Thursday, May 28, 2009
Despite the shifting sands and tumultuous world we find ourselves in, one constant thing that everyone who has not found it is still doing through the storms, through the ups and downs: looking for love. With the permission of Babyboo, I was able to accompany/chaperone/wingman my best friend Ron on a group blind date.
Ron had chosen to retire from the scene for a while as he felt that his calling for the time being was to help others before helping himself. In the past, Ron and I have helped our other friends to win the hand of the girl of their dreams (or at least the girl of their dreams this month).
We could act as a dude's wingmen, his posse, his instant party in a can, and his joint chiefs of relationship strategy, on call 24/7. Forget the fact that our relationship qualifications have been collectively dry, barren, and non-existent and even my marriage is a miracle to many and as I have mentioned before, I am pleasantly surprised when I roll over in bed every morning to find that she is still there and had not run away in the night.
But Ron does not need help;the ladies swoon over him and he is a complete stud, but he is very selective and elitist. These days, he has been on a rampage; from looking for love in all the wrong places, or going on blind date after blind date week after week and also enlisting on all the date sites from Eharmony to Match.com and now to make things more efficient, he has enlisted my expertise in people judging for special group date situations at the relatively cheap cost of free food and drinks offered to me (of course).
At this particular incident yesterday, we all met at a Mexican restaurant in the city (it was me, Ron and my other friend who likes chips & guac and then lady X and her friend, who, for the record, were super nice).
I knew this situation was DOA, however, when they met and talked for the first 5 minutes as I did not see the twinkle in Ron's eyes that he usually gets with those from the past and coincidentally, is the same twinkle he gets from watching Sportscenter and winning in his fantasy sports leagues.
But maybe the night was also doomed by the fact that, at the table next to us (a foot away), I kid you not, was a girl that Ron had gone on a date and rejected just last week = Awkward!
Anyways, Ron understood that he might be dooming himself with this mass dating operation but was still down and I had to assure him that he was still the man and that he still had me as his best buddy.
And I left him with this encouragement: "You can always come over to our place for hugs and beers and if you need, you could crash at our apartment to get away from the world because the wife can always sleep on the Aerobed by herself!"
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Now, I am no handyman and instead, I tried to will, yell and seductively dance for the water to come out of the faucets but to empty results. And trying to reach my landlord to address the situation in a timely manner is like asking Babyboo (wife) if she can not go overboard while shopping:not happening. Babyboo was out of town and so out of laziness and because left to my own devices, I just slept in my filth on Friday night, leaving behind a greasy body outline on my sheets.
By Saturday afternoon, I relegated myself indoors so as to keep socially responsible to not disgust my fellow man but I was becoming quite the squeaky wheel and was persistently calling the management company, harassing the doorman and leaving nasty voice mails for said slumlord, asking if he wanted to smell how angry I am. I received suggestions from friends to sponge myself clean with a bucket of borrowed water from my neighbors or to Frebreeze myself silly. Finally, after threatening to report everyone to the City, the slumlord came and fixed the situation and I washed away my film of dirt along with my anger.
Sadly, not to be undone, I will confess that the pinnacle of Memorial weekend was that a group of buddies and I rented a car and headed out to New Jersey for some amazing fun. Not to go golfing or Atlantic City or any entertainment event but instead to go to The Cheesecake Factory (really? yes, really). Every great city is near one but The Cheesecake Factory is characterized by never ending menus, custom décor, large portions and of course, the hearty cheesecake. The adventure was suggested on a whim and hit a nostalgic chord amongst the dudes which reminded us of the treasures of strip malls and the suburbs in which we were nurtured. With anticipation we drove over there and gorged ourselves on the feast before us for over 3 hours, getting all the best of the best dishes we could remember from yesteryear.
