Noel Coward’s “Private Lives”

John Leary as Victor Prynne, Nadine Garner as Amanda Prynne, Leon Ford as Elyot Chase, and Lucy Durack as Sybil Chase, in ‘Private Lives’

As a Literature student at my school, we get some benefits (thank god!). One of these was to attend a performance of a play that I came to adore – Noel Coward’s Private Lives.

 The plot is romance centric – it’s about a divorced couple with their own respective partners, now married, honeymooning in the same hotel, with a shared balcony. The original couple meet each other due to coincidence and remember the passion they had for each other back in the day. Caught up in their previous love, they run away and leave their partners – which sets up the premise for a lot of hilarious comedy. 

The stage set up, lighting, additional characters, and realness of the actors on stage all combined beautifully to make a wonderful afternoon, and it goes without saying that it was WAY better than school.

Have you watched a play recently that you’d like to talk about?

CNBlue: Can’t Stop

Oh my god. I am so freaking late on the bandwagon here. I just listened to CNBlue’s latest fabulosity – their 5th mini album, Can’t Stop. It’s been out for weeks already and I have no idea why I just kind of ignored it, but I am so glad I didn’t forget about it.

I loved most of the album on first listen – and fell head over heels for “Like a Child”. It’s the last track, but such a great ending. I’ve listened to it *checks* 7 times on loop and I’m still not sick of it. Argghhh loving loving loving this 🙂

It actually sounds so much like one of my other fav rock bands, The Cab (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvFpnM1gDQY this song is one of their most popular). The Cab is like a loop playlist and here’s one of their lyric quotes so you get the feels:

Yeah the good die young
But the great will always last

Hope you have a great day listening to these amazing artists!

Birdee Magazine

This is an article from an online magazine called Birdee (http://birdeemag.com/) which I read regularly. There have been dozens of articles on there that have educated and touched me  – as well as amused and invigorated me. This is a recent one.

CAN FEMINISM AND MARRIAGE BE FRIENDS?

CAN FEMINISM AND MARRIAGE BE FRIENDS?

By Hayley Gleeson on February 26 2014 – Matters of the Heart

For the past few years I’ve been conscious of a growing belief among young women that marriage and feminism do not go together – they’re not friends; they can’t hang out, end of story.

On numerous occasions, I’ve encountered such negative reactions to the idea of getting hitched – from highly-educated feminists, and to my surprise, close friends – that I’ve been led to question my own priorities, even in times since I got engaged last year.

One Birdee reader recently wrote in with a similar predicament:

“I’d like to know why it is that more and more women consider getting married as throwing their lives away?” asked M. “Are we still so scared of being dominated that we’re throwing the whole truth of what marriage is out the window? I believe myself to be a feminist and I believe in equal rights, but is shunning marriage really helping that goal?”

simpsons marriage

First of all, it’s important to acknowledge that some people just do not want to get married, and that’s okay.

We live in a culture that, often without understanding why, prizes marriage above all else; we learn that we should make it our ultimate goal to settle down with one partner and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, many people feel threatened by those who deviate from this norm, and so we wind up having arguments with our great aunt Mavis about why actually, we’re incredibly happy living with our boyfriend and don’t fancy getting married in the near future, or, we earn a stable income and have a fine companion in the form of a surly, self-important cat, and we’re quite content as we are, thank you very much.

But back to feminism: YES, you can be a feminist and still believe in marriage.

I believe that part of the whole ‘I can’t get married because I’m a feminist’ conundrum is anchored in confusion around the goals of feminism itself.

Now, I don’t pretend to speak for everyone, but it is my instinct that many ‘shunners’ do not reject the idea of marriage itself, so much as what they’ve come to associate it with. Even if you’re in a loving and equal relationship, the idea of sealing the deal can seem at odds with the freedoms the feminist movement has won us.

