I Battled Yo Mama, In 5-7-5

As I’m sure you all remember (because honestly, how could you forget), back in December my friend Jeremy, the head honcho over at Gosen Community Effort, had a fundraiser comprised of a 90s dance battle to raise money for those kids who want to attend high school way out yonder in Namibia.  Word To Yo Mama’s High Waisted Jeans won the glory of the champion title, and my ass got a beating on the concrete.  But a good ass beating is sometimes worth it.

Well, it was about time for another one of those fundraisers, and this time Polio swindled me into competing in his damn Yo Mama Haiku battle.  He wooed me with bribes like “it’s an opportunity for self growth” and “you’ll probably win”, along with the daily Kakao’d haiku for good measure.  I gave in, but as each day passed, I really wanted to bail because my nerves were rising. I couldn’t handle anymore nerves on my plate!  Then all the shit that Polio would give me for bailing, coupled with that damned opportunity for self growth, cancelled my escape route.

The fundraiser went down at the new Southern Sons bar, owned by some chingus from Texas, where 8 battlers competed for the best in Yo Mama shit talking. Each pair of us were given a topic ~ stupid, fat, bald, and so on, that we had to write 3 Yo Mama jokes in haiku form for, except for the finals, which consisted of 5 haikus on anything shaming Yo Mama.  For those who don’t know what a haiku is, I don’t know how you graduated 5th grade, but in any event, it follows a syllable format of 5-7-5.

After each battle we went around and hustled the crowd for raffle tickets that attendees purchased, and at the conclusion of each round raffle tickets were counted and winners progressed to the next round. The perk of having all your remaining friends still living in the country in attendance means you find yourself in the finals like so.

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I actually cringe when I listen to my voice in these battles, but you gotta put on yo gangsta face when duty calls. This clearly proves that A) I don’t have a good poker face and can’t not laugh at my competition, B) I am so white, and C) this was a good outlet for my vulgar mouth.

Now here I grace you with the awkwardness of a Haiku Battle.  A video of round 1 and the finals, and a photo of round 2 against the guy I thought should have won. HE WAS SO FUNNY! There’s no video of it though because I guess all of my friends were too enamored by my haiku spitting about yo mama’s mustache to capture a video.

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“Yo mama so bald, She used all your dad’s back hair, To make her own weave.”

In the end, I came in 2nd place, or as I like to put it, 1st is the worst, 2nd is the best. It turned out to be so much fun and I’m so happy I did it, even if I wasn’t the 2 time fundraising champion.  Also, given that I want to tackle doing stand up at least once in my life, ’twas a nice little segue.

I hope you enjoyed, and peace and yo mama’s mustache grease.

 

WTF?! Wednesday ~ A Poo-tiful Afternoon At Mr. Toilet House Museum

We’re gonna get shitty with today’s WTF?! Wednesday.  And when I say shitty, I mean it in the most entertaining of ways possible.

Korea has this really odd fascination with poop, and well, poop is hilarious to me so it works out swimmingly. A past boyfriend and I always used to have long weird conversations about poop and all the whathaveyous of it, but that was in the privacy of our own banter (and apparently now the rest of cyber space). Little did I think that many years down the line I’d move to a country that for some strange reason has a very impassioned love affair with the matter. But I did, and I’ve documented the mosaic’d and artistically crafted shit throughout this weird country I live in.

Well, unbeknownst to me, the shitty (“city” said with a Korean accent) of Suwon is where the great Toilet Culture Movement started, and since it’s inception in the late 1990s by Mr. Sim Jae-duck (respectfully nicknamed Mr. Toilet), it has really swept the nation and beyond in an effort to improve the “toilet culture” for all mankind. His dedication to the cause birthed the Mr. Toilet House Museum, and I of course had to make a trip down there.  So me, Andria and the beautiful Steven made an excursion down south to get educated in the culture of excrement.

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Nestled deep in Suwon is Haewoojae, otherwise known as Mr. Toilet House.  This museum and poop park used to be the home of Mr. Toilet, who after having been born in his grandmother’s toilet and nicknamed Gaetong-i (doggy poop), felt an intense connection to the porcelain God for the remainder of his life. His love of the toilet ranged from ensuring that toilets were hygienic and efficient, to remodeling his house in the shape of a toilet bowl. Talk about a passionate man!

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When you first arrive at Mr. Toilet House, you are greeted by Toile, the mascot of the museum. He is a, and I quote, “cute little poop character” there to guide you on your journey through the world of toilet culture.

