to guess the lead actress probably got that plastic surgery. Quite a dramatic change… Goodbye eyeglasses and hello eye lift…

Track Title Artist
1 Beautiful Girl 김아중 (Kim Ah Joong)
2 별 Star 유미 (Youmee)
3 Maria 김아중 (Kim Ah Joong)
4 Dance With My Daddy Alex Chu (Clazziquai)
5 You Don’t Know I Love You U (유)
6 슈퍼스타 [Super Star] Loveholic
7 튜울립 [Tulip] Venny (상상밴드) feat. 종휘 (Jong-hui)
8 Miss You Much 유미 (Youmee)
9 Beautiful Girl (teaser Edit) 김아중 (Kim Ah Joong) feat. Alex Chu (Clazziquai) & And
10 바보처럼 [Like A Fool] 김형중 (Kim Hyun Joong)
11 별 [Star] (Original dialog Version) 김아중 (Kim Ah Joong)

Asian Horror: The Diary

妄想 Mon Seung (2006)

While roaming on Youtube, I stumbled on some more Asian movies. Not that I have time to watch much entertainment these days, but I was practically asking for a distraction.

The title of the Hong Kong psychological thriller doesn’t really translate to Diary, but more like a ‘vain attempt‘ according to Google. The movie stars several of Hong Kong’s most famous:

Charlene Choi 蔡卓妍 as Winnie

Shawn Yue 余文樂 as Seth

Isabella Leong 梁洛施 as… that’s a surprise

Dude, this was seriously a bizarre movie. Here’s a quick synopsis. Winnie Leung lives alone in her dark apartment, which is quite representative of the tumultuous world she inhabits. She has recently been abandoned by her boyfriend. Still in a state of depression, she thinks about him day and night and ventures out to find him. During her utterly depressive moments, Winnie is seen expressing her feelings and sadness to another woman. I like this segment of their conversation:  “Men would do anything before you get laid… Men and women are two different species. Women like to be cared by men. Men like to care for all women.” You watch MTV, Maury’s paternity test episodes, or Jerry Springer white trash, you’ll find some truth in this worthy quotable. Or you may have been in a past relationship that sadly didn’t work out for whatever reason. Men can be players indeed, but I’m sure there are good guys out there. Not that women are good fellas either; some women just ask to be laid too. You can also blame Darwinian principles or the hypothalamus and amygdala. It’s only biology right?

Now, back on the right track. Later on, Winnie ventures to his supposed workplace and sees a man named Ray, who closely resembles her old boyfriend, Seth Lau. Quickly becoming obsessed, she pursues him and ultimately invites him to her apartment. At this point, the story slowly unfolds and becomes a tangle of spaghetti and meatballs. It appears that Winnie really lives in a dark world, in reality and in her mind. She is constantly paranoid about Seth, the old boyfriend. She freaks out about little things like the food she cooks for Ray. Most of the time, their conversations always goes back to Seth this and Seth that. Ultimately, her sob story about her ‘dead’ boyfriend Seth changes and arouses suspicion from Ray.

Winnie has two particular habits, making wooden puppets and writing in her diary. Alone and emotional, she escapes into her own world by crafting puppets and writing. It is ultimately her diary that clues in to the chronology of events and fates.

This was a strange and confusing movie. I still don’t think I have the exact occurrences and character developments down. It was not even really scary in the sense of blood, gore, ghosts, and monsters. It was more of a mind tease. But I do have one thing to say about mental illness: it is goddamn scary and weird. The movie takes you for an inside look at schizophrenia, all the hallucinations, mental instability, and emotional suffering that happens. Charlene Choi shows she can be more than a singer and a pretty face; she can be a breakthrough actress.

Why I Like SG Wannabe

For the past 2 weeks, I’ve reverted back in time to the classic Korean music days. In those days, music videos were like love stories to be analyzed. No sweaty singers on stage flaunting their washboard abs and sexy, skinny legs. Music in the early 21st century were sappy ballad songs, like what the Taiwanese are so well at singing nowadays. I’ve taken a hiatus to today’s K-pop craze to take a dip in bygone Korean music.

And I have fallen in love with SG Wannabe. The first time I listened to them was maybe sophomore year of college, when my fobby roommate introduced me to their song “Only Wind, Only Wind.” She told me, “Oh, they have REALLY good voices but not the best looking men in Korea.” Okay, I took not-so-lightly and did not expand beyond that Korean song for the longest time. I think I even got tired and bored with SG Wannabe, so I just stuck with Taiwanese music.

