January 2020 (and then some)

We’re almost done with February 2020, so here’s a highlight reel for January 2020! Love that for me.

But first, my usual greeting.

It’s been a while.

I welcomed a new decade quietly and said my goodbyes to 2019 with the end of a diary. Cracking open the spine of my new planner felt a little like learning how to walk again, figuring out how to use all these new limbs at my own time.

I was often out of the house during the weekends, hanging out with friends! Ingrid, willingly going out of the house on her rest days? A concept.

Love you Noisy GC, you’re some of the few people I’d gladly spend all my days with.

Consumed a lot of milk tea, ate a lot of good food.

Did a fun photoshoot with my friend Alex! We used to do a lot of these random shoots back in college when we had cameras we wanted to master and, ironically, more free time. Red Velvet released their album The ReVe Festival Day 3: Finale the day after Alex’s birthday, and we’ve been yelling about the concept photos when they were being released. Suggested to try doing a Psycho-inspired photoshoot, inspired by the styling of the music video from the album’s lead track. After setting a date I realized that I do not own anything that would fit the Psycho MV’s styling, but luckily Chai kindly let me borrow a dress that fits the concept!

As the luckiest person in the world, I predictably got an allergic rhinitis attack on the day of our photoshoot. Shoutout for Alex’s make-up skills and infinite patience as she instructed me how to arrange my awkward limbs into some semblance of a pose.

Tried making magazine layout mock-ups for the shots that made the final cut! This is partly because I want to fit the portrait pictures into my landscape-curated IG feed hahaha I love self-inflicted suffering. I also conveniently forgot that I had Photoshop on my laptop, so I spend three hours making several layouts on my phone and asking for design advice from my friends. My eyeballs do not recommend that experience, but I like the final outcome a lot if I may say so myself! Thank you Nichi for having enough free elements that I can work with haha.

All the other pictures I used in the layouts that aren’t of my face were taken by me! I love taking pictures, but I don’t get to practice a lot. Hoping that I can find and make more opportunities to study and improve!

January for EXO fans also meant celebrating Kyungsoo and Jongin’s birthdays! Jongdae also shared with us his beautiful news: he’s getting married! It was heartwarming how he wrote a letter to us fans, wanting us to be the first to know and letting his intentions be known. I applaud his steadfastness in taking responsibility for his life, his future family, and his happiness as both an idol and a human being. But even as I was celebrating his news, there was a growing dread as I saw how a large number of anti-fans reacted to it. It has been absolutely draining to see all the vitriol on my timeline for the past month, and I have reported and blocked so many accounts who thought it was okay to dictate a person’s life because he is a public figure. I won’t stop defending him as a person and as an EXO member. I wish for your happiness, Kim Jongdae!

I’ve mentioned the Noisy GC, which was mainly made because we’re all X1 fans, and they’ve been encouraging me to follow the group! I’ve been slowly getting to know them before the decision was released, and it felt like a rug was pulled from under our feet. It hurts that these boys only want to perform on the same stage, but that the people and circumstances surrounding them led to this outcome. We’re all still cheering for them, as individuals and as a group. I still believe I’ll get to see them stand on the same stage again.

We also got our Ode to You in Manila tickets this month! I told myself I won’t watch another KPop concert from the standing section again (I won’t go into details, but the first time I watched from VIP standing was traumatic, to say the least) but… love moves in mysterious ways. PH chapter of the Noisy GC all got tickets for OTY in Manila, so that was something we all looked forward to!

Oh, and I got a haircut. The last time I got a haircut was… when my friend and I watched Avengers: Infinity War a month after it was first screened in the Philippines. That ending scene with Iron Man and Spider-man… Top 10 cinematic betrayals. Enough to warrant a haircut lol. Also yes, movies are an acceptable marker of the passage of time.

ISO (Ingrid’s Screen Options)

I haven’t finished any Netflix series this month, but I have been watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine! I started it December last year while working on art stuff, since I wanted something in English that I can listen-watch to when I get into focus mode. The writing is genius, and I will take any excuse to learn how to write dialogue more naturally.

I did finish both seasons of Making Perfect from the Bon Apetit YouTube channel! I only used to watch their cooking videos, then I remember one Saturday afternoon I just started randomly binge-watching Claire Saffitz’s Gourmet Makes series, where she makes gourmet versions of storebought food. Both seasons of Making Perfect showed the dynamics of the BA team, which I truly enjoyed. I still want to try Molly and Carla’s mashed potatoes recipe from the Thanksgiving series. Typing all of this down is making me extremely hungry.

Also finished watching Seventeen Project: Debut Big Plan. I have a vague idea of SEVENTEEN being called as “self-producing idols,” but seeing them work at the recording studios and collaborating with the choreographers at such a young age put it all in a different perspective. It’s a privilege to see them constantly growing and improving. This secondhand pride as their fan is something I’ll always cherish.

ISBN (Ingrid’s Secret Book Notes)

I haven’t read a lot of books last year, so we will be fixing that this year. The first book of 2020 is Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and wow. What a gift. I started reading this on Christmas morning of 2019, picking up a copy after multiple good reviews and seeing a picture of SEVENTEEN’s Vernon carrying it. The worldbuilding of this book is impressive, as with all books that have illustrated maps on the front tend to be. It also gave me a rare look into South African cultures and practices, after being accustomed to the intricacies of Western-based folklore and wizardry. I could only imagine its impact on children to see their heritage being celebrated, with names and characters that look just like them. Representation is important in building a person’s identity, and I’m glad that more writers are getting the recognition they deserve. Looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel!

Maine Melodies

Asked for new music recommendations on Twitter on a whim, and I surprisingly got a lot of good responses! New additions to my listening parties are Official HIGE DANdism, SHISHAMO, back number, and Yorushika, to name a few!

I also check my Discover Weekly recommendations every week on Spotify. For people who don’t have Spotify, the app makes a weekly recommendation list of 30 songs, based on the music you listen to. I enjoy making playlists, and spent a better part of two days making one for a story I’m planning to write. It’s so nice imagining soundtracks that come along with your story, watching it unfold like a movie in your mind theater. Maybe I’ll compile a monthly playlist next month? Who knows?


Aaaaaaaaaand that has been a very lengthy summary of how the first month of the new decade went for me! I won’t make empty promises about updating regularly, but I will try to not subject you to a wall of text next time.

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