Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

brooklyn museum of art

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Just for a fun breather, I thought I’d take the kids to the Brooklyn Museum. I need art, once in a while, god especially in the wacky version of the world according to the news.

The kids do very well with conceptual art, particularly video installations, and they have tons of experience with children’s museums of course.(Is this because they love watching TV?)

Wonder Twin Girl got yelled at for sitting on an installation that looked like a bench. This began the guardians trailing us room to room. (You know, I really don’t blame them. I felt momentarily concerned, but then that stopped quickly.) And when I turned around in the Egyptian exhibit, I found Wonder Twin Boy leaning on an ancient Egyptian tomb with both hands spread in a classic high-five spread. This was the point in our museum tour, I announced to my gang “okay, time to go!”

bodhisattva, teacher edition

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Last Friday, First Son’s class were scheduled to perform at the schools Chinese New Year concert. He spent the time with his classmates, learning the song lyrics and the moves, but when it came time to line up, he burst into tears and stuck with me. He said he both wanted to be in the show and he also didn’t. I can absolutely understand that, and I push him sometimes and not others (he’s a somewhat tentative fellow). I told him, “Look, dude, I know you. You’re scared now, but when we go home, you are going to have regret. When your friends are on stage, you will suffer FOMO [he did not know what i was talking about]. Let’s just go backstage and see what it’s like. No need to decide now”. We went backstage where the other kids were cheerfully putting on red headbands, and I explained the situation to the teacher who was terrific. She hugged him, asked him if he could help out this other kid who was out all week. Once he nodded, she shooed me away, and he was in the show. He’s not a natural performer or anything but he was on stage without throwing up or weeping, performing the same steps as his peers. I was very pleased. I would like him to have experiences where he overcomes nerves, experiences being brave, so that it’s less daunting the next time to situation calls for him to step out of his comfort zone, so I thanked the teacher.

She said, “I always want to ensure all the children feel confident that they can and should try new things!” It occurred to me that she felt love for all her students. I was very moved that for some reason and was reminded of the teachers in the Sandy Hook tragedy who tried to shield their students. That, I thought, is true bodhisattva. Teachers love their students, people who are not even their flesh and blood. I have enjoyed the love of many teachers, so I have no idea why I have never noticed this quality before.

selena gomez

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

This young singer actress is so lovely. Why do her songs stink so hard? All these songs are cranked out by factories. Anyway, so why not send her a good solid catchy tune?

viola davis

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

I read this wonderful profile of Viola Davis where she just gave it everything. She was so honest, discussing her poverty, talking about what she has gone through — she has a drive to share it all, an urge to be authentic and real publicly. It’s so inspiring and makes me want to be the same in every day life.

And then, I remember, oh yeah, I’m not an Oscar-winning actress with my own major network TV show.

The rules are different, capiche?

New Museum: Pipolotti Rist: Pixel Forest

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

On Christmas Eve, Mom, kids, and I spent the day at the New Museum. Husband had been assigned to work that day. I copied the idea from a neighbor’s instagram. I had never heard of the artist Pipolotti Rist, but the pictures I saw posted featured children frolicking among beautiful lights. My neighbor confirmed that the exhibit was child-friendly, in that it was an hour long, and warned there was some nudity that “wasn’t too bad, just a few nipples.” Ha ha.

The first part of the exhibit was a floor-to-ceiling three screen video of underwater footage, someone swimming underwater. We could watch the film on pillows, lying on top of soft carpet. Twins were mesmerized. The next exhibit contained vines of blinking lights that changed to the beat of the music. There was a cool exhibit featuring beds for all visitors to lie in and watch a screen on the ceiling featuring a film from the bottom of a pond. That may have been my favorite, despite the fact the kids were jumping bed to bed. It was so lovely, so theatrical…and there were so very many penises. Not just like flaccid penises, but erect penises with moss growing over them (when the kids asked, I said that was a plant. Sometimes, when cornered, I admitted, yes, indeed, those were penises). One of the films featured a woman jumping up and down, her boobs flopping up and down, steady as a metronome. Every time a nude would come on screen, my mom would squeal “oh no!” and we would usher the kids to the next exhibit. Wonder Twin Boy started shouting “I SEE A PENIS! I SEE PENISES!” What could I do? Sometimes, I’m like a sitter/Grandma, and instead of reprimanding him, I shouted back to him “OH MY GOD, I SEE A PENIS TOO!”

What the heck. It’s Christmas, I thought. This one is on the house.

I didn’t have to fully get uptight by the nudity because my mom took care of that, which made me giggle. We had lunch at Whole Foods and Husband ended up getting off work early. I have no idea what the art meant, though it was so wonderful to see.

It was a great day.

to baby, or not to baby. Asking for a friend.

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Relax. It’s not a question for me, although I will admit Wonder Twin Boy recently announced “I’m ready for you to have a baby.” Ha!

A friend asked whether to baby, or not baby, that is the question. She’s married. She’s got a house, a job, all the proper fixin’s but for some reason, doesn’t know. And I have no idea what to tell her. I have a colleague about to give birth to twins and it’s bringing back memories that I haven’t thought of in years. I chatted with Mom all about all the flashbacks. I just remember feeling like I was snaking tiny arms through sleeves, over and over again, sun up, sun down. Mom remembers wanting to kill the NICU nurses for urging me to visit every day from our apartment an hour away when my body was still a wreck. There were terrible moments like when Wonder Twin Boy turned blue and I ran him to an ER late on a Saturday night. I remember weeping to my childhood best friend in LA about how hard it was, and I forget what she said, but she made me laugh so hard and quoted a dad of twins she knew who said it stinks now, but there will be double happiness.

