Sunday, November 11, 2007

배꼼: A Work in Progress

Today was another lovely artsy day. I made a bunch of casts of bellybuttons. They came out beautifully and there are still more to come.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

when friday feels like saturday

I went out Thursday night to see the Brand New Heavies, went out for some drinks, and then stayed up late with a cup of tea and good company. So, Friday morning felt a bit like a Sunday. Fuzzy, dreamy, a funny tummy feeling, a desire to lie in bed all day long. But, it was Friday, filled with time to do my favorite things.

Time for making things, like belly buttons! Then time for reading After Dark, by Murakami. And then time to go to Chef Meili, to be a foodie with Dan.

Dinner looked like this:

Pumpkin soup with salmon and prawn mousse

Grilled lamb chop, duck confit, and thyme fettuccine

Nougat mousse with cherry sauce

I can't even talk about how good dinner was, you'll have to go check it out for yourself. Dessert was the best part. Chef Meili is located near exit 4 of Itaewon Station. Make a left out of the exit and go towards Gecko's. Chef Meili is on the second floor at the corner.

After dinner, I met up with the Metropolitician and Shanti, and we played in Itaewon, recording the sights and sounds of Homo Hill. For a good time go hang out with Paul of Always Homme. He was my favorite bit of the evening. Night made its way towards morning, and I, of course, found myself at Queen. A night on the hill wouldn't be complete without some late night shenanigans at Queen before I finally make my way to my bed. Then... Sleep, sleep, dream, and sleep.

I woke up today, feeling like it was Sunday... again. Fuzzy, dreamy, a funny tummy feeling, a desire to lie in bed all day long. But today is Saturday. Oy vey, I love my life.

Friday, November 09, 2007


We named our tree Ki. As Ki looses his leaves I slowly gain a new view from our mini-balcony.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

i heart nancy lang

One of the highlights for me at the Seoul Collection Spring/Summer '08 show was meeting performance artist Nancy Lang, the self-proclaimed piece of walking Pop Art.

She was there along with her cat, Coco Channel. I might add that her Coco is not a real live cat, but a stuffed animal. It's a bit strange for an adult to have stuffed animals, take them with them into public and more over, to take them to this kind of fashion event, but it was kinda cool.

Pictures /사진 by FMS

She's an artist--and adorable--so she can get away with it. It was very cool to meet her and she was so fabulous I really hope it's not the last time we get to chat. I left her wanting more, more, MORE! I wish Nancy had a blog so I could get regular updates on what she's doing, thinking, taking pictures of, eating... I think I'm in love.

For more pictures and coverage of Seoul Collection S/S '08 see Seoul Fashion Week (part 2) and Seoul Fashion Week (part 1) at

Sunday, October 14, 2007

nanta, eh.

I got free tickets to see Nanta, the cooking show.

Eh. I'm glad I didn't pay for it. It was entertaining, but had that cheezy slap-stick Korean gag show element that made it just a bit irritating instead of funny. If I were 6 years old, it would be hilarious.

The performers are truly talented. They sing, they dance, they act, they do percussion work with sharp knives! But overall it's like STOMP! gone wrong. There was a bit too much audience participation and it made me really hungry.

The most entertaining and exciting moment was when one dude got his ass stuck in a trashcan (see below). I've now saved you the time and money of having to go.

Friday, October 12, 2007

skku fashion

On my way to class I came across a design show in the lobby of one of the buildings at SKKU. The fashion design students often have a runway show in the spring, but I always find out about it at the last minute. I'm assuming since graduation is at the end of the semester that this is a display of some senior work. I like a couple of the pieces, and I would totally wear the entire outfit. And others I found completely ridiculous, but I still enjoy seeing the work that these students are creating and I wish they had more stuff up.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Doosan: art & dance

