Monday, December 14, 2009

Rebecca : Angel or Engineer?

I moved recently. I tend to move in the Fall. I’m not sure what it is. The changing of the leaves, the fresh air, it’s like I get pulled by the gusting wind to move with it instead of against it. This year, the move came a little later, but maybe I’ll blame global warming for that. In any case, with a new move comes a new job and new direction. I made the move for several reasons: free rent(thanks, boo), a bit of isolation, and some time for writing I hope. I should tell you that I am working on an episodic television show, a feature film, and a novel. Just to put it out there. That way, perhaps some of you will bug me to read some, inspire me to work harder, and faster. Anyway, I tend to move with very little money, you know so I won’t get too comfortable with unemployment and all that. Means I have to shop on a budget as well, which is always good, keeps me thrifty. The other day, my boyfriend spotted a middle-aged woman no taller than 5 feet with a pile of moving flyers in her hand. So I pulled over, rolled down the window, and asked her if we could see what she had. We pulled up to the condo and were swept in by the very enthusiastic saleswoman who attempted to sell us everything from used candles to modern furniture. We needed only a mattress and box spring and kept our tunnel vision in tact as we scouted around the house. It seemed like a bust until, FINALLY! She takes us into a hot pink bedroom with a brand new pillow top bed for sale. She then assures us there is no chance of bedbugs and explains in detail how she keeps the mattresses in her home on lockdown from bedbug invasion using varying devices from mattress pads to triple layer fitted sheets. We get the picture but her price is a bit steep.

“One-hundred and seventy dollars” she says, “firm”. We counter offer, “One-Fifty?”. She says, “No. One-Seventy, Firm.” So we walk away.

This is a trick my father taught me when we went to purchase my first car. You bring only the amount you intend to spend, not a penny more, and if they don’t accept your cash offer, you walk away, it isn’t the right car. The idea here is that most salesmen at this point will stop you, they’ll say, “I really shouldn’t do this, but…” and then they strike a deal! No dice. We walked away, she didn’t stop us. Instead, I turned around and kindly asked her for her phone number, “In case we can swing the extra $20”. She gives me her number and we leave. I can’t believe that my puppy eyes and sincere poverty do not strike her heartstrings to just drop the price twenty bucks and let me leave with a smile on my face and a bed in tow.

Ten minutes later, we decide to spring for the bed. We might not be able to eat this week, but we cannot continue to camp in the condo, I feel like a squatter. So I call Eva. The convo is as follows:

Me: Hello, Eva?
Eva: Ooooh! REBAYCKA! You must hurry if you want the bed. I just sold the whole bedroom set to another couple! Hurry! Come now! (click).
ME: Wtf?

I am pretty sure we’re being bamboozled but it is still a legit good deal so I pack the Honda with bungee cords and race to her condo in the pouring rain.

That Eva was a woman of her word. Half way through the move, a young couple pass my boyfriend and I arguing strategics in the breezeway. They give us eyes. We pretend not to notice and quickly load the mattress. What a feat. But the bed got there in the end. And dressed with our 700 thread count sheets and brand new duvet you’d never guess we’re struggling.

Eva let me borrow a tarp she had all ready sold to someone else and asked that I promptly return it upon removal of said mattress. My boyfriend and I return to her condo. She swings open the door, sobbing.

“Rebaycka. (Sobbing). Thank God you are here. (Sobbing more). You are my angel.”

I go back to my bamboozled idea. Oh no. She’s got seller’s remorse. I am going to have to drive home, re-bungee, and get the bed soaking wet again to take it back to her. All she has to do is ask, and I’ll turn around and bring it back. I have a heart and it’s starting to think about someone other than myself for the 1st time in days. I am thinking about how desperate her situation could be, running dramatic scenarios in my head, just preparing for her to lay it on me so I can be the random angel she thinks I am.

“(Sobbing). Booohooohoohoo!!! Rebaycka. Please help me! Please! Take your shoes off, come in.”

I take my shoes off.

