Author: Rowena

A Letter to My Mom

Posted April 13, 2021 by Rowena in Family | 2 Comments


Dear Mom,

Today marks the tenth anniversary of your death. I miss you so much and I think about you a lot, especially lately. We’ve been through a lot in the last ten years but I want you to know that Dad is doing well. He’s still faithfully going to the same dialysis center that you went to. He’s still golfing every Tuesday and Thursday with Eric and Lucky. He’s still eating everything he’s not supposed to be eating and drinking Coke, instead of Diet Coke. He’s still the same happy-go-lucky man that you married and though he’s getting older in age, he’s still a young kid at heart and we love him to pieces (as does everyone that comes into contact with him). He turns 80 this year so that will be a big celebration for the family. I talked to him this morning and he was getting ready for golf and still cracking jokes with me and Ingrid about everything under the sun. I know that he misses you as well and he plans to visit your grave today after golf to spend some time with you.

I won’t make this a sappy post about how much I miss you and can’t live without you but I hope you know that you are missed and you are still loved by everyone left behind. Lots of things have happened in the last ten years. You have 25 grandkids and 3 great-grandchildren. Yeah, your grandkids are adding to your legacy and I know that you would have loved to hug all of the kids close so I’m sad that you’re not here to see all of your babies all grown and some, with their own kids. After the ones you knew and loved, Lillian was born then Caleb came not too long after Lily, then finally Rockne joined the family. After Rocky was born, then came Caiden, Chloe’s oldest, and then Jax, Jarred’s son, and last but not least, Princess Lasi.

In other news, I moved to Vegas so I’m not in California today to sit with you and the rest of the family at your gravesite like we normally do on the anniversary of your death. Pete and Delene talked about going to the cemetery this morning so I’m sure you have loads of flowers to decorate your resting place. We’re in a pandemic right now so the world is a lot different from when you were here with us. Everyone wears masks (or well, they’re supposed to be anyway) when they go out in public, public places can’t have more than 25% capacity though certain places are starting to open up again. It’s been a pretty rough few years for everyone around. We’ve lost so many friends and family that we grew up with to a pretty devastating disease that spread through the entire world. The world got angry and is being mean to our Asian friends because they’re being blamed for the hard times we’re facing right now and it’s been pretty devastating to wake up every day to more unfortunate news from around the world. So it’s been hard and pretty scary too but we’re getting through because what else can we do? We’re a strong bunch though so I’m sure we’ll weather this storm as best as we can.

I miss you, Mom. I miss everything about you. I miss hearing your voice, laughing with you over everything under the sun, and I even miss doing your dialysis stuff for you every single night. Remember the first time that Dad left us alone for the weekend so that he can be the Priesthood representative for the Youth Conference and I forgot to clip one of your dialysis tubes so it flooded your bedroom and you were so mad and I was so scared that I called Dad at midnight, crying because I thought I killed you? It didn’t make a lick of sense since you were healthy enough to yell the house down but I was so scared that night. Do you remember when we laughed and laughed and laughed about it when Dad got home? You’ve left behind a lifetime of memories that I cherish now. You’ve taught me a lot about life, about how to live, and though I’m not perfect, I’m trying to be the kind of daughter that you’d be proud of. I’m strong-minded just like you and stubborn as all get out but I promise I’m working on it. LOL. I love you, Mom and I hope that you’re resting in paradise because you deserve it. Even though you were meaner than all get out, you’re still my favorite and I miss you every day.

Rest in peace, Mom.

Love you always,
Ween

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The Weekly Recap (166)

Posted April 12, 2021 by Rowena in Features | 3 Comments

Last week was Spring Break and my brother brought his family to Vegas to get away from L.A. for a little bit so I took the week off too. It was so much fun to have family in town and I adore my brother’s kids so spending time with them and my Aunt and her kids, was like having a mini family reunion and I was all about it.

After my brother and his family left, I took it easy the rest of the week and watched a lot of cafe vlogs, bakery vlogs, and I start watching Taxi Driver with Lee Je Hoon (from Signal). There have only been two episodes so far and I’m completely hooked. I guess it’s time for another suspenseful drama. I’m also looking forward to starting Law School with Kim Bum and the older sister from Reply 1988 this week. Lots of great stuff to look forward to.

