Jun Dishes

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Once Upon A Time


What in the hell is going on? Fun.

Like it or not, this is the current state of affairs of Big Brother 17, and Big Brother overall. Bizarre gameplay and dynamics and then exploding Twitter wars between BB alum, with words and deleted tweets, and Frankie Grande fans are out in droves defending rabidly the glory of the Grande family name. Fans of the beloved show who only watch the televised programs are pretty happy as usual, and the (tiny actual sliver of) fans who follow the live feeds are foaming at the mouth, and at the same time making each other pee their shoes laughing.

It is Big Brother, after all. Or is it?

I don’t waste blogs ranting about one particular Big Brother alum or another. No, that’s what Twitter is for, for me. Because every person, winner or loser, that has been on the show, once or three times, is connected. We are connected. Fans too. Connected. A family? Not really. Why? Our own families are complicated enough, why do I have to have another family? No thanks. I’d rather have friends.

Here’s the thing. Janelle Pierzina actually brought me and Evel Dick Donato together. It was at one of her parties, and she handed her phone to me because Dick was on the line and he wanted to chat with me. To be honest I didn’t want to, but I did, because we are connected. But that phone call between me and Dick did not really do anything, by way of bonding.

But Janelle and I first bonded on a flight home to New York from L.A., after our Big Brother 10 food competition cameos. She’s a glamazon, and I felt small and boyish next to her. We were probably a funny-looking pair checking in our luggage at LAX and then leaving JFK together. But we established a bond that trip, and saw each other a few more times thereafter.

We’re not friends today.

But Dick and I are friends. We’re not BFFs or labeled anything, because we just get each other, good and bad. People have been making sick jokes that I suck Dick’s dick and that I will also be HIV+ soon. What? Yeah.

But I make some sick jokes too, and I can be often horrible to the point of she-can’t-be-real horrible. But even I’ll tell you…I might suck a mean dick, but I’ve never sucked someone’s dick from thousands of miles away. That’s one massively long dick. And I just can’t handle something like that. Don’t act like you can. Besides, I’m just not into Dick like that. Why can’t a guy and a girl be friends without the need to suck each other’s funk? But I get it. There are people whom I offend on the regular and relentlessly, and they lash out at me with such things, and worse. People lash out at live feed reporters and bloggers too, and at other fans. Fans. It’s not just the BB alum who are affected.

I’ve rarely been lashed out at by a spouse or family member of someone cast on Big Brother. I’ve been reprimanded once or twice but I’ve always been a firm believer of leaving loved ones out of things. It’s where I draw the line. This summer, three loved ones of three different BB17 Houseguests reached out to me on Twitter. One was mildly heated but pleasant. One was mild and very pleasant and emails were exchanged and there’s a bond there. The third incident was not so great because this particular loved one had read some of my most recent tweets, because a Twitter troll baited her by tagging her after the fact.

So this loved one was angry at me and tweeted me saying I was disgusting, and ugly. I can totally understand their anger, especially if it was the first they were seeing my tweets about their loved one. So I responded calmly and firmly but still incredible rudely. People said I should have left her alone, that I should have ignored her. But she tweeted me first.

I sound like a child right now. I hate it. Sigh.

I shouldn’t have taken that bait but I decided to that day. Big Brother isn’t pretty. It’s not meant to be pretty because it brings out our darkest side as much as our brightest side, evoking at a minimum three emotions at a time when you’re involved. But Big Brother was never pretty, but it was more tolerable once upon a time. Once upon a time, when Big Brother was new and innovative…and I wasn’t so old.


To me, this season, James Huling was just that, new and innovative. He’s not perfect by any means. But he reminds me of old school Big Brother.

I’ll be announcing on Monday, the two winners from the #HillbillyAsian t-shirt giveaway. Thanks for everyone who participated or spread the word. The contest is now closed.

Thank you all!

Always dishing,


BB17 Power Rankings


Power Rankings is back. If you don’t know what that means it’s okay. It’s just a thing, that I once got paid to do, to do before Rice House ever happened. Three criteria and points tallied accordingly, and according to my current mood.

CRITERIA: 1. Would I trust this HG to babysit Noah for an hour or two?/  2. Would I employ this HG at Rice House? / 3. Would I double date with this HG (and their potential significant other)?

Would I trust this HG to babysit Noah:

MegMeg (+50 points) despite her preference to sit or lie down most of the time and her inability to sense evil, she’s an ideal puzzle and boardgames and movies kinda lazy babysitter.

