• Listen to this – Red Velvet, “피카부 (Peek-A-Boo)”

    I’ll freely admit, I’m not as into K-Pop girl groups as I am boy groups. That’s not to say that girl groups are any different, I just haven’t connected or done deep dives into many of them as I have boy groups. I fully intend on resolving that with this blog, though! I have plans to do some discography dives into some groups that I have liked so far.

    One of those groups that I plan on digging into is Red Velvet, a girl group that has been around since 2014. So I have a LOT to catch up on, which is awesome. The biggest reason that I was drawn to this group is the MV for their title track from Perfect Velvet, “피카부 (Peek-A-Boo)”. Give it a watch below:

    First off, I’m gonna squee a bit.


    Ahem. Anyway.

    My friend M was the one who turned me on to this video (along with a lot of others, lol, she’s the real MVP). And how could I not love it? It’s so creepy and weird, but also funny and bad-ass.

    I mean, the premise is that the girls are killers, who take out delivery boys by seducing them into their house. They put them through odd ritualistic behavior and force them to do weird things, like eat green jello mold while blindfolded and having their hands tied behind their back, and this guy is just like HAHA SURE YEAH CUTE GIRLS, WHAT, ARE THEY GONNA HURT ME?

    The answer is YES, DUDE. Because they’ve been practicing with things like crossbows, throwing axes, and straight razors.

    The group chases the guy down with assorted weapons, which he thinks is all fun until he realizes that they have weapons and he’s going to die. At one point, he thinks that one of the girls is letting him go, or running away with him. I think it’s the latter, because he finds out very quickly that he is most certainly not safe once he gets out.


    Mmm, yeah

    Oh, gosh so crazy (Oh, gosh)
    Yeah, I’m an emotional girl
    I fall in love so easily (I fall in love so easily)
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
    I like new things, they sparkle
    Everyone’s like that, right?

    Peek-a-boo, it’s love only when my heart flutters
    (La, la, la, la, la)
    All my friends yell at me
    They say I have a problem
    I’m fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine

    Peek-peek-a-peek-a-boo (Ow)
    A fox who wants to have fun, that’s me

    I said one, two, three, play the game again
    Let’s press the button, hurry like “Kung Fu”
    Don’t be surprised even if I change my mind
    Aren’t you attracted to me? Then excuse me
    Call me, let’s go play all night
    Restart a game!
    Go forward, roll it, Blanka!

    Tonight (Let’s go)
    The playground is popping
    No time to be bored
    Yeah, yeah, yeah
    Go round and round (Ooh)
    Everyone is the same
    Then we locked eyes

    Peek-a-boo, this is new, is this love?
    La, la, la, la, la
    All my friends yell at me
    They say I have a problem
    I’m fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine

    (My boo, boo, boo, peek-a-boo, boo, boo, boo)

    Tag, you’re it!
    It’ll be fun, I’ll include you here
    Till the moon hangs on the jungle gym
    Let’s play, yeah

    Peek-a-boo, it’s strange, you’re different
    I stop this game and I look at you again
    I’m not afraid, because I just felt
    That a new story will begin
    (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

    Peek-peek-a-peek-a-boo (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Peek-peek-a-peek-a-boo (La, la, la, la, la)
    A fox who wants to have fun, that’s me
    La, la, peek-a-boo (No, no, no)

    Tag, you’re it!
    It’ll be fun, I’ll include you here (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Till the moon hangs on the jungle gym
    Let’s play (Na, na, na, na, ooh)
    Tag, you’re it! (A peek-a-boo, boo, boo)
    It’ll be fun, I’ll include you here (A peek-a-boo, boo, boo)
    Till the moon hangs on the jungle gym (A peek-a-boo, boo, boo)
    Let’s play a little more (Yeah, yeah)

    Lyric translation from Genius English Translations

  • Listen to this – Agust D, “Agust D”

    CONTENT WARNING: This post mentions themes of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and other mental health issues through the lyrics in this album and past experiences by the artist. Please take note of this before reading. Take care of yourself.

