Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My New Favorite Book: "Don'ts for Husbands & Don'ts for Wives"

Okay...here's another book for the blog! "Don'ts for Husbands & Don'ts for Wives" is a quick little read I picked up in the bargain section of Barnes & Nobles this afternoon for like $4.95. The book was originally written in 1913 by Blanche Ebbutt and was basically a guidebook to keep a new marriage a long lasting marriage. Some of the "advice" is somewhat outdated, but many of the principles can still be applied today. The book is written from the perspective of an era when people didn't live together before marriage, so for those of us in the post World War II world, the advice can seem like a "duh" moment. But if you look at it from the perspective of a new relationship or a "we're-just-moving-in-together" stage, Mrs. Ebbutt was spot on in her advice!

Some goodie goodies were:

Don'ts for Husbands:

"Don't tease your wife about every pretty girl you meet. She may not be jealous to begin with, but after a while she may begin to think that there is something in it"

"Don't dole out money for your wife's personal use in sixpences on the ground that, as you pay the bills, she can't really require any money. It is hateful to a woman to have to ask for what should be hers by right."

"Don't think your business worries are ever so much more important. The others are her business worries, and just as real to her as yours are to you."

Don'ts for Wives:

"Don't be talked down by your husband when you want to express your views on any subject. You have a right to be heard."

"Don't pose as a helpless creature who can do nothing for herself; don't drag your husband away from the office to see you across a street; don't profess to be unable to understand Bradshaw [no not Carrie Bradshaw!], or to take a journey alone. It is true that the weak, clinging wife is often a favourite, but she is equally often a nuisance."

"Don't wash your dirty linen in public, or even before your most intimate friends. If there are certain disagreeable matters to discuss, take care to discuss them in complete privacy."

Obviously, this book is written during a time when wives stayed home, so much of it is written from this perspective...but it still has some great knowledge to share with newlyweds or couples that have been living together for an extended period of time! It's a quick read - I finished it in under an hour...and it's so funny that you'll fly through the pages without any effort. I highly recommend it!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My K-Drama Obsession Continues - 나쁜 남자


Last week I finished watching my second K-Drama - 나쁜 남자/Nappeun Namja (Bad Guy/Bad Boy) and I must say, as hooked as this drama had me...it was a tad bit disappointing how the show ended. Once again, I chose a drama...but this one was much grittier than 검사 프린세스/Gomsa Princess (Prosecutor Princess) - which focused much more on fashion and the whimsical personality of the leading lady than on the (actually) very dark storyline that drove one of the other main character's actions.

Bad Guy is a 17 episode series that focused on the lead character Gun-Wook (center in the picture who I'll refer to as GW) who was cruelly ripped from what he thought was his "real" parents as a child and forced to assimilate into a new über rich family (the Hongs) as the accepted-yet-illegitamite son of the rich father (who also changes GW's name to Tae-Sung). Somehow, word gets out that he's not actually the illegitimate son, but just some random boy & poor GW is kicked out of the house and replaced by the "real" Tae-Sung (the other man in the pic above). Being overly dramatic as most dramas are around the world, poor GW's real parents rush to try to get him back only to die tragically in a car crash on the way, while (in the first episode no less) we watch GW shivering in the rain, sitting outside of the Hong residence with the few possessions he came with. So, fast forward to present day where adorable & cute little GW has turned into the hottie above, and we find a very determined & angry man who wants to get revenge on the Hong family for allowing their decadence to overshadow common sense/decency and ultimately forever negatively changing his life. Of course, his plan includes bringing down the family via ruining their family firm Haeshin, and creating impossible love triangles that pit two sisters against each other, while also mentally messing with the man who replaced him as Tae-Sung.

Okay, so with a quick plot teaser like that, you would think the show would have been awesome - and it did have great potential - but it definitely fell flat towards the ending episodes. We spent so much time watching GW push the Hong family like puppets, and even going to some really crazy lengths (i.e. one scene where he tries to drown the real Tae-Sung just to make him vulnerable enough to want to deal with GW in the future). And then, GW went from being cold and calculating to being this man who faltered from time to time. I understand that the producers wanted to make the main character still somewhat likable, but sometimes the route they took to get to the final conclusions was difficult to "suspend my disbelief" so that I could accept what I was watching. And often, there were characters with too much focus given to them that were either not really relevant to the total picture, or were not believable with their interactions with other characters.

