lirazel: ([vm] tangerine (reflection from a dream))
I've decided to start keeping a post of my recs for Korean dramas to help you figure out what you might want to watch. This won't be a list of all the dramas I watch, just the ones that I think are good enough that other people should watch them too. I'll be updating it as I find new ones, and I'll be making this a sticky post within the next few days. I hope it can lead you on your way to loving Korean TV dramas!

At the moment, all of the listed dramas are available on dramafever and/or hulu. Dramafever officially licenses these dramas, so if you watch there (or on hulu) you are NOT participating in piracy--you're getting things straight from the source. In the future, there might be some dramas that aren't available on those sites (for instance, I've got Capital Scandal on my harddrive at the moment and Resurrection/Rebirth currently torrenting, and I expect to add both of them to this list) and I know that those sites aren't available to all of my friends, so you can PM me if you're trying to find something you don't have access to. I'll try to help you out, though I make no promises.dramas here )
lirazel: ([kd] eunsung)
Title: in front of two mirrors facing each other, a devil jumps out
Author: lirazel/[livejournal.com profile] penny_lane_42
Fandom: White Christmas (kdrama)
Characters/Pairings: Lee Jaekyu, Choi Chihoon (some Jaekyu/Chihoon), Park Mooyul, Yoon Eunsung, Jo Youngjae (some Eunsung/Youngjae), Yang Kangmo, Kang Mireu
Rating: maybe R for subject matter, but nothing's explicit
Summary: “We helped make him! We helped do this, up on the roof! It’s our responsibility.”

Monsters are made, again and again.

( posted here )

heeeey...

Jun. 10th, 2014 12:09 pm
lirazel: (Default)
remember that White Christmas fic-a-thon I want to have? Anybody got any opinions on when we should do that?

What I was thinking of doing was have a sign-up place where people can sign up and also leave as many prompts as they want. Then on or before the due date people post the fic they've written, even if they didn't sign up in the first place. And if you sign up but don't end up writing, we aren't going to punish you because how would we even do that?

Is that too loose an approach? How much time should pass between sign-ups and due date? Anybody got any thoughts on this? I've run lots of comment fic-a-thons in the post, but not so much this sort of thing.
lirazel: (Default)


I'm completely serious about wanting to do some sort of White Christmas fic-a-thon. It sounds like there are a couple of people interested in at least watching it but they all want to wait till summer SO what if we did it like this:

Sometime in late June or in July, once people have had a chance to watch it, we have people sign up to write fic. No punishments if you don't write it, no word limit, and you can write anything at all you want to write. And if you don't sign up, but you end up wanting to write something, you can totally post it. The signups are more because sometimes you need that kick in the pants of I-actually-committed-so-I-should-do-this-oh-look-there's-a-deadline to get you to writing. Do we think this is workable? Even if we only got five or ten stories, it would still be worth it to do since right now there is LITERALLY NOTHING. (Except for Ranya's. Which is wonderful. But not enough.)

For those of you who like kdramas, WATCH THIS SHOW. For those of you who haven't had any interest in kdramas, I really think you'd enjoy it, so maybe you could give it a try anyway?

It's got a fantastic cast (for those of you who know any Korean actors: Esom, Kim Woo Bin, Sung Joon, Hong Jong Hyeon, Lee Soo Hyuk, Kim Young Kwan, Kwak Jung Wook) and great, great writing.

So the premise is that all of these kids are super bright (and each broken in their own way, though the fullness of that is only revealed as the show goes on) and attending a school for gifted students that’s way in the middle of nowhere. The eight of them get mysterious ~messages hinting at something dark and terrible coming and so they stay at school over Christmas. And get snowed in. And as it turns out…yeah, something dark and terrible is totally coming, but it wasn't what any of them expected it to be.

And the whole show is an exercise in showing that monsters are made, not born, and they’re made from choices, and anyone can make those choices under the right circumstances—anyone. It’s a psychological thriller where every time you think things are looking up there’s some new scary twist and the characters keep discovering things about themselves and each other they probably didn’t want to know.

And it’s close to perfect. Really. There are some holes in the very final episode, but they’re plot holes, not emotional resonance holes—a few of the details don’t make full sense in the logic definition of the word, but emotionally they make complete and total sense and when you get to the ending you realize that’s where you were headed all along, and it’s the only place it could have gone.

My only complaint is there’s only one female character BUT she’s amazing (actually, that's a lie, there's two, but there's only one in the main cast) and the male characters are amazing too and honestly it’s so good and you should all watch it.

Oh, and it’s only eight episodes, so it’s short. And here's a bunch of places you can watch it.

I JUST WANT TO MAKE THIS FANDOM A THING. If ever a show needed a fandom, it's this one. I want it so bad that this post isn't even remotely coherent. Picture me with grabby hands doing a Gollum impression because that's about where I am at the moment.
lirazel: ([kd] secret place)
I've decided to start keeping a post of my recs for Korean dramas to help you figure out what you might want to watch. This won't be a list of all the dramas I watch, just the ones that I think are good enough that other people should watch them too. I'll be updating it as I find new ones, and I'll be making this a sticky post within the next few days. I hope it can lead you on your way to loving Korean TV dramas!

At the moment, all of the listed dramas are available on dramafever and/or hulu. Dramafever officially licenses these dramas, so if you watch there (or on hulu) you are NOT participating in piracy--you're getting things straight from the source. In the future, there might be some dramas that aren't available on those sites (for instance, I've got Capital Scandal on my harddrive at the moment and Resurrection/Rebirth currently torrenting, and I expect to add both of them to this list) and I know that those sites aren't available to all of my friends, so you can PM me if you're trying to find something you don't have access to. I'll try to help you out, though I make no promises.


dramas behind the cut! )
lirazel: ([kd] secret place)
I've decided to start keeping a post of my recs for Korean dramas to help you figure out what you might want to watch. This won't be a list of all the dramas I watch, just the ones that I think are good enough that other people should watch them too. I'll be updating it as I find new ones, and I'll be making this a sticky post within the next few days. I hope it can lead you on your way to loving Korean TV dramas!

At the moment, all of the listed dramas are available on dramafever and/or hulu. Dramafever officially licenses these dramas, so if you watch there (or on hulu) you are NOT participating in piracy--you're getting things straight from the source. In the future, there might be some dramas that aren't available on those sites (for instance, I've got Capital Scandal on my harddrive at the moment and Resurrection/Rebirth currently torrenting, and I expect to add both of them to this list) and I know that those sites aren't available to all of my friends, so you can PM me if you're trying to find something you don't have access to. I'll try to help you out, though I make no promises.


dramas behind the cut! )
lirazel: ([kd] confirmation)
I just nominated my Yuletide fandoms and since I never get kdrama fic when I ask for anything else, I decided to make it ALL KDRAMA ALL THE TIME this year so that I know I'll get one! I am so obvious about what I asked for, and I can't wait for actual signups to write up my 'dear yuletide writer' letter!

Here's what I nominated:

닥치고 꽃미남 밴드 | Shut Up Flower Boy Band (TV) : Characters
Kwon Ji Hyuk
Im Su Ah (Im Soo Ah)
Kim Ye Rim
Lee Hyun Soo

응답하라 1997 | Answer Me 1997 : Characters
Kang Joon Hee
Sung Shi Won
Yoon Yoon Jae

화이트 크리스마스 | White Christmas (2011) : Characters
Lee Jae Kyu
Kang Mi Reu
Choi Ji Hoon

학교2013 | School 2013 : Characters
Ko Nam Soon
Park Heung Soo
Song Ha Gyung
Lee Gang Joo

I also wanted to ask for Queen In-Hyun's Man and Goong and maybe City Hunter and Coffee Prince, but I had to limit myself, so these are the four I'm going for. ALL MY BABIES!

[I am halfway tempted to say that I want OT3/OT4 fic for every single one of these, but I'm trying not to be greedy. Maybe if I request a fic about Go Nam Soon's Home for Wayward Boys I'll actually get one? /forever laughing at Go Nam Soon's Home for Wayward Boys.]

Did I mention that I'M SO EXCITED?
lirazel: ([ib] a message for germany)
as usual, nothing all that exciting since Vienna, but we'll do it anyway (and I will endeavor to use capitals because this is not tumblr):

+ INFINITE CONCERT PENDING. OMG. It seems Jamie will not get to go with me (I can't talk about this because DESPAIR), so I'm thinking of the DC one? I just need to find someone to go with, to room with/sit with/sing-along-on-the-top-of-my-lungs with. Warning: if Woohyun and/or Dongwoo start crying, I will probably cry my eyes out too. So. You've been warned.

+ In case I haven’t talked to you since then, the Vienna trip was great. Nearly perfect except for the heat which was EXTREME and Europeans don’t know how to use air conditioning (they say they have it, but it doesn’t ever seem like they actually use it!) and also you can’t get a big glass of cold tap water anywhere + there are almost no water fountains anywhere so it was a very thirsty trip. But we had a great time, everything went smoothly, I was the tour guide and arranged EVERYTHING (which was partly stressful but also kind of awesome?) and the parents loved it, so I’m very happy.

+ The little sister is in Ecuador. For almost a year. I am living alone. I LOVE living alone (even though it enables my anti-social behavior in ways that probably aren't healthy), but I miss her a lot.

+ Working on a new novel. AGAIN. Because, no, I am not physically capable of just sticking to one. But I feel really good about this one? Let’s ignore that that’s often the case when I start a new one. I literally had a dream about it and woke up with it fully-formed in my head. Often when I dream, I find myself thinking, “This would be a great book,” but then I wake up and realize the dream made no sense. But this one actually did! Also in the dream the love interest was Sunggyu. I kid you not.

It’s set in a fantasy version of like…late 18th century/early 19th century Madagascar? And you would not believe how hard it is to get ahold of a book on Malagasy history. Our library is fantastic, but the only history books they have are either A) for children or B) natural history. I get that the place has all sorts of flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth and that’s awesome BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE?

Anyway. I’m really trying to work on it. I want to make it work. I do.

+ So fic is going on hold for a bit. I have signed up for an OT3 bigbang and also for Infinite’s secret santa (and I will for Yuletide), but honestly I think it’s time to put fic on the back burner for just a bit until I get some actual work done on the novel. It’s time for discipline.

