Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Kdrama Review: The Best Hit

Drama: The Best Hit
Genre: Fantasy/Rom Com
Starring: Yoon Si Yoon, Kim Min Jae, Lee Se Young, Cha Eun Woo
Rating:  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

This is the drama that I had started before the trip, but couldn't finish up until after I got home because... DramaFever. Anyway...

I watched this one because of Yoon Si Yoon, who is an irresistable cute actor. I find him just that... cute. Not the kill me kind of gorgeousness, or the jaw dropping acting, but just plain cute. Also, the premise sounded especially funny.

And that is, we have a guy who is a kpop star in the 90s. One night, there's a strange storm phenomenon and he falls and when he wakes up he's in 2017. And so he proceeds to find out what's happening with the people he loves from the 90s. And it's not at all what he expects.

It's funny in the since that he has to learn how to deal with new technology and advances after 20 plus years. (It's weird how much has changed, and we take it for granted until we watch something like this and then it's like.. wow.) And he learns about stuff that happened AFTER the time period he comes from. (Don't think about it too hard. Time travel stories are very mind boggling as we know and usually don't make much sense. This one dealt with that VERY loosely.) And it messes with his brain and he doesn't know what to do next.
Yoon Si Yoon after he gets used to 2017

While I watched this one for Si Yoon, I stayed because of Min Jae. What freaking doll. He was the young king in Goblin and didn't make a huge impression on me there (I know some fell in love with him just from that) but he killed me in this one. Sadly, he was the second male lead, and we all know what that means. Now I need a drama were he is the first. PLEASE!

The irresistible Kim Min Jae

The story is complicated in the romantic storyline and is all over the place. Which can be both fun and frustrating. But the heart of the drama comes with the way everyone's lives have turned out and what our star dude thinks of that. And should he go back and change things? Or make sure things stay the same? Dilemma.

Oh, also I loved the fact that another kpop star in real life (Eun Woo from Astro) was in this playing an obnoxious stuck up kpop star. The fact that I started this drama right after I actually saw him IN REAL LIFE made this especially fun! And to know that he is totally the opposite of the dude he was playing. Anyway, there were TONS of kpop references and cameos (Monsta X! WJSN!) that were a blast. And now I know Eunwoo's face way better than I did before and so when Astro comes around, I have them all figured out now! Love that.
EunWoo from Astro
All the Astro boys. :)

So I was worried to death about the ending of this one and my fears were founded, though by the time it came, I was okay with it. Mostly. Sigh. Most of the time these dramas have perfect endings, you know, but sometimes they surprise you. Just saying.

Here's a little trailer:


 And the song:


 And a scene with Eun Woo just for fun:


And for more fun... here's Astro live at Kcon... not my video footage since for some reason it's not letting me upload it (and we haven't yet put these guys on our channel) but this was taken from nearly the same spot we were and in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if my head shows up in the bottom right corner now and then. Anyway, can you pick out Eun  Woo after seeing him in the above clip? He's the one wearing the black jacket, with the white shirt, with DARK hair. :) I was more about Moonbin during kcocn (the one with the maroon-ish jacket) but watch them both at about 2:58. Aren't they the cutest? :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Trip Part 2: Vienna

After our Prague adventures were over, we moved on to Vienna. That morning we met our driver at our apartment and he (his name was Milo) drove us the four hours to Vienna (we used a new site we found called On Day Trip and loved it.) On the way, he took us to a couple of different places to see. 

The first one was the bone church. I forget the real name, but they always need to make more space to bury people so they dig up bones and use them to decorate this church. (Paris has done the same thing and made the famous catacombs.)  It's both creepy and cool at the same time. Nearby, we also went to another cathedral that was up on the hill and had a cool view and was really beautiful.

Then we stopped to see the palace. We took a tour (it was all in Czech, but we had an English paper to read, lol) and then ate lunch there. 

Milo was a fascinating dude and talked our ear off the whole trip. He dropped us off right at the door of our next airbnb apartment in Vienna and made sure we connected with our next host, then he went on home to Bratislava in Slovakia, only 45 minutes away. I wish I would have managed to take a picture of him....ah well.

