Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How To Piss Me Off In Less Than 10 Seconds

Would you like to be able to piss me in just fractions of a minute? My MIL has found the absolute fastest way to enrage me. If you would like to incur my wrath, please follow this exactly and you too will get to see me foam at the mouth in severe agitation.

When I come home from work, be sure to have my precious daughter run up and greet me. That way, I will not be able to miss how you fed her God-knows-what concoction for lunch and didn't bother to put a bib on her. And when she stains that nice, new shirt she received as a birthday gift, don't bother to wash the food off straight away. Oh no, no, no! Let it really sink in there and stain. Then, make sure you hand-wash a fucking pair of my daughter's socks and hang them to dry while they are still sopping wet ON TOP OF clothes that were already hanging to dry so you effectively re-wet those clothes.

To top it all off, you can stand there like a total fatwad and watch me as I change my daughter out of this stained shirt, change her into a new shirt (and try to tell me that shirt is too small for her which it is so fucking not) and scrub the fuck out of the shirt you essentially ruined. Yes, be as useless as possible. This will seal the deal for sure.

Seriously, this is what happened to me today. I don't want to look at this woman ever again but I have no choice. I am actually surprised she didn't turn to stone when I gave her the look of death. What a total imbecile! I heard my husband tell her it would have been more helpful for her to have washed that shirt right after Raelynn got food on it than to bother with washing some socks. I held my tongue out of respect for him and also so Raelynn wouldn't hear me but I just wanted to ask her how she could possibly so incredibly moronic.

I shouldn't be surprised, should I? I am going to take all the clothes she has bought Raelynn recently, dump soy sauce on them and let them sit FOR DAYS. Let's see how she likes that.

I don't have a photo of the stained mess, but I do have one of the way she put the dishes (which she likely washed in cold water instead of hot because she is just THAT dumb no matter how many times we tell her) on the drying rack. It's priceless. It must be tough being so insipid.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Easy Come, Easy Go

I have been meaning to write about the following since late March. But every time I sit down to write in the ol' blog, something else has come up and it has effectively slipped through the cracks, day after day, week after week.

Until now.

At the beginning of this semester (which is a funny thing to type right now considering the first semester is halfway over), we were all in charge of pitching in to decorate certain parts of the kindergarten. The other English teacher, Jon, and I were responsible for decorating some boards in the hallway. The Korean teachers had some as well. And the Chinese teachers were given the task of making the bathroom a cheery place.

First, the Chinese teachers had made signs for the sinks. They came to Jon and me with a paper featuring a design of a water drop and a picture of a faucet. They wanted to know what they should put in English and we told them "Don't waste water." That was easy enough.

But then, for whatever reason, they created these signs to go in the bathroom stalls. Why they wouldn't consult us first and ask us if it made any sense was beyond me, especially since they asked us about the signs for the sink, but in any event, here you go:
"Easy come, easy go."

When I told my husband about this, he cracked up. He totally understood what the Chinese teachers were trying to convey from Chinese into English. Jeremy says the Chinese thing to say is "lai ye cong cong qu ye chong chong." And according to Jeremy, it wouldn't come out as "easy come, easy go," but rather "don't forget to flush."

They made some other signs more recently and despite spelling out the words for the Chinese teachers, they spelled "toilet" as "toilrt." And wrote "ten" instead of "the." And "handas" instead of "hands." I have no photos of these but I'll go snap some on Monday and update this post. Stay tuned!

Good Work, MIL!

Yes, I just typed that, a compliment to the head troll. Why? Well, I might be a bitch and all but I'm not above acknowledging the old gal when she does something right. Right-ish at least.

One day last week when I came home from work, Raelynn ran up to the door to greet me. She is usually (and understandably) super excited to see me. But on this day, she began jumping up and down with glee, shouting merrily, "Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!" And suddenly, I see she's wearing a new pair of shoes. My initial reaction is to scowl at MIL, which I do out of habit but very briefly. My thought process went like this: "Ewwww...oh, uh, hey...wait a second here. That's not half bad actually."

