meal plan for working parents

I got it. I ask subscribers to send me $60 a month and in return I send them a box of Ritz crackers to serve their children for dinner. I will also sell Ritz-inspired jewelry.

Cool? Shall we crowd-fund this?

Husband has occasionally wondered “why do you complain about cooking? I have always enjoyed it. It’s a creative outlet and you’re nurturing people.”

And I’m like, yeah, you think that way because it’s not your family job. (His is laundry. I have not really done laundry since 2010.) When you cook for five people and you put in a few hours a day in the kitchen, with a lot of effort getting rejected or if it works, the food (which I call my work) gets eaten so quickly, you don’t love it so much. Five people eat a lot, and it’s not the type of hustle that results in anything lasting….so Ritz cracker earrings? Anyone?

everything will be alright (written 2011)

When things seem impossible, those are the only words I want to hear. You know, it’s funny, whenever I run into a tough situation, I call my mom and I tell her all about it. I probably shouldn’t. My friends tells me not to. She is a worrywart and starts feeling anxious immediately. She usually says the exact last thing I want to hear — either voicing my innermost fear, focusing on all the worst possibilities, or emphasizing the most trivial point of the situation. I call her because I want the type of mom whom I can tell stuff to when I need to. Friends always warn me to keep my mouth shut, and yet, I usually don’t.

This weekend, she’s headed to Turkey. I worried.

But I tell myself that Everything Will Be Alright.

clothing (written in 2012. no longer give an f about clothing)

I really love clothes, and I love shopping for clothes. Now that I’m a mom, any shopping I do is inevitably online, but the time I spend looking through the well-lit photographs on beautiful models is still a pleasurable time. It’s all still lovely until I look at my anemic checking account balance, and the beautiful piece of clothing arrives in the mail and I try it on.

I’m not as bad as Tony Takani’s wife in this great Haruki Murakami short story who hyperventilates when she has to return a dress and I’m not a high-end clothing shopper (I’ve always preferred to be gifted at bargain-hunting than having a lot of money). Now that I have a kajillion children, it is difficult to find time to go to a physical store.

Sadly, Husband and I are going through what I call our FBT time or Fat/Broke/Tired phase. Regarding the fat, what can I say other than, people keep offering me their seat on the subway. When it happens once in a while, I can maintain a good sense of humor about it. When it happens once or twice a day? Ay caramba. Got it, World. Got your memo! But even if I didn’t get that message, the clothing I labor over choosing says the same thing. Because the thing about clothing — it’s designed for people with waists. Oh, I suppose you can wear willowy dresses and tops, but even those are really for tiny people. Like the wind blows the fabric against the body, revealing all, so if you’re skinny, you’re like, “Oh, I accidentally showed you my slender body” etc. etc. If you’re a bit chunkier, you’re like “I swear I’m not expecting…anything.”

I have a closet full of clothing for a life I don’t lead. It’s like I think I’m in the Great Gatsby or something. My real life is time in the office and pieces where spit-up has a chance to be camouflaged.

Anyway, I found this delightful art project by Sarah Lazarovic who painted pictures of expensive items of clothing that made heart go faster, in an attempt to not buy them. I tried to do the same thing, a journal of sketches and words about outfits I loved. I only got one done before I ditched.

sick day (from 2008)

So I finally succumbed to my three-week cold and stayed home, and welcomed Mom and Dad, since they were both home sick too. Mom happily ensconced herself on my couch in front of her Korean soaps we DVR’d for her (she digs this contemporary one where all the handsome men have metrosexual hair and the characters go on for inordinate amounts on mundane things like the nature of sleeping pills or how to best take care of a pet bird, in between family and class clashes) while my father cleaned my kitchen.

It was great to have the company, as I hate staying inside all day. As I was having one of my coughing fits, Mom rubbed my back, just like the good old days of childhood, and gently said, “You know, you’re really getting old,” which only made me choke more b/c I know who to turn to when I need a pep talk. I think the only thing she says that’s funnier is when she practices her words from Spanish class on me. Like she’ll call, and just count to twenty-six in Spanish with her Korean accent. It’s pretty awesome.

