August 13, 2010
Phew…. It seems like I spend days not doing much but then I don’t have the time to post updates. Okay, maybe it’s time to ease off Facebook. :-p
We’re settling in just fine. the girls love being in a house with space. They aren’t as whiny, they love their space and toys (we took all of it out of storage).
Life in Miami isn’t over yet. My parents decided to invest in some property over there and I helped them buy a condominium from the condo complex we were renting. It was literally a steal. My parents bought it for 1/3 of what the previous owner paid. I’ll be “managing” the place until the market picks up. It makes me nervous because first, it’s my parents’ money and second, our luck in finances hasn’t been the best. Fingers crossed.
Dealing with our agent has been less than pleasant. I don’t think she has a lot of experience. Either that or she’s not very smart. I would relay information to her and she wouldn’t communicate it properly to the seller’s agent. It was a short sale purchase and when it was approved, initially I wanted to close on the deal by the end of July. Reevaluating the situation, closing on the 13th of August would have been more ideal. So I asked her several times if that would be okay and she assured me that it wouldn’t be a problem. A week before the initial closing date, she calls to tell me that the sellers’ agent has said we can’t close any later than the 3oth. WTF?!? I told her there was no way my parents can get their assets cashed to purchase the condo by this time. Legally we were able suppose to close before or on Aug 21. After speaking to my parents, Aug 10th was the new date. Both agents agree, date set, easy change. Five days later, I get a call from said agent giving me the final HUD statement closing on Aug 6th. Excuse me but I said August 10th. There were issues with who would get rent money from the current tenant, numbers on the HUD statement (they over charged us about $250) and contracts with the tenants. I was able to get a signed leased without paying a finder’s fee to both the agents. I am not paying $1500 split in half to two agents who can’t get their shit together. The bumps along the road have been worked out and I guess we are owners of a piece of property in Miami.🙂
Living in this area has been different. Duk has a “friend” from down the street who comes over to play. I have NO problems with friends coming over to our house because I can monitor the kids, and make sure they are playing fair and safely and are fed. This friend has asked Duk to come over to her house to play but I have had to say no. Her parents don’t know where she is, if she comes or goes or whose house she visits. So I know that if they aren’t watching their daughter, they sure as hell aren’t going to be watching mine. I also get frustrated with this little kid because when she leaves the house, she doesn’t say bye or even lets anyone know that she’s leaving. Excuse, what the hell ever happen to manners?? Apparently it’s not emphasized in the house. We see her at the bus stop every morning and I always greet her, “Hi [J], Good morning.” No response, no answer, nothing. Her mother doesn’t say anything either. Yeah different. The parents way of tracking her is make sure she wears her cell phone so they can call her when they need to get a hold of her.
I think some of the parents in the neighbourhood are either intimidated by me or they assume I don’t speak Korean. Although they speak Korean amongst themselves, there is eye shifting and heads turn when I approach. Yes, most of the moms only speak Korean and/or very little English. I know I could easily be the first one to start conversation but I’m shy. Now I’m just indifferent. Sigh….
I also have bittersweet feeling about being here too. I’m now back with the “spouses’ club” from Medical School. There are many families living in the area who were on the island many, many months ago. I thought I wouldn’t see, interact with many of them but somehow most of us ended up here. So now I am in a position where I get invitations to attend play dates at the park or at people’s house and I don’t want to go. I also don’t want to come across as snobby. I like one or two of the wives but am indifferent with the rest of them. It’s tiresome for me to go to these play dates because I feel I have to be so fake with them – pleasant, nice, cordial and hold back who I am. I haven’t gone to one of these play dates. Yesterday, a friend of mine hosted a mom’s night out at her place. I wasn’t going to go because of who was all going but I forced myself because honestly, I didn’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings.
It was a pleasant evening but it made me realize so much more how little I have in common with these folks. And how little they care for me as well. I left feeling…. I don’t know, kind of disappointed.
One of the ladies was living in Miami when I was there and I reached out to her because I thought we were friends back on the island. Totally snubbed. Not once did she call or email me. Now its awkward being here and having to see her again. I don’t know what to think.
July 3, 2010
So much for posting more frequently. I guess I was living a busier life than expected in Miami. Currently living the suburban life in GA and things are moving a long okay.
Ugh. Where to start. I always feel like my life is a bit of a roller coaster.