“I don’t know how to inflate my air mattress! Whahwhoohoo…”


I pick up the electric air pump, plug it in, untwist the nozzle on the mattress, and voila! Air mattress.

Silence. Like a child who has just seen something sparkly in the midst of a temper tantrum. She says, “You are my angel, Rebaycka. You are so smart. You should be an engineer.”

An engineer.



Only if it is as rewarding as inflating air matresses for strangers.

Lol :)

*No hearts were broken during this mattress purchase. A later conversation with said saleswoman revealed she was moving to a new beach house in Miami, thereby negating the idea of me being a heartless bed-robber. *

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Chronicles of Tulip Touzie : Chapter Five

*Disclaimer: If you are just now beginning to follow this blog, scroll down and begin with Chapter 1 for your enjoyment.*


Three hours after King Tsao young woke up on board Flight 226, he discovered that he was not en route to the UK. Here’s what took so long. King Tsao woke up next to a frightened middle-aged woman who compromised about an hour of his time talking about airline safety and ‘how often these planes get hit by birds’. She (Claudette) then commanded about thirty minutes more to apologize for what might have been unnecessary fear escalation in an environment from which there is ‘no escape’. King Tsao had a few Zanax in his carry on and dropped one in Claudette’s drink when she excused herself to use the restroom and asked him to hold on to her drink. The next thirty minutes were high anxiety for Dr. Tsao young. He mostly just twiddled his thumbs and dried the sweat from his upper lip. What he did was both wrong, and possibly harmful; depending on what other drugs she might have in her system, not to mention the plethora of possible allergic relations and dangerous but unlikely side effects. Luckily, Claudette’s reaction to the anxiety meds went just as planned and she was off to sleep just thirty minutes after consumption.

King Tsao felt like he could finally relax and mull over what had happened at the Toronto International Airport. He remembered that he saw Martin. He grimaced at the thought. He knew they were boarding the same flight. He retraced his steps in his mind: He was at the boarding gate- that was as far as King Tsao could remember. What lead to boarding the plane? It was a total blank. He decided the best way to retrieve his lost memory would be to clear his mind and relax. Surely it would come back to him. So, King Tsao turned on the small TV screen in front of him and selected a movie from the in flight entertainment. It was at that point that he thought he’d better check the live “My Flight” option which displays where you are at, distance traveled, and distance to go. It was also at that point that he realized that he was not on his way to London, but in fact on a plane to Santiago del Sorio, Spain. The revelation was bittersweet. He would most definitely miss his convention; on the bright side however, now that he knew Martin Lebrowski was not on the plane, he could get up and stretch his legs.

King Tsao stopped on the way back to his seat to inquire with a stewardess about the likelihood of getting a connecting flight to London upon arrival.

“I’d like to inquire avout the likelihood of getting a connecting flight to London upon arrival in Santiago del Sorio.”

“Um. I will have to check, sir. I’m glad to see you are okay, sir. You gave your mom quite a fright in Toronto. You two nearly missed the plane. She wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to bring you on board unconscious. But, I am glad-" King Tsao interrupted, "You know, I really don't think it is necessary to hash over all of the details. In fact, it was quite an embarrassing incident. Just let me know when the next plane departs for London and I'll try not to blackout again. Thank you."

Claudette was in a daze when King returned to his seat. Unfortunately, she overheard his discussion with the Stewardess. “Sir. I apologize.”

“Listen, Claudette, it is really not necessary to apologize again. I am a confident traveler and you did not scare me with your fears. The way I see it, the worst that can happen is: the plane goes down and I die. There are far worse ways to die. Trust me. I have seen the worst possible scenarios in my field of work.”

While it was externally inappropriate to suggest the event of death to an obvious Aero phobic, King needed to know where she was at with the drugs he slipped in her drink earlier. Her unfazed reaction revealed that she was clearly still under the influence. “No sir,” she mumbled, “What I am sorry for is carrying you onto this plane earlier.”

