My mother says that only BAD girls swear or use foul language, so if you’re my mother or you believe the same thing then DON’T READ ANY FURTHER cos I’m about to be a BAD girl.

If on the one hand my mother is very much on the straight and narrow then my father on the other hand is, well, on the other hand. He has a condition called ASSfixiation. When he is in the presence of someone who presents the behavioural tendencies of an ass, he tends to have a reaction: reddening of the face, frothing at the mouth and a spewing of unprintables. Medical experts have confirmed no immediate cure but have suggested alternative methods for dealing with it.

My father being my father, has found through experience that the only thing that eases the pain of this ASSfixiation is to inform the said ass that they are an ASSHOLE. Now he doesn’t whisper this under his breath, or do it behind their backs, no, my father being my father, does it directly to their faces. This is how the scene goes: the ass will present the behavioural tendencies of an ass, my father goes red in the face and starts frothing at the mouth, and then let’s a out a BOOM BOOM BOOM ASSHOLE. Conversation over, walk away. Done. Period. And then the world starts spinning again.

If you’ve lived in my household for long enough, you take this scene for what it is, comedy. My father has a condition, he can’t help himself.  Now, everyone, and I mean everyone, has been called an ASSHOLE: starting with the maid, the gardener, the cashier at the grocery store, the teller at the bank, the petrol attendant at the garage, the neighbour,  the cousin, the nephew, the children, the dog, the referee, the TV, the plumber, the electrician, the ex-wives, Thierry Henry and so it goes on and on and on. Don’t get mad, he has a condition, he can’t help himself.

If you’ve lived in my household for long enough you will also have learnt exactly what behavioural traits trigger the ASSfixiation. Being that I’m my father’s daughter, I think, I’m just gonna come straight out with it and say that never before have I come into contact with such a high concentration of ASSHOLES in such a small amount of space and time.

If you already know who you are at this point and feel insulted, don’t get mad, my father has a condtition. If you’re not sure, keep reading. I’m about to channel my father.

To the one who sent me a text message at 11h50pm on Friday night to say “wake up” and then another one at exactly 1:20am on Saturday morning to say “can u text me the bus times from Daegu to Kunsan”. Ummmm, no, I was sleeping……..ASSHOLE. I just needed to get that one off my chest.


To the ones who’ve spent holiday seasons with me, ones who I’ve invited into my home, cooked for, shared a drink with, bought gifts for, given time to but who seem to have developed amnesia, deleted me off facebook farewell events because I’ve taken too long to respond or leave without saying goodbye…….ASSHOLE.

To the ones who say they don’t have girlfriends when actually they do and still call me to meet them downtown for a drink……..…ASSHOLE

To the ones I deleted off facebook but who continue to stalk me…..ASSHOLE

To the ones who think I’m a concierge disguised as a friend…….ASSHOLE

And lastly, my favourites, to the ones I offer a helping hand to but want to take my whole arm, and more……….ASSHOLE

Don’t get mad now, my father has a condition, he can’t help himself.

This seems like a good time to take Kanye West’s advice and use the thug plan and runaway as fast as I can!


A sobering moment

On Friday I was in a food coma. I was not hospitalised luckily, but I was confined to my bed like a beached whale. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t hear, I couldn’t talk and I couldn’t see properly. Everything around me was a blur; I couldn’t even bring myself to turn on the television. I just lay there asking myself why would I do this to ME, why? Why? Why?

Naturally this was self inflicted. Let me backtrack a little to give you some context. Last week I launched the #STOPJANANDA2012 campaign. This campaign’s goal is to essentially get me back to fitting into my jeans without looking like a muffin top, for my triumphant return HOME. And up and until Friday at exactly 5:30pm everything was going swimmingly well. I took my mother’s advice for breakfast, which is to eat only half the portion you would normally eat. So I had half the amount of cereal. And I took Commonsense’s advice for lunch and had chicken salad, an apple and yoghurt every day. Now I’m not gonna lie to you. Dinner time was a little wobbly on some days, I wouldn’t say I fell off the campaign trail but I came pretty close.

And then Friday happened.  On my walk home from school, I passed a pizza place. Firstly the smells wafting from the oven drew me in like a snake charmer’s whistle, and then, the warmth and safe shelter it offered from the cold rain outside found me inside the door, and then finally, I saw George Clooney’s face on the pizza saying, “You want me, take me, have me”. Now we all know I can’t resist George and those bedroom eyes and seductive smile so I wanted him, took him and had him. And boy, did I pay the price for my sluttony. Some people need to hit rock bottom to change their situation and I guess I am one of those ”some people”.  The “during” part of devouring George was sensational but the after effects were disastrous. Just ask the beached whale.

