Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dinner REDUX

I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner again this year! Last year was my first year doing Thanksgiving dinner by myself, with an entirely gluten-free, mostly grain-free, and low-sugar menu (in which I had a big epiphany in regards to my gluten intolerance... you can read about it here). I'll be doing the same type of dinner this year, recycling some of the recipes from last year's Thanksgiving dinner, as well as from last year's Christmas dinner.

I especially loved both this turkey recipe (scroll down the page a bit) and this bacon wrapped persimmons recipe recipe. The turkey came out juicy, tender, and full of flavor while the bacon wrapped persimmons were like an epic explosion of delicious flavor in your mouth... had no idea they would taste so good together! I'm also going to be making this grain-free chiffon pumpkin pie, which was absolutely delicious and way better than its wheatful counterpart.

My cousin is going to be helping me, and we're going to try and take a lot of pics of our cooking so that I can upload to the blog & share. Super excited to see what else is going to be added to this year's menu! Oh, and how could I forget this onion-thickened herb gravy? Best. Gravy. Evaaar.

After school tomorrow... loads of prep! ^^

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Alien Vegetable (Brussels Sprouts)


I've eaten them before, but have never seen them on their stalk until my mother brought them home a few weeks ago fully intact & on their stalk...


Such an alien-looking veggie...



 I had them with chicken drumettes a few weeks ago (these pics are old, but thought I'd share)...


I like Brussels sprouts even more now. :D

I Survived The Zombie Apocalypse!

So, the Running Dead Zombie Mud Run was on Saturday... AND I'M STILL SORE! For reals.

But you know what? I SURVIVED!

That's me on the far right!

That's right! All of the living were given 2 flags (2 lives) and I came out with one still intact! WOO-HOO! And no, it wasn't one that I happened to find lying on the ground & picked up (yes, some people cheated and did just that). It was my very own life. MY LIFE!

The mud run was pretty fun! Some of the zombies looked obviously fake... others were eerily convincing (maybe they were real?) And zombie or not, I was just terrified of losing my flags! I'm not much of a runner, but I'm a huge dodger. I was a sneaky little thing, to be honest. I did a combo of walking and running... mostly walking until I was within the vicinity of a zombie... then I'd look them in the eye, gauge how they were moving, and... BAM, I'd run & dodge & spin & escape (and run somewhat off course through brambles and uneven ground where I knew they probably wouldn't follow me...) A few times I'd hit them with some Korean-style aegyo and be all cute-faced and sad-eyed and ask, "You're not really gonna kill me, are you?" And yes, some of those zombies had hearts.


The Obstacle Course Map


I didn't participate in every single obstacle, but did most of them. I waded through pools of mud, climbed a wooden wall, and was bombed with blood. I didn't climb the hay pyramid though, because I totally didn't see it until I passed it! Then I looked at how far it was and was like... turn back? EFF THAT! I was so damn tired. Haha!

I did the course with my two friends T and E, and T also came out alive with a life, but E... I'm sorry to say died 4 times after having 2 lives given to her. It's okay, though, right?? We still got our free shirts, and opportunity of free beer, which the three of us declined because we're not much beer drinkers.

All in all, had a LOT of fun! Was hungry as hell, though.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Crossfit, Zombie 5k Obstacle Run, Upcoming Recipes & Foods

TOMORROW IS MY FIRST CROSSFIT CLASS! :O


I know, right? I've been wanting to experience Crossfit for a while now, especially after my interview with Holly Woodcock for the short paleo documentary that I did on her and her personal thoughts and experiences regarding the paleo diet. My best friend, T, has been trying to get me to go as well (she said it was like pulling teeth!) Not because I didn't want to... but because I was scared to. I know it's ridiculous -- plenty of people do Crossfit and are fine... plenty of FAT people do Crossfit and are fine... plenty of UNFIT people do Crossfit and are fine. Who has died from a WOD in a Crossfit gym? I mean, maybe it's happened, I dunno, but for sure it's rare! And by no means am I the most unhealthiest person on the planet...

But you know... fear, anxiety, doubt. Wardrobe malfunction scenarios racing through my brain.

But no. No, no. No more of that nonsense.

I actually bought a pretty good deal for American River Crossfit on LivingSocial, but got a refund because I didn't want to go there alone, and the schedule conflicted with T's schedule. But recently T moved to Roseville, which is basically in my backyard. She said she was going to try out Rocklin Crossfit and invited me, because they have a 10-day free trial. Oooh! WOD with my BFF... at a nearby location... for 10 days... free? :D OKAY!

So that's where I'm going tomorrow! I'm super excited & super scared at the same time. ^^

ZOMBEEEEEHHHS


This month I'm also going to participate in my first 5K! A zombie obstacle 5k, actually. The Running Dead Zombie Mud Run. Yes. THERE WILL BE MUD. And zombies. ZOMBEEEEH! (Every time I think of zombies, I always get that Cranberries song stuck in my head). I bought a voucher from LivingSocial for $29 (only 4 days left!), using my deal bucks from my ARCrossfit refund. The full ticket price is $75, so it's a great deal! I also get a free beer & a t-shirt. I'm not really a big beer drinker, but I think I might down it to commemorate the event. :) I mean when you're being chased by zombies through a 3 mile obstacle course, and come out at the end... MAYBE alive... why not??

RECIPE EXPERIMENTS


So those are two fun things that I'll be doing this month, and I'm also going to blog more recipe experiments, and meals that I make & eat. :)

Tonight I'm going to make a grain-free low-carb cheesecake for dessert, and not sure what I'll be making for dinner. Last night I made hint of buffalo chicken drumsticks with roasted brussel sprouts. It was good! Can't wait to get home from school so I can cook~ I'm hungry!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

One of those emo posts. You know... the ones where you realize you've been duped?

