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Big Brother 18 – Power Rankings #2

BB

I’m funnier when I’m in a good mood. I’m meaner when I’m in a bad mood. I’m calmer when I’m actually freaking out inside. I’m pretty consistent, in life and on Big Brother. BB.

Have I changed since my season four? Yes. No. Yes. No?

We see time and time again that when BB alum return for a second shot, or sometimes even a third, they’re all over the spectrum of how much they’ve changed. It’s always “a lot” or “a little,” for better or for worse, or worst.

But there’s nothing like the first time, is there?

But first…

Week-3 Alliance7-11-16

(Special thanks to @89razorskate20)

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So let’s start with Frank…

Team: CATEGORY 4: Frank, Bridgette, Michelle, Paulie

Douche

Frank: Get your damn feet off the coffee table (-50 points). We are all waiting to see if you can still dominate in challenges like you did you first-time around, because without that you’re just (still) meathead-y, but just four years older. Did you return to your cave after BB14 only to emerge for BB18? By Random Draw you got lucky right away, and then you magically won the first Roadkill and then this last one pretty magically too, and all your wins seem to come from Pandora’s Snatch (-50 points). And it’s great that you slap asses as athletes, and even the asses of your friends who are girls. I’m happy for you all. But why the fuck would you put your hands on a woman’s ass, someone’s mother no less, unless you know that’s okay with her (-100 points)? If your mom was playing Big Brother in the house would you want a man CBS put in there with her, to slap her on the ass? What if that man was black? Listen, you douchebag…men do not get to slap women on the ass, especially a woman you only started living with all of a sudden, less than a month ago.  People are very angry about all this, and irrational too, but I’m just keeping it real. You need stronger women in your life. It’s never a bad thing to have too many of. Strong women save lives. You had Boogie, Mike Malin, to guide you your first season, Creepy Uncle Boogie, and now you’re trying to be Boogie this season, and also shouting out the name of his new restaurant on the feeds. Dudes of a feather cock together. I don’t even know what that means but it works for me. Final Tally: -200 points

BridgetteFrank

Bridgette: “I see you around the house. You’re great at this fucking game.” You said this to your dad Frank. Whether you meant it or it was pure strategy, it stroked his meat ego (+50 points). But you’re weird together (-50 points). But I appreciate that you didn’t respond with, I trust you, back to Frank, when he condescendingly creepy uncled you with I trust you (+50 points). Your cute act is vomit-inducing but you’re persistent and determined to make it work and that’s something (+50 points). You literally skipped to the diary room door after voting out Victor on Thursday, like who really skips like that in real life? You are no Shirley Temple, because you drop f-bombs trying to come off as tough, but they fall short of awkward (-50 points). Baking cookies got you compared to me but I’ve only attempted baking maybe a dozen times in my whole life, and never when I was in the Big Brother house. The only other thing I can think of is that we’re both of Asian descent and therefore you will be compared to me forevermore. You should actually be flattered (+50 points). I tweeted once that I’d punch you in your mouth if you ever baby-voiced me to death and apparently some deranged people took it literally, like I go around punching people in the mouth on the regular, and that I’d actually punch you in the mouth if I ever met you. So if you reading this…be careful. Bad fans can be terrible people. Good fans are the best though. Stick with those (+50 points). Your HOH win is great and all (+50 points) but nobody on the jury will give you credit for this week (-50 points) so you need to have a back-up plan if you want to build an actual resume at the end. But your POV win (+50 points) and leaving Bronte up on the block is something of actual substance (+50 points), barely (-50 points). And some more advice…do not bring Frank home to your parents. Ever. He will smack your sister’s ass when he feels comfortable enough to and then smack your mom’s too. Don’t do it girl. Final Tally: +200 points

Mich

Michelle: You are an enigma in your own head. But you’re fun to poke fun at (+50 points) and you lucked out on a team that’s keeping you safe as fuck (+50 points). I don’t dislike you but I don’t love you and you always sound at first like you’re trying to hide the sound of your chronic queefs, hoping that nobody heard them. Your issues with food and weight gain are interesting (-50 points). You eat a kiwi whole, fuzzy skin and all, which is actually more nutritious (+50 points), but so…extra (-50 points). Maybe that’s what makes you queef. You seem to actually seek ways to be weird (+20 points), like making up a boyfriend you never had and wow things like that. You actually have a terrible poker face, but you’re not on anyone’s flaming radar so good for you (+50 points). Being insignificant in a social game seems to be your M.O. Final Tally: +120 points

Paulie

Paulie: I thought you’d be douchier but you’re not, not as much as I thought you’d be, and I’m so relieved for something about this season. So thank you for something (+50 points). You went ahead and took the POV too (+50 points) although I’m not sure you had to (-20 points), but your word “SUSTAINABILITY” was lady boner stuff (+50 points).  “I am a fan of spelling.” Yes you are. But your grammar could use some work (-20 points), “I want to nip stuff in the butt.” Taking Paul down with the veto and backdooring Victor came very easy to you (+50 points) and your butt-nipping ways… And your social game is decent, and far more interesting than prank-pulling James (+50 points) which I apologize for setting such a low bar for. Final Tally: +210 points

Team Name: TEAM UNICORN: James, Bronte, Natalie

Ugh

James: From the moment your face was wedged into Natalie’s perfectly plump ass in that first HOH comp of the season, you dropped Taylor Swift with swiftness. Your drama in the off-season with Meg is only something you two know all the actual details of. But you are the underdog in that tiff and I always root for the underdog (+50 points). But…I don’t know. Is it just me? I wouldn’t want to live day in and day out with a prankster. Who the fuck actually wants that (-50 points)? But still your name isn’t brought up as a target (+50 points) so you’re doing something right. And you live out your creepy Korean uncle fantasies, yay for you, with Natalie, in your head. Because you will not be getting any actual action. I see what you did there sacrificing Victor. But Natalie’s just trying to make Victor jealous by hanging out with you. But I’ll still take your tired old saggy pranks over that big butt meathead Frank though (+50 points). Final Tally: +100 points

