Understanding Poetry

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This video was one that I was going to share back in 2014, but when I was thinking of sharing it, news came out that Robin Williams had passed away and then I never got around to posting it. 2014 wasn’t a good year in general, so here I am, 5 years later, sharing it.

There are a few interesting things that I haven’t shared about my life but my literature teacher in 11th grade used to work on the sets of Hollywood and even had her name appear in the credits of a few movies. As a hobby, she used to blog and take photos of her life in KSA.

In one of the classes, my teacher showed us the above clip from Dead Poets Society, a movie that I still haven’t seen. When the scene of the boy who uses a ruler to neatly rip the page of his book appeared, my teacher came up from behind me and whispered, “That’s you.” 😂 I still laugh about it ’til this day. I am one of those people who doesn’t like seeing pages or books bent or torn in any way, which is why I have always been reluctant to share some of the books I own due to the fear that others won’t take care of them the same way as I do. *hides*

Surprisingly, there are other people like me out there, some who are probably more protective of their books than I am. For instance, sometime around last year, I was on the bus heading to work, and I noticed a man sitting next to me who kept his book in a sealable plastic to protect it. Now, that is something I don’t do but thought was a good idea when I saw it. Hahaha!

As for the movie, Dead Poets Society, maybe I should finally watch it. I like poetry and I like reading out poems too. The movie is meant to be a classic… but first, I’ve got to finish my K-dramas. 😜

P.S. It was Friday, the 13th and a night of the full moon two days ago. Everyone at work was mentioning it as it is a rare event and the next occurrence will not happen until 2049. I went to sleep early that night because I was too tired, and the clouds were covering the moon, as usual whenever there is an interesting occurrence in the night sky in Sydney. 😅

—Moonlight

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“Umpah Umpah”

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When an album is titled The ReVe Festival: Day 1, it means that there has to be an album for Day 2 or more, and fans weren’t wrong. I wasn’t sure of what to expect for The ReVe Festival: Day 2 album, but once I heard the teaser for the title track Umpah Umpah, I was looking forward to the MV.

The MV was released on August 19th, and on that day I was wide awake at 1 A.M. Rather than going to sleep early for work, I decided that I might as well watch the countdown or live preview of Umpah Umpah with fans on YouTube. Unlike Zimzalabim, I was hooked on the first listen. Umpah Umpah‘s catchy beat and happy-go-lucky vibe gives me serious nostalgia of the 90’s. There is something about the sound (something unforgettable) that reminds me of childhood days of watching cartoons/anime and playing video games or even being in a classroom with cut-out shapes of the sun, moon, stars, lightning and clouds, or for those who were in Australia… 90’s Play School, The Wiggles, and maybe a little bit of Round the Twist (I shouldn’t be giving any ideas away or S.M. Entertainment might make a concept out of this for their next Red Velvet Halloween song =P)? One of the background sounds in the chorus is similar to something I’ve heard before too, but I can’t exactly pinpoint where. Maybe an old-school video game like Mario Kart 64?

To be honest, when I first heard the line, “Umpah Umpah”, it did sound like Oompa Loompa from Willy Wonka the Chocolate Factory movie / Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book. One of my favourite movies/books with Pure Imagination still giving me goosebumps. According to @5REDVELVET:

‘Umpah umpah’ is a word used in Korea when they first learn swimming and try to hold their breath underwater. They practice regular breathing by saying ‘um’ as they inhale and ‘pah’ as they exhale. The lyrics have a swimming theme and they’re helping the person breathe.

Love how the lyrics and the choreography all make sense after reading what the word “umpah umpah” means. Since there are a couple of K-Pop songs with titles that are a play on words, I feel that the title of this song has double meaning. It also sounds like oom-pah or umpapa, the “rhythmical sound of a deep brass instrument in a band.” The MV itself is colourful and has a story, and the girls look gorgeous, as always! Beautiful Irene, Joy, Seulgi, Wendy and Yeri. S.M. Entertainment artists’ visuals and grooming are no joke.

