Where are we?

Since moving to Chicago three years ago, we haven’t really had the chance to visit home for more than a long weekend. Even the time between quitting our jobs and moving to Korea was only a week and a half! That’s part of the reason why we’ve been so incredibly thankful to have this summer to relax here in Detroit. We came back from Korea on June 1st, almost three months ago! The time has flown by so incredibly fast. What have we been doing?

Working, spending time with family, hanging out with our cats, being a little lazy, and working on our apartment.

Just this last weekend, I randomly decided to strip and refinish the doorway from our living room to kitchen. It took me about 9 hours of work, but turned out awesome. We’ve cleaned it from top to bottom and organized it in all of the ways we haven’t been able to within the last two years. I also touched up chips in the walls. Whew! … and that was all AFTER we put together our new couch and bookshelves from Ikea. Yeah… Team Domestic Handy-ship!!

I guess I just kind of wanted to give a nice text update to let everyone know we haven’t fallen off of the face of the earth. After everything that was going on, we really needed to take some time for ourselves… and I guess that meant putting this blog on hiatus. However, I have about a MILLION pictures I haven’t posted from Korea and Thailand. Expect random photo updates of those things, in addition to what we’re doing in Chicago.

For now… Wish me luck on the job front!

Hope all is well,
Sam and Ryan


Buy Buy Buy // Love Love Love

Hello friends and family!

Yes, the time for this entry has come. This is the one where I post a great deal of shameless plugs for myself. Are you ready? Great, because so am I!

I’ve finally organized my shirts and put them up on the internet for sale. Why should you buy one?

1) You love Bill Murray and/or Steve Buscemi.
2) You have fantastic taste in t-shirts.
3) You love colors that are awesome.
4) You would like to support an unemployed artist currently performing menial tasks for lunch and gas money money.

(Click images to see them larger!)

Guy’s Murray tee is printed on Ash Seafoam Gray, Girl’s are printed on Aqua.

A better look at the Ash Seafoam Gray.

The Guy’s and Girl’s Buscemi shirts are both printed on Gold.

You can pick one up over at my Etsy account for $22!


If you don’t have an Etsy, but still want one.. Shoot me an email and we’ll work something out! Sammykaye(at)gmail.com

Okay, did I guilt you enough? I had to get it out of my system, I’m sorry.

We’ve been back in the States for almost 3 weeks now, and I’m finally starting to get a little bit of work. Aside from a few small odd jobs, I’ve been helping a friend of my mom’s who makes pottery. It’s been so awesome not only getting out of the house (hah!) and making money, but being able to work with an artist. I haven’t done much creatively since moving to Korea, so I’m thankful to be back in the swing. It’s making me feel motivated to work on some things of my own. :)

There’s one more thing I wanted to post about, that I’m probably going to be mentioning a lot in the future.

(T-Shirt and Photo by Threadless, Awesome by Natalie)

My incredibly awesome and talented friend (or faux sister) Natalie of BAKE AND DESTROY has started up a new project that I think is pretty amazing. After losing a close friend to cancer, she’s spent a great deal of time raising money and selling baked goods for charities out to kick cancer’s ass. Specifically GRIND FOR LIFE.

Now she’s taken that a step further by starting an Ebay account for charity auctions. She explains, “My name is Natalie and I hate cancer. As the founder of BakeandDestroy.com I’ve made it my mission to help those with cancer by any means necessary – bake sales, online auctions, you name it.” Yes, awesome. All of the items listed are donated, so 100% of the proceeds will go to the listed charities.

I donated two of my shirts and one has already sold! I’m SO excited to ship it off tomorrow. If you want to buy one of my Buscemi shirts AND have all of the proceeds go to charity… Head here: http://myworld.ebay.com/bakeanddestroycancer/

If you make or have something awesome that you’d like to donate, let me know! I’ll probably be updating about different things she has up for auction that I think people might be interested in.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. It means a lot. We’ve all been effected by cancer in one way or another, so I’m really proud of my friend for doing something awesome about it. It’s a nice reminder that we can kick cancer’s ass if we try.