But wanting to get married does not automatically mean you are submitting to the patriarchy and signing yourself up for a lifetime of oppression; where once women married – often against their will – for financial security, religious reasons, or political advantage (in many cases, they still do), now they can marry for love. Today, with a blurring (but not obliterating) of traditional gender roles, we enter into marriage knowing our partners will support our decisions and desires to lead a fulfilling career, have children (or not), and live out our dreams. We women have identities outside of our relationships; we are not bound to a life lived in our husband’s shadow.

We no longer need marriage, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still believe in and want it.

beyonce-ring-on-it

The problem is that we continue to receive mixed messages from the media and popular culture that dictate what role a relationship should play in a woman’s life. Though it is slowly being challenged, we continue to read inCosmopolitan of the 648 various ways to please your man; we watch films about sad, desperate single women who are framed as failures because they don’t have a partner; and we’re reminded – repeatedly – that all women must have children in order for their lives to count for something. (No thanks to you, Beyoncé.)

Society still expects that women will get married. But feminism insists that a couple be free to choose how they will or won’t recognise their commitment to each other. If their goals and values paint marriage into the picture, great! Pop the champagne. If not, the couple should be unchallenged on their decision to bask in their love however they please – free from the judgement of those around them. (I must also acknowledge that unfortunately, most same-sex couples around the world are still largely excluded from these opportunities.)

Curiously, some have claimed that feminism will spell the death of marriage.

In a controversial article published in the New York Times just recently, psychotherapist and author Lori Gottlieb argued that gender equality was having a detrimental effect on married heterosexual couples’ sex lives. Gottlieb outlined a 2012 study – data from which was collected 20 years ago – that found when men performed traditionally feminine chores “like folding laundry, cooking or vacuuming — the kinds of things many women say they want their husbands to do”, couples had less sex than if men performed traditionally ‘masculine’ chores like taking out the rubbish or fixing the car.

“The more traditional the division of labor, meaning the greater the husband’s share of masculine chores compared with feminine ones, the greater his wife’s reported sexual satisfaction,” Gottlieb wrote. “In an attempt to be gender-neutral, we may have become gender-neutered.”

holding hands

Wait, wait, wait – ignoring the fact that Gottlieb’s focus was fixed predominantly on straight couples and folding washing, a husband and wife who share the load are doomed to wind up in a sexless marriage and therefore be more likely to cheat or get divorced?

Numerous counter arguments have since been published, many questioning Gottlieb’s reliance on information collected in the 90s, many pointing out that in decades past, sexual desire in a marriagewas reserved for men only; women were expected to pleasure men and receive nothing in return. Thankfully, we’ve since embraced the idea that women have sexual needs and desires just as men do (though much of the pornography clogging up our interwebs would lead us to believe otherwise).

And actually, if you park all the claims that single women might fare better in life than those who marry, and consider the stagnating divorce rate, the fact thatcouples today are marrying later, and that more of us are choosing to cohabitbefore we do tie the knot, it seems we might even take marriage more seriously than previous generations have. Perhaps we’ve learned from our parents’ and grandparents’ mistakes – we know what we want in an equal, loving marriage; at the very least, we know what we don’t want.

To the women who feel torn – who feel that they cannot enter into a lifelong commitment to grow old with the one they love – because they deem ‘feminism’ a conflict of interest, a few pointers.

Yes, society might create the illusion that your only option is to get married, but it is not. As a young woman in the western world today, you have so many choices at your feet. Feminism is about exercising your right – your freedom – to make whatever choices your heart desires, while respecting the choices of the women around you. If that means writing your own contract in place of a traditional marriage, so be it. If that means frocking up in a pouffy white meringue, strutting down the aisle and scoffing cake with your nearest and dearest, excellent. You can even get married and keep your maiden name without a single person batting their eyelids (in fact, statistics suggest young women are increasingly inclined to do just that).

muriels-wedding

Muriel’s Wedding. Potentially not the best way to go about your nuptials.