Brenna came out to Vegas this weekend to get some stuff out of her room to take to Utah. She moved into a house with two of her cousins so she’s living the big girl life and though at first, I was a little disappointed that she jumped into a lease so quickly after getting a job, I’m over that and now I’m just thrilled for her. We’ve always done things together and even though we’re apart now, we’re still a team and we’ll figure everything out together like normal.

My home library is coming together quite nicely though there aren’t that many books still… I’m working on it, I promise! I’ll share pictures soon, for real.

Now, let’s get into all of the things that I did last week…
What I Watched


Haikyuu, Season Two | 4.25 out of 5
Misaeng | 3.5 out of 5
Raya and the Last Dragon | 4 out of 5
Godzilla vs. Kong | 3.5 out of 5

After finishing the second season of Haikyuu, I took a short break to watch Misaeng, thinking a slight change of pace was needed but while I enjoyed the show overall, it was really slow. After finishing that show, with my brother and his kids in town, we did a couple of movie nights and watched Raya and the Last Dragon and then Godzilla vs. Kong. I haven’t watched ANY of the Godzilla movies or any of the Kong movies so I went into this movie not knowing what to expect but my nephew Rocky wanted to watch it so we did. I ended up liking it too…not enough to watch the other movies though. *shrugs*
What I Listened To


Spring Day by BTS
Dimple by BTS
Singularity by BTS

It was a slow jam kind of week so these three songs got a lot of playing time. Spring Day is one of my top BTS songs, I just love it so much and the performances for all three of these songs are just phenomenal.
What I Got


Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4) by Ilona Andrews
Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5) by Ilona Andrews
Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona Andrews

Slowly, but surely, I’m making progress in building up my print library. I actually forgot to get more books this week because I took a break from all things computer and I normally order books off Amazon so I only got three books this week. I’ll jump back on this project this week, for sure though.
What I Got for Review


The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu

This book looks too cute to pass up so it was added to my review pile this week. I’ll read it soon.
What I Reviewed


Signal (2016) | 4 out of 5



The BTS Listen: BE
What I Posted
The Weekly Recap (165)
What Made Me Laugh

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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The Weekly Playlist (6)

Posted April 1, 2021 by Rowena in Features | 1 Comment

One of my favorite things to do when I was back home in L.A. was to take drives with my friend B Nice so that we can listen to our newly discovered favorite songs by BTS. We both discovered BTS over the pandemic and have been crazy for all things BTS. When I moved to Vegas, those drives stopped but I decided that I’m going to use my blog to share what songs I’m listening to each week with both B Nice and everyone else who reads this blog.

This week’s bunch of songs got a bunch of different songs that will make you sit up and take notice, haha. But seriously, these are some of my favorite songs so I know that you guys will enjoy them as well.


Spring Day is one of my all-time favorite BTS songs. It’s right up there with Magic Shop. It’s a fantastic song on its own but when you look up the theories and understand the inspirations behind the making of this song, it’ll make you cry. It’s a really popular song and if you know anything about the Sewol Ferry incident in South Korea from a few years ago then you’ll understand for yourself why this song is so special for Army. The music video is amazing as well, check out this video out because it’s an excellent theory video. Prepare yourselves though, it’ll make you cry for sure.


Dimple is a catchy song that made me laugh because they legit sing, “So I’ll call you illegirl…” because her dimples should be illegal. Hahaha. This is a vocal line song so there’s no J-Hope, RM, or Suga but if you want to watch their performance of this (and you do want to watch it), check it out here. I’m telling you, it’s catchy as hell and fun to sing along to.


If you want to watch my bias slay a song, listen to Singularity. V continues to impress the hell out of me with his vocal range. He can do it all and this song is so freaking good.

What songs are you on your playlist this week? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be BTS. Share in the comments!

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The BTS Listen: BE

Posted March 31, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

I started listening to BTS albums from the beginning of their musical journey and this series will feature my thoughts on each of those albums. There are a lot of albums but there are also a lot of solo work that I’m interested in covering here on the blog so I decided to just name this feature, The BTS Listen because I’m an organization nerd and things need to be well organized for me or I get itchy.

This week, I’ll be featuring the BE Album. The BE album is the pandemic album that BTS worked on to gift Army with something that will help us cope with being stuck indoors throughout the pandemic. Aren’t they so good to us? This album is a short but packed album that tops off at 28 minutes on the listening scale.

BE

Release Date: November 20, 2020
Track List: Life Goes On, Fly to My Room, Blue & Grey, Skit, Telepathy, Dis-ease, Stay, Dynamite
Favorite Song: Life Goes On, Telepathy
Favorite Line: People say the world has changed, Thankfully between you and me, it’s still the same.

