Just Bananas About: Week of 12/19/14

On Sunday, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to post about for the week but as the week progressed, my head got wrapped up in posting about something else. I’ve decided to post about both because the subject matter of new topic is not something I want to end my Bananas post on for this year. Yes, this is going to be the last Bananas post for the year as I get started in preparing my End of the Year reviews. So here goes nothing.

There were a few variety shows I picked up this year and the one that consistently brought a smile to my face is Superman Returns. I think because the kids on the show are basically toddlers or infants, everything they do seems like this great big discovery.

With Haru, we pick up where we left off with Taeyang taking her to the convenience store to buy some ice cream. I love that he’s still carrying around the unicorn but what’s more alarming to Tablo is that he’s feeling what a lot of dads must be feeling. The feeling that he’s not needed because his role has been replaced by another guy. Haha.

However, Tablo can rest assured that she’s not all the grown yet. Upon preparing for their next concert, Tablo asked the bored Haru if she can run an errand.

Get food for all the people in the studio. Tukutz asked if she could pick up the liver that’s usually served alongside the soondae.

She goes out with Tablo’s manager but of course, she forgets what she’s supposed to get. He’s there to basically ensure her safety but it’s totally up to her to see if she can accomplish the task. She sees a boong uh bbang cart and picks up two pieces. She pays but almost forgets to take the boong uh bbang with her.  Then as she’s walking back to the studio, she remembers the ddukbokki and orders one serving of that and some fried sweet potatoes.

There’s clearly not enough food for all the members but it’s the first time she’s ever ran an errand.  I’m sure this will be one of those tales that Tablo teases her with later.  Remember that time, I asked you to bring enough food for the whole staff and you just brought back 2 boong uh bbangs, 1 ddukbokki and a few fried sweet potatoes?  Lol.

Meanwhile at Sarang’s house, not only is Sarang excited to see Kyoro’s puppies but she’s also excited about Halloween.  After a cute breakfast with her dad, complete with a side of aegyo, she and Yuto get dressed in their costumes, Spiderman and Captain America, respectively.

How much do I love that Sarang wanted to accessorize her costume with a Minnie Mouse headband? That’s something that I would totally do. Would have done. (Looks around nervously.)

The two go out trick or treating and while Sarang doesn’t quite understand yet the purpose of saying trick or treat for candy, Yuto does.

Back at home, Chu Sung Hoon dons on his costume but it’s a zombie/mummy costume. Clearly not appropriate for children. As I predicted, Sarang bursts into tears and immediately he has to take off the mask and comfort his crying daughter.

On other hand, Shi Ho comes home dressed as Maleficent and Sarang is very playful with her. Not at all scared because she could at least make out her mom’s face under the costume.

As for the triplets, Song Il Kook works tirelessly to finish taking the pictures for the calendar. I think my favorite theme is when he replicates his old baby pictures with his dad by doing the same poses with his kids. Years from now, even if they can’t really use the calendar itself, they can at least look back on the pictures and try to see the similarities between themselves and their dad when he was their age.

A few days later, the boys all take eye exams. I know I’ve heard before with Sarang that eye exams are not accurate at their age. They have to make sense of the pictures and numbers on the eye chart in order to communicate that they can see it. The only one that seems to see very well in Min Gook as he’s able to read the numbers off the chart.

Unfortunately, both Song Il Gook and his wife have bad eyesight and he’s concern that his boys have inherited them as well. Upon hearing this the ophthalmologist examines Song Il Gook’s eyes and notices that he has the potential of getting cataracts when he’s older. It’s definitely a concern since not only does he want to watch them grow up but he wants to be able to see their kids so eye health is important.

After the eye exam, he takes them out to eat. Of course, he does! These boys love eating. However, I love that each episode they try eating something new. This week they eat octopi but they’re presented to the boys alive in a bowl.  You’d think that because they were scared of the shrimp, the boys might find the squirming octopus scared as well but they don’t.

They’re excited to try and when they get their first taste, they can’t get enough. I will say that they decide to leave one of the octopi alive and release it into the wild. Or so they say. Song Il Kook could have secretly eaten the last one but we’ll never know. The sentiment from the boys was adorable.