Bron

Bronte: You’re such a hot mess. Yawning the whole time on the big screen behind Julie Chen during the live show. You make me feel more pulled together (+50 points). Your fakey voices, yes plural, are baffling and annoy me (-50 points). I wonder sometimes if you’re possessed. But you remain relatively safe and your Spy Girls or whatever alliance has worked in your favor this week (+50 points). James creeps you out, and that’s okay (+50 points), I’m just glad you’ve toned down the Aarynistic behavior (+50 points). Final Tally: +150 points

FullSizeRender-46

Natalie: “I’m happy to evict Victor!” Julie Chen heard your vote loud and clear. Hey. You are a beautiful beautiful woman and you should NOT feel ugly, ever, whether it’s in that ratchet house or in the real world. Zakiyah and Nicole having wtfmances has got you down? I understand. No. I don’t. I focused on winning, not on some short Korean dude, and CBS tried to distract me they did. But maybe you’ll end up using your fellow Korean HG James like I did my ex, Jee. But you need to stop that shit about feeling fat or ugly (-50 points). You are neither. I got fat but never felt ugly on my season. You are definitely not ugly. Be stronger, woman! And work James all you want (+50 points). It’s not like you’re giving him any milk (+50 points). But you saying you don’t want to put up a girl if and when you win HOH is stupid (-50 points). Don’t be an idiot. Put the makeup down, and put up whomever you have to “if and when”  anything. Period. Final Tally: 0 points

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Victor: You’re back to zero now that your ass is evicted. I wasn’t even finished looking at you. Life is so unfair. But your Instagram shout-out on live television might have been enough to make me cut you completely. Final Tally: 0 points

Team: BIG SISTER: Da’Vonne, Paul, Zakiyah

DayAndMichelle

Da’Vonne: “I gotta get her before she tries to get me.” This is the most obvious point of the game, yet you and other HGs keep repeating this to us in the diary room (-50 points). Relax. It doesn’t even matter who “her” is because that’s the whole point of the game. But your ass-slapping drama with Frank this week was hard for me to watch, because you do feel like you have so much to prove after your first run where you couldn’t control your emotions. But that’s not a bad thing. It’s keeping you in check. You’ve grown (+100 points). Good for you. You kept your cool when Frank told you he spilled about the 8-Pack to Paulie (+50 points). And you handled Frank as best you could when he continued to meathead-out (+100 points). But you’re willing to lose team members who could possibly up your probability of safety (-50 points) and I hope that doesn’t bite you in the ass. Final Tally: +150 points

FullSizeRender-48

Paul: “You dropped all the balls. You blew it.” You were talking about Victor (+50 points), not actual oral sex (-50 points), and it was nice to see you actually have a heart (+50 points). You and Jozea and Victor never had a chance as an alliance (-50 points). You need to work your ass off to make sure Tiffany goes home. I appreciate how raw you are in the diary room (+50 points), and in general (+50 points). I hope you don’t leave, but if you make it to the end you will have quite a list of accomplishments to rattle off to the jury. Good luck. Final Tally: +100 points

Kiyah

Zakiyah: Lots of people are pissed about you (-50 points) referring to Natalie as a “thot.” I thought that was a typo of some sort until I actually Googled it. If that’s all the Natalie fans have got on you, then you’re good (+50 points). Basically I’m just some old BB cat lady at this point having to look up words on the internet. Sigh. But I still find you hot as fuck (+50 points) and I’m mildly jealous that you got a lap dance from Paulie as a birthday gift in the house (+50 points). All I got was half a birthday cake and an ex-boyfriend to yell at. Speaking of which, some plaything of two weeks of your life seems to think he owns you, on social media. It’s cute though. It could have been worse. He could have been uglier (+75 points). Final Tally: +175 points

Freakazoids: Nicole, Corey, Tiffany

Nic

Nicole: For whatever reason, including the truth, CBS is editing you as the useless girl who finds Corey dreamy (-50 points). Smack yourself (-50 points). You started off so great (+50 points). And besides that, all CBS could come up with this week was a clip of you choking on water. Is that the extent of your BB legacy? Meatheads and inability to swallow (-50 points)? I never watched your season but I don’t think I need to, to learn anything more about you. Final tally: -100 points

Bros

Corey: “I must have a ‘honk if you’re horny’ sticker on my car with all these horns going off. You know what they say…if the RV is a honking, don’t come a-knocking.” Meat (-50 points). Head (-50 points). How many times did you have to try that whole line in the diary room before you got it right? CBS seems to be ignoring your budding bromance with Frank, and I’m sure it’s for a good reason. Final Tally: -100 points

Vaness2

Tiffany: I thought you were supposed to be good at this! Oh. Wait. No. You played the online version of this stuff (-50 points). It’s your sister Vanessa who will be more memorable of the two of you (-50 points) if you don’t actually start doing something besides looking good in jeans. I was actually mesmerized by your hips on Thursday (+50 points). But so far you’re a little underwhelming, even your unintentional impersonations of Vanessa. But do you. Final Tally: -50 points

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Julie

Julie: You looked good Thursday. Hearing you shout “Kiss My Ace” made my week. But I need to know, who were those ball boys during the comp? Were they gifts from Les?

~

Paulie remains on top.

Always dishing,

Jun

Big Brother 18 – Power Rankings #1

BB

Enough cryptic life shit.

I’m watching Big Brother again this summer, #BB18.

Frank Eudy is back.

Upon entering the house by jumping out of suitcases, Frank and three other second-timers from different seasons, were all afforded a second chance to win.

Julie Chen dramatically forced everyone all at once, to listen to her big news…this summer would start as a team sport. News of this had already spread like wildfire on social media for weeks, but we all pretended as fans to be collectively wowed. The television-only viewing audience was definitely wowed.