+ I did a remix fic for kpop-ficmix and I AM SO HAPPY WITH IT. I can’t wait till it’s posted and writers are revealed and I can tell you about it.

+ The job keeps requiring people to work mandatory overtime, and I am SO GLAD I took the time to fill out my FMLA paperwork so I don’t have to do it too. The company just all-around sucks with the way it treats employees, and yet I can’t bring myself to find something else because I can’t find anything else I’m actually interested in or a place that lets me spend as much time writing/interneting as this one does.

+ On Saturday I had my mama come over and we did some serious overhaul cleaning. Like, went through all the clothes I had and I took like five garbage bags full to goodwill. Which sounds ridiculous and like I have massive amounts of clothes, but honestly I still had some stuff from high school. High school. It was just a matter of actually removing them from my home.

Also went through closets and things and organized. Still have some to do, but I'm feeling good about it. I have a tendency to drive everyone around me crazy with my clutter because I live so totally in my head that it doesn't bother me but it bothers everyone else. But getting rid of stuff feels good.

+ I really need to stop reading about polygamist Mormon cults, but y'all, I can't stop. At this point, I feel like I know more about the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints than any person should know. BUT I CAN'T STOP READING.

+ Also reading The Family by Jeff Sharlet and it keeps plunging me into despair re: fundamentalist Christians. Since I'm also a Christian I feel like it is my job to battle the fundamentalist ones but that is a lot for one person to take on. I need some perspective.

+ I haven't been good at actually watching things lately? Slooooowly watching I Hear Your Voice and weeping over Lee Jung Suk's everything. It's so good. But I only manage one episode every few days. I need to finish You're the Best Lee Soon Shin and watch the last episode of Monstar and start Master's Sun, but for some reason my attention span when it comes to TV is very short right now.

+ And I was thinking about kdramas and how they seem bent on giving me a schoolboy kink. Oh, let's put Sung Joon and Myungsoo in school uniforms. Let's put Lee Jung Suk and Kim Woo Bin in school uniforms. Let's put Seo In Guk and Hoya in school uniforms. WHAT NEXT? I am trying not to be a dirty old lady, but kdramas are making it really hard.

+ I...do not really go to church anymore because it's just too hard for me to go and yet never actually talk to anyone. I know I should, but I don't. However, I read progressive theology blogs like ALL THE TIME. I have zero interest in ever going into ministry, but man, I would love to go to seminary just so I could geek out about theology. Nothing more fun.

+ Oh, and I’ve been thinking and I want some advice. cut for overexplaining and rambling )

Gah. For someone who leads an incredibly quiet life, this got long. Kudos to you if you managed to make it through that, and I totally understand if you didn't!
lirazel: ([kpop] succeed)
Oh good Lord what is my life.

Fic: we have not touched the stars
Fandom: Reply 1997/Shut Up Flower Boy Band
Characters/Pairings: Joonhee/Hyunsoo
Rating: PG-13
Summary: There's a new boy in Joonhee's class, a boy like a live wire.

read more )
lirazel: ([sufbb] rooftop couple)
2/3 of this has been sitting in my drafts for well over a year now, so I decided to finish it up today.


Title: we are golden
Fandom: Shut Up! Flower Boy Band
Characters/Pairing: Im Su Ah, Kim Ye Rim, Bang Woo Kyung (Im Su Ah/Kwon Ji Hyuk, Kim Ye Rim/Lee Hyun Soo, Bang Woo Kyung/Jang Do Il)
Rating: PG
A/N: This is fluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuff. Fluffy fluffy fluff. Sorry!
Summary: And maybe they have more in common than just the fact that the boys they love are best friends.




Su Ah’s thankful that the band decided to break up. She doesn’t say that, of course, because that isn’t her way, though she suspects Ji Hyuk knows (sometimes when he looks at her she thinks that he knows every single thing about her. It should be scary, but it’s Ji Hyuk and so it’s sometimes comforting and other times thrilling and most of the time it’s both). It isn’t the band itself she’s glad is gone; it’s the contract and the managers and the TV spots and everything that comes along with the manufacturing of fame. She’s glad, so glad, that Ji Hyuk isn’t going to be famous anymore. Mostly it’s because she knows Ji Hyuk would be miserable playing according to the rules of the idol industry, that he just wasn’t cut out for that life (he was so bad at it, and she found that endearing, his sullen looks and monosyllabic answers to questions he clearly thought were a waste of time when he could be playing actual music). But also because she knows that she would be miserable dating an idol (the idea of Ji Hyuk as an idol, a real one, makes her giggle: he looks good in eyeliner, but he’s a terrible dancer, all gangly and long-limbed). She knows what it’s like to have people stare at you, whisper behind their hands and think they know everything about you that counts when really they know nothing at all. She hated it when it was just at Jungsang High School; she can’t imagine how terrible it would be if it were the whole country treating her like that (she has nightmares sometimes).

She’s happy with how life is now, working hard at school, phone calls from Appa, spending time with her boyfriend. She’s even happier for Ji Hyuk: going to Rock Kim’s club and getting fed and yelled at (he pretends like he doesn’t love it, pretends like it isn’t what he’s wanted all along, to have someone actually care if he shows up, to be able to go to a place that’s alive and warm with people. She thinks of him growing up in that rooftop room all alone, and sometimes she wants to cry). Ji Hyuk plays at the club, and his audiences are just the right size, and his music is whatever he feels like playing that day. Life is quiet, really, and that’s the way Su Ah likes it (she thinks of all the girls, all over the world, dreaming of what it would be like to be famous, to date a rock star, and she feels sorry for them, because there’s no reality in their dreams).

But just because Ji Hyuk isn’t famous anymore (almost: he still gets recognized sometimes on the street, mostly by teenagers, and he shifts his shoulders awkwardly and rubs at his nose and can’t wait to escape) doesn’t mean that there aren’t still idols in Su Ah’s life. Some nights when she leaves her homework behind in her rooftop apartment (Appa offered to move her to a nicer place in a better part of town, but she’s fine right where she is) and crosses over to Ji Hyuk’s, Hyun Soo is there, sitting on Ji Hyuk’s bed and eating ramyun and making fun of Ha Jin’s latest acting role (Ha Jin’s still only getting one-line parts, but at least they can see his face now). And sometimes Ye Rim is there, too, still looking as cool and beautiful in her jeans and black hoodie as she does all made-up on TV (she has to sneak out, she says with a grin, and Director Yoo gets very, very angry with her, but it’s worth it).

Su Ah knows that Hyun Soo used to hate her. She tells herself that it wasn’t personal, that it was just that Hyun Soo thought that she threatened the band and his future and his friendship with Ji Hyuk and so he focused his hate on her. But sometimes he would just look at her, and she could almost believe what Deo Mi used to say about him freezing people with his eyes. He doesn’t look at her like that anymore, now that she’s not a threat—really, he doesn’t pay attention to her at all. She feels more uncomfortable with him than she does with any of Ji Hyuk’s other friends—Do Il is the kindest, most calming presence she knows, and Kyung Jong is adorable and sweet and makes her laugh all the time, and Ha Jin is friendly (when he isn’t flirting. He flirts most of the time, like it’s second-nature to him and he can’t help it, but there’s no threat in it). But Hyun Soo is still so aloof with anybody who wasn’t in Eye Candy, and she finds herself staring at him while he laughs about Ha Jin’s two lines in his latest drama and wondering how he can be one way with his friends and another with everyone else. And how he can be a completely different person altogether with Ye Rim.

Su Ah figures out pretty early on that Hyun Soo feels things very deeply but doesn’t like that about himself, and so he fights it, and most of that fighting comes across as anger wrapped in a thin layer of coldness. But Ye Rim seems to counteract all of that, making it dissolve away and melting his constructed icy exterior until Hyun Soo’s just a boy with a crush on a girl who’s way cooler than he is. He becomes clumsy and awkward around her, and he scowls more than usual to cover for it, but he doesn’t convince anyone. The other boys tease him and then he scowls even more, and Ye Rim sits with her ankles crossed (looking as comfortable in Ji Hyuk’s run-down apartment as she does anywhere else) and smiles. Sometimes, in the split second between Hyun Soo doing something awkward and remembering to scowl, Su Ah can almost see what Ye Rim sees in him (he’s very pretty, of course, though Su Ah likes guys who aren’t quite so polished. Or at least she does now that she has Ji Hyuk).

Su Ah’s not used to being around such big, loud groups of people, but she likes it when Ji Hyuk’s room is filled to overflowing with the Eye Candy boys and Woo Kyung (who she’s starting to get along with now). She likes it best when it’s just her and Ji Hyuk, of course (he’s the only person she’s ever felt totally comfortable with, as comfortable as she feels when she’s alone, and she suspects he feels the same way about her, that she’s the only one he feels that way about now that Byung Hee is gone), but there’s something about the laughter and the warmth that the Eye Candy boys take with them wherever they go that’s winning her over. She doesn’t talk much, just sits tucked up under Ji Hyuk’s arm and mostly listens and laughs along, except when Kyung Jong teases her into conversation. But she’s content to watch and absorb. This is how she’s most comfortable.

She’s least comfortable on the couple of nights when Hyun Soo is there and then Ye Rim shows up, too. When it’s just Hyun Soon, Su Ah goes back to her room or out with Deo Mi or takes a walk around the neighborhood (friends need time alone, she knows that). But when Ye Rim is there, too, she doesn’t feel like it’s right to escape, so she stays. None of the four of them are talkers, each fairly silent in their own way. Without Kyung Jong and Ha Jin and Woo Kyung to goad them all into laughter, things become a little awkward. Su Ah doesn’t have anything to say to Hyun Soo, and though Ye Rim doesn’t intimidate her, not really (Su Ah never been very impressed by fame, and she’s even less impressed by it now that she’s actually seen it up close), she’s unsure of how to interact with the other girl. Ye Rim seems older, and different, and belonging to another world (one that Su Ah’s caught a glimpse of and has no interest in visiting further). But Ye Rim is also nice, and she really tries to make everyone comfortable in a way that doesn’t seem like trying at all. Su Ah likes her, even if she doesn’t feel like she knows her. Still, she’s part of the landscape now, and maybe Su Ah wouldn’t have chosen her to be there, but she doesn’t mind that she’s here.