Like I said, luckily for me I wasn’t hospitalised so on Saturday morning I rolled out of bed and saw that my ex-almost-sister-in-law had sent me a healthy recipe to try. Determined to regain some dignity and self respect from the morning- after -guilty-conscience which we tend to feel after a night of sluttony, I scrambled to find some paper to write down the said recipe. Of course, none to be found but what I did find is a notebook from 2006 which I brought with me to Korea. I don’t know why but in that notebook in my own handwriting, amongst other things, I wrote, “At some point we all need to have a sobering moment”.  And at that point I knew the Universe was talking to me, so I sat down and had my sobering moment.

If your body is your temple, and I believe it is, and it happens to house things as precious as your heart and soul, why would you do anything to harm it? This was my sobering question.  Now I don’t want to bore you with stories about the army of deep scars that hide in dark holes in my soul, that come out just to taunt my insecurities, which ultimately leads to the sluttonous behaviour. But I do want to share with you how I came to the decision to put up the GOOD FIGHT for the #STOPJANANDA2012 campaign.

Over a year ago, I went on holiday to the Philippines and experienced one of the greatest lessons people get philosophical about all the time.  A friend and I decided to hire motorbikes and a do a day trip around one of the islands. Now we were warned that only a short stretch of the trip would be tar and the rest would be gravel but we thought, hey, how hard could this be.  Indeed.

I wore sandals, not a good idea. Stones tend to fly when you least expect it. I wore a little summer dress, not a good idea. The sun blazes and burns when you least expect it.  The vegetation scratches and hurts when you ride into it. I don’t know how to dance, not a good thing when your bike is doing the electric slide across the road. I can’t break evenly, not a good idea when you about to cartwheel  head first down a hill. I fell off, I got up, I got wedged between the bike and the side of a cliff, and I got on again. We got lost, we continued. Eventually, gravel turned to sand and road turned to a narrow “walking path”. The open road turned to thick green vegetation enveloping us. I didn’t know where we were or how we got there. I couldn’t see where we were going. But just as it seemed as if we were heading to a precarious place called, nowhere, we happened upon this.

An untouched, naturally beautiful, secluded beach, just for us.  I’ve never seen anything more picturesque. And that’s when my friend turned to me and said, “This is a good metaphor for life. Sometimes you have to go through hardship to reach a place of beauty”.  And we sure did have to travel through a long rough gravel road to find this little piece of heaven. And all through the trip we never complained, never worried, never gave up. Each little thing that had happened all formed part of the greater adventure.

Fast forward to today and I’m thinking about how you have to go through hardship to reach a place of beauty. If I’m going to lead the #STOPJANANDA2012 campaign then I need to put my big girl panties back on and continue on the campaign trail. I have to do the work, have the discipline, go through the tough times and get to my little piece of heaven. My campaign manifesto is to try any and all suggestions given to me.  Today it was the healthy recipe from my ex-almost-sister-in-law.

I have to admit to being like a manic banshee trying to make this and take pics. I am no photographer, not even close. So if the pictures don’t do this meal justice I urge you to try it here. Scroll down the comments for the ingredients.

The ingredients

The salad:

The chicken stir fry:

Put a bit of the chicken stir fry and salad in a lettuce leaf and wrap it up and eat it:

It was healthy & DELICIOUS. It tasted of summer – fresh, zesty and light. It made me feel the same way I felt at the end of that long rewarding day in the Philippines – serenely happy & content.

PS my sister suggested a detox. I have to do it now. Pray for my students.


I come from a family of big eaters.  If you had to ask me what I know for sure about my family, it’s that we love to cook, we love to eat and we love to laugh. And normally those three go hand in hand. My happiest memories revolve around sitting at the kitchen table eating, talking and laughing.  It’s the one place where we are able to engage with each other without there being any drama. Because if there is another thing I know for sure, it’s that when my family gets together, there is bound to be drama.

My grandmother was the doyenne of the kitchen. She could whip up a Michelin star meal from the scraps of nothing. I think she was the Food Whisperer. Ingredients spoke to her. They told her the secrets of which herbs or spices blended the best together, and how much of this goes with how much of that, to extract the tastiest flavours from whatever she was cooking.  When you ate her food you tasted love. This is probably the reason why she had so many visitors. She was always in the kitchen happily feeding everyone, and their strays.

And I’m sure this is the reason why I have such a healthy (side-eye) relationship with food. It represents love and happiness to me.  And yes I am still a slut of an emotional eater which you can read about here. But logic dictates that this all stems from food taking me to such a happy orgasmic place.

Now, if my grandmother was the doyenne of the kitchen, then my father is the king of comedy. He loves a good joke, especially a dirty one. And when he tells a joke, he is the first one to roll his head back and let out a roar so loud and so boisterous that you can’t help but get caught up in the tidal wave of laughter.  But as much as he loves a good joke, what he really loves most in the world is to tease people.  If you enter the Lawler household best you do it with your thick skin on.