The Geek applied for a transfer into an American medical school in NY with the BIG possibility of nothing happening. Well something happened. He was invited to interview with the school. “Should I even bother M2D?” Of course I wanted him to go because I never wanted him to question what could or could not have been. He went, didn’t really feel the interview and doubted his chances. I, on the other hand, thought there was a high possibility they would accept him because he’s experienced, mature and really low risk (in matching with the doctors at the rotation hospitals). He’s a geek – didn’t want me to tell anyone. I mean no one. He’s a private person so I guess he wanted to wait. It became too stressful for me to deal with because the school told him they’d give him an answer within two weeks. That brought the timing down to about a week and half before our move to Atlanta. Two weeks passed and no answer. I’m freaking out! I honestly didn’t want to move to NY because I knew what that meant for the girls and I. I was not ready. Did I mention I am not that great with sudden change? Plus we had just put down $3000 on a deposit and rent for our place in ATL, he just finished a few rotation what cost us $16000, and I hated the idea of going somewhere without doing the research. We came down to the 6 days before we are suppose to leave for ATL and I am pissed. We hadn’t bought tickets, reserved the truck; made any plans. Finally that Friday afternoon he got an e-mail letting him know that he was wait listed. He was really disappointed. I was sad for him but selfishly relieved for myself.
Here we are in a big suburb of ATL. I haven’t ventured out more because I’m still trying to organize things here. Plus I have my mother-in-law staying with us. She’s been with us since the end of June. Yeah, it’s time for her to go. I love the woman but she is still a Korean mother-in-law and it’s so evident whose side she takes 55% of the time. I got the lecture of how she thinks I depend on my husband too much when I could easily do things myself (she’s got a type A personality and really think things should be done a certain way). She doesn’t understand that it isn’t that I am waiting for the Geek to do it, I’m just not in the mood to do it now. Sigh… She also basically told me crap I don’t want to here – typical please support my son shit which is okay but really I think I do a decent job. I guess we are always partial to our own children.
Atlanta is interesting. We’re not actually in the city but NE in a suburb that has a HUGE Korean population. It’s been years since I’ve lived in a high Korean populated area and it’s going to take some time to get used to. Most of the Koreans here are Korean speaking. Their lifestyle is….different. Particularly in our neighbourhood. I think some folks are living a very country lifestyle. Others have no qualms bitching their teenage son out in the middle of the street (I mean full out swearing and yelling, kicking cars, etc) in broad daylight). One neighbour didn’t even both to say hello to me (or my mother in law) even we were interacting with her daughter. Hello? Any concern as to who the hell is talking to your child?? Yeah, kind of strange for me.
I’m also back in an environment where I will have more opportunities to see people back from the island, not all of who I want to see. In fact, most of them are families I thought I wouldn’t see once they left. Ugh…. can we say uncomfortable. It’s okay. At least we are so spread out that it’ll be harder to see people.
I’m missing parts of Miami. There’s definitely a lot more fat people here than in South Florida. They are friendlier – it’s that Southern hospitality I suppose. My girls miss their friends. They do enjoy having some space to run around. Duk wishes she could have her friends over.
The fourth is tomorrow and we Canadians have no plans. Got invited to a BBQ but I’m too lazy to go. Plus I hate going to get togethers where I hardly know anyone. I’m going to the gym instead. :p
What are you doing for the fourth?
April 20, 2010
I know, been a while. Tons of guest, spring break and more guests. Sigh….
The bank agreed to extend the terms of our line of credit. So instead of two years, they are giving us five. We still don’t have the financial means to pay what they are asking but they said in the end, they will work with us. The Geek just has to make sure he communicates with the bank and show that we are making an effort to pay something. It’s a relief that they are willing to work with us. I guess they’d rather get something than nothing at this point.
Busy, busy , busy. The parents came for a visit. For the first time, I actually enjoyed their company. They were pleasant, loving and not critical at all. I LOVED having them here. In fact, they are looking at buying property here so that we all could have a vacation place. In a few years when the market is better, it would be sold for a profit and it would be split three ways (between me, my sister and brother).
