Jun Dishes

verb/diSH/ : food or sex or gossip or fiction in real life

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Pride and Embarrassment

Alexis

Blogging every day like I did in 2013 was hard, but this blogging-whenever-I-want-to in 2014 thing is just as hard. It’s like having to catch up with a friend about my last few days and wanting to cover so many things that have happened, yet not wanting to sound like a lunatic. It’s been days since I last blogged and in that time I got a lot of shit done.

My U.S. passport expires this year, faithfully, after ten years with me. It was one of the best gifts I gave to myself in my lifetime, a fully-stamped passport. I could write a novel each about my travels to Aruba, The Bahamas, Belgium, China, Croatia, The Dominican Republic, England, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, and some twice or more in those ten years. So with months still left before the expiration date, I took my U.S. passport and reported to the U.S. Embassy in Brussels this week to apply for a passport renewal. This morning, as a matter of fact…

Because I’m living Belgium I can’t apply online and so I must present myself by appointment at the Embassy. I don’t mind it at all. In fact, I realized this week that I’ve enjoyed all my trips to the U.S. Embassy here. Brussels is charming as a metropolis, and I feel a sense of pride as an American each time I approach that heavily guarded American flag along Boulevard Du Régent (in French) or Regentlaan (in Dutch). I never thought my heart would ever swell seeing the American flag and a huge portrait of Barack Obama on the wall inside the U.S. Embassy, but it swells! Plus, everything’s in English at the Embassy and the forms look soothingly familiar and I get to use my social security number which never happens in Belgium.

I never felt any kind of pride anytime I renewed or replaced my passport back in the States. I never knew this kind of pride. Back in New York it was just a huge hassle to have to “deal with” going to the passport agencies, and the costs and waiting involved.

My son Noah has both American and Belgian citizenship and he’s got his own U.S. Passport as well. He’s been inside the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Brussels. My husband Davy and I have talked about this before and how it’s the best gift we gave to Noah, dual citizenship. Perspective is a window and the more windows you’ve got, the more you get to see. I wish for Noah to travel when he’s old enough, and to fill all his passport pages too one day.

So after all this feel-good love for America, I came home today and felt the need to blog about so many different things. My love for America wasn’t actually one of them because I was still basking in the glow of social security number excitement. I actually started out writing hours ago about the new Survivor cast. But I couldn’t not address the recent Big Brother drama so I started writing about that. But as I was writing, I found myself sounding so “anti-American” that I trashed it and started this new blog with my whining about how hard it is to blog in 2014.

And this is how I end up sounding like a lunatic anyway, with a disclaimer.

In closing, here’s who I like from the new Survivor cast (knowing this means that they won’t win):

fav3

 

I find Alexis annoying but I her hair is entertaining in the wind.

Alexis

As far as what’s going on in the Big Brother world?

I’ll just leave you with this PSA:

Attention: The Big Brother Cat Lady is evolving every day and joining online armies and mafias, sisterhoods and Big Brotherhoods of the internet, and you should be very afraid.

It’s almost impossible to explain to a layperson all that goes on between summer seasons of Big Brother, namely October through June, because there are things that go on during the season itself that never should have happened in the first place. Right now in January, Big Brother alum and their respective fans are socially slaughtering each other, with some even exposing their body parts on social media, in self-publicized scandals. It makes my rivalry with Alison and the rest of 2003 look wholesome and healthy. Not that’s scary.

I blame America and maybe some of Canada and England. I blame the internet. I blame Big Brother live feeds. To be clear, I’ve watched the feeds and I love the internet. I love America and Canada and England, but I’m not proud of Big Brother. All jokes aside, this is embarrassing!

Thank god I have the U.S. Embassy to remind me of all that’s good about freedom.

Always dishing,

Jun

Tupperware and Feeling Old

TupperwareCrew

I once attended a sex toy home party here in Belgium. I bought some disinfectant cleaner in a sexy-looking bottle because the prices of the rest of the products were ridiculously high. My husband Davy and I have a decent-sized pleasure and torture chest and I personally don’t need a home party to buy my sex toys. In New York I once attended a sex toy party for a Christmas charity. But I never attended a Tupperware home party in my life until I moved to Belgium. I’ve now attended two, one thrown from someone on Davy’s mom’s side of the family and the other from Davy’s dad’s side of the family.