It was clearly too much food but I even ordered some cheesecake for Babyboo to go. We were genuinely satisfied and so happy with ourselves. Hi-fives were had, chest bumps and out of context endzone celebrations and/or pre-game rituals/handshakes/dances exploded in the parking lot amongst us idiots. But pathetically, as we were heading back, we saw that the lights on our car had been left on and when we tried to start the car, the battery was completely fried and could not even get jacked. So after several hours of waiting for a tow truck, I consumed Babyboo's cheesecake (for survival) and at 1:30am on Sunday morning after a cramped ride back with Roger, the tow truck guy, we got home.
Was the Cheesecake adventure worth it? You bet your Avocado Egg Rolls and Chicken Madeira it was. (but not really)
How was your weekend?
Monday, May 25, 2009
As I got up today, Babyboo was just getting up and told me that I looked handsome even though her eyes were still closed and the room was still dark. But this is the unconditional support and encouragement that I need to get through each day. Please tell me I'm beautiful. Lie to me.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Yesterday, my colleagues and I went out for a little desk bonding. We went to a glorified karaoke spot that did its best to let us be American Idol for a night, which was appropriate since the AI finale was yesterday.
The place was kind of cool actually: you sing on stage accompanied by professional backup singers and dancers and you can even cut a hit record in private recording booths. Also, the accompanying diners/rockstars will vote on each of the performances and post comments online using touch-screens at each table but needless to say, last night was full of "gongs" (the worst rank).
I sang Green Day's, "When I Come Around", which I thought rocked. There were definitely some great performances from our table: a group of senior dudes sang some Journey songs but in the highest falsetto's I have ever heard (dog's came a barkin'), one of my colleagues sang his soul's anthem: Sweet Home Alabama, and the showstopper was a performance by the analyst on the desk who hails from India but on a dare, sang and danced to Richie Valen's "La Bamba" (it was impressive because he does not speak any Spanish and even English is not his native language).
Well it was all good and fun and the night should have ended on those high notes but instead it ended like a horrible mess as a minority of us started taking shot after shot (six in total in 10 minutes: four Patron, two Jager bombs). The aftermath: I think I saw two people walk in just now and they look worse than I do today. We are American Idiots.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Here is some lightheartedness in a dreary world. I received an email yesterday for a high school buddy's bachelor party but instead of a just a regular bachelor party it was entitled a 'Stache"lor Party for Eddie. (Mu'stache' that is).
The party is in August but the idea is for all the participants to grow out a mustache from now until that time as a sign of "unity and manliness." The only hiccup in the idea is that for some of us who are lacking in the manliness department and maybe praying for a second coming of puberty, such a feat is impossible.
I shave (electric shave) maybe every 2 days or so and its not like my peach fuzz has proliferated in the last couple of years (when I started to first shave). If I tried to grow something on my face, it would be patchy at best with little islands/crops of nastiness. And in the best case scenario for my peoples, the most gifted of Asian men who have been blessed with a hirsute gene, what comes out is not a beautiful, shiny mane of awesomeness but a stereotypical fumanchu mustache like a bad Kung-Fu movie and in my case, it's a fumanchu that lacks the 'fu' and the 'chu'.
I probably will not go anyways (because of shame and also prior plans but mostly shame) but if I did go, I would be buying Rogaine so quickly or ordering bottles of GLH ('Great Looking Hair' Aerosol spray on hair) or pasting together hair clippings from other parts of my body to patch onto my face. I have severe 'stache' envy.
Click here for the ad:
The Oozinator has garnered scrutiny because of its television marketing campaign.
Critics claim that through innuendo, either purposely or innocently, the toy is an approximation of various sexual acts.
Its main television ad shows a boy with the toy shooting other, though unarmed, children with the ooze function. In response to the ad, Steve Hall from AdRANTS said "The people who created this ad are either living in a land far removed from current day culture, are completely clueless or, conversely, have a seriously twisted sense of humor. This ad for the Hasbro Super Soaker Oozinator features a gun that when pumped a few times shoots a white globular substance all over the faces and bodies of those in the ad. Sound familiar? We thought so. While we're sure it's fun to pump something until it shoots a bunch of gooey stuff, we can't help but imagine how this thing got created, reviewed and approved without a lot of snickering."
