I Have Too Many Sheet Masks

The struggle is real, guys.

I’ve been good lately about not going into Korean cosmetic shops (well, except Olive Young). I know what’ll happen if I go in. Inevitably I will buy something and if it’s not make-up it’s possible it’s gonna be a sheet mask.

I love ’em! Every store has their own and they can help your skin in different ways — moisturizing, firming, brightening, sebum control, etc. Plus they aren’t all that expensive (generally 1,000-2,000 won though there are some that cost a little more).

If you haven’t given them a try yet why not check some out?
Via Amazon.com:
Etude House – https://goo.gl/WeYYpT
The Face Shop – https://goo.gl/ozzFAS
Innisfree – https://goo.gl/ZT4cQV

Seoul Lotus Lantern Festival

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Long time no blog!

So… I’m back in Korea now. (“Say whaaaaat?”)

Yep a lot has happened since my last post *cough* last year. Long story short I re-applied to the EPIK program and was accepted. I’m now living in Sejong which is right next to Daejeon. How lucky!

I’m going to try to get caught up and do a back log of some of my adventures over the past couple months, but today I wanted to show some of what I saw at the Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul.

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A lantern parade float

I randomly decided on Saturday morning that I should go to Seoul and check out this festival that I had read about online. A lot of my friends in the EPIK program decided to go to Jindo for the Sea Parting Festival which I a) still haven’t seen but b) forgot to chime in that I maybe wanted to go haha. So a solo Seoul (Seoul-o?) trip it is!

I was able to book a hostel in Hongdae pretty easily which was lucky since my first choice place was booked up. Well, that’s what I get for waiting until the last minute. I killed time in Hongdae until I headed over to Jogyesa Temple where the festival was being held. Jogyesa is theย chief temple of the Jogyesa Order for Korean Buddhism. The festival is held in honor of Buddha’s birthday, which fell on May 3rd this year in Korea. It changes every year because of the lunisolar calendar, but it’s typically in May.

It was such a sight to see! There were groups playing traditional instruments, people dressed in beautiful hanbok and other traditional clothes, and so many people carrying lanterns. And the parade floats! I’d seen pictures of past parades, but it’s a whole different thing to see them in person. I can’t imagine how long those take to craft. Plus, there were people from different places like Thailand and Myanmar marching together with their own floats in honor of Buddha. The people carrying lanterns were even just handing them to people as they passed. I got 2! One I got was shaped like a lotus, and a little girl was staring longingly at it. So I gave it to her, and she traded me the one she had. I ended up having to leave 1 behind at the guesthouse, though, because I couldn’t carry it all with me (boo!).

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The floats were parked and lined up on the street, so I got to take a good look at all of them. I also explored Jogyesa a bit. There were soooo many lanterns hanging, and it just looked beautiful at night.

I also went inside the temple to pay my respects. I just quietly stood in the back because people were praying and I didn’t want to disturb anyone. I did, though, take part in the Bathing Buddha ritual. The ritual is supposed to help improve happiness and peace of mind. A person takes what is essentially a long ladle and pours water over a small Buddha statue 3 times. Each time you should say each of these things:

  1. May I eliminate all evil thoughts.
  2. May I cultivate good deeds.
  3. May I help save all living beings.

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Before I went back to Hongdae I walked down the street once more and came upon another celebration. There was a big stage set up with performers on stage (my guess is they wereย pansori singers, but I’m not sure). There was a large crowd watching, and also groups of people, both Korean and non-Korean, holding hands in a circle and dancing — or walking? They were walking in circles to the music anyway haha.

I honestly hadn’t expected the whole thing to be so lively. My initial thought was that since Buddha is such a revered figure that maybe it’d be a “tame” event, but it really was more like a party! I’m so glad I was able to experience it. If you’re in Korea around Buddha’s birthday you really should give it a go.

Kero-chan Check! – Episode 5: Is That Really a Panda?

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Episode 5: Is That Really a Panda?

We’re back after our unexpected break!

There’s a totally cute toy shop opening in Tomoeda, but it seems the shop owner as a troubled past. The panda toy from her shop keeps getting “stolen” from people’s homes and ending up back at the shop. This causes the owner, Maki, to have to move her shop to another town. Luckily magical girls are totally common/helpful and Sakura is on the case.

You can find us on Podbeanย and iTunes.

We are on Twitter as well at @kerochanpod.

Thanks for reading/listening!

New project! New podcast!

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You may or may not know that I’ve dabbled in podcasting before with my fellow NYAN folks at Not Your Average Netizensย . I’ve also really been getting into listening to other podcasts like The Nerdist and Dear Hank and John. But lately I’ve been especially obsessed with Love and Justice: A Super Serious Sailor Moon Podcast. Holy cow! Funny ladies talking about one of my favorite anime/shows ever? Hell yes!

