Day 18 — broken records

I finally gave in and popped two Advils into my mouth this morning to get rid of the unending migraines I am suffering for two days. Last night it switched to the right side of the brain, throbbing and pulsing the frontal lobe even in my short sleep. I went through the logs of food I ate this week and realized that I haven’t taking care of myself by eating too much carb and sugar. Basically I didn’t cook separated food for me and the kids and just ate whatever I made for their meals. On top of that, I also bought kimchi from Korean restaurant and I think eating too much sodium cause blood hypertension for me and hence the deadly migraines took over my life.

Anyway, today I made healthy food and am starting to feel better. I still feel a bit of throbbing that is on the verge of becoming a full blown soon so I better get to bed and sleep.

I know, I have been writing too damn much about migraines like a broken record. So hopefully this is the last one until the next major attack.

Another source of pain that compounds the unceasing headache is dealing with the kids. I had a tug war with PP again yesterday when he refused to practice his math drill.

Guess what? Today he failed that weekly test again. I am taking his privileges away, not because he failed, but more so about his attitude and the choices that he made. Instead of practicing, he sat at the desk and wrote a journal entry detailing that math is boring and a waste of time. Then today he said he failed because he is dumb, and that I care more about his success on tests than care about him.


Arghhhh…oh god help me with this child!!! I was really livid. LIVID!!!

I told him if he were to spent extra time to practice and even when he failed, I wouldn’t be upset and disappointed. On the contrary, I will applaud his effort for trying his best. But if he does not care about putting effort to get the best result, then why would I care?

Also, he said that his classmates get to play video games after school and don’t have to do extra homework then why do I have to make him do work. I said, if those kids were my children then I would do the same to them that I do to you. Whomever is/are my children then I am parenting that child. If they aren’t mine, then they can do whatever the hell they want.

Sometime I just want to not see or look at my children’ faces when they are having this kind of attitude — the ungrateful and entitled ones.

P.S. Dramafever is shut down just shortly after AT&T’s acquisition of Warner Bros. My nine-year’s membership and affiliation came to an end, abruptly!

P.S 2 — I will have a busy Friday helping the kids’ school with all kind of volunteering shifts, both during class time and then later in the evening for their annual Fall Festival. Today I cooked dinner for tomorrow so I don’t have to deal with preparing meals from scratch for the boys in between shifts.

P.S. 3 — I am sorry that my daily posts are really boring.


Day 17 — easy day

Ahh, living with chronic migraine headache is very devastating, and it makes me feel like having a constant hang-over without drinking a drop of alcohol. I am going to see my doctor again in a few weeks to reexamine this life-long suffering of mine and I hope to find ways to minimize its frequency. I also think my vision is getting worse as I am heading towards that middle-age phase of, you know, when you get older and then all kind of weird physical ailments appear in an eventual timeline. In my mind I still think of myself as an invigorating 20-something years old, then — BOOM — inevitable shit happens. Vision is one of them. Then I am reminded that reality is harsh and I am not in my youthful days of eating anything I wanted or staying up late until the wee hours. Those days are gone!

Why am I feeling so pessimistic today? Hmmm…

I made turmeric milk tea as a result of searching the internet for healthy way to remedy this headache, although I am not sure how long it would take to process and see the effect. The inner lining of my stomach is probably dyed with bright color of yellow right now.

P.S. The kids had an early release from school today because their appointment for the flu shot (the one and only available this week!) was right at 11:30 a.m. I decided not to bring them back to school since they get out at 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday. We went to Whole Foods for lunch and then went out for a walk at the trail along the water canal.

P.S. 2 — No kung fu classes until next Tuesday because Sifu is taking the top-notched students to South America for a martial arts championship. I don’t like our afternoon schedule when kids have kung fu lessons; too many driving trips back and forth that mess up my biological rhythm.

Day 16 — as light emerged

To make up lost hours of sleep the night before, I went to bed at 10 p.m. last night only to have a bad nightmare that woke me up at around 2 a.m. shivering in fear. In that dream I saw myself discovering a dead body that had been dried up and wrinkled like a log of old tree stump. Somehow I couldn’t escape and the dead body kept pulling me back towards it. Other details seemed lost once I was came to my own consciousness of time and space. The air condition was still on, pumping cold air out to the vents and along came the eerie rattling sound that put me in a state of fear.