    So as most of you know, Agust D’s latest album, D-DAY, was released a few weeks ago. It’s an EXCELLENT album, of course – Min Yoongi’s writing and lyric delivery is absolutely astounding – but that’s not the one I’m talking about today.

    I’m going back to his first release in the Agust D Trilogy, the self-titled mixtape “Agust D.”

    I only really got into K-Pop back in spring of 2022, with BTS being the group that I jumped into the pool with. So there is a LOT of older stuff that I’m not as familiar with. I only heard Yoongi’s debut mixtape this year, right before D-DAY came out, even though it’s been out since August 16, 2016.

    And this mixtape? I am sorry I didn’t hear it sooner, because it’s SO DAMN GOOD.

    I am an absolute sucker for a confident rapper who spits lyrics like a nailgun into a mic (look at all my biases, can’t you tell lol) – and Yoongi does just that. Each word, is targeted precisely, flowing perfectly. But the biggest reason I love this album is because of the raw, unbridled rage and feeling. The intense rage at the unfairness of it all, his upbringing and fight to get his music out there, and anger at those who didn’t support him – or worse yet, tried to drag him down – is very evident in some of the lyrics, such as the title track “Give It To Me” –

    Even my family couldn’t foresee my success
    What’s the point of talking about it when I wasn’t sure myself
    Even my family approved me as a tough cookie
    I’m the public enemy, the hyungs
    Who benefited by slandering us
    Every one of them had the taste of money
    They say two things with one mouth
    And head to the big companies
    What you know about me?
    You can’t control my shit
    If you’re going to leave
    Take back whatever you’ve said before
    If you ask me how I’ve succeeded
    I don’t really have an answer
    But at least, I slept less and stayed active
    Compared to you all to grow up

    One of the hardest songs to listen to, lyrically, but my absolute favorite, is the 7th track on the mixtape, “The Last”.

    Yoongi has always been forthcoming with his mental health issues, including depression and social anxiety. This song in particular is a raw and open wound, his lyrics bleeding past experiences of the lowest points in his life. Including suicidal ideation and self-harm, sort of a taboo topic in South Korea. (I feel like from what I have read, they have gotten better in being more open about mental health over the seven years since this album’s release, but people still struggle with being as open about it as we are in the West.)

    The end of the song, though, is Agust D is practically screaming into the mic, triumphant. The declaration that through it all, he dragged himself through, standing on stage, able to do what he loves in front of thousands.

    On the other side of the famous idol rapper
    Stands my weak self, it’s a bit dangerous
    Depression, OCD
    They keep coming back again from time to time
    Hell no perhaps that might be my true self
    Damn huh feeling estranged in reality
    The conflict with ideal, my head hurts
    Around the age of 18, I developed social anxiety
    Right, that was when my mind was gradually polluted

    At times I’m scared of myself too
    Thanks to the depression that takes over me
    And all my self hatred
    Min Yoongi is dead already (I killed him)
    Comparing my dead passion with others
    It’s now a part of my daily life

    On the first visit to psychiatric ward
    My parents came up with me
    We listened to the consultation together
    My parents said they don’t truly understand me
    I don’t understand myself well either
    Then who would understand?
    Friends? Or you? Nobody knows me well

    The doctor asks me if I’ve (censored)
    I answered without any hesitation that I have

    Habitual saying uh
    I don’t give a shit I don’t give a fuck
    All those words uh
    Those words are said to hide my weak self
    Those days I wish I could erase
    Right, that performance day
    Which I don’t remember very well
    The day I confronted myself
    When I hid inside the bathroom
    Because I was scared of people

    That time I, that time I
    I thought success would make everything fine
    But you see, but you see
    As time goes by, I feel like I’m turning into a monster

    I’ve exchanged my youth for success
    And that monster demands for more wealth
    At times it puts a collar on my neck
    To ruin and swallow me with greed
    Some try to shut my mouth and say
    I should swallow this forbidden fruit
    I don’t want it
    They want me to leave this garden

    Shit shit I got it so stop it
    I’m the root of all this so I’ll stop myself
    If my misfortune is your happiness
    I’ll happily stay unfortunate
    If I’m the figure of hate
    I’ll get on the guillotine