I went to the Doosan Art Center to see Asia Central America Dance Exchange and Tommi Kitti perform. The first group was pretty good.
"A group of young and fresh choreographers from different backgrounds and nationalities create an original work reflecting their experience of a 6-month dance residency program in Seoul from May to October 2007. Thai music and traditional dance, Indonesia’s Flores dance, contemporary dance, and Mexican pop music collapse into a work that explores cutting edge ideas and a new concept of multi-national collaboration. The production reflects thoughts and ideas on “what is the ‘contemporaryness/contemporaneity’ of the third world contemporary dance and performing art?” and is also inspired by Korean traditional dance, including Chaesang Sogo Choom (hat twirling dance), Bongsang Mask Dance, and Drum Dance."
There were a few really strong dancers in the group that made it a truly enjoyable and inspiring experience. They did a good job of highlighting and bringing together their different backgrounds through dance. They were also kinda silly. The two performances were part of the 10th Seoul International Dance Festival which is still on untill October 27th. So, go check it out.

big boy
Doosan Art Center is also showing China Big Boy, an exhibition of paintings and sculptures by Chinese artists. Some of the pieces are really funny. I don't know if I was just taught to always see the humor in art or what, but I had to try so hard to hold it together in the gallery and not bust out laughing when I was looking at some of the Chen WenLing sculptures. They were great!
big boy little ajjuma

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Did you just PIFF?

Why yes, I did. The Pusan International Film Festival started on the 4th of October and runs till this Friday. Lumina and I caught a bunch of films, some stranger than others, and listened to guest directors and producers talk about their work.

I'm excited, and a bit annoyed, that the closing film on Friday is going to be the world premiere of Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone.
Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone is a new theatrical version of Neon Genesis Evangelion, which started as a TV animation series in 1995 and remains immensely popular over a decade later with a huge following of fans. The previous theatrical animation was a tremendous hit in 1997 yet its obscure ending roused controversy. Ten years later, in 2007, Hideaki Anno planned a new theatrical series in 4 parts, and the Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone is the first of his tetralogy. After the tragedy of the “Second Impact” that killed half of mankind, a 14-year old boy, Shinji, gets mixed up in the war between the UN army and Angel. He pilots the Evangelion, a human figure weapon secretly developed by the NERV special agency to defend the earth from its enemy, Angel. Following its domestic release on Sep. 1, 2007 in Japan, Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone will have its international premiere at the 2007 PIFF.
It would be a little insane, but I'd love to go down again just to see this.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

same same

Margaret Mead - "Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else."

She also said, "Having two bathrooms ruined the capacity to co-operate. "

Sunday, September 30, 2007

weekend blah

Krafty Kuts played at Air, the old Garden in Apgujung, on Saturday night. The renovations make the place look completely different, but I liked the old space. It was fun to jump around and dance with Haelan, to shake it with Charles, and catch up with random friends I bumped into, but the drinks were way overpriced (20 bucks for a mojito, I don't think so) and it got kinda dull after a bit.
What ended up being the highlight of our Apgujung outing, and the whole night overall, was being ghetto fabulous and ridiculous in front of the Haagen-Dazs with Jackie. A can of silly string was involved.

We decided to head back to good 'ole Itaewon to see what was going on. Turns out that Homo Hill was the place to be in Seoul on Saturday night. It was like the Gay Pride Parade that Korea had never seen before. And still, I wasn't very entertained. I continued to drink, thinking that would help to make things more exciting. It just made me more drunk and annoyed.
When I woke up sometime in the early afternoon I felt the full effects of last night's experience. My organs were mad at me. All of my dreams were about food, large amounts of food. I woke up hungry... thinking that I might have been better off staying home, reading my book, and eating ice cream.

I feel at times that my life is simply a collection of distractions (drinking, watching movies, going to another party where I see most of the same people, facebook) or irritating necessities (work, taking public transportation here or there, to do lists, email, etc.) and the only real bits are the few hours a week I spend doing yoga, running, or dreaming.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Chuseok was pretty uneventful by Korean standards. I didn't go anywhere, didn't get stuck spending time with any in-laws I'd rather not see, didn't eat any Korean food, didn't get stuck in any traffic. Instead, Charles, Ms. Zaza, and I joined Leo at Ape with Pipe for a nice brunch.

It was one of the few restaurants open during the holiday. THANK YOU Leo!

