Let me know if you need any help

This is the phrase that I’ve heard so much in the past year and I’m coming to really… despise it. And here’s why:

  1. People only say that out of reflex. Whether they mean it or not will be apparent in no time.
  2. People only want to help when it’s convenient and if they happen to be free that day.
  3. People want to help you in a way that’s efficient for them. They want to know exactly how they can help you. But sometimes I just need someone to sit with me as I’m figuring things out.
  4. People have a threshold for comfort when they’re helping you. My dad has some friends who took him out to eat 3x/week up until last month when he became house-bound/bed-ridden. Where were they when he needed his butt wiped?
  5. People don’t make sacrifices. Unfortunately, I’ve seen this in my Christian community where people are supposed to be my brothers and sisters. If they were really like my siblings, then wouldn’t they mourn and suffer with me? And it’s sad to say that through this experience with my dad, I’ve only seen this from a handful of people (who I am incredibly thankful for).

Given all these requirements that I need to meet in order for others to help me, I’d rather just pretend I didn’t hear the phrase to begin with.

Let me know if you need any help


I wasn’t planning on sharing this but sometimes, I really feel like bursting at the seams.

Most of the miscarriage stories I’ve read are sad indeed, but I find that many of them were written long after the occurrence.  Emotional and physical healing are more apparent and there’s a greater sense of hope in the words.  However, I am sharing from the depth and it may come off as dark, but that’s the reality of it.

In November of last year, I found out I was about 4-5 weeks pregnant, I can’t remember.  At around 8 weeks, we went to the ob/gyn to confirm and the PA said the embryo looked like it was smaller than expected and that I was only 6 weeks along.  I already had a feeling that something was wrong because I was tracking correctly even though she suggested I might have not.  On Dec 9, the day before my birthday, I found out that the baby no longer had a heartbeat.  I was about 9 weeks pregnant at the time.  The PA kept using the word “ominous” which I found… interesting.  In this type of situation, there are 3 options: you can pass it naturally, you can have meds to induce it, or you can have surgery.  I opted for the first option because I just didn’t want my body to get any more messed up than it already was.  It’s crazy how immediately your body changes upon conception.

Terry wanted to share with the sad news with our family and close friends which was fine with me.  What I told him to include when sharing with them was NOT to contact me.  It’s not that I needed time to heal or that I wasn’t ready to share.  It’s just that I didn’t want to deal with people’s stupid comments, plain and simple.  Even despite this, I still got comments like “I heard it’s easier to conceive after a miscarriage” or “you guys were trying?” (which is totally beside the point).  I know people have good intentions but I can’t even imagine what other comments would come my way.

Everyone tells you that miscarriage is sad.  No one tells you that it is one of the most physically painful experiences, next to actual labor or being tortured, I’M ASSUMING.  During the week of NYE, there were 2 separate instances where I sat on the toilet for 1.5 hours while my body tried to expel the blood clots and the gestational sac.  At one point, I felt “contractions” every 2 minutes.  When the sac finally came out, I didn’t want to stare at it, name it, bury it, or whatever sentimental acts people do.  I looked at it, poked it, and flushed it down the toilet.  I think I was angry.

Some people say that when you start trying and/or after you’ve experienced a miscarriage, it makes you want a baby even more.  For me, that’s how I initially felt for maybe one week.  Now I’m at the point where I am in no rush to be pregnant again.  Perhaps there is still some trauma or maybe I just feel that I have a second chance to wait.  I know Terry still wants to try again and while that does make me feel conflicted, I know he will wait until I’m ready.

When I talk to people about it, I don’t really cry or show any signs of sadness.  Actually, I might have cried all my tears out when I coincidentally started watching Korean dramas around the same time.  Random fact: I have watched 9 Korean dramas (16-20 episodes per drama, 1-hour episodes) since December.  That’s a lot of TV.

While no one can determine the exact cause of an early miscarriage, sometimes I feel like I caused it.  I ate raw fish, I sipped some alcohol, I did hot yoga, I drank coffee, I ate deli meats.  Most of these things are actually allowed in moderation (I still laugh when people avoid dipping communion bread in the wine) but I’m just mentioning them for people who want to and have asked me “did the doctor say you did something wrong?”.

Physically, my body is back to normal.  Emotionally, I do get annoyed when I find out someone is pregnant.  Life always seems easier for other people even though I know that is not true.  Right now, people are constantly tip-toeing around me in conversation: “Hey let’s go all out before everyone gets… uh… before life is over!”  And then there are people who don’t know and ask if we’re trying.  This is when I feel most comfortable telling them about the miscarriage because it is an immediate conversation ender.

