#tbt The Night We Repped The LBC

For this #tbt (read: #throwbackthursday, read: flashback to days past), I’m going to visually recount when Joshy, Jee, Veny and I took our ghetto a$$e$ to see Snoop in Seoul, because, well, I realized I never repped him on the blog, and because it was super fun and it also wasn’t an epic bomb of a show like that time Collin and I thought we saw Gaga cover Gaga.

I realize this was pretty much almost a year ago next month, thus making it the perfect specimen for a flashy flashback.

We all got really super excited when we knew Snoop was coming.  There was the minor wonderment of how the man was going to enter the country under the influence, because you know he has to be, and there was no way he wasn’t going to be without it, but Korea is a druggless country. There was also the brief discussion of how we ourselves were going to get “lit”.

Joshua and I seriously looked up directions for how to smoke banana peels like a coupla hippies, but that turned up preposterous results, and work that proved to be far too extensive for an outcome that would not warrant our backbreaking labor over my measly toaster oven.

Guess we would just have to sip on dat gin (soju) n’ juice the old fashioned way while we got to work on our hand-crafted Olde English LBC represent costumerie. We kept in true Rastafarian color scheme to go along with his Snoop Lion-ness.

I would personally like to thank Itaewon’s skeezy scene for being a magical garden of glorious ghetto herb jewels!  Thank you for bedazzling our bosoms!

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After Snoopifying ourselves. Purple drank and a fat one.

Moving outdoors to some bars to get all hood and shit.

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Bad bitchez.

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Is this guy the biggest thug you ever did see or what? Livin dat THUGLYFE.

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The show was at Olympic Park Stadium, and once we got in, it felt so lax compared to concerts back home. I’m used to hardcore security at Staples Center where you cannot walk an inch without someone checking your ticket, but once we were inside, we were able to run down and we were on a lower platform just dancing and singing (screaming, let’s be honest, I lost my voice) the whole night with a slew of other people. It was bomb diggity.

We also made bets about what time and what song he was going to start with, and guess who was the lucky ducky?! That’d be moi! He kicked it off as Snoop Lion with his then-new “La La La” and after that he was Snoop Dogg for the rest of the show.

Everyone owed me a cocktail that I really did not need at that point in my life.

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In keeping with the theme of the evening, and because we wanted to try and stalk him and sneak into the after party with him and 2NE1, we went to every super gangsta bar in Itaewon. We ended up spending the bulk of our evening in Club Zion, which I deem the island bar because I like to imagine that’s what it’d feel like if you were on some sweaty island somewhere. I met a bald man named Herbert, and I will not be returning there again!

And no, we did not meet or get into any Snoop Doggy Dogg parties. But I know where to find all the Tanzanians if you’re looking.

All in all, it was an excellent show and we had SO much fun!

Always remember, WEST COAST IS THE BEST COAST!

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Get Yo Retro On: Shindig & Gopchang Jeongol

I’d like to take a moment and highlight what I believe to be two of the greatest hidden treasures of the glorious Hongdae. For those who aren’t in the know, Hongdae is a very lively part of Seoul with a really great art university, and some of the cutest coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques around. It’s also where a lot of dignity goes to die every Friday and Saturday night at places like Zen 1 & 3, “The Park” and Papa or Mama Gorilla…. if you’re really feeling like making some mistakes.

Of course I love a good solid night of awful 1,500won tequila shooting and dancing to the same songs over and over again, weekend in and weekend out, but I do enjoy a change of pace every now and then.  Well, I recently discovered the bar Myoungwolgwan (MWG) which holds a Shindig night once a month, where all they play are tunes from the 50s and 60s. And let me tell you, that tiny little wood paneled bar gets all kinds of dirty dancing up in thurrrr! I don’t think I’ve had more fun during a night out in Hongdae than I have the past two times I’ve gone to Shindig! Hatches new visions of Richard Simmons’ sweatin to the oldies.

The first time I literally stumbled on it because my friend Dustin, who recently came back into town for the summer, had a friend DJ’ing. We went, we sang jovially, and we got way down with our bad selves.

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This last one in June was a Tiki/Beach theme (perfect opportunity to rock my dress adorned with palm trees), and was their first foray into live music with a girl group called The Barberettes, and a little Korean man who tried desperately to imitate Johnny Cash. They played some jams to kick off the night, and then the tunes started bumping and the dancing got underway!

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For those who are looking for a way to boogie down and can’t get enough oldies in their life, MWG’s Shindig is located just behind Hongdae Park. When you walk out past the bathrooms, keep going straight and pass Exit and it’s just past it with a lotus sign. It’s 8,000~10,000won cover, and that gets you a free beverage as well as lots of burned calories once you start shakin your groove thang.