The apartment we had in Vienna was amazing. The first thing we did was go grocery shopping. When doing airbnb's it's vital to have at least some breakfast stuffs on hand. So we always buy things like bread, jam, yogurt, cereal, milk, juice, maybe a pastry type thing, bananas and etc. Sometimes we get cookies and cheese and lunch meat things too. Anyway, it was good to be now in a German speaking country. Strange that German suddenly seemed familiar after Czech!

The next day we walked to the main center of Vienna, taking pictures all along the way. We ended up visiting Mozart's house (that dude lived in a lot of places, but I guess this where he stayed for the longest time during his Vienna moments) and we ate lunch on the busy tourist-y square. We came back to the apartment and rested up in order to be ready for our big evening out! The Vienna Boys Choir! Strangely, they have switched locations I guess and are now performing in a new place so our taxi driver had a struggle finding it, but we arrived and joined the tourist-y crowd for a fun and awesome performance by these amazing boys. Boys of all shapes and sizes, all races, all beautiful. It was a much less formal event than I expected, and felt a bit like going to a school performance, only with these boys who can sing like no regular school kid! It was fun. 

Afterwards we had schnitzel for dinner at a place recommended to us by the girl at the theater (it was very good!) and got an Uber dude to drive us home. 

The next day we braved the subway to get out Vienna's famous palace. It's where the Hapsburg family lived, if you are into history, and is much like Versailles in France. We spent most of the day there going on a tour of the place and then walking around the gardens. So beautiful. I can't remember what else we did that day except eat Italian at the restaurant just below our apartment. One thing is certain, I didn't get to see as much of Vienna as I would have liked, which only means, we have to go back!


A bone chandelier!

A church in the Czech Republic somewhere
on the way to Vienna!

Inside the church.

The view from the church.

Palace in the Czech Republic

The door to our Vienna apartment

The kitchen inside our apartment

Main square in Vienna. This is a monument to the plague.

I loved this picture that meshes old with new.

Random shot as we walked through Vienna.

Mozart's apartment.

The famous public WC there at the main square in Vienna.
Beware the grouchy attendant!
(They had a dude running the women's, which was
especially off putting. He leads you to your cubby and locks you in, all with a gruff demeanor!)

The Vienna Boy's Choir theater

Pork Schnitzel

The Palace in Vienna: Schloss Schonbrunn
The front.

A selfie showing the garden and the back of the palace.

View through the fountain.

Me in the maze.

The fountain

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Trip Part 1: Prague

The first place we explored on our trip was Prague. Everyone raved about this place when they heard we were going. And it lived up to it. Very beautiful city. Though, I found it to be very much like all the other European cities I've been to. Not any more "eastern-y" or something.

We stayed at an Airbnb hosted by some lovely people who sat us down as soon as we arrived and told us everything to do and how to get everywhere. The apartment was big with three bedrooms and two bathrooms and even an attic loft with beds should we have happened to have kids with us! That night we walked to a restaurant and had our first Czech food and it was awesome.

The first day we had a private tour guide pick us up at our apartment. She drove us around to several different places and told us all sorts of things. We got a sneak peek at the famous castle compound, walked across the famous Charles Bridge, and ended up at Old Town Square where we saw the astrological clock do its thing.

Later that afternoon we took a boat ride on the river and then went home early to deal with jet lag!

The second day we meet another tour guide at the castle where we spent four hours going in and out of all the buildings there, the cathedral, the quaint little village street, the old medieval ballroom, and etc. We found a lovely place to eat that afternoon and wandered around a funky garden before we headed back to rest.

Later on that evening we walked down Wenceslas Square and learned about how communism rule ended with a famous demonstration there.

Our third day we went back to Old Town Square and walked around on our own, reading from Rick Steves book. We took a horse and buggy ride and finally got a chimney ice cream treat. We ended up in the Jewish Quarter were we saw the oldest synagogue in Europe (I think) and some kosher pizza.

Here's a few pictures to illustrate:

It's meat and potatoes and bacon and cheese.

The street our apartment was on.

The view from our apartment to the hotel across from us.

A view of the city.

Snazzy palace guard!

Hearing stories from our tour guide while on Charles Bridge.

Charles Bridge

The famous view of Prague

The astronomical clock

The view of the bridge from the water.

St. Vitus Cathedral

The little village street in the palace/castle compound

The funky garden with strange rock formations.

The typical look of buildings on Wenceslas Square.

Hiring a horse and buggy at Old Town Square

View of the city from our buggy ride.

