K-Drama and Us

Today is the last day of 2016. What an apt time to write a year-in-review post for our new found hobby – K-Drama! Haha…

K-Dramas have been all the rage these year and we’ve definitely also watched a few K-Dramas on and off. However, we’ve never really been hooked. Until this year.

Before we review the dramas that we’ve watched this year, let’s first take a step back and recap the dramas that we’ve watch prior to this year.

Back in the school days, I recall Dear2 being hooked on Winter Sonata. She must have re-watched it several times, but I did not watch the drama with her. I also recall Dear2 watching Autumn in My Heart, Summer Scent, Stairway to Heaven, The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince, Jewel in the Palace.

Dramas that both of us watched together included All In, Temptation of Wife, My Love Patzzi, My Lovely Samsoon, Dr. Jin, Witch Yoo Hee, and most recently Good Doctor.

After watching all those dramas, we just didn’t get the irresistible urge to join the craze. It was more of a sporadic interest, whatever drama advert that caught our attention.

Well, that was exactly what happened earlier this year, when I heard about the good reviews about Descendants of the Sun over the radio. We decided to give it a shot. After all, catching a good K-Drama is infinitely better than watching the crap on Mediacorp.

But there was just one problem. DOTS was still airing in Korea, how were we going to watch it? All the previous dramas were watched either on local broadcast TV or DVDs that we bought.

After a quick search online, we realized that K-Dramas can be streamed online quite readily with English subs. It was also then that Dear2’s colleague introduced her to viu. That must have opened the floodgates.

There was no turning back. We were captivated by DOTS and we watched one show after another throughout the year. Even Japan Trip planning and Hong Kong Trip planning were temporarily shelved so that we could catch up on K-Dramas. Haha…

Dear2 and I are typically not trend followers. We would catch on to it only if we evaluate it to be something that we genuinely like. I guess that makes us late bloomers to the K-Drama trend, and it is really only because K-Dramas are becoming that good.

So, after watching DOTS, we watched it again. Yup, again. Next, Dear2 wanted to see more of Song Joong-ki, so we watched Innocent Man. After that we decided to catch up on some well reviewed K-Dramas and settled on My Love from the Star. That started the craze for Kim Soo-hyun, and we followed up with The Producers, Moon Embracing the Sun, and Dream High. In fact, Moon Embracing the Sun OST became my defacto music track at my office.

After that, I wanted to see more of IU, so we watched Infinity Challenge Music Festival 2015. That got us hooked on Infinity Challenge and we watched many many more episodes of it. We also liked Yoo Jae Suk and G-Dragon from the Music Festival and watched a few more episodes of variety shows such as Please Take Care of My Refrigerator and Happy Together. We also forayed into some Running Man episodes but it wasn’t as entertaining as Infinity Challenge. Some time during this, we re-watched My Love from the Star.

As luck would have it, IU would feature in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo which was conceptually similar to 步步惊心 (which happened to be another drama that Dear2 enjoyed a lot). So there’s no way we would miss this.

After this, I was on a business trip and Doctors was available on KrisWorld, so I watched around 10 episodes of it in-flight. Upon my return, Dear2 caught up and we finished the series.

Next up was Love in the Moonlight and both of us were enchanted by Park Bo-gum. We watched our first 1 Night 2 Days because of him, and right now, we are catching up on Reply 1988. Concurrently, we are watching The Legend of the Blue Sea, but it has been quite boring so far, don’t know if we’ll be able to finish watching it.

Phew~ What a year it had been. Dear2 and I have been swept by K-Drama fever, and it may well continue into next year. I think it is nice that we share a common hobby so we look forward to the late nights catching up dramas together after the children go to bed. We also have common topics to talk about, be it reading dramabeans, discussing the storylines, condemning local productions, moon-eyeing Korean idols. Haha…

Gotta go, Dear2 is waiting for me to watch Reply 1988 ep 8.

-Dear1

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Terrible daddy

The change was gradual. I probably didn’t notice it myself at first. But the signs were there. I was ill tempered, I was irritable, and I had unreasonably high expectations for the children. I was yelling at the children more and more frequently and I became impatient to see “results”. And I was hurting Dear2 because there would be constant yelling (and the resultant crying) around the house.

I’m the problem.

I didn’t think that I had a stress management issue, but now I’m convinced that I do. I’m stressed out when things go out of my control. Like when the air con broke down. Like when Dear2 or the children fall sick. Like when my parents don’t practice my instructions to them. When I get stressed out, my coping mechanism was to get grumpy and to snap and yell at the people around me. And the children were at the receiving end of those far too often.

I’m guessing I had a lot more stress since I started my new job. I agree, it is a stressful job. I’m not going to blame the job. I just means that whatever coping mechanisms that I’ve been using so far to cope has failed miserably. I need to acknowledge that and I need new coping mechanisms.

I need a lifestyle change.

I still don’t have a very concrete idea of how to implement this change. But I know that the simplest guidelines work the best. I’m going to start with helping out more around the house. Working the body is a good way to de-stress. And I can also let Dear2 rest a bit more.