Double happiness? Um, I wouldn’t go that far, although because we have graduated from the diaper and potty training stage, because the children in school and can speak/dance/sing and come up with the most marvelous jokes, it’s better. (Of course, they also punch the heck out of each other, so…yeah.) I don’t think having a kid makes you happier–however, if you had a chance to and couldn’t decide and change your mind, then you’re in for a long miserable haul. Regret, I have read from one of the innumerable happiness books I’ve read (but this one was written by a Russian psychiatrist so I’m more likely to believe it), can greatly determine your happiness.

Also, aside from the fact that parenting is a lot of work and can be very lonesome at times, that kid might be worth their salt simply because it’s another person to love in the world. That’s not a shabby reason to have a kid. Despite the fact that Husband and I find the children tortuous at times, I can tell that we love the kids because we are both so fiercely protective of them. We had a play date this weekend where the other child pushed down on Wonder Twin Boy in his privates area. I was like WRATH OF KHAN. Last year, a father we knew pushed First Son off a fairly high platform in the playground, we think, to protect his toddler but never got clarification. Husband is still furious about it.

Perhaps, I thought, if I shared those thoughts with my friend, she can decide.

She is still undecided.

(As an aside, this picture is of the Gerber baby of the year. I told a room full of caucasian, maybe-conservative co-workers, “You guys, I’m so excited, but Gerber just chose their first Asian baby of the year ever! About damn time!” and I was greeted by crickets. I knew that would happen, and I made the comment anyway. I told my friend A. about this, how I will sometimes make a joke or a comment that I really want to make, evening knowing it might alienate my audience.)

waffle

Monday, January 16th, 2017

It’s the little things.

Wonder Twin Daughter: I can count in Spanish. Want to hear me?
Me: Sure.
WTD: Uno, dos, tres, waffle, cinco, seis!
Me: Did you say “waffle”?
WTD: I just counted in Spanish.
Me: I think you said “waffle” instead of “quatro.” That is the best thing I have heard all day.

Elena of Avalor

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Kids get to watch lots of cool shows, and we play them so Husband and I can eat dinner. Whenever “Elena of Avalor” comes on, I notice Husband goes silent and gets completely absorbed. When I try to engage him, he holds a hand up for me to wait till he can see the next plot twist, and I feel endless delight in making fun of him for this. It is noteworthy because no other kid show has this effect on him.

“sent with gentle effect”

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

That’s the phrase that has been appearing with my mom’s texts lately. I wondered if it was her trying to mollify the harshness of her messages, but it turned out it was an automated iphone option. In any case, in truth, we could both talk to each other with more “gentle effect.” I’m accustomed to keeping a faithful account of all her insults – some of which are hurtful, but mostly, land like barb-less arrows and make me giggle more than anything.

Mom: You dress like a homeless woman.
Me: Really?
Mom: And your children dress like homeless children.
Me: Then I should get food stamps. It’s very expensive to feed all of them.

Later that day, Boy Wonder Twin said “Mom, you’re not fat but you’re getting fat.”

That’s normally what my takeaway would be from the day — a collection of character slams. The day was maybe ill-advised — a trip to Manhattan to see a holiday train show around the actual holidays, taking them to lunch in a restaurant, where Boy Wonder Twin was miserable enough he strangled me for 45 minutes and used my purse as a punching bag. But when I bought mom a coffee outside, and she didn’t say how she respond how she wanted her coffee, and I urged “come, on, come on, let’s go,” Coffee Guy said “Take it easy. We have time. Be gentle with mom. Be nice to mom.”

And I’m like gosh darn it, he’s right. Had he not intervened, I would not have seen my own behavior.

I need to speak to her (and others) in a manner “sent with gentle effect.”

Also, Coffee Guy got our order wrong.

Butterflies

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016


(There is a connection here that I may not be able to make, but know that I am coming back to practice here so that my writing can once more become fluid.)

First Son is a remarkable young boy. I say this despite the fact that many may feel this about their young people, despite the fact that he sometimes greets me “What’s the problem, bro,” despite that he recently said to me “you are the worst mom ever.” (To which, I said, “you’re welcome,” because really, what else can one say to this ABSOLUTELY TRUE statement?) His teacher asked that we ask the kids about their research topics. His happens to be about butterflies.

Me: So are we going to see any butterflies today?
First Son: No silly, they’re all in Mexico and California.
Me: Is that right.
First Son: Yeah, they migrate to warmer weather, lay their eggs and die. They live one year and the babies are like orphans because they don’t have a mom and dad.

For some reason, I was just bowled over about this. I don’t think I ever knew this about butterflies, and it was a nice conversation to have. Earlier that week, my mother had stated: “You don’t help me. I only help you. You didn’t even help me when I was sick. You are just pinned down by your three babies.” Since I’m always plagued with the feeling that I’m not doing enough for all the people in my life, just got my gilded guilt going. It was just a nice moment of emoting – her consistent feelings of abandonment, and mine of guilt, because it’s true. I would help her more if I could, but I truly have moments where there is nothing left to give. It was funny to hear First Son story, which on that day I spoke to my mom, I heard as a tale of giving everything up for your kids.