This is Su Ah’s world now: school and drawing and Rock Kim’s club and the Eye Candy boys and their girlfriends stuffed into a little rooftop apartment or sprawled out on top of green felt at the pool hall (she likes it).

--


It’s a Sunday afternoon, warm and mellow late autumn, and she tilts her head back to let the sunlight slide across her face as she climbs the stairs up to Ji Hyuk’s room. She always knocks, because that’s what you do when you’re entering a teenage boy’s room (there are some things she doesn’t want to see), but the person who opens the door this time isn’t Ji Hyuk, it’s Hyun Soo.

She blinks, because she wasn’t expecting him. Probably she should have reached the point where she’s no longer surprised to see any of the Eye Candy boys open this door—they all treat this apartment like another home. But she’d only been thinking of spending the afternoon with Ji Hyuk, of taking a walk and enjoying the sunshine and maybe sitting on that bench down by the river that’s been theirs since the day he first played black knight and dragged her away from the thugs that were looking for her.

Hyun Soo just looks at her for a moment in that unreadable way of his, then jerks the door open to let her in. “You’re here?”

“If you want to spend time with Ji Hyuk, I can leave,” she says, even as she takes a step through the door. She knows that it’s been a while since the boys have seen each other; Hyun Soo is busy all the time with his practices and CFs and interviews.

“No. Stay.” Then, as if he just then remembers that he’s supposed to, he adds, “Are you well?” Somehow, when Hyun Soo talks to her, he manages to make banmal sound like jondaemal.

But she nods. “I saw your performance on TV last week. You were very good.” She and Ji Hyuk had watched it on his little TV and Ji Hyuk had pretended not to smile proudly at his friend.

“Thank you.” He jerks his shoulder awkwardly, but a smile seems to slip onto his face despite himself (Hyun Soo loves the idol life and he’s proud of what he’s accomplished, and he should be), and she smiles back. He stares at her for a moment, blankly, and then the smile is back, but this time it seems genuine, and she’s pretty sure it’s the first time he’s ever smiled at her. She can’t keep from beaming.

“What are you doing? Trying to steal my girlfriend right in front of your girlfriend and me? When we’re in the room? This one doesn’t have any shame.” It’s Ji Hyuk, leaning around the corner to see them in the little entry hall. He’s got that look on his face like he’s trying to be tough, but his eyes are smiling (he’s always had such kind eyes, and all his gruffness can’t hide that), and she thinks maybe his shoulders relax a little bit at seeing her and Hyun Soo be civil to each other. She remembers suddenly that he told her once that Hyun Soo is his oldest friend, that they were little boys together before they met Byung Hee and the others. She thinks that probably their relationship is the most complicated of any between the Eye Candy boys, but she also knows they love each other more than they’re comfortable admitting. Of course he’s glad to see his friend and his girlfriend get along.

“If he dumps me, I’ll date you, Ji Hyuk, all right? We can elope together.” It’s Ye Rim now. Her hair is black again, with those bangs cut across her forehead, and Su Ah wonders how much control she gets over her style—it seems to change all the time.

Hyun Soo scowls as Su Ah follows him into the room. He flops down—looking decidedly ungraceful for a boy who is always conscious of his image—on the bed beside Ye Rim. “Who said I wanted to date you anyway?” he grumbles. “You wouldn’t leave me alone.”

Ye Rim nudges his shoulder with her own. “Just because you were stubborn and wouldn’t ask me out yourself.” She looks up at Su Ah and shakes her head. “I had to do all the work with this one.”

Su Ah laughs, because she can guess how true that is.

Hyun Soo’s muttering under his breath now about how crazy Ye Rim drives him, but his girlfriend ignores him. “I think the boys want some alone time,” she says to Su Ah. “Can you call Woo Kyung? Unless Hyun Soo dumps me for you, we’ll see a lot of each other. We should be friends, don’t you think? Today, we should go shopping,” Ye Rim says. She doesn’t squeal it or aegyo like a lot of other girls would. She just suggests it with a smile.

Su Ah doesn’t quite know what to say. She has a little bit more money now—Appa’s doing fine in China—but not enough to shop at the places Ye Rim probably likes. And Woo Kyung probably has even less than she does. She’s suddenly glad that Woo Kyung isn’t here, because she knows how sharp the other girl can be when her pride is hurt, and it probably would be by this invitation, even if Ye Rim’s only trying to be friendly.

Su Ah doesn’t think her face has given what she’s thinking away, but Ye Rim must have sharp eyes, because she says, “Window shopping. And to get some ice cream.”

The boys exchange looks they try to pretend aren’t anxious, but Su Ah smiles and agrees.

--

An hour and a half later, Su Ah finds herself walking down the sidewalk with Ye Rim on one side and Woo Kyung on the other, eating ice cream and looking into shop windows at dresses she’d never be able to afford (not that she’s sad about that—she also wouldn’t ever have any place to wear them). Woo Kyung had seemed a bit flustered (and maybe a little bit suspicious—she is very protective of her group and it takes a while to get her to trust people) at first, but she’d agreed and showed up in an outfit that Su Ah personally thought was trying a little too hard, especially when Su Ah and Ye Rim were both in sweatshirts (but Su Ah would never mock Woo Kyung for that—you really are treated differently when you’re poor, she knows that from experience now, and the pride that Woo Kyung has developed is a reaction to that. Su Ah can respect it). Ye Rim’s got a hat on and glasses, too, and nobody’s recognized her yet, though Su Ah thinks it’s just a matter of time.

But for now, it’s okay like this, the three of them walking along, mostly in silence. Woo Kyung seems a little twitchy, but that’s because she isn’t as comfortable with silence as Su Ah and Ye Rim are. She’s one of those people who needs to talk about everything she’s feeling, and while Su Ah doesn’t really understand that, she doesn’t hate it in other people.

Ye Rim swallows a spoonful of ice cream and says, “Woo Kyung, you style hair, right? Do you want to style for idols? Maybe one day you’ll do my hair.”

Woo Kyung looks away from the emerald green dress she’d been staring at in the nearest window. “I was going to be Eye Candy’s stylist forever.” Her words come out kind of sharp and bitter, and Su Ah thinks, not for the first time, that Woo Kyung took the Eye Candy breakup harder than any of the boys did. Woo Kyung seems to realize a little too late how she sounded and flushes. “I liked to experiment with the boys,” she says and now her tone is much less harsh. “Girls’ fashion is so easy to be creative with. But with guys you really have to try.”

She’s trying, Su Ah realizes. That was her olive branch, to the girl who’s intimidatingly beautiful and famous. Woo Kyung has never seemed to know what to make of Ye Rim, eying her with the same suspicion she does any interloper into Eye Candy’s world, but compounded because of Ye Rim’s celebrity. Su Ah isn’t sure they’ve ever really talked.

“Will you ever cut Do Il’s hair?” Su Ah asks suddenly.

No!” Woo Kyung looks horrified. “He should never cut his hair short.”

Both of the other girls laugh. “The long hair looks good on him,” Ye Rim admits, and Su Ah nods in agreement. “Lots of boys would look silly.”

“Do Il is the most beautiful person alive,” Woo Kyung announces stoutly, then immediately flushes, like she hadn’t meant to say that out loud. But Su Ah and Ye Rim are both grinning, and when they catch each other’s’ eyes, it doesn’t feel awkward at all. They’re just three girls, talking about their boyfriends. They could be any girls in the world.

--

They end up on a park bench down by the river (not the one Su Ah shares only with Ji Hyuk, of course. That one belongs to them alone, and she isn’t ever going to want to share it with anyone), finishing the last of their ice cream and watching the sunlight on the water.

“So I sing, and Woo Kyung styles hair,” Ye Rim says, dragging the toes of her (brand name) tennis shoes along the ground like she’s on a swing. “What do you do, Su Ah?”

“I draw,” Su Ah says, and it feels good to say it. She doesn’t talk much about art, about how much she loves it, but she knows Ji Hyuk knows how hard it was for her when she had to drop out of the class because she didn’t have the money for supplies. Now she’s back in it again, and she’s falling in love with it all over again, with colors and textures and the same feeling she got when she was a little girl scribbling in coloring books: like she’s filling the black-line-boundary-boring world up with beautiful things. She’s in love with the challenge, too, with the battle to transfer the picture in her head onto the page; it’s never as good as she wants it to be, but each day she gets a little bit closer.

“I didn’t know that,” Woo Kyung says, sounding surprised and a little impressed. Su Ah smiles at her.

Ye Rim looks excited, too. “We’re all artists,” she says, grin widening. “Do you paint and things too or do you only draw?”

“I like to paint, too, but I don’t do it as much because the oils are so expensive. I’m going to take a graphic design class next year, too,” she adds on a whim. She hasn’t told anyone else about that except Ji Hyuk. She’s been thinking seriously about her future; she knows that even though he wants to be able to provide for her, she might not always be able to rely on Appa, and while she doesn’t ever want to do anything else but art, she knows it’s not always the most lucrative of jobs. She’s not going to stop drawing—and painting, too; she’s planning on getting a part-time job soon to pay for oils and brushes and canvases—she really couldn’t if she tried, and her plan is to study art more in college, but she needs a back-up plan, something to pay the bills while she establishes her reputation, and graphic design is something she thinks she’d be good at. When she told him all that, Ji Hyuk’s mouth had twitched in that way it does when he’s trying not to smile, and she’d known he’d thought her plan was a good one. Ji Hyuk thinks she can do anything, but he wants her to find what makes her happy. Maybe that’s what growing up is: figuring out what makes you happy and what you are and aren’t willing to do to get it and also how to compromise around the edges to make your life livable.

“That’s amazing,” Ye Rim says. “Maybe one day you can design the cover for one of my albums and all my posters and Woo Kyung-unnie can take care of my style and we can all work together.”

Woo Kyung looks a little shell-shocked at the suggestion, but after a moment she gives a wobbly sort of smile, like she’s finding her footing, and even if it’s not as wide as it is when she smiles at Do Il, it’s real. “I’d like that,” she says, and Ye Rim and Su Ah exchange grins. It doesn’t really matter if that ever happens. Like with Eye Candy dreaming of playing at Glastonbury, the thought of it is enough.