BTS is returning with their new album BE to unfold another chapter of 2020.

As a sense of helplessness looms in every corner of the world, BTS opens themselves up to express their mixed feelings about this situation—fear and anxiety mingled with the determination to overcome all this. The album consists of a total of eight tracks including the No.1 summer hit “Dynamite” and lead single “Life Goes On”. The latter speaks on behalf of everyone stuck in the new normality brought on by COVID-19: one day, the world stopped without any warning, streets erased of footsteps and the way out is nowhere near in sight. BTS echoes in a low voice the comforting message that in the face of unexpected turns “Life Goes On” and extends their hands towards the future.
The BE album dropped on November 20, 2020 and it was my first official BTS comeback. I’m not lying when I tell you guys that I was super excited for the release day. I woke up extra early to run to Target and get my album. Haha, funny story about the release day. I work from home so my days tend to blend together but I was so ready for November 20th to get here. It’s a week after my birthday and it was going to be a belated birthday gift to myself. So the day gets here and I’m up early as hell because I needed to go and get it before I started work. I got dressed, brushed my hair, put on some presentable clothes, and drove all the way to Target. I run inside, straight to the electronics section only to discover NO BE albums out on display. I was so mad so I’m like, okay it’s early so maybe they just haven’t put them out yet. I stop a worker and ask about any new BTS albums and she had no idea what I was talking about so I pull it up on my phone and realize that…it’s November 19th and not the 20th so I was too early and I had nobody to be mad at but myself so since the albums weren’t on sale yet, I bought some damn donuts and took my dumbass home. LOL. Moral of the story? Check your calendar before you have an attitude.

Anyway, let’s get on with the reason for this post. I can’t believe we’re already here. The latest album from BTS. I feel like I started this journey so long ago and it feels that way because there were a lot of albums to go through. Man, it’s been a blast for me. BTS fans have been super spoiled for the last seven years and they signed on for 7 more years? Yippy skippy!

This album kicks off with a slow ballad called Life Goes On. This is a group song and the other title track off the album. I have two favorite songs on this album and this is one of them. This song is such a feel good song that speaks on what the boys are feeling and going through during the pandemic. They’re just as sad as us but if we just hold on a little longer, life will go and we’ll be able to go outside again. We’ll be together again. I have so much love for this song and I don’t even care that I’ve heard this song a million times. I still love it dammit!

Fly to My Room is next up and it’s another slower song that features Jimin and V on vocals along with J Hope and Suga bringing the rap line goodness. This song speaks on exactly what we’ve been going through this last year. A year was stolen from us and being stuck in our rooms so we might as well make our rooms, our spaces into the places we love most in the world. This song could so be the world’s anthem for the last year. I love it.

Next up is Blue & Grey. This is the song that V wrote when he was depressed so it’s a slow ballad that I’m not going to lie, I cried the first time that I heard it. I read the lyrics along with listening to it and man, that man was hurting and I’m glad that I read what he said about writing this song. He explained that when he was having a bad time, he started writing this song and it helped him get his feelings out into the world and after he was done, the depression seemed to dissipate and he was able to let go of all of those feelings and move on. He’s a lot happier now and I’m so glad for him. Knowing the backstory of this song makes me love it so much more and though it’s a very sad song, there’s a wistful hopefulness to it that makes me happy.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard a skit with the boys just talking to each other but there’s one in this album and if you don’t speak Korean, I highly recommend checking this video out cause they’ve got you covered.

Now, it’s Telepathy time. This is my absolute favorite song from the whole album. It’s such a fun, upbeat song with a message of hope that BTS and Army will be reunited again and I’m so here for it. Suga wrote this song in thirty minutes and if that ain’t impressive, I don’t know what is. Do I love this song? Hella.

Dis-ease is the next song and it’s a J-Hope song that everyone is part of. J-Hope said that he got the idea to write this song by wanting to talk about sickness. He wanted to talk about his inability to rest properly during the pandemic because he was constantly working on things and that’s his dis-ease. We all have our own shit that we’re working through, a dis-ease, if you will and he packed those thoughts into this song and what we got was an up-beat song with a hopeful message that though you have a love-hate relationship with something, you can overcome it. This is a great song, with an old school vibe that I dug.

