So this morning I woke up to a comment on the blog, from fellow blogger Indigo that read, “Hi! I nominated you for Liebster Award” and I hafta confess, my first thought was, “Uh. This is spam, right?”
Coz up till today, I’d never even heard of the Liebster Award, but had made acquaintance with enough spam to make me immediately suspicious. I mean, sure, I follow Indigo’s (very nice) blog Between Wor(L)ds & she’s definitely legit. But I thought spiders had impersonated her by hijacking her identity or something, and posted something spammy on my blog. For serious, yo.
I’m usually a pretty trusting person. Unless it has to do with suspicious spammy spiders on the world wide web. (Ooh, did’ja see what I did there? That’s technically triple – ok, fine, double – alliteration, twice in a row!)
Anyway. I did some Googling, and found this helpful post, which explains the origins of the Liebster Award. Basically, it’s a way for bloggers to recognize and draw attention to other bloggers whom they admire and appreciate.. Y’know, share the love in a way that’s a bit more robust and (hopefully) more fun than a simple place on the ol’ blogroll.
So no, there is no panel of judges, nor real award. Being nominated kind of is your award, pretty much. Guess I don’t need to make space on my shelf, then. Heh.
[You can check out Indigo's nomination post here]
In a nutshell, this is kinda like the “Draw My Life” tag or any other tag, except this has to do with blogging. And this comes with a number of specific rules, which, by the way, have evolved quite a bit over the months and years.
The rules that I will be playing by today are below. Or well, as much as I feel like playing by them, anyway, since there are no judges to enforce these rules after all. *meh-rong* to the fake non-existent judges.
The rules for receiving this award:
- List 11 random facts about yourself.
- Answer the questions designated by the blogger (s) who nominated you.
- Place YOUR nominations for the Liebster Award! Nominate five (or more) other bloggers that have less than 200 followers. Make sure to notify them via comment/email, etc.
- Make up a set of questions for those nominated bloggers to answer.
- Display the Liebster award badge on your blog!
So ready or not, here we go!
11 Random Facts about Me:
- My mother tongue is technically Cantonese, since this was the first language I learned to speak, thanks to being cared for by my Cantonese-speaking grandmother. Let’s just say that I was traumatized upon going to school, when I realized that I didn’t understand anyone nor did anyone seem to understand me.
- I was painfully shy as a child. It might’ve had something to do with the trauma of not speaking the same language as other kids.
- I’m the eldest of 3 girls. So yes, I’m the Unnie. One of my sisters blogs too, actually. Not about kdrama – I’ve got that covered enough for the whole family – but about beauty and wellness, with special attention to Japanese products since she’s based in Tokyo. You can pay her a visit here.
- I love animals. Love cats, love dogs. And I have a special weakness for pugs.
- The children’s book I’m writing is about my dog Cookie. Well. I was writing it diligently until I started blogging. I really need to get back to it.
- I have a weakness for high heels, and have a beautiful shoe cupboard as tall as a door frame, filled with shoes, to prove it. But I haven’t been wearing heels much at all ever since I fractured my foot last February. They’re still pretty to look at though.
- My mother used to teach Geography for a living. I really suck at Geography. I tell her it’s because she’s taken all the Geography genes for the next several generations.
- My birthday is 26th June, just one day after Hyun Bin’s and Rain’s birthdays. I only know this because my friend Michele has a way with dates that way. Look at my handsome almost-birthday buddies:
- I majored in English Literature and English Language at university and took as many film courses as possible coz those were the most fun. One of those modules was on writing film reviews and in preparation for the final exam, our lecturer told us to go watch a movie. What did I tell ya? The film courses were the most fun! Hopefully this also means that I’m not completely stabbing in the dark here while writing reviews for the blog ;)
- I play the keyboard. And I sing. Both not naturally well, but I’ve gotten better over time.
- I lived in Japan for a year when I was 9, thanks to my dad being posted there for work. I got mistaken for a Japanese kid a lot, thanks in part to the cold weather and the resulting rosy cheeks, but couldn’t speak any Japanese except to say, “yes,” “no,” “thank you,” “good morning,” and “I’m a foreigner.” Hey. I was 9 and that was all my dad taught me, ok?