--

Ye Rim is really good at guiding conversation without seeming like she’s doing it at all. They end up eating kimbap at a little restaurant run by one of Woo Kyung’s aunts, and Ye Rim tells them all about how she decided she wanted to be a singer as a little girl and how she made it happen. Ye Rim doesn’t brag, but Su Ah can read between the lines enough to figure out how hard she’s worked and how much she’s sacrificed—anything like a normal life—to get to where she is. It might be a little overwhelming to hear, honestly, except that Ye Rim is so matter-of-fact about it and also manages to get Woo Kyung to talk about watching her mom cut hair when she was a little girl and how she first started working at the salon and how got her cosmetology license and how hard she’s working at learning English (and along the way, how much it hurt her when her dad left and how scared her mom was for a while that she’d lose the salon). And Su Ah ends up talking more herself than she ever would have expected; she wouldn’t have ever been able to imagine talking to an idol and Woo Kyung about what it’s like going from a comfortable life to having nothing and having everyone in your world turn their back on you. But Ye Rim doesn’t make her feel inferior for her fall from grace at all, and Woo Kyung seems to know what it’s like not to have heat in the winter, and it occurs to Su Ah that all of them have been through really hard things in their lives, and just because Su Ah started out higher than Woo Kyung and Ye Rim’s struggles have been in a world of glitz and money, that doesn’t mean they can’t understand each other.

By the time they head back to Ji Hyuk’s apartment, things have eased between them. They haven’t become best friends or anything, but Su Ah feels like she understands both of the other girls better and that maybe they have more in common than just the fact that the boys they love are best friends. Like Ye Rim says, they’ll be seeing a lot of each other. Su Ah thinks she might just enjoy it.

Three sets of eyes—Do Il has joined the other two guys—look up anxiously at them as they walk through the door, laughing at one of Woo Kyung’s stories about her most demanding customer, and Su Ah giggles at how their shoulders all slump in relief when they see the girls together.

Woo Kyung must notice, too, because she stomps over and smacks Ji Hyuk on the head. Su Ah thinks that might once have bothered her, knowing how long Woo Kyung had a crush on him, but she’s seen the way the older girl looks at Do Il now; Woo Kyung is just like Ji Hyuk’s older sister now, and he can use all the family he can get. “Did you think we were going to kill each other? Yah, girls can be friends, too!”

“It wouldn’t be the first fight we’ve had to drag you out of,” Hyun Soo says sarcastically, and Woo Kyung glares at him and looks like she’s going to hit him too, but Ye Rim reaches him first and kicks him on the knee. He wails and clutches his leg dramatically, and Ye Rim ignores him, settling down beside him.

“If you need someone to fight with you, unnie, don’t bother with these punks,” Ye Rim says, shaking her ponytail out and tying it back again. “My fake nails are hard as steel—I’ll scratch their eyes out. And Su Ah looks like a hair-puller.”

Su Ah laughs, sitting beside Ji Hyuk and resting her nose against his shoulder, breathing in his scent that clings to the warm fabric of his t-shirt. “I used to take Tae Kwon Do.”

“What?” Everyone turns to stare at her with wide eyes, except for Do Il, who smiles quietly, but it’s Ji Hyuk who looks most shocked. “You never told me that.”

She shrugs, grinning at their surprised faces. “It was just a class for little kids. I stopped in middle school.”

She’s still mentally grinning at the thought of her and Ye Rim and Woo Kyung in a fight when the door opens and Kyung Jong and Ha Jin tumble in arm-in-arm—which looks particularly funny because of the height difference.

“Oh, the ladies all are here! Hello, ladies!” Kyung Jong says with a smile and a bow.

“Hello, ladies,” Ha Jin echoes, his smile significantly more flirtatious. “But none of you are single,” he adds woefully. “Next time bring some friends with you who aren’t dating anyone, okay?”

“Like that would do any good,” Hyun Soo scoffs. “For someone who always seems to be chatting someone up, you can’t seem to find a girl of your own.”

“Why would he need one when he has Kyung Jong and they’re already married?” Ye Rim says with a mischievous little grin, leaving Hyun Soo looking gobsmacked and everyone else laughing. Ji Hyuk slips his fingers into Su Ah’s and she squeezes them tight, leaning against him and feeling so, so glad that she didn’t go with Appa to China when he asked her to.

--

This is her world now: school and drawing and Rock Kim’s club and the Eye Candy boys and their girlfriends stuffed into a little rooftop apartment or sprawled out on top of green felt at the pool hall (she likes it).



Su Ah’s thankful that the band decided to break up. She doesn’t say that, of course, because that isn’t her way, though she suspects Ji Hyuk knows (sometimes when he looks at her she thinks that he knows every single thing about her. It should be scary, but it’s Ji Hyuk and so it’s sometimes comforting and other times thrilling and most of the time it’s both). It isn’t the band itself she’s glad is gone; it’s the contract and the managers and the TV spots and everything that comes along with the manufacturing of fame. She’s glad, so glad, that Ji Hyuk isn’t going to be famous anymore. Mostly it’s because she knows Ji Hyuk would be miserable playing according to the rules of the idol industry, that he just wasn’t cut out for that life (he was so bad at it, and she found that endearing, his sullen looks and monosyllabic answers to questions he clearly thought were a waste of time when he could be playing actual music). But also because she knows that she would be miserable dating an idol (the idea of Ji Hyuk as an idol, a real one, makes her giggle: he looks good in eyeliner, but he’s a terrible dancer, all gangly and long-limbed). She knows what it’s like to have people stare at you, whisper behind their hands and think they know everything about you that counts when really they know nothing at all. She hated it when it was just at Jungsang High School; she can’t imagine how terrible it would be if it were the whole country treating her like that (she has nightmares sometimes).

She’s happy with how life is now, working hard at school, phone calls from Appa, spending time with her boyfriend. She’s even happier for Ji Hyuk: going to Rock Kim’s club and getting fed and yelled at (he pretends like he doesn’t love it, pretends like it isn’t what he’s wanted all along, to have someone actually care if he shows up, to be able to go to a place that’s alive and warm with people. She thinks of him growing up in that rooftop room all alone, and sometimes she wants to cry). Ji Hyuk plays at the club, and his audiences are just the right size, and his music is whatever he feels like playing that day. Life is quiet, really, and that’s the way Su Ah likes it (she thinks of all the girls, all over the world, dreaming of what it would be like to be famous, to date a rock star, and she feels sorry for them, because there’s no reality in their dreams).

But just because Ji Hyuk isn’t famous anymore (almost: he still gets recognized sometimes on the street, mostly by teenagers, and he shifts his shoulders awkwardly and rubs at his nose and can’t wait to escape) doesn’t mean that there aren’t still idols in Su Ah’s life. Some nights when she leaves her homework behind in her rooftop apartment (Appa offered to move her to a nicer place in a better part of town, but she’s fine right where she is) and crosses over to Ji Hyuk’s, Hyun Soo is there, sitting on Ji Hyuk’s bed and eating ramyun and making fun of Ha Jin’s latest acting role (Ha Jin’s still only getting one-line parts, but at least they can see his face now). And sometimes Ye Rim is there, too, still looking as cool and beautiful in her jeans and black hoodie as she does all made-up on TV (she has to sneak out, she says with a grin, and Director Yoo gets very, very angry with her, but it’s worth it).

Su Ah knows that Hyun Soo used to hate her. She tells herself that it wasn’t personal, that it was just that Hyun Soo thought that she threatened the band and his future and his friendship with Ji Hyuk and so he focused his hate on her. But sometimes he would just look at her, and she could almost believe what Deo Mi used to say about him freezing people with his eyes. He doesn’t look at her like that anymore, now that she’s not a threat—really, he doesn’t pay attention to her at all. She feels more uncomfortable with him than she does with any of Ji Hyuk’s other friends—Do Il is the kindest, most calming presence she knows, and Kyung Jong is adorable and sweet and makes her laugh all the time, and Ha Jin is friendly (when he isn’t flirting. He flirts most of the time, like it’s second-nature to him and he can’t help it, but there’s no threat in it). But Hyun Soo is still so aloof with anybody who wasn’t in Eye Candy, and she finds herself staring at him while he laughs about Ha Jin’s two lines in his latest drama and wondering how he can be one way with his friends and another with everyone else. And how he can be a completely different person altogether with Ye Rim.

Su Ah figures out pretty early on that Hyun Soo feels things very deeply but doesn’t like that about himself, and so he fights it, and most of that fighting comes across as anger wrapped in a thin layer of coldness. But Ye Rim seems to counteract all of that, making it dissolve away and melting his constructed icy exterior until Hyun Soo’s just a boy with a crush on a girl who’s way cooler than he is. He becomes clumsy and awkward around her, and he scowls more than usual to cover for it, but he doesn’t convince anyone. The other boys tease him and then he scowls even more, and Ye Rim sits with her ankles crossed (looking as comfortable in Ji Hyuk’s run-down apartment as she does anywhere else) and smiles. Sometimes, in the split second between Hyun Soo doing something awkward and remembering to scowl, Su Ah can almost see what Ye Rim sees in him (he’s very pretty, of course, though Su Ah likes guys who aren’t quite so polished. Or at least she does now that she has Ji Hyuk).

Su Ah’s not used to being around such big, loud groups of people, but she likes it when Ji Hyuk’s room is filled to overflowing with the Eye Candy boys and Woo Kyung (who she’s starting to get along with now). She likes it best when it’s just her and Ji Hyuk, of course (he’s the only person she’s ever felt totally comfortable with, as comfortable as she feels when she’s alone, and she suspects he feels the same way about her, that she’s the only one he feels that way about now that Byung Hee is gone), but there’s something about the laughter and the warmth that the Eye Candy boys take with them wherever they go that’s winning her over. She doesn’t talk much, just sits tucked up under Ji Hyuk’s arm and mostly listens and laughs along, except when Kyung Jong teases her into conversation. But she’s content to watch and absorb. This is how she’s most comfortable.