JuliaJulia (+20 points) alone without her sister Liz, is someone I might actually let babysit Noah.


But not Liz, no (-20 points).


But I think Steve would be great because he and Noah would play Legos all day and Noah would adore him for it, and Steve talks a lot and so does Noah so there’s that (+50 points).


 I feel like James would be okay although Noah would inevitably pick up on things like James staring at women’s breasts, which Noah already calls “boobies” because it’s all my fault (+10 points).

JohnJohn talks a lot like Noah already, at least when he’s excited, so they have something in common already plus Noah likes dentists (+40 points).


Austin I fear, wouldn’t ever wash his hands or even properly enough to be a decent babysitter, and that’s all I have to say about that (-10 points).


Vanessa is a no (-20 points).



Would I employ this HG at Rice House: James would sexually harass every female patron and piss their men off, and that’s not what I want Belgians thinking Korean men are like sorry (-20 points). Meg would have to be given a desk job but um I don’t have those, so I suppose she could bag food or wash rice if her frail arms could handle it ugh (+10 points). Austin would spend more time trying to woo menstruating women and seek out Belgian wrestling federations with his wheezy breath, and fail at both and make me lose money (-20 points). Vanessa is a no for obvious business reasons (-20 points). Liz is a no because she will eat the whole shift every shift and cost me money, and you cannot speak Dutch with -uhhhhh at the end of every word or risk being beaten by angry Belgians (-10 points). Julia though is a maybe, since she doesn’t eat very much at all, and she seems somewhat ambitious in the kitchen, sigh (+10 points). John would probably work out because he could always do some illegal dental work on the side by day and make a killing, in addition to stickering Rice House merchandise and washing dishes for me by night (+10 points). Steve would be an easy hire for me although he’d have to get used to not having his mom around again, but with his musical background he could provide entertainment at Rice House while customers wait for their food (+30 points).

Would I double date with this HG (and their potential significant other)? John claims he turns himself up to obnoxious levels whenever he’s trying to end a relationship with a girl, so I’d actually like to see him do that in person on a double date (+20 points). Vanessa and her SO would be in truth be quite fascinating to have front row seats to, if you’re into studying couples (+25 points). Steve and his date would be nothing short of polite, and I love chocolate milk and Steve loves chocolate milk, so there’s that (+20 points). Austin is a no (-20 points). Liz with Austin is a no but with someone else possibly a yes (+10 points). Julia is someone I’d double date with, if only to get the scoop on how she beat leukemia ((amazing)) yet still turned out to be so vapid  (+10 points). Meg I’m not sure I could handle in large doses because she always looks like she’s in a state of something between hungry and deranged, and that can be disconcerting on a double date, but maybe (+10 points). James would of course bring Meg, because that’s just something James would do, and he’d stare at Meg’s boobs all night like I would (+50 points). Because, Koreans.


Based solely on HGs games and actually being there for the game I give an additional +25 points to Vanessa, Steve and John.

Based solely on the cleanliness of HGs souls, I award an additional +20 points to Meg and Steve.

Based solely on Austin’s speech during his nominations I deduct -500 points from Austin, and Liz by default, and -200 point from Julia by default.


TALLY (in order of decreasing suckage):

Austin: -550 points / Liz: -520 points / Julia: -160 points / Vanessa: 10 points / James:  40 points / Meg: 90 points / John: 95 points / Steve: 145 points



Steve wins. We’ll have to see if he survives this upcoming eviction. Sigh.

Always dishing,


Here Goes Nothing


This is the obligatory “jumping back into blogging after being MIA is daunting” blog. Especially since there was a once upon a time I blogged every day. When Noah was tiny and napped and he napped often, and I chose not to nap but instead to write. So “Here Goes Nothing” is less about nothing and more about everything. Lots has happened in five months, and some things have remained very much the same.

Rice House is one year, three months and twenty-five days old today. Happy belated birthday to Rice House. Davy and I are very proud of what Rice House has become thus far, and relieved that Rice House is officially debt-free and on its way to more greatness.