    The things I’ve only imagined turns into reality
    My childhood dreams are in front of my eyes
    The night when I performed in front of an audience of 2
    Now Tokyo Dome is right in front my nose
    My one and only life
    I can easily live it passionately than any other
    My fan my hommie my fam
    I hope you don’t worry
    Because I’m really okay now damn

    I’ve denied my nature many times
    My address is idol and I won’t deny
    The anguish that dug into my mind countless times
    There’s no answer at the end of wandering

    My pride which I thought I had given away
    Has turned into self-respect
    My fans, keep your head high with pride
    Because who can do it like me uh

    Seiko, Rolex, AX hall and gymnastic stadium
    The heads of thousands nodding to my hand gesture
    Show me the money
    It’s not that I couldn’t but I didn’t shit

    Selling ourselves or not
    You all say we couldn’t do it but we didn’t shit
    The root of my creativity has tasted
    The sweet, bitter, and shit of this world
    Those days when I tried to sleep on the toilet floor
    It’s all memories now uh they’re now memories
    My shoulder which shattered
    Thanks to the accident I met
    During my part time job
    The debut which I clung as if it was my life
    Who do you think you’re fooling
    By pretending you’ve gone through all the miseries

    Seiko, Rolex, AX hall and gymnastic stadium
    The heads of thousands nodding to my hand gesture
    Sorrow created me uh look at me closely uh
    Selling ourselves or not you all say
    It’s not that we couldn’t do it
    But that we didn’t want to, shit

    Lyric translations from Genius English Translations

    With this album, Min Yoongi, at 23 years old, was lifting two middle fingers up to the world, telling it “FUCK YOU, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BREAK ME, I AM RIGHT FUCKING HERE AND I AIN’T LEAVING.”

    Some days, I miss that rawness and rage that I felt in my early 20s. The fury at having to scrabble and struggle, at dragging yourself into a shitty society right out of your high school and college years, the anger at the world because everyone is telling you that you’re destined for failure. I joke around today that I love existing out of spite, but there was a point in my late teens and early 20s that I WAS existing out of spite. I hated myself, I hated almost everything, but there was no way in hell I was going to let the world trample me and win.

    Now that I’m in my 40s, that anger has subsided somewhat, because I’ve had realizations about myself and of course, my life has changed…but that anger is still there, deep down in my primal mind. Every so often I hear or see something that sparks that fire and reminds me that it’s still good to fight and stand up for myself – and in turn, others who are still pulling themselves through the mire of society.

    Watch the MVs for the title tracks “Agust D” and “Give It To Me” below.

  • Listen to this – Stray Kids, “미친 놈 (Ex)”

    We’ve all had those moments where the first time you heard a song, you stopped what you were doing and focused on it immediately. Something – the emotion behind it, the lyrics, anything – brought your entire world to a standstill and forced you to focus on what was playing.

    Stray Kids’ song “미친 놈 (Ex)” was one of those songs for me. Even though it is definitely NOT the first Stray Kids song I heard, nor the first MV of theirs I watched (those honors go to “God’s Menu” and “Freeze”, respectfully), it’s one of my favorite songs of theirs, and one that elicits the same feeling I had when I heard it and watched it for the first time.

    “미친 놈 (Ex)” is the fifth song on Stray Kids’ repackage album IN LIFE, released on September 14, 2020. The lyrics tell the story of someone who didn’t really appreciate their significant other when they were together, but once the relationship ends, they’re pining for the other person, begging them to come back and forgive them, and wondering why they ever acted out in the first place.

    The MV cements the thread of loss and regret in the lyrics. Give it a watch below, if you haven’t seen it already.


    Anyway. Ahem. Back to my thoughts.

    The group are all shown as sheet-covered ghosts at first glimpse, panning through a large house cluttered with assorted things. As they begin to sing, though, you can see their faces and their emotions as they go through what they’re feeling. They’re ghosts in life, not dead, obviously, hence the childlike sheet-covered appearance, but unable to move on past the regret of their previous actions. They’re struggling, lamenting their loss with the lyrics.

