OC Night Market

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Payam and I hit up the OC Night Market last Friday. It only comes to town twice a year so I’m surprised I was actually on it this time. It was pretty fun. I wish we had brought the girls.

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I’m not a super foodie or anything (which is kind of what the Night Market is about) but I do love to do anything outside during Golden Hour. It’s just so pretty! I feel like I used to when I lived at the beach and people would stay in their houses and completely ignore the ocean being magnificent right outside their door. So I make up for all the people ignoring the beauty and find myself completely entertained by the clouds and the show they were putting on. It was especially pretty that night. My camera doesn’t really do them justice.

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The food was pretty photogenic too. I wanted to get boba in a lightbulb and a cotton candy burrito but I’m on this stupid health kick where I worry about getting enough fiber and I try not to over-do it on sugar. Being healthy can be so boring sometimes. I did break down for the photo’s sake and get a strawberry lemonade in a lightbulb. It was delicious of course. And pretty with the sky behind it.

Payam thinks I’m such a nut taking pictures of everything all the time.  I really was like this before social media existed. You remember, right? Remember when blogging was just writing and people like me annoyed everyone because we slowed up a page’s loading time by putting pictures on our websites. I’ve been annoying since the dinosaur days.

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So yeah! Crazy Night Market food! Ramen noodle hamburger buns? They have them! Cotton Candy burritos, boba in every color, rainbow grilled cheese..

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And Squid on a Stick! I was thoroughly grossed out but Payam said it was tasty! The gyoza I had was soggy and gross too. Probably because they were paying so much attention to the squids on a stick customers they neglected all the other boring items on their menu.  I think they saved time by pre-cooking the gyoza and just stashed it in the back for the odd random person who ordered something as boring as gyoza. Personally, I love gyoza so I was super disappointed. Guess I’ll stick to takeout from now on.

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We really missed the kids. The thing about 50/50 custody is that you have a week off to do fun couple things without kids (really great, right?) but invariably the fun things you do without kids you end up thinking would be way more fun with kids. Then the weeks you do have kids you are so busy doing parenting stuff you completely forget about all the fun things you wanted to do with them and go down in the books as boring.  You can’t win.

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I am really going to make an effort to remember the Night Market though because I know Bug and Joon would both really dig it. Not so much for the food but definitely for the glow-in-the-dark, light-up, blinky night-time fun.

Middle School Anxiety Day 1

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Middle School is off to a roaring good start and by roaring I mean the very loud gut-wrenching vocalizations of an angst-ridden tween who is losing her mind. I’m not so sure Bug would appreciate me making fun of her here on my blog but she is always telling me to write a graphic novel so we’ll just put these sketches here and say that they may not be the whole story. I’ll give her a chance to make fun of me too. SHE has plenty of material to do so with.

I really was that horribly embarrassing parent on orientation day. Me being me, I decided to walk the dogs before orientation which was at 10am. I left at eight-ish.  Plenty of time right? My walk usually takes 45 minutes and then I take a shower (because I am the walking sweat machine). Then we’d walk to school her and I. No big thing.

Well…one thing lead to another and five minutes from getting home from walking the dogs I get a frantic call from Bug. “WHERE ARE YOU MOM?! I’M GOING TO BE LATE! I NEED YOU TO DO MY HAIR!!” fret fret fret, freak-out, freak-out, freak-out. So I rushed home, jumped in the shower, barely dried my new hairstyle of a hair cut and quickly braided her hair. We walked as fast as we could to school and then stood in line for an hour.

My wet hair was dripping all down my back and I was sweating because it’s been hotter than dog’s breath lately and it’s terribly HUMID. All the water was cumulating in the swell of my back where my butt sticks out. I can’t help it. I have a bubble butt. Bug was beyond embarrassed. If she has more acne than usual on her forehead it’s because of all the face palms. I tried my best to ride the wave of embarrassment by pretending that nothing was wrong. I greeted all her friends and their parents and we had the usual parenting social hour which you know is the worst torture ever for budding young middle-schoolers.

We survived orientation and we were both pretty excited about middle school. We went back-to-school shopping and bought about a thousand surf-related t-shirts. She got a new back pack. All was going well.

But I sensed it wasn’t so smooth-sailing when she called me twice from her Dad’s to make sure I would be there Thursday morning to do her hair if her dad dropped her off early. Poor kid. She was fretting over everything. She made a special notebook with folders and her schedule clipped prominently inside. She made sure she went to bed early two nights before so she would be in the habit of getting up early and then called me in a panic because her dad was NOT getting up early on her practice going-to-school-days. I told her not to worry. Her dad would indeed get up in time on the day he actually needed to get up early.

This is what it’s like when you have anxiety.

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Today she showed up extra early. Almost an hour before school started. We took pictures with her dad and then went inside to do her hair. I went over her list of things she’d need for the day. Did she have her notebook? Did she have her lunch? Did she have her schedule and ID card? Wait What?!! OH NO SHE DID NOT! She forgot everything at her dad’s house and there was no time to go all the way to his house to get them!

Oh crap.

Much weeping and wailing went down while we packed another lunch, printed out her schedule from online and sat down to practice her new combination lock she would need for her locker. Oh my goodness, you’d think figuring out a combination lock was something out of National Treasure with secret compartments and dead sea scrolls. Turn the lock three times to the right, then two times to the left, then one time to the right…

Mom, stop screwing me up! I don’t think in pictures like you do!”

Albeit, I was trying to explain how the levers worked inside the lock with hand movements. I guess imagining the internal mechanisms of a lock don’t help everyone like they do me.  In the end I just let her muddle through it and somehow on the seventh or eighth try (after two freak-out melt-downs) she figured it out.

Hell-LAY-lujah.

Kids, man. They just don’t want to be helped. But if you don’t help them YOU ARE THE WORST.

She did want me to walk her to school though which surprised me because I’ve been preparing for the parental rejection years since kindergarten. I know I’m embarrassing for her. I embarrass myself!  Surely she doesn’t want me walking her to school. But she was nervous. The whole lack of a schedule and an ID card was nerve-wracking. So I walked half way and then her friend showed up. Her friend is the exact opposite of her. Cool as a cucumber and not one bit worried about anything under the sun. She shrugged off Bug’s worries as if they were mere dandelion seeds flying in the wind. No schedule, no ID card, no problem! It’s the first day of school nobody expects you to know what you’re doing. Today is a free day!

I love her friend. I’m super sad she’s moving to New York in two days. I think we both need her.