MIL had bought Raelynn a pair of imitation Crocs that look like little bugs. They're orange and it's certainly not what I'd pick but it could be worse. MUCH worse, if you've read any of my other posts about MIL and her highly unfashionable choices (like this, as just one of MANY examples). Check them out:
Again, they're not something I would have selected but they're not completely unfortunate-looking. Raelynn also adores them and can put them on and take them off all by herself so that's something too, I guess. They light up on the heel when she walks in them which Raelynn also seems to like. I guess I should be relieved that they don't make that insufferable squeaking sound like some shoes for toddlers. I would kill kill KILL over that. I mean, who wants their toddlers wearing shoes that make noise with every step? I know that my toddler is quite noisy enough on her own! My brother once joked he was going to get me a pair of squeakers for Raelynn. At least I think it was a joke. Oh GOD. Please be a joke! PLEASE BE A JOKE!!!! Anyway, here's a side angle on these faux Crocs...

Not content with one small victory, a few days after that, MIL bought another pair of shoes for Raelynn. Take a look and we'll discuss...

 I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about these. She bought those horrid boots in red. MIL seems to like red shoes. But Raelynn has very little that works with red. Why does she have to get such a useless color? Sigh. They look okay, I guess, but they are really cheaply made. That bling on the front is just craptastic, and I hope Raelynn rips it off of there just like she did to the nice white sandals she had last summer so MIL will know how I felt. Why couldn't she buy these in black or white? Red. The red makes me a little annoyed but at least this is a major improvement for the troll-in-law, isn't it?

Now if only she could stop washing one pair of Raelynn's socks (instead of just leaving them in the laundry basket) and hanging them, sopping wet, to dry in the most random fucking places. Augh! I know, I know. Baby steps...baby steps.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Teacher Unappreciation Day

Yesterday was Teacher Appreciation Day at school. I'd been looking forward to it since last year's Teacher Appreciation Day was so wonderful. I truly felt special and appreciated that day. But this year was very different. And not in a good way.

If you take a moment to check out my post from last year in the link above, you'll read about all the lovely gifts I received from my students and you'll see photos of the best part - the cards they all wrote for me. Don't be lazy...go! Plus, the Engrish on the cards is awesome.

Did you see that?

Well, this year, I have more students. 20. Most of them are very bright though very few of them are what you'd consider even remotely well-behaved. Out of 20, five gave me gifts. One gave me a set of flavored Lancome lip glosses and a sweet card. Another gave me a giant box of Maxim coffee and some Korean crackers, but no card. One gave me some very nice BB cream foundation that feels like silk on my skin and a card. Another gave me L'Occitane shower gel and lotion. And one gave me a nice fruit cup mix for snack, complete with toothpick for spearing each piece. So yes, of 5 gifts, only 2 with cards.

This year, our room mothers came to teach one of my classes for me. I am busy with all kinds of crap for our upcoming English Village day of hell so the extra 40 minutes of freedom was a nice blessing. When I came to get the kids for lunch, I found they'd made us flower bouquets...out of play dough. Maybe I should smile and say it's the thought that counts. But they were wonky-looking flowers. And I can't take them home. Raelynn will destroy them. So now I have this ugly basket of fake play dough flowers by my desk. They also brought in a giant cake with milk boxes for the kids and some coffee for us teachers. That's right. Instead of making us feel special, they brought us a cake we had to share with the children. I'm not trying to be ungrateful here, and I certainly don't want to come across as someone who just wants lots of gifts or anything, but I found this very depressing. I didn't feel special. Instead of being appreciated, I (and the other teachers as well) were now stuck serving cake to a bunch of screaming and hyperactive children. It was made worse by the fact that another set of parents came in with ice cream FOR THE KIDS. Hello?!? It's Teacher's Day. We already had Children's Day.

I was just astounded by the lack of appreciation. And I'm not so much complaining about the lack of gifts. Of course gifts are nice! Who wouldn't be fucking happy getting presents?!? But it's the lack of cards I find most appalling. Why couldn't the parents have their kids write a short and sweet note to me? Or even to the Korean teacher. I could tell she was disappointed too. Here's a day to celebrate us and all our hard work and we're barely even acknowledged by the parents and students. The school at least gave us a nice treat with a small cash bonus, which was the highlight of my day.

When Raelynn goes off to school, I will make sure that her teachers feel appreciated. If you have kids, wherever you are in this world, I hope you make your child/children's teachers feel special.