EDIT (September 10, 2012)
The previous drama posted below is no longer an issue. Not because I cut the person out of my life... but because I have forgiven them. I realize that this person has lead a life much different than mine, and much different than most people, really. The way they were raised, the experiences they went through... all culminated to make them a person that isn't always quite aware of their overly-advantageous and indiscriminate behavior. It is extremely hard for this person to look past their misfortunes at their fortunes, and even more harder for them to truly appreciate the kindness done to them and on their behalf, because by acknowledging the kindness, they must also acknowledge their own shortcomings as a person, and must admit that they were unable to provide for themselves what somebody else is providing for them. I'm not saying this behavior is entirely right... but I understand it. And I also understand that no two meetings are a coincidence. There is a reason why I'm in this person's life and vice-versa. There is something to be learned, and something to be grown, from either side. At the risk of sounding cliche, I do believe that God is using me... and for now, I'm okay with that.
 

I have a confession.

When my heartstrings are pulled by the blight of another person's misfortunes, I can't help myself... I have to help them. Especially if that person is a friend. I become blind to their needs and do not realize I am being taken advantage of, until it's too late...

I gave this person a new bag, gave them a couple of my shirts that were too small for me, even bought them new shoes just a few days ago. I have bought them several meals, and driven them around for miles, and miles. I've helped them with numerous projects, and been there through their emotional times...

Only to have them spew bad words about me behind my back.

Seriously?

But I should have known... this same person lives rent free in her boyfriend's mom's house. This woman not only gave the girl a place to live, but also gives her extra spending money, bus money, and phone money, amongst other things. She has no legal or blood ties to the girl, but takes care of her. And the only thing the girl can do is complain about having to take care of the woman's house, and having to abide by the woman's house rules.

Now, if this person can say all of that about the woman that feeds, houses, and essentially clothes her (through the extra money that is given to her)... then what is stopping this person from having ill feelings towards me?

It really, really hurts.

I absolutely HATE drama in my own life, and cannot believe the turns this relationship has taken. I need to remember who my REAL friends are and turn to them.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

LOVE GLOW update & Gangnam Style!



I've been SUPER busy working on pre-production for my short film LOVE GLOW. So far we have our actors locked, and most of crew locked (just need a couple extra people). We also have our locations set, some extra equipment for shooting, and ingredients for our homemade goo (like 1 gallon of Elmer's School Glue, borax, food coloring, and glow in the dark paint!)

Tomorrow will be a busy and full day with my Media Business & Law copyright presentation, running to a costume shop for some extra special effects makeup, and possibly a wig and fake facial hair... then some goo making, and taking my DP to our locations to do some test shots and figure out a shot list.

Dylan Nelson during rehearsals. He plays Matt in the film LOVE GLOW.

Early tonight we had a second rehearsal with our actors and also did some test shots, and I really feel like things are coming along great! I'm super excited to start filming on Wednesday! :)

As a matter of fact... I think we need to celebrate... GANGNAM STYLE (thanks Psy for your awesomeness). If you haven't seen this video yet, you should watch it! And celebrate as the days draw nearer for me to film LOVE GLOW. ;)


"Gangnam Style" by PSY


As a side note, I would like to add something about the awesome & amazingness that is viral media and the Internet...

Not even a full month ago, when I would Google search "PSY" on the Internet, intending to get to Psy's Wikipedia page... or ANY information about the South Korean entertainer... I would get nothing. Just typing "Psy" alone would get me Psychology or some other sort of Psy... I would have to type "Psy Korean" or "Psy Korean Singer" or "Psy Korean Entertainer" etc...

Picture of Psy in the MV "Gangnam Style" (photo from http://www.last.fm/music/Psy)

But NOW when I type just "Psy" alone? I get PSY, the South Korean entertainer. And I KNOW it's because of his music video GANGNAM STYLE going crazy viral in less than a month. I've been watching GANGNAM STYLE since it was first uploaded in July, and holy cow... the views just keep growing! It's really exciting~ and the song is addicting! Keep sharing it, guys! ;)

Oppan Gangnam Style!~

.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

LOVE GLOW @ KICKSTARTER! [Please DONATE to my short film so that I can make this movie happen!]



Hey guys! My upcoming short film LOVE GLOW has a Kickstarter page now!

This is an all-or-nothing campaign which means... if I don't reach my goal, I get nothing! In order to get this film made, I need $2,000 and any and all amounts are helpful and greatly appreciated! Even if you are unable to donate, please "LIKE" and "SHARE" and spread the word about this project!

To donate, please visit the LOVE GLOW Kickstarter page.

Thank you all SO MUCH for your continuing support! :)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/roseywinter/love-glow <--- Click right here! ;)

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

HOMEMADE SILLY PUTTY LIVE STREAM | LOVE GLOW MOVIE BEHIND THE SCENES PRE-PRODUCTION



HEY GUYS, WE'RE GOING TO TEST A SILLY PUTTY RECIPE for my upcoming short film LOVE GLOW! Tune in to our LIVE STREAM http://kondoot.com/roseywinter! :3

Screenshots and video link will be posted here after we're done!

~*~



Here's the video and description! Enjoy! :)

[NOTE: If you're unable to watch the video above, just visit the Kondoot Live Stream page for the silly putty video!]

So, me and a member of my crew experimented with homemade silly putty/gack/slime/goo for my upcoming short film LOVE GLOW.

In LOVE GLOW, one of the characters, Rick, turns into a pile of goo... so you know we had to do some goo-making tests! ;)

We weren't able to test the glow in the dark properties in this live stream because there was too much light in the room, but we're going to find a darker room to test it out later. ;)

For more information about LOVE GLOW, visit the Facebook page at http://facebook.com/loveglowmovie

And don't forget to check out the official LOVE GLOW project page at http://estherkimcotton.weebly.com/love-glow

And of course, Esther's personal webpage and blog at http://estherkimcotton.com

And for the silly putty/gack/slime/goo recipe, go to http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/glue-borax-gak

THANKS FOR WATCHING!