After we ate Zaza and I took a stroll up Namsan and found ourselves at the botanical garden with a bottle of red. This turned out to be a great idea, which then made us come up with another great idea--to make dinner and call up a whole bunch of people. Somehow in less than 2 hours we pulled off grocery shopping, tidying, making two pasta dishes, a big salad, rosemary potatoes, and baking a cake for a group of about 18 guests (give or take a few). Pretty good Chuseok if I might say so myself.

what the...?

Why did they do this to their dog? The dog probably has a complex.

I've seen this before. I feel bad for dogs in Korea.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Update: Trance & Queens to Love

Back in the beginning of 2005, when this blog was in its infancy, I somehow found myself at Trance, a bar in Itaewon with a fun show of boys who have transformed themselves into fierce women on parade. Now that I've moved to Itaewon, I find myself there on a regular basis. I've seen queens come and go, wigs that needed to go with the last queen that left, and I even built up the courage once to venture into that scary little room they call a bathroom up in there.
About a month ago I ran into this queen in front of Queen (the bar), but she wasn't all queened up, in fact she was just Jimmy. There's something quite delicate and striking about his face that makes him unforgettable. He used to perform at Trance years ago, but now he's PUCK in the Donkey Show!

The Donkey Show is now in Seoul playing at a theater in Daehagno. If you haven't seen it, go! It's a disco version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, IN KOREAN. They translated all the songs and it's all performed in the round; like you're in a club. And Jimmy's in it. Jimmy studied ballet and he does pirouettes in those boots. It's a sight worth seeing.

On that first cold night to Trance I met Ely and a his Korean friend. This angelic Korean man paid my cover charge, danced with me all night, and then basically disappeared. One night months and months and months later, I saw him again and he reintroduced himself, as Bada (on the left above with headphones), the boyfriend of the ever so adored Keith (right, pictured above with white sunglasses)! Crazy.
I know that Trance isn't for everyone, but I love it. Femininity is such a performance. These "ladies" have mastered the art of creating that illusion and then they have a lot more fun with it by, at times, going a bit overboard with it. I always feel like I have so much to learn from them about life; about hair, make up, and costume; and about being a woman and loving every moment of it.

Trance & Queen are next to each other on "Homo Hill" in Itaewon. From Itaewon station go out of exit #3. Walk straight till the next intersection and make a right. Make a left at the second street and walk up the super steep hill. They are in the middle of the block on the left.

Friday, September 21, 2007

i love the cleaning lady

Charles and I thought it would be best for our roommate relations if we got a cleaning lady. And it has done more than make things run smoothly around the apartment. All that noise I usually have in my head about how I need to do this or that or the laundry or scrub the tub--it's all gone! Each week, when I come home on Tuesday afternoon my bed is perfectly made, the whole place sparkles and smells clean, everything is perfectly lined up (like the forks in the cutlery drawer) neat and tidy, and I fall in love with my apartment and the cleaning lady all over again.

Last week she organized the clothes in my closet and folded everything in a manner which made me never want to touch them ever again. Who needs to wear a t-shirt when you can just admire it happily sitting in a perfect stack in the closet?

Thanks cleaning lady, you're the best.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


If you haven't noticed, I collect OinK (Only in Korea) moments and memorabilia. Here's one for the archives that I find quite disturbing:

These kids are chasing after a truck that's spraying pesticides.

Film Noir

Last night we caught a film from the Fritz Lang Film Festival at the Seoul Art Cinema. We saw You Only Live Once, a movie from 1937 with Sylvia Sidney and Henry Fonda. I enjoyed seeing an old film in a theater and a lot of moments were so corny and dated I had to laugh out loud at how different things are in movies (and life) today.

The theater was a bit difficult to find, it's one of those venues that's right in front of your face but still hard to locate, but the map at Seoul Selection is somewhat helpful. One of the things I'd like to leave to Korea, other than real pedestrian sidewalks, is cross streets--ones you can use in directions, so you can say things like, "Meet me at 4th and Insadong Street." Oh in another universe...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I found out earlier this year that blueberries are a "superfood," meaning they are super good for you. They have lots of antioxidants so they help to fight cancer. They've also been said to stop the aging process and to keep your brain healthy. Raspberries and blackberries are good for you too. I love them in tarts, in smoothies, and on their own as a snack.

