Saturday, August 14, 2010

An open letter to my dearest-est sister Bridget Christina aka Bridget the Midget aka Apple Boobs aka [in dad’s voice] Brigeeeeeettte!!! aka “that girl

Dear Bridget,

Do you remember when we were kids and you permanently chipped my tooth by horse-kicking me in the jaw? We were in the midst of one of our epic fights, this time fighting for the last slice of pizza. Till this day, dentists never fail to ask me about it during checkups, after which I always have to explain that I got it from fighting with my sister. The dentist then quickly responds “So I take it she won?” Ha friggin ha Dr. Stone. Whereas a more immature brother might be vengeful for this eternal source of humiliation, I cannot. For me it’s a humble reminder of the torment that my siblings and I made you endure. I used to start fights with you everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. Remember that time Barbs poured soy sauce down your winter gloves? Or when we hid the teddy bear Phi gave you and you broke down searching for it? We put you through hell and yet you’re still the most affectionate, the most happy go lucky, and perhaps the most loving of us all. Though sometimes you’ve had to horse-kick your way out of bad situations, you still persevere in giving yourself to the people you love. Keyword: Perseverance.

Do you remember at the rehearsal dinner when barbs joked that you dress poorly? It’s true, Beej, you dress really poorly. Seriously, you dress a shade worse than Hilda, the bag lady at the 116th street subway station. Even she knows that gaucho pants are out of style. You have about as much fashion sense as a chimpanzee on rollerskates. I’m actually surprised you haven’t put on a hoodie over your wedding dress yet. But where some may see this as a deficiency, I see this as a testament to your true character. You really could care less about fashion because you know these material things are inconsequential in the grand scheme of life. Where others may focus on status and fitting in, you’ve focused your life on disseminating care and love to the people around you. You’ve always been the mother hen to your motley crue of misunderstood friends and family. And in that department, the chimpanzee’s got nothing on you. Keywords: Love and Care.

Do you remember, as a teenager, when you poured motor oil in the tank meant for windshield wiper fluid? Dad was piiiissssssed!!! Some might consider this an example of your carelessness. Some might cite other examples to further support such an argument. They might say things like , hey Bridget your room is so messy that even rats refuse to live there. They might go on to describe how you spend more time on the toilet than the average person spends sleeping. But hey, it’s not because you’re careless, nor is it because you have chronic diarrhea. It’s because you’re a dreamer, an unrelenting romantic, who’s oblivious to the mundane and trivial details of everyday life and would rather spend her time daydreaming or in the bathroom with a good book. Keyword: Romantic.

Do you remember when we were 4 and 6 years old and we used to hide under our parent’s bedsheets and pretend that we were trapped inside an egg?? Yeah, that shit was weird. Till this day I have no idea what that was about. Were we sniffing Elmer’s glue? Anyway, this anecdote has no relevance to your wedding but I just felt like sharing it. Keyword: Random.

Do you remember how I first learned of your relationship with Phi? You were 19, away at Vanderbilt, and you called home and told me you needed to ask mom and dad for permission to fly to Texas. “Texas?” I asked. You told me you’d met a boy the weekend before and you had to go visit him ASAP to see if you could make it work. After laughing for about 5 minutes, I told you not to ask the parents, but that you should just go. Yet you insisted that you speak to them and obtain their permission. Not only did this situation illustrate your filial piety as a dutiful daughter, but it also exemplified how even 10 years ago, you knew that there was something special about your relationship with this guy named Phi, that all your romantic dreams were not merely dreams, but a real goal that you needed to strive for, take bold steps for. And you continued to take those bold steps, persevering through the distance that kept you two physically separated for years. You put your heart and soul into this relationship as you literally moved across the country, from NJ to LA, from LA to Dallas, so you two could finally be together.

Do you remember when Phi called me up to ask for my blessing before proposing to you? Umm yeah, you probably don’t remember that. After avoiding his first five attempts to call and ask me (as I knew it would be an awkward turtle situation), he got me on the phone and told me he wanted to marry you. I asked, “are you sure?” And without any hesitation whatsoever he said “Brian, I’m 100% sure. She’s the one for me.” As a good brother I had to press him a little more and give him a hard time so I questioned him again: “She’s made huge sacrifices for you. Will you sacrifice for her?”

