Music Reviews

Victon’s 3rd Single Album, “Chronograph” Album Review! 🧭

VICTON Turns Heads in Their Chronograph Teaser Pictures - EnVi Media

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Liz? Posting on a Wednesday? Yep! This post is a special one because yesterday, my favorite boys made their comeback! For any newcomers to the blog, I am a major kpop fan and my favorite group of all time is Victon, a 7-member group under IST Entertainment (although one of the members is currently enlisted in the military). Their last comeback, which I wrote about on the blog, was a year ago, so when this comeback was announced back in December 2021, Fans for the groups were excited and happy to finally see the boys together again getting ready for a new release! In this release, there are three songs on the album (that’s typically what single albums consist of) with the title track being called “Chronograph”. Like in most reviews, I will talk about each track on the album one-by-one and tell you my honest opinion on them! Yes, even though these are my boys and I love them to death, I will be honest in my thoughts and give my honest opinion about the songs.

So, without further ado, let’s start!

1.) “Chronograph”

This title track is so funky, y’all. Like when the M/V for this song came out, it was nothing like I would expect it to be. IN all honesty, it took me a couple of listens to get into it because it was just… different. Like the beat is great and it’s so bright and colorful (which is something we haven’t seen Victon do since… well, forever) but the song can sometimes feel a little lackluster and under the radar. What I mean by that is that in the first couple of listens, I found myself not really listening to the song; like it was just playing, and then it was over. But! The song did get stuck in my head all day yesterday, and so I had to listen to it like 900 more times before I felt the groove and the funk of the song. I think this title track is definitely experimental for the group, and I’m excited that even in their styling for this comeback, it’s something we really haven’t seen Victon do since their debut. But, of course I want to be brutally honest with this review, I do have to say this isn’t my favorite title track of theirs, nor is it my favorite on this album. She’s a bop, but I find myself being more into the b-side of this album.

2.) “Want Me”

“Want Me” is so painfully beautiful and hypnotizing; that’s not even an exaggeration. When first listening to the song, the beat sounds very “tropical” in a sense (which would make sense since they spoiled in their comeback showcase that this song was the sound that their next comeback would resemble; am I smelling a sad Summer comeback?) but the lyrics pretty much talk about how someone misses a person not in their life anymore and that they are sorry for how things ended up, but they still want that person back. Subin’s “I can fix it” and “I can be better” lines truly hit in the feels that I didn’t know I even had anymore. Also, the chorus is highly addicting, and overall this song just feels very much like a Victon song. I really hope during their promotions, they perform this b-side on a music show or a variety show or even prepare it for their Fanmeeting in February because I would love to hear some live vocals for this song. Definitely my favorite out of the two here, but like who’s surprised: Victon has some of the best b-sides ever.

3.) “Chronograph” (English Version)

Victon’s first-ever English song, you guys! Of course, it’s just the title track in English translation, but here’s the thing about kpop songs translated in English: they always tend to feel a little dirtier than the Korean translation. The English version of this song is what made me like the title track in the first place, to be quite honest. In the English translation, the song is about liking the time spent on the person you’re crushing on/in love with and that no matter what, you can’t get them out of your mind. It’s cute, but when you have Seungsik sing “I won’t hold it back, let’s slow it down” and “Cause I wanna come explore you”, my knees went weak on my way to work listening to it. It’s so good! Of course, I won’t say anything about their English pronunciation because a.) English is not even a second language they know well and b.) this is their first time singing an all-English song like I would love to see non-Korean speaking singers try to sing a whole song in Korean; kpop idols are not human, y’all. Anyway, in saying that, I do hope that their pronunciation improves throughout their career (because I think the feedback on this English version would be positive and Victon is aiming to be more internationally known anyway) because it’s hard to sometimes decipher what they were singing, but other than that, it slaps and they did so well considering it was their first English song!

But yeah! I’m so excited that our boys are back in action and performing together again after a whole year! I definitely missed the feeling of comeback and being a part of the promotion period with them and getting all this new content from our boys! Let’s hope that this promotion period, all of the boys are in good health and stay in good health and make lots of great memories.

Until the next comeback!

The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage Revelation: A Scene.

SME Main Office - Sunnymead Elementary School

Sophie sits in a seat with chocolate milk all over her clothes. She looks around the office, nervously bouncing her leg in place: she has never been sent to the office in this type of situation before. She starts to tear up until she sees the door opening, Laurie walks out of the principal’s office unbothered. Sophie begins to panic.

Sophie: Look, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to cause trouble, I swear, I–

The lady at the front desk tells Sophie to sit back down on the bench, in which Sophie listens. She fidgets with her fingers. Another student walks into the office and sits in the seat next to Sophie. It’s Milo, who now has an eye-patch on his right eye. Sophie looks worried.

Sophie: Milo!

Milo looks at Sophie, and the lady at the front desk shushes the teens.

Milo: *whispers* Are you okay? Is your mom picking you up?

Sophie: My mom is going to kill me; 10 years of good grades and good behavior all now down the drain thanks to Laurie.

Milo: You’re probably not that much in trouble if this is your first time being sent to the office.

Sophie doesn’t listen; she still nervously looks around the office, not sure what’s going to happen next. Milo places his hand on her shoulder to bring her back to reality.

Milo: Hey.

Sophie looks at Milo, wide-eyed and nervous. Milo swallows hard and takes a deep breath before saying anything to Sophie. Before he can, the Principal’s office opens, in which makes Sophie immediately stand up from her seat.

Principal: Miss Lee, your mother is here to pick you up.

Sophie: *frantic* Principal Sommers I am so sorry I didn’t mean to get into a fight I would never do it again please don’t put it on my record I–

Principal: Miss Lee.

Sophie stops talking; her tears continue to fall down on her face. Milo watches, feeling horrible.

Principal: You are not in trouble, but I don’t want you coming back in here again for doing the same thing again, alright?

Sophie nods her head quickly. Sophie’s mother enters the main office and sees her daughter. She points at her daughter and walks towards Sophie.

Mrs. Lee: Sophie…

Sophie: Mom I am so sorry! I didn’t–

Mrs. Lee: Ya~

Sophie stops talking. Milo gets uncomfortable in his seat now that Sophie’s mother is here. The Principal allows Sophie’s mother to sign her out. Before Sophie leaves the office with her mother, Milo politely stands up, which takes her mother off-guard.