We’re moving again. We just found out last week that the Geek’s rotation schedule is being changed. Atlanta here we come! It’s bittersweet for me because I’ve made Miami my home. I have a few friends not associated with the medical school, I LOVE my gym, I’m familiar with the area and you can’t beat the weather. The beach is ten minutes away and the city is beautiful. But at the same time, I would like the girls to be in a place where their race isn’t emphasized all the time. Duk has told me she wants to be with more Korean people so that kids will stop asking her if she’s Chinese or keep annoying her about it. She loves hanging out with Mama Nabi’s and Papa2 Hapa’s daughters. It’s not like they discuss how Korean they are (they never do), they just hang out, do girls things, kid things and sometimes eat Korean food.🙂
In any event, we have started packing some of our things and we are taking a road trip up to Georgia next weekend to secure a place and drop off some of our stuff in a storage unit for a couple of months. This is it, I don’t want to move for a while. Please let us be in one place for longer than a year.
The upside is that we are moving to a place where there is a high Asian population. The area has a SUPER H Mart. That’s right, SUPER! I’m thrilled I no longer have to drive 40 minutes to get my fix of Korean food. Duk is excited about the idea of being around people who look more like her. I’m just happy that the Geek will be able to work as an Optometrist on the weekend to bring in a little more income. I also might be able to work part time or full time in the area since there are a lot of Koreans and my Korean ability may be useful. :-p
March 23, 2010
I was just looking at an empty wine bottle sitting on the kitchen counter. It reminded me of simpler times when it would be utilized as a decorative piece, sticking a candle in it and lighting it up at night. University days when it’d be used to hold flowers, the ones that got picked outside – it didn’t matter that it was really weeds and dandelions, it was the simplicity of it that made it so sweet.
I just turned 38 a few days ago and how sad I feel reflecting on my life. I’m almost 40 and don’t have much to show as to how I’ve lived my life. Two beautiful daughter – check, a wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally – check. Financial stability would be a great birthday present. The worry and stress that comes with this little glitch in our life is overwhelming. Just got a notice from the bank that the Geek is responsible for paying back the debt on his business line of credit which is an absurd amount of money. Sure, they are giving us 24 months to pay it back but where the hell are we going to get the money to pay it?!?! It is the last portion of the debt we owe but oh my goodness I can’t take this shit anymore! It’s one thing to have to live off student loans entirely and try to make it for a family of four (single students who have no family get exactly the same amount of loan money as we do) but to have to do this at the same time we are trying to tread our head above the water, it’s too much!!!
It is times like this I get a little resentful at the Geek. I know it’s not his fault for all of this happening but at the same time, I am upset he picked this time to pursue another career. The constant moving, financial burden, the adjustments, making and leaving friends, not seeing family as often as we’d like, the stress, and all the other stuff, it gets extremely suffocating. I know the Geek carries a lot weight on his shoulders too. But I am ready to be done with all of this.
I get into these ridiculous thoughts – like how come all these celebrities just throw money away on useless shit and if only one would take mercy and help us out. But then in reality, I know that will NEVER happen. So now looking for options. We’re begging the bank to extend the maturity of the credit line and hope they’ll work with us. He didn’t get a straight answer when he talked to the manager but we expect to hear back tomorrow. I guess if the bank wants their money then they’ll work with us. I don’t know what else to say. We don’t have anything – they can’t take anything except his good credit. Sigh…. sigh…. sigh….
Tell me it’ll get better. [[[[[[STRESS]]]]]]
March 12, 2010
I know, I’ve neglected to write. I have tons of stuff roaming around in my head but then get too lazy to write it down. sigh, sigh, sigh….
To keep within the theme of trying to be less crabby and more positive, I thought I’d write a brief list of the things in my life that make me happy:
a) sleeping in – it doesn’t happen often but Saturday mornings are glorious. The girls get up, they play quietly or turn on the television to watch a show or two. Duk is still so innocent that she’s only interested in the Disney channel (for the cartoons) or PBS.
b) Duk’s innocence – being 6, in the first grade and the youngest in her class, she still keeps her innocence. She doesn’t know who Hannah Montana is and she thinks it weird that the kids in her class think Dora is “babyish”.
c) Kook’s generosity and patience – even when’s she’s starving hungry, she doesn’t complain, become cranky or make a scene. She’s that patient and waits because she knows Mom is getting to it as soon as possible. She shares everything with her big sis and offers whatever she has to her family and friends. That really puts a smile on my face.
d) The unconditional love of my family – to which I take for granted from time to time. I’m working on that.
e) My friends – having friends in this area who aren’t associated with the Geek’s school (my own friends) whose company I actually enjoy. Mama Nabi and family (yes all four of them) have been a blessing for my girls and I.
f) Being in a better place than a year ago.
g) Knowing where we’ll be in a year.
h) great weather
February 6, 2010
1) TWO more days of studying and then the BIG test Monday (Feb 8th). I’m nervous yet elated because the 21 plus months of The Geek’s absence, the stress on the family, the sacrifices and all the work finally comes to an end. Well, not really but basically the last 21 months come down to this test. As you can imagine, the Geek carries a large amount of pressure on his shoulders. I’m every bit confident he’ll do well. Sigh….2 more days, just TWO more days.
