The charmingly talented Katie Schwartz is at it with the memes again. I like these random ones, so hell, I'll play. Here's eight random things about me for the enjoyment of my Gentle Readers. Enjoy the gawker slowdown.
1. I've always hated the word "balls" in reference to the male anatomy. I find that word to be incredibly vulgar. I don't know why.
2. Not a big fan of nipples either- the word or the real things, male or female. I assume this is because I wasn't breast fed. Oh, and if you touch mine, you die. I mean it.
3. I got fired from a job for drinking. It was only a summer job while I was in college, but I like to lead with that first sentence because it makes a bigger impact.
4. I was a goody-two-shoes namby-pants sometimes as a kid. One time when I was about 11 a kid rode up to me on his bike when I was out in front of my house. He stopped and said "Hi, do you know anyone who would like to fuck? Or do you know anyone who would like to buy pot?" I freaked out, said "I can't talk to you!" and ran into the house. I tried to tell my mom what happened but got hung up trying to explain what the kid had said without actually saying "fuck" to my mom. She kept trying to decipher what I was talking about until I gave up and went to my room.
5. Sometimes in the middle of the night I wake up and become convinced I'm going to die soon, and I start to freak out about it, wondering if it's a premonition. But I think it's only because I've been surrounded by so much death the past few years.
6. I have a theory that there is no middle ground on black licorice for 99.9% of the population. People either love it or hate it.
7. I secretly hate everyone who has ever interviewed me and then not offered me a job, but I don't feel the same way about those who have turned me down romantically.
8. The first time I was dumped as an adult sent me into such a tailspin of depression that I feared for my own life. I sought professional help and cleared out all sorts of crazy though, so it ended up being a good thing. Then the next time I got dumped I expected it to happen again but it didn't, which was proof to myself that I had healed sufficiently.
Please play, Gentle Readers. Post your eight things and remember to make them dirty.
After breakfast we jumped back into the car to resume our long journey to Canada.
Having just completed my first semester of law school, I was eager as a bee to read a few books for sheer pleasure instead of having to slog through a lot of really boring texts. I opened my knapsack in the back seat and examined a few of my choices: Geek Love, a book Mindy gave me which chronicles the lives of a circus freak family (a must read for you, Bubs, if you haven't already); The Shipping News, which takes place in Newfoundland, but which I figured was close enough to Nova Scotia to suit the ambiance; and David Sedaris's anthology Barrel Fever which, because it contains the story of "The Santaland Diaries," is a customary holiday read for me.
"Would you guys like me to read aloud The Santaland Diaries as is my annual holiday tradition?" I asked.
"What is that?" they both replied.
"A story by David Sedaris. You've never heard of it?"
They both replied that they had not. So, I opened up my dog-eared volume of Sedaris's short essays and started in on his highly amusing tale of his experiences working as a Christmas elf at Macy's. I began to read aloud. "Working as an elf in Macy's SantaLand means being at the center of the excitement...."
George and Michael positively howled as I made my way through this hilarious story of Sedaris's elfly trials and tribulations which include everything from dealing with pox covered children, to enduring the abuse of an African-American mother who complained that the black Santa wasn't black enough, to assisting a little girl without a nose.
"Oh my god, that was hysterical!" George exclaimed when I was done. "You read that so well - you must have practiced it for years!"
"No, but I have heard him read it aloud many times on NPR. I can't believe you've done without it at Christmastime for so long," I replied. I think George smiled broadly for the remainder of our vacation.
It was a long trip that day as we drove all the way to Saint John, New Brunswick, where we found a roadside motel room to sleep in for the night. We unloaded our essentials and went in search of dinner.
"Do you think they have poutine in New Brunswick?"
"What is poutine?" George asked.
"You've never had a poutine?" I replied incredulously. "You're in for a real treat. It's basically a mound of french fries covered in gravy and then smothered under melted cheese. It's a Canadian specialty, or at least in Quebec. It's fabulous."
"I think I'm going to be sick," Michael said. He wasn't feeling well for most of the trip, which made him more than slightly cantankerous a lot of the time.
"Well, it sounds, um, interesting," George said, trying to be diplomatic.
The menu of the diner where we settled in for dinner sadly did not feature poutine, although they did have some other Canadian delicacy involving fried meat which I tried but was not impressed with. We were all tired anyway.
After dinner George got up to use the restroom, while Michael and I went out to warm up the car. Michael sat down behind the wheel and I went over to the passenger's side. My door was locked.
"Unlock the door please," I said.
"I'm trying to. I think it's stuck," he replied. I couldn't see what he was doing because it was very dark outside.
"Did you press the automatic 'unlock' button? I think it is supposed to unlock all four doors at once."
"YES I PRESSED 'UNLOCK'! WHAT AM I, SOME KIND OF FUCKING MORON? JESUS CHRIST!" He totally lit into me. "GOD DAMNIT, DON'T YOU THINK I KNOW HOW TO UNLOCK A FUCKING CAR DOOR?" He was literally screaming.
I was stunned. I knew Michael could be a crabby pants and that he wasn't feeling well, but this went well beyond the limit of acceptable behavior. Once the door finally opened I got into the back seat and just bit my tongue. I wasn't sure how to respond to his sudden upbraiding, as if there were any appropriate response at all, and besides, I saw George approaching and I didn't want to get into any kind of discussion in front of him.
