Random Thoughts, Follow Ups, Celebrities Are People Too!

Summer is ending soon. That’s how I mark my years. January 1st, you’re still stuck in the middle of winter. Even though I moved to New York in early January of this year, it seems that fall is the new beginning. Maybe it’s the start of school, football season, or my upcoming birthday, fall is always the time of renewal for me. Say goodbye to lazy days hanging out with the friends, camping trips, wakeboarding on the river. Oh wait I haven’t done any of that lately. I guess it’s just ingrained in my psyche. I’ve been out of high school since before anybody knew what an internet was and yet it seems I almost annually have a back to school dream. Usually it involves something ridiculous like being there with the football team and my old coach is asking, “Haven’t you used up your eligibility by now?”

Maybe I’m just revealing my unwillingness to grow up, and grow old.

August has actually been a fairly pleasant month, considering how hot it was at the beginning of summer. Everyone was saying how it was going to get up to 130, and I’m thinking “130, is that for real or are you just pulling a number out of your ass?”

Instead, August has ranged in the 80s, which is fine, considering the humidity still adds to the discomfort factor, and as I complained a few posts back, there are lots of thunderstorms after the humidity builds to intolerable levels and then one nice clear day and it starts building again.

Speaking of complaining, I just want to say one more thing about NBC. I kind of got bored with the Olympics by the end. By NBC’s coverage I mean. It just seemed too difficult to find when something I wanted to watch was being broadcast, tape delayed or not. It was more something I just read about. It seemed they did very little to hype Ashton Eaton, winner of the decathlon and University of Oregon Duck. I missed Usain Bolt winning the 200, and running the 4×100 in which the Americans took second with what was the former world record.

Remember when you just thought Jamaicans smoked ganja and made groovy reggae tunes?

I would love to see Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, and Asafa Powell grow some dreads and burn everyone on the track. Twice.

When it came time to show the closing ceremonies, NBC cut away before the end to premiere their new stupid tv show and once again earned ridicule on Twitter at #NBCFail.

What kind of moronic douchebag do you have to be to run a tv network? I’m sure I’m qualified. Underqualified?

Haven’t they ever heard of the Heidi Game? Have you?

The Heidi game is only the greatest moment in live tv coverage eff ups that happened before I was born and changed the way live sports were shown. During a period of bitter rivalry between the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets, the tv network showing the game, a certain NATIONAL BROADCASTING CORPORATION, had plans to air the movie Heidi. In the days before cable tv and VCRs, people had limited options. Showing Heidi was a big deal for families, and Timex, they used to make watches, had bought ALL the commercials for the airing of Heidi.

The executives said that Heidi must air on time, and of course the football game ran long and involved multiple lead changes, so just as things were getting good, legions of Jets fans and degenerate gamblers had their gridiron contest invaded by a little girl in pigtails. Everyone began frantically calling the tv stations and tying up phone lines, the ending was not seen on the East coast, and NBC looked the fool.

After that, tv shows and movies were preempted by sporting events, unless they only happened to be closing Olympics ceremonies.

I promise to not mention NBC until 2016. Unless I hear from their lawyers, or they offer me a job.

I’m still doing the Times Square sushi thing. It pays the bills and can be entertaining. For instance, I took it for granted that people know how to eat with chopsticks. Maybe my friends are more sophisticated or I have a bad memory or they’re just Asian and that’s what they know, but I thought most Americans had been exposed to Chinese food as well as Japanese, especially sushi, considering how many sushi restaurants are around New York.

Of course there was a time when I was a young kid of about six and my parents took me to San Francisco to visit the Lu’s. Now the Lu’s were friends of my grandmother and they emigrated to the USA around the same time, although my grandmother moved with my dad and his sister to Los Angeles.

So years later my dad is married, with a not Chinese wife and a half Chinese kid who has never used chopsticks before visiting the Lu’s and their whole extended Chinese San Francisco family and we’re having bowls of noodles and this inept kid, me, is trying to figure out how to make the chopsticks work, and even knowing it’s wrong, trying a two handed technique just so that I can eat.

So last night a group of hedge fund guys was in drinking at the bar and one of them was a little wasted and ordered some sushi. He was the quiet one of the group, possibly because of his state. I saw him warming up with his chopsticks before the sushi arrived and it was really entertaining. He was trying to get the ends to meet and was having a lot of difficulty, but his persistence kept him fed when the food arrived. I felt like giving him a noogie and saying “Way to go sport.”

At least its better than having to ask for a fork, or trainer chopsticks. After my San Francisco experience, I vowed never to be humiliated or go hungry again and I made myself learn. Years later as an English teacher in Korea, there were nights when groups of us would get kicked out of the bars at 2am and go to the Pojungmacha, or Soju tents, which were basically bright orange tarps hung by the river, with an older Korean woman cooking food and serving beer and soju. It was a great place to keep the party going. Part of the fun was eating communal squid stir fry and if you weren’t good with those slippery Korean metal chopsticks, you would starve. We would deliberately steal food from the other’s chopsticks as either a drunken challenge or a way to flirt. And if you couldn’t keep up, you definitely weren’t in the gang.

So if you’re one of those people who fear that the Chinese are going to take over the world you had better learn to eat with chopsticks.

Cindy Lauper can eat with chopsticks. She was eating at the restaurant just the other day. Isn’t it amazing! Cindy Lauper eats sushi. I know, I couldn’t believe it either. Actually I didn’t even recognize her. My first thought was, “Who’s the crazy lady with the giant glasses? She’s so unusual.” Then somebody in the kitchen mentioned it and I went back and looked at her and thought, ‘Cindy Lauper, huh, how old is she? How old am I?’ And then I heard that voice. Yes, that was definitely Cindy Lauper, and she’s definitely from New York.

But I didn’t bother her, because what’s the point? Celebrities are people too and they eat, sleep, and breathe just like us nobodys. Cindy, thanks for being my first celebrity I’ve sighted in New York.


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