Gimme Sympathy… and Jungshook Over Jungkook’s Hair

Ugh. This place feels so neglected! And I don’t like that. But life… you see, life… it gets in the way sometimes. I’ve been doing so much overtime and well, there was also this little BIG thing where my daughter had her grade 8 graduation. And I had to finalize a new hire which I will need to travel to the states to train her… So you know, gimme sympathy:

In other news… holy… Jungkook has got us Jungshook again with his bright red hair!

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My dog won’t let me sleep. And neither will Anpanman, apparently…

Last night I was so tired. My daughter is traveling with her class on an end of school year trip and my husband was working. I savored having the house to myself for the evening. When I climbed into bed, my dog, Hobbes, decided to squeeze himself into MY spot so I was forced to lie there diagonally whilst contorting my body around his 21-lb rolled up ass.

He’s tiny, but solid. And he knows how to make himself comfortable. Often when I think I’ll get to cuddle with my husband, he’ll swoop in and take the spot that is rightfully mine. See what I mean?

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I finally nudged him to move over and he decides to make himself comfortable by lying on his side, back to me, and resting his head on my husband’s pillow. I’m thankful at least he’s on the other side of our queen size bed but sheesh! You’d think he was entitled to act so…  human!

My body was done for, though. The weekend was just so busy… shopping with my daughter for her grade 8 graduation dress, waking up early both Saturday and Sunday morning to put in a grueling 2-2.5 hr workout and up to my parents place for an early father’s day dinner. Not to mention all the running around we had to do to get in our errands – plus a short hike on Sunday to end the day.

I was very close to la-la-land. I could feel my body succumbing to sleep but just before I reached that blissful slumber… just as I was about to feel the final strings of my consciousness being pulled into a peaceful darkness…

This is what goes through my head…

“WAITING FOR YOU, ANPANMAAAAAAN!”

Seriously?

anpanman

BTS Burn the Stage – About Teamwork and Leadership Skills

[NOTE: I am not going to go into details of what has happened in either episodes to avoid spoilers. Everything I talk about has already been hinted during the documentary’s previews/trailers]

I re-watched episode 3 last night with my husband. And then I watched episode 4. I knew, from the previews, #4 was going to be intense and I wanted to prepare myself before watching it with my daughter.

Because it was pretty intense. In this one, there’s an argument – and the emotions are pretty damn high.

I mentioned I was a bit worried BTS’ documentary might be critiqued as a typical reality show (using drama to fuel ratings a la ‘Real Housewives’ style – though not to that extreme of course as I have faith in BTS). We all knew we would be seeing their personalities sometimes not in the best light. And this definitely comes out when two or more members start to argue.

Going into this, I was fine with the whole concept of showing their different sides. I only wanted to see some resolutions. If BTS are to uphold their reputation of being a strong team and family, I expected them to also display proper conflict-resolution after such disagreements in order to not just avoid fall-outs but to strengthen their relationship further. I expected RM, as the leader, to ensure the resolution is attempted as a group. This is what they are supposed to do. Without leadership and conflict-resolution, they would have been doomed to failure a long time ago.

I was not disappointed.

So after watching the last intense episode, I was reminded of a recording of PD Bang as a keynote speaker, where he answers questions from other professions regarding his strategy in bringing together BTS and his leadership role:

Overall, I’m very pleased with Burn the Stage. As much as I love k-pop – both the music and the entire subculture – the ideology of idol perfection has never sat well with me. I did feel it was a lie – not one which I blame the idols themselves. This is, basically, what k-pop is all about. It wouldn’t be it’s own genre without making these idols god-like. They achieve near-perfection, or at least the image of perfection, to feed their fandom what is almost like a new religion.

Fans seek these idol-like traits to worship. It’s both scary and fascinating at the same time. I’m coming to accept this fact – without this type of worship what would k-pop be like?

Yet… BTS is doing the opposite here, aren’t they? Mind you, they needed to bring their popularity up to a point in order to do this. Regardless of their ‘ugly sides’ they are showing through Burn the Stage, their fans will continue to support them and their haters will continue to hate them. Nothing will change that reality on either side of the coin.

So what makes this documentary so special? For me, I feel relief. I feel encouraged. I always knew each idol out there are just humans. But to see BTS’ bravery in showing this side to the world is like they were just waiting to exhale. Yes, they are human and here’s how they are going to show everyone how human they are – imperfections and all.

Honestly, this was such a good move for them. They have used baby steps to branch out of the manicured idol group mentality and through Burn the Stage they continue to show they are true artists with control of their creativity (of course, huge thanks goes out to Big Hit for allowing them this liberty, unlike many of the known entertainment companies in the industry).

If you are from the states, a reminder you can sign on with YouTube Red for 2 months free subscription. I am not certain but read the schedule for each Burn the Stage release date is about every two weeks. With a total of 4 more episodes to be released, you might be able to watch all 8 if you time your free subscription correctly. For the rest, you may need to pay per episode. Here in Canada it is $2.49 CAD for each. I felt it was worth it! I now will own each episode and I’ve already watched each one at least 2 or 3 times!

Parenting 101

Kidding. There is no ‘Parenting 101’. If parenting was written like a manual – if that were even remotely possible – it would not only be the easiest job/role to do in the world, but it would also probably lack in how rewarding the experience would be.

