Thursday, August 28, 2008

child hood graduation hood adult hood


(1) Does one stop blogging when one becomes an employee of the government?
(2) How does one go about constructing a new life in a new city?
(3) May I bring a miniature rugby ball that says "Guinness" with me to that new city?
(4) Is there any way all of this can be undone?
(5) Where does all the time go? My first college class was ten years ago.
(6) Where are you, Stephanie?


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

telescopic text

What a cool way to write a simple story.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

mandarin gaffe

At home, lots to report (cousin's wedding, a conspicuous absence, new old friends, life plans). But I am too jetlagged to write about any of that. Sorry.

Although I love - LOVE - the Olympics, I am somewhat happy to have been in another country for the majority of the games because it reduced my risk of exposure to the offensive and stupid things that Americans reporting on China say. (However, I did read an article in the Irish Times that began something like this: "The Chinese are trying to change their image from the poor purveyors of cheap foods worldwide to that of a political powerhouse"...or something. So I guess 2520s the world around will say offensive and stupid shit.) I have cringed about two hundred times just in my two days of consuming American media coverage.

Here's my favorite moment: last night, NBC aired a little feature in which the dumb blonde anchor goes out into Beijing and samples tourist foods (you know, scorpions, snakes, etc.) and believes them to be the kind of foods that Chinese people regularly eat. This is, of course, a ridiculous premise, because Americans don't call Rocky Mountain oysters, Tofurky, 65 hot dogs eaten in ten minutes - or what have you - ordinary American foods. Anyway, the anchor ate pigs ears, and it almost made her cry. What the fuck, lady? Have you never gone outside your home? You can buy chopped up pig ears in Mountain View, California. You can buy them not far from your studio in Hollywood. After taking a bite, the anchor made some oblique comment about how she'd watched her dog eat pigs ears before and inadvertantly likened one billion people to dogs.

But my favorite part was when it came time to wash down her fried scorpions with a gulp of tea. "Cheers" or "l'chaim" in Mandarin is pronounced "gan bei." Two syllables, not so hard.

The anchor raised her cup and beckoned the NBC hangers-on to do so as well.

"Gang bang!" she declared loudly. "Gang bang, everybody!"

Oh. My. God. Lady, try a little harder! It's TWO FUCKING SYLLABLES!

"Gang bang, everybody!"

This post is really going to generate some unwanted hits on this website.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

a home

So I here I am right back in my spot in the Immigrant Rights Clinic at NYU, finally starting to think about the rest of my life, OMGWTF, and most pressingly, how the hell I am going to find an apartment and move my shit to Chicago. I am in New York for a 40 hour layover before heading back to Palo Alto, which is a shame, since I would like to stay here forever. (Sorry I'm here but I wasn't able to see you!!!) When I went to the bathroom, the combination lock on the door was changed by building maintenance so I stood outside the door for 15 minutes pressing different combinations of numbers until I found the correct one, because I am fucking genius and am also unemployed. My August travels have helped me to achieve my goal, which was to forget everything I learned for the bar. I can't remember what duties a lawyer owes to his clients, but I just sat down and read the N.D.I.L.'s ethical cannons for judicial employees, and learned about the franking privilege and how I am not permitted to participate in any partisan or nonpartisan political activities. New York is beautiful. The weather is perfect and the people are cruel, mean bitches. After being the friendliest little fucker in Ireland for eleven days, I got off the plane at Newark and smiled at people like an idiot, and was spat on(literally - ptoo!) within two hours by a crazy person (whom I smiled at, like an idiot) who also muttered "You people really disgust me, you really do," so I returned the favor by later telling some French tourists they ought to be sorry for almost hitting me with a water bottle. Oh, to be angry forever in this dirty old town! But I am off. Find me an apartment in Chicago, please? I have spent the last few days thinking about B.H., with her man baking in a village halfway around the world; A.O., combing through Spanish archives somewhere thousands of miles south of here; O.Z. collecting blisters with C.Y. on glaciers; R.A. pretending to be Mrs. N.D. in Egypt; J.S., who may be in Arizona, or may be in Brooklyn, and I don't know, and I'm sorry, and what happened?; K.C., now Mrs. S.F., honeymooning in Barcelona; H.E. halfway to Kilkenny; T.F. in green and temperate Kennebunk; Boo, whose mood my mom describes as "blue"; C.M.'s Marco studying alone for eight months for the Italian foreign service exam; C.H. by a pool in Monrovia; R.W. and O.L. jumping into bathtubs filled with foam bricks at Google Zurich; my S.H. deconstructing, in theory, in praxis, in Atlanta. So many dispersed and distant people, and one black and white dog, I wish were around me always. Wahhh!!! Why is the world so big? Since I will never get around to blogging about the four fun-filled days around K.C.'s wedding, I'll just link to R.W.'s Picasa page, where you will find 323 photographs documenting the experience. Be forewarned: there are skirts and dresses. Uck.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