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sorry for being MIA, I was at BBQ fest all last week.
I go to a BBQ festival every year for fun and to meet up with some clients that are there.
Given the decreased turnout expected and with the ongoing recession, I did not know what to expect from Memphis this year. But any thoughts that the tone would be muted or tempered were quickly erased when, as soon as I walked into a kick-off event, an all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse, an already inebriated friend, who I had not see in a long time, accosted me aggressively.
And before I knew what was going on, he had put his head under my shirt and buried his face in the loving nooks and crannies of my greasy belly. I may have enjoyed this welcome a bit too much as it went on for a couple of minutes with others staring on awkwardly and (probably) burning with envy. Eventually, this old friend re-appeared from under my polo shirt with a shinier face and fashionably dishevelled hair (my skin oil properties are known to be like a soothing face salve and/or a stylistic hair gel/gravy) and I knew that Memphis 2009 had just begun. How could I have doubted that Memphis is and will forever be a fourth-dimension, bizzaro reality?
To add to this alternate reality, my body was breaking down as I was severely impaired by a head cold and a sea of delicious, mucous congestion that made me deaf and senile and into Mr. No-Depth Perception. During conversations, I was trying to read lips and body language and could see people, who were only a foot away, cringing as I shouted needlessly at them. But I apologize to anyone if you were trying to confess some deep, dark secret to me and I laughed randomly and inappropriately in your face. It's because I did not really hear what you said.
At night, the show did not stop. The highlight of the first night was a small army of us going to a local establishment that was hosting a karaoke night. Besides the rib fest that week, apparently there was a Harley Davidson gathering and the bars were filled with gruff, leather-chapped, tattooed dudes who looked fierce and could probably eat us Wall Street types for lunch. Shamelessly, WE would be the ones kicked out of the bar as we were disruptive to these grisly, American Idol motor hosses who wanted to sing neither Slayer nor Metallica but Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline'?!?!?! So good, so good, so good....
On another night, a crew of us played hours and hours of never-ending rounds of bowling until we all got carpal tunnel in our forearms. In the lane next to me, the combination of booze and bowling was a frightening thought as bowling bowls were shot putted and flung here and there ready to bludgeon a big-headed Asian like me. Before taking his turn, one gentle giant bowler in particular would ritualistically prance about the hardwood floors in a show-stopping, tribal mating dance that combined the dancing gifts of Elaine Benis and a maimed animal. It was visually spectacular and yet, curiously arousing.
Not to be undone, the annual barbecue fest by the riverfront where several teams from all over competed in what can be called the 'Super Bowl of Swine' was as strong as ever and we were fortunate to have the Killer Hogs team feed us silly. I literally think I ate a whole cow and a couple of pigs this weekend. I drank, bled, sweat meat so much so that as we baked in the sun, I felt my own flesh caramelizing the Budweiser marinade in which my pores had been stewing/swimming. And while it was a only one hour time difference from Memphis and NY, my body acted as if I had traveled internationally this weekend. Can one get jet lag from gluttony?
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
How do I let myself get abused/whipped like this? I guess I offered but I ended up getting her coffee, filed, stapled, ran errands and looked things up for her like the monkey boy that I am. I was actually amazed at how eager I was to please and probably would have picked up dry cleaning for her, if asked.
She rewarded me with sticks of gum and kisses on the cheek. I'm so cheap. All this slavery reminded me of how I started out at my job as a fresh, young analyst on the sales desk straight out of undergrad. I knew going in that it would be rough and that I would start low on the totem pole and need to first get my priorities straight (read this as "perfecting the art of taking down breakfast and lunch orders first before even thinking about talking to real clients").
There were definitely some old school salesmen on the desk who smelled fresh meat and made it their life's goal to make things hellish and beat the pride and entitlement out of all the analysts who showed up.
