Letter to a Truck Driver

Dear Mr. Driver of the 18-wheeled Pepsi truck who just tried to make an illegal U-turn through the small gap of a side street when only half the roads are plowed from the blizzard we just had and then decided to park the front part of your trunk on top of a pile  4 feet of snow what was pushed onto the sidewalk, successfully blocking traffic going in both directions,

WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

Sincerely,

C

P.S. at least you put your blinkers on….

 

Almonds and Cheerios

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. I turned just glare at my father as he ate another almond, slowly and deliberately. I love my father dearly  and he is an overall wonderful human but at that very moment I had to really restrain myself from swatting the jar of almonds in his arms and yelling “No snack for you!” You see, I have recently gone back to school and had just gotten this really obscure assignment from my cell biology professor which was to pick one of the cell structures we were studying in class and make a diagram of it using household items and foods. It was one of those things that at first I said “Oh, that’s simple!” but then after the hours past and I just found myself staring at half a piece of toast, a handful of cheerios, and various bit of candy from many Halloweens ago. I was back living at home and I hadn’t asked for help on homework since early in my high school years but I thought I would give it a shot. “Hey Dad, do you have any ideas?” Dad walked in and looked at the mess I had just made in the kitchen. “What are you doing?” I gave him a run down. “When is it due?” “Tonight.” He gave me that sigh that only a father can give to his procrastinating daughter. I knew I had put in off but in college, I put things off all the time and all I needed was a Red Bull and a box of cookies to get through it. I also mentioned this to Dad, which in retrospect probably didn’t help my argument. After some back and forth, slight bickering with Dad he finally said e would help. I started to arrange my candy and Dad reached into the Pantry and pulled out a big jar of almonds. “Oh Dad, those would be perfect for the kinases! Thanks” Dad looked me straight in the eyes, reached his hand in the jar, ate a hand full of almonds very slowly as we stared each other down. Then he put the lid back onto he jar and put it right back into the pantry. I could have gone mental but decided to be the grown up in the situations.

I rolled my eyes and grabs the almonds myself before continuing with my diagram. I turn to put the jelly bean phosphates into pace when I hear another bone chilling crunch. I turn and see dad’s mouth filled and half of the Cheerios that were lined up to make my plasma membrane gone. “Dad! The box of Cheerios are right next to you!” He just shrugged and reached for the membrane again and I quickly swat his hand away. This goes on for a while for all the snack food I display. My father had this quirky way of playfully annoying us but this was going was too far, at least in my opinion. I finally set my diagram up and took the damn picture. Then I turned to Dad and said “Okay, go ahead, eat as much of it as you want.” He shrugs again. “No thanks.” I could actually feel my knuckles turning white. “Well thanks for nothing. You were no help at all.” He cocked his head to the side. “Wasn’t I though?” I turn back to my finished diagram that took me less than an hour to set up. Then I consider the hours I had been working on it before Dad showed up. Every time Dad ate a part of my project the more motivated I was to finish it before he ate another part of the cell. “You’re welcome.” was all he said as he casually walked out of the room whistling and I knew that I had both won and lost at the exact same time.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

Don’t Be the Best

My most valuable piece of advice: don’t be the ‘best’ in any situation. This may seem like rude advice at first but it’s actually not as degrading at it seems at first. This phrase isn’t exactly saying don’t be the ‘best’ at anything, it’s more so saying don’t be the ‘most’ at anything. They seem similar but there is a very important difference and the best way that I can explain it through examples.

I was an pretty annoying kid growing up. Not as in “no one liked me” annoying, but more I was “too awkward to function” so no one really knew how to deal with me. Looking back, I wish I could have just been more normal but what can you do. I always reflect on my earlier self and end up thinking to myself “How did I actually have friends? Hahaha! But no, seriously.”After much deliberation, I have narrowed down this one simple fact: there was another kid who was much more annoying that I was. This kid, in fact, was the MOST annoying person in the classroom. This kid was constantly interrupting you or bragging about himself or wanting to talk about the things only he was interested in or saying rude things that he did think were rude and I could go on but basically, this kid was obnoxious. You see, I thought I was also quite obnoxious when I wanted to be but nowhere near as obnoxious as he was. This kid was the MOST obnoxious person in the vicinity to the extreme. So you see in comparison, I was not that bad and thus had a pretty normal social life (well, as normal as I could have been considering). This little tidbit also applied as I got older.