However, things changed around May 27th, 2011. I was in my Pathology lab lecture, and I was browsing on the Internet for Asian gossip. I found my way onto Asian Fanatics after a long vacation. The first news story I saw was “Chae Dong Ha Found Dead.” I thought to myself, “Huh, another suicide in the Korean entertainment circle?” When I read further, I realized he was a former member of the all-time Korean band, SG Wannabe. I was shocked and saddened. Apparently, he was found dead in his apartment after hanging himself. For years, he has been suffering from depression, and two years ago, he was deeply affected by his manager’s suicide. And so began my interest in SG Wannabe.

SG Wannabe stands for “Simon and Garfunkel – Wannabe.” They are way more handsome than Simon and Garfunkel. And I don’t know what my former roommate was talking about, how they’re ‘ugly.’ I think they are rather fine looking young men. I should’ve fell in love with their voices much earlier so I wouldn’t be inundating my iTunes with their music all at once. I would’ve been a veteran fan, and not a noob SG Wannabe fan, because I have a hell of a lot of SG Wannabe stuff to catch up on now.

They debuted in 2004, with members Chae Dong Ha, Kim Jin Ho, and Kim Yong Jun. Quickly becoming popular, they were a rather mysterious group, only heard but not seen. Early in their careers, they made few live performances, citing they preferred fans to appreciate their voices and not their physical appearances. What a selling point! In almost all their music videos, they never appeared. Instead, the MVs came in multiple parts in a mini-movie fashion. It’s like watching a typical Korean romantic drama in the span of 10 minutes and SG Wannabe singing in the background. Never before have I had to work so hard to analyze the videos for underlying themes and meaning, mainly because I know very minimal Korean.

In the coming days, I shared my sadness with my sister. We went on a Youtube rampage looking up their all-time hits. We fostered a newfound appreciation for SG Wannabe after a tragic event. The first song we watched was “내사람 Nae Saram (Partner for Life),” because it had the most views and Kelly yelped, “Hey! It’s Dong Wan from Shinhwa! Let’s watch this!” Little did she know she was unleashing inner monsters within the both of us… I’ve been addicted for the past two weeks to the video and live performance. Studying for my Pathology finals, I had my iTunes set on repeat with my top SG Wannabe songs and a separate window for watching Youtube videos while studying my powerpoints. I’d like to say it’s a foolproof, productive method to success in medical school, well at least on a short-term basis!

Partner For Life, Part 1

Slow Poke, Part 2

Truthfully, SG Wannabe is a truly unique group. Their voices are sent straight from the heavens, soothing and spine-tingling. Really, their powerful vibratos and glass-shattering octaves gave me the shivers because it was THAT good. They sing with such passion that their jugular and temporal veins are about to burst. The last time I saw such passion was DBSK with “Love in the Ice” and “How Did I Fall in Love With You?” and those were with dripping sweat. SG Wannabe, they serenaded and belted high-pitched tunes with such passion. Unbelievable, truly unbelievable. They are a mix of the Italian greats, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti, and Chinese opera singers. That’s how fabulously talented they are.

SG Wannabe Live, Partner for Life

Over time, while watching these old SG Wannabe performances, I would start tearing up. The reality of tragedy struck me, the death of a talented, well-loved singer, the permanence of his absence. Chae Dong Ha will forever be missed =(

SG Wannabe, 日韓友情 CONCERT, Partner for Life

SG Wannabe, 2006 MBC Awards, Partner for Life

Here’s a quick snippet of their other all-time greatest hits:

SG Wannabe+ (2004):  Timeless **
Saldaga (살다가) (While You Live) (2005)
– Sin and Punishment 죄와벌
– While You Live 살다가

The 3rd Masterpiece (2006) ** Awesome album!
– Crime and Punishment (죄와벌)
– As We Live (살다가)
    – Partner for Life (내 사람) **
– Slow (느림보)
– Song of Love (사랑가)
– Even If I Could See You (그저 바라볼 수만 있어도)
– Ordinary People
Untouchable **
– Gone with the Wind (바람과 함께 사라지다)

The Sentimental Cord (2007):  Arirang 아리랑

Happy listening =)

Why I Like CN Blue

My favorite color is blue, despite my many pink belongings (you name it, I got it). Already, I was at a bias when I heard about Korean indie band CN Blue 씨엔블루.  I have always appreciated the creativity behind Korean band names, and CN Blue tops my list of distinctive bands, beating out American bands and even Super Junior. CN stands for ‘Code Name,’ while BLUE symbolizes each member’s essence: 

Burning = Lee Jong Hyun, Lovely = Kang Min Hyuk, Untouchable = Lee Jung Shin, Emotion = Jung Yong Hwa.

