Wednesday, June 14, 2017

THE WELL

I live at the bottom of a well. When I think back, I can't remember how long I've been here, or how I got here in the first place. Did I fall in on my own? Was I pushed? Perhaps a little of both?

I have everything I need to physically live here in my well. Food, a warm bed. I'm able to see what's going on outside the well on my computer, but I myself cannot actually leave. There are no ropes or ladders to let me out, and the walls are too tall to climb without tools.

There are people right outside the well. There used to be a lot - I could yell up and someone would come sit on the edge of the well to talk. For a couple of hours, I'd forget I was in the well; I was just talking to my friend, being a normal person. I liked it when people would come to talk. At first I could yell and someone would almost always come, but now people have gone to other places, places where they can't hear me when I yell. If I'm lucky, and I yell loud enough and long enough, someone shows up. But sometimes no one comes at all.

To pass the time, I watch what's happening up there on my computer. I can see my friends and family, I know they're safe and happy. Sometimes I tell them what's going on in the well, just to let them know I'm still here, but living in a well doesn't create great stories or photos like the outside world does. I'd tell them more, but there isn't more to say. "Hey guys, still in the well. I'll see you soon, I hope."

Some people think it's my fault that I can't get out of the well. Regardless of how I got there, they can't see that I need help climbing out. They think I'm not trying hard enough, but that's because they've never seen the well from the inside. They don't understand why I can't simply climb the walls like Spiderman, or how a string of shoelaces tied together is a nice thought, but won't get me anywhere.

More than a couple of times I've been thrown ropes, thick ones with knots to help me climb - I'll get halfway up the wall and the rope will turn to sand, letting me fall back down. Sometimes it takes a few days to get over the pain from the fall. I've gotten almost all the way out a few times, only to have someone let go of the other end, dropping me back to where I started with a bunch of bruises.

Every couple of weeks, the guardian of the well comes to visit. He sits on the edge of the well for 50 minutes, EXACTLY 50 minutes, and we try to figure out new ways of getting me out. When he gets up to leave, I have a little renewed confidence that I can find a way out of the well. Then I go back to watching the outside world on the screen. I look up; it's so high, so far to the top. I look back at the screen, wishing I had that view.

It feels like I've tried everything to climb out. Making cracks in the wall for foot and hand-holds, using pieces of broken rope to make another, being so tired and delirious that I believe for a few hours that a popsicle-stick ladder will hold my weight. And then I have to deal with the people who tell me there's only one way up. If I don't go up this way, I'll never make it. But why can't I try this way? I mean, we're all working towards the same goal here. The fact that I use bedsheets instead of a well-made expensive gym rope shouldn't make a difference - if it gets me out, I'm OUT.

To the people that pass above and look down, I wave. I smile, exchange some small talk. Sometimes I make jokes. The passers-by don't notice how deep the well is. They just notice there's a nice girl who told them a funny story as they walked by. And I keep telling the stories, because I want them to walk by again, and again. They think I'm down here because I like it. They don't know I can't get out.

How long before I can get out? Who's going to throw me a rope that holds my weight until they can grab my hand and pull me the rest of the way out? I'm not asking for an elevator, or to be lifted out in a helicopter. I just want the tools to be able to climb out myself. Why won't anyone loan me their tools?


Thursday, May 25, 2017

HOW KPOP MADE ME A CREEPY STALKER (now with photos!)

I'm going to be real with you for a second. Most of you know that I am stupidly obsessed with k-dramas and k-pop, but if I've managed to keep the secret from you, now you know. I have the entertainment taste of a 14-year-old Asian girl.

I admit I've been watching k-dramas for a few years now. Sometime after I came back from Hong Kong I discovered one on channel 18 (for non-LA people, that's the Korean/Chinese/Vietnamese channel that rotates shows from those countries) when I was trying to fill the void in my heart left by my beautiful temporary homeland. Since it had subtitles, I ended up watching til the end - and I was like "HOLY CRAP THIS IS KIND OF AMAZING." Thanks to Netflix and their large library of foreign television and films I soon was able to watch them every minute of every day and dream of the magical life I'd have when I moved to Korea and had (at least) three guys fall for my nerdy, quirky charm.

K-pop is newer in my life. I honestly don't remember what got me into it, but it was only about two years ago and at first it was only one particular girl group - 2NE1. I'm pretty sure it was via music video on YouTube because sweet shit, Korea drops some wicked crazy budgets for music videos. I desperately wanted to uproot my life and become a k-pop backup dancer.
Minzy, Bom, CL and Dara

So maybe I listened to them on repeat in my car for months and know all the words to their songs (in Korean), and maybe I'd super geek out if I got to hang out with them. And just maybe I started following some blogs/websites that posted about k-pop and sometimes k-dramas.