Back to Frank…

Frank

By Random Draw, Frank was magically the first to hand-pick a member for his team, in schoolyard pick. It is why I have nicknamed him By Random Draw.

Da’Vonne Rogers, James Huling and Nicole Franzel are the other other returnees, and they also got “team protection.”

I hated the idea at first, teams…

But I did blog once in 2013 about a new twist where I’d like to see one “mandatory” open alliance from day one. This team stuff CBS gave us the season? I’ll take it for now. It seems to mean nothing to the HGs right now anyway. Though I hope this changes soon…

Because if you play a nearly flawless game it shouldn’t matter whether you start in teams or individually anyway. We all know it will get down to an individual game when production sees fit. Maybe this year they’ll steal from Survivor and give us some form of actual immunity idol that By Random Draw will draw week-to-week and forevermore.

We started out the season with a great blindside. When the house blindsided The Three Stooges on my season, it was delicious. Just like Jozea’s blindside was last week.

Week-2 Alliances BB18

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Power Rankings #1

Team Unicorn: JamesNatalieBronteVictor

Such a lame stupid name. The stupidest of the four, but then again, the team is led by James. For stupidest team name, everyone on this team starts off with -150 points.

James

JAMES: Why are you back (0 points)? Final Tally: -150 points

Bronte

BRONTE: Why are you “Wifey Spy?” Fuck no. I want to marry Natalie, not you. And you are far from wifely material, what with your ranting about sending James “back to Hong Kong” (-100 points). I don’t even like him that much but that’s fucked up. Maybe if you’d focused faster and more on your social game then you wouldn’t have gone “there” and you wouldn’t be sitting on the block now (-50 points). One more comment like that and you may enter BB15 territory. You’re not as cute as Aaryn Gries, so you won’t be worshipped like she was undeservedly post-show, by way too many people. But I do like your raw trainwreck-y diary rooms (+150 points) and how your wheels actually turn about the game (+100 points). And when you told Paul to basically STFU and stop being a sexist pig, you won some points (+100 points). Oh, your new and improved strategy to “not trust one single boy in the house” sounds very mature and forward-thinking *sarcasm* (-50 points). Play more like a woman and not like a girl. Final Tally: 0 points

Natalie

NATALIE: You say you’re “sitting there sweating bullets” yet I have never looked half as good as you when I’m sweating anything. It’s very hard for me not to objectify you because I find you quite attractive (+100 points), but it did scare me watching you presumably wiping makeup off in the bathroom (-50 points). YOU WEAR SO MUCH MAKEUP. But whatever. I’m not mildly obsessed or anything, maybe. It’s your face. I sound like Victor don’t I? Oh, but you’re right. You truly “are officially the underdogs of the house.” That’s okay though, because I tend to root for the underdogs (+100 points). I need you to be more helpful to Bronte though, otherwise you will be considered a coattail rider sooner or later. But for now you haven’t made yourself a target so that’s good (+100 points). “Flirty Spy” seems to be working for you. Nobody is really gunning for you. Final Tally: +100 points

Vic

VICTOR: You uttered the words “fair game” in the diary room (-50 points). Who determines what’s fair in Big Brother? Certainly not you. Even CBS hasn’t figured that out yet. Just abide by the contract you signed and the rest is fair game. You don’t want a girl to win? Because your level of emotional maturity is that low? Not good (-50 points). Finance degree or not, social game is key to getting that money in the bank in the first place. But thank you for being so very nice to look at (+200 points). You’re sitting on the block by association by bad self-awareness (-50 points). And geez, you flipped so fast after Jozea was evicted basically bending over for the returnees. Telling everyone right away that you won Roadkill, after you won Roadkill (+100 points)? Not good (-50 points). I don’t want you to go. Sigh. Final Tally: -50 points.

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Big Sister: Da’VonneJozeaPaulZakiyah:

Stupid team name, again. -100 points to everyone on this team.

DaVonne2

DA’VONNE: I love you I do (+50 points) and I’m sincerely happy for you that you get another tearful chance to win the prize money for Cadence (+100 points). But girl…it seems like you’re trying to go for the BB Meme And Gif Hall Of Fame more than anything else this season (-50 points). But you’re still entertaining as fuck (+100 points). It’s week two and you’re not getting evicted, so that’s major improvement from last season. I know, it’s a low bar to set but it’s all we have. Please work on your happy face when you’re talking to people you don’t like or believe (-50 points). You cannot flop this season. As your Korean virtual mother I forbid you. But your kissing Jozea’s photo once it went black and white had me dying laughing (+50 points). If you make final two with Zakiyah I will fly you and Cadence out to Belgium for a visit with me. That is all. Final Tally: +100 points

Jozea

JOZEA (EVICTED): You are currently drowning somewhere in some faux celebrity river, with Glenn dead in the water floating face-down by you. Jozea. You were THE FIRST (REAL) EVICTEE. Because let’s face it…Glenn doesn’t count. He didn’t exactly get Jodi’d, but that’s what it was in different packaging. Yes, this is supposed to be about you, Jozea, of “My word is my word,” and “Scenarios is scenarios,” fame. Because apparently that is the depth of your critical thinking. This is this. That is that. Jozea. Your delusions of grandeur were fucking fantastic fun to follow and make fun of. Glenn Who?

Paul

PAUL: “The Big Brother universe hates me at this point.” No. It hates everyone equally, Paul. You’re not special. But good for you for taking yourself off the block last week (+100 points) although you really were responsible for getting yourself on the block in the first place (-50 points). You pet your beardfro when you’re nervous, and you liken yourself to Godzilla…let alone you’re not afraid to refer to yourself as Godzilla, publicly. You’re the self-proclaimed black sheep of the family who takes delight in being the black sheep, which screams: you have lots to prove. I should know. You are so rough around the edges but I like you more than Jozea, which is a very low bar to measure up to. But it’s something (+50 points). But you should knock off calling anyone a little Korean or little anything, because you are one of the few very short men in the house, especially when Jozea comes back after beating Glenn. Final Tally: 0 points

zakiyah

ZAKIYAH: Why are you so hot? (+200 points). You have Da’Vonne and Paulie as shields. I love it. Final Tally: +100 points

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Freakazoids: NicoleCoreyGlennTiffany

Annoying name but whatever. -50 points to all.

