Tokyo Game Show 2015

Hey, all!

If you didn’t see from one of my previous posts, I had the chance to take a nice long vacation in fall. So I decided to spend a few weeks in Japan and Korea. I still had to do my course work while I was away, but it was worth it!

I didn’t plan much for the part of the trip in Tokyo. I had things in mind, but nothing set. So while talking with some other hostel guests, I found at that Tokyo Game Show was happening while I was in town. Lucky me!

I’m not a huge gamer – casual, you might say – but I like to play. Plus getting a chance to see new stuff in person was definitely a plus.

It was a really long day with people, people, people everywhere. Also, we didn’t get to demo lots of games because of the long wait times. We got to try a handful of games in the hall with the indie developers. The only game I tried in the main event hall was Disney Infinity Star Wars (really cool!). But we also got to see some neat stuff.

Take a peek at the photo gallery:


“Hormone” curry?

This one throw you for a loop? Certainly had me confused and amused. Luckily, the good folks at RocketNews24 have an explanation. “Hormone” is a portmanteau (words that combine their sounds and meanings)– “the word actually means “stuff you’d throw away” (horu, to discard, mono, stuff). If you haven’t guessed yet, we’re talking about offal, guts, entrails, icky animal innard bits grilled up yakiniku-style.” Ahhhh, now I get it. I probably would have tried it had I known.

And here are some of the cosplayers and promotional models at the show:

*Whew!* Long day, lots to see, but plenty of fun and a unique experience for my trip. If I’m ever back in Tokyo for TGS again I think I’ll be a bit more prepared for the experience.

History fan sign in Daejeon

Hello and Happy New Year!

Hope everyone is doing well and staying warm. I got to go home to the Midwest for vacation, so I too got to enjoy the wonderful -50 F weather a few weeks ago. Fun, right? 😀

Anyway I’m back again with another fan sign post. I got to see History for the 2nd time. This is the 1st time that I’ve been to the same group’s fan sign more than once. I really do like this group. I’d love to see them snag a #1 someday.

The event was at the Daejeon Jung-gu Cultural Center. It was a nice theater space was comfy seating. I got there about 1 hour early, hoping to be a bit closer to the front. Turns out I should’ve been there earlier. I was #75 out of 100 fans. The other Storias knew better I guess! I passed the time getting organized and writing my Post-It note questions for each member. I’d never done that before and I was blanking on questions, but I managed to come up with stuff. It took my awhile though because I wanted the Korean is be as grammatically correct as I could. ㅠㅠ Not always easy for me…

We didn’t have to wait too long because they got there a little earlier than the start time. I really love the blue suits the had on. Last time I saw them the outfit were mint green. I much prefer these. They got the fan sign underway and we all waited our turn. Sometimes I wish I had one of those cameras with the massive lenses like other fans do. I could see the really nice close-ups they were capturing. Still, I managed to get some nice photos and video with my Sony NEX.

I was really surprised at the pacing of the event. Normally you don’t get much time to talk as the staff/managers are pushing you along. This usually has to do with a group having to keep to their schedules. In our case, though, they were being really generous with time. Most fans moved on their own at a good pace and the staff weren’t too pushy with their “move ons”.

When it was my turn I grabbed my CD and gift for Do Kyun (another 1st for me – just a note, hand cream, and chocolate). First was Yijeong. The greeting were the usual “Hello. Where are you from?” in Korean. Then we went over my post-it. It said “Yijeong is ~” A. Handsome B. Sexy C. Cute . I wanted him to pick, but he motioned for me to choose first. I circled ‘A. Handsome’. He kinda raised his eyebrows and then circled the other 2 as well. :3

Next was Jaeho. He made every attempt to speak as much English as he could. I was kind of answering 1/2 English 1/2 Korean so we were sort of awkward together haha. His post-it said “Jaeho ~ which member in History is the funniest?”. He circled Si Hyung. I wonder if he’s extra goofy when out of the public eye?

