Bucket list of things

Hi peeps! How’s your Korean learning going? Well, I am kinda ashamed to admit I haven’t been doing any ground breaking new method (other than my regular reading books, watching shows and listening to songs, and pawing through the naver dict), but I am however proud to say that I think I found my passion for learning things in general! I’ve always been a fan of the idea of putting time into learning lifelong skills that will be useful in life – I haven’t strayed from this principle. In fact, I’ve dedicated even more time into really putting the things I’ve learnt to good use.

 

Hence, in the past few months, I’ve been just revamping my lifestyle, intensively absorbing and practising like a sponge :

1,2) Baking and Cooking

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Indonesian style Ondeh Ondeh

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Noodles, but I’m just really trying to perfect cooking of eggs.

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Apple muffins with random test flavours

3) Doing Calligraphy

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Yes, this is only pencil, but I can’t put up UNPERFECT THINGS! When I’m sure my inked copy will be fabulous, I’ll upload it then.

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Some black light UV Blackletter when I was too cheap poor to afford real good calligraphy markers and used my highlighter instead. Turned into some disco calligraphy party!

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Sorry for all these unedited unglam pics.. I dont have access to Photoshop now

Which makes me appreciate the good work people in the past have done to create beautiful, elegant writing that still stays true to form today. That’s legit awesome.

4) Watching a shit ton of wildlife/food/health/survival documentaries (I recently got addicted to Les Stroud’s Survivorman and Ray Mears’s Extreme Survival series, now I’ve learnt a bunch of survival skills! Not that you care, but if you’re also interested in the possibilities of perhaps one day being stranded in the wild, escaping ZOMBIES, this may come in handy.

I’ve a new-found appreciation of animals and their way of life, learnt some good principles from animals(!) about life, death, clean, good healthy food, making them allows me to know exactly what I’m putting into my body. Because of all these health documentaries, I’ve also got more information and understanding about eating disorders, the difficulty of people and fast food, obesity, health problems and I’ve bought myself a blender to do juicing and green smoothies now. (But of course, learn how to do it, and what vegs can benefit from boiling prior to blending for maximum benefits)

5) exercising – first rule of zombie apocalypse is to do cardio.

Just kidding. I get my exercise from the good people of FitnessBlender. They have really good stuff and knowledge about healthy living too.

6) and casually listening to korean songs and reading korean novels without pressuring myself to know everything, speaking of which.. have you guys heard Eddy Kim’s new mini album? It’s awesome!

These two in particular, have been on repeat nonstop.. which means:

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Sarah Andersen’s bloody hilarious and relatable comics are one of my latest gems. i can’t believe how much I love this. My other fav comic is Bill Amend’s Foxtrot and that’s like decades ago that I decided this was going to a comic strip artist I like.

(Sarah Andersen is a great student illustrator, but her page can be quite hard to find so here you go, MAGICAL LAND OF AWESOME COMICS)

Anyway………..

yup. That’s all the stuff I did.

 

Best blog post conclusion ever.

 

 

Calligraphy

I’ve once read that in order to adequately acquire another foreign language, one should focus on first mastering their mother tongue. You can see this as a completionist theory, or the simple fact of mastering one language will heighten you to subtle nuances in foreign languages. However you choose to see it, I think this idea holds merit. Our mother tongue is English in Singapore. But I’m not satisfied with the way we pronounce it. Plus, English has always been a beautiful, unique language.

Isolation

Since the end of last year, I’ve enclosed myself in an isolated bubble, and have not contacted anyone outside of my work and home. I deleted Facebook and Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram, it’s been 4 months, and I feel great! You might ask why, am I a toad and is totally self conscious of my appearance and weight issues? No. I don’t have any issues with my sense of confidence, neither do I feel inadequate. It’s simply a matter of choice. I’m deeply introverted to begin with, I can very well dress nicely and put make up to look appealing to the world, but for now, I don’t feel like I need to prove anything to anyone. I don’t quite know why I brought up this point (for the sake of this post I should edit this part out, my logical side says, but my rebellious side tells me that logic may be right, but he’s annoying, and should be defied for the sake of defiance, how dare I tell myself what to do!), but I suppose I prefer reaching out through the internet than the physical world. Or maybe I’m itching to explore authenticity and self confidence and self image issues I see in other people but I can’t find someone to administer to. Either way, I’m derailing myself.

So with the assisted lack of disturbance, I’ve been reading more, appreciating old English, self studying the art of typography, and handlettering/ english calligraphy, whatever you want to call it. It’s beautiful. I bought my first ink, holder, nibs and watercolour stuff to practice on. I find it teaches me patience, discipline, and also helps me go into deep focus. Then awful neck and wrist cramps. But first, deep zen, intense focus.

 

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From calligraphy-by-sam

But.