By the time they left, I was still a cough-a-holic, but passed a few hours quite amicably in their company and my kitchen looks fabulous.

swish (written in 2011)

You know, there’s a point in pregnancy, when you flip to your side while lying down, where there’s like a two-second delay for the rest of my innards to catch up. It’s such a weird feeling.

working moms (written in 2011)

More intelligent people with access to mad stats have written much on this topic, but I think the lack of women in the upper ranks in law, finance, and film, among other places can’t just be in part due to unfriendly attitudes to ladies — I think we lose female talent because they are the ones who have babies. (This is not to pooh-pooh workplace sexism, because I believe that stuff is still present…as is workplace racism. Oh, the comments I could share! They are delightful.)

Once a woman decides to have a child, it is extremely difficult to climb corporate ladder like a monkey on Aderall. Children demand your time, mental real estate, help, consciousness, imagination. The housework alone that comes with a kid is mind-boggling, so unless you are outsourcing your childrearing, I don’t know that one can put in the minimal 60-plus hour work week and travel demands of the upper crusty gigs around these parts. Higher-rung gigs means long meetings leading to Numb Bum, travel, politics – none of which are my favorite.

I actually need to work — not just for the money, but for the structure, intellectual stimulation, adult time, hours outside the family, house, etc. Of course, children can be a source of tremendous delight, but how many games of peek-a-boo do you have in your day

my dad, baby stalker [old post i found from 2010]

Ships_Oceana_cruise_ship_1 My dad likes going on cruises now, b/c you get to eat and drink obscene amounts and play golf, etc., and May, apparently, is the cheapest time to go, but he refuses because the Baby will be here by then. He says once the Baby is here, he is going to see the Baby every day.

Me: What? So he’s like never going to take a vacation till the kid goes to college?
Mom: He says he wants to see the Baby every day.
Me: Well, what we don’t want him here every day?
Mom: Don’t worry. He’ll be quiet and stay in the corner. He just wants to look at him. He has all these fantasies about the Baby, like he wants to take him to swimming lessons at the Y.

jameela jamil

One of my current favorite shows is “The Good Place.” (i have posted before, but can’t find the link.) When I can’t deal with the world, I will re-watch season one and just bask. Generally, I don’t care about celebs, but this actress, Jameela Jamil, caught my eye because she has activist interests and is so funny about her feminist point of view, I thought, why not check it out.

From podcast GirlBoss, I learned that in the UK, she was a famous DJ and music tastemaker, dogged by paparazzi, and she had some health issue that caused her to gain 75 pounds and was always in the papers for being formerly beautiful, which offended to the point where she began an online “i weigh” campaign where she invites women to list all their accomplishments (career, survivor, struggle, not just resume highlights) instead of their weight. In her senior year of high school, she broke her back in a car accident and had to heal in bed for one year. By the time she was healed, everyone she knew had graduated and she could not bear to go back to school.

She had a health scare where she thought she had cancer and made a bucket list. Once her diagnosis was benign, she decided to follow through with living outside her comfort zone. She bought a ticket to live abroad, and through her UK entertainment experience, got an agent. She auditioned for two gigs and booked both. One was to host a magic show in Vegas where she would watch magicians all day or “the Good Place.” With no acting experience, she decided to pursue “the Good Place,” since that choice seemed to be more in line with her post-cancer scare philosophy to take risks. (Jees, that must have been stressful as h*ll) She learned on the jobs and sobbed when Season one wrapped, completely convinced she had been fired.

At the conclusion of the podcast interview, she says “O’ve been thin, rich, and famous, and I wasn’t happy” (referring to her time in the UK). That’s what Jim Carrey says all the time too, that fame and wealth do not make you happy. I believe them. (However, I would also like to be rich, famous, and successful, so that i can have a podcast, and say “oh my god, you guys, it’s so true, it doesn’t matter, you guys…”

Anyway, I’m here for this actress’ feminist ways. Read here for her very funny take of it.

too many zooz

In these incredibly anxiety-provoking times, I’ve been turning to music. I’m seeing a lot of live music and trying to discuss new bands, in order to remind myself that humans can do cool things. Humans can be cool. This is a band someone in IT recommends, and I love it. I blast it when I am in deep despair over the state of our country, to chase the badd juju away. It’s like burning sage. And it’s not that it takes place of taking action, but sometimes, I need a breather in order to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Here’s an audio clip of one of their albums and this is what they look like in subway stations.

“the affair”

Every day at lunch, I see an ad featuring the show’s leads on Citibike terminals with sullen, troubled faces and think “white people having problems.” That’s all the ad says to me. I’ve never seen this show. Heard it’s good. It’s just that I have been trained to see diversity as normal from the old theater days of yore (since those are the only shows I could get cast on), that it looks unnatural to me.