A couple of weekends ago marked the end of the ROM exhibit collaborating between architect, Philip Beesley (exhibit Transforming Space) and fashion designer Iris van Herpen (exhibit Transforming Fashion). So we hopped on the subway and headed down to the ROM to explore the most fascinating exhibits I’ve witnessed!
I actually was unaware of the exhibit until I saw in my Instagram feed a photo of none other than BTS leader RM himself standing in awe of the exhibit! I believe Namjoon tweeted this but it was re-tweeted by Instagram to promote the exhibit with a 20% off if you entered the code K-POP. Which we did – because 20% off was not a bad deal! Plus when we arrived I made my daughter stand in the very same spot as he was positioned in his photo. 🙂
Both designers were extraordinary. Combining their area of creative expertise it’s hard to explain their inspirations without being there. It was, how to put it… Culture + Science + Art. All three areas woven together to produce something futuristic and out of this world!
Beesley’s exhibit was incredible – I felt as if I was stepping through to another universe. The low-hanging pieces from the ceiling had movement as if it was a living and breathing entity. Yet none of the movements were robotic or mechanical but soft and alluring.
Herpen’s work of art had the most interesting explanation for each. She really dives into history, culture as well as science to form her creations. One set actually resonated her interpretation of fashion of a neurological condition called, Synesthesia. It is a fascinating condition where the person mixes up senses. The person may see sound waves or taste colour.
Once again, I plugged in my ear buds and chose a mellow playlist to fit the mood of the exhibit. Though in the Transforming Fashion room, they actually had sound effects playing through the floor so the atmospheric sounds were already set.
Okay – I really wanted to get this out for the past two weekends, but life happened with a bunch of unexpected events!
I have not just one but TWO BTS concerts to write about. Yes, you heard me right. That’s plural – we went to both Saturday and Sunday night’s concert in Hamilton, Ontario. Let me just say I did not regret it. Sure we’re now broke, but damn was it ever worth every single penny! We had a different vantage point each evening and I don’t have to tell you, BTS was just SO incredible live, seeing them the 2nd night just made the whole experience better.
This is definitely going to be a multi-part entry because there is no way I can describe everything I want to talk about in just one post.
Day 1 – Friday, September 21st
I wanted the whole weekend to be a mother-daughter get-away which we’ve never done before. Sure there’s been plenty of mother-daughter days where we go for brunch and a mani/pedi. And even to the zoo or museum when she was young while my husband was at the fire station for the weekend. But never any over-nighters. So this was special. My daughter and I splurged on the Sheraton in Hamilton, Club Level room.
Okay – truth is we had not choice BUT to splurge. I didn’t plan it very well. When we first landed a pair of tickets to the concert, I was so relieved I figured, Okay now that that’s out of the way, back to life! In the back of my mind I said to myself I’ll book the hotel and travel plans later.
The problem is I forgot that Hamilton is NOT that big of a city like Toronto. There are not a lot of hotels and I wanted to be in walking distance from the concert since Hamilton can be a bit run-down outside the main downtown core.
So when I finally went back to booking our rooms mid-summer, all there was left was the one of two more expensive rooms. I took the least expensive one but believe me, 3-nights staying like that ended up being just as expensive as buying 2 tickets per each concert night! Still, it was such an ideal location. A bonus was that they had my gym in the mall the hotel was attached to so guess who got a more proper workout instead of making do with a hotel gym (in my experience, you always get a lesser of a workout at hotel gyms).
When we arrived, it was pretty evident who took over Hamilton… ARMY, that’s who! The lobby was littered with both ARMY staying over at that hotel, or just resting in the lounge or in the Starbucks in the lobby before camping out all night across the street for first dibs to be next to the stage with their GA tickets. Lets just say I’m glad we had reserved seating. As much as I know my daughter would have loved to be right up front and close to BTS, I’m sorry, I love them but I like having a seat where I can just walk in to the stadium and plop myself down. What can I say? It’s not even an age thing – I’ve never been into being in a massive crowd of standing room only.
Walking around the streets close by the hotel, I noticed four different bus shelter posters of Jungkook:
It did not look like BigHit’s official poster for the BTS World Tour. And I noticed Jungkook’s birthday on the top left corner of each variation we saw. I’m going to guess ARMY did this as a little birthday message to him. But man – that must not have been cheap! Hopefully it was not just one ARMY who funded for this to happen but a community of them.
Day 2 – Saturday, September 22nd
We had purchased the Sunday night tickets first before I bought the reseller tickets for the Saturday night. And I purposely chose seats with a better view of the extended stage. As our Sunday was by the right of the main stage, I wanted to see the performance somewhat front and center. As BTS spent a majority of their time on the main stage, whenever they did go to the middle of the arena, those then situated behind that middle stage usually saw most of their backs. Though when they were not in a choreo formation they did their best to walk around the cat-walk and center stage to face in every direction of the crowd.
We probably arrived way too early. Like an hour and a half early. Truth is we didn’t know what to expect. Getting through security was fast, though – the line-ups moved quickly. Ahh… why I love reserved seating!
Still – we had a really great time sitting in the arena before the performance. They played a continuous stream of BTS music videos on both sides of the stage and ARMY was cheering and singing along to every single song! The energy and buzz was electrifying to say the least. And as we got closer and closer to the countdown, you could FEEL the excitement in the air!
When the guys finally made their appearance it was unreal how the audience erupted into cheers and screams. They went right into IDOL setting the tone for a full, energetic performance for the rest of the two and a half hours to follow.
