It only took a year (and change)

But I finally have my Montgomery Kimchi cap.  Ever since I found out that the hicks in Montgomery, Alabama aren’t all racist shitheads and decided to have some Korean heritage nights, complete with renaming the Biscuits the Kimchi for a night, complete with new branding and identity, I knew that I didn’t just want to have a Kimchi cap, but that I needed to have a Kimchi cap.

Leading up to the event, I was eventually appalled when informed that there would be no ballcaps available.  “Next year,” is what I was informed when reaching out.   I was crushed, but settled on a Mr. Kimchi mascot t-shirt that was available, in very sparse and limited quantities.

Obviously, short of me setting up a long-in-the-future Google alert or something, it didn’t occur to me to keep an eye out on the Biscuits’ schedule for the 2022 season, but a KBO group on theFacebook that I’m a member of posted something about the Montgomery Kimchi a few months ago, and it jogged my memory to quickly check.  Sure enough, there were Kimchi caps for sale, but by the time I started looking at them, they were basically wiped out, and most definitely my NewEra size of 7 1/2 were all gone.  One again, I was disappointed, but I figured that once the 2022 Korean heritage night rolled up, there would probably be more stock, hopefully.

Except upon further digging, I found out that Korean heritage night had already passed, with the Kimchi emerging (and losing) way the fuck back in April.  I was mortified by this, because surely there was little reason for the team to go out of their way to restock merch for an event that had already passed.  And then the tab I kept open for the specific item eventually turned into a 404, and it seemed very apparent that my window to get the cap that I didn’t want but needed, had closed. 

Funny thing is though, I didn’t close the tab on my phone.  And one day, after a restart of my phone, I noticed that the tab’s thumbnail wasn’t the 404 page anymore, and upon refreshing the actual page, it turned out that Kimchi caps were suddenly back on the table once again.  Unlike 80% of the time I see something I want, but don’t pull the trigger, I didn’t wait at all to get my wallet out.  Furthermore, they still didn’t have a 7 1/2, but I wasn’t willing on taking any chances and risk missing out again, so I actually got a size up at 7 5/8.  A few minutes later, and my order was confirmed – I was finally going to get the Kimchi cap that I needed.

And here we are.  After a year and some change, I’ve finally got one of the greatest ballcaps to my collection.  The funniest thing is that the more prestige I put onto a cap, the less I’ll actually wear it, because I don’t want to risk them getting grungy and dirty or rained on, thus defeating the purpose of caps in the first place, but the most important thing is that I got it finally, and I’ll wear it with pride and joy; whenever the conditions are optimal for me to actually wear it.

Welp, it’s been a while

Ordinary news: massive accident on I-285 shuts down the entire interstate for 10 hours.  Brog news: tractor trailer involved in the crash was carrying beer

As the subject line reads, it’s been a while since I came across a story about a truck crash on Georgia’s highways.  Obviously I live under a rock and don’t really keep my eyes peeled for these, and in all fairness, it was mythical wife who came across it, and it didn’t really pique my interest until the mention about the part where the tractor trailer that was involved in this whole fracas, was carrying beer.

Not that it really matters anymore, because I’m long past the days of where I had intrinsically remembered every type of consumable that had spilled onto Georgia highways, but still, it’s always a tickle to go back in time a little bit to find some inspiration to write on account of booze spilling all over the roads.

The thing is, where this crash occurred, at Ashford-Dunwoody on I-285, this is probably one of the most infamous exits in the state.  Not only is the specific spot a logistical disaster nightmare zone, because it’s close to where GA-400 intersects and that’s a state route that will never seemingly get its shit together or never not be tampered with at any given point in time, for whatever reason, shit just keeps happening here.  Most notably, a few years ago, it’s where an armored truck carrying like $385,000 or some large sum of cash, the doors just popped open and people were basically getting out of their cars in the middle of traffic to try and snatch as much cash as they could, regardless of how illegal it was to do so.

The details of this entire thing are what was the most compelling thing about it, regardless of the presence of beer.  The fire apparently raged so hot, that it created all sorts of structural concerns of the asphalt as well as the integrity of the bridge that it occurred under.  Obviously, it hasn’t been that long since Atlanta was the laughing stock of the country again, for the whole I-85 bridge collapse, and I’m sure GADOT was having flashback and PTSD about the risk of something like that happening again, so they clearly erred on the side of caution when they shut down the highway to assess the damage, lest the bridge over I-285 collapsed, taking out a pretty substantial surface street vein.

All things considered, it was no Japan fixing a lake-sized sinkhole in 7 days impressive, but the fact that GADOT was actually able to get I-285 up and running again in 7 hours is still substantial and for ‘Murican standards, pretty impressive.