 

Why is there no interest in English Calligraphy in Singapore?! I’ve been searching online for months. Other than 1 other blog I found called happyhandsproject, there’s literally zero interest of English Calligraphy here. Chinese calligraphy centers are set up here, there’s a niche group of fountain pen lovers, but WHERE’S THE CALLIGRAPHY LOVE? Honestly. Jeez. It’s so hard to get materials locally. Purchasing online means shipping fees more expensive than the pens or inks themselves. I can’t bond with anyone over my overly obscure interest. ;_;

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From calligifphy

Honestly, it’s beautiful. I’m nowhere that good yet. Perhaps when I do get better, I might write some stuff. Handwritten things are always more sincere. So, for now be blasted by beautiful writing from people.

 

Shit. I intended this to be a 10 word rant post. Damn you brain, damn thoughts.

 

Why are people even playing that dumb flappy bird, angry bird, that stupid runner thing on their phones or even that dratted candy crush saga? Good god.

 

BATANG씨 누구세요?

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BELATED POST. Hehe

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Doesn’t Batang sound all exotic like some south east asian Batam holiday? Batang.

 

B . A . T . A . N . G

 

Aesthetically not quite as pleasing as C H O C O L A T E but still a strong contender? What am I talking about?? Batang! Batangbatangbatang..

 

This is probably not Batang. This is probably… oh this is Museo. But Batang

BatangSample_5337 Batang

 

Why batang?

Just something that randomly caught my eye. I always imagined Batang to be that kid in the back of the class who says nothing and looks plain. That’s because I wasn’t introduced into the land of Korean font yet. In Korean it’s really pretty!

 

What does Batang mean? From Naver:

결혼 생활의 바탕은 신뢰와 존경이다

The foundation[basisof a marriage is trust and respect.예문 발음듣기

그 영화는 실화에 바탕을 두고 있다

The movie is based on a true story예문 발음듣기

그녀는 검정 바탕에 꽃무늬가 있는 치마를 입고 있었다

She was wearing a black skirt with a floral pattern예문 발음듣기

  • 3.(타고난 성질) nature   

그는 바탕이 좋은 사람이다

He is a man of good nature예문 발음듣기

그가 바탕이 나쁜 사람은 아니다

He is not a bad person at heart예문 발음듣기

Mr Batang is someone who has a honest nature, someone brought up with good foundation despite a humble background. Although he looks plain among his english pals, he’s fluent and skilled in Korean!

Hopefully you will make friends with Batang ssi and use him often while writing in Korean!

Rapping to learn Korean..

How do you learn your korean? For me I memorize rap. Haha. I’m the kind of person who can’t let my mind go blank because I associate thinking about nothing kind of degenerative, so I have this nervous habit of memorize chunks of stuff to recite back when I’m bored/nervous and just want to engage my mind in something to calm myself down.

Why & How did I begin?

I didn’t start off with rap immediately. In fact, I memorized drama lines. Which turned into a 5 min soliloquy. For example, for some reason, I just committed to memorizing this for instance:

Then it came chunks of japanese lines from anime and dramas.. (from my Olddddd blog).

I realize I just am fascinated with foreign sounds and I like mimicking them, swirling the sounds back and forth like my own exclusive wine tasting, except with sounds. Even for Korean, what’s more important than actually learning it was that I was such a stickler for pronunciation. So fun when you sound like a native when you’re faking it! So I guess progressing to lyrics was naturally inevitable. However, I liked challenges, so instead of the simple ballads, I opted for rap.

Where to begin?

I began the obsession with Kpop (mostly Beast’s material). Embarrassed to say, but their raps are usually one small portion, easy enough to pick up. From being most excited about the melody in the past, I became more excited about the raps. Then I moved to actual hip hop music. That’s where it actually got really tough. One thing I like about raps was that the content is definitely much more difficult than most mainstream songs. You could very well get stuff like politics, dissent towards the economy, hardships, instead of your usual ‘oh you break my heart and I’m so sad and you’re gone what am I gonna do woe is me this is terrible let me sing to you so maybe you’ll come back boohoo’ 😛

But in all honesty, the benefits are plenty:

  1.  you have to practice again and again and again and again and again x200, so might as well be drilling tougher words into your vocab right?
  2. If it’s your favorite song, what funner way to enjoy than to repeat it many times?
  3. You’ll actually find out what it means yourself. No need to rely on translations. Hardcore. (Okay maybe initially, you still need to rely on them)
  4. The vocabs you learn will be 훨씬 difficult than regular kpop! (For example, Zico taught me 약육강식의법칙 (law of the jungle)
  5. You’ll be reading a lot of hangeul, which will familiarize your eyes with speed faster reading of hangul, and thus making wall of text less intimidating.
  6. You no longer have to deal with poser fake HANGOOLS
    ‘geurimja cheoreom hangsang hamkkaeyeottdeon ‘ <– isn’t this just UGLY?
    그림자처럼 항상 함께였던 = PRETTY;
    Areumdaun ni misoga bichudeon = UGLY,
    아름다운 네 미소가 날 비추던 = PRETTY
  7. In a strange way, it will build your confidence & help pronunciation with similar sounding words
  8. It will help you with your sense of rhythm.
  9. Appreciate your Oppars and Unnirs for memorizing this lyrics too
  10. You can be the kid who doesn’t just sing the chorus and go silent when the rap portion comes on.

