Barfing Out Paragraphs (BTS)

It’s probably been a couple years ago now, but sometime back in the recent past Cassi introduced me to BTS. At first it was almost like a hostage situation πŸ˜… where when I would visit she would play different videos of theirs and “make” me watch. Then after I warmed up to them she’d just send playlists, knowing that I’d now watch them without her having to watch over me to make sure. 😏 It’s a difficult thing… getting someone to give “your music” a fair chance… and even more so when most of the lyrics are in Hangul. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

But I quickly started to see what she saw in them. The lyrics of so many of their songs are filled with meaning… not typical pop music schlock, for the most part. And with seven members in the group, their choreography in their live performances and videos is definitely on point. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ And then there’s that general feeling of being impressed at how hard they work to record their songs, produce their videos, learn the insane amount of choreography, going on tour, etc… meanwhile, most of them are also trying to learn English. 😧 The amount of dedication to what they do is ridiculous.

If you ever find yourself interested enough to watch some of their videos, make sure that you have the English captions turned on… or find someone who has made a Hangul / Romanization / English lyric video. After a while, it’s surprising how many words you’ll find yourself picking up and being able to repeat. πŸ€“ And as for listening in the car or elsewhere… once you’ve gotten the vibe of what the song means from the videos, you can kinda take that with you without having to understand the language.

But since the time that I was “forced” to watch their stuff, to today… when I’m probably as big of a fan as Cassi is, if not more… I’ve definitely taken to them, and I’ve got a BTS / K-Pop playlist on Spotify that’s probably 60 songs deep. 😁 I’ve been absorbing the language, watching travel videos from SK, giving other K-Pop artists a chance as well… it’s surprising how much interest I have in all this stuff that I hadn’t even thought of just a few years ago.

But BTS is huge now… and their fans, who go by “ARMY” … those of us old enough to understand, you’d call ARMY folks “Beatles Level” fans. 😏 Most of them are young girls, but there’s a growing percentage of ARMY that cover all ages, all nationalities, boys, girls, men, women. πŸ§’πŸ»πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ¦°πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘©πŸ»πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ§”πŸ»πŸ§“πŸ»πŸ§‘πŸ»πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ¦³ We’re definitely outnumbered by the screaming and crying young girls, heh… but we still count.

But that’s the concert that I got the tickets for. 😳 They’re doing a world tour, but unfortunately no stops in Ohio. πŸ˜’ It was funny, on the Ticketmaster site, after waiting in the presale queue – once I was able to see the seat map to try and pick two seats, all of the blue dots (seats) were turning to gray (taken) so quickly it was like someone was playing a sped up version of whack-a-mole. πŸ˜„

Being a bucket list concert, I went for two seats (on an aisle… heh) in the first level of the bowl seating. No nosebleed seats, where you’re so high that you feel like if you stumble you’ll fall and disappear into the depths of the stadium, never to be seen again. πŸ˜―πŸ˜… I actually tried to get tickets last year, but they sold out before I could even pull the trigger. And this year, Cassi actually has a boyfriend now… but that’s hopefully only a slight complication. πŸ€”

I actually like the d00d, and I think he’s generally okay with me, and half of the time when I see Cassi now I also see him, so that makes it easier to try to plan something out where everyone is happy. πŸ™‚ He knows what a big fan Cassi is, and how much this concert means to her, plus he knew coming into it that there was a chance I’d be getting me and her tickets this year if possible. And he’d go to the concert, but he’s not really a fan fan, and the tickets were expensive… so he’ll likely just come along on our road trip and be a part of everything except the show. πŸ™‚ I think it’ll be fine…

And like I told Cassi… he has every right to put the kibosh on it if he wanted to. Not many guys would be okay with their girlfriend going to a concert with an ex, let alone on an overnight road trip – so I bought the tickets with the idea that he’d be going too. But that’s if his schedule will allow it. 😯😬 So if he can’t go, I’m not sure what will happen… but I told Cassi to let him know there’d be no hard feelings if he was like, “Umm… no, I don’t think I want my girlfriend going away with her ex for two nights alone, without me. Yeah, uhh… no.” πŸ˜‚ No hard feelings from me, anyway… but woo would Cassi be upset if she didn’t get to go to this concert.

