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I came home from my weekend ritual of sacrifice, as I do every Sunday morning. On the alter I place bagels, cream cheese, bacon, lox, and coffee, in a bid to appease my stomach god (and to help bring in a good summer harvest, hahah). Sometimes I’ll leave a copy of the weeks Economist for his amusement, because even stomach gods like to know whats going on in the world. As I sat in the worlds most uncomfortable recliner and watched the baseball highlights from the night before(the Twins won again to keep pace in the central, Go Twinkies!!!), I could tell my sacrifice pleased my stomach god. He was lulled back into slumber, his monstrous roars stifled and replaced by the low gurgle of bile churning. Then came the noise.

Circular saws screaming, hammers pounding, air compressors……….umm…….compressing(if you have ever heard one you know what I’m talking about, its a rather annoying sound). From my perch atop said uncomfortable recliner I could see my father finishing up the structural part of the addition he is putting on the house. Toiling away in the warm summer sun my father, brother, and uncle work on this addition together and I am the outsider.

Never one to shy away from the swinging of a hammer, it must be said that I also do not seek out such actions. My little brother always had a knack much like my father, for building things and getting their hands dirty. Not that I myself am a Nancy, I was just never interested. Music, books, fashion, technology, all peaked my interest. These things always kept me at an arms length from my father and my brother. Our interests just could not have been more different. That is not to say that neither party tried to garner interest in the others likings but there comes a point when you just throw your hands up and concede defeat. Many a summer was spent learning to hammer, cut, measure, and construct, but try as I might I was never as good as my little brother who was obviously cut from the same genetic mold as my father. Well duh you might say. You’re adopted, of course your going to be different. But I wanted so much to be like them.

So now that the football season is over, my weekends seem somewhat aimless. So amidst the dross that is football-less weekends and after I saw my Twins highlight I decided I would step out and see how the addition was coming. My father stepped back, to observe his achievement, proud of his work. And we talked for a bit.

“So your mom tells me you feel left out, because your different, because of where we live. Is that why you are going to Hawaii?”

Left out? What the fuck does that mean. Where did she come up with left out? So I asked him what he meant by left out.

“Because your different. Because you want to be near more Asians.”

Well I’m glad we got that out of the way. I am so pleased we have come to the conclusion that I am so clearly different than 99% of the community in which we live. Let’s go ahead and rejoice because I just don’t fit in. And because I am running back to my “People”. Yeah thats it.

Actually it is kind of it isn’t it. But the lack of discovery in his tone makes me feel this way. It’s not the inherent truths in the aesthetic or the fact that the time is just plain right for me to go out on my own that makes my blood start to boil just a bit. It is the fact that I can stare you in the face and explain to you exactly what it is that makes me want to leave this place and you still wont get it. It’s the fact that the things I hold dear and the answers I seek no longer fit the mold that you have cast over me. And yes part of it is that I can stare at you and see little of me, not only physically (well nothing physically really) but our eyes gaze upon this world in different shades of light. That is out most discernible difference.

If I were cut from your biological cloth this would most likely not be an issue. We wouldn’t have conversations about me being different, or feeling “left out”. Even if I wore all black, had piercings all over my face, and had one of those stupid emo haircuts, we wouldn’t have talks like this. But I am not from you. You bought me knowing what I was and what I would be. I suppose I’ll always be “left out” and “different” no matter how good I become at putting nails into wood or finding the correct angle to cut at.

The final nail was pounded flush into the wood connecting the joists. My construction career is over for now. So I guess all there is left to is piss off back to my “people”. Maybe then I wont be so “left out”.

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Well my applications are all in. I have applied to University of Hawaii and University of Washington. I am praying that I get accepted as this would be the easiest way out of here. So pray with me and if you know anyone at either institution put in a  good word for me will ya. I guess all I have to do now is wait.

Heres to furthering my education.

There is a clumsy spastic dance that takes place in my head when I think of the two mothers. Conflicting they are in their steps like an American dancing with a European to a mash up mix of Wassoulou and Hip-hop in a disco in Bangkok. This schism that takes place when I think of the two; one known from many years of proximity, the other only known by a name and what I piece together in the mirror. This dance of theirs so erratic, so alien to each other pull and contorts me in every direction. Loyalty fights questions of identity. Familiarity battles a yearning for a home. Love quarrels with hate. This is my mothers day weekend.

For many the weekend focuses around the mad scramble to get mom that gift that will symbolize your appreciation for the many years of service she put into raising you. Not to mention the birthing of you which is a celebrated feet in and of itself. Brunchs are scheduled, gifts are exchanged, and in Rochester everybody and the mother(literally) go to Highland Park for the Lilac Festival. This weekend symbolizes the start of summer or maybe spring……..I don’t really know which but I guess it really doesn’t matter.

