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the thankful post

I read Camie over at Wild Spirit all the time (favorite blog alert)…

…and one of my favorite things that she does is her happy list posts. Things that make her happy on a day to day basis, which is something I don’t do enough in my life — acknowledging how good I have it. So, in honor of the amount of turkey and potatoes and pie I’ll be eating tomorrow, I decided to put together

.a thankful list.

Because I am really, really, thankful for a lot of crap.

1. the Boowho gives me a reason, everyday, to keep going, to be a better person, to be the best person I can be for him, for his life.

Tada, it's a giant hole.

2. Coffee, and the Keurig machine that my mother donated to my office so I won’t spend as much on coffee.

3. Singing. Singing with my Dad. Snapchatting Car-aoke to GoldDust and Poof. My out of tune guitar. Music of all sorts.

Concert Singing with the Paternal

Concert Singing with the Paternal

4. the amazing, astounding, irreplaceable group of ladies: Alto, CoSi, FunSized, GoldDust, Poof, and SoccerGirlfor being the best supporting, texting, BFFing, shopping, coffee-ing, snapchatting group of girls I have the privilege to know and love.

All dressed up

5. Writing. Journals and blogs and letters and tweets and everything that gets me out of my head and onto something that listens and responds and accepts.

6. Photos, cameras, snapchat, and the DSLR my sister gave me that I don’t know how to use, and the giant arsenal of memories that I have because of all those things. Mainly the memories, because of all the other things on the list. But it’s nice to have a tangible memory too.

7. That family group of peoplethat I appreciate more and more the older I get — how lucky I am to have a loving, weird, dysfunctioning functional family.

8. Soccer. I don’t even care anymore that I’m not really that good, and probably definitely never will be. I have fun playing, and I have amazing friends that have come out of this team and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

9. this $1 zit stuff that actually really works. It’s make up of some sort. It kind of stings. But it totally works. Yay, working! Yay, clear skin!

10. Snow, and winter, and the whole, yay, magical season. I should be like this year round – more appreciative and thankful for everything around me. I really should, and I mean to be. But ugh, you guys. The snow falls, and it’s all magical and beautiful and shiny and I don’t even mind  that I live in Michigan and everyone, and I mean everyone drives like a chatchnugget. DON’T EVEN MIND. Michigan, you’re gorgeous.

 

On that note. Here’s to an excellent and overstuffed Thanksgiving tomorrow, for whoever and however everyone is celebrating.

Oh. But.

-1. Christmas Music. I am not thankful for Christmas music until after Thanksgiving is over.

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I have not observed which way toilets flush yet.

So, I’m writing this blog from my iPhone and my view looks like this:
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But since I haven’t blogged since leaving for the grand adventure, I figure I’d fill you all in on something that applies to all of us:

Airplane bathrooms.

I’m not talking about the mile high club or anything, because ew, I’m on a family vacation but more of one of the:

Adventures of Boo and L.A

Plane ride 1 of 4

Boo decides he has to pee. We walk to the bathroom. He doesn’t like the size of the bathroom.

Two hours later, as we rush to catch our next flight, Boo manages to put most of his pee into the toilet. He only misses when he turns to tell me, “I almost didn’t make it in the pot!”

Plane 2 of 4

Boo observes Mommy peeing in the pot. Decides it’s not scary until we flush.

The noise is scary.

Cue rushing off the plane to a bathroom, part deux.

Plane 3 of 4

Boo finally pees on the plane, because we ate on the plane.

Boo: Where’s the pee go?

Me: Out of the plane!

Boo: In the sky?

Me: Yup.

Boo: …is rain airplane pee??

Plane 4 of 4

Boo’s fear of the unknown has been defeated. He attempts to push all the buttons in the tiny bathroom.

Boo: what’s this do??

Me: Don’t open the door, we need to pee first!

Boo: what’s this do??

Me: Don’t call the stewardess!

Boo: what’s this do?

Me: face turns white as pee is sucked out of me at 30,000 feet.

Happy trails.

Dad, I love you. You’re the best.

*Update: well, due to a not really dramatic at all turn of events, I ended up not reading/saying this at Dad’s party last night. But it was still a lovely party, and I sang some early music with my father’s old music group. And I printed up said speech for Father to read, so he’ll get to see it.

 

Let’s be honest, I probably would have cried. 🙂

 

I need to write a speech for my father’s retirement party next week. It’s on Tuesday. I have nothing prepared so far. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to thank people, or tell an anecdote, or talk about his beard, but I’m completely lost. My father is the biggest role model I have, or probably will ever have in my life. So you can understand that I do not want to fuck this up.