Wow… I rambled quite a bit here. πŸ˜³πŸ€“ It helps though… helps me start mentally putting the pieces in place, keeps me excited and looking forward to it, and also keeps me on top of the situation so everything will go down with as few hitches as possible. πŸ™‚πŸ€žπŸ» But my life is so sedate, and I do very few “big things” anymore… and this is a big-ass thing, so of course I’m gonna be a little anxious about it. 😏 But right now my anticipation and excitement is far outweighing those thoughts.

BTS Comeback Trailer

Guess I haven’t made an entry for a little while. Been feeling a little sick, sleep has been screwy, and then of course I had my monthly doctor appointment yesterday which means several days of bullshit in order to get my meds. 😠 I was able to pick up one of them today, but I’m not doing the “pay for it first and then we’ll refund you” thing like I usually do. Gonna try to wait them out until it is approved, since it legally has to be eventually. Meh… I’ve already explained and complained about that shit, and this month’s no different.

But there was something that put me in a good mood the other day. πŸ˜ƒ BTS released their comeback video for their next album, with a song featuring Suga called Shadow. If you’re a fan, you’ve probably already seen it, but if not… watch it first, before you read everything that I have to say about it below the video. 😏

(Make sure you turn on captions by hovering over the video and changing the selection at the bottom.)

I’m a huge BTS fan now, thanks to Cassi subjecting me to their music long enough to where I began to like and appreciate it, but I’m probably just a bit short of being considered Army. πŸ™‚πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ My bias in the group is Jungkook, but with this video I think Suga just jumped ahead of J-Hope for second place. But for as short as this song is, to squeeze in three distinctly different styles… along with all the visuals… it’s just impressive for a “sneak peek” into their next album that drops on February 21st.

Okay, here’s the shit I wanna comment on, sorta in order as it happens in the video…

  • First thing I noticed is that the music is actually the background for the chorus of Fake Love. 😯 Also, the way he runs down the hallway is a flashback to Jungkook running in the Fake Love MV.
  • Second thing: Suga rapping in English. 😳 Wat? πŸ˜…
  • As he runs down the hallway, it’s him taking all of the ambition that he’s thinking about, and choosing to break through to where the lights are bright and the shadows are waiting. Clothes change from light (good) to dark (bad).
  • Once he’s broken through and found himself in the spotlight, gained the fame, he feels the weight of the shadows of what his life used to be like – before he became a celebrity… making him question if it’s all worth it, basically abandoning who you once were in order to become what he now is.
  • Once he’s on the stage, all of the people in the audience are just blank, still, and holding their phones in the air to record – rather than fully experiencing what he’s doing. πŸ₯Ί He even looks dejected as he looks down on them. (Kind of a burn to some of the fans.)
  • At different points in the video, “ORUL82?” pops up for a few frames… which is obviously a reference to that track on a much older album, which was about following your dreams no matter what it takes – but it didn’t have the dark spin of Suga now knowing the negatives that go along with fame. 😟
  • Then you see the two versions of him… one on stage performing, and the other in the audience – apparently representing the younger version of him that would watch other performers and want to be famous like that.
  • Then the “shadow” version of him takes over, telling him how those feelings of uncertainty, regret, insecurity are always going to be there, that there’s no escaping the bad feelings if you’re gonna also strive to get the good things that come with being at the top of your game.
  • Even though the shadow side is portrayed as being “dark” or “bad” … that’s the side that has his confidence, that knows both good and bad are inside of him, and that those two sides are gonna fight sometimes – but that if he learns to accept it he’ll be able to move forward with more peace. 😌
  • But with the way the song ends, it looks like he still hasn’t been able to reconcile both the good and the bad, as he just gets lost in the crowd of swarming fans.