the gas works croft

I am still here in Clifden, Ireland, which is in Connemarra, on the coast and near the "quartzile" mountains. It's my fourth day here. I am staying here because I am avoiding Dublin, because cities are still cities even when they are filled with redheads. I have made friends with a Bavarian man named Harry who tells me that I defy his stereotype of Americans because I am "pleasant." We took turns buying each other Irish coffees in three of Clifden's six pubs last night. Mysteriously, when I woke up this morning, my watch was set an hour later than it had ben set the night before. I was laid down by my recurring migraine yesterday so I moaned in bed until noon, then crawled to the bakery for a donut and bought a bag of spinach - I figured the nutrient deficiency of my all Guinness and seafood chowder diet was probably contributing to my headaches - and then crawled across the street and watched "Wall-E" for the second time. The audience of two dozen Irish ten year-olds and their unhappy chaperones talked throughout the movie, failed to laugh when it was funny, and then walked out before it ended. I watched "Sex and the City" in this same theater three days ago when a bout of homesickness led me to the bookstore, where I read all the Rough Guide entries on New York and California, but with the screening of "Wall-E" I did not feel the same triumphalist patriotism that I did with SATC, because whereas in the latter you had a theater full of dowdy forty-something Molly Maguires wearing sweaters spun from their pet sheep cooing jealously at Carrie Bradshaw's Manolo Blahniks, in the former you had a theater full of girls who HOWLED "Matty!!" when "Matty," apparently a very popular local boy, entered stage left right when the pathos reached a fever pitch (you know, the part where Wall-E valiantly sacrifices himself under the crushing pillar of the holodeck so that Eve can return humanity to earth). It is hard to feel triumphant about your popular culture predominating in the world when Irish girls chatter over the touching parts. Then I succumbed to two hours of Irish Olympic boxing and an hour of Irish Olympic speedwalking - ugh - because my love for the Olympics surpassed my distaste of the events favored by the Irish. This is what I do with my days. The lotion retires at night to the basket, which is the squeaky bottom bunk of a six-bed bathroomless dormitory, divided between nice Austrian girls and cold French girls and one grumpy monkey unrecognizeable as an American.

It rained 11 hours straight yesterday and half of young France descended upon the lounge of this hostel and make exclamations about the U.S.A. basketball team. "Trop bien" is all I could understand, and "Eauuuu!!" when Kobe Bryant did something especially spectacular. When the weather is shit - which it always is - I still like to bike and walk the routes this region is apparently famous for, because I find that being soaked and cold distracts me perfectly from thinking about my loneliness, both in the present and in the long term. I am somewhat terrified of the future! But with a day like yesterday, when the weather was shit but I was too sick to leave, I had nothing to do but fill page after damp page of my journal with anxious thoughts. Is this the worst of it? Will it be like this forever? Do I have the patience for this? Should I move to L.A., where it is always sunny and I can write pilots for Asian-American-themed sitcoms?

I ask the sheep, but the sheep have no answers.

Friday, August 15, 2008

yeats country

I wrote a poem about my days.

