PAK SOW! PAK SOW! A HOUSE DIVIDED

Guys! I haven’t written in SUCH a bloody long time because – hello, life. Lets just say that as hard as I thought it was to become a new mom and to figure out how to keep Kensi alive and thriving in that first year, it feels equally hard in a completely different way ever since I returned back to work full time.

I won’t get into the specifics (I’ll save that for another time!) but it’s been a huge challenge for me this past year to try to figure out a new rhythm. Note that I am using the word RHYTHM and not balance.  Balance is a word that is a total bed of baloney.

I’m going to write about “balance” otherwise known as a gong show of a juggling act we call parenthood for my next post, but for right now – I want my first post back from the dead to be more light hearted.

So I figured I’ll share a current update of what it’s been like trying to raise my daughter in a dual language home.

Spoiler alert: I’m Chinese. My husband is not.

We would like to raise our daughter to be able to speak fluently in both English and Cantonese so that she can communicate and interact with both sets of grandparents.

Also selfishly as an aspiring Tiger Mom, I want Kensi to speak Cantonese (and eventually Mandarin even though I don’t know how the heck I’ll do that since I don’t speak a lick of it) because allegedly speaking another language when you’re young makes your brain bigger or something like that. I’m not entirely sure the scientific explanation about this other than every tiger mom I’ve read about always makes their kid speak another language and play a bunch of instruments.

ANYWAYS, ever since Kensi popped out, I insisted that within our home, we try to only communicate to Kensi in Chinese. My mom had no problem doing this because – DUH!  I tried my best to only communicate with her in Cantonese during the time that she was born, and I would say this was accomplished 70% of the time.   My Cantonese wasn’t ever great but even my mom noticed how it’s improved greatly ever since I committed to only speaking to Kensi in Chinese.

Ok now Dan is another story. Dan’s Chinese is actually fairly decent. Like when we started out dating, I would ALWAYS make him order all the dim sum for us. Partly because I thought we would get better service if a white man ordered, but also partly because I thought his pronunciation of dim sum items was just better than mine. This last point is sadly true, and is an indicator of how poor my Chinese was to begin with).

When Kensi started to talk – Dan’s level of Chinese far exceeded Kensi. The constant repetition of the same words over and over again made Dan a great Chinese pupil.

Instead of “clap” to her we would all say “PAK SOW! PAK SOW!”  All damn day we were yelling PAK SOW! PAK SOW! to her to try to get her to slam her lil palms together.

Or when we taught her how to say the names of her body parts – Dan could say all of them as well.

(just to name a few)

  • Nose = bay goh
  • head = “tow, tow”
  • leg = “geuk, geuk”

Side note: You know how in English we have this funny tendency where we put a y/ie at the end of certain words so that it sounds more kid-friendly? Like “look at that birdie!” or “isn’t this a cute doggy?”  I guess the Chinese have an equivalent way of making things kid-friendly by saying certain words in repetition. So instead of head which translates to “tow” in Chinese, in kid language for Kensi we say “tow, tow”.

So ever since Kensi started to talk and we were teaching her more and more Chinese, the rate that Dan was increasing his Chinese vocabulary was becoming pretty impressive. He could name almost all her body parts AND Frankly’s body parts in Chinese. He could give her simple instructions like drink milk, go to bed, sit down, etc and Kensi could listen and understand, and eventually repeat!

And then one day I noticed something.

See – the thing about Chinese is that tone and enunciation of words is SO key. If you’re not saying a word in a very specific way, in a very specific tone, then you could be saying a completely different word all together.

One evening as we were winding down during our nightly routine before Kensi was to be put to bed, she was saying goodnight to Frankly. One of the things she loves to do is name Frankly’s body parts. She was pointing to her legs and saying “geuk, geuk” (her legs) or “tow, tow” for her head.

And then Dan tried to jump in there as well and pointed to Frankly’s tail and said “mei!”

But then something really remarkable happened. Kensi looked at Dan and pointed at Frankly’s tail and said “may, may!” in a different tone, and with a look to him that looked like she was correcting him. And she was! She was totally schooling her dad by showing him he was saying tail incorrectly.  I was shocked.

And ever since then, the student has become the teacher. Kensi’s Chinese is SKY ROCKETING while poor dad’s has stalled.  To be fair – she is home with my mom all day talking to her so she is 100% immersed in Chinese. OF COURSE her Chinese would grow.  But of course – this now presents a gap and growing divide in our house.

We started noticing that whenever Dan gave her instructions in English, she wouldn’t always follow. He would make me tell her in Chinese and she would understand and obey every time.  She was saying words to him that he couldn’t figure out whether it was gibberish or Chinese… and more often than not, it was Chinese!

Dan was losing his ability to understand and communicate to Kensi!

This pleased me greatly.

Yes that’s right, I said it.

Listen, I’m not a monster, I want my daughter to obviously speak English and talk to her dad. But the fact that there was a divide going on in the house though (and a growing one at that) meant that Kensi’s Chinese was getting BETTER! WE WANT THIS.

One day Dan was frustrated because he told Kensi to do something and she didn’t until after I told her in Chinese and so he told my mom and I, “We need to teach her more English! We don’t want her to fall behind!”

My mother and I looked at each other and laughed.  We laughed and laughed and laughed. My mother gave him the equivalent of what I could only describe as a “bitch, please” look but in a nice elderly way and said, “You don’t have to worry about English! You need to worry about her Chinese!”