“Absolutely,” Phi said. “I’ll do whatever she asks, anything to make her happy.”

He passed the test. I’ve been brotherless for the last 26 years. I think of myself as a one man wolfpack. But then Phi came into my life, and my wolfpack grew by one. Now there’s two of us in the wolfpack...I digress...

A recent scientific study shows that having a sister leads to a life with less depression and more pro-social behaviors and generosity. That being said, having a sister like you, one that has showed me what it means to persevere and give love unconditionally in pursuit of our highest ideals, is worth even more. I could never fully compensate you for vastly improving my life. It is for this reason that I am eternally grateful to Phi and forever in his debt. He makes you the happiest you've ever been, makes your dreams reality, and that’s all I could possibly want for you, my dear sister. You’ve earned it.

Happy Wedding and Merry Marriage! May you two continue to grow together like a pair of intertwining trees, weathering every storm as you reach for the sky.

your favorite brother Brian

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Grocery Robots! I wonder what the Costco version is like...

That is one spectacular robot. It's very quick and responsive, seemingly agile, and quite obedient. [We don't need a robot uprising now do we? See Terminators 1-3 or Rosie from the Jetsons when she's angry for reference] Not to mention it's built to resemble a sweet, elderly Asian woman complete with earth tone apparel and the scent of roasted cinnamon. [I think it's the domestic worker model] What could be more endearing? Plus the robot seems to be extremely knowledgeable about grocery items, particularly fresh produce, and handles them with such dexterity. Opposable thumbs, what a great invention! This machine is a fantastic shopping assistant. It fetches items at a moment's notice. It really serves a purpose especially when it's handler is a useless, short dude that can only hold the basket and moves as fast as a pothead. He looks like the product of a one-night-stand between Gonzo the Muppet and a Hoover vacuum. If only we could replace these losers with awesome robots like Mrs. Tanaka here...Even Screech's robot Kevin would be a vast improvement. He can at least make science FUNdamental and does the occasional magic trick.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear Brazen Woman on the Train Clipping Her Fingernails,

I am a rebellious sort and truly cherish the resistance of social norms imposed on our society by hegemons and oligarchs and pikachus. I really do. But that said, there is at least one convention that we ought not defy and as a society continue to uphold: the trimming of nails should take place only in the privacy of one's home or a private business that caters to nail maintenance; otherwise, don't do that shit in public.

I realize that people eat on the train, study on the train, sleep on the train, and all sorts of things they might not otherwise have enough time for. But clipping your nails? Really? You can put an eye out with one of those buggers. Fingernails and toenails alike are notorious projectile weapons. They fling wildly through the air looking for any target to assail. So many glass eyes at a nail salon. You're like a suicide bomber cutting your nails in the middle of a crowded train like that. Any one of us could get hit by the schrapnel. One of your loose finger casings could have easily landed in a cup of coffee, a baby's mouth, or on MY iPHONE! This is not a ticker-tape parade; no one asked for your nail confetti.

Though the smell may confuse you, the train is neither your bathroom or a garbage can, so don't treat it as if it were. Your leftover DNA is not welcome here. You can't simply wipe off all the remaining clippings from your lap and get off at your stop and pretend like that's acceptable behavior. How would you like it if I left pubes all over the seat in your car? Yes, I think that's an appropriate analogy, and the answer is no, no you would not like it. My pubes are filthy.

And just because it's small and compact doesn't mean you should carry around your nail clipper with you for purposes of using it on the go. You use cell phones on the go, eat gogurt on the go, or play PSP on the go. But I have never once been to CVS and seen advertised on the nail clipper packaging "Mobile self-grooming device inside! Cut your nails anywhere and everywhere!"

So I urge you to leave the clipper at home. Your nails can be half a centimeter longer for the next 3 train stops. Really, it'll be okay. But if you continue with this brazen behavior, please note that from now on, I will be collecting all my finger and toenail clippings in an empty mayo jar so that in case we do cross paths again and I catch you in the middle of another infraction, I'll have a jar full of clippings with which to nail you.

