32 Times Of Treinta y Uno

When I look back on year thirty-one, it looks like a very weird year. Nothing immediately crazy stands out to me until I actually look at it with a closer eye. Then I realize that this year was very much defined by leaps of faith, incredible travels, and was actually quite the successful year, with some (big) emotional bumps along the way.

Thirty-one started off with a romantical getaway to Brussels with Lambchops, complete with decadent Belgian chocolate aplenty and terrorist scares following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris. Spring time saw the Sistahood of the Traveling Yarmulkes of Diamonds and Schaeffs pop off to my fourth continent for a Moroccan getaway filled with camels and schmatas. My first full summer in years was spent exploring Greece and its downward spiral via shiny red vespa, and bouncing through the culturally rich Balkans. And now, thirty-one has come to end on a high note with a purposeful trip to New York which included passage of all Teaching Certification exams; and thank God because my entire life revolved around them for 3 months (hence the lack of bloggery).

That was a lot of happenings, and what better way to sum up the year than by highlighting year treinta y uno with thirty-two times my life saw a filter or two through the Instagram lens.

So, without further adieu…

1. Birthday & Balls In Brussels With A Babe

Lambchops and I booked a very last-minute (per the usual) jaunt to Brussels for my birthday weekend, where we drank delicious beer, ate the most decadent Belgian chocolate, visited European Parliament for my Mr. Politician man, and played with these giant silver balls at Atomium, a structure that is entirely retro inside and was originally designed for the 1958 Brussels World Fair. It was bomb, and we had lots of silly fun trying to get the perfect photo cupping these balls.

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2. Dining Amidst Hemingway

I only had one spot in mind as to where I wanted to spend the night of the oldest I’d ever been, and that was at the oldest restaurant in the world according to the Guiness Book of Records certificate that sits in the front window of Botin. Justin wore a vest and tie and his horrible shoes, we tried their Cochinillo, and we paid a visit to the table in the corner where one Ernest Hemingway used to sit and drink himself away before writing about how Madrid is the most difficult city to fall in love with. I agree with his drunk musings.

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3. Hello Year Of The Goat!

I really miss celebrating Lunar New Year in a place where it’s celebrated, but thankfully Spain has Chinos by the bushel and two of the few friends I made in Madrid are an Asian and a pseudo Asian like I. So we went out to indulge our noodle and MSG dreams, and it was divine. Except for the tofu. It could have used some more spice.

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4. Wore The Gaudiest Thing I Own

Never one to shy away from a good prop, I wore the gaudiest thing I own to take in some Gaudi on a weekend pop off to Barcelona with Jen. I realized that all I remembered about Barcelona from my 2006 trip with MayMay was Giuseppe, a nap that lasted forever, and Paella followed by some sort of free shot. So we wandered, admired all the stunning Gaudi, found his first commission off the beaten path, ate the best Patatas Bravas ever, and once again ate Paella to remember. I can also now say I have truly (soberly) visited Barcelona.

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5. This Man

The seasons changed and Justin and I took in a few Tinto de Veranos terrace-side this fine gentleman. Truly a treat to the eyes and worthy of remembrance.

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6. Sistahood Of The Traveling Yarmulkes

This was a trip we first only joked about, and then when everyone got on board it was pretty fabulous. Four crazy sistas who have been bickering and loving each other since the Willow Elementary days found ourselves exploring Madrid and then the most culturally shocking country I’ve ever visited – Morocco. What started out as a holiday where we were keeping our JAPpiness under lock and key, turned into an education about a place where so many religions co-exist peacefully. Morocco was colorful and vibrant and accepting, and perhaps one of the most visually intriguing places I’ve ever visited.

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7. Semana Santa’s Own Ku Klux Klan

Semana Santa is Easter, or Holy Week in Spain, and I had no idea that these costumes were traditional to the holiday until the sistas and I stumbled upon them late one night. It was one of the most unsettling visions to walk in to, and we were all a bit disgusted but couldn’t stop staring. However, after some brief research, the Nazarenos actually have no correlation with the Ku Klux Klan, known to wear the same costume in white. In fact, this tradition pre-dates the KKK. Essentially the origins of why they wear these costumes is still a mystery, however their faces are covered as they are in mourning and in repentance for the sins of the past year. Can’t say I’m a fan, but I still find this cultural aspect utterly fascinating.

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8. In A Boat With A Dream Boat

My dreamboat came for another visit to España, we went to Retiro Park, and he refused to let me do the rowing. How romantic.

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9. Fucking Four Names! 

I think it’s safe to say that everyone from our first year in Korea assumed Thomas Sean Dominic Kelly (otherwise known as 4names) fell off the face of the earth. Well, newsflash, he didn’t and he’s still alive and popped over to Spain to pay me a little visit. We did a couple Asian things, like got bubble tea and posed in front of this Korean restaurant, and then we went and drank many a glass of Vermouth and caught up about life since everyone thought he died. It was a great blast from the past.

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10. Shika Shocka Hip Hopping

Two years ago Shika volunteered in the Philippines, met Dustin, came to visit him in Koko, we hit it off over fluffy whipped creamy waffles, fresh lobster, Mickey Mouse ears, and fancy bows. Since then we have become great continent hopping friends from Seoul to NYC to Madrid and back again. During her quick trip to Madrid we people watched in front of the royal palace, caught up about our boys, and enjoyed the most deliciously ginormous tomato dinner. Everything about her visit was a little bit o’ heaven.

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11. An Afternoon At The Bull Fight 

I still do not condone this bullfighting business, however, it also sits as one of my favorite, most Spanish experiences since arriving in the country. Before attending I was told things like “It’s an art”, “It’s so beautiful” and was eerily perturbed by that phraseology to describe something so barbaric. Then I went, met an avid bullfight goer, and witnessed the artistry first hand. It’s backwards, but it’s a huge part of Spanish culture, so to me it’s worth the experience. And boy was it. I wrote about it here if you want more of the bloody details.

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12. Chef #dadbodenlacocina 

Justin is quite the wizard in the kitchen, and I dearly miss having someone cook for me since he selfishly chose to depart España. Well, this night he cooked a massive Paella feast for me and his favorite Frenchies. It was a very tasty evening.

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13. First Father’s Day In Four Years

2015 was the first Father’s Day I’ve actually been present for in four years. I arrived back state side the day before, and the next day we all took him to the cafe at Paradise Cove for lunch and a dip in the great big Pacific. He was so happy and I was so happy to be home to celebrate and take this photo in the most appropriate place we ever could have.

