Category Archives: Life in general


Fifteen years ago today, a boy band from Japan had their debut performance on a cruise ship in Hawaii. The group consisted of five guys: Ohno Satoshi 大野 智, Sakurai Sho 櫻井 翔, Aiba Masaki 相葉 雅紀, Ninomiya Kazunari 二宮 和也, and Matsumoto Jun 松本 潤. They were just scrawny little boys at the time, (between 16-19 years old) but they have matured into some seriously sexy men.

Arashi debut

Arashi at debut, September 1999                 (L-R: Ohno Satoshi, Matsumoto Jun, Aiba Masaki, Ninomiya Kazunari, Sakurai Sho.)

Arashi 2014

Arashi: photoshoot for their 2013 CD, “Love”         (L to R: Matsumoto Jun, Sakurai Sho, Ohno Satoshi, Aiba Masaki, Ninomiya Kazunari)

The title of their debut song was also their group name: Arashi 嵐, meaning “storm.” I haven’t found video of their actual debut performance online, but I did manage to find a grainy LQ version of the A.RA.SHI PV on Facebook. Just clickety click the pic below to watch it… They were so adorable back then!


Arashi in the video for A.RA.SHI, Nov 1999.

Some of the guys weren’t all that interested in debuting as singers at that particular time, but for some reason, they stuck with it, and I’m sure glad they did.



I hope to enjoy your music for another 15 years! Maybe THIS will be the year I finally get to see you perform live… Trust me, I’m working on it! ❤

JYJ Countdown: D-19

NINETEEN DAYS!!! Soooo excited!

Um, so I was going to conclude the A-Nation videos in this post, but then a behind the scenes video of the Marie Claire Korea photo shoot came out, and… well, that’s just too much perfection to not share.

So, go ahead and watch, it’ll be the best 55 seconds of your day:

My only complaint about this video is that Junsu never smiles or laughs in it. We see happy, laughing Yoochun, and happy teasing Jaejoong, but Junsu looks very stoic throughout the video. 😦 I love his 으걍걍 moments better than anything else, so, I’m a bit sad to not see any.

(For those of you who are reading this to keep up with me in Korea, and not out of any love for JYJ or Kpop, 으걍걍 is the syllable set they use to describe Junsu’s loud, raucous laughter.)

Here, rather than having me explain it, just watch this video instead. It’s hilarious and adorable.

JYJ Countdown: D-21

For tonight’s countdown post, I need to leave Japan in 2010 for a moment, and take you to Seoul in 2014. To the Opera Theater in the Seoul Arts Center, to be exact.

Tonight I had the immense pleasure of seeing Junsu perform the role of Dracula in Dracula: The Musical. That man truly does have a talent for musical theatre. He was absolutely, positively, delightfully flawless. Phenomenal, even. I can’t actually believe how moved I was by his performance. It was all in Korean, and I don’t understand enough Korean to know what was being said and sung on stage tonight, but the emotion that Junsu infuses into every note told me all I needed to know. When Mina refused him and broke his heart, I felt his pain, and cried with him. When he became vengeful and predatory, stalking Lucy without mercy, he made my heart pound in my chest and my breath hitch. (And yes, I really, really wished I was Lucy in those moments.) Predatory Junsu is seriously the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life, hands down.  No wonder Lucy was powerless to resist and even Mina couldn’t deny how drawn she was to him. Junsu filled the stage with his charisma, and the chemistry he had with both female leads was palpable.

It was a fantastic production, one of the best I’ve ever seen, and, even though I’m not a musical theatre fan, I’ve actually seen quite a few of them. Even disregarding the Junsu factor, it was flawless. The sets were stunning. The cast was phenomenal. The music was SO GOOD! It took my breath away. I hope they release a soundtrack (with Junsu, of course) because I want to have those songs. What? Did I just say that I want to own a musical theatre soundtrack??? I think Junsu is turning me into a musical theatre lover.

Here’s a video of Junsu and Jung Sun-Ah performing Loving You Keeps Me Alive. Give it a listen. You won’t regret it.

We weren’t allowed to take pics during the performance, and my seats were super far away anyway, so I didn’t even bother to try during the curtain call either. I did, however take pics of the signs etc in the lobby of the theatre…


Dracula Cast


Junsu as Dracula


Lobby of Opera Hall-Seoul Arts Center


Junsu on the pillar in the lobby


Dracula and Mina poster

JYJ Countdown: D-22 Woohoo!

I’m not gonna lie, I’m still giddy about getting a floor ticket for JYJ’s Hong Kong show. I booked my flights and everything today, so the excited high I had from booking my concert ticket continued on throughout the day. Being able to see them a second time is so amazing and makes me so happy.

Now I have 2 concerts to count down to; that’s cause for celebration. So, in celebration of my ticket acquisition and impending Dracula!Junsu moments tomorrow, and continuing my count down to concert #1, I have something naughty to share: Junsu’s performance of Intoxication at A-Nation in Japan 2010.