    Felix is laying on the floor, letting a toy train run into him.
    Seungmin is sitting in front of a fire playing on a television, wanting some sort of warmth, but never getting it because the flame isn’t really there.
    Hyunjin is building towers with erasers that keep falling apart, finding it difficult to bring himself back up again.
    Changbin is isolated in a stairwell, surrounded by photos of memories, choosing to stay in the past rather than move to the next floor.
    Lee Know is desperately drinking water, trying to take care of himself, but ultimately failing and giving it to the flowers instead.
    I.N is attempting to celebrate a party, surrounded by fluffy cakes and candies, but can’t taste anything. Nothing is sweet anymore.
    Han is trying to put on a brave face amidst the mess, attempting to be silly and happy, but unable to hold that facade and letting himself mourn.
    Chan is stuck in a dark bathroom, looking at himself in the mirror, finding it difficult to see the person he truly is, and trying not to drown in his emotions.

    The climax of the song happens as Chan shoves his head in a sink full of water, trying to hold his breath, but ultimately screaming his rage and sadness into the water, finally letting everything go. Changbin smears a handful of brilliant blue paint on a window, turning away from the photos.

    As sad as the song is, even at the end, the MV shows a little bit of hope at the end, after they all hit rock bottom. After that, the group are all seen going outside, running in the sunlight and jumping around, laughing and enjoying life, eventually moving farther away from the house, no longer ghosts trapped, but moving on. Were they forgiven, either by themselves or the other person? It’s unclear. Either way, they came together, finally, rather than seeming isolated and ignorant of the other people around them, ending the video as if they woke up in the light, seeing the day for the first time.

    Every time I watch this video, I leave it with a deep feeling of hopeful melancholy. That even though we messed up with doing certain things or treating others poorly in our lives, it is possible to realize your mistakes and move on by forgiving yourself. It better to step into the light with others and accept yourself for who you are, faults and all, instead of forcing yourself to relive pain and isolating away from others.

    I feel that the lyrics can also be something that resonate with a lot of people. We’ve all hurt someone in our lives, and there are times when we realize we ARE the bad person and beg for their forgiveness. We all have had those moments when we are like “Oh, I messed up. Shit.” And you know what? That’s okay. We’re not perfect. We make mistakes. Asking forgiveness of ourselves is just as important, if not more so, than asking forgiveness from the other person.

    Anyway, enough Sad Girl Time. What do you think of “미친 놈 (Ex)”? Is it a favorite song of yours? What’s your take on the lyrics and MV? Feel free to drop me a comment below and give me your ideas. I love hearing others’ takes on songs and videos! You can read the translated lyrics below.

    My words on that particularly cold day
    My yawns were particularly many on that day
    Being busy became my excuse on more than just a day or two
    In the end it became obvious my feelings for you were gone
    I left you with just the words I'm sorry
    Writing out our sad ending with trembling hands
    After I sent you away I was left in pain
    It was all my fault, so why am I hurting?
    I didn't even thank you in the end
    Just left behind sharp words in a trembling voice
    Even if I act like everything is fine, I can't lie
    About this longing making me regret it all
    I search for you in our broken memories
    Even when I grasp one all I remember is your tears, oh
    I must have really lost my mind, I'm not sure
    If I can take all this time without you, in the end you're all I had
    I really had lost my mind
    I guess I really didn't realize, it's so hard to breathe
    When I'm not with you, what did I have so much faith in to do that?
    I had really lost it that day
    You can curse me out (Curse me out all, all, all you want)
    Ooh-woah, oh, oh, oh, yeah
    Ooh-woah, oh, oh, oh, yeah
    You can curse me out (Curse me out as, as, as much as you like)
    Do it until your hatred for me turns into anger
    As long as you can let it all out and we can go back to how we were
    We said everything we wanted to say
    And wrote it off as not being right for each other
    It was actually my fault for letting my eyes
    Be drawn by someone else even while still seeing you, ayy
    When you asked me if something was wrong
    I just shook my head side to side
    I told you to just not worry about it
    But now I'm worrying more about how I said that, why is that?
    I search for your in our broken memories
    Even when I grasp one all I remember is your tears
    I must have really lost my mind, I'm not sure
    If I can take all this time without you, in the end you're all I had
    I really had lost my mind
    I guess I really didn't realize, it's so hard to breathe
    When I'm not with you, what did I have so much faith in to do that?
    I had really lost it that day
    I didn't know my place, and I let you go
    I hate myself for regretting it this much
    I can't control it, I miss you, yeah
    You've grown so distant from me I can't reach you
    But now live in the pain of not being able to forget you, ayy
    I must have really lost my mind, I'm not sure
    If I can take all this time without you, in the end you're all I had
    I really had lost my mind
    I guess I really didn't realize, it's so hard to breathe
    (I guess I really didn't realize, it's so hard to breathe, this moment)
    When I'm not with you, what did I have so much faith in to do that?
    I had really lost it that day
    You can curse me out (Curse me out all, all, all you want)
    Ooh-woah, oh, oh, oh, yeah
    Ooh-woah, oh, oh, oh, yeah
    You can curse me out (Curse me out as, as, as much as you like)
    Do it until your hatred for me turns into anger
    As long as you can let it all out and we can go back to how we were
    Translated lyrics from Genius English Translations