Musee des Beaux-Arts





Wednesday, August 13, 2008

the burren

Haven't written in a bit because I could not find computers where I was. I spent the last few days on a bike going from place to place. Today was 60mph winds and torrential rain and it is 9 degrees C, which is 48 degrees F, so I quit the bike and brought it back to Galway. So ends the bike trip. I am glad I did not become the Polish tourist who pitched headlong into a swollen river or the Galwegian lady biker who was squashed by a Peugeot today. I hit an emotional low today, after many days of high, so I cannot muster the energy at the moment, while sitting in the computer gallery of this terrible hostel where 17 year old Europeans surround me laughing at Matthew McCougnghanhaeahhey's pretty blond head on the big screen blaring nearby, to tell you too much. Such is budget, or whatever you call it when the paltry dollar is 1:1.7 with the powerful euro, travel. I got on a bike in Galway and went to Ballyvaughn the first day, Doolin the second, around the Burren the third day, and three miles in gale force winds today before chickening out like the drenched chicken I was and heading for the city. I ran out of cash two days ago - there were no ATMs in the Burren, I learned, and the closest was a 12-mile roundtrip to the Cliffs of Moher that I was not about to do in the rain - so I have been rationing out my precious euros one heavy coin at a time. I had chocolate-covered Digestive biscuits for three meals in the last two days, and otherwise stuck to the calorie max-euro min diet, which involved eating pats of butter as well as drinking multiple cups of milk with each $5 coffee I purchased. I will at some point write all about the travel insights for other similarly stupid people who come to Ireland without plans or muscles expecting to travel by bicycle during the storm of the decade, since I have been so tired and hungry and wet (but elated, until today) that I haven't been able to think of anything except my sensations, which there are a lot of. The country is beautiful, it looks just like the postcards, or maybe the Lord of the Rings trilogy if that is your point of reference like it is mine, there are more cows and sheep than people, and it is best seen by soaked bicycle. There is lots I could tell you about limestone and mudstone and basalt now. Tip #1: bring waterproof clothes. Whoops #1! Tip #2: travel south to north, because the wind blows south to north. Whoops #2! I prefer the country to the city. With ten minutes of my return to Galway I got a "HEY HEY CHING CHONG!" call by some asshole teenager, who was out of hearing range already by the time I shouted "DICKHEAD!" back at him. But he succeeded in lowering my mood even further, and then when I had my all-brown dinner (brown chicken curry, on brown rice, topped with brown french fries a.k.a. shit on a plate) and bit on my lower lip until I bled, I was at least relieved that I had reached, at last, the nadir of my trip: cowed, cold, curmudgeonly. I am trying to decide what to do now...succumb to loneliness, and buy a ticket back to New York? The NYPD settlement is all but gone so I don't think I have the clams to do that. Continue merry lonesome travels, lugging clothes for Katie's wedding and rocks for Stephanie all around? Might could. If I can find a place to shoot clay pigeons, perhaps I should do that too; the Irish succeeded in entering at least one Olympic athlete into that event. I am starved for Olympics coverage, since the Irish only cover badminton and four person coxless boat racing, so please email me your sports commentary excluding information about Michael Phelps or Chinese doping, SVP. The Irish are fond of repetitve patterns - in their music (jigs are 10 notes repeated sixteen times, just listen), in their art (if that is what you call Celtic knot-drawing), in their sweater weaving (each family has its own distinctive pattern of knits and purls), which I think may be a result of harsh geographic conditions. When you have limited resources, creativity means you work with what you got, again and again, in repeating patterns. Whatever, that's all I can think of to say about this country. One day I'll be recognized as an American. CHING CHONG CHING CHONG.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


hi from galway ireland. the internet ticker tells me i have 4 minutes left and my brain is spongiform so you get not much news. i spent the last four days in paris for katie's wedding. i love weddings. there should be more occasions to hang out with all your friends all night in a special place wearing special clothes than just weddings, however. sky and katie were beautiful, of course i cried. we were at some sort of ancient monastery 60km from paris. we forgot the word for monastery and called it a dude nunnery. there were bathrobes and shuttle buses, and a lesbian bar in le marais. i haven't seen katie in years and forgot how ridiculous and funny her family is. frank spun me like a dreidel and then complemented my dancing/spinning. we stayed up very late and then woke up two hours after going to bed to eat croissants on a terrace overlooking some beautiful scene i was too tired to register. lots of funny and memorable things happened, but i have 1 minute left so i guess i won't memorialize any of them. ireland is wet as balls and i somehow signed myself up to do a 10 day bike trip unguided and alone. need a dessicant. bye!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

