It’s that time of the year again! Wait – is it that time of the year again?! Ah, time flies… I’m so blessed to have received several Liebster nominations the last two years and aw man, you guys – another year?! (virtual group hug)

There seems to be a newish-but-similar award to the Liebster going around, aka the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Awards, and since I find them similar enough, I’m just combining them into this single massive awards post. I’ve done Liebster Awards in the past (in blogphilic) but whenever I look back at my answers, I can’t help but cringe so (setting: private) I am starting afresh here 🙂

Thank you so much to the ever-funny Kwon over at his blog dramajjang (who’s a guy! Don’t be mistaken! HAHA); ever-informative Mimi over at the comprehensive The Talking Cupboard (whose answer, one of them… sniff) and last but not least, AidaZen, who I gather is a newish blogger here in drama-blogosphere but with a distinct voice of her own over at her space, I Dreamed A Drama. Thanks again guys!!

Without much ado, on to the awards! (…with modifications of my own, ha!)

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The Sisterhood of the World Blogger Awards

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the questions they have sent you.
  • Make up ten five new questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate five blogs and make sure they are aware they are nominated.
  • When you have responded, leave a link in the comment of the person who nominated you.

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Liebster Award

  • Thank and link the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions given by the nominator.
  • Nominate eleven five bloggers who have less than 200 followers and link them.
  • Create eleven five new questions for the nominees to answer.
  • Notify all nominees via social media/blogs.

Questions from Across the Blogosphere!

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Questions from Kwon 

  1. To makjang or not to makjang?
    Er… er… depends?! (pause) Okay seriously speaking, it really depends on my mood at a given time, though in general I’m a sentimental sap, which means I’m totally not averse to makjang – I’ve enjoyed (read: cried my eyes out and screamed bloody murder) my fair share of stories with that thematic element and likewise, laughed and rolled my eyes at the over-the-top makjang execution.
  2. Do you fall in love in every drama with a different actor/actress too?
    Not really…? Not always, but I tend to pick dramas based on actors/actresses that I like, so there’s that bias to begin with. What often surprises me though, is I’d check out a show for a specific someone and end up loving and staying on for someone else. Case-in-point: Angel Eyes, where I came for Goo Hye Sun, but stayed for Lee Sang Woo (those dimplesss *squish squish*).

    AngelEyes_ep20_2

  3. Has your bias ever betrayed your feelings? And if yes, when?
    YES! Lee Dong Wook for picking dud projects – why dude, why?! I’d so much faith in you! But real achy-breaky heart: Nishikido Ryo, for choosing to leave NEWS for Kanjani8 (not that I didn’t see this outcome from miles and miles away and years before, but… *continues to nurse my deluded NEWS fan’s betrayed heart*)
  4. Do you like Cho Yong Pil’s music and generally, 80s South Korean music?
    Er… no? (guilty) The name sounds familiar but I can’t immediately name and place his songs — I’m certain I’ve heard remakes and stuff of 80s K-music in general from shows like KPop Star, but I wouldn’t call myself a fan.
  5. Which are your favorite 2015 drama and/or movie for the time being?
    Can I break the rule and name the drama that has ruined me for 2015? No guesses needed there… Okay, if I were to name a current one though, I think it would be Heard It Through the Grapevine. I’m not totally in love with this show and the directing (namely lighting and angles) still pisses me off, but this show is hilarious and so, so brilliant. Forget Lee Joon – Go Ah Sung is phenomenal.

    Heard_It_Through_the_Grapevine
    PS A close contender, though not strictly a 2015 drama is What Happens to My Family, gem of a family drama that’s just full of warmth and love.