2) I walked out of cosmetic store the other day because the sales lady referred to me as an “Oriental Lady.” WTF?!? And no, I was not dressed like rug.
3) I started going to the gym again. The four months of being in Miami, eating, being lazy and unmotivated to work out has taken it’s roll toll on me. Can we say “flat tire” around the gut? I signed up for a gym because I like participating in group classes. I am going to give kickboxing a try but initially it was for the indoor cycling class (spinning class). It’s a great way to burn about 600 calories in an hour. OMG I forgot how hard it was. I could hardly walk down the stairs after class. I’ve gone three times and feel so much better.
What I have noticed are the beautiful people in the gym. It is a little intimidating. I’m talking about eye candy; 50+ year old men with bodies buffer than the average thirty year old man and women stronger than your average twenty year old. It’s inspiring but intimidating.
4) What I didn’t mention in previous posts is that we are dealing with teasing and (mild) naming calling at Duk’s school. She’s one of three Asians kids in the school and the kids (even the faculty) don’t know about racial sensitivity. All of last semester I was “that mom” who would go to the school or e-mail the teacher to tell them about each incident of teasing, harassment that Duk was getting by the other kids. In most instances, the kids would call her Chinese. She would smile with her dimple and tell the kids, ” I don’t look Chinese,you don’t even know.” In fact, Duk is so innocent, it didn’t initially bother her. But then it would be random kids in the hall pointing and calling her, “That Chinese girl.” One day, a kid in her class kept harassing her and calling her, “Chinese girl, Chinese girl”. He would follow her around the class, in the hall and in the cafeteria. It finally got to her and she told me it bothered her…a lot. I don’t know why she didn’t feel comfortable enough to tell her teacher that the kids were bothering her. It’s probably because she’s just too shy. I needed to make sure this stupid thing was going to end. I would cry silently by myself at night remembering all the teasing I got as a kid. I wanted so badly to protect from such horrible events but felt helpless to do so.
One time I had lunch with Duk during one of the “Eat lunch with your child” days and one kid had the audacity to walk over to where we were sitting, approach us and say, “Hey her eyes look like this.” and she pulled her eyes back. Korean fury came out of me and I all but ripped her head off. She was humiliated and said sorry. Later that afternoon, this shit little girl told Duk, “You better go home and tell your mom, she’d better not talk to me like that ever again or else!” Or else what?!?!? She’ll sit on me with her fat ass!?!?! Ugh! I don’t think so.
The school made a very concerted effort to deal with the issue of racism, name calling and tolerance. The student body was called to the cafeteria to have a discussion about what we call each other (by their names of course). It put a stop to this nonsense behaviour, until now. New semester, new class. Duk has been transferred to another class because she was placed in the gifted program. She goes to the gifted teacher in the morning and then in another classroom for the other core subjects in the afternoon. Three days ago Duk told me two little shits girls pulled their eyes back (making slant eyes) and said, “Your eyes look like this, you look Chinese.” Was I pissed? HELL YEAH!!!!! Duk never ceases to surprise me because instead of being hurt, angry or defensive, she said, “Mommy, they don’t even know what they are talking about. Chinese people’s eye don’t look like that, they are big.” I took a cheap shot (I know I’m weak, I’m sorry) and said, “That’s right [Duk], they’re stupid. They don’t know the difference so obviously they aren’t very smart.” She made me giggle when she said, “Yeah, I think they need glasses.”
I’m still working on getting this to stop. She didn’t tell her teacher about the incident – new teacher means Duk needs more time to form a rapport with her. Apparently Monday, this teacher will speak to the class again. If any of you have suggestions, I’m all ears!
I don’t think the kids who did that to Duk did it to be malicious but they need to know and be taught that it isn’t appropriate. Duk doesn’t make comments about kids being fat, disabled or even developmentally slow. She’s humble in her mannerisms and smiles when kids point out what a fast writer or reader she is. What I would give for her not to have to deal with this shit.