Monday, July 30, 2012

LOVE GLOW MOVIE PAGE ~ It's GREEN! :) | And don't forget to LIKE and SHARE about the movie & short film LOVE GLOW!

I spruced up my LOVE GLOW movie page at my project site. I changed the pink to green because, after further analysis of the script, I really believe that GREEN is a major theme in LOVE GLOW.

Screenshot of the movie LOVE GLOW project page


LOVE GLOW is a film that has much to do with greed and coveting. Green is a color that we all know is melded in with envy/greed/coveting. It's an ethereal, mystical color that seems to emanate straight from one's soul, exposing their inner most desires, wants, cravings, and needs... don't you think?

And in LOVE GLOW, there is a strong sense of desire, want, need, coveting... GREED. All mixed in together with love (which, if you think about it, comes with its own brand of greed and coveting!)

So, green it is. :) Besides, whenever one thinks about mutations and glowing peoples, don't we always seem to envision this creepy color? Haha.

What do you guys think of the color change?

I'm really excited for the official LOVE GLOW logo to be completed. Many thanks to my graphic designer Briauna for working on it!

And don't forget to LIKE and SHARE the LOVE GLOW Facebook page! :)

Screenshot of the LOVE GLOW movie Facebook page


Thanks guys!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

"Lullaby" by Daniel D. | [HipHop, RnB, jazz, and everything in between violinist Daniel D.]




I just heard of Daniel D. through a tweet that was sent to me to go & support his Kickstarter project. I was like, cool... another project to check out by an interesting person. I had no idea what the project was about, because I wasn't really paying attention. But as soon as I played the embedded video on his project funding page... HOLY COW. Visceral reaction. Totally.

Daniel D. describes himself as a "hipHop, RnB, jazz, and everything in between violinist" but it's SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. I swear that violin was singing to my soul.

Listen to his song "Lullaby" (posted above) and visit his Kickstarter project. He's trying to produce his 3rd full-length album, and needs all the help he can get! :)

Here is his Kickstarter video:


Are you emotional or passionate, but keep it all inside? Can you relate? | A question for today.

This isn't a neutral or happy post... it's an introspective and reflective one. So, if you'd rather not read about feelings, emotions, and mistakes... please skip this post. Thanks! :)
 ~*~
I'm usually a quiet person... because I'm also a very passionate person. I contain all of my emotions and maintain as much composure as possible. But, every once in a while, I slip... and some of my passion (whether it's anger, happiness, frustration, or joy) gets let out. There's usually a moment of embarrassment, or pain, or regret. Then... I become quiet again. I become contained.
For example, if I become excited about something, I get all bubbly I feel like all of my molecules are just vibrating with this excitement... I get hyperactive and talk a lot, and really fast. I smile too hard and squeal too much. And this excitement might cause me to drop something out of clumsiness (and maybe even break it), or I talk over people (and become rude), or I become to loud (and annoy people). I'm usually alone in my excitement, to boot... so then I struggle to contain myself again and maintain my composure.
If I become frustrated and upset and stressed out over something that is someone's fault, I might end up blabbing names as an example, or to say... hey, I'm not the only one. Usually I'm very good at censoring my examples and sources -- "Hey, there is a person who..." but sometimes, in my aching need to get my point across and make my example more impacting, I might say a person's name. As soon as it's uttered, my mind screams at me "What are you DOING?! Take it back!" But it's too late. Once uttered, things cannot be taken back. After that (and it usually didn't get my point across, anyway), I shut down again. Don't talk to people. Don't tell them how you feel. Don't let people know what's really going on inside of you, because you're just going to hurt someone in the process. Keep it to yourself... contain & maintain.
Can you relate?
"Lonely in Your Nightmare" by C-91 on Deviantart.com

Saturday, July 28, 2012

www.EstherKimCotton.com and where you can find info about my film projects like LOVE GLOW

You may or may not notice a little change when you head over to http://roseywinterrose.blogspot.com... because now it's http://www.estherkimcotton.com! Yay!

I've went ahead and made my blog my MAIN SITE. Up top are links to different pages on my site (Home, About, Projects, Links, Privacy Policy).

For more information about my film projects, including LOVE GLOW, just head on over to the Project page! :)

The Kickstarter campaign for LOVE GLOW is going to launch soon, so STAY TUNED!

Monday, July 23, 2012

NELL (넬) | Beautiful Stranger & 믿어선 안될 말 (Words You Shouldn't Believe) | Korean Music

NELL (넬) is a Korean band that my cousin introduced me too... and she definitely knows my style!

As I said on my Facebook page:
"Okay, my FAVORITE BAND AT THE MOMENT is Nell (넬). Freaking AMAZING. Kim Jong-wan's voice? COSMICALLY EARGASMIC. You will have a visceral reaction to Nell's music, especially Jong-wan's soul-stirring vocals. Just listen to them. Just... listen..."

Video: Beautiful Stranger


Video: 믿어선 안될 말 (Words You Shouldn't Believe)



김종완 really has a beautiful, amazing voice~

LOVE GLOW (My Upcoming Short Film) & New Website!

Copied & pasted from my side panel over there ---->

Screenshot of estherkimcotton.weebly.com

Esther's Blog is my main focus and way of displaying myself on the Internets (alongside Facebook, Twitter, etc.) but I also created a NEW WEBSITE as a way of further consolidating my social medias and online presence.

