Work and Dramas

— 1 —

It’s not Friday, but whatever. It’s been more than a week since I last posted but this was the only thing I had the energy to write. So. There.

Now that November and weddings and lots of things are over, I might actually be able to blog more often. Yay!

Though, I didn’t end NaNoWriMo terribly auspiciously. I ended up with 15,000 words.

See, according to my word processor count, I had about 17,000 around the middle of November. The two wedding weekends I couldn’t get a lot done, so I would’ve had to push really hard to get the rest in. I succumbed to laziness, though, and I was trying to see how many words I had according to the NaNoWriMo validator so I could see how much I really needed to write. Needless to say I was extremely pissed when it said I had 2,000 less than I thought I did.

So between that and my long days at work and my drama addiction, I didn’t get any more written. I do plan to keep working on it a bit, though.

— 2 —

However, I’ve got more on my plate to do than just that, and it’s not top of my list either.

I just changed my hours at work starting this week, which is wonderful! I have to get up earlier, but now I get off at 4pm, so I have much more time in the evenings than I used to. To do things! Stuff!

— 3 —

My Hangeul is coming along, sort of. I’ve just been doing endless repetitions of letters in a notebook, to get the strokes right and to make the associations between the letters and the sounds. I think I’ve got about 15 of the letters down now–about halfway through the alphabet.

I can only hope I’m writing them correctly. It’s a lot of fun to learn, either way–and it makes me think how unconsciously the languages we grow up with come to us. I love how Hangeul has a specific stroke order you’re supposed to make each letter with. It’s not exactly the same, but we kind of have that in English, too–we don’t usually dot our i’s or cross our t’s first thing. We never think about it, because that’s just how we make the letters! And I’m sure in all languages such stroke order isn’t necessarily set in stone either…but it’s neat to consider it from that angle, of things we never think about.

— 4 —

And one of the dram’s I’m watching has actually led me to something productive!

Which one? “Tomorrow’s Cantabile” or “Naeil’s Cantabile,” based on a manga/anime/j-drama called “Nodame Cantabile.” The original features Shinichi Chiaki, a brooding, genius piano student who wants to become a conductor, and Megumi Noda, an eccentric (and slightly ditzy) “loser” piano student who wants nothing more than to have fun. Chiaki and Nodame end up drawn into each other’s worlds by a famous conductor who comes to their school and forms a second school orchestra–comprising genius Chiaki and the school’s reject students!

Tomorrow's Cantabile 1

The names may differ in the k-drama–Chiaki becomes Cha Yoo Jin and Nodame becomes Sol Nae Il–but from what I’ve seen of the anime, they’re quite true to character.

Tomorrow's Cantabile 2

K-drama vs. anime/manga. Ahh Go Kyung Pyo…I loved you in Flower Boy Next Door and I love you now (he’s on the right, by the way. The one who looks like Choi Si Won’s twin but is cute in his own right).

I probably shouldn’t like the show so much— though I mainly think that because of how badly Yoo Jin treats Naeil at first (though she doesn’t treat him that well either) and because women get dragged around a lot in dramas (is that a cultural thing?). Which is another post in itself. But there are good things to it: the story itself seems really solid and there’s actually character development, too. I don’t know how realistic it is–I’ll have to finish the series to determine that–but I like the acting and the chemistry. Apparently it’s not getting that great of ratings in Korea, but I like it. Have to wait til the end of the simulcast.

The show also puts forth the idea of how powerful music is, how the best music is not only that which is technically perfect but that which moves us in some way.

Tomorrow's Cantabile 3

Second male lead is the cellist. He’s great too. I hate second male lead syndrome.

So what productive thing has this drama led me to? Besides just making me fall in love with music all over again?

Piano! I’m an erstwhile pianist. When I was younger, my parents–as parents must when we’re quite young–chose some activities for me. I must’ve gravitated toward the piano as an instrument (my father, brother, and sister all took piano as well) so that was what I did. I actually enjoyed it, too–though I absolutely detested practicing sometimes.

On and off for about 7 years I took piano, and had some really good teachers. One was a lovely Japanese woman who, according to my mother, worked me quite hard and made my playing quite good. I do remember her, and how she would tell me stories of when she was in music school, how her teachers would tell her, “Learn this piece by next class” and would be very upset if you didn’t. I also remember thinking how I was glad I wasn’t in a music school in Japan and how annoying it was to have to practice an hour a day as it was.

But I was always so happy when I mastered a piece.