Berries to Koco are like spinach to Popeye. This was my breakfast yesterday: a Dutch style blueberry pancake, made in the oven, with powdered sugar and blueberries on top. Super YUM.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

ridiculous in hongdae

One way or another, somehow, somewhat against my will and totally against my better judgment, I ended up at a luxury noraebang (singing room) in Hongdae, with a belly full of kalbi (meat) and a cocktail in hand. It was late, way late, but Leo and I had all intentions of indulging in our ultimate guilty pleasure: being cheesy and loving a large unhealthy dose of JT. After singing Sexy Back a few too many times, I broke out Fly Me to the Moon, my personal best when it comes to Korean noraebang songs, and then it was really time to go home.

We stopped in a convenience store before catching a cab, and that's when I realized that I didn't have my wallet. I traced my steps and it was nowhere to be found. The good news is that I didn't flip out. I just went home and canceled all my cards, then stayed up with Charles and laughed a whole bunch about ideas for an upcoming themed event we're planning. All good.

However... The moral of the story: NO MORE NORAEBANGS! Don't get sucked in when you know you should just go home. They're ridiculous.

Monday, September 17, 2007

pedicures for 4

Pronails in Itaewon is a fun salon to go with friends to get your nails done mostly because they ALWAYS have OnStyle on the tv. All the ladies in the place seem to have something to say about whatever show is playing whether it's The Biggest Loser or The Search for the Next Doll. They also have Cosmo in English. Not that I read Cosmo often, but it's a nice thing to be able to pick it up and understand the articles.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

KOOP Obsessed

Charles and I went to the Walkerhill Hotel on Saturday to see KOOP, and now we're hooked. The two main members are Swedish cross-dressers who do jazzy lounge music and stuff that sounds like you might be at a cocktail party from the 50's. It's super sexy and I love it!

Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era. We had so much fun. Charles had been playing KOOP all week to prepare us for the event. I had "Come to me" stuck in my head. When they played it as the finale, their last encore song, I couldn't have been happier.

Now, if you see me on the street bopping along happily that's because I'm listening to KOOP (or Amy Winehouse), imagining a much different reality where there are much better outfits for everyone.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Zelen wine party

Zaza and I went to the wine party at Zelen, the Bulgarian restaurant in Itaewon, on Friday night. There was a dress code--black. The majority of the people were dressed as advised and a few even put together impressive outfits. Soojin, the owner gave out prizes, including one for the best dressed member of the Zelen wine club.

Early in the evening everyone was behaving themselves, being cordial, and keeping to their own small groups of comrades. As the night continued on, and people took advantage of the all-you-can-drink benefits of the party, people started to be a lot more friendly--A LOT MORE FRIENDLY.

At one point I found myself in a circle of women where one was touching the next inappropriately. And the peak of this bizarre collection of gropes was marked by the tongue of a certain bar owner we all know and love in Zaza's cleavage.
I met a some interesting characters and drank a whole bunch. The night started to get fuzzy, I ended up at B1, then at Queen, then some other random gay bar in Itaewon, and then in McDonald's (I NEVER GO TO McDONALD'S) with Charles and a stolen umbrella (which we returned to its rightful owner). Strange night. Good, but strange.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Dinner @ Dan's

Thursday, a dinner party at Dan's!

Dan is officially my favorite new person. He has great taste--in wine, food, etc.-- and is one of those characters who does everything. Dan is a fun, artsy, intellectual... he's fascinating.

He made some really fantastic food. We moved through the meal in courses. First a simple DIY bruschetta and some edamame. Next was a salad with toasted almonds, pears, and a honey balsamic dressing. The main course was a salmon curry with green beans on cous cous. Three bottles of red later we had chocolate cake (by Zaza) and played some wii. I didn't think I'd ever say this, but playing that wii was tons of fun.
I think we are going to have to make this dinner party thing a weekly event. It was so so so good.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ape with Pipe

I met up with the Nabi ladies for dinner at Ape with Pipe.

