BTS Love Yourself 轉 'Answer' Concept Photos — 'L' Version

Thursday, August 16, 2018
BigHit released the concept photos for the 'L' version of Love Yourself 轉 'Answer' this morning:

(Photo credits: BigHit Entertainment)

I think this is the first series of concept photos in which BigHit actually put blatant edits in them, so these were a little jarring to look at initially, but I do like the direction they were going with these. At first, I was thought maybe one side represented a more mature or more "professional" persona that they are allowed to show the public, and the other side represented their "real" or more raw version of themselves that they are forced to hide, because that would go in line with the "concealed behind a mask" or "trapped" theme they've been showcasing so far... but neither side seems to be representing such a contrast. The more I looked at these, the more they seemed to harken back to the storyline from "Euphoria." Like, it's as if each side is showing the same person from two different timelines or dimensions. I might be reaching, but we know that Jin is a time looper in the Bangtan Universe (as we saw confirmed in the "Epiphany" comeback trailer) so there are different versions of the boys co-existing at the same time in different dimensions. It seems to me that the boys represented in the black and white halves of the photos know of a secret or is hiding something from the boys in the coloured halves.

Photolog 2018: Day 227 of 365

Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Maguro & Avocado Tartare

The Slammin' Salmon

Vancouver Island Fanny Bay Oysters

Deep Fried Pork Belly

Buttered Scallop & Shrimp

Unagi Risotto


Bulgogi Tacos

Honey Bread

Remember a week ago when I said we were already planning our next visit to Nome Izakaya? Well, we made good on our word and returned for a late-night dinner after work tonight. We got a few repeat items but I wanted to try some of the other dishes, so our menu tonight included:

  • Maguro & Avocado Tartare: Diced tuna sashimi and avocado, garlic oil, and sea salt with a balsamic reduction sauce
  • The Slammin' Salmon: Lightly seared salmon with ground daikon, green onions and Nome’s original ponzu sauce
  • Vancouver Island Fanny Bay oysters (Wednesday special: 8 for $10!)
  • Deep Fried Pork Belly: Deep fried pork belly slices with seaweed paste and scallions
  • Buttered Scallop & Shrimp: Baked scallops and shrimps, simmered in garlic butter
  • Unagi Risotto: Creamy risotto topped with BBQ eel, unagi sauce, chilis, and parmesan
  • Japa-Burgers: Homemade sliders made with sliced rib eye meat and topped with tomato, spring mix, onion, smoky BBQ sauce, and house garlic mayo
  • Bulgogi Tacos: Bulgogi with lettuce, sliced onion, fresh jalapeño, kimchi, Japanese beni shoga, garlic mayo, and spicy salsa
  • Honey Bread: 4" toasted bread with butter, topped with honey, strawberry and blueberry preserves, honey cream, vanilla ice cream, and raspberries, and dusted with cactus honey powder

We originally decided to go today because they have their $1 oyster special on Wednesdays, but they actually ran out of them (P.E.I. Malpeque) since we got there so late, so we opted for the next special, which were the Vancouver Island Fanny Bay oysters at 8 for $10. I actually prefer the Fanny Bay oysters over the Malpeques, but I've always preferred West Coast oysters to East Coast because they're creamier and more plump with a sweeter aftertaste. Even if you're not there for oysters, though, I would honestly recommend any of these dishes along with the ones we had last time. There hasn't been a disappointment yet. That having been said, unanimous favourites (a.k.a. must-orders) are the Japa-Burgers, deep-fried pork belly, shrimp udon salad, takoyaki, and Honey Bread (no matter what you order, always, always, end your meal with the Honey Bread). So now we're discussing having a Nome outing once a month. Only because going every week would start to get a little pricey...

Japan Crate: August 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018
I am here to prove that Instagram ads work. I saw one for Japan Crate a couple months ago and was immediately interested. 

You might already know this, but I am a snack fiend. I consistently spend upwards of $75 a month on Asian snacks alone. Enter Japan Crate. A monthly subscription box that sends full-size Japanese snacks straight to your door with free worldwide shipping. I was sold. It was like this program was made just for me. I subscribed to the Premium box, which includes 18 to 20 snacks, a full-size drink, a DIY kit, and a bonus item for $35 USD a month. Go big or go home, right? So my first Japan Crate arrived today. It is Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card themed, and comes with an "exclusive sampler" of the manga. Manga in general doesn't interest me, but I guess the items in the box are somehow related to the series, and I can appreciate the cuteness that comes with that. So here's what I received in this box:

