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!

Kill Bill

Took about half hour to memorize Miryo’s parts. By ‘memorize’ I mean I can look at the lyrics and follow the rap part looking at it, definitely not memorizing all the whole thing! I’ll highlight her parts. 😀 Learning lyrics is getting faster now. Though still could be faster ㅠㅠ

나쁜 짓을 저질렀어요
그렇게 놀란 눈으로 날 보지 마요
여기서 다 털어 놓을까요
어젯밤 그대 전화 왜 안 받았게요

사실 부족해 이걸로~온
니가 내게 했던 나쁜 짓엔 Oh~
너무 달콤해 지금 Oh~
너무 당혹스런
너의 그 표정

누가 더, 니가, 내가, 나쁠까
나한테 잘 걸렸어 너 말이야
누가 더, 니가, 내가, 아플까
그렇게 살지 마라, 너 말이야

혼자 보긴 너무 아까운 일이야
너의 무너진 모습

(So) don’t you wanna kill me?

이제 시작이야, 아직 먼 길이야
조금 더 배워야 돼, 너 말이야

왜 나에게 이러시나요
그 말이 그대 입에 오를 말인가요
여기서 다 털어볼까요
그대가 누구 누구 누굴 울렸는지

지금까지 너 만만하게만
상대했던 얼굴 반반한 애완
달라 나 준비한 반의 반의반
도 안 한 거야 네 재판

하나, 둘, 셋, 넷 이리 온
내가 열을 세기 전에 어서 온

내게 빌지 마 아직은~
아니, 벌써부터 울 것 까지야

누가 더, 니가, 내가, 나쁠까
나한테 잘 걸렸어, 너 말이야
누가 더, 니가, 내가, 아플까
그렇게 살지 마라, 너 말이야

혼자 보긴 너무 아까운 일이야
너의 무너진 모습

(So) don’t you wanna kill me?

이제 시작이야, 아직 먼 길이야
조금 더 배워야 돼, 너 말이야

Hey, 이젠 놔줄게
있는 힘 다 해서 멀리 뛰어가

Hey, 여기까지야
비참한 니 모습 영원히
기억할게 (영원히 기억할게)

뛰어 달아나 숨이 찰 때까지
모든 건 단 하나, 니가 한 댓가지
너 좀 봐라 봐. 미칠 것만 같지
눈물에 콧물에 꼴 한 번 사납지 woh
이거는 알아둬
니가 내게 줬던 모멸과 수치
에 비하면 어림 반 푼어치
도 아냐 그러니까 애처럼
울지 좀 마

이대로 이야기가 끝일까
마음 다 놓지는 마, 너 말이야
또 다시 내 눈에 넌 잡힐까
눈앞에 띄지 마라, 너 말이야

보이지도 않게, 들리지도 않게,
이름도 바꿔버려

(So) don’t you wanna kill me?

좁은 세상이야, 쉽진 않을 꺼야
사랑은 포기하길, 너 말이야

Korean: MUSIC.NAVER

 

When the first round of memorizing is over, I usually leave it. by tomorrow, it’ll come back a little better with more practice, then I can work to fix mispronunciations and etc. The hardest is usually getting it through the first round

My fav pet phrases right now:

“신고할거야!!”

“I’m gonna report you!”

This one holds lots of hilarious memories for me. Firstly because of Hong Kong Restaurant (Hong Kong 반점!)

Rimi gets mad at the lousy restaurant guy who refuses to first provide chopsticks and then refuses to let her refund her order, and  not only hangs up on her,  That lousy owner was like ‘report me then. go ahead. report. ****’. She’s like ‘did you just curse at me, I’m going to report you!’ 

 

Then another time was when BEAST was not nominated for 1st place on Music Bank. Instead, netizens speculated it could be rookie troll girl group Crayon Pop with their Barbarbar song (lame) and korean beast fans (b2uties) got mad and tweeted ‘If crayon pop wins I’m gonna report Music Bank’. Hahah!

Thoughts of a introverted Kpop fangirl..