Feminism does not mean rejecting marriage out of principle. It is not about hating men. Feminism means eradicating gender-based inequality. It means being empowered to make decisions about your life and relationships and how long your hemline is because a you are independent and capable and do not need a man to help you do so.

You’re no less of a feminist if you want to get married, so long as it is your personal decision, and your marriage reflects your values and goals as a feminist. Marriage is about you and your partner agreeing to support each other, through thick and thin, for the best part of your lives.

And if a such an awesome, special part of life as that cannot live in harmony with feminism, I’m out.

If this article was a TL;DR for you, go back and read it anyway. I promise you won’t regret it.

WHY?!?!?

WHY?!?!

Okay so this is slightly unbelievable and most definitely very sad for me – the list of K Celebs rumored to be going on military service is out, and I’m incredibly sad but supportive at the same time.

After reading that if you’ve been reduced to silently screaming ‘WHY?!’, I understand. There is a few on that list that has a whole bunch of fans going ‘WHY ARE YOU LEAVING US???’ while another one has me staring at the list with extreme shock. I don’t really care about the most, since I don’t know who they are/what they do. But if you don’t want to see them gone for the next 21 months (!), I will sympathize. Because Seo In Guk is going. That’s freaking right. SEO. IN. GUK. IS. GOING.

Screw his adorable-ness 😥

While I’m like ‘Nooooo!’ and clutching my doona in despair, I’m also going ‘Good on ya!’ and encouraging the choice although he’s not going to give a shit about some Indian-Australian girl’s opinion. Good on him (and possibly his agency/country for forcing encouraging him, unless he legit wanted to go) and I hope he has a good time and becomes *evil fangirl chuckle* even more buff >:3. I hope he’s not given preferential treatment or derogatory treatment and makes a bunch of army friends.

But at the same time – I really hope he doesn’t lose his fun personality and keeps smiling even though military training is as tough as f*ck. What would be fabulous is if he managed to retain his original personality and build on his character.

Anyways – if you’re wondering why I talked about SIG first and not *gasp* Kim Hyun Joong or Lee Min Ho, I think it’s time to clear up my thoughts about LMH. Yep – great actor, good looking, and probably good company – but I have an unfair prejudice against those who rise to fame almost overnight. BOF did that for LMH, and as much as it isn’t his fault (and that it shouldn’t be the reason I don’t like him too much) it’s still why I don’t care too much for him. Take it or leave it.

Another reason why I’m seriously doubting LMH is because of his choice to do Heirs. While in a few interviews before he mentioned wanting to do an interesting role of a character other than a chaebol, he went ahead and did this one anyway. It’s understandable, I mean the cast and the budget was pretty damn good, plus there was a trip to Cali thrown in, what more could you want?

I’m sure he didn’t quite forsee what a non-drama (for me) Heirs was going to be, and I can’t really blame him for that either. But I still just don’t like him all that much. Or at all. And KHJ never really mattered much to me.

Anyways, after deviating 374819013772 miles off course, I think it’s time to wrap up.

If they all do end up going to service, I hope they make lasting memories and don’t forget their fans are waiting.

Good luck guys!

Answer Me 1997 on tvN’s Taxi

Watch and squirm with cuteness omg 🙂

Carrotblossom Patch

A bazillion thoughts are running through my head right now as I both dread and eagerly anticipate the finale of our collective spazzmaniasdfhjkl@#$%^&*, aka Answer Me 1997.  There are 15 hours and 18 minutes left before the last episode airs.  No, I’m not counting down.  What gave you that idea?

We got a request last week asking us to translate a clip from an episode of tvN’s talk show Taxi, featuring Seo In-guk as a guest.  (The episode, #248, aired on July 19).  Things have been a little busy on our end, hence the delay, but I figured it was most fitting to send off this darling of a show with as much madness as possible.  So, if you haven’t re-watched the Episode 16 Preview for the 30th time yet, I advise you do so now.  Oh, and you may wanna catch Yoon Yoon-jae on SNL.