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14. Our Jeanelly Became A Novak!

The first of our Fab 4 got hitched on the beach in Malibu to the amazing Alex, and it was the island party I couldn’t wait to get to! There was so much wind, so much dancing, so much wine, and so many lovers all in one place. Not to mention, I also had my first plus one to a wedding and came in tow with my handsome Greek man who got his first taste of America.

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15. A Grand Tour Of Los Angeles As Promised 

In 1999 two little teeny boppers promised the cute boy working at the front desk of our London hotel that we’d give him a Grand Tour (capital G and T) of Los Angeles if he ever found himself there. Well, this summer he did and the Sistas Schaeff took him on that Grand Tour. Even though he didn’t want to take us up on our long overdue offer of a trip to the happiest place on Earth, we found the next best thing. Our feet and Walt’s star will have to suffice until next time when he decides he’s only as old as he thinks he is.

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16. Googling Away In Silicon Valley

Lambchops and I paid a long overdue visit to my favorite Baller in the world and his brand new bride, Michelle. We barbequed, swam, imbibed, and stayed up late gossiping like the good ol’ days, then woke up bright and early for a grand tour (there’s a trend here) of Google, which was awesome! Later that night we also got the royal treatment at Facebook when Lambros’ Godfather showed us around. I’d say this guy’s trip to America was a great giant success.

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17. Countin’ It With This Gem

The guy who has always been so damn close to my heart, Mr. Yoga Master, Mr. Crystal Celebrity on Instagram, and I had a divine lunch at Veggie Grill where he gifted me this pretty Amythyst. When we first saw each other in the parking lot I don’t think I let go of him for like 5 minutes. I was SO happy! When we sat down we realized it had been about 5 years since we last saw each other, and it was like no time had passed at all. My Adam Reff is still one of the most lovely and amazing people and it was the best catch-up date I’ve had in a long long time.

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18. Grouchy Gavin

I love Kendra and Justin’s little grouch! This time around he didn’t take too fondly to me, but that’s ok. I understand what ‘Terrible 2s’ means and there’s always next time Gavy boy! Auntie D still loves you and your adorable little face tremendously!

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19. The Golden Gate Bridge of Greece 

When we were driving through the Zagori of Epirus in the northwest part of Greece, Lambchops told me we were going to see a bridge just as famous as the Golden Gate Bridge. I don’t know what I was expecting, but the bridge of Kokkorou was unbelievable, dates back to 1750, is one of the most famous bridges in the country, and this photo looks like I’m at the center of the earth!

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20. Met Some Real Life Hitchhikers

When I was waiting in line to buy my train ticket from Thessaloniki to Sofia I cut in front of two Frenchie guys who ended up being my favorite travel companions. Turns out Alexis and Konstantin had hitchhiked all over Europe from Paris but couldn’t for the life of them get someone to hitch them out of Thessaloniki, so fate had it that we were to be train buddies to our next destination. They also happened to be the first hitchhikers I ever met (hello, we don’t do that in America) and helped me concoct the perfect travel itinerary. The day they left Sofia they pulled out all their signs and I was in awe with how much work actually goes into being a professional hitchhiker. Two thumbs up!!

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21. Bosnia And Its Baklava

Perhaps my favorite destination on my Balkans Bouncing tour was Bosnia; Sarajevo in particular. I didn’t know nearly anything about the city prior to visiting, and actually still thought they were in a war that happened 20 years ago. In contrast to the war, Sarajevo and Bosnia is one of the most exquisite, interesting, and culturally diverse places I’ve ever visited, and the Baklava there is to die for. Everyday in Sarajevo I went to this specific cafe called The Baklava Shop and sat on the ornate turkish ottomans and sipped my Bosnian coffee while people watching. It was the perfect midday pick-me-up and I sorely miss the tradition.

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22. The Bridge That Fairytales Are Made Of

Mostar came to me as a suggestion by those hitchhiking Frenchies I mentioned above. I spent a day in Mostar and absolutely adored it. From the cobble stoned streets, the greasy Cevapcicci, the medieval architecture, the insane war-torn history, watching daredevils jump from Stari Most, and climbing up the most claustrophobic minaret of Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque to get this photo. Mostar is definitely a place that must be put on the map of must-see destinations. In fact, make that the whole of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

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23. Mounting Montenegro

I am not a hiker, in fact, I only do it to say I’ve done it or because there’s a view I absolutely can’t miss. I don’t like that #FOMO crap. And well, the hike up to the fortress in Kotor, Montenegro was definitely worthy of the hike. I even personalized it by wearing pink shorts, gold espadrilles, and silver purse. I’m never one to skimp on glitz, even while I’m sweating. My newly acquired friend and I took the long route (~5 hours worth), on our way stopped for some fresh goat cheese and Coca Cola at a home on the side of the mountain, and then admired the breathtaking fjord from high above. All of those Top 10 Places to Visit in 2016 lists put Kotor on the map and I’m just glad I got to see it before even more cruise ships begin to venture there. Truly stunning.

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24. Scared Shitless In Skopje

Skopje, Macedonia was a very bizarre city. Perhaps the most bizarre I’ve visited. There are sculptures and buildings that look like they’re hundreds of years old but were built in the 2000s, it houses Shutka, home of the highest concentration of Gypsies in the world, and has the massive Millennium Cross (bigger than Jesus in Rio) high on the mountain top, which is where I stand perched here. I met a couple Turkish guys on the double decker bus up to the base of the mountain, and well, they were a couple of monkeys who wanted to get up on this gazebo. So you see, once again, #FOMO kicked in and I didn’t want any of that. To actually take this picture was a task, as it took me a solid 20 minutes to hoist my very scared tuchous up there, a couple skinned hands, and then after that was done, even longer to get me down. See what happens when #FOMO fuels you? You land on top of the world (sometimes).

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25. Shuffled Through Shutka 

Did you read what I wrote above about Shutka? Or this post I wrote about it a few months back? I heard about this place in passing yet again from those Frenchie hitchhikers. Shutka is just full of juxtapositions, slums, and nothing I’ve ever seen before. Those white bouquets I want to believe are leftover decoration from wedding season, which I’m really sad I didn’t get to see. I heard Gypsy weddings are a treat for the senses. Regardless, Shutka was an experience and I got scolded later for accepting an offer into a Gypsy home. Who said curiosity killed the cat?