I’d never actually been invited to one until I moved here. Nobody I ever knew in New York threw them. I knew nothing about anything about what a Tupperware home party was and it had always been more like an urban legend to me. My mother always used Rubbermaid anyway and she just bought it at the store.

So I’m about to overanalyze the shit out of Tupperware parties, in Belgium, and you can tell me if it’s similar where you are or were.

My first Tupperware party in Belgium was at the wife of Davy’s uncle Danny, Carine’s. She was the host and there were about a dozen of us in her dining room. Mostly friends of Carine and Danny’s and some family like me. Everyone was 30+ in age. I was very pregnant with Noah. Carine, our hostess, laid out crackers and cookies and I was so disappointed. I was pregnant! I needed to eat more than hostage in kidnap! I was shocked at the prices of the actual pieces of Tupperware. My urban legend had some legendary pricing. Geez.

I ended up buying the “cheapest” expensive freezer container at around $30 and getting something for free while other guests bought hundreds of dollars of Tupperware like it was nothing. The Tupperware Consultant had been very good at her job in selling fun and gadgets. She cooked a whole meal of raw meat and veggies in one one Tupperware bowl in the microwave. In the microwave! Her cooking demonstration was taste-tested by all guests including pregnant me. I felt weird about eating “microwave cooking” and I still do.

Carine and Danny ended our relationship soon after that stupid Tupperware party, and also cut off anyone else who bought just one “cheapest” expensive item like I had. Coincidence? A lost bond for the price of Tupperware. Tupperware is thicker than blood apparently. How sordid!

My second Tupperware party, last night, happened at the home of Davy’s dad’s girlfriend’s daughter Lindsay. Complicated-sounding but basically my future step-sister-in-law’s. Lindsay’s also, incidentally, the hostess of the only sex toy home party I’ve attended in Belgium. Connection? Lindsay likes to throw home parties.

But besides Tupperware and sex toys, there’s lots of other kinds of home parties all the rage here in Belgium like it’s 1949 or 1979, you choose.

The whole Tupperware thing makes me feel uncomfortable. All of it does. There. I said it.

I feel like I’ve taken a time machine back many decades to a time where I’m supposed to be barefoot and pregnant and pouring milk out of glass jugs brought to me by the milkman. It does help when hostesses like Lindsay put out a thoughtful and tasty spread of finger foods. She and I share a love of preparing and devouring party foods. So at Lindsay’s Tupperware  home party last night there was lots to eat and drink and nearly 20 of us under one roof in the living and dining room with the Tupperware Consultant.

Lindsay’s Tupperware Consultant was soft-spoken and nervous and not as polished as Carine’s Tupperware Consultant, but she was a nice Belgian lady. She also did a demonstration of microwave wonder meals and it took everything in me not to stand up and shout, “Microwaves are not for cooking! Nooooo! This is wrong!”

Cooking in microwaves is now a Tupperware thing?! You want me to stick a whole raw chicken with all the fixings in a Tupperware bowl costing $150 and call it dinner after 15 minutes in the microwave? No way! Microwaves are for reheating food, at best, and not for cooking. I can’t stand with Tupperware on this.

Am I just old-fashioned? Possibly old? I felt old last night and not because I was the oldest person at the Tupperware party. Lindsay’s guests consisted of a mostly of her best girlfriends, all aged similarly in their youthful and bouncy booties of their early 20s.

Lindsay’s standing 3rd from the left, with the short blond hair.

TupperwareCrew

Then there was me and the rest of the “older” ladies at the party, all family of Lindsay’s. We’re not in the photo, clearly. And I learned at this particular Tupperware home party that younger ladies don’t purchase as much ridiculously priced Tupperware as older ladies do. It’s the moms and aunts and grandmas of Tupperware home party hostesses that Tupperware should target. Not younger ladies.

The theme here being ladies.