There’s no manual, no instructions and most advice will not work outside the ‘this is how you test if the bath temperature isn’t too hot’ – mainly, it’s about a lot of listening, thinking, communicating and using one’s gut instincts to navigate around obstacles and much growing pains (for both child and parent alike).

Personally, I also rely on my own experience. I try, really, really try (with many failed attempts along the way) to remember what it was like to be my daughter’s age. Ahh… it’s so not as easy as it sounds. Believe me I get more non-parents who think they have the answers of ‘how they would do it’ but until one becomes a parent, they do not realize many answers are not as black and white as they appear. And being an aunt/uncle does not count. Most parents I know understand this – and all they can do is nod with empathy. They may share their own story if they have a similar one to whatever problem I may be facing but it comes with the unspoken words, ‘take what you can get from my story… and good luck!’

Being a parent of a teen girl – and never having the experience of raising a teen – I’ve REALLY had to search back down memory lane to remember all the emotions I went through as a teen. What I have discovered is that being a teen is a bitch. I’ve triggered so many emotions – a roller coaster of them. Oh I am so glad being a teen is just one phase in my life. While I do have some great memories, there are many other eras of my life I’d rather live through again (all of them being past my teen years).

An area I am treading carefully with at the moment, well… is a teen’s love life. I recall how strict my parents were with me. First, I was not allowed to have a boyfriend until I was at least 18 years old.

So what did I do? I had a boyfriend at 14, 15 and 17. They didn’t know any of them because I knew they would not approve.

Then as I approached 18 and was about to prepare myself to tell them about my then boyfriend, I was told I had to wait until I was in university. Seriously?

So what did I do next? I would sneak out at 2am to meet my secret boyfriend.

My mom also told me not to have sex until I was married.

Yeah, well… that wasn’t going to take. While I was still technically a virgin, I definitely was sexually active. I lost my virginity in my early 20’s.

One thing I learned from my own experience growing up as a teen – there’s just such things a parent can not control. We can place rules, curfews and expectations (which really amount to teaching our daughter what team work involves in our household – we all pull our own weight). But to tell them not to have a boyfriend/girlfriend is like asking them to never have a crush or attraction. To tell them when they can be sexually active is like us trying to control their bodies.

My daughter’s friends have extremely strict parents. For example, one of them is not allowed to invite boys over. EVER. Even while the parents are home. So, the daughter does not invite any boys over. However, her parents probably have no idea she has had a boyfriend for most the school year. Even I know who he is (my daughter tells me everything in confidence). I mind my own business. There you have it though. I would prefer not only to know my daughter has a boyfriend – but also have him come over to our house so I can meet him and get to know him. Home advantage is an advantage for a reason.

I am not stupid – I see the stubbornness in my daughter. She comes by it honestly from both my husband and myself. She is strong-minded and she’s going to make her own decisions as she sees fit.

And so I decided to do whatever I can to keep the communication open – I figured so long as she’s aware of the risks she is taking when she decides to have a serious boyfriend, when she decides to be sexually active, etc., she will hopefully make the best decision for her. Much of it in then end involves a bit of faith. And maybe a prayer or two.

As a parent, it’s not even about worrying whether or not she will practice safer sex. My hope is for her emotions to be protected. I want her to be doing it purely for herself and I hope her first time will not be regretted in anyway. Sure I’d rather her wait – isn’t it ideal to wait until one is in love with their partner? It’s not necessary – but personally, it’s what is preferred.

But… I can’t control her future. Just like my parents could not control mine.

Evidently, Strip Clubs Like K-Pop Too!

No, I didn’t go to a strip club last night. Just wanted to get that out of the way. Yes, I have been to strip clubs in my youth – mainly watching female strippers (I have a lot of best friends who happen to be men) though one time I was dragged to watch male strippers for our first ever stag-ette. I mean, it was the ‘thing’ to do right? What the hell did we know? Believe me – after that one time we learned fast… Spa day, nice dinner, even out clubbing… there were a slew of things we learned as a group of women that we enjoyed over seeing male strippers. I’m not coming down on women who enjoy that sort of thing – I/We just found it somewhat boring.

I’m going way off topic…

Last night we were leaving our K-Pop dance class (we learned Twice’s TT – cute choreography) when we passed by a pretty well-known strip club (one level features female strippers while another features male strippers – it’s been part of our city’s downtown FOREVER!)

I’m listening to the music they have pumping out in order to draw attention. With some confusion, I looked at my 14 year old daughter. As if she could read my mind, she said, “Yeah… it’s k-pop. Hard Carry.”

I had to do a double-take – just to ensure I was not incorrect with my observation of exactly what type of establishment was playing GOT7’s hit track.

“Um…” I cautiously turned back to my daughter, “You, uh… know what that place is, right?”

“Well, yeah. I mean I can read. AND see the pictures.”

“Ah. Right… *Sigh* You’ve got to be kiddin’ me!”

“What?”

“I finally hear k-pop on the streets of my own city… and it’s from a strip club?”

“It’s not that big of a deal…”

“But it IS a big deal! On so many levels!!”

“Well, I like that song…”

“No, no, no… this is just SO wrong!”

“Calm down.”

This should be filed under “when my teenage kid was not shook but should be but I was hella shook…”