So yeah, in a way it’s the typical “be careful what you wish for” or “it’s so hard being famous” type narratives that a thousand other songs have, but the visuals in this video really do tell a compelling story. Lots of callbacks from when they were younger and much less in the spotlight, using cues from Fake Love in both the music and visuals, but with their shadows now stalking them all right outside of their hotel rooms, the visual reminder of “ORUL82?” which had a much more optimistic view on striving to hit your goals in life, etc.

It really makes me wonder what the album is gonna be like. πŸ™‚ The current phase of releases is under the “Map of The Soul” theme, and this album has “Shadow” and another track that will be called “Ego” – so I don’t know if it’s gonna be a half-and-half album where the first part is all optimistic and light, and the second half is all hard and dirty, tackling stuff like anxiety and depression and loneliness or what. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Heh… I say that I’m not Army, but as soon as that video came out I began noticing this, noticing that, catching all the references, etc… so maybe I am getting closer. 😁 I actually tried to get tickets for me and Cassi when they were touring in the US, but they sold out so damn quickly. πŸ™ By the time I was able to access the Ticketmaster site and try to select two seats side by side – after “You are in the queue” for about 15 minutes – all that was left were single seats scattered around the stadium. 😟 Hoping we get another chance this year.

If you wanna see a ridiculously well-choreographed concert performance from them, click here. 😌

Batina/Bu Tae-nam/λΆ€νƒœλ‚¨/ε―Œζ€ η”·

Okay, so when someone says or writes their full name in Korean, their family (last) name is the first part, followed by their given names. Names are almost always three syllables long, and many, many families seem to share the same surname because when people were permitted to have and use a last name, many of them selected a name that is associated with a former leader or emperor or whatever… to distance themselves from what they felt would be seen as a family name belonging to a commoner or slave. That’s why you have so many Kims, Parks, Gangs, Kwans, etc.

So, the last name is typically one syllable and the given names have two. There’s no direct translation for “Robert” in Korean, so I’m going a different route and am attempting to use my last name of “Batina” as my full Korean name, which conveniently has three syllables already. So I chose a legitimate family name of “Bu”, and then a given name of Taenam (or Tae-nam) because those are also legitimate Korean given names that sound the most like my last name when spoken together phonetically. Batina. Bu Tae-nam,

Granted, not perfect, but there are just certain sounds that aren’t in the Korean language that would allow something to have an exact phonetic translation. Plus, like I said, Bu is an actual family name – although not terribly common – and the given name of Tae is a masculine name, although I don’t think it typically has “nam” (which often means “south”) following it. You’d type all three Hangul characters together for the Hangul Korean version: λΆ€νƒœλ‚¨ … but if you put a space after the second character, the American translation would be “booty” of all things.

So, that’s Bu Tae-nam in Hangul: λΆ€νƒœλ‚¨. However, it’s not that simple. Korean names are also written in Hanja Korean, which use Chinese characters recognized by the SK government, to give meaning to each syllable. So, in Hanja I’ve chosen these three characters, which are still pronounced very close to “boo-tay-nam” if you wanted to speak the Hanja, But I believe people pronounce their names from the Hangul and only use the Hanja when they write it or have a name seal produced. But my Hanja characters are: ε―Œζ€ η”· which allegedly mean “Rich Man” when used together. But for example, the name Tae… there are about 20 different recognized Chinese symbols that you can choose from, and each one gives the “Tae” name a different meaning. I chose my symbols not because I’m bragging or think that I’m rich, but because they form the least ridiculous Hanja/Hangul translation that sounds phonetically similar to Batina.

Interestingly enough, it was coming across a random Japanese video about “name seals” that got me interested in choosing a Korean name. It seems that across many parts of Asia, name seals are actually recorded with the government and used in place of an actual signature. So when you have your name seal created, you can have it done in Hangul or Hanja, and the more stylized the design the better – as it can be made to look completely different than someone else’s with the same or very similar name. And having a larger than normal affinity for stationary and office product type stuff, it just all came together to make me curious enough to look into it as far as I did.

