The perfect bite....once you add some hot sauce.

Last week I had Korean BBQ (LA has the highest population of Korean’s outside of Korea, so you can imagine our Koreatown is pretty top notch) with a friend I’ve known since first grade.

And I’ll be honest here, he’s gotten kind of fat.

And it kind of turned the mirror on me to how much weight I’VE gained!

When you’ve known someone since the days you were pissing in your bed (without the help of alcohol) you see them go through a lot of transformations.

Both physically and mentally.

I’ve seen him go from class clown, sit in the back and make fun of everyone to hard ass, humorless marine to religious schoolteacher!

Vegetarians rejoice, we saved the onions just for you!

I’ve also seen him go from rail-thin swim hours a day to over 200 pounds, let’s have two Burger King Whoppers each and watch “Full Metal Jacket” the NIGHT BEFORE he was to receive the call to report to Marine Boot Camp!

I remember snapping a picture of the poor guy the morning he shipped off. He was kind of terrified, still maintaining his consta-smirk, giving me a “wish me luck” wave. Poor guy wanted just a little more time to get into shape and maybe watching a war themed horror movie the night before wasn’t ideal.

It tasted like kimchi...

Then he came back from the Marines. Something had changed. It was liked they had sucked the personality right out of him. The good news was, they also sucked out all the fat!

I was bummed. I felt like I had lost him to the system.

Then over the years, he married a sweet Ecuadorian lady, and found God.

During his 3rd metamorphasis, he shunned his previous ways, scolded me for swearing and became very judgemental.

A few years teaching ingrates in East LA must have mellowed him out, because my old friend is back! He’s now the perfect combo of all the things he’s been over the years.

I guess being told to “F*** Off!” by your 8th Grade students on a daily basis takes a bit of your humanity away.

Now, the two of us can go pig out on pounds of meat and then unncessarily get frozen yogurt and sit and make fun of everyone (I’ve probably learned most of my mockery skills from this man), just like the old days.

Except, in the old days we didn’t know what Manboobs were…

Korean Pancake - delicious!