Milo: Mrs. Lee?

Sophie’s mother turns around to face Milo; Sophie looks at Milo, not knowing what he’s doing.

Milo: Sophie truly did nothing wrong. A mean girl was messing with her and she was simply defending herself.

Sophie’s mom ponders on the thought. She simply nods her head.

Mrs. Lee: Thank you, Milo.

She turns around and walks out the office with Sophie. Milo is unsure if he made the situation worse or not.

Moments later, a man enters the main office and is directed towards Milo. Milo looks up when his father calls out for him.

Milo Sr: Milo? What happened to you?

Principal: Mr. Kamalani.

Milo Sr. looks up at the principal.

Principal: Why don’t you and your son come into my office?

Milo Sr. looks down at Milo, concerned about what needs to be spoken with the principal. Milo doesn’t have any idea what is coming.

The front door of an apartment is opened; Milo walks in while his father closes the door behind him. Jennifer is seen cooking dinner in the kitchen and holding her lower back; she’s very pregnant. She immediately notices Milo’s eye.

Jennifer: Milo? What happened?

She looks at her husband, in which he does not look happy.

Jennifer: *to her husband* Milo?

Milo Sr: Nothing new Pep, just our son getting into trouble again, almost not graduating because of them…

Milo: *defensive* That’s not true!

Milo Sr: Really? So the fact we spent our afternoon in your principal’s office discussing the potential expulsion and you not graduating was not “not true”?

Jennifer: Wait, what?

Milo: *to Jennifer* I was trying to get my friend out of a fight!

Milo Sr: Yet, you were the one sent to the office, and the one that got in trouble! Seriously Milo, what the hell has been going on with you?

Milo doesn’t answer, he remains upset and pouty.

Milo Sr: I swear it’s like ever since you’ve been “friends” with this friend of yours, it’s like you keep fighting their battles for them! *to Jennifer* This time, it wasn’t Mollie.

Jennifer: Milo?

Milo begins to feel overwhelmed.

Milo: Just leave me the fuck alone!

He storms into his room and slams it shut.

Milo Sr: *yells* That homework better be the only thing you’re doing in there! If I even hear just a tiny bit of noise that isn’t your pencil and paper, you’re going to be grounded!

Nothing is said back. Milo Sr. take in a deep sigh and sits on the bar stool, facing Jennifer in the kitchen.

Milo Sr: I just don’t know what to do with this boy, Pep.

Jennifer: What did the principal tell you?

Milo Sr: One of the girls was the one that hit him in his eye.

Jennifer: Why is he even fighting with girls in the first place?!

Milo Sr: Pep… that girl that he’s been hanging out with; you know the one he was working on that project with?

Jennifer: *recalls* Sophie?

Milo Sr: She was involved.

Jennifer: She never came across as a girl who would get into fights though.

The couple take a moment and look at each other. Their thoughts are on the same page.

Milo Sr: There’s more to this girl than Milo is telling us about.

Jennifer: He totally likes this girl, and I’m worried he’s not going to graduate because of her.

Milo Sr ponders on the thought, brushing his hair back and leans forward onto the counter.

Black Sheep in Society.

Staying Late, Counting Sheep: A Scene.

Department of the Library | Academics and Research | CSI CUNY Website

Micah sits in the study lounge of the college library; headphones on his head as he writes in a notebook and reads from a textbook. The sun is going down and the area is getting emptier as the minutes pass. Micah doesn’t move. He just does his work and minds his business, by himself, alone.

A few moments later, he spots someone standing in front of him. He takes the headphones off and looks at the person standing there. It’s Rosie.

Micah: Rosie?

Rosie greets Micah with a little smile. She has her hand holding her bookbag on one shoulder, and her jacket on her other arm.

Rosie: You’re never here at this time of night.

Micah: You would know that?

Rosie nods her head. Micah sits up and gathers his stuff to make room for Rosie at the table. Rosie looks down at the vacant seat in front of her.

Micah: You’re more than welcome to sit with me; if you don’t, it’s totally okay.

Rosie ponders the thought for a moment, but ultimately sits down across from Micah. He looks up from his notes and is quite shocked that she’s sitting with him.

Micah: So, I’m assuming you spend your time here at the library around this time?

Rosie: Yep. Just try to get some work done before I call it a night… why are you here?

Micah: Just felt like being here for a bit…

Rosie doesn’t say anything, she takes out her books and begins to study. Micah looks up at Rosie, and down at her textbook.

Micah: What are you studying for?

Rosie: My Art Renaissance class; it’s a complete joke, like, why do I need to study art history to just draw and paint?

Micah: The same reason I have to learn music history; it’s just a stupid fuller in our requirements and an opportunity to take more money from us.

Rosie: Shit, ain’t that the truth.

Micah laughs and continues to write down notes in his notebook. He stops midway and watches Rosie.

Micah: So, you’re studying to be an artist?

Rosie: *nods* Yeah. Eventually I wanna open an after-school art program, but I need my degree in art before all of that.

Micah: That’s dope.

Rosie: Thanks. You’re studying to be a musician?

Micah: Yeah. I want to do producing for things and be a DJ eventually, but I’m just learning more as I go.

Rosie: A musician *chuckles* I wouldn’t have guessed.

Micah: *amused* Really?

Rosie: No, you totally look like you would study music.

Micah shakes his head and continues to work.

Rosie: Plus, girls always want to be with the whole musician in college boy, even if they are practically a supermodel.

Micah looks up at Rosie.

Micah: She’s an actress, not a supermodel.

Rosie: Whatever, she’s richer than what rich can be.

Micah closes his notebook, now focused in on Rosie.

Micah: We met back in high-school; she was once into music as well.

Rosie nods her head, not really caring about the backstory of Micah and his girlfriend.

Micah: So, how was your weekend? Went anywhere exciting?

Rosie looks up from her notebook, and directly at Micah.

Rosie: What are you trying to say?

Micah: I saw you at the Placy’s Gala on Saturday night.

Rosie: Did you now? *looks back down at her notebook* Must’ve gotten the wrong girl. I don’t know what that even is.

Micah: I don’t know, Roe; the girl looked and sound just like you…

Rosie: Roe?

Micah: Yeah, short for Rosie.