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26. Exquisite Egremni 

For my last weekend in Greece, Lambchops took us to Lefkada, an island that can be reached by car from the mainland via an underground tunnel. Our destination was Egremni Beach with water so fluorescent you can’t believe it’s not highlighting words in your textbook. Not-so-fun-fact other than the moody afternoon we shared here, is that we were probably some of the last people to get to enjoy its luscious seashore. About a month later Lefkada suffered a major earthquake causing the mountain leading down to the water to completely collapse leaving a shoreless sea. Travesty.

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27. LALA En España

Even though Joshua Becker was in my country of residence on a feat of love, I’m glad I was squeezed into the equation as we had a lifetime of things to catch up on. We drank lots, saw royal things, ate the best Paella in Madrid, and visited the center of this here country. All roads lead to Madrid, and I love having any chance of home visit me!

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28. Scary Or Stunning?

Thank God my roomie likes to celebrar and decided to have a Halloween party at our casa. They looked more beautiful than death and I finally got to put my ‘when in Spain’ Picasso costume into action. We also have enough face paint left over if you’d like your face painted too.

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29. My Life From October To December 

You may have noticed an absence on here for 3 months, and well, that’s because this is what my life looked like. And it all paid off as I am now a fully certified teacher in Elementary Education and ESOL. Now to find a job.

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30. Met Gorgeous Georgie Boy! 

Kayla gave me the news of their new addition on my last birthday, to which I responded with a hearty “I beg your pardon, what?” Well, the adorable little man came this summer and was a huge reason I had to take my tests in New York in December, aside from it’s closer and cheaper to fly to NYC than LA. I had to meet this little slobbery boozy dinosaur, and it’s official, I’m in love!

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31. Shoving Kimchi In Sammy’s Face 

That’s what he gets for never visiting me in Koko. It’s actually quite shocking that he never did, but oh well, because we found ourselves in NYC’s Koreatown, and my little piece of heaven. We were walking down the main street for a little while looking for a place up to my hardcore Korean taste but everything looked super catery to tourists or white people which is a no-go for me. Sammy, being the social butterfly that he is, asked a gang of Korean guys where we should go, and at first they suggested a very white looking place. When he told them I lived in Korea they gave us the good stuff. So, here we are eating BBQ and devouring kimchi and makkoli at Jongro BBQ (which also happens to be my favorite part of Seoul). Happy tummy and fresh breath with one of my favorito homies.

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32. Goodbye Chipless Passport

This is sort of funny, but it was very annoying at the time. You see, my passport expires/d on March 6, 2016 so I made the earliest appointment for renewal at the consulate in Madrid for January 7th. I made it back to America, but when I went to fly back to Madrid I was flagged and denied entry because my passport lacked 3 full months of validity on it. Whoops. Turns out Spain continues to pick and choose what they want to wave their finger at, and passport validity is one of them. Since my just shy of 3 months validity wouldn’t fly (literally), I had to run all over NYC at 12:30am looking for an open Kinkos and a CVS to take my new flawless passport photo (I had to have it retaken due to the definitely drugged up guy who took my first and rejected one) in order to make it and apply for an emergency passport the next morning to fly the following night instead. I succeeded and have since put a note in my calendar for 9.5 years from now to renew my passport at least 6 months prior to the expiration date. On a positive note, when the nice man working at the passport center announced my name he said “Wow!! We were just talking about how flawless your photo is! It’s the best passport photo we’ve ever seen!” The next 10 years of my life thanks you kind sir.

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And there it is! That’s a wrap on 31! I guess now that I look back it was a pretty solid year. Now here’s to 32, which is looking to me like a big fat year of transition, and another big move. L’chaim and here’s to you 32!

 

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31 Times I Instagrammed My Life At 30

30, as it would sound, was quite the transitional year for moi. Transitional sort of makes it sound like it wasn’t a good year, but au contraire my friend, au contraire. Transitional in the way that the year had so many types of ups and downs, but all for the good I’d like to think. I started my thirtieth year on the planet dedicating my day to the fashion of a rapist (unbeknownst at the time), went a bit viral on the interwebs, got heart-swollen and then heart-crushed during the wind-down of my Korean life, left the continent I never thought I wanted to live in to put a new twist on my life in the continent I dreamt of since the age of 10, found out what I’ve always been wondering – do I have a BIG VOICE? and had a couple reunions to set my heart aflame along the way.

And all of these lovely happenings were documented via the Instagrammer. So, to ring in my 31st, and the Age of Aquarius, without further adieu, I give you my thirtieth year on this great planet of our’s through the lens of my iPhone 5S and a filter or two.

1. Puddin’ Pops & Rapist Fashion

I don’t think much needs to be explained here, as the fashion is self-explanatory. However, if you must have your hand held, I rang my 30th birthday in with a dinner in which we were all required to wear a Cosby sweater, alla Bill Cosby. I made chocolate pudding cups and we enjoyed an evening in our old-man best. Naturally, my first thought once the allegations came to be was “Holy shit, I themed by birthday around a rapist!” Not many can say that and…laugh.

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2. Lunar New Year In The Organ Black Market of Seoul

In Korea, and Asia for that matter, Lunar New Year is the big deal when it comes to new years. So, to fully immerse ourselves in the Lunar New Yearsness of it all, a group of us went out to China Town in Daerim, also known as one of the sketchiest parts of Seoul, and where you could very well find your organs for sale if you walk down the wrong alley. We all came back to the safe side of Seoul with all our organs in tact, and a gut full of delicious MSG.  It was perfection, even if we did eat at a restaurant where dog was being served at the table just beside us.

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3. Hello Baby Gavin!! 

Gavin wasn’t the first baby of a friend to be born, but he was the first baby of two of my oldest friends to be born, and Auntie D met him when we was just 2 days old! Mommy Kendra was exhausted, Daddy Justin proved to be a baby whisperer, and baby Gavin had a big head from being a trickster in the birth canal. But my god, was he a dream to hold. Heart swells don’t even come close to how happy this moment made me!

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4. In N Out & A Date With My Boo

Collin came down from The Bay because I specifically ordered him to. However, he came home a little bit earlier because he got in a horrendous bike accident. So, I drove my toy car rental all the way down to Riverside, which beforehand, I had no clue where it existed. I had no service on my phone, and got lost on the return home, but before I left I did get to eat In N Out on Collin’s handmade preschool plate. It was a magical day with my boo.

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5. Fab 4 Bangin’ Booties

These 3 are my hearts when it comes to women. A trip around the world we are, and this winter after a champagne brunch in Manhattan Beach, we took my favorite photo of us. It’s just as perfect as those badonks.