Amidst these dark times is bright, baby Terry (he hates it when I call him that).  His support and patience is really a gift to our marriage.  He doesn’t criticize me or push me to do anything.  He knows that I value my space and freedom to think and react in my own way so he just lets me be. Occasionally, he’ll just try to back-hug me, like in Korean dramas, but I just kick him in the shins.  He’s a great husband.

P.S. Last week, I found out my dad’s cancer has come back.  When it rains, it shits a storm.


Yoga Types (at my Studio)

I’ve been doing yoga for a little over 2 years but joined a new studio 6 months ago because we moved.  This studio is on a different level.  It’s 10x more intense than my previous one, all classes are heated, and sometimes it’s like a circus in there.  People are literally walking on their hands.  It’s a pretty tight-knit group (which I’m still figuring out how to break into which I’m guessing means the $2500 yoga retreat) but I’d like to point out some of those in this special group:

1.The Power Couple – Guy looks like he should be in an ’80s heart throb movie.  Girl looks like she should be an ’80s aerobics instructor.  They always sit front and center.  Front is not only where the mirror is but it’s also where the room is the most hot.  These two are the most envied of enviable but recently, they’ve being coming to classes separately.  A breakup would devastate and possibly shut down the entire studio.  Oh, and they only attend power classes in the evenings.

2. The Space Cadet – Person who is not aware of the space around them and/or has no concern for others’ space.  This can include a) the person who tries to squeeze in between two mats that are only 1.5 feet apart, b) the person whose mat is so close to yours and who only moves when your sweat has gotten all over theirs (true story), and c) the yogi who does arm balances with their feet in your mouth.

3. The Grunter/Moaner – This includes a) guy who does so many handstands in vinyasa that he is grunting every other minute (and eventually falling over) and b) the girl who moans when exhaling.

4. The Class Favorite – All I hear is “_____, beautiful pose!” or “I’m going to teach you guys something but I know _____ has mastered it” or “Let me demonstrate on _______.”  While she is very flexible, I don’t think she’s the best in class because I haven’t seen her do many arm balances.  Somehow she just magically became the favorite.

5. The Hottie – Let me just say the majority of the people at my studio are fairly attractive but there’s one person who has the Barbie body AND has to wear the lowest cut sports bra made in mankind.  She obviously ignores the support level rating on bra tags… A-cup support for her D’s are just fine.

Wait… do I want to be friends with these people?

Yoga Types (at my Studio)

I live in the Hood.


Most of the time, Terry takes Marlow on the evening walk on his own.  Usually I’m either too sleepy or I don’t feel like giving the neighborhood mosquitoes a meat buffet on my body.

Two nights ago, I decided to go with Terry when we heard a car speeding down our street.  This wasn’t out of the norm because tons of people like to go fast in this 25 mph zone.  But then we started to hear a couple out of control skids and then BOOM!  Twenty feet in front of us, the car drives straight into a parked landscaping truck at about 50-60 mph.  A couple seconds later, two guys got out and started jogging away (Terry said they were limp-jogging).  Then a couple seconds after that, the driver gets out and starts running away.  My first thought was “GREAT!  They’re not hurt enough to go jog for help!  I wonder which condo they will knock on.”

But in reality, they were RUNNING AWAY FROM THEIR STOLEN VEHICLE!  Mutha futhers.  I could have become a hero if only I had run after them and knocked them unconscious with my Maglite.  And don’t give me the “they could have had weapons” talk because the car was smashed in all the way up to the windshield so they had to be dazed.  Terry and I were the only ones to witness the entire thing but the cops said we don’t qualify as witnesses unless we can identify the driver in a line-up and it was way too dark for that.

What were we thinking when all that happened?
Terry thought the people in the car were dead.
I thought we were going to die when the screeching was approaching us.

The next afternoon I took Marlow on the same walk and when I got to that area, I started to feel anxious like I had PTSD.  I’m sure I’ll get over the feeling of dying but it’s really a strange phenomena.  I can’t explain it.  You constantly think of “if only” scenarios and what could have happened if other elements were into play (ex. if we didn’t let Marlow stop as much then we’d be closer).

Okay, so we don’t live in the hood.  It’s actually a pretty nice area with minimal crime minus the occasional illegal dumping, leftover shopping carts, and mugging (this happened once).   But things like hit and runs sort of spill over from other, more hood-ish parts of the city.  The thought of living in a cookie cutter place such as my college city of Irvine creeps me out but then when stuff like hit and runs happen, I get equally creeped out.  Where can I live then?

I live in the Hood.

You Need this Bag!