And proud of Noah. Noah starts back up at school on the First of September at three-and-a-half. He’ll be in the same kindergarten class but with a different teacher, and still right across the street diagonally from Rice House once again. At the start of summer he was still rocking pull-ups and feeling stressed about potty training but today he is fully-potty trained and also in his first month of sleeping in a twin-sized official big boy bed. The transition has been smooth and I’m grateful. I never take this kind of shit for granted because all around me I see parents struggling, couples struggling and families struggling. But making it. And sometimes not making it. Life is hard for everyone and it’s a different kind of hard in Belgium, than it is in America.

I look forward to seeing life through Noah’s eyes for years to come. Everything my eyes saw, growing up in Manhattan, is on a whole other planet compared to that of Noah’s life here. The concrete jungle versus some of Europe’s oldest landmarks. Windmills even.



Such stories he could tell you about windmills…and Legos (link to video in case it doesn’t show on your device: Legos)…

Noah will have many many many more stories to come.

He is already very much a prolific storyteller in two languages, speaking more Dutch and sprinkling in perfect English whenever he wants. His newest word is congratulations and I can’t wait to teach him to use it.

Noah’s begun to memorize and understand Korean when he Skypes with my mother, his 할머니 halmuhnee. That is what he was taught to call my mother from the very beginning and their bond is strong despite the distance between them. I call her momz in writing but Noah knows her only by 할머니. He calls Davy’s mom Omi and her partner Patrick Opi. He calls Davy’s dad Opa and his wife Oma. Everything in its place and everyone with a unique identity. I can’t wait to for our next trip back to New York for my brother’s wedding.

My brother Danny, Jun Young 준영, who is marrying a young woman I once met as a young lady. Anita. But she’s all woman now and I’m going to cry a lot seeing them walk down the aisle in April. I will cry for their happiness and my dad’s happiness. My dad passing away at 51 nearly killed all of my family in different ways, but now we celebrate him more and cry less. Anita was there for my brother when my dad died and she’d been with him since. They are making it and on their wedding day I will probably bawl and then laugh and not be able to keep eye makeup on. I may have to go with just a natural look and see what transpires.

Because a lot can transpire “since last blog.”

Davy and I as individuals, and in our marriage, have come a long way we’re well on our way to hitting the five-year mark. No marriage is perfect, that’s just suspect, but there is no shame in our game and that’s all that matters. We fight and take turns being assholes to each other, and we struggle like everyone else. And we’re making it. Shit gets real. But we’re stronger than ever.

Plus I turned 40 in July. And there’s no going back. Not with that shit. I may not look old but I do look older. I’m more than okay with that. SPF for the win.

So when I get asked multiple times a day if I’d “go back on Big Brother” it’s like there’s a short answer and then there’s everything I wrote about in this blog so far plus it’s not the easiest question to answer. Maybe. Depends. Who knows? I have so much on my plate, some shit needs to be planned and some just done on a whim because spare pockets of time pop up.

I do know that I’m back to watching Big Brother again after a season-and-a-half hiatus. I’m enjoying most of it immensely. Big Brother 17 is the closest we’ve gotten to an Old-School BB in a long time. It needed to be said. I am enjoying BB17. Despite my horribly scathing and cringy judgmental tweets, I am actually. This doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. And some people don’t get this. Meh. Who cares. The trolls always find me. Always. So I’m working on a back to BB blogging blog. And it will be a Power Rankings blog but of course my criteria have changed.

Would I trust this HG to babysit Noah for an hour or two?

Would I employ this HG at Rice House?

Would I double date with this HG (and their potential significant other)?

The double date thing comes up because people here in Belgium love to do it to the point of, really, and it’s something you can’t really avoid. It was something I couldn’t avoid last week…so it’s a new criteria in this Power Rankings. Would Davy and I go out for sacred free time with this particular HG and their date? Next blog.

Always dishing, Jun

RIP John Zsa Zsa Martin aka GaYToR



We met on a website called Big Brother Dish in the summer of 2009, where I was writing Big Brother blogs for fun. I never even thought to charge for my writing. I was doing it for the love of Big Brother and “for the fans.” The concept of fans was so new to me, even after so many years after winning Big Brother because at the end of the day, I’m just like everyone else. My mother thought I was crazy to write for free, so I lied to her and told her I was getting paid $25 an article, and this made her happy. That was 2009.

I didn’t know what to make of GaYToR at first. I didn’t know why the “Y” and “T” and “R” were capitalized in his username. I still don’t know. I always meant to ask but always forgot to. It didn’t matter. He was GaYToR. He was a drag queen in fabulous New Orleans, and he was a huge and old school fan of Big Brother.