My new website is at http://EstherKimCotton.weebly.com

At EstherKimCotton.weebly.com you can find a centralized hub for all of my social medias and pages, as well as information for 2 upcoming films that I am directing -- LOVE GLOW and a TBD (to-be decided) untitled-as-of-yet project.

Thanks a lot for your continued curiosity & support!

Thanks guys! And please visit the Official LOVE GLOW movie page on my site! :)


A crowd-funding page will be created soon, as well (either Kickstarter or Indiegogo).


STAY TUNED!


A bit about LOVE GLOW:

"After volunteering himself for intense scientific experimentation to earn enough money to properly propose and build a life with his girlfriend, Laura, Rick finds himself a changed man.

But just HOW changed IS Rick?

On the way back to his hometown of Westfield with his best friend, Matt, Rick starts to mutate... and even glow. Contrary to Matt's growing concern, Rick is excited and sees his outward glow as a sign of his inward love for Laura.

It's a LOVE GLOW.

But with his transformation come new abilities that open Rick's eyes -- or rather, his ears -- and his love quickly turns into something else, entirely."

I Do, I Do (아이두 아이두) | [Korean Drama]

(image from http://seaweedkisses.blogspot.com)

English Title: I Do, I Do
Korean Title: 아이두 아이두

Directed By: Kang Dae-seon (강대선)
Screenplay By: Jo Jeong-hwa (조정화)
(Source: Hancinema.net)

You know those knocked-up stories full of raunchy humor and crude one-liners? The ones with those main characters that you don't really care about, that don't really have a plot, and have a predictable ending that you could, really, care less about?

Well, I Do, I Do isn't one of them.

(image from http://myfestguide.com)


I Do, I Do is a Korean drama about a headstrong, successful shoe designer named Hwang Ji-an (황지안) [played by Kim Seon-ah (김선아)] who, after a rough and emotional night, finds herself waking up next to Park Tae-gang (박태강) [played by Lee Jang-woo (이장우)]. The two have a few chance/fate meetings that lead up to this encounter, and they have a few more afterwards, with Tae-gang ending up working at Ji-an's company.

As the story progresses, so do some interesting symptoms that Ji-an is having... and she discovers that she is pregnant. Of course, she finds this out AFTER she starts pretend-dating the charming Doctor Jo Eun-seong (조은성) [played by Park Geon-hyeong 박건형], who actually starts to fall for her.

Suddenly, Ji-an finds herself caught not just by her unexpected pregnancy, but between two men -- the same-age Doctor Jo Eun-seong who cannot let her go, even after finding out she is pregnant with another man's child... and the younger, naive father of her unborn child who works closely with her at her company, Park Tae-gang.

(image by http://vingle.net)

Add to this drama the controversy of unwed pregnancy and single motherhood in South Korea, and you have a complicated, heart-wrenching and heartwarming tale that you simply cannot resist. Plus, amongst all of the emotional moments are comedic moments and humor that won't make you cringe with disgust. This drama's comedic and intense moments all feel real... slice-of-life and drama come together so well in I Do, I Do.

For more information about this drama, visit I Do, I Do @ Hancinema.

To watch this drama online, visit:
I Do, I Do @ Viki.com
I Do, I Do @ Dramafever.com
I Do, I Do @ Dramacrazy.net
I Do, I Do @ Mysoju.com

Weight Update: July 23, 2012


My Weight Chart:

Weight Chart


I haven't updated my weight in a while, but I have been watching it... watching it get higher. -__- Woops!

I started eating too much grain over the several months between my last update and now. I also stopped exercising regularly. Noooooooo... at least I'm still not back up to my starting weight. :P

I've cut all grains and most sugar out of my diet again, and I'm going to start doing Zuzka Light's ZWOW workouts again (I freaking LOVE Zuzka! She's such an awesome & inspirational person & her short, intense, at-home workouts work for anyone, anywhere).

I don't really have much to say about my weight-fail except that... I'm positive. :) I know I can do it, because I've DONE it -- lose weight, that is.

I know that things are going to get suuuuuuper hectic because these are my LAST 3 QUARTERS OF SCHOOL, but I can do this. I can juggle and prioritize and relax and get & stay healthy again while working on my Senior thesis film & other classes... and I'll still have time for fun. Why? Because that's what I want, and I'm going to make it happen. I want to be serious about my school and work, but I also want to be serious about my health, well-being, weight-loss, and leisure time.

This is happening... it's been happening. It's just going to happen more firmly and more faster now... especially since there is an underlying bribe presented to me by my mom and uncle. When I'm done with school, AND I've reached my goal weight (or gotten very near)... I get a free plane ticket to South Korea to visit family. Some bribe, huh? I'M GOING TO GET IT. ;)

So, by March/April of 2013, I will be lighter, healthier, done with school, and off to Seoul, South Korea!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Re: TMZ's Caption This: MADONNA AND MALE DANCER

I was browsing Facebook and saw that TMZ posted a photo of Madonna and a male dancer, with the words "Caption this" underneath it.

Photo posted on TMZ's Facebook

After reading some of the comments, I felt compelled to respond... but not necessarily caption. I'm sure people ignored my comments, but that's not the point. The point is that I said what I felt. I really don't like celebrity bashing, and wonder why people feel as though it's somehow more acceptable than bashing a non-celebrity. A person is a person.

My comments on Facebook


In case you can't see what I wrote above (or if the screenshots don't show up for you), this is what I said:

First post:

I don't see what the big deal is. The world is full of cougars, and most of them are uglier, fatter, and poorer than she is. Plus... she's an entertainer. Of course she's going to do sexy looking shit while she sings... very few mainstream entertainers don't, especially female ones. So what? Who cares? And as for people's comments about her age... seriously? I don't listen to her music and don't pay that much attention to her, but even I'm not jealous enough or ignorant enough to say that she's gross & looks old. She looks pretty darn good for her age. And as for the comment about how she writes children's book... again I say, so what? There are plenty of legitimate full-time authors that write erotic romance novels by night, and children's/young-adult fiction by day. How is this any different? Well, besides the fact that erotic romance novels are far more explicit.