She’s least comfortable on the couple of nights when Hyun Soo is there and then Ye Rim shows up, too. When it’s just Hyun Soon, Su Ah goes back to her room or out with Deo Mi or takes a walk around the neighborhood (friends need time alone, she knows that). But when Ye Rim is there, too, she doesn’t feel like it’s right to escape, so she stays. None of the four of them are talkers, each fairly silent in their own way. Without Kyung Jong and Ha Jin and Woo Kyung to goad them all into laughter, things become a little awkward. Su Ah doesn’t have anything to say to Hyun Soo, and though Ye Rim doesn’t intimidate her, not really (Su Ah never been very impressed by fame, and she’s even less impressed by it now that she’s actually seen it up close), she’s unsure of how to interact with the other girl. Ye Rim seems older, and different, and belonging to another world (one that Su Ah’s caught a glimpse of and has no interest in visiting further). But Ye Rim is also nice, and she really tries to make everyone comfortable in a way that doesn’t seem like trying at all. Su Ah likes her, even if she doesn’t feel like she knows her. Still, she’s part of the landscape now, and maybe Su Ah wouldn’t have chosen her to be there, but she doesn’t mind that she’s here.

This is Su Ah’s world now: school and drawing and Rock Kim’s club and the Eye Candy boys and their girlfriends stuffed into a little rooftop apartment or sprawled out on top of green felt at the pool hall (she likes it).

--


It’s a Sunday afternoon, warm and mellow late autumn, and she tilts her head back to let the sunlight slide across her face as she climbs the stairs up to Ji Hyuk’s room. She always knocks, because that’s what you do when you’re entering a teenage boy’s room (there are some things she doesn’t want to see), but the person who opens the door this time isn’t Ji Hyuk, it’s Hyun Soo.

She blinks, because she wasn’t expecting him. Probably she should have reached the point where she’s no longer surprised to see any of the Eye Candy boys open this door—they all treat this apartment like another home. But she’d only been thinking of spending the afternoon with Ji Hyuk, of taking a walk and enjoying the sunshine and maybe sitting on that bench down by the river that’s been theirs since the day he first played black knight and dragged her away from the thugs that were looking for her.

Hyun Soo just looks at her for a moment in that unreadable way of his, then jerks the door open to let her in. “You’re here?”

“If you want to spend time with Ji Hyuk, I can leave,” she says, even as she takes a step through the door. She knows that it’s been a while since the boys have seen each other; Hyun Soo is busy all the time with his practices and CFs and interviews.

“No. Stay.” Then, as if he just then remembers that he’s supposed to, he adds, “Are you well?” Somehow, when Hyun Soo talks to her, he manages to make banmal sound like jondaemal.

But she nods. “I saw your performance on TV last week. You were very good.” She and Ji Hyuk had watched it on his little TV and Ji Hyuk had pretended not to smile proudly at his friend.

“Thank you.” He jerks his shoulder awkwardly, but a smile seems to slip onto his face despite himself (Hyun Soo loves the idol life and he’s proud of what he’s accomplished, and he should be), and she smiles back. He stares at her for a moment, blankly, and then the smile is back, but this time it seems genuine, and she’s pretty sure it’s the first time he’s ever smiled at her. She can’t keep from beaming.

“What are you doing? Trying to steal my girlfriend right in front of your girlfriend and me? When we’re in the room? This one doesn’t have any shame.” It’s Ji Hyuk, leaning around the corner to see them in the little entry hall. He’s got that look on his face like he’s trying to be tough, but his eyes are smiling (he’s always had such kind eyes, and all his gruffness can’t hide that), and she thinks maybe his shoulders relax a little bit at seeing her and Hyun Soo be civil to each other. She remembers suddenly that he told her once that Hyun Soo is his oldest friend, that they were little boys together before they met Byung Hee and the others. She thinks that probably their relationship is the most complicated of any between the Eye Candy boys, but she also knows they love each other more than they’re comfortable admitting. Of course he’s glad to see his friend and his girlfriend get along.

“If he dumps me, I’ll date you, Ji Hyuk, all right? We can elope together.” It’s Ye Rim now. Her hair is black again, with those bangs cut across her forehead, and Su Ah wonders how much control she gets over her style—it seems to change all the time.

Hyun Soo scowls as Su Ah follows him into the room. He flops down—looking decidedly ungraceful for a boy who is always conscious of his image—on the bed beside Ye Rim. “Who said I wanted to date you anyway?” he grumbles. “You wouldn’t leave me alone.”

Ye Rim nudges his shoulder with her own. “Just because you were stubborn and wouldn’t ask me out yourself.” She looks up at Su Ah and shakes her head. “I had to do all the work with this one.”

Su Ah laughs, because she can guess how true that is.

Hyun Soo’s muttering under his breath now about how crazy Ye Rim drives him, but his girlfriend ignores him. “I think the boys want some alone time,” she says to Su Ah. “Can you call Woo Kyung? Unless Hyun Soo dumps me for you, we’ll see a lot of each other. We should be friends, don’t you think? Today, we should go shopping,” Ye Rim says. She doesn’t squeal it or aegyo like a lot of other girls would. She just suggests it with a smile.

Su Ah doesn’t quite know what to say. She has a little bit more money now—Appa’s doing fine in China—but not enough to shop at the places Ye Rim probably likes. And Woo Kyung probably has even less than she does. She’s suddenly glad that Woo Kyung isn’t here, because she knows how sharp the other girl can be when her pride is hurt, and it probably would be by this invitation, even if Ye Rim’s only trying to be friendly.

Su Ah doesn’t think her face has given what she’s thinking away, but Ye Rim must have sharp eyes, because she says, “Window shopping. And to get some ice cream.”

The boys exchange looks they try to pretend aren’t anxious, but Su Ah smiles and agrees.

--

An hour and a half later, Su Ah finds herself walking down the sidewalk with Ye Rim on one side and Woo Kyung on the other, eating ice cream and looking into shop windows at dresses she’d never be able to afford (not that she’s sad about that—she also wouldn’t ever have any place to wear them). Woo Kyung had seemed a bit flustered (and maybe a little bit suspicious—she is very protective of her group and it takes a while to get her to trust people) at first, but she’d agreed and showed up in an outfit that Su Ah personally thought was trying a little too hard, especially when Su Ah and Ye Rim were both in sweatshirts (but Su Ah would never mock Woo Kyung for that—you really are treated differently when you’re poor, she knows that from experience now, and the pride that Woo Kyung has developed is a reaction to that. Su Ah can respect it). Ye Rim’s got a hat on and glasses, too, and nobody’s recognized her yet, though Su Ah thinks it’s just a matter of time.

But for now, it’s okay like this, the three of them walking along, mostly in silence. Woo Kyung seems a little twitchy, but that’s because she isn’t as comfortable with silence as Su Ah and Ye Rim are. She’s one of those people who needs to talk about everything she’s feeling, and while Su Ah doesn’t really understand that, she doesn’t hate it in other people.

Ye Rim swallows a spoonful of ice cream and says, “Woo Kyung, you style hair, right? Do you want to style for idols? Maybe one day you’ll do my hair.”

Woo Kyung looks away from the emerald green dress she’d been staring at in the nearest window. “I was going to be Eye Candy’s stylist forever.” Her words come out kind of sharp and bitter, and Su Ah thinks, not for the first time, that Woo Kyung took the Eye Candy breakup harder than any of the boys did. Woo Kyung seems to realize a little too late how she sounded and flushes. “I liked to experiment with the boys,” she says and now her tone is much less harsh. “Girls’ fashion is so easy to be creative with. But with guys you really have to try.”

She’s trying, Su Ah realizes. That was her olive branch, to the girl who’s intimidatingly beautiful and famous. Woo Kyung has never seemed to know what to make of Ye Rim, eying her with the same suspicion she does any interloper into Eye Candy’s world, but compounded because of Ye Rim’s celebrity. Su Ah isn’t sure they’ve ever really talked.

“Will you ever cut Do Il’s hair?” Su Ah asks suddenly.

No!” Woo Kyung looks horrified. “He should never cut his hair short.”

Both of the other girls laugh. “The long hair looks good on him,” Ye Rim admits, and Su Ah nods in agreement. “Lots of boys would look silly.”

“Do Il is the most beautiful person alive,” Woo Kyung announces stoutly, then immediately flushes, like she hadn’t meant to say that out loud. But Su Ah and Ye Rim are both grinning, and when they catch each other’s’ eyes, it doesn’t feel awkward at all. They’re just three girls, talking about their boyfriends. They could be any girls in the world.

--

They end up on a park bench down by the river (not the one Su Ah shares only with Ji Hyuk, of course. That one belongs to them alone, and she isn’t ever going to want to share it with anyone), finishing the last of their ice cream and watching the sunlight on the water.

“So I sing, and Woo Kyung styles hair,” Ye Rim says, dragging the toes of her (brand name) tennis shoes along the ground like she’s on a swing. “What do you do, Su Ah?”

“I draw,” Su Ah says, and it feels good to say it. She doesn’t talk much about art, about how much she loves it, but she knows Ji Hyuk knows how hard it was for her when she had to drop out of the class because she didn’t have the money for supplies. Now she’s back in it again, and she’s falling in love with it all over again, with colors and textures and the same feeling she got when she was a little girl scribbling in coloring books: like she’s filling the black-line-boundary-boring world up with beautiful things. She’s in love with the challenge, too, with the battle to transfer the picture in her head onto the page; it’s never as good as she wants it to be, but each day she gets a little bit closer.

“I didn’t know that,” Woo Kyung says, sounding surprised and a little impressed. Su Ah smiles at her.

Ye Rim looks excited, too. “We’re all artists,” she says, grin widening. “Do you paint and things too or do you only draw?”

“I like to paint, too, but I don’t do it as much because the oils are so expensive. I’m going to take a graphic design class next year, too,” she adds on a whim. She hasn’t told anyone else about that except Ji Hyuk. She’s been thinking seriously about her future; she knows that even though he wants to be able to provide for her, she might not always be able to rely on Appa, and while she doesn’t ever want to do anything else but art, she knows it’s not always the most lucrative of jobs. She’s not going to stop drawing—and painting, too; she’s planning on getting a part-time job soon to pay for oils and brushes and canvases—she really couldn’t if she tried, and her plan is to study art more in college, but she needs a back-up plan, something to pay the bills while she establishes her reputation, and graphic design is something she thinks she’d be good at. When she told him all that, Ji Hyuk’s mouth had twitched in that way it does when he’s trying not to smile, and she’d known he’d thought her plan was a good one. Ji Hyuk thinks she can do anything, but he wants her to find what makes her happy. Maybe that’s what growing up is: figuring out what makes you happy and what you are and aren’t willing to do to get it and also how to compromise around the edges to make your life livable.