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The museum is really bizarre, as you can imagine. It basically consists of old photos chronicling the growth of the Toilet Association, the evolution of the toilet since the 1950s, really graphic pooping statues, and different toilet symbols from around the globe.  Shockingly, I have never seen any of these so I’m calling bullshit on them. But still, funny nonetheless.

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My personal favorite big breasted woman enjoying some alone time.

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In the middle of the bottom floor in Mr. Toilet House is the bathroom, which we only thought was for show.  However, this bathroom is actually functional and pretty special because A) when the lights are turned on from the inside, you can watch everyone outside while you do your business, but the glass is opaque from the outside, and B) because Mr. Toilet hovers over you as you relieve yourself. He may even get a special treat as well (if he’s lucky!)

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When you decide to exit the actual house, there is a poop park outside. This park shows the evolution of the toilet since the before Christ days.

Baby’s first toilet ~ Mom’s hand.

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Years of perfecting that squat, and it still suffers from stage fright in Southeast Asia.

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Cute pooping friends.

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Some would say they do their best thinking on the toilet.

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Stepping in shit has never looked or felt so awesome!

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In all seriousness though, I guess we really can thank Suwon and Mr. Toilet for the cleanliness of the public restrooms in Korea. I was telling Jin this morning about our gallivanting at the Toilet museum, and she told me that prior to the 2002 World Cup in Korea, the public restroom situation was actually really disgusting. In order to make the facilities more appealing to the foreign community visiting Korea, the Toilet Association of Suwon stepped in to tidy things up.  Since then, the “toilet culture” of Korea has been held to very high standards.

There is also a video at the end of the tour showing the devastation that comes from the lack of proper toilets in nearly 40% of the world. As a result, 2 million people die each year from waterborne contagious diseases.  Ridiculous museum with a meaningful message, I suppose. I wonder if they actually donate the money from the Toilet Angels to fund toilet installation in less fortunate countries.

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Happy pooping peeps, and remember: “The first thing a human being is required to do for sustainable life is to defecate.  That is why feces can be such a ‘poo-tiful’ (beautiful) thing.”

WTF?! Wednesday ~ Would You Like Some Pig Midriff?

I’ve been super busy the past couple weeks, so apologies for my neglect on the WTF?! Wednesday front. I’m going to be moving when I return from Bali at the end of August, so Jeewon and I have been lugging our sweaty asses threw dingy shoebox apartment one after another until I finally found a cute little one bedroom to call my own! Praise all that is glorious and holy in this universe! My Vice Principal can finally lay off the overbearing mother role.

Now onto the weird.

This week and next week I have English camp, so that means I get off work at 12:40 everyday. This leaves lots of time to run errands and mosey around town in the sweltering dumpling cooker weather. On Monday I had to visit the US Embassy to add 48 more pages to my passport (!!!!), so I went on a long stroll after I was done with that.

The Embassy is located in my favorite part of Seoul, the Gwanghwamun/Jongno area. As I was just wandering down one of the tiny side streets in search of a naengmyeon restaurant to cool myself down, my eyes caught this awesome menu item.

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Yes, would anyone care for some PIG MIDRIFF for dinner? I don’t know about you, but when I think of pig midriff I think of a pig dancing around in a belly shirt circa the Britney Spears hey day era. It also comes by the “slaughter expert’s recommendation”.

So yea, instead of some pork belly, you get a PHAT slab of midriff. I hope it tastes sexy.

WTF?! Wednesday ~ A Row Of Phalluses

HI guys! Another week, another WTF?! Wednesday! It totally crept up on me this week because my weekend all blended together.  I was chosen to go on a 4 day trip with the Seoul Office of Education to the island of Dokdo along with 35 other native English teachers, so the weekend and the week have flown! That being said, a post about Dokdo will be coming shortly because that is a very special island to the people of Korea, so you’ll want to hear a little bit about it.  You’ll also want to know why I’ve since acquired a new sense of good luck now that I’ve been there.

ANYWAYS, for this week’s WTF?! Wednesday I’m presenting you with something phallic.  I think it’s absolutely odd that Korea has parks and sculptures enshrined all over the country dedicated to the male member, when anything related to sex is so taboo.  Many Koreans when asked don’t even know the scientific words for penis or vagina.  It’s BIZARRO.

While in Samcheok this weekend, we were walking up to the top of a mountain to pray (for the millionth time) for good weather so that we’d be able to reach Dokdo’s holy soil.  As we were walking, we passed this row of glorified penises. The boys I was with walked right past them at first, but I of course caught wind of them and lept at the photographic opportunity.

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Korea, you cray!

 

65 Is The New 31 If You’re A Baller.

Absolutely nothing about the following song reminds me of the Baller, except for one significant opening line…..”You remind me of my Gucci shoes.”