Gah, that earring!

CN Blue is not like any other Korean group, at least not the typical dancing-licious K-pop boy band. I’m typically into the K-pop craze, so I was surprised that Korean indie-rock bands existed and I got sucked into a new dimension. I said to my sister, “Hey, I kind of like this K-pop band CN Blue!!” who subsequently glared at me and responded, “They are NOT K-pop at all you know. They’re like… this underground band in Korea.” In my head, I was thinking, “Underground? That sounds… shady..” you know, like the Hong Kong triads, drug cartels, the Underground Railroad, or prostitute lanes. What she could not describe without sending creepy shockwaves was that they are part of the indie or alternative rock crowd. To put them in perspective, they are akin to American bands like Maroon 5 or All-American Rejects. Wait, my bad, Maroon 5 and AAR are American versions of Korean sensation CN Blue. And it is always the lead singer with the melodic, soulful voice who entrances me, let it be scruffy Adam Levine, skater boy Tyson Ritter, or pretty face Yong Hwa.

The boys of CN Blue are not just pretty faces who spend hours on end dancing. Instead, they jam on their guitars and drums like rockstars under control. They sit down, compose and write music, and practice like any other garage band, except they made it out of the garage and onto the Seoul stages.

CN Blue is a relatively new band, beginning with performances in Japanese night clubs and bars and debuting only in 2009 with their Japanese mini-album Now or Never.  They also played in the Seoul district of Hongdae, a dynamic haven for the artsy and talented. However, their big break did not hail until the following year in January 2010 with their Korean debut album, Bluetory. The first single was a HIT, BAM!-in-the-face GOOOOD, “외톨이야 Oetoriya- (I’m a Loner).” The first time I heard it, my sister was repeating all her CN Blue songs, and I was still foreign to anything else CN Blue except for “Love.” I was immediately hooked to the up-beat, pop-rock tune. It is funny in the MV, which was confusing at first, how each member gets caught up with life, whether it’s wandering in a populated street or getting beaten like a pulp, and then letting out a climactic scream, before meeting at a concert to perform, together…

“Love Revolution” is another great CN Blue classic, with a strong rock-n-roll beat to it. You feel like you want to get up and jump up and down.

Bluetory (2010)

01 외톨이야 I’m a Loner
02 Love Revolution
03 Y, Why…
04 Now or Never
05 그럴 겁니다… 잊을 겁니다… I Will… Forget You…

I vividly remember “Love” as the VERY first and only CN Blue song I listened to until recently. I had too much K-pop congestion in my iTunes that I was too lazy to explore and follow up on this foreign band. That first taste of CN Blue was truly impressionable, because the song was a mix of alternative rock AND jazz. Jazz??!! Yes, I was impressed with the catchy, jazzy tune. Yong Hwa’s soothing vocals and the upbeat instrumentals, supplemented with a brief rock-and-roll section, truly made the song unique.

I like “Black Flower” for its heavy rock tune and “Love Light” for its relaxing soft strumming, perfect for a vacation on the Hawaiian beaches. Seriously, it’s like a song you’d hear under the palm trees with a cooling Pina Colada.

 

Bluelove (2010)

01 LOVE
02 Sweet Holiday
03 Black Flower
04 Tattoo
05 사랑 빛 (Love Light)
06 Let’s Go Crazy

Now, their most recent album, First Step (2011), features some incredible songs, “Love Girl and “Intuition.” I was actually watching “Love Girl” on Youtube by accident one day, because I get subscriptions to live performances in Korea. The rest became history. I was automatically addicted to “Love Girl” to the point of watching almost EVERY live performance they did for their First Step promotion. It is a cute and entrancing song; I still cannot stop listening to it, like right now as I finish this piece. There’s a pop-feel to it, mixed in with some energy and catchy guitar tunes.