All these home parties are hosted and attended and consulted by vaginas. Vaginas staying in while any corresponding penises are not present. I get all the good reasons for such vaginal gatherings but I can’t help but think it’s all a bit anti-feminist. I’m no bra-burner but I’ll let my tits fly free for a cause if I have to. I just never thought Tupperware would be it. I don’t think it’s any kind of conspiracy to keep women in the kitchen or home, but it does make me wonder.

However, I did purchase two items both for Noah…some “Lollitup” freezer pop holders and straw-sippy-cups. I did it because Tupperware kid’s stuff is built to last and Lindsay was a great hostess. I really wanted her to get the free mandolin she could be awarded as incentive for throwing the Tupperware party in the first place. I spent nearly double the amount I had at my first Tupperware home party at Carine’s and I was happy to do it. Lindsay’s mom, Myriam whom Noah calls Oma, and Lindsay’s aunt and grandma contributed greatly towards Lindsay’s goal too. I’m happy to report that Lindsay will get her mandolin!

There will be no third Tupperware home party for me because it’s just not necessary. It’s been fun and a huge learning experience in a country where the learning curve is brutal in its climb. As an afterthought I will add that Lindsay and all her girlfriends went out for the evening after Tupperwaregate and then I really felt old. Me and the rest of the 30+ ladies went home. I was strangely comforted by the fact that Lindsay and her bevy of Belgian cuties were out while I was home on the sofa with Davy.

I remember those days I still went out after a long day…

Always dishing,

Jun

Holy Shit I’ve Been Living in Belgium Three Years

HolyShit

I didn’t even realize January 4th passed by me until today. What’s January 4th? It’s the date in 2011 that I moved to Belgium.

That date is a big fucking deal to me because these last three years have been some of the hardest in my life. Even more than the three years I spent deep inside the dirty sex business in New York City. My three years growing up pretty poor in Korea looks like utopia. This is all compared to the socialistic country of Belgium I currently live in. It makes the three months I spent in the Big Brother house a feel like a treat in comparison too.

This isn’t a floral yay it’s my anniversary of the date I moved to Belgium blog. This is pretty much a rant blog of cold hard facts.

Couples Davy & I have witnessed broken up and/or divorced in the last three years: D & M, V & D, P & W, T & T, K & T, T & K, S & W, T & L, F & W, G & A, N & A, S & H, T & V, V & K, D & A, O & C

Couples Davy & I have witnessed married in the last three years: C & S

There’s a mild epidemic of otherwise divorce going on in Belgium. At least to me in our circle of friends and friends of friends on Old McDonald’s farm in Ghent where children are involved. Yet, everybody thinks they know what my life is like. It’s insane. It’s not even logical really. Only I know what it’s like. My husband Davy knows next best but he doesn’t really know either. Just like I can’t know what it’s like for him these last three years. In the meanwhile, my mother on Skype knows .04% of what goes on in my life. It’s the perfect balance.

Yet people, who are not me or Davy, make up grandiose scenarios to instigate something. Anything. Because Belgium is, in fact, a boring country. Belgians will agree with me.

It’s not that the people are boring as an insult because there are brilliant minds in Belgian history and current events. We have friends who will be lifelong friends no matter whether they are married or divorced or single. That shouldn’t matter between friends. My point simply is that the country is run on socialism. It’s only natural that a country of generally moderate thinkers gossip like small towns do in America. Belgium’s a very small country. Gossip is is like granny cocaine here.

I don’t mind it all the time. I like it that way. I like things the way they are.

Maybe it’s my ego and that I love being different in a country where not much changes often. When I moved here in 2011 most everybody here knew more than I did about Davy. Today in 2014? People have no idea.

No.

Idea.

And I like it that way. Marriage and all its deepest secrets are sacred and should be. I don’t want to be part of any epidemic anyway when I’m already a statistic.

Always dishing,

Jun

 

 

 

New Year’s Eves Past

Kiss

I’m counting today as New Year’s Day, because yesterday I was part-zombie and so yesterday doesn’t count. I thought about how each and every New Year’s Eves past have been so different. I looked through old photos…

 

2008

NYE 2007, Paris: Under the Eiffel Tower and before I fell in mud.