I don't love OR hate Madonna... but I'm certainly not going to judge her.

Second Post:

Oh, and to add on to everybody's idea that being old = gross... go apologize to your parents/grandparents/great-grandparents, etc. You guys are judge down right rude little brats. Let's see if YOU age gracefully. Geez.

Check out the photo on TMZ's Facebook page and add your own comments. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

RUNNING MAN [Korean Variety Show]

Although I've been an avid viewer of Asian media throughout the years, I've mainly watched a bunch of television dramas, music videos, a handful of films, and anime series (there was a time when I was WAY into anime and would watch series after series... in the midst of watch other series. I actually used a website called MyAnimeList to keep track of what episodes I left off on!)

But something that I was familiar with, but never actually watched, were variety shows. It wasn't because I was uninterested in them... it's just that they were not as widely available compared to the dramas, music videos, films, and animated series. And even if a series was uploaded to an online video site, like Youtube or Dailymotion, they were really hard to find unless you really knew what you were looking for. A lot of the drama websites that I would visit (like Dramacrazy or Mysoju) had databases... but were mainly dedicated to dramas.

After my cousin moved here from Korea, I would watch over her shoulder as she watched her RAW (un-subtitled) variety shows. I'd laugh a bit at the silly things they would do, but ultimately did not have a direct translation of the action happening on screen... so I would eventually shrug, and turn back to whatever drama I was watching. It wasn't until recently that I really started to pay attention more and more to Asian (namely Korean) variety shows, especially as I started to grow more and more into K-pop, thanks to Simon and Martina from EatYourKimchi.

It started with getting obsessed with a Korean boyband called MBLAQ, which led me to start watching a Korean variety show called Hello Baby, where different idols (celebrities) take care of other peoples' children and become mock parents to them. There were episodes available on Youtube, and through recommended videos, I found about a bunch of other sites. And thanks to those recommendations, and comments from my cousin, I discovered...

RUNNING MAN.

(image from apieceofmymind3o6.blogspot.com)
Oh man, Running Man... THIS SHOW IS HILARIOUS! Like, really. Hilarious and full of suspense. Who knew a bunch of grown people playing hide and seek in well-known Korean landmarks could be so much fun?! Well, it IS!

The objective of Running Man is similar to its namesake -- people run around and race, trying to complete tasks to gain special items and/or points for their team (and sometimes for their own individual person). Why are they doing this, you ask? Because they are trapped and locked inside their location. Yup. They CANNOT leave unless they WIN. And whatever team loses suffers a penalty and is punished. In previous episodes, whatever team with the most something (money, points) won. In other previous episodes, the team that collected the most balls with their teams color entered them into a lottery. The lottery was pure chance, but of course the odds would be better for whomever had the most balls with their team's color. In the episodes that I'm watching now (like episode 15, 16, etc.) the teams compete to win as many balls with their name on it as possible. This also consists of a chance lottery, but the draw for who will get to leave and skip the punishment is on an individual basis, rather than teams.

Every episode there are the usual players that you see most of the time, but they also add celebrity guests for each episode that get to compete. I think this is something I love the most about Korean variety shows... not only do they have their super funny, hugely entertaining regular variety show participants and hosts, but they also include their country's idols in the fun, and the idols are always humble and in good spirits. They love to participate and aren't high-and-mighty or aloof. Plus, each and every participant has a specific personality that I think every viewer can relate to. They also throw in other little tidbits... like fake romance pairings between male and female contestants, exaggerated parodies of other media (Korean and non-Korean alike), and silly nicknames (my favorite is Yoon Jae Suk's (유재석) "Yooruce Willis", alluding to Bruce Willis and his character in Die Hard... because the way Yoon Jae Suk hides in the game and always escapes his opponents is like Bruce Willis' character in Die Hard... love it!)

(image from siharfit.files.wordpress.com)

There is also the ever-present "instant replay" theme in Korean variety shows... when something really funny happens, especially with a sound-bite, they will go back and replay it... then replay again for good measure, and maybe a couple more times, showing all of the reaction shots from the surrounding players. It never gets old, and I laugh at each replay! Korean variety shows are also not shy in overlaying their video with text comments about what is happening on-screen, making the moments that much more funny. For example, if a player is caught by another team member mere moments after the hide-and-seek segment has started, an on-screen text comment might read, "What, caught already?!"

The last episode I finished was episode 15, and I laughed SO HARD during this episode. Here is a hilarious clip where one of the contestants, HaHa (Ha Dong Hoon / 하동훈) realizes that he is alone in an empty space... with a camera focused only on him. He takes this moment to pretend to be in an action movie... and his junior contestant Song Jong Ki (송종기) joins in. Check it out!




With all of the numerous mini game challenges, the epic hide-and-seek chases, the hilarious outtakes, and interesting behind-the-scenes moments (like when Yoon Jae Suk scolds his camera man -- known as a VJ in Korea -- for not being able to keep up with him... and then in later episodes, teases and congratulates him for his effort in FINALLY being able to keep up with him), Running Man is definitely a Korean variety show to check out. I encourage you to watch the first few episodes, and find out for yourself just how fun it is! You can find subtitled versions of the full first episode on Youtube, or in parts at Dramacrazy. After the first couple episodes, it does get harder to find them on Youtube, since these episodes are older (the show was first aired in 2010). But again, Dramacrazy is a great place. And then there is also my current personal favorite Running Man Club, where episodes (broken down into parts) are hosted directly on the site to watch with minimum hassle and, as far as I can tell, no ads*. Since it's hosted on blogger, you can even leave comments.