However, my favorite part of this scene is when Man Se stares out the window and starts crying. At first it’s alarming, that is until his dad tells him that he just saw his own reflection in the window at night. Ha, that’s priceless.

Finally, we pick up with the twins in Busan. Seo Eon wakes up early and looks out the window until he realizes there’s someone behind him. His mom has come to join the family on their trip.

They eat breakfast and are now feeding themselves at the table with utensils. They look like very short adults.  It’s amazing how fast they grow in a year.  They even share some of their meal with their grandfather. I love that Lee Hwi Jae’s wife makes him share his last bite with his father which he resists at first because he’s embarrassed.

After touring the city a bit, they decide to visit a photography studio to take pictures of the three generations of males.

Lee Hwi Jae also decides to take a picture of his dad alone. It’s often done by the eldest child when their parents get older. The picture may one day serve as the photo seen at the wake but there’s a superstition that if you take a picture of your parents every year, they will live for another year. Lee Hwi Jae has never taken a picture of his dad before and the thought that he’ll lose his dad one day suddenly makes him a bit teary eyed.

It’s amazing how this show connects people across generations and hope it continues to do so in the New Year. I also can’t wait to see Uhm Tae Woong and his daughter Ji Un join the cast to replace Tablo and Haru.

_____________________________________________________

So the reason why I didn’t want to start off my last post talking only about this thing I’ve been obsessed about all week is that it’s not a very positive story. I just didn’t want to end the year on solely this note.

Serial, the podcast that’s been causing quite a wave in the last few months ended their first season this week. It comes from the producers of This American Life, which I occasionally listened to back in the day but not consistently. I don’t really follow podcast but my co-worker insisted that I listen to this one.

The podcast covers one true story and looks into all the details from week-to-week. You may have noticed the lack of pictures in this section but I’m simply not comfortable about posting them which I’ll get to in a moment. However, there are plenty of other sites that cover the nitty-gritty details and even Reddit has assembled a forum discussing the podcast and putting together all the information that we know, such as the characters, events timeline, testimony.

The story is about Hae Min Lee who was murdered in January of 1999. Simply known as Hae by her friends, she was a Korean-American honor student living just outside Baltimore. The man, or boy at the time, who was convicted of the crime was her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed. They were only in high school. However, his conviction extended from inconsistent stories and a small handful of “evidence”. So the question posed in this podcast is whether he really did it. And if not, who did? The show’s producer and star, Sarah Koenig, is a reporter and conducts her own investigation.

The reason why my co-worker recommended the podcast was the fact that we both could relate to the story as she was Korean-American and the same age as us. I started on Monday and by Wednesday I had listened to all 11 episodes that were available at the time. Yesterday was the finale and I have to admit that I’m satisfied by the conclusion.

Keep in mind a few things. While she started investigating the case back in January, she’s been recording these podcast in real-time. There are many people and evidence that didn’t come to light until after the podcast started airing. By the end, we’re not given a definitive answer to the who-dunnit question but it’s mainly left up to the listeners to decide. We also don’t get much background into Hae other than what’s on record or in her diary. It seems that the family moved back to Korea after the tragedy and did not respond after being contacted about the project. Although it can’t be verified because after all it’s the internet, someone who says that he’s Hae younger brother wrote about his negative feelings in regards to the popularity of the podcast on Reddit. Let’s say it was him, but I comprehend that aversion. He was only 9 when his older sister died. There’s something morbid about exploiting someone else’s pain.

There’s a ton of material to sort through but with her guileless tone and methodical reporting, I found it fairly easy to follow along. The thing that really strikes a chord with me is that not only does Sarah Koenig dig into the evidence but she juxtaposes that with people’s perceptions of each other. There’s a Truman Capote-esque style in the way she approaches the story. It’s a very human story in that it poses the question for all of us. How much do we know about the people in our lives? Do you think you can spot a murderer? I think Sarah Koenig and her team did a very fair job in the way she conducted this series so it’s worth a listen. The group is expected to return for Season 2 in 2015.

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