I knew BTS was going to give us a great show. I’m happy to have experienced it live though – they are pros through and through. Their singing, rapping and dancing live (with no lip syncing) is hard to express with mere words. It was by far the best concert I have ever experienced as far as large venues are concerned. The way they interacted with the audience was quite interesting as well. I will get more into this the 2nd night as we were closer to the main stage, but I noticed they never cease to stop interacting with their fans when they were not in formation during a dance sequence.
From where we were, we didn’t have the best vantage point for videos but I did capture some good photos. Here’s one I took for my daughter since Taehyung is her bias:
Speaking of Taehyung, the man is simply ethereal. It was hard to believe we were actually watching him live because he is just… art! I get why his nickname is CGV – I felt like we were seeing some type of computer generated graphic! He was visually stunning but to see him perform his solo, Singularity, was such an honor. Tae’s low, baritone voice carried across beautifully. Here’s a short clip I took of him the 2nd night during his solo.
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?
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…
As my surgery was this past Thursday, I’ve been resting and recuperating as instructed. I can’t lift anything over 5lbs for at about a week and the only type of exercise I can do is some short, leisurely walks.
This is quite a stand-still for me. I’m missing my cardio time at the gym and P90X weight training at home. I miss my k-pop drop-in dance classes. I miss hiking on the weekends. I’m hoping I heal sooner than later because it’s difficult for me to not be active especially over the weekend.
But I do have to take it easy – Friday morning I woke up with good energy and decided to do some work on my laptop. Only I sat in that position too long and felt quite sore all over my abs with a noticeable decrease in energy for the rest of the day.
So, I’ve done what I can to take my mind off of everything. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
Jin only knows how to introduce himself one way…
I’m catching up on older RUN! BTS! through their V LIVE channel. I only tapped into BTS’ webisodes when they did their Zombie Run episode back in the fall. I’ve been diligent with keeping up since then but have always wanted to go back from the beginning and watch each episode. I’m glad I did – I really do enjoy their natural humor and antics! I’d say I’m about 5 episodes away from catching up to all of them.
Might Secretary by Ohmi Tomu
I’ve been reading the manga series, Midnight Secretary which I found out about from Chizurue‘s blog. It actually was from her blog she dedicates for her book reviews. So far I’ve just started the fourth volume and am hooked! It’s hard not to be hooked – this is the PERFECT type of manga for those who love a little bit of fluff, some angst and yes, a bit of erotica (though mainly it’s implied). Oh, and yes, mixed with vampire romance. I have the rest of the volumes (there are 7 in total) on order. This is just a fun and light read – perfect for my recovery!
Attack of the Titan anime series
I FINALLY started watching the anime series Attack of the Titan I feel bad for delaying this as a friend of mine has been wanting me to watch this for a couple of years now. I’m only on episode 2 but I’m engaged in it to continue… it’s a bit creepy, though. And while on pain killers, it may induce some strange nightmares. Just a warning.
I do go back to work tomorrow but I’ll be working from home. I’m not really looking forward to having to work so soon because the stress won’t be beneficial – but I’m really hoping to get back to my physical activities by next weekend! Just the thought of that will keep me going this week! I may not be able to resume my k-pop dance classes unless I go to an absolute beginner’s class. The mid-section torques often associated from the choreography won’t do well with the incisions made in my abs. So we’ll see.
So the long anticipated Burn the Stage documentary is out. We will see footage of not just behind the scenes of BTS’ Wings Tour, but a promise of a more unfiltered version of the group’s life.
I actually wanted to get this out earlier as I contemplated what this all might manifest not just to the fans but to the entire k-pop industry.
I have watched the only several minutes in of the first free episode but stopped and realized it was important for me to begin writing before I went further.
Before the release, and even the trailer, there were so many speculations. Rumors stated we would see a more raw side of the members – we would see arguments, injuries, hardship and even members fainting.
Some fans were concerned – would they be able to handle seeing all the turmoil endured by their idols? Well, that is up to each individual fan. As a parent, I do plan on watching it with my daughter because I’m not sure how she will handle her emotions over all of it.
I thought long and hard about this – I wondered, has this ever been conceived before in the k-pop world? Fans are so accustomed to worshiping idols – they are used to seeing the trained, social side of idols whom work at achieving perfection. And I am not referring to performance perfection, though that is certainly what they are known to train for.
I am talking about how they carry themselves out. They shelter us from seeing their other sides. We mainly see their good side. Their happy sides. They always seem to get along so well in front of the camera.
The concerned side of me wondered if this could go to the reality TV show ways seen mainly here in North America. We definitely do not need another Jersey Shores, for example. It wasn’t that I even thought BTS would stoop to that level, of course, but I was a bit afraid they might be bashed for it.
On the other hand, I saw BTS paving the way by taking such risks. They can, ultimately, really shake things up for the world of k-pop – in a very good way! Because k-pop idols are human beings. They aren’t perfect nor should they be. They do have other sides to them and it’s about time we, as a whole, accept this reality. So long as they still maintain a level of responsibility for their actions, I think we need to see that they aren’t always getting along with one another – and through all their amazing work, they fall and fail like every else can and will at some point in life. Many times in life, actually.
I think about the mental health issues that plague idols. And I think of how hard it must be to have to carry out this ‘perfect image.’
I hope Burn the Stage will ‘rock the boat’ in a very positive way for all idols.
Let them live. Let them breath.
So – I haven’t watched all of it. You be the judge – good idea? Or not?