 2009NYE 2008, NYC: I seriously don’t remember where I took this photo.

 2010UmNYE 2009, Southampton: Don’t ask.

 2011NYE 2010, Times Square: We were right under the ball and yes, I’m wearing a tiara.

~

My husband of 10 days, Davy, and I had just had dinner right by Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Purposely. I’d never been anywhere near Times Square on New Year’s, purposely, my whole life in New York City. But my Belgian husband really wanted to have the Times Square experience only people living outside of New York ever want, and we were on our honeymoon. So I gave in.

There was an hour-and-a-half left to the new year. We ran over to some cops who weren’t letting anyone go anywhere near 7th Avenue. But Davy shouted over everyone to the cops. He told them the whole story of he and I met in the Dominican Republic six months before and that we just got married and we were honeymooning before I’d move to Belgium next week. It was all true and the cops loved it. They let us right in and right under the ball in time for us to get some unreal photos!

So the one time I did what I said I’d never do, I did on my honeymoon.

That’s fair.

~

It’s 2014.

My New Year’s Eve 2013 was spent in two parts. Part one was wholesome with family and friends and lots of cheese and bread and yummy wine, and Noah running around yelling Happy New Year (in two syllables). Part two picked up with me and Davy with the house to ourselves and Noah sleeping soundly at grandma’s. Part two ended hours of some fine champagne and sex later, and then our neighbors came home from wherever they were for New Year’s Eve. The lady next door, in the house attached to ours, let her abusive boyfriend come back. They fought for hours on New Year’s morning while Davy and I tried to sleep but ultimately couldn’t.

All of which is why I was a sleep-deprived zombie yesterday.

And that’s why yesterday doesn’t count.

Cheers to 2014 everyone and Happy New Year!

Always dishing,

Jun

P.S. I have no photos of this New Year’s Eve and even if I did I wouldn’t show you anyway!

 

Happy New Year’s Eve!

NoahHoodFM

I did it!

I got the photo I wanted!

 

Happy2014

 

Close enough for me!

Check out some brand-new footage of me and Noah playing in his kitchen just this morning (click here for the private video).

Noah makes some good coffee!

I’m off to spend my New Year’s Eve with the two men in my life, little Noah and big Davy.

See you all in the new year!

Always dishing,

Jun

 

 

Some 2013 Numbers

Gender

There are just two more blogs left in 2013.

Wow.

Wow happens to be Noah’s new favorite word as of Christmas Eve. He knows exactly when to use it and he means every wow from the bottom of his heart…

From the bottom of my heart I’d like to say thank you to you readers. Having readers who return and share my blogs, and who keep the conversation going, kept be blogging. Many blogs close down because many bloggers stop blogging. So thank you.

I’ll share with you some numbers about this site, as of today. The numbers are big and impressive but I assure you they’re not as big as other major blogs out there. At least I don’t think so. However, I’d like to think my transparency extends to revealing what Google Analytics gave to me, like a Christmas gift.

Some information about you, the readers…

From January 1, 2013, until today the 30th of December:

There have been 529,470 visits to the site, but 265,970 of those have unique visitors to this site.

So 49.71% of you return!

Audience Overview

The average duration of one visit is 1 minute and 55 seconds. Hmmm…

Countries

Readers are from everywhere but those are the Top 5 in numbers.

GenderFemale readers are in the minority. This surprised me.

ReadersNearly 8,000 readers have returned to the site more than 201 times.

~

I’ll share some of what WordPress provides for me as far as statistics.

Here are the Top 10 Search Engine Terms for 2013 that led visitors to this site:

Search Engine Terms

I’m just glad that “jun dishes” and “jundishes” and “jun song” made it on the list.

CommentsAnd you’ve all left 7,101 comments on the site, 5 of which I sent to trash because of profanity or vulgarity.

Comments keep the conversation going so I’m not just dishing to myself.

In the same time all this blogging has been going on, my little Noah’s gone through 2,184 diapers and 784 of them have been filled with poop. So there you go…more statistics than you ever wished for.

Thank you for a successful 2013 of blogging!

See you tomorrow!

