The Time My Mom Was Just Like Claire Fraser 

Claire Fraser, from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books, is my absolute favorite female fiction character in the universe (well, she WAS, and then her daughter Brianna was born and Claire became my second favorite.)  And I’m pretty sure Claire is my mom’s favorite.  I’ve been in love with the books for probably 15 years, longer for my mother.  And so one day mom told me this story and I now realize that she and Claire share something in common.  I hope that makes you giddy, Mom.

I don’t know how, in my almost 40 years on Earth, I did not know this story. Somehow in the world of stupid shit and other stories my parents tell, THIS ONE slipped through the cracks.

I was on a short road trip with Mom. We were telling our co-passenger about my mom’s time in Japan. That mom was an army brat and that’s how she and my dad met at teenagers. One of my grandfathers worked on Green Giant helicopters. The other, I think, was an EMT. Our co-passenger was telling us about her daughter’s upcoming trip to Korea and my mom shared a story about her trip to Korea.

Unfortunately I can’t write this story as funny as it sounded coming from my mom. You have to imagine a completely boring tone split by laughter at the statement of “so we slept in a whore house.” Especially if you knew how straight laced my grandmother is and how SHE never told us this story in her matter-of-fact, no emotion, manner.
While in Japan, Grandma and Grandpa decided to adopt a child from Korea. My uncle had been left at a police station when he was 2 and lived in a small orphanage until he was 6 when my family adopted him. The three of them flew to Korea from Japan in the early 70’s, when Mom was 15, to pick up Uncle. At that time there was a midnight curfew in Seoul and everyone was required to be in a residence, by midnight, each night.
When they arrived, and were walking to the orphanage, each time they stopped to ask for directions someone would start petting my mom’s hair. She had bright red hair and it must have been pretty shocking.  When they got to the orphanage my grandparents had to pay money and the people running the place immediately took it to get food.  They were that poor and desperate to help these kids, and so short on funds, that it was spent as fast as it was given.

After my family left the orphanage they headed to the airport but it was too close to midnight and there were no flights going out.  They didn’t have a place to stay so they slept in the airport. No flights were going back to Japan the second night either and so right before midnight on the second night they found the only taxi available that would take them somewhere, after midnight, for a place to sleep.

Well, the only place available was a brothel.

Stock image from


And so they stayed in that brothel. And that’s when my mom got to have the same experience as Claire Fraser in Outlander.  They have both slept in a whore house.  And my mother said, “We slept in a room in the very back so we, you know, couldn’t hear the, uh, business escapades going on in the rest of the house.”
Dudes. My mom slept in a whore house.

The next morning they headed back to the airport. Still no passenger flights. So Grandpa sprung into action. He spotted a pilot buddy and asked for some help. The pilot let them fly aboard his cargo plane, a C-123, that had no insulation, no comfy seats, and no sound-proofing. They sat sideways in jump seats and bundled up in their coats to hopefully help with the cold air. They didn’t have any ear protection so Mom tore up some sanitary napkins and they all put the pads in their ears.

I’m assuming they made it safe and sound (because I was born). I just visited Grandma and Uncle at Christmas and they’re alive and kicking.   But I still can’t get over the fact that this story hasn’t been shared with my sister and I.  Out of all the stories, out of the blue, you tell me you slept in a whore house as if it was completely insignificant and no big deal.  Dude.

Shit, Mom!  What else are you hiding?


Bad Mom Monday: I Had To Call Poison Control 

Normally my kids don’t get into stuff. At least, not my stuff. When Monkey was under 18 months his favorite thing to do was to dump the recycling bin and listen to the aluminum cans crash onto the hardwood floor. And Abalone loved the “kids’ cabinet” where the plastic ware still resides to this day. She loved taking evert single bowl out and just letting them fly as she swept her arm through. Getting them back in was a joke. It was more like stuffing my ass into a pair of skinny jeans. Some would make it in but most need experienced help to stack everything neatly.

One day my son saw me pop a birth control pill and he asked me, “Is that candy?” But he didn’t say it normal. He said it like Satan meets Mathilda with a diabolical look in his eye and a sweet voice with and emphasis on the “dee” in candy.


“It looks like candy.”

“It’s not candy. It’s mine. Leave it alone.” And I put it back.

I should have known better.

I should have said, “This is mommy’s medicine. Don’t touch it.” And put it up high.

But I’m an idiot.

At nap I saw the whole pack was gone except the sugar pills. Monkey had just been downstairs for his mid-nap pee so I called him down and asked if he’d eaten them. He denied it up and down. I told him he could get very sick and I needed the truth. He finally admitted it.

