Week 20.23

  • A correction: Last week I said that the the 10th Anniversary release of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories would have been better if mixed in Dolby Atmos spatial audio. It actually IS! But the entire album isn’t labeled as such because the “second side” of outtakes and behind-the-scenes bits aren’t. With that knowledge, I’ve been enjoying it on headphones and need to put aside more time to hear it again. We regret the error!
  • There’s been a slight Korean bent to the week, in that I’ve had KBBQ and soju twice in four days, watched a lot of Jinny’s Kitchen on Amazon Prime Video, and am actually listening to BTS intentionally for the first time as I type this.
  • Jinny’s Kitchen is a reality TV show about a pop-up restaurant in Mexico run by five of Korea’s most recognizable stars, who go largely unnoticed by their customers. Each of its 10 episodes is 1.5 hours long, which is practically feature film length! They could be much shorter, but it focuses on a lot of mundane, repeated scenes like the staff rolling gimbaps, cooking noodles, and plating fried chicken. Perhaps that’s the point, giving fans a chance to watch them doing normal people things? Or maybe it’s normal for Korean reality TV? Is it designed to be left running in the background? Or was it an Amazon Prime Video decision to hit streaming time KPIs?
  • In any case, Korean soft power is wave after wave of these campaigns. The show should be boring but it kinda works, plus it has an unheard-of 9.2/10 score on IMDB. The best moments for me are when someone does recognize one of them, like when an incredulous customer sees V from BTS (59 million followers on Instagram) pop his head out from the back, and likens it to Drake running a restaurant in a country where no one knows who he is. Watching celebs do normal people things is straight out of the idol playbook and it works — I’m listening to their music with an open mind now, and we’re talking again about visiting the country someday.
  • The Anbernic RG35XX arrived and it’s a nice little device that really recalls the Game Boy series in spirit. It feels good in the hand and the screen is bright and beautiful — the community seems to recommend replacing its software with something called GarlicOS but it looks like wayyy too much trouble. The thing just works out of the box, and I’m not in the mood to start modding it. It still blows my mind you can have this for S$90 including shipping, and it does come with uhh lots of software loaded, so it’s great value if you’re looking for a gift.
  • I’m still going strong in Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch, in the final stretch but honestly still in no shape to face some of the game’s stronger enemies. I’m now thinking that if/when I eventually finish this, I’ll probably have to take a break before starting the sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, given that it reuses the same world map and I won’t be in any mood to cover it all over again. Note to self: don’t pre-order any more games unless they comes with discounts or exclusive bonuses!
  • We had a nail painting team event at work, for which the turnout was more male than female because of scheduling conflicts and maybe even a bit of self selection, so I’m sporting gray/lilac nails at the moment. It’s probably been over 20 years since I’ve had colored nails, and I think I’ll keep this going now that I’m too old to be told off and it’s not such a big deal.

I asked ChatGPT to analyze my post and it suggested I add a conclusion. I said “you do it, then”. Here’s what we agreed on:

This week has been a whirlwind of diverse experiences and discoveries. From immersing myself in the captivating sounds of Random Access Memories in Dolby Atmos to exploring the world of Korean soft power through Jinny’s Kitchen, I’ve been on a journey of curiosity and appreciation.

The Anbernic RG35XX has provided me with nostalgic gaming moments, while progressing in Breath of the Wild has been both thrilling and daunting. Even a simple nail painting team event at work has reminded me of the freedom to embrace self-expression.

These experiences have sparked my curiosity and inspired me to share my thoughts as a writer. Life is full of opportunities to explore, connect, and find inspiration in unexpected places. So, whether it’s through music, cuisine, gaming, or the little joys, embrace the unknown and discover the stories and experiences that await.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and until next time!

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