Junsu performs Intoxication at A-Nation 2010

^ Just look at those sexy shoulders…

Junsu was the DBSK member with the most innocent, cute image, and then all of a sudden, during Mirotic promotions, he comes out looking all sorts of sexy. And next thing you know, he releases this Japanese solo number.

Xiah Junsu – Intoxication A-Nation 2010 [eng + romaji] from SKYjuic3 on Vimeo.

The translator made some rather odd word choices in this version, but you can still get the gist of the meaning. This song is Junsu being downright raunchy. And I gotta admit, I don’t mind one single bit…



I’m at work right now, so I’m trying to contain myself, but OMG I AM SO HAPPY!  I JUST SUCCESSFULLY ORDERED A TICKET TO SEE JYJ IN HONG KONG ON AUGUST 16!!! AND IT’S A GA FLOOR TICKET!


JYJ ticket confirmation!

I didn’t manage to get in Block A1/A2, but I did get Block B, and so now I just have to hope that being number 232 in line is close enough to get near the front of that section.


Standing room floors! Woohoo!


Yeah… it’s taking a whole lot of willpower not to dance around the teacher’s office right now… ^_^ I’m seriously on cloud 9. But now I gotta go and book some flights, so… TTYL!


JYJ Countdown: D-23 part 2

This is an excellent time to be a JYJ fan. Today, they announced the name and release date for their full-length comeback album: comes out on July 29th. To say that I’m looking forward to it would be the understatement of the century.

Along with the announcement, CjeS released concept photos for the new album. There was  a really good one of the guys:


Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu – concept photo

I didn’t realize until I saw the picture above, but it’s been ages since I’ve seen Yoochun in full K-pop makeup. And I’ve missed it. Jaejoong and Junsu have both released solo albums, so they’ve been in their K-pop idol personas quite often in the past few years, but Yoochun has been focusing on acting, and hasn’t sported guyliner in far too long. It also looks like he might be sporting some sexy highlights in his hair too. I approve. 🙂

The rest of the concept photos can be found at the JYJ Official Facebook page.

A post on the JYJ Official Facebook page said that the 3 members wish they can make people happy with JYJ music. Well, I, for one, am happy just at the sheer thought of them releasing an album together!

Another reason that it’s a good time to be a JYJ fan is that Junsu has just started his run in Dracula: The Musical. Two of my friends and I are going to see it on Saturday (and then I maaaaaaay have gone and bought myself tickets for another 2 performances in the first week of August), and I can’t wait! He is going to be fantastic in that role.

Aaaand, if all that good stuff isn’t enough, Jaejoong’s drama Triangle is doing well in ratings. And Yoochun’s big screen debut is also just around the corner! And August 9th is their concert in Seoul! And!!! Tickets for their Hong Kong show on August 16 go onsale tomorrow and I am going to try sooo hard to get one. All I need is one standing room floor ticket and I will be a happy camper. Wish me luck!!!



JYJ Countdown: D-23 part 1

I forgot to make a countdown post last night (no reason – thought about it while cooking dinner and promptly forgot afterwards). So, today I will post twice. Once now and once later tonight.

I’m going to stick with JYJ’s Japanese songs today, because they really are wonderful. And I’m going to try to stick with the A-Nation 2010 performances, because they’re my favourites. 🙂

In fact, the video I’ll share today is one of my very favourite performances of anything ever. When I’m feeling super sad or angry or any other emotion that requires me to distract myself with something really warm and fuzzy so I can return to functioning like a normal human, THIS performance of THIS song is what I call The Big Guns. It’s what I turn to when nothing else will take me to my happy place. And, shockingly enough, JUNSU IS NOT A PART OF THIS PERFORMANCE!

What could be so wonderful that it doesn’t even need Junsu to be one of my favourite things ever? Jaejoong and Yoochun performing Colors: Melody and Harmony. A song they co-wrote in celebration of Hello Kitty’s 35th anniversary. Check it out:

Look at how genuinely happy they look. They seem unable to contain their glee. This performance took place in August 2010, and was one of their first after leaving SM Ent (the first ones were the Thanksgiving Live in Dome concerts in Osaka and Tokyo in June, then this was the next one after that) and before Avex decided to be dickheads and halt all of JYJ’s activities in Japan, so I think they had a cool feeling of freedom for the first time in a while.

And Jaejoong messing up at the end… Adorableness personified. I rewatch that part over and over and over again and never get bored.

Anyway, this is my happy place, and I love that the person who posted the video also considers it her happy place so much that it’s what she named the video on YT. ^_^

JYJ Countdown: D-25

On this the day that marks 25 sleeps until I see JYJ in concert, I want to take a trip to Japan, and bring you some of the songs from the first album they released as a trio. The album is called The, and JYJ weren’t even JYJ yet. They were simply referred to as Junsu, Jejung, Yuchun.

Tonight, I bring you いつだって君に (Always with you).  It’s such a pretty song… Jaejoong’s voice as it starts is just so beautiful and clear. All 3 of them sound great, but Jae’s introductory vocals just flow over you like silk gliding across your skin.