Umpah Umpah is the perfect K-Pop summer song and I wish it was released before I left for South Korea so that I could have heard this song instead of Zimzalabim being played at the stores there. In the MV, one can also see that at the start, Red Velvet are leaving a big city to a quiet retreat, or a holiday destination, only to be met with a day full of rain. This portrays my trip very well when my group and I left from a big city such as Seoul to the beautiful Jeju Island. Our last day at Jeju was spent on Udo Island and it rained, but we were lucky enough to see what we wanted to see just before Typhoon Davis hit the island. After Jeju Island, we traveled to Busan. On one of our days in Busan, we couldn’t do much because the typhoon had made its way there. The rain fell hard and it was as if someone had turned the shower on full. Not wanting to waste the day in our AirBnB, we decided to head out and embrace the rain. After all, we paid for the trip and wanted to make the most of it. However, we didn’t stay out for too long as we got drenched even while carrying our umbrellas. The typhoon made us change our plans for the day, so I felt that I couldn’t see everything that I wanted to see in Busan, but guess that means another trip, IA.

Knowing that we would be traveling during the rainy season, my friends and I were checking the weather app. every single day and were happy to see when the forecast displayed sunshine and then sad to see if it was rain. We were lucky that, for most of our trip in Seoul, we didn’t encounter any rain. It was only when we had to leave, did we witness the true nature of summer in South Korea. The last week, in general, was filled with constant sweat from the humidity and rain that caused our hair to look like a mess.

Despite Umpah Umpah being a catchy song, in my opinion, none of the b-side tracks for The ReVe Festival: Day 2 album were catchy like ones in The Reve Festival: Day 1 album, and I feel that the b-side tracks in the Day 1 album fit the festival theme more. However, the title track for the Day 2 album is much better than Zimzalabim! My group of friends, who watched Red Velvet‘s Zimzalabim stage performances on TV while we were getting ready in the mornings on our trip, all shared the same opinion that it wasn’t as good as Red Velvet‘s previous songs. They also felt that the stage outfits could have been better. This is the opinion of both guys and girls. I didn’t mind the outfits as much as they seemed to fit the experimental take on the song.

Red Velvet Umpah Umpah Outfits

Designer Paris Starn‘s outfits copied for Red Velvet‘s Umpah Umpah promotions

Now, speaking of outfits, S.M. Entertainment was recently accused of plagiarising a fashion designer’s ideas for the Umpah Umpah MV. I’m not even surprised. =P The funny thing is that the company does it very subtly and will target the people that not many people know about on social media so that they can easily get away with it. S.M. Entertainment, however, should be careful, because if they target someone with connections, that person can easily pull the cards on them. The company can only get away with it for so long before their image is at stake.

I understand the designer’s disappointment… what could have been an amazing collaboration fell through. It’s not that hard to give somebody credit. A simple, “Hey! We’re inspired by your idea and we would love to collab. with you!” can go a long way. This is what the young generation on social media are doing. This is what innovative companies are doing with influencers and any person that could potentially help in marketing them, including customers. For an entertainment company that seems to be the best at marketing among the Big 3 in South Korea, I feel that when it comes to the ethical side of things, they have quite a long way to go. The things that they engage in, it’s like your boss getting credit for your ideas or a co-worker stealing them and getting all the recognition for it, and any person working in the corporate world will know that it is never a good feeling. Also, imagine working hard, putting in the time and effort trying to make ends meet, only to see someone else profit off of your ideas, especially a company that is already big and has money multiplying.

Having said that, it looks like the Red Velvet are still following their colour concept, which is each member portraying the colour that they have been assigned. This portrayal is done through either their outfits, accessories, or even nail polish. For example, Irene‘s colour is pink, Joy‘s is green, Seulgi‘s is yellow, Wendy‘s is blue and Yeri‘s is purple. In the Umpah Umpah MV, it is seen in the copied outfits that each member is wearing. This colour concept is what I call the Care Bears concept, as it was in my dream related to K-Pop long before S.M. Entertainment implemented it. I would have actually taken the concept a lot further or done more with it, such as having an image, or even having an MV for each symbol that a Care Bear represents. For example, Umpah Umpah looks like it could relate to Grumpy Bear‘s cloud and rain symbol and Ice Cream Cake could relate to Birthday Bear‘s cupcake and candle symbol. Regardless, I do have my suspicions about the colour concept for Red Velvet and NCT‘s Dream Within a Dream poem recitation, but let’s just say that one of the reasons I made my blog private a few years back was so that the company would stop lurking around, potentially trying to take ideas from fans to market their artists without any due credit.

