[ENG] Sechskies Allure Interview (2/2)

[Kim Jae Duck]

You got a lot of new parts in the . What’s your favorite part?

I like the rap part in “Couple”. Tablo wrote the rap, and I think it’s pretty and it suits me well. There’s a part where we all draw a rainbow on stage, and that was Jiwon hyung’s idea.

Are you finally over the deprivation of MVs?
To be honest, I never had that much feelings against our MVs. Old MVs have some cons, of course, since they were filmed at our office or were a mashup of other videos. But I think they turned out pretty well. This time, I tried harder because I wanted to keep showing better sides.

How was the filming?
What I liked the most about it was the fact that I went to Japan with the members. It was disappointing that we didn’t really get to spend much time together except for when we were eating because of tight schedule. We had to wake up at 3~4 AM, get ready, film, and we couldn’t even stay out for long because it was cold. I wanted to watch other members awkwardly filming the couple scenes, but I couldn’t. I watched the indoors ones, but they all did well when they started shooting.

Any memorable episode?
Snowflakes were as big as the \500 coins, so we watched it snowing. Jaejin, Suwon, and I finished first, so we went to Sapporo’s beer factory to get a drink. We also went to a park together, and Jaejin made chimpanzee noises there, which was really funny.

Is the team activity different from before?
I think individual personalities and styles are the same as before. But everyone did get more mature. We all have a lot more responsibilities now. We did what was asked without thinking much back then, but now, we all try to participate voluntarily.

Do you feel that there are a lot of new fans?
When I read fan letters or go to filming sites, I see a few young fans. I think it’s cool. I want to tell them, “You’re sad that you’ve come to know us so late too, right? Since you’re late, please like us more, and let’s be together for a long long time”.

Do you feel the difference between 20th century fan culture and 21st century fan culture?
The most obvious one is camera. Back then, there was no camera even on cellphones, but now, they bring huge cameras to take pictures of me. Not only are they good at taking pictures, but they’re also good at editing them, so sometimes I get surprised looking through my SNS. Also, back then, fans crowded around us when they saw us, but now, they don’t approach us. They just take pictures from far away. But one thing that hasn’t changed is their eyes. Regardless of age, everyone still looks like a young girl because of their innocent eyes full of excitement.  

Do you read all the comments on your SNS?
Yes. Fans leave comments that can encourage me and make me laugh. There are touching ones. By reading those comments, I try to fix my mistakes. I think it’s good that I can always show improvements through those feedback.

Fans call you ‘Duck-Chael’ (Jaeduck+Michael). Isn’t the angel image sometimes burdensome?
It was Michael that came after my name? (laughs). But everyone likes nice people. It’s good that people view me in that way. But did I really seem that nice? I have weaknesses too, but I guess fans see more of my strengths.

What was your favorite move when you were in charge of choreographing?
It was mostly Jaejin who made the choreography, and I just helped on the side. It’s already 20 years ago, so I don’t even remember which choreographs I participated in. I think “Road fighter” was really cool, and “Pom Saeng Pom Sa” was very upbeat. But the recent choreos are more fun. The new “Com’ Back” and “Chivalry” choreos have completely different styles from before.

How did it change?
Before, we almost always danced right on the beat, but nowadays, you split the beat a lot. It gets awkward sometimes because my body’s not used to it. The dance itself did get harder, but it’s also that my brain can’t follow as quickly as it could before.

What was the most exciting moment since the reunion?
I think the most memorable ones are of course guerrilla concert on and our recent concert. At Yellow Note concert, they played a video of our fans singing to “Couple” and that almost made me cry.

Your style changed the most since the reunion. Do you like it?
At first, it was hard to accept. It’s not easy when everything suddenly changes at once. But I just trusted the stylists, and I’ve heard that I look good in the style, which boosts me up. Depending on the style of my clothes, my attitude and facial expressions also change. I like such changes.

Have you gotten used to doing photo shoots?
It’s still awkward. But there’s always an excitement at photo shoot sites. You get to meet new people at a new environment. It’s new, but it’s exciting.  

I’ve heard that you filmed in Busan with the memebers. How did that go?
At first, it was a bit awkwrad because I wasn’t used to such setting, but as time went on, I got to have a lot of fun. I think I would’ve had more fun if it wasn’t being filmed. I try not to be conscious of the camera, but sometimes it doesn’t work. I do think it could’ve been better without the cameras.

Do you have any plan of travelling with the members, apart from filming?
We’ve talked about it, but as of right now, carrying out our schedules is the most important.

Do you have any member that you want to form an unit with?
I think I’ll be able to show stronger sides with the black kies members, Jiwon hyung and Jaejin. We’ve been on stage together just as three, and I liked it. I think it’ll be fun.

[Jang Su Won]

You were the second most active member, after Eun Ji Won.
It might seem like I did a lot because of the robot acting, but it’s only been 2 years since I started doing individual activities. I try to be honest and accept everyone’s opinions on variety shows, and I think people like that side.

Robot acting could’ve created a bad reputation, but it was an opportunity for you.
At first, people did criticize me. Then people started laughing, and it became my charm. My personality and attitude changed a lot because of it. If I kept being criticized like I did in the beginning, I would’ve lost all my confidence, but I was lucky. If this happened in the past, I could’ve been forced to leave the industry for a while. Luckily, it became an opportunity for me.