So I know for sure that if I had to walk into my father’s house right now, with the current curves that I possess, he would say with a big smile on his face, “Ooh I see you getting nice and JANANDA (pronounced Ja-nun-da.). You must be hitting those pots in South Korea.” Cue for two minutes of earth shaking laughter. Now I don’t know where this term JANANDA comes from, but in my family it means that the cheeks on your face and your butt are getting nice and big and rosy, to be polite. And if you don’t have any curves and you’re looking a little mal-nourished then you can be sure to be called SKINNY MALINKS.



This is SKINNY MALINKS (Yes, that’s me)


When I return home in 5 months time and my father says, “To what do I owe this great honour, that my prodigal daughter has returned.” I don’t want the next words out of his mouth to be “ooh I see you getting nice and JANANDA , you must be hitting those pots in South Korea”.

I want to be somewhere in the middle, somewhere between JANANDA and SKINNY MALINKS. So I took the time today to write down the 5 biggest “white lies” I’m currently feeding myself with regards to food and exercise:

  1. When confronted with anything dessertified or sweet – If you don’t wake up tomorrow morning will you have regrets about not eating this fat slice of chocolate cake? Yes. Then eat it. The answer is always yes.
  2. When deciding on doing exercise – 90% of your weight depends on what you eat and 10% on exercise. (I’m delusional, I make up these stats, please don’t quote me). So, TOMORROW, I will start eating healthy.
  3. Eating makes me happy. I want to be happy. I’d rather be curvaceous and happy then skinny and unhappy.
  4. On deciding to join a gym – I don’t like sweating in front of other people.
  5. When confronted with anything delicious and non-healthy – It’s ONLY 878 calories, if I eat this now then later I’ll have ???Calories or I won’t eat at all. LIES.

I’m an intelligent woman, I know they’re lies but still I listen to them. I need your help. I’ve started the #STOPJANANDA2012 campaign.  I need to put an action kit together. Do you have any ideas? How do I stop listening to the lies? What eating plan or exercise plan works for you?

Leanne Tee

 Dear Lisa Marie,

I wanted to share a few thoughts. Just my thoughts…

Your imbalance is a perfectly good sign. At the risk of sounding loopy, you’re on that yellow brick road. Exploring that unknown road, which at times can mask itself as a dangerous alleyway filled with grisly unwanted friends, is like an initiation. Each step taken cuts another string loose, a spiral of emotions. With each step, the screws are loosened. 

In this face off, balance is improbable.What is probable, is the revelation of a wonderfully creative force.  

Journaling the imbalance is the balance you seek. Synchronicity. Much like life. It is all things in one.The Yin Yang.

And when you see both, the Goddess in you begins to lift her eyes. The corners of her lips begin to turn upwards, revealing the faint beginnings of a smile. The Mona Lisa.

You find yourself staring at the…

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Balance, my friend, where art thou?

I may be pregnant or pre-menopausal or just highly imbalanced. This past week my emotions have been all over the charts but nowhere near the happy spot.  They’ve been lurking in the dark, shadowy alley of anger, irritation and sometimes rage, waiting to pounce and attack. And when they’ve not been in the dark alley of anger then they’ve been visiting the tearful ducts of sadness. Wallowing in a place of nowhere-ness. Knowing and not knowing, sitting in that uncomfortable place in my chest.

I have something to say but the words can’t seem to find the right channel for expressing themselves. Either they want to scream and shout and throw things, like an implosion of the self. Like that time in my other life when I threw my phone at the ex-caveman and it smashed against the wall and I got more upset, not because my phone was in pieces but because it hit the wall and not his head.

Or they want to break down and sob and cry and sniff sniff sniff. Like that time in my other life when I became emotionally unhinged, after the ex-caveman and I signed the death certificate on our relationship, and my sister had to come and put the screws back in. But don’t worry, all my parts are now safe and secure. The current caveman though,  poor thing, is not taking any chances, and is presently in hiding. Whereabouts unknown.

I started the week in a mood with a facebook friends massacre. I pushed that delete button like I was wielding a deadly weapon.  Delete. Delete. Delete. I was ruthless and deadly and it felt so damn good. And I ended the week with the purchase of my plane ticket back home, even though its more than 5 months away.

Balance is avoiding me like that elusive friend who says they gonna call you but never do, they gonna pay you back as soon as they can but never do, or they gonna see you soon but never do.

And I’ve been resisting putting pen to paper because the undercurrents of these emotions are pulling me in all kinds of directions. This blog was supposed to be about one thing and somehow became about something entirely different.

I hope I’m not pregnant or pre-menopausal or emotionally imbalanced. I hope I’m not losing my mind. I hope the caveman returns. I hope Balance stops avoiding me. He must be a man, who else would disappear at the first signs of emotional upheaval. And I hope my thoughts and ideas stop playing see-saw so I can get some sleep tonight.

A new week is about to begin, here’s to hope and finding Balance.