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Write This Down

8 Jun

“I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that loving is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”    -Audrey Hepburn


…I also believe in Instagram, electric blue lace, and shameless hipster pics.

Today I’m thankful for …coffee.  And the delightful ladies at the Starbucks across from my school that know my order, notice my haircuts and accessories, and make sad faces when I have a cold.  It’s the happiest place on earth.


Am I the only one…

17 May

…not watching Downtown Abbey?

…staying up at night trying to figure out who the hell is January Jones’ baby daddy? GIVE IT UP ALREADY

…who attempted to drink a bottle of Hello Kitty wine this week? (spoiler alert, it tastes like hangover)

…who may or may not have cried during the season finales of Parks&Rec and Criminal Minds?

…wrestling with cowlicks every morning? I’m considering placing an emergency call to my little brother to discuss hostile-takeover strategies.

…sludging through The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald? If I wanted to know about the drama that ensues when rich, white people get drunk, I would just watch Gossip Girl.  Which I already do.

…who had the most surprisingly fun time at a Korean professional baseball game last weekend? (more on this later. It was FAB.  And I spent 5 minutes on Skype convincing my parents that I wasn’t being sarcastic.)

…who forgot to blog this week? Let’s blame this on the Hello Kitty wine.

…completely disgusted with Kanye West for dating Kim Kardashian? The only way I could respect him less is if this wasn’t a publicity stunt.

…who thinks bralets are hilarious?  Before wearing a bralet, ask yourself: Am I going to Coachella?  If the answer is yes, then have fun, stay hydrated, and don’t take the red pill.  If the answer is no, then you need to put a shirt on.  And reevaluate.

…who got some awesome swag for Teacher’s Day?! $200 gift certificate to a department store, beautiful bouquets, and hilariously worded cards from my students, makes Claire a happy teacher.

…mildly horrified by Beyonce’s non-dress at the Met Costume Gala last week?  Like…you’re a mother now(shudders)


Once again y’all, the number one rule of fashion is: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Glad we’re all on the same page now guys.

Today’s quote:

Believe me, I wish you weren’t such a Houston foreclosure of a human being, but I need to tear you down and turn you into someone that can actually win this thing!

-Jenna, 30 Rock


Today I’m thankful for Teacher’s Day! Teaching kindergarten totally trumps elementary school in terms of student to gift ratio.

While I was sleeping. . .

22 Apr

An entire month passed.  Without a single post.  And with many an angry Facebook post on my wall about said lack of blogging.  I apologize. . . at first I was just completely uninspired and I didn’t want to force out some super lame posts.  And then the days sort of turned into weeks, and now it’s been a month, and that’s just stupid.  So here we are.

So during the last 30 or so odd days, I’ve been:

-Watching NCAA basketball. . . at least until both Arizona and Kansas lost on the same weekend.  But I did log some pretty fun (early morning!) hours watching the games via laptop here. Highlights include a 4am watch-party date with Bossman, and a few (loud) expletives shouted while watching Arizona play Duke – while I was at work.

-Finishing my 30 Day Shred, which seems like a million years ago. That was possibly the most anti-climactic workout moment ever.  I finished the 30th day and thought “now what?”  Turns out, now means a normal workout routine to avoid any future 30 day shreds.


-Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day:  . . . at a festival in Itaewon with hundreds of my closest, drunken foreigner friends.  In order to pay homage to the Irish in the most authentic and sincere way possible, we got good and day-drunk.  We drank, listened to the bands, laughed at people, got 3rd degree tongue-burns while trying to eat some street food, and fell asleep on a bus.  And of course I also (once again) extolled the virtues of the Boondock Saints to Lauren.

Soju on the left. Orange soda on the right. Someone who's going to regret it in the middle.

-Going on ridiculous adventures: A few weeks ago, some friends and I joined a group tour to the south of Korea, where we hiked Jagged Ridge and went to the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival.  What was supposed to be a relaxing, nature-loving weekend turned into the near-death experience of a lifetime. More on this later, once my PTSD subsides.

