Tag Archives: reading

being a WordPress reader

15 Apr

I had downloaded the WP app about a year ago and while I was able to read the posts, it was difficult at times to get the search to refresh on the tag I had used. Also it was cumbersome to only get a snippet of the blog entry before you had to visit the site itself to read the rest.

I downloaded the app again this week and I’m very pleased these issues have been resolved. The tag search refreshes promptly and I could read the entries easily.

Anyways, I’m now making it a habit to read the WordPress blogs out there. So you get that golden not-really-a-sticker star from me, I have viewed your content and enjoyed it. Noteworthy, well-done.

That may sound obvious to some, but I wanted to reassure I am not a bot.

So yea dusting off my blog and seeing the ones nearby. I browse under life, blogging, and art. What tag do you search for?

-from my mobile

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i suck at writing book summaries

30 Dec

For a part of my assignment, I wrote a book summary for Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. The story is well-written switching between two teenage misfits who become friends and yea, fall in love. An interesting, complicated, super-awkward. Like having Michael Cera playing Park, but wouldn’t work since Park is half-Korean, half-Irish. Unless Cera eats some Kimchi to prepare for the role.

So here is my awkward first attempt capturing the summary of the book.

Park is a high school student who is not popular. His life changes when Eleanor began sitting next to him on the bus. Their friendship begins as Eleanor reads Park’s comic books. The story is told from two different points of view, Park’s and Eleanor’s. During their relationship, they learn about each other’s lives.

Gah. Stream-of-consciousness gets the ball rolling, but then you want it to stop rolling at a certain point. Me like purty things and character development is gud. Then I had to imagine it in a dialogue format. So I chose my friend Albert and imagined him asking me about the book because he enjoys YA fiction.

Albert: What is the story about?

Me: It’s about two high school teenagers who are stuck riding the bus together but eventually become friends through their mutual interest in comics and music. Park had dated Tina, a popular girl, and thanks to that he is not picked on. Eleanor, on the other hand, is a new girl with red-hair who dresses in weird clothes such as men clothing. Park has a peaceful life living with his Korean mother and American father while Eleanor lives with her siblings, mother, and abusive stepfather.

Next, I imagined myself talking with a guy who makes movie trailers for a living.

Trailer Guy: Get to the point. Shorter!

Me: Two high school students get stuck sitting together in the school bus. Through reading comics and exchanging mix tapes, they become friends and soon fall in love with each other. Both of them are misfits in their own ways; Park is a half-Korean, half-Irish teenager who struggles with bouts of anxiety while Eleanor is the new red-haired girl who is bullied at school, wears strange clothes, and lives with her abusive stepfather. Together Park and Eleanor explore what it means to be an outsider in Omaha, a small midwestern town.

It’s better than what I had started with. Sure, not short enough to the disappointment of some figment of my imagination that I labeled trailer guy, who probably lives in some mobile home instead.

*

What is the art of writing a book summary? One thing for sure is that it’s short and mostly spoiler-free. I am always amazed when reading book summaries of how the writer captures the book’s essence into a tiny paragraph.

in a sense, i prefer reading instead, i guess

18 Jun

While films and TV shows have become more convenient to view via streaming in the comfort of one’s [insert place, and please, not while on the toilet…disgusting], the movies and TV series that I queued months ago are still on my list. Instead, I find myself reaching for a book to read.

There seems to be more effort involved when watching a movie or TV show. You need electricity to power the monitor, DVD player, and modem. (As of this writing, my neighborhood is experiencing a power outage. So I’m writing this from the comfort of a local McDonald’s.) After you take the time to power up the devices, you need to see how long the movie/show is going to take. This usually intimidates me because I think, “Oh, that looks like it’s going to be done by the late afternoon. Nah, I’ll watch it later.” Yet if a show has an interesting hook and I watch the first two episodes, I’m hooked. Parks and Recreation and Pushing Daisies managed to grab my attention enough for me to watch them all in mini-marathons.

