Ambivalence

When experiencing periods of uncertainty, making lists helps ground myself. Having a visual representation of what you are grateful for can make all of the difference during hardship. Last year, I purchased a planner that I used strictly for keeping notes on what I was grateful for each day. (Although I also kept notes of restaurants I dined at and events that left an impact.) I managed to make it through the entire year and am making my way through another planner for 2017.

While this post isn’t directly related to my gratitude planners, it is about list making. I have been going through a challenging time lately. Rather than sulk, I have compiled a list of things that I’ve been enjoying. It’s kind of random but I hope you can find some joy here too!

BOOKS

Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa by Haruki Murakami

I finished this one recently and liked it a lot. However, I found myself skimming through various points of the book because it’s mostly a transcription of two men talking. It’s interesting to hear about different elements that make up symphonies and how the musicians operate separately, yet as one group led by a conductor. The writing was easy to read and relaxing like most Murakami texts.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

I started reading this book years ago and then set it down. I picked it back up again because it’s been awhile since I’ve read any fiction by Murakami. He is my favorite author and I feel quite guilty that I haven’t read through this specific novel yet, especially since this is one of his more popular ones. I am pleased with it so far although at times it can get redundant. He has a habit of recycling certain personality traits among characters residing in different books.


MUSIC

Trying to make a short list of songs is always horrible for me because I like so many at any given moment but these are a few that came to mind right away.

BTS 방탄소년단 – 봄날 (Spring Day)


BTS is a gifted group that has many talented individuals working for them. Songs within their newer releases generally have layers and layers of sounds that make listening to their music pure ecstasy. 피땀눈물 (Blood, Sweat, Tears) is a really good example of this. However, 봄날 is a bit newer so I’ve been listening to it more lately. Plus they’ve managed to capture the invigorating feelings of winter melting away into spring within the instrumental. The vocals really bring the song to life. Listening to it makes me feel better when it’s freezing outside and snow is falling from the sky. It’s a gorgeous track definitely worth a listen.

NCT 127 – 無限的我 (무한적아 Limitless)


I really dig this song. The track is dynamic and powerful while maintaining subtle delicate, pretty elements in the upper range. From the first listen, characteristics of the vocals have stood out to me. The groggy morning voice that is heard at 0:26 and 1:39 is kind of bizarre stripped down but definitely adds an intriguing element. It matches well with the sonic qualities of the whiny, dirty synth lead. This song is what gets me through cardio at the gym lately.

NOISIA – Outer Edges (Album)


I’ve been experimenting with Ableton a lot this year. I invested in FM8 and Massive so I’ve been learning how to use those. Skrillex references NOISIA when talking about influences and I’ve grown fond of them too. They create fascinating, intellectual electronic music that can be overwhelming to take in at first. There’s a lot going on! They utilize a lot of quirky sounds. I’ve been trying to listen to music that consists of more unique elements rather than my go tos (K-Pop and mid to late 2000’s rock music). It’s refreshing to hear songs that don’t sound like what we’ve grown accustomed to (top 40). This album is spectacular. I can’t even pick a favorite track! Even if you don’t enjoy electronic music, you can’t deny the wondrous artistry of NOISIA.


TV/MOVIES

Bob’s Burgers


The only show I watch regularly. Although the schedule for the show is quite strange and episodes seem to air randomly. I dislike how there can be long gaps in between new episodes but I’m thankful that the show is surviving and still on air. Rarely do shows get made that have the great family dynamic of the Belchers. It’s a marvelous program that I can rewatch over and over while never getting sick of it.

Beauty and the Beast


It’s not out yet but I really want to see it. I cried watching the trailer because Emma Watson seems like such a good hearted person in real life and seeing her made me emotional. I don’t recall being especially attached to the film as a child (The Little Mermaid was my favorite) but this remake looks really good! After all, it’s about acceptance and witnessing the act of being accepted never fails to melt my heart.


FOOD

K-Bop (Minneapolis)
I got to have Korean food with a friend that I haven’t seen in awhile. It was good! We shared 불고기 (bulgogi: sweetly marinated beef) and 김치찌개 (kimchi jjigae: a kimchi stew with vegetables, tofu and pork) at a local restaurant that opened on campus after we graduated. It’s a fun place that appeals to the young crowd with it’s wooden furnishings, open concept, industrial interior. They play K-Pop music and streams Korean television shows on a large flatscreen TV. Since it was a weekend evening, the restaurant was packed and while the staff didn’t seem prepared to deal with the traffic, I thoroughly enjoyed the food and conversation with my friend!
As I type this, I find myself wishing that I had taken pictures for this post but I didn’t intend to include the outing on my blog at the time.


Life has been weird lately but that happens every so often to us all. I keep reminding myself to smile and think positively about everything around me. It’s something that we often neglect to do, yet it’s so simple and can transform a bad day into a good one.

I hope you’re all doing well.

Let me know of anything awesome that you’re into lately! It could be any of the categories that I mentioned or whatever you want! I’m always excited to find new content/food/etc.

 

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