i am the ladies

again tired and hating german kezboards so a short post. lazy day on the main river. am waiting for 10pm overnight bus to paris. i read an entire saudi trash romance novel, "girls of riyadh" in about three hours laying on grass by the river. mz onlz ambition todaz was not to break a sweat. i wandered around frankfurt splaz-footed in flipflops lookiing for a cheap watch and found one at woolworth for 4 euro since mz batterz gave out last night. inexplicablz i woke todaz at 5am. walked bz five musuems and decided i didnt care enough to spend 10 bucks, found a free gallerz instead that had almost no exhibits but had a computer where zou could read facts about frankfurt which was great. one fact: the rat population was so bad in the 1500s that zou would be paid one heller per rat zou brought to the rathouse. the tail was cut off as zour receipt and the rat was thrown in the river, i guess so zou couldnät keep bringing the same rat over and over and collect zour hellers that waz. the fines were paid from taxes levied upon jews. man this town hated their jews. thez constructed a ghetto starting in the zear 1200 something. i went through the judengasse museum which was built on top of the ghetto foundations. frankfurt makes borats throw the jew down the well jokes seem tame. here thez were penned into a tinz little space which was at one point the densest population in europe. frankfurt jews were forced to wear zellow judenkreis circles in the 1500s. the significance of the color zellow for the circles and later the zellow stars is that zellow is the color of gold and avarice, i just learned that todaz. "strassenbenennungsausschuss" is a word, i learned. then i had a bratwurst. i wandered around slowlz, not breaking a sweat. i found a fruit market and ate an apple and two tomatoes, finallz. "nightshades?" stephanie said. whoops. i sat back down on the riverbank and finished the novel and read some of lord jim and found one passage funnz and ill write it down for zou later. man conrad loves thinking about wtf is wrong with people. i lay on mz back in shit-smelling grass and watched airplanes enter huge clouds on one side and exit five minutes later on the other. the weather here is beautiful. i admired the sturdz bikes and calves of the germans. i stood on a bridge for half an hour laughing at eight girls who were obviouslz learning to row crew for the first time ever. their paddles were pointed in all directions like pickup stix. their coxswain was shouting something i took to mean "feather the blade zou fucking idiots!" in german. i was gender policed in a public bathroom. this was the conversation with the male attendant that preceded the policing: man: china? taiwan? korea? japan? phillipines? thailand? me: no. man: indonesia? singapore? me: no. man: where zou from? me: america. man: this bathroom is for the ladies. are zou the ladies or the man? me: i am the ladies. man: this is not for man. me: i am the ladies. then the man hung around and listened directlz outside mz stall while i delicatelz broke smellz wind at inaudible volumes.

mz favorite part of the daz was getting this email from stephanie:

not everyone is happy about all of my contributions to the homefront, however...last night, i was playing with Alex the Akita bitch, and she backed into me so i humped her a little, and my mom freaked the fuck out. she was yelling that i was being obscene and unnatural, and aunt G said nothing but looked like she agreed, but aunt V said nothing and had a placid look on her face, and i explained about dominant pack leader behavior, and mom said i would have to "bond" with alex outside, but it was already dark, so i left her alone. i'm glad boo doesn't slobber, and he's much more
muscular than the atrophied akita bitch.

Monday, August 04, 2008

germanz daz 2

i have 6 minutes left on mz internet cafe hr so efficiencz wins over art and zou get a snippet from an email to stephanie rather than anzthing new and original. tschüss!