“That’s amazing,” Ye Rim says. “Maybe one day you can design the cover for one of my albums and all my posters and Woo Kyung-unnie can take care of my style and we can all work together.”

Woo Kyung looks a little shell-shocked at the suggestion, but after a moment she gives a wobbly sort of smile, like she’s finding her footing, and even if it’s not as wide as it is when she smiles at Do Il, it’s real. “I’d like that,” she says, and Ye Rim and Su Ah exchange grins. It doesn’t really matter if that ever happens. Like with Eye Candy dreaming of playing at Glastonbury, the thought of it is enough.

--

Ye Rim is really good at guiding conversation without seeming like she’s doing it at all. They end up eating kimbap at a little restaurant run by one of Woo Kyung’s aunts, and Ye Rim tells them all about how she decided she wanted to be a singer as a little girl and how she made it happen. Ye Rim doesn’t brag, but Su Ah can read between the lines enough to figure out how hard she’s worked and how much she’s sacrificed—anything like a normal life—to get to where she is. It might be a little overwhelming to hear, honestly, except that Ye Rim is so matter-of-fact about it and also manages to get Woo Kyung to talk about watching her mom cut hair when she was a little girl and how she first started working at the salon and how got her cosmetology license and how hard she’s working at learning English (and along the way, how much it hurt her when her dad left and how scared her mom was for a while that she’d lose the salon). And Su Ah ends up talking more herself than she ever would have expected; she wouldn’t have ever been able to imagine talking to an idol and Woo Kyung about what it’s like going from a comfortable life to having nothing and having everyone in your world turn their back on you. But Ye Rim doesn’t make her feel inferior for her fall from grace at all, and Woo Kyung seems to know what it’s like not to have heat in the winter, and it occurs to Su Ah that all of them have been through really hard things in their lives, and just because Su Ah started out higher than Woo Kyung and Ye Rim’s struggles have been in a world of glitz and money, that doesn’t mean they can’t understand each other.

By the time they head back to Ji Hyuk’s apartment, things have eased between them. They haven’t become best friends or anything, but Su Ah feels like she understands both of the other girls better and that maybe they have more in common than just the fact that the boys they love are best friends. Like Ye Rim says, they’ll be seeing a lot of each other. Su Ah thinks she might just enjoy it.

Three sets of eyes—Do Il has joined the other two guys—look up anxiously at them as they walk through the door, laughing at one of Woo Kyung’s stories about her most demanding customer, and Su Ah giggles at how their shoulders all slump in relief when they see the girls together.

Woo Kyung must notice, too, because she stomps over and smacks Ji Hyuk on the head. Su Ah thinks that might once have bothered her, knowing how long Woo Kyung had a crush on him, but she’s seen the way the older girl looks at Do Il now; Woo Kyung is just like Ji Hyuk’s older sister now, and he can use all the family he can get. “Did you think we were going to kill each other? Yah, girls can be friends, too!”

“It wouldn’t be the first fight we’ve had to drag you out of,” Hyun Soo says sarcastically, and Woo Kyung glares at him and looks like she’s going to hit him too, but Ye Rim reaches him first and kicks him on the knee. He wails and clutches his leg dramatically, and Ye Rim ignores him, settling down beside him.

“If you need someone to fight with you, unnie, don’t bother with these punks,” Ye Rim says, shaking her ponytail out and tying it back again. “My fake nails are hard as steel—I’ll scratch their eyes out. And Su Ah looks like a hair-puller.”

Su Ah laughs, sitting beside Ji Hyuk and resting her nose against his shoulder, breathing in his scent that clings to the warm fabric of his t-shirt. “I used to take Tae Kwon Do.”

“What?” Everyone turns to stare at her with wide eyes, except for Do Il, who smiles quietly, but it’s Ji Hyuk who looks most shocked. “You never told me that.”

She shrugs, grinning at their surprised faces. “It was just a class for little kids. I stopped in middle school.”

She’s still mentally grinning at the thought of her and Ye Rim and Woo Kyung in a fight when the door opens and Kyung Jong and Ha Jin tumble in arm-in-arm—which looks particularly funny because of the height difference.

“Oh, the ladies all are here! Hello, ladies!” Kyung Jong says with a smile and a bow.

“Hello, ladies,” Ha Jin echoes, his smile significantly more flirtatious. “But none of you are single,” he adds woefully. “Next time bring some friends with you who aren’t dating anyone, okay?”

“Like that would do any good,” Hyun Soo scoffs. “For someone who always seems to be chatting someone up, you can’t seem to find a girl of your own.”

“Why would he need one when he and Kyung Jong are already married?” Ye Rim says with a mischievous little grin, leaving Hyun Soo looking gobsmacked and everyone else laughing. Ji Hyuk slips his fingers into Su Ah’s and she squeezes them tight, leaning against him and feeling so, so glad that she didn’t go with Appa to China when he asked her to.

--

This is her world now: school and drawing and Rock Kim’s club and the Eye Candy boys and their girlfriends stuffed into a little rooftop apartment or sprawled out on top of green felt at the pool hall (she likes it).



lirazel: ([kd] confirmation)
Title: jealous is a four letter word
Fandom: Reply 1997
Characters/Pairings: Shi Won/Yoon Jae/Joon Hee
Rating: PG-13
A/N: I'm not even going to pretend like this is good, but I wanted to write something for my friends who have just seen the show and this is what happened. Hopefully I'll write more for this fandom and it will be better. *kisses to you-know-who-you-are*
Summary: "You can’t just decide to share a person, Shi Won. He’s not a pot of ramyun.” Shi Won has the greatest idea ever.

story here )
lirazel: ([sufbb] rooftop couple)
Two dramas to rec to you, both of them ensemble shows with amazing young casts!

School 2013

So I did love this drama. It’s not perfect and I have some complaints about it (see below), but it’s one of the best depictions of community and how it actually works that I’ve seen onscreen. It’s honest about our responsibilities to each other and how they are and aren’t affected by our feelings for each other. It’s honest about the limits of those responsibilities and how no matter how hard you may try to help someone, people are ultimately responsible for their own decisions and you can’t place their burdens entirely on your own shoulders. And it’s honest about how sometimes we reach out and help each other and it’s so beautiful because it makes the world better—but sometimes we do the same thing and it doesn’t change anything because the world is still harsh and unforgiving—but the reaching out is still beautiful. It’s always beautiful. Hope isn’t futile and while we can’t always save each other, we can make a difference in each others’ lives.

It’s also really honest about how messed up education systems are (Korea’s is messed up in different ways than, say, the US’s, but they’re both messed up) and how teachers are in a bind and how students all have different motives for how they behave in the classroom. And there’s room in the world for hardasses who lay down the law in an attempt to protect the community and also for people who are endlessly encouraging and patient and generous and forgiving.

So I think it’s a really solid show. It’s certainly nothing lovely to look at cinematography-wise, but honestly maybe that feels more realistic? My one major complaint is that I think in the second half it got too bogged down in the boys’ stories and didn’t pay enough attention to the ladies. I LOVE the Nam Soon/Heung Soo friendship/enmity plotline so much and I also really like the Jung Ho storyline, especially how they handled the ending. But the ladies were SO EXCELLENT and I just feel like their storylines got sidelined so the boys could have more screentime and it hurts my heart. I especially wanted more Ha Kyung/Kang Joo ladytime bonding and to see In Jae interact more with the young women she could have mentored. That didn’t really happen, and I’m disappointed by that. The female characters were FANTASTIC, they just didn’t get enough attention. The lack of romance was okay, though. Though I totally think Se Chan and In Jae are going to get married and be adorable and have lovely babies at some point.

A word on the ending: I thought it was a realistic but hopeful ending. Jung Ho still has problems, problems that can’t be solved easily (the “what about next month? And next year?” speech he gave Se Chan was PERFECT), and for all the teachers’ laboring to help him, they couldn’t get him on the road most kids are on. But that’s okay, because not everybody has to go down that road, and school might not be the place for him. More importantly, they showed him enough kindness and compassion and that he mattered enough that I do believe him when he says he’s going to try to live his life—whatever life that is—as a decent person. I think he can do it. I may have wanted him and his bffs to move in with Nam Soon and Heung Soo because I kind of want a Go Nam Soon Home for Wayward Boys now, but ah well. They’ll still be bros.

This drama didn’t end with a big fluffy group hug—there are still people in the classroom who don’t like each other, people who are still selfish and weren’t particularly changed by what In Jae (and Se Chan) tried to do for them. But they weren’t untouched by what they experienced—it’s still going to be a part of them, just maybe not in the way they expected.

In Jae and Se Chan are going to be back, together, helping another classroom full of kids to figure things out. And it’s going to take a while to do that figuring, because as Nam Soon and Heung Soo learned, you can’t just fix all your problems immediately. You need time to think really hard on where you’re headed and what you’re going to do. This show gave us closure, but it didn’t solve all the problems the kids’ have and it definitely didn’t tell us for sure where they’re headed. We just know that now that they had that year with their teachers, they’re on a steadier path than they were before. And that’s beautiful. THE LACK OF EPILOGUE WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS ENDING LBR.

And In Jae still waiting for him at the end? I don’t think he’s going to walk in at the last minute. That’s not going to happen. But the waiting is beautiful, because it shows her heart. The waiting is important itself and it isn’t a waste. And Se Chan understands that now. And that’s amazing.