The fact of the matter is that we’re trying to cram as much Chinese into Kensi as we can because once she starts school (i.e. daycare next year) – goodbye Chinese! She will be immersed in English for 80% of the day. She will also be going to school conversing in English for the next couple of decades. Like my mother said, you don’t have to worry about English!

What we want to lay down the groundwork for is for Kensi to retain and grow as much Chinese as we can, so that she ultimately doesn’t become her mom who can only speak the equivalent of what I’m told is the vocabularly of a 5th grade Chinese student. And not even like a sophisticated boarding school 5th grader, I’m talking about rural, grew up on a farm 5th grader.  Le sigh.

But that means in the interim, we’re dealing with translating things back and forth between English and Chinese, both to Kensi and also to Dan.  And so the divide keeps growing and that’s what we want to happen!

PAK SOW! PAK SOW!! 👏🏽

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POOR KOKO

khloe-kardashian

I’ve received a lot of messages this past month inquiring about the recent news of Khloe Kardashian – so I thought I would break it down for you and really dissect the situation.

The issue:  

Khloe Kardashian was DAYS away from giving birth (she’s since had the baby) when media news outlets leaked extensive video clips of her baby daddy pro-basketballer Tristan Thompson making out with ladies months ago. EEKS

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Why people care: 

Well the obvious – the Kardashian name. People are very interested in anything Kardashian related since they’ve sold their blood, sweat and tears for the camera. But beyond that, I think people specifically care more about Khloe Kardashian because of all the stuff she’s gone through, as witnessed on the countless seasons of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. They’ve been on TV airing their lives for the past 10 years, and I’ve (proudly) seen every season, so I’m invested… and so are a lot of other people!

Khloe’s love story chapter 1: The Backstory

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Khloe was previously married to Lamar Odom (another basketball player). They got married after a MONTH of dating in 2009.  I was really rooting for these two, and not just because she lovingly called him “Lam Lam” which I thought was adorable. I’ll always remember that one episode where Khloe wanted to do something “special” for Lam Lam so what does one get for the special someone in their life? Well a sex swing of course!

You would think that someone with fame + money would hire an EXPERT to install the swing for them properly but noooo, homegirl Khloe was too embarrassed to ask for help so she tried to install it herself! But then DUH, in her words exactly “I’m not a handyman,” so of course before Khloe and Lam Lam get the party started, it crashes…with Khloe in it! OH Khloe – you so silly!

Anyways – around 2012/2013 reports in the media start circulating about Lam Lam’s issues with drinking, drugs, DUIs, partying, etc. Rumours of infidelity begin to heavily circulate. I for one am a firm believer that when there’s smoke, there’s fire!  Lo and behold at the end of 2013 after MUCH speculation, Khloe files for divorce and legal restoration of her last name. No more Khloe Odom!

Finalizing the divorce seemed to take some time, and by the end of 2015 Lam Lam is back in the news again. Apparently he was found unconscious in a brothel in Nevada (classy), and later we find out he was doing so much coke that his organs were shutting down and he fell into a coma and had to be put on life support! In the aftermath of all this, Khloe or as I now like to refer her as Saint Khloe from this situation, halted the divorce process so she could take control and make medical decisions on his behalf.

Lets pause for a second about this: You are divorcing your husband who you love but are devastated by because of all his issues (drinking, drugs, depression, infidelity, etc).  Then you find out he is found unconscious in a BROTHEL (so so gross) and falls into a coma. You stop the divorce process so you can take control of making his medical decisions. You then help him recover after waking up from his coma and also with his rehabilitation which begins to return him back to a (somewhat) normal, physically functioning human again.  Apparently he suffered so much brain damage, it was a miracle that he was even alive. Dude – get Khloe a damn medal for acts of bravery!

Alas, once it seemed like Lam Lam was on the road to full recovery, she finally had her divorce finalized by the end of 2016.  YAY!

Wowza, Can you imagine from 2009 – 2016 having your life completely sucked up and blown up by one person?! And after ALL of that, your reward is a DIVORCE! Damn that’s cold. Ice cold.

Khloe’s Love Story Chapter 2: Today(ish)

khloe tristan preggs

So fast forward to 2017 when Khloe starts dating ANOTHER basketball player, Tristan Thompson. I had zero clue who this person was except that he was a pro-athelete (and we all know how faithful pro athletes are!). I stopped following Khloe because after her whole Lam Lam ordeal for almost a decade, she needed a bit of a breather. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised and happy to hear earlier this year that she was expecting a baby with her new boyfriend.  

It’s of particular significance because on KUWTK it was long documented that Khloe was having fertility issues. She desperately wanted a baby with Lam Lam but they could never successfully conceive a child, they even went through IVF treatments but were unsuccessful. In retrospect, it definitely seems like a blessing in disguise that she never ended up procreating with him…just saying!

Anyways – that’s why it was horrifying to hear that DAYS BEFORE giving birth to their baby, videos are leaked of Tristan Thompson making out and macking out with ladies as recent as a month earlier. And apparently this pattern has been happening LONG BEFORE she was pregnant with his child… and continued throughout her pregnancy it seems.

SO WHERE WE AT NOW?

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Well since the story/videos of Tristan leaked – allegedly Koko was so devastated she wanted to race home to LA to give birth and, I dunno, be surrounded by loved ones and not a cheater cheater pumpkin eater. But it was no bueno because when you’re days away from giving birth, no doctor or pilot for that matter will let you board a plane.  