For example, there are two female characters that (IMO) were vying for the lead female role...one of them was GW's older half sister, Tae-Ra (immediately right of GW in the pic above). Now, they're chemistry was awesome...he seduces her even though she's married and because she's in a loveless marriage, her desire for him is so believable and intriguing. Now, contrast that with the other leading female, Jae-In (to the left of GW in the pic) who literally was stuck with a role that really didn't make sense. She was in no way related to the Hong family, but at the same time she's very involved. It's hard to believe that in real life she would be able to take the overreaching actions that she does in this series. She's dating the real Tae-Sung, she works for the Hong family, and she is very friendly with GW. The producers kept trying to make her this possible GW love interest, but I don't think anyone was buying it. Their romantic exchanges were awkward and stiff, and by the time they finally admit that they have feelings for each other, it's the last episode and you already got the vibe that this wasn't going to be a happy ending like in Prosecutor Princess.

But, to be fair, some of the problems regarding the writing of 나쁜 남자 are because it was supposed to be a 20 episode series, but then was truncated to 17 because the actor who played lead character, GW, had to serve his mandatory 2 years in the military, and was unable to get yet another extension. Although, let's be real...with the plot holes this show had, even if they had those extra 3 episodes, I don't think they would have been able to neatly wrap the show.

So, I give this one a C, it had great potential, but too many minor characters really had roles that would effect the major characters, but weren't developed enough to make the drama more intriguing. The music was amazing, the characters were attractive, the scenes were shot perfectly (placement/staging/etc) and for the most part, the interactions were great. But poor writing/planning held the show back.

If you're interested in watching a K-Drama (regardless of whether you speak Korean or not), I definitely recommend checking out the super awesome blog, DramaBeans. If you're like me and are trying to learn Korean, they offer great episode recaps for all the major dramas that are currently (or have been in the past) airing - allowing you to confirm whether or not you really understood what was happening in the show. Also, they have links to other sites where you can watch the actual dramas - either with or without subtitles. If you're like me and don't want subtitles, I definitely recommend bada.us which has all the episodes for all types of Korean TV content ranging from music, to television, sports and news.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My New Favorite iPhone App: Expensify!

So, it's been a while since I've written a "my favorite iPhone app" segment...but this one was enough to make me revisit this segment. Last week I was having drinks with a friend when he mentioned an app called "Expensify". This is a handy app that helps you keep track of all of your expenses. And, if you're like me, you can pretty much find a reason to expense almost anything!

So basically, it works like this:

Instead of having bags/boxes full of expenses, you can easily add an expense within the app. Take a picture of the receipt, and then enter in the correct information in the corresponding fields: Date, Amount, Merchant, Category (transportation, meals, lodging, mileage, etc.). Then you click "Add" and now you have the receipt logged into your account.

You can also link your credit or check card to your Expensify account so that it will automatically keep track of all your purchases. And, with all the receipts/expenses that you track, you can create detailed reports which can be exported to programs like Quickbooks. It's a super easy app and is free for iPhones! The app is also available for other phone platforms...but check the website, www.expensify.com for details!

My Love Affair With Black Shoes!

I highly doubt that I'm the only woman in the world with an inordinate and disproportionate amount of black shoes (as compared to all the other colors I have). So, I posted this on my facebook page earlier this week, but I just got in two new pairs of shoes - both black heels!

How awesome are these? They're Vivian Westwoods...I know they're very "avante" but they have a super low heel, making them ideal for city walking haha! They come in a number of colors, but I decided to try to be somewhat realistic and get them in black with red heart appliques. 

I'm in love  with these shoes! They're so amazing! ^_^ I wore them out to an event the other week and got quite a few compliments on them! 

Another view of the same shoe! Love them....'tis all for now!