When I worked my first restaurant job as a cashier in the ToGo section, I was a little bit of an idiot. I just had trouble working the register system and once in a while people would change their mind about the bills they gave me after I rang them up and I, as a high school senior, couldn’t do the simple math for giving them back their new change without counting on my fingers. So you see, I was kind of a hot mess but no one really noticed me. How is this possible, you ask? Because one my co-worker was a much bigger hot mess than I was. Besides having a much harder time working the register than I did, this kid couldn’t comprehend replacing the napkins on tables when they ran out or why we need to correctly assign the right sides on each plate before we sent them out (“couldn’t we just change them when we get out there?”) and also forgot which of the sauces was spicy and which wasn’t when customers asked (just FYI, they were really clearly marked on our end). So I was a bit incompetent but this kid was the MOST incompetent. So I got to clock in clock out without too much worry that someone was going to sit me down and talk about my performance since I may have accidently given someone a dime instead of a nickel but he would accidently give someone an entire extra entree without charging them. In comparison, I was golden.

This has surprisingly helped with everything. You see, I was never the MOST likely to get drunk and cause a scene at a holiday party or the MOST likely to accidently curse in front of a child or the MOST likely to lose my car keys before an important appointment. Have I done all of these things at one point? Maybe. You see as evident from this blog, I have plenty of quirks and strange habits and weird things tend to happen to me but in the end, I won’t end up being THAT person. You all know who I’m talking about.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

One Day, This Will Make a Great Story

If you ever go through something horribly embarrassing and cringe worthy something that I like to tell myself is that one day, it will make a great story. Now I’m not saying that I never cringe at things I did when I was younger. On the contrary, I find myself cringing at least once a day at an old forgotten memory that suddenly decided to pop back into my head. (I mean, don’t we all??) But instead of sitting there, wallowing in self pity over something that just happened, I like to tell myself: you know, one day this is going to make a great story. I remember when I was little and I would pee my pants all the time at kindergarten because I was actually too shy to tell the teacher I had to go. Was it horrible at the time? Of course. Is it kind of funny now? Definitely. A more recent example in my life, I remember one incident where I jokingly trashed who I thought was a relatively hated political figure to a few close peers at work hoping for laughs. Instead, I got nervous laughter and an “Oh, my mom loves him.” from one of them. Whoops. It was terribly awkward at the time? More that you can imagine. But can laugh about it now? Yeah, and only with a few tears of embarrassment.

So moral of the story, kids? If you do something terribly embarrassing and you feel really down in the dumps, all you need to do is tell yourself to pull yourself back up and make yourself feel better is say to yourself “one day, this will make a great story” or at least in my case “one day this will make a funny blog post”.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

Miso Sorry

I feel like everyone has been a server of some sort at one point in their life and that means everyone has some pretty horrible restaurant stories. But I have a feeling that I can top them. The first time I ever serve a table as a waitress, I spilled Miso soup in the lap of a young man sitting at the table. Let me back up.

When I was in college, I needed a part time job. You know. For the moneys to pay for the things. I had applied to a few restaurants within walking distance of my home and it was about 4 months later that I got a call asking if I wanted the job at a sushi restaurant. Not even if I would come in so that they could interview me. But if I wanted the job. That should have been my first warning sign. So I go in, I discuss my hours, and then I start training the next day. On my first day, I come in wearing the uniform: jeans and a black T-shirt, and the door is locked. This place had some awkward hours, it was open from 11am to 3pm and then closed from 3pm to 5pm when it reopened from 5pm to whenever the drunk people are done singing karaoke. So I waited outside for a little bit and when the guy who interviewed me rushed up to the door and lets me in. “Sorry, I forgot this thing is locked. Part of your responsibility will be to unlock it. You can come in through the back door of the basement, we almost never lock that one.” That should have been my second warning sign. He gives me an apron and gives me a general run down of the menu and the register system. It’s not too difficult and everything is going relatively smoothly when I realize that there are no other people with me. So I ask, “Where are the other people who work here?”  He gives me a blank stare. “Well, another one should be here tomorrow. You will have to train her.” I don’t know why I didn’t start running right there and then.