As for ideas, I did want to share one here. How awesome would it be if a dance group in Sydney did a dance cover of Umpah Umpah at Bondi Beach on a bright sunny day while the Festival of the Winds, which is happening next weekend, is taking place? This is what the Festival of the Winds looks like. If anyone does decide to do this, please thank me and give me credit… =P

Going back to song titles being a play on words, I already have an idea for a song title, and it’s called, “Halla Halla Bong Bong”. xD It is dedicated to the Jeju orange/citrus fruit called Hallabong, a flavour that I fell in love with on my trip. The fruit is actually named after Mt. Hallasan in Jeju Island. If I were to think of the MV for “Halla Halla Bong Bong”, it would be shot on Jeju Island. Halla Halla also sounds like “holla,” which is short for “holler,” meaning, “a loud shout or cry,” while “bong” means, “a musical noise made especially by a large clock.” Then there is also the name “Hala”, which means, “the aura of light around the moon.” The colour scheme for the MV can be orange as Red Velvet doesn’t have a member that represents the colour orange.

Now, if any entertainment takes this idea, especially S.M. Entertainment, I-WILL-DESTROY-YOU, or better, hire me and give me the money that I deserve for such ideas! =P Friends, please remember what I just said here so there is proof that I came up with this “Halla Halla Bong Bong” idea first! Thank you! =P On a more serious note, when I visit a place, I have to try what the local food and cuisine is like, and Jeju is widely known for hallabong, so I ended up having hallabong juice, which was incredibly refreshing for the summer heat! I even brought some hallabong dark chocolates to Sydney, and my parents and colleagues tried them and said that they were really good! I should have brought more.

Also, there has been a post that I’ve been working on and off on for a few months, and I was planning to post it this weekend, with the aim being yesterday since it was a cloudy and rainy day and I wasn’t going anywhere, but then the “news” came out and I’m thinking that the post is no longer going to be relevant anymore. I’m having second thoughts about it. It would have been nice to share my views… Hmm. I’m sorry lchan! If I post it, it will be just for you! I don’t want to ruin this post with the “news” because Red Velvet don’t deserve it, but if I hold off then it will take me ages to say it.

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Sweet Coffee

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Came back from my almost month-long trip to South Korea on Saturday morning and I’m already at work feeling the post-travel blues. Time flew by so fast. I have taken many photos but have hardly uploaded any because looking at them makes me miss the feeling of being there and the feeling of freedom. In the meantime, I’m sharing a song that I listened to at an aesthetic cafe with a view of the ocean and a beach vibe on Jeju Island. I liked the song but never heard of it before. I made sure to note down a few of the lyrics so that I could search for it later on. I did not have Shazam downloaded on my new phone so I had to find the song through the old-fashioned way.

It’s surprising that this song isn’t as popular as it should be! I wonder how the people at the cafe found out about it. Good taste in music! Anyhow, when it comes to coffee and tea, usually tea is my preference, but the coffee in South Korea is nice and sweet. Never thought I would be having mango or blueberry lattes or beautiful-looking affogato with ice cream and waffles. Yum!

It is also strange to think that I was only in Seoul last Friday, or 4 days ago, enjoying the summer season and now I’m here in Sydney facing winter. Everyone told me that the weather in Sydney has been great these past few weeks, and it did feel pleasant when I arrived on Saturday, but now it’s raining and chilly again. Looks like I brought the rain from Seoul to Sydney. xD Also, while I was having iced coffee there, I’m having warm coffee here, but it’s not as sweet.