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6. The Baby Tour of Los Angeles Continued

This was a special one. Sista and I thought we’d never get to meet Kian, the newest edition to our crazy clan! But we did, and shortly after he had surgery on his head, making him the world’s cutest little race car driver. He was and IS a doll and I am obsessed with his little face!!

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7. Tommy Boy & His Ego Came Back

Tommy and I got close fast, and this time he returned to Korea, professed his love, and we swapped each other’s rings for a day. We walked the Suwon Fortress on St. Patty’s Day, and drank expensive Yellowtail under a temple whilst overlooking all of Seoul. ‘Twas divine.

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8. Ultimate Finds Whilst Vintage Shopping

This makes me sound like a bitch, but oh well. These 3 words sum up mine and Veny’s sentiments to a tee when it comes to new friends, particularly those LBH’s in Korea. I still regret not making this purchase. OH WELL.

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9. Glamping & KPorn

We had been talking about going Glamorous Camping for quite some time, but alas that never happened. Until we stumbled upon the new Glamping bar in Itaewon on Taeho’s birthday. We sat around on beanbags and he was gifted this very special magazine by Joshua. He’s always so thoughtful with his gifts. Taeho very much enjoyed the black and white imagery.

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 10. Continuing the Love of Abandonment 

Abandoned places that is! Joshy is my breaking-into-abandoned-places partner in crime, and for this wild ride at Yongma Land we took our third member of Destiny’s Child along for the ride. Joshy, Veny, and I nearly broke into Yongma Land, though that is entirely unnecessary. Just leave it to us to find the more ‘scenic’ route to enter an establishment. We basically went off-climbing to get in here, and once we were in we had tons of fun riding broken rides and watching creepers have cosplay photoshoots.

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11. Slumbering With Snoring Ajummas

No one wanted to go out of town for this long weekend, so I took it upon myself to jet out of Seoul solo to Ganghwa-do just off the coast of Incheon. There I fulfilled my desire to do a sort-of temple stay, as I slept on a mat, in the sweltering heat, beside a bunch of snoring ajummas who kept throwing candy and fruit at me. It was an experience I will not soon forget.

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12. Life in Polka Dots

Kusama Yayoi is a Japanese artist who’s work consist of one of my favorite things – POLKA DOTS! She literally lives in a polka dot world and created it for the world to see. The end of her exhibit is a room where you get to put your own dots anywhere and become one with her polka dot world. It was stunning, and smelled like feet in there.

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13. Gone Viral Between Two Ding Dongs

My phallus-loving sister and I went to a penis cafe located about an hour outside of Seoul in Pocheon. The entire cafe is themed around the male ‘important part’, and after I wrote about it, my post got picked up by an online magazine and they used me and these two ding dongs as their enticing photo on Facebook. I was thrilled! What a way to make it big!!! Thanks internet!

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14. Saying Goodbye Is The Worst Thing Ever Invented

A week of saying goodbye to the babies who stole my heart was quite possibly the most miserable thing I ever did. After 3 years it was time to part with my kiddos, and these boys made it so hard!

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15. Lovers Getaway To Yang Yang

Perhaps one of my favorite trips done in Korea was this one to Yang Yang. Veny, Joshy, Dustin, and I rented a swanky Sonata and road tripped to the gorgeous coastal town of Yang Yang. It was bittersweet to say the least, and this photo with my first friend in Korea is perfect. We came full circle from looking haggard (if that’s even possible for her) on our first bus ride, to frolicking on the beach not wanting this amazing experience to ever end. Love my Venylove.

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16. The Fucking Core

Weeding through the nut bags we were surrounded by was some work, but at the end of those 3 years I found some of the most solid friends a girl could ever ask for. For our last weekend all together we ended up at some crazy club in Gangnam. It was loud, there was seizure music, there were tears, but it was the best.

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17. #tits

Korea is good for the Trick Eye Museums and the sex themed locales, even though the mere mention of sex causes a stir. But I’ll have you know, despite the contradictory culture, the Love Museum does NOT disappoint, as my kookster in krime and I discovered one rainy afternoon. After many phallic photos, this one of me helping The Hulk hold up some tits was a great indicator of the afternoon amazingness.

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 18. Dolled Up And On a Boat

What ended up being a failed attempt on ‘everyone’s last weekend together’ turned into a divine evening with these gorgeous lady lasses. We dolled up, took far too many posy pictures for my liking, and watched all the KKouples take romantic selfies of themselves under the Han River water show.

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19. Straddling That Border Up North

In the movie The Interview they show all the North and South Korean military hanging out in this room watching Kim Jong Un get his ass shredded on live tele. Well, it’s a bit different in real life. You actually only get like, 5 minutes in the room, and the guards take shifts for show. Mostly. But, here we are, checking off another BIG must-do on the Korean Bucket list of life. Straddling the most heavily militarized border in the world.

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20.  Asianization Meets Europeanization

Getting this Spanish visa was no easy task. As an American it is near impossible to get a work visa in Europe, but thank heaven that programs like the fakakta one I’m in exist! The day I finally stared at (and immediately snapped this photo) this visa gracing MY passport, I literally let out a giant squeal. No joke. I wanted this visa in my passport since I was 10, and 20 years later shit got real. Thank you Javier at the Spanish consulate in Seoul!

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21. The Saddest Day Of My Life So Far

Joshy holds the biggest chunk of my Korean heart, and being the last person I saw and shared a deliciously overpriced naengmyeon and jjigae meal with tore my heart out, despite what these cheesers may say. Saying seeya later to him turned me into a waterworks show and I did not stop crying until well after take off. It was the shittiest.day.ever.

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22. I’m A Bridesmaid!

First, don’t kill me for this photo. You’ll thank me when we’re old and grey. Second, Jeanelly found her wedding dress, then asked us all to be her bridesmaids, then we had a Fab 4 slumber party filled with dress up, sexual Korean face mask selfies, and of course, watching Bridesmaids. It was only suiting.

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23. Reunited With My Soldier 

What are the chances that the next time I visited NYC my Israeli soldier would be there at the same time, 4 years after our last rendezvous in the Big Apple? Well, he was, and he came to Kayla and Jeanette’s birthday, and my heart could burst I was so happy to see him in front of me.

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24. Imbibing Where Honest Abe Once Did 

With only 2 choices of beer to choose from, light or dark, we opted for the more delicious dark at McSorley’s in NYC. My reunion with my Sammy baby was long past overdue, and seeing Shika Shocka was the cherry on top.