  • if this can no longer resonate


    I can’t tell you how much I heard that word back in high school.

    Keep in mind this was the early/mid 90s so gatekeeping regarding music was insane. If you couldn’t name the deepest B-sides of a band’s catalog, you were instantly branded a poser and relegated to the depths. Or if you said that you liked music videos, you earned a sneer and some derisive rant about how MTV is killing the music industry.

    I can’t tell you how many times I had that word thrown at me as a teenager. I’ll never forget one time that two “friends” of mine – who I legitimately thought were good friends – decided to make up some band and rave to me about it. I was actually interested to hear more, and when they dropped me off at home, told me they just made it up, and said that I was just a poser who went along with fads because others told me to. They sat in front of my house laughing while I went inside and fucking cried because I legitimately thought I was connecting with these two people I thought were cooler than cool.

    To this day, when I get into something, I constantly feel like I have to prove that I really enjoy that thing to others. “LOOK, I REALLY DO LIKE THIS THING, I HAVE DONE SO MUCH RESEARCH AND LISTENED TO SO MUCH STUFF.” I think it’s one of the reasons I tend to hyperfixate on things when I first get into them, so much so where it can seem like an obsession. Then it just kind of fades into the background over time.

    I see people who write and make music and draw and paint and sculpt and take pictures and I just want to be one of them SO BAD. But any time I start getting into something, I’m reminded – somehow, some way – that this is probably not the spot for me. I have this constant sensation of “you’re just a poser sitting on the windowsill looking in”. This is how I feel when I write or do photography. I enjoy doing them, but I’m always so scared to show it to the world because I’m just waiting on that one person to come along and tell me, “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE.”


  • this ain’t about regret

    It’s been a couple of days since I posted. I was trying to journal every day but I got sidetracked. For assorted reasons. Last night I had every intention to, but I ended up taking off my nail polish and that turned into A Thing that took like two hours (I had to soak dip polish off my fingernails, and that takes FOREVER). Now my fingers look all bare and stubby, and I discovered that my right big toenail is all bruised. I guess I dropped something on it at some point, but I don’t remember doing that? It hasn’t hurt or anything and it doesn’t feel any different, it just looks funky. I’ll probably let it be for like a week or so, or until I get tired of looking at this gnarly toe and decide to paint it.

    I’ve actually been feeling pretty positive over the past couple of days. I worked from home on Friday, paid bills and had enough money left over to get some clothes. I really need to go shopping today and get a few clothes for work – I have jeans and such but I’d really like some work pants and a few more blouses. As much as I like wearing dresses – and I REALLY like wearing dresses – there are some days during the summer that I’m like NO I DON’T WANNA SHAVE so I end up in jeans, which are even more hot and stifling. Also, the jeans I have are just a smidge too tight, so the entire day I end up feeling really uncomfortable about my body, which always makes that day not so great.