germanz in daz two has grown on me a little bit, just like the third reich grew a little bit in the 1930s in the wake of weivmar incompetence. just kidding, i am actuallz learning no german historz here because i have no waz to learn it. i went to a castle todaz but all i got was a one page flier describing the manz "embrasures" on a turretted wall, which i took to mean slits for shooting crossbows through . . . the castle guide had 0 information, like everzthing else here, so i dont know shit. zou know what? the germans were primitive people wearing animal skins and worshipping rocks when advanced civilizations in africa and the middle east and china were building libraries, inventing algebra and the number zero, charting the stars. zou konw what i mean? so this castle i went to todaz was built in 1245. in 1245, the germans, or whatever the hell tribal goat herders thez were called then - hessians, the hanseatic league, baron von katzenstrumpet, who the hell knows? (by the way, i passed by a town called "assmannshausen" or "ass man's house" and i laughed my little ass man off. where is tittiesmannshausen? or schnatschmannshausen?? hahahahahaha stupid germans) - the germans were unable to build straight walls with uniformly size bricks. well first of all the castle is in ruins todaz, a mere 800 zears after its erection. tee hee! the great wall of china - bajillion zrs old, and still standing! anzwaz, this castle, i noticed, was filled with walls that swazed and buckled and did not stand up in a straight line. i stood inside a turret (which was admittedlz prettz cool!) and looked up and guess what i saw? an OVAL. not even a smooth oval, but more like the kind of a oval a right handed developmentally and phzsicallz disabled child would draw, but with his left hand. i dont mean to get pseudonationalistic for the fake homeland that i cant actuallz lay claim to, but come on germany, do a little better! i didnt get to see the roman ruins a bit further down the rhine, but i would have loved to, because i love thinking about how those pantheistic sandal wearers first beat back and then got beaten by animal skin wearing visigoths (i imagine visigoths to be cyclops, even though thats probablz not true for the most part - a historian is careful not to make absolute statements, zou see). oh i lose track of the point. the point was originallz respond to what zou had written about what i had written about germanz. the point i guess is that todaz was a little more interesting than zesterdaz. and the people i have met here ahve been incrediblz friendlz and nice. manz stare. zou see a lot of north africans and mazbe even some darker skinned subsaharan africans and middle easterners but verz few east asians here. i paused in front of deustchpost's patriotic advertisement in a post office window - the ad has about 25 "germans" dressed in black gold and red. i scanned the faces - all white! ruddy, hitler white, except one vietnamese looking woman, whom i addressed as "tui" and made fun of, and one man with kinkier hair than the others. but those germans who dont stare, or even ones that do, are quick to help and more proficient in englisch than me! i had a bunch of train snafus today (i guess the fascist legacz has lamentablz faded away on that front) and was aided bz the grace of god and manz friendlz germans. and the rhine vallez was gorgeous, and the weather was beautiful. i climbed to the top of lorelez rock todaz...ha, i saz climbed like i did something more than walk up 10 flights of stairs. the most famous "rock" in germanz is a 100 foot cliff that stupid visigoth sailors would dash themselves to their deaths upon. i wrote zou a postcard explaining it further. hopefully tui at deustchpost will sprite it awaz to zou or she will be relegated back to the land of her cousins, shelling lychees 11 hours a daz for mere (euro) cents.
. . .
something in this internet cafe smells like . it smells like someone took a fresh dump right below mz feet. not like the bitter stench of dried urea like a bathroom, but the cloying, earthz, sharp smell of frisch shit. mmm! anzwaz, the hostel was not all so bad. i went to sleep at 11pm - i guess jet lag is the onlz cure to mz insomnia! - and woke up at 7am and left the hostel immediatlelz. there was a free breakfast which was actuallz awesome. i ate twice then went back to take some of that special heavyweight black and moist german bread on the road with me. i felt like samwise gamgee. if onlz i had big leaves to wrap mz brot in rather than white napkins, id be ready to head off to barad-dur. one cool thing about the castle todaz is that with the absence of historz lessons or curatorial guidance , the onlz thing for me to do was imagine that i was a hardy gondor footsoldier getting gored bz nazgul again and again. i never imagine mzself as a heroic solder, just one of the ones who get ripped to pieces and thrown off the gangway.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

hello from germanz!