Claudette was dropped off at the Toronto International airport by her now ex-husband, Jack. She was sure that the depression and overwhelming desire to die would make flying much easier. What did she have to lose? Her life in Toronto? Lost it. Her husband? Moved on. Snickers (her dear labradoodle)? He belonged to Jack now. Claudette thought she would be completely at ease on this flight. How invigorating! Braving the open skies for her new life in Santiago Del Sorio. She was free as a bird.

She was as scared as a live shrimp on a hook when she sat down in her exit row seat and realized she was the only one in the row. Salvation was on her shoulders alone if that plane went down. She freaked. Knowing there was still thirty minutes before take off she escaped the plane to ask the ticket agent at the gate to please change her seat. Before she could, she saw Dr. Tsao Young passed out near the neighboring gate.

“My Son!” She yelled. She then proceeded to scoop up Dr. Tsao Young and carry him onto the plane. She told the flight staff he was narcoleptic and buckled him safely by her side. He wasn’t going to make it on any plane in his state, so maybe she took him off track. At least he was going somewhere, and at least Claudette wasn’t going somewhere alone.

King Tsao took about two and a half minutes to absorb what Claudette had revealed. He did not believe in speaking out of impulse (something he had learned when he was running for mayor). Instead he looked straight ahead at the blank screen on the seat back in front of him, and he practiced silence while he thought about what it was he wanted to say.

“Claudette. Are you crazy?” King Tsao asked, still staring at the blank seat back ahead of him.

Claudette pursed her lips and took a deep breath in and then out. Then she said unwaveringly, “No Sir, I am not crazy. I am not the one who passed out mid-terminal. I am not the one who slept with my secretary,” her speech was escalating to a yell, “ and I am not the one who asked to sit alone in an exit row. Alone! In an exit row!”

King Tsao was mortified. Claudette was making a public nuisance. What happened to that Zanax? Did it seriously wear off that quick? This woman was mental. And Dr. Tsao Young was in a situation from which there was ‘no escape’. He popped a Zanny and realized that he and Claudette were more alike than he could have ever imagined, despite their social differences. He was fast asleep in about ten minutes.

The stewardess approached. “Hi there. Claudette Shoely, right?”

“Yes.” She replied.

“It says here that you requested a low calorie meal. Would you like a turkey sandwich or the hot dish which is chicken breast and brown rice?”

“I’ll have the turkey sandwich, please.”

“Okay Mrs. Shoely, we’ll be coming around with food and beverages shortly.”

“Thank you. Hopefully my boy won’t pass out in his dinner. Poor thing. He’s out like a light again.” She pet his head.

The stewardess flashed a sparkling and empathetic smile. “Maybe I should bring him a turkey sandwich too? The lasagna could get messy.”

Claudette nodded. “As long as it comes with something chocolate for desert. My boy just loves chocolate.” She giggled a bit and looked for a mother's approval.

“That will be no problem Mrs. Shoely. No problem at all. I’ll stick a little something on his tray for him.” She smiled again. Claudette thought the stewardess was clearly a mother.

“That’s very sweet of you.” Said Claudette as the stewardess tip toed away.

King Tsao woke up to a half eaten turkey sandwich and a glass of water. Claudette had a mouthful of food. She looked at him like a deer in the headlights. She then struggled through her dry turkey sandwich mouth to say, “Ahrgain, I feerl rike I harve to aporogize. You shee you were ashreep and I'm-a-bip of a nervousheater so I fimished mine and tried choo wake choo up", she swallowed and took a swig of King Tsao's water, "but you were really knocked out and so I thought maybe I could finish this before you woke up and you’d never know what happened, but obviously you did wake up and so for that I am very sorry but I think the stewardess on this plane has a real sweet spot for you. Maybe because I told her you have narcolepsy. So she will most definitely bring you another meal if you just ask for one, or if you feel uncomfortable, I don’t mind asking seeing as how I ate your meal without you knowing and that was just unfair and so, yeah, I will ask for your meal sir. You just don’t even worry about it. Also I am sorry I yelled earlier, I am just going through a lot of stuff and I think I just took it out on you, and that was also unfair…”

King Tsao put on his headphones and turned the volume up on full blast. Claudette’s mouth was still spraying crumbs everywhere and talking way too much.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Chapter Four: The Chronicles of Tulip Touzie

