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.”

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 

Bad Mom Monday:  a weekly post about why I might be a bad mom.  

This was a recent conversation with the kids while on our way to Nana’s. 

Monkey brought up “nuts”.  Yes, those nuts.  Now, I make a point of using correct biological words for all body parts but somehow his father, my husband, still managed to teach him the fundamentals of guy talk and at some point during their primitive garage get-togethers has taught my son “nuts” and “balls”.  I’m pretty sure there’s a piss bucket in the garage too.  (And that’s a whole ‘nother story about why my daughter is angry that she can’t go pee in the garage.)

So it went like this.  We heard the DJ make a joke.  “Why didn’t the skeleton go on the roller coaster?  Because he didn’t have any guts.”

Monkey:  He didn’t have any nuts!?  Hahaha. 

Me:  No, buddy.  He said guts. 

Monkey: Oh. 

Me:  Monkey, do you know what part of the body are nuts?

Monkey: Duh, you’re penis.  

And then we got to Nana’s and started to hop out of the van.  That’s when Abalone said:  Me like to eat nuts. 

And Monkey got a horrified look on his face, with a dash of confusion.  

Me:  No, buddy.  She means like peanuts, or almonds.  The nuts you eat.  

And thats when my husband fell apart, doubled over, and could no longer contain himself.  

Vacuum Mafia

This is Wanda.
Wanda Dyson.
(Yup, that’s a photo of my dirty vacuum)

So named because I can hear her yelling at me in true Wanda Sykes fashion. “I know you’re not going to make me suck that!” (I don’t know if WS actually said that, exactly, but you can pretend in your head like she did.)

WD doesn’t like me. I make her vacuum weeks’ worth of dog hair pushed into the corners of the bedroom and hidden behind the doors. And I excuse my behavior by asserting that I live in an old house. It needs old stuff in it. Weeks-old dog hair IS old.
I make her vacuum up other gross things, like cat litter. And things she hates, like rabbit hay. She hates hay because the long strands get stuck in her hose and Wanda loses suction.
Wait! Dysons don’t lose suction.
Yes, that Dyson commercial lied – and now I’m going to get sued for libel. In my defense, the commercials said “never loses suction”. And it does lose suction. Well, not completely all the way, no. But it loses some suction.

Who here loves a good sucking? Raise your hand. Don’t be shy.

You want that Lego toy sucked just as much as you want the cat fur sucked. And none of it gets sucked when WD gets a throat full of hay.

Half sucked, sort of sucked, is like blue balls for housekeepers. Those poor housekeepers, they just want the task done. Nobody wants blue balls.* And we all know that rush we get when the hose releases its load and we’ve got some amazing suction once again. Ecstasy. AmIright?

But nothing sucks more than a Wanda that won’t suck.

She’s slowly toying with me. One day she’ll suck like a seasoned whore. I can tell when she’s sucking best just from the sounds she makes. She’s loud, mad. And then other days her loud noises are only whispered sweet nothings. Do I look like I need a nothing sucking? Probably not.

So, now, WD is refusing to do her required sucking on demand and I’m growing weary of her crappy work ethics. I’ve complained to other management here at Chateau Jeans and they stare at me in bewilderment. But my complaints have been overheard by WD and I think she’s unionizing.

I drove into work this week and you can imagine my confusion when I was greeted by two more floor cleaners waiting for me in the parking lot. Initially I thought that they belonged to the janitor but then I remembered that he sucks (not in a WD sort of way) and can’t even clean the toilets. And then my brain wondered if the landscaping dudes had left them but then the voice of my husband asked me if I honestly thought they were planning on vacuuming the grass. Shut up, voice of husband.

Did some pissed off teenagers drop them off? They wanted to be rid of chores forever?! It’s a good plan on paper.

Oh oh, it’s a Jets vs. Sharks thing, right? When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way. Swiffer Jet? Shark Vacuum? No?

So then I realized these had to be associates of WD. And they were here to do her bidding. She’s pissed that I’ve been abusing her, demanding that she work.

These two were floor cleaning Union stewards. AKA her pimp and bodyguard (canister guard?).
I parked, and got out of the car. Then I did what any same person would do: walked quickly to the door and peeked around the corner from inside. They hadn’t moved. Whew, I was safe.

No one in the office bullpen mentioned the vacuums that day. Maybe they never noticed? Maybe they did and like to fuck with me (they would). Or maybe it was just me who saw Vacuum Pimp and I really am going nuts.

I went about my work day and forgot about them. When I left work they were waiting for me, melting in the sun. I hoped they dropped they’re shanks somewhere because there was no way that I was going to miss taking a photo of random vacuums in the parking lot.

I’m sure Wanda is going to blame me for the Great Vacuum Melt of 2016, and refuse to suck when it’s time to vacuum the front porch the next time I don’t feel like sweeping. Whatever, bitch. You’ll suck it and you’ll like it.

Two days later there was a murmur in the office about the vacuums. There was only one left. I think they got into a turf war with some mops and the second vacuum was likely tossed over the bridge.

The problem wasn’t that one was gone, the problem was that one had somehow made it inside and now I might have to go into witness protection.

* This does not include my BDSM peeps. They might actually want blue balls.