Sincerely yours,
Boogie Brown

Friday, December 11, 2009

An Exercise in GREATitude

So my self-help podcast guy has been teaching me to practice greatitude. [Shakespearean aside: Isn't it ironic that you have to go to someone else for self-help?] You may be wondering what greatitude is. You may also be wondering why you're still reading this. I can only answer the first. Greatitude is an attitude of self-appreciation for being was invented by Tony the Tiger. Obviously, his positive mental attitude took him places. Maybe I should be a cartoon mascot. Boogie the Brown. I would be an anthropomorphasized color swatch from Home Depot with sparkly eyes and big goofy hands in white gloves. Have you ever noticed that Mickey has really swollen hands? Get that mouse a Benadryl and a straw.

I digress. [Aside #2: Why do we say "I digress?" Why assert what we are doing exactly at that moment? That's like saying, "I am moving my mouth in concert with my vocal cords and brain to formulate words." "I am breathing air." "I am blinking while trying not to stare at your cleavage."] I am continuing my initial train of thought now. In practicing greatitude, one meditates statements that declare one's own greatness. Knowing how humble and modest I am (my friends call me Father Theresa), this was obviously a challenge for me. So I've started a carefully planned regimen to follow. Every 11 past the hour, I pull from my Bag of Greatitude (a velvet drawstring purse with scrap of paper fastened to it that says "Greatitude") a single slip of paper from the bushel within and read aloud from it. Each paper contains a statement of Greatitude. Some examples:

I am a unique snowflake landing atop the tongue of life.

I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.

I am a butterfuly emerging from its cocoon.

I am the wind beneath my wings.

I am the extra cherry on an ice cream sundae.

I am the clean pair of underwear you find at the back of your drawer that enables you to hold off on doing laundry for one more day.

I am the two by four hoisted into the air by Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

I am the maple syrup that makes pancakes delicious.

I am the flame that illuminates a birthday cake.

I am an endangered animal but in a positive way.

I am the gloss on a woman's lips.

I am an oasis of awe-asis.

And so on and so forth. You get the idea. I really think this exercise of greatitude holds much promise. I think it would work wonders for me. But unfortunatley, everytime I draw a slip of greatitude from the Bag of Greatitude and hold it up to my face, I am only filled with anguish and frustration at the awful reminder that I can't read.

I am a perfect example of illiteracy.

[Aside #3: This The Get Down entry is brought to you by Dragon NaturallySpeaking dictation software from Nuance.]

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

An Exercise in Gratitude

Many thanks to the elastic waistband on my underpants that prevents me from dropping trou when I least mean to, for example, when it's really cold outside.

Muchas gracias for paper toilet seat covers that make public restrooms comfortable enough for me to patronize with my leftovers. And thanks for being septic-tank-safe so that they go down easy when flushed and a volcanic eruption of my own excrement is avoided.

Danke for the plastic casing that wraps the ends of my shoe laces so that they don't resemble untangled candle wicks. How embarrassing 'twould be were someone to mistake them as such and light them on fire.

Domo arigato to real-life robots that seem to always make everything eleven times better whether it's robot soccer or robot culinary arts or robots dancing the human.

Merci to the little pieces of dirt that find their way underneath my fingernails and provide endless amounts of satisfaction when I scrape them out from under there.

Salamat to human eyeballs' inability to process images viewed in the dark and saving me from experiencing too much sight when walking in on my parents...

A Hallmark greeting card with a big "Thank You" emblazoned in a pink heart goes out to that spot on my back that I can't scratch, without which we would never have long wooden sticks with a replica hand fixed on its end. Those things are creepy AND practical.

Thank ye to British accents which are easy to imitate, hardly offend anyone, and used to make every inane thought of mine sound deeply sophisticated. "If H2O is composed of oxygen, does that mean I can breathe underwater??" never came off smarter.

Good lookin' out to pinky toes so that when your bookie comes calling, you have something to sacrifice without really losing much at all.

Much appreciation to the interweb for allowing me to broadcast my essential musings to the world, but mostly to my friends. Otherwise I would still be handwriting these things crayons and toilet paper and hand-delivering them to everyone's doorstep via my 2-speed Huffy.

Sincerest thanks to my 2-speed Huffy for giving drunkards something to pee on at 3 in the morning.