God could you imagine? You find out that your baby daddy has been cheating on you for possibly your whole relationship, you’re about to POP and give birth to his baby, and now you’re forced to stay in Cleveland to do it. THE WORST!

So Koko ended up delivering her baby girl on April 12th, 2018 and she allowed Tristan to be present to witness the birth.  Not only that, but she allowed their baby girl to take his last name Thompson.

Wowza, I mean I thought that Khloe displayed incredible strength and restraint during the whole Lam Lam debacle but this one takes the cake in terms of suffering immeasurable self conflict.  I guess she was looking out for the future of her baby daughter by letting the baby daddy be present at the birth and take his name… but damn, not going to lie – if it were me I would not have the strength to have come to either of those decisions.

So now since giving birth to their daughter which she’s named True Thompson (a nod to her grandfather’s first name and her father’s middle name), she’s apparently recovering well, super in love with the baby, and she’s trying to “work things out” with Mr. Thompson.    

OH BOY.  SO MANY THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS

Now that we’re relatively caught up with Koko’s unlucky in love story (past and present) and as she enters her new chapter into motherhood, I have many many questions about the sitch. Off the top of my head:

1. Girl why did you give your baby his last name only? Sure I get honouring/including part of his name since she IS his child… but why didn’t you also include yours? Her first name is pretty short so you could have made it True Kardashian Thompson.  I personally think it’s a shame to lose the legacy of your last name to some dated and patriotic naming convention. And lets be honest, this baby girl is probably not going to be living her life reaping the benefits of the Thompson last name…just saying.

2. What shortened nickname goes with True? T?  Or Choo-choo because no young kid can easily pronounce the ‘r’ in True? True as a first name seems very noble and heroic don’t get me wrong… but it also screams elderly to me too. *shrugs*

3. Didn’t you get the memo? Pro-athletes are cheaters. We’ve seen it time and time again. Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, I dunno – every pro basketball player out there.  When you’re in a profession where thots are throwing themselves at you left, right and center, there leaves very little room for the concept of monogamy.  That’s all fine and dandy but then don’t front like you’re in a monogamous relationship. If you want to be with a bevy of beauties then go be with them! But then don’t act like you’re in a committed monogamous relationship about to start a family with your girlfriend!

4. Can you really move forward with your relationship after this? In the sense that you can “make it work” by continuing to have a romantic relationship with Mr. Thompson?  I get that he’s your baby’s daddy and will now always be in your life/your child’s life. But are we actually going to entertain the idea of a reconciliation with your relationship? This man has been cheating on you for what seems to be the entire course of your relationship, and continued to just a month shy of you delivering your baby!  Do you really think it’s realistic to recover and reconcile the relationship?

*someone please hand Khloe a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and a copy of How Stella Got Her Groove Back*

Ok so far that’s all I’ve got but I’m sending my prayers, thoughts and strength for Koko to wake up and realize she’s an INDEPENDENT WOMAN! She does not need a (basket)baller stepping out on her!

*MIC DROP*

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I LOVE LAMP

Guys – I’m feeling morally conflicted.  On one hand, I believe in the language of the Universe and listening to the signs of what it is trying to tell me. On the other hand – I also believe in straight up vengeance (a la John Wick).  What is a girl to do?!

Here’s the situation:

So LONG before Kensi ever arrived, I’ve been obsessed with this lamp. I know this is bizarre but yes, I’ve been obsessed with this lamp below – it’s called the Miffy lamp.

I saw it years ago and REALLY wanted it since then – but it’s ridiculously expensive for a lamp to justify.  It’s also meant to be for a child’s room…so I vowed that I would get one if I ever had a kid for their room.   It comes in 2 sizes – the original size, which retails for $260+tax or the XL, which is $370+tax.  Both are unnecessarily expensive for a lamp.

But ya know what? Now that I’m a grown ass woman with a child, house, job, responsibilities, etc, I’ve come to realize something: I can do whatever I want!

I really want this lamp and seeing it brings me joy. Did you hear that? It SPARKS JOY, so that means that Marie Kondo WANTS me to get this lamp – for myself, and for Kensi!

Side note: Why the hell are the only two sizes available for this lamp, “original” and “XL”? The XL seems obscenely large to me, but there isn’t an inbetweenie size between the small and XL.

XL pic for reference below. WAY TOO BIG:

VERSUS the small size. Super cute but like… could also be a smidge bigger.

Yo where my mediums at?

Anyways so with Kensi’s 1 year birthday coming up, I decided to bite the bullet and splurge – I’m getting that lamp for her room!

This lamp isn’t easily available, and I was finally able to source it from West Coast Kids. Bonus – there was a promotion going on and the lamp was 15% off, which is RARE. Like I said – I’ve been stalking this lamp for awhile and I had never seen it go on sale before.

While I was on the WCK website, I also saw a playmat that I really liked as well. Kensi already has a play mat but it’s in our living room, and I wanted to get another one to put in a different area for her to play on (i.e. her bedroom or the basement).  The issue was the one I wanted was on back order, but I decided to select it anyways – so both those items went into the shopping cart!

Fast forward a week later:

I realized that I got a confirmation that the order had been made, but I didn’t get a confirmation that the order was processed or that shipment was going out. I knew the mat was on back order so thought maybe that was the delay, so decided to check the account status online.  When I looked on the status of it, it had this weird message that said “PICKED.”

I tried to call WKC several times but ALWAYS got their “we are too busy right now” message, and it directed me to their customer service email. So I finally just sent an email to their customer service email to ask them WHAT UP homie, what does “PICKED” mean and when are my items available to be shipped?