They all had quiche. I had scallops. That place makes me feel like I'm not even in Korea. This Mediterranean restaurant is tucked into the corner of Itaewon. It's one of those places that I want to thrive, but don't want to tell everyone about, because then it won't be easy to get seats. They play nice music and make you float off to another place. It's definitely a great date spot, though a little on the pricey end.

Yellow Submarine

Mr. C and I stopped by the The Yellow Submarine for their grand opening. This new hot sandwich shop comes to you from the same people who own Indigo in Haebongcheon. For their first day open Joe had free beer and cake, made by the lovely Zaza, for everyone. The lemon cake had marshmallow and pineapple in the middle, which was surprisingly tasty.I was eager to see the place open since the Nabi ladies had spent all week painting it.
I've only tried one of their sandwiches, the chicken cheddar, but it was quite nice, reasonably priced and comes with those great kettle chips.
The Yellow Submarine is located across the street from Noksapyeong Station, exit one. When you exit walk straight for a long block to the underpass. You will see The Yellow Submarine across the busy street as you walk towards the underpass. Take the stairs on the right going up out of the underpass. It's about a half a block up the street. Can't miss it, it's big and yellow!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

week in review

I filled the days of this past week with lots of my favorite things and the universe sprinkled a few lovely surprises on top to make it, overall, phenomenal.
On Monday, I went with a friend to a fashion event to celebrate Ji Haye and welcome her design house to Seoul from Paris. The party was at her studio in Samcheongdong, one of my absolute favorite areas in Korea for its chic contemporary sensibility mixed with traditional architecture and landmarks. The people in attendance included models, diplomats, well-known actresses, filmmakers, and the like. The champagne was flowing, the people were fascinating, there were cameras at every turn, and the clothes.... OH! THE CLOTHES! Ji Haye designed some beautiful garments. Her focus in Seoul is on high fashion wedding dresses and men's wear. I fell in love with one of the bags she had and a couple of her jackets. I left quite inspired, and very much in awe.

On Tuesday, the cleaning lady came. I love my new apartment and coming home to it sparkling clean and tidy made it feel like a palace. For the first time in years I LOVE my apartment.

On Wednesday, after a "long day" of work (two 75 min. classes), I had an very enjoyable warm goat cheese and almond salad (that I had been dreaming about all day) and the perfect dinner companion to share it (and my chocolate mousse) with.
On Thursday, I went to an art opening for Nakhee Sung at One and J. Gallery. Upon walking up to the gallery I immediately saw someone I met at the Ji Haye party earlier in the week and a couple of people that I've met before, but haven't seen in some time.
It felt really comforting and made the whole event that much more fabulous. The gallery space itself is quite nice with a patio, two floors, and a couple of rooms on each floor. The electro-alternative/indie pop dj playing was the sister of the artist and the music complimented the visual art well. Sung's abstract paintings looked a lot like circuit boards and a bit influenced by graffiti. Her work has been shown all over the world, including at the Venice Biennale and the Singapore Biennale in 2006, so it was a treat to see a Seoul local who is internationally appreciated. To compliment the art there were some beautiful people in attendance, including a couple of sisters who allowed us to take pictures of them for FMS. The owners of the gallery are fantastic, charming, and fun guys who come off as articulate art professionals but not snobby and aloof weirdos as many often do. All in all my favorite kind of people and exactly the kind of creative environment I thrive in.

Last night, Friday, after a rooftop BBQ, I went to The Spot in Apgujeong. I rarely go south of the river, but it was a lovely night and an experience well worth crossing the Han for. The Spot is a nice venue with a lot of space. It definitely appeals to the locals that like things to at least pretend to be upscale. It's huge in comparison to clubs in Hongdae that stuff hundreds of people into little basements. At The Spot they even have a pool, which is nice, but kind of pointless since I'm sure it probably never gets used. There are many little rooms and places that all seem to be "VIP Areas" but actually aren't. I, once again, randomly bumped into a lot of people I haven't seen or talked to in ages. Like a woman I worked with my first year in Korea and a guy I met my first week in the country. I also ended up meeting lots of new people, exchanged a few cards, and talked to people I don't know, AND actually enjoying the conversations--which is rare.