So I called Poison Control. Did you know that calling Poison Control is like calling TSA? What’s your name and address? What’s your son’s name? Any other kids? What do you do for a living? What do you mean you’re not in California? You’re calling from a California number. What did you eat for breakfast? What are you wearing?

Dude, I just want to know if I need to go by some ipecap.

Poison Control Man said that Monkey might throw up and he’d have tender breasts, but not to worry because this would not affect his long term sexuality.

Not even a blip on my radar.

I was more concerned with my kid dying of hyperestrogenian syndrome (it IS too real, I just made it up). But, this is me and that man was lucky enough to get to talk to me. And I know you’re all thinking it, so I asked. “Do people actually really think their kid will be gay after eating a bunch of birth control pills?”

Apparently the answer is yes. People DO wonder if this will give their kids “the gay”. I couldn’t have given a shit.

And you know what? Monkey did not throw up. But he did take a longer nap than normal.

Now I have to wonder what they do they do with my recorded call? I’m sure this is going on my permanent record. They’re keeping this stuff for potential future CPS investigations. “Ma-am, 10 years ago you let your son eat birth control pills. We’re going to have to place him in foster care.”

Wait, you want to take teenager Monkey away? And deal with him yourselves? Bwah-ha. Haha. HA! Good luck with that.  “Here’s some birth control pills, Monkey.  Give ’em hell.”

Bad Dad Monday: When The Kids Are Quiet 

This week’s Bad Mom Monday is brought to you by my children’s dad.  This is Part 2 of how my week went last week.  To see Part 1, click here

My 6 year old son has been diagnosed with ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) and ADHD. I lovingly refer to it as an official diagnosis of Little Asshole Syndrome. We’ve known about Monkey’s unique personality quirks since he was a little over two years old, and his reactions to transitions were rage-packed.  

This kid is so intense that he was kicked out of preschool.  They definitely don’t call him my clone for nothin’, because I have my own reputation for giving my poor parents a run for their money.  My sister almost never existed because they didn’t want to risk another me.  

Because of Monkey’s behavior we’ve been trying all sorts of methods to help him work on his social and emotional skills. This also helps us work with my almost 5 year old daughter, who may also have an ADD diagnosis, or, at the least, some sort of sensory issues. (Her method of traveling from one space to another is twirling.)

Now, if kept separate from other kids, especially each other, my kids are relatively decent little humans, with age appropriate reactions and behaviors. But after they get dropped off at school or if they are on the same floor as each other at home, my children turn into demon spawn who eat the souls of quiet happy people.  (Because there are no quiet happy people in this house.)

Then we were invited to a showing of the 1,2,3 Magic DVD during Abalone’s preschool parent night. Before the showing I was pretty damn pessimistic. Because I tell these kids to be quiet a lot.  Lets lower our voices, inside voices please, goddamn it shutthefuckup and stop arguing! 

So no way was some lame ass 1,2,3 counting thing going to work for my favorite little assholes.  

But it did. And it has. And Monkey has had a lot of good days at school. Abalone is still twirling but she’s stopped throwing her face into the couch.

And they’re quiet.   

A little too quiet.  

….way too quiet.  

Why can’t I hear the kids? Are they whispering up there to each other? Shit.  

Abalone has no bangs.  

Oh boy was Jesse mad.  

And when he asked her why she would do that?  

“Because me brother showed me how.”

Well, shit, kid, I can dig it.  But don’t tell your father.  

It’s Only Fun Until Someone Loses An Eye

Lately I’ve been posting about fun stuff and lots of laughs. And I’ll tell you the truth, I have this fear that I won’t be able to deliver something to all of you that’s full of laughs. I’m usually in bed each night thinking about how I will write the next Sunday’s post. Luckily, these past couple of weeks, I’ve had things fall into my lap and saw an opportunity to blog about it. 

And this week I’ve had two things fall into my lap and you might view them as laughable or pitiful. Part 1 is today, part 2 will be Bad DAD Monday.  

If you get the heebie jeebies from eyeball talk, you should probably stop reading now.  

Three weekends ago my Morkie got out, for the billionth time.  (This is why he’s microchipped.)

Woo, without a haircut
Woo, with haircut
We got him back within an hour thanks to my mom’s big mouth, but when he came back his right eye was bulging and swollen.  He had some burrs stuck in the fur around his eye and so I figured he ran through some brush and irritated the eye.  We got him a dog eye wash and some Terramycin. The swelling went down and there was no more snot goo coming out of his eye. 

After a week I noticed a yellow marble looking thing inside of his eyeball so we took him to the vet.  At that point the vet said he’s likely blind in that eye.   His cornea is in great condition but the marble thing is his retina detached from within the eye. 