I’ve heard that you played a big role in the reunion.
As time passed, I started to miss the times we were together more. I was a Sechskies member for only 2 years and a half, but back then, it really felt like I was just having fun with hyungs and friends that I liked. I always thought that if there’s a second chance, I want to have more fun with it.

Nowadays, there’s a lot of idol groups that work together but aren’t close.
I think some friends nowadays want get more attention than other members in the group. There’s no one in Sechskies that wants all the attention in variety shows, or wants to do individual activities like acting or going solo. I think that’s why we never felt like we were in a business relationship.

You were the only person that kept in contact with all the members even after the break up.
I keep relationships a broad group of people I don’t really cut anyone off just because that person is different from me. Unless there was a fight or some harm done, I keep in contact.

Such quality must’ve been helpful in your business.
Yes. I finally understand why adults say connection is more important than money.

Isn’t it hard to both own a business and do Sechskies activities?
I’ve been thinking that recently. I can go to my restaurant once a week at most, and recently, I could only once or twice a month. If the CEO isn’t there, management gets neglected even if there’s a manager. I didn’t know things would get this big in terms of scale, so I had opened up two restaurants. I did it just in case I don’t get work, but it’s now worrisome because we’re getting more work as Sechskies.

You said in that drinking with Eun Ji Won is uncomfortable. Is he more careful after that?
Not at all. That person is never careful to his dongsaengs. He’s only weak to people who are older or stronger than him. (laughs)

You’re the maknae in the team, but don’t you have desire to lead people?
Now I like taking care of people and taking them to places, but when I was young, I liked being with hyungs even if it’s a little uncomfortable. But as I’ve aged, I don’t like it if it’s uncomfortable no matter where hyung takes me. I don’t mind being the one to pay if I’m eating with dongasaengs that I like.

You called a person who nags while drinking a fogey.
Even people who are normally quiet tend to nag after drinking, calling themselves life sunbaes. If I keep repeating myself and nagging a lot, then I’ve become a fogey. I try not to nag or make it uncomfortable for dongsaengs. Even if I do, I only do it once.

How do you want to age?
I want to age fine, instead of trying too hard to look young. I want to look my age, but still have some charm. Just looking young as a “frozen man” isn’t as important. I don’t want to dye my hair pink and pretend like I’m young, like someone.

Are you targeting a specific member?
No, it was just an example, hahahaha.

Were you always blunt like this?
I never showed this side on TV, but I always was in waiting rooms. When filming for a show, I had to wait until other members talk first. Sometimes, I just stood there without coming up with any answer in my head because I felt like my turn wasn’t going to come. Back then, I only sang and other members did the talking.

Weren’t you disappointed that you didn’t have as many opportunities to show your talents?
No. I’m introverted and I don’t think I have that much talent. It was only recently that I started talking on variety shows, because I had a lot of things that I had to do on my own. Even when I talk on shows, I have to first think “What if I say this?” I don’t think I have talent in speaking well.

You’re good at dancing and singing, but sometimes those get covered up by the robot character.
Performances that I had mistakes in on were rehearsals. But I think they just aired the rehearsal instead since it’s not a music program. The robot image does get in the way sometimes, but it’s an image that I’ve created, so I have to bear with it. It’s not easy, but I try not to be stressed about it.

There are a lot of edited videos of your past performances and recent performances. It shows that Jang Su Won is constantly improving.
I don’t really watch either of them. The old ones are too bad and embarrassing. I’m not the type to monitor performances and analyze. I just try my best day to day.

In what aspect are you going to improve more?
Jekki is my one and only goal right now. It’s only been half a year since we made a come back, and we only have one new song. We still have a lot of time left. I want to make better songs, and I want jekki to be more global. Wouldn’t it be possible since YG has a lot of resources? I want to focus on jekki activites without thinking about anything else.

Were you always this ambitious?
Catch me on variety shows saying some nonsense, if this all fails.

[Lee Jae Jin]

Is there a reason you got rid of your SNS account?
Because there’s a Sechskies official website now. I wanted the fans to all gather there instead of being spread out on various platforms. I want other members to get rid of their personal accounts too.

Your hair is blue today.
I just got it done today. To be honest, the members have been suggesting that I dye my hair blue again, in a mocking way. I think they thought that I wouldn’t do it. I had pushed it off until now, but I finally did it.

You’re the only one who did V-live regularly.
I told everyone that I’ll do it every week since other members weren’t interested. I said I’ll do it whenever I go to my art studio, which I go to at least once a week. If you watch the first episode, I literally just draw. Since I can’t really read the fans’ comments while drawing, my professor at the studio chooses a couple of them to ask, and then I answer.

The way you were so focused on drawing in a sleevless shirt showing arms, was like a scene from a movie.
V-app is a live broadcast and I don’t even have a script, so there isn’t really anything to do. It was just my most natural state. In the summer ones, I had to wear sleveless because I get hot really easily. I didn’t really think ‘oh since I draw with my right hand, my right biceps are going to look nice’.