During our first year out of college, Bret and I used to talk on the phone every morning on our horrendously long traffic filled commutes to work. Along with hearing about his morning coffee consumption and other morning *movements*….I got to hear his sweet “sweet” rendition of Monica’s A Dozen Roses. Only for the longest time, I had absolutely NO idea what song he was singing because his annoying, nasally, almost Urkel-esq version was so far off from the sultry jam, that I was floored when I finally heard the actual song he was mimicking. He still doesn’t understand where my auditory disconnect went awry.

His awful singing voice aside, per his Facebook page, Bretty is turning a ripe 65 years young today, and his bone structure wouldn’t let you believe he’s a day over 31. He is the reason I love White Russians, why I’ll always find being called a whore endearing (but only by him of course), why I’ll always refer to that *classy* blue liquor that only grill-wearing ballers drink as “The Hypo”, why I’ll always remember my Women in Film class because of his incessant knee shakes, why men’s ties and the word “Façonnable” will always roll off my tongue, and why a New Years Eve will always be somewhat empty if he’s not there to grace me with his *sensational* hip-swiveling and claptastic dance moves. He’s the best roomie I’ve ever had, and the best platonic manfriend a girl could ever ask for. He’s the baller to my whore, and thank you UCSB and that lovely apartment complex on one Segovia Rd. for introducing us.

Oh, and Happy 31st Birthday old man. I hope your racquetball ankle sprain heels in a jiffy.

Now for a little time travel complete with a dance video, or two, because this post would be incomplete without.  Apologies in advance for the embarrassment.

I think this is the first photo we took as the best foursome of neighbors on the block. By this time I knew his name and wasn’t calling him “the Matthew McConaughey guy” anymore.

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Winter came, Natty Lite and White Russians got us super acquainted, I called him Doug Funnie nose, and I actually remember this hug quite vividly. We totes became BFFs then and there.

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I turned 21. White Russian, sweaty face and awful tank top. He also cracked open his very special bottle of “Hypo” on my very special day.

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He especially loved 2am wake-up calls from his awesome sisters and their friends down the way when he had water polo practice in 4 hours.

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He loved repaying the favor by jumping on his sister while he was intoxicated and she was trying to sleep. This is actually still one of my all time fave Baller/Jones photos. High 5!

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We also had Three’s Company naptime on the famous couches after a long day of watching Sex and the City or Desperate Housewives, two of Bretty’s favorite TV shows.

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Then the Baller and Whore 1 & 2 graduated ❤ Santa Barbara would have never ever been the same without these two.

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After graduating, Bret moved back up north to Coup Town and me to LA, and I was SO sad, but it honestly never really felt like it, aside from not seeing him everyday.  Since then we’ve spent I think nearly every New Years Eve together and a couple trips either him down to LA or me up to San Francisco within the years.

Botched trips up north for Oktoberfest, only to be greeted with the alternate gay Love Fest, have never been sweeter.

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And mind-altering afternoons in LA laughing our asses off while watching Borat have never been funnier.

When I came home after a year and a half in Korea, the Baller (and Rami!!) came to LA for my birthday weekend, and it was the best gift ever!!

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We of course danced, and he spent a lot of time practicing his dance moves and gettin’ low…..his “specialty”.

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A tribute to the Baller wouldn’t be complete without documentation of some of those masterpieces he likes to whip up. Please. Indulge your eyeballs.

Here he is dancing to his own natural rhythm. His own essence. Really feelin’ that music. Pardon the side angle.

And rounding it all out with my personal fave. Everytime I watch this video I can’t not laugh. It gets me every, EVERYtime.

Love you to the moon Baller, and I hope you get over your fear of Asian cuisine and come visit me in the Orient. I’ve got a live octopus with your name on it waiting.

HAPPY 65th BIRTHDAY, DOUG FUNNIE!!!  YOU’VE NEVER LOOKED BETTER!

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<3,

Your favorite Whore

WTF?! Wednesday

Hi guys!! Quick lil thang first off! I’ve decided to make an ever-so-slight change to my Wednesday weekly posting and will now be calling it WTF?! Wednesday.

Since Korea is a dream boat for all things weird and WTF, this will give me free reign to show you all the great Engrish fails PLUS all the other amazingly ridiculous things this country has come up with.  It’s absolutely fascinating.

SO, for today’s WTF?! Wednesday, I’m treating you to one of my personal faves.  This photo just goes to show that anything goes and zero f*cks (or many, according to this young lady’s head piece) are given over here in the name of fashion.  In this girl’s case I wouldn’t really qualify a bucket hat as fashionable, but that’s neither here nor there.