Several days after sending the email, I got a response from them. There was a mistake. 

There was an error in their online system so it somehow got stuck and never processed what I had ordered. They apologized and said they would have the order processed immediately.

Cool cool cool.

I responded back and asked them “Ok great, but can you let me know if the mat is finally available and when the items would be available to be shipped out?”

The person emailed back and said the mat was back in stock later that week, and then would be shipped out shortly after.

Great!

Another week goes by:

UPS guy shows up to my door and delivers ONE item. I open it up and it’s the play mat!

But wait? WHERE’S MY BELOVED MIFFY?!

I check my credit card statement – they charged me fully for the mat and lamp.

GODDAMMIT IT! I have to combo call/email them AGAIN.

Another week goes by:

I email them but don’t get a response back for a couple of days, so I attempt to call them all morning until I FINALLY get through to someone.

I explained the issue I originally had with my order being delayed because it wasn’t processed and wasn’t rectified until I chased them about it. Now I asked them, Hey, the lamp is coming right? Because it’s weird that the mat came when I assumed that because it was on back order that was what was holding the shipment of both items.”

Their representative essentially said, “Yeah….. umm… seems like when we reprocessed your order and then you asked about when the mat was coming, they just processed the mat.”

HUH?

Representative: “Yeah this is our bad, let me go check our stock right now to see if we have the lamp and I’ll make sure that it gets shipped directly to you!”

Me: “Ok but that makes NO sense. I’m SOOO confused and now I’m super super annoyed by this explanation. Why am I the one constantly emailing and calling you guys to ask about what is going on with my orders! If I’m not chasing you guys, I’ll actually never get my items… that you have already charged me for! The lamp is the one I cared about and was excited about the most!”

Representative gave me the run around and said he realizes how frustrating it is, and he was going to the stock room immediately to make sure they have it in stock and then it will get shipped.

Me: FINE! But this experience has REALLY sucked…TWICE!

Fast forward later that evening:

UPS man shows up to our door and drops off a package. I open up the box because I’m shocked. IT’S THE MIFFY LAMP!

I was floored. I couldn’t understand HOW they got this lamp to me SO fast (i.e. SAME DAY) but somehow it took WEEKS of chasing them down to have them ship it to me.

But WHATEVER!  I was done spending any more time chasing them – MIFFY WAS HOME!

So at this point you would think it would be the end of the story – BUT IT’S NOT!

A FEW DAYS LATER – customer service emails me back.

Good afternoon Katy,

Thank you for contacting Westcoast Kids, we hope you are doing well.

We are working hard to get your order out as soon as possible. Due to our very popular recent sales/promotions, we are experiencing a higher volume of orders than anticipated. WCK appreciates your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.

I have checked with our warehouses and they have confirmed that unfortunately your order was misplaced. We do sincerely apologize for this error, we have retrieved a new copy of your order and we will be shipping this order out as soon as possible.

We appreciate your cooperation and patience in regards to this order.

WAIT WHAT?!

Then I realized what happened – the person on the phone (who is also the person who had been emailing me back before), must not have connected the dots. When he spoke with me on the phone, he didn’t realize he had resolved my issue.

I assumed though that when he looked up my account after reading my email, he would figure out that the lamp had been already delivered, case closed.

But no – because the next day, the UPS man shows up at my door again.

ANOTHER MIFFY ARRIVES!!!

At this point, I am very very confused as to what is going on with WCK – with their e-commerce, their customer service, their tracking and delivery system, EVERYTHING. First they lose my items to ship, now they are sending me the same item TWICE?

By now – a month has gone by since I had placed the order. I had spent more time than necessary emailing and calling customer service to chase them down. 2 MIFFYS later, and I feel VERY  conflicted.

Should I tell them they sent me an additional MIFFY by mistake?

But then I pause and think back about all the time that has been dedicated to this lamp, and I get angry.  I’m on mat leave. I’m trying to keep a human alive. My job isn’t to chase down a company (repeatedly) to find out where my items are that I had ordered. Nor is it my job to chase them down AGAIN to tell them about the mistake they made, and go out of my way to try to return the item back.

Plus – I DO think it would be so cute if Kensi had a Miffy in her room and if I had a Miffy in my room (TWINSIES!).

WHAT SHOULD I DO? THIS IS TRULY A MORAL DILEMMA. 

 

HELLO I’M ALIVE

Guys I’ve been silent for a couple of months on this blog, and I really want to blame the baby for it but that would be a lie. I actually haven’t been inspired to write because I’ve been too enraged by all the news about sexual assault/harrassment/abuse.

First – how deep the Weinstein story goes is VERY VERY disturbing. I thought we had heard everything this man was capable of, and then JUST tonight I read the op ed from Salma Hayek and once again, I am disgusted all over again.

I’m going to devote another future blog post about it because I’m mentally not ready to even begin to detail how upsetting and disturbing it is to hear a news story almost every single day (i.e. Kevin Spacey, John Lassiter, Woody Allen, Matt Lauer, Mario Batali, ETC ETC ETC) about abuse of power – but I will say this ONE thing:

It is not the responsibility of the victim to speak up and defend themselves.  That’s why when I read all these stories of women speaking up, all I can think about is how we need more men to be speaking up. We need men to call out OTHER men and say ‘hey, that’s not acceptable.’  Women have the LEAST power but the most to lose by speaking up. Men have the MOST power and the LEAST to lose by speaking up. 