Did you focus on art after the military dischargement?
It hasn’t been that long since I started drawing. In 2010, I had a chance to join YG’s design team. Ten of my pieces made it into Big Bang’s album. And in 2014, when my nephews were older, the company’s director suggested that I should study art. But I really just like going to theme parks and Jeju Island with my nephews. I don’t really spend that much, anyways.

Fans told you not to marry, and you responded with “Then we’ll just cohabit”. Both are taboos in idol culture.
Why does all that matter at this age? I think living together is better than getting married. I don’t have to legally change my address.

You’re good at “fan training”, like deleting your picture on SNS 10 seconds after posting it. You should be good at that stuff, even in relationships.
Not really. You know how people always check up on eachother when in a relationship? I answer if the other person asks, but I never ask first. It’s not like I’m going to run to the place anyways. It was out of respect, but they thought I was uninterested in them.

Contrary to your carefree personality, you ran away when Sechskies was about to disband and hid. It was unexpected of you.
I came to Seoul from Busan when I was in second year in high school. I thought when we disband, my life in Seoul ends. Everything that was right in front of my eyes was about to disappear and I didn’t even know which was going to disappear first, so I was anxious and frustrated. And it took me especially long to become close with the members. Looking back, the members were so precious to me. So I disagreed to dreaking up, but some released their solo album in less than a year, and everyone was living well. (laughs)

You released three solo albums too?
I personally really don’t like those albums. I was just going to enlist after disbanding, but my mom kept saying “why don’t you release an album too?” after seeing other members doing so. I had to release it because of her.

Are you satisfied with the remake album?
Things that reflect an era get old, eventually. So the remade versions are better than the old ones, of course.

You had a yellow badge on you on .
I was working out when the Sewol tragedy happened. I was watching it live on TV, and I was frustrated. I clearly remember thinking “Why don’t they save the kids?” I was really heartbroken. I put the ribbon on to remember the deaths of the young students.

You’re known as the ‘4D, alien’ one, but do you have a member that you think is weirder than you?
Hm. I’m not interested. I don’t really care if there is or not.

Then are you only interested in your nephews?
No! I’m the most important to me. Of course, I blend in well without thinking I need to be the most noticeable, when I’m with my members.

You were in . Have you read some bad comments?
Yes, I read them because I’m curious. Sometimes, I stare at them blankly. I ask myself, “Why do these people put an effort of logging in, just to comment some hateful comments, and dislike the article? Do they really hate me enough to slap me when they meet me in real life?”

I heard you researched where the fans lived and chose the intermediate area as where your birthday party was going to be hosted.
Thanks to that, I found out that Daejeon is the best place for fans from all over the country to gather. I know which pubs are good, too.

Until when do you plan to do Sechskies activities?
I think we would have to see how things go in 2017. I’ve asked the members, “Do you think we’ll do this until we completely lose popularity, or until someone makes a big mistake?” But since we’re old, Sechskies won’t disband again because of individual activities. I am pretty sad that I don’t have enough time to draw for my exhbition, but right now, Jekki is my everything.

————————Thank you for reading! Feel free to share the link, as always

Translated by:

gif cr: 볼펜

 Chael Sonnen is, in my opinion, one of the greatest UFC fighters to ever step foot in the octagon. No, he doesn’t have a great record. He has never held gold around his waist. He doesn’t have a highlight reel knockout, submission, or fight of the year. 

 He inspires.

 He perseveres. He embodies the pure essence of the sport. Instead of taking fights he knows would be easy, he confronts champions head on. He calls out the baddest of the bad. Chael Sonnen chases his dreams, his goals and ambitions, even if they do not come to fruition. This is what makes him a true winner. His uncanny ability radiating a fearless aurora. He does not sit back and wait for his dreams to become reality. He tackles them into the ground, completely dismantling them.

 He is proof that success does not have to be derived from your dreams just to achieve them, you just have to go out and try.

sex with Michael would include:

• lots of pet names
• soOooOo much moaning
• an excessive amount of hickeys because “he loves you so much”
• deep moans
• scrunching his eyes shut because you feel amazing
• basically worshipping your boobs
• taking it slow because he wants to treasure you
• slow, deep, loving thrusts
• soft kisses all over your tummy and thighs
• “you know i love you, yeah?”
• delicate touches because he doesn’t want you to hurt you
• “that feels amazing,”
• lots of muttered swear words
• “ahh fuck,”
• him asking if you’re okay 193% of the time
• chuckling occasionally if he did something silly
• “can i…. fuck your boobs?”
• whimpering and mumbling each other’s names quietly because you like being secretive
• whimpering “do it again, please, please”
• his hands constantly being on you because he wants to touch you all the time
• on your knees half the time
• “you’re so good to me, baby”

ashton calum luke

an update:

hello beautiful people,

thank you so much for all of your follows. it makes me happy that so many of you can also connect to the content i feel connected to. it makes me feel whole.

that being said, with so many new followers, i thought it was finally a time to update my info page. the last time i updated it was about two years ago and everything was quite outdated. i’d love if you could take a look at it before asking questions or if you’re ever curious about me as an individual for whatever striking reason.