Despite the near soiling of pants as a result of prank calls of customer orders gone bad, or the phone books that were covertly put in our bags, the push-up battles, and the forced eating contests, we analysts started to get our wings and backbones and become useful.
There was, however, one salesperson who continued to rag on me. One day it was too much and I took the guy aside and told him that 'it was not in his best interest to make me feel like crap and that this would be the end of the hazing.' (I actually said that! Go me!)
He then apologized and confessed about how he got hazed so fiercely when he started out that he frequently shed some man tears out at home and also said that he was actually much fatter and balder than he is now. (HA!) It was very therapeutic.
Anyways, that day was a victory and I'm not saying that I stepped up and threw it down against my Babyboo in the same way but she knew that I would not be oppressed (at least not more so than I was).
She is a smart one and knew the currency that would keep Free Phil motivated: she bought me an awesome lunch (Chipotle) which, I, of course went out and fetched (for the both of us; I fly, she buys) and told me to keep the change net after I picked up her presentations at Kinkos. I think that was a victory for me.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Usually, I would not take from the AMC Theater but the opportunity in front of us brought about nostalgic fumes that intoxicated us to dance in the sins of our youth. So, we meatheads decided to Lambada with the devil and sneak into the movie (the last time I tried to sneak into a movie, I blindly scurried into the next theater and it ended up being 'The Princess Diaries' so I should have learned my lesson).
Star Trek was a great movie (amazing!) but I understand why sneaking into a movie is a bad idea and punishment in itself. After having already sat through 2+ hours of intense action scenes that made my eyes bleed, doing another round of it was traumatizing both emotionally and physically.
Mainly, I am talking about my posterior; sitting on one's rear for that long creates a numbing sensation to the cheeks (i.e. 'the money maker') that have not felt so deflated since getting goosed by Babyboo's family when I first met them and all her grandma's took their liberties with me.
And to add to the karmic punishment, it turns out that sitting still in sedentary sin does not help the body stay fresh. It was the perfect storm of my body being its usual fire-burning furnace mixed with super tight fitting jeans and the theater being more humid than usual that created moral badness.
Whether it was me creating my own gravy in my sweat pores or because the Amazon rain forest that usually starts to steam in my caboose region became even swampier and soggier because of the overactive stimuli that raised my heart beat and wrecked my nerves, it was not fun for me or anyone sitting near me. Sorry for the overshare, please forgive me movie gods!
Also, here is a p.s. confession:
As this was Mother's Day weekend (Happy Mother's Day to everyone out there), I was a little tardy in sending out a Mother's Day Card to MamaBoo in Chicago, so I whipped up some creative magic and express mailed her a card to get there in time, I wrote this (who would not be touched by this?):
You are one of my favorite parents. I celebrate you today and thank you for taking me in after finding me under the bridge that one fateful night. What matters is now, I love how we don't have to say out loud that I am your favorite golden child. You are the best and I love you.
All these funnies go unnoticed by my mother but the $17.50 express mailed postage that I paid did not :(
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I had one of those bad, hazy rude awakenings this morning; I realized that I passed out on the couch and fell asleep with the lights on and with parts of my suit on from the night before (this actually sounds familiar, I've done this before). Babyboo did not even know when I had gotten in.
I want to believe that I looked like a rock star waking up after a night of ridiculous partying and crazy adventures but I think the scene looked more like the nesting grounds of vagrant or a wino (which is not that far from reality).
I had partaken in some good parties/dinners in the last couple of days; back to back, in fact, and involving early flights back and imbibed with vino (my situation could also have been exacerbated by the fact that I went out after those dinners as well) but it took it's toll yesterday night when I got home and my body shut down.
The guilty confession of this all is that I don't know if I have brushed my teeth in the last couple of days. Sorry to say. The night before, I forgot my toothbrush and toothpaste, so I took the mouth wash in the hotel and gargled, flossed with loose thread, and then chewed some orbits gum. That's pretty good right?
