Saturday, May 06, 2006

Winter Sonata Madness

I had previously mentioned I was watching a South Korean drama lately. It's called (Stateside) Winter Sonata. I chanced across it a few weeks ago late one mid-week night. It really grabbed me and in 30 minutes I had been hooked.

Its a 20 part mini-drama of 1 1/2 hour episodes. Lavie kept asking me what I was staying up late watching (running from 10-11:30pm weeknights on AZN cable channel). I told her it was kinda like a soap-opera, but not really. As I explained the dramatic plot to her she thought it sounded like a soap opera--it is, but isn't.

I finally convinced her to stay up one night and watch it with me. Less than thirty minutes later she was hooked also. I had to tape it since she isn't a professional late-night TV watcher and before we knew it, Alvis was hooked as well. So now all three of us are living day-to-day on a emotional roller-coaster because of the crazy drama.

I follows the lives of a star-crossed couple. Tragedy separates them in high-school (he kinda dies--bummer), but 10 years later she runs into a guy who she feels instantly in her gut looks just like her former first love. Except it isn't. He is a famous architect who grew up in the US. She goes to work for him and soon loves is blossoming. Great, except for the fact she is sort-of engaged to this jealous guy. Except, see, it really is her true love after-all. He really was alive but just got horribly hurt in a car accident and his mother told everyone he was dead and moved away and had a false memory given to him (for her own reasons....). Wow. Now he has broken up with his girlfriend, At this point is gradually getting his memory back and she has broken her engagement off as well. Wow! And we are just two-thirds into the series. Yikes! Something "Shakespearian" is going on with all their parents as well. I think there is yet another layer to this thing we haven't peeled off yet.

I'm finding many very compelling things about this drama. First, it is filmed "real-world" style. Many of the shots take place outside on the street. You don't ever feel you are watching them play in carefully constructed sets like U.S. soaps. The actors covey a real sense of warmth in their roles. There is also a certain "sweetness" to the angst. Lots of melancholy. The conflict is written a little over the top, but the situations and pain and suffering and love seem very believable.

The dialog is slow paced, almost poetic. And the camera compositions are real works of art. This series is really pulling at our jaded American hearts and ripping them up. Lavie and I are hooked. We are both kinda weepy and been hugging on each other much more frequently.

It's a rare thing to find something that really portrays love and tenderness and the mixed up real-life conflicts that come with it in such a respectful and kind way. This one really hits the mark.

Here's some more linkage, in case you are curious:

Winter Sonata - Wikipedia.
Winter Sonata Fever
Why is Winter Sonata a Big Hit in Asia?

Moving on:

Google Cheat Sheets (Version 1.05) This is a very handy link that provides links to the mryiad of Google sites, tips, tweaks and little known "hacks" that can really increase your power-Googleing skills. Well worth printing out. As an added bonus, if you use the PDF version, all the links are "hot" and work.

Google released SketchUp, a 3D modeling software program. I haven't had a chance to download and play with it, but I can already think of many good uses for it.

Want to add a TV tuner to your laptop or pc, but don't have the room for the extra card? Take a look at the USB device known as the V-Gear MobiTV Global. Neat and for about $100, very attractive!

How does cramming 16GB of storage in the space of about two credit cards sound? Sounds amazing to me. Hope it won't break if you sit on it....

Since we are talking about small things....take a look at the "Space Cube." it claims to be the smallest pc on the market at a little over 2 inches cubed. I'd love to load a really stripped down version on Linux on it and see what it could do. Think carrying a USB stick on your keychain is cool? What if it was an entire PC?

If you are like me, you almost never read the manual for anything you buy. But then when you finally need to figure something out, you never can find it. archives a large number of manuals on-line. Now you don't have any excuses for not setting the time on your VCR...

How much do you love your blog? Do you love it enough to publish it in paper form? Some publishers are betting you and others would. "Blooks"--how lame is that word? I'm not wholly impressed with the idea. I can only think of a handful of blogs I visit that I would care to enjoy that much. And the whole linkage things kinda gets "lost in translation."

'Course, good old Kent Newsome points us to a new debate by the blogging elitists that seem to suggest that real bloggers shouldn't link. Sorry. Grand Stream Dreams blog will never be link free. I want my linkage! How else can I trick you into wasting your time with me?

Portable Freeware offers two freeware strategy games that port to your USB drive nicely: Battle for Wesnoth and Vega Strike. What the boss don't know.....

Paul Stamatiou shares up his ideas of Windows XP Must-Haves (free/$$). Coming from a Mac guy, the list seems pretty well-rounded. I like his selections and have used quite a few myself.

Do you like those "old-school" cartoons? The original Loony Tunes, Woody Woodpecker, Merrie Melodies stuff? If so, then you have to take the time to explore Golden Age Cartoons website. Man, there's some interesting stuff here.

Lifehacker passes on a tip for the bulk renaming of files in Windows.

I was visiting over at flagrantdisregard and ended up being shown the Wikipedia link to Rock, Paper, Scissors. Did you know there are actually rules, strategies, gambits, etc. to this thing? Wow! Maybe Condoleezza Rice should sit down with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and just have at it with this game. Looser has to back down and concede. Save a lot of time and energy wouldn't it....

Tokyo Times shares with us the latest thing in sending of a newly married Japanese couple: the Bear Blaster. I know I was picking white-rice out of socks, shoes and underwear for days...well, a couple of hours...after Lavie and I got married. At least the bears would haven't been as irritating on the drive to our honeymoon destination...

The AppleGeeks web-comic squad have been doing "guest illustrations" for Piro over at MegaTokyo for some time. I really like their urban style. Check em out. Then again, maybe you don't want might get hooked.

Now, do I want to play BLACK, watch some more Winter Sonata, or maybe Eureka Seven?

I just don't know....Decisions, decisions, decisions. Saturdays are great!

See you in the skies,

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