Rosie: Don’t call me that.

Micah laughs to himself and flips through the pages of his textbook.

Rosie: Trouble in paradise? Is that why you’re spending your night here at the library? Don’t wanna go home to the actress?

Micah: We don’t live together.

Rosie: Aww, such a bummer. Guess you don’t want paparazzi to camp out your place…

Micah: How about you, huh? You don’t got a place to go besides the library at night?

Rosie looks at Micah, and immediately starts packing her things.

Micah: Where are you going?

Rosie: Anywhere away from you, asshole.

Rosie grabs her things and walks away from the table. Micah watches Rosie walk away. Annoyed, he gets up and gathers his things and leaves the table and the library.

Micah arrives home and places his book-bag near the door. Micah’s parents, Milo Sr and Jennifer, sit at the dinner table with his younger twin sisters, Reagan and Dylan.

Jennifer: Hey Micah, you’re home later than usual.

Micah walks towards his room.

Micah: Had to study.

Jennifer: Are you hungry? You ca grab some dinner and-

The bedroom door of Micah’s shuts closed.

Jennifer: Join us.

Milo Sr rubs Jennifer’s shoulder for reassurance. The family continues to eat at the kitchen table.

In Micah’s room, he turns on the lights and sits at his desk. He takes his phone out of his jacket pocket and sees the missed calls and messages from his friends, and Kalia. He doesn’t say anything, he just tosses the phone onto his bed and turns on his laptop.

He looks to see if there were any pictures of the gala online yet, and like expected, he couldn’t find any that had Rosie in them. He does stumble upon an article that reads, “Kalia Larsen and her beau show their rocky relationship at Placy’s gala” Micah shuts his eyes and mouths “fuck”, not realizing there were tabloids at the event. He exits the web page and closes his computer. He folds his arms on his desk and rests his head on them, annoyed and tired.

The "Something" Series

Something like an Uncomfortable Memory: A Scene.

The Dance Movement

One year ago…

The lights go on in a dance studio. Laughing is heard coming from the hall, walking into the dance studio. Grace walks in first, holding someone’s arm from outside of the door. Grace giggles and pulls the person into the dance studio. Jamie walks into the studio, looking around the newly-opened dance studio.

Grace: So… how do you like it?

Jamie: It looks great. You really got this place together in time for opening.

Grace wraps her arms around Jamie’s waist. Jamie smiles down to Grace.

Grace: Thank you. I was worried that I wasn’t.

Jamie: *smiles* Nevertheless, you’re ready.

Grace releases Jamie and begins to spin around the dance studio. Jamie watches on.

Grace: Let me teach you a dance!

Jamie: What?

Grace runs to Jamie to grab him by the arms towards the middle of the dance studio.

Grace: C’mon, I can teach you something simple!

Jamie: Jagiya, you know I can’t dance. *laughs* I literally have two left feet.

Grace: Just a few steps, please?

Grace pouts her lips, in which Jamie laughs and caves in.

Jamie: Alright, alright. Teach me a dance.

Grace excitingly bounces and rushes over to the studio stereo.

Grace: Alright, so just follow after me, okay?

Jamie nods and Grace turns on the music. The music is fast and upbeat, and Grace goes some hip-hop dance moves to the music. Jamie watches, shocked at the choice of dance. After Grace stops, she looks over at Jamie, smiling.

Grace: You’re ready?

Jamie: *baffled* Jagiya…

Grace: What?!

Jamie: *chuckles* I can’t dance like that.

Grace: Of course you can! You just gotta…

Grace walks behind Jamie and looses his hips up. He’s taken by surprise.

Grace: … loosen up a bit. Come on!

Grace turns on the music and hypes up Jamie. His face turns red and doesn’t do it. Grace pauses the music and and looks at Jamie.

Grace: *sighs* Jamie.

Jamie: What?!

Grace: Just try it one time and I won’t ever make you dance again. Pretty please?

Grace playfully begs until Jamie caves in. Grace excitedly plays the music, and Jamie awkwardly dances the hip-hop steps. He smiles in embarrassment, but he doesn’t stop dancing. Once the dance is over, Grace turns off the music and runs to hug Jamie. He accepts her with open arms.

Grace: You did so good! And you thought you wouldn’t do good!

Jamie smiles and kisses Grace on the lips in the middle of the studio.

Present day…

Grace comes into the studio with her coat covered in snow. She puts down her things and sees the lights to the studio on. Confused, Grace walks to the studio and opens the door. She releases her breath when she sees Max and Willow in the studio.

Willow turns around and runs to Grace to hug her legs. Grace hugs Willow, and then looks back up to Max.

Grace: Sorry I’m late, the subway has some delays from the snow…

Max: It’s fine, I just have to make it to an important… meeting…

Grace: In the middle of a snowstorm?

Max doesn’t say anything back, he just takes in a deep breath.

Max: I don’t know why I can’t just tell you this…

Grace: Tell me what?

Max takes a moment to gather his thoughts and his words. He looks at race while doing so.

Max: I’ve… met this woman at work.

Grace cocks her eyebrows up; she had no idea he was interested in another woman. She slightly feels a tug at her heart.

Grace: Oh?

Max: Her name is Mariam… we’ve been dating for a couple of months now, and her family is in town.

Grace smiles through the conversation but feels extremely uncomfortable to see her ex-fiancee talk about another woman. She feels perplexed by the information.

Grace: That sounds great. I’m happy for you, Max.

Max: *smiles* Thank you. It really means a lot.

Max checks the time on his cell phone and gathers his things to leave. He walks over to Willow to kiss her goodbye. Grace smiles at the interaction. Max gets up and gives Grace a hug goodbye. Grace stares into space, not taking in much around her.

When Max leaves, Willow begins to skip around the studio as Grace watches on.

Grace: Hey, Willy?

Willow looks over to her mom, curious.

Willow: Yes, Mama?

Grace: Do you wanna learn some new dance moves today?

Willow runs towards her mother and stands in front of her mother, facing the mirror with Grace. Grace smiles big, holding her daughter’s shoulders.

Grace: Okay. Let’s start with this move.

Grace does a simple leap from the ground, and her daughter mimics it. Grace then connects the leap with another move to it, making sure Willow could follow along. The mother-daughter duo spend the rest of the afternoon dancing during the snowy, winter day.