I know that I could have easily gone to a store to get some but that would be too easy and as for yesterday, it's all a blur and I know the puddle of drool this morning would not have been as epic as it was. I have to go to work again; why change? One side of my suit still looks pressed, so I'll go with it. Can someone in the world brush their teeth a couple of times on my behalf to cancel the deficit that I have built?
Monday, May 4, 2009
So, Babyboo and I along with a posse of friends went to an Asian fusion place in the East Village called Momofuku Ssam Bar known for its pig orgy. What we gorged on was a large, slow-cooked, fall off the bone, Berkshire pig rump (I like pork butts and I cannot lie) that one had to pre-order and was meant for 8-10 people (we were 5). Think of Chipotle meets a Korean Porky Pig in a delicious lettuce wrapped burrito with all the fixins'.
Before eating, I whispered sweet nothings to the meat, while lovingly prodding and coddling it and confessing that I cannot stay mad at it regarding the Swine Flu. ('I know you didn't mean it baby') It was real uncomfortable at the table. And dare I say that as we were enjoying these morsels, greasy faces and all, we squealed like little piglets rolling in our own mess. It was great. Afterwards, not to be undone, when others would have probably rolled back home or should have stopped the intake of calories, we went next door to Momofuku Bakery for the knockout punch.
I had a piece of what they call 'Crack Pie', which is a pie made of pure butter, cream, three types of sugar and probably some sprinkles of crack. My teeth nearly fell off and my eyes rolled to the back of my head leaving only the whites of my eyes for about five minutes. I felt that I should have been heating the sugary pulp on a spoon and then injecting it through my vains, it was so potent.
But my favorite item was this incredible cookie: the compost cookie. Eating this seemed so sinful that I felt like I was cheating on my wife; the cookie is a symphony of flavors as is the nature of great compost: chocolate and butterscotch chips, potato chips, pretzels and coffee grounds dancing together to give me a sugar coma and mini epileptic seizures.
And if we were not already drunk on the food or the sugar, we went back to our place to make sure we were drunk in a more traditional sense. Wines, beers were swirling from the start but then, after finding out that we did not win the Mega Millions Lotto, shots of Yukon Jack whiskey (100 proof) were unleashed. Yukon Jack is a potent bottle of heat that instead of encouraging the growth of hair on one's chest, actually singes eyebrows off. It was a rough night but I am pretty sure that any traces of swine germs were immediately disinfected and/or flushed inside out as a result. Oink Oink!
Friday, May 1, 2009
At work, I was trying to create my own Korea town here on the floor, uniting all the yellow faces to build some cultural lovin'. We actually had our group dinner on Monday (no, dog was not served for it was a Monday!).
Again, we are not trying to be exclusionary here but maybe it turned that way when I was walking out with my non-Asian co-worker and walked into the elevator full of my countrymen. I can neither confirm nor deny that I may have turned to this friend and got in his face a little and chanted, "Whatsup now? You are in K-town homeboy!" ...maybe that was not very loving or sensitive.
And then of course there was the swine flu...ahh sweet bacon's revenge: The timing of swine flu (apparently re-named "H1N1 flu," which is likely to be widely accepted as much as Prince's symbol moniker was) is unfortunate as Memphis in May (a BBQ event that I am going to) is upon us in a couple of weeks.
What is even more unfortunate is that the event that I am going to will be hosted by a BBQ team named 'Killer Hogs'. Please, please come to this event I have pleaded with my customers.
We will hand out SARS masks with pig snouts on them and an oversized CostCo tube of Purell that one can clutch for dear life.
Otherwise, one can disinfect the swine germs internally via some Jungle Juice made with 190 proof Everclear.
Meanwhile, my co-worker next to me got Lasik this week and when he came in and saw me, I can't help but think he was taken aback to see that I am much prettier than he could have ever imagined.
Have a good weekend!