Also, I’ll practice the ABCD model for anger management. I have to become more self-aware of my emotions and belief so that I will have more control. I will practice identifying the Activating trigger, my Belief model, the Consequences of my actions, and final to Dispute the flawed belief/expectations.

More shall come into practice as I read up more on stress management and design a routine that is suitable for myself.

Last weekend, while Dear2 was doing up the photo album, I had a chance to look at many of our recent photos. I see so many happy moments of our family together. At that moment, my heart just broke and tears flowed down my cheeks. I quickly moved to the bedroom so nobody would see. I feel so heartbroken that I’ve been venting my stress on my family members.

I’m so sorry.

I’m also so thankful to be surrounded by my active and cheerful kids, and my supportive wife. I will make that lifestyle change. I’m determined to make it work. I have to appreciate Dear2 more. I have to appreciate the kids more. I have to enjoy my time with them more rather than correcting their behaviours. I have to draw a clear line between work and home.

-Dear1

2015 New Year Resolutions

We had a bad end/ rough start to 2014/ 2015, so only managed to review and plan out our 2015 new year resolutions recently.  Who cares, there’s still 11 more months in 2015.

As usual, we reviewed our 2014 resolutions first, before coming out new ones.  Though Dear1 and Dear2 did occasionally bring out the 2014 resolutions to remind ourselves, we failed quite miserably in meeting them at the end of the year.  Nonetheless, they did serve as good reminders for us throughout the year.  :)

As of any NYR, the 2015 new year resolutions should be SMART.  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and with a Time.  Here goes:

For Dear2:

– Beauty (take good care of oneself first before you are able to take care of your loved ones): Do daily skin moisturizing and monthly face masks + exfoliation

– Waist: Attain 28″ by year end

– Exercise: Do daily planks (minimum 2x 1min)

– Self Improvement: Try cooking new dish every month

– Cook: Master (盆菜 or other dish) for next CNY by next CNY

– Speak slowly, Listen carefully, Smile more

– Post: Write at least 1 post per month

– Drive: Do 1 morning routine by end of year

For Dear1:

– Weight: Reach 68kg by year end

– Exercise: Do daily planks (minimum 2x 1.5min)

– Self Improvement: Learn 2 programming languages (Python and Julia)

– Temper: Be more tolerant with Baby1 and Baby2

– Post: Write at least 1 post per month

For us:

– Family Activities: Out-of-house/ malls activities once a month

– Couple Activities: Just for Dear1 and Dear2 activity/ new experiences bi-monthly or join 1 (dance) class

– Hugs & Kiss: Hug and kiss Dear1, Dear2, Baby1 and Baby2 everyday

– Travel: 1 long and 1 short trip for this year

– Finance: Save more money in this year

– House: Continue to view house

– Friends and Relatives: Have quarterly gatherings with friends/ relatives

– Nutrition: Eat at least 1 fruit every week

– Family Events: Participate in 1 (cycling) event

– Couple Time: Have just Dear1 and Dear2 time every week

A lot of times, when one reviews the new year resolutions at the end of the year, one will be dismayed that the goals might has changed course along the way.  Time does not stand still, and things are constantly evolving.  So take heart if the circumstances do not go as you’ve wished, for these new year resolutions still serve as a reminder to what your goals were one year back.

Happy New Year!

– Dear2

PS: Last year, we had a couple of monthly goals, but 1 year 12 times was quite hard to achieve given our busy schedules.  So we changed some of these to lower frequency.  Nonetheless, these still require conscious tracking, hence we decided to draw up a list and have them displayed on the kitchen fridge!  :)

2014 New Year Resolutions

Dear1 and Dear2 reviewed our 2013 resolutions, and set our 2014 new year resolutions during a ‘date’ at JEM. We took leave that day, and spend the afternoon at the newly opened JEM grocery shopping, shopping for a replacement for Dear1’s broken wallet, and did our resolutions over a Starbucks mocha frappe and mudpie. There was some discounts using Citibank Credit Card at Starbucks, and some vouchers + gift wrap from JEM. Not bad a deal!

Anyway, for 2013 resolutions, we did pretty well, about 75% accomplished. Dear1 finally changed his job, (though I didn’t get poached anywhere), I slimmed to 53kg long time ago, Dear1 (sorta) quit facebook and pelt away from being glued to his smart phone, we went to Kitty Land and Legoland a long time ago in last December and March, and we bought a couple of dividend paying unit trusts. Not a bad year for us.

