“If it wasn’t for your misfortune, you’d be a heavenly person today.” – Blue Monday by New Order

At first I laughed when I heard this lyric from New Order and thought how true, for me and countless other people.  Then, I thought, because of my misfortunes, I am a heavenly person today.  Well, maybe not heavenly, but definitely funny (even though I’m not necessarily trying to be funny).

This is another title in the running for my memoirs.

The kids are off this week for Spring Break.  We were sitting around the table and I started telling them about my childhood.  I brought up one particularly painful memory of my stepmom slapping me.  As I was telling them, my eyes started welling up with tears, I couldn’t hold them back.  It was a day my dad and stepmom were off from the restaurant.  I was in third grade and my brother in first grade.  I went into their room in the morning and said something to her waking her up.  She opened her eyes, stared at me with this look of how dare I wake her and slapped me across my face.  My father, sleeping next to her, woke up and slapped her, which started a slapfest.  At this point my children are all laughing at this description, making me laugh as well.

After telling them the story,

Firstborn (turns to me and says):

                   Mom you should be a stand up comedian telling people all these stories about your family.  It’s so funny.

Me:           Um, it’s also tragic, but I’ll keep that in mind.  Thanks.



Oops…  I just read the lyrics to Blue Monday and I was mistaken.  The lyric is actually

“But if it wasn’t for your misfortunes, I’d be a heavenly person today.”

This is actually my husband’s song, not mine.


Chlamydia is No Joke

My friend, we’ll call her “Ruby”, has five sons.  For some reason, she got it in her head that her second son got a STD (which by the way is now called “STI”).  How does she know he got a STD?  He was prescribed some kind of medication that her friend looked up on the internet and discovered was for the treatment of a STD, which one, I’m not sure.

The other day, while waiting for her outside her house, her second son comes out to greet me and starts complaining about how his mother is telling everyone that he has a STD.  She told his ex-girlfriend, his current girlfriend and me.  She told his father, who had a talk with him about STDs.

He said that he went back to the doctor and the doctor assured him that he does not have a STD.  He tried telling his father, but he wasn’t trying to hear him.

Son:  Dad, I don’t have a STD.

Father:  Chlamydia…Is…No…Joke!

Son should have continued with:  Then what about herpes or gonorrhea?


Son then asked me:  Why chlamydia?

Me:  Exactly, why chlamydia indeed?  Go ask your father.

Ruby:  (laughing)  Don’t ask your father.


I wanted to say:  If you have chlamydia, then you can’t say your girlfriend never gave you anything.


This is why I hang out with Ruby.  She sets me up for the most hiliarious crap ever.  Unfortunately it’s all true, but she’s laughing with me.


“Do I look like your dad?”

First born had to do a presentation for his Project Management class and wanted to run it by his dad and I.  I helped him organize his thoughts so the presentation came across smoother.  He presented on Whole Foods and how it is a socially responsible company.

After I helped him, he hugged me and thanked me for assisting him.  Twenty minutes later, he hugs me again and thanks me again.  Another twenty minutes later and he does the same thing.  Now I’m starting to get irritated and asked why he kept thanking me.  It’s like he’s shocked I helped me.

First Born:  Thanks Mom for helping me with my presentation.

Me:  Why are you acting like I never help you out?

First Born:  Because you don’t.  Every time I ask you for help, you say “go ask your dad” or better yet, “do I look like your dad?”

He mimicks me with this look like I can’t be bothered, like some hip hop mom with a neck sway.  He also mimicks me with this Asian accent that’s absolutely hilarious, even though I don’t have an accent when I speak English.  I do have a Chinese accent when I speak Chinese, or more specifically Chinglish.  Chinese people constantly tell me that they think I’m a White person speaking Chinese.  To be fair, there are plenty of White people who speak Chinese better than I.  More power to them I say.

I want to make a ring tone with his Asian accent saying “why you so ugly, fix your face” over and over again so that when he calls me, I’ll go “excuse me, that’s my son calling me.”  Then I want another ring tone with him saying “why you so stupid” over and over again so that I can say “excuse me, that’s my other son calling me.”  What can I say?  I’m bored.