I had dinner or brunch with my favorite ladies a few times this week. We had tea, made food, ate homemade baked goodies (courtesy of Zaza), watched episodes of America's Next Top Model, discussed future plans for great parties, events, and activities that excite me beyond words. I really love these people in my life.

In the mornings I wake up without an alarm. I have yoga on the rooftop or I go running in my neighborhood before I go to work. The weather has been pleasant, and I've been waking up happy to meet each day. And I wonder, what's in store for next week?

Monday, September 03, 2007

new faces

That funny fall feeling has washed up again. The new semester starts with a bang, 150 new students, meaning 150 new names to remember, new faculty, a new schedule in my pocket, and a new computer on my desk. Hyehwa has changed too, again, with new shops popping up all over the place. A recently opened Krispy Kreme greeted me with a smile as I stepped off the bus. It just showed up over night it seems. Everything feels untainted, crisp, ready to be something different, full of potential, like the first page of a notebook.

But I always say this. I shouldn't get wrapped up in the romantic back-to-school feelings that go along with September. In two weeks it will all be routine. It's the same old thing just packaged in a different container.

Monday, August 27, 2007

now in new york

Oh New York, you are filled with so many things to do! In the past week I:

*went to ñ for tapas and flamenco
*met Adam's fabulus guy and we all went for karoke in Chinatown
*shopped in SoHo all afternoon
*saw my sister's office and joined her for "pasta friday"
*went to Barcade in Williamsburg and played Centipede
*helped my sister move out (a little)
*went to Governor's Island to see DJ Rekha
*kissed Debbie & Chris goodbye and wished them well
*checked out the Spiegeltent and Turntables on the Hudson with Phil and Tisha
*met Eleni's man, Sam
*saw the new show at the National Museum of the American Indian
*had a cosmo at the gayest bar in mid-town, Vlada Lounge
*ate delish Indian on 5th street in the East Village with Rose and Jenn
*met up with Eric at a great wine bar, Veloce
*bought heaps of yogi tea, and I think I'll get some more before I go
*walked in and out of two great yarn shops without buying anything
*bumped into a guy I went to summer camp with on the N train
*have been having the best time with my favorite people in a city I'll always adore

I have a few days left, I don't want to leave, but there is a bit of unfinished business I have to take care of back in Korea (the rest of my contract) before the party can go on.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


KT&G Factory, Daejeon. They make about 2 million dollars a day. It was pretty cool to see how they make cigarettes, disturbing to see how many they make/sell per day, and disappointing to find that they didn't have any umpa lumpas.

Monday, August 20, 2007

so lovin' Amy

I can't get enough of Amy Winehouse right now. She's like a little bit of Shirley Bassey with a hint of Lauryn Hill, and all I want to hear. They tell me turn it off but, "I said NO, NO, NO!"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

out with the posse

The MC Fatboy Slim The Rockafeller Studio TECHNO crew was representin' at the Pusan Aquarium.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Miss Koco DID Korea

There are three states of being in Korea. Just got here, staying here forever, and leaving. I'm now in that last category. While I still have quite a bit of time left on my contract, I'm mentally somewhere else already. I'm done with Korea.

Currently, I'm in Philadelphia, a "sister city" of Seoul. These siblings have very little in common, but I'm glad for that. I'm really appreciating America and Philadelphia (the city I grew up in but never owned) for the first time in my life. I find it difficult as a liberal American to have any kind of pride in my country, but right now it's really easy to see all the differences and simple reasons I love it.

Here is a list of a few things I'm loving about Philly.

Pedestrians have the right of way.
I was at a corner waiting to cross the street when I realized that the guy in the cute little jeep wasn't going anywhere until I had safely planted myself on the other side of the road. What a concept!

In Seoul it seems that all drivers have adopted "Move bitch, get out the way" as their driving anthem and general philosophy.

