Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Birthday Treat From Yours Truly - No There's No Cake or Giveaways Sorry

So it’s been almost FOUR years since I’ve started this blog although it remains to be seen how well I’ve made my presence felt in the bloggerverse. A quick perusal through my blogroll will advertise the embarrassing fact that I’ve not exactly tried very hard to be an actual blogger.

In these four years, not once did I celebrate any blog-related milestones (probably because there aren’t many to speak of) so I thought I’d celebrate my birthday with you guys. And I wasn't lying, there really is no cake. No there aren’t any giveaways either. You know I'm too poor for either of those.

But there is something.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been vapid enough to google whether there have been anyone you admire/adore/adulate – I mean ANYONE –  who shares the same birthday as you. I have, and the results were dismal.
But then, inevitably, upon my baptism to the EXO fandom, I happily learn I share my birthday with this dork.

Is it just me or does he seem a little put off by that fact?

Anyways, this was my reaction when I found out
And I decided I’ll post a Kai GIF-rabilia post (I have to be the first to coin such a term) to celebrate my birthday. Pardon me for being way too excited to just let this momentous stroke of absolute luck pass by. Imagine if I hadn’t discovered EXO.
Now everyone knows the dancing machine EXO Kai.
So, I thought I’ll throw up some (meaning, a lot of) gifs celebrating the man (kid? honestly I’ve no idea) off the stage. There is a difference between the two, actually.

If this is Kai –
Smoulder #1
Smoulder #2
The Smirk (that will be the end of me)
Then this is Jongin.

Aegyo #1 fail FAIL DAMMIT On Point

Aegyo #2

A Jongin Tutorial on How To Break Make Hearts
I thought I'd also share some other interesting facts about him that I've gleaned over the past three months.
(Does it show? That I'm a newbie to the KPOP fandom?)
(Really. Who am I kidding?)

1. EVERYONE loves Kai. 

BEHOLD Kai's fangirl army base
And then there's the biggest Kai fan of all time.
Featuring Kai's Death Stare and a Blushing Chanyeol

2. He hits people when he laughs. 

Mostly it's poor Sehunnie who gets the most of it, but really - no one sitting next to him is spared.
Chanyeol later gave as good as he got in the same "interview'

3. Acting sexy comes naturally to him. 

This can be seen by how frequently he combs his fingers through his hair or how he repeatedly sticks his tongue out. I already mentioned The Smirk, didn't I?

His tongue doesn't sit in his mouth, for some reason

4. Despite the I'm-A-Bad-Boy attitude you get from the music videos - 

He gets easily embarrassed for no reason
.... and easily hurt, the big baby

5. Does it surprise you that he's great with kids?

Look at the proud papa

6. He probably got all that daddy training by raising three poodles. 

He loves dogs, you know.
Kai's the one doing the Lion King thing at the back

7. Let's talk about ships 

Having a dozen members in the band guarantees a lot of permutations as ships. However the most famously shipped Kai-starring ship is - 
 A popular KaiSoo meme
Kaisoo is real, people.
Seriously. Thank you Tumblr for this gif.

Poor D.O. Can't move a muscle. I'd probably puke though if Kai was standing that close.
This post took a lot more time to put together than it should have because the wifi was having mood swings and because Photoshop ate my RAM. Also, my sincere apologies to all those with slow internet because BOY you're missing out on a lot of awesome gifs.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

REVIEW: Tell The Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka Brunt

This is the second time I’m reading this book. The first time I read it (which I did at lightning speed – like I do for most books – because I don’t have the patience to endure the suspense of the ending), I thought all that the book had going for it was the plot and the characters – which is more than enough for me and which is everything that the blurb advertises.

My most grievous fault.

If you do a basic Google search about this book, you’ll come across numerous posts that have written odes to everything that’s beautiful about this book on the surface. The plot is set in the late 1980s, a time when America was in the grip of homophobia and AIDS was in the headlines all too often. It introduces to us a fourteen-year-old, who finds herself lost after her godfather, confidant, best friend, and uncle, Finn passes away. That’s also when she learns there’s a lot of Finn that she didn’t know about.

That’s not all. There’s Greta – the ace kid in the family – and once upon a time, together they used to be the Elbus girls. Then June learns that her mother – the boring accountant who, together with her accountant husband, orphans their kids during their tax season – has a past that June has trouble wrapping her head around.

And then there’s Toby. And then there’s Toby.

The book explores more issues than I thought it would. Apart from the obvious that you can glean from the blurb, it also delves into the realms of forbidden love and sibling estrangement.  I actually had problems with June. I will not hide my initial disgust when I realized the nature of June’s feelings for her uncle. Nor my annoyance at how flippantly June mentions her newly acquired habit of smoking and occasional drinking. Nor my anger at her decision to accept the invitation to visit an apparent stranger and go places with him.

She does a lot of stupid things. Granted. But that’s also what I liked about the book. It isn’t trying to teach lessons about Stranger Danger or Smoking is Injurious to Health or Falling in Love with Relatives and this is not the book I would recommend as the solution to any of the above. Brunt neither condones nor condemns it – she merely talks about it. That is what struck me – you can’t detect the mature adult author acting as the conscience in the morally-compromised teenage narrator. Because there isn’t. It’s up to you to decide if that’s good or bad.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the imagery. Motifs like wolves, rain, butterflies, Mozart’s Requiem, trains, woods, a beautiful Russian teapot, and negative spaces in paintings show up now and then. I didn’t know that this book was a lot of work and is thus a prime candidate for book club discussions. I didn’t know that you had to read some lines twice and thrice to understand if there was a deeper meaning to what seems on the surface. There are some that you’ll miss if you blink like Finn’s chess set, or the painting Nurse Feeding Sick Man from the Book of Days.

Like I already mentioned, the characters are not whom they seem on the surface. There are layers upon layers on them. You would have peel them off slowly and carefully, to get a look at who they are underneath all of it. And underneath all of it, you'll find that they’re just people, not some characters in a book.

This book is work. But once you get to the end, you'll just remain curled up, hugging it to your chest. 

VERDICT: 5 stars
Add your graffiti here before you leave; this wall needs all the colour it can get. And check back, I always reply as promptly as the wifi allows me to. ;)