But like I said… this is only what I think is the proper way for choosing not only a Korean name, but as for how to write it in either Hangul or choose the Hanja characters for the Hangul which give each name its on meaning. I’m absolutely sure there’s plenty I’m just skipping past here, but that’s the basic idea of it. But in order to feel fully confident in choosing and using Bu Tae-nam as my Korean name, I’d really want to run it past a few authentic Korean citizens to see what they’re reaction to it would be. I wouldn’t want to have a bizarre Korean name, the same way we’d react if a Korean person moved here and picked out Johnny Whizbang McPuffinstuff as their name – just because there was a similarity somewhere along the way when it came to the phonetics.

So yeah, for now I’m still gonna say that I’m tentatively gonna call myself λΆ€νƒœλ‚¨.

(Sorry, no emojis and little bold or italics or whatever – took all my brain reserves for tonight just to punch up this explanation and process as I’m familiar with it. And yeah, I’m definitely going to get a name seal at some point… obviously not registered anywhere… because it also reminds me of the sealing wax stamps that Mom used to have, which featured our family initials or monogram. It’s just something neat and unusual. Maybe more on this later… maybe not… carry on.)

μ•ˆλ…•ν•˜μ„Έμš”

There was one other day where I allowed myself to do something a little frivolous. It was already something that was going to be a little bit outside of my comfort zone, but then we had to completely change our plans. 😳 The original plan was for me to go up to Columbus and pick up Cassi from work, so we could then head over to Arirang Market – which also has (or had) a restaurant in the back that serves authentic Korean food.

We went into the store and I asked the fella at the front if the restaurant was open yet, since it was only around 11am, and he said that the restaurant is no more. πŸ˜• It’s a shame, because they had a ton of variety, at good prices, and they had all sorts of good reviews on the various sites. But since we were there, in a Korean market full of authentic Korean foodstuffs, we decided that we could just buy the stuff that would allow us to make our lunch and dinner from scratch. πŸ™‚

In no particular order, we got kimchi, tofu soup starter, yam noodles, seaweed, soju, red pepper paste, rice, sesame oil and soy sauce, eggs, chicken and cabbage rice dumplings, rice cakes (for soup), and then a few misc snacks and a couple pairs of metal chopsticks. We were excited, because between the music, the travel and foodie videos on YouTube, the differentΒ TV shows, the picking up of the language here and there – I dunno, it just felt like we were taking our next step in the appreciation of the country and culture.

I made the soup meal on the first day, including the kimchi… and while the kimchi was pretty awful, the tofu soup, noodles, and rice cakes were tolerable. 😐 Not good, not bad… it just kinda was what it was, and that would be something that neither of us necessarily needs to try ever again. πŸ˜… On the next day we teamed up in the kitchen, with her making the fried rice from scratch, and me frying up the chicken dumplings in condensed broth. Now that meal was amazing. 🀀 Part of it was because I was super hungry, but no… it really was amazing. I ate until I was beyond poofed, and I still wanted to keep going.

Granted, that was probably the furthest from “authentic Korean” and towards “normal food” that we could have gone, but it still counted as Korean. 😏 And neither of us were that bad with the chopsticks, either. From both days there was enough left over that I was able to send a decent sample of it all back up with Cassi so her mom could give it a try. And she agreed with us when it came to the dumplings and rice, for sure. (I forgot to send the kimchi… which is probably a good thing for her.)

Buncha Nothin’

While I’m technically ready to start doing all of the adulting that I’ve got planned for the first couple of weeks of the new year, I am glad that today was essentially a “paused” day… where even if I wanted to, nothing significant could really be accomplished. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ I didn’t go out last night, nor did I have any company over, but I still didn’t fall asleep until around 3am. And of course I woke up too damn early, so my brain is thankful that the only real work that I’ll be doing today will be the stuff that I can address by mail. Which leaves all of the phone calls for tomorrow. 😳 Yay. 😟

Last night wasn’t totally lonely though. Brianna also stayed at home, although she was also babysitting for her sisters, so we ended up keeping each other company via messages up until the ball dropped at midnight and then a while after. β˜ΊπŸŽ‰ I think my adulting may be rubbing off on her, because a lot of what we talked about was both of our growing lists of “Shit We Gotta Do” in the next week or two. 😏 I mean, nobody is really a fan of responsibility, but I think it made her feel good (the same way it does me) to spend some of her evening coming up with a game plan of her own. πŸ“’πŸ–ŠπŸ‘§πŸ»