I was sitting across from this girl on the subway, and when I looked up from my phone I had to do a double take and reread because I thought my eyes were fooling me. They weren’t, and BOY what a statement she chose to make!

The hat really is a masterpiece.

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Your eyes are not deceiving you.  It does in fact say “FUCK IT” around the entire bucket and rim.

Perhaps her boyfriend broke up with her the day she made the purchase? Or she just liked the style? Or she’s never listened to rap music? Or foreign movies? I’m at a loss.

Whatever the reason, she gave zero fucks that day and it definitely made my day!

KoKo’s Resident Klutz

I was sitting with Jeewon, Tim and Andria Friday night at a failed evening of watching Reservoir Dogs on the rooftop at Platoon in Gangnam, and somehow my still (almost 2 months later) sprained ankle came up.  Then I got to pondering all my epic falls since coming to Korea.  I mean, if anyone knows me you know I’m a klutz, but ever since coming to this country I seem to have forgotten how to put one foot in front of the other.  It’s a bit absurd, I’m the first to admit.

Well, I made a tiny list of some of my goodies so they’ll never ever be forgotten once the bones heal and the bruises fade.

1 – ~6: Winter 2011

While still learning how to walk on snow and ice, I had quite a few tumbles that first winter. Many of them were in the Family Mart right by my school.  And many came back to back, as in right after I got up I fell back down again, and took down a few bags of chips with me. Actually, I could probably tack on a few more falls to that number up there, but we’ll just keep it at ~6 for my own sanity.

Remarkably, this past winter I don’t recall falling in the snow.  Job well done, me.

Note: Don’t wear Uggs in the snow.

7. Japanese Karaoke Room during a typhoon

During a typhooning evening in Kyoto, Japan,  30 bottles of sake took over a karaoke room.  Somewhere between not all of it making it into the appropriate glasses, and my own sheer excitement over singing the next Celine Dion or Disney tune, I collided with a puddle of sake on the ground and nearly broke my hand.  It didn’t feel right for a good month afterwards, but somehow it healed itself, and Japan will go down as how I came to be Noraebang obsessed.

8. 80s Roller Derby

This is easy.  I hadn’t legit roller skated in a really long time and someone had extra WD40’d those roller skates because were really slippery.  It was a given that I was going to plummet either face first or tuchous first. Thank heavens I’ve been blessed with a padded posterior.

9. 90s Dance Off for Namibia

The floor was slippery, I was in tap shoes.  It was a recipe for disaster.  At least I can say I tapped my ass off and we WON.  Let’s relive it again, shall we? It gets good at 2:26. And really good at 2:34.

10. I FELL OFF A BUS

2 weekends ago was Buddha’s Birthday so we had a 3 day weekend.  Andria and I decided we wanted to breathe some fresh air, so we headed out of Seoul and up to Paju, about 45 minutes away by bus, and about a hop, skip and a jump from the North Korean barbed wire border. Despite the locale, it’s a really cute little town with lots of coffee shops and random little art and chatchky galleries that we were excited to take advantage of.

But that’s besides my point right now.

Before I even stepped foot in Hyeri, the area of Paju that we were going to, my fun had already begun!

As I was swiping my T-Money card to get off the bus, I somehow missed the middle step in my footing, and in a nanosecond my whole body went repelling downwards.  I was caught somewhere between a lunge and a split from the top to the bottom step, and GOD BLESS my cat like reflexes, because if I hadn’t jut my arms all the way up and back to grab those metal bars I surely would have eaten that pavement and my teeth straight off the bus. My wallet went flying back and all I could scream to Andria was “SWIPE MY CARD!” Heaven forbid I get charged an extra 2,000won on the return having not swiped out on this journey!

Shockingly, the whole bus of Koreans let out gasps of horror, which is quite unusual, as people are so mum here and usually have nothing to do with people when something horrific or embarrassing happens on any mode of public transport. Anyways, I hoisted my lame body up and *gracefully* moved out of the way of the bus, let out a few cryscreams at the side of the rode as I held my aching knees, and checked to see if my tights had ripped (they hadn’t). Then I let out the heartiest laugh.  OF COURSE I FELL OFF A BUS.

This is what my left leg looked like the next day.  BATTLE WOUNDS.

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Fallin’ all over the world since this epic fall at the Colosseum of Rome in 2006.

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ByeBye, HeyHey ~ Off You Go To “A Whole New World”

I can’t believe I am even writing this post.  It actually pisses me off that I’m making myself do this.  However, I’ve come to use this blog space of mine to pay a little love to the people near and far who I want to give a big virtual hug to no matter where we both reside in the world at any present moment at any present time on any day of dire significance.

