Recognizing Proud Moments

As a parent, as a Chinese parent, I’ve been raised to put a lot of emphasis on academia. It’s in my blood – it’s natural. Even though I was born and raised here in Canada, that part was ingrained into me – albeit I’m a more water-down version of my parents.

And I do put emphases on academia. I have. Quite a bit. To the point where I find myself getting anxious over my daughter’s grades. I realized I needed to chill out a bit, though. While it’s still my job to ensure she is doing well in school (i.e. performing well, not failing, being respectful to peers and teachers, etc.) I also did not want to pass my anxieties on to her. She is becoming her own person and needs to take her own accountability on such matters. It’s a work in progress – I’m not perfect and I slip back to old habits. More than I would like to admit.

There are, as I have discovered many times in my near 14 years of raising her, moments that have nothing to do with academia but still, I find myself in awe with how much she surprises me – and how much she makes me proud.

Over the weekend, her and I were talking. And yes, of course it was about k-pop. And of course it was about her favorite idols. These days it seems most of our conversations start with k-pop though it may end elsewhere only to return to k-pop.

A friend of her at school was saying how she would not be happy if she found out her idol was gay simply because she respects her idol so much, if they are gay, then she would feel let down.

Yeah. Pretty homophobic statement. I am not completely surprised though. It’s a private school and a LOT of the parents are ultra-conservative and not open to accepting different lifestyles than their own. Which makes it difficult for me to make new friends among them. I am the black sheep, after all. I’m THAT parent. Whom doesn’t bat an eye if I find my daughter using curse words (we’ve talked about it – I tell her I don’t mind so long as she is responsible with how she uses curse words). I’m the one that sends her daughter beautiful photos of her bias, Kim Taehyung just to torture her for my amusement. And I’m that parent who wouldn’t care if her child comes out one day to me, stating she is gay or bisexual, etc. I’ve always told her such things do not matter to me or her father so long as she is happy and not hurting herself or anyone else. We’ve always done our best to raise her with a good heart and not to judge others on such things – because what is there to judge?

I’m that parent. In a world where we are increasingly becoming more progressive and open, it’s amazing that in a big city such as Toronto, I’m still finding myself, in such moments, as the minority. Why is that?

Anyway – so my daughter said she had a disagreement with said friend. She tried to reason with her but the disagreement started to escalate so my daughter dropped it. It was in class and she didn’t want to start a heated and loud argument.

So here’s where I can breakdown how proud I felt:

  1. She was confident with her stance.
  2. She tried to reason with her friend.
  3. She did not let her friend, whom she cares for dearly, to sway her beliefs.
  4. When the situation started to escalate, she knew when to bow out and keep the peace.
  5. She came to me and told me about this conversation – not to be praised but just to share with me what happened between her and her friend.

I would like to say I am responsible for her level of maturity. Because even as an adult, I don’t think I could have kept as level headed as she did. That was all her.

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Not-So Daily Kpop Challenge – Part VIII

[30 Day K-Pop Challenge]

Day 17: A k-pop idol you wish was your older sibling

Hmm… well, let’s analyze this: it would be between Chanyeol, Jin, RM, Suga and J-Hope. Suga would give me tough love, always making sure I work hard and that I do my best. Jin would be a great older brother who cooks for me and treats me out with good eats! And his sense of humor would be just awesome to grow up with. RM is just so caring with a natural sense of leadership for both younger and older siblings. J-Hope is inspirational. Chanyeol is tall. LOL! Kidding… I don’t know why I thought of Yeol – he just has that big brother look.

But I have to pick one, right? So, I think the winner is… J-Hope!

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I think he would just always be so encouraging and positive. I really needed that type of energy growing up – it’s just something I lacked. It helps to see the selfies he takes with his true sister (I think she is older – but they look so adorable and close with one another). I envy that type of brother-sister bond because I am the only child. Plus, J-Hope is just really, really cool! I’d be the envy of all my friends! :p

Day 18: A k-pop idol you wish was your younger sibling

I’d have to choose Jungkook. He’s such a little shit but he’s a cute and funny little shit. I imagine I would love him and look out for him like a big sister but also get annoyed with him, too. What are little brothers for, right? Anyway – in my mind he just fits the little brother role.

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BONUS: A k-pop idol you wish was your BFF

Since I was on the fence between J-Hope and Jin as an older sibling, I’m going to choose Jin as a best friend role. I really love Jin’s antics. But his passion for food makes me feel like hanging out with him would be fun. And while he acts silly and goofy a lot, it appears he looks after the maknae line. For example, I read somewhere he was worried while Jimin was going through a really strict and dangerous diet. Jin would try to get Jimin to eat with him and try to talk Jimin out of continuing such an extreme lack-of-eating schedule.

Plus – sometimes Jin can be the bratty younger sibling! LOL!

Anyway, I get a sense Jin would also be there for friends who need a shoulder to cry on. Also, there are times he bias wrecks me – so that sexual attraction alone makes it tough to think of him as a sibling.