Leader Kyung Il was next. He is just too good-looking in person. I mean, damn. It’s kinda not fair! I didn’t like the bleached hair at first, but it looks nice up close. [My conversations are pretty much all the same for every person/Kpop group by the way – What’s your name? Where are you from? Are you student? etc.] Kyung Il’s note said ” Kyung Il ~ can I be your English tutor? :P” A. Yes~ 선생님! B. Nope. Of course he circles “Yes” cuz it’d be kinda cruel to say “no”. 😛

Do Kyun was after. He’s kinda my bias for the group so that’s why I only had a gift for him. He said I spoke Korean well which I denied, but it’s still nice to hear. His note read “Do Kyun ~ how about foreign girls? Do you like me? ^^” A. Not really… B. They [you’re] okay C. Yes! They’re my ideal type D. [You/They’re] Pretty. He circled C & D haha. Again it’s just fan service, but still nice to hear.

Last was Si Hyung. He asked, in English, “Hello. Where are you from?”, but Do Kyun interrupted “Hey she’s really good at Korean”. And I’m all “Nooooo *^^*”. Si Hyung tried to speak English too. He was a bit unsure (like last time), but it’s very cute. His post-it said “Si Hyung ~ if I teach you English will you teach me Korean?” and he wrote “Of course!”.

I was giddy leaving the stage. There’s usually some point during a  fan sign when I get super awkward because of speaking Korean, but I felt pretty confident when I was talking to all of them. I think it helps having seen the group before and having those post-it questions ready. It gave me a topic kinda lined up in case the conversation dropped off. Plus it doesn’t hurt when the group is so nice.

I wish I lived in Seoul since fan signs here are so few and far between. There are fans who go to each of the cities to try and get into each event. I actually talked to a Storia from Seoul who had been to all the the cities for the signing (Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, and Seoul). That takes some really dedication! Traveling, buying CDs, and all that. It’s a big investment or your time and money. But I’m content to see who I can here and enjoy it when I’m able. It’s all fun. 🙂


ohhappydae’s photostream on Flickr.

*Please do not re-post without proper credit*

U-KISS fan sign

Been a while since I went to a fan sign. I think the last one was History back in spring. I’ve liked U-KISS for a few years, but haven’t had much of a chance to see them live.

The boys are so nice! Unfortunately they were about 30 minutes late (which they apologized for). Since they had a schedule to adhere to the event was really fast. It ended in less than an hour! The staff really pushed us through, so I had to speak really fast to the boys.

Of course, them having members who can speak Korean and English made it easier for me. I usually can only say something really basic in Korean to idols like “It’s nice to meet you”, “I think you’re cool/handsome” (lol), etc. So it’s nice to be able to say something a bit more normal.

My short encounters with each member:

Kevin – Such a sweetie. I wish I had another minute or so to talk with him.

Kiseop – Totally chill. Very much the ulljang/ikemen/prince type.

Eli – Also chill but in a different way. Like I was all “Hey man how’s it goin’?”. Just a guy you can talk to.

Hoon – Oh, you cutie. He asked me, in Korean, “Do you like Hoon?”. I said “Yes yes. I like you a lot. You’re very cool keke” (네 네. 너~무 좋아해요. 너~무 멋있다 ㅋㅋ).

AJ – Asked me where I was from, in English. I said Wisconsin and I saw that blank look that every gets when I say that, so I said “Uh y’know kinda near Chicago”.
“Ohh okay. See you in Wisconsin”.
Haha yeah okay, AJ. That’s be cool, but unlikely.

Soohyun – When I said I’m from America he said “I love you” and then kind of buried his face in his hands, all embarrassed. Aw don’t worry. You did a good job, leader.

Really too bad this went so fast, but I was happy to have the chance to meet them. I hope they come back to Daejeon. Hurry up, guys! I’m waiting.


U-KISS fan sign, a set on Flickr

R16 Korea 2013

Hey, guys! Boy, it’s hot out there (“Hot summer, hot, hot summer ~”). Trying to stay cool, but this humidity is killer.