I believe what draws me to CN Blue so steadfastly (I’m jamming to my CN Blue collection as I write this, for inspiration) is how they are so different from the K-pop scene. I watched their performances on repeat, especially “Love Girl” like 50 times to date, and I was amazed they could sing AND play instruments. I thought, “Man, they don’t DANCE or wear funky outfits??” Technically, they are no different from Maroon 5, AAR, The Fray, or Matchbox 20, except they’re Asian eye candy. However, CN Blue is a nice medley of different musical styles. Can Adam Levine serenade a jazzy tune, and make rap sound sexy? Can Isaac Slade and the Fray graffiti my car and get away with it? Can Tyson Ritter slow-jam to a love song, or rap and rock at the same time? Can Rob Thomas sing in Korean and Japanese? Jong Hyun wins my heart with a soft rendition of Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” Even better, Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning.”  Jung Shin can rock that silky, long hair in a ponytail, versus scruffy American guitarists/bassists who throw their greasy locks in all directions. Min Hyuk bangs on his precious drums in the background. Yong Hwa, my CN Blue bias, looks plain adorable in simple attire, whether it’s a striped shirt or a slick suit. His puppy eyes and shy smile makes me weak in the knees and flush in the cheeks.

I suggest watching their 2010 documentary, CN Bluetory, which is like those ever-addicting E! True Hollywood Story, except featuring CN Blue’s evolutionary history =) They are a cohesive group of friends who enjoy each others’ company and making music together. All their hard work has paid off!

I liked this particular segment in their documentary:  What music means to them?

Yong Hwa – “Music allows me to breathe, allows others to breathe.”

Jung Shin – “Music makes me think of rest. We usually listen to music when we rest, don’t we? If my music could mean a rest to someone, that would be great.”

Jong Hyun – “Music is a form of communication when I can’t express through words. I also want to relay my music, share with others.” 

Min Hyuk – “Music is something like… rice, maybe my rice.  In my life music and rice are the same. Rice is something we eat 3X a day. Without rice, we’d feel hungry and uneasy.” Oh I like this one the best, because it’s a genuine comparison between passion and basic needs.

Wow, they have mesmerizing stares...

‘Bola n’ Burgers

Today for lunch, a bunch of us guys and gals went out to eat burgers. Yep, classic American burgers at the All American Roadside in Smithtown. This week, there’s a special deal, Buy One Get One Free. The guys, with the perfect metabolism and hunger factor, ate two burgers. The gals found a partner. On the line, we made a buddy system and shared the deal.

I have been getting used to the taste of Bobby’s Burger Palace, so when I came to a regular burger joint here, I was agape at how cheap the burgers are. The price of a cheeseburger + milkshake + fries = 1 bangin’ Bobby’s burger + tax.  Now, I was trading in a decorated, succulent Bobby’s designer burger for a simple, build-your-own American burger. At this place, you can pick your toppings and sauces. So that afternoon, I was in the mood for a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, relish, grilled onions, mushrooms, and FIRE sauce. I like my sugar and spice, especially my spice. Except the fire sauce was not the burn I was anticipating… Either way, my personalized burger was soft and supple, juicy and flavorful. With a side of slim American french fries and ketchup, my meal was complete.

HEY! It looks like a smiling face =P

One BIG problem though. There was nothing wrong with my burger; I loved my lunch with my gang of friends on a hot, sunny afternoon. However, I should have thought twice about eating a hamburger after last night’s Hong Kong horror movie, Ebola Syndrome 伊波拉病毒 (1996), Yi Boh Lai Beng Duk. I watched it in Cantonese and without English subtitles unfortunately, but I don’t know any Cantonese. I figured knowing Mandarin Chinese put me at a slight advantage, over let’s say Korean dramas or Japanese horror movies. For most of the movie, I was clueless as to what the characters were saying and only guessing based on what I saw happening. Pretty good, here’s my account then… It is a story about a psycho-killer on the run (Anthony Wong, also the serious cop in Infernal Affairs), who ends up in South Africa. There, unbeknownst initially, he finds himself amidst an African tribe infected with the horrific, hemorrhagic Ebola virus. He rapes a native woman, a really weird thing to do, when she faints by the river. In the middle of his perverted act, the woman begins spazzing out, like she’s having a major seizure. Stuck and freaking out now, he gets spit in the face. So obviously, this creep gets infected from both ends…

I thought the beginning murder scene was disgusting. Technically, my sister censored me from the gore, but it was very bloody. The next set of murders were even more gruesome. He succumbs to a high fever, but recovers and savagely kills his new restaurant boss and his wife. Ewww, I’m still shivering… He proceeds to chop them up. Again, my sister blocked me from the sawing scene, even when I told her I can handle it after Anatomy class! When it was safe, she moved aside, and I saw a tray of human meat patties. In the subsequent scene, he serves his customers his ‘signature’ burgers. At the tables, you see tourists, Asian and American people, savoring every bite of the specialty burgers. I really wonder how they stomached acting out that scene, knowing the context and script of the movie… I mean, they were smiling and chewing merrily! Flash forward to later scenes, the same people drop and flop on the floor.