So I was inspired to start my own podcast with my bestie Stefanie. We became friends freshman year in high school over the works of CLAMP (and other manga), and one of our favorites was Card Captor Sakura. So that became the inspiration for our podcast – Kero-chan Check! – A Cardcaptor Sakura Podcast. ๐Ÿ™‚ We only have 3 episodes out so far, but we’ve been trying to record every week so get material out. If you live anime, magical girls, and podcasts (c’mon, who doesn’t?) then give us a listen.

You can find us on Podbeanย and iTunes.

Listen to the 1st episode on Podbean

We (mostly me) are on Twitter as well at @kerochanpod.

Thanks for reading/listening!

Studying & Coffee

I spend a lot of my days of from work in coffee shops studying and writing my master’s thesis. I wanted to just give a quick peek at my favorite coffee shop, Fiddleheads. They’re a really chill local coffee business with several locations in the Milwaukee area. If you happen to live around there definitely check it out (and try one of their seasonal drinks!).

I’m just chipping away slowly at my master’s thesis for now. It seems like it’ll never finish at this point, but I’ll get there! ๐Ÿ™‚

Is It Okay To Be in 2 Kpop Fan Clubs?

There’s no question that Kpop fans can have a fierce loyalty to their favorite groups. From fansite managers, to people who run Tumblrs, people who go to pretty much every event and take videos, and people who buy multiples of CDs just to get into a fan sign event. Those people are super into their groups!

But are we, as fans, allowed to have more than one bias? Or are we supposed to swear unfailing loyalty to our one ultimate group/singer?

I was kind of wondering this when I saw that GOT7 was having their 3rd recruitment for IGOT7s. I’ve been an official Hottest for about 4-5 years now. Even having moved back home I still sign up when the new period starts. However, last year I had been considering being an IGOT7 too. I didn’t sign-up then, though, because I didn’t feel super into GOT7 at the time. Not enough to shell out around $60 anyway. This year was different! I’ve been getting more into the group and I decided to just go for it.

And, really, we shouldn’t feel hesitation in terms of whether it’s “okay” to be part of 2 fan clubs. Why not? We international fans almost never get to see our groups live anyway. We’re just doing it to support them.

I do get that there are people who only want to support one group, and that’s cool too. You want to put your energy into that group. As for me, I’m mostly a casual fan of many many groups, though I have a weakness for people from JYPE obviously haha. I’ll cheer for the big guys along with the nugus if I like the group.

Anyway, my point (along with a few others in the video) is that you can like as many groups as you want. Just respect each other, respect the artists, and enjoy the music! Because that’s what it’s really about.

NYAN 3/6/16 GALAXY QUEST

This week on Not Your Average Netizens, can K-pop fans somehow make themselves look crazier and more insane than they already are? The answer will surprise you! Also, we reluctantly accept GFriend as next in line to SNSD’s throne and kneel at the altar of Mamamoo. More importantly, a boatload of MVs are just sitting waiting for our ridicule and review so, we’re mostly gonna do that this episode.

MVs reviewed:

[Mv] Ladies’ Code – Galaxy
๋ธŒ๋ ˆ์ด๋ธŒ๊ฑธ์Šค (Brave Girls) – ๋ณ€ํ–ˆ์–ด MV
[MV] NU’EST(๋‰ด์ด์ŠคํŠธ) _ OVERCOME(์—ฌ์™•์˜ ๊ธฐ์‚ฌ)
CLC(์”จ์—˜์”จ) โ€“ โ€˜์˜ˆ๋ป์ง€๊ฒŒ(High Heels)โ€™ MV Short Ver.
TAEMIN ํƒœ๋ฏผ_Press Your Number_Performance Video Ver.1
๋งˆ๋งˆ๋ฌด (MAMAMOO) – ๋„Œ is ๋ญ”๋“ค (You’re the best) MV
ASTRO (์•„์ŠคํŠธ๋กœ) – ์žฅํ™” ์‹ ์€ ๊ณ ์–‘์ด (Cat’s Eye) MV
[MV] Rainbow(๋ ˆ์ธ๋ณด์šฐ) – Whoo Music Video
[MV] VOISPER(๋ณด์ด์Šคํผ) _ In your voice(๊ทธ๋Œ€ ๋ชฉ์†Œ๋ฆฌ๋กœ ๋งํ•ด์ค˜)
[MV] ์šฐ์ฃผ์†Œ๋…€(WJSN)(COSMIC GIRLS) _ Mo Mo Mo (๋ชจ๋ชจ๋ชจ)
[Debut Stage] 160225 ์šฐ์ฃผ์†Œ๋…€ (WJSN (COSMIC GIRLS)) – Catch Me (์บ์น˜๋ฏธ) @ ์— ์นด์šดํŠธ๋‹ค์šด M! Countdown

*I’m finally back for an episode! This time it’s ladies’ night with plenty of MVs to look at.