-Planning more trips: This weekend I’ll be getting my zen on during a temple stay. And next weekend, our boss is bankrolling a company trip to Nami Island for some moral-boosting fun.  I can only hope this retreat includes both norebanging and trust-falling. More on both of these to come.

-Battling two serious addictions.  The first is with Dexter.  I avoided this steamy serial killer for years, but found myself completely hooked last month. Obviously I had no choice but to stay in and watch all 5 seasons.The first step is admitting that you are powerless to your addiction, after all.

Social-life killer/ serial killer

My second addiction happened just this week.  I have reignited my passion for Carmen Sandiego, travel, trivia, and wasting time all at once!  I’m obsessed – I play it at work until my computer dies.  Only then do I realize that I’m at work, and should in fact be working.

Where in the world is that saucy minx?

-And previous Cherry Blossom Festival aside, I’ve also been enjoying the cherry blossoms closer to home.  Namely, on the way to work everyday, and last weekend at Yeouido Park in Seoul – the place to be (especially if you’re a couple and you own matching outfits. No. Joke.)  I’ve never been much for plants of any kind. . . but cherry blossoms are amazing.  All beautiful and fluffy.  It’s finally spring.  And we finally have pretty stuff to look at.

If only I could have class outside

-Writing for the Go! Girl Guides site:  Despite my lack of motivation over here, I’ve kept up my weekly posts on all things Korea, women, and travel.  You can check out my stuff here

-And lastly, I’ve been battling some hardcore homesickness.  Oddly, it didn’t hit me until around the 6-month mark.  And then it hit me. Hard.  Definitely spurred on by the fact that my family went on an amazing Florida vacation without me.  And that Tator Tot is getting cuter (and chubbier!) by the day.  And that college basketball always makes me think of my parents, some of the most loyal Jayhawk fans you’ll ever meet.  Luckily, I’ve had some good Skype dates with the parents recently, and I’ve channeled the homesickness into excitement for our reunion in Thailand this July (Hooray! Elephant rides and bottled water for everybody!)

So there you go, all caught up on the last month.  I promise not to go all MIA again.   Here’s hoping your last 30 days were as fab as mine!


30 Days of Dread

9 Mar

Out of sheer masochism vanity and boredom, I decided to do the 30 Day Shred.  For those of you who don’t know, the 30 Day Shred is a workout DVD, designed for people who hate themselves to be done in 30 consecutive days. There are 3 levels, and you do each one for 10 days. It’s done by Jillian Michaels, who now endorses everything, but was once just a humble trainer on The Biggest Loser.


My current nemesis

Why am I telling you all this? Accountability.  It is your duty to verbally berate me if I quit before day 30.  And for the record, I’m now on day 14.  Almost half way, thank god.  And of course I was feeling really cocky after finishing section 1, only to have my ass kicked by section 2 for the last 4 days.


The hardest part is to keep going. Naturally, the workout makes me sore, and everyday I just add a little more soreness to the pile. It. Never. Ends. (I’m also doing ballet on top of this, but like I said, that will be a separate post/embarrassment)

After I finish the day’s workout I feel a huge sense of accomplishment and I mark it off on my ghetto Post-It note countdown sheet . . . only to come to the sobering realization that I have to do the same thing the next day. And the next. And the next.


But I’m hoping that after 30 days I’ll be shredded like Jillian promised I’ll be in decent shape and reasonably motivated to keep working out consistently – because it’s almost bikini season y’all.

Working out also pries me away from my computer for a short while after work, and helps me relieve some of the violent feelings stress my students cause me during the day.

Also, have you ever worked out in a really small apartment? These last 14 days have been a testament to my resolve and also to my creativity.  I basically work out half in the bedroom and half in the kitchen – at the same time.

Sacrifice, y’all.

But now I’ve told you. And I’m almost half way. And I’m resolved to finish this for no other reason than to say I did it.

Then I’m going to write Jillian Michaels some hate mail. Because working out is all about goals, right?