I wish that I didn’t have to take Cassi back home earlier last night, but she did end up staying later than we originally planned. It was a rough, dark, rainy, stressful drive up to Columbus in that horrible weather – with 80% of the traffic still breaking the speed limit, and the other 20% either scared, creeping slowly, or completely stopped along side of the highway as they waited for the rain to stop. β˜πŸŒ§πŸ˜―πŸ˜£πŸ˜§πŸ™ˆβ›ˆπŸŒ§ While she was here though, we started watching a new Korean rom/com/dram called Strong Girl Bong-soon. It’s strange how easily I take to Korean songs and shows now that I’ve been doing it for a bit. πŸ˜πŸ‡°πŸ‡·

But yeah… this is kind of a rambling post since it’s been a leisurely kind of day for the most part. All of my upcoming doctor appointments are still heavy in my mind though… I’m just trying to not let them bother me today. 😟 I will say this though. I haven’t been feeling great for the past couple of weeks. 😐 Not awful, but not how I normally feel either. So while I’m not gonna try to predict anything when it comes to my upcoming tests, I think I’m subconsciously getting myself ready for some potentially bad news. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

It doesn’t help that I’ve been having a lot of anxiety filled dreams lately as well. 😳 Not exactly nightmares, but dreams that definitely had a negative feel. And twice now I’ve had dreams where I died. πŸ˜• One was strange… I had already passed away, but I was still around to console people and to help with all of the arrangements needed in that sort of circumstance. 😬 But the bad dreams, the specific “not feeling well” things… right now I am choosing to attribute it all to the Wellbutrin that one of my docs put me on. πŸ€’

I haven’t felt this mentally and physically shitty in a long while. πŸ˜” And it’s so much so that I’m going to stop taking that new med until my next appointment with that doctor, so I can let him know the side effects that I’ve been experiencing. Over the years I’ve probably tried half-a-dozen different meds to help with depression or anxiety, and never have I made it past a month or two before the side effects outweighed the potential benefits – and I’m pretty sure this one will be the same way. 🀨 I’ve also got something more immediate for anxiety, but I haven’t noticed any bad side effects from that one, so perhaps I’ll be able to keep one-out-of-two in my rotation this time.

Alrighty then… time for some football. πŸ™‚πŸˆ Ready to push the scary thoughts to the back again for now.

Saranghae, Naleul Tteonaji Mala

Cassi is starting to become a fan of South Korean pop music, of all things… heh… and every now and then she’ll suggest a song or video that she thinks I should check out, to see if she can get me to share in some of her excitement. 😏 Normally it’s something okay but ultimately forgettable – but with this video and song, she found a winner. πŸ˜ƒ I can’t understand a damn word of what they’re saying… but thanks to the story of this video, and the 90s pop-rock sound, I love it.

I was confused during the first part of this video, so I’ll give you a hint as to what I think’s going on… πŸ€”πŸ€¨ He’s attending the funeral of a girl that he had gotten involved with about a week prior to her passing, and at some point during that time she had gotten him a watch. At the funeral, the watch causes him to jump back in time to a point right before they originally met. See what you think…

This band… and they are a band, unlike a lot of K-Pop groups… they cover nearly every genre that you can think of throughout their discography. Their lead singer has a voice that lets him handle anything he’d want to sing, from ballads, to pop songs, to actual rock/metal tunes. FTIsland doesn’t have a cult following since they don’t stick to a single genre, but I can respect a group much more when they play what they want to play, and because they can play any instruments in the first place. πŸ˜†πŸ€˜πŸ»

It’s nice to find new music that gives you the feels πŸ˜… even if it’s in a language you can’t understand. I like these guys, and I’ve added some of their tracks to my Spotify playlist, but it’s also encouraging me to try and find some new music like this in my native language. πŸ˜‹ Sure, I’ve got a couple thousand songs on my car’s USB drive, but there’s just something about experiencing new music…