So now, I’m going to see if I can get my playing back to at least adequate, and then maybe one day I’ll be good enough to tackle one of Bach’s Inventions again. I look at that and think, “How the heck did Mrs. Nakamura ever get me to play that whole piece through and say, yes, you’re finished with this one, move on to the next?”

Have you seen the sheet music for Bach’s First Invention? It may be par for the course for other pianists, but I still marvel at it. Both hands are playing the same thing…the left is just a half-measure behind the right. To me, that’s amazing. How can we do that?

“What a piece of work is man!”

— 5 —

On the subject of dramas…I’m almost done with Lie to Me. Gong Ah Jung, an officer at the Ministry for Culture and Tourism, who’s first big event goes rather down-hill. On top of that, she runs into Yoo So Ran, an old frenemy who stole Ah Jung’s first love three years ago. Down about her event and embarrassed at being belittled by So Ran for still being single, Ah Jung pretends she’s married.

Hyun Ki Joon, president of the World Hotel chain and associated resorts, still broods over his ex-fiance Oh Yoon Joo, whom he sent away 3 years ago. When he hears that his brother Hyun Sang Hee, who’s crush on Yoon Joo was the reason he ended his engagement, has finally returned home, he rushes to the club where Sang Hee was seen last.

Sang Hee manages to evade him for the time being–and instead Ki Joon gets saddled with a drunk, apoplectic Ah Jung, who’s bee sting reacted with her alcoholic overindulgence (don’t ask–just go with it). Because Ki Joon takes responsibility seriously, he stays all night with Ah Jung at the hospital to make sure she’s ok. In the next few days, she goes to his hotel to repay him for the hospital visit.

Lie to Me 6

Due to their continued association, and the hilarious hijinks that go along with it, Ah Jung’s lie becomes bigger than she ever imagined–her old school friends assume she meant Ki Joon!

The rumor spreads everywhere, and the two are forced to deal with the consequences.

It’s a fun drama, and I am enjoying the ride extremely. The acting and chemistry are great, but I feel something is lacking…like realistic plot. Ah Jung and Ki Joon start falling in love with each other before they even know much about each other. Like, I’ve-suddenly-realized-I’m-attracted-to-you-here-let-me-drop-my-karaoke-mic-and-passionately-make-out-with-you-for-30-seconds sort of thing.

Lie to Me 5(chemistry)

Of course, you can be physically and emotionally attracted to someone first, before getting to know them, that’s not a problem necessarily. It’s just…the violence of the affections the two leads profess sometimes seems unrealistic considering the length of their acquaintance.

I guess they wanted to focus more on the “ex-fiance returns” angle. Can’t have a drama without a love triangle (or quadrangle, here).

Lie to Me 4

Again, I love it because of the acting and chemistry, and because there is some character development. But…the romance is a teensy unrealistic on some levels. At least, I would hope to get to know the guy a little better before getting so serious. Maybe that’s just me.

It also hurts that Sung Joon was vastly underutilized as the second male lead. He doesn’t get enough screen time with Ah Jung for us to know that he actually likes her–it’s only when he finds out his brother likes her that we see him moping. And Sung Joon is a good actor, so it seems a bit of a waste. We don’t even get onscreen development from him. We just know that his character is different, and he doesn’t interfere in his brother’s romance like he did before.

Lie to Me 3

Still, I started it, and I’m enjoying the chemistry, so unless something crazy happens I’m going to finish it.

— 6 —

Now of the subject of dramas, I’m working on teaching myself coding. I found this site, Codecademy, where you can learn all sorts of things. I now understand the very basics of HTML and the next lesson is on CSS. It’s actually a lot of fun. Maybe I’ll be able to make my own website soon! About what I don’t know. Drama? Books? Music? I dunno, but I suppose I’ll think of something.

What more? Hmmm…I’m reading the “Attack on Titan” manga, just to get a better grip on the story in case a second season comes out any time soon. Haha. It really is rather gruesome. The static nature of the pictures forces a reader to focus more on the grotesque attitudes and happenings of the story. *shiver* Still, it feels like more is happening than happens in the anime–probably just because there is so much happening without questions being answered. Besides simple ones like who is which titan.

— 7 —

And here are some perfectly gratuitous gifs from Tomorrow’s Cantabile:

Tomorrow's Cantabile 5

Our main characters, Yoo Jin and Nae Il.
Tomorrow's Cantabile 6
Sassy, crazy, beautiful Go Kyung P—I mean, Yoo Il Rak. Does that sound too much like easy, breezy, beautiful CoverGirl? 
 Tomorrow's Cantabile 4
And last but not least, Cha Yoo Jin letting loose. A little.

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