Anyway bringing you an update from the past weekend. Thanks to the Korean Tourism Organization via their program K-Supporters, I had the opportunity to go to R16 Korea. Oh man, it was something to see. I’ve been dancing for years, though never bboy, so I was really happy to get to see all these talented folks.

R16 Korea is an annual bboy tournament featuring the best crews from around the world. There are solo bboy, popping, and locking battles as well as the crew battles. Everyone brought their A-game this year.

I went Saturday to check out the solo battles. First, I just wanna say how great the MCs were. MC GO and MC Sniper were fun and witty. They brought a good energy to the event. I’d say between bboy, popping, and locking battles that the bboy ones were my favorite. Nothing against popping and locking. Just not really my thing. Still, I got to see styles I never really saw before. Issei from Body Carnival (Japan) ended up taking it all in the bboy category though unfortunately I didn’t get to see his victory as I had to leave early. Too bad!

Oh and I managed to spy Jay Park watching the battles early on. I guess the people in front of me either didn’t see him or didn’t know him. I was tempted to go up and ask for photo, but it seemed better just to let him watch and enjoy too.

Sunday before the big event I had the chance to have a mini bboy lesson with Jinjo Crew. KTO loaded some of us in a bus and we headed over. The studio is in an unassuming location, so you’d never guess these very talented guys were inside. They were all nice and took us through some basic steps and moves. I’m okay moving around doing steps, but I don’t really have the strength for locking/holding moves. There’s a lot of upper body and core strength involved. Still I had fun and I’d be interested to learn more. They also showed us around and showed off their awards which were pretty numerous. Thanks, Jinjo Crew!

Sunday was when we really saw a larger crowd. Unfortunately we got dumped on too before the doors opened, but that didn’t seem to dampen (pun unintended :P) anyone’s spirits. The crews were super energized. First, we got to see all the groups do their crew performances. Korea’s Morning of Owl had the most creative for sure. It was very much in the style of modern dance which was a big surprise. Usually crews get the crowd all riled up, but it was almost calm watching them perform.

Next came the battles. Gotta say I don’t know how they can keep their energy up for so long. Hitting the floor, jumping up, spinning, dancing — it’s a lot! Gotta say my favorites were the top 2 crews – Morning of Owl and Body Carnival. I wasn’t all that sad to see U.S.A. and Russia go. Didn’t like their attitudes all that much. But anyway it was so close between the top 2 in my opinion. Japan was consistently good, but Korea would randomly pull out these moves and you can’t help but be in awe. Morning of Owl ended up taking the Crew Battle category though Body Carnival won the Performance category.

You guys can check out some of my photos below (and on my Flickr). I’ll try to piece together some video footage too, but for now you can check out my video of the Blue Whale Brothers – Poppin J & Crazy Kyo – performing between battles.


Photo Jumble – Seoul

When you move abroad you can amass a number of things, I suppose. As for me, I have taken so many pictures on my adventures. It seems I haven’t shared all that many here though. For sure I have on Facebook and Tumblr (this is mine btw). Anyway, this is a random photo post for some of the pictures I had intended to share… like forever ago. There’s quite a few so I guess I’ll start with ones I took in Seoul to begin with.

Korea House (한국의집)





Misc Palaces















I think the palaces were just Changdeokgung and Gyeongbokgung, though there may have been a third in there? There’s so much to see in Seoul so it’s hard to keep track. Also I took these pictures about 7 months ago when my mom came to visit me.

I have so many photos that I want to share, so I’m going to try to separate posts as neatly as I can. I hope this entices a few of you to come to Korea. 🙂

Comic World – Seoul

I went with a few of my friends to Seoul last week to check out Comic World. I’ve been to my share of conventions in the past, so I thought it’d be interesting. I knew it focused on anime mainly, but even though I don’t watch it anymore I thought it’d be a good chance to take pictures.

It takes place a few times a year at the Yangjae AT Center in Yangjae-dong. To get there you can transfer at Gangnam station and take the Yangjae line. I believe the stop is 양재시민의숲 (Yangjae Citizens’ Forest), and the center is right out the exit.