My deepest gratitude to you chin hairs for being there to stroke. My boss really loves stroking my goatee when she has a great idea.

And finally thank you to you, self-help podcast guy who, while I was benching 12 pounds at the gym, told me to thank every possible thing in the world from the gum on my shoe to the glint of a piece of plastic covering a half-eaten pie on the kitchen counter-top of the UNIVERSE. I'm truly grateful you had me busy thanking the pimple in my butt crevasse so I could avoid thinking about the harsh pain the 6th rep of my first set was bringing on. Thank you.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Oh Aziz...we should hang out sometime...maybe go up to Vermont for a long weekend...have an ice cream together...

Note to self: Hire DJ to follow you around and play sirens every time you enter a room and "Buh-buh-buh-boooogie Broooooown!!!" every time you make a joke. Hilarity + 5; Awesomeness +15. Going to parties all by your lonesome -23. Yuh-yeahhh!

RAAAAAAAANDY does Impressions


RAAAAAAAANDY on Craigslist

Note to self: Doing a little jig while singing the last word of every sentence = GOLD. Me at next month's staff meeting: "I got me's an IDEEAAAAAAA. Let's sell mushrooms to MINOORRRRRRSSSSS. We'll make lots of MONEEYYYYYYSSSS." Yuh-yeahhh!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Freezing Morning

This morning I strolled down to the street corner to greet my Breakfast Guy Juan and his wife who I only know as "ella." And yes, I do view everyone in my daily life as some form of superhero or another. There's Breakfast Guy, Door-Man, The Dry Cleaner, Urinator, Waistbandless Woman, The Pan-Handler, and my favorite Puppet Master. Unlike Puppet Master in the comic books who controls the minds of unsuspecting civilians, Puppet Master dances with marionette puppets in the middle of a crowded Times Square subway station, impeding thousands from getting to work on time and bringing little to no joy to the world. He also smells like pee.

So as I ordered my usual Morning Aneurysm (Mexican chorizo, eggs, cheese, and mayo on a roll) from Breakfast Guy, a tall jovial man sidled up to the food cart flashing a wide smile that felt more eerie than warm. He was dressed in a long black leather trench coat and sported a booted cast on his right foot, most likely the unfortunate result from frivolous merriment and frollicking. He greeted Juan through his perma-smile in a native Spanish peppered with guffaws. Surprisingly, Spanish guffaws sound exactly like English guffaws unlike a Spanish dog bark which goes "guau guau" instead of "woof woof." The man continued to smile and laugh as he ordered breakfast. Juan responded with the universal smile-and-nod often reserved for speakers of a language you don't understand and/or psychopaths. I'll let you decide which was the case here.

As Breakfast Guy prepared the order, the man in the black coat proceeded to joke around nonsensically and belted out a hearty laugh from his diafragem. But then, the most unexpected thing happened. In mid-laugh, he completely froze. His head tilted backward, his mouth open to the heavens, his back arched, and his two hands resting on his protruding belly, all locked in position, motionless, stationary, petrified. Sound no longer emanated from his mouth as his laugh had long since died out. He simply stood there in that mid-laugh pose.

"What the hell is going on??" my internal monologue said. Did Zack Morris call a timeout? Did Evie from Out of This World touch her two index fingers together?? (Have you ever tried doing that action yourself? It's not so easy lining up your two index fingers. Ever trying doing that with another person? I call it a "High One" or an "Alien Kiss," depending on the situation.) Was this the end of a TGIF sitcom when everyone laughs and freeze frames? Was he waiting for the producer to roll credits? Will someone please tell him that this is not a flash mob standing still in Grand Central and that one guy playing statue in front of a food cart is not as cool?

And just like that his watch started again and he continued to move as if nothing had happened. He got his breakfast and laughed while he walked away. And so goes the origin of a new super-person in my life: Mr. Freeze. I hope we cross paths again soon. I hope to one day learn the ways of the freeze frame laugh and apply it in inappropriate situations like staff meetings and Brisses. Juan then handed me my Aneurysm and I walked in the opposite direction, doing the robot all the way to the office. You can call me Mr. Roboto. Binary solo: 0000001 00000011 000000111 0000001111...