  6. Which actor/actress would you like to see in a drama during 2015?
    Say it with me now: SongJoong! Ki!
    (also: Kang Ha Neul in a leading drama role – boy needs to headline his own 16-episode show, it’s about damn time!!)
  7. After Kill Me, Heal Me ended, how many personalities did you acquire? If you haven’t watched it yet, why?!
    Haven’t watched it! (hides) Not… interested? The premise just isn’t compelling enough for me to tune in, despite my so-so feelings for both leads. Maybe one day…
  8. To have loved and to have lost or to have never loved?
    Given that I’m currently an exhibit of “to have never loved” but have heard lots of stories and lately, find myself as a listener to plenty of love stories (seriously, I’m that friend who constantly gives out relationship advice but is perpetually single) — I’d say to have loved and to have lost. No matter how heartbreaking, it’s the growth that takes place from the experience that matters most.
  9. Have you ever drank soju? And if yes, did you get drunk?
    Nope and I won’t, given my religious restrictions. I may be wrong, but I don’t think I’m missing out though; I’ve asked friends about it and from what I gather, getting drunk on soju of all drinks isn’t er, the most fun!
  10. Would you do the chincha dance with me?
    I will so be that friend to cheer you from the sidelines with as much excitement as I would give off had I been onstage with you — and the only reason I’m not dancing with you is because I’m a terrible dancer! Legit!

    a scene from Valid Love, episode 17 (credits: moromochi @ wordpress)

Questions from Mimi

  1. Would you stop blogging if you fall out of love with dramas in the future, or would you continue to blog about your other interests?
    I think you know the answer to this already 🙂 I doubt I would stop cos after all, drama-blogging was something I did on the side for a few years before finally admitting that okay, I am a drama-blogger too haha. What I’m pondering and considering more and more these days though, honestly, is how to transition to a more permanent and… certified(?) platform. I love blogging but I kind of want my writing to go more places, physically and in-print, and… yeah. Blogging isn’t forever and I always keep this in mind, but fear not – so far, no plans to quit!
  2. What kind of food you saw in dramas that looked so scrumptious but when you gave it a try yourself..it’s just ordinary/ not to your liking?
    Given that I can’t eat 99% of the food that’s shown in dramas because of religious restrictions or geographical limitations, also that I’m not a foodie, I don’t think I’ve actually experienced this. Maybe this will change when I’m back in Malaysia though, where halal meat and Korean restaurants do go hand-in-hand… 😉
  3. If you’re to design your own house, which part would you make it bigger than the others? (Lawn, bedroom, kitchen, living room, etc) Why?
    Bedroom! Because I live on my bed. HAHA. It’s horrible to admit – uh, I’ve just outed myself as a certified lazy bum, isn’t it? – but it’s the one personal space that I seriously care about, because it’s my go-to space to unwind. The second most important space would be the kitchen because although I’m not a great cook (not by any means), I do cook a lot and so this space is just as important.
  4. Name one female character you would like to have as your best friend.
    You know what’s funny? There are so many female characters I love and look up to, but when you’re specifically asking me who I’d like to be best friends with… the answer huh, doesn’t come so easily. Right now because I’m still drunk and recuperating from Reply 1994 feels, I’d answer Na Jung because I desperately want to be the eighth person of them fab seven.

    …But if I were to think seriously for a minute, possibly Han Yeo Reom from Discovery of Romance. A lot of people don’t like her and/or can’t stand her but I absolutely, unabashedly loved her. She’s unapologetic about who she is and will always be the first person to name her flaws and shortcomings but that’s exactly her charm – that she’s not afraid to be herself, stand her ground, and take responsibility for herself. I could totally do with a best friend like her. Atta girl.