But because I was a stupid, broke college student I decided to stay. I spend about half an hour following that guy around the place, watching him wait on tables before he cut me loose. This is when I get my first table. My first table was group of 4, other college students just trying to have a little dinner out. I introduced myself and then immediately said “It’s my first day, so sorry if I mess up and it takes me a little longer.” Three of them were very sympathetic and gave me nice smiles of compassion and understanding. The fourth looked annoyed and his eyes said that he wanted me to shut up and take their order. Poor guy, if he only knew what was about to happen in about 5 minutes.

In this place basically every order came with a complementary bowl of miso soup that came out of a huge pot in the backroom. There was a huge ladle that came with it that was almost the same size as the bowls themselves. This pot was very hot and just about an inch to tall for me so it took me much longer to pour out the soup that I thought it would and because I couldn’t really see the top of the pot, my bowls were filled right to the brim. More and more people were coming into eat, the bell was dinging for food to be picked up, and my name was being called to learn something new. So I picked up my tray and speed jogged to the table trying to minimize the dripping. Surprisingly, I put down three bowls of miso soup with no problem and then that fourth bowl went down on the table, where a good amount of soup sloshed up and landed with a splat right on the crotch of the guy who already wasn’t amused that it was my first day.

Everything  suddenly went quiet as the realization of what I did hit me. I actually thought I was about to black out. I almost wanted to walk away and when he complained to the manager I would explain “Look, he came in like that. I don’t know what his problem is.” But the angel on my shoulder told me to do the right thing. So I started blurting out apologies and throwing napkins at his groin, stopping myself just in time from trying to wipe it off myself. His friends were all crying with laughter which just irritated him more. He looked like he might actually throw the soup right my face until I made his drinks on the house. I didn’t even know if I actually could do that but at that moment I genuinely didn’t care. Drastic times call for drastic measure. If you made someone look like he peed his pants, you should at least buy him a beer.

And that’s how I met my boyfriend.

No, Just Kidding. That guy seriously hated me. I never saw me again and I spent the rest of the day trying to not spill any more soups. But sometimes I find myself thinking that in some alternate reality, that would have made a great wedding story.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

Karma takes its form in Traffic Jams

I am a true believer of karma. Not for any real religious reason but more so for myself. I just need to believe that good things happen to good people and that bad things happen to bad people (eventually), you know for my sanity’s sake. I know that in many ways, this world is pretty messed up, that it doesn’t always make sense and that once in a while I wish I could just give up on everything and just leave via drifting off into space. So this concept of karma really helps me. I need to think to myself that maybe one day that guy that just almost hit my car by cutting me off and then flicked me off and yelled something rude out of his window might pop a tire while it’s pouring down rain one day. And this isn’t exclusively for other people, this applies to me too. I try my best to be a good person but once in a while the human side of me slips up and I do something not so nice. I always think to myself, I’m going to get it for this.

As with all things, I am not 100% positive this is real. Karma is this abstract concept that I use in my everyday life to get me through the day keep me thinking but I have no physical proof that it’s real. Until this week when I got some pretty convincing confirmation that karma does exist and it has a close eye on all of us.

So I commute pretty far for work, approximately an hour in the morning and hour and a half in the afternoon. I know, I know I need to move eventually but all things considering it’s actually not that bad. I do get to carpool with my brother so it’s actually not as horrible as it seems since we basically get to split everything from driving to gas and once in a while, mid afternoon snacks. The only time it’s terrible is when there is a traffic jam caused via unnatural events. I know that cars and roads in general aren’t natural but I’m talking about road work construction or accidents that make the highway into a parking lot. The kind of traffic where it’s actually better to put your car into park. These don’t happen all too often until this past week when I was greatly delayed on my way home not once, not twice but thrice. Yes. Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday between 30 min and hour were added to my commute due to accidents. Now what did I do that I deserved this?? Nothing yet. But let me explain.