“You’re a great writer, bunso.” My mother tells me. “You can do it. It will be fine.”

But the last time I gave a public speech was on the deliciousness of Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in a public speaking class – I talked too fast and didn’t bring any frozen custard in to share. I got an A- on the speech and an F on sharing custard.

What exactly does one talk about when their father retires?

I remember the speech my father told at my grandfather’s memorial service. It was a story about camping with his family when he was a kid. It rained, he told us, the entire trip. And when it stopped raining, and the skies opened up, he said that my grandfather pointed up to the sky and proclaimed “BLUE SKIES!” I can picture my father in the church, telling this story, pointing to the ceiling and picturing that blue sky. I can picture my grandfather, way before my time on earth, standing in this weather and pointing to the sky.

My Grandpa

My Grandpa

That story made an impact.

I want to make an impact.

When most kids are 11, families take normal vacations. Cottages up north, Disneyland, the Outer banks. Beaches, or resorts, or other family photogenic moments.

When I was 11, my family took our first family bike trip.

200 some odd miles in a week and a half, across Door County, Wisconsin.

As you might know, my father has been a life long bicyclist. Maybe you’ve seen him biking home from Holland, his pants tucked into his socks, because knickers are cool and pants caught in bicycle chains are not.

The last day of the trip, it rained. I was small, and 11, and complained a lot, so it wasn’t easy for me, which probably made it more difficult for the rest of the family. But that day was the last day of our trip, meaning we had to get to where we needed to be.

It rained.

We had three flat tires.

We biked sixty miles.

We made it to our destination, wet, tired, discouraged. I vaguely remember stopping at a restaurant for dinner and having a bowl of clam chowder put in front of me. I may have dozed off into the soup.

I remember very clearly through my haze of tired muscles and muddy clothes, my father and my mother talking.

My mother was telling my father that we were lucky we made it, that the kids were ready to fall over, that it’s a good thing we didn’t miss this boat.

To which my father, who was in much better spirits than the rest of us, replied, “But we made it, and what a journey it was getting here!”

Congratulations, Dad, on your retirement. You made it, and what a journey it was getting here!

I love my dad.

I love my dad.

Your problems v. My problems.

The other day, VS and I were g-chatting and she started sending me articles about kids, which is a fact I’m probably not going to share with my mother*.

But she found some interesting articles about why kids get all angry and tantrum-y and throw-y and crying-y and other fun not really but sort of adjectives which always make you reminiscent for when they were so little and adorable and quiet.

Because yes, my child is growing up.

My kid is in preschool now — which means he has friends and he has homework and the things he says are more adorable than ever. For example, while we were filling out Valentine’s last month, BabyDaddy wrote a name in “Irish” writing and…

It’s comical. It’s hysterical.

But mostly, it reminds of damn, how different it is to be a kid.

If you are a parent, and you haven’t read this article (that one right there, because it’s a link. Click that noise. Or this noise. Here it is again.), you need to read up ASAP.

Because shit’s about to get put into perspective for you.

VS and I continued to chat the other day, about our lives and our problems and our emotional stress and the fact that I have so many knots in my back because I cannot destress for the life of me.

Things that we were worrying about at the time of our conversation:

  • The future
  • Relationships
  • Friendships
  • Money
  • What to wear out
  • If the laundry is done
  • Where exactly I should put the bed in my room to not block the heat register OR the cold air return
  • How high to put the heat in the house
  • How much gas is in the car
  • What to cook for dinner
  • Work
  • The future, again

The kid list is a titch bit different. Because while VS and I were talking, the following problem happened:

Boo: Mommy, Quincy told me he doesn’t want to be my best friend anymore!

Me: He told you that?? What did he say?!

BFFs, maybe.

BFFs, maybe.

Boo: GRRRRRR.

Oh, to be young.

And oh, to follow me on twitter.

 

*Said mother is constantly wondering when the financially and emotionally stable VS is going create something other than art.

I have a large vocabulary, but not much dignity.

Lately, I’ve been obsessed over this new app that @MooseMichaels convinced me to try out. It’s another one of those “words” and “letters” and “logic” combined games, which means, I’m pretty good at it, and Moose won’t challenge me anymore. It also reminded me off the other day when the “Words with Friends” commercial came on and Scrabble egged their office. Oh, and also, of back in the day when WWF was still installed on my iPhone.