This one is dedicated to my beautiful Stephanie Anne Heyduck, who has become one of the nearest and dearest to my heart during this last year and a half in Korea.  It makes me really sad that her time here has expired, but that’s what comes with the expat territory.  Those who we become so close with weave in and out of our lives and that’s that.  I guess it’s what we indirectly signed up for in choosing a lifestyle fueled by wanderlust; bonding together with others who also thrive on that same passion to wander and move about this glorious globe to explore and conquer.

As we’ve cuddled, danced and traveled our way through an ever-growing friendship, it’s always been apparent to me that Steph is totally one of those people who is unbelievably wise beyond her 25 years.   Whether it be in matters of the heart or the world, she always manages to have the wild child in check with the mature adult who’s got their head screwed on straight.   She’s also one of those people that just knows something about everything, no matter the topic.  I only know a few of those kinds of people and she’s one of them.  It always kind of amazes me and I’m just like WHA?!  Where you come from?!  She’s a special one, and I love her dearly.

Now for a little journey thru some of my fave highlights of the past year and a half frolicking thru the far East together 🙂

The first time I met Steph was when Jeanette and Carmen were visiting.  It was maybe my 3rd week living in Seoul, and Jeanette and Steph realized they had practically matching tattoos.  Friends.Seoulmates.WHAT.

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Here’s the first time Steph, Katie, Abby and I officially became a foursome after each others hearts.  We hiked to the top of Namsan Tower and then struggled to take this photo in the geographical center of Seoul! Many of my “I’m so happy I’m in Korea moments” have been spent with these ladies, and they’ll all always hold one of the most special places in my little Korean heart.

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She introduced me to one of my favorite Korean foods, Shabu Shabu, in the Ying Yang pot, one freezing cold night after shopping our butts off in Myeong-dong. Nom.

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We’ve had some shenanigans, and this was one random night out on the town while everyone else got down on a bus filled with soju.  Hey, we all make mistakes. She dragged me, she loves me despite it 😉

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We got money hungry at the Trick Eye Museum. AKA the most fun museum EVER!

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Then we got ballsy and decided to eat some live octopus together for the first time.  Actually not so bad and kinda fun.

Somewhere around this time we decided we’d bare it all and get naked with each other at the jjimjilbang.  We did, and it was weird for like 2 minutes, and then it was awesome, and then we went again, and we became obsessed even though we didn’t do it as often as we thought we would.  But still.  It brought us as close as 2 naked platonic girlfriends can get.  Both in and outside of our sexy jjimjilbang attire.

Her family came to visit, got us smashed to pieces during her mom’s first date with soju, and then Papa Heyduck did a sorority pose in this photo with us all.

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There were a couple girls nights in.  This may have been what they started out looking like.

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And then the aftermath to the tune of some Disney movies and Twilight and makkoli and soju.

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Then we took on a bit of traveling together.  First came that unforgettable typhoon of a trip to Japan where we rode bikes around Kyoto…

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Got our plans “horribly” rearranged by an unexpected typhoon…

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And then relocated ourselves to the nearest karaoke room where Steph gave us this private show (before I inevitably hogged the mic).  Adele or Celine perhaps? The sake won’t allow me to remember.  Whatever the song, her voice sang it magically.  From this moment on we became noraebang obsessed.

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Shortly after, we went to go Barack the vote together.  We were VERY excited to make our voices heard.

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And after he won the election, the two of us rented out the VIP room at a local noraebang in Itaewon (because it was the only one available), drank ourselves silly on a Wednesday night, and sang our Disney hearts wild for 2 hours because we were so happy for our man Barry.  One of my all time fave Steph & Dani moments to date. “I can show you the worldddddddd……”

Of course by far one of my favorite things everrrrr that we’ve done was going to Thailand and Laos together this past February.  You don’t really know someone til you either live or travel with them, and we traveled really really well together.  We had such an amazing time playing with elephants and tigers, cooking exotic cuisine, crossing the border like a coupla Mexican cholas in the back of one too many pick-up trucks, and meeting lovely French lassies and gorgeous Argentinian men along the way. (I have majorly slacked in posting about that trip, but it will be coming soon, I promise. Eeeep!)

Needless to say, friendship is nothin if you’re not there to help hoist your friend’s fat ass up on top of a hormonal elephant…

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Or sit down next to each other in some tiger pee to get those one-in-a-million shots in life!