for those of you too lazy (something i can completely understand and relate to), my name is chael. i’m 20, korean, capricorn. my favorite book is kafka on the shore by murakami and my favorite film is good will hunting. i have never been to the beach. i ditch class to take photos downtown. i spend way too much on makeup and food. i’ve been saved by the hands of a stranger. i always mix wine with my hot chocolate. i’ve loved someone who destroyed everything else that i’ve loved. i have hamsters named pancake and butters.

again, thanks so much for all the love to this blog. feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you’d just like to strike a conversation. have a good one :)

okay so y’all want the tea so i figured i’d give it to you from a #certified rider stan. 

i woke up to m*chael jacobs tweeting this

and the replies were people saying that rider had said that gmw was over in his podcast, literary disco. i went and listened myself and around the seven minute mark, he does say that the show ended. insert *pretends to be shocked* gif.

now, for me i’ve always kind of thought that rider and mj hated each other and it all stemmed from this interview that he did forever ago.

i already did this on twitter, but here is a history of the post gmw beef between the two of them

  • rider initially didn’t want to be on gmw because he wanted to move on in his career and knew that shawn would continue to be treated like shit
  • mj deadass begged him to come back and rider wouldn’t until he promised that he would let him and his brother direct some of the episodes. him having to beg him alone def shows that there was already some beef there.
  • as we all know, angela only returned for one episode. this was not trina’s choice. it was made by michael jacobs. rider is still close friends w trina and was a big fan of the shawngela relationship, so obviously he was annoyed. also rider is a known intersectional feminist and it def didn’t go past him that they were replacing a black woman with a white woman
  • when trina expressed her outrage on twitter, mj never invited her back to the show or to any of the cast get togethers. 
  • rider clearly hates sh*ty and what they did to shawn’s character it was either twitter or reddit but someone asked him if he shipped sh*ty and he deadass just said “i like working w cheryl” while with shawngela he went on and on about how great angela was for shawn’s character.
  • and then this, today. instead of @ing rider directly, mj had the nerve to attack shawn hunter, the undisputed most iconic memorable character from both shows. let the shade begin.

In the light of recent allegations against Michael, who cannot defend himself anymore, stories like this deserve to be known. Sometimes I wish people would stop for a moment and think how he must have felt being accused. This story is very personal, and I’m grateful to the fans who have made the decision to share it:

He loved more

by Brigitte Bloemen, Marina Dobler, Stephanie Grosse &Sonja Winterholler, Germany

In the beginning we were deeply shocked about everything that unfolded in front of our eyes and could not believe that Michael would indeed have to endure such accusations, slander and pain for a second time in his life!

Although those accusations were ridiculous and obviously fab­ricated, accusing him of such a terrible crime like hurting a child and making the whole world believe it, thanks to incompetent journalists, was the most terrible thing they could have done to him. We knew it literary ripped Michael’s heart apart, especially when he had to realize that so many of his so-called “friends” had abandoned him in this time of need and even many fans were not so sure what to believe and preferred to keep low-key until things would clear up.

However we knew that we needed to do something - anything to show him that there are still people out there who do not believe what was said. So as soon as the date for the first ar­raignment in January 2004 was set, nothing could hold us back from traveling to California to support Michael.

Once in Santa Maria we were shocked to see like an army of police, helicopters flying above the court building supporting the crazy media circus with about a hundred journalists from all over the world and several hundred onlookers that besieged the place. It was a chaotic scenery, to say the least. We were very relieved as we saw familiar faces of fellow fans standing behind crowd barriers with messages of love and faith to mor­ally support Michael on this terrible day.

When Michael arrived and walked into the building, we thought he looked strong, determined and confident and he even ampli­fied our impressions on his way out by greeting fans along the barrier and finally even jumping on top of his SUV for everyone to see him. To be honest, we were elated to see him like that and it indeed eased our worries for him a little bit. Our hearts, however, knew better, they couldn’t be fooled by our eyes’ im­pressions.

After the court proceedings, the crowd headed for Neverland, because word had spread that Michael would open his ranch for the public that day. Thousands of people took the oppor­tunity to finally satisfy their nosiness and enjoyed a day in his amusement park, his zoo, his arcade, they ate and drank as they wished and just took advantage of the opportunity to snoop around Michael’s home. Obviously most of them simply had a great time.

However we fans felt very different. Michael once said: “Nev­erland is me! It represents the totality of who I am”, so to us it appeared as if Michael felt that he needed to strip himself naked, to turn his inside out for the public to see and finally understand him. The feeling we had at the ranch that day was a very sad one and to us Neverland had not much to do with the magical place we had experienced before. The fact that the press was besieging the place did not help much either - helicopters were flying over Neverland all the time and outside waited dozens of cameras as well.

A few days later most fans were on their way home. For some reason that had to do with the price, we had booked our flight home a couple of days later than the others and so we suddenly were the only ones left. Although we made little trips to nearby sights, we came back to Neverland’s gate every day, to at least be closer to Michael for the short remaining time of our stay.

From the outside Neverland was back to normal, however in­side the place had been defiled and its spirit destroyed. Like all other fans who cared, we so badly wanted to help Michael - to make it easier, to make him feel better - but we had no idea how to achieve that. We wrote letters of support, made some cheer-up presents and tried to forward those items to him through his security guards.