As for reading a book, I look at the ones that is being read on the shelf, grab one, and get into the text in just a few seconds. In a case of a power outage, find any light source and it will do for the most part until you get eyestrain. Next, I don’t think about the time length I’ll be spending in reading a book, but instead I plan on finishing up one or two chapters. (If the book is intriguing with its plot or ideas, I’ll keep on reading.) By concentrating on the chapters being read, I don’t become preoccupied with “how long” it’s going to take because I’ll already be engrossed in the author’s words. (Yea, I’m easily engrossed in films, but there’s a lot of “factors” to consider.)

Maybe it’s also the fact that when you read a book, it feels more intimate because you’re holding it in your hands. Unless it’s an e-reader, then well, I guess the experience won’t be as magical. Sure it’s lighter, but clicking (or flicking on the screen) to the next page won’t be quite the same as turning a page, made of paper.

Aside

media galore #1

7 Feb

Thought I also start a series of asides about what books, movies, shows, and stuff I’ve been reading. Maybe you might like it, or maybe not.

Anne of Green Gables (book): This is a book I never expected to be reading. I was browsing the library’s Overdrive¹ and saw this title in the audiobook section. I do have a reluctance toward reading books published in the early 19th century because they tend to be dense and wordy. Also, this is a book not marketed to the mid-twenties Korean-American male reader. When I began listening, I was drawn to the rustic setting and the narrator’s gentle storytelling, and when Anne makes her entrance, yes, she can be quite wordy, but it’s not the kind associated with dour bearded writers; it’s rather the delightful kind, taking in the child’s speech powered by fervent imagination and wit.

Your Republic is Calling You (book): There’s this thing I have when it comes to reading works by Korean and Korean-American authors. My command of the language may not be up to par, but I feel this connection I have by reading works by those who share the same heritage as me. Published in English, of course. Anyways, I had seen this book around and a few weeks ago when I saw it while browsing the fiction shelves at a library, I decided to check it out. I’m a few chapters in, and if you can deal with another book that begins with someone waking up, you’ll be taken in by the how Young-Na Kim weaves in everyday events with observation and memory with espionage as the backdrop.

Nedroid (webcomic): In college, I was a huge webcomic geek. To the point I would have seven bookmark folders, each labeled for every day of the week, and I would read the updated comics of the day. I still am, but I have fallen behind my webcomic readings. This comic is  one I keep up with. It’s zany yet somewhat relatable, like going on space adventures or having an argument about toilet paper.

¹Next time when you visit your public library, ask if they have Overdrive. If they do, get access to it. It features a good number of ebooks and audiobooks that you can download onto your smartphone and tablet. You can also download it onto your computer as well. I always was reluctant to check out an audiobook let alone buy one. This is completely free. When it comes to returning a title, it’ll automatically expire so you don’t have to turn it in and pay any fines.

Aside

an intermission before moving on

3 Feb

The reason for this intermission is that along with the upcoming posts, there is going to be a series of entries about my experience with God and church.

After reading Jadesandwich’s post, I felt relieved because I was not alone in my experience with the church. Then it got me thinking to stop dwelling on them and instead write them down. I wanted to do this before, but I couldn’t find the sentences to string them into a decent theme. (I did consider creating a separate blog but decided to post them here.)

However, there is my concern for those people who have been a part of these experiences. While I’ll be giving them pseudonyms, they might figure it out who I might be referring to. Please be assured this is not a soapbox for me to stand up and spew groundless diatribe. Also, the events described is to the best of my recollection.

My best friend Joon was sharing with me about how Christian books he read always has it all-together with its solutions ready to be applied to one’s life. He wanted to read something by someone who struggled.

That’s something I want to read too, and seems like I’ll have to write so I could read it.

poetry reading on a cold january night

14 Jan

On a peaceful Sunday morning, I was relaxing at my favorite independent cafe, drinking a cup of mocha and reading a few pages of Your Republic is Calling You and Sputnik Sweetheart. A typical bohemian moment. I glanced at the counter and noticed a piece of paper attached to the register. Poetry Reading were the only words I could decipher from where I sat. On closer examination, the flyer goes on to inform me that it’s held every second Sunday of the month, and that day happened to be tonight.