My other favorite hidden gem of Hongdae is a poppin retro bar called Gopchang Jeongol.  Andria, Jee and I started our birthday celebration here earlier this year, since we are ajummas and all.  It was only suiting we spent an evening celebrating our long lives to the tune of Korean rock n roll from decades past.

This place has the coolest vibe and is decked out with hundreds of records, photos of old groups, vintage radios and clocks covering the walls.  Granted I can’t sing the songs that play because they’re all in Korean, but they still have that awesome oldies retro vibe that I totally crave in my life. But then there’s that glimmering moment when I recognize an American song redone in Korean and belt it out in my own English bubble. Assa!

This last time I went before Shindig with Josh, Andria and a few of Andria’s friends, for an evening of retro. There was this one table of 2 Korean couples who were so out-of-this-world jammin’ along to every song that came on.  They were having the best time (and as we found out later, smashed out of their minds!) At some point in the night, they got up and came over to our table, where Josh and I put on our ever-present dancing shoes, and started jumping and awkward dancing and singing right along with them.

Here we are all happy-faced out with our new friends of 15 minutes, before the girl in black irked Josh out and fell off her chair. Oopsie daisies!

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We have tried to find this place a few other times, and Josh and I always got lost.  But, should you chose to navigate Hongdae and treat yourself to a feel-good evening (which you totally should), here’s how to orient your internal compass. Go out exit 4 of Hongik Station and walk towards the main street.  Turn left down the street and make your first left. Keep going to the end of the road and take a left and walk until you come to a roundabout. Take the first right, and keep walking down that street until you almost come to the end of the road. It’ll be on your left down a little staircase. You have to order some food too, along with your drinks, but that’s pretty standard for most Korean bars/hofs.

I seriously hope you go, boogie down and enjoy both as much as I do!

Healing The World Thru MJ & ESL

There have been a couple times in my life when I quite vividly remember Michael Jackson songs leaving a feeling with me that so permanently stuck.  I’ll start with the second story first because it isn’t as applicable to this post as the first is. 

This was during my junior year of college during Fiesta weekend.  I drank too much of a bucket at Sharkeez, however I wasn’t even drunk, but felt absolutely sick so I was sitting down moping in the corner while everyone was dancing and having a great time.  BUT, the second “Billie Jean” came on, a fire was lit under my ass and I lept up and to the dance floor I went for a good 4 minutes of hardcore dancing….ultimately retiring to my nauseafest in the corner once the song concluded.  If only for those 4 minutes, thanks to the great MJ, my night was quite complete.  Ever since then, I cannot sit down during “Billie Jean.” IT IS MY JAM.

Now on to the first story.  When I was in 5th grade, the music teacher would come around to our classroom and  teach us songs once a week.  This one week we happened to learn “Heal the World.”  I instantly FELL IN LOVE with the song and all I remember trying to do that whole period was steal the lyric sheet that the teacher handed out to us.  Then when goody-two-shoes-ol-me was too scared to steal it, I began frantically trying to write down all the lyrics.  When that got to be too much, I finally ended up stealing the sheet.  Phew!  I was determined to learn that song! Essentially, I thought the song was so beautiful and fell in love with the power behind the words at such a young age, and it is a memory of a song I will never ever forget. 

Well, this past chapter with my 5th graders, Jin and I were teaching about “What a wonderful……”  She had taught them the song “What a Wonderful World” and thought it would also be really great to teach them about the differences the world over.  The poverty, the obesity, the riches, the diseases, the fighting, the different ethnicities, the different religions and skin colors, all co-exiting together.  This is so important, especially since Korea is such a homogenous society and many will never have the chance to leave, or may never choose to leave.  It was also really special to me to have the chance to teach it to them with Jin since I had first learned the song when I was their age and it had such a lasting impact on me. After watching the video with Korean translation, one of my students ran up to me asking if she could please have a lyrics sheet.  I instantly gave her a hug and it brought me right back to when I was her age scrambling to keep those lyrics for my own.  Major heart swell.

The irony in all this is that while teaching these children about healing the world, and while I was making this video, our neighbors up above are all consumed with blowing the world up.  Anyways, below is a video of the song project that they did. Hope you enjoy 🙂

 

And just for fun, because I’ve had a week FILLED will Michael Jackson love, here’s another video of two of my little nerds singing, and completely GETTIN DOWN with their bad selves, to “I’ll Be There” by The Jackson 5. 