Now here's where the difference between American culture and Korean culture comes into play. I may love Melissa McCarthy, and go see her movies and watch her when she's on talk shows, but I don't know her birthday, relationship history, home address and/or what she had for breakfast. If I saw her somewhere I might go up and say hi, because she seems like she'd be nice, but there would be no mob of people following her begging for her autograph. Even people who might want to do that with, say, Brad Pitt, wouldn't actually mob him for his autograph. Celebrities here (excluding the young ones who get into shit and have embarrassing photos taken in clubs) are generally respected and treated as normal people even if you're secretly geeking out so hard on the inside.

Well, in Korea, likely because their number of true celebrities is much smaller than ours, they get stalky. I'd read maybe two articles about my lovely 2NE1 ladies before I knew that Bom and Dara were born in 1984, CL's birthday is the day before mine, and that Minzy owns a professional dance studio in Seoul. The articles on these sites would literally report on a celebrity being spotted at the airport and followed out by a giant mob of creepy fans who somehow knew they'd be there ahead of time. They'd report on what someone's instagram post meant. Whether because these two celebrities were with 4 feet of each other WERE THEY DATING?? Like it got ridiculous. But I bought into it ALLLLL.

Fast forward to a year and a half ago when CL started debuting solo songs in the US, via YouTube music video. I started watching other videos on YouTube, since it selects something "relevant" to play after your chosen video is done. I watched all the 2NE1 videos. ALL OF THEM. Multiple times. I started thinking, "man, I wish they'd come play here in LA, I know there are enough k-pop fans to fill an arena." THEN MY DREAMS CAME TRUE. In November of last year, CL did a solo tour and I bought tickets in ONE MINUTE, as well as a long sleeved T so everyone could see HOW BADASS I WAS. I went with a Korean coworker, who sat on the other side of the arena from me, but still, IT WAS SO AMAZING. I FANGIRLED SO HARD. I mean LOOK AT HER.

Sometime in this general time period, my Korean coworker went to Seoul and I told him to buy me something cheap and dumb. He came back with this:
I was blessed with this adorable pack of socks for the boy band, Big Bang. I'd never listened to them, but I knew they existed.

I figured I should get to know Big Bang since they were going to go with me on adventures via my sweaty feet, so I started looking up their music videos. I'd never really been into k-pop boy groups because they all seemed like tiny children and it made me feel like an old lady. But it turns out Big Bang has been around for 10 years. And even the least educated k-pop fan has heard of G-Dragon, the leader:
I mean, sweet shit, look at that jawline 😍

I basically decided to watch all their videos, because well, k-pop videos. I highly recommend you take a viewing of "Fantastic Baby" because the thing is practically fucking art. It's so colorful and fills me with such joy. After a binge-watch of a good handful of Big Bang videos, many of which were from the new album that came out in December, YouTube treated me to some random backstage footage of the boys. Then there was a clip of them on a variety show. Then more clips of them doing normal things. Like literally, these guys have cameras on them 24/7. Unlike American celebrities, you really feel like you know Korean pop stars - they're so accessible to the public that you honestly feel like you know them personally after watching a few shows.

I'm sure we are all aware of my lifelong love for Bradley Cooper, but even that creepiness doesn't begin to compete with the Korean celebrity creepiness. I have no idea when Bradley's birthday is. I think he lives in Venice and that's only because a friends saw him there. If I saw him in public I'd probably just drool until I was carted away. It's made very clear that Bradley and I are not going to marry.

Then, after watching a few videos, I take notice of one of the members. Hmm, he's pretty cute, I think. He also has a really low voice which is insanely attractive for some reason. He goes by TOP in the band, and we are going to get married.

Exhibit A
Exhibit B

WHO HAS CHEEKBONES LIKE THAT? I MEAN REALLY. JUST STOP. Then I watch the video "Bae Bae" (which was apparently banned on tv in Korea for excessive sexual innuendo...) and see this:


A purple suit, cane, weird contacts, goofy dancing - I fell desperately in love. Especially once I found out that each member had come up with their individual concept for this music video. He's so fucking weird and beautiful and he must be mine.

Now herein lies the problem - if he was an American celebrity I'd probably put him as my phone background (not saying I haven't anyway) and randomly find pics of him on Pinterest to post to my ever-growing board of hot guys. HOWEVER, these k-pop websites are dangerous. They want me to know more. There are literally stats pages, like height/weight/etc. Random girls out there know this guy's weight by heart. I don't understand kilos so I conveniently forgot. However, thanks to these websites (and the fact that I'm avoiding mainstream news), I've learned:
- his birthday is Nov 4 (he's a Scorpio, which generally means nothing to me except the fact that only two of the guys I've dated/had giant crushes on/etc in my entire life have NOT been Scorpios...)
- he's hilarious and ridiculous
- he loves MODERN DESIGN (OMG)
- as well as modern art
- he went into the Korean military, as is mandatory for all men, on February 9th and is working as a police officer at the Gangnam station for the next 21 months
***let me catch my breath here...police officer...😍😍***

Keep in mind that I did not seek out this information. It was literally all just posted as headlines on these sites. They even post when someone has a weird instagram update and people are confused. So of course I now follow them all on instagram. 
**scroll friend's pic scroll vacation pic scroll OH HEY WHAT'S GDRAGON UP TO TODAY?**
Well if you really want to know, he's here in LA filming a music video (location undetermined) BUT I do know he's staying in the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel and I got that just from a pic he took out his window - because I'm a fucking detective I was able to locate one of the street signs and a store in the pic and pinpoint the exact location. I WOULDN'T HAVE DONE THIS 3 MONTHS AGO. I AM NOT THIS PERSON. 