Moreover, last Thursday, I was at Yeouido, a place in Seoul that looks like a business district with lots of office workers. Seeing that was mental preparation for me coming back, or a reminder that I was going to be like the people there on Monday morning after the trip. xD The district that I work in looks just like Yeouido with everyone in suits or corporate attire walking around. To think that I was wearing colorful clothes on the trip and now I’m back to wearing business attire for most of the year… It’s like living two completely different lives.

Really missing the cafes, the sunny outdoors and the happening night life with neon lights. Need a new adventure!

—Moonlight

Sunny Side Up!

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Listening to the teaser and happy that the full song is finally released. This is one of my favourites after Somethin Kinda Crazy, which came from Red Velvet‘s first mini-album Ice Cream Cake. Sunny Side Up is an instant like. Well, what can you expect from a duo that produced this song and that go by the name of Moonshine? 😂 They produced Peek-A-Boo too, which was another bop.

I listened to Red Velvet‘s new album ReVe Festival: Day 1, and apart from Sunny Side Up being my favourite, I like Parade and Bing Bing too and more so than their title track, Zimzalabim (the visuals in their title track’s MV, however, are nice and quirky). Some parts of Bing Bing also sound like a Bollywood song and the teaser for Milkshake caught my attention but when listening to the other songs, it fell lower on my list even though Moonshine produced it.

Overall, definitely liking the carnival and festival vibe of Red Velvet‘s new album. I generally love festivals that have a lot happening and it reminds me of the Royal Easter Show that we have in Sydney with all the rides, games, performances, food, bubbles, goodie bags, a parade and hot air balloon, etc.

Moreover, Red Velvet‘s concept of having a colour for each member, which they are still holding onto, is forever going to remind me of the Care Bears concept for a K-Pop group that I dreamt of and spoke about before Red Velvet even debuted. 😝

On a side note, I’m heading to South Korea next week and will be away for less than a month, IA. Will be out from the rainy cold winter and into the hot and humid rainy summer. Give me some pleasant sunshine please! Still need to post about the FF7 Remake!

—Moonlight

Eid Mubarak and a Global PlayList Web Movie

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Belated Eid Mubarak! I hope you all enjoyed Eid with your family and friends. My long weekend has come to an end and my relatives who were staying over since Thursday have left as well. I had a long long weekend instead of a long weekend, because I took Friday off to celebrate Eid, which is a celebration at the end of Ramadan for those who have fasted for one whole month. Can’t believe how fast Ramadan passed by this year, though!

YouTube also kept recommending me videos of non-Muslim Korean vloggers who were fasting and I followed their journey to see how their experience was. I’m so amazed by their dedication and willingness to understand what fasting and Islam are about. One of the vloggers even went to the mosque in Itaewon, Seoul for Eid prayers. Seeing that made me happy because it shows how open some young Koreans have become towards understanding other cultures and faiths. *thumbs up*

The last weekend and this long long weekend have both been very busy. On Friday, my family invited relatives to have dinner at my place. On Saturday, we all went out for shopping at Bondi Junction and had dinner in Auburn. On Sunday, we went far out into the suburbs of Sydney and hung around Kellyville and then met up with our other relatives for dinner at their place.

Sydney is so huge that sometimes getting from one point to another feels like an entire day trip. Did you know that Sydney has around 658 suburbs? I had no idea until I saw a news article stating that there was a local who decided to be a tourist in his own city and visit all 658 suburbs. Now, that’s something I would like to do too. =P I live close to the city and going far out into the suburbs is quite rare for me unless it’s meeting up with friends or family friends who reside there.

Sometimes, traveling to the suburbs is a nice break from the city life, but it can get boring after a while too. When I used to live in the suburbs, it was back in the 90’s and when kids used to play outside. You could see a lot of outdoor activity. Now that hardly happens as most people are glued to technology and stay indoors. I think I prefer living close to the city where there is a lot happening and where there are many places to see or eat at. One thing’s for sure, though… you don’t get to see a lot of stars in the city like you do in the suburbs when it’s night time. That is what I miss a lot.

So, the night before, I was awake quite late and at 3 A.M., the PlayList Global YouTube channel had a notification about the following web movie. I told myself that I would only watch half of it and then continue watching the rest the next morning, but then I ended up watching the whole web movie because it kept me intrigued.