The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage Worst Nightmare: A Scene.

School cafeteria, East high school, Public school

It’s lunchtime at Beverly Junior High. Milo and Sophie enter the lunchroom together, walking towards the line to get lunch.

Milo: I think we did a pretty good job on our presentation.

Sophie: Yeah; I can’t believe it’s over now.

Milo nods and grabs a tray; Sophie grabs one too.

Milo: Look, I’m sorry for everything. I didn’t mean to be so mean to you. I just get overprotective with my friends.

Sophie: I’m sorry too. I should’ve just spoke to you first before just getting mad at you.

Milo: *holds out pinky finger* Truce?

Sophie intertwines her pinky with Milo; she smiles.

Sophie: Truce.

Milo smiles and turns back around to get lunch. They both get off the line once they got their lunch and walk towards the tables in the cafeteria.

Milo: So, I guess you’ll be sitting with your friends?

Sophie: Laurie and I aren’t friends anymore.

Milo: *shocked* Wait, what?

Sophie: We’re not friends. She also made everyone else in her circle not my friend either after what happened with Simon.

Milo: That’s shitty of Laurie.

Sophie: *shrugs* It’s whatever, at least I’m not incline to agree with her on every little stupid thing.

Milo laughs and walks towards a table with Sophie. They both sit down together, which Sophie questions.

Sophie: You’re not sitting with Mollie?

Milo: *sigh* Mollie and I got into a fight at her house a week ago.

Sophie: Was it because of me?

Milo looks at Sophie; he doesn’t answer. Sophie sighs loudly.

Sophie: I’m sorry, Milo. I didn’t mean to be the reason you and Mollie are fighting.

Milo: It’s not your fault. I… sorta lied to her about us.

Sophie: *raises an eyebrow* Lied?

Milo: She didn’t know that I hung out with you all summer last year… and just a bunch of other things that I said out of anger.

Sophie: I’m sorry.

Milo: Don’t be. Mol and I fight all the time. We always find our ways to forgive each other. We are also family so, that makes it easy to make up and let things go.

Sophie: Well, I hope that you two can work things out soon.

Milo doesn’t answer, he just begins to eat his lunch. Sophie follows.

On one side of the lunchroom, Laurie, Simon, and their friends sit at their table. While Laurie is talking to the other girls at the table, Simon looks across the lunchroom, directly where Sophie is sitting.

On another side of the lunchroom, Mollie and her friends sit at their table. While her friends talk to each other, Mollie looks across the lunchroom, directly where Milo is sitting.

Back at Laurie’s table, Laurie turns her head towards Simon, who is paying no attention to her.

Laurie: Babe? Hello? Is everything alright?

Simon doesn’t answer, which annoys Laurie.

Laurie: Hello? Earth to Simon?

She physically tries to turn his head with her hand, in which gets him mad.

Simon: For fuck’s sake Laurie, leave me alone!

Simon gets up and walks away from the table. Laurie calls out for Simon, but he doesn’t look back.

Back at Mollie’s table, she gets up from her seat and away from her friends, who begins to call out for her one she leaves the table.

Both Simon and Mollie begin to walk towards the table where Milo and Sophie are sitting. When they both reach the table, they look at each other, confused. They shake it off and look towards the two sitting at the table.

Milo: Mollie?

Sophie: Simon?

Mollie: So you’re just not going to apologize for what you said to me?

Simon: The hell are you doing sitting with this loser?

Mollie: *to Simon* Why do you care? *to Milo* We need to talk, come on.

Simon: *to Mollie* Clearly he’s too busy with Sophie *to Sophie* Come on, come sit with us.

Sophie: Why should I? Laurie isn’t my friend.

Simon: She doesn’t mean that; besides, she doesn’t use you like this asshole.

Mollie: Milo.

Simon: Sophie.

Simon tries to grab Sophie by the arm, but Sophie pulls away. Milo doesn’t like it.

Milo: She clearly doesn’t want to go with you, so just leave her alone.

Simon: Who the hell are you talking to?

Sophie: Simon.

Mollie: Milo, let Sophie go back to her fake, plastic friends. Clearly she’s one of them.

Sophie: Excuse me?

Simon: At least she’s not trying to be a guy, like you.

Mollie: You’re right, you would know how it is to act like a girl, since you’re one of them.

Milo: Mollie, just go.

Sophie: You too, Simon.

Simon: Wow, I didn’t think you would actually settle for a wimp like Milo; I thought you had better taste since I was your last boyfriend–

Sophie: Stop it, Simon.

Milo: You’re just upset that Sophie is happier sitting with me and hanging out with me.

Mollie: Oh, so you guys are going out?!

Milo & Sophie: *together* No!

Simon: Sophie has more sense to actually want to go out with a loser like him.

Mollie: Milo knows to not trust a plastic bitch from Laurie’s friend group.

Simon: *to Mollie* That’s my girlfriend you’re talking about!

Mollie: Oh please, the one that you cheat on with Sophie?

Sophie gets up from her seat, annoyed.

Sophie: You both don’t know what you are talking about.

Mollie: Oh look, you can finally speak up for yourself.

Milo: Mol.

Sophie: Yeah, I can, and it would be great if you stop bullying me just because Milo and I are friends.

Simon: Look at you pitying the less fortunate *laughs* He isn’t your friend.

Milo: I’m more of her friend than you ever were to her.

Mollie: But have been such a shitty one to your own best friend.

Sophie: That’s enough!

Laurie walks towards the table.

Laurie: Simon, what the hell is wrong with you?

She looks at Sophie and sighs loudly.

Laurie: Seriously, you gotta get it through your thick skull of yours that Simon is my boyfriend. Get yourself your own boyfriend.

Sophie: Gladly, can you take your overbearing boyfriend that will not leave me alone back to your table then?

Laurie: Please, you probably are so happy he’s here talking to you.

Simon: Laurie, just stop it.

Mollie: Wow, standing up for the homewrecker, Simon? Classic douchebag behavior.

Milo: Will you stay out of it, Mollie?

Mollie: Why the fuck are you sticking up for her?

Sophie: *to Laurie* You know, maybe if you stopped and looked at something else other than yourself, you would see that the world doesn’t evolve around you and that you actually have to care about other people for them to stay in your life.

Mollie laughs and watches on; Milo covers her mouth.