With the winter season in full bloom I decided to treat myself to a new winter coat, seeing my old one is more than 10 years old and looks like something a middle schooler would wear (as I was in middle school when I got it). So I went online shopping searching for a coat that was warm, stylish, and reasonable priced, and as you can imagine it took a while but I eventually found it. It was long, it was white, the inside was fleece lined and it was on super sale. The store I got it from only had a few left in stock so I measure myself with a tape measure (yes, I am one of those weirdos that actually do that) picked my size and ordered. Seeing as I ordered around Christmas time, it didn’t come until after New Years but I didn’t mind. I was constantly checking my bank statement to see when it would switch from temporary authorization to being charged just in case I forgot to pay it off and then they took it away from me (because that makes complete sense, doesn’t it). And then it finally came, and it was perfect. After modeling it for far longer than necessary, I went to go pay off my credit card. But the charge. It had disappeared. As in it was gone as if I had not even bought a jacket. So I waited a few day, maybe it was in processing. But nothing. Waited again. Nothing. I finally turned to friends and family for advice. The general consensus was that I should wait a bit longer before contacting them so didn’t get double charged. I decided that if I was supposed to contact them, I would get some sort of sign.

I have a feeling that the sign was that I got stuck in super bad traffic for 3 days in a row. All three days, I was wearing the coat. My brother insists that it was just a combination of bad luck and bad weather but karma is telling me something different. A friend warned me heavily that this happened to her boyfriend once and after he contacted the company he got charged twice and it took almost a month to get it sorted so I should just wait it out. I told her my karma theory and that just lead to her conclusion that if it was the karma, then I should have at least paid that off already. So here we are today and now I am officially stuck, conflicted and of course, confused. And thus at a loss of what to do, I did what I always do when I am this puzzled: I write. Sometimes in the writing process, as I map out everything that has happen I will come up with a solution. My current one is to sit in the corner, close my eyes really tight and hope everything fixes itself. Sounds like a plan, right?

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

The One Thing I’m Not Confused About

So I read. A lot. I have always loved books, they are one of my favorite things second only to writing. Books have to power to entertain, stir emotions and inspire all at once. Today’s post isn’t going to be a funny anecdote and it’s not going to be about something I am confused about. Actually quite the opposite because books are one of the very few things in this world that actually make complete sense to me. Books have influenced me and made me the person that I am today, the person that I love.

These are the four books that have completely changed my life. All of these books were passed on to me and so now, I will continue to pass them on to you.

  1. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

I read this book in one sitting. Seriously. I sat for almost 6 hours and finished this book. This is the second book by Mr. Hosseini; his first and more famous book “The Kite Runner” was pretty good but didn’t connect to me in the same way this one did. It tells the story of two Afghan women with very different lives, a generation apart, who come together after a series of intense events. A story of love, friendship, hardship, overcoming and sacrifice, A Thousand Splendid taught me that things don’t always work out but if you stay strong and are confident in who you are, you will never lose yourself and sometimes that the more important.

  1. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

David Sedaris is probably one of my favorite people ever, all of his books are fantastically hilarious but this one is particular had ,e laughing out loud almost every chapter. Sedaris writes mostly about humorous short stories from his past and I can’t really describe this book in detail without ruining the experience for a new reader but a few topics this book covers includes is his time as a performance artist, getting guitar lessons from a little person in his youth and his experience with his father being an expired food hoarder. I had the amazing pleasure of meeting Mr. Sedaris after one of his live shows I smiled and laughed so much in those 3 minutes, my face actually hurt afterwards. Me Talk Pretty taught me to laugh more and keep record of those moments which is what mainly inspired me to start this blog in the first place.

  1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

At the moment, Tartt is most famous for her current book “The Goldfinch” which itself is fantastic and truly a masterpiece but The Secret History  is the one that I find myself reaching for to reread. The story is about six college students, during the time when one of them is murder by the other five. There are insane twist and turns, extreme highs as well as extreme low and it makes you question what it means to be happy.  It’s very dark, which I know isn’t for everyone but I personally loved it. It’s a classic tragedy with a modern twist and one of those books that is hard to put down once you start.  The Secret History taught me about sadness, death and acceptance which although are not the happiest of topics are ones that need to be faced.

  1. Going Bovine by Libba Bray

This is my favorite book of all time. The story of a young boy who gets mad cow disease and then after taking the advice of a girl with wings that only he seem to see, goes on the most epic adventure his life trying to find the cure. Bray balances on the fine life that separates imagination and realty and truly makes you think. This books has everything. My favorite quote from the book is “Reality is what you make of it.” and I have never been able to find a better phrase to live my life by.  Who’s to say what is real and was is not but as long as you make the most of what you are given, does it really matter? I also had the amazing privilege of meeting Ms. Bray at the National Book  Festival last year and the message she wrote for me before she signed my book is that valuable lesson that Going Bovine taught me: “Enjoy the Ride”.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

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