Questions from the Nominator (Indigo):
1. What has been the hardest challenge of your blogging career? (e.g. getting people to comment, making headers, placing pictures side by side, etc)
Hm. While dealing with formatting can be frustrating too, I think the biggest challenge would have to be actually blogging regularly. I don’t write about the newsy stuff, so while other bloggers can put out several posts a day sometimes, I often go several weeks without a new post. I did try to post frequently in the beginning. Once, I managed 4 reviews in a week, but it was very stressful and I decided I shouldn’t have to suffer in order to have a blog. So now, I post when I want, on my own schedule. I like to think that what I forego in terms of quantity, I gain back in terms of quality. Hopefully.
2. “When life gives you lemons…” Then what are you going to do with them? (you are free to be as imaginative as you like)
I actually really like lemons. I used to eat them like oranges, peeling them and eating the wedges. No, I’m not kidding. I stopped when the acid cracked my lips and made them bleed. I also like to scrape out the juicy pulp and mix the pulp of a whole lemon into a cup of plain yogurt. Delish. And did you know that a squeeze of lemon juice makes ANY salad taste better? Well, I think so, anyway.
3. What is your favourite and least favourite Asian drama cliche?
Aw. I think my favorite might be the piggy-back ride. It’s in every drama ever, but I think I’d still like to be piggy-backed by the object of my k-affection. I’m sure it feels a lot more romantic than it looks. I mean, just look at Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye here, lookin’ all happy & cozy:
My least favorite drama cliche has to be the evil mother / mother-in-law / [insert any other parental figure]. Those are always so OTT. And seriously. Someone’s gotta have nice parents, right?
4. Which Korean variety show would you like to participate in?
Honestly, seeing how so many of the stars suffer so much on so many of the k-variety shows, I can’t say I actually want to be in an episode of, say, Running Man, 1 Night 2 Days, or Barefoot Friends, though I am happy to watch others suffer on those shows.
Recently, though, I watched an episode of Hwasin coz Kim Woo Bin was guesting (have I mentioned that I recently fell head over heels in love with Kim Woo Bin?) and I actually really liked the thoughtful sharing & discussion. If I had to pick one variety show, I would pick Hwasin.
5. If you had the chance to personally slap (or punch) one drama character, then who from which drama would it be and why?
Oh. Easy peasy. It’d have to be the Evil Mother in Love Rain. It was poor, lazy writing, so really, the writers are to blame. But while watching it, I really, really wanted to throttle the Evil Mother.
Blogs I Nominate for the Liebster Award:
Well. Here’s where I am going to blatantly bend the rules.
The rules say that the nominated blog has to have fewer than 200 followers, and I honestly don’t know if some of these blogs have more than 200. But then again, the old rules apparently was for blogs with fewer than 3,000 readers. I have no clue how 3,000 readers evolved to become 200 followers. And what qualifies you as a follower? If you don’t subscribe by submitting your email address, but read the posts regularly, are you still a follower?
So I’m like, whatever. I’m going to nominate whomever I feel like nominating, so there.
In no particular order, please give it up for:
- muchadoboutlove, who hosts The Talking Cupboard. Among lots of other great reads, she’s got some seriously amazing posts on Korean culture, which you should totally check out. [read muchadoboutlove's response post here]
- kakashi, who hosts The Problematic of the Unproblematic. Together with her witty minion (er, teammates), they produce the patented three-way Squee-cap for worthy shows. Kakashi also happens to be the queen of gifs. Gifs of glistening abs, shower scenes and other worthy tidbits litter the posts, so you’re in for a treat ;) [read kakashi's response post here]
- pinkblossom and whitecarrot, who co-host Carrotblossom Patch. They cover lots of good stuff, from movie & drama reviews to teasers to kpop, and they’ve even starting podcasting. [read the girls' response post here]
- dewaanifordrama and bustered, who co-host Samsoon Down the Rabbit Hole. Check them out for thoughtful reviews, musings and first impression posts, often of current dramas. They’ve also got a kpop section.
- Stephanie, who hosts Crazy for Kdrama, and who played an instrumental role in the origin story of this blog. Over at Crazy, Stephanie is queen of the frequent post, and covers newsy bits, kpop and drama reviews. Of course, her weekly KHottie posts have a serious following too.