The next song, Stay, is a unit song that features Jungkook, Jin, and RM. It’s another upbeat song with what sounds like EDR influences. Jungkook spoke about this song at the BE global press conference and said that this song is about how even though we’re all far a part now, we still always stay together and if that ain’t the truth, I don’t know what is. It’s another fun song that lifts spirits and keeps us all together through the power of music. I’m all about it.

The last song on the album is a song that everyone in the world is familiar with. It’s the first song that BTS has ever released that is ALL IN ENGLISH. It got nominated for a Grammy and though the boys didn’t win, they still lit up the Grammy’s like dynamite (and so did Army, haha). Dynamite was the first song that released while I was already a BTS fan so I love it. Jimin said that this song is a song that he thought would lift Army’s spirit and give them something to be happy about and he’s right. I didn’t know that I needed 30 versions of this song but I’ll take them all.

Overall, this was the album we all needed in this crazy, wacked out time that we’re living in. BTS made this for Army to help us through the pandemic and we are so damn fortunate to have a group that loves us enough to do something like this. This album is too short but I don’t even care because it’s still packed with goodness that is still making me super happy, four months later. The physical album is a thing of beauty and I’m so glad that I got it. Photocards, postcards, great music, and posters of our favorite 7? Yes, please!! So good!
Favorite Performance

This is the performance I needed during this damn pandemic. I needed this whole album, to be honest, and I’m grateful that BTS gave us something to get us through. This song, in particular, is one of my absolute favorite songs on the album and I was so damn happy when the song started up on their MTV Unplugged show. This performance showcases a lot of what I love about watching these guys perform. You can see how much they love to perform for us. They’re so happy and it shows! I just love this performance to pieces.
Final Thoughts


LOVED IT

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Review: Signal

Posted March 30, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Signal

Starring: Lee Je Hoon, Kim Hye Soo, Jo Jin Woong
Year Released: 2016
Number of Episodes: 16
Genre: Contemporary, Crime, Drama, Suspense, Time Travel
Country: Korea
Where I Watched It: Netflix
Recommended By: Mood Browse

Fifteen years ago, a young girl was kidnapped on the way from school, and Park Hae Yeong, who was an elementary school student at that time, witnessed the crime. A few days later, the girl was found dead, and the police were not able to find the culprit. As time went by, Hae Yeong started distrusting the police.

Fifteen years later, Hae Yeong is now a police officer and criminal profiler. One day, he finds a walkie-talkie that allows him to get in contact with Detective Lee Jae Han who is in the past. Police officers Hae Yeong, Jae Han, and Cha So Hyun then set out on a journey to solve cold cases.
I found this drama while I was browsing through Netflix. I’ve seen the woman actress in this show around so I stopped to check the summary out. I was sold after reading the summary but I didn’t immediately start it. I’m a little annoyed with myself that I waited for a while to get to it but I’m glad that I watched it because from beginning to end, I was invested in all of it.

There were parts that were pretty slow in terms of engaging me (the viewer) but overall, this was a really interesting drama that did a good job of telling Park Hae Yeong’s life story.

Let’s break this show down, shall we?
Main Lead: Park Hae Yeong
Actor: Lee Je Hoon
Social Media: Website | Instagram

Park Hae Yeong is the victim of a wrongful arrest though he wasn’t the actual person that was arrested. His older brother was accused of rape and was let down by the entire local police department because of course, his older brother was innocent but because their family wasn’t as rich as the real culprit, Park Hae Yeong’s older brother paid for a crime that wasn’t his. Park Sun Woo (Hae Yeong’s older brother) was one of the good guys. He was a great older brother to Hae Yeong and he cared about his family, his friends, and his future. He was helping Hae Yeong bring his grades up and in the process of helping a girl study as well.

What happens to Sun Woo makes a huge impression on Hae Yeong and as Hae Yeong pieces his own investigation into his brother’s case when he’s older and a cold case profiler, things really heat up. He discovers a walkie-talkie that communicates with an officer from the past. A detective that could possibly help him find out what really happened to his brother. Maybe if they worked together, they can right some wrongs and get some things right. Hae Yeong’s story is a huge part of the show and I thought Lee Je Hoon’s portrayal of Park Hae Yeong was probably my favorite part of this show. Lee Je Hoon has some serious acting chops and I felt everything he felt throughout this entire show. Hae Yeong’s story is an emotional one and though I didn’t get the ending that I wanted for him, I was still satisfied and would LOVE a second season.

