Quote of the day:
“Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.”
– Aldous Huxley

The same old blabber story about not updating often yet once again comes into play. It’s not like I could help it; most of the time I have now is spent either resting or picking up on other interests I’ve never had the time for. So long story short, life’s being more and more filled with experience, and every little thing picked up on the way will account for a pretty awesome logbook in the end. Well, inspirational words and lack of updates aside, it’s December, and that time of year again when we should all do a little reflecting on how the year had possibly went. I guess this time around, I’m not going to follow any particular chronological order and just jump around to things that I’ve really found myself deep in.

First thing’s first, there is a girl by the name of IU; her true name is Lee Ji Eun. She’s a Korean singer and she’s of the same age as me, except born several months earlier. By the lunar calendar, we are both already 20 but Gregorian (Western) calendar wise, at this time of post, we are simply 19. So newer people would probably ask why she has IU for a name. It’s a pretty simple concept where “you and I can be connected through music”. I first knew about her through one of the Running Man (this is gonna take a long time to explain and log..) episodes that she guest starred in. On a first impression basis, I kinda thought she was pretty, but I definitely expected her to be a year or two older and that’s where I was proven wrong.

Ji Eun here, or rather IU, isn’t just a pretty face; she’s nicknamed the Nation’s Little Sister, and looks don’t just make up for that title. She was active since 2008 while popularity rose somewhere in the middle of 2009. It wasn’t until about a week ago that I knew about her and realized how many years behind and outdated I was; this will be another long and painful story. So I admit, I know very little about IU as of now, but from what I could pick up in such a short time, she’s got a fantastic voice, she’s got truly supportive fans and she’s one of the few people who actually replies to her fans through any sort of media. IU herself is a renowned performer in South Korea, earning herself over 30 awards as well as producing songs that constantly top the charts. And no, it’s not just her looks (in which again I must emphasize, she’s extremely pretty in my eyes), but her vocal range can span a huge 4 octaves. That’s about double the range of notes I can hit. Result? Songs with great vocal power, and a pretty IU to follow up in the video where applicable.

Relating to IU is the fact that I’m starting to pick up the Korean language. Now I have to admit, in the past about a year or two ago, I had developed this sense of disliking or hatred for K-pop cultures or anything related to the sort. At times, this attitude of mine even led to criticizing Koreans as a whole. All that has changed in the recent days when a few friends introduced me to Running Man, a variety game show type of series airing weekly in Korea. As of now, that particular series runs with 7 main cast members presented with different challenges with each episode. Each episode is also filmed at different local landmarks throughout Korea. The developers class the series as a sort of “new genre of urban races” or something similar to that, and I have to say I’m quite impressed with what they’ve achieved. Each episode as mentioned, poses different challenges, but the most common format is that of elimination where every participating member has a name tag stuck to his or her back, and he or she gets eliminated when his or her name tag is ripped off. These challenges may be presented in an every-man-for-himself style or even team play. The involvement of guest stars, such as IU herself, makes the show far more interesting.

After a long paragraph of delaying, the short story is that I’m learning Korean not because of IU or Running Man (okay maybe a little bit of both; make that a lot), but it’s because after actually giving it a shot, I could manage to read the Korean script after about 20 minutes of self-learning. Honestly, I don’t think many people can learn it that fast. However, the problem with the language is that you can’t exactly do anything just by knowing the script. The grammatical component of Korean as I know it is far more complex and a little too flexible even when compared with Japanese. While English uses an SVO (subject-verb-object) format and Japanese uses an SOV format in most cases, Korean sentences can follow any format and arrangement provided that it ends with a verb. Variations can include SLOV (where L is location), SOLV, LOSV, OSLV, OLSV and so on. These sentences because increasingly complex with more and more elements, making it one of the easiest languages to read, but also one of the challenging languages to actually understand.

I personally think that this post has been more of a success relative to my previous posts, but figures I, like many other people, easily forget what I want to say sometimes. I guess this is it for now. But until then, let’s all support IU!