I'm the person that sits in Starbucks and watches Michael Cudlitz enjoy a latte on the patio multiple times because I think he's a badass but I'm also entirely too terrified to approach him. I don't have a clue where any celebrities live, other than "probably this general 5 mile radius." But for some reason I read articles that tell me where all these guys live in Seoul and I'm like WAIT WHY ARE YOU ENCOURAGING US? And to be fair I'm WAY less stalky than the people that live there. They actually go try to find these guys. 

BUT SEE NOW I CAN'T STOP. I got on the stalker boat and it's going too fast and I can't jump off. WHY HAVEN'T YOU POSTED ON INSTAGRAM IN 3 DAYS? ARE YOU OKAY? Someone took pictures of TOP in his police uniform visiting an elementary school? Hot shit, let me see that. CL THAT LOOKS LIKE LA IN THE BACKGROUND OF THAT POOL SHOT, WHERE ARE YOU AND CAN I BE YOUR BEST FRIEND? And then the most important question of all...

Do you like blondes who can speak a little Korean (which is probably so charming, with my silly American accent)? I mean, just checking...

Saturday, May 6, 2017

RICH PEOPLE DRESSING LIKE ASSHOLES AGAIN

Welcome back. Just as I thought I had no more funny left in my life to blog about, it becomes Met Gala season. It's pretty much Hollywood Halloween, since the vast majority of things worn to the gala do not qualify as clothing but rather costumes.

I don't know half the people that went, either because I'm now 700 years old or I spend my waking hours watching Korean TV or serial killer documentaries. Regardless, I can still judge you - and judge I shall.

Ah, Solange. You don't seem to be into your sister's "pretty much naked with some rhinestones" look, but sweet merciful shit, it's spring and you're at a gala. I can see how this might be appropriate at the Minnesota Big Moose Ball, but not here. And I wonder...does this coat fit neatly into a tiny bag like the other puffy coats from Uniqlo?

Thandie Newton mistakenly believed that the theme of this year's gala was "Dia de los Muertos." And I'm pretty sure they sold that dress in Contempo Casuals in 1996.

Once again, Pharell looks like he's a 10-year-old dressed up by his mom, standing uncomfortably for pictures in clothes he's grown out of. But his wife. So many things to say. 1) THERE ARE NO ARM HOLES. HOW DOES ONE FUNCTION IN SUCH A THING?  2) Even if she were able to use her limbs, it would still look like she stole a Teletubby costume from some lost wardrobe closet at a movie studio.
Also, question. If you push her over, does she just roll around like a turtle until someone turns her over?

Rhianna was dressed today by a Project Runway contestant, where the challenge was "use anything and everything you find in your grandma's house." Grandma's gonna be pissed when she finds out she can't finish your Christmas socks because all her yarn was used to wrap up Rhianna's legs.


Claire, I really appreciate your dedication to showing up after escaping the basement dungeon in the woods. Sorry your shirt got all torn in the ensuing chase, but I'm sure someone from out of town has one of those hotel sewing kits in their bag to help you out.

Elizabeth Banks...your face is so pretty and your hair looks damn fine, but I'm not sure why you decided to wear a Magic Eye dress. If you squint your eyes and stare at it for a few seconds, you can see the image of Harambe.

I feel like Katy Perry is some sort of child bride attending her wedding ceremony somewhere in remote Mongolia, where she'll meet her 70-year-old husband for the first time as he takes off her red veil. They'll dance around a fire in her wedding costume, then she will be banished to a closet in her husband's home.

I know everyone wears Spanx at these things, but most people wear something OVER their Spanx. I mean, just a suggestion for next time.

I could comment on Madonna's military surplus dress that's sold under the name "General Perversion" on Halloween websites, or I could comment on how much work she's had done to her face. Spending thousands of dollars to look 30 again is great, if anyone actually gave a shit about you anymore.

The Olsen twins only come out of their cave twice a year - fashion week and the Met Gala - yet they always look like homeless chicks who are wearing all their clothes at once because they have no place to store them. I don't think I've heard them speak since 1998. I feel this might be a hostage situation. Is that side eye some kind of secret code? Is she asking for help? WE CAN SAVE YOU IF YOU LET US.