So for 2014, here we go again:

Dear1
– 70kg
– Do daily planks

Dear2
– Waist 27 inch
– Do daily abs or arms exercise
– Do 1 face mask every month
– Talk to at least 5 people (not including Dear1, Baby1 and Baby2) every day
– Speak slowly

Together
– Kiss dear Good Morning AND Good Night every day
– 1 date every month
– Weekly talk/ beer time
– Write 1 post every month (each)
– Join 3 events (1 half marathon, 1 full and 1 others)
– Monthly place of interest (somewhere new)
– 1 Batam and 1 Cruise trip
– Be patient with the kids. Read, play and listen to them.
– Maximise our cash
– Organise monthly get-together/gaming with friends, relatives, kids or dear

According to 2 fengshui masters, the year of the Horse will see Monkeys travelling to optimise opportunities. Couples also need to exercise lots of tolerance towards each other as tempers will flare easily. Wonder will it be Dear1 or Dear2 who will get to travel (dun worry, if Dear1 has to travel, then all of us will go bunk in Granny’s house; if Dear2 has to travel, then everybody go to Ah Ma’s house, relax………). Tolerance, yes, lots of it I need. Stay chill, as we work hand in hand together to create and maintain a happy family for our family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

– Dear2

5 Languages of Love

Rewatched <<再见单人床>> on Channel 8 recently and was quite impressed with this concept on 5 languages of love.  Couples, be it newly dating, or ‘old’ couples like Dear1 and Dear2, we should understand and apply this concept to improve the romance/love factor.  They say love is like a bank account, frequent withdrawals will cause the love to deplete, so we need to top it up every now and then with these 5 languages of love.

Gifts

Some people need gifts to make them feel good.  Picture the husband returning home with a piece of jewellery for the wife and she’s happy as a lark for the rest of the day.  Okay, maybe you can’t keep buying gems only, maybe a bunch of fresh flowers will do the trick too, but that’s the idea.  Don’t work for Dear2 though.

Quality Time

Thomas Ong in <<Pillow Talk>> says he needs quality time from the wife, ie just some time to go swimming together and he feels that he has all her attention.  If I have the time, I’d rather use it to do the things that I need to do, ie all the household chores, else there’s no better chance for me to do all these when the kids are in.

Physical Touch

Hmm… Something which is lacking between Dear1 and Dear2 nowadays with 2 kids in, but I think to me, this is still not quite the one.

Words of Affirmation

I think Dear1 is definitely belonging to this category.  He needs my constant praise to feel good.  (mental note to self)  Dear1, am I correct?

Acts of Service

*Drum rolls* I think this is the one that I need most.  With the never-ending chores to do, big or small, routine or mundane, I can do with more help from Dear1.  And when my list-of-things-to-do is shorter, I have more of myself to devote to Dear1.

So, what is the love language that refuels your love tank?

– Dear2

New Year Resolutions 2013

Oh no, it’s already the end of March and I’m just starting to write our new year resolutions?! Haha… Well, yes and no.

Yes, I’m writing and posting it today, but no, we’ve this planned out on our yearly retreat last year. Sigh… We used to do our yearly retreat at a holiday but now, with our busy schedule, we did our retreat at Ichiban Sushi at Jurong Point over lunch (with Baby2).

Ok, here’s the big list.

Joint

  1. Continue looking at property
  2. Create new $1200 in dividend income per annum
  3. Join a vertical marathon
  4. At least 1 date per month
  5. Visit Legoland, Hello Kitty Land, Little Big Club

Dear1

  1. Change job
  2. Write at least 1 post per month
  3. Do skipping at least once per week
  4. Spend less time on mobile phone
  5. Lower my expectations and be more patient with Baby1

Dear2

  1. Target 55kg
  2. Get poached
  3. Write at least 1 post per month
  4. Kiss dear every week
  5. Do 2 face mask per month

That’s it. Jiayou jiayou!

-Dear1

Our Dreams

Everytime I pass by my COO’s office window, the sea view outside, light rays glistening, big and small boats lazily dotting the crystal blue waters, reminds me again of Dear1’s dream.

Dear1 has a dream, that is to own a yacht.  So he has been keeping track of yacht prices, and tells me bits and nuggets about yachting every now and then.  But at a minimum of $100,000, and dunno how much $ on parking, club membership, maintenance etc etc expenses, owning a yacht is deemed to be a far away dream for me. “If I can’t buy it now, then I’d better not look at it, least I fall in love with it.” That’s generally my shopping style.

But I tell Dear1, look, I actually am still mindful of your dream, because I get reminded of it every day.  I too am a sea lover, it’s sereneness, it’s openness.  Ermm, and actually, I too used to fantasize living in one when I was younger (too many runaways in Hong Kong movies lah).  But at our current stage, that extra $XXX,xxx is just not feasible.  But, let’s keep this dream alive, cos it’s with dreams that you have something to work towards to, and something to look forward to.

I know, it may be many many years before we can reach our goal, or maybe never, or maybe it’ll really be when we are retired and too old to physically enjoy cruising anymore.  But at least we are 1 step nearer now.  We’ve paid off our house, so we are 1 step closer to getting our second property. 1 step nearer means that we are 1 tiny step to reaching our yacht too.  1 step.  Yes, just 1 tiny step, but at least it’s still 1 step nearer.

Main thing is, don’t lose this dream, cos it’s something that you and I have in common, a common dream to pursue.  Yes, this is our dream, not just solely your dream anymore, but our dream.

– Dear2