#THATSALLFORNOW

In other news, I’m trying to get back the writing mojo, so I’ve made a pledge to myself to write something for an hour a day. Even if it’s a crappy blog post, I’m still going to write it.

So because I’ve been dormant for so long, I’ve compiled a list of VERY random things that I’ve been reading about below to share:

1. Tiffany Haddish – I haven’t seen the film Girl’s Trip yet (I REALLY want to) but I recently watched this interview with Tiffany Haddish and it’s BEYOND hysterical. I mostly love the fact that she’s starring in a movie but is still using Groupons, but I also love the fact that she took Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith on a swamp tour using Groupon!

2. New couple alert! Chris Martin is apparently dating Dakota Johnson (who stars in 50 Shades of Grey movies).

3. Alex Rodriguez use to date Anne Wojcicki – so it’s no secret that ARod and JLO have been dating. I don’t really know much about him except he’s one of the most successful baseball players that (apparently) has ever lived so he must be $$$$$.  I personally do not find him attractive BUT he’s managed to date a lot of celebrity women including Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Madonna etc. No surprise there that with his wealth he can bag a lot of beautiful celebrity babes.

The thing I found out recently that I was VERY surprised by though, is that ARod use to date: Anne Wojcicki

ARod.jpg

Wait who is Anne? Well for starters, Anne isn’t a 20 something pretty young thing, which seemed to be ARod’s MO. She’s actually an adult woman – age 44! She also is CRAZY smart and successful. She use to be married to Sergey Brin (Google founder) and is the founder of 23andMe, a genome company that Dan and I actually have been debating buying a kit from.  Anyone up in the Silicon Valley business knows who Anne is.

Anyways, when I learned that AnneWojcicki was dating ARod I thought HUH?? That really makes no sense to me.  ARod and JLo? That makes sense. Anne Wojcicki and ARod? Nope, zero sense.

And then I read this article with a comment from Anne’s mother that basically said she is not surprised their relationship ended because he was intellectually inferior to her daughter and thought, HA – finally something that DOES make sense!

4. Super into Bush Twins lately – I have no idea why but I recently watched this interview with Chelsea Handler and I’m totally feeling them. Given the state of American affairs right now, it actually really makes me miss the Bush era! Those seem to be simpler days. *Le Sigh*

AIR MILES YOU’RE DEAD TO ME

I have never been so enraged as I have been with AIR MILES yesterday.

john wick

Let me give you some context first:

My aunt has been battling cancer for the past few years. Only recently has the situation become less and less hopeful, and the situation is now a matter of spending as much time with her as possible and trying to keep her quality of life as high as possible with whatever time we have remaining. The situation is grim but it is what it is.

My cousin is planning a 70th birthday party for her, and I booked a family trip with myself, Dan, Kensi and my parents to all fly in to Newfoundland for a long weekend in mid October to surprise her.

Yesterday my cousin asked if my mom could fly out a week early. She had a trip for her family planned to go to Orlando and she needed some extra help while she was away. Of course my mom would drop everything for her sister.

Enter the absurdity that is AIR MILES:

I call them and tell them the trip on October 13th for my mom needs to be changed to a week earlier. I realize I might need to pay the miles difference and I said that was fine. I also had checked online on their site and it gave me the option to select the same time a week early, so I knew the option was available.  Easy right? NOPE!

Got on a call with them and the person on the phone said she couldn’t do it. UM what? I told her that I saw it’s available when I try to make a new booking online.

OH she explained, we’re only allocated so many spots for “changed bookings” and only so much for “new bookings” and right now because I want to change her ticket to a week earlier, the system says there’s not enough allocation under “change bookings” to do it. If I wanted to get her out a week early, I would have to just buy her a new ticket and eat the cost of the existing one I made. WTF!

So I argued back and forth with her and said because of their technical limitation I’m somehow punished? She suggested because I paid the taxes with my BMO WORLD ELITE AIR MILES Mastercard that I should call the credit card company to see if the cancellation of my mom’s ticket on October 13th can be reimbursed. FINE. FINE I said. I’ll do just that!

I call BMO Mastercard… they make me call Alliance Insurance since it’s an “insurance related” question. AWESOME.

At this point if I tally up how much time I was on the phone with someone waiting or talking to them to explain the situation, it’s clocked almost 2hrs. 

Alliance Insurance said the cancelled ticket could only be reimbursed if it was myself, my spouse and my dependant…so NOT my parents, even though I was the one that purchased the tickets for ALL OF THEM. AWESOME

At this point I was so fed up I gave up. I decided to eat the loss of the AIR MILES and taxes I paid on the ticket for my mom’s Oct 13th flight. But then it just didn’t sit right with me that nothing could be done and that it would go to waste so I thought hey wait a minute, I bought it – and I’m taking Kensi with me who is an infant, why can’t she just take my mom’s seat?

Tons of FB mom groups always talk about when flying with babies the ideal scenario is to buy them their own seat because you can bring their car seat on it and they can sit and chill and be comfortable since they’re already use to being in it.  I didn’t plan on doing this originally because I’m not a rapper and have the disposable income to just buy my baby her own seat, BUT since this scenario presented itself and I was already eating the cost of having to pay for the Oct 13th seat for my mom, I thought I should just give it to Kensi. Sounds easy right? WRONG! NOT ON THEIR WATCH!

I called AIR MILES back again – and explained the scenario and how I didn’t want the ticket I originally paid for my mom to go to waste, so could they just please transfer the name on the ticket to my baby instead.