Let me take you back to those days (six months ago):

I’m pretty good at Words with Friends. I was a nerd as a small child. I read. A lot. If I had a smart phone as a child, I would just be playing “words.” Note that the “with friends” is missing.

That’s me, kicking theArena’s butt, 4 words in.

Feel free to challenge me. You can be my friend.

At one point, while playing VS, I got a seven letter word which basically allowed me to vanquish her.

TWIBILL.

Thirty seconds after I played my word, she calls me.

“Twibill is not a fucking word! What the fuck is a twibill?”

“It’s totally a word.”

“Yeah, right.”

“It’s an axe.”

“Why the fuck do you know what a twibill is?”

Silence.

“You made this shit up.”

Silence.

“It is NOT an axe.”

“Actually, a double bladed axe.”

“Why do you know what a twibill is?”

“…I used one as a weapon when I played World of Warcraft.”

VS is silent this time.

“You may have won this game. But you have lost your dignity.”

And the challenge is on as Nathan Triple Name becomes the first to take on L.A. and her nerdiness.

Game 1: L.A. – 422, Triple Name – 261

Game 2: L.A. – 466, Triple Name – 386

GAME ON, BITCHES.

Oh, Charlie Brown

I’m a poor single woman so I live with my brother. Yes, a bit awkward to explain when I’m on a date, but I’m saving money by doing so. Others can deal with it.

Recently, it was my brother’s birthday. As a joke, my mother purchased him a life-size stuffed brown Labrador. (It was NEVER actually alive)

We both have been wanting a pet, but it hasn’t been the right time for either of us. Clearly, a stuffed animal is the next best thing. And I think it would be frowned upon if we got Tomagotchis.

We wanted to be clever so we named him Charlie Brown, and now he has become part of the family.

Charlie is still getting use to his new home. He tests his boundaries and is no stranger to breaking the rules.

20121204-114342.jpg

Who says a pup can’t play the piano?

20121204-114108.jpg

We can’t keep him off the counters.

20121204-114030.jpg

He’s a Peeping Tom and can make our guests uncomfortable.

Sometimes having a fake pet is just as difficult as having a real one.

…Oh, Charlie Brown.

One fish, big fish, sister hates fish.

Once upon a time, I was a baby. I remember nothing of those days. My first memory came from when I was two years old. But apparently, things happened before the point where I can begin to remember. I can hardly fathom this, as I am so important, but whatever. Things happened. For example:

We are on a beach. I am one. My sister is three. My father is swimming with us, and it’s that time of the year where seaweed and fish come up on the shore of Lake Michigan. There are pictures of me picking up seaweed with this disgusted look on my face like WTF have you gotten me into, parentals?

The story goes from there that I was on the shore with my mom, and my sister is splashing in the water with my father. All of a sudden, he comes running out of the water. Apparently, a fish saw a mole on his back, thought it was food, and bit it.

He ran out of the water with the fish hanging onto his back.

…and my sister was never the same.

This is how I picture the event to have happened.

From that day on, my sister was afraid of fish. Being Asian, this was not a good fear to have. She’d close her eyes at parties where there were whole fish being served and I’d lead her past, lest she need to look the dead fish in his creepy slimy eyes.

At one point growing up, when she and I got into a fight about cleaning, I took a frozen fish we had in the freezer and chased her around the house with it. I think I might have tied it to her doorknob for a period of time too. That was a rocky point in our sisterhood.

Even at Christmas one year, when someone was given a giant stuffed fish pillow, she freaked out whenever I tossed it at her. My sister is terribly afraid of fish.

Which leads to my amazement at the following event:

We’re driving home from the Michigander, and we pass through this little town called Kalkaska, MI. It’s tiny. The Chamber of Commerce isn’t even open. VS all of a sudden is thrilled.

Look at that,” she tells me. She suddenly is veering to the right hand side of the road.

I glance out the window. “What about it?” I ask her.

There’s a giant fish.” She’s in awe of it.

“…You’re pulling over?” I ask, confused.

It’s a giant fish!

I’m not sure what to do now. “…But…you’re afraid of fish.”

But,” she argues.  “how often do you get to take a picture with a giant fish?!”

Well, hello there, fishy.

Point taken, dear sister.

Epilogue:

We are driving to Cadillac to meet our parents. We assume we will beat them, because Dad drives the speed limit, and terrible Asian drivers (i.e. VS) do not. However, we arrive after them. It’s a strange thing.