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25. #grandmaswhorally Became A Thing

Here we have my first photo from Spain indicating that I do in fact have friends! This was also the night that the hashtag #grandmaswhorally stuck. What started out as a lazy night where none of us wanted to leave the comforts of our boudoirs (in my case, my hostel cell bed), turned into a delightful evening of sangria, homos all around, evening drinking on a terrace, and feeling old, but still young enough to kick it.

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26. I Found An Apartment, That Turned Out to Be Hell

After a solid 2 full weeks of piso hunting around Malasaña, I finally found one that I should have known was too good to be true. What started off amazing, and quite hilarious, with a naked David hanging in my room, turned out to be a horrendous experience. Let’s just say THANK GOD I’M OUT OF THERE, and someone’s got some (dog) shit flying their way soon.

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27. Mama Schaeff And Her Face Mask Came To Visit

My mother, the world traveler, finally came to visit me in one of my far away homes. We museum hopped, we fought, we ate tons of shitty fast food because Spain is all about the pig and Mama don’t eat the carne, and she walked into a nail salon and asked the nice ladies for a face mask because there’s too much smoke in Madrid. This is what she looked like for the duration of her stay.

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28. 1999 Meets 2014 

A reunion in Madrid that my 14 year old self surely would have died had she known would happen, happened. It was the best, and this cafe con leche from Federal pretty much sums up my feelings about said reunion.

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29. The Asian Who Always Visits Me

Jnetty was my first visitor in Korea, and was one of my first visitors in España. Surely I love her so! So much that I snuck her into my hell hole of an apartment late night, and the next day we popped off to Sevilla and Granada, where we wandered through the stunning walls of the Alhambra in the frigid cold. She even tried her hand at the Español, and failed when she asked for the ‘jambon’. However, she greatly succeeded in getting me kicked out of my dark dungeon of a penis hanging apartment. THANK THE JAMBON ABOVE. No one tells Dani ‘no visitors allowed’.

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30. Leaving Germany In the Most Jewy Way Possible

It might as well have been 1940something that snowy afternoon when I left Berlin headed for Prague. Upon entering the train, our first class tickets became null as our car was ‘out of order’. How, I’m unsure, since it was tagging along with the rest of the train just beyond the locked doors. But, out of order it was. So there I sat for 6 hours, along with about 5o other people, trying to find comfort on the train floor. Here I am finding some semblance of comfort under this man’s rear end. I could not have exited Germany in a Jewier fashion than this. It was utter perfection, and the story itself more than pays for the reimbursement we should be owed.

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31. Why Yes, I Do Have A Big Voice!

For my 31st birthday weekend I popped off for a romantical rendezvous in Brussels, which despite what this blow horn might convey, was quite the quiet little town. We indulged in delicious chocolate and beer aplenty, played with aluminum balls, and even enjoyed a side of terrorist scares in the city. It was a weekend I did not want to return from!

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And there you have it! My life as seen through most likely the Valencia filter with the sharpening tool on Instagram was divine. Though filled with lots of weird emotions, 30 was my favorite year yet and I can’t wait to see what 31 will dish out! If these photos left you intrigued, do follow along on Instagram at @dtschaeff

Brotha Schaeff Is 25! YA YA YU YUH!

I still remember the day my brother came home from the hospital. My mom was holding him and I ran over from my seat in the waiting room and he was in this red and black tie dyed tank top number.  He was so skinny yet chunky and teeny and had this jet black head of hair.  I was officially a big sister for the 2nd time that April 21st, 1988.

He probably looked something like this, with the addition of the tie dye. Mama Schaeff loved tie dye, and yes, I have the most bizarre memory.

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Then he grew up a little more, got cuter and learned where his feet were, like most babies do.

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His hair and eyelashes also grew longer, and then the compliments came rolling in.  I still remember my mom getting compliment after compliment for my brothers eyelashes.  He was seriously the cutest baby with the biggest eyeballs in the world!! I meannnnn!!! Here he is with my mom’s dad, Grandpa Jack.

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As he got older, and by older I mean like, in kindergarten, he learned what *bad words* were. That’s when I learned that soap and Tabasco sauce were used for things other than washing your hands or flavoring your food.

There are also a couple memories of Michael that still to this day crack me up to TEARS, and I do mean literal CRYING OF LAUGHTER TEARS.

1.  Strawberry Jacuzzi.  I had a massive crush on this guy Sahand in 7th grade, like, it bordered on obsession. Anyways, one summer day my mom drove me, my sister, Cori and Michael to Sahand’s house (to stalk him? I don’t know?) I was wearing a forest green Yosemite tank top and Birkenstocks.  I remember that.  And my brother did this crazy full body convulsion dance while blaring “WHOAAA STRAWBERRY JACUZZI! WHOAAA!” just like Kel does in Good Burger. He would continuously do the Strawberry Jacuzzi whenever he’d watch Kenan and Kel, and still to this day Cori and I die of laughter and still talk about THE Strawberry Jacuzzi.  It never goes out of style.

2. YA-YA-YU-YUHHH. Back in 8th grade I got my first computer.  It was a Dell, because that’s what everyone had.  They came fully equipped with a detachable microphone to record all the gems you saw fit. Well, I came home one day with Cori, plopped down at my computer to probably do one of those sUrVeYs or something, and found a voice recording on my desktop.  Naturally we clicked on it.  It was of my brother, and it started out really slowly of him singing what we believed to be “Hallelujah” but sounded more like “yayayuyuh”. Well, it was slow and almost a whisper in the beginning, and as it progressed on it got higher and higher and higher and as it ultimately reached the power crescendo, he burst into this MAGICAL rendition of “YA-YA-YU-YUHHHHHH”. It went on for maybe 5 minutes and Cori and I were crying and peeing in our pants at the same time. Yet again, we still talk about YAYAYUYUH. YAYAfreakinYUYUH!

I will say Michael and I have not always gotten along or had the best relationship, but I have only been blessed with one little brother, and despite everything, I love him with all my heart plus more.  He’s a nut ball, but who isn’t a little whack in the noggin these days? And there are two big things I can thank him for introducing into my life ~ *NSYNC and Britney Spears.  If it wasn’t for him bringing a couple of their CDs on a cruise to Hawaii, I may have remained in the dark for a little while longer.

Now for a little time travel just because 🙂

Here I am with him while he looked like the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters had a baby with a mad scientist.

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Thanksgiving one year with Grandma Lucy.  Mikey decided to give the fagala hand.