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Tonight after Abby and I had to fight back premature tears while saying bye to Steph at our 2nd to last dinner together, we were talking about when we first signed up to move our lives to Korea.  We had envisioned living amongst a new culture, with new foods, new experiences, new travels, a new language to make up the white noise in our background, and we knew we’d make friends abroad.  But, we both made the connection that neither of us had really put much thought into the relationships we were going to build and who would soon become our family whilst carrying on our new lives.  I guess you don’t really plan or think about those types of things because they’re organic and happen as they will. With the ending of year one a slew of great loves left, but Stephanie is my first great girlfriend who’s been there since the beginning, to leave Korea, and that’s a killer. Great girlfriends are not easy to find, and she is just one of those friends that I am so lucky to have snatched up.

To wrap it all up, I love you Stepaneeeeee, and I’m gonna miss you, like, times 10 million to the max.  But, I know we are both wanderers and this is just a BIG “see ya later”.  My time spent in Korea would never have been quite the same without you in it, and I hope this next chapter of your life is a lot less (kimchi) smelly, but just as fulfilling as the past 2 years have been.  I love you to infinity and beyondddddddd.

<3,

Dani

A Pupu Platter Of 2012 Whathaveyous

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!

Wow, another year has come and gone, and I must say, 2012 was my favorite year of my almost-29 years gracing this planet.  So much that I had always dreamt of in years past same to fruition this year, and I can honestly say I am in the best place I have ever been in my life.  And it feels damn good 😉

I had made the resolution in 2011 that by the end of the year I would be living a life abroad ~ check.  In 2012 I promised myself I would do absolutely as much traveling of Asia as possible.  I came to Korea to conquer this continent like a blaze of fire, and in looking back I can say I did just that.  Along with the travel resolutions, I really put my best foot forward to work on getting what I really want, and making that start from within.  I try my best to communicate what I want, but a lot of time it fails when walls get put up, or life just gets in the way.  So, I’ve really tried to be as self-aware as possible just be the best version of myself and hope that it brings with it what I truly want.  That being said, 2012 has definitely been the happiest and most honest year to date 🙂

Now I’m just gonna throw together a few highlights from each month of 2012. Badabing herrrrrr goes!

I began the year on the beach in Koh Phangan, covered in florescent body paint and drinking liquor by the buckets with one of my dearest and oldest friends on the planet ~ my fave biatch and sista from anotha mista, Miz Diamond ❤

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January marked my first birthday to be celebrated away from everyone I’ve always shared my (obviously) favorite holiday with.  I felt a little down about it, then in flew a gift from THE BEST sista ever ~ Sista Schaeff in the flesh, in Korea!

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On her last night here, she snuggled my foot to sleep.  BY CHOICE! ❤

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In February I visited two of my favorite countries so far ~ Vietnam and Cambodia. I saw some of the most beautiful snorkeling waters, caught my first fish, shot my first gun, ate a bowl of pho a day, wondered why they allow Americans in, and saw my life flash before me about 1million times while in ‘Nam.

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In Cambodia I visited the most breathtaking temples I have ever seen, spent an afternoon with beautiful children in an orphanage on the river, saw insurmountable beauties in some of the deepest poverty stricken eyes, and struggled to hold back tears while walking through a living history at the Killing Fields and S-21 genocide museum remnants from the Khmer Rouge of the 70s~80s.

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In March I visited the happiest place on earth, AKA the DMZ, for the second time.  This time we rode bikes along the most intensely guarded border in the world, all while Obama paid the peninsula a visit and peered over to the North with us.

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April means Passover, which also means the sea parts in Korea.  I made the trek down south with a homie and we met Moses, crossed the parted sea and drank makkoli while doing so, obvi.

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Later in April, my favorite story to date came to be.  A couple morons went to a Lady GaGa concert.  They got all gussied up in the hottest of pink and the tightest of attire, only to miss the whole thing whilst trying to attain the most coveted seats in the house during the “GaGa cover band”…. *face palm* At least we looked sexy.

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In May, Wawa came for a visit.  We did many things, but by far our favorite day was our “Day of Culture.”  We visited Gyeongbukgong Palace, learned about the creation of Hangul (the Korean alphabet), ate a traditional lunch, drank tea in a lovely tea house, dressed up and cracked up in Hanbok (traditional Korean dress), and wrapped up with a journey to the Noryangjin Fish Market.  Twas a wondrous day!

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Then came June, and Buddha’s birthday.  A crew of us high-tailed out of Seoul to Gangneung, a little beach town on the East Sea. There were makkoli and soju spurred chicken fights, sexy man-wrestles, toasty bonfires, crashing of high class fancy Korean booking clubs and frisbee games resulting in broken pinky toes and racial slurs. The Buddhaman had an awesome birthday!!