Hey, to be fair, I’m usually trying to cook dinner when he asks me for help and if his dad ain’t home, I tell him to wait until his dad gets home.  After all, that’s why I married his dad in the first place, I knew he’d be a good dad because he can teach.  Plus, I usually don’t know what he needs help with.  I can’t be bothered to learn specific facts.  I get the gist of things. I know this doesn’t sound good for a lawyer, but remember I don’t like being a lawyer.  I concentrate when I have to, although it’s getting harder to do as I get older, really hard.  I have to constantly make this motion with my hands of crossing each other every time I need to get a pair of scissors because I’ll forget what I’m going to get while I’m getting it.  Can I get an amen?


I’ve been reading “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell.  Fascinating book.  It’s opened my eyes as to how to look at successful people.  Gladwell states that most people see successful people as people who are born that way, born with a special talent that made them successful and that no matter what I do, I won’t be able to replicate that success.  Gladwell argues we can break down the contributing factors that lead to a person’s success.  It’s fascinating (I know I’ve already said that).  I’m in awe of how Gladwell is able to convey these ideas so straightforward and in an entertaining fashion.  No, Gladwell did not pay me to endorse this book.  I do not personally know Mr. Gladwell.

Where do I start?  First, I’m making First Born read it.  No, make that I’ve convinced First Born to read it.  Why?  Because, I feel that armed with the information in this book, he can apply it to his own life, just like I can apply it to my own life.

If I would have read this book in college, I would have never applied to law school.  I would have seriously looked at my cultural heritage and my own passions.  I would have known that I would not succeed at something that I hated so much but did out of some social obligation I felt towards my mother and Asian Americans.  If I was honest with myself back then, I would have admitted that I was afraid to admit what I liked, which at that time was dancing and fashion.  It didn’t help that I sucked at dancing and was afraid I wasn’t artistic enough to be in fashion, plus those weren’t “serious” endeavors for a serious person.  There would be no respect in those fields or so I thought at that time.  Now I’ve spent years fighting back my creative self and I can no longer deny that creative urge I feel within myself without falling into a deep depression.  I refuse to give up on myself, even though I feel it’s so late in life.  I’m 47.  How do I start over, especially when Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to be really good at something?  Have I’ve done anything close to 10,000 hours besides watching TV?  I guess I can say I’m a successful TV watcher.

This blog should really be titled “A woman in search of herself.”  When will I let go and let myself be the person I’m suppose to be?  Or am I already that person and I’m disappointed?


Can you be rich and have children?

Jordan cartoon II - 9-29-15, 1-57 PM

(cartoon drawn by First Born)

I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to be rich or feel rich if you have children.  I’ve concluded no, not financially.  Of course I feel rich spiritually.  I’ve always wanted children and I love the children I have.  But there are times I wish we didn’t have to always watch every dime.

First born will be in college before we know it and I’m terrified.  I’m terrified about whether or not we’ll be able to afford his college education.  There’s no question that he has to go to college.  How to pay for it is another matter.  Even if we do find a way to pay for it, he has two other siblings that will have to go.  I have about three years in between each one, so at least two will be in college at the same time.

I’ve been preparing myself mentally about returning to work.  I don’t want a job, but I need to help out financially.  My husband’s job is not going as well as it use to and we need a backup, as well as additional income for the additional expense we’re about to have.  It’s hard.  I love being around for the kids.  I love picking them up from school and volunteering at their schools.  I can’t always do that when I have a full time job.  I have some time before I have to go back to work.

The other problem with going back to work is that I have a large gap in my resume.  I don’t know if people will hire me.  I can’t even remember the dates I worked at some of my previous jobs.  On top of that, I don’t know what I want to do.  Do I go back to law?  If law, what kind of law?  I use to be an Administrative Law Judge for parking tickets.  It was an okay job in that it was part time, but no benefits or security.  I don’t know.  I really don’t.

Great Expectations

We just got back from visiting my cousins in Virginia.  They live in Leesburg, across the highway from an outlet mall.  My cuz BG was talking to James about everyone’s kids.

BG:     It’s amazing how Elaine has some great kids, not just great, but exceptional kids.

James (a.k.a. Husband):     Yeah, I can see how you’d expect her to have some f@#*’ed up kids.