Summary: Seungri High School ranks as one of the worst of the 178 high schools in Seoul based on academic scores. Seungri High School is now busy preparing presentations for its new students. Class 2 is at the bottom of grade 2 at Seungri High. Nam-Soon is elected class president for grade 2, thanks to the support of Jung-Ho, who is a member of the school gang.
Se-Chan is the top Korean language teacher at a famous institute in Gangnam. In order to improve the student's scores at Seungri High School, the school hires Se-Chan.
- asianwiki
Starring: Lee Jong Suk, Jung Na Ra, Choi Daniel, Park Se Young, Hyo Young, Kim Woo Bin, Kwak Jung Wook
Watch it if you like: stories about high school, stories about community, examinations of idealism versus cynicism, enemies learning to appreciate each other, honest but sympathetic characterizations of teenagers, explorations of different ways of approaching education, honest depictions of friendships where people hurt each other but forgive and become even better friends later, realism, stories about the ways we help and hurt each other just by being in proximity to each other, lots of twists and turns in the plot that never really go into the realm of melodrama, hopeful but not tidy endings.
Why you might not like it: If you really want a female-driven show, this isn’t the one for you. What ladies there are are EXCELLENT, but they don’t get nearly as much of a focus as the guys. Also if you have no desire to revisit the hell that can be high school, might want to steer clear of this one. It’s full of hope, though, so that may help to know.


White Christmas

Those of you who follow me on tumblr might know that I did a marathon watch of White Christmas over the holidays and fell all over myself with love for it. It’s shot to VERY close to the top of my favorite-dramas list; the top five or so are really impossible to rate in order because I love them all so much. But at any rate, it’s completely excellent and unique and I very much recommend it.

Let’s start with the synposis, because it does a better job of explaining than I would:

Susin High School, nicknamed "Prison High," is an elite school attended by the top 1% of students in the country. Their stellar marks are the result of constant pressure and a strict punishment system, to the point where students avoid from any activities outside of studying. It is in this atmosphere that seven students and a teacher remain at school for the winter break, joined by Kim Yo Han, a psychiatrist who was forced to take shelter with them after he was involved in a car accident nearby. At a time when everyone else is celebrating Christmas Eve, the students realize that the anonymous letters they each received were not the result of a harmless prank; there was a murderer in their midst. A question lies unspoken: Are monsters created, or are humans born monsters?

This is a drama full of plot twists and surprise reveals and characterization porn. It’s basically about what happens when you lock nine people up in this giant school building that’s half labyrinth, half jail of glass and then put them in danger. Someone’s writing threatening letters. Someone is a killer. No one knows who, and since they’re trapped, they only have themselves to rely on. Who’s going to trust who? Who’s going to turn on who? Who’s going to snap under the pressure and strike out at anyone?

There’s a touch of Lord of the Flies in this—there are moments when you feel like any sense of humanity’s going to break down and it’s going to turn into a bloody free-for-all (and there is blood spilt in this one). You’re not sure as a viewer who to trust or even who to like, half the time. There’s questions of guilt and responsibility, the nature of humanity, trust and retribution, misunderstandings and lack of communication weaving through the whole thing. Everyone has layers, everyone has secrets, everyone has scars. And everyone will surprise you at some point. That’s what people do.

This drama’s got a really great cast of young actors, almost all of whom are models, but they’re all competent (and most of them are incredibly striking, too. Plus, you’ll recognize a lot of them from lots of other shows—quite a few of them have gone on to have really fantastic careers. Yay this cast!). The setting, in this labyrinth-like school of glass and staircases all by itself in the mountains, is perfect for the plot. The writing doesn’t lag and the focus is always on the characters and their interactions. It’s basically a thriller meets character porn. You won’t like everyone, but by the end you’ll feel like you know them. And what’s mindblowing about the way this drama is made is that so much attention goes into every single detail. Almost every single thing onscreen is important. There’s SO MUCH richness and texture—so many motifs and symbolism. I’m sure I could watch this a dozen times and not pick up on everything. You really get the feeling that the creators were absolutely committed to every detail. How often do you feel like that with a show?

That said, I do have some quibbles with the final episode. Up until then, I think it’s perfectly written, but the last episode isn’t quite so perfect. It’s still a satisfying ending and certainly not enough to ruin the whole ride—this is still going to be one of my all-time favorite dramas. But there are a few things to touch on.

First of all, are we really expected to believe this killer’s been running around the hospital the whole time they’ve been back? SERIOUSLY? I can’t handle that. There are quite a few plot holes related to that whole thing that are just DUMB. I LOVE the kids killing him on the roof—that was perfect and the only way it could have ended. But how they ended up on that roof? Was pretty stupid imo. Like I said, it doesn’t ruin the show for me, but I’m not pleased by it.

I also wish we could have seen the other kids’ parents. I feel like a few of the character examinations were just dropped at the end and I don’t like that. There was more to learn about some of them, and I missed out on that.

I do think Angel killing himself was the right decision writing-wise, though I still don’t understand 100% what was going on with him and the lady and his mom and the other little boy. Confusing stuff. And it hurt so much that he died, but it worked as far as the story goes.


Summary: Susin High School, nicknamed "Prison High," is an elite school attended by the top 1% of students in the country. Their stellar marks are the result of constant pressure and a strict punishment system, to the point where students avoid from any activities outside of studying. It is in this atmosphere that seven students and a teacher remain at school for the winter break, joined by Kim Yo Han, a psychiatrist who was forced to take shelter with them after he was involved in a car accident nearby. At a time when everyone else is celebrating Christmas Eve, the students realize that the anonymous letters they each received were not the result of a harmless prank; there was a murderer in their midst. A question lies unspoken: Are monsters created, or are humans born monsters? - asianwiki
Starring: Kim Sang Kyung, Baek Sung Hyun, Kim Young Kwang, Lee Soo Hyuk, Kwak Jung Wook, Hong Jong Hyun, Esom, Kim Hyun Joong/Kim Woo Bin, Sung Joon, Jung Suk Won, Lee El
Watch it if you like: psychological thrillers, suspense, complicated plots, characterization porn, small groups of people who don’t know/like each other forced to interact and get to know each other, symbolism, plot twists, Sung Joon’s everything, examinations of the nature of humanity and of evil, tight writing, perfect soundtrack choices, Kim Woo Bin’s beautiful devil face, attention to detail in every shot.
Why you might not like it: If you don’t like stories that go dark, this is not the story for you. And there aren’t enough ladies, which is one of the few weak points of the show. But the few ladies are fascinating, so.
lirazel: ([sufbb] over your shoulder)


THIS IS THE BEST OF ALL IDEAS. Basically it's to get us to share the things we love with each other: you make a wish-list of things you wish more people would watch/listen to/read/write, and then you go through other people's lists and say, "I can totally watch ____!" or "I will definitely read ____!" and make each others' dreams come true! Could anything be more delightful? Y'all should all head over there and join! And then come back here and read about why you should give these things I love a chance.

MY LIST! )
lirazel: ([kd] confirmation)
tumblr_m9r9ioSTf81ret6c7o1_500 crop 2

People!  Friends of mine!  I want to tell you about this girl because she needs to be part of your life.  This is Jung Eunji of kpop girl group APink portraying Sung Si Won from Reply 1997, and she is the first realistic depiction of a fangirl I've ever seen on TV.  Because she's an actual fangirl: she writes slashfic about her band of choice, she waits in line for hours for tickets and CDs, she knows ridiculous details about her bias that only a real fangirl would know, she has clashes with her dad who wants her to focus more on her studies and less on some stupid band, she guilts her bff into taping their TV appearances when she can't watch them (on VHS of course!  This is 1997, after all).  And sometimes she takes things too far--no, Si Won, you cannot climb over the wall to Tony-oppa's house! that is not okay!--and is kind of ridiculous, and sometimes the show laughs at her, but never, ever in a mean-hearted or mocking way, because this show loves Si Won and her passion and her wholehearted approach to life.  It even allows her to have the most amazing Crowning Moment of Fangirl I could imagine (involving a college application--you'd have to see it to believe it) and it doesn't make her "grow out" of her fangirl ways: she carries them with her right into adulthood, even if she does learn to be a bit more prudent in how she lives them.


And she is why you should watch this show.  There are lots of other reasons to watch it, of course: the fact that it has such a great affection for its families, both biological and found; that it understands friendships and gives us great ones that are complicated but beautiful; that it has the most moving, compassionate, and progressive portrayal of a gay character that Korean TV has ever given us; that it has the most amazing OTP (and an absolutely adorable B couple, too!); that it portrays perfectly what it feels like to be a teenager--when your world is both small and cozy like your hometown and so much bigger than you can wrap your mind around--and to take steps into adulthood and make the choices that will shape your life.  Those are all fantastic reasons. 


But Si Won is the real reason, her and the other fangirls in this show.  In a way, I think you could say this series is a love letter to fangirls.  WATCH IT. Because sometimes you just want to see someone else who's overcome by fangirl feels:



behind the cut: more reasons this show is awesome! )

lirazel: ([kd] confirmation)
tumblr_m9r9ioSTf81ret6c7o1_500 crop 2

People!  Friends of mine!  I want to tell you about this girl because she needs to be part of your life.  This is Jung Eunji of kpop girl group APink portraying Sung Si Won from Reply 1997, and she is the first realistic depiction of a fangirl I've ever seen on TV.  Because she's an actual fangirl: she writes slashfic about her band of choice, she waits in line for hours for tickets and CDs, she knows ridiculous details about her bias that only a real fangirl would know, she has clashes with her dad who wants her to focus more on her studies and less on some stupid band, she guilts her bff into taping their TV appearances when she can't watch them (on VHS of course!  This is 1997, after all).  And sometimes she takes things too far--no, Si Won, you cannot climb over the wall to Tony-oppa's house! that is not okay!--and is kind of ridiculous, and sometimes the show laughs at her, but never, ever in a mean-hearted or mocking way, because this show loves Si Won and her passion and her wholehearted approach to life.  It even allows her to have the most amazing Crowning Moment of Fangirl I could imagine (involving a college application--you'd have to see it to believe it) and it doesn't make her "grow out" of her fangirl ways: she carries them with her right into adulthood, even if she does learn to be a bit more prudent in how she lives them.


And she is why you should watch this show.  There are lots of other reasons to watch it, of course: the fact that it has such a great affection for its families, both biological and found; that it understands friendships and gives us great ones that are complicated but beautiful; that it has the most moving, compassionate, and progressive portrayal of a gay character that Korean TV has ever given us; that it has the most amazing OTP (and an absolutely adorable B couple, too!); that it portrays perfectly what it feels like to be a teenager--when your world is both small and cozy like your hometown and so much bigger than you can wrap your mind around--and to take steps into adulthood and make the choices that will shape your life.  Those are all fantastic reasons. 


