New Picture Mail: The Kyongstant Gardener

May 31

New Picture Mail: The Kyongstant Gardener

Having recently mastered the technological feat of being able to send picture mail, my mom is now on a roll when it comes to snapping photos and firing them my way. A few days ago I called to wish my stepdad a happy birthday (I dared not forget and incur the wrath of Cha two years in a row), and my mom told me she was doing some gardening and that later they were going to have a barbecue. We finished our chat and I went about my business. Roughly three minutes later, my phone buzzed and lit up. I looked down and saw this: I’m not entirely sure what to focus on here–there’s so much going on, from the odd hospital-issue slippers, the collared shirt and work apron combo, the weird stance, and what looks like a wide mouth bottle of Coors Light in a beer koozie. All I can say is that I’m enjoying these picture mails very, very much. (photo credit: Abby Lanes via photopin...

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Mom’s Ridiculously Short Attention Span

May 22

Last weekend I did a long bike ride and developed what’s called a “saddle sore” (or a gigantic, mutated form of one) after riding 80 miles. I wrote about the whole awkward-yet-amusing ordeal on my athlete blog in case you’re interested in reading the backstory behind the grossest trip to the women’s health clinic ever. After I got back from the doctor, I had a chat with my mom and filled her in on what had happened. I didn’t know at the time that her attention was divided between our phone call and something else. Me: “Do you know what a cyst is?” Mom: “Yeah.” Me: “So I did a bike ride last weekend in Idaho and rode 80 miles, and I developed a cyst near my pubic bone so I had to go to the doctor.” Mom: “Oh my gahhhhhhh!! What they do?!” Me: “I went to the gynecologist and she drained it.” Mom: “Oh my gahhhh!!! What, the cyst? What they drain? Drain the wha, liquid?” Me: “Well yeah.” Mom: “Oh my gahhhhhh. It hurt!” Me: “Hell yeah it hurt, that’s what happens when a doctor uses a needle on your crotch!” Mom: “Be careful when you riding the bike!…I think bike ride have something to do with it!” I could hear her Eureka! moment over the phone, and I’d be proud of her deductive reasoning if I hadn’t just told her how I had gotten the cyst at the beginning of our conversation. Me: “I just told you it was from the bike ride!” Mom: “Well you better get rest! Don’t walk around…and stuff.” I don’t want to imagine what she meant by “and stuff.” Me: “Oh, it’s fine now. The doctor said I don’t need any recovery time or anything. I’m alright.” Mom: “Oh my gahhhh…crappy church.” Me: “What?” Where did this church come from? Was she driving? Mom: “I¬†watching Uh-mer-ee-kun Idol. This black guy Joshua go to home town. His father’s a preacher. It’s really crappy church.” Me: “…oh.” Mom: “So crappy. Anyway, I call you in couple days see how you’re feeling. I talk to you later, honey.” And that’s how I found out a crappy church was more interesting to my mom...

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Mom’s Grasp of Technology Just Improved 500%

May 17

Mom’s Grasp of Technology Just Improved 500%

For Mom’s birthday I opted to get her something every midwestern older woman would love: a gift certificate to Lord & Taylor. I ordered it from Amazon and had it shipped to her house. Unfortunately, she never received the gift card so now I’m stuck dealing with the vendor through Amazon to try and figure out a solution. In the meantime, Mother’s Day rolled around and I felt bad because her birthday gift never arrived so I tried to smooth things over by sending her some flowers. I used the same local florist as last year since she liked them so much. On Monday she called and left a voicemail to gush about the flowers (message transcribed below): Mom: Hi Rebeccaaaaaaa. I just got the flower this evening. It’s beautiful! You don’t have to do that! I just don’t want you to, you know, uh, miss the gift certificate. Lose somewhere. I just want you to find it, that’s all. It’s beautiful, Rebecca. Maroon and red roses. Lavender. Little flowers. Let me take a picture, something, send to you, okay? Tomorrow I’m gonna pick the herbs. Gimme a call when you get a chance, okay? Beautiful flowers, thank you. I love you. Bye. I was happy she liked the flowers, but the “Let me take picture and send to you” part confused me. Was she going to take a picture and make my brother upload it for her and email it to me or something? She’s never offered to send me pictures before. Logistically I couldn’t figure out how she’d pull it off in fewer than five steps. I didn’t really think much of it after the call until my phone buzzed at 6:00 yesterday morning. I groggily rolled over and pawed at my phone, and with one eye cracked open I saw the following images: Holy shit, my mom sent me picture mail! Mom actually managed to successfully do something remotely technologically savvy! I couldn’t believe it. Never in a million years would I have expected to receive a picture mail from my mom. I had long given up on her interest in or ability to do anything technologically associated with the late 20th or early 21st century....

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Mom vs. the Washing Machine

May 08

Mom vs. the Washing Machine

Back in October when I visited my mom, her friend was gracious enough to let me and my boyfriend stay at her condo in Rochester Hills. The place was nice–two bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms, a nice kitchen and living room. There was also a washer and dryer that Jason and I were eager to use because we were going to be away from Seattle for a few weeks and would obviously need to wash our clothes at some point. During the middle of our stay we decided to fire up the washing machine to clean some of our sweaty exercise apparel. Jas loaded up the machine, added some soap, adjusted the settings, and closed the hall closet doors to muffle the sound of the machine in action. He then returned to his laptop to get a little bit of work done. I was also glued to my laptop while my mom puttered around in the kitchen getting things ready for dinner. And then: Mom: “Wahhhhhhh! My gahhhh!! Oh my gahhhhh!!!” Jas and I ran out of the bedroom to see what the hell my little Korean mom was hollering about and quickly determined the culprit: soap was leaking out from under the hall closet door. It was clearly coming from the washing machine, so we all scrambled to grab some towels and mop up the mess. Mom: “Wha happen? You break washing machine?” Jason: “No, I didn’t do anything wrong! I don’t know what’s wrong with it. Maybe it’s leaking.” Mom: “Door leaking?” Jason: “Yeah, it could be the door. I’m not sure.” The washing machine was a front loader, so a leak could be possible. Mom narrowed her eyes, suspicious. Mom: “How much soap you use?” Jason: “A normal amount.” Mom: “You sure?” She Larry Davided him. Jason: “Yes, I just did one scoop. I didn’t use too much soap.” Mom: “You pick ‘small wash’?” Jason, sighing: “I picked a regular load and used a regular amount of soap.” Mom: “Okay…I think too much soap.” She retrieved her cell phone from her purse and called her friend, the owner of the condo. Mom: “[unintelligible Korean]…washing machine…[unintelligible Korean]…load size…[unintelligible Korean]…soap…” Jason, to me: “I don’t know what...

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