I hope everyone is well!
Sam and Ryan


A few pictures from our last trip to Myeongdong, which is always insane and packed with both Koreans and tourists. This is the place to go for shopping and street food. :)

Kyle in Namdaemun

While making plans to leave Korea I had a weird realization that we may never see this place again. It’s nice to think that we might come back to visit some day, but the reality is: we want to see A LOT of places. There are so many new countries we want to see, it’s only realistic to assume we may never come back to Seoul. I felt this tiny bit of anxiety, wanting to see the few things we hadn’t already saw. Racking our brains to think of new things that we could do, while fitting in all of the old things. In reality, we had done a lot while there. We saw almost everything recommended to us. So really, in our final weekend the most important thing was seeing all of our favorite spots around Seoul to bid them farewell.

We definitely spent the most time throughout the week in Hongdae, home to most of the artists and musicians, one million cafes, delicious food and lots of oddities.

We were also really lucky to be joined by our good friend Kyle:

I met Kyle while in school at Columbia. We were friendly acquaintances, but became good buddies when we both decided to teach in Korea. Ryan and I have been so thankful for him being there! It was such a good connection to home and we discovered that we totally love each other. I’m confessing it here, Kyle: We love you.

So of course, we were especially excited when Kyle decided to come into Seoul to spend our last weekend in the country with us.

So we laughed (cringed?) at this shirt.

Oogled graffiti.

We wandered over to see crazy Myeongdong and Namdaemun Market, which Kyle hadn’t visited before.

Cute or ridiculous?

I’m really not sure.

Namdaemun Market was crazy, but my boyfriend is crazier. See him?

Or is Kyle crazier?

Maybe just more American Prideful.


Sad fish.

I liked this couple.

We ended our trip to Namdaemun market with my favorite street food: pineapple on a stick!

Tomorrow I’ll post some pictures from Myeongdong :)

As for today, I just finished applying to school for this fall. Yay? We made the quick decision when we came home that I should probably go to school in the fall to complete some prerequisites I still have before I begin grad school. The positive part is that I’ll be able to take some art classes as well! Woo! Now we’ll just have to wait to hear back. While I’m a little bit excited, I was also looking forward to not being in school for another year… :D

That’s all for tonight! I hope everyone is well.

Sam (and Ryan)

I like food!

Since we’re back in Michigan, we want to take advantage of our favorite things and places before we head back to Chicago. Remember last time when I said the best part about being back was food? Because seriously, it’s food. So our first Saturday morning here, we didn’t waste any time in waking up early and heading over to one of my favorite places: the Eastern Market. Somehow Ryan had made it through 31 years of life without visiting! Insane. We had been waking up around 5am every day since arriving, so it wasn’t difficult making it there early the morning.

We ended up picking up a ton of delicious fresh produce: roma tomatoes, baby spinach, peaches, a loaf of whole wheat bread and fresh mozzarella cheese. Here is what I had for lunch the next day:

The most delicious BLT I have ever had in my life. With fake bacon, of course.

The aftermath.

Yum. It’s nice to be home.

Home is where construction is.

There is so much that I haven’t updated about. I keep apologizing from my extended absences from blogging, but not continuing regularly as promised. From this point, I’m hoping to update more because I have a lot more time on my hands! We’re back in America.

Whaaaat? Back in America? Weren’t we supposed to stay until August?

Yes. We were. But there were some things we needed to take care of at home, so we decided to come back a little early. We then decided to come home EVEN earlier when my school went crazy and threatened to not pay me for five weeks worth of work. And then things got a little crazier the following day when they claimed they were only telling me they didn’t have to pay me, to encourage me to work harder. They promised they would pay me something, but refused to tell me how much until after my last day. Oh, well that changed everything, right? It made little sense to continue to work for a company that had proven itself repeatedly unreliable and untrustworthy, what with them holding my final paycheck over my head (which was only the cherry in the Shirley Temple of crazy).