Nicole

NICOLE: Even when you’re happy you sound unhappy. It’s a true talent (+50 points), and also annoying as fuck (-100 points). You’re a nurse, but if you came to treat me in the emergency room I’d get anxious listening to you. I’d ask for another nurse. But I don’t mind watching your hot mess of a self on the show (+50 points). It’s quite entertaining. (+50 points). I never watched your season and I don’t hate you (+50 points). Final Tally: +50 points

Corey

COREY: You need to make like your picture above and keep your mouth closed and smiling ever so slightly. It’s your best look (+50 points). It’s your only decent look (-50 points). So stop talking. Stop watching men shower. As a matter of fact close your eyes so you’re not even tempted to. And don’t ever set fires to animals ever again (-100 points) or we will find you. We will hunt you down and your trash friends down. I’ve never heard of peppermint bark before you told us about it and its “life-changing” qualities. But it sounds terrible. You’d better redeem yourself and soon, buddy. Final Tally: -150 points

Glenn

GLENN (EVICTED/GLENNED): I’m using your stock photo. Just go home. Unless the buyback comp is mental, I don’t see how you will outlast all the young bucks exiting the house. You probably have Trump rallies back at home to get back to anyway.

TiffTIFFANY: You are Vanessa 2.0 in so many ways (-50 points) yet you are not her too (+50 points). It’s freaking me out watching you and having to consciously tell myself you’re not Vanessa. Even though I know you’re not. And how can you suck so bad at math in that Roadkill comp (-50 points)? What kind of high school do you teach at?! Final Tally: -100 points

TiffanyTrippy.

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Category 4: FrankBridgetteMichellePaulie

Sad, but the best name of the four teams. Kudos on that at least. It may be the best thing these people did all summer. +50 points.

ByRandomDraw

FRANK: Frank, Frank, Frank…you have aged like a bear. I don’t even know what that means really. You’ve definitely still got your big butt (+50 points), but your game still sucks (-300 points). If you can’t even keep track of all the fake alliances you’ve made then you are actually your biggest pain in the ass. I’m just here to agitate it. But I think Corey wants to agitate your ass more than I do. And kudos to you for publicly confessing that you have hemorrhoids (+50 points) and how you must tend to them and nurse them every so gently with your fingers (+50 points), as you not so gently rebuffed Corey’s voyeurism (+100 points). You said it gave you weird feelings having him watch you. It’s good to talk about feelings (+50 points). Hemorrhoids kills. Well, maybe not, but I’m not a doctor. Final Tally: :+50 points

Bridgette

BRIDGETTE: How old are you? This isn’t pre-teen pageant girl scout camp (-100 points). Women have advanced farther than you are playing but whatevs, you were typecast and you’re playing your role (+100 points). Do what you gotta do sister. If they let you win by swinging side to side like Shirley Temple until your tassels poke an eye out, then do you. I saw a porn once called “Spunky Spice” and it was all about a girl getting spunk all over her face. This has nothing to do with you except your name is Spunky Spice in your alliance. Good job surviving eviction last week (+50 points) even though your bad decisions got you outed as a spy and nommed in the first place (-50 points). But you survived because you’re quite insignificant in the game right now. That’s not a bad thing (+50 points). But this may change. And if it doesn’t then that’s okay too. Sigh. I know you miss your dad, but your kinda crush on Frank is a little weird because it just is. Stop it (-50 points). Final Tally: +50 points

Michelle

MICHELLE: You need to not let the sun turn you into carcinogen (-50 points). You need to not compare Bridgette to me (-50 points). You need to not say bad things about “fat people” unless you have a thoughtful solution to your rudeness (-50 points). But so far you’re laying around eating junk food and hating yourself, basically living out your BB dream, so I’m happy for you (+50 points). You would sell your soul for safety in the house, or the last bag of potato chips, whichever comes at the right time. I love it (+50 points). Final Tally: 0 points

PAulie

PAULIE: You’re HOH (+50 points) after surviving last week’s eviction (+50 points) after going spread eagle for the returnees right away (-50 points), and still losing to Paul in the POV (-50 points) but then you won POV this week (+50 points), but you are beasting out so early (-50 points). Though you would have been a target anyway so at least you’re killing comps (+100 points) and making the best of friends especially in one very hot Zakiyah (+50 points). If you marry her later I will come back and add +5,000 points to this blog. Final Tally: +200 points

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Power Rankings High:GroupLeft

Two beautiful black women in the BB house.

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Power Rankings Low:GroupRight

Frank holding on to his nuts the entire live show.

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Power Rankings Tradition:

PenisHead

They gave Julie dickhead. Sigh.

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 Standings

(I took the liberty of adding some penalties)

PowerRankings1

Congratulations Paulie.

Always dishing,

Jun

Big Brother 18

BB

I’m fucked up. You’re fucked up. Because we’re all actually fucked up. And we are all fucked up for this new season of Big Brother. Yay.

And there are more names like Arroyo and Flores and less names like Honeycutt and Marlow among the new (part) of the current cast. Again, yay.

Today’s cast reveal was great. And I stand by CBS’s decision to postpone it by one day, whether their intentions were business-driven or altruistic. Because precious lives were lost in Orlando. And there’s lots weighting on everyone’s minds.

Big Brother can wait and should wait, and it waited. Jackie Ibarra was right when she tweeted yesterday that delaying the cast reveal was the right thing to do.

And here I’d thought I’d never come to appreciate Jackie for anything. I was wrong. Yes.

You can virtually smell summer in the social media buzz because Big Brother is about to start up again. Whatever “summer” smells like to you. It makes the BB fans come out.