Then, at some point, GaYToR went from fan to friend. The Big-Brother-Fan-to-Friend. This doesn’t happen often but when it does it’s warm and sincere and long-lasting. I learned that GaYToR’s real name was John Martin, and Zsa Zsa his stage name, and his loving partner in life’s name was Danny Stark.

John Zsa Zsa Martin and I were friends before I ever had a Facebook fan page or Twitter account, or my own blog. I tasted my first-ever New Orleans King Cake because Zsa Zsa sent me one with Louisiana love. Zsa Zsa never asked me for a thing but gave a lot of himself.

Over the years, John Zsa Zsa Martin watched me go from single thrill-seeker to married to mom and we exchanged stories and anecdotes like any other friends would, regardless of how we met. Zsa Zsa shamelessly lusted after my husband Davy, to my delight and Davy’s laughs. Davy and I talked about Zsa Zsa often, and interestingly enough, we always referred to Zsa Zsa as “her” or “she” and it always just felt right. Davy always laughed extra loud when Zsa Zsa flirted with him.

Zsa Zsa loved his Danny Stark, but Zsa Zsa held a special place in his heart for Davy too and for me and Noah.

After all their years together, Zsa Zsa and Danny were to be married this past Friday in Connecticut. On Saturday morning, I received the news that Zsa Zsa died of a massive heart attack right before the wedding. April Fool’s Day had already come and gone, and the reality of Zsa Zsa’s passing was cold and shocking and raw still. Danny is now mourning his partner of 33 years and yet still so in love.

Davy wasn’t home yesterday when I received the news. He was helping a friend move into the city. I told him everything in one long breath when he got home and the hairs on his arms stood up as his face fell. Neither Davy nor I had ever met Zsa Zsa in person. How could we be so affected?

GaYToRRIP John Zsa Zsa Martin

I can only imagine what Danny is going through right now. Bringing John home to New Orleans from Connecticut is the harsh reality that must be addressed. Who has extra money these days? Nobody I know. But what Davy and I could, we spared and sent to Danny. Danny needs help to repay a kind minister who paid all final expenses up-front. With no legal recognition or death benefits to collect, Danny Stark could use a compassionate shoulder to lean on.

At the time of this writing, the John Zsa Zsa Martin fundly fundraiser is nearly two-thirds of the way there. If you can, please help. The smallest amounts can amount to enough.

We miss Zsa Zsa already.

Always dishing,


What Rice House Means to Me


Not many people outside my immediate family know this, but…

When I won Big Brother in 2003 and returned to New York, I told my parents that I wanted to invest my winnings in opening a Korean takeout place on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. It’s where I was living at the time and I thought there was a hole in the market. My parents freaked out completely. Freaking out was my momz thing and never my dad’s, so it shocked me. He’d become fearful.

My dad was still in the Intensive Care Unit at Beth Israel Hospital at the time, and he almost cried, saying he didn’t want me to open a business. He said it was too risky and that I should invest in real estate instead. But I knew what he really meant.

My dad was dying and we all knew it. His kidneys were barely functioning and dialysis was making his sicker. He just wanted to see me stable and back to my old life, before Big Brother ever happened, before he died. My dad wanted me to go back to work at Citigroup or any group comprised of bankers, and have a “steady job” again so he could die in peace.

Except he never said it like that, at least not to me.

I felt like a monster that day for making him worry, when all he should have been doing was resting and recuperating and staying alive. So I didn’t invest in the takeout place. But I didn’t go back to work right away either. I spent as much time as I could with my dad and my family, and months later I did end up buying real estate with my Big Brother winnings and I returned to work in finance too (more on this).

My dad passed away shortly thereafter, in 2004, knowing I could take care of myself but probably never considering I’d do anything as crazy as illegal (more on this). I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. I’m a different person but I’m the same person.

And now I’m finally opening a Korean takeout place – in my little Belgian town in Ghent called Evergem (Everville), no less! Rice House is happening and my dad’s not around to see it. But I can picture him laughing from heaven because I’m getting everything I wanted in the end.

I am his daughter after all.

This is what I’m starting with:



Where now stands Take A Break is where Rice House will open its doors on May 1st!


Every time I embark on a new adventure I try not to dwell on bad shit that’s happened in my life, but I do acknowledge that it made me who I was and who I am today. You cannot forget where you came from because nobody else knows but you, in the end. You owe it to yourself to never lose who you are, and to not listen to people’s advice to sell sandwiches AND rice. Um, no.