Instead, I did the only reasonable thing which was to take out my passive-aggressive card and remain as silent as possible for the rest of the evening. When we got back to the motel, I promptly unpacked my sleeping attire, brushed my teeth and got into one of the three beds.
"Are you going to sleep now?" Michael and George both asked me.
"Yes, but you two can stay up and do whatever you want. You won't bother me." I closed my eyes and turned my back to them. I was majorly pissed.
The two of them sat up for a while and chatted. To add insult to injury, Michael just acted as normal as pie, as if he hadn't twenty minutes prior verbally abused me without so much as a whisper of an apology afterward. I felt it was going to be a long, long trip, and I dreaded whatever was to follow.
After dinner I offered to help with the dishes, but George graciously refused my request. Thank God, because I didn't really want to do them anyway. Instead, Johnny told me to come with him into the sitting room again.
"Here, I give you Lucky Money, one from me and one from my wife. It for good luck." He handed me two small red envelopes, each containing a dollar bill. The Chinese usually hand them out to their friends and family during Chinese New Year, but sometimes at other times of the year too, such as when a new friend visits your house for the first time. I thought it was really sweet.
"I tired now. You go downstairs."
I thanked Johnny and Mama Gin for the hospitality once again, and went down to talk to my cousin, who was packing for our big road trip which was to start early the next morning.
We arose at the crack of dawn and loaded George's car with provisions to take up to Nova Scotia, where we would be spending Christmas with my cousin's friend Timothy, who had a house on the shore. Michael had warned me the house was quite "rustic," and that we needed to bring a lot of stuff, most notably warm clothing. I was really looking forward to it - it all sounded so charming.
When we were all packed, we got into George's large Pontiac Grand Am and set off.
"Wow, a New Yorker who has a car and drives," I noted.
"Well, he just learned to drive a few months ago. This is his first car. We'll have to keep a close eye on him," Michael replied. It turns out that Michael was quite serious about that part. He henpecked and back-seat drove on George the entire trip, to a level of obnoxiousness that would have gotten him bludgeoned to death if he'd tried it on me. Admirably, George had the patience of a saint with him and rarely gave any response at all.
Somewhere in Connecticut we stopped at a roadside diner for a spot of breakfast. When the check arrived, I took it and said "I will buy breakfast. It looks like you guys have already bought a lot of provisions for us." I was referring to the many bags of groceries and dry goods we had loaded into the car earlier that morning.
George smiled. Little did I know about the Asian propensity for check grabbing; often if you dine with a Chinese, they will tackle you to the ground before letting you pick up the check. Which can be quite annoying at times because you know that a lot of it is all a show. They don't really want to pay all the time; they just want to appear as if they do. And if you don't make some sort of effort to fight them back for the check, they get annoyed eventually. Not that we Midwesterners don't have our own little passive-aggressive etiquette games, but still. We tend not to be big check grabbers.
George didn't fight me for the check, yet I had no idea that simply picking up a breakfast tab would make such a good impression on him. Finally, I had done something right, even if I didn't know it yet.
Just another note to say I'm still here. But my writing mojo has taken a short vacation, so y'all are just going to have to wait for my Poor George sequel, as well as the rest of the Bubs interview.
Min's dad is still hanging on, though it looks like we're getting closer to a resolution. I'm glad he has all his family around him.
My job as a Strategic Sales Executive is sucking the very life force out of me. The other day I made yet another brilliant career move by telling our vice president, in front of all my colleagues, "I can't do anything about these ridiculous numbers so I simply decided I wouldn't worry about them." Those kinds of comments are usually reserved for the independently wealthy who wouldn't care if they were fired. The room went silent for a few moments, and then the VP said "well it's good that you choose something to focus on and then do it." Of course, he may not be aware that what I focus on most is chronicling the annoying things my sales reps do and say to me.
After my Chicago meetings I stopped in on my parents for approximately 20 hours, and realized I had not seen them since our disastrous vacation last summer. My, how time flies when you're dysfunctional.
There is a sad phenomenon in life where certain parents, who are otherwise perfectly normal people, choose one child from their nest and decide to abuse him or her horribly, even while being regular old parents to all the other kids. I read a few autobiographical books written by Dave Pelzer, who suffered such abuse from his mother, and boy is it a sad story. Not to mention gawker slowdown in the extreme.
I've been thinking about this lately for some odd reason. In the end I decided that since I have no kids and no plans to get any, and since I couldn't possibly bring myself to be mean to a cat, that I would have to unleash the abusive side of my personality on a fellow blogger instead of a child.
Therefore, one day soon I will choose a regular visitor to CPW and start to run roughshod over him or her like there's no tomorrow, while being sweet as pie to everyone else.
Who's in? Would you like to be the recipient of my irrational and unprovoked wrath? Let me know in the comments, and we'll see if we can't get started.
I am Coaster Punchman and you have just entered my world. I rule it with an iron fist, so if you're looking for First Amendment protection, you will not find it here. I have a now deceased crazy Chinese mother-in-law, and sometimes I wear Crocs around the house. I don't like flip-flops or Mormons. I'm also a cyberstalker by trade -- so I could look up all sorts of random shit about you if I wanted, but I probably won't because I'm pretty lazy.