    Anyway! Positive, yeah. One thing that I’ve been really looking forward to – and it’s coming up closer – is my trip to Atlanta to see Stray Kids live. A couple of coworkers and I are heading up on Saturday morning, spending the day on Sunday checking out a few places and then going to the concert, and then heading back here Monday morning. Since it’s over a long weekend, we didn’t have to worry about taking PTO and requesting off, which is nice! I’ve been really obsessed with listening to them over the past couple of months, which is hilarious because I thought I was going to lean hard into BTS after watching the concert in Vegas, but I ended up asking for recommendations on more stuff like Daechwita (from Suga/Agust D’s solo record), heard SKZ, and was pretty much like WELP THIS IS ME NOW I GUESS. I still leaned hard into BTS, but Stray Kids a LOT more. I’m pretty sure my husband is sick and tired of hearing K-pop blaring from YouTube and my phone speakers. LOL.

  • my head hurts.

    Ugh, been feeling just like general “bleh” this week.  Not sick or anything, but just mehhhhhh.  My sinuses have been acting weird (not congested, but achy?), I have a constant headache, and I just have no energy.  There’s a lot of reasons that explain all of these (and no, it’s not COVID), but I hate it.  I hate not having energy or focus.  And I know it gets more difficult as I get older.

    The past couple of months, I’ve been fighting a lot of frustration with my body and how I’m feeling.  Went on vacation, then got COVID and was laid up in bed for about a week, then had to roll right back into work and deal with a lot of deadlines and timelines all in two weeks, then having to finally do home stuff on weekends…I don’t know.  It’s a lot, and yeah, I know I’m whining.  But through all this, the most frustrating thing is finally coming to the realization that my body does not “bounce back” or come back from exhaustion nearly as well as I used to in my 20s.  And it is PISSING.  ME.  OFF.

    A lot of frustration comes from the fact that I COULDN’T enjoy these things in my 20s.  Having a good job that allowed me to take vacations?  Going out with friends to try new food and see new places?  Having weekends off and a nice place to live?  I didn’t have that in my 20s. I lived hand-to-mouth, barely able to afford groceries.  I worked retail jobs where I was forced to go into work with strep throat and stomach flu.  I couldn’t take the time off for vacations, much less afford them.  My schedule and bank accounts wouldn’t allow me to go out with friends.  And now that I can enjoy all these things, I’m too damn tired to?  It’s extremely frustrating, and feels more than a little unfair.

    Again, I know I’m whining.  I know there are people out there that have it worse than me, and I hate that for them.  It’s unfair to them too.  But this is how I’ve been feeling lately and I really, really dislike it.

    And I just want this headache to go away.

    I don’t want to leave this on a bad note, or a cranky/grumpy/whiny one.  So I will say that I am grateful for the things I have now.  And I am grateful that I get to do them at all.

  • seriously, don’t blog on ambien.

    Ambien is a hell of a drug.  I really need to just go straight to bed after taking it.  If I force myself to stay awake I tend to have random conversations or even post things that I barely remember.

    Or, worse yet, eat.  :-/

    I know a lot of people have talked about sleepwalking on Ambien.  Luckily, that hasn’t happened to me.  What I find happens is I take it with plans to be in bed within an hour, and by the end of the hour I’m still up, but doped out of my gourd and doing random things.  Or, if I’m watching a movie/TV/YouTube, I pass out in the bed while watching it and either D wakes me up when he comes in and makes me lay down, or I wake up and like three hours have passed.

    Don’t get me wrong.  I love having it.  It’s the only thing that calms my brain and allows me to stay asleep for an entire night.  If I don’t take it, I tend to wake up hourly, and eventually I will just lay there while my mind is thinking of random things that I need to do, or say, or important conversations I need to have, or what I should have said to someone 15 years ago, or awful things that could happen…and so on.  This is the only thing that keeps me asleep the entire night.  Melatonin won’t do it.  Tylenol PM, Nyquil, nothing else has worked.  Ambien was the last resort.

    Tonight, I am going to wait to take it until the very last moment, right as I’m getting sleepy.  Then I’m going to go straight to bed.  C-PAP on, dogs next to me, under blankets, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  No sitting up, no watching YouTube K-pop videos, no Netflix, no phone, no blog.  Pill then bed.