5) The Gifted program seemed like a good thing for Duk because she was so bored in the other class. It isn’t turning out to be so great. I don’t even know what that teacher does to keep the kids stimulated. Duk hasn’t told me she’s done interesting things in there. Her being put out of the core classroom part of the day has also affected the amount of Math she’s being exposed to. The homework has definitely been reduced and there is hardly any math. Definitely no more Spanish. I have now gone back to just home schooling her part of the time to make up for what the school isn’t doing for her. She no longer loves school, she just thinks it’s okay. She LOVED school back in Dominica. Sigh….
January 27, 2010
Duk really wanted me to attend Exhibit night at her school. I honestly didn’t want to go because I had a feeling not much of her work was going to be displayed. I also didn’t want her to feel like I wasn’t supportive so I reluctantly went. How could I refused when she was keeping track of time, rushing her sister to finish her dessert and making sure we were leaving the house on time?
We enter the first grade classroom. The two classes have been merged together to show the various topics, artwork, displays and projects completed by both classes. Surely enough, I was correct. Not one piece of Duk’s work was on display. Not only that, I had noticed that her latest project wasn’t in the book of stories. She worked so hard on that piece and I was upset it wasn’t on display. You see, she is was the only student in her whole class (out of 36 kids) who isn’t Hispanic. The homework was to write a short story in Spanish, 3 to 4 sentences long, about the adventures of Corduroy (the bear). I made her write it in English, type in on the computer to use Google translator to translate in Spanish, re wrote on a piece of paper, I then sent it to a friend who is fluent in Spanish to make corrections and then I made her rewrite for the last time. She whined and complained after the third time. After all this work, it was not in the binder of stories. Duk was sad, I was sad for her.
To her disappointment, only one piece of work was displayed and it was in the class where the gifted kids meet. She wasn’t happy because it was a piece we worked on Sunday night – late. She wanted to show me something she did in school: a surprise. She cried when she got home. Told me she was sorry because she made me waste my time going to school when there was nothing special to show me. I really had to hold back the tears. I told her how proud I was of her, how beautiful her handwriting was compared to even second and third graders, how all the changes at the beginning of this semester made it confusing as to which classroom should display her work – she just changed teachers because she was placed in the gifted program. I had to make excuses so she wouldn’t feel bad. The truth is, I think the teachers weren’t conscientious. They aren’t communicating, they are unorganized and it pissed me off that my daughter felt left out. Sigh…
January 25, 2010
I know, I’ve been M.I.A. with blogging. It has been due to lack of motivation from depression and stress. I guess I felt that if I wrote stuff down, our situation would become worse or just re-emphasize the problems were having. No no, not marital problems, once again financial problem. These problems in turn would have affect how we would live and the future of The Geek’s medical school career. I’m better now, much much better. I want to make the time to post about random things – more positive things and of course, some rants. Will post something soon.
September 21, 2009
Duk can be a strong willed child. She is particular about what she wants, doesn’t want and doesn’t hesitate to tell me. I am extremely lucky in that my kids do not ever have fit if I don’t get them something at the store. Neither one has ever had a tantrum over material goods at a store. I often forget how lucky I am through the long fits of whining. Yes, they are whiner and they are very good at it. That being said, Duk reminded me once again of her awesomeness. She really wanted to go see Disney on Ice (the Princess show). Has asked and mentioned it three times. She even said she’d pay for it with her birthday money that her uncle gave to her. The cost of it is ridiculous and now with our financial situation taking a very big plunge, we just can’t afford it. I asked Duk if it would be okay if we didn’t end up going. Her, in her wisdom and maturity said, “Oh, it’s okay Mommy. I know you want to take me. But we can have just as much fun going to the playground, or the pool or anything else. It’s okay. Can we see [friend] again?”
Yeah, she’s pretty neat.
September 14, 2009
I forgot to mention in my last post that the first evening we moved into our condo, I broke down in tears and almost had a melt down. The stress, and two evenings of restlessness were already affecting my mood but to walk into our brand new place to find the kitchen infested with cockroaches just took me over the edge. I broke down and cried, bitched about how I did not move down from a third world country in a house that had no bugs to a place that has *extra tenants*! I haven’t lived in a place with roaches since I moved out of the ghetto! Plus with the amount of rent we pay, this was unacceptable for us. Needless to say, the landlord was very understanding and has ensured us that the problem will be taken care of. The exterminator has come by twice and I will call him one more time. Did you know that new born roaches are actually white? Me neither. Not until this morning when I saw them scatter everywhere as soon as I turned on the kitchen light. *sigh*