There’s lots of easy jokes about this 5K

I got this targeted ad for a local 5K run, because apparently one of the things I’m susceptible to clicking are virtual runs that offer medals for completion.  But from what I understand it’s a 5K run that takes place on one of the runways of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Latoya Jackson Intergalactic Wing Emporium and Nail Salon Airport, which is actually really cool if you think about it; running 3.1 miles on an actual airport runway, without having to fear heavily armed security chasing you and then gunning you down for federal trespassing.

However, there’s an extremely easy, low-hanging series of jokes about this run, seeing as how it’s taking place at Atlanta’s airport, which claims to be “the busiest” airport in the world as if that’s something to really brag about, but is also one of “the most criticized” airports in the world as well, with everyone thinking they’re a comedian when it comes to clowning on ol’ ATL.

Like for example, how no runner should expect to actually start the run on time, but the clock will obviously keep ticking, so this would be the run where the very opposite of a PR would occur, and most runners would undoubtedly be horrendously late when it comes to crossing the finish line.

Critical sections of the runway will obviously be under construction, because when it comes to ATL, there’s never no construction anywhere, and it’s always in the worst possible places, and in spite of being the size of the entire place, the flow of people traffic will be packed like sardines and make everyone miserable.

There will be one portable toilet for every 200 runners, to simulate the rest of the airport where no matter what time of the day you’re there, there’s always a line for the restroom, with it being longer commensurate to how badly you have to go to the bathroom.

And so on and so on, when it comes to the litany of memes that exist when it comes to the topic of Atlanta airport.

But all things considered, I really am interested in this race.  There’s a zero percent chance I’d actually do the live event, because even though it would be cool to run on a runway, ain’t no fucking way I’m trucking down to the airport and not actually going somewhere, because I don’t go anywhere anymore because kids, and it’s going to be a long time before I get to doing any in-person runs.

That being said, I am leaning heavily towards doing the virtual event, because there is a medal for doing this, and I feel like there’s a lot of jokes to be had if I could get a medal with the ATL airport logo on it.  It would be pretty awesome if the corresponding shirt leaned into the jokes, and it really was like Latoya Jackson Intergalactic Space Emporium, but that’s a pipe dream, but it’s alright because all I really care about are medals anyway.

Let’s talk about Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel

As is often the case, I’m late to the party on both of these shows.  Full disclosure, I have no knowledge of the Moon Knight character whatsoever, all I knew was that he existed, because Wizard magazine once made a joke about him being mistaken for Space Ghost, but otherwise, I went into the show with absolutely zero knowledge of the character, at all.  As for Ms. Marvel, this is a lot of gray area, because in the comics, Ms. Marvel is Carol Danvers, which movie goers have already been introduced to as Captain Marvel, so again, I went in blind to the adventures of Kamala Khan, the teenager.

By virtue of living under the rock of parenthood, I’ve been fortunate enough to have avoided the vast majority of chatter when it comes to both of these shows.  I’d only heard bits and pieces, like subjective opinions of Moon Knight, and I knew that Ms. Marvel has been somewhat completely re-imagined to feature a teenager, and a Muslim one at that, but neither really deterred me from going into them, because as a fan of the MCU, I still feel that it’s somewhat necessary to watch every piece of Marvel programming that is released, with the expectation that the knowledge will be useful when they converge storylines in the future.

Going in chronological order, I finished Moon Knight before going into Ms. Marvel, and I have to say that in more ways than one, one of these is very much not like the other.  One show I thought was good, entertaining and refreshing, while the other one was completely horrendous, and I would dare say be arguably one of the worst editions into the entire MCU, and all of its extended reaching properties.

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I might be more Korean than I give myself credit for

Obviously, being American-born, there’s a ceiling of just “how Korean” I feel like I can declare myself.  I don’t know more than a few passing slices of actual Korean history, I don’t have tremendous knowledge of my personal bloodline’s lineage and journey of how things have come to be, and my capabilities with the language are pretty elementary in the aggregate; I feel fairly confident in my speaking abilities to have navigated throughout the country with relative ease, but ask me to write anything from a written note to text messages to my own parents, and it’s like a 4-year old trying to write High Valyrian.

But over the last few months, I’ve been reading some young adult stories to my daughters, because I’m of the belief that even if they don’t understand the words that are being read to them, hearing them helps with absorption and future comprehension of the English language.  And the thing is, the authors that I’ve been reading lately, have been of varying Korean descent, and their stories have been featuring Korean characters and telling relatively Korean-in-America types of stories.

