On being a bum

If it seems like I’ve given up on blogging, well, I haven’t. I’m still blogging, furiously, voraciously, in my head every day night. When my head hits the pillow, chances are that keyboard in my head will start hammering out a blog post. Since I’m not in the habit of sleeping with my gadgets, by sunrise, that post would either be lost in space, or relegated to my mental recycle bin. Oh well, so much for blogging!

As it is, life is pretty mundane. I’m more prone to staying home these days. Of late, most of our beloved restaurants have raised prices, reduced portions and watered down their fare. What could be worse than people who take their customers for fools, eh? So I’m down to a handful of restaurants that are just barely meeting our standards. If I were like the regular person who judges a restaurant by the number of diners rather than letting my own tastebuds decide, I might still have a list a mile and a half long. But that’s not me. Right now, I can honestly tell you, my list is looking rather sad.

Luckily for me, food isn’t everything. Shopping is, if you know me. That too, I’ve been doing too much of lately. Not retail therapy, mind you (I’m saving that for you, Cali!), but stuff I need for the house. Yeah, that kind of shopping is fun for a while but it gets to be a bit of a chore. Oh well, I’m done with that now so there’s precious little reason for me to be roaming the malls. I’m home a lot more than I used to, which isn’t necessarily all bad, since I get to stuff I rarely used to have time for, like afternoon naps (aaah!).

If you’re thinking, man, you’re boring, well, maybe I am, or maybe it’s this place, I don’t know, what do you think? Yeah, I should probably join a Facebook food group and spice up my social life with a bunch of strangers. Except I don’t do Facebook, and I’m not interested in saliva-sharing, and I don’t have the patience for people who are unapologetic about showing up late, and I’m not willing to drive out miles for food that everyone else swears is good but likely isn’t… and well, food, in general, isn’t that important to me anyways, so yeah! I can handle a small group of friends who know me and my quirks, and it’s fun when I’m out with my kids but it’s too much work for me to be out with a big, rowdy social group.

So that’s a bit of a random update. I’m trying to find a way to turn my nocturnal blogging into tangible posts because goodness knows how cyberspace must miss my writing by now 😏. To be honest, I miss writing and maybe I’m tired of being a bum too. And I really do miss writing. Have I mentioned that already?

Sidenote: I’m suddenly reminded of a guy I used to work with who would read and reread my memos, emails and every bit of documentation I wrote. No, he didn’t have a crush on me, hell no! He says he just loves to read my writing and I’m like, but it’s business writing, and he goes, I still love the way you write. Hahaha, funny guy πŸ˜„!

The unwilling courier

So it looks like we have another episode of someone we’ve never even met aka friend of a friend of a friend asking us to buy and bring stuff back for them from our travels. On a good day and if they’re a treasured friend, I might make it an exception and say yes. But look, if I don’t know this person from Adam, or Eve in this case, forget it! I’m a nice person but no! And you know why? Because if the situation were reversed, I wouldn’t even think to impose on someone’s time and luggage space to shop for my stuff and cart it halfway across the world. That would be entirely too selfish and tactless of me.

But as society goes around here, we’ve encountered numerous episodes of such people who sadly only think of themselves, have no manners, and/or are completely unappreciative. Once we bought a tube of beauty cream for some woman who then told us it was the wrong cream. She didn’t want it and conveniently ‘forgot’ to pay us back. There goes our $70 + like it’s our fault??!! It’s a risk you take by asking a complete stranger to do your shopping. And if it’s the wrong item, she should quietly suck it up and pay up. But no, not this woman! So that’s what you get from doing someone a favor.

In the current episode though, maybe I should excuse this person. She wants us to buy her a supply of immortality pills!! I had no idea immortality pills existed. Did you? Hmmm, but I think I can understand! I mean, who doesn’t want to live forever, eh? So yeah! She may not have met us before even but that sure ain’t gonna stop her from getting her hands on those ‘never say die’ pills, right?!!!