One afternoon we were sitting in the grass nearby the gate when one of Michael’s brothers drove out of Neverland. Since we were eating at that moment, we did not pay too much at­tention to him, but when he stopped his car and waved to us, we eventually stood up and walked over to him. We said “Hi” to each other and asked him how Michael was doing. He answered that he was “OK” - according to the circumstances, but we did not miss the sad undertone in his voice.

So we asked if he could hand Michael some cheer-up presents from us, but he simply answered that we could do that ourselves. Of course we were confused now, as he quickly continued that Michael would drive out of Neverland the next day, early in the morning, and if we would be there, he would certainly stop for us. We were speechless to say the least and thanked him for his kindness to let us know about it.

Of course we were very excited now and wracked our brains what we could say or do for him to cheer him up. Needless to say we had an almost sleepless night ahead of us. The alarm clock woke us up in the middle of the night and not much later we were on our way to Neverland. When we arrived there and parked nearby the gate, at our usual parking place, we realized that the security guards were in highest alert at first - because of us arriving there in the middle of the night. They later told us that it was very dangerous out there at that time, especially at night because crazy people, often with racist background or drunk, drove by the gate of Neverland at night and threw or shouted nasty things in their direction. They were scared that one day someone might even shoot at them or try to break through the gate with their cars in order to harm Michael. So it is very understandable that they were very relieved once they recognized us as simply fans.

It was dark and really cold that night and we even had to re­move a layer of ice from the front shield of our car. We had brought many tea candles with which we formed a heart on the side of the driveway, then we prepared our presents, our letter and repeated what we wanted to say to Michael so we wouldn’t forget in our nervousness.

Time went by and nothing happened except from us getting frozen. We already thought that Michael’s brother had made fun of us, as suddenly headlights of a big vehicle, coming out of Neverland, could be seen coming towards the gate. At first we were unsure what kind of vehicle it was, but soon we recog­nized a big bus slowly rolling closer. Only very slowly it dawned on us that this bus might have something to do with Michael. Absolutely transfixed we stood next to our candle heart and saw the bus stopping for a moment before the gate opened.

The two guards walked next to it as the bus rolled through the gate towards us. The next thing we saw was the bus door opened and Michael’s assistant walked over to us and asked us if there was anyone from the press here. After we denied, she told us to come with her. Because of our shock and nervous­ness we hesitated for a moment. Then we saw her going in the bus and as she came back out again, she told us that each one of us could go in - separately.

“Separately!?”, we all spoke out loud. We could not believe all this was real. It was, of course, not at all that we did not want to meet Michael, on the contrary, but we had expected a totally different situation, with him driving by and opening a window something like that. But to walk into a bus, one by one and to have a private moment with him there, was overwhelming for us and each one of us felt unprepared for that.

Our friend Stephanie, who had not heard what Michael’s as­sistant had just told us, came closer to us to hear what was up, and so without a second thought, we told her that she was the first one to go inside to meet Michael. She had no time to disagree…

Stephanie: So I was the first to enter the bus. I climbed up the stairs and with the last two of them I tumbled to Michael’s feet - feeling embarrassed to my bones. While getting up I did not recognize Mi­chael had come closer. When I lifted my eyes, he stood right in my face - nearly tumbling backwards I looked straight into his “eyes" - being in a state of shock all I could say was: “Hi.” He replied with a “Hi” as well and kissed me on each cheek. I was trying to remember all these smart sentences we had come up with earlier and even brought to paper, but they didn’t come back to my mind. Having this silence around us, Michael frowned his forehead trying to figure out what I might be thinking. Feeling caught, I remembered that a few days ago security guards of Neverland had come out to pick up all the presents that fans had wanted to give to Michael to support him, me and my siblings, who are hard of hearing, had made a big ban­ner with a sentence in sign language that said “We believe in you”. This banner had been among all the presents given to Michael a few days ago. While standing face to face with Michael now, I asked if he had got those presents. He confirmed it and so I asked him if a banner had also caught his attention. He thought about that for a moment and slightly something came to his mind: “Yeees”. I jogged his memory by interposing that the banner contained a sentence written in sign language. This made his memory clearer and he re­called: ”Oohh yeees!” I asked him if he understood the meaning of the signs. He simply said: “No”. Of course I offered him the explanation: “We believe in you!”

He directly fell into my arms and hugged me strongly. I took the op­portunity to thank him for being the person he was and being more­over an inspirational influence to so many people, especially to my hard of hearing-siblings. Listening to music is very unusual for them and nothing we can imagine. Everything sounds exotic to them and cannot be compared to noises we can differentiate. We are blessed to be able to enjoy Michael’s music and all noises around us effortless. Being touched by his art and feeling deep love and admiration for him, they trained very hard by listening to his music over and over, focusing on little details and trying to recognize recurrent elements such as single words. Reaching this level of training, it automatically had an influence on their daily life, for example school-life became much easier for them - still today it helps them to orient themselves better in the world of hearing persons. To hear this, Michael felt over­whelmed and we shared another emotional moment by embracing tightly and for a long time. This was the moment when I felt this is no longer a one-sided support from us fans to Michael — he also needed us around him to take heart from stories such as mine. He support­ed my feeling continuing with the words: “Tell all the fans that I love them very much and appreciate their support all over the world. You are all very special to me and I need you. "Regarding the aggravating circumstances of the time, he added that those responsible for him being in this horrible situation “want to destroy me” and that “it is all a big lie and not true!” He intensively appealed to me to come back and support him. I guess there are no more words required to grasp the deep relationship between Michael and us fans excluding barriers and including an equal status as family to him - having this experience on my back, I left the bus a different person.

