I didn’t catch on fire. Sorry to disappoint you.

I’m a little distracted today. I was just notified by a Miss Rita from Cote d’Ivoire that I may be entitled to 10.5 million dollars. Five minutes before that, a Mr. Malik dropped me a casual email informing me that I am the lucky winner of 900,000 euros in the Italian lottery. All I have to do is reply with my name, address, occupation, age, blood type, bank account numbers, mother’s maiden name, and childhood pet’s name.

Are we still cool? Does it change anything between us now that I’m super fucking rich?
If you need to step away for a minute to beat your chest and ask the universe why these amazing things can’t happen to you, I understand. Come back though. I need to talk to you about car safety.
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A while back, my good friend Bertie offered to take me to lunch. What you should know about Bertie is that he is a very suave, very stylin’ dude. When he came to pick me up for lunch, he was wearing a white track suit, white sneakers, and driving a superfine white convertible. Bertie may be the only person on this planet who can pull this look off. It doesn’t matter that he paid me five dollars to write that; just know that I really believe it.On our way home from lunch, we were enjoying the California sun with the top down when we noticed a burning smell. We both agreed that the nearby factories really needed to watch their pollution because it was stinking up the air.

Then, his car started losing power. I suspected he was running low on fuel. Nope, he still had half a tank left. Passing cars slowed down and pointed to our car. Maybe we had a flat tire. Geez, that would really make Bertie mad. I hope it’s not a flat. 

I leaned over the side to see if any of the tires on my side needed air. There were flames shooting from the side intake scoops, but the tires were just fine. I, of course, opened with the good news about his tires before moving on to the bad news.

Bertie, I think your car is on fire. 

We ran from the burning car after maneuvering it to the side of the freeway. Sadly, Bertie’s white track suit sustained noticeable smoke damage.

The cause? A cigarette that had been carelessly flicked out of a moving car got sucked into his side intake grill and sparked an engine fire.

Life lessons I learned that day? Don’t smoke. But more importantly, don’t wear white track suits.

Mishaps on the road? Car troubles? Do share.
image via blueq.com

Monday Dare: I’m not in a gang.

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Do, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help, and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made beforeThe Projectstarted, and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: Brag

I had a moment yesterday. You know that moment when an elderly shut-in who’s been sour her entire life and has recently found Jesus bursts into tears because you brought her a hot meal? Then, she hugs you around your waist and asks you to find her address book stashed in a box of used cat litter so she can call her estranged son to make amends?

Oh, that’s never happened to you? Me neither.

But, I did have a different kind of moment yesterday. I spaced out at the bookstore and when I “came to,” I was in the self-improvement aisle. It is said that there are no accidents in life. If that’s the case, I’m fucking scared.

Since the rest of the gang wasn’t done with their shopping, I had a few minutes to browse. I should probably add here that I’m not really in a gang. Sometimes, I think I’d like to be, as it would simplify the color scheme of my wardrobe. Plus, there would always be someone available to go to Baskin-Robbins with me or do a beatdown. For now, my 11-year-old daughter and my husband are my gang. We don’t have a hand sign yet, but we’re working on it. Sadly, they’re opposed to beatdowns.

I flipped through a few books. I’m happy to report that for an investment of $14.99, I can discover my self-worth. For an additional $19.95, I can learn to effectively parent in as little as 20 minutes a day.

This aisle always makes me feel pretty crummy. Sure, there’s always something I could improve. But this week, I want to give myself some credit.

I’m usually embarrassed to share the things that make me feel proud of myself. We’re taught to be self-deprecating and humble, so it’s nice to remember how far we’ve come. Instead of feeling alone, shamed by our negatives, I think we should try to roll deep, strengthened by a community of people who celebrate our positives.

For me, I’m extremely proud that I did whatever I had to do at the age of 18 to have my daughter, Cal. My family was opposed to the idea of me being an Asian single mother, a sure sign of failure. I ignored what was popular for what I felt was right.

Also, I possess some wicked parallel parking skills.

Share your proudest moments, accomplishments, talents and skills. Don’t be shy. Small, big, whatevs. And for sharing, you get a *fist bump*.
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On Facebook? On Twitter? Let’s be in the same gang! Wait…I mean, let’s get connected!
image via knockknock.biz

thanks for not stabbing grandma

Growing up, my mom repeated the same things on a regular basis:
  • Stop trying to poke your brother in the eye with a fork.
  • Clean that spill up. You think I can’t see it under your father’s paper?
  • Wear dark clothing when you play outside. It’s a bitch to get blood out of light colors.

Those words still circle my thoughts once in a while, but the thing that probably left the biggest impression on me was something she said only once, very quietly, with a hard and ugly look in her eyes- “You better get the first aid kit ready. I’m about to stab your grandma.”

I didn’t believe her. She didn’t even have the balls to pull a loose tooth out of my mouth, so it wasn’t likely she was going to be shanking anyone with a butter knife. But, I went in search of the first aid kit. Just in case.

The potential victim was her mother-in-law, a woman we rarely saw because she lived overseas. Granny had come to visit because she wanted to connect with her American grandchildren. The original plan was to stay for two weeks. I saw a little twitch in my mom’s eye when my dad first mentioned it, but she didn’t say a word. When Granny extended her trip for four more weeks, I saw a small tear roll down my mom’s cheek. Still, she didn’t say a word.

When Granny criticized my mom’s cooking? Not a wayward glance. When Granny asked my dad if he still thought about that lovely girl from middle school? Not a single peep. When Granny asked my mom when she was going to lose all the baby weight since she hadn’t been pregnant for more than eight years? Not even a frown.

During the sixth week of her visit, Granny decided to borrow my mom’s best loafers, the ones she only wore to church or to a funeral, to take a stroll through the neighborhood. She stepped in a pile of dog shit. Instead of cleaning them, she abandoned them in the garbage can at our curb and yelled for my mom to bring her another pair of shoes so she wouldn’t have to walk through the yard barefoot.

That’s when she threatened to stab Granny. Any in-yard violence was sure to get us kicked off the neighborhood block party roster, but I understood. Shit needed to be settled. Woman to woman. Instead, my mom helped my grandma inside. My mom’s patience and compassion left an impression on me that day. But a knife fight would still have been awesome.

In-law troubles? Witnessed bad in-law behavior?P.S. If you’d like to link to your website/blog please click the “Optional: Link to your website” line under the “Guest” option and fill in your information. Thanks, yo.

image via knockknock.biz