So, no, I don’t think the show is going anywhere anytime soon. Les Moonves likes making that easy money that goes, most of it, right into his pockets at the end of the year. And Big Brother creates a buzz.

I wish it would create a ripple though.

Buzzes get old.

Because CBS lost an opportunity on season 15. They lost me. And for the next season too they lost me. I have yet to watch season 16. Because that season 15, CBS went for the buzz and not a ripple, by not taking more of a firm stand on the racism that prevailed. Because what you saw on the televised shows was nothing compared to everything else that happened on the live feeds. Allison Grodner could have called the HGs on season 15 together for a house meeting over the loudspeaker. She did during my season, season 4, when Scott Weintraub had a fit and started throwing chairs around and then announced out loud to the house that he had HPV. So Groder could have called the cast of season 15 together for a talking to, in the least. She should have, and for Candice Stewart. Candice was baited and then some, and CBS has a lot of making up to do for tolerating shitshow racism.

So I appreciate their semblance of caring yesterday. As an American and as a human. More of that please and thank you.

Always dishing,

Jun

Weird Father’s Day Gift Q&A

MyBoys

Better late than never…

I write all the time about myself so I guess my husband Davy surely deserves a Q&A blog of his own, for Father’s Day…

I tweeted this two years ago:

Well I finally got around to it two whole years later…

Here are most of the questions answered by Davy. FYI. I learned lots of new stuff about him too.

 

Davy: No, sorry.

 

Davy: I was in a very weird spot in my life at that time. I don’t regret things I’ve done in my life. But now my life has totally changed. I guess I would tell myself… Use your brain. Don’t let just having fun be the only thing that matters. Buy an apartment. Don’t wait for that subsidized housing stuff to become available. Just buy your own place now. Buy Apple stock, save more money and use your money more wisely.

 

Davy: Yes all the way in the beginning.

 

Davy: Jun checks out and appreciate other women with me [laughs], pointing out attractive women out to me sometimes. She is the least jealous person I know. She is secure.

 

Davy: Well, in general, there aren’t so many women working as dockworkers. In Ghent there is only one female dockworker.  Because working at in Ghent still means you have to have brute strength and endurance. Charging and discharging ships means serious cargo. I started out on the docks using my muscles a lot, but eventually went for training and licensing to operate heavy machinery. But there is some heavy physical labor required in Ghent. But in Antwerp, there are more women dockworkers. Because in Antwerp, most of the cargo come in containers. So machines can do most of the job. That’s not to say these women don’t use their physical strength when they have to. It is just not as common as it is in the Port of Ghent…

 

Davy: Day by day. It’s not 9 to 5. It’s around the clock. But it’s good money and this is one of the things working on the docs is known for. Dockworkers can go a week taking odd shifts at any time, without really seeing their spouses or children. Everyone and everything moved around according to my shift. I’m happy that Jun never lost herself and she can find her way, with or without me around. She fit into my life as a wife of a dockworker. I wasn’t sure if she could. Not all women can. It’s not an easy adjustment. It has to be a team effort. But there are so many dockworkers who work more than they sleep and save their money and buy a big fancy car. Or a house. I’m always happy for them. But it’s terrible some of these guys can’t really enjoy these things because it seems like they’re working nonstop. Lots of dockworkers also discover their wives have been cheating on them, and that just sucks. So. Yeah. [laughs] Day by day.

 

Davy: She leaves used paper towels all over the kitchen because she says she “only used them once to dry her hands after washing them at the sink.” She says they can be reused. So there are always paper towels everywhere.

 

Davy: I let her be dramatic. [laughs]

 

Davy: Not at all.

Davy: No.

 

Davy: Very.

~

AfterIceCream

Very

Happy Father’s Day Davy.

I will try my hardest to be extra nice to you today.

Always dishing,

Jun

 

 

Dandelion Seeds

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The fact that my son Noah will never get to meet my dad is one of the saddest realities I live with, in my weakest moments. The fact that my father never even had the chance to meet my little Noah is gut-wrenching to me, in my lowest of lows. For if I had to name the two biggest influences in my life? They would be my father and my son.

My husband Davy is my forever one. But I married him. I chose him.

I did not choose my father and I did not choose my son. That is blood. I am their blood.

My mother is the one who carried me in her belly and pushed me out into this world, but it is my father who shaped me most. My mother knows this. She loves this. Because, my father was unlike anybody in my life and this will be true forevermore. I know this. I love this.

Because you see, to know my father was to love him, the way you love the feeling of your feet touching the ground firmly when you jump off a swing. The way you love picking up where you left off in your favorite book. The way you love free-falling into your own bed after some time away, because there’s just no place like home. Steadfast. Solid. My dad.

And his presence was surely felt this April when my little family of three made our trip back home to New York, to be at my brother’s wedding. Noah played his part of ring bearer and flower boy to perfection. It was just about the most perfect day that 17th of April…

Noah

There were, however, countless loved ones in attendance who wished my father could be there, of course and especially my mother. But she didn’t need to tell us this. And we did not voice this sentiment to her either. We did not want to take her joyous day away…

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But my mother shed not one tear on my brother’s wedding day, although I had, she refused to. She glowed. Her strength that day kept me strong too. I owed that to her.

Her baby boy was married. I was married. She said this out loud in Korean to nobody in particular, as we left the wedding hall, but I heard her and I know in my heart she was talking to my dad who was listening from above.

My mother carried that same glow when she joined me and Davy and Noah on our trip to the cemetery to see my dad, just a week later. We had never made it to the cemetery on our last trip back to New York in 2012. I’d regretted it immensely. But I knew it was time to pay my dad a visit, and for Davy and Noah to pay their respects for their first time.

I remember my stomach being in knots that morning, the 23rd of April, an even bigger knot in my throat. I couldn’t swallow, as hard as I tried, the significance of the day. I cried, so very much, as I prepared to walk once again upon the grounds where my father lay for the last 12 years.

I never did let Noah see me cry that day.

I owed that to him.