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We went on a family trip to Washington D.C. and obviously posed with The Acorn like all those from Agoura did.  Duh! Can you believe this only won us Honorable Mention?!

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This photo captures the 3 of us TO A TEE.

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We went to Israel for my Bat Mitzvah and sat on this camel posing with this Arab.  On this trip, Michael spit in a boy’s face, and laughed at me (with Jacquie) when I couldn’t accurately read my Torah portion swiftly enough.  Neither of them had a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, thus making them still children.

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Flash forward a few years while I’m in college at UCSB and Michael is in high school. He came up for a very famous Halloween in Santa Barbara.  He got drunk for his first time, did his first beer bong and then got lost with a bunch of men dressed up as Playboy Bunnies.  Then he made this face.

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Jacquie and I played *Best Sisters in the World* for the evening and took him to see Britney Spears on his birthday.  We came home with this photo with “her”.

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I eventually moved across the world, and we all cried at the airport and looked like sloppy Rudolph’s.

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Then I came home for a visit, and when I left for Korea again, the airport security man took this awesomely flattering and exquisite photo of us and Papa Schaeff.

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Well, Brotha Schaeff, I love you.  I hope you stay out of trouble, keep ‘bows in check and that all of your teams have pristine records this year so you don’t fly off the handle! I know we don’t always get along, but know that you’re always in my heart and I love you more than anything and would do anything for you in the blink of an eye. So, keep it in line and don’t scare those puppies, mom, dad or Jacquie. Love you, crazy face! Mwah!

Party In The USA!

So far 2012 was my favorite year to date, but it kind of ended with a little bit of a thud for me, so naturally the thought of fleeing the country for a couple glorious weeks was well received.  And what better distraction than 2 weeks stateside with family, friendzies, puppies, beach and lots and lots of cheese.  Nothing that I can think of.

Breathable air, a handsome black man displayed under the “Welcome to the United States of America” sign, and a fat screaming black woman ushering American Airlines passengers to their connections were the first three WELCOME BACK TO AMERICA’s that I got. Then came Mama Schaeff surprising me from behind at the curb, the puppy kisses from Presley, the “Why did you leave me?” ‘I’m mad at you’ stares from Cilla, and the jumping around the car hugs with sista!! Only to be followed up with the greatest welcome home surprise party ever!  Not only was there Porto’s and mimosas, but there was Wawa, Brianne, Kendra, MayMay, Jeanelly, Joel, Justin and the whole fambam. Ahhhhh it felt good to be back in the greatest country in the world!!!

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Seeing as this was my first time back in the states in nearly 1.5 years, I was totally eager to see what super weird Korean things I was gonna carry back with me. To my surprise, I don’t think there were too too many.  My stomach definitely shrunk and I could only eat about half the portion that I could before making kimchi a daily staple in my life.  Jacquie told me I talk way more with my hands, but I also talked like a freakin Italian before I left anyways, but I guess it became a little more dramatic.  But I like dramatic, so hmpf! The big thing for me was the shoes in the house thing. I obviously don’t care about wearing shoes in the house while I’m home, but since living in these parts I keep an almost completely Korean household with regards to outer footwear on my precious floors. Except for when I forget something and my shoes are already on.  Then I wear my shoes in the house. Screw crawling across the floor, no time for that. I’m walking. Swiffer that shit later. However, when I arrived at my surprise party, the first thing I did (after hugging everyone that was there and complimenting them all on their great boots), was say how I needed to take my boots off because it felt weird to walk inside with my shoes on. Here I am sitting with May May wearing her boots, and me wearing my jazzy socks, and my suitcase throwing up beside me.

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The whole time that I was home I was constantly moving, with the exception of my first Sunday home where I slept straight through the night and day until 5:30pm. Heyo jet lag! I’ll take a quick lil wander through the highlights of my trip and all of the beautiful faces I saw and glutinous cuisine I stuffed my face with.

The first thing I did after resting my peepers from a day of travel, was head up to Santa Barbara for some Mexican food and a night out with the Fab 4 and sista!  It was May’s little sister’s 21st birthday, so the alumni came back to show her how it’s done (or tried to). In the end, we realized that in our old age we just can’t hang quite like we used to.

Nomz.

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Kamikazi shots at Sandbar. Where’s the Cassie song?

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Jonesy and sista also sang their own interpretation of Rihanna’s “Diamond.” Give your ears a treat, will you?

Sista and I had a wondrous dinner at Lala’s in Weho with the two handsome brothas Dicecca, followed by Koreanizing Michael Claudio and showing them my Korean hangul (alphabet) skills. They were easily impressed with my enhanced Asian genes.

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The next day (a bit delayed), came the cream of the fatass crop.  I finally stepped foot into an In N Out establishment, and it was even better than it tastes in my dreams.

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Moving onto other excruciatingly delicious things, let me introduce you to the latest pledge to the FRAT house, the gorgeous lil Georgia Jeanne!

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And another gorgeous human modeling his new PSY socks. ❤ Chizzy!

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The next day, Jessie and I helped MayMay celebrate her 29th birthday over heaping bowls of Pho Tai. All things very nom.  I was so happy when the little Vietnamese workers remembered me and asked where I’ve been! They were quite shocked when I told them I lived in Korea now, but very happy when I told them I’d visited their country on my travels.

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Then came Friday, MLK weekend, and the arrival of some of the best friends on the planet!!! Bret, Kayla, Jeanette and Priya all flew in from San Jose and NYC for my birthday weekend, and I must say, that was the best gift I could ever ask for! The weekend was one of the best I’ve had in a really long time.  Absence definitely made the heart grow fonder, and it was so unbelievable to know that even though almost 2 years had gone by since we’d all seen each other, we just picked up right where we left off. It’s so lovely to get older and know that your friends are still so close to your heart no matter all the distance or time between.

My birthday party was on Saturday January 19th at Bodega in Santa Monica, and I could not have asked for a better turn out!  People that I honestly thought were not going to show, showed up, even if only for a quick hug and a smooch on the cheek.  I originally didn’t even want to come home for a visit (sorry), but everyone really made it 150% worth it, and I’m so glad I came 🙂 So, here’s a gander at some of my fave moments as I rang in the last year of my 20s.

Perhaps the favorite, most unexpected of the night was this wonderful guy. Twas so amazing to see Nicholas.

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Brotha was VERY excited to see Nick, and of course talk the sports.

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Siblings Schaeff and one Ho-el.

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The Agoura+ shot. We finally got it good, then Brotha did that!