*Disclaimer: I have an ad-blocker on my browser, so I'm not sure whether or not they actually have ads. Please do not take my words as fact! :)

Have fun with Running Man! Let me know how you enjoy it. :)

(image from wikimedia.org)

Sunday, July 08, 2012

2NE1 "I Love You" MV | [Music Video] [Kpop]

My Summer quarter at school starts tomorrow! I'm excited and a little nervous, because this quarter will be a heavy one for me. I start post production on my Senior thesis amongst other things... but I'm definitely more excited than nervous! Oh, who am I kidding? It's 50/50. ;)

An update... we have a new stove/oven! Yay! I get to cook again ♥

I'm going to head off to bed early tonight, but here's a song that I think you might enjoy. It's a Korean Kpop song called "I Love You" by 2NE1. Check out the new music video~


Monday, June 25, 2012

WIP Excerpt: NIGHT

Totally raw, uncut, uncorrected excerpt from my work-in-progress, NIGHT. This hasn't been proof-read and there are errors. My story NIGHT is in its most roughest of all rough draft phases right now. I've been writing different scenes out of order as they come, and this is one of them.

--

(Copyright © 2012 by Esther Kim Cotton)


            Art and Mina were sprawled out on Art's large bed. Art was lying on his back, his eyes half open as he drifted off from exhaustion.
            Mina watched him as she went over Hypnos' files and smiled a little to herself. She had never seen Art in such a seemingly normal position, lying on his back with his gloved hands sprawled out on the bed beside him.
            She looked at the insulated gloves covering his arms, from upper arm down to the tips of his fingers and wondered if he wore them all the time, or only when he was around other people. Did he sleep in them, she wondered? Could he really never touch anyone ever, not even for a quick moment? Was there like a ten-second rule? She was pretty sure that Kane Corp. wouldn't have given her a thick packet full of rules if there was, but then maybe they were just covering all of their bases so that they wouldn't be liable if anything were to happen.
            Mina watched as Kane finally lost the battle with consciousness and his breathing grew heavy and deep.
            One of Art's hands was folded over his torso while his other was palm-up on the bed near her. Curious, she put out her right hand and hovered it over his. She could feel his body heat emanate from underneath his glove.
            Mina pushed her hand closer, feeling the heat grow. She wondered how close she could get without touching him, and wondered just how long she was able to actually touch him through his insulation before his curse could seep through his glove.
            Mina felt the warmth grow stronger and wondered if the curse worked purely on touch, of if there was a certain proximity as well... she was only millimeters away from touching him.
            "Stop." Art's voice was calm, as was his movement as he slowly slid his hand away from Mina's. When his hand was far enough away from hers, he sat up in the bed and gave her curious look. "What were you doing?"
            Mina shrugged. "I was just wondering..." Wondering what? She couldn't even explain it to him.
            "Don't do it again," he said and got up from the bed. He headed to the bathroom and shut the door, leaving Mina to wonder just what she had been trying to do, and why.
            "I don't even know why I did that," she said to herself. For some reason, she felt as though she wanted petrification. No, that wasn't it. She wanted something from him, from his touch. But she didn't know what. Nothing sexual, and it was more than curiosity. It was as though she needed something from him... something pre-destined and obscure. She needed to touch him for something, and she wasn't sure what.
            "This is so weird."
            Mina got up from the bed and left the room, leaving files there, desperate to get back to the safety of her temporary room.
            She felt as though something had just been controlling her, and it scared her. What was going on?

Win a Copy of STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth

"Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her..." (taken from Goodreads)


There's an exclusive interview with Jennifer Bosworth over at Pages From My Thoughts. Soumi from Pages From My Thoughts is also hosting a giveaway of Jennifer's book STRUCK.

This book is on my to-read list, and I've been really anxious to read it. A heroine that has an addiction to lightning, and warring cults eager to get their hands on her? I'm so interested.

If you're interested too, head over to Pages From My Thoughts, check out the interview, and enter the giveaway. And don't forget to add the book to your to-read list!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn [Book Review]

Open Minds (Mindjacked Trilogy #1) by Susan Kaye Quinn
Find at: Goodreads / Amazon 

Kira is a zero. Or, at least, she thought she was. In a world full of readers, the zeros are outcasts. Zeros can't read minds and share thoughts and feelings like readers can -- they are freaks. But Kira soon finds out that there is something even more freakish than a zero... and when she nearly kills her best friend, Raf, she knows she needs to find out more about mindjackers and their abilities.




 My Rating: 5/5


Main Character
Open Minds was SUCH a refreshing read for me. Although the protagonist is an outcast and doesn't fit in with the rest of her world, she wasn't incessantly whiny about her pariah-hood, and she never seemed like she was going to cry at the drop of a hat about it. I can't say that about some of the other YA books I'm reading at the moment. But with this book, I really felt a connection with the main female protag, and I truly wanted everything to get better for her, because I felt she truly deserved it. This book was written in the first person, but never did I feel like the internal dialogue was annoying, incessantly ranty, or irrelevant. It was, dare I say, PERFECT.

Other Characters
I loved the characters. Every character had a purpose and motive for what they did or didn't do. None of them seemed like filler characters, and all of them were interesting in some way. The teachers had personalities, her parents and brother had personalities... even the occasional store clerk seemed to have a personality. Kira's best friend, Raf, was ridiculously sweet to her, and it made me smile whenever he tried to cheer her up or whenever they were teasing each other. Simon was an interesting and complicated character whose ulterior motives  saddened me, and yet... he redeemed himself in a way. The author was really good at making your emotions twist around between defense an offense when it came to Simon. There were times when I hated him, and times where he made my stomach knot up in hopeful anticipation and excitement.