hello all i am in germanz where apparentlz thez hve not zet discovered high speed internet and i am on a 56k or less modem or something so i donät have time to correct mistakes. also the kezbaord is all fucked up and the z is counterintuitivelz where the y should be. mistakes all around. for dinner tonight i first ate a 12 inch sausage then, when i was hungrz again, a bratwurst which is an 8 inch susage on a hard baguette like bun. like mexico, germanz is a countrz that has neither vegetables nor fruit so i am reallz looking forward to mz bowel movements when thez arrive in the zear 2010. what the fuck am i sazing? i surrendipitouslz ran into two fairs todaz, first the Äinternational childrenäs right to have fun daz fairÄ which was so sillz. one of the fun activities to do was to ride on a cherrz picker. zes. four tots boarded a cherrz picker. one bored adult raised the cherrz picker to its full height of 15 feet. then lowered it down. then the children disembarked, and the next four children got on. contrarz to mz previouslz held belief, europeans do wear shorts in the summer time. birkenstocks have been around since 1774 - can zou imagine americaäs founding fathers wearing birkenstocks? i can too! also, a bottle of water cost me 3 euroes todaz. which is like 6 dollars. and mz hot dog + hot dog dinner without vegetables and with one kristallweizen beer which is like a hefeweiyen except even whiter because thats how much the nayi infludence lingers on here cost me about 16 euro which is like 30 bucks. oh mz fucking god even eating shit here i spent 30 per meal! i hate europe!
just kidding, iäm not ungrateful, love it, love it. traveling through lax made me hungrz + angrz = hangrz and these germans kept crowding me and i kept referring to them as hitlers on the phone with stephanie and she told me to shut up because thez reallz are sensitive. so i will stop calling them hitlers. i maz take a boat ride up the main river tomorrow so that mazbe will make me like these hitlers a little more. bze i mean auf weidersehen for now! i learned how to saz vomit on the plane from some german teens but iäve alreadz forgotten. high school is pronounced yim naz eum here, like gymnasium, onlz retarded. bze!

Friday, August 01, 2008

bar 3

Finished the California bar today. Thank fucking god. When the announcer called time, I came. I think. I had an orgasm. When she released us after twenty minutes of final instructions, the room spontaneously erupted into cheers. Wasn't like a long whooooooooooooo howl of celebration, but like a shocked, surprised, delighted AGHHH!! I know I screamed a little bit and bolted. I thought David or Delilah or Donald was going to cause an accident in the parking lot because people were in such a hurry to leave. Felt like it was Mordor coming apart after the ring gets dropped into Mt. Doom. The day was horrible. Day 3 is awful, CH has told you so and better than I, with my head full of millet wine, could. In the bathroom at lunch, some ladies were chatting: "So, who'd you give the condo to? Carl, or Museum? Maybe Hal?" Both gave the wrong answer. I wanted to shout (1) IT ADEEMED BY EXTINCTION YOU FUCKING IDIOTS MUSEUM GETS IT AND YOU FAIL!!! and (2) SHUT THE FUCK UP BITCHES WHO GIVES A SHIT??? At 11:55 a.m. after the last essay I could feel all of the information I have haphazardly stuffed against the thinly-stitched seams of my Walmart-quality bag of a brain in the last two months evaporate, like POOF!, cloud of smoke, there goes my knowledge of lapse and anti-lapse. I lay out on the grass at lunch getting sunburnt and eating my two PB&Js and slowly cutting the roof of my mouth with dry Triscuits while chatting with SH and trying to block the sun from my eyes with my elbow, then I returned to the airplane hangar where 900 lawannabes arrayed in 25 rows (probably THREE, not ONE acre as previously estimated) then sat through three more hours of torture. I pity the fools who have to read this crap.

But it is done. And now it is time to finally vaccuum my room, where the white carpet has turned black from an accumulation of dog hair that I have ignored for eight weeks. It is time to think about where the hell I am going to stay in a few days when I arrive in...Frankfurt?? It is time to think about how foolish it was to leave a week to pack my shit and buy a car and move to Chicago and find an apartment. It is time to shave my beard.