I inquired the cashier more about the event. He told me it began recently and while there was not a lot of people reading, a good number of people came out to support it.

I hesitated. Yes, I used to have attended a few poetry readings and read some of mine. Even though the cafe was nearby, I felt bothered by the idea of driving back and spending more money. Nevertheless I made a mental note in case I did plan on going.

*

I arrived to see the cafe was packed with customers there to meet with friends and have their own bohemian moments. In the back, a group of people huddled where there was a tiny stage, enough room to support the loudspeaker, a microphone, and a chair. The MC was playing a few tunes from his guitar. I bought myself a two-dollar macaron and joined the group.

I didn’t want to perform for a few reasons.

(1) I would spend most of the time preoccupied at the thought of me reading instead of what the poets are reading.
(2) I didn’t have any poems I have that are ready to be read. Last-minute-poem? No thank you.
(3) I wanted to first observe the scene of how this monthly event plays out. Be the observer.

Some of the poets there were clutching onto pieces of paper and others their smartphones. The MC had already stopped playing his guitar; he was now holding a pad of paper. From there, he called out the name, the poet came up and performed, and this went on for an hour.

Despite the difficult of hearing due to the barista shouting orders, the chatter from the other side of the cafe, and some of the poets speaking softly, there were some memorable poets at the event.

A girl shared a poem about an aspiring standup comedian she was seeing. A guy rambled about a hard-to-follow story involving the Red Cross, but got booted off for dropping the f-bomb. Another guy did a spoken word piece about his Chinese-American identity, which I found to be moving and powerful.

When the event concluded, I was glad to have driven on a cold January night to see people brave enough to share their words not in status messages and tweets to their friends and fans, but to a company of strangers, face-to-face. While we listeners had our own aesthetics, we soaked in the moment of where the poet and his work were one.

Now that’s what I call instant bohemian gratification (feat. snapping fingers).

your manhood, interrupted

24 Jul

When I was in high school, I found something in the mailbox that caught my attention.

It was a YM magazine, you know, the one that has information about beauty tips, boys, product placements, and more boys.

I don’t have a sister, and even more baffling, it had my name and address on the mailing label. And I didn’t even fill out the subscription for this. The only one I recall signing up for was Campus Life, a magazine for Christian teenagers (now called Ignite Your Faith).

Honest to God.

Well, I thought, might as well skim through it. So I did, flipping through the pages of bottles of nail polish, dresses, and celebrities. Then one section caught my eyes. It was in a format of Dear Abby called something like “Grade the Boys,” which is about readers’ stories about their boyfriends (or those they have a crush on) doing something awesome or something pathetic. At the end of each story, the reviewer would conclude with giving a sassy remark and a grade.

The thoughtful, kind boys received A’s and B’s while the ignorant, obnoxious ones received D’s and F’s. There was a C or two, but those were boring to read.

One boy brought his sick girlfriend PB&J sandwiches and a collection ofFriends DVDs to watch, both of her favorite things; this got him a B+. Another boy didn’t handle the situation well when a girl was going through her period and left a mark on his (or was it her) couch; this got him a D+, I think.

Yes, you read that right. A straight guy reading a girlie magazine, which he didn’t subscribe to but had his name and address on it. And he didn’t mention it to his mom and dad about it lest they get the wrong impression and begin questioning their son’s sexual orientation.

It didn’t stop here. I got a few more in the following months. One ongoing major feature was “Last Boy Standing.” There were about twelve teenage boys with their pictures and profiles. As each issue came out, a guy was eliminated, one by one, according to the readers’ votes. I think the only black guy was the first to get axed, and what disappointed me more was that there was no Asian guy in the running.

I should have applied. Gel my hair just right, crack a few jokes with the interviewer, and you got yourself a contestant.

So anyways, should I interpret the appearance of this mysterious magazine as a ploy by a secret admirer who not only knew where I lived, but decided to mail me these magazines on her own dime? Or a girl who harbored so much deep hatred toward me that she thought these magazines would teach me a lesson by emasculating me?

Maybe my mom subscribed it for herself, or this was her way of telling me about the birds and the bees.

I will never know.