~

Noah held my hand and he listened intently as I spoke to him…

This is where we come to remember my papa, your haraboji, because he’s not here with us anymore. He’s so very far away that we cannot see him or touch him, I’d said to Noah.

I’d then picked up a dandelion from the plush lawn by my father’s tombstone. Because one of Noah’s favorite things to do is blow on them and watch the seeds fly away. So I handed Noah the dandelion as we crouched in front of my father’s grave.

If you blow on this dandelion the seeds will fly away and some will reach haraboji way up in the sky. That’s where he is. That’s where he will always be, watching over us. And he will always know that you are the one who has sent him the beautiful dandelion seeds, I’d said to Noah.

Maybe one day Noah will ask about heaven and hell. And maybe one day I’ll tell him about all that’s heavenly, and not. Or not. My faith has not been the same since I lost my dad. It was never as strong as I pretended it was anyway. And I don’t know if it will ever be strong again. It is why I choose not to raise Noah in the Christian faith though that’s how I was raised.

In that moment though, Noah’s eyes lit up. He blew that dandelion so hard that the seeds starting swirling around his face, tickling him. We laughed and stared skyward together, as the precious seeds floated higher and higher. It didn’t matter how far they made it. Noah was entranced with the idea that he could somehow connect with the man whom I’d just referred to as “my papa.”

Whoosh

We watched Noah run from spot to spot picking dandelions and sending seeds of love up to my father. He didn’t want to stop. Davy was surprised by how quickly Noah caught on to the idea of being able to reach my father. My mother beamed with pride. Her grandson was so expressive in his desire to be a part of my father’s world in that moment, and intuitive enough to know just what she, his halmuhnee, needed right then and there…

NoahMomz

And in that moment, all the once-tangled and painful knots inside me unraveled and I knew I was right to have waited to bring these three loves of my life together to where my father rested.

Three

It was a beautiful day, that day in April, visiting my dad. It was my very own happy Father’s Day. In Belgium, Father’s Day falls on the 12th of June this year, this Sunday, one Sunday before it does in the States. So I will be celebrating again and again. No tears. Just love.

So Happy Father’s Day to everyone, every day this month, every day of the year. Why not? For new fathers and grandfathers, fathers lost and dearly missed, or fathers found anew, fathers here and there and everywhere.

I feel you.

Loved. Cherished. Remembered.

I’m reminded always now, by dandelion seeds in the air…

~

As I finish this blog, I’ve received news that my brother is in the hospital and very sick. The doctors can’t pin-point the cause of his blood infection, but as of this morning he is out of the ICU and stable. I choose to believe this is my father watching over him. And though I wish I could end this blog on a lighter note, I have never been one to hide my emotions when it comes to my family. I ask that you keep my brother in your thoughts. Thank you everyone for your love.

Always.

UPDATE: Friday, June 10th. My brother has been released in stable health and has returned home to rejoin his new bride. I do not have all the answers, and maybe I never will, but all I need to know is that my brother is home again, even cracking jokes. The newlywedding can pick up where it was left off.

Amazing.

Always dishing,

Jun

What Big Brother Canada Season 4 Meant To Me

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A lot, to me.

Obviously, nothing will surpass Big Brother U.S. for me, because it was there first and made me a lot of money for three months of my time. But it didn’t change my life. I always change my life.

But Big Brother Canada Season 4 actually meant a lot, to me.  I never watched Canada’s first season and binged the second season last year, just so I could watch the third season live. I expected more from #BBCAN3 because #BBCAN2 was pretty great. But #BBCAN3 turned out to be just okay.

But…

#BBCAN4 gave me Arnold Shapiro vibe and feel in casting, and I liked it, as both a fan and an alum.

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I even kept up with #BBCAN4 while I was in New York last month, calling in to Reality Recaps just for fun. Noah even made a cameo at the end. I’m not even sure how I squeezed that in, what with everything else accomplished on our family trip.

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Freedom Tower, One World Trade Center, April 2016

~

But I did somehow keep up with, and finish this season of Big Brother Canada. I’m glad I did. It was a good season to be a fan, a Big Brother Canada fan.

But it had a disappointing ending, because it was an explosive season by Big Brother North America standards, and Tim should have won but he walked so we’ll never know. Some think he lied. Some think he was contractually obligated to “quit.”

Conspiracy theories are internet diarrhea.

Tim walked. A real winner always wants to win again. Tim is no winner. But then again, maybe he really is serious about wanting to go into politics in Australia. Quintessential happy go lucky Tim. OR even politics in Canada, if the right girl marries him…

But this isn’t about Cass, though it could have been. But she wasn’t in the final two, was she? She didn’t study enough, even though it would have made her a more whole player and PERHAPS GOT HER INTO FINAL TWO.

No, this is about Kelsey.

Dear Kelsey:

You shouldn’t have let Cass shake you on finale night. This wasn’t a beauty pageant. It’s Big Brother. You really should have reaped more for everything sewn, but you didn’t. You’re the one who evicted Cass and then you evicted Tim. It doesn’t matter who the HOH was because you had that sole vote on two pivotal weeks back-to-back. Your resume was good. You needed to manage Cass and Tim so they would be nice and fresh off to jury but you didn’t and, that’s why you lost to the Paqs brothers. It’s disappointing. I wanted you to win, not them. I don’t care if it “means more to them than it does to you.” What does that even mean? It means it’s a personal game as much as it is a social and strategic game. The sooner everyone realizes it the sooner we have less disappointing finales, period. 

  • Sidenote: It’s okay to lose but you need to know why you lost things in life. Lessons need to be learned. 

On the surface it seems like the Paqs brothers and Kelsey executed polar opposite games. But they didn’t. Both had pretty open alliances. It was blood versus water except the brothers couldn’t evict one another, hell, they couldn’t even evict themselves. They should have been made to self-evict. It would have been delicious. And rewarding, as a fan. And alum.