As I wriggled my way through the throngs of over weight people, past all the food vendors and beer peddlers, to where the “real” focus of this event the lilacs were I couldn’t help but notice the beat. The rhythm of that song, the absurdity of the dancers grew increasingly faster and more static. A wild gyration of past, present, and future seemed to meld the two ideals together. Children that looked like their mothers walked side by side, admiring the sweet smell of the season. They laughed together, they exchanged stories, and they just existed together without the complication of who belongs to who. I couldn’t help but be drawn into the fray within me, wondering which dancer would should take the lead.

By the end of the day as I walked back to my car it had grown clear that neither one had stepped up to the forefront. And it became increasingly clear to me that there might always be this duplicity that exists between the mothers. I may never have a decisive absolute in the matter, nor may I ever find the peace between the two ideals. Am I inclined to pick a side or shall it always be that these two dancers go about their existence within me, co mingling their conflicting styles. It is my single hope that maybe in the future, that their dance evolves into something more graceful. I think a waltz.  Yes a waltz would be nice.

Wow, well the day came and went and I was no where to be seen. I was anxiously awaiting my visit count to reach 1,000 and it seems that it did sometime over the weekend. I must say that this weekend was technology free, and so it should have been given the great weather and all (yay for the festivals, a post to follow).

Well I wanted to thank all of the people that visit, read, and comment on this site. I know 1,000 people is not a lot, but it feels kind of good to know that some people are interested in what I have to say.

So thank you again, all of you. And for those who I have had the privilege of exchanging intimate conversations with thank you especially. Here is to many many more posts.

Cheers!!!

Mom had asked me what I wanted for dinner and as usual I was neither hungry, nor could I provide any sort of good suggestion as to what we should be having. As I sat there, at the kitchen counter tearing up yet another credit card offer, trying to slip into my end of day mental coma, mom had suggested I help her make noodles. A dish that she commonly refers to as “my” “skillet meal”. Now although no skillet is involved in the process of making this particular dish, and I know she knows the difference between a wok and a skillet, I try not to begrudge her naming scheme. What I make really has no name and if it does I am sure she couldn’t pronounce it nor would she remember it. So I just agree and get to prepping my “skillet meal” for the family. Its a simple dish really. Wide rice noodles, egg, green onion, garlic, some sort of protein, etc, etc. Like I said its simple, it’s tasty, and its fast.

Well I made dinner, I plated it up for the folks, and we all congregated around the TV to eat and watch the news. My day usually consists of long periods of boredom interrupted by spikes of craziness, but in those long periods I read a lot of news, so at the end of the day watching a bunch of talking heads could not interest me less. But I was content to sit quietly eating my noodle concoction and slip further and further into the quiet part of my head.

On the news was of course the after math of the Burmese cyclones and the ensuing discussions as to aid and the Junta. This all led to a very interesting conversation. Now I don’t know if the remember me telling them of my little jaunt to Burma two years ago and to be rather honest I am not sure if I had told them much at all of my trip to SE Asia. I am pretty sure they didn’t ask to many questions upon my return as they are pretty much disinterested in things that have to do with Asian culture in general. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before but my parents idea of an interesting vacation and cultural experience is a trip though Thunder Bay (a place my father saw in a National Geographic many years a go and always yearned to go) in northern Michigan. I mean honestly Thunder freakin’ Bay. Most people remark about pictures of Bora Bora, The Amazon, or Sri Lanka, not my father. A man who has lived his entire life in the same city I have found is more than content to reach only as high as Thunder Bay when it comes to his traveling aspirations.

My parents both sat in awe of the shambolic way in which the events on the TV were playing out. Then my mother remarked, “Aren’t you glad you don’t have to live like that.”

Jolted back from my mental hibernation I gave a coy reply to the tune of, “Yeah it’s a beautiful country.” I continued on about my visit there was pleasant and how it really changed my life. My parents I must say were rather taken a back by my remarks. My father went on about how my going there was very dangerous given my US passport, how I shouldn’t have gone, how it was irresponsible.

I had finished my noodles and washed up. I sat back down and opened up this weeks Economist magazine, hoping to find something interesting, but my father insisted on beating the memory of me going to Burma to a bloody pulp. What did I do there? Was it dangerous? Why did I go? What was it that changed your life? All questions thrown at me in rapid succession. To which I just replied……………I could have been living like that, given the state of life around here I might have rather preferred it. I suppose that was the wrong this to say, because both of my parents went into rants about I should be more greatful. Greatful right, I am sure to be greatful for this extravagant life of confusion and despair. I know I am not Burmese and that I have no connection to Burma and the catastrophe, but I think you get my point. I could effectively be living in Korea, probably in rather squalor conditions, compared to the life in which I am afforded her in the States. Who knows what my life would be like over there, but the state of mine here isn’t really all that great. I mean I have lots of material rubbish, but what’s it really worth. I’ll tell you exactly, it’s not worth a hell of a lot when the soul is rotting.

Thats right maybe I will just ship off somewhere in Asia, to a wonderfully dreamy life in the sky. Where the rivers are bountiful, the drinks are cold, and the women are beautiful. Maybe I will………A man can dream……..can’t he?