And for me and my husband Davy, Noah priority #1, and Rice House #2. At some point Noah will be “helping” me at Rice House and things will fall into place. I can’t wait for that day.

I’m lucky to have a man in my life after my dad, who believes in me wholeheartedly.  I couldn’t do this without Davy.

Always dishing,




Train of Thought Over A Cup of Coffee: Charity and Philanthropy


I started on this cup of coffee and I’m almost done with it.

Here’s my train of thought over this cup, and many people may disagree with me:

Celebrities are great and their efforts to raise awareness in fundraising for charities is humbling, most of the time. I never loved Celebrity Apprentice because it always just came down to making phone calls to other celebrities. I just give what I can, when I can. It’s what I’m comfortable with doing.

Celebrities sometimes make or break fundraising events, and charities certainly appreciate the larger number in donations that celebrities afford them. It should always be a beautiful thing. Legitimate charities all over the world need funds. Literally. Money is tight for everyone. It’s nobody’s business but yours how you spend your money.

Most of my life, and even as a child, I’ve donated to charities. But I’ve only given a few times in the true sense of philanthropy. One isn’t any better than the other, as long as nothing is ever expected in return. I only differentiate because with philanthropy, I was never going to really know who got the help they needed with the amount I donated. With charities, I always give because there’s some personal degree of separation or person associated with the cause I’m giving to, and usually someone whom I respect or mourn or celebrate. I guess I’d make a horrible lobbyist that way.

When I can give I choose charities that speak to my heart, and I give quietly regardless of what size the donation. I’d actually play Big Brother again if the whole $500,000 prize was for a charity, of American’s choosing, and Houseguests only got stipend at the end of it all. That’s philanthropic at the same time as it is charitable!

Clearly I’ve had too much coffee or not enough, because I’m fantasizing about a Big Brother Charity season.

I should probably drink some water.

I’ll have some water now…

Always dishing,


My Dad and Deutsche Bank


When I bought a condo in Midtown Manhattan with my Big Brother winnings, it was because my dad told me to. He was dying and he knew it. I knew it too. He needed new kidneys, like, yesterday. I’d thought about it investing the money in other things but my dad insisted it be real estate. It’s like when I returned to work after winning Big Brother. I accepted an offer from Deutsche Bank and got back to banking. I did it mostly because my dad wanted to see me gainfully employed once again. All he knew about Deutsche Bank was that it was “German” but it was good enough for him.

My dad just wanted to make sure I was okay before he died. I didn’t think twice about giving my dad what he wanted because I didn’t care about money anyway. I was about to lose my dad and I just wanted to do whatever it took to put his mind at ease while his body was never at ease.

The thing is, my dad never really insisted I do anything when I was growing up. He was so open to my zany ideas and frequent whims. He was my biggest cheerleader when I entered contests and memorized lines for plays. As soon as I could play songs from the church hymnal on the piano, my dad stood next to me and sang along in his very deep voice. My dad gave me such freedom of expression and drive that he never had to insist I do any more than I was already doing.

He believed in me in a way only a father could believe in his child…

I was one week into that new job when my dad died. I was one of three portfolio assistants on my team and I was just getting to know the 80+ private investment accounts I was helping manage for some of the wealthiest families in America. I remember getting ready for work that morning and getting the call from my aunt that my dad passed in his sleep in the ICU. Okay I’ll be there soon is all I said, before hanging up the telephone to call my new brand-new boss. Memories of the days following my dad’s funeral are blurry in some spots and crystal clear in others, but I’ll never forget how my boss (and the whole team at work) proved to be compassionate and understanding of my loss. Deutsche Bank was a pivotal point in my life’s timeline.

All these years later I’ve learned many lessons the fast and hard way. Among them…

I know now that you should never take a job because of someone else, even if it’s your dying dad who’s the someone else. I got no real joy working at Deutsche Bank but I stuck it out for a good while. In the end my heart wasn’t in it and I left for another investment firm that was a better match. I realize now that leaving Deutsche Bank was probably what my dad would have wanted for me anyway, if I wasn’t happy there…

I treasure everything my father instilled in me because it’s what drives me still.

Always dishing,


Why Is There No Big Brother: South Korea?


With all the international formats of Big Brother all over the world, Korea stands among one of the countries without the show. I’d like to say I don’t know why Korea doesn’t have its own version of Big Brother but I actually have an educated guess as to why they don’t.