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I want to write about this before the newness wears off

I want to write about this before the newness wears off

First off, this photo is from Summer Nude, a Japanese ドラマ (drama) that I started watching… just now. I read about it quite a while ago on tofugu.com (http://www.tofugu.com/2013/08/26/gettin-summer-nude-in-japan/) on a post about Jdramas. In fact this was just after I’d finished watching Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers/Meteor Garden but Japanese version) and was looking for other dramas that were of a different type. This list was actually really helpful to me, I watched Buzzer Beat and Pride (two of my favourite Jdramas ever) thanks to John.

[I think we have incredibly similar tastes in dramas, I should try out classics like Densha Otoko sometime as well]

Anyways, back to Summer Nude. This drama wasn’t well received in Japan or worldwide it seems, because of its slow pace and Yamapi’s wooden block acting. It’s true that Yamapi isn’t that great an actor (sorry!) and his style could be called… unique, but I think that his “dead-inside” acting was part of portraying his character, who I will explain now.

Basically Pi plays Asahi Mikuriya, a photographer who works in a small beach town. He is quiet and has a close group of friends, and cannot forget a woman he used to love 3 years ago. He is stuck in a rut between the past and the future, and his past girl’s face being plastered on a billboard in the middle of town doesn’t help. One of his friends – Taniyama Hanae (played by Erika Toda, she’s from Liar Game) – has had a crush on him for the past ten years, but Asahi seems to want nothing more than a platonic friendship. Meanwhile, Karina’s character (god damn I love this chick ever since Love Shuffle), Natsuki, has quit her job as a chef at a restaurant in Tokyo to marry. Asahi happens to be a photographer on the day of her wedding, where her husband runs away in a taxi and leaves her stranded.

A bunch of things happen, and Natsuki ends up working at a restaurant in the beach town where the main characters live. After learning about his past love, and Hanae’s crush, she decides to help the two get together. Of course, nothing is as simple as it seems, and we’re shown their lives and coming of age(s) as love is lost and found.

The plot is nothing special. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t watch it in the first place. The boring old “girl helps guy but falls in love with him” is… boring. And there isn’t much that seems to be standing out at first glance (or even at second). But I like it so far and I’d like to write why.

First off – I am kinda sick of action packed K-dramas. I miss the familiarity of the Japanese language (since I used to learn it myself) and I wasn’t getting quite what I wanted from the TW dramas either. So that might be a reason why I like the drama.

Karina in Love Shuffle as Aizawa Airu (or AiAi)

Second – I have a slight Karina bias and a small Yamapi bias. Karina because I adored her character in Love Shuffle (although I wasn’t THAT happy with the ending pair. Won’t spoil it if you haven’t watched, check it out!), and Yamapi because of Buzzer Beat. I usually like sports dramas and yes it sounds horrendous but it’s true.

Yamapi in Buzzer Beat as Kamiya Naoki – yes his hair is slightly ew.

So now that you’ve got my bias straight… I love the drama so far. It’s slow, it’s sweet, and I like the characters. I have to agree at the moment that a well made doll shows more expressions than Yamapi has so far, but it’s Karina and Erika’s chemistry on-screen that’s really hitting the right notes for me. They’re so… REAL. Just the way they talk and interact with each other makes it seem like they aren’t acting, and that’s what I like to see.

Another thing about the real-ness of this drama – I honestly don’t think Kdramas pull this off quite as well. The background and the scenery for one. The little bits of mess around the homes of the characters, the way they mess up their hair or roll up their sleeves, the fooling around with each other, their shy smiles – they seem so much closer to home when done in a Jdrama than a Korean or Taiwanese one.

Anyways, I recommend checking Summer Nude out if you like the sound of it 🙂

Till then~

Feeling like writing because procrastination is the key to a great life

So I should be doing homework right now but that’s clearly out of the window.

I’m currently compiling The List for dramas to post, but it’s taking a while. I’ve watched than I thought I did. Oh well.