DENIED! Well no not really, they said in order for me to do that I would have to pay $180.

WTF!

They JUST made me pay for a brand new ticket for my mom because they couldn’t change the existing ticket. Now they want me to PAY $180 MORE so I could let Kensington take my mom’s seat… that I had already paid for !

#$%$##$@$#%$@#$#%!!!

I told the person on the phone how FUCKED UP that was and she recognized the absurdity but couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do anything. I was so frustrated I demanded to speak to a supervisor.

She transfers me over and I ended up hanging up after being put on hold for 30+minutes, even though I’m an ONYX tiered customer which apparently means I get priority sequence in the call centre. NOPE!

So I hang up and try calling in again on the Onyx priority line – I said YO you tried to transfer me so I could speak to a supervisor and I waited for more than half an hour. That’s NOT cool – put me with someone immediately. I get transferred over…and they do it AGAIN!

ANOTHER 30mins on hold. 

OH yeah, I forgot to mention – AIR MILES automated system now makes you talk out loud to specify what your AIR MILES number is, but their system is fucked and half the time they couldn’t hear me SCREAMING my AIR MILES number, which meant I kept having to hang up and call again. Add another 30mins into the mix because their system can’t hear people speak clearly. 

I couldn’t take it anymore, so I hung up and called the Onyx Priority line again. Each time I called this line I only had to wait a few minutes, it was when the losers on the other end tried to transfer me to talk to a “supervisor” that I was waiting until god knows when.

FINALLY by the end of the day – whoever I spoke with (probably the 5th or 6th person now) was able to HEAR ME OUT and do something about it. I explained the situation again, told them how DISGUSTED I was at how absurd their process was, how long I’ve been on the phone for, how they’re making me pay to give a seat to my baby that I had already paid for since my mother could no longer join, and just how generally FUCKED up they were.

And by some miracle – I finally got someone who was a human being on the other end that possessed some degree of empathy and intelligence and said, “Hey you know what? Let me call West Jet and see what they can do. Let me call you back.”

10 minutes later – that person on the phone called me back and said West Jet wants me to keep the infant on my lap BUT because of the situation, they will redeem my miles and taxes that I paid for on that flight my mother could no longer join us for since she was flying in a week early.

BOOM – just like that, 5-6hours later it felt like – finally a resolution THAT MADE SENSE. 

This story is of personal agony for me because I use to work at AIR MILES.  That’s what boils my blood because I use to be the hugest fan and advocate for them. But ya know what?

NO MORE AIR MILES.  YOU’RE DEAD TO ME.  

I believe the below image captures how I feel about AIR MILES and what they did to me yesterday.

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The best/worst part about this story is this morning the situation has escalated even more, and I am scrambling to find my mom a flight to leave days from now, not just 2 weeks from now.

So…. now I need to gather all the strength I can to try to call AIR MILES and talk to SOMEONE who has a brain and a heart to HELP ME get my mom out to Newfoundland in a matter of days WITHOUT punishing me and making me pay for god knows how much and making me sit on the phone arguing/waiting for up to 6hours again.

#LORDGIVEMESTRENGTH

Sidebar: I think the Universe is giving me shit… metaphorically and literally. Not just because of the debacle of AIR MILES yesterday but also this morning, my mom and I discover right in front of our outdoor mat on the back porch, some ANIMAL left a pile of poop and a pile of puke (looks like berries) side by side, right in front of our back door dead centre.

Like if that’s not a message then I don’t know WHAT IS!

 

Thoughts On The New Bachelor

Is anyone else as disappointed by the recent announcement of the new Bachelor as I am?

It’s none other than Arie Luyendyk Jr!

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Wait who? Great question, because exactly – who IS he, because I BARELY could remember who he was.

I had to DIG DEEP to remember who he was because it was THAT long ago. Here’s a recap:

  • He was on Emily Maynard’s season…in 2012! That’s why I could barely remember him! In reality TV life that’s practically a decade ago.  Anyways,  he made it to final 2 but she ended up picking Jef Holm (who he ended up becoming besties with).
  • He is/was a professional race car driver. He also dabbles in real estate as his “winter career” (his words, not mine).
  • He is Dutch and bilingual.
  • He was actually close to becoming the Bachelor 2 years ago. They filmed him in his home town announcing the news to his family apparently but last min, they pulled the plug and gave it to farmboy Chris Soules (who I think ended up accidentally running someone over in a hit & run so… I think ABC should have gone with their original choice maybe).
  • He had a fling with notable Bachelor alum Courtney Robertson. She was the model that Ben Flanjik ended up picking and then their relationship blew up in flames because she’s a total biznatch. She ended up writing a tell all book and even detailed her fling with him, describing their boning session as the best she’s ever had. “Why was it so good you ask? Arie’s incredibly passionate and utilizes his entire body in his lovemaking. And he knows exactly what positions make a woman feel comfortable and satisfied.”

BTW: I don’t trust anyone who uses the term “lovemaking” but that’s just me.

Ok so they picked this random dude that I could barely recollect to be the new Bachelor, and then I do some reality stalking/research and come to find that Arie is a total fuccboi. 

Wait what’s a fuccboi? Great question. This is a recent term I learned from someone at work who I ask all my urban/street slang questions to (there’s one in every office who seems to always be with it).