As Stephanie climbed down the stairs of the bus again, Sonja was to be the next one of us to meet Michael. Hesitantly she walked up the few stairs…

Sonja: And there I suddenly stood — right in front of Michael stupidly saying “Hi Michael”. I tried so hard to remember the questions we had prepared and I had written down to ask him if possible, but now in this very moment, everything was gone. The only question that came to my mind and that would also make sense in this situation was “How are you?”— and so I asked him that Michael just stood there and didn’t answer. He didn’t even look at me, but held my left hand with both of his hands very tightly. He then leaned over and kissed me on each cheek, but still he did not say a word. I was a bit confused and didn’t know what to do. So the next thing I asked him was "Are you fine?” He finally looked directly at me and bursted out, “No!” And he continued while squeezing my hand: “I just pretend to be fine, but I’m not - I’m not.” In the same second, he hugged me very tightly and I realized that he was crying. Oh my God, now I be­gan to understand why he hadn’t said anything before. He had tried not to lose his poise and not to cry, but my questions didn’t help…

We stood there for quite a while just hugging each other. Michael sobbed a few times and I felt that he was shaking, although it was quite warm inside the bus. It took me at least half a minute to really understand that in this moment Michael was hugging me, crying and just showing and telling me his true feelings. Until this moment I had thought he really would be that strong and positive about the upcoming trial, like he had shown the public at the first arraignment a few days before. How naive I was! Of course, he was scared and of course he was hurt as much as one can be, facing these terrible allegations, when all he ever wanted to do was to help this kid, as he had helped so many sick children before and after that. Given these thoughts and feeling him shiver, I also had to fight with the tears. But then Michael kept on telling me that the fans’ presence at the court helped him so much and that we should tell all the fans to come back to the trial and support him. “It means so much to me!” - and he continued: “Go on the internet and tell all the fans that I love them sooo much!” He said that directly into my ear for we were still hugging each other. Although he was still sobbing between the words, his voice sounded so soft and wonderful. I said to him that we will tell his words to the fans and that many of us would love to be there for him all the time, but live in Europe or somewhere else - I also mentioned that we are from Germany - and that it is hard to make it to all court dates. I only wanted to explain, why we or other fans could not be there every day, although we would so much love to and I think he understood what I meant. He just said “I know” and squeezed me very tightly. In this moment I felt that this was the most emotional hug I’ve ever received or given to someone. Now it really didn’t matter who he was or who I was — it was just two people embracing each other. It was amazing. Overwhelmed by emotions I couldn’t contain myself and said, “I love you so much”. After holding this BIG hug for a few more seconds, both of us at the same time finally let go.

I was so confused that I almost went out of the bus without saying or doing anything else, when I remembered that I had a little Bavarian flag on which we had written "Munich loves you” for Michael. So I once again turned towards Michael and said “Oh, and this is for you”.

He took the flag with his big hand so that it almost disappeared in it and answered “thank you’’. Then I finally turned around and tried to walk down the stairs with very shaky knees.

As white as a wall, Sonja came out of the bus and Marina was the next one to climb up those stairs.

Marina: The sight of Sonja had made me feel insecure, not about meeting Michael, but about the emotional toll it might take. I stopped when I saw Michael waiting at the top of the stairs, looking towards me.

Sheepishly I said “Good morning, Michael” to him. At first he just looked at me not moving at all. It seemed he wanted to say some­thing but after a few moments, he suddenly took my hands and pulled me up the two remaining stairs, kissed me on each cheek and embraced me tightly. In that moment all the pent-up tension, all the fear and sorrow for him, all the concern, all the sympathy but mostly all the love for him finally unloaded and tears streamed down my face. “I love you so much, Michael!” were the only words that came out of my mouth. Now Michael could not stay composed either, even though he had tried so hard, and so he broke into tears as well, while saying “I love you so much more”. He embraced me even tighter than before, trying to console me by caressing my head and back.

We both couldn’t stop crying and it seemed to escalate more and more. I felt and experienced in those moments, how totally upset, deeply hurt and broken Michael was by all the terrible things that went on in his life. He was not at all confident, as he had tried to show the world a few days earlier at the court building in Santa Maria. At some point Michael began to tremble from top till toe. It was so obvious that he desperately needed people in his life that he could lean on and trust and who believed in his innocence. For quite a while we simply held each other sobbingly, when he suddenly with a broken voice said ,“…you know they hurt me so much with this, they try to destroy me…” His whole body shivered badly as he said those words and I helplessly tried to console him as best as I could by ca­ressing his back, yet found no words of consolation, because I knew the situation he was in was just terrible and to claim anything else would have been a blatant lie. “I know…, I know…” was all I could stammer and again we both had to cry so much, that we could hard­ly breathe. It felt like Michael was drowning and desperately tried to grasp at straws when he embraced me even tighter, it almost hurt. Yet in this moment of deepest desperation, he now tried to speak again, almost voiceless from all the crying, he croaky whispered in a desperate and beseeching way, “…but we must heal the world and help the children”. The way he uttered those words worried me more than anything, because they held a feeling of “Goodbye” in them, as if he tried to indicate that he would not be here with us for very much longer and needed us (fans) to fulfill his mission.

