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The Dark Forest

“Fairy tales do not start, nor do they end, in the dark forest. That son of a gun always shows up smack-dab in the middle of a story. But it will all work out. Now it may not work out how you think it will, or how you hope it does, but believe me, it will all work out. Exactly as it’s supposed to. Our job is to have zero expectations and to just let go.” TED LASSO

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Sharing

Seizure Mode

I had a major coughing fit in the Uber on my way to the dentist the poor driver was terrified. The more I tried to stifle the cough the harder and more I coughed. I wanted to reassure the driver and yell, “Don’t worry, I don’t have Covid!” but I was coughing too hard to be able to say a thing. I clamped my hand on top of my mask on top of my mouth and tried my best to stop coughing. My body went into seizure mode, my eyes watered, and my nose ran. It probably looked very bad and it probably sounded even worse than that. I was praying for it all to end but it took forever for me to finally stop coughing. “Is this OK,” the driver asked me sadly when we arrived at the dental office. Yes,” I said, but my voice came out as a croak. Dude was so not stoked. Poor guy. And poor me, I’m probably going to get my first zero star rating as a passenger. Me and my anxiety coughs. I chose the wrong day to try to quit taking anxiety meds. I even had lingering coughs and body tremors during my dental appointment and had to stifle more coughing in the Uber ride home. Bodies man, they sure can betray you, and they seem to like to do so at the worst times. God fucking damn. Good thing I wasn’t a Jew hiding in an attic in Nazi Germany, I would’ve given our hiding spot away at once and ruined shit for everyone. They’d put SHIT RUINER on my gravestone.

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LOL

All Look Same

Asha brings this geisha doll figure with her everywhere, she thinks it’s me, she calls it mommy. We have three different geisha doll figures, Asha thinks they are all me, she calls them all mommy. There’s a framed vintage poster of a young Asian woman on our wall, Asha points at it, smiles, and says, “It’s mommy.” There’s another framed vintage poster on another wall with a princely peaceful Bhuddaesque robed young man surrounded by seductive luxurious Asian females. Asha ponders the poster, grins and says, “Many mommies.” Asha seems to think all representations of Asian women are mommy, be it pictures, posters, drawings or dolls. Asha is confident that these are all me. Guess I’m raising a little racist. All look same to her.

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Vignette

The Chosen One

Today Asha has been saying “ass fire” a lot and I couldn’t for the life of me understand what she was on about. Turns out she was trying to say “pacifier” and it was such euphoria to solve this. Amusing, intriguing too, since I didn’t know she even knew that word, I don’t really use it, I call pacifiers soothers. Also, I didn’t know Asha even liked soothers, she has hundreds, and never took to them, now it seems she does like them, apparently, but she accepts and enjoys only a specific one. She wails elaborately if I give her the wrong one, and I have to install the chosen one for her, Asha’s certain that she can’t just pop that shit in her mouth on her own.

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Event

Water Baby

We took Asha swimming and she was beside herself with excitement and joy, almost to the point of derangement. She couldn’t even. We went with Asha’s friend Rani, and Danny, Rani’s dad. Asha is a water baby times a thousand, she wanted to keep swimming forever and ever and ever, she wanted to go everywhere and do all of the things. She said, “THIS ONE,” and, “THAT WAY,” and, “AGAIN,” and, “ASHA SWIM.” She played in the fountains and under the waterfalls and with the water guns and jets and sprinklers, she even wanted to dive off the diving board by herself. She loved the hot tub area and wanted to stay in there, Asha loved swimming and being in water so passionately it was poignant to see. The only problem though was that she didn’t want to leave. Eventually we had to bodily remove her kicking and screaming. She ignored our assurances that we’d return so that she could swim again. Asha shouted, “NO NO NO,” and, “MY WATER,” and, “ASHA SWIM,” as we attempted to gather her up and go. She was beyond crushed that swimming was ending. Finally she was distracted by some smalls kids skating in the adjacent skating rink, Asha’s mad for skating also. She said, “ASHA SKATE,” and grinned maniacally. Then I got Asha a giant scoop of strawberry ice cream with rainbow sprinkles on a small cone and she was maximum stoked. Watching her carefully enjoying her giant scoop of strawberry ice cream wobbling on the little cone was precious. Asha’s eyes just shone. She said, “MMMMMMM,” and, “DELICIOUS.” Seeing the skating and getting the ice cream both lessened the pain of stopping swimming. That said, Asha absolutely cannot wait to go swimming again. Every day she says, “WATER,” and, “ASHA SWIM.” Swimming was fun for us as well, even though it’s something we rarely do. We’re such amateurs however and were totally unprepared, we basically forgot everything important. At the pool when we opened our bag, we saw we forgot masks, I forgot my bathing suit, we didn’t have towels and we didn’t bring extra diapers. Asha wasn’t even wearing a coat. God, we’re so bad, but we’re still pretty awesome parents too.