Overall Story
The plot itself was done beautifully, and I love that the settings didn't just consist of some combination of home, school, and random forest. There were warehouses, bunkers, government facilities, a hospital, gas stations and convenience stores... the story was rich with locations, and never did I once feel bored. There was a real sense of movement to this book... things were really HAPPENING. It wasn't just a bunch of internal dialogue with bits and pieces of action. There was action. The character DID THINGS.

And boy did Kira do things. I don't want to spoil anything, but there is a lot of doing in this book. Kira overcomes a LOT, and she challenges an entire government and forces her nation to examine their preconceived idea of social norms. Kira is a strong character, very willed, and for the most part, honest (you'll see what I mean). She struggles with the same insecurities and uncertainties as most girls her age do, and she had to make some tough decisions... and while she makes mistakes, she always tries to rectify them, and everything she does is genuine and done with some semblance of common sense and thought.

All in all, I was entertained throughout the entire book, was very impressed with Kira, and cannot wait to read the second book in this trilogy!

Reminds Me Of
As I was reading, I couldn't help but draw some parallels to the HEX trilogy by Rhiannon Lassiter. Strong main female characters with unique abilities, [highlight to show spoiler-->]struggling to liberate a group of children from a government facility[/spoiler]. And I love the HEX trilogy, as well.

Friday, June 15, 2012

GUINNESS WORLD RECORD attempt at the CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR on July 23 | Abbey's Wheel Deal Charity Event




 
 
 

Abbey

Born in 2009, little Abbey pinked right up like a normal baby. 24 hours later, as her parents were preparing to take her home, medical personnel detected a heart murmur.

Abbey was born with a defective heart and would need open-heart surgery in a matter of days or she would die. Abbey was admitted to the UC Davis Children's Hospital-Northern California's only inland full-service pediatric heart center-to correct a congenital Heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Thanks to the tremendous care Abbey received, today she is a vibrant three year old with a great future.


The Wheel

In honor of Abbey and other children born with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD), a Guinness World Record will be be attempted and broken on July 23, 2012 at the California State Fair for the "longest consecutive ride on a Ferris Wheel."

Abbey's family friend, Christina, will attempt to ride the Eagle 16 while raising awareness and funds for the Children's Miracle Network and children with congentital heart defects.
Abbey's Wheel Deal is seeking the support of both individual donations as well as corporate sponsors.


DONATE




Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Resident Evil: Retribution | Teaser Trailer with Replaced Sounds

This was for my Sound Design final.





As taken from the description on my Youtube page:

This was for my Sound Design final. I replaced all of the sound elements (dialogue, sound effects, music, etc.) from the teaser trailer for Resident Evil: Retribution, starring Milla Jovovich.


NONE of the visual elements belong to me. All the dialogue was recorded by me. All sound effects were free for use, creative commons, royalty free, etc.


MUSIC does not belong to me. First song is a snippet of "Entrance into Nebula" by The Kyoto Connection. The second song is part of "Through the Gates" by Celldweller.


You can find more music by Kyoto Connection at their official site http://www.thekyotoconnection.com/ or at http://soundcloud.com/kyotoconnection


You can find more music by Celldweller at his official site http://www.celldweller.com or at http://soundcloud.com/celldweller


NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.


~*~


All criticism, advice, etc... welcome.


Thanks for watching!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What did the 5 fingers say to the face? (video)

It's that time of year again. That time of year that comes around every three months in the form of stress, junk food, bouts of hysteria, and hostility towards... well, EVERYONE.

Yes, my friends. It is... FINALS WEEKS.

The week where you want to slap everybody around you and slap yourself... and then slap yourself some more. Like a murder-suicide-suicide (because, yes, you CAN kill yourself twice)... but with slapping.

This video illustrates my sentiments:




I also have a migraine. But this video makes me feel a little better. :D

Abbey's Wheel Deal | Indiegogo Cause



There is an Indiegogo page for Abbey's Wheel Deal. Check it out & show your support. The perks are still being negotiated, so check back often. :)


Abbey's Wheel Deal

For those of you who don't know, Abbey's Wheel Deal is a charity event that will take place on July 23, 2012 at Cal Expo during The California State Fair. The charity's creator, Christina, will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest consecutive ride on a Ferris wheel. The latest record holder is Gus Martinez, who rode a Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica pier on June 1, 2012 for 25 hours.

Christina's goal is 26 hours, and her goal is not only to break a world record, but to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network and raise awareness about children born with congenital heart defects. All funds raised for the Abbey's Wheel Deal charity event will go towards the Children's Miracle Network.

For more information, visit these links:



And for those of you wondering how I got involved, visit the previous blog entries here and here.

Friday, June 08, 2012

BYOC (Bring Your Own Crazy): My First

Okay, so I sometimes read this fabulously addicting blog called It's Just Me, Drazil, & Sheniqua (seriously, this blog is fralipping amazing)... and sometimes when I venture there on a Friday (or not on a Friday, but backpeddle to previous posts that land on Fridays) I see entries with the title "BYOC - Bring Your Own Crazy!"

The BYOC entries are all about answering 5 questions about yourself so that people can get to know you better and whatnot. I'm always entertained by the answers I see on other peoples' BYOC posts, and I've always wanted to do one, or a few, of my own... so here we go!

It's Friday, I'm at school super early, I have time to kill... I'm gonna bring my own crazy to the table!

~*~
1. Do you know your credit score? Do you check it regularly? Does it matter to you?
I honestly don't know my score! I guess I'm under the impression that I don't really have to know right now, and there are other things to worry about, so I usually think of those things. I am very curious though, and I've often wanted to check it... I just don't know how. Lame, right? I'm an adult for goodness sakes. *rolls eyes at self*

I have heard of those online credit score things and, while I love the Internets with all my fluffy hearts... I am wary of things like that. Especially when said sites hook up with those survey scam sites... the friends say a lot about a person, right? So partnerships between websites say a lot about them, too. Well, then again, Netflix also pops up on those survey sites. Oh wait... that explains a lot.