Laurie: You were a nobody before I took you into our squad; you were just some loser foreigner.

Milo: Hey! You can’t talk to her like that!

Laurie: I’ll talk to you like that, you pathetic excuse of a guy. Go and wash your hair for once in your life!

Sophie: Laurie, go and pick on someone that cares about what you say, because we don’t.

Laurie: Oh please, save the sob story for your father that is in prison!

Sophie slaps Laurie across the face; the group of teens quiet down and are shocked at what just happened. Laurie just holds her face in shock.

Laurie: Did you just fucking slap me?

Sophie is in shock that she did it also. She doesn’t say anything back. Laurie grabs the chocolate milk from one of the trays and pours it on Sophie.

Laurie: That’s for messing with me, you bitch.

Simon: *angry* Laurie, what the fuck?!

Laurie turns around to walk away from the table, in which Sophie runs after her and pulls her hair to drag her back.

Laurie: What the fuck!

Sophie and Laurie begin to fight in the middle of the lunchroom; the kids in the lunchroom get up from their seats and gather around the two girls fighting. Milo runs in the crowd of kids trying to get to Sophie. Mollie pulls Milo back.

Mollie: Milo! What the fuck are you doing?

Milo frees himself from Mollie’s hand and runs towards the crowd.

Pushing between the people in the crowd, he finally gets to the two girl and tries to pull Sophie away. In the process, Laurie claws Milo’s face without knowing, which then he cries out in pain. When a couple of security guards enter the lunchroom and diffuse the crowd, they reach the teens and begin to get them up to exit them out of the lunchroom. Milo holds his eye in pain while the security guard pulls him away. Sophie gets pulled away as well, looking at Milo as he gets taken away. Mollie runs towards the exit of the lunchroom, trying to catch up with Milo to check on him. Simon stands there, acting like nothing happened and that he wasn’t involved.

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: 28.

My 18-year-old self wouldn’t believe the 28-year-old me when I say that this body that we shared is celebrating it’s 28th birthday. The 18-year-old me would look at the 28-year-old me and not believe me when I say I finished college in 2016 and grad school in 2018. A lot of things happened within the last decade that my younger self couldn’t even imagine doing or going through in their 20’s.

Hi, my name is Liz and today is my 28th birthday!

It’s crazy to think that in two years, I’ll be 30. Like, the 90’s babies are officially going into their 30’s and I can’t believe that our 20’s are ending! But, as I think back to the last 8 years of my twenties, I’ve learned so much about myself and my life! Of course, I have a ton of other things to learn in life, but for the most part, I’ve been through a lot during my twenties!

In my early twenties, I was still a college student. My life and most of my identity were tied around being a student. I was an English major, applying to a film grad school, and finally making some friends within my college through my acting classes my senior year of college. I will always deem some of my best years being in my early twenties; 22 to be exact! 22 was not only the end of my undergraduate studies, but it was the start of truly the rest of my life outside of those 4 years of college. I also started graduate school and met my professor/mentor/now friend, Ro (Professor Carlo), and found a different passion for writing and writing studies through her class.

My mid-twenties taught me a lot about life, in all honesty. The further I got into grad school, the more my mental health began to decline due to the stress grad school carried. For once, it felt like I couldn’t take care of myself because I was swamped with schoolwork. Because of that, I sought out therapy and was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and major depression; both on the chronic level. After graduating from grad school, it was even harder to adjust to life as a regular adult and not a student anymore.

Adjusting to medication and getting used to therapy took a toll on the relationships I kept with people. It was hard for most people to understand that I, the person who was once outspoken and bubbly and had plenty of friends, was now the total opposite. It was rough because I was trying to find my identity outside of the relationships I kept with my loved ones, but also trying to be more assertive and to have people accept that things were changing as I became more aware of my anxiety and depression. It took years to finally not allow my mental health to define me as a person, and in some incidents it still does. But during my mid-twenties, I always had this awareness of my behavior and my mental health really became a clutch for the things that I couldn’t do right.

My life started later into my twenties. I was now by myself after going through an intense break-up, and I was on a mission to discover who I was as just me, myself, and I. I started my first job at my old college’s bookstore and made a ton of new friends through that job. In a weird way, I needed to close some chapters in order to start some new ones during this time. There were so many fun things I got to do! I had holiday parties at work, I went out with my coworkers for a happy hour after work, i took up pen-palling, I went to my first ever Kpop concert, and I took my first ever solo trip on a plane! I also co-wrote a journal article with my mentor and got published in an academic journal! And of course, I challenged a fear of mine and entered a community full of people who were also interested in Kpop and collecting like me! I learned a lot during these years in my life, especially even after having surgery back in July 2021.

Entering these last two years of my 20’s, I hope that I am able to continue on this journey in a smooth and healthy manner. I hope that I enter my 30’s in 2024 excited to see what the new milestone is going to be like! They do say that your thirties are where it’s at! But back to 28; I hope that this year is full of adventures and memories, to show my 18-year-old self that things do get better, and that life goes on and you grow up and mature and the things that affected you when you were younger aren’t severe when you’re older. I hope that my 18-year-old self can completely rest and just be a place in the past that this body once was. I hope my 28-year-old self can learn to lay 18 to rest for good.

Happy Birthday to me. 🎂

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, Self-Reflection

27 Things That Happened/I Learned While Being 27.

Things That Happened:

  1. I rang in the new year with my online friends watching Kpop videos.
  2. Victon made their comeback with their first full-length album!
  3. I started to write more creative writing stories on the blog.
  4. I got some new tattoos and piercings.
  5. I got cleared for bariatrics surgery!
  6. I started to write penpal letters & opened my penpal IG account.
  7. I rekindled an old friendship with a long-time friend.
  8. I went to the beach with my sibling for the first time since the pandemic started.
  9. I had gastric bypass surgery back in July.
  10. Friendships were tested throughout its many phases.
  11. I got a second job at my old college in Academic Affairs.
  12. I finally got published in The Journal of Basic Writing.
  13. In total, I’ve lost 69 pounds since having surgery.