Instinctively I answered: “Oh, we will - but we will do it together with you, Michael!”, trying to tell him that we all need him so much. By these words he literally broke down again and sobbed so badly that I needed to hold him up, in a way, and keep the balance for us both. Again we cried so much and it took quite a while until Michael sud­denly found the strength to pull himself together. I tried to follow his example and both still shaking and our faces wet from each other’s tears, we finally said Goodbye to one another, before I shakily went down the stairs again, feeling completely worn out, heartbroken and empty.

Brigitte: While Marina had been up there with Michael, I only dared to glance up once briefly to make sure I heard correctly, and indeed Marina and Michael were in each other’s arms and it sounded as if they were both sobbing. It was dark and quiet piano music was playing in the bus. I was still shaking and freezing because of the cold, but also because of being so nervous and not knowing what to expect now. So, I continued trying to distract myself and kept talking to Michael’s assistant, who was standing next to the bus driver’s place. I told the assistant some stories about why we were still here, that we came for the arraignment, but booked our return flight later since it was almost half as expensive.

While still talking, I heard Marina moving in my direction, trying to get past and down the stairs out of the bus. Without saying a word and looking not like herself, Marina pushed past me and almost tripped and fell down the stairs. The state Marina was in and the sound of sobbing I had heard before scared me a little bit, to be hon­est. So I tried my best to play for time, but after I held Marina a bit and helped her out of the bus, it was my turn.

Shyly and slowly I climbed up the stairs towards Michael, still avoid­ing to look up at him. I did not want to look him straight in the eyes, not to embarrass him and myself, so I just held out my hand towards Michael to say "Hi”. But before I could say a word, he grabbed my hand and pulled me towards him and immediately hugged me tightly.

I was kind of hanging there, about two stairs lower than where Mi­chael was standing while he was pulling me closer and closer. There was a small barrier in the bus to define a place behind the driver and prevent people from falling down which also had a handle for people going up the last stairs to hold on. And since I could not climb up all the stairs for Michael had grabbed me before, I happened to have this barrier directly in my stomach which was not very comfort­able, especially since Michael was pulling me against it real hard and was not letting go.

Anyway, so early in the morning, being tired, frozen, nervous and confused, your senses are working quite selectively sometimes — so I managed to forget having this barrier pushed into my stomach after mere seconds. It was only after a while that I realized how warm Mi­chael felt and that he tried to warm me up by rubbing my back with his hand. He must have felt me shaking like crazy. The sound that the rubbing on the jacket made finally “woke me up” and I could feel Michael was also shaking a bit and he was weeping on my shoulder. We both stayed like this for at least one or two minutes without say­ing anything. Then, I heard his voice whispering in my ear: “Go on the internet… ”. As I said before, I was not completely myself then and there, and I just heard something about the internet, and was won­dering, what he is talking about. However, after finally concentrating and probably telling my ear to listen, I could hear him go on: “Go on the internet and tell them all, tell all the fans I love them so much and they should come next time to the court! It’s SO important to me!” Having said that, Michael pulled me even harder towards him­self. I could barely breathe, but I responded: “l promise they will come - it meant a lot to us as well” (meaning it made us feel better, too, to be finally able to help and support him and to give back to him after he gave so much to the world for years). After that Michael started to cry again. I felt kind of helpless and confused, I was shaking and sobbing, but could not really cry. It felt more like being in shock, I in­stinctively started rubbing his back as he did before. He hugged and embraced me tighter for a few moments, I could feel him breathing and sobbing - then he finally let go. He stepped back a bit, held his hands pressed together in front of his face and quietly whispered “I love you”. I said “I love you more”, turned around in total shock and almost fell down the stairs I was still standing on. Just before going down the stairs further, however, I saw I still had the three postcards from Munich which we had written to Michael last night in one hand. They were a bit bended since they had been stuck somewhere between the barrier, Michael and me, but I turned around once more, said “oh and this is for you” and gave them to him. He said a quiet “oh, thank you” while still wiping away some tears.

I stumbled out of the bus finding the rest of us staring at each other in disbelief, shaking, holding each other… we were simply lost for words.

The bus kept standing there for another few minutes, the door still open. We all were so exhausted and worn out that we don’t remember exactly all that happened then, but what we do remember, is Michael’s assistant talking to the security guards about what to “do” with us now and Michael telling them to let us into Neverland, to have something to eat and drink - obvi­ously to make us feel a bit better and calm down our distraught state.

We all went closer to the bus door again as we heard Michael’s voice and once he saw all of us again, he immediately walked down to touch each one of us and said “Thank you!” We told him in response to stay strong and keep the faith and that we would be there for him and love him so much. While not let­ting go of our hands, he said in a very loud and deep voice: “I love you more!” Then the bus door closed and the bus drove off, with him still standing at the window waving to us and us waving to him.

