BTS ‘Anpanman’ Choreography

In about 30 minutes we’ll be heading off to the dance studio to learn BTS’ Anpanman:

I’m so screwed. It looks hard. But my daughter has been dying to try this choreography so we can’t pass it up.

Also… I miss Lay. I hope he joins EXO during their next comeback (rumored for August).

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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?

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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.

BTS MIC Drop Remix – K-Pop Dance Class No. 3

The day came much sooner than expected! Not that I’m complaining. Not that my daughter is complaining. In fact, we were going to go to the 2pm dance class. But when we saw the studio Instagram post MIC Drop Remix for the 1pm beginners k-pop class (i.e. the instructors post the day before or the morning of their scheduled class), I don’t think my daughter would have forgiven me for not signing us up for the earlier one.

I only say this came sooner than expected because I knew eventually, we would have a chance to do a BTS choreography. Whether it was MIC Drop or not (though we were ecstatic to do MIC Drop). I sort of hoped, though, I had a chance to get a bit more practice of k-pop dances in general before trying out BTS. Let’s face it – BTS’ choreography is not easy. And while this was a beginner’s class, even the instructor noted this was going to be a challenging one.

I noticed through past Instagram postings from the dance studio, both BTS and EXO songs seems to be the most popular choreography. I have seen BTS’ Dope, Best of Me, Danger and Just One Day. And also EXO’s The Eve, Ko Ko Bop and Power.  Black Pink is another popular group with Whistle, Playing With Fire and As If It’s Your Last being some of the more current choices.

How did I fare? I think I did alright considering I’m still new to k-pop. By the end of the class, I was able to do most of the sequence (we did it from start of the above tutorial to the “MIC Drop, MIC Drop” part before our hour was up). The end was a bit rushed since we were running out of time so that was where I messed up the most.

One thing the instructors do for beginners is they play the song at a slower speed while we learn the steps. As we all get use to the steps, they pick up the speed until we’re doing it at the actual speed of the song by the end of the class. This instructor must have done it gradually because I didn’t even realize we were going full throttle until class was complete.

Once again it was a lot of fun. And I plan on practicing this one at home. Thankfully, I found the above tutorial to help me through!

My favorite parts:

“Bet it got my haters hella sic…” (YouTube MV link to 1:50)

“MIC Drop… MIC Drop…” (YouTube MV link to 2:11)

Hardest parts:

“Come and follow me follow me with your signs up…” (YouTube MV lin to 1:54) – I actually started to get this part at the end. It’s just that it’s really fast and I needed to loosen up my hips more. Key tip – keeping the movement small makes it easy to keep up with the tempo.

It was also an extremely good workout. We all worked up a pretty good sweat – even the couple of students who are more advanced than the rest. So for those who want a fun way to exercise I recommend learning MIC Drop! Enjoy!

K-Pop Dance Class No. 1 – 24 Hours (Sunmi)

K-Pop Dance Class No. 2 – Rubber Band (iKON)