But Si Won is the real reason, her and the other fangirls in this show.  In a way, I think you could say this series is a love letter to fangirls.  WATCH IT. Because sometimes you just want to see someone else who's overcome by fangirl feels:



behind the cut: more reasons this show is awesome! )

lirazel: ([ib] a message for germany)
Hellooooo, children. I think I’m back? I feel pretty okay; I think I needed a hiatus, it’d been a while since I’d taken one. So I’ve mostly been watching reality shows about kpop idols and reblogging pictures of pretty people on tumblr, but now I’m writing ALL the things and I feel up to wading through my flist again. I’m not going to try to go back and catch all the things I missed, so I’ll repeat: if you have anything you’d like me to check out, let me know.


+ It’s been well over 100 degrees this week (and will likely continue to be), but it hasn’t been too awful because the humidity has been reasonable, which is not something I ever thought I would say about Middle Tennessee. It’s drydrydry here right now and all the grass is dead so it isn’t as pretty of a green as it usually is here this time of year, so I’m praying for rain because we need it. But I have to admit that the lack of humidity is nice.


+ In book-related news, I am finally reading Bitterblue and it’s fantastic. I think it’s Cashore’s best book yet, though I’m only halfway through. Little Queen Bitterblue! So lovely!


+ Also re: books, I learned the other day that Eloise Jarvis McGraw, writer of one of my all-time favorite YA novels Mara: Daughter of the Nile (perhaps the book I’ve most often re-read in my life? I’ve memorized sections of it and my copy is falling apart) wrote an adult novel about Hatshepsut. Obviously as soon as I heard this I hied myself to the internet and looked for a copy. But this isn’t just out of print, it’s out of print. The only copy on Abebooks was $350. I found a copy on Amazon that was substantially less but still way, way more than I’d usually pay for a book but I splurged anyway because A) I live very frugally and I feel it’s okay for me to do something like that once in a while, B) I have always been obsessed with ancient Egypt and this is totally Relevant to My Interests, and C) did I mention she wrote one of my favorite books? I will definitely let y’all know if it’s good. I can’t wait for it to arrive! *happy dance*


+ Here’s something you never thought you’d hear me say: I’m writing smutty slashfic. Who even am I anymore? I don’t know, but just writing it makes me blush. I’ve gotten to the point over my years (and years) of fandom that I can read porn straight-faced (though you know me: I mostly skim to get to the actual emotions because who cares about the physical stuff?) but writing it myself is a whole different story. Obviously since this is me we're talking about, the physical smut is just an excuse for emotional porn, by which I mean everyone has too many feelings and they're all incapable of expressing any of them but the ugliest ones.


+ I only have like 10,000 more words to write in my novel. But I keep getting distracted by my shiny new fandoms and running off to write fanfic. I need to buckle down and finish because finishing was the whole point of this thing. I don’t think I’m going to clean this one up for publication; I’m going to set it to the side for a while. But finishing it was the goal, and I need to make it happen.


+ Is it okay for me to admit that I have now seen Brave and that I found it disappointing? cut for length but no real spoilers )


+ Something that I watched that wasn’t at all disappointing was Appropriate Adult, a BBC two-part series about a woman who was the appropriate adult (via wikipedia: “a parent or guardian or social worker who must be present if a young person or vulnerable adult is to be searched or questioned in police custody”) to Fred West, the serial killer who with his wife killed at least 13 women in Gloucester during the 70s/80s. It starred Emily Watson, always extremely good, who was very convincing as a quiet sort of housewife-type and Dominic West from The Hour. I liked the contrast between his character on the hour—charming, rich, educated—and his portrayal of West—working class, manipulative, rough-edged and a psychopath. He was excellent, and I hear he won a BAFTA for it, which was well-deserved.

I can’t say that I exactly recommend it, because it was rough. Not physically graphic at all, because it’s all about the aftermath of his arrest, but the things you learn about what the Wests did will obviously never leave your brain after you hear them. Their actions are the kind that we like to convince ourselves are inhuman, and I can’t emphasize that enough. That said, it was an extremely well-done production, I was very impressed. If you think you can handle it, you might want to check it out.


+ I also saw Snow White and the Huntsman a while back, and I liked it. Visually it was absolutely stunning and exactly the type of thing I love. The characters were a bit underdeveloped, but it was trying to be a fairy tale, and that comes with the territory. There was some weak dialogue, some cheesy moments, and some other weaknesses, but all in all I thought it was a good summer popcorn movie with a nice twist of being A) AMAZING TO LOOK AT and B) about ladies.


+ I have watched 2 and a half episodes of Teen Wolf. I am trying to get into this thing because everyone loves it, but I need a goal: tell me when it’s going to become an obsession, please. You know I'll hold out as long as I know how long I need to.


+ The only kdrama I’m all caught up with at the moment is I Do I Do, which is kind of ridiculous. But it’s very light and adorable and has a noona romance that works for me with a badass hbic leading lady and the world’s sweetest guy as her romantic interest. I am going to catch up on Gaksital soon and also get back into Big, which I hear has gotten really awesome.


+ I am a giant sap (things you already knew if you have been here long), so have a video that actually made me tear up:

lirazel: ([ib] a message for germany)
Hellooooo, children. I think I’m back? I feel pretty okay; I think I needed a hiatus, it’d been a while since I’d taken one. So I’ve mostly been watching reality shows about kpop idols and reblogging pictures of pretty people on tumblr, but now I’m writing ALL the things and I feel up to wading through my flist again. I’m not going to try to go back and catch all the things I missed, so I’ll repeat: if you have anything you’d like me to check out, let me know.


+ It’s been well over 100 degrees this week (and will likely continue to be), but it hasn’t been too awful because the humidity has been reasonable, which is not something I ever thought I would say about Middle Tennessee. It’s drydrydry here right now and all the grass is dead so it isn’t as pretty of a green as it usually is here this time of year, so I’m praying for rain because we need it. But I have to admit that the lack of humidity is nice.


+ In book-related news, I am finally reading Bitterblue and it’s fantastic. I think it’s Cashore’s best book yet, though I’m only halfway through. Little Queen Bitterblue! So lovely!


+ Also re: books, I learned the other day that Eloise Jarvis McGraw, writer of one of my all-time favorite YA novels Mara: Daughter of the Nile (perhaps the book I’ve most often re-read in my life? I’ve memorized sections of it and my copy is falling apart) wrote an adult novel about Hatshepsut. Obviously as soon as I heard this I hied myself to the internet and looked for a copy. But this isn’t just out of print, it’s out of print. The only copy on Abebooks was $350. I found a copy on Amazon that was substantially less but still way, way more than I’d usually pay for a book but I splurged anyway because A) I live very frugally and I feel it’s okay for me to do something like that once in a while, B) I have always been obsessed with ancient Egypt and this is totally Relevant to My Interests, and C) did I mention she wrote one of my favorite books? I will definitely let y’all know if it’s good. I can’t wait for it to arrive! *happy dance*


+ Here’s something you never thought you’d hear me say: I’m writing smutty slashfic. Who even am I anymore? I don’t know, but just writing it makes me blush. I’ve gotten to the point over my years (and years) of fandom that I can read porn straight-faced (though you know me: I mostly skim to get to the actual emotions because who cares about the physical stuff?) but writing it myself is a whole different story. Obviously since this is me we're talking about, the physical smut is just an excuse for emotional porn, by which I mean everyone has too many feelings and they're all incapable of expressing any of them but the ugliest ones.


+ I only have like 10,000 more words to write in my novel. But I keep getting distracted by my shiny new fandoms and running off to write fanfic. I need to buckle down and finish because finishing was the whole point of this thing. I don’t think I’m going to clean this one up for publication; I’m going to set it to the side for a while. But finishing it was the goal, and I need to make it happen.


+ Is it okay for me to admit that I have now seen Brave and that I found it disappointing? cut for length but no real spoilers )


+ Something that I watched that wasn’t at all disappointing was Appropriate Adult, a BBC two-part series about a woman who was the appropriate adult (via wikipedia: “a parent or guardian or social worker who must be present if a young person or vulnerable adult is to be searched or questioned in police custody”) to Fred West, the serial killer who with his wife killed at least 13 women in Gloucester during the 70s/80s. It starred Emily Watson, always extremely good, who was very convincing as a quiet sort of housewife-type and Dominic West from The Hour. I liked the contrast between his character on the hour—charming, rich, educated—and his portrayal of West—working class, manipulative, rough-edged and a psychopath. He was excellent, and I hear he won a BAFTA for it, which was well-deserved.

I can’t say that I exactly recommend it, because it was rough. Not physically graphic at all, because it’s all about the aftermath of his arrest, but the things you learn about what the Wests did will obviously never leave your brain after you hear them. Their actions are the kind that we like to convince ourselves are inhuman, and I can’t emphasize that enough. That said, it was an extremely well-done production, I was very impressed. If you think you can handle it, you might want to check it out.


+ I also saw Snow White and the Huntsman a while back, and I liked it. Visually it was absolutely stunning and exactly the type of thing I love. The characters were a bit underdeveloped, but it was trying to be a fairy tale, and that comes with the territory. There was some weak dialogue, some cheesy moments, and some other weaknesses, but all in all I thought it was a good summer popcorn movie with a nice twist of being A) AMAZING TO LOOK AT and B) about ladies.


+ I have watched 2 and a half episodes of Teen Wolf. I am trying to get into this thing because everyone loves it, but I need a goal: tell me when it’s going to become an obsession, please. You know I'll hold out as long as I know how long I need to.


+ The only kdrama I’m all caught up with at the moment is I Do I Do, which is kind of ridiculous. But it’s very light and adorable and has a noona romance that works for me with a badass hbic leading lady and the world’s sweetest guy as her romantic interest. I am going to catch up on Gaksital soon and also get back into Big, which I hear has gotten really awesome.


+ I am a giant sap (things you already knew if you have been here long), so have a video that actually made me tear up:

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