- Cherry Cordial, who hosts the Cherry Cordial blog. Cherry isn’t a frequent poster (yet?) but she’s got some gems up her sleeve. In particular, her new series, Imo & Joka Update promises to be particularly entertaining. In these posts, she will talk about her drama adventures with her niece, who is also known as The Mystical Being of Unicorns. Truly.
My Questions for the Nominees:
Finally. My turn to ask the questions! *rubs palms together gleefully* Here we go!
- Of all the posts you’ve written, which one are you most proud of & why?
- What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned through blogging?
- If you could re-watch only one drama for the rest of time, which drama would you pick & why?
- If you could have one k-related superpower, what would it be?
- If your life were a kdrama, who would be cast as your co-star & why?
And with that, I think I’m about done, accepting my Liebster Award.
Thank you, everybody. Thank you. *bows*
Edit: May 27th, 2013, Liebster #2
Wow. What an honor! I think it’s time to break out the champagne. Or at least, the really good quality iced Oolong tea.. Coz believe it or not, I like tea better than champagne.
I didn’t think you guys would want to know 11 more random facts about me, but here are a couple of extra ones, just for kicks.
A Handful of (MORE) Random Facts about Me:
- I am technically the descendant of a drug dealer. No, seriously. When I studied Sociology in my first year in Uni, I had to do a family tree, and that’s when I found out that one of my great-grandfathers had actually run an opium den in China. How’s that, for a unique random factoid?
- I might be part elephant. I remember random details from (sometimes) long-ago incidents that no one else around me seems to remember. Unfortunately, this talent isn’t a systematic one, so I sometimes forget important stuff, but remember other random details.
- I might also be part camel. I like my water & I drink lots of it. I carry a water bottle with me pretty much everywhere I go. If I don’t get enough water, I feel dehydrated and tired.
But that’s enough about me. For more about me, let’s move on to the second set of Liebster questions.
Questions from misscupcakees:
1. What was your inspiration/motivation for starting up your blog?
I started the blog on a bit of a whim, though it wasn’t a random sort of a whim.
In short, I’ve always enjoyed writing, and have always journaled my drama thoughts. When Stephanie from Crazy for Kdrama asked if I’d like to guest on her 2012 Year-In-Review series, she also asked if I had my own blog. That’s when I thought, well, maybe I should try making one?
I poked around in the spirit of experimentation, not fully expecting to actually flesh this out for real. But now, here I am, and here we are. Funny how that worked out, eh?
For the full story, you can check out the origin story of the blog here.
2. What does drama-blogging mean to you?
I started out purely wanting to give voice to my drama thoughts, of which I had plenty.
As I’ve written more reviews, though, I’ve become more conscious of wanting to give something both to readers who have yet to watch the drama, as well as readers who’ve already seen the show. So on the one hand, I aim to help readers make their drama decisions, if they haven’t seen the show, and on the other hand, I aim to provide a sensory & hopefully thought-provoking experience to those who have.
As a result, I’ve had some wonderful drama discussions with readers who’ve seen the show, and have had my own ideas challenged and expanded in the process. So I like to think that that’s made the experience of watching the show & meeting each other in the review that much richer for us all. Win-win-win? ;)
3. What is the most ludicrous drama scene that you have seen?
Hands-down, that would have to be the ridiculous scene of Lee Na Young’s face pushed up into Rain’s butt during a car chase in Fugitive: Plan B. Sounds impossibly ludicrous? You bet. Did it actually happen? Yessiree.
Who even dreams up these things?? Wasn’t it, y’know, awkward?? What does one say to your co-star after filming a scene like that? “I’m sorry?” or “Is your nose alright?” or “Your butt’s too muscular, it hurt my face?”
Was the face-to-butt scene stipulated in the contract?? I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty certain Lee Na Young did not expect to find her face in Rain’s butt when she signed on for the show.
4. Who is your all-time favourite OTP and why?
I think it would have to be Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Na from Queen In-hyun’s Man. Firstly, their characters overcome time and space to fulfill their love. I’d say you pretty much can’t get any more epic than that. Secondly, they fell for each other in Real Life, so that just ups the magic of their OTP pairing. D’awwwwz.. ♥
5. If you could write up your own drama, what would the summarised plot be?
It’d have to be Flower Boy Next Door, actually.