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Seob: “Early morning. Listening to a calm music and on my way to Ilsan. Suddenly I remembered the after party after the concert and broke into a smile so I took my smile off and started writing. That night Dongni and I drank till our heads were full and started discussing music to bits. Of course it wasn’t some kind of serious discussion. My memory’s a bit fuzzy but I clearly remember  something I said. I asked Dongni why we are putting in so much effort and practising so hard and the answer I got back was quite surprising and frankly it touched me. “Because every time when we do performances, I don’t want it to be that hyung (yoseob) would be the only one (of the two) to have a tough time.” (T/N: In other words, I believe Dongni wants to step up to the plate and take his share of the workload and work just as hard as his hyungs instead of sitting back as a maknae – which usually being youngest it’s understood they would be more kindly looked upon. Dongni shows he’s matured.) I was surprised. I thought it would be a more simplistic answer. This friend has deeper thoughts than I expected. Quietly in the background putting out his own equal share. MaknaeHe goes first and takes the furthest seat into the back of the van (where it’s prone to motion sickness), first one to volunteer to be the last when filming CFs or individual cuts or photoshoots, such is our reliable maknae. Even now taking the back seat, laying asleep oblivious to the world, quickly maturing and getting wiser, such is our maknae. Very soon he’ll wake up and get embarassed: “Hyung, why are you uploading this kind of things…, but hey thanks for giving me a great image” and he’d love that I wrote this ㅋㅋㅋ” (LOL)

 

yysbeast 이른 아침. 잔잔한 노래를 들으며 일산으로 가는 길. 문득 콘서트 끝나고 뒷풀이가 생각나서 피식했다가 진지해져서 글을 적고있음 머리끝까지 술을 마신 동니와 나는 그날 음악에 대해 백분토론을 했다. 물론 대단한 토론은 아녔다. 기억이 흐릿하지만 분명 기억나는 구절이 있다. 내가 동니에게 왜이렇게 열심히 연습하냐고 물었을때 대답은 꽤 놀라웠고 감동적이었다. “매번 활동 할 때마다 형만 힘들게 하고싶지가 않아서요” 놀랍다. 난 더 어린 대답이 있을거라 생각했는데. 생각보다 더 생각이 깊은 친구. 묵묵히 본인의 몫을 다해내는. 막내. 벤 제일 뒷자리(멀미가 심한자리)를 먼저 앉는, 광고 개인컷때 먼저 마지막에 찍겠다고 말하는 든든한 막내. 지금도 제일 뒷자리에서 세상 모르고자고있는 수염빨리자라는 막내. 조금이따 일어나서 “형, 이런거 왜 올렸어요 부끄럽게,근데 고마워요 이미지 좋아졌네요”라며 좋아하겠지ㅋㅋㅋ

ABOUT MARKETING CELEBRITIES….

Took a while to translate this beautiful piece of anecdote from yoseob. Chasing after kpop idols is hard work, it requires a flurry of skills that you’d never expect young kids in their early teens to have. I’m only in my mid twenties, but I already feel the heat of trying to keep up with the boys (perhaps it’s my introverted nature – doing these kinda things suck up an intense amount of energy.) Exhilarating but exhausting. At the same time, being a kpop idol is also a serious business. And I mean it from the business model. Getting a full team to market people to the masses, entertainers, and generating hype and desire, a commodity that is measured more in terms of experience (going to concerts, being part of a fandom, waiting, interacting) as opposed to purchasing an actual product (CD). Rather, there are lots of emotions tagged the CD you actually purchase. What a curious thing. To sell something that isn’t tangible, yet it exists!

HOW INTROVERSION RELATES TO FANDOM AND KPOP….