“What took you so long?” Dad asks.

“We’ve been here HOURS,” Mom adds.

“Well,” VS begins. “Didn’t you see the giant fish?!”

 

This doesn’t REALLY need a witty title, does it?

*See Update! Yay, Updates!*

I hope you’ve read Lady B’s latest before heading over here. The first part sounds like me and my inability to write anything good. Writer’s Block Alert. Thank God I’m on a computer and just hit delete. In paper terms, I’m sure I would’ve killed a tree or seven already.

In fact, after reading Lady B’s blog, I realized the frustration of my life and did this:

Fuck you words, words, words

“I am EXACTLY what you are feeling!” I then proceeded to text Poof about the post.

Nothing I write sounds good. I may have chuckled at what I’ve written when I’ve first written it, but then I read it again a day later…

It’s complete crap. I’m ashamed of it.

Therefore, I present to you:

Last weekend was spent in St. Louis, MO, where I was born. It was my grandma’s 90th birthday. The whole family got together and it was a very nice celebration. My grandma only criticized me once, mostly because I have an adorable child for her to love more than me.

VS also came in for the weekend, which meant we got to spend lots of time dishing about how amusing our family is.

“I remember when we were little, and we aspired to be our parents,” I tell her. “We were so young and innocent.”

“That’s when our parents were cool,” VS responds. “And when we were delusional.”

“Remember when I told you I wanted to be as tall as Dad and you told me Dad was too tall and I’d be a freak?” I remember fondly. “And you said you only wanted to be as tall as Mom.”

“Mom was tall then.” VS is getting a little grumpy now.

When L.A. was five and VS was seven…

L.A.: “I’m going to be as tall as Daddy.”

VS: Daddy is too tall. You’ll be weird looking. I just want to be as tall as Mommy.

When L.A. was twelve and VS was fourteen…

L.A.: “I’m taller than you.”

VS: “You are not. We are the same height.”

Dad: “Typically, younger siblings do grow to be taller than older siblings.”

*Silence*

VS: “I hate that you were born after me.”

L.A.: “I’m so tall!”

When L.A. was sixteen and VS was eighteen…

L.A.: “I’m taller than you!”

VS: “I hate you. You’re annoying.”

L.A.: “Remember when you wanted to be taller than mom? Well, you are!”

VS: “Mom, are there ANY tall people in your family??”

Mom: “Oh, sure!”

VS: “WHO?”

Mom: “My uncle was 5’6”!”

.And THAT, my friends is why my family doesn’t get together that much and also why I haven’t blogged.

*Update

Since my writer’s block has been beating the shit out of me, I decided to instead paint my frustration. And that spawned a Zazzle. And a t-shirt. Which once I get, I will post a picture of me wearing it, and hopefully, it’s irony will kill my writer’s block.

Writer's Block

Frustration via Cartoon.

Find the Writer’s Block Shirt HERE.

Find our new STORE (and by store, I mean, the one T-Shirt) HERE.

Follow us on the TWAT (because three shameless plugs is better than two) HERE.

Love me more by commenting. Which isn’t really a shameless plug if you were going to do it anyway.

In which I actually know all the word’s to Canada’s National Anthem.

My mom is originally from the Philippines. I’m sure you know that by now. Which means that she was born there and she grew up there and she also has a large amount of family there. Not here. Although, a great number of them have come to Canada…which is super close by.

Translation: Road Trip!

image

Hi, it’s my mom and me in Canada!

Really.

I was going to post about this before, but then we actually came to Canada, and let’s be honest —

Who can even think of posting when Dudley Do Right is traipsing down the street singing “Oh Canada” at the top of his lungs?

Am I right? Eh?

I’m totally kidding. Granted, while I’m in this fair country, my money is worth less, I hear millions of languages, and so many men walking past are talking about hockey that I might pee myself. But there is really no time to blog.

Plus, since Toronto is uber multicultural, my mom keeps making friends.

Strange Filipino folk, at the boat we went on, on the island we were on, at the gas station, in line for the effing bathroom…

Stranger(In my Mom’s native tongue): Oh Em Gee, you are the Philippines,  yeah?

Mom: I don’t talk to strangers. I’m white with a great tan.

Me (in English): Mom. You aren’t even that tan for an Asian. They know. They all know.

Mom (in Tagalog now): Hey! Yeah! I’m the Philippines too! Where are you from, who do you know, how strange that we have found each other in this corner of the world!

Next post. How I got another cousin.