Obviously the Korea I refer to is South Korea. As a Korean I don’t walk around differentiating it myself. I’m Korean. Occasionally when I’m asked if I’m “from North or South,” I answer kindly that I was born in South Korea.

Historically, and through bloodlines still, Korea as a country is not keen on seeing what’s real and beneath the surface all laid out. I’m just an anomaly. Nobody needs to air their dirty laundry like that in Korea and mental health is still hush-hush to disastrous effects but contained, and hidden away, again. I cherish my upbringing built on respect and honor and meticulousness but I’m aware of all the veils of secrecy. Sometimes I just want to break secrets.

I’d rather see a Big Brother format in North Korea and not to exploit North Koreans more than they already have been, but to show the world just how fucked up it is over there.

If we ever had a Big Brother format in South Korea, which we never would (I’m jinxing myself purposely), then we’d see lots of what I’ve described growing up Korean to be. If I picture my mother in a Big Brother house with a bunch of other Koreans young and old I almost pee at the scenario. I could just picture her in there with a bunch of random Koreans, but not random to me. If I had a fantasy Big Brother: South Korea season in my head I’d put my mother in the Big Brother house.

I’d put her in there with:

– Jee’s mom or sister, but just one of them. After Jee ended up on Big Brother with me I did what I had to do to win, with or without his help, but I did use him. I did apologize. It was a game, right? I’d love to see how momz does with another Choe family twist.

– My old piano teacher Ms. Han because Ms. Han always had a way of putting my mother in her place with almost no words.

– Margaret Cho because she made me laugh a lot when I was younger and I thought it was cool as hell that she was Korean. Plus, my mother always said I looked like Margaret during my fat years.

– Sandra Oh because she makes me laugh now.

– Psy for obvious reasons like watching my mother’s diary room sessions about him.

– My one and only ever Korean lady neighbor growing up, who’d also happened to be married to an African-American GI from New York. She’d left Korea for a better life in America way before my parents ever dreamt of moving to New York, and a lot of people had judged my neighbor lady for that. Times of war sometimes called for extreme measures yet people will always judge. I’d always felt bad and I sometimes wonder how she’s doing now. I do remember her daughter’s name, Eunice. Eunice had a very beautiful soul and her smile held grace even when we were young girls growing up in Masaryk Towers. She was one of the naturally prettiest and kind-hearted Korean girls I’d ever know in my life.

– Maybe I’d put Eunice in the house instead of her mom…

You can add to the cast if you want.

Only Korean would be allowed to be spoken of course, since the show’s in Korea. My ex Jee and I weren’t allowed to speak in Korean to each other during our season of Big Brother. The good news is if a Big Brother: South Korea ever happened, you’d all have me to translate and watch along with.

This is my fantasy blog and that’s how it would work. And it would have to be calaled BIg Brother: South Korea because “brother” in Korean has multiple translations depending on whether a sibling is older or younger or sister or brother to the brother. Then there’s rank and age and seniority to consider. See? Complicated.


Always dishing…

Big Brother Meets Fans of Flanders


In the nearly 3 years I’ve been living in Belgium I’ve been interviewed for a newspaper, on radio, and now for television. If I hadn’t won Big Brother and married a Belgian and moved to Belgium, then none of this would have happened. But I did and did and did and today I spent the better part of my morning and some of my afternoon having some of my life filmed.


The footage will be used in a special guest segment on a Belgian television program called Fans of Flanders on VRT/Canvas and hosted by Chris Dusauchoit who is very dry and very funny. Flanders is basically the top half of Belgium. Without giving too much away before the show actually airs here, I’ll tell you that the segment was about me and my expat living. I’ll share the clip here on the site in a follow-up blog when I get it, good or bad, I promise.

How does something like this even happen? I’ve been asked this since I was a young girl, and I still get asked this now.

Today, in particular, started with just one tweet I tweeted 3 weeks ago.


Obviously, and it was confirmed, there was a Google search done of me.

So fast forward from the tweet and phone calls and emails later…I opened my home and life to Fans of Flanders today. It wasn’t very different from when I opened my door to Big Brother a few times, for the first time 10 years ago, in that I cleaned my home and smeared on extra lipstick. During the day there was a ton of footage taken, just like there would for American television programming where everything’s edited down to one segment lasting just a few minutes. I had to clip on a microphone pack like the ones I had to wear for CBS, which I just blogged about the other day. I had no idea I’d actually be wearing one today!