FUCCBOI – Here’s what we have:

  • It’s first pronounced “f*ck boy” – or if you’re like me, you think it’s actually got a French flair to it and try to pronounce it like “fuque boise” and then get laughed at by a table full of people.
  • The most basic definition is: A manipulating dick who does whatever it takes to benefit him, regardless of who he screws over. They will screw over anyone and everyone as long they get what they want.”
  • There’s a wonderful comprehensive guide you can find here that goes into great detail about all the different types of fuccbois out there. Lets just say I’ve definitely come across my fair share and didn’t realize there was a term for it.

 

So this brings us back to Arie and the mounting evidence he may be a fuccboi:

  1. Reality Steve hates him. If you don’t know Reality Steve, then know this: he knows everything there is about the bachelor franchise and his spoilers are always accurate. He HATES Arie:

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He even posted this excerpt from Courtney’s book where she talks about how he was dating her and another woman at the same time:

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2. Ok so far we have Reality Steve and Courtney his former lover saying he’s a total douche. But what about his best friend Jef Holm? Or possibly EX best friend – because check out what he’s written on Twitter about him:

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3. He had a girlfriend DAYS before being announced as the new Bachelor, at least this is what ET Online tells me. HUH WHAT?! That has FUCCBOI written all over it if you ask me!

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Anyways, as you can tell I’m super disappointed in who they selected to be the new Bachelor…but obviously that won’t stop me from watching the season. But I will end this post with who I WISH they had selected instead. Le sigh.

ABC's "Good Morning America" - 2017

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How Hulk Hogan Broke the Internet

Ok guys – in a quest to be more committed to updating this blog, I went through old drafts of blog posts I would start and then for some reason or another got distracted and never finished.  Below is one I had started last year I think and never got to completing it, but I think it’s worth revisiting to finish.

This is a tale about how Hulk Hogan started a war and took down a media empire (unintentionally).

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I recently had lunch with some coworkers when the topic of Hulk Hogan came up. Mainly my coworker was pointing out that I had trouble saying his name, instead having the tendency to pronounce his name like “Holk” instead of “Hulk.” Sue me – I have a selective accent at times (on account of the fact that I wasn’t born in this country!).

Regardless of how he came up, it led to quite the intense conversation about what’s been transpiring with him lately – which I realized may or may not be a well known story. There’s a lot of confusing parts to this story, so I broke it out into 4 digestible sections.

Part I: Hulk Hogan

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Remember Hulk Hogan? His glory days were mostly in the eighties and nineties as a wrestler on WWF. Not going to lie, I was a fan of him myself when I was a kid and use to watch WWF on the weekends with my brother and dad (Hulk and The Undertaker were my favourites!).

Even after his glory days passed in the 90s he apparently was still  involved in the wrestling world in some weird way, shape or form (participating, hosting, making appearances etc) all the way up to 2014.  He was probably hitting up the appearance circuit hard because homie was living a VERY VERY lavish lifestyle.  In 2008 his estimated network was about $30 million but his continued lifestyle of spending more than he made combined with his divorce meant that in 2011, he admitted that he was practically bankrupt! (btw can someone introduce him to Gail Vax-Oxlade and nominate him to be on the show Princess? I truly think that would make an amazing ep).

Anyways, this brings us up to 2012 when Mr. Hogan was engaging in some very weird and sordid activities.  Essentially he was friends with a shock jock radio host that I guess may be big in the US for a likely niche (possibly hick) market, his name being Bubba Love Sponge.

Essentially Bubba (real name Todd) and his wife were apparently such good friends with Hulk, that Bubba essentially sanctioned and encouraged his wrestler friend and wife to get it on while he hung out in another room. The rumor goes that the radio host actually found out about the affair earlier on and was enraged, so he wanted to plot some way to get back at the wrestler.  Somehow him plotting his revenge equated to encouraging his wife and friend to continue their sexcapades while he pretended he didn’t mind and waited patiently in the other room.

What Bubba was actually doing was secretly filming the sexcapades all go down with the intent to profit off the film. Apparently at the end of the the video you could hear him tell his wife, “If we ever need to retire, here is our ticket!” Eeks – sabotage! And admitted guilt! Also – so gross.

Sidebar to this story: this sex tape also spotlighted Hulk Hogan having (among other things) a racist rant about his daughter dating a rapper. This rant (note, not the sex tape itself but the racist rant featured in the tape specifically) is what led to the quick dismissal from the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and him vehemently denying he isn’t racist… but then later copping to being a BIT racist and blaming it on his upbringing. ***Bleh – make up your mind Hulk! You’re either a racist or you’re not, you can’t just be a hint. It’s like me saying I was a TAD pregnant.***

So essentially Bubba goes and shops around the video and eventually sells the tape to Gawker, who obviously thinks it’s somehow worth paying for and releasing to the public because hello – it’s Gawker and if it’s salacious and remotely slimey sounding then it MUST be gold. So the tape gets released, and this marks the beginning of the end for Gawker!

 

Part II: What’s a Gawker?

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So Gawker Media is an online company and blog network. It owns a bunch of websites including the notable Gawker.com, but also: Deadspin, Lifehacker.com, Jezebel.com (my personal favourite actually) and a bunch of other ones I’ve never actually heard of.

Each site featured content catered to a different interest group and based on the popularity of people I know who read at least one if not some of their sites, commanded very high readership. Deadspin was all about sports. Gawker focused on celebrities, entertainment and media.  Jezebel was also about celebrities, entertainment and media but featured content from a female or feminist lense. Lastly Lifehacker was a site dedicated to software and life hacks – essentially general tips for living I guess a more efficient life.