One of the common tropes I’ve observed from the youth generation of Koreans in America characters, don’t speak Korean.  Sure, they know choice words that they hear from their parents, but in the grand spectrum of things, these characters are about as American as Wal-Mart and Panda Express.  I find that to be kind of tragic, and rather depressing to my soul, because these characters’ parents are all basically like my own, where they know very little English, but with them knowing NO Korean, they clearly have way more communicative obstacles than I have ever experienced in my life.

Additionally, when I went back up to Northern Virginia to have #2’s first birthday party, it was effectively a large famiry and famiry friends reunion on the side.  Among the famiry friends that were present were the parents of my childhood best friend, as well as several of my parents’ friends from my hometown.  Knowing the mixed audience, when I welcomed everyone to my daughter’s party, I did so in both English, and the best rendition of Korean as I could, because in my head, it would be disrespectful if I didn’t even try, because I did know some Korean.

When I went to do the rounds at each table, the family friends from my old hometown all marveled at the fact that I spoke Korean to the room; to me it was really no big deal, and honestly I appreciate having the opportunity to actually use the language, because I never want to forgive it.  But the kicker was that my old best friend’s parents told me that their three sons, two of whom went to the same Korean language school I did from ages 6-8, have basically forgotten all Korean, and don’t speak it at all.

Again, when I thought about the conversation, the whole thought made me feel really sad.  Sure, I would venture to say that they speak way better English than my parents do, but on the same token, they’re put in a situation where they can’t use their native tongue with their own children.  Yes, I have my own communication issues with my parents due to the language barrier, but at least they can say whatever they want to get off their chest, even if I don’t understand every word of it.

The thing is, this hasn’t been an uncommon story in my life.  Whenever I come across random Koreans in my everyday life, most of whom are usually workers in some sort of service industry, I still like to utilize my own Korean with them, because I figure it would help expedite service.  And so often times, I’m met with some degree of marveling at the fact that I’m an American-born Korean who actually speaks Korean, as rudimentary as might seem.  And I’m often told that their own kids don’t speak any Korean, and I kind of frown and explain that such is unfortunate.

I like to think that encounters with me, cause some parents to get mad at their own kids for not learning Korean.  Like they go home and give some not-so-passive-aggressive remark about how they met a second-gen Korean-American guy who spoke serviceable Korean, and give them the pregnant pause of death to let them know that they’re disappointed in them.

Without question, I want my daughters to pick up some Korean.  Mythical wife and I already discussed that it will be mandatory for our daughters to learn a second language, because the world is way too small to handicap ourselves to knowing just English.  Obviously, Korean is the first preference, so they can communicate with their grandparents, but honestly I’ll accept any other language, as long as they learn it.  Very few of the next generation of children in my family really speaks any Korean, save for maybe 1-2 of them, and again, that’s sad to me.

Last Thanksgiving, I had a cousin of mine ask me to speak to his eldest son, to try to sell learning Korean to him.  I’m the youngest cousin of the generation, and his son was one of the eldest of the next, so I think he was hoping I’d be able to get through to him, so I explained to him how much I hated Korean school and the sacrifice of every Saturday for years, but when I visited Korea and went off on my own, I realized just how confident and capable I felt, because of my ability with the language at all.  I was met with eye rolls and a rebuttal that my example was such and isolated scenario, that it didn’t seem like a hard enough sell for him.  I left it with that I thought a Korean that didn’t know Korean was kind of tragic, and let him go do his thing.

The bottom line is that no matter how inadequate I might feel as a Korean, there are constantly plenty of reasons that come to light how apparently I’m more Korean than so many other Korean-Americans out there.  I don’t want to let it get to my head, but whenever the realization sinks in, I am proud of it.

Dad Brog (#096): Raising children without help is impossible

Now I’m sure any long-time parent who reads such a statement is probably like, duh no shit, and I’m not going to refute it reads as one of the more obvious statements that can probably be said, and most definitely nothing I haven’t already said in my life a hundred-fold by now.

But in my latest moment of despair, where I was trying to wrangle my two kids, where #1 is sick and screaming for attention, while #2 was getting into shit she shouldn’t be getting, all while I was logged into a virtual meeting at work because I’m still on the clock, but completely incapable of paying any attention to it, and the sitter had already gone home for the day because all paid help watches the clock, I just stood there for a few seconds, and the words formulated in my head, at just how shitty things can be sometimes and that I’m living at a very unsustainable pace, way longer than I probably should have, seeing as how my resolve crumbles so frequently sometimes.

All I could really think about was just how impossible it truly is to raise children without help, not just from a metaphorical standpoint, but how it truly is from all other ways, especially in this current state of the world where inflation is murder, greed and white people are endlessly fucking the country and America is still ‘Murica.

