The Loh Life

The kids are all right-ish, part 3: Breaking Bad tiger mother

Do not tell Sandra Tsing Loh about the Breaking Bad finale.

If you run into me, please don't tell me how Breaking Bad ended.  I'm one of those lame people who never even finished Season Three.  Although I feel safe in predicting that it cannot end well.

Point is, I've been spending way too many nights not just with those bad characters, but with kettle chips, Trader Joe's chocolate, and wine.  My belly is becoming Hank Shrader's.

My girlfriend was raving about a juice fast she'd started to flush out toxins.  While that seemed extreme, I thought I would try alcoholic sobriety.  A couple of friends in AA were giddy inhalers of Pelegrino, a case at a time, and I lo-o-ove my Soda Stream.  Too, Louis CK just did this bit about how we use cellphones to fill our metaphysical voids, which made me think of computer Solitaire and Scrabble, arguably other addictions.

So I decided, in Breaking Bad recovery, I would stuff down neither the void nor the boredom.

What better place to practice such Zen than at Costco?  Having scored two six-packs of dental floss, I now saw how they conveniently sell three-packs of reading glasses which boast, yes, "fashion styling" and "decorative crystals."  We sit with that for a moment, then move on.  I experimentally poke my head into the various sample glasses and learn, oh God, I need almost the strongest ones - 2.25!

On the upside, I can't believe the novel - almost hallucinogenic - clarity.  The stuff I'm seeing - raspberries, the bathtub faucet, my fingernails!  Whoa!  It's like when Badger did meth and began manically River Dancing!  Or not.

The timing of the newer better reading glasses with decorative crystals was good.  I am not a Tiger Mother, but word from my sixth grader's school was she had missed her Friday homework.  No problem.  Saturday morning, I park myself in her room to iron, not because I had to, but just for the sake of ironing: t-shirts, sweat socks, underpants.  Suzy has to get through 30 pages of reading and note-taking.  But, because she is so slow, we are still sitting there 20 hours later.

The next Saturday morning - same homework load - I feel an intense urge to mix a bucket of Bloody Mary's.  I can see our weekend, and life, draining away.  I see the sun fly across the heavens, as it does at the Griffith Park Observatory, another trip we did for extra credit.  What I do is forbid her to read, and I order her to write down the notes I shout at her.

Aside from being rotten for society because it gives her ilk an unfair academic advantage, it will be rotten for her socially because at this rate she'll be sharing her college dorm room with an angry 62-year-old lady.

Next week: Planning Our Careers.


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