Black people.
I've said it before, I'll say it again--I love black people. Philly is over 40% black. I'm a black Jew, growing up I didn't quite understand how African Americans or Jews were "minorities". I felt like I must have known every person who was considered a minority. How did that happen? I guess I was lucky. So, my point here is that homogeneous societies can get a little dull after a bit for a girl who's used to a little of this and a little of that. Especially when there are so many good looking black men walking around in summer! It's delicious.

It makes me feel more comfortable to be in a place where I see all different flavors of people, and not just in one area (like Itaewon), but everywhere. What this really has to do with is VARIETY. I want good options and to see all kinds of things and people. At Essene, the health food grocery store, I wander the aisles full of wonder. I can have my pick from 30 different kinds of granola. And this is a beautiful thing.

I can breathe.
You're going to think this sounds crazy, but my lungs feel great! The sky is BLUE. Yes, it's actually a couple different shades of blue.

I actually do like talking to people. I miss chit-chat, particularly with people I don't know.

I got compliments on my earrings from two people today. The woman at the check out at the health food store and my neighbor who is almost done renovating the house he rents. He talked about how the drama with the sale of his other property and how it fell through today.

I went to a cheese store in the Italian Market and had such an experience with the cheeseman, Fred. He handed over a heavenly slice of a cheese named Prima Dona and told me it was named after me. He fed me a dessert made of rigatto cheese with a thick 25 year old basalmic vinegar drizzled over it. I bought olives of all shapes, colors, and sizes. He joked with my mother and I the whole time, informing us of the history of every item. I left the cheese store filled with joy.

I talked to people on the plane, while waiting for my luggage, waiting in line for customs, and in the ladies room. We didn't talk about anything in particular, but it just felt so nice to talk to strangers. To ask questions freely and not have to think so much about how to make my words simple, clear, and slow. I miss chatting like this.

I've spent so much of my life trying to get away from where I came from. This city was dull, slow, and didn't offer enough. I wanted more and I got that from living abroad. When I look back at my archives, I can see just how much I've had the privilege to experience and discover over the past 2 and a half years of living in Korea. And I still want to see more, but I'm getting the feeling that I may, in the end, find that I do actually want to be in my own country. That I do feel more comfortable here, and that the U.S. is one of the best places for me to be, and that all of that is okay.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

magic day


903917686 5C8061550C O

If you can't tell, these are sanitary napkins, called Magics. This is a wonderful find. Their slogan is, "Enjoy your magic day." Hilarious! There's nothing magical about getting your period--unless it's the day you realize you're NOT pregnant.

903917212 17Dc1C047F

Technorati Tags:

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I've gotten into video a bit; however, I haven't figured it all out quite yet. In this one, Gia helps introduce one of my favorite spots in Hongdae--Vinyl! It's the cute cocktails in bags that keep me coming back.

Vinyl is located down the street from the main entrance to Hong-ik University. There is a robot on the front. It's just past the 7-11 where you would turn right to go to BrixX, Tool, or FF.

And here are some pics of nights out at Vinyl...

Friday, July 20, 2007


I took my sister to one of my favorite vegetarian Korean restaurants, Shoshim, in Insadong. I can't ever get enough of the mushrooms and the tofu at this place. Gia agrees, the mushrooms are great!
903915622 43C8076B99
Gia wondered why the "water" was brown. Now that I'm so over things like being water but also sometime like a tea, it's nice to have a guest to feel like it's novel all over again.

Technorati Tags:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

HP in 3D!

My life is currently consumed with Harry Potter. Yes, I went to see the movie, and yes, I got the book.

903058745 4F99F5Efee O

The fight scene in 3D was really cool. Overall, the movie was a lot of fun AND the bonus was that we got these crazy glasses to wear and play with!

903910876 9C373C4E32 903911438 09B978Af03

Technorati Tags:

Saturday, July 07, 2007

blogs to love

You might have noticed that I have added some link love on my sidebar. These new additions to my world include Scribblings of the Metropolitician, the Marmot's Hole, and ZenKimchi. The Metropliician, he's fabulous, and he thinks I'm fabulous. It's a mutual adoration kind of thing which is, well, FABULOUS! ZenKimchi has funny t-shirts to help you buy a beer in Korean and he has been writing about Korean food for like forever. Overall, it's fun and funny. Then there is the Marmot, which I'm not exactly sure what it is yet, but it seems to be filled with a lot of boys talking about news, Korea, and politics--and intellectually jizzing on each other in the comments. Lots of hate over there which makes for a really great read.