The title is very click-bait and *spoiler alert* the lead male is actually the future husband of the lead female. It appears that the future husband is dying and wants to change fate/destiny by going back in time to make sure that his wife falls in love with another guy instead of him so that she doesn’t have to go through the pain of losing him. The question that viewers are left asking is, “Does it really work?” The drama seems to have the theme or message that no matter how hard you try to change fate or destiny, what’s meant to be will always be. It focuses on soulmates who will meet regardless of what happens.

However, when the lead male tries to change the past, you can see that the photos of him and the female lead in their future home disappear. So are we to assume that him changing the past really did have an effect? It’s confusing, but I’m hoping it’s the theme of star-crossed lovers playing out, as the female lead still meets the male lead despite being told by the male lead’s future self to not seek him out.

After having watched the web movie, I wondered, “Why can’t my future husband show up like this?” xD As someone who recently passed their 20’s and has been single all their life, it would be nice to have some sort of sign (that’s if the guy even exists). I’m pretty sure that by this age, someone who is single like me, would be curious to know what their future holds. I know that there are those that turn to horoscopes and tarot card readings, but for me, those things are seen as merely entertainment and not reality. In fact, we’re generally meant to stay away from those things.

For example, on YouTube, there are people who do tarot card readings for one’s star sign and there was one that was recommended to me by random in April and May. The titles for those said something along the lines of, “Aquarius! April 1-15 Someone is thinking of you and wants you back!” and “Aquarius! May 15-31! A past lover will return.” Well, guess what? April and May have passed and all I can hear are the sound of crickets. Not to mention, I’ve been single all my life, how will a past lover return? xD What a bunch of baloney!

Even one of my friends from one of the groups I used to hang out with at my undergrad. university in the U.A.E. predicted my future wrong. She stated, “I feel that you will be the first out of our group who will get married.” Flash forward 8 years later, they’re all married and I’m the only one from the group that is still single. =P Not only that, as of last month, I’m the only one in one of my groups of friends in Australia who is still single (and one of my friends who started dating last year found someone because I told her about an app. When I offer advice, but don’t follow it myself xD). There are more stories to share, but I think I’ll just leave it at that. Let’s just say, when you wish for things that others didn’t bother about, but they end up being granted your wish and you don’t. Yes, the universe does love to play pranks like that. =p But you know what, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be at that time.

Having said, maybe my soulmate is in Seoul? xD Talk about puns, and as cheesy as it sounds, I’ve always wanted to say, “Off to Seoul to find my Seoulmate!”, but I do know that when it will come around to going to Seoul, IA, as a traveler, I’ll be more interested in sightseeing and eating the food there. =P

A note to add, PlayList Global has some great web dramas. The first one I watched was Love Playlist – Season 1 and then A-Teen – Season 1. A-Teen was the best out of the two. If you’re looking for something that consists of a slice-of-life theme, then I recommend PlayList Global‘s web dramas.

—Moonlight

NCT’s “Superhuman”

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Can’t believe that I’ve been eagerly waiting for NCT‘s Superhuman MV to be released ever since I saw the group promote the song on the Good Morning America show on April 20th, which was almost a month ago!

When I heard the song, I instantly liked it and it gave me SHINee vibes. It’s not the first time an NCT song has given off such vibes. NCT Dream‘s My First and Last, another song that I instantly liked, was like that too.

May, in general, has been a very busy month for me. I finished work at 7 P.M. on a Friday night and reached home at around 8 P.M. NCT‘s Superhuman MV dropped at around the time I came home, but I didn’t watch it until an hour later after having dinner. It’s as if SM Entertainment was waiting for everyone to finish up work in order to drop the MV. =P It was much needed, though, because the very busy days with lots of problem-solving and no moment of peace have had an affect on my mood.

One would suggest that I should already be asleep by now as it’s midnight, but I took a little nap when I got home and now I can’t go back to sleep. Also, I was eager to post NCT‘s Superhuman MV on my blog as soon as it was released. The special effects in it are really good!