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Event

A Thousand Feelings

Just dropped off our angel for her first day of school! I’ll never forget the look on her little face, it was equal parts excitement and anticipation at the newness of it all, as well as wonder at where we were going and why we weren’t coming in. I feel a thousand feelings at this moment, I hope Asha isn’t asking for her mama and crying her eyes out. I hope the teachers and the other kids aren’t being subjected to a relentless and passionate tirade. She has gradual entry all week, today’s class is only 40 minutes, Dylan will get her then, after he picks up some photos we needed to print and include in Asha’s comfort kit. I’m off to see a skin specialist to get my keloid scar tissue assessed and the first round of steroid shots. I can’t wait to get all that done and sorted, and I can’t wait to hear how Asha’s first day of school went.

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Advice

When the World is Dark

Everyone’s always asking how old I am and they’re rendered shocked and speechless when I tell them I’m 46. Then they wanna know what’s my secret, and my secret, besides being Asian, is this: The key to staying fresh and looking young as you get older is to keep learning and to keep having fun. Don’t let bitterness overtake your heart. Don’t focus on the negative. Be positive. Be humorous, creative, compassionate and loving. Shine your light always, especially when the world is dark. Love everyone that deserves it, and tell anyone that dislikes or disapproves of you to fuck off.

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Event

1/1/22

First snowman, second snowfall, for Asha. This stuff is from February, I’m nearly a year late in sharing it. Winter, snowmen, snowfalls, Halloween, and Christmas, all these things are better with kids. Kids make everything harder, kids make everything better, harder is better. I can’t believe it’s the last day of the year, and tomorrow is 1/1/22, which I think is cool. Let’s hope 2022 is a good year, better than last year and better than the year before that. I had such high hopes for 2020 and look where that got us. I’m therefore keeping my hopes for 2022 modest and minimal. Things will always be better if you expect the worst and anyway adversity builds character, strength comes from pain, you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain. Fear is powerful, but love is stronger than fear. Sending love to each and every one of you. Happy new year.

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Thoughts

On Style

Style is about expressing yourself freely and bravely. Style is never right or wrong, it is a matter of being who you are deliberately. Style is not a display of wealth, but an expression of individuality and imagination. Style is strength, style is beauty, and style is joyful if you allow yourself to have joy. Fashion is not the same as style, because fashions fade, but style is eternal.

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Sharing

A Good Adventure

Off to spend a week with grandma and grandpa for the holidays. Asha is so stoked. She loves a good adventure. She went racing all over the airport and it was next to impossible to keep her still. If we don’t keep an eye on her at all times, that girl would get snatched for sure. Asha was ecstatic to be on a plane, but then she cried actual bloody murder when she discovered she could no longer watch Cry Baby Magic Tears. “Oh no cry baby’s broken!” went the refrain. She made this lamentation on repeat. These words usually are the first thing Asha utters each morning when she wakes. But sometimes she jolts when I approach, looks slowly and sleepily around, grins widely upon seeing me and says, “Good morning, mommy!” That sweet happy greeting is everything. Then I hold and hug her tight, pat her back and I say, “I love you, sweet baby. I love you so much.” And Asha sighs and presses her head down onto my shoulder and snug up against my neck and I hold and hug her for a while. That first hug sets the tone for the whole day.

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Sharing

Preschool Soon

I brought Asha to the preschool that she’ll be attending in early January in the new year and she was so excited. She did that bizarre bended knee with short quick dragging sneaky steps thing that she does when she’s keyed up and giddy. We were there to drop off a cheque for the registration fee and to pay the first and last month’s deposit. The kids were just finishing class and one of the teachers told them all to say hi to Asha so they gathered around and said, “Hi Asha!” and Asha smiled so big. This bodes well for when school will begin, Asha enjoyed being there so much that she didn’t want to leave. She struggled and cried and I had to slowly coax her outside. I’m excited for when school starts, but I’m dreading dropping her off on that first day. Apparently, it’s a hard drop-off, no lingering allowed, I am worried Asha will cry and say, “Where mama,” on repeat the whole time, but I also think she’ll adjust quickly and enjoy herself and be happy. At least I hope. Also, she’s supposed to be mostly potty trained by then, so I really have my work cut out for me. I have to potty train this kid in like two weeks. Lord have mercy.

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Advice

Bearer of Light

Never let a miserable ​person ruin your day. Just be thankful you aren’t them, that you don’t have their life and that however imperfect your life is​, yours is better, because you aren’t miserable. The only thing miserable ​people​ have going for them is to somehow affect you, don’t give them that power. Let miserable ​people stew in their own miserable juices. Misery loves company but so does happiness and so does love. It’s up to you what happens ​next, it’s up to you what happens now.​ Even if the world is falling apart around you, you can be a bearer of light.​ ​It’s up to you. ​Everything is up to you.

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Video

Children’s Songs are Weird

“Daddy finger daddy finger where are you
Here I am here I am how do you do”

Children’s songs are weird. I’m 90% sure no one wants to know where daddy’s finger is. Regardless, Asha’s adorableness remains unmatched. She loves to sing along to songs and do the dances, or she’ll act out the scenes along with the characters in shows and shout out the dialogue. The girl is too much. The cutest and sweetest entertainment 24-7. I love her to pieces, even when she’s being annoying and difficult.

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