I’m a pretty avid reader of Jezebel and I’m not going to lie I’ve definitely read at least a handful of Gawker articles because hello – celebrity, entertainment and media! It’s definitely been a source of information in the past for me.  So that’s why I was actually surprised that I was so unaware of the battle that Gawker has been having with Peter Thiel.  Specifically, the battle that the creator of Gawker – Nick Denton has had with the Silicon titan.

According to wiki, Nick Denton is a “British Internet entrepreneur” – founder and proprietor of Gawker Media and the managing editor of Gawker.com.

Roughly nine years ago, Gawker published this little itty bitty article here that essentially outed Peter Thiel as being gay.  It wasn’t a long article nor was it particularly remarkable. Also – the person who wrote the article wasn’t even Nick Denton himself, but one of his editors – Owen Thomas.  But apparently it was Nick Denton’s response to the article and his sanctioning of the article to get published that really grinded Thiel’s gears.

You can see in the comments section that Denton fired a response back to Owen Thomas elaborating on his theories:

Not such an odd match. Boyfriend is, or was, earlier this year, a guy called Matt, working in finance, in New York. The only thing that’s strange about Thiel’s sexuality: why on earth was he so paranoid about its discovery for so long?

If Silicon Valley is the bastion of tolerance it likes to believe, and if the tech industry cares only about money, it’s surprising that Thiel would have kept his personal life a secret from journalists and his closest colleagues, for so long. He was so paranoid that, when I was looking into the story, a year ago, I got a series of messages relaying the destruction that would rain down on me, and various innocent civilians caught in the crossfire, if a story ever ran.

So, why the paranoia? Thiel has many conservative friends, some of them socially conservative, not simply libertarian. So maybe he’s been worried about ostracism by then. Another possible explanation: his friends claim that investors in his fund, some from the Middle East, might not be as tolerant as Bay Area locals. It’s equally plausible that Thiel is just trying to keep his personal life from a religious family. The one explanation that nobody in the tech industry wants to hear: the Castro may be a few miles up the 280 highway, but the Valley is, in social makeup, a world away.

 

Essentially, this article featured in Gawker is what began Thiel’s quest to take down Denton and subsequently Gawker Media – a quest that would take almost A DECADE to complete! But when you have a boat load of money – you can afford to wait it out I guess 😐

Part III: Peter Thiel – who dis guy?

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Ok at this point everyone and their mom has heard about Peter Thiel like he’s some sort of folklore mystical unicorn.  Here are some fast facts:

He is a mega rich Silicon Valley titan – making most of his major money and success by co founding Paypal. He was also the first outside investor of Facebook so… we all know how well that turned out. Suffice it to say – MEGA RICHNESS.

Well connected – allegedly him and all his rich venture capitalist friends, mostly from Paypal days who have now spun off to do their own mega rich things are all super tight – which has led to their circle being dubbed the Paypal Mafia. Elon Musk is a notable member of this club. These tech bros have each other’s backs.

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He is patient. How do I know this? Well, because the Gawker article was released in 2007 and it motivated him to spend almost the next decade of his life to quietly and secretly fund several lawsuits against Gawker. Finally in May 2016 he admitted to this – and confirmed he had spent more than $10 million dollars funding various lawsuits against Gawker.

The last part is the most important tie to the Hulk Hogan – Gawker – Thiel story because allegedly, without Thiel’s involvement the story would have easily died. At the time when Hogan was suing Gawker for releasing the video, he was pretty much bankrupt. He was easily willing to settle the lawsuit with the promise of several million dollars – and that would have been the end of the story. THE END!

But wait – no not the actual end, because Thiel being some super patient sociopath who was waiting in the corner for years to find his opportunity finally saw it.  When he realized that Hulk Hogan was suing Gawker and would likely settle, he decided to SECRETLY FUND his lawsuit agains the media empire.

And guess what? Obviously when you have BILLIONS OF DOLLARS that you can afford to casually toss tens of millions of dollars without blinking an eye, you can pretty much destroy the world if you wanted to – and use Hulk Hogan as a pawn to do so!

Part IV: THE END of the story (FINALLY! sorta)

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And that leads us to how Hulk Hogan WON the lawsuit against Gawker – a lawsuit worth $140 million dollars.  The $140 million dollar court decision was essentially the guillotine that ended the head of Gawker – metaphorically and literally.  Nick Denton had to shut down Gawker and pretty much all of his subsidiaries and file for bankruptcy in order to pay for the court decision. This meant that everyone working under those companies that Gawker owned were left out to dry.

This is what bums me out about the whole entire story. It’s not that Hulk Hogan is a total piece of garbage. It’s not that Nick Denton is also known to be a total slime ball in the journalism industry (it’s nobody’s right to out someone’s sexuality btw). It’s not even the part about Peter Thiel who seems like a total sociopath, but even worst because he’s a SMART one that has billions of dollars.

No, the part that upsets me the most about all of this is the people who got let go from their jobs! These innocent people had NOTHING to do with the stupid sex tape Hulk Hogan made, nor did they have anything to do with the obsession that Peter Thiel had with ending Nick Denton’s career.  But poof! Just like that – their roles and jobs were ended because of some VERY bizarre string of events that involved a glorified 80s wrestler and a man named Bubba no less.

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So that’s it – that’s the end of my bedtime story, and finally after a year I’m glad I can finally move this draft to publish state.

To end – here is another picture of Peter Thiel. Is it just me or does he totally look like a sociopath?  Maybe it’s just me, but those eyes look like they’ve executed a few people. Maybe he and Tom Cruise should start a club or something.

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