With the 6th Graders we were learning “I will….” so we learned this song as a dictation exercise.  I caught the little guy on the right totally gettin all soulful in his seat all the way in the back, so I jokingly asked him if he wanted to come to the stage up front and perform for the class, and he gladly accepted my invitation!  John, on the left, is my favorite, super nerdy, computer programmer boyfriend. I love him more than words can say. Enjoy the comedy.  This has definitely been one of my teaching English in Korea highlights 🙂

 

Nothin like a lil MJ to unite the freakin world.

Gangnam Styleeee

I know this is a bit tardy, but I’ve been out of the country so I couldn’t inform you of this rage over in the East, but I still wanted to, so I’m doing it now.  This video is insane.  When Brianne and I were in Boracay it came on in one of the clubs we were in and everyone lost their SHIT.  She later asked me what it was….well, now here you go, m’lady.   I don’t really know why this song is everywhere, aside from that it’s KPOP and it’s awesomely awkward and entertaining.

In case you’re wondering, Gangnam is the really richy, fancy, well-to-do part of Seoul just south of the river where lots of plastic surgery happens, and “oppa” is what the Korean girls like to call older (young) men.  Usually using a very high pitched “cute” voice.

Enjoy the sexiness…

In other news, Philippines post to come soon-ish, and I think I will begin a “Photo-a-Day” portion of this blog starting when my 2nd contract begins next week 🙂

La Bamba Mi Papa

If I had to pick one song that will forever remind me of my dad it would be La Bamba.  Yes, La Bamba. When I was little Dani Tami sitting in the back seat of Papa Schaeff’s black Grand Marquis (later to be stolen) I used to request that La Bamba be played on repeat any and every time we were in the car. It was my favorite song.  My dad had a cassette tape that he used to play.  As soon as the song would finish I’d yell out “PLAY AGAIN!” and he would play it again…and again. I’m sure he hates the song now. However, if and whenever I do get married, I can guarantee there will be a jazzy father-daughter dance to La Bamba. I can’t wait.

Today is Father’s Day back home, so the spontaneous no 2nd period, no 3rd period and no 4th period, came as a pleasant surprise, and called for an earlier Skype call home to Papa Schaeff and the rest of the whack job Schaeffs! I’ve been kind of bad about talking to my dad this whole time that I’ve been abroad, so whenever we do talk it’s always a pretty long catch up sesh on the men (if any) in my life, where I’m traveling to next and where I want to go after, if I’m (still) sick, how the house is doing, what movies we’ve seen…. all while watching my dad make stupid faces and hold the camera so close to his face that I can see up his nose.

Let’s be honest, my dad is awesome in the cookiest way possible. They say that as women we typically tend to look for men who remind us of our father, or who have qualities that they possess.  I guess that is true, because no other man in the world would put me or my family before himself.  Who would work so damn hard that it stresses him out more than it should, but does it because he loves his kids and family more than anything in the world. So why wouldn’t we look for that? He may not be able to afford everything I’ve ever wanted in my Princess world, but fundamentally, the things that make me the person I am today definitely came from the kind of father that I grew up having.  We have our fair share of problems as a family (who doesn’t), but no matter what’s happened I’ve never once doubted the dedication my dad has to our family.  He (and his once-upon-a-time fro) truly are the best.

Some of my most favorite and fantastic stories while growing up are about my dad.  HELLO San Francisco China Town/Days Inn/15 seater van fiasco.  I think I said too much. But that story never EVER fails to make me die hysterically of laughter.  In short, I love Papa Schaeff so much and consider myself one lucky lass to be his daughter.  So now let’s take a little journey through the many hairstyles and wardrobes that make him so awesome.

Little Garry Schaeffer and my Grandma Janet and Grandpa Harry back in Pittsburgh.

He was so hip, and loved to draw cubes. On everything.

After driving a taxi in NYC and Chicago,  he embraced the fro, dropped an “R” in his name (why?!), moved to Hollywood and took some commercial head shots.

And some dramatic, pensive head shots.

Played a milkman.

And posed like this in front of cars that matched his pants.

Then in 1983 he met Mama Schaeff at a party. They did a silly little dance that sista and I like to imitate all.the.time, and 6 months later decided to get hitched in Vegas.  Here’s how the rest of his life has unfolded since having children and living in Los Angeles.

Aunt Ruby came to my tea party birthday party in 4th grade.  She ran around the tea party in jogging shorts and full make up and wig.

He took me toy shopping in the most stylish way possible.

We went for a dip and a sunbathe.

And education always came first (I was reading about stocks).

He drove us on many cross-country journeys, and took us on boats to exotic places and Catalina where we washed a hot day down with ice cream and short shorts.