I really enjoyed the character growth from child to man for Park Hae Yeong. He had every reason to turn to gangs and a life of crime with his experience with cops and yet he grew into a man of the law with a clear conscience of what was right and wrong. Did he always get things right? Not at all. But he learned from every experience and used the experiences to be a better person.
Main Lead: Cha Soo Hyun
Actor: Kim Hye Soo

Cha Soo Hyun was the first female police officer in her department and though she seems aloof and completely reserved, she is fair and a good senior to Park Hae Yeong. Professionally, she tried to do what was right even when it was hard. Personally, there were times when I wanted to smack this woman upside her head. Did I understand where she was coming from when she would pop off in the middle of a case because Park Hae Yeong seemed to know an awful lot about the only man she’s ever loved that disappeared years ago? Of course! Did I want her to put her feelings away and get the bad guys before grilling Hae Yeong? YES!

Even with all of that madness, I still really liked her character and I thought Kim Hye Soo really did Cha Soo Hyun’s character justice. She acted her tail off and it’s really hard to do that when you’re playing an aloof and cold character that isn’t really any of that. I liked how smart she was and how loyal she was. She was good at a lot of things and seeing her as both a fresh rookie cop who was unsure of herself, her worth as a police officer, and then a strong and fiercely determined detective was fantastic. She played both parts well and I was rooting for her to find her man throughout the entire show.
Main Lead: Lee Jae Han
Actor: Jo Jin Woong

Holy cow did I like this guy. Lee Jae Han was such a compelling character that fought the good fight even when he had every cause not to believe the weirdo on the other line of the walkie-talkie. Seeing him fight against his very own bosses to bring justice to those wronged by the police force, the exact police force that is supposed to protect the victims made me love him to pieces.

His story was another emotional one because his personal life took a back seat to his professional one and it was hard on everyone around him. From his father to the woman he was starting to like and his friends, he missed out on a lot trying to right the wrongs that just kept right on coming to his front door. I wanted so much to see this guy in the end and we were left with a big ol’ question mark with everything but even without a solid ending with a solid wrap-up of all the things, I still really enjoyed learning about Lee Jae Han. My heart for him when he tried to get to Sun Woo before it was too late, freaking body falling apart but getting to Sun Woo was more important than his stab wound and that was just one of the many reasons that I loved this guy. He didn’t know how to give up and when he didn’t get things right, he was so remorseful that it hurt my heart and made me cheer for him and Hae Yeong even more. Gah, so good.
The Cast
There are a lot of familiar faces that make up the rest of the cast of Signal and I enjoyed seeing them all again. These two guys are probably my favorite familiar faces and the most memorable of the bunch, outside of the villains. I also really liked the guy that played Park Sung Woo. As I said, there are a lot of familiar faces and that’s probably my favorite thing about k-dramas. There are side characters that pop up in every single k-drama and it’s always a treat to see a cast with great chemistry. This wasn’t the kind of show that showcases strong friendships but we got a strong team that really comes together as the show progresses and I was here for Hae Yeong and Soo Hyun’s team.
The Story
So Signal is about a detective from 1989 and a cold case profiler in 2015 working together through a magical walkie-talkie to solve and prevent crimes from happening. Solving them in 2015 helps prevent them in 1989 and through trial and error, Lee Jae Han, the detective from 1989, and Park Hae Yeong, the cold case profiler from 2015 figure out what went wrong and how to fix them in their own times. The concept behind the show is was initially drew me to watching it and I’m glad that I did because the actors really brought this story to life. It totally made sense to me that there was a magical walkie-talkie helping a man from the 80’s help a man from 2015 solve crime and beat the bad guys.

I also thought that the cases that they worked on together were interesting. From the kidnapping case to the rape case, to every other case, each story really stood out and had me thinking about them long after I turned the final episode off. These characters really go through it personally and professionally and they had to overcome so much to get to that end. There were times where I had to walk away from the TV because what was happening was too much for me and my blood pressure but I will say that the villains played their roles really well in this one because I hated their asses so much.

Overall, there were moments when certain characters and cases made my blood boil but I’m glad that I stuck with this show because it was a solid suspense drama and the time through walkie-talkie business was one of the highlights of the show for me. I love the friendship that blossomed between Lee Jae Han and Park Hae Yeong. I thought the way that their friendship grew and grew with each case that they worked on was just so stinkin’ great.
The OST
Final Rating

4 out of 5

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