I'm not just an ESL kindergarten teacher. I'm a police officer, enforcing our rules and keeping my kids safe. I'm a referee when the children disagree, trying to help them work out their problems together and teaching them important life skills about how to get along with other people. I'm a nurse when they get a small cut or bug bite, lovingly bandaging them up and sending them on their way. I'm an example of etiquette, teaching my kids how to have good manners in and out of the classroom. I'm a comedian that makes that laugh as I do different voices when I read them stories. I'm a dance instructor who prepares them for their graduation performance. I'm MacGyver, fixing their broken hair clips and Pokemon toys.

And I'm so many more things than this. I do it with love, I really do. But in return, I wish to be loved and appreciated too, and for teachers like me, even a small hand-written card will do. It will do just perfectly.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Let's Talk About S*x

On Saturday afternoon, as my husband channel-surfed through our satellite channels, something caught my eye. It was Phoebe and Monica from Friends. "Stop!" I shout! "Please go back! Please please PLEASE!" I beg him. He obliges and I squeal happily. I haven't seen Friends in ages and I am beyond delighted to get to watch it again. Jeremy tells me he's seen some of the episodes before and liked them. Raelynn busies herself at our feet, playing with blocks while we zone out on the TV.

It's the episode where Ross and Rachel are expecting the baby any day now but still, no baby. They go to the doctor together and the doctor tells them about the things they could try that might cause Rachel to go into labor, like eating spicy food, castor oil or *bleep*. Actually, there wasn't even a bleep. It was just silence as the doctor mouthed the so-called offensive word on TV. The word that went missing? SEX.

Yes, they removed the word "sex" from ancient Friends re-runs. I couldn't even believe it. It happened again - several times actually - as Rachel and Ross sat at the Central Perk, talking to Monica about everything. When Monica said the word "sex," she was silenced too!

The channel we were watching these re-runs on is ETC, which is run out of the Philippines of all places! I'm stunned that they would edit out such a normal word. What's wrong with saying "sex" anyway? What's even more unusual is that, later in this episode, Ross and Rachel are having dinner at his apartment. They're eating enchiladas and spicy peppers and she's making a plea for him to just give it to her good because they have tried everything and she just wants the baby to come out. He's been worried that it will open up a whole can of worms. He says he doesn't want to make love to her. "Make love? Are you a girl?" Rachel asks him. And those two utterances of "make love" didn't get cut. Neither did the scene that followed where Ross finally just jumps on her and starts making out with her, incidentally.

How is saying "sex" so much worse than "make love?" I don't understand the rationale of deleting such a normal word. It's not like "fuck" for example (which offends me not, of course). It's more like "coffee" or "chocolate." Good grief, Asia! This side of the world is so prude and closed up about sex. Astonishingly, it is the most populated part of the world. I'm surprised people here even know that sex exists at all when the spoken word is edited out of TV shows. It's crazy. Then again, I've been told that back home in the states, they've taken sex education out of the schools. That might just be crazier than the censorship of oldie but goodie episodes of Friends. Maybe it's a tie.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

More Rude Awakenings

This aptly shows how I feel when dealing with my husband's parents. It's actually the front cover of Megadeth's Rude Awakening album. Oh, that's it! I'll just play Megadeth next time the in-laws come over. That should scare them away. Megadeth fixes everything! Rock on!

It's Wednesday, May 1st, the last day of the Chinese Labor Holiday. At 6:30 this morning, I awoke to our land line ringing off the hook. I bet you know who was calling too, don't you? Now, 6:30am is actually sleeping in for me since I have to wake up at 6am to get ready for work. But still. I was asleep and more importantly, so was Raelynn. The jangling ring of the phone ended all of that.

The troll wanted to come over and bring us shrimp, of all fucking things, bright and early. I get it...the best time to buy this kind of shit is bright and early when they come in off the boat. But what I don't want is some old goat stomping her hooves around while she's steaming shrimp in my kitchen at 7am. My husband of course is off to play soccer on this lovely last day off, isn't he? Oh sure. Go play ball while I deal with your mother. OF COURSE it's so simple for you. GOD! He tells me I can go back to sleep. I can? HOW? You have no idea how irked I was by this. As he was leaving, who was coming up the stairs but MIL with her jumbo bag of shrimp. And soon, my house stunk like a bait and tackle shop. She had bought too much shrimp and had no room in her refrigerator. Ok, fine. I'll roll with her lame-ass excuse. She gives us some of this shrimp. And then, she insists upon cooking some of it right then and there at 7 in the fucking morning. I like shrimp, but not for breakfast. It doesn't matter that I've served Raelynn breakfast. It doesn't matter that I am completely capable of cooking shrimp all by my fucking self when I want to eat it. It doesn't matter that I politely refused. She told me she was cooking it for Raelynn.