  1. Ginbis Condensed Milk Tochiotome Strawberry Corn Stars
  2. Coris Horadekita DIY Apple Flavored Chewing Candy Kit
  3. Coris Watermelon Seed Ramune Candy
  4. UHA Kororo Peach Juice Gummy Candy
  5. Senjaku Candy Land Yamagata Cherry Luxurious Gummy Candy
  6. Coris Kakigori Shaved Ice Ramune Candy
  7. Yaokin Mozzarella & Camembert Premium Umaibo
  8. Shoei Delicy Dress Palette Cheesecake Cookies
  9. Yaokin Strawberry Cream Roll Cake
  10. Pine Amanatsu & Rare Cheesecake Candy
  11. Kirin Gogo Mango Lassi Tea
  12. Koikeya Usushio Potato Chips
  13. Kyoshin Candy Box Mochiame
  14. Top Seika Cola Gum
  15. Yaokin Prawn & Mayonnaise Umaibo
  16. Yaokin Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Cream Lollipop
  17. Yaokin Hi Kick Strawberry Lollipop
  18. Yaokin Strawberry Daifuku Cream Marshmallow
Needless to say, I am overwhelmingly excited.

BTS Love Yourself 轉 'Answer' Concept Photos — 'E' Version

Monday, August 13, 2018
BigHit released the concept photos for the 'E' version of Love Yourself 轉 'Answer' this morning:

(Photo credits: BigHit Entertainment)

Aesthetically, I like this far more than the 'S' concept. The colours, textures, and cuts of the outfits are more cohesive and reminds me of a fairytale world, perhaps even Peter Pan-esque, and they go well against the flora and soft pastel colours in the background. Though it's not as glaringly obvious as the 'S' concept, it seems that the theme of feeling trapped continues with the 'E' version. In the group photo, most of the members are tied to this antique-looking wardrobe chest, and there's this winding key at the bottom, insinuating that they're just dolls, only to be looked at and to entertain. In the solo shots, they're all trapped in human-sized terrariums, which are meant to provide an ideal environment for plant growth and are kept for decorative purposes. However, if terrariums are kept closed for too long, excess moisture gets trapped and leads to mold which prevents plants from thriving. So the metaphor seems fitting here as the boys are kept delicate and pretty for the world to see, but the pressures of their success are slowly suffocating them. It was said that Tear was going to be their darkest and most controversial album, but it seems that BTS is trying to make way more of a statement with Answer.

BTS Love Yourself 轉 'Answer' Concept Photos — 'S' Version

BigHit released the concept photos for the 'S' version of Love Yourself 轉 'Answer' this morning:

(Photo credits: BigHit Entertainment)

When I first saw these, my initial gut reaction was, "Yikes." The aesthetic here is just really not my cup of tea. I feel like the colours and textures and cuts of clothing are all beautiful on their own, but just too extravagant, almost an eyesore, when put together. Even these beautiful kings look too flamboyant, too messy, too clownish, as if they were part of a circus. But when I saw the solo shots, I finally understood the concept. And it's as brilliant as it is blunt. They now have unprecedented popularity and record-breaking accomplishments; as Suga said in their post-BBMAs VLive, they are not writing history, they are history. But this level of international super-stardom has made them an anomaly in the K-Pop industry. No one predicted this amount of success for them, they weren't prepared for it, and as a result, their lives have actually become a circus — they're always in the spotlight and they always have to put on a show. All eyes are on them, and everyone wants a piece of them. They are surveilled everywhere they go, and there's no escaping it — literally everywhere they go is followed by a media circus. Circus, circus, circus. Everything's a circus. The execution of this photoshoot is excessive and somewhat sinister, but the concept is honest and forthright, and that, I can appreciate.

Photolog 2018: Day 225 of 365


My dad invited me out for dim sum this afternoon. It's weird, I won't have dim sum for months and months, but when my dad's in the country, we'll go on every single one of my days off.

Photolog 2018: Day 224 of 365

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Had to stay at work until 11:00 PM for inventory, so Maegan and I decided to treat ourselves to a late-night dinner at Go For Tea. Tonight's choice: iced lychee green tea and braised beef satay with rice. Garlic breath for days, but surprisingly really good. Would order again.

Sunday Video Love: Love Yourself 承 'Her' — "Serendipity" Comeback Trailer


With the recent release of "Epiphany," (the final comeback trailer for the Love Yourself era), I thought I'd go back to the beginning of this series and re-watch everything to refresh my memory before Love Yourself: Answer comes out. And I gotta say, this is still my favourite of the solo intros.

Photolog 2018: Day 223 of 365

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Nothing like catching up with an old friend over cajun wings and chili cheese fries on a Saturday night.

Saturday Nine: The Nanny (1993)

This week's Saturday Nine:

You can hear this week's song here.
  1. This week's song is the theme from a sitcom that originally aired from 1993 to 1999. Were you a fan? Kind of. I watched a few episodes here and there and thought it was funny, but I never followed it avidly.

  2. The song tells us that Fran once worked in a bridal shop. Have you ever worked in a retail setting? Yep. My entire adult working life and current job have been in a retail setting.

  3. The kids in the Sheffield household appreciate their nanny's "joie de vivre," which is defined as "exuberant enjoyment of life." Are you feeling joie de vivre this morning? No, I'm tired as fuck and I have a long day of work ahead of me.