When I initially told them we would be leaving early (A MONTH in advance) they were really supportive. They asked me to stay longer to participate in an event they were throwing and I agreed. Until three weeks later they decided to pull this incredibly pleasant stunt. We were faced with a decision: We could either leave ASAP and forgo being paid or we could stay for three more weeks (with little money) and still most likely not get paid. We chose the former. And now we’re here. And really, we’re happy. Our experience in Korea was absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t have changed it at all. Working for a trustworthy company would have been nice, but we made it out alive!

We were really excited to come home. :)

Our first glimpses of North America one week ago (June 1st).

We stopped in to see Gordon, a friend of mine from High School, at work yesterday. He asked us what the worst part of being back was. So far, I think it’s been being able to understand what EVERYONE around you is saying. It feels like too much and we both seem to experience second-hand embarrassment far too frequently. ^^ When he asked what the best part was, we both immediately agreed: FOOD! Now… I love Korean food. I LOVE Korean food. I do. But… Koreans eat a lot of meat, so it was really difficult for me to enjoy a nice big meal. When we came back here, we knew where we wanted to go…

RED ROBIN! Heck yeah! This is America. Big, fat, crazy America. With lots of crap on the walls, lights, loud music, burgers as big as your face and endless french fries. This place is sensory overload and we never noticed more than we did on this trip. One thing was for sure: I needed an Arnold Palmer. Korea’s lemonade is always carbonated and the iced tea is most often made from Nestea mix. Gross. It was nice to finally sink my straw into my favorite summer drink!

Ryan went all the way and ordered a root beer float for five. Seriously… Look how big that thing is.

Burger! BURGER!

This has been such a delicious week. We’re still getting used to the time change. The fact that I’ve made it to 10:30pm without passing out is a total feat! For the record, I’m planning on continuing this blog, though we aren’t in Seoul anymore. There are so many pictures and stories I haven’t posted yet, and I plan on catching up as well as giving updates about what we’re doing here. Maybe even incorporating some art things into the blog. Who knows! The point is, I don’t plan on quittin’ just because we’ve moved.

To end this long blog post, a moment of zen:

Bob Jo’s frozen custard. A downriver favorite. Now we’re home.

Lots of love,
Sam and Ryan

Night Walk

A few pictures from a short night walk we took around our neighborhood. We’re trying to walk around more (as if we don’t walk enough) to take pictures of things we’ve wanted to take pictures of for the last 9 months… We’ve got three weeks to do it! Sorry the focus is a little lacking!

Tonight Ryan and I had a nice stereotypical date night. We split a pizza, spent an hour at the arcade, and saw Iron Man 2. I got to oogle Scarlet Johannson (in a skin-tight black body suit) and laugh at (with?) Sammy L for like, two hours. We so rarely went to the movies in Chicago (or Detroit for that matter) and we go pretty often here. However, the types of movies have completely changed. We don’t really have a wide variety to pick from, hence watching things like Iron Man and 2012. But… I do love a brainless action movie from time to time.

Otherwise, everything is alright here. We’re waiting on the edge of our seats to hear back from the airline about whether or not O-Renji can come with us on the flight. If they won’t let him on board, we need to find another airline that will ASAP. Our travel agent seems positive, but we’ve been waiting to hear back for about a week and we’re running out of time. Leaving him isn’t an option, no matter how crazy he is. Maybe I shouldn’t publish that on the internet, in case Japan’s Airlines are reading this. In case they are: Hi, JAI. Our cat is perfectly sane and normal. No, he doesn’t chew on his legs. No, he doesn’t sit like a person with his tongue hanging out. He doesn’t talk too much. He can’t freakishly jump five feet into the air. It’s cool. Let him on your airplane. Thanks.

Tomorrow we’re going to start organizing and getting ready to pack. I have a feeling there will still be a last minute rush of stuffing things into suitcases or boxes to ship… But I can pretend we’ll be completely prepared, right?

I hope all is well! Everyone enjoy your Saturday morning. Work as little as possible. Sleep as long as possible.

Lots of love,
Sam and Ryan