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TAYLOR LAUTNER CAME! JK.  But my favorite New Zealander and vulgar conversationalist came.  I freakin love you, Alavi!

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Baller & Whore, but he doesn’t call me that anymore because I am a lady. BFFFFFFFFFFFFF4lyfe ❤

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The 1, the only, the FAB 4.

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My beauties clappin somethin out.

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YES.YES.YES. Happiness embodied.

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SBeezy in the Heezy!!!

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Good girl’s gotta get down wit the gangsta!  Love our T$!

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Bromance and a princess of mine.  My favorite part of this photo is Rami wearing Bretty’s sweater.  True LOVE.

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The ladies of LALA who made my 20s the most unforgettable ❤

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Salmon pants and a sassy Asian.  Can’t ask for more!

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My favorite intern ever!!!!!!!! And also just one of my favorite human beings ever.

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I can always count on this pretty lady to show up to a coming or going party.  God bless our crazy ex-bosses dysfunctional relationship because we had the chance to meet each other ❤

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Here was a nice little cherry on top, minus the poor lighting. I love all you guys!

The next day was my actual birthday.  The day began as LA as you can get.  Cruising down Wilshire Blvd. in Danni’s Audi convertible, getting green smoothies, rubbing elbows with one Sofia Vergara, and then popping off to an afternoon of brunching, bouncing around a baby Georgiecakes, and planting our butts in the warm Venice beach sand. It was by far the best most beautiful birthday I have ever had.  Thanks guys 🙂

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Sorry Fran and Nick, we are stealing your child.  Meet Mr. & Mrs. Schaeffenchiz and our baby girl Laverne.

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What a beautiful lesbian family you guys make.

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Awkward poses with baby props.

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My trip revolved around lots of important people’s birthdays, and on Tuesday was Mama Schaeff’s birthday! Jacquie and I took her out for a nomtastic dinner, and this is the video I took of her enjoying her chocolate cake and strawberry a little more than anticipated!

On my last day in the land of LA, sista and I went to visit our cousin Danny and his dazzling girlfriend, Nicole, at their boutique, Clover, in Silverlake (cloversilverlake.com).  It was sooo nice to see them and see what they have done to the store.  If you live in the area you definitely have to go!  We caught up on life, travels, work, family and also took many unflattering photos along the way.  Here’s the cutest one, where we cut out Danny’s 10 chins.

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When it really clicked that I was going back to Korea it was a little bittersweet.  I think the two weeks was the perfect amount of time to be home, because by the end I was definitely ready to return and pop off to somewhere in the orient. My last night was a little weird, but I think that’s because it was setting in for everyone that I was leaving again for who knows how long.  As I packed up my 62 lb bag, Cilla laid at the edge of the bed just staring at me, like she knew I was leaving and she was prepared to be mad at me for another year 😦 I definitely miss those babyloves maybe more than anything ❤

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My flight was the next morning bright and early, and I was pissed because my mom didn’t come to the airport with me.  She knows very well!!!! So this time I left back to Korea with tears AGAIN.  Drastically (DRASTICALLY) less than the first time, but tears nonetheless.  Jacquie was sick, so she got a get out of jail free card, so I was off to the airport with Papa and Brotha Schaeff.  I of course had my standard airport anxiety, on top of a stupidly heavy load of luggage that my dad was shlepping around for me.  I always get bitchy when I’m stressed, so I felt a bit bad for how I was acting right before I left.  Nonetheless, here is the last known photo of father, daughter and son before I escaped to the Orient yet again.

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All in all, a trip home was so necessary.  I really needed to get out of Korea and see the faces of the ones I love so much at home, and get a little perspective, because some things over here hit the fan before I left. So, to everyone who made my trip home unbelievable, many many many times one million thank yous!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Last but not least, there were of course those things that popped out to me as either things I felt differently about or did differently since returning home. Perhaps the biggest that I noticed was something more than just things I say or do.  Obviously most people in the world do not chose to go live in a country other than their own at their own accord, or travel the world for more than a few weeks  at a time.  So, already that is a huge thing that has set me apart from the people that I associate with home. While everyone at home will always be that part of me that no one else will ever be able to fully know, let me put this bluntly, I almost felt like I didn’t entirely belong anymore. It’s not as bad as it sounds.  I just think that I have wanted to live abroad for SO DAMN LONG, and now that it’s finally happened and been in motion, and I’ve been surrounded by others who have picked up and moved their lives across the globe as well, this side of me that never got the chance to completely flourish has finally found its way out and found others who are passionate about the same thing in the same capacity.  It was most apparent to me during times when catching up about relationships and jobs, and times when everyone would ask me where I’ve been, and where I’m going next.  It’s like people were fascinated with what I’ve seen and where I’ve gone, but at the same time wondering when I’d be back in the states and what did I plan to do once this “vacation” was over.  I couldn’t even put a pin on what the emotion was that I was feeling the whole time until a friend who had lived abroad some years ago, asked me how it felt to be home.  I couldn’t really explain it, and then she said the words “you don’t feel like you fit in anymore, do you?” Ding ding. Life’s funny.

So yea, sorry to end on a weird note.  I’m sure I will be back home by the end of the year, but only for a minute 😉 Being home felt amazing, but being abroad and traveling the world feels more amazing to me. Life is just crazy and I feel like everything is happening so fast these days.  But if there’s one thing I am so freakin thankful for, it’s all of you fine folks that I will always call home 🙂

LOVE YOU ALLLLLLZ  (and come visit me) ❤

I Have The Best Baby Thithter!

The story that my mom, aunt and grandma always told me of when my sister was born is by far one of my favorite stories, because it perfectly encapsulates how I feel about my sister to this day.  It was September 24th, 1986 and my whole family was waiting at Cedar Sinai hospital for lil Jacqueline Lisa to be born. As soon as we got word she was here, my 2.5 year old self let loose running through the hospital halls shouting “I HAVE A NEW BABY THITHTER! I HAVE A NEW BABY THITHTER!” I was a very happy big sister with a lisp, and a new chunk of a little sister.

We used to walk through Toys R Us and speak in our own language, which now that I think about it, sounded like some form of Asian dialect.  We would post up in an aisle, or wherever we had an “audience”, and just go “ching chong hoishi mashi moo,” accompanied by “believable” gestures, to try and get people to think we were from another country. Apparently we thought people would think we were Asian. That, or we were really racist. Errr. We also used to dress in matching outfits and seriously believed that people would think we were twins, despite our vast difference in height.