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Then came July and two events which could be classified as the greatest events of the century. One more than the other, but one got more hype than the other according to the Facebook.  You can use your own judgement on that one.  One required us to dress to the nines to bid adieu to all the homies we grew to call family, and also the ones we grew apart from because a lot of people that came with us were weirdos, let’s face it. The other required some prior temple-sculpting, lots and lots and lots of soju, mudmudmud and practically no clothes. Mud Fest was by far my favorite event of 2012.  Shit was CRAY TO THE MAX!

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August was the most bittersweet month of the year I’d say.  It was sweet because I took a 2.5 week summer jaunt on over to the Philippines with my lovely lass from home, Brianne.  We saw some of the most picturesque islands, snorkeled and ate our faces off, hiked miles in our little warrior Havaianas, posed with stalagtites, missed the whale sharks, got in a fist fight with a very mean typhoon, and let tempers fly with shitty budget airlines.

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August was bitter because our contracts ended and some left KoKo and I had to face the harsh reality that the world as I knew it was shattering before me.  Well, that’s an over-dramatization, but that’s how it felt at the time dammit. I also got thrown into my deathbed by some plague I contracted in the Philippines.   So, not only were my friends leaving, but I was deathly ill and partying with an IV in the hospital, unable to hand out proper goodbye hugs. NOT COOL WORLD.

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Then on rolled September.  Grabbing my bearings on who was still left in my Seoul-cial circle happened naturally.  I got back in the go-out mode (at least for the time being), and some friendships from the previous year had the chance to blossom.  Late in the month for Chuseok holiday, a group of us gals decided to pop off to Osaka and Kyoto, Japan with boy toy Joshy. We frolicked by bicycle all over Kyoto, made the most of the typhoon stricken city by stuffing our faces with enough sushi and sake to fuel an army, and tore up (literally) a karaoke room.  Best weekend ever!!!

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October was of course Halloween, and we got down with our bad selves…and Bob the Builder.

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In November I actually had a REAL Thanksgiving, none of that Pho shit (pardon me, it’s just not suitable cuisine for Thanksgiving).  Josh Rich was also in town as my 6th visitor to the Orient. A Happy Happy Turkey Day it was!

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And last but not least, I think the winner for best December event goes to my dance crew’s (WORD TO YO MAMA’S HIGH WAISTED JEANS) epic ass kicking in the 90s dance battle for the African kids. Real winners put in the effort, and effort we put in. Obviously you would know this had you been at our latke-rehearsal party, our cheese and crackers rehearsal party where Matty ripped his jeans, and our final rehearsal party that almost interfered with us attending the actual party because we were too focused on perfecting our dance.  What a BOMB DIGGITY way send out 2012!!!

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As you can see, 2012 was quite the year, and it’s been a pleasure looking back on it with you. Here’s to an even better 2013, and going home to America in 10 days!!!!!!!

PEACE & CHICKEN GREASE, HOMIEZ.

I Came, I Fell, I Conquered

I know I’ve been a complete slack of a human being on the blog front as of late. I keep telling myself to post about the recent happs, but then life gets the best of me. In my defense, I’ve been a bit preoccupied with all the visitors I’ve had here in the KoKo.  I’ve been top of the pops lately if you hadn’t heard. In the past 2 months I’ve had 3 visitors to Korea: Jeff Davidson, one of my ATO homies from the good ‘ol SBeezy days, Josh “Gay” Rich, my old Santa Barbara neighbor and favorite non-homosexual gay person, and lastly, my long-awaited, MUCH anticipated visitor, Adam Allegro, photographer extraordinaire (http://catchthejiffy.com). It’s been awesome, and that brings my visitor count to 7 in the last 16 months.  Who’s next?!?!

To catch you up, because I’m sure Facebook doesn’t do that for you, I’ll show you some highlights from the past 3 months. It’s a bit of a time traveling experience, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

The first highlight after Japan was Halloween.  Halloween is my favorite holiday, and last year it was a sour disappointment, despite my amazing costume.  However, the company I shared it with this year more than made up for last year. I got creative while exploring the world wide web and decided to go as a Roy Lichtenstein 1960s pop art lady (in case the uncultured folk out there are confused and just think I had really bad acne for the evening).

I kicked it with some saucy Japanese schoolgirls.

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Had my “damsel in distress” moment when I got rescued by Spiderman in a seedy alleyway in HBC.

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Then I went on to get down with Andre Agassi’s zombie circa 1990.

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A couple weeks later me and a bunch of Koreans decided to hit up a 1960s/Andy Warhol shindig.  Here’s me and Jee shmoozing with Mr. Warhol about being in one of his next films.

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Then we just got sexy with some spectacular wall art.

