my roommates

cute_animals_5_large These are my roommates. I told my dad last night the kids are like a herd of small animals. He said, Animals have more sense. I said, I’m going to tell them you said that when they’re older
He said, oh okay, I’m sorry.

But really, he is right.

They are like animals because…they eat food off the floor (my fault), they wipe in a pool of their own urine (… I guess this is kind of my fault too), they bite, they smack each other, they sit on top of each others heads, they roll around together like young puppies, they sometimes like pulverizing their dinner and then giving themselves a facial with the results, they crowd me and try to take my glasses (like I’m Piggy in Lord of the Flies) and sit on my head when I’m trying to do stomach crunches.

The Twins are still young enough that the unsolvable problems in their life are like taking too big of a bite of bagel, or once, Boy Wonder Twin got stuck under a chair. They cry until we help them. First Son is still very young too. He and Husband ran to catch the train and missed it, which caused him to burst into tears. Although I’m quite tired these days, I find these problems adorable.

Secrets of Happy Families

download This is a great, great book, which I highly recommend. I read a ton of self-help, nonfiction titles on stuff I want to get better at. A lot of them have one or two facts that are useful, while this one is packed cover to cover with good family advice. I liked it so much Husband expressed interest in reading it. When he asked what it was about, um, I will say I can’t remember a whole lot about the book, which could hinder me from actually applying some of the books principles to my life.

It does say this: kids who grow up with stories about their ancestors fare better in life (something about well if grandma jones got through the war, I can write my paper). If your morning is insane with kids and getting ready for work, give the kids jobs (nice!) and everyone’s happier for it. You can write a family mission statement and put it on your wall (I kind of like this idea, but doubt I will ever do it.) It talks about how to fight less with your spouse, marriage advice in general, and what else? That people who complain about being miserable with kids are going through a phase that childless couples are not exempt from — they just go for it later. also, that parents report life to be purposeful and those with four or more children rate themselves as extraordinarily happy.

And this I liked the best: when asked what kids wished for of their parents, it was never more time; it was that their parents were less stressed in the time they had together. BOO-YEAH! Tell me that’s not excellent advice?

james gandolfini

20gandolfini_337-articleLarge-v2 Loved this guy’s acting. Have heard nothing but wonderful stories of what he’s like in person, and I only just now noticed that he has the word “gandolf” in his last name. Thank you.


download Dude, I need an intervention! I looked at all the stuff I brought to a conference today, which is the same stuff I pack every day. Every time I leave the apartment, it’s as if I’m leaving for a three-day trek into the mountains. I books and out-of-date newspapers to read, snacks for me and kids, change of clothing, a menagerie of Tupperware containers for lunch – and I MUST BE STOPPED. I AM AN ADULT WHO SHOULD BE CARRYING A LADY BAG.

les mis!

les-miserables-trailer-uk Ha ha, sometimes, life at home is like a birth control ad. I swear, if you are worried about your teenagers having sex early, I will set up an internship program for a weekend here and they will abstain for like the rest of their lives. What helps: when I put First Son to bed, I said “I love you,” and he said “Love you too, Mom.” That kind of blows me away.

father’s day

fathers-day-2011 Do you know which point I broke out a beer on Father’s Day? It was approximately 5 p.m., after a long day with the kids, and walked in on my youngest son peeing on a photograph of my grandmother. Aaaaaaaaaaand scene.

Thank you.

“Number One, Make It So”

Stew.topic I love Patrick Stewart after he played Captain Jean-Luc Picard for many, many years on Star Trek. His character was such a good man, a wise leader, and he was able to so effortlessly convey that sense of warmth yet bad-ass vibe of a leader. But now, after watching this Amnesty International video, I admire him as a person. In this 2009 testimony, as part of an anti-domestic violence effort, he talks about his own experience growing up in a household where his father beat his mother, and how awful it is. He never quite breaks down, but he fumbles when he starts to get affected by his subject matter – but somehow, pulls through. It is both horrible and moving to hear. He speaks about his past quite sensitively, without any heat, and demonstrates major cojones by being able to share this story at all. I don’t know how he does it. Yes, he is professionally successful, but I could see through this speech he did a lot of work on himself in order to be able to share his story and work on preventing this situation for others — this moment is years in the making, and it filled me tremendous admiration for this man, for which I am grateful, because when was the last time I met someone who made me want to take my hat off? (I’m not talking about you, handful of friends who read this blog. I already admire you, so shut it down.)

Ming Cho Lee

mlee Clearly, this is the face of some kind of stud. He was honored at this year’s Tonys with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He teaches set design at Yale’s graduate drama program and I still remember his set for “Wit” when it starred Kathleen Chalfant, waaaaaaaay before cancer ever struck my family. Set design is possibly one of my favorite things about theater and it’s nice to see an Asian face in a community that usually doesn’t have too many people who look so Asian.

family circus



Last night:
Wonder Twin Girl began physical therapy and clung to Husband the entire session, terrified of Physical Therapist, so I don’t know they actually got to evaluate or aid her in making progress. She has a fever of 102.

Wonder Twin Boy was throwing toys into the tub then fell in. When we picked him up, half of body was covered in soap foam.

First Son is practicing wearing big boy underwear, a foray into potty training. He fell on the floor, wiping out in a pool of his own urine.

After that, Husband and I were like WHAT THE HELL IS THERE A FULL MOON IN THIS HOUSE.

Previous night before the last:
When I told First Son to hang on after one of his requests because I was busy, he yelled:

“No, Mom, I’m busy right now!”

Poor kid.

ashes to ashes

My mother asked me to reasearch death storage options. Well, not that exactly, but I don’t know how else to call it.

“So does that mean you want to be cremated?”

“Well, that’s what Daddy wants, so I guess.” She doesn’t seem sure, but doesn’t seems to feel strongly about it either. Apparently, some of her friends already have plots paid for. Even if you’re cremated, you need a permanent place to hang out, and apparently, like all New York City-area real estate, it is increasingly expensive and scarce. “It could cost $6,000!” She was having palpitations, I could tell.

“Listen, I’ll keep you in my closet and I will only charge you a nominal storage fee.”

“But then I would haunt you!”

I don’t take that seriously, but I did suddenly get an image of her standing over my bed while I’m sleeping, chanting “why didn’t you go to law school,” or “you need to lose weight,” or some such sentiment.

“What if [FIRST SON] wants to visit? Should I stay in Brooklyn?”

“Well, anywhere where the dead hang out doesn’t really seem convenient, you know. They are kind of low-priority in terms of public transportation paths.” I thought about it. “Is there place you like? What if I scattered you in the ocean?”

“No,” she shuddered. “Koreans don’t like that, and it’s bad for the earth.”

So at my mother’s request, I began to research what people do with ashes. Everything is much more convenient to find out with the Internet. As she noted, you can’t just scatter ashes whereever you feel like it. Apparently, it is totally eroding the earth. At Jane Austen’s house, so many people attempt to dump their relatives and friends there, security is on the lookout for people opening up canisters. But what I thought was most interesting in my search of what-to-do-with-ashes is that there’s like a whole arts and crafts movement (ridiculous). You can mix ashes into concrete and make a sculpture, you can turn ashes into jewelry, and best of all, you can press them into a record that can actually play a song.

(Uh huh, the last one, I totally freaked myself out, like what if I pressed my mom’s ashes into “What’s Love Got to Do With It” by Tina Turner and “1999” by Prince came on instead? I am seriously giving myself willies just imagining this.)

Anyway, Mom did not go for the record option, so I’m safe for now, though without a plan or a plot reservation.