Things I’ve Learned:

  1. Your online friends are very much your friends as your IRL ones.
  2. Comeback season is hectic, but so much fun to experience with those who are just as excited as you are!
  3. Write what makes you happy, not what you think everytone wants to read.
  4. Things will always inspire me, and documenting them on my body is the way I want to remember them.
  5. With consistency and drive, you will accomplish what you want.
  6. New hobbies can be much more than just a pasttime!
  7. Forgiveness comes in more forms than just one.
  8. Have fun, no matter what.
  9. Your life can change at any time of your life.
  10. You have to respect yourself if you exepct others to respect you.
  11. Always challenge yourself, and it’s okay to ask for help along the way!
  12. A path towards your desired field is always a step forward.
  13. Time is seriously a crazy concept!
  14. I can do anything that I want in life!
Black Sheep in Society., LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!

A Sheep Out of His Suit: A Scene.

With mirrors you will be able to make your room look bigger

Micah looks in the mirror in his suit. He straightens out his tie and takes in a deep breath. A knock his heard on the door, to which he turns around and sees his mother, Jennifer, standing at the doorway.

Micah: Hey, Ma.

Jennifer: Are you ready for your night out with Kalia?

Micah: You mean Kalia and her parents? No.

Jennifer walks into the room and helps Micah with his hair.

Jennifer: You’re going to be fine, baby. Her parents are going to love you.

Micah: Her mom is chill, but her dad just seems… scary. Like he wants to rip my throat out of my mouth type of scary.

Jennifer: That just comes with all dads. Your father would do the same thing if Reagan and Dylan bring around guys they like.

Micah: Yeah, but dad’s not a big time Swedish movie actor that looks like he works out at every minute of the day.

Jennifer finally finishes pulling Micah’s hair back away from his face.

Jennifer: No, but your dad is still pretty crazy when it comes to the girls.

Micah chuckles to himself, and turns around to face his mother.

Micah: I’m just afraid that I’m too different for Kalia’s lifestyle. Like, the way the media puts it, it’s like I’m dating the princess of Sweden or something…

Jennifer: As long as you stay true to yourself, you’re going to be fine.

Micah: Mom, that advice only works in movies.

Jennifer faces her son before he walks out of the room.

Jennifer: The only thing that matters is that you treat their daughter with respect and that you treat her right, which you do.

Micah: We’ll see.

He walks out of the room, leaving his mother standing there.

Micah opens the door for a woman with long blonde hair and a red dress on. He waits for her to fully walk through before walking through himself. The door closes behind her, and they both begin walking down the long hallway.

Kalia: You look quite dashing tonight, babe.

Micah: And you continue to be the most beautiful girl in the room.

Kalia giggles and slips her hand into Micah’s. She looks at Micah’s face and then stops in her place.

Kalia: Babe, your piercing.

Micah: What about it?

Kalia: I told you that this was a formal event; no piercings like that are allowed.

Micah: It’s just a septum ring, Kal.

Kalia: My parents are going to say something about it; I am just warning you before they do.

Micah annoyingly flips up his septum ring to make it invisible in his nose. The couple continue to walk along the hallway.

Micah: So, your dad; does he know about us dating?

Kalia: Well, my mom definitely didn’t leave that little detail out…

Micah loosens his collar a bit, nervous.

Micah: I wish I was able to meet him in a less intimidating place, not at this gala thing.

Kalia stops in her tracks and looks at Micah.

Kalia: Babe, you’re going to be fine. He’s going to like you.

They both continue to walk down the hallway until they reach closed double doors. Micah opens them and the couple enters the ballroom where the gala is being hosted. People on all status levels are dressed in tuxedos and ball-gowns; the room is surrounded by celebrities from all around the country. Micah looks around the ballroom and immediately swallows hard.

The couple walks through the ballroom and begins to mingle with the other people. Micah stays silent and looks around, feeling uncomfortable in his place. He looks at a tall man in a tuxedo across the room; he’s buff, fit, and kept together. When Kalia leaves the other people she’s talking with, she looks at Micah and the direction he is looking at.

Kalia: Who are you looking at?

Micah: Who’s that guy surrounded by all those girls?

Kalia playfully slaps Micah and laughs.

Kalia: That’s Prescott Jones. He’s the sole heir to the multimillionaire company, “Joneson”.

Micah: *widens eyes* You’re serious?

Kalia nods her head and immediately goes to talk to another person. Micah stands in the middle of the ballroom, not really knowing what to do. He takes out his phone to kill some time and walks towards the balcony. He bumps into someone and immediately looks up.

Micah: Oh my god, I’m so sorry, ma’am-

He looks at the person he bumped into and immediately recognizes them.

Micah: Rosie?

Rosie: Micah?

Kalia: *from across the room* Micah?

Micah looks towards Kalia and back at Rosie, who isn’t standing there anymore. Micah just walks back towards Kalia.

Kalia: You’re okay, babe?

Micah: Yeah, yeah… I’m okay.

Kalia smiles and grabs Micah’s hand, pulling him towards a table. Once they reach that table, Micah looks at the table full of well-dressed adults. Micah immediately panics.

Kalia: Hi, daddy; hi Marcielle.

Micah looks at the man that is Micah’s dad, Joel, with slick-back blonde hair and clean-shaved face. Accompany him is a red-haired woman with a emerald green dress.

Kalia: Daddy, this is Micah, my boyfriend.

Micah puts his hand out; nervous.

Micah: It’s nice to meet you, sir.

Joel: Likewise, young man.

Marcielle: Micah is Milo’s son, Holder.

Both the guy’s eyes widen in shock.

Joel: Kamalani?

Micah: *nervous* Y-yes.

Joel: What a small world. We used to know your dad when we were younger.

Marcielle: Tell him we said hi.

Micah nods his head; he pulls out a seat for Kalia, and sits next to her.

Joel: So, what do you do for a living, Kamalani?

Micah: I, uhm, I’m in college, sir.

Kalia: Micah is a sophomore, daddy.

Joel: Ah, I see. What are you studying?

Micah: I’m studying music…

Joel blinks in response, not expecting for that answer to come out.

Joel: I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Marcielle: *stern* Holder.

Micah awkwardly picks up his glass and drinks.

Kalia: Micah is looking to do some producing when he graduates.

Micah: Uhm, yeah. Hopefully.

Joel: One can only hopes in this world. *to Micah* Your hair looks like you play music.

Kalia: Daddy…

Micah takes another sip of his drink and places the glass down.

Micah: Thank you! My family and I just have really good hair genes!