  4. "The Nanny" is the colourful one, the one who wears red when everyone else wears tan. What colour do you think you look best in? In clothing, black. Followed by dark blue. I am definitely not the colourful one.

  5. The TV show, The Nanny, was the brainchild of actress Fran Drescher. She got the idea while visiting her an old friend in London. Her friend's pre-teen daughter enjoyed having Fran as a confidante and shopping buddy. Do you enjoy shopping as a leisure activity? Or would you prefer to just dash into a store, grab what you need, and get out and go home? It depends what I'm shopping for. If I'm shopping for something I actually need, then I'll just grab the item(s) from the store and leave. If I'm looking for something that I want, then I'll browse and it can be leisurely, depending on my budget. That having been said, I prefer shopping online than going into a store. It's way easier and more efficient to find what I'm looking for.

  6. The friend Fran was visiting in London was Twiggy, who was the world's most famous model in the 1960s. Name another famous model. Christy Turlington.

  7. The Nanny: The Complete Series is available on DVD on Amazon. It consists of 19 discs and takes 55 hours to watch, start to finish. What TV show have you recently binge watched? None recently. I haven't watched TV shows in a long time. I think the last one I binge-watched was Sense 8, and that was last fall.

  8. The Nanny theme was sung by Liz Callaway. Her father, the late John Callway, was a long-time Chicago newscaster. Have you, or has a loved one, ever been on TV? No; and not that I know of.

  9. Random question — Which of these adjectives comes closest to describing you: sexy, sophisticated or down-to-earth? Down-to-earth.

Photolog 2018: Day 222 of 365

Friday, August 10, 2018

Over a year after their release, I finally got around to trying out The Alley's Aurora Series: Morning Dawn and Northern Lights. In the simplest terms, Morning Dawn is a mango tea slush and Northern Lights is a blackcurrant tea slush. Aside from being some of the most Instagrammed bubble tea drinks in Canada, they actually taste as good as they look. I personally prefer Morning Dawn, which tastes akin to mango candy, whereas Northern Lights is definitely stronger in flavour, almost a fermented grape flavour. Either way, I had to take an obligatory photo, 'cause they're the most "iconic in beverage aesthetic," after all.

Friday Five: Great and Small

This week's Friday Five:
  1. What's your favourite large, furry animal? Polar bear.

  2. What's your favourite large sea creature? 52-hertz whale.

  3. What's your favourite insect? None, I hate all insects.

  4. What are your favourite names for pets you've known? I don't know many pets, actually. I guess my cousin's black cat, Tank. She named her after Tank Girl, which is pretty badass.

  5. Besides unicorns, what are some mythical beasts you wish were real? Phoenixes.

Photolog 2018: Day 221 of 365

Thursday, August 9, 2018

I made a trip to Yorkdale Mall, an occurrence that happens maybe two to three times a year, so you know I had to get some macarons at Ladurée (it's one of three locations in Canada, and the only location in Toronto). I got three seasonal flavours — Lavender Chocolate, Pineapple, and Coconut Lime — and then five favourites from the classic line-up: Pistachio, Lemon, Coffee, Salted Caramel, and Strawberry Marshmallow Candy. I had to get one of those cute collectible boxes, too, 'cause if I'm gonna be a basic bitch and take photos of my Ladurée macarons to post on social media, I gotta go all the way.

Love Yourself 結 'Answer' — "Epiphany" Comeback Trailer


JINTRO IS HERE! I think most people sleep on Jin's vocals because he's mostly known as the visual in the group, and because the rest of the vocalists in BTS are also in the maknae line (Jimin, V, and Jungkook), who are the more popular members and thus get more attention. However, Jin's voice is really stunning in its own right, smooth and honey-like, with a very unique belting strength that is perfect for ballads. His vocal ability has improved drastically over the years, so I'm really glad that he's getting more opportunities to shine. I've always found it remarkable how every member of BTS has such a different vocal colour, and it's actually one of the things that I love most about their music. Sonically, this is my favourite intro song after Jimin's "Serendipity." I've listened to this song about five or six times now and it honestly gets more beautiful every single time. It's not a complex composition and the lyrics are relatively simple, but it's executed with such incredible emotion and cinematic build-up that makes it particularly moving and poignant, while delivering a powerful self-reflective message that is more important than ever for today's youth.

"Epiphany" also marks the beginning of the end. Jin's intro solo is the comeback trailer for BTS' upcoming album, Love Yourself 結 'Answer', which is the final instalment in the Love Yourself series. As Jin stated on Twitter today, this series took a total of two years and five months to complete, and we're now at the last stop. I'm hoping with this album, given that it's called 'Answer,' we'll finally be getting some conclusions to all the unsolved mysteries and ongoing narratives for the Bangtan Universe that started in 2015. It's the end of an era, after all.