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  5. Sun or snow?
    Sun! Though preferably with a cool breeze blowing at all times…

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Questions from AidaZen

  1. If those closest to you could describe you in one word, what do you think the word would be?
    Honestly… I have thought about this a lot since my first read-through of your question and strangely, can’t come up with an immediate answer. I want to say chatty, but only because that’s what I’ve been pointed out as lately. Otherwise I’d say (bookish) smart because for a long time that’s what those in my circle would point me out to be (misguided though that I think they are) but that doesn’t really apply these days. So… I’ll go with this: honest. I’ve been called and pointed out similar adjectives to that, both good and bad (like tactless for bad), but irrespective which one, I like that they’d point out that I’m not pretentious – what you see/hear/read about me, is what and who I am. Good enough for me.
  2. Apart from yours which other culture(s) do you find most fascinating and how have you tried to incorporate them in your everyday life be it the food, language, arts etc?
    It’s odd for me to be talking culture, ironic as that may sound, because though I am born and raised in Malaysia (home of various cultures) in my microcosm, I grew up mostly a-cultural – not gonna lie, for a long time, my culture was material and wealth. Not totally, but those were the typical ‘languages’ I spoke. It’s only as I grew older and found myself in different societies that I finally realized how much I appreciate the Malaysian and wider Asian cultures. Oops okay I totally went off tangent… to answer your question: Japanese culture. I’ve loved (almost) everything Japan from young, and incorporate the culture in the form of everything I can possibly gobble: entertainment, food, art, societal practices, mindset and perspectives …just not the language (deep sigh).
  3. Would you say you’re more into books or TV/movies? In other words when you relax is it with a good book or a good movie/drama?
    In the past – books. Nowadays – dramas. But I still read a lot of articles online as part of my winding down activities, so I like to think I’ve a nice balance of both 🙂
  4. If you were made to have the same meal every day for say…a month, which food/dish would you pick?
    Nasi lemak!! A true Malaysian favorite and local delicacy. I’m certain I can live on that alone, if only calories aren’t such A Thing…

    nasi lemak from jat
    Nasi lemak: true Malaysian delicacy! YUM!
  5. What was the first thing you’d do/say if an alien suddenly showed up next to you right now?
    (Scream like a crazy loon) 
    (Fake-cool nonchalantly composes self)
    “Hi. Fancy meeting you here…?”
  6. From your personal experience as a blogger, what single tip would you give someone intending to start a blog for the first time?
    Write for yourself! Of course you want to build readership and have steady traffic and ever-increasing stats and whatnot – that’s the whole premise on which blogging is built upon, after all – but understand that your writing voice is uniquely yours and comes from yourself. Don’t let others shape and define that.
  7. What is the most recent movie/book/show that you have seen/read that you would recommend highly to others?
    Reply 1994!! I am so in love with this show it’s er not… normal. A novel that I not-so-recently wrapped up and would recommend though, is none other than Haruki Murakami‘s classic South of the Border, West of the Sun.
  8. Can you give a personal view of how to define true beauty in a person? (Male and female)
    For me it’s individuality, expressed in the form of character 🙂 It’s how one carries oneself and how one values one’s self-worth. Of course we’re bound to be affected and influenced by external factors, as well as adapting and adjusting as need be, but the essence of who we are – it takes courage and integrity I think, to acknowledge who and what you are (and aren’t) and be accepting of that.
  9. A friend can be anyone, even your sister or someone you know online that you have never met. What’s the nicest (recent) thing a friend ever did to you or for you?
    Today! I finally got to properly catch up with this blogger awards thingy and Mimi had answered me (me!) as “the blogger whose tone of writing reminds you of a close friend or mentor” — awww, I didn’t expect this at all! (virtual hug)
  10. Are most of my questions too personal or just plain missing any point? (You can be brutally honest 😀 Ok no don’t answer that if you can’t be nice)
    No, your questions are fine! They’re fun, I enjoy answering them! 🙂
  11. If you found out you could change ONE thing about yourself, what would it be?
    My height. While I have gotten used to this, I’ve honestly been called short (“Gasp! You’re short(er than I think)!”) way too many times for way too long…

    byun yo han_dec2014

Passing on the Love: Nominees! 