For the record, I happen to know that both of my parents have excellent credit scores and people love to finance things with them. And my mom's is better than my dad's.

2. What’s your go to “water-cooler-off-er” each summer? Small kiddie pool, “real” pool, sprinkler, public pool, hotel pool, or stay inside in the air and never don a bathing suit ever?
ICE. COLD. SHOWER. Okay, lying about the ice part. And the cold. Well, I finish with the cold. I like to get into a lukewarm shower for starters, no matter how death-defying hot I am, because I'm not really into that whole shock factor. After I get used to it, I gradually change the water colder and colder until it's just where I want it.

And for the past couple of Summers, our air conditioner has been broken, so... OMFG house sauna! My dad loves it because he's cold all of the time, and my cousin isn't that bothered because her body temp is like unnaturally always just fine for her. And my brother... he's bipolar about it. But my mom and I just DIE in the heat.

We have a bunch of floor fans, a ceiling fan in the living room, and a portable A/C in the hallway... and windows.

And I kind of got off topic because I'm a little emotional about the oncoming onslaught of torrential hell-heat. Yeah.
3. Describe your phone cover…if you have one.
A magic cloak of invisibility. :D I don't have one. I have one of those dinky normal-ish phones with a QWERTY keyboard, and it's dumb, not smart... it is this one right here:

It's red, though. And the red is purdy. And I like my QWERTY buttons. I still want a smartphone.

Oh, and did I mention my entire family has this phone? My parents, cousin, and my brother all upgraded to the same. Exact. Phone. It was a deal. But then my brother got some fancy, nice smartphone, so now we all don't match anymore. D: Traitor! :)

4. If you ever had a wedding, what were your colors or theme? If you aren’t married – but plan to be some day – what will your colors or theme be?
Hmm... colors. Well first, let me preface this by saying that I want it to take place in a sort of ancient old-fashioned ethereal sort of way. A celebration spanning a few days, maybe a week. Main setting on a beach, but not in that cheesy Western kind of way. I want there to be upholstered seating, canopies, and lots of white, cream, purples, etc. Pillows and stuff. I want there to be lots of colors... like the way Indian weddings are. Indian weddings are SO beautiful & colorful! I love watching Indian wedding ceremonies on Youtube and Vimeo. :) So purdy.

5. Repeat question: summarize your week. 
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, today. :)


But really, this is the week before finals week, so STRESS would describe it all...


Monday I had Motion Graphics and our final for that class is to create an opening motion graphic for my school's upcoming Next Talent Awards.


Tuesday I had Sound Design and our final for that class is to work on a trailer or scene from something and recreate all of the sound elements (sound effects, dialogue, music).


Wednesday I don't have class...


Thursday. Oh holy crap. I never updated on my previous post about Abbey's Wheel Deal! Well, I ended up being the Creative Director in charge of my class! Wow. I am basically in charge of organizing everybody and making sure that all of our content falls under our theme and slogan of "Break a record; mend a heart." The people we pitched to liked a little bit of everything from all of the initial teams, and wanted everything to fall under the theme that my initial team created. I was so excited! And terrified. :)


So, the past couple of weeks have been organizing, trimming the fat, discussing, explaining, etc. And this past Thursday I met with my classmates and honestly, I was stressed. I had to re-organize some people because some other people weren't there. Some people did not know what was going on, even though everything was explained the previous week and several emails and posts on our class' Google Groups have been sent back and forth.


This Saturday is Second Saturday at Downtown Sacramento, and my guerrilla marketing team is planning on have a sort of soapbox approach downtown to generate awareness of congenital heart disease, and the charity we are promoting, Abbey's Wheel Deal. We don't have our signage made yet, but I sent all the signage info to my guerrilla team, so I hope we get them completed and ready to pass out and display tomorrow!


I'm nervous. Our final marketing and promotion package is due in 6 days. We have to have our PSA video, viral videos, guerrilla campaign, new website design, and social media package all done and ready... tied in a neat little bow for our client.


PHEW. And on top of it all, I'm trying to get finals done for other classes, trying to get some writing done, trying to stick to a more strict grain-free, low-carb diet (I've faltered a lot), and trying to start working out again. There's also a little side project that I've been doing for a local musician, but more on that later.
~*~

This quick BYOC post turned out to be long! My Media Distribution class is starting now, though... so I'd better go. :)

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Response to Jennifer L. Armentrout's "Piracy WTFery" | Book Pirating

So, I was browsing through some Goodreads updates, and stumbled across a post by author Jennifer L. Armentrout pertaining to book piracy.

I read through her blog post and the comments at Goodreads and felt compelled to respond with some lighthearted thoughts and info of my own...

Which led me to the original blog entry at her website, which led me to reading even more comments there, and well, let's just say my last comment in response to another commenter was a little emotional. But not in a I-broke-down-and-teared-her-one sort of way. Just in a... I'm so sad our world is fucked sort of way. :D

So yes, Armentrout's original blog post can be read here.

And these are some screenshots of my responses in regards to book piracy, content, copyrights, etc... and the changing formula of our various entertainment industries (music, film, book). And my last response has to do with book availability in foreign third-world countries, and why I think it's okay for these people to pirate.

Response to Armentrout's original blog post:
First Comment Part 1/2

First Comment Part 2/2

Second Comment Part 1/1


Reponse to commentor "Ems" regarding foreign piracy:
Third Comment Part 1/2

Third Comment Part 2/2


So yeah... what are your guys' thoughts on piracy (any kind of piracy)? Yay, nay, in-between, don't care? Why?

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