Like you hear about couples where one person quits their job to be a full-time parent; yeah, that shit is impossible now, and probably wasn’t really that ideal in any previous points in time, because unless one half of a couple makes a ridiculous, white man amount of money, let’s just say $175-200K plus annually, most American parents probably can’t afford to raise a child on top of surviving in a middle-class or better setting.

Everything is far too expensive for the average parents to reduce to a single income without some tremendous pain, and expect to live life remotely comfortably.  Therefore, they must both work.  At least that’s the case between my wife and I, our combined income isn’t that bad, but it’s completely dependent on both of us working full-time in order to make ends meet, however that results in us requiring child care, which quite literally half of my paycheck goes towards every single month, because child care is fucking expensive and not at all that great, but still a very necessary evil to have to endure.

And let’s not even really bother to analyze single parents, they most certainly need all the help they can get, be it childcare or free care from family.

The point is, as obvious as it is, more so put out in writing, is that it is truly impossible for any family unit to raise a child without any help.  It’s often popularly said that it takes a village to raise a kid, to which truer words can’t really be said, but it just isn’t possible for those to do so without said village.  Logistically, mathematically, financially, there just isn’t a way to do it without some third party hands getting involved somewhere along the way.

Dad Brog (#095): An unsustainable pace

I write because I can’t really talk to anyone anymore.  My wife doesn’t need to hear any of these diatribes, and frankly I really don’t think anyone can relate, as ludicrous as it sounds to single myself out as a special little snowflake in a world of several billion.  And if anyone can, I don’t know them so it might as well not be anyone. 

My family that are all parents and have multiple kids, the age gap between us all is practically an entire generation.  Of all my parenting friends, almost none of them have more than one kid.  The ones that do, their kids are spaced out in age way greater than mine.  And there’s nobody else I know with two kids born during coronavirus-era as close apart as mine.  I’m not trying to say that my problems are greater than anyone else’s like some sadistic internet pissing contest, but COVID really is this difficulty multiplier that stands at the end of every factoid, ready to make everything worse than it might have been for anyone else who didn’t have to deal with things during a pandemic.

But I have been living my life at a fairly unsustainable pace for a while now, as far as keeping my shit together goes.  I try really, really hard on a daily basis to do such, and I have good days, but I definitely am the first to admit that I have some bad ones too, where it just feels like a lot of shit just piles up all at once, and I’m left standing there while my kids are screaming, clocks are ticking, I’m late for school drop off which makes me later for work, and there’s no end in sight.

I’m 99% sure my eldest is sick again.  There’s a small chance that she just never recovered from the cold she had a week ago, but the frequency in which she’s sneezing and her nose is runny again leads me to believe that she’s just plain fucking sick again, which means some more fuckface parents of the kids in my daughter’s school are continually sending their kids to school with plagues.

The problem with that, aside from their selfish and inconsiderate behavior that I can only hope for some divine retribution for, is that when #1 gets sick, it’s basically a death sentence for #2 that she is going to get sick 2-3 days later.  And then my sitter will nope out because they don’t want to get sick which means I’ll have to call in sick because mythical wife’s career is rigid and can’t call in at the drop of a hat, which makes me look even flakier and unreliable, and I have to deal with days of dad double duty, and working after hours.  And then it’s back into the toilet bowl of despair of how much life can suck because of the actions of other people.

Days like today, I’m just burnt out.  I’ve been on baby duty for what feels like an endless length of time, due to the fact that we had two kids in such rapid succession.  #2 is always wanting to be near big sis, and moving them apart is like trying to keep magnets apart, based on how she will rubber band back to wherever #1 is, accelerating the inevitability of transmission.  #1 is frustrated and fussy because she’s sneezing like crazy and her nose is running like a faucet and doesn’t understand why I have to try and isolate her on the other side of the room but can’t trust her with markers or Play-Doh, and I just want to jump off a bridge.

I haven’t had a break in a long time.  A day in which I can wake up on my own without any alarms or dog or kids, no long-ass car rides to retrieve kids, or anything that’s remotely time sensitive.  A single day where I can wake up as not a dad, have a day where I can leisurely do the shit I want to do without any clocks looming over my head, and have the ability to sit and stare at a wall if I wanted to.  There have been some mini-breaks, some afternoons or evenings without the kids, but I’m still having to do one of the above tasks on them regardless.

I just can’t recharge or unwind, and haven’t been able to for well over a year now, and I don’t know if that’s really unhealthy or uncommon, or if I’m just being a melodramatic parent who needs to be made aware that there are millions of dads in similar boats that I just don’t know personally.  But today is definitely one of those days where just enough bullshit has been added to my bags to drag me under and leave me feeling drowning again.