Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Awareness and Solidarity

The topic of gay marriage came to the Supreme Court the other day and I was greeted by a bombardment of images of pink equals signs on red backgrounds. It's a valid gripe, no group (moral authoritarian heterosexuals) has the right to bully on the minority (homosexuals who wish to get married) to force a specific definition of a term. Any reasonable person, I think, can understand this. Despite this though, I found myself getting extremely annoyed by the number of folks posting the equals signs in show of support.

Since it's popularity, I believe in the 90s (please correct me if I'm wrong), I've always been bothered by such symbolic acts of compassion. I think celebrities started doing it at various awards shows. Now the NFL has their players wearing pink shoes for breast cancer awareness (ridiculous). Please don't misunderstand me, the causes are valid. I'm NOT shitting on the cause. I'm shitting on the "notice me, I care about the boobies, I'm aware!" vibe that the whole act gives off. Does this affect anything thing. Does this make anyone feel any better because we're all sitting being aware and telling the world we are.

For those that don't do such outward acts, do they have less compassion? Are they heartless? Do they wish to see the Troops suffer, or more children with autism wander aimless and erratically with no care and support?

If a politician doesn't wear a flag on his/her lapel, are they un-American? (I think that came up a few years ago in the news, as a legit joke).

Another thing that sort of bugged me about yesterday's group histrionics (if you will) are the priorities of many of those that posted their equals signs up. Again, not shitting on the issue, it's a valid one, and I sympathize and support the cause. But one might assume that this is the most grave and serious issue facing the country at this point if they had logged into my Facebook page, from what I witnessed. Of all the shit, the scandal, the theft, the violent imperialism abroad, the continued infringements of rights, this is the one that gets most attention. This is obviously because the media chooses to hype up such controversy as it pretends to make the two political parties, outwardly seem different. And like a poorly informed and over sensitive populous, we feed into and hyper focus on just one injustice. (Why weren't people pissed off when the president legalized assassinations on American citizens? Everyone sort of STFU'd on that one, prolly not as cool to bust on Obama - um, not a conspiracy theory either.)

So, as everyone gleefully, and maybe impulsively threw up an (cool) equals to demonstrate their deep caring and sensitivity, some questions seem to have been lost in all of this. Why are we arguing this in the first place? (in other words) What is the origin of our government's restrictive marriage laws? Would taking the government out of the marriage business hurt anyone, or might it be a simple way to find common ground in an overly yet understandably divisive topic?

God forbid people mind their own business and let others live their own lives without a government dictating what is or isn't proper.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The D&D Kid from Across the Alley.

For a brief period of time there was this taller lanky kid who lived across the alley from us. When they had moved in I think my mom or dad ended up talking to his parents. My dad likes to sit on the back porch and see what's going on (not unlike white trash, white trash with a doctorate in engineering no less), and chat it up with the neighbors (more often than not, younger ladies half his age). This family was just one of many.

I think this was the late 1980s.

This kid would always wander aimlessly, skipping at times in the alley. He had no friends. He was quite a peculiar fellow. My mother saw this and felt bad for him, and suggested I go out and play with him. My older bro and I would end up making jokes about him - not to his face or in any kind of bullying sort of way. We'd just occasionally look out the window and watch this boy sized sprite/fairy "being" having fun with himself and his made up games and then of course comment to each other about how ridiculous that seemed. I'm certain the comments were clever and witty. I remember a lot of chuckling. I'm laughing now.

He was also heavily involved in D&D which seemed to make sense, considering his other weirdnesses. He was in his own universe and fully self sufficient at entertaining himself. Quite something to behold.

One summer night, I had nothing to do, and I saw him playing out in the alley with a wiffle ball bat swinging at something, I couldn't tell. He wasn't standing as a batter should. He was swinging the bat more like a tennis racket from what I remember. Mother was in the kitchen, again encouraging me to go out and play with him.

I'll try anything once. I was intrigued. I wanted to find out more.

Cautiously walking through our ghetto urban looking backyard, out to the alley, I introduced myself, as politely and warmly as I could. He was friendly back. I asked him what he was doing. He replied, "playing firefly baseball!"

(In my little brain, I was thinking....WTF!)

He kept swinging, at what looked like nothing, but it turns out he was trying to hit lightning bugs. Such enthusiasm he had. He handed me the bat so I could try. It felt weird. Aside from there not being a pitcher, or rules for that matter, like bases to run, the idea of hitting flies with a bat just seemed stupid and meaningless, but I tried to pretend some enthusiasm.

(There were also no winners or losers so it sucked even more)

This lasted for about ten minutes, before I felt the need to return back to the safety and sanctity of my home. I think I told him I had to go. And I said it politely. I don't remember being rude about any of it. If anything, I was awkward.

When I got back to the kitchen I had told my mother what we were doing, she decided it was probably not a good idea to not play with this child anymore. I don't think I told my brother as I was embarrassed for making an effort. He would've called me a fag or a sissy (and rightfully so).

(I would give my mom a tough time about this years after - Accusing her of forcing me to play with that D&D freak from the across the alley)

They ended up moving a month or two later.

***I'm quite certain this child ended up being far more intelligent than me, and probably makes a lot more money than I ever will...probably has a family, kids of his own, who participate in firefly baseball every summer.

***Fuck me.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Korean Garden and Restaurant - Blue Bell, PA.

One thing that I've picked up on in the last ten years or so, is that, if an Asian puts food out in front of you, and you don't know what it is, you don't ask questions. You just eat. This goes regardless of whether it's a restaurant or a home. It always works out. You always leave happy if not amazed. Put the dietary restrictions aside, STFU, and eat!

Me and my friend headed down to the Korean Garden and Restaurant in Blue Bell last Saturday. For me it was my second time. It was worth the drive.

Immediately we were bombarded with about seven or eight little bowls of appetizers which included green beans, kim chee, mushrooms, tofu, among other things, also included was a chili paste. They went fast. Everything was great. Light with a variety of flavors, small amounts, but just right.

We split scallion and red pepper (potato) pancake. It was about the size of a small pizza (and cut up like one), but a lot thinner and fluffier. It came with a soy and sesame sauce (I believe). I'd say it was the best pancake I've ever had.

Now, last time I was there, I ordered the raw beef and vegetables with a raw egg cracked over it (not called that officially). That was pretty good, but this time I went with the spicy Black Goat Stew. It was like a combination between a soup and a stew. It came out presented in a boiling pot - still bubbling.

Maybe the first time that I had goat (not sure), it was nice. It's hard for me to describe how it tasted, other than a meaty hearty broth, that was seasoned and spicy. Something you'd crave on a cold day. Many of the spices I don't think I've had before. I believe there were some kind of greens mixed in too. It was a large portion and probably didn't finish half of it at the table. It was great the day after.

***I would've taken a picture of it, but I feel like a weird food worshipping freak shooting a picture of my food in a crowded restaurant. Order it yourself and see what it looks like!***

So, you will have to shell out some cash for the food obviously, but considering the quality and quantity of the food, it's well worth it. We both left the place absolutely stuffed. Service was also excellent, along with the ambiance and vibe, even though it's located in an upscale "east coast" strip mall.

If you're in southeastern PA, I would recommend going.