Only five, but the usual disclaimer: in general, I still read tons of blogs and have a lot of affection for those still writing and those who’ve stopped writing …this is me saying to bloggers who read my lil space here that I don’t love you any less or think your writing isn’t worthy just cos you’re not spotlighted here, okay? The true winner is all of us for doing what we love, regardless if there’s only one person or thousands reading!

  1. dmohican14 at The Corner of the Mind – my chingu! Who I’m pretty sure is hangs around here but only makes her appearance known sometimes (hehe), so her comments are always a lovely surprise to my typically mundane days ❤ Over at her blog, she focuses on Jdramas and animes – I don’t watch the former much these days (and none of the latter), but I enjoy reading her opinions because she’s cohesive and clear, also objective in expressing her likes and dislikes.
  2. Maybee at dramababble – a recent find (seriously, where have I been all this while) and her blog is awesome. More than that though, her writing is fantastic. She’s got so much depth and writes with such thoughtfulness that it still surprises me that she’s only in her teens (or at least ahaha, another birdie shared this info with me…). She’s definitely a reminder that we should never write someone off for their age alone!
  3. jyl at sphere of gray – also my chingu! Or if I may, more accurately, my dongsaeng and/or kouhai! She writes about C-entertainment mostly, so I don’t read everything she writes (sorry my dear!) but I love, love, love her writing voice. Her voice has a maturity that I think betrays her age. She’s another blogger – probably the first – who I was genuinely so surprised to find out was still in her teens (back then). Girl’s in college now and likely if not already majoring in my professional field and so we are true senpai/kouhai in every sense and I can’t be any prouder!!
  4. DDee at ocdramadee – my senpai and voice of reason! I look up to her a lot and enjoy her take on dramas a lot, especially the more serious and meaty ones 🙂 I think she’s more on Tumblr and twitter these days, but whatever she has on her blog, let’s just say that just cos they’re old don’t mean they’re not gold!
  5. One Sunny Lady at The Sunny Town – the ever-awesome Sunny who translates plenty of interesting interviews of my favorite actors and actresses! I’m glad I came across her blog via DDee and that we became friends through Twitter because she is awesome – really easy to talk to, shares my grad school sufferings plight and is a trustworthy translator. She always has this disclaimer about her English and awkward translations but honestly (and I’ve wanted to say this to you since forever!) — your English and translations are totally fine! More than fine really, you’re doing great 🙂 Thank you for all the hard work and labor of love that you do for the international/English-speaking K-entertainment community!

I have another senpai who would immediately pop in mind as a nominee, anytime that I receive a bloggers award (ahem ojyp…), but I’ll spare her the trouble this year …kidding hehe, just a shout-out! (laughs with glee) She writes sometimes snarkily, sometimes spazzy (don’t get her started on Arashi!), but always, always – eloquently. Also, still my faves – although they’ve been away from blogosphere – shout-outs to Ellély and Betsy; I miss you guys and hope you’re doing well ❤

Personally, I find drama blogosphere extremely saturated nowadays and some days I’m just overwhelmed by the plethora of voices, good and bad, that I just can’t keep up. Time and again I ask myself, why do I still write about dramas? There are tons, literally, of voices and more eloquent bloggers out there. And every time I would come back to this, so simple an answer: fun. There’s been more upside than downside for me, being a part of this ever-growing community of blogger-friends and readers. So all is (still) good 🙂

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Questions for the Nominees

  • Name a show you don’t necessarily love, but would totally recommend to others.
  • Honest opinions about the recent upswing of idols in Kdramas?
  • Of all the shows you’d reviewed and/or expressed opinions about before, is there one that you wish or plan to rewrite differently?
  • Do you feel like you live in the wrong era and/or location? Why?
  • Share the love! Reveal your must read, go-to blog and/or website.

Of course, everyone is welcome to answer my questions! In the past, I’m often told I make up difficult questions (oops) so this time I went with questions that immediately came to mind – hopefully they’re easier to chew upon and answer this time around!

As always, signing off with – thank you for reading me!! Group hugs all around ❤ ❤ ❤

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