She then proceeded to get everything covered in the stink of raw shrimp in the process of her preparing it. Then, to my horror, she started to wash the dishes with the rag we use to clean counters. She should know this too - we've explained it to her no less than 100 times. Plus, it was draped ON TOP OF A FUCKING SPRAY BOTTLE OF CLEANER. Oh sure, wash the dishes with something that has chemicals on it. Good one. I also noticed she didn't even turn the water onto hot. I pleaded with her to stop and told her I would do it.

I start doing laundry and cleaning our home. I need to take my anger out on something. Raelynn is happily eating the breakfast I'd given her while watching her cartoons. Her grandma then gives her a bowl of shrimp. Since Raelynn is half Chinese, a bowl of shrimp for breakfast doesn't disgust her like it does me. Then, as I'm putting the dry laundry away, MIL tries to take Raelynn to change her. I tell her that I'll do it. And she ignores me. So I say quite loudly and more forcibly that I will do it. Again, that cow tries to take over and I just about lose it. Mustering the last bit of manners I have left, I tell her it is my last day of the holiday and I return to work tomorrow, and I would really appreciate it to be left alone to be with my daughter. She finally backs off and waits by the door as I change Raelynn so she can go say goodbye to her grandmother.

I scrub the house with such vigor after this, making sure I scrub our floors extra hard in the process since MIL sloshed shrimp juices all over them and then trampled it all over the tiles. I seriously want to strangle someone at this point. When my husband comes back from soccer, he seems like a good candidate for strangulation. He helps me finish up the cleaning and promises nice things for Mother's Day, including getting my hair done and taking me to my favorite restaurant. Somehow, these promises make me feel better. Despite the early morning shrimp invasion, we manage to have a nice day. We don't do very much except play with Raelynn and go out for lunch. It was lovely.

Until just 15 minutes ago when the land line rang again. Are you fucking kidding me? These people! They want to come over to bring us dumplings! DO YOU FUCKING THINK I CAN'T COOK FOR MY FAMILY??? DO YOU THINK I WANT TO GIVE UP THE LAST FEW HOURS I HAVE WITH RAELYNN BEFORE SHE GOES TO SLEEP SO YOU - WHO SEE HER EVERYFUCKINGDAY WHILE I WORK - CAN STEAL IT FROM ME?!? I am seething right now. Those two buttholes are in my living room invading my space to play with my daughter WHICH THEY DO EVERY DAY THAT I AM AT WORK! This is MY time with her. And my husband is doing nothing about this. He is sitting right beside me, probably knowing full well that I am angrily stabbing at the keys on my laptop to write about this bullshit right now. He reminded me that one day, they won't be able to come over because we won't live her anymore. Do you know how badly I wish that day was today?!? What a fucking treat that will be!

I just want to go out there and tell them to get the fuck out of my house and shove their shitacular dumplings up their hairy asses! I am sick and tired of always being the one to accept their culture. Yeah, yeah, I'm in their country but their only grandchild is HALF AMERICAN too. Would it kill them to try to know some of our culture?!? And sweet husband, you married ME! Hello?!? I shouldn't have to compromise everyfuckingtime on this shit. I did my part. I endured a dinner with them on Friday night and was promised I wouldn't have to see them again during this 5-day weekend. But now, I've had to endure them 3 more fucking times, another one of which took place early in the morning. It's rifuckingdiculous.

Now that they've finally taken the hint and left, and now that my husband has apologized for being a total dick, I feel a little relieved. But I'm weary of all of this shit. If I just knew when we could move back home to the US, it would be a lot easier to grin and bear it. Didn't G.I. Joe say that knowing was half the battle? Well, I don't even have that. But don't worry...I will not let it stop me from staying strong for my family. I will get us back home to the land of the free and home of the brave. I won't let them down, especially my sweet little girl. To end on a happy note, here's Raelynn holding flowers for the first time ever. They're from the cherry blossoms which are still in bloom!