How can you do it too?

Start small. Obviously, if you’re still struggling with even recognizing hangul, then learn hangul first, and some standard grammar and vocabs. When you can slowly grasp and identify pretty quickly how to read each letter, then you’re ready to begin!

Find the lyrics to your fav song. It’s often readily, easily, available, unless you have eccentric taste in music that’s so sidestream and obscure..

You don’t have to start off with hardcore music. You can pick something relaxing too:

then find the lyrics. preferably one with hangul and translation (it’s a preview of ‘HERE’S WHAT I’LL BE LEARNING! :D), none of that romanized shit. One tip is to search the keywords of whatever song you want + 가사. 90% of the time it will yield korean lyrics.

CHORUS (original from here)

그렇게 살고있겠죠 시간흐른뒤엔
I will be living like that after time passes

다른 사람 만나 사랑한다 말하고
I’ll meet someone else and say I love you

하지 못한 말들과 내 아쉬움 (regret) 들은 날려보내고(let fly, set free)
I’ll cast away the words I couldn’t say and my sadness

Then you may choose to print it, so you can look at it any time, write your own romanization (but try not to!) and markers like where to breathe, stop, which part is faster etc.  But try to identify the words inside, so you can see how the individual words get translated into the final lyrics/ which words differed in the final translation.

This is the skeleton of how I do it, just keep upping the difficulty. The following is a guide of how I suggest you carry out this activity:

Obstacles

1 – OMG IT’S TOO FAST

The end goal is for you to be able to recite it back with the song, and understand what the heck you are singing. As for repetition, it helps with pronunciation. For rap music, it can be very fast. At such times, it will be best to slow the music down. I use winamp, so I use an addon called the Pacemaker for times when it is simply too fast to hear what he or she is saying. Slow the music down by changing the tempo.

2 – OMG I CAN’T REMEMBER

It’s okay! Small victories. If you come to a part where you just simply cannot remember, practise until you can look at it and follow with the music at least. If not, it’s okay, keep trying. One thing I found helps is to practice before bed. The next day, it will somehow be easier.

3 – I NO GET THIS PART THE MUSIC IS TOO COMPLICATED

Listen to the rhythm first, without caring about the words. After you roughly get the idea of how each beat is gonna go, then slowly start filling it in with the words, then try it out again. Practise practise practise!

4 – THIS SHIT IS TAKING WAY TOO LONG

Yes it does. It took me months to memorize Zico’s ‘Battle Royal’ because it was so damn fast, and because i refused to cave in to romanization. Took me coupla months to learn Zico’s ‘Attention’ too. and ‘Dead President’ and Epik High’s ‘Noise’. San E’s ‘Wish you to be unhappy’ was much easier cos it’s romance, but Zico’s stuff are never romantic haha.  Basically, understand that these are like projects. Small victories at a time, small victories. When you’re done, it’s so satisfying to rap along with them.

5 – I CAN’T READ SO MUCH HANGUL AT ONCE.

Practice makes perfect, friend. You have to introduce your eyes to korean. Make it seem friendly. Wall of text seems intimidating, but if you do it in small bits, it’s easier. Trust me.

6 – I’M TONE DEAF

Hey, rapping is like speaking fast but with style (k more than that, but you aren’t holding concerts). If you sound terrible, just don’t do it in front of other people. Think of it as practice!

7 – I DON’T SOUND LIKE A RAPPER

Woah, I didn’t promise I’ll turn you into an amazing rapper, I’m introducing a new method of korean language training. Some people just don’t have amazing voices, no matter how much we practice. I don’t have a great rap/singing voice either, but I still love music!

8 – I DON’T KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE THIS WORD.

You can try google translate. Just put source language as korean, click the speaker to listen to it.

9 – I HAVE NO SENSE OF RHYTHM.

Then I cannot help you. 😦 Maybe you can try practising with reading articles or books instead.

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Then maybe finally, you can be dope and do something like this:

Zico live – Battle Royal

Zico Original – Battle Royal

Just White, Nothing but White

Item no. 35: Crayola

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon this deliciously stark looking webpage (Brand Spirit). It features a miscellaneous collection of 100 items that is completely painted in white.

My favourite happens to be uploaded on my birthday as well:

Item no. 96: Levis

The artist, Andrew Miller explains the rationale behind the concept is to strip any given product to its purest form, on the condition that the object must either cost less than $10 (if bought), pre-owned, or given to him. In doing so, it sends a strong message about the power of product branding.

Logos and brand names that we see on a daily basis becomes so ingrained in us that we don’t give a second thought to any more has been de-constructed, and the associated objects given another chance to form a new impression on consumers.

Item no. 65: Polaroid

(message not sponsored)