Kpop Humor and Nostalgia

One of the main reasons I love BTS is their sense of humor. Sometimes their back and forth ribbing and their antics remind me of my friends and I (well, before we had to become these damn responsible ‘adults’ paying bills, raising young kids, etc. – I often remind my teen that we used to be a lot more fun until ‘all you kids came into our lives and sucked the life out of us.’)

We’re actually still that way with one another but not as often. Thank God for social media! We can at least send each other random things thereby going off of sometimes decades of inside jokes that never seem to die out. I show my daughter some of these threads of ours and all she does is shake her head and say, “You guys are SO weird.” That we are. That.. we.. are.

Anyway – for this lovely, snowy Monday morning here in Toronto, I figured I’d start this soon-to-be hectic week with a little bit of kpop idol humor. Meet Jackson Wang of GOT7:

By the way, I think Jackson is extremely handsome. I am not bothered by kpop male idols wearing make-up. I know people who do not understand the kpop scene think it is weird, even discriminating these guys for wearing make-up (cue rude jokes about them being feminine, etc.) but personally, I often like them when they are either bare-faced or with just minimal make-up so it’s barely noticeable. Why I am a Jackson bias is due to the fact he looks handsome with no make-up what-so-ever! (BTW, I think BTS also look good without make-up and they seem to be performing with less of it compared to the past – it makes me happy because they are not hiding as much of their natural beauty).

20 ml More

So it was a Friday evening – September 29th, to be exact. We met at The Loose Moose for after work dinner and drinks.

While waiting for RV, I took a look at their wine list. They had three options as far as quantity for the red wine I was eyeing. 5 oz, 8 oz of 1/2 a litre.

I leaned forward to Tai and asked, “Hey… I’m going to have two 8 oz glasses anyway. Is that around the same amount as 1/2 a litre? Would I be better off just getting the 1/2 litre?”

Tai pulls out his unit converter app, “Let me check…”

I wait.

“Oh yeah! You’re saving yourself $2! Annnd… you’re getting 20 ml more wine!”

“20 ml more?”

“Yeah! Hey – that’s an extra sip worth!”

So yeah… I got the 1/2 litre.

Tai’s logic was very, well, logical. How could I dispute it?

First Camping trip of 2017

There’s been a lag in my blogging.

You see, there was Mother’s Day at my parents’ place…

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Orchids for my mom – her favorite color is purple

And then there was the business trip to Vegas the morning after where I saw just snapshots of Vegas during short lunch breaks, between meeting to meeting or the most I saw of the actual Vegas strip, my ride in the cab back to the airport…

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View from my room

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The Mirage Atrium

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Las Vegas airport – butterflies

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Las Vegas strip – on the way to airport

It was a crazy week and I’m questioning how I survived. But somehow I managed to survive. A part of me questioned if I was really going mad when I decided to take a red-eye out of Vegas Thursday night so I had time to pack and go camping for our Victoria Day long weekend starting Friday evening.

At the time, I regretted it but as soon as I arrived at Balsam Lake Provincial Park and we set up for our campfire, all was good.

I looked up at the stars as the sky was crystal clear that night and said to my husband, “This is what I needed. I came from Vegas, a busy week where there was constant bright lights and big noises all the time… to this! Quiet. And the only bright lights are from the campfire and the millions stars above us.” What a difference, to come from one crazy world into another one so opposite it’s difficult to believe they both exist on the same planet.

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Hobbes the Dog guarding our site from dangerous wildlife – like birds and squirrels

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My belated Mother’s Day gift

Knowing the week before wasn’t ideally a great mother’s day for me, my husband and daughter saved my present for after our first brunch in our trailer. I saw this book a couple of months ago and had to get it – Glamping with MaryJane. I immediately put it on my wish list and now, my wish has been granted.

I love the style and sass of this book but more importantly, as we will be a proud owner of a 20 foot trailer next summer, it gives all the essentials in taking care and maintaining one’s trailer. As well as how to make it a home away from home with stylish decoration and craft tips.

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Our traditional steak dinner over the campfire.

And hubbie got creative – using our tripod from our outdoor cast iron dutch oven, he fashioned some chains to a round bbq grill so the steaks could cook further away from the flames. It worked. That’s all I can say – it worked very well!

We did do a 1hr hike on the Saturday but since it rained all day Sunday, we went to a friend’s cottage 20 minutes away (after sleeping in, having a late brunch and doing some chill-out time in the trailer – it’s a small trailer but it’s still nice to chill out in it). I finally got to meet his two kids (both in their 20’s) along with the daughter’s boyfriend and another friend. So odd to be sitting there among the “young folks” but I enjoyed it very much. The boys were so kind they even gave me a hug good-bye! I assume I passed their ‘coolness-test?’

Monday, we left right at check-out time, trying to enjoy our stay as long as we can as the rain let up and gave us a comfortable temperature. Heading back to the city, we had several  hours left before the end of the day to clean-up and relax a little. Aside from the rain, it was a successful first camping weekend – and we’re off again for a 2-night camping trip in a couple of weeks!

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Hobbes the Dog was so pooped the last night of camping – he feel asleep on his back (he rarely does this)