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Then I had an unexpected 5th visitor when Jeff popped over from Singapore for a few days on business.  Here’s us drinking somak (soju and beer combo) at Noryangjin fish market, over a plate of freshly killed sashimi and octopus.

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Shortly thereafter, I time traveled to a roller derby set in the 1980s. My closet and I love the 80s, and this was the perfect opportunity for me to cut up my newly purchased California Raisins sweatshirt into true Flash Dance style.  It also provided the perfect setting for me to showcase my wild agility and ability to stand on two feet.  My hands hurt for a good 3 weeks after this tumble.

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A couple weeks later Josh “Gay” Rich came for a week-long jaunt to the peninsula to learn what Gangnam Style is all about. I’m not sure if he discovered it or not?  He was my 3rd school visitor, and my kids thought he was very handsome and very TALL.  The girls were oogling at him and the boys were jumping to try and reach his head.  It was adorable.

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Then he met my 6th grade boyfriend, Jinho.  My little angel boy talked baseball with him and was so excited to meet him. I was like a proud mama.

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During Josh’s visit I also celebrated my 2nd Thanksgiving abroad.  Holidays are so weird in Korea.  They literally sneak up on you.  I swear I didn’t realize it was Thanksgiving til like 3 days before and we had to scramble for where we were doing our potluck because I was not settling for another bowl of Pho on Thanksgiving like last year.  Anyways, this is my beautiful Seoul fam plus Josh.  Every family has that one “special” member right?  Can you spot ours?

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This pretty much catches me up to present-day and my most current visitor.  Adam and I have been wanting to be on the same continent for a few years now, and the time finally came!  He just got out of the Navy stationed in Italy and has begun  his year of jet-setting across Asia to pursue his photography dream.  We started bonding over his beautiful photos a few years ago, so I’m thrilled to have him in my home-away-from-home to capture some stunning photographs of this peninsula that now holds a special place in my heart, despite all it’s oddities.  He’s been here since December 10th, and is here until January 4th popping all over Korea.

Aside from taking brilliant photos, I brought him to school with me as my show and tell special gift to my shithead 6th graders.  I felt they needed a little inspiration, and to many he was.  They were all impressed with his gigantic stature (6’4″), his ginger hair, a term I taught to my 3rd graders, and how his feet hung out over the back of his slippers.

Here he is with my best class of 6th graders.  They were amazing and had so much fun with him!

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He also handed out piggyback rides to my favorite 3rd grade babies.

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And met my 6th grade boyfriend again 🙂 Isn’t he just the cutest?

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He even arm wrestled my man co-teacher after my students dragged Mr. Jang over to the table.  Peep the video below to watch Adam kick his ass.

 

This week I also celebrated my 2nd Christmas abroad, but first in Seoul. I was actually feeling crappy all day, but was coaxed into going to my friend Keira’s for a potluck/housewarming party.  It ended up being really nice and quaint and I’m glad I went, because the holidays are already really depressing living over here that they shouldn’t be made any more by staying in bed by myself on Christmas day.  So, here’s another semi-family photo with some new Koreans that I met.  Once again, can you spot our “special” member?

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Last but certainly not least was the EPIC event that I partook in last weekend.  My friend Jeremy runs a non-profit organization (http://gosena.org/) where he raises money to pay for high school costs for a select group of students in the Namibian school that he used to work at during the Peace Corps. So a couple times a year he throws fundraisers where we spend an over-abundance on alcohol and have an amazing time and it goes to support little African kids.  Well, this holiday fundraiser was an In Living Color themed t-shirt tag party fully loaded with 90s dance battles.  However, the 3 other “crews,” if they can even call themselves that, didn’t even stand a chance against my craftily put together crew.  All hail to the 1st place champions: WORD TO YO MAMA’S HIGH WAISTED JEANS (or WTYMHWJ for short).  We featured a medley of jams sampling all the great hits from every NOW music CD you ever owned. We won the whopping prize of 100,00won which we generously donated back to the kids, and of course superstar status for the rest of the evening.

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If you want to relive the Macarena, Barbie Girl DDR style, the great Bboys, the amazingness of “The Carlton” or watch a tap dancer slam her ass so hard on the ground that she pulls her groin muscle, I beg you to please tickle your eyeballs with the video below.  I promise you it’s worth every second of the 4 minutes that it is.

 

I hope you enjoyed the speedy version of the past 3 months. I’ve felt like quite the sorority girl that I never was.

OH, and if you live under a rock, I’ll be gracing the United States of America January 12th~25th.  So, if you know what’s good for you you’ll accompany me as I eat myself a winter coat during the duration of my visit, and come celebrate my birthday the evening of January 19th.  SEE YOU SOON AMERICA!!!