Joel and Marcielle look at each other, confused. Kalia laughs to break the silence.

Kalia: Of course! Heh, so, uhm, daddy – I have a couple of auditions this upcoming week!

Joel: That’s great sweetheart, I knew you would eventually get into acting, just like your dad!

After a few more drinks, Micah gains some confidence in the conversation.

Micah: Kalia was a banging drummer though in high-school! She would’ve been one of the hottest members of a rock band!

Micah laughs obnoxiously and Kalia tries to quiet him down.

Kalia: *whispers* Babe, you’re embarrassing me.

Micah: I’m just making small convo with your pops, Kal!

Kalia: I think you had enough to drink…

Micah takes his drink from Kalia, who is trying to help stop him drink anymore.

Kalia: *annoyed* Micah!

Micah: Whatever.

He gets up from his seat and excuses himself.

Micah: If you excuse me, I am going to smoke a cigarette, would you like to join me, Joel?

Joel: *annoyed* Please, call me Mr. Holder. And no, I don’t smoke.

Micah: You look like one of those actors that just smoke. Maybe it’s your hair.

Kalia: Micah!

Micah leaves the table and heads towards the balcony. He takes out a cigarette and lights it up. He takes in the brisk air. He looks toward the ballroom and squints to see the people inside. His eyebrows scrunch together when he sees Rosie sitting at the table with Prescott Jones. He’s surprised when he sees her sitting with someone as rich and high-profiled like Prescott.

Moments later, he is faced with his girlfriend, who is visibly upset.

Kalia: How the hell did you get yourself so drunk, you would embarrass me like that in front of my father?

Micah: What? I just had the sparkling apple cider crap you fancy folks drink up.

Kalia: That was champagne, you asshole! How could you act that way in front of my father? You made me look like a fool!

Micah: Well sorry that my presence and my actual personality doesn’t sit well with your rich and famous dad!

Mich puts the cigarette out and starts to walk inside the ballroom. Kalia grabs Micah’s arm to stop him.

Kalia: You are not entering that ballroom while we are upset with each other; the press will leak a story and I don’t want to have to deal with that publicity tomorrow.

Micah: Is that all you care about?! Seriously Kalia, why the fuck are you even dating me if you want to change every little thing about me?

Micah yanks his arm out of Kalia’s grip and walks inside. He walks towards the entrance to leave the gala; Rosie watches Micah leave the venue from her table.

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, The "Something" Series

Something’s in Retrograde: Their Monologues.

Nothing had changed about her. Her hair was still a fire red. Curly and messy. It was shorter, but still styled in the Grace Ashmore way. I reached down for her hand. I wasn’t sure if she would take it; I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t. I’m literally her ex that she probably thought she would never see ever again. Yet here we are.

I almost dropped her when she grabbed onto my hand to help her get up. I pulled her up as she got balanced on her feet. She’s wearing heels. She’s wearing heels. I gave her the remaining papers that I picked up from the floor. She looked at me, not saying anything. I waited for her to leave; it’s what she was probably going to do anyway. But she didn’t. She just stood there, speechless.

“Can we get another order of what Grace was having?” I said to the guy behind the counter. He nodded and began to make another drink for her. I took out my wallet and took the money out for the drink. She could’ve left at any given time since I helped her up from the ground. But she stayed.

“Do you want to sit?” I asked her. She still hasn’t said anything, and it’s nearly killing me. I haven’t heard her voice in almost a year and never thought I’d be even in the same room as her, let alone get the opportunity to sit with her at the cafe, where we met almost two years ago.

She still didn’t say anything, she just sat at the table, our table. The guy calls out Grace’s concoction of a drink, in which I walked up to the counter to pick it up.

“You’re Jamie?” the guy whispers to me. I looked at him perplexed.

“I am,” I answered. The guy nods his head and gets some tissues and a lid for the drink.

“Hopefully this is the last I see of Grace like this,” he said in a more serious tone than before. I take the drink and tissues and take it to Grace. Did she talk about me?

I sat at the table across from Grace and handed her the drink. She took it, still not saying a word, and began to sip on it. I looked at her while she drank. Am I really sitting across from her?

“How have you been?” I finally asked. She looked at me, in deep thought. I wanted nothing more to hear her voice. I also couldn’t help but ask, and a part of me wish I didn’t.

“How’s little bean?” I asked, smiling. Grace began to gather her things to walk out of the cafe. “Wait, Grace!” I called out for her, but she didn’t turn around. It felt inappropriate to go after her. She’s not yours anymore.

The guy behind the counter must’ve seen her walk out the door, because it wasn’t long after until he came walking to where I was sitting. Aigoo, am I getting kicked out? God knows what this man knows about me. I looked at him as he sat in the seat Grace was sitting at before.

“She’s been running out of here for as long as I’ve known her,” the guy said.

“Does she run often?” I stupidly asked. Of course she did. She always runs.

“Only when she’s running late to work, never after a hangover,” he stated. I leaned back on the seat, trying to put it all together. Was I just wasting my time?

“She would talk about you a lot when she comes in here drunk,” he randomly said out loud. I looked at him, waiting for him to continue his thought. He looked at me and takes in a deep breath, followed by a sigh. He gets up and takes the drink from the table.

“What would she say?” I asked out of the blue. Here I am, in this goddamn cafe, asking a complete stranger about the woman I couldn’t stop thinking about since going back to Korea last year. He turned around and just stares at me.

“Maybe you should ask her, sonny,” he answered. Before I began to plead for some answers, I vote against it; Grace is not yours anymore.

I get up from the table and walk past the guy and out of the cafe. The air hits my chest harder than usual. I need to talk to her. I had an idea, although it would be slightly invasive, I know I needed to do it. I couldn’t stay in New York without knowing about Grace.

I followed a woman to a door in a long hallway. Not much of this place has changed, just the people who occupy these offices. The woman knocks on a door that is labeled, Arissa Johnson, Esq.

“Ms. Johnson? You have a visitor,” the woman says as she opens the door. Once Ari sees me, her face instantly changes.

“Bitch, it’s too early to go for lunch yet,” Ari says, straightening out the papers on her desk. I remember when I would constantly do the same every morning, in hopes that they stayed together as the day go. Maybe it’s some lawyer shit that they all do. I look at the woman, whose eyes widen at the change in Ari’s voice. I guess Ari noticed and began to clear her throat.