At this point, I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. First off, do I look like Fedex to you?, and second, pills that let you live forev…?!!! Wait, let’s back this up a second here. Now if I throw my calculator into my Business degree, I’m going to say, heck, I’ll toss out my suitcases, fork out any amount of excess baggage fees, and play courier. I mean, it’s immortality we’re talking about here!! Hohoho, at this rate, I might even be buying over Fedex next!

But seriously, Ms Immortal Wannabe, I suggest you order your pills online and wait for them to be shipped to you. It might cost a bit more and take a bit longer but then, as I understand it, time is on your side and you sure can afford to wait forever. Right? πŸ˜‰

Bug Story No. 103

Twas a quiet Saturday night just before Christmas. After a deliciously spicy Thai takeout dinner at home, we were each settling down to our own nightly routine… when a scream pierces the silence! My fingers froze on my keyboard, then…

“A BUG!”

No, this is not a scene from a horror movie and the bug is not the size of King Kong. But this is how bug stories go in our family.

Split second of silence, “There’s a BUG!”

Helter-skelter!!

“Where??!”

“HERE!! In the bathroom!”

“Where??!”

“On the towel! THERE!!! QUICK!!”

“Where??!!”

“THERE?!!”!

“Where??” (peers closely) “Is that even a bug?”

“IT IS! There, ThErE, THERE!”

“That’s not a bug.”

“IT IS! It is! It’s MOVING, omg, OMG!!”

We have a towel by the sink where we place our electric toothbrushes, and there, on the edge of the towel, was what looked like a small piece of oval-shaped cardboard. It was dark brown, flat and FUZZY!! I had no time to take a photo. Neither did I want a photo of this creature to be sitting in my phone *gag*. So you’re going to have to imagine what it looked like. Not pretty, I swear!

I didn’t see it move, well, until it moved, at which point, I jumped back and SCREAMED. Okay, that wasn’t very dignified of me but when you’re in the same room with an unidentified bug the size of half your fingernail, your instinct takes control! When I regained my senses, I heard myself barking orders in rapid fire succession to Hip2bDaughters who had since fled the scene.

“GET ME A PLASTIC BAG! QUICK, ANY PLASTIC BAG! COME ON, HURRY UP, IT’S ON THE MOVE!! GIVE IT TO ME, QUICK! AAAA-AAH!”

At this point, you’re probably thinking, why don’t you just smash the bug and be done with it??!!! Read on, I’ll get to that in a minute.

I threw the open plastic bag over the bug and attempted to grab it with my fingers. I have no idea what kind of bug this was (because I’ve never seen any bug that looks this gross) but it was so flat I couldn’t get a grip.

After several failed attempts, I heard myself rapid-firing another round of orders.

“GET ME A PIECE OF PAPER! YOU HOLD THE PLASTIC BAG! I’LL FISH IT UP AND PUT IT IN THE PLASTIC BAG AND YOU CLOSE IT TIGHT, OK? SOMEONE OPEN THE FRONT DOOR SO I CAN RUN OUT AND TOSS IT OUTSIDE!”

And that’s exactly what we did. It was freezin’ cold outside but I didn’t care. I didn’t even stop to put a jacket on. Plastic bag containing bug in hand, I did the Usain Bolt pastΒ Hip2bDaughters and straight out the front door to our neighbor’s bush where I unceremoniously flung said plastic bag. You can probably tell by now that I wasn’t really thinking. All I cared about was getting that freakin’ bug out of our house!!

It was only much later when things had calmed down that it struck me. Omg, what have I done? What will our neighbors think? Oh well, better in their bush than ours, for sure! The next morning, I tippy-toed out there armed with a pair of kitchen thongs and a bigger plastic bag to transfer that plastic bag AND its contents to right into the garbage bin.

Okay, back to your question – why didn’t I just smash the bug? Sure it would’ve been easier to do just that but that’s not how I roll. In our household, we try to preserve life, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant. We try. We don’t always succeed but we do try.

As you can well imagine, we have enough bug stories to fill a book half a foot thick. The episodes are usually pretty darned scary in the moment but they’re hysterical when we look back at all the times we’ve let a teeny tiny creature turn our house upside down πŸ˜† .

Are you freaked out by bugs, or are you someone who takes them by their horns feelers and wrestles them to the ground? I’d love to hear your bug stories, feel free to share.