My parents, who have kindly thrown food at me for the last two months, finally got to take their daughter to dinner tonight. We walked down Castro Street in Mountain View. Castro Street, when I was younger, was most notable for its Weinerschnitzel franchise. In 2008 it is happening hotspot for all the mid-Peninsula 28 year-olds who work at Google, Intel, or Yahoo. There's lots and lots of new restaurants. My parents and I walked up and down the street trying to decide where to eat. My dad offered a running commentary of stereotypes and offensive things about different ethnicities as we passed by the restaurants. We passed by Shiva's, an Indian place, and my dad said, "Ooo, Indian!" and faced the plate glass and nodded/wagged/tilted his head from side to side. We passed a mediterranean restaurant, and my dad pronounced, "A mediterranean's favorite thing to do is eat dog shit." We passed by a Benihana-style Mongolia BBQ restaurant where one chef manned a giant grill with a yardlong sharpened wooden stick. "Why does that man use a wooden stick?" I asked. "Because he doesn't want to get burned," my dad replied, "They're cooking him!" We then passed by East West Bookstore and dad said, "I want to eat here!" and pointed at the earth-toned linen daishikis on display in the window. Then he said, "But honestly, every time I walk past this store my rectum feels looser. Going inside is like having your rectum release. It's so peaceful. Sometimes I'll just buy a CD and go home and go to the bathroom. So relaxing." We settled on a brand new Korean BBQ/tofu stew place that my parents selected because it was brand new. "We'd better eat here lots more in the new few weeks, before their furnishings get old and dirty," my parents declared. When we sat down, there was crap all over the table and the waiter came with a spray bottle of Windex to clean it up. When the waiter sprayed the table my dad literally leapt out of his chair, knocked it backward, and retreated to the front door with his hand covering his mouth and nose. After the waiter was done, my dad returned and instructed me and my mom to wipe the table again with a stack of paper towels he produced from his chest pocket. Then my dad went to inspect the plastic food samples at the front of restaurant. He returned and declared that he understood the difference between bi bim bap and gol sok bi bim bap (a stone pot and an egg), except he kept pronouncing it "pee pee pa" and "golo pee pee pa." He seemed to really like the sound of what he was saying, because he looked at the menu and said, "Vegetable pee pee pa, tofu pee pee pa, seafood pee pee pa, chicken pee pee pa, beef pee pee pa, pork pee pee pa." When he got to seafood pee pee pa, he paused and said, "Oh. That's wooooonderful" with a German accent. He and my mom speculated about what the equivalent of pee pee pa was in Chinese, and decided that there was no equivalent phrase. Then my dad seized the pen with which I was transcribing his words and attempted to write "bulgogi" in Korean, since he believes he can write Korean, but he gave up after drawing a circle and three lines on my napkin. When the waitress took our order, my mom said, "Don't too salty!" which the waitress did not understand, after which my dad said, "Not too much salt, please. Kidney problems!" Then I drew a long oval with three smaller ovals in a line to illustrate to my mom what galbi was. I ordered a bottle of millet wine. My parents loved it and immediately suggested that I buy another bottle and bring it to Stephanie. "Stephanie would love this!" my dad said. "But you can't bring more than three ounces of liquid in your carry on," my mother said. Then my dad argued that millet wine was a solid. They debated this for a while. My dad picked up the bottle and scrutinized the Korean words, then announced to the table that he was extremely confident the first word meant "Super." He called the waiter over to the table and asked him what the word meant, and the waiter said, "A shell from a mussel." We ate in near complete silence because all of us were busy gnawing tendons from the galbi. My dad insisted that this was the best restaurant he'd ever been to and my mom said this was the first time in her life my dad had ever appreciated her restaurant choice. My dad and I got tipsy on very little millet wine, and my mom drove us home while we chatted about how not accelerating at all at stoplights produces the best gas mileage in the Corolla but brings the wrath of other drivers.

I really enjoy hanging out with my parents! Maybe my transcription of dinner doesn't capture how weird they really are. They're really weird! Or does everyone think their parents are weird?

Okay, whatever! I am leaving on a jet plane in a few short hours. I'll be going from place A to place B by plane, train, and bus in the next three weeks. Maybe I'll see you? Maybe I'll die? If I die, I love you and I devise my condo to the University of Southern California (known as UCLA), my XYZ stock to David and Victoria as joint tenants with the right of survivorship, and will momentarily come back from the dead to give a valid inter vivos transfer of my 1932 Phaeton automobile (a quasi-community property acquisition) to Ohner, my dear friend, in fee simple, forever and ever amen. If I die, I'll haunt all of you so you won't have to worry about not seeing me again. If I don't die, I'll resume blogging again when there is a live case or controversy warranting my jurisprudence. If I fall off a cliff and am not heard from in a while, remember that absence without tidings for two years is a common law death and all the above about dying (love, devises, and haunting) will hold true. If I am merely maimed, come and visit me. Otherwise, ta for now!