Monday, June 29, 2009


There was a kid at the playground playing with Zoe earlier, by the name of Madeline or Madison or Maddening... something to that effect. At first she seemed like a nice girl, older than Zoe or Alex but somehow patient enough to play with Zoe. Before things got weird.

At first, it was just Madeline hanging upside down on some bars, and my wife was being polite, saying that was pretty cool. Then she got talkative on us, telling us that she went to school at a circus, and then she could do a lot of tricks and magic. Which was fine for a while. I was blogging on the phone and watching the kids when I realized that after she finished an act or made a statement, she would look at us for confirmation and acknowledgment. We would smile politely and then focus on our kids, but Madeline was persistent. Like a kid vying for attention.

She disappeared for a while with her mom, and while I was pushing Zoe on the swing she reappeared. Zoe was done and wanted off, so Madeline climbed on and as Zoe and I walked away, she looked at us and yelled, "Push me!" I ignored her, telling Zoe that her mommy needed to push her, and grown ups don't handle other peoples children. When we went to the fountain, Madeline demanded at the top of her voice to know where we were going.

Although we got a hitch-type attachment for Alex, whereby its like a tandem type deal that he could ride behind me, Zoe is still in a bucket seat that attaches directly on the bike. Zoe is petite enough to fit in the seat, but ever since we got Elaine her fancy new bike, Zoe has less room than before, with the bucket seat closer to the rider's seat.

When it came time to leave, we set off on the bike and Madeline saw us.

"Are you leaving?"
"Bye!" says Alex.
"Yes! Bye!"

As we rode away, she must have noticed the proximity between my wife's behind and Zoe, because she offered this nugget as we rode away.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's been a rather disturbing weekend, with 50 something year old celebrities dropping off the face of the earth. Kinda makes one think about their mortality, and if I punch the ticket at 50, would I have much of a legacy to leave behind? Well, that's a rather disturbing thought, on to something else.

Alex is a bit of a gentle giant. A couple weeks ago Alex was walking up to us to tell us something when a smaller kid who was running ran into him and bounced right off him. Alex just glanced at him, slight annoyed, then continued talking to us. Kids at the playground can pick on him or lean on his comfort zone and all he ever does is take it with a nervous smile. We have to intervene often, telling him to express himself instead of being mowed over.

The hardest part of being a parent for me is trying to preserve the children's innocence as long as I can. I do this to a certain extent, I do warn them of strangers and things that endanger them, I'm mostly worried about the other stuff, like their emotional well being. How children decide their heirarchy amongst themselves, and how it seems so unfair at times. Its probably the natural order of things but it doesn't mean I'm comfortable with it.

Feeling rather lazy today, either I'm suffering from the allergies or its just a Sunday thing to do. Don't feel like doing much of anything right now, save relaxing and thinking about not much. Have this overwhelming urge to snack, but I really shouldn't.


So here are some rather random paragraphs that I was drafting for my "memoir", before I decided that my life after all, was decidely rather dull and uneventful. Interesting I suppose, to some people but largely stinking of being normal. So here it is, free of charge, on the blog. I better get working on my fictional story then.

A co-worker who was breaking down boxes saw me passing by, and stopped me. "I have some feedback for you," she offered. As I placed my hand on my holster, she went on and expressed that the popular opinion, from what she gathered at least, was that I was a nice guy. I was always helpful, very considerate, genial. I thanked her, and as she walked away wondered what her name was.

I have a rather adaptive type of personality, which partially explains what I'm a Jack of most trades, Master of none whatsoever. Shifting the blame to that traumatic move to America, I realized quickly that it was either adapt and become communicable with the people around me, or jump off a bridge, which is considerably tougher since I didn't have a car to drive to a bridge and was too lazy to figure out bus routes. My accent was an awkward British-based, Chinese accented mish-mash that folks in my country dubbed Singlish, which stood for Singapore English. At best, the language sounded like a well-educated businessperson from China. At its worst, Singlish was nearly unbearable, with its Hokkien and Cantonese roots inflecting through the broken English to create a sing-songy, stringy tone that warranted the back of the someone's hand to whoever was emitting that sound.

It took a lot of over-the-air tv reruns of Bewitched, Hazel, and I Love Lucy episodes after school to soften my accent, although now that I think about it, I probably sounded a little old-timey to my school mates, saying things like, "Gosh" and "Fiddlesticks." Ridding the accent also required quite a bit of listening to what I needed to emulate, the language that circulated at lockers, classrooms, and the local Jack in the Box.

The accent got better through time, and even though my family members still have that discernable accent of a Singaporean TV reporter, I've morphed my accent well enough to fool friends who are unaware of my country of origin. When I was still doing weddings, I often wondered when they booked me if they thought a peppy blonde girl might be doing their videography, but instead this Chinese guy shows up.