Always dishing,

Jun

 

 

 

She’s in My Thoughts

sunrise

I call her She.

She is short for her real name. She’s my neighbor. She’s just been taken by ambulance to the hospital. She’s five months pregnant.

I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to do. She has her husband and sister with her at the hospital. I’m not family but I do consider myself a friend. She and I just went through all of Noah’s baby things just last week so She could prepare for her own son’s arrival.

I hope She and her baby are okay.

I ask for your good energy and prayers, if you pray.

Update next morning: She’s back home and baby is fine. False alarm. Thank you for support and warmth!

Always dishing,

Jun

I’m Clumsy

114

I backed my ass hard into Noah’s baby gate a few days ago while I was juggling plates into the kitchen. There’s a nasty bruise on my right butt cheek and it aches pretty deep. When I bared my ass to Davy to show him, he dug his index finger right into the middle of it asking, “Is it here?!”

It hurt. A lot. I literally jumped into the air and Davy felt bad but we both laughed.

I can’t believe how much it still hurts. It’s like a got stabbed in the ass without puncture. These things happen to me often because I’m clumsy and I always have been. I was the girl who tripped and slipped and slid and fell every day.

I’ve skied twice in my life. Both times I was taken to the hospital by ambulance after being pulled on the back of a snowmobile down the rest of the mountain. I could go on for an entire blog every day for days if I wanted to.

I won’t.

114

More than anyone in my life, my brother Danny has seen the most of all my falls. He’s seen some big ones. There was this one time when I was 13 and he was 6 and our family was mini golfing, because we mini golfed like it would an Olympic sport one day, and I fell hard. I tripped on some little mushroom gnome and ripped my pants open and started bleeding from my knee right away. Then there was the time at South Street Seaport I tripped in painfully slow motion down the icy ramp of the pier until I basically belly flopped and nearly crushed my tits in the process, but not before veering away from a little boy who’d been in my path. That’s actually what my brother still remember the most…how I threw my body away from that child and then jerked back just in time to face-plant anyway. I’d like to think I actually saved that child’s life but my brother just laughs hysterically, still, just like he did that day at the Seaport.

I’ve always been clumsy. I am clumsy. But it’s not like I like to be around other clumsy people or anything. That would just be a mess.

My husband Davy’s not clumsy at all. Davy can take apart half your car and put it back together before dinner is ever served. He’s adjusted pretty well to having a clumsy wife. There’s no running to the kitchen anymore when he hears glass breaking. He’ll just ask from whatever room he’s in, what I actually broke. I always answer nothing. Duh.

All that nothing has amounted to lots of trips to Ikea to replenish our numbers of coffee cups and bowls and drinking glasses.

It was worse when I was pregnant, my clumsiness.

It’s better now but clearly the bruise on my ass tells us not.

Always dishing,

Jun

It’s Not a Guppy! It’s a Fry!

Rocky

I was wrong!

Our little black baby guppy is not a guppy at all, but a molly!

A baby molly is called a fry. A fry!

You can see how much our little black fry has grown since a week ago…

Rambo

We’ve named it Rambo because it’s all gangster swimming with the rest of the big fish.

I don’t know what it is with us and Sylvester Stallone, I don’t. We once had a rabbit and we’d named it Rocky. These names just happened.

I think many of you were around when my husband brought little Rocky home. Davy found Rocky on the docks at work one May day in 2011, drenched in seawater and about to be crushed by a forklift of something, and voila I had a new pet bunny.

We thought she was a boy at first so we named her Rocky. It turned out she was a girl and we still loved the name for her anyway. She was a survivor and she made it on the docks long enough to find a home with us, is what Davy said. That was our story when anyone asked about Rocky. Our story changed on November 15, 2012. I remember the date because it was the day before Davy and Noah and I were leaving for Thanksgiving in New York

Rocky had been sluggish all day that day. She finally slumped over at some point that evening. Davy and I had been packing last-minute things for our trip when Davy noticed Rocky just laying there on her side taking shallow breaths.

Davy ran her over to our vet and he returned without her. Rocky had to be put to sleep. It turned out she had tumors in her belly. She’d probably had them since birth and they only got bigger with time and there was nothing we could have done for her, had said our veterinarian.