I thought about this question pretty hard, and even skimmed through my mental list of all the dramas that I’ve ever watched, just to make sure that I wasn’t giving a convenient answer here, since FBND’s fresh in my mind from having just written the review.
Even though I’ve watched quite a few shows with less than satisfactory endings, I really do think it’s Flower Boy Next Door that most deserves a differently written ending.
Why? Coz to my mind, it was pretty awesome for about two-thirds of its run, and only really faltered in the last one-third. I’d re-write the ending to make it awesome all the way through, so that I can love it as a whole.
Since I’ve written at length about what I’d like to be different about the show’s ending, you can check out my detailed answer here. I thought it’d be spoilery – not to mention repetitive – to detail everything here as well.
And with that, I’m done accepting my surprise Liebster. *bows*
Thanks, y’all, for staying with me through #8! ♥
Edit: August 15th, 2013, Liebster #9
So I really, really thought that my Liebster season was over with #8, but just the other day, my dear friend bimbobunny, who co-hosts K-Drama Wonderland with her partner-in-crime Dora, popped by out of the blue and gifted me with my ninth official Liebster. Wow. Thank you for thinking of me! ♥
I’m extra happy to receive this Liebster nomination coz it actually marks the end of bimbobunny’s hiatus – woot!
See, I really enjoy chatting and spazzing with bimbobunny coz she’s got an infectious positive energy which I love. So when she disappeared off the face of the k-blogosphere early this year without a word of warning (wags finger at bimbobunny), I was really bummed.
So, imagine my delight when she magically reappeared the other day. Bimbobunny – found!
And then imagine how that delight doubled when she dropped the Liebster announcement on me. Bimbobunny – BACK. PROPERLY. Naise.
Oh, another thing you might like to know about bimbobunny is that she has a immense soft spot for Won Bin. So bimbobunny, this is for you. A little bit of lovely Won Bin:
Uh. Where were we? Right. Liebster questions. Got it.
Ready or not, off we go!
Questions from bimbobunny:
1. What are your dreams for the future?
I want to settle into my secret superhero identity and change the world.
Stylishly, of course.
2. What influenced and made you want to start blogging?
This blog was started very much as an experiment, and on a whim at that, in response to a question that got me thinking. Sounds funny, I know. You can check out the origin story of the blog here.
In terms of influence, the design of this blog to be reviews-driven has a lot to do with Dnoella’s blog KDramaGuk. In the sea of k-related blogs, hers stood out to me as a nicely organized collection of reviews, and I really liked that. I loved reading her reviews, and felt inspired to write my own.
Of course, I also really enjoy reading Dramabeans as well. Javabeans and Girlfriday made writing about dramas look like so much fun that I felt inspired to put pen to paper – well, fingers to keyboard, in this case – and throw my 2 cents into the blogosphere too.
3. What is your greatest accomplishment in life… so far?
Wow. This could be answered so many ways.
Today, though, I choose to answer it in the context of an actual physical adventure.
I am pretty chuffed to be able to actually say that I have climbed Mt. Kinabalu, the 20th most prominent mountain in the world. All 13,435ft (4,095m) of it.
I’m reminded how surreal it was to walk through clouds during our ascent, and then to finally stand at the summit, with a whole range of smaller mountains behind me, and a sea of fluffy clouds below me.
Check out the awesome:
If you squint really hard, you’ll see me in the picture. [Nah.. I kid. I'm not in this picture.]
4. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I’d want to be more athletic and sporty. Yeah, I know that sounds really incongruous after my answer to the last question. But honestly, I climbed that mountain mostly out of peer pressure, not because I actually love mountain climbing.
If I could change one thing about myself, it’d be to enjoy sports more. And, well, possibly be a female ninja while I’m at it:
Yes, I colored her hair blue on purpose. ;)
5. Any final words?
Only that growing up and growing old don’t have to be the same thing. So keep on growing up, y’all. Just don’t grow old.
And with that, I’m officially done, receiving my out-of-the-blue, cherry-on-top Liebster. *bows*
Thanks for sticking with me, through all nine of these, y’all.
Saranghae ♥ ♥ ♥
For even more Liebster goodness, check out my second round of Liebsters here.