That cold January morning changed all of us. It was the most heart-breaking, most hurting experience of our life to feel that someone you love so much is hurting so bad, yet to understand that you are unable to truly help, besides supporting him with all your heart and by simply being there for him. But what im­pressed us the most and made us truly understand who Michael really is, was that even in those darkest and most hopeless mo­ments of his life, Michael’s heart went out to others, to the ones in need, especially to sick and poor children and to our hurting planet! We understood that this is what Michael really was all about! He was about helping and loving and caring for one an­other! And no matter how many times people tried to ridicule, belittle and hurt him and even, like in the last years, tried to destroy him, Michael never lost his ability to love and care and his deep desire to help others! He simply loved more!

- from the book ”A Life for L.O.V.E.: Michael Jackson stories you should have heard before

Instruments in Korean~

Music is a great way to relieve stress and connect with others (whether you play an instrument or just enjoy listening), and since many of us play or know others who play musical instruments, I decided to make a short little post on the names of some instruments in Korean!~

*remember to try and sound out each word before peeking at the romanization!~

음악 (eum ak) music
피아노 (pi ah no) piano
바이올린 (ba yi ol lin) violin
비올라 (bi ol la) viola
첼로 (chael lo) cello
베이스 (bae yi seu) bass
트럼펫 (teu reom paet) trumpet
플루트 (peul loo teu) flute
오보에 (oh bo ae) oboe
클라리넷 (keul la ri naet) clarinet
색소폰 (saek so pon) saxophone
기타 (gi ta) guitar
드럼 (deu reom) drums
충격 (choong gyeok) percussion
오케스트라 (oh kae seu teu ra) Orchestra

Hope this helps and happy studying!~

Mystic Mac: Bruce Lee 2.0

Since the last post I wrote seemed to generate a lot of interest, I’ve decided that I might as well buckle down and write part two. Before I get started, I want to establish one thing: This is not about who Conor McGregor is as a human being, how he sells himself, or how I feel about him as a person. This is about his technical abilities plain and simple.

To put it bluntly, Conor McGregor is most likely one of, the best fighters of our time. He truly embodies Bruce Lee’s philosophy of being like water and having a style of no style (which is kind of funny given the fact that SBGi was founded by JKD guy Matt Thornton). He throws hands like a boxer, stands and moves like a karateka, and kicks like capoeirista. His style is personal, unique, and seems to by hyper aware as to what his physical attributes are (namely his really long arms).  This alone could easily be enough to carry him to an elite level, but his style is not what makes him truly dangerous. His most powerful weapon is not his technique, but his mind. This only became readily apparent during his last two fights, as most of his previous opponents (and most MMA fighters) basically fight the same. While it was clear that McGregor was intelligent based on his shit talking ability, Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones have shown us that normal IQ and fight IQ are not all that closely linked.

Conor McGregor is a mentally perfect fighter. That is his secret. He is perfectly focused. He is perfectly calm. For him, fighting no different from going for a walk or mowing the lawn. Aside from the fact that he is obsessed. Not only with his own skills and movement, but his opponents. I would be willing to bet that every time he has a fight booked, he watches every single fight that said opponent has had not less than 20 times. He goes over each one, in order, looking for patterns and exploitable flaws. Once he finds what he needs he builds an intricate gameplan. And than he goes out an executes it flawlessly. Nowhere was this more apparent than in his fight with Chad Mendes. Before that fight (and on fairly short notice) he worked out that he could out strike Mendes, that Mendes could be lured into a stand-up fight (being a standard wrestler-turned-powerpuncher), and that he lacked the necessary skills to  wrestle with Mendes or sub him from the bottom. 

McGregor’s plan was relatively simple: he lured Mendez into striking exchanges my allowing him to land just enough to not shoot until late in the first round. As long was the fight was standing he went to the body constantly with spinning back kicks and front kicks. When Mendes did finally take him down, he stuck with closed guard and worked to tie Mendes up and limit damage rather than go for sweeps or submissions. Most of the action that happened on the ground took place in round 2, and while McGregor did take something of a beating he was never in danger of being finished. He spends all of his time on his back laughing and mocking Mendes. Eventually Mendes goes for a mounted guillotine choke and once again McGregor’s preperation comes into play as he smoothly rolls out using a technique that the UFC embedded footage showed him drilling a lot. He was ready for this. At this point Mendes is exhausted from the body kicks and four minutes of flailing around in McGregor’s guard. Mendes tries to shoot last time, fails, and with seconds left on the clock McGregor backs him into the fence and lands the same straight left from the same angle that put out Brandao and Siver. 

Finally, the Aldo fight. If McGregor’s fight with Mendes was a masterclass on how to game plan against someone that you should be weak against on short notice, his fight with Aldo was a demonstration of just how good he is at working out where people are weak. He said he would end it in the first exchange, and he did. And before anyone calls that lucky, watch this:

He knew. McGregor is not just incredibly athletic and creative. He has a previously unheard of analytical skill when it comes to breaking down other fighters. And that is what makes him special above all else.

In summery: McGregor’s true superpower is his ability to gameplan and we just didn’t see it until recently because (as I said in my last write-up) a lot of MMA fighters kinda fight the same. Up next: some creative strikers that pushed the edges of what people thought could work in MMA in the past that just didn’t quite put it all together.