Just Because

17 Jan

While many ask “why?” I’ve always been the type of gal to ask, “Why not?!”  Today’s mini-post is no exception.

These are just 2 pics that I am completely obsessed with, yet have no plausible way to tie them into another post.

I found this first little gem while stealing pictures from Ryan’s camera; it was taken during our very first day in Australia, when we first saw the Opera House. Ryan caught some candid shots of Lauren and me dancing – but to be fair the live band at the Opera bar was playing a rendition of Britney Spears’ iconic “Hit Me Baby, One More Time.”  It’s Sydney Britney, bitch!


Fact: I still know all of Britney's original choreography.

And this picture is just to make your day a little brighter and your winter a little warmer. If it doesn’t make you smile, you are probably a big downer dead inside.



In my completely unbiased opinion, this is the single cutest baby on the planet.


I. Die. for this picture.

Happy Monday, y’all – just keep keepin’ on.  And if all else fails, think of Tator Tot! (and send him your good vibes, because he’s in the hospital with RSV right now – but don’t worry, he’s a tough little Tot, just like his Mama)

Epic Australia Post: Day 2

14 Jan

“If It’s Not There, It’s Not There” or “Team America”

Hands down, the best Monday I’ve ever had. I’m serious.

It all started rather blandly, as we moved rooms in the hostel and found ourselves rooming with 2 very cool Scottish girls.  The Scots have been traveling around and working various places for the past few years (including a stint  at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver) and were currently working in Sydney as bartenders. They pointed us in the direction of a grocery store, where we headed off to grab some food.

This is only notable because we bought some frozen pizzas. Upon arriving back at the hostel, we unloaded our groceries into the big, shared kitchen, only to realize there was no freezer. We assumed we were just looking in the wrong place and promptly sent Lauren off to ask the girl at the front desk. Her answer spawned a thousand jokes, countless giggle fits, and what is essentially my new life motto:

“Well I can’t imagine we wouldn’t have a freezer. But if it’s not there, it’s not there.

Say this to yourself in an Australian accent. And then remember that you are talking about a freezer, and that this answer came from a paid employee. If you aren’t laughing right now, you’re dead inside.

Suffice to say, “it wasn’t there,” so we put the pizzas in the refrigerator, which will come into play later in the day.

We headed out and hopped on one of those double-decker city tour buses, in the hopes of getting oriented, figuring out what we wanted to do with our day, and reasoning that if nothing else, this same ticket will get us to Bondi Beach the following day for free.

We made a quick stop at Darling Harbour, which is a very fun area:

We saw a few more of the city’s landmarks before deciding to get off the bus at an area known as The Rocks. The Rocks is the area around Sydney Harbor, which includes some fun bars, restaurants, and old school cobblestone streets. It was on one of those cobblestone streets that we spotted a huge outdoor marketplace, where we spent the next couple hours looking around, and where I bought Tator Tot an adorable outfit.

Finished with the market and realizing it’s 5 pm already, we head into the Orient Hotel for happy hour because: 1) the hotel is literally at the center of the market and therefore really busy and 2) it had some great live music coming from it.

Inside we order an Australian speciality: wedge potato fries, with sour cream and sweet chili sauce and a few different local beers. Sweet jesus, that stuff is like crack. Unlike crack, however, I highly recommend it to all readers of this blog.

Fact: We are ready to move to Australia at this point.

A few beers later, we are happily singing along with the band: 2 middle-aged hippies, playing the best of the ’60s and ’70s, when out of nowhere, we are approached by 3 Brits:  2 older woman (re:cougars) and a very drunk 20-year-old guy (note: wants to get with one of the cougars). 3 Brits quickly turned into 5 or 6, mostly middle-aged, harmless, and wasted.

The next hour is a complete blur, as we immediately got swept into a Brit frenzy. We sang. We laughed. We took stupid pictures. And we made a lot of jokes about the awkward May-December romance that was blossoming before our eyes (fact: cougars work fast).  We have yet to fully understand how this all happened at our table, but needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lauren with some of our new, British friends. Note the Cougar and her drunk prey on the left.