I was shocked. I’d been naive. I’d never thought about Rocky dying.

Immediately, I was nervous about flying the next day, thinking Rocky’s death was an omen of sorts. I thought maybe we should change our flight. Davy said I’d watched too many movies and Rocky’s death wasn’t a sign of anything but the cycle of life.

We got all philosophical about our rabbit.

Rocky

Davy was so sad about Rocky but he didn’t show it. He said we’d given Rocky a better life than she ever could have had on the docks and all of a sudden Rocky was just a memory. So we went off to New York and our flight was nearly perfect and eight-month-old Noah was a doll for all eight hours between Brussels and JFK.

Thanksgiving with my friends and family was on the agenda…

~

I never blogged about Rocky’s exit until now because I didn’t know how to. I guess I have Rambo and friends to thank for that. It’s really nice seeing Davy caring for Rambo and all the other fish. I know he missed having a pet.

Noah never really knew Rocky but he does look out for Rambo when he’s helping Davy feed the “fishies!”

Always dishing,

Jun

Ignoring the Voice in My Head on Christmas Eve

CardFromElsy

The weather on Christmas Eve was windy and rainy and cold but I was determined to run to Elsy’s at some point and pop a Christmas card in her mailbox. Elsy’s the sweet little old lady who lives in the house across the street from us (the first smiley face to the right of the bakery, on the map). I had a Christmas card for her, in return for the one she gave to us the week before.

CardFromElsy

 

So I waited and waited for the rain to stop on Christmas Eve, but it wouldn’t stop. I cursed myself for not giving Elsy her card earlier in the week when the skies were clearer. I ran out with a coat and hat and I was going to drop her card into her mailbox when I saw her lights on through her front window. She was home so I knocked on her front door and she opened it. She looked beautiful!

Until then I’d only seen Elsy outside in her housecoats and aprons with her broom and squeegees in hand. With her kids grown and busy and having lost her husband years ago, Elsy spends her days cleaning and tending to the front of her house. She’s got the cleanest windows and walkways and driveway on the street because she has a strict cleaning routine every day.

But on Christmas Eve, Elsy was wearing a black cashmere sweater over a white blouse with lace collar. She was perfumed and wearing makeup and jewelry. Her curly white hair was brushed and presumably shaped into a a perfect square around her head. I told Elsy she looked very pretty and wished her lots of Christmas joy before handing her the Christmas card.

She invited me in “for a minute” and in my head I yelled I can’t I’m too busy preparing for my party, but just smiled and nodded and entered Elsy’s front door.

Elsy’s sister was also visiting and there sitting in the dining room. We greeted each other and Elsy then asked me to sit down “for five minutes” and chat with them. I shouted in my head I can’t I still have mushrooms to slice and eggplant to fry, but I slid out one of Elsy’s dining chairs out and sat my ass down.

Elsy told her sister all about me and how I was Korean and how little Noah was so friendly and our family so beautiful and the nicest neighbors. I really was so touched that Elsy would speak so highly of us to her sister. I chatted with the two ladies and they were impressed with my Dutch. But the truth is, neither Elsy nor her sister spoke any English so I had to speak my best Dutch. I was totally into it!

And then Elsy’s old photo albums came out from out of nowhere, before I could even say turkey baster! I shrieked at myself I can’t I can’t I can’t but really I could and so I did.

I ignored the voice in my head again. I stayed put. I enjoyed seeing photos of a younger Elsy with dark hair before it went white, as a mother of the bride on her daughter’s wedding day, and then as a gray-haired grandmother to her sole grandchild. Elsy was so pleased to have me for the whole twenty minutes we spent together on Christmas Eve. I left her house saying I had to check on my big turkey, which I did, and it was still raining outside. The rain never let up until the wee hours of the morning and by then my turkey had been devoured to the bones and Elsy was home after spending Christmas Eve at her daughter’s house.

For twenty minutes of my Christmas Eve I was mindful of someone else unexpectedly.

What a wonderful unexpected gift.

Always dishing,

Jun