Education paid off and he congratulated me for drinking my way thru college.

He sent me off like so on vacations to exotic lands.

And then hugged me as I bawled my damn eyes out when I moved across the world.

Papa Schaeff rocks, and I will be listening to La Bamba all day in his honor. LOVE YOU!!

 

The End of The Beginning & The Beginning Of The End

Today is the first day of school, and I wore my new vintage blue plaid blazer because you’re supposed to look your best on the first day of school, right? I also wore my new Koreanized spectacles which my amazing-not-anymore-co-teacher told me look very expensive. I’m fancy.

Since it’s the first day of school and I never wrote about winter camp or the end of the school year, I’m just gonna kill 2 birds with one stone.

Winter Camp came and went, thank god.  2 weeks for 3rd & 4th graders, 1 week of 5th & 6th grade little shits. We did Hollywood Week and it went fine.  I think the highlight for me was teaching myself iMovie and making them these music videos which I showed on the final day…A Day at the Academy Awards.  I taught them a song, they illustrated, I threw these together.

Weeks 1 & 2 / 3rd &4th graders: Hot ‘N Cold by Katy Perry.  Taught them oppositessss.

Week 3 / 5th & 6th graders: Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus. Taught them about LA…and gerunds (-ing words).

Korea’s weird in that we had winter vacation end of December to beginning of February, then came back for a couple weeks, the 6th graders graduated (cue waterworks…and I did), and then we had  spring break for a couple weeks and now we’re back a grade older.

I’m a bit nervous to be honest. My amazing co-teacher Leni is now a 6th grade homeroom teacher, so we won’t be teaching together anymore 😦 Jin and I will still be teaching together, thank god, and I have a new co-teacher, Mr. Jang, who I taught English camp with. I’m nervous about that because his Englishee is pretty bad and he giggles whenever I say hello to him…uh oh

This is our last lunch as a 3some because Leni now eats lunch with her students in her classroom. Sad face.

Thought I’d post some of the photos from the 6th grade graduation, because I freakin love those kids. I think I’m the only one who loved their 6th graders. I actually cried at their graduation.  Who cries at a 6th grade graduation? A loser cries at a 6th grade graduation. If I’m like this watching kids I’ve known for 6 months graduate elementary school, I’m embarrassed for my own future children.

Billy on the right was my favorite 6th grade boy.  He is so f’ing smart. and Jessi, on the desk (who spells his name like a girl) is a little rascal. Here they were writing their pen pal letters to Kendra’s class in LA!

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I’m impressed that they’re not covering their faces!

Money & his lil bro Rainbow ❤

Zidane. Oh how I love him. So smart and slightly cocky, but with a little heart of gold.

Billy & Ben

Sweet lil thang was crying!

The lil peach on the right is Sally.  My fave 6th grade girl 🙂

So yea, new school year has begun, the frigid cold has dissipated and spring is upon us.  Ciao ciao winter coat! I will leave you with another disgusting thing that I have tried.  This is that ugly ass fish I like to call the penis fish.  To be politically correct, it’s actually called gaebul, but penis fish is more suiting.  I tried it with Leni when the whole school went on an overnight trip to Gyewah about 3 hours out of Seoul. Wasn’t too bad, but won’t do it again.  As you can see, I’m also a wiz with chopsticks. When in Korea!

KPOP POP POP.

About a year ago I first really heard about KPOP (Korean Pop) when I was working at bloc, but didn’t really think anything of it.  One of the girls on my Choreography team always said she basically repped the whole Korean choreo market because one of our clients was always working with the big groups ova in the far East…NOW it’s all making sense.  Especially when I sit here watching some of the videos and seeing the completely womanly looking men dancing like my main love Justin Timberlake….

So yea…on the KPOP front, I felt the need to share this video from Letterman the other night. This is “Girls Generation” (or SNSD), which is a KPOP group that my students are f’ing obsessed with.  Looks like the KPOP scene is trying to invade the states now, so God bless their songs having at least some catchy English in them.  They also have an absurdly insane amount of group members, topping them off at 9 members.  Je-sus!

 

How many times do you think Letterman practiced saying 감사합니다 (that’s thank you….gam sam nida) while getting his makeup done?

I haven’t really gotten super into KPOP since being here, which is a shocker, but I do love this song, and hear it everywhere. Grocery store, subway station, and hummed by my students in class.  The guy is from Beast which is like, the *NSYNC of the boybands and she’s from the group 4 MINUTE.  There’s also 2PM and 2AM, amongst other groups.  Very original names.

 

Catchy yea???