This cracks me up.  I love it because it’s so true.

I was so messed up that there was no way anyone would have ever expected me to have well adjusted kids, let alone, socially exceptional ones.  Even I can’t believe it.

But to be fair, James deserves a lot of credit for the exceptional kids.  If I had raised them by myself, who knows what they’d be like.  I might not have liked them.  James basically raised all of us.  I made them funny.


Bad Baby

2011 05 2011-05-08 194

Bad Baby at the Happiest Place on Earth.

[I’m so glad I spent money on this.]


Bad Baby Stats:

Eight years old.

Going into 3rd grade.

Unfortunately likes beer but understands he has to wait til he’s 21 to drink.

Also understands he has to wait til 21 to curse.

Rage issues (which we’re working on).

Likes the pretty ladies.

Wants a Sweet 16 party attended by people with good hair.

Cares about his looks.

Does his own hair.

Unintentionally funny.


This is my third child.  After two perfect kids, we were trying to decide whether or not to have another.  Do we want to jinx ourselves with a third?  We took a survey among the people we knew.  Basically, those with small children advised us against having anymore.  It was too tiring.  Those who had older kids expressed some minor regrets at not having the third.  They admit they were tired when it was time to have a third, but that tiredness goes away when the kids get older.  Maybe it’s more accurate to say, you’ll get more sleep as they get older, that is until they hit puberty.  Life changes as the kids get older and some things get easier while others get harder.  One old lady once said to me, “little kids, little problems, big kids, bigger problems.”

Husband and I thought about it and decided to go ahead with a third.  It wasn’t that we really wanted a third, we mainly didn’t want to regret not having the third.  We had originally wanted five children before we got married, but of course having one child quickly brings you down to reality.  Two children also seemed like something was missing.  I wanted a full house.

This kid was different from the get go, he was irritating in the womb and out.  When he came out, he wouldn’t stop crying.  After 30 minutes I asked the doctor why the kid was still crying.  Well, he’s still crying today, but instead of actual wailing, it’s now his infamous stink face [as you see in the photo above] and constant complaining.  This stink face was because Husband said no to his third ice cream request of the day.

But he has his moments and they are very entertaining, which is why I’m introducing you all to him.  Why should we get to enjoy all this joy by ourselves [extreme sarcasm here]?




A menopausal mother.

I’m definitely menopausing.  It sucks.  I’m so irritated all the time.  I’m tired.  Bad baby is really getting on my nerves just by being himself.  He normally irritates me, but this is a new level of irritation.

I just got a new car because the old one was slowly dying on me.  I loved that van.  It got me through everything, but it was time.  For the new car, I ordered weather tracs because I don’t want the car to get too dirty too soon.  First born was trying to help me unroll the mat.  After a few attempts, I became frustrated and just grabbed the mat out of his hand and said I’d take care of it myself.  Because I abruptly grabbed it out of his hand, he said, “fine, Meno-Mom.”  A reference to my menopausal behavior lately.  I chuckled.  It lessened the irritation a little.

Meno-Mom (according to First Born):  Undescribable.  Unlike any threat you’ve ever faced before.  Able to abruptly explode at any minute.

I asked my daughter if she was glad I’m her mom.

Yeah, I went there.  Daughter and I was walking to the van from martial arts.  We were alone, so I took the opportunity to ask the question.

She replied, “you’re not one of those crazy mothers who keep telling you to study all the time and you’re not one of those that love their children so much as to say, I love you no matter what, even if you do drugs.”  I was like, there are mothers who say, I love you no matter what, even if you do drugs?  I guess there are, they don’t necessarily say those words, they just let the child do whatever it is they want.  These parents figure it’s the child’s job to figure out what’s right or wrong for themselves.

She said, I was just right, in the middle of these two types of mothers.  She said she knows I love her.  I asked how does she know that and she said, she just does.

I once asked if she was angry when I yell at her for not doing things.  She replied, no, because you are yelling at me to do something good for me.  She knocked me out by this response.  She’s wise beyond her 11 years.  I was touched that she recognizes where the yelling was coming from.  Of course I could try to express my feelings in a non-hostile manner.  Let’s just say, I’m working on it.