I pulled the sheet and blanket over my head, it was suffocating, but that’s the only way I could think of to build myself some sort of a protective wall. Then I started mumbling a short Buddhist prayer, the one and only that I know, trying to chase that haunted images from the nightmare and gaining some strength as my heart was weak and beating fast. That prayer was on repeat for sometimes before a bit of calmness settled in. I almost called Mr. O up but realized that it was around 5 a.m. in D.C. and he might still be in bed. Still under the blanket, I then turned Youtube on and started watching Stephen Colbert show hoping the humors and rounds of laughter from the audience will break the darkness that seemed to gulp me.

And then I drifted back to sleep…until Mr. O called me on FaceTime at 4:30 a.m., thinking that we were on the same time zone as he walked to his conference. The light was not out yet, and darkness still hung on to time. I tried to drift back to sleep but it was not successful, and then I prayed again. Praying a repeated verse calmed me down, I collected myself and caught a little sleep before the alarm went off at 6:30 a.m. By then, as I woke up and looking out towards the windows, a soft white light had already fused through and in between the shutters.

I felt light again, as light emerged…

P.S. Today for the first time ever, I stood at an aisle at Whole foods checking out reading glasses. It’s something new in this business of getting older.

P.S. 2 — I am starting to work on purging stuff that we no longer use. It’s “fall” cleaning!

P.S. 3 — PP is going to take the MCAS by the end of 3rd grade. Somehow I don’t feel confident about his taking a timed and standardized exam. It’s his first one ever. Should I be too worried?

Day 15 — a zombie

I don’t know how I have survived and a whole busy day with about two hours of sleep. My droopy eye bags need a serious lift because they are just dragging my face down like a hog. I am a walking dead today!

While waiting for Peanut to finish his kung fu class and helping PP with his homework I was dozing off at the parent-waiting area. So I asked PP to stay and keep watch of his younger brother and I crawled back into the car to get a 15-minute of shut-eyes. That little cat nap helped me functioning to near normal.

(I am, in fact, closing my eyes while typing this blog post on Mr. O’s laptop. I am just an awesome typist!)

The sky has gotten dark earlier each day so by the time PP’s kung fu session ends all the lights around the city lit up. I am grateful that I live in California with much better fall weather this time of the year. Mom called me on Sunday and said that there were some snow flurries outside of her window. I just thought about living in the cold climate and shivered at that very thought. Thank you, California!

Ok, I don’t know what else to write. My brain shuts down tonight!

P.S. Today is my youngest brother’s birthday. He turns 35!

P.S. 2 — Today while cleaning the house I remembered a time that I went to see a fortune teller in Vietnam 20 years ago during the summer of my eight-month long study abroad program. Suddenly I remember what the fortune teller told me at that time, and upon reflection…she was right on the money. I might have to write this story into a blog post, although my recollection of details isn’t good now since two decades have passed and I don’t have much neurons or synapses in my brain to connect knit them altogether.

P.S. 3. — My aunt went to see the fortune teller in the town of Long Hải for marriage advice and I happened to tag along with her.

Day 14 — for all the love of blue sky in autumn

California sun

It’s a bit odd to wake up on Sunday with just me and the boys. I made them pancakes for breakfast and baked an extra egg bread for snack using left over pancake batter (should I call it pancake bread?) Then we were off to the park and climbed that little steep hill for fresh air. The weather is so nice, warm and sunny, and perfectly cool for a hike.

and blue sky…
Up the hill we went
Red-tail Hawk

digging for dinosaur bones

P.S. — I haven’t touched my DSLR for more than a month and have been relying on the iPhone for collecting moments of my boring life. Sometimes I wonder if I really need the big camera at all when it is so much more convenient and easier to snap and go with the phone. But I do miss the high quality, and the time I spent editing colors and tweak the image to my own liking.

black/white option on iPhone 8+

When I fix my damn old Macbook laptop then I can clean the dust off the camera and bring it off the shelf. For now, all photos will be dependent on how my iPhone performs.

P.S. 2 — Mr. O is away but asked me to do a whole  to-do list that I cannot remember all. Tonight I almost forgot taking the trash bins out to the curb for Monday pick-up.

P.S. 3 — Today, Tendril turns 21 years old!