Then we had to take him to a specialist and get an ultrasound to find out the cause.  It could have been due to a tumor or to an impact but we and they don’t know.  The specialist performed an ultrasound and said that Woo’s eye is definitely blind and could bulge out of his head at any moment because the antibodies in him are treating the detached retina like a foreign object and attacking it.  

They had to remove the eye.  

Here’s Woo just after surgery. 

The swelling is down a lot since Friday and they sent the eye to WSU to dissect it and I really want a video of the dissection. But he’s bouncing all over the place as if he never had surgery and once the hair grows back it won’t be noticeable.  

I still don’t know if it’s cancer or not.  We’ll get the histology report back at some point but it’s Memorial Day weekend here in the states so who knows when that will be.  But I’ll keep the blog updated when I find out.  

I also have a call into them about what if a strand of hair grows backwards into his eye socket and twirls around and around until it tickles his brain and then he turns into a psycho dog?  It could happen.  

But every great battle scar deserves some sort of commendation so we’ve nicknamed him One Eyed Woo-wee.  

Bad Mom Monday: Artwork 

Bad Mom Monday: a weekly post about why I might be a bad mom.  
My son, Monkey, likes to take photos and draw.  Today I shall leave you with very few words and let the pictures pretty much speak for themselves.  And you really all should get your minds out of the gutter.  That is a MOTORCYCLE and a NERF GUN.  Geesh.  

Top 3 Inventions For Lazy Moms

This week I’ve been thinking about great inventions that were created due to laziness.  Like Poo-Pouri, for those too lazy to courtesy flush; or Snackeez, for those too lazy to wash extra dishes; or The Snuggie, for those too lazy to turn their robe around.  

I’ve come up with three inventions that I don’t have the time/money to market research or create.  <disclaimer:  I’m fully aware that these things might be impossible. Don’t be a dick and point that out to me.  You could just suspend your disbelief for a bit.  Mmmkay?>

1.   The Toilet Snuggie.  I don’t know how it works, but, remember how I said I live in an old house?  Old houses can be cold.  And at 2 a.m. on a cold tile floor and an ice cold toilet, a Snuggie that will keep me warm (especially when I fall asleep on the toilet), won’t fall into the toilet, and has wiping access, would be so lovely.

2.  Memory Foam wrapped vacuum cords.  I’ll tell you, this lazy mom does not like to wrap up vacuum cords.  The damn floors are just going to get dirty again, what’s the point of putting away the vacuum. (Maybe this is another reason why Wanda hates me – she has no place to call her own and she gets no privacy.)  So when I have to walk to the bathroom at 2 a.m. And I step on Wanda’s cord, and I yell “Sonofamotherfucker!” and it echoes through my previously mentioned old house, my husband might fall out of bed and/or, my Great Dane might come see what’s wrong, knock me over (naked), and stand on my head, causing more yelling.  So soft cushy cord wraps might be neat and very helpful.

3.  Cuss Word Foreign Language Headphones.   This might be a shocker to you, I cuss.  A lot less than I used to but not enough for my daughter not to ask if various words are bad, like “beer”, “dude”, and “gotyousonbitch”.  You might also be shocked to learn that I grew up in the SF Bay Area and got to drive in cities like Oakland, LA, and Long Beach.  I tend to yell at other drivers within the bubble of my own sound proof vehicle.  When the kids were very young I stopped yelling “asshole” and switched to “idiot”.  You’ll have to trust me (because I’m not going to post the video) when I say that one day we watched our 18 month old son pretending to drive and yelling at the make believe cars in front of him, messing with the radio to find the best song.  Idiot was his choice insult.  

So wouldn’t it be the most productive if they invented a smart car with foreign language technology?   There would be drop down headphone and every time my pupils dilated or my heart rate went up, the car would know that “fuck” would be coming out of my mouth soon and the kids would put on the headphones. They would hear something productive like classical music or a foreign language lesson.  In my car, they’d be fluent in Japanese in two weeks.    The headphones would drop down like oxygen masks on airplanes and a no smoking style light would light up.  Except this would be a red light with a big F with a circle and a line through it.    

There’s a principle in permaculture called “stacking functions”. Now, two of my inventions involve going to the bathroom and maybe they could be bundled together in a cool gift box with safari colors to add value to what the consumer purchases.  But those foreign language headphones could definitely stand alone as an awesome product.  I’d personally market it to homeschool teachers, might come in handy when they’re late for co-op or if they’re planning a trip to Mexico to immerse themselves in the language.  Who needs a language dictionary when your kids can translate?  But don’t let me create the program.  I’d probably teach kids pendeja or cabron and some family will wind up in Mexican jail.  

I think I’ll need everyone to sign a waiver  before they’ll be allowed to buy my inventions.