Old city tower

The oldest Jewish synagogue

Inside the synagogue.
It was a lovely start to the trip! Up next, Vienna!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Kdrama Review: The Bride of the Water God (Habaek)

Drama: The Bride of the Water God (Habaek)
Genre: Fantasy
Starring: Nam Joo Hyuk, Shin Se Kyung
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

When we took off on the trip, I was half way through a different drama, The Best Hit. However, that one was only available on Drama Fever, which for some reason doesn't work traveling abroad. Weird. So I had to pick something else to watch that I could find on the other drama app, Viki. This one was it!

I was hearing great things about it, and it seems like people were even comparing it to the well loved and fabulous Goblin. Well, I thoroughly enjoyed it but it didn't really even live up to that comparison at all!

Anyway, this one is about a dude who just happens to be the Water God. But something has gone wrong in the god world (okay, so a lot of the logistical details of the "problem" went over my head or I just didn't have the wherewithal to focus on them!) and he is sent to the human world to solve the problem. This involves find the servant that has been promised to them (him specifically) since the dawn of time when her ancestors promised themselves (and all their posterity) to the gods. 

Also, he has to find some magic stones that will... do something. Fix all their problems!

When he gets there he finds out that the servant wants nothing to do with him. Also, that she owns the land where the gate to the god world is and wants to sell it, and oh, all the stones are missing.

There's a couple other gods residing in the human world and they have messed things up while they've been there and basically everything is a mess and Habaek has to try and fix it all.

Meanwhile, he is so out of his comfort zone and can barely function, even though he's a god. It doesn't help that he's lost all his godly powers. So he is basically homeless and penniless along with his truly funny manservant and side kick. 

Well, so our girl steps in and even though she thinks he is certifiably crazy, she is drawn to him and decides to help him. First up, she lets them live in her rooftop apartment. OF COURSE! (I love the drama tropes guys, like so so much!!)

And it's not long before she decides that maybe he isn't so crazy after all and that he's who he says he is and that he needs her help. Like, maybe she shouldn't sell her land for starters. And also, she needs his help... to find her missing dad.

Anyway, and so it goes. It's a much more complicated and deep plot then this, but like I said, I didn't really care about that and just wanted to watch the relationship unfold. And it was a joy to watch Nam Joo Hyuk (who I loved in Weightlifting Fairy) do his thing.
Nam Joo Hyuk as the Water God

This character was a complete opposite of the one he played before. Ah, but he was so serious in this one. He would let it (the smirk) slip out now and then, but it was strange to see. However, no less endearing. Let's say, extremely endearing. Yes. He's great, he is. 

There was a bit of a second male lead thing going on, but for once, I didn't care about him at all and just wanted him out of the picture! But he did provide an interesting and twisty conflict.

And the music, as is usually the case, is perfectly awesome. 

In the end, it wasn't a mind blowing amazing drama, but a truly fun one nevertheless.

One of my favorite scenes:


 Here's a trailer:


 And the song (well, one of them):


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Readathon is TEN YEARS OLD!

How can it be ten years since this event first happened? I remember it. I was here. BUT, I thought reading for 24 hours straight was a CRAZY idea and it took me a few times before I joined this most awesome party. I can't remember when I first participated... maybe I can find it. Nope, I can't seem to but I think the first year I participated was maybe 2009? I don't know, but it quickly became an event that we looked forward to around here like Christmas. I can't believe I pooh poohed it those first few years!

And now, it's been awhile (about a year I think) since I've been able to participate. (They are always scheduled at the same time as fall and spring breaks! AH!) But it appears there is no conflict this year! So I've signed up!

Have you signed up yet? Here's the link: Readathon Sign Ups.

Ten years. I'm so proud and happy for those of you who have kept this thing going all this time. I know it's not easy. I've been a part of trying to keep things going and so I know. It's hard! Thank you so much for that!!!

As part of the celebration, some of us are participating in an Instagram challenge leading up to this year's event. #30daysofreadathon Here's some of my pictures so far.









I'm struggling with today's prompt though. Listen. I don't listen to books, I listen to music. Should I share music on a book challenge? Ah. The struggle!

Anyway, here's to Dewey's Readathon! Here's to Dewey for thinking it up ten years ago! Here's to everyone who makes it happen every year! Here's to reading!


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