“Thank you, Kim,” Ari said without any tone in her voice. The door closes behind me, and Ari doesn’t wait to start off the conversation.

“You’re never here this early unless Bernie calls and says you’re drunk,” Ari said, clearly surprised at my presence. I took in a deep breath, not knowing how the hell I was going to word this next part.

I sit down at the chair across from her desk. Ari doesn’t notice that I haven’t said much until she stops what she’s doing. She looks at me when she does.

“You good?” Ari finally asks me. I shift in my seat, trying to make myself comfortable before I say what I need to say. Ari grows more concerned the longer I take to answer.

“Grace?” Ari questions.

“I saw Jamie today at the cafe,” I finally blurted out.

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, Topic Tuesdays: Music

Let’s Talk About Some Problematic Things About Kpop.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

As many of you all know, I’m a huge kpop fan. I discovered kpop back in 2018 at a local laundromat where they were playing Twice’s “Knock Knock” on their television set and was instantly hooked to the catchy song. Soon afterward, I went down the rabbit hole that is kpop; different boy and girl groups, watching survival TV shows to debut new groups, and the most expensive part of it all: collecting.

I officially got into the kpop community during the pandemic in 2020. During this time, collecting wasn’t as intense as it has been for the last year. The community definitely was a lot smaller when I first joined it, and since then it has expanded to be this phenomenon that can be intimidating at first glance.

While kpop has become internationally known and wildly popular, many of us enter the community not really knowing that in any community, there are just things that are problematic as you dig deeper into the subject. I specifically want to talk about two things that have been on my mind as I’m writing this; to say the least, I think many kpop fans can agree that some of these things are problems that we just condone because there’s nothing else we could do, unfortunately.

The Curse of Pre-Order Benefits:

In the kpop world, a pre-order benefit (POB) is typically a photocard that you get when you order albums during its pre-order period. A pre-order period typically runs until the album release date, or on the date that is provided on certain sites. Before the pandemic, POBs weren’t a big deal; in fact, many people didn’t collect them! It was just a nice thing people got when they ordered their albums in their pre-order period. When I first got into collecting Victon, I didn’t even know what a pre-order benefit was! I bought my first POB on eBay when I realized it was a card I didn’t have, and when Victon announced their Mayday comeback during the summer of 2020, I bought my albums under the one website that was had a POB with the album. Since then, it’s nearly tripled. For their full-length album comeback, there were way too many to even sit here and count! If I had to guesstimate how many photocards were for that last comeback, I have to tell you that it’s pages. Tons of money went into getting these photocards, and even then I still don’t have all of them! The thing about collecting is that many collectors want to have completed collections of their favorite members. Again, another toxic mentality to have within the community; collectors think that the more you have in your collection, the better “stan” you are. Also, it feels better to have everything than to have missing slots in your collection, which again is crazy to think, but it’s a mentality that many of us have in collecting and somewhat tolerate in the community. The thing is when a group makes a comeback and pre-order details come out, sometimes it becomes more stressful than fun to collect, and a lot of people who were once in the community aren’t in the community anymore because of the stress collecting can be and has become.

The fact of the matter is, pre-order benefits became a big deal during the pandemic because entertainment agencies weren’t making their money through concerts and offline fansign events. Collecting became this huge thing during the pandemic, and companies hopped on that bandwagon and made it a battle of all battles to collect them all. So, in order for consumers to buy through specific sites, they include their own special pre-order benefit, which in all reality look the same like they are no different whatsoever. I hope that in the future, POBs doesn’t happen as often once the pandemic is mainly in control, but knowing that these sites and companies have already seen success in doing things like having lucky draws or POBs, I highly doubt they will just stop doing so. It’s just the new norm of collecting and as collectors, we just condemn it.

Line Distribution in Songs:

A little backstory on what inspired this part of the post: so back in August, a new survival show aired called Girls Planet 999, which if you’ve been a fan of the now-damned Produce series, you would know this was just another way for Mnet to make idol survival shows again without bringing back the Produce series. The network definitely had to be careful that there weren’t any scandals happening behind closed doors (i.e companies bribing their trainees to the debut lineup) so when the final lineup was announced back in October, it wasn’t that surprising that certain members were in the final lineup. For a show that had 33 Korean, Japanese, and Chinese trainees, only 2 Japanese members made it to the lineup, as well as 1 Chinese member. But, when 50% of the votes came from Korea, it was suspected that most of the final lineup would consist of Korean members, of which 6 of the 9 members are. Anyway, after the uproar in the community wondering how Huening Bahiyyih (TXT Huening Kai’s younger sister) got to be in the final lineup for Kep1er (which speaks for itself: she has a huge international fanbase), people anticipated their debut album release, which was finally released on January 3rd. While their title track is the most catchy song of 2022 thus far (and probably will be because, well, go listen to it), many people are upset about the line distribution of the title track and the rest of the album as well. Specifically speaking about their title track, one of the non-positioned yet members got a huge fraction of the lines while others literally had as little as 7 seconds of lines in the song.

Unfair line distributions have always been a problem within the community. If the member isn’t the center, main vocal, or main rapper, you most likely won’t hear much from other members. It’s common for the main roles of a group to have the most lines in songs, but for larger groups (I would say 9 members and more), line distributions can get a little tricky and borderline unfair. Line distributions (unfair ones) have been in the community for generations on end, but with kpop being a more internationally known genre (and Korean companies creating new groups and advertising them as a “global group”), fans all over the world demand for more even distributed lines in songs. It definitely pushes the agenda of companies when things like that happen: while some fans will argue that certain member’s voices just “fit” certain concepts more than others, but when there is a major distinction between a member and their lines and the other members, there’s typically a “favorite” that the company has. Again, this is an issue we as listeners can’t control; it’s a company-level thing and we as listeners don’t typically have a say. But, it influences our liking to certain members and even our dislike of the members with the heavy screentime and/or most lines in the songs. It definitely makes it a competition against the members in the community when in all reality, the members just want their fans to support them as a group because they all deem each member a major important part of the group.

But yeah, I just wanted to discuss some of these issues now that we entered a new year, and kpop already made January its “unofficial comeback season”. I wonder if there are kpop listeners and collectors who feel the same way!