NCT‘s Superhuman has three words that I like as well: Moonlight, Dream and Imagination. Plus, it features my fellow Aquarians. Hahaha! When I think about it, many entertainers happen to be Aquarians. Why haven’t I had my debut yet? xD

Moreover, I like the shiny blazers that NCT wore when they were promoting the song on their U.S. tour. I have a gray blazer that has a subtle shine to it yet is still professional, and I get a lot of compliments at work for it. Even my used-to-be Chinese-Australian colleague, whose looks can rival some of the Chinese artists in the K-Pop industry, would always say, “LOVE your blazer!” whenever I would wear it. My other colleagues would say, “Looking sharp!” I feel a bit more put-together or confident commuting to work when I wear it, especially with a black turtleneck underneath it.

Speaking of blazers, we had a girl recently join my workplace that wears nice blazers too and who has worked on Zhejiang Radio and Television Group in China. It’s the one that broadcasts the Chinese version of Running Man called Keep Running. She likes K-Pop and her favourite group is EXO, with her favourite member being Sehun. We had a brief chat about it. She asked me who my favourite member was, and I replied, “I did have a favourite member… Kris/Wu Yi Fan…” She then mentioned what he did in 2014, which was the general perception EXO fans had towards him when he left. I let her know, “I used to be a fan,” and I made the gesture of a tear falling down my face. That’s what I do now when anyone asks me who my fav. is. It’s an indication to never be too huge of a fan of anyone you personally don’t know.

Having said that, my brother once joked and said, “You make it sound as if you went through a break-up”. xD Guess you can say that I broke up with being a fan, and I’m now a silent observer…like Batman! (I don’t know why one of my colleagues who is really into Marvel and DC thinks I’m like Batman, even after my result was Superman in an online quiz that I took on which superhero I am. He did mention that I appear to be the “mysterious” type. Maybe I should have told me him, “I’m not Superman nor Batman… I am Superhuman.” =P).

Going back to main topic, I see that NCT is achieving recognition like BTS did when they first stepped into the U.S. The difference; however, is that NCT was initially designed as a group to promote all over the world whereas, BTS is a group that started off from a very small company called Big Hit Entertainment, and surprisingly, became world-wide famous without that being their initial goal. Normally, you would think that the Big 3: SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and YG Entertainment would be one of the first companies to have a group or an artist that breaks through in the U.S., but a small company such as Big Hit Entertainment ended up achieving that first. Guess the company Big Hit Entertainment really does live up to its name! BIG HIT. xD Even so, I feel that SM Entertainment is one of those companies that really pushes boundaries when it comes to innovation, and even those that like the artists but not the management company, admit it too. The MV above speaks for itself.

—Moonlight

Hi Moon. Full Moon.

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I have been looking at the moon and stars a lot as I head back home from work these days. Perhaps, it’s because daylight savings are over and it’s dark when it’s time to leave the office. Or maybe I’m in search of something new. Hearing that one of my cousins now works for NASA makes me want to strive for something just as exciting! A visit to the moon and seeing the Earth from space wouldn’t be so bad… I can only dream! xD The evenings are also getting colder and the skies are becoming clearer as the days roll on towards winter.

Since there will be a full moon on Friday, April 19th, I’m going to share this picture here:

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(Credit: To the rightful owner)

Moreover, the world has captured a real picture of a black hole for the first time in history! Amusing how I was talking about black holes in my previous post. The picture of the black hole that was published is almost exactly the same as how many, especially scientists, have imagined it to look. Not bad. It would be interesting, though, to discover a worm hole that can allow one to cross dimensions or from one point of space to another in a short amount of time. Imagine if time travel to the past was possible. I would like to go back to the 90’s… back to the days of Super Nintendo, Toys R Us, Saturday morning music charts, and when I would watch Sailor Moon on Agro’s Cartoon Connection before heading to school and The Secret World of Alex Mack in the afternoons. Oh, the list can go on.

P.S. I’m so exhausted after work that I am having a hard time trying to publish other posts on my blog that are a bit more lengthy. T_T Having multiple deadlines at work can really drain the energy out of one at the end of the day.