A good friend of ours has recently launched a Kickstarter for his new work/gym duffel pack. I got a chance to see it in person and it’s pretty neat!  Well made, functional, sleek.  It’s a bit too big for me but it’ll be handy for Terry when he goes to the gym after work.  I always see people carry multiple bags and I just think about what it must be like balancing two bags and your body on BART while being crammed like sardines.  I used to only have one bag while commuting and I already felt like fainting from everyone’s after work B.O.


This is my favorite feature so far: the separate shoe compartment.  Aren’t you tired of using grocery bags to stuff the misshapen shoes in with everything else?!


Me: Terry, can you model the bag?
Terry: Okay.


Check it out–there are 19 days left and they’re so close to reaching their goal already.  My hope is for a yoga bag next!

You Need this Bag!

Someone Returned My Bottle (But Not the Juice)

It only took about 1.5 days for my bottle to be returned and I was actually surprised to see it at all. I went into the breakroom at around 1:30pm to heat up part 2 of my lunch (yes, my lunch has parts) and saw the bottle sitting on top of the flyer on the counter.  The juice was not in it and the bottle had been washed.

In return for my bottle, I put the reward as promised: one pack of sausage.


I’m going to let this one slide because of many possible reasons:

1. Someone could have had really low blood sugar and was on the brink of dying (I imagine that person doing a slow crawl on the floor towards the fridge in a last attempt to save his/her life)
2. Someone went to the exact ziplining company in Maui and mistook my bottle for theirs
3. Someone is blind and thought my juice was one that he/she had made (I did use a pretty generic recipe)

Now I just have to figure out how to sanitize this sucker.

Terry:  heh, lannisters always pay their debt
me:  what u calling me

Someone Returned My Bottle (But Not the Juice)

China Aunty is Back

I can’t believe it has been two years since I first met and last blogged about my dad’s friends from Guangzhou.  This time around, it’s just the wife who is back and I knew there would be two pressing matters on her mind:

1. Why did you move out of your dad’s house?

2. When are you getting pregnant? 

Of course my responses were lies because you can’t tell the truth to Asians and especially if you cannot fully explain the truth in their native tongue.

My responses?

1. Because it’s closer to work

2. Sometime 

The sweet thing is that she brought me a bunch of clothes and peanuts (symbolizes fertility) which no one has done for me since before my mom was sick (10 years ago).  The not so sweet thing is that they’re totally not my style, except for maybe #1.  For some reason, clothes from China smell like… China.  Our room smelled so much like moth balls only after a couple hours that I had to excavate the clothes from there and light a candle.  I thought I’d do a fashion show for you guys.  Apologies for the poor lighting and green background; our wall colors are straight up ugly.

IMG_20140710_213450 IMG_20140710_213821 IMG_20140710_213941 IMG_20140710_214101 IMG_20140710_214235

Before you say “that polka shirt is not bad!”, please note that they are little cat heads.


To show my appreciation, I will wear one of the items when I see her next.  Which one should it be?

China Aunty is Back

Dad Update

Dad had a routine 3-month MRI last Monday and it still looks cancer free. There are some side effects due to the surgery/chemo/radiation that show up on the scan but otherwise, no cancer. The oncologist reiterated to me again that my dad is beating a huge statistic. They predicted he would only live 1 year (true for over 90% of people in his situation) and it has been 2 years and 1 month.

I should be feeling incredibly grateful but this has been a hard week since my mom’s 5 year death anniversary was on Wednesday. No one said anything. My dad and brother didn’t mention anything (although I’m sure my brother remembered). My friends have forgotten and Terry doesn’t keep track of dates (dates are not his forte even though he tries to support me in any way possible). Dealing with a death becomes very much a process on your own. When my mom first passed away, tons of people flocked to my side. But something a friend told me has stuck with me throughout the years–it gets harder after a couple months, even years, when no one remembers what you’ve gone through. That is so true. I’m not going to hold people accountable to remembering when my mom passed away because everyone has their own crap to deal with. But I’ll just say that every holiday and milestone is difficult.

Ever since my last post about brain cancer and a comment I received: “It is unlike any other disease. To me, it is comparable to having dementia and cancer at the same time.” This has been more true lately as my dad has done a complete 180 from his I-don’t-need-you attitude. He has called me multiple times for help, he has given/cooked me food, and he looks extremely excited to see us. I wonder if he has just simply forgotten all that has happened in the past year. When I asked him why he’s asking us for help, he denied ever saying those hurtful things to us in the past and that we must have misunderstood. I am now realizing that it is easier for me to attribute his behavior to dementia than to psychoanalyze the meaning behind every action.  It’s so weird to grow up with a parent who is a certain way only to have an almost completely different parent later on.  But I guess they say the same thing about spouses?

Dad Update