Despite all the similarities there was one stark difference.

I opened my front door this morning to see standing there not a “crew” but one sole professional, a lady by the name of Lies (pronounced Lees) to do it all. I mean all. I was surprised, but it’s not the first time I’ve seen stark differences in work crews in all fields and professions.

Belgian work environments, compared to American ones, run on skeleton crews. It’s efficiency on crack sometimes, and I witnessed it when a small road crew dug up the main road outside our house and repaved in days not months. Whether in an office or a supermarket, the manpower used in the States is higher than here in Belgium. So hours later after Lies has gone, I’m still impressed with how she managed to do the work usually delegated to 2 or 3 people back in the U.S.

Noah was very drawn to Lies, and he even sat in her lap and took in everything that was happening and all her fancy equipment…

You don’t know how much you’ve grown as a person while you’re doing the growing. Not everybody needs 10 years between a season on an American reality show and a segment on a Belgian television show to realize how much they’ve grown, but I did realize again today how full and different my life has become. I’m not looking forward to seeing what I look like on television all these years older, but I’m willing.

I wasn’t born shy.

Update as of February, 2014: The interview will be aired on Saturday, February 8th and Sunday, February 9th here in Belgium. I will update again with a link of the clip. For now, you can see a preview if you click on this link and fast forward to the last 15 seconds of the clip. Noah’s in the footage!

Always dishing,



About Blogging and Other Things


All of a sudden out of nowhere I’ve been getting contacted about blogging and many of the questions are around where to start and how to do it. Valid yet vague questions. Blogging is a personal experience, if you so choose to start the path of blogging. I’ve covered some of this already if you do a quick “blogging” search on the site.

Being a good blogger is different than being a good writer, and they can be mutually exclusive. Blogging is just a snippet of life with a point. If there’s no point then it’s just your online diary.

I’m a blogger by day and writer by night, and my one piece of advice to bloggers would be:

Be prepared for everything and nothing when you start to blog.

I checked the stats to this this morning and still my top three blog posts of “All time,” as of today 2013-11-04, are about Big Brother:



Big Brother AlumBig Brother Hiatus, and Big Brother Diary Room FAQs are 1, 2 and 3. Incidentally 4 and 5 are also Big Brother-related.

As a blogger I have no control over what anyone reads or comments on, or shares or sends me love and hate mail about. Even though I know my highest readership is Big Brother-related, most of my blogging is spent on things like my childhood or my son Noah or maybe:

Reasons I Might Not Like Going to Your Home

1. It’s dirty. Not messy, but dirty like I didn’t want my child to sit on your floor, or my ass stuck to your sofa because your sofa is dirty, or I held my pee in until I left your house just to avoid using your bathroom.

2. It smells. Whether it’s your pets or mildew or trash or smoking, really, whatever it is that’s making your house smell like shit.

3. It’s dangerous. I don’t like risking my life on your wobbly stairs, or wayward nails jutting out of your walls, and I don’t want my child picking up your pet’s feces dropped in multiple places on the carpet.

Or blogging about people like Laura Ingalls Wilder, all of whose Little House books I read. I’ve watched every Little House episode and special and movie too, but more importantly I’ve read all the Little House books. I lived in Walnut Grove in my wildest imagination, and Laura Ingalls was my muse. My childhood was picture-perfect but scarred once or twice, because life isn’t always fair. We all have an escape and for many of us it’s through reading. It was for me. So as a little girl I read Laura Ingalls Wilder, and countless other authors, as I loved the English language as soon as I was introduced to it.

I hated writing for most of my life and up until just a few years ago. Now I can’t live without writing every day, although I could probably live without blogging every day. It’s not as glamorous as some may think. As much as I enjoy it, and enjoy what a real forum this site has become.

It’s hard to make your blog fly unless you have the kind of exposure and manpower and money behind it like all shades of celebrities do. I’m self-aware enough to know that my site wouldn’t have the traffic it does, had I not won Big Brother. As a blogger, I’ve learned that controlling my site’s design and content and subject matter is all the control I actually have. It’s a lot, but then after I hit “Publish” it’s up to the universe and world wide web what happens. No more control. You can delete, but then you’ve already lost control then.

Be prepared for everything and nothing when you start to blog.

Always dishing,