Meanwhile, I am here to write about… rollerblading. Yes, that sport you used to have fun with back in the old days. Rollerblading used to be my thing as well, partially because I was quite good at it. In the two years I bladed (oh gosh don’t I sound professional saying that) I got to the state championships for speed skating and got a silver medal. Hurrah! But like the young girl with no ideas of her priorities that I was, I quit skating to dance. Well that’s fun too, but I think doing both wouldn’t have been too difficult/a bad idea either.

In any case, I recently re-discovered rollerblading partly in thanks to Autumn’s Concerto (yet to finish watching… don’t know why I’m delaying it) and a garage sale. The scene in AC where Guang Xi is teaching Xiao Le (is it just me who thinks it’s so adorable how Mu Cheng named her son after the bird she and Guang Xi raised?) how to skate reminded me of my first rollerblading lesson, and I thought “wouldn’t it be nice if I started skating again?”

This thought was bought back to my mind when, the next weekend, a friend and I went ice skating. I loved ice skating the first time I went (when I was in Year 7, it was for my birthday party) because it reminded me of rollerblading. Also because I was better at it than my friends. Yes, I am vain in that way.

I thought this photo was ridiculously cool, I have no idea what he’s doing but it looks fun and dangerous >:3

The weekend after that (whew, this is turning out to be a super long prelude to a very simple point but meh; my fingers are flying and I can’t seem to stop them) my dad was out biking and spotted a pair of size 7 (MY SIZE) blades at a garage sale for an incredibly cheap $20, and they had barely been used, so he rode back home to let me know. Being the chill kind of dad he is, he’d forgotten to take his phone so couldn’t call me. We went to the garage sale and voila! They fit perfectly. We bought them and a few other items that we probably don’t need and returned home.

The VERY NEXT DAY we went out to a reserve near our house and I skated while he rode his bike. Simply put – it was really fun!

So since then I’ve gone out skating every weekend and loved it. And there’s my story.

Have you recently (re)discovered a hobby?

The description says cooking, so…

The description says cooking, so...

I love to cook, but I’m not much of a mains/entree person, so usually for me it’s desserts. My family says my cupcakes, cakes, muffins and brownies are like no other, so I decided to give macaroons a try. It’s the first time I tried a recipe that took more than 20 mins to prepare, and I was harried because I made it in Food Tech class, and we only had 90 minutes. Of course, 10 minutes of that was spent listening to the teacher go on and on and on about the same old safety and hygiene instructions we’d heard before – and honestly they’re basically common sense so I see no reason to explain, but there’s school for you.

25 minutes into the lesson, I’d finally gathered the ingredients and gotten cooking. Honestly, it wasn’t that hard. I don’t know why so many people say macaroons are difficult to produce.

(Their standards of a good product are probably a lot higher than mine. I tend to think “close enough is good enough” so a lot of my projects are not as good as they could have been if I’d tried harder. Meh).

Obviously with my super slow speed at almost everything, I ended up staying after class to actually assemble the macaroons. Whoops forgot to mention, I was using Adriano Zumbo’s recipe – so it was intense. His measurements are so PRECISE! I believe I spent around a 2 whole minutes trying to measure out 83 grams of something – quite a lot more stressful than it seems actually. Anyways, Zumbo’s recipe was true to it’s word, I ended up with lovely looking rose and banana macaroons. I chose those slightly disgusting sounding flavours because I doubted I would be able to find in season products and weird sounding chemical foods in the supermarket aisle.

So I ended up with okay looking rose and banana macaroons, and went ahead to taste.

They were SOOOO SWEET! It was like a sugar punch with rose flavour – but I guess I should add I’ve never eaten macaroons before, *smiles sheepishly* I suppose it should have been obvious it would be really sweet considering it’s a French recipe – but it’s me, remember? Doesn’t think before talking, or tasting in this case.

I would love to make macaroons again, but for now I stick to my delicious coffee muffins :3

BUH BYEEEEEEE