Sometimes I break out and observe this fandom culture phenomenon as an outsider (I find myself doing that many times, even when I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone), What do I get out of being part of a subcultural fandom? Companionship? Being part of a virtual collective (I put virtual, because my involvement usually extends as far as being active online, but going to performances is still a personal experience for me). I don’t know. Perhaps it’s to do with fufiling an innate desire to connect with people, but doing it from a safe distance. Liking a public figure provides the fertile ground for just that. It allows me to feel connected and yet, it’s still external enough to handle. My personality is very much that of a cat. I’d like to feel included, but not directly involved. You can see 2 introverts hanging out, perfectly content, doing their own stuff near one another but not exactly engaging in a common activity or conversation. For us, it’s the proximity that gives us the assurance. I’m not sure if that sentiment conveyable to extroverts as well. An extroverted person would feel alive, engaged in a live concert, being in the moment, whereas the same experience would drain me out, and I find it next to impossible to absorb the senses and experiences in the moment, and I can only relive the experience post-occurrence.

ABOUT REACHING OUT TO PEOPLE….

There’s a difference between wanting personal fame and the glitz and wanting to pursue your dreams as a performer and sincerely serving the masses with your skills that you were blessed with. Regardless of one’s motivations for going into such a career that can be quite brutal (treating people as objects from the business end and reverent beings from the fandom end!) I can honestly vouch for the fact that in the entertainment industry, sleep is a rare commodity for these celebrities, that something most common people like us have. Yoseob had been kindly updating his instagram every few hours to let his fans know what they are doing, regardless of how tired he was. That’s dedication to fans. The connection between someone and the recipient. I feel a little admiration just looking at that. As a generally asocial introvert, reaching out to people isn’t something I’d typically do, easily or willingly. In fact, I often seek to avoid making connections, and so looking at someone doing it so earnestly touches me. Anyways.

ABOUT KOREAN LANGUAGE….

I’ve read so much korean between yesterday and today, I can literally feel myself improving. Where it used to be that I needed to dump chunks of text into a translator to lay out the general template for me to begin translating with the help of dictionaries, I feel like it’s getting slightly better. Not that I can read everything (nah), and I’ve kinda stopped writing words I found in my notebook. (I’m sure that’s at a detriment to myself), but at least I’m better equipped now to know how to find the words I need to find,

Yesterday, I got a single fan mail (on b2stera), that I did a good job translating (well more accurately, always trying my best), but it feels good. When you work hard, it’s only natural to want to be acknowledged for that. Korean is a beautiful language that isn’t always easily conveyable, but it’s natural to want to share something beautiful when you find it.

Book-Off

599152-02_book_off_sign_super

Image from animevice.com

Ooh! いいことだ! Shanna from Hangukdrama.com (everybody knows her) posted about Bookoff being a great place for 2nd hand cheap Japanese novels, (and since I agree with her, Japanese books in Singapore are priced like they are branded goods) so I quickly did a search and YAY there’s one outlet so close to the hotel I’ll be staying in Osaka this sept!

http://www.bookoff.co.jp/shop/shop10745.html

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In fact, the hotel (Monterey La Soeur) is even on the map too. HAHA. Though I’ve been studying Japanese for some time now (and paused it), I’ve always wanted to collect my own Japanese novels. Though I’m really extremely picky about books and novels and writing style, I don’t know if I’ll even find something I like. Hope there is!! 이거로 최고야~

If you are going to Japan too, check that site’s map for the region you are going to (Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Kyuushuu) etcetc, then from there it will list several outlets within that region.

I hope this will rekindle my love for Japan. Me and Japan.. we’re like a married old couple.. whose love has lost its spark, so now we’re civil but still trying to make it work. Japan is like a hardworking but hard headed guy who is knowledgeable and very true to himself but sometimes infuriates me with its stubborn over-fishing and endangered species consumption and sales (I still can’t get over that), but we have this long history since I was a child, so I can’t really get too mad at it. Sigh.

But then again, the following month, I’ll be going the sparkly metrosexual Seoul filled with old soul charm and new age glamor. I feel like a girl who gets to go on two dates with 2 guys and then selecting one out of them. Haha so sad for me it’s really 2 countries, and not hot guys from their representative countries. HOH WELL *foreveralonesosad*. I’ll update how it goes. 😀