I have to apologize. The version I wanted to share was of their performance at A-Nation 2010, because that whole show is just wonderful to watch, but all the videos of it that I found had the sound removed for copyright infringement. This video shows scenes from that show (the ones where they’re actually singing) interspersed with scenes from their Thanksgiving Live in Dome Concert. It’s still good, but it isn’t the one I wanted to share…

On the up side, if you can speak Spanish, there’s translated lyrics right there for ya. 😉

JYJ countdown: D-27

Today was my birthday, but since it’s a Sunday, I celebrated it last night instead, so I’d have a recovery day. 🙂 I went out with a bunch of friends in Chungju and had dinner (BBQ in a place set up like you’re camping-kinda kitschy but cute, and delicious). Then we went for drinks at a place that serves a watermelon soju cocktail in a hollowed out half watermelon. More deliciousness. Afterward, we went across the hall from the place we were at to the 노래방 (Karaoke room) and sang for a few hours. So, basically, I celebrated my birthday the same way I did for the past few years, except on the other side of the planet, with a different set of friends. (Hey, I like what I like…)

노래방 was fun, particularly since I had some fellow Kpop fans there, so we sang CN Blue, 2NE1, GD and an entire set of JYJ. 🙂 One of the songs we sang was an English song of JYJ’s called Be My Girl. I love that song; their voices sound so good in it! They have an uptempo remix of it, which I also like, but my favourite version is the original. Slow and R&Bish, and when they perform it live, Junsu does this sexy little dance where he gyrates his hips while singing the chorus of “You should be my baby, baby, baby, baby…” Seriously, watch the video of them performing live, and check out how enthusiastically Junsu dances (and how even more enthusiastically the crowd responds to it.)

The man is just made of sexniess, I tell you… Pure, raw sexiness. And yes, I KNOW I’m biased, but I don’t care. It’s performances like this that made me so heavily Junsu-biased. The man is crazy talented. His voice is amazing, and he’s one of my very favourite dancers in all of Kpop.

Jaejoong and Yoochun do a great job with this song too, but I’m going to admit that as much as I love them, I have to actively make myself pry my eyes off of Junsu to notice either of them when they perform this song.

Ecstasy and Agony

Sooo… last night the 2nd round of JYJ ticket sales happened. Just like last Wednesday, my friend and I headed to the local PC 방 (faster internet than the crappy connections we get in our building), hoping this time we would be successful, since last week’s venture left us empty handed. I logged in to my Interpark account, and at 8:00 pm on the dot, I tried to pull tickets. SUCCESS! I got 3 tickets in the VIP section within the red oval:

seating map

JYJ concert seating map – Seoul August 2014


Life could not possibly get better! Those seats were literally a dream come true for me and I had them in my hot little virtual hands!

I proceeded through the ticket purchase process – something I’ve done at least a dozen times by now, so I can do it quite easily, even in Korean – and got all the way to the screen where you select the method of payment, but for some reason, the list of bank cards wasn’t coming up, and where the ‘Next’ button usually is, it said  잠시만 기다려주세요,  so I waited for a bit. But I also didn’t want to wait too long and lose my tickets, and there was that little ! in the status bar at the bottom of the window that indicated an error, so I had my friend on the computer next to me try to grab a single ticket elsewhere and see what happens if you hit the ‘previous screen’ button. She did and the tickets were still intact, so I decided to back one step and then try again, hoping that when I got to the payment screen, my tickets would still be there, and they were! I was successful!  Yay!

It allowed me to select the method of payment and move forward one step. Then… when it came time to input my card details, there was a notation of an Active X that needed to be allowed. So I allowed it, because otherwise I couldn’t proceed. AND THE DAMN PAGE REFRESHED BACK TO THE BEGINNING AND RELEASED MY TICKETS!!!!!!! And try as I might, I never got them back.

So, now, I’m stuck sitting in the seats within the navy triangle on the map above. It’s a far cry from what I had been in reach of just moments before. Now, unless you’re a  huge, devoted fan of something, the way I am of JYJ, you might not understand how I feel, but let me tell you that my heart literally hurts and tears well up in my eyes when I think of it. So I am doing my best to try not to think of it, and just focus on the fact that we got tickets, which is much better than our attempt last week, and that I will finally, after years of waiting, get to see JYJ together. Live. In concert. Making magic like only they can.

But I needed to get it all out of my system in order to move on, hence the post.

I’ve also decided that I’m going to try to get a ticket for their Hong Kong concert the following week and change my flight for my trip to Japan to accommodate a side trip to Hong Kong… They have general admission floor tickets, and that’s what I’m aiming for. Wish me luck! Maybe third time’s a charm?

Oh, and just in case you want to see what I mean about JYJ’s synergy as they perform In Heaven, you can watch a fancam here. It’s a great performance, and the synergy part really kicks into high gear around the 3:37 mark.