Speak it or drink it

Speak it or drink it

So there’s been this little hooha about someone speaking Mandarin which, if you ask me, is no big deal. Hey, lots of people whose native language isn’t Mandarin speak Mandarin, many much better than him, I might add. You don’t see them in the news. This is just like the case where if a dog bites a man, it’s no big deal but if a man bites a dog, it is.

Same thing here. He speaks a splattering of Chinese, and suddenly it’s a big deal. People are all aghast and praising him to the sky (why?) and his video gets a bazillion views. Turn this around, and you have lots of people whose native language is not English, who can speak and write English, way better than his Chinese there, I might add, but no one thinks anything of it. Just sayin’.

I think anyone can master a language, any language, if they set their minds to it. In fact, Chinese is easier to learn because there are no tenses. No present continuous, no past perfect continuous, no wading through that barrage of English tenses.

There’s a joke that if you (are in the habit of sharing drinks and) ingest enough of someone’s saliva, you’ll be able to speak their mother tongue… and he has a Chinese wife? See where I’m going with this? So now you know the secret. Hmm, maybe someone should think about selling language in a bottle. Brilliant *pats self on back*.

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And with that, I’m outta here, off to buy myself a few bottles of Korean at a grocery store near me. And after I get through drinking them all, my next post may or may not be in Korean πŸ˜‰ . Stay tuned?

The breakfast

The breakfast

Saturday, we decided… heck, forget the budget, forget the calories, let’s blow 20 of our hard-earned bucks on this reasonably-priced breakfast that everyone and their poodle is raving about. The place was packed. Not to worry though, they have an all-day breakfast.

A choice of exotic ham, sausages or smoked bacon… we picked bacon. The egg came… with a buttery whiff, for free. Hash brown, sauteed mushrooms and spinach? Nah, spinach is too healthy. How about baked beans instead?

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Out of all the fresh fruit juices on the wall, we chose to have a combo orange and apple juice, supersize please. A regular orange juice would’ve set us back 9 bucks. Can you imagine how much this supersize cost us? Don’t even blink!!

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We were not disappointed. Best breakfast ever.

Laughs. Out. Super. Loud.

Name of restaurant: Hip to be Mom’s Kitchen, California

Wait time for order to arrive at table inclusive of cooking time: 25 minutes

Aww, but we miss that hydrogenated fat. And this costs a fraction of the price our friends pay to be served a breakfast like this. Man, how can we face them tomorrow? πŸ˜‰

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To the person who called me Madam

Yes, you did tick me off. I picked up your call on a sunny morning and when I heard you call me “Madam So-and-So”, the skies turned grey outside! I don’t like being called Madam. I may be okay with Ma’am, or maybe not but Madam is a definite no!

I don’t like the sound of it. It gives me da goosebumps and makes me go, who? me? madam? It’s archaic, antiquated, like aged paint peeling off the walls. It conjures images of a huge woman standing over the stove, wooden spoon in hand, ready to smack some poor kid. That’s not me. I can’t see myself.

I know you’re trying to be polite and all, being that you’re trying to sell me something. I get that. But you could’ve asked, “How should I address you?” and we could’ve happily sorted it all out right there.

I mean, come on, Madam? Seriously? In this day and age? Take a look outside your window (if you have one). Hell-llo?!! It’s the 21st century. You can’t go around calling people Madam. Ask around, there’s many ladies like me out there, I’m sure!

Through the roof of the bus stop

Through the roof of the bus stop

Have you ever been bored? As in bored out of your wits? As in waiting for the bus that’s taking its own sweet time? So what do you do? What, you would look straight down at your smartphone? Yeah, I knew that.

I’m not used to waiting for buses. I get all fidgety and impatient. What’s there left to do but snap aimlessly through the roof of the bus stop, of course!

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Cloud formations are a gazillion times more interesting than that stuff they post on FB. I love how the beam separates the dark clouds on one side and the sun is shining through the trees on the other.

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Doncha just love how the sun is trying to break through and the clouds are saying “get lost”? I love cloudy days, what can I say?

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