One of my newest and most favorite blogs is: Through Whitey's Eyes
His user name over at the Marmot is "Whitey." Whitey's comments on misskoco:

Personality: Brassy, self-absorbed.
Influences: Numerous TV characters.
Interests: Shoes.
Originality: Lacking.
I have to give him credit for noticing that I'm interested in myself and shoes, yet I'm a bit upset that he left out a few of my other major obsessions: food, pussy, and nipples. Brassy? Ok. BUT unoriginal? I mean, REALLY!? How many English speaking self-absorbed TV character influenced female bloggers interested in shoes are there in Korea? I mean, I'd like to meet them for shopping, laughs, to take pictures of each other for our blogs, and long walks on the beach to talk about ourselves.

Shit, I'd like to start a club! If you are a lady out there with these interests, please contact me ASAP at koco(at) with CLUB FOR SELF ABSORBED WOMEN OBSESSED WITH SHOES WHO ARE JUST LIKE A CONGLOMERATE OF TV CHARACTERS in the subject line. We can meet once a month at all different locations of interest including Myeongdong nail salons or Doota! in Dongdaemun to shop and discuss recent developments in our (tv-like) realities.

Please go check out Whitey's site because he really never gets any traffic. You can check how he gets an average of 17 viewers per day on his site meter at the bottom of his page. It's kinda sad. So, let's send him some love, misskoco-style, and do something about that lack in his life. And while you're there you might as well tell him all of your thoughts, dreams, wishes, obsessions, and how great his blog is.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Slowly I go through the odds and ends of my adventures. Looking at ticket stubs, photos, and by reading over my journals, I recreate the journey and do my best to compile a complete document of my trip. Here's a little bit of Mongolia with Matt.

While I am quoted here as saying, "I try everything," I wasn't up for the snuff or vodka for breakfast. I stuck to the tea!

**Thanks to Matt for documenting so much of our trip, and for being such a mench.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

love in small packages

The ATM wished me happy birthday. Yes, I'm a year older today. As a really nice, and unexpected gift, I got talked up on Scribblings of the Metropolitician. I got some nice emails, a few phone calls, well wishes and lots of love in those oh so important small packages.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Ok, I usually save shoe content for, but I'm pretty PG over there. So...

A wise woman told me once that the first thing any woman should do after a break up is buy a pair of "fuck-me" heels/boots. These should be the sexiest, possibly the biggest splurge of your life, and the most fabulous shoes ever! You need them, and yes, yes, yes, YES, they will make you feel better. They will hurt your feet more than the pain in your soul, and remind you with every step that you will get through whatever shit you just went through... cause you have the hottest shoes ever made on your feet, and they are going to take you places. You are going places. Slowly, but surely, you will strut away from what-ever-his-name-was and all the memories that went with him.

692849556 6C81A45Bab

So, here's what I'm talking about. I think these are Japanese. They're ridiculous. Whatever. With a little school girl black mini-skirt and and simple tank top.... Oh, I think an outfit like that could cause accidents.

The other thing that helps is a bit of saucy late night shopping. You might call it SWT, Shopping While Tipsy---it's better than drunk dialing (not by much, but it's still better). It's not easy to find shoes of the true "fuck me" variety in Korea. Seriously, everything has a butterfly or a bow on it. I wanna vomit sometimes things are so cute. However, during my SWT adventures I have come a cross a few that, by Korean standards, could work.

691982209 53E0A66E4C

A new store, called MANO Paris, opened in Hyehwa right near my place. They're open late, REAL late, which is REALLY bad for me. I get home and instead of a late night snack, it's a late night pair of 29,000W shoes. I think what I like about this store the most is that they have the same shoe in different colors. I want the same shoe in many colors. I want these wedges in red, in blue, and in black. That would look cute in my life.

**this post is dedicated to V. Smith, the aformentioned "wise woman"