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.


Strong Female Lead

14 May

A few weeks ago, my friends and I were discussing Netflix, among other things we used in our past lives (like Hulu, Target, and drive-throughs).  I mentioned that Netflix was always recommending movies and TV shows with a “strong female lead”, based on my queue.  This became a running joke throughout the night, as we discussed what fabulous, independent ladies we are (example: When I had Netflix, I totally paid for it. By myself.)

And someday I’ll fill you in on my OCD list of TV shows and must-watch movies, but for right now, I will just leave you with a short Strong Female Lead post…a theme I think will find its way into this blog a lot.  All joking aside, I think women are badass, and I’m big on female empowerment. (please see previous Mother’s Day post, or any post involving my friends)

So today’s Strong Female Lead is my sister-in-law Mandy, who graduated with her Master’s Degree this weekend.  She’s going to be an amazing teacher, and she’s already a fabulous mama.  And she’s nice to me, even when I’m the bitchiest sister-in-law imaginable. (that’s a therapy discussion series of posts for another time)

Congrats Mama, we (my millions of readers fans and I) are so proud of you! It also greatly pleases me that Tator Tot will grow up with a Strong Female Leading lady, much like Mandy and I have (Mandy’s mom is the total HBIC, which is awesome).

That scowling guy in the background is so jealous of the blonde cuteness happening front and center.


Today’s song/video/quote, which I dare you to listen to and NOT dance along:


Today I’m thankful for Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristin Wiig, Megan McCarthy, Mya Rudolph, and all the other hilarious and intelligent women who are making it cool to be Strong Female Leads.

Have a happy start to your work week y’all!



14 May

Obviously this post is about Mother’s Day.  On this site we proudly celebrate any holiday of my choosing. (spoiler alert: this does not include Flag Day, Columbus Day, or Children’s Day) 

I think you can generally determine how good a mother one is, by the general excellence of her children.  So clearly my mom should teach a master’s class on this shit.  Same goes for Tator Tot’s mom (hi Mandy!), my friends’ moms, and Ryan Gosling’s mom.  However, to my ex-boyfriends’ mothers – you should be ashamed of yourself.

This is the quote I put on Monica’s card, because I’ve always thought she was a perfect blend of intelligence, hardwork, style, and charm:

“Think, Travel, Celebrate, Charm, Decorate, Dress, Live – colorfully.”       -Kate Spade

Eric, Monica, and me in Seoul

As any of my friends can attest to, I talk about my mom all the time – the words proud and grateful are about as close as I can get to describing my feelings for her. She is my favorite person to shop and gossip with, but she’s also more interested in my thoughts and my goals, and will never ever be the kind of mom who pressures me to get married or have kids.  She never makes me feel guilty for living far away, or for being really confused about my future. (but she does cry at the airport every time, which is like watching a puppy die. Repeatedly.) Bonus: she let me bring some of her amazing handbags and accessories to Korea this year, which is the most selfless thing anyone has ever done aside from actually giving birth. And she laughs at my jokes (but to be fair, I’m really funny).

In short, she’s the coolest.

My all-time favorite pic of her, taken in Thailand last summer.

So thank you to my mom, and all of the other mamas out there for all that you do, which is innumerable, unimaginable, and never-ending.  It sounds super awful, but I salute you!

Also, it should be obvious that today I’m thankful for my mom.  And for Mandy, because I can’t imagine living in a Tator Tot-less world.

One time on a trip, we got dressed in our respective hotel rooms, only to meet up and realize that we were wearing the exact.same.outfit.




Austin City Limits music festival, fall 2009

Mandy looking fabulous, even though she had to take Tator Tot to the hospital – fall 2010

Tator Tot and Mandy

And now for my all-time favorite TV and movie moms:

Lucille Bluth, Arrested Development: The original HBIC

Claire Dunphy, Modern Family – I’m told I remind people of her all the time. We are both blonde Claires, who make a lot of faces and just want people to do what we say.


Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls: witty and pretty and bright

Sally Fields, Steel Magnolias: Her impassioned speech at her daughter’s grave gets me every time.


Happy Mother’s Day y’all!



But how do you know…?

11 May

...if you’re good at your job?

With some jobs it may be easier to measure general proficiency and/or success*:  doctors whose patients live, lawyers who win their cases, Taco Bell employees who make delicious tacos, or Forever 21 assholes employees who won’t let you take more than 7 items in the dressing room NO MATTER WHAT.

*I just spelled success wrong. Not one shred of this irony is lost on me.

And I think certain teaching jobs at certain schools can yield impressive results, but let’s get real because we aren’t all that white lady from Freedom Writers.  My students are from wealthy families, whose parents are committed to their education. They began studying English around age 4, and when I met them 3 years later, they all had a ridiculously advanced grip on the language.

So of course I can improve their vocabulary, grammar, and dance social skills…but so much of their progress and success happened before me.  And with the parents they have, I’m pretty sure they would find a way to improve their English in any circumstance.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure I’m adequate amazing at my job.  Or at least, I hope I am…because I’m really trying.  I joke about this job and everything else A LOT, but when I’m actually in front of my classes teaching a lesson, I’m trying.  I also like teaching more than I ever thought I would.  I really just wanted to travel around after college…but lately I’ve been tossing around the idea of making a serious go at this.