I wouldn’t call it a “convention” exactly. It’s more like a big cosplay gathering with an artists’ alley thrown in the building. Still, for a 4,000 won ticket it’s not a bad way to spend the afternoon. It only run it’s about 5:30 pm and I got there really late, so we didn’t spend lots of time there. I wanted to check out the artists’ alley, but my friends weren’t all the interested. We spent our time taking photos of cosplayers that caught our fancy. I did catch 3 Westerners cosplaying (Finn & Jake from “Adventure Time”, and a soldier), but that’s all I saw. I dunno if non-Koreans tend to participate, but it’d be cool.

Anyway here’s what we saw ~ my favorite were the “Adventure Time” cosplayers. 🙂


Hongdae Free Market

2 weeks back I was in Seoul to hang out with a few friends. As usual I booked a hostel in Hongdae. There’s quite a few in the area, and thus far they’ve all been decent enough (though some are much better than others). I’d never really explored Hongdae in the daytime. Everyone knows the area for the clubs and nightlife, but there was one thing I wanted to check out during the daylight hours: the Hongdae Free Market (홍대 프리 마켓)

I found out about it just doing a quick search for “things to do in Hongdae” on Google. The Free Market is basically an open air market set up in a park for local artists to sell their wares. Since my major was Fine Arts and I love making crafts I was excited to check it out.

Welcome to the Free Market

The market is every Saturday from March until November from 1 pm – 5 pm. It’s held at Hongik Children’s Park, right across the street from Hongik University, so it’s not hard to find. It was a great day to go. The weather was warm and the sun was shining. Just the right weather for admiring art and dropping some cash.

An intimate market

The park isn’t that big, but they pack it with plenty of talented artists showing their talents. There were so many cool things!  I wanted to buy much more than I did, but I restrained myself. All the more reason to go back, right? Of course I gotta show off the things I picked up —

This was my first purchase of the day (and the vendor’s first sale of the day as well). She said she came from California, and she was selling a variety of hand-painted shoes. I love the bright colors, and they’re actually pretty comfy! If you wanna check out her stuff she has a website –

I couldn’t resist these. The penguin is one of my favorite animals, so I grabbed this coin purse. It’s also big enough to hold cards. The camera is a neat little wallet. Both are made from felt and very sturdy. The coin purse was 10,000 won and the wallet was 12,000.

There was a woman at a table doing calligraphy on various bookmarks and cell phone straps. Turns out she teaches calligraphy to foreigners in Seoul. If I lived up there I’d love to go for lessons. Alas! I’m a bit too far south. But if you’re curious, go check out her blog – Boot Touch 붓터치. I bought a bookmark and asked her to write “happy Janelle” in Korean. 🙂 I also bought a cell phone strap for a friend. They were only about 3,000-4,000 each. They’re very cute and inexpensive gifts.

There was another woman who had lovely jewelry. I chose this bracelet made with lapis lazuli.

This is another fun purchase – a double-sided necklace. One side has the colorful glass and the other is the flat 2-toned rose.

The last thing I bought were these cute coffee cup earrings. I don’t drink a lot of coffee, but I couldn’t resists these.

If you’re looking to hit up the market too, it’s just a short walk from Hongik station.

Go out exit 9 and walk straight until the 1st intersection.  Turn left and walk straight up the hill towards Hongik University. When you get to the end, right in front of the uni, turn right. The park is just around the corner on the right side. You can walk up some stairs or take the side street.

My advice is, if you like these sorts of things, take enough cash. However, if you run out there’s an ATM conveniently outside one of the nearby stores.

If you’re looking for a little more info, you can check out the website (only in Korean, sorry) – Free Market

And here’s just a few other pics I took while wandering around Hongdae ~

One of many streets with plenty of fashion to look at. A lot of the prices are low, so it’s hard to resists sometimes.

Oh, there you are, Perry.
(Phineas & Ferb reference btw)

I’m curious how one might be part of the market. I make accessories mostly for fun; however, most of the stuff I’ve made lately is just sitting in my craft basket. I may want to find a way to sell them. I suppose that’s one of my next missions!