Friday, October 2, 2015

Choice Music in Korean Galleria

Took forever to drive to Koreatown to pick up the Mamamoo CD I ordered but finally got it. Hopefully the info about the fan meeting this Sunday is correct and I'll be able to get the CD signed and get a picture with the group.

Koreatown was super crowded today and my Korean friend said it will probably be a lot worse tomorrow night for the concert. I think I will try and park at Union Station and take the Metro Red Purple Line to the festival (1/2 mile walk). My dad is thinking of coming so $6 for parking and $1.75 x2 (round trip) x2 = $13 which is not too bad to avoid traffic and parking.

Monday, September 28, 2015

LA Moo Party

Update: Ugh. All the CDs online are shipped from Korea. I did find one guy on ebay but takes a week to ship. I also found a few music stores in K-town and sent some emails. I guess I'll have to run down there in person tomorrow to see if I can find anything fit for an autograph session.


Mamamoo is coming to LA to perform a free concert at LA Korean Festival on October 3rd. They're also holding a fan meeting the next day at Fonda Theater at 4pm. Since I'm usually free on weekends, I dropped $110 ($90 for ticket + $20 "convenience" fee) to see them live. Hopefully they will speak some English or have translators 'cuz my Korean skills are non-existent. I've been to a few Korean concerts but nothing like this. The event website said no photos, which is crazy for a fan meeting, and that they'll sign one item. I really don't have anything so I'm scrambling to see if I can get an album shipped by this Friday. :(

Favorite performance:

The Way to Sampo - Mamamoo (Immortal Song 2)

Friday, August 28, 2015

New Passport

Yay! I got my new passport in the mail yesterday. I think it took only 3 weeks for them (State Department?) to process and return to me. I still have to get my old passport back but they said it may come in a separate mailing. I opted for the larger 52 page passport since I had to add pages to my last one. It used to be free to add pages but now the government charges $82 to add 24 pages to your existing passport.

Will they add another 24 pages to my 52 page passport if I need it?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Asia Trip Planning

My sister and I talked about taking my nieces on a trip to Asia for awhile now. Well, we finally decided on dates and bought plane tickets for late October/early November so I guess we're really going. At first I looked at fully guided tours, especially in Japan, but they cost a lot of money. After researching sample itineraries, I've decided to try and plan our own trip.

The plan is to fly from LAX to Japan, stay a few days in Tokyo then Kyoto, and continue to Taipei. Since we have 5 people, which is an odd number for hotel rooms (and taxis), we ended up booking all lodging through Airbnb. In Tokyo, we're staying in an apartment near Inaricho station (near Ueno Park) for 5 nights. This is followed by 3 nights in Osaka near Namba station, and 5 nights in Taipei near the main train station. It was a lot of work to find places big enough within our budget, yet near train/subway stations so we can walk with luggage. In total, the 13 nights will cost us about $2400 with Airbnb booking fees and cleaning charges.

I've also been trying to arrange activities each day, along with all the required public transportation rides. Tokyo has to have the most confusing subway system, primarily because there are several companies, all with their own lines and stations. Just because you see a station next to where you want to go on Google Maps, it doesn't mean it will be cheap nor convenient to get there.

Tokyo Subway Map - Only contains lines/stations for 2 subway companies

I'm still deciding to go with a tour of Mt. Fuji or plan it myself. After that, I think I'm done with Japan itinerary, but still have to figure out what we want to do in Taipei.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

New Favorite K-pop Girl Group

Um Oh Ah Yeh - MAMAMOO

Strange group name but lots of vocal talent. One thing I noticed was how effortless their performances are for a bunch in their early 20's. I guess when you're not worried about singing the right notes, you can focus on other parts of the live stage. In some of the other popular girl groups, half the members can't sing that well. They remind me of a younger Brown Eyed Girls.

Hope they come to KMF this year.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ah Yeah - EXID

Ah Yeah - EXID

They will be here for KMF in a few weeks. I really wanted to see them live along with Apink but the Hollywood Bowl is not a great venue. The place will also be packed with thousands of screaming teens due to TVXQ and some other boy bands. My foot is still messed up so I didn't want to walk all the way in/out of the Bowl.

Hopefully they'll come again in the future.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

"Freedom of Religion"


Christian Science Monitor
In 'China's Jerusalem,' party members must now profess atheism

A Communist Party crackdown takes a new turn in a religious hotbed of faith on China's east coast. Prospective party members who worship need to officially 'rectify' their beliefs.

As with many things in China, laws don't mean shit. It's just used as political cover—for whichever faction of the CCP currently in power—to do whatever they want against their "enemies." Is it surprising that none of Xi Jinping's cronies are "corrupt"? They'd better start buying houses in Arcadia before his term in office is up.
The Global Times quoted a professor from a prominent party college in Beijing that gave an interpretation of the latest move:

"Party members are banned from joining religions. Believing in communism and atheism is a basic requirement to become a Party member." said Li Yunlong, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee. Li said that Zhejiang authorities stressed this basic requirement due to local situation, adding he hopes this will set an example to other provinces. "This could be a part of efforts against the penetration of Western hostile forces," said Li.

Wait, Western hostile forces.... is he talking about Marx and Lenin?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Church #1: EFCI 1.5G Ministry

1.5G stands for 1.5 generation. From their website, they are trying to reach those born overseas but grew up in the US bi-culturally. I guess it's something similar to NewSong's Third Culture ideology, trying to reach those stuck between two dominant cultures. Anyway, I showed up at 11:05am for their 11:10am service and the full-English ministry was still in the room so everything got delayed. The service feels like the English service at CCCSB without the Youth, and with some Chinese thrown in. In the end, it felt a bit gimmicky... about 90% of the service was in English but several worship songs were in Chinese, the worship leader had a pretty strong accent, and the speaker threw in a few Chinese sentences. I think the concept is fine, but since it's part of EFC Irvine, it's still a Chinese church, especially the Chinese lunch after service.

I don't think my Chinese is good enough to be even 1.5G. I had raised this issue while back at CCCSB. It's not about language but culture. The English Ministry never grew in the past 20 years because I don't think there is a goal, other than somewhere for the Youth to go before college. Is there truly a 1.5G culture? Maybe there is but in practice, it's hard to define and to balance the two different cultures. I'll go back a few more times and maybe visit a small group, but I'm thinking that I need to find a mostly Asian church not attached to a 1st generation Asian congregation.