But Kelsey actually had it tougher because she was in an open alliance of three not two, including a meat shield froyomance inside that. That’s more complicated than what the brothers dealt with. And she made it to the end, despite being evicted once already. Whose fault is that?

And whose fault is it that the brothers got so far and that Tim got so far, and Nikki as far as she did? Twists are protected. Because money has been invested.

End of story.

But it was a very good season. Very reminiscent of Big Brother U.S., the earlier years. It’s probably the last of its kind now…

I hope the brothers grow up sooner than later. I’m sure they’re fun to party with but they’re lucky they were sitting next to Kelsey in the end. The End.

Always dishing,

Jun

 

Terrorist Attacks Wouldn’t Happen Here

BrusselsCornbread

I’ve never dedicated a blog to 9/11, or my experiences on that day and days after. The closest I ever got was a blog I wrote in 2013 pontificating on the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, and even that came late. I don’t know why exactly I never wrote about 9/11, when I write about just about everything else under the sun. Maybe because my life was spared on that September 11th in 2001. and I was not among the injured, maybe because no-one close to me died or was among the wounded, but I think mostly because I didn’t want to ever re-live it. Because even if you weren’t in or around the mighty towers that fell, you will never forget that day in New York. Especially if you worked in finance and remember the many scattered calendar days of the years you might have spent in the towers working, banking, living in naïveté.

But on that fateful day I’ll never forget walking the three miles that felt like thirty, from my cushy midtown office at Citigroup to my home in the East Village, with droves of other New Yorkers, because mass transit was shut down and the city was on lockdown. Almost a harbinger of The Walking Dead, where it truly felt like the world was coming to a bitter end. Being numb and cell phoneless because there was no signal to be found. Hoping nobody close to you was buried or burned alive in the rubble that was once The World Trade Center.

So many years later in the wake of the Brussels attacks, I sit here in Belgium shaken and unable to shake this feeling of familiarity, of vulnerability. These last 24 hours have been cloudy to say the least. For even though I didn’t lose anyone per se on 9/11, I did indeed lose something, the carefree naïveté and belief that I was safe, that “terrorist attacks wouldn’t happen here.”

But in the five years I’ve lived here in Belgium, I somehow got that feeling of security and safety back. I’ve joked numerous times about how quiet and peaceful life here is in Belgium, to the point of boredom. And then yesterday, the country and its people were shaken awake out of that peace and quiet. And that feeling of “terrorists attacks wouldn’t happen here” smacked me hard in the face again, because I was wrong.

Again.

And that’s the reality. And not blogging about it won’t make it go away. It’s not easy, but I’ve chosen to blog about it.

Because it’s easy to say don’t let the terrorists win by letting your fears take over. It’s easy to say keep living your life in the face of terrorism. It’s easy to say don’t stay home get outside and show these terrorists that we will not be bullied. But all I want to do is stay home, and bake. Bake? I never bake. Anybody who knows me knows I don’t bake. Yet I baked this morning, with my son Noah who turned 4 years old on Monday.

Monday, before all this tragedy struck.

BrusselsCornbread

We baked a cornbread this morning. A good old-fashioned American cornbread. Noah is too young to know the significance in my choice of baking therapy, but he did ask me why I was crying. I couldn’t stop crying. So I told him I was sad for all the good people that the bad people hurt yesterday.

I tried my best to explain to Noah, what was plastered on the news yesterday morning, and it was consistent with what I told him just a few months before after the Paris attacks.

Noah: Mama, there are bad people in France.

Me: No, there are good people in France but some bad people went there and did bad things.

Noah: Yeah.

Me: This is why it’s important to grow up and be a good person and always help people, right Noah?

Noah: Yes mama.

And then yesterday…

Noah: I have an idea! My sword! I’ll fight the bad guys with my sword!

I told Noah that fighting back like that would only hurt more people. He tipped his head, thoughtful, and replied that his sword was only plastic anyway. If only we could all be so thoughtful and contemplate the results of our actions…so that parents don’t have to wrack their brains to come up with such explanations. When will it stop?

Which is why really, this morning, I just felt the need to raise my American flag by way of cornbread.

And now I’ll leave Noah in the faithful hands of his Opi so I can go give Rice House a good cleaning before opening for business as usual tomorrow.

Because, life does go on.

My heart cries and my eyes well with tears for the souls and innocence lost yesterday. But one day we will unite and fight and win. We will overcome.

We must.

Always dishing,

Jun

Pink Is For Girls, Pink Is For Boys

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Pink. It’s a color.

It’s just a color.

Pink is the color Noah decided was his “favorite color” about six months ago, not coincidentally, after learning that pink was also the favorite color of his friend Farah. So after obsessing about blue for months, Noah decided that blue was out and pink was in. And boy has it been IN.

But after all, it’s just a color, right?

More importantly, it’s the color of the friendship between Noah and Farah. Farah, who has come such a long way, in such a short amount of time, five months to be exact. In fact not so short for Farah or her baby sister or her parents, who probably feel like it’s been the longest five months of their lives together so far.

What have you done in the last five months? What have I done? And how could it compare to the ups and downs and emergency runs to the hospital that Farah has had to endure? The scares, the stares, the prayers and everything in between that rhymes or rhymes not.

I mean, really, what the fuck rhymes with chemotherapy?

And sure there were days that Farah’s mother Houda and her father Daan, thought, would just break them, but they didn’t, and today Farah is stronger than she has been in months. She and Noah were recently reunited on, and of all days, Valentine’s Day.

It’s as if this span of five months was a mere five days.

They played. They babbled. They picked up right where they’d left off. As it should be.

Farah, who could not pull herself and walk just a few months ago, was in fact walking and even chasing after Noah. My goodness. My shock and relief ran through my body…
Reunited

These two…

They even donned pink…they were a sight to behold, and it was pinkalicious and sweet as sweet could be.

DressUp

Sassy even…

Sass

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at first nervous as I was excited about reuniting these treasures once again. I had done my best to prepare Noah for the changes in Farah’s appearance, and to encourage him to ask questions of Farah but to remain as kind and as loving as he’d always been with her. And he did not disappoint. And neither did Farah. She was a fabulous host and she and Noah reconnected and bonded once more.