Turns out, the infection spreads rampantly around Africa and ultimately, Hong Kong. More infection spreading and flopping Asians. The guy has a strange immunity to the Ebola virus, so he cannot get sick or die, while everyone he infects, on purpose mind you, succumbs acutely. This movie is a huge lesson on the biological laws of transmission. I said to my sister during the movie, “Hey you know something? This is an educational lesson on the modes of transmission. This might prove useful for your Herpes project! Or even better, suggest this to Mr. Piascatelli your health class learning experience. ”

Seriously, every mode of viral transmission was depicted in every sick way possible. When the guy was getting it on with prostitutes, you got a view from inside his mouth at the woman licking her lips to kiss him. When he was at the shopping mall with his mistress, he sneezed and you saw the pathogens travel to a napping saleswoman, mouth wide open. When he was cockholding a woman who has suspected his real identity, she bit down on his arm and ran away with a bloody mouth. When he went on his crazy rampage through the city streets with a meat cleaver in one hand and a little girl by the neck, he went as far as spitting in people’s faces. At one point, he cut his arms, ripped off a piece of flesh, and sucked blood from his arm to spit at people. He spit blood at a cop in biohazard gear and slashed a hole in the outfit. In my head, I thought to myself, “What the F*** is WRONG with this FREAK?! He’s dangerous, he’s crazy, and he’s a tornado to be reckoned with!” In one of the scenes, he ran down some stairs screeching “EBOLA! EBOLA! EBOLAAAAAA!!!” Yet another sick and creepy movie…

Why I Like U-Kiss

I am very much into Korean culture and entertainment, more than Chinese and American nowadays. I love their sense of fashion, dance, and music. And I’ve been expanding my realm of K-pop love to new horizons, with the help of my dearly obsessed sister.  I have found talent outside of SNSD, Super Junior, Wonder Girls, and Big Bang. It’s just as mind-boggling how much Korean music has changed in a span of a few years! Many bands and artists have had their blunders and experimental phases, moving with the mainstream. Here will begin a series of snapshots in K-pop evolution, as well as glimpses into my personal taste in entertainment, fashion, dance, and music.

U-KISS, short for Ubiquitous Korean International Idol Super Star and mysteriously shortens to 유키스 in Korean, is a very popular band in South Korea now. Out since 2008, the current group members include Shin Soohyun, Elison Kim (Eli), Kevin Woo, Shin Dong Ho, Lee Kiseop, Hoon and AJ. Back in 2008, their first hit was “Not Young” off their debut mini-album New Generation. They look like bratty teenage kids, acting all cool and fresh in Kobe gear and impressing the ladies with basketball tricks. Their hair was a tad too long and they too scrawny to be considered anywhere near Prince Charmings. The cornrows, the poofy bedheads, and the plaid pants, all were fashion faux pas.  These former wannabe gangster kids on the block were not the boys next door.

New Kids on the Korean Block

This one is also plain weird, the song “I Like You” off their second mini-album Bring It Back to Old School in 2009. They look really gay in the red and rainbow pants. I’m not too pleased with the ghetto gangster look as a way to impress the ladies.

0330” is their most recent song off their first full length 2011 comeback album, Only One. I LOVE this song, for its tune, the serenific piano melodies, their complimentary soft, harmonic voices, and the inherent passion you can hear through earplugs. Now, they are worthy eye-candy. Their style has changed significantly. Their shorter haircuts frame their faces more smoothly. I especially compliment their choice of clothing nowadays, whether it’s rocking denim jackets with combat boots or a clean dress shirt paired with a slimming blazer. The ending part of the song is my favorite, for it highlights their best. Together as one, they are singing so passionately beneath the sunset breeze. Eyes closed, voices vibrating in the winds, and hands reaching high into the sky, U-Kiss is a remarkably talented and attractive group. They are on top of the world, literally.

U-KISS - "0330"

Here’s a live performance from a recent performance… rocking in the sleek white suits!

On a side note, if you listen to the little bit of random English in the song, there’s one part “Don’t deny our r^2 pi…” Any takers on what that means? Eternal love? The area of a circle equals the depth of love? I like that quote; first time I’m using my brain since the physiology final…