Candid shot; Dancing to "Brown-Eyed Girl" during happy hour while on vacation in Sydney. . . no fun at all.

Around 7, we headed back to the hostel for dinner, disco naps, and pre-party primping.  We ate our refrigerated pizza, and in classic Claire style, I promptly got sick for the next hour.

But I rallied, people.  Because while on vacation in Sydney with friends, one does not simply get sick and collapse in defeat. You drink some Sprite, put on your makeup while singing to Lady Gaga, and you FREAKING RALLY!  (And because we ended up having such a great time, it became a running joke that we would only have a good night out if I got sick beforehand. Thankfully for me, however, that only happened Monday night).

Around 11 we headed out to George Street, a prime location for clubs and bars. At random, we chose a really great pub: the first 2 levels were for drinking and hanging out and the 3rd level was nothing but a huge dance floor and a DJ.

Crowded, sweaty, and happy on the dance floor of the 3 Monkeys Pub.

We met some more hilarious Brits who made the entire night into a World War II analogy and dubbed us “Team America.”  And by WWII analogies, I mean that they mainly called us their Allies, and begged us not to leave them “taking grenades in the trenches.”And by trenches, they meant dance floor. And whenever they would pass us in the bar, they would hold up their firsts and yell “Team America!!!”

Continuing with our politically incorrect pub tour, we met more international friends, immortalized and remembered fondly as “Cuban Cupid” and “The Boondock Saints.*”

We drank and danced the night away, switching locations a few times, before watching the sunrise from a street corner, while eating kebabs  and laughing about what an unexpected day we had.

*Note: The Boondock Saints were a group of young Irish guys, who never told us what exactly they did for a living. We therefore decided to make up our own backgrounds for them. Obviously, mine was the most creative took a more theatrical, and not at all stereotypical route.

How to sum up this epic day?

Two words: Monday Funday.


23 Dec

Rarely do I find myself speechless. (Pause for a collective duh)

But dammit if I wasn’t just shocked and flattered and humbled last Thursday, upon arriving to work to find  a package for me. If you read the previous post, you’ll understand that I thought this would be my prescriptions, but it turned out to be even better.*

It was a very detailed, thoughtful, surprise gift from a one Mr. Bossman, all the way from a one NYC.

Despite the fact that my job is also my mailing address, and that I happen to sit across from a rather jealous, petty lady, I ripped into that package. . . to find:

-a few BlackBook magazines, where Mr. Bossman’s name can be found, now that his company is part of them

-a picture with a customized frame

Hair: Greasy. Sunglasses: Apprx. $8. New picture frame: Priceless.

-and a pink, Burberry scarf. O.M.F.G. This is where the speechlessness set in. First, I saw the Burberry box, wrapped tightly with tape. I then proceeded to hyperventilate while Alex started screaming “DO YOU NEED A SCISSORS?! SOMEBODY GET HER A SCISSORS, WE NEED TO SEE WHAT’S INSIDE!”  And then we saw it. And petted it. And took pics.

It's easy to look happy when you are ridiculously spoiled . . . and wearing a new shirt and lipstick color.

Because sweet Jesus y’all, that’s a gift. I would just like to say, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE BRAND. I swears. (And I already have a Burberry scarf; an 18th birthday gift that always reminds me of my parents and that special birthday)

It’s about the fact that I got an unexpected Christmas present from half-way across the world. And that someone put in a lot of time, money, and effort into making me happy. After all, it’s the brand thought that counts.

There were also a lot of other cute things in there, but they’re private – losers. Opening the gift was totally worth all the jealous sorority-girl stares I got from my Korean coworkers.

Thanks Bossman. You’re kinda the best.

*And no, the irony that Bossman sent me a package that arrived 3 days later, while my parents’ package has been at customs for almost a month, does not escape me in the least, mkaythanxbye.