*Disclaimer: If you are just now beginning to follow this blog, scroll down and begin with Chapter 1 for your enjoyment.*


Meanwhile in the panhandle, Tulip had gotten in touch with some Mennonites in Spain via Craigslist. She saw their advertisement for a comfy efficiency in exchange for light home labor and emailed them immediately. She felt like the stars were in perfect alignment because when she searched for plane tickets, SimonAir had a ticket for only eight dollars plus taxes and fees. She had heard of these amazingly low priced airlines but had no idea that they existed in the United States! What fortune for Tulip that SimonAir departed from Tallahassee, Florida on a by-weekly basis. She could catch the next flight tomorrow afternoon if she packed quickly enough. Tulip figured that the Mennonites were probably just as excited as she was and would surely e-mail her back by tomorrow. If not, she’d just hit up an Internet café in Santiago Del Sorio. Tulip figured it’d probably take like two days to get to Spain anyway. You know, because it’s really far away, and because of time differences and such. Surely three and a half days was sufficient time for the Mennonites to e-mail Tulip.

Tulip Touzie couldn’t speak a lick of Spanish so Freddie Hornito offered to give her a crash course the night before her big departure from the working world. Freddie was excited to have gained Tulip’s last evening in America, even if she was just using him for the Spanish. He collected several books from his childhood, a conversational Spanish cassette tape, and a few apples, and headed over to Burrito’s.

Tulip was in the kitchen cutting up corn tortillas when he arrived. Freddie Hornito walked in the door, took a good look at Tulip, and sighed, “Tulip. I’m seriously gonna’ miss walking into this kitchen and seein’ you here.”

“Freddie,” Tulip smiled, “I am seriously gonna’ miss frying up chimichongas with you.”

She walked slowly towards him and gave him a big bear hug. She loved hugging his big round belly. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. He smelled like Old Spice and freshly shampooed hair. He always smelled like that. Tulip imagined that this was probably what Dads smelled like, because of Old Spice’s combination of affordability and popularity. She thought Dad hugs probably felt a lot like Freddie’s too; big-solid bear hugs.

“You know, Freddie, you always smell exactly the same. There’s something comforting about that”.

“So what does that say about you, Tulip? I don’t think you’ve ever smelled the same twice. Whadduhya’ have? Like two hundred perfumes?”

Tulip lifted her arms towards the ceiling and looked up. “I think it says I am a woman of many dimensions…” she twirled in a circle and danced like a hippie at Burning Man. “I have many more smells to discover on my journey across the world, Freddie”.

Freddie’s look said with no words, are you fo’ reals?

“What are you wearing today, Tulip?”

Tulip sniffed her forearm, then her biceps, and then her armpit and replied, “Today I am wearing tea tree and eucalyptus essential oil. I find it’s the only scent that makes me smell clean after three days of not showering.” She laughed.

“If smelling the same everyday is comforting, Tulip, then I think we can go ahead and say that the opposite is true of the opposite”.

Tulip took a big rip from the apple core.
“Are you saying I make people uncomfortable Freddie?” She exhaled a huge puff of smoke in his face and laughed.Freddie fanned his face in an exaggerated movement, snatched the apple core, and air kicked Tulip in the crotch. Tulip feigned fatal pain and then picked up a taco shell and started to prepare a chicken taco.

“Hey Freddie- Shit! I mean, Meirda! I meant, Hola Eddie, quiero uno taco de pollo?” Tulip smirked with pride.

Freddie’s belly bounced as he chuckled, “Have you been studying without me? Shit Tulip, you’re full of surprises! Except for you botched that one up you know. You told me that you wanted a chicken taco. I assume that was an attempt to offer me one?”

“Is that what I said? Hmm.”
Tulip put the taco in a basket on the counter. She walked out of the kitchen and sat at a table. She reclined and kicked her feet up on the table. “Nope that sounds about right to me. Quiero una cerveza por favor. Retirement begins now, Freddie. I’m not gonna’ be making the any more food tonight. It’s all you old man.”