…but I keep coming back to the same question – how do you know if you’re good at your job?

Some things I am sure about.


Today’s quote, courtesy of Phoebe from Friends (and further proof that 90s sitcoms were and are awesome):

“I may play the fool at times, but I’m a little more than just a pretty blonde girl with an ass that won’t quit.”



Today I’m thankful that I have any job at all, because I do love spending making money. I also enjoy not sitting at a desk, the general hilarity of children, and working in a foreign country.  And I may or may not enjoy song time, Play-doh time, and freeze dance time….a lot.

This and That and Sweet Jesus was it a long day

10 May

Things that make sense today:

It’s a metaphor. And a really funny picture.

I’d rather be doing this. In Thailand. Immediately.

I am personally offended by the mediocrity of this Thursday.

Sittin’, waitin’, wishin’ at a field trip to the Trick Eye Museum two weeks ago.

Today’s quote:  “You backslid all the way down the hill and into the parking lot. Take off your skis and wait for your family in the lodge, Jessica Day.”      -Schmidt, The New Girl


Today I’m thankful for social media…because this week I’ve received a lot of lovely messages and a lot of encouragement.  And I get to look at pictures of my nephew…and I enjoy looking through friends ‘ acquaintances’ random people’s wedding albums and embarrassingly personal status updates from the comfort of my apartment.

Overheard In My Classroom

9 May

I imagine every job requires one to say ridiculous things. (examples off the top of my head: bikini-waxers, TSA agents, therapists)  But  naturally, I like to think that teaching kindergarten trumps them all.  Below are various comments and absurd things I’ve said in the last month.  Please keep in mind that I get paid for this.

-“You can’t play with the magnets until you wipe the cake off your feet.”

-“…and that’s why we don’t stand on the chairs.  Hold on, I’ll get you a band-aid.”

-“How many times have I told you not to practice taekwondo in class?”

-“Hands out of your pants/fingers out of your nose/crayons out of your mouth.”

-“If one more person falls out of their chair today, I’m taking a sticker.”

-“If we can’t do the Hokey Pokey without kicking each other, then we just aren’t going to do it anymore.”

-“Please stop cheating. It’s musical chairs.”

-“You guys our classroom smells like feet again.”

-“Did you forget to bring your ears to show-and-tell? Because that question has been asked three times already.”

-“OK raise your hand if you did not get a turn during Duck, Duck, Goose.”

-“No, I will not give you some of my coffee.”

-“Please stop trying to take my earrings out.”

-“You’re right, if a person breaks their neck, they can’t move their arms or legs, but they can still think…..Yes, that means they can still think about stars and stuff.”

-“The Easter Bunny is as real as Santa Claus.”

-“Girl spiders lay eggs after they get married.”

-“You brought your pet turtles for show-and-tell?!”

-“If you pop your balloon, I’m not giving you another one.”

-“I’m wearing my Hello Kitty socks too!”

-“Stop speaking Korean…no, that doesn’t mean you can speak Chinese instead.”

-“Please stop crawling. We walk in the classroom.”

-“Oh really? Someone in your class was eaten by a crocodile at the zoo today?”

-“That’s it. Go sit in the Thinking Chair.”

And let’s not forget this little gem that one of my students said to me today:

“I really like your face. But your hair looks like my mom’s.”

Then she walked away.



Today I’m thankful for the cheap, clean, safe, and reliable public transportation in Korea. Because us poor people have places to go too. And because it’s really nice to listen to music while someone else does all the work.

Deep Thoughts – 90s TV edition

8 May

While out walking and enjoying the spring weather after work, I stumbled across some Deep Claire Thoughts previously buried:

Stage 1 – Worry: It all began when I casually wondered if my new hair was a little too 90s, and resembled Jenny Garth, aka Kelly Taylor, from the original 90210…


I’ve made a huge mistake.

Stage 2 – Sadness:  …then I lamented how real-life Jenny Garth is getting a divorce from that Twilight doctor… (see above picture – it works here too)

Stage 3 – Blind Hope: …I then realized this finally opened the doors for a Kelly Taylor – Dylan McKay real-life reunion of love, because god knows we could all use a win right now. Dare to dream y’all. And dare to imagine the reality TV heaven this could be. (if you are into that thing, which I’m totally not)


This is actually not the worst idea I’ve had today.

For the record, I told you not all of the posts would be life-changing.  But we all got lucky that today’s was.


Aaaaannnnddd, today I’m thankful for friends that make me laugh. A lot. It should be assumed that all of my friends are loyal, smart, caring, and amazing – because they are.  But it’s recently occurred to me that they are also hilarious. They make me laugh everyday, even when I’m determined to be in a bad mood. So today, I am thankful for you, funny friends.

…I’m also thankful for Google images, because sometimes you just need to find pics of 90s TV stars immediately.



Happy work week!  My inflated ego and I sincerely thank you for all of the encouragement yesterday.