Their friendship proves over and over that children are the saviors of this cold and unrelentingly harsh world.

FarahRide

These smiles.

These smiles can save souls that need saving the most. I wasn’t sure when Farah would be able to leave her home and go anywhere else but the hospital, but alas, after five months it’s a reality. Just last week we all piled into the car to attend a birthday party, that of their mutual friend Amélie.

And this Sunday Farah will be attending Noah’s fourth birthday party, and proving us all wrong. Strength comes from within. Strength lends a loving hand and lifts you up if you let it. All you have to do is let it.

Let it.

~

I’d like to thank everyone who has sent their love and good wishes and kind words of support during this experience so far. And special thanks to all of you who donated towards the Farah’s World gift list. We were able to collect so many snugly animal blankets, that Farah helped hand out to the brave little souls in the Children’s Cancer Ward at The University Hospital of Ghent.

It was a very special day, and a beautiful start to the new year…

FarahGifts

Below is the thank you card, and a drawing from one of the children (Pauline), from the Children’s Cancer Fund of Belgium.

Card

I cannot express in words how much I have grown and grown up these last five months, these last five years, and I thank you all for joining me along the way…

Farah’s journey has just begun and I’m proud to be riding her coattails and not floating…

Always dishing,

Jun

 

Linda Catchup: Where Are They (The Boys) Now?

Puerto Plata

I feel like a bad bad person for not working more on finishing up the Linda Catchup series. But there’s only one of me and I can’t be a good person all the time. Nobody can.

So in an effort to ease my way back into writing more “Linda Catchup”, I’ve decided to start with a small update blog as a way to say hey remember the dudes of Linda Catchup? So here goes.

Before (how they were described in the first chapter) and Now.

Before: “Wally was single and reckless, living at home with his parents at almost 30. He suffered from a very short fuse, literally and figuratively, but was fun to have fun with. His chip sat on his shaved shoulders. He shaved his whole body twice a week, for nobody in particular, and for anybody he could get naked with. He was always read to party.”

Now: Wally went through major growing pains after returning from that Puerto Plata trip, and it was not pretty for a good while, but as of the date of this blog I can tell you that he’s no longer living in his parents’ home! He’s even advanced at work on the docks and is soon to become a first-time daddy!

Before: “Then there was Ludo, undeniably a ginger but his very closely shaved head looked fuzzy blonde most of the time. He was married and restless in middle age, and he was the oldest of the four dockers on the trip. Back in Belgium he lived with his wife of 2 years and 7 children. They were children he’d neither fathered nor raised, but he was their faithful dad for years. This was the first real vacation Ludo had ever taken in his life, and he already dreaded going back home to Belgium before the trip even started.”

Now: Ludo is still employed as a dockworker, and remains skinny as hell, but he is divorced now. That’s all I’m going to say about that. There was major drama following the trip, and shit got ugly fast and sporadically, but I am happy for him that he is doing his thing now and that he’s moved on with his life.

Before: “Then there was Koen. Koen had striking dark eyes and hair, and a square jaw that ran in his family line of men. He was always thinking, either thinking about or thinking through something. I noticed this about him right away. He was also the most reserved and the only single one too, in the group. He would share a room with Davy on the trip.”

Now: Koen is godfather to my son, my son with Davy. Koen and his girlfriend Xandra opened a fitness focused eatery in Ghent, and they are thriving. And yes, Koen continues to think a lot, all the time. He’s always thinking. I love this about him. And Davy and I always enjoy seeing Koen. As does our little Noah. Our friendship is a special one.

NoahPepe

Noah and Pepe Koen this past NYE…

~

Before: “Last, but not least there was Davy. He and Koen both had a mop of hair, Davy’s blonde and Koen’s black, compared to the shaved heads of Wally and Ludo. Davy was also one of those guys who always had a girlfriend, but always smelled single anyway. Single has a scent.”

Now: Davy doesn’t smell single anymore. Some may actually say he smells like a DILF. And the chip on his shoulder is significantly smaller than it was in 2010 in Puerto Plata, but it’s still there.

They never go away.

They resurface.

Linda Catchup will hopefully rise again sooner than later.

Always dishing,

Jun

15 Minute Blog

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I have 15 minutes to tell you what I’d tell my therapist, if I had a therapist, because I’ve had them before sporadically, I just don’t have one now at this point in my life.

And it took me three minutes to formulate that first sentence so I’m doing a bad job right now.

By therapist, I very broadly mean someone you pay to talk to, degreed or not. Because here in Belgium you don’t need any official or specified academic degree to be a therapist. But if I had a therapist to talk to for, now, 7 minutes and counting…I’d say:

Today I’m feeling, overall, misunderstood and defeated, disrespected and devalued. Maybe by one specific person and maybe by more or a mob or maybe because I’m not allowed to feel like everyone else around me because I’m so different, so none of my feelings actually matter to anyone but me. Having left America and its culture to live in Belgium enveloped in its culture while never having fully ever left behind Korea and its culture, makes me different. Life doesn’t stop, your past follows you. It is you. So today, mentally and emotionally and physically too, I’m sore, but I refuse to roll over for anyone. I will not live my life, overall, being misunderstood or defeated or disrespected or devalued. Fuck no.

My brother is getting married in three months and as his sister I have things I must do, as a Korean and as an American-once-a-New Yorker-always-a-New Yorker, and the part of me that is now Belgian too. I return to New York City after a four-year separation.

I carry three identities yet everybody wants me to conform to one boring box. No.

And that’s what I’d tell my therapist, if I had one, today. In about 300 words. Not much for 15 minutes. But enough too.

Because I have too much shit to do, so blogging just has to wait.

Sighhhhhh…

~

Coming up in February though I do have a guest blog in the works.

Stay tuned.

Always dishing,

Jun