Of course things weren’t always sweet and matchy matchy.  There were of course the days when I wanted to desperately ring her neck…but instead settled for dragging her out of my room on her back by her hair while she was crying and kicking. I still can’t believe I did that.  How rude of me! She also used to spy on me and my boyfriend by sticking her nose under the door, just like the younger sibling always does in every Disney movie.  That’s when I would shove towels under the door in hopes of getting rid of her.  Of course it never worked. As the bigger sister, I was just that intriguing.

But of course that’s all in the past now and we are grown up mature young women, and BFFFFFlyfe, with the occasional “Danielle’s-moody-and-gonna-bitch-and stare-up-sideways-to-the-sky-now” moments which causes a brief fight.  I know girls who no matter how old they get never get along with their sister, or just never form a closeness, and I can’t help but feel a little bad for those people because I am so freakin lucky to call my sister my #1 best friend in the entire universe.  She is someone that I can literally tell everything and anything to, who is the biggest teeny bopper in the world alongside me, who finishes my sentences, who knows what I mean when I say “it smells like Paris,” who feels the same music and does the same dance to “Pumped Up Kicks” as me as we interpret how our parents met at a party, and who flies across the whole world on a weeks notice to come celebrate my first birthday in a foreign country with me, in the snow, in a country where there is nothing for her to eat.  She is the absolute best sister that I could have EVER asked for in a million bagillion gazillion years, and she is definitely the person that I miss the most while being abroad. God bless technology and being accessible to each other at all hours of the day.

Here’s a very convincing performance she gave in an effort to coax me back stateside. Her interpretation of the puppies was the ultimate selling point.

Here is a little journey through the years.  The only thing missing is the baby video of her humping a pillow.

Can’t you see the happiness in my eyes as I squeeze lil Alfalfa Sprout?!

Most likely before or after my daily video recording, where I would shove her out of the way.

2 homegirls just kickin it on the red carpet.

Me and my shadow.

Best mama and best sista.  Hands down.

We went to the Dead Sea in our sexy Speedo bathing suits, where we slathered ourselves in mud and she laughed at me as I stumbled through my Torah portion and became a woman.

We got Jiggy wit it in a bunch of Concert of Loves.

We tapped our way into hideous stage makeup and dizzy pants, in yet another Concert of Love.

She moved to Santa Barbara to be closer to me, and got drunk for the first time.  This is what we looked like.

We experimented with our new Macbooks.

We partied with a stripper named (Lor)Enzo, who also sold sista her car.

The Disco Zebra, Santa and Ice skater celebrated ze Halloweenie together.

And then worked it out in the sexiest way possible at one of Hollywood’s classiest establishments.

We went to Bauducco’s, ate Mrs. B’s Capellini, and then took a nap at table 3… just because we are Bauducco’s royalty.

Then I decided to move to Asia, and we cried a lot.

5 months later we were reunited in the Seoul of the Far East when she paid me an impromptu Birthday visit, and broke a wine glass Gangnam Style.

As the quote says, we are “sisters by chance, friends by choice,” and I couldn’t ask for a better sister or an even better friend. LOVE YOU SISTA!!!!!! Now welcome to your almost-late-20s.

Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend

A few days early, BUT I couldn’t contain myself…….

28 years ago a curly headed biatch named Cori Alexandra Diamond was born. 22 years ago, in Mrs. Wilkins’ 1st grade class at Willow Elementary School, I was jealous of her florescent blue roller blades with the hot pink shoe laces. This is when I knew I wanted to be friends with this bitch. And just like that, through the years we’ve bonded over strawberry jacuzzis, someone named Sahubbahubba, our own made up holiday Honkamimi, first roller coaster rides, awful dances to Jay-Z songs, “Ilan es guapisimo,” first Britney Spears and *NSYNC concerts (fully equipped with bad hair and botched Latina makeup), record-breaking all day phone calls, weekly weekend brunch and flea market outings and jaunts across South East Asia just trying not to kill each other.  It truly has been quite the exhausting 22 years, but I wouldn’t trade this friendship for 1 bagillion dollas.

SO, since I’m not there in person this year to celebrate her birth with her, I will use this blog space to make a timeline of our friendship through the years based off the photos I have access to on Facebook. There will of course be many years missing, but you can fill in the blanks with ridiculous whathaveyous.  So, here you go Diamond.  I hope you get just a teency bit embarrassed. After all, this is how I best show you my undying love and friendship.  Cue love/hate relationship now.

Circa 1990.  The year we met in Mrs. Wilkins’ 1st grade class. Cori’s in the center wearing the Willow sweatshirt, I’m in the back shielded by a hairpiece.

7th grade I think. My all-time favorite Cori photo. Take a bite outa crime. We had to go on Splash Mtn 2x because the photo didn’t take the 1st time and we needed documentation of her going on a “scary” ride.

7th grade again I think. Took a tumble at Disneyland.

Our parents’ biggest fears. US behind moving vehicles. Needless to say, we were both late-bloomers in the license- attainment department.

8th grade. Always the biggest laughers (and mouths) in the room 🙂

Uh oh. Thank god I’m 6,000 miles away from her.

Culminating 8th grade

This was the “Ilan es guapisimo” phase. Ah 9th grade Spanish and trying to be sexy with a baked potato.

Fresh out of college and ready to grab Hollywood by the balls.

God she was sexy this 26th birthday of her’s. I dubbed her “Floor Whore”…because she spent most of the night there.

27 and gorgeous dahhhling

After doing some time-steps in Supper Club

This is so US.  Bidding me farewell for awhile 😦

Crying in her car after my going away party. My biggest cry baby.

Reunited in Thailand after 4 months to ring in 2012.  A couple hours before this we wanted to kill each other. Aint no thang.

Ready to kill me…………. again?

But really, Diamond, I love you like you’re my sister. My dad always used to tell me to hold onto those close friends you knew while growing up, the ones you knew before life REALLY happened.  Well, not many people can say they did that, or have someone they even still like from their childhood.  I truly am one of the luckiest people to be able to call you my best friend in childhood and in adulthood.  We’ve weaved in and out of each others lives through the years but always managed to come back to one another.  We may bicker and say shitty things, but I can’t think of anyone (besides my own family) that I can be like that with and know that the love and friendship will always be unconditional without even thinking twice.  You are the best and I hope you have the most amazing birthday ever!  Cheers to a gagillion more years of ripping each others heads off, 6am text messages and being the loudest laughers in the room.  I LOVE YOU!