Freddie brought her the taco and a Corona.

Muchos gracias.” Tulip attempted an accent along with it this time.

“Nice accent Tulip but you sound like a damn gringo. I’ll put my tape on while I cook, maybe you’ll absorb some of it.”

Tulip remembered the time she incorrectly attempted to absorb information for her final exam in advanced costume history. She thought that if she slept with her head on her book, she would remember all of the information through the complicated brain process called osmosis. She slept on her advanced costume history book for three weeks; diligently turning the pages nightly so that she would have the entire book memorized by exam time. She couldn’t understand why the shit she didn’t recall one single answer on her practice exam. Except for “cod piece” a late fifteenth century flap that attached to men’s trousers to cover their nads. She recalled this one because of an autistic student named Anthony who yelled “crotch piece” every time her professor pointed one out. At least she got that one. Too bad modern pharmaceuticals had masked most verbal disabilities; she may have gotten a few more right. Tulip figured she’d play Freddie’s tape while she slept tonight, making it entirely unnecessary to actively listen now. Besides, she knew the god Osmosious quite well at this point. She’d ask him to do her a huge favor and cram that nonsense into her medium-sized brain overnight.

Tulip and Freddie agreed not to say good-bye. They were pretty stoned at this point and the permanence gave them anxiety. Instead they sadly said, “See you later”. And parted ways.

Freddie wondered if he’d ever see Tulip again. Logically speaking, no employee who moved out of Tallahassee had ever returned to Burrito’s, but then Freddie added a ‘yet’ to that thought and felt comforted in that possibility.

Tulip never considered the thought that she might never see Freddie again. She was a ‘big picture’ thinker and always considered the afterlife. She returned home to pack the last of her belongings, never once looking back.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Moving Faster Than Time

I have this dream.

I'm traveling, out in the sweet unknown. I dip my toes into lakes, oceans, rivers, and never stop to dive in. The water is too murky, too cold, too deep, or too uninhabited, and then time runs out. I pack my bag and go back home, the sun is going down.

Someone asks me what is was like ( they've never been there) and I tell them how it was. Beautiful. So vast, so different, something they'd have to see for themselves.

They ask me what it felt like, and I don't know. I'd only skimmed the surface.

Then they tell me what the Ocean is like in St. Tropez.

It's amazing. Red mountains on one side of you and the vast ocean at your other side. Your feet hurt from the warm shifting pebbles below (they don't have sand). You feel foolish because the locals are running and playing, as if the stones were soft granules beneath their feet, and you're just struggling to make it to the water without losing your balance. After breathing a deep breath of dry salty air, you dive into the water and float faster then you could ever imagine. The water is so dense with salt that it is an effort to swim deep beneath the surface.

If you go anywhere, go to France.
You have to feel the water there.

In hindsight I think, I should've jumped in. How could the darkness, the murkiness, the time stop me? Time was never going anywhere and yet I was pretty sure it was.Logic tells me that time never ran out because it is definably impossible.

And then I wake up. I look at my clock. I slept in. I think of all the things I need to do to catch up with yesterday and prepare for tomorrow. And I get to work, as fast as I can.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chapter 3 : The Chronicles of Tulip Touzie

*Disclaimer: If you are just now beginning to follow this blog, scroll down and begin with Chapter 1 for your enjoyment.*


Rose Touzie was completely unraveled when she heard that Tulip would be retiring in two days time. When Tulip first made the announcement, Rose was excited that she might inherit some company in her cozy little home. Rose was a single mother. In fact, she had no idea who Tulip's father was due to some opiates and a Rick Springfield concert. She told Tulip that her father was a famous rock star whose name she could never divulge or he would cut off her child support. Tulip was satisfied by this explanation, much to Rose's delight, so she never had to think of another story for her dear daughter.

Rose could not believe that Tulip did not desire to retire in the comforts of her own home, but rather to depend on the 'menorlites' or whatever she called them, to provide her shelter. Rose Touzie had spent a great deal of time organizing her household while Tulip was away at college. She satisfactorily compartmentalized everything in her home into plastic baggies which were available from 'snack' size to ten gallons. Rose thought that if Tulip had come home first and seen how organized everything was, maybe she'd just want to stay. She hated herself for not discovering baggies sooner. She had previously used shoeboxes which were impractical space wise and also got a musty smell after several years. Not to mention the fact that cardboard allegedly attracts cock roaches. Rose Touzie never had roach issues.

Rose also used her baggies to package and sell her artwork online. Rose worked from home these days. She always knew she'd run her own business, it was just a matter of figuring out what that business was. Rose had tried a handful of jobs in her lifetime. Her first job was a switchboard operator for a plumbing business. She found it to be far too mindless and quit in the summer of '66. She then attempted to be a poet but only one poem was ever published. She couldn't understand why they didn't publish more. In fact, she was an excellent Haiku writer. Her best poem was published in the Alabama Daily Standard on March 13, 1969. It read as follows:

Butterflies have wings
I use legs to get around
Jesus still loves you

She worked in retail for the next five years but never in the same store for more than a year.
Her fear of 'secret shoppers' was so severe that she asked every customer who troubled her for information if they were secret shoppers. And when they said, "No", she only grilled them more. Then, she would annoy the hell out of them by sharing all of the product knowledge that she had; most of which was either blatantly obvious or made up. "These are Calvin Klein Jeans. The designer's name is Calvin Klein. He makes great clothes. And Shoes. And Socks and belts. He makes other things too. I have a friend who went to college with Calvin Klein". She found that 'secret shoppers' were way to frequent in retail and it made her uneasy. It inspired her final Haiku:

When shopping can hurt
We all wish we were perfect
Jesus still loves you

After converting to Catholocism in the fall of '76, she took up a small office job at Our Lady Of the Palm Trees Church in Panama City, Florida. She found peace in working with the cupcake eating office ladies. Rose also had a lot of free time which she used for arts and crafts. Many of her co-workers admired her dangling shrinky-dink earings and requested to purchase a pair. Seeing the multitude of opportunities shrinky-dink had provided artistically, Rose Touzie started her own web site dedicated mostly to selling shrinky-dink jewelry and various pieces of art where she glued things to other things. For one project, she glued artwork from old greeting cards to used coasters and then shellacked them, and sold the coasters as a set. It was a cost-effective business as Rose Touzie had collected a lot of clutter in her lifetime. Also, she was one of very few shrinky-dinkers in distribution. Had Tulip come home to retire, she could have helped with distribution. Tulip thought that shrinky-dink was pretty cool in a retro sort of way and never took off the Frito's bracelet that Rose had made her when she was a little girl. Rose wished that she had sento Tulip some jewelry from the religious icon selection. Prayer card shrinky-dinkery had style and substance.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Chronicles of Tulip Touzie Chapitre Deux


Tulip had no idea how the thousand bucks had appeared in her bank account but she thanked Benjimus, the god of money, and decided she would use it for her retirement.

Further north, a thirty-three-year-old Canadian named King Tsao Young had gotten himself into a buttload of trouble. King grew up in Toronto, Canada. He was the youngest candidate to ever run for mayor, and the only Asian. He used the entirety of his trust fund to run his flawless campaign while simultaneously completing his senior year of high school. He lost the race very marginally, after a precinct in the south of Toronto turned in twenty-seven absentee ballots not in his favor.

Each time young King Tsao Young would leave his penthouse, the voices of passerby’s rang through his ears, “Isn’t that the guy who lost the election? I heard he spent a three million-dollar trust fund. What a shame.”

He saw the loss as the defeat of a lifetime. It sent him spiraling into a life of seclusion and shame. Shame. That was all poor King Tsao Young could feel anymore. He spent the majority of his time avoiding the public by frequenting 24-hour facilities for fitness and shopping. King Tsao was infinitely grateful for the plethora of 24-hours in the great city of Toronto. What pleased him most was the anonymity. When he did cross paths with someone he knew, he could be sure that they were thoroughly blitzed. Why else would one stop for take out at three am?

He was most pleased on the night when he ran into his receptionist, Sharon, at two-thirty in the morning at a pizzeria. After telling him she was a pineapple, she peed her pants and blacked out whilst waiting to collect her mushroom pizza. Dr Tsao Young never told Sharon exactly how much he knew, only that he had seen her at a pizza place the night before and was wondering if she got home okay. From that day on, Sharon was shaken by the fact that she blacked out in front of her boss. She had a tendency to try to have sex with strangers, friends, or anyone basically when she was wasted and always cringed at the thought that she may have offered herself to him that night. Also, she wondered if he knew she peed her pants.

King Tsao Young’s parents were proud Chinese Canadian surgeons and never acknowledged the fact that their son had run for mayor, believing it was defiant and foolish from the get go. As far as they were concerned, King’s life was all ready mapped out. Just as they planned, King apprenticed under his father upon completion of University of Toronto Medical School and took over the family practice for Colorectal Surgery. Most people would hate to correct people’s asshole and intestinal problems for a living; King believed it was a lucky twist of fate. He suffered a great deal of anxiety which lead to a chronic inferiority complex, but when King had his latex gloves on and his hand in someone else’s business, he felt empowered. The tables were turned in Dr Tsao Young’s office. There, he was on top.

Dr. Tsao Young was not the world’s greatest surgeon. This was because his hands were, quite simply, too big. In fact, he had cited “large hands for an Asian” as the reason for six faulty rectal surgeries. After much debate, and a hefty “contribution” to the Toronto medical council’s research facility, the medical council decided that “large hands for an Asian” could be a legally defined disability. Asian hands were supposed to be tiny, and as such, he could not be charged if his hands were at fault. It wasn’t fair to discriminate against people with disabilities.

With his ticket in hand, King Tsao Young was set to fly to London today for an important seminar on advanced rectal-intestinal surgery technique. The modern innovations involved laser technology, and would likely save him from further malpractice issues. It was also convenient that his disability had permitted him a tax exemption as the laser equipment was seen as entirely necessary. King Tsao was a frugal man and would not have traveled internationally if he did not receive said tax exemption. As King Tsao turned the corner for gate 53, the most frighteningly horrible most ghastly and disturbing thing that could ever happen in the whole King Tsao Young universe happened. Martin Lebrowsky, elected mayor of Toronto circa 1992 handed his boarding pass to the flight attendant at gate 53, and prepared to board the plane.

King froze. He stared at the bastard that beat him for mayor by twenty-seven fucking absentee ballots. The same man who had ruined his entire life one month before his nineteenth birthday. The man who he had vigilantly avoided for fourteen years. King Tsao Young had thought, many times, of how different his life might have been if Martin Le-asshole hadn’t beaten him for mayor. He would have gone into a political career fresh out of high school, and then perhaps he would have liked to work in Public Relations or Foreign Relations even. He would have lived a red carpet life, a life in the spotlight. He would be a Chinese Canadian hero, and as such would probably have a model girlfriend who dressed in fitted suits and threw charity galas at their multi-level Toronto home. He would certainly be written into history books. Ultimately, he likely would have won a Nobel peace prize. King Tsao could not believe the effect the '92 election had on his circumstances. All thanks to that loss, he was an asshole surgeon, a hermit, and an anxious insomniac.

He would have won a Nobel Peace Prize.

When King Tsao Young came to, he was mid-flight to Santiago del Sorio, Spain.

Friday, February 27, 2009

That Guy from the Odyssey

I've been to a lot of cities in the past few years. Strolled the streets of Paris whilst Sarkozy haters threw stale bread at passer-bys, dodged the piss from a tramp at the footsteps of London's famous Jazz Cafe, Camden town (it's burning down), and partied at every dodgy bar south of fifth in New York City.

Temporarily parked in Gainesville, FL, I'm contemplating the meaning of all of it. Is it odd that I don't feel right when I'm not thinking of the next place I want to go? That I don't care about financial security and home ownership? I've done some risk analysis. Far as I can see, I'm lucky I've made it this long. So why am I going to stop now and think about stabilization? I haven't been to Thailand yet! Sailed the seas of Croatia! Thrown a plate on the ground and yelled, "Opa!" (At least not in the appropriate context). So as I sit here, at my desk, listening to an imitation Asian "waterfall" fountain with the sweet sound of classical guitar music in the background, I ask myself WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?! I seek the answers from all resources. Spiritual intervention included. Pretty standard if you ask any real Catholic (aka Catholic Guilt).

I think sometimes I take the wrong parts of mass home with me. It's the Lenten season for us Catholics meaning for 40days and 40 nights we make personal sacrifices and suffer a bit in preparation for the resurrection and the Easter season. I don't want to lose anyone with religious facts and so I'll just cut to the chase; I was at church this morning as a Lenten sacrifice and, truth be told, I couldn't tell you what mass was about. What I can tell you is the 90 year old woman next to me had the pipes of an alley cat and burst into song amidst complete silence apres communion today. It was shocking! Why did I chose that fateful seat? Why? Right next to the 90 year old alley cat? I'm hearing her song in my head now, like a genuine Irish banshee I'm sure. Soon after, everyone joined in song. Mind you there was no organist. So that was sweet, but the best part was that it covered up the laughter from my mom who sat one pew over. (We were separated due to tardiness and a lack of seating upon arrival).

Needless to say the answers were not found in the chapel. I lost the plot with that one.

So I emailed my bestie:

-----Original Message-----
From: bexin(a)city
To: littledebbie
Sent: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 2:57 pm
Subject: happy friday betch

happy friday doodle!! wruv u xoxo. boring day at work today, dreaming about moving to europe. i feel it in my bones! i got the travel bug. maybe i am destined to be a traveler. is that an occupation?

From: littledebbie
To: bexin(a)city
Re: happy friday betch

Famous Travelers (by Occupation):

1) Christipher Columbus
2) Marco Polo
3) Magellan
4) That guy from the Odyssey
5) Poccohantas (she wanted to leave her village until she died- a lesson in hesitation)
6) Santa Claus (and his reindeer)
7) Gulliver


This list was both inspirational and easy to understand. I want to be just like numero 4. Brilliant. So I'm plotting my next move people. Look forward to some adventures.

First stop: London to visit my lover. Next stop: (I'm thinking) Spain; Somewhere coastal and scarcely populated.

Next stop? I'm putting my finger on a globe, and I'm spinning it.

Previous adventures in Morocco and Norway. I was hot as a mofo in one and freezing my ass off in the other.

*A disclaimer to my NY besti
es: you better believe that flight to London will have a layover in NYCizzle :).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Chronicles of Tulip Touzie


At the ripe young age of twenty-one, Tulip Touzie had already discovered that she was not cut out for the working world. She had been a member of the work force for five full years and believed half of a decade was long enough to this conclusion. Being satisfactorily sound in said conclusion, she accepted her college diploma and put in her two weeks notice at Burrito's Burrito Company. It was the first time she had quit a job without being warned that she would be terminated if she called in sick ‘one more time’.

Tulip had never been fired from a job based solely on the fact that she was too lovable. She had called in sick sixteen times in the six months she worked for Tallahassee Bread Company. The management had enjoyed the sheer entertainment of watching her come to work slightly intoxicated and possibly stoned at 5:30am daily and attempting to do seemingly menial tasks with the greatest difficulty and satisfaction upon completion. She once served seven espressos during Monday morning rush without once changing the coffee grinds. The result of which was seven angry government workers, which was no skin off her back as Tulip assumed most government workers were angry by nature. She just hoped that she wouldn’t be held responsible for someone going postal. She scanned the Tallahassee Times on Tuesday and couldn’t find any evidence that her coffee had caused an immediate butterfly effect of immense proportions. For that, she was thankful. She promised the gods of coffee never to forget to change the coffee grinds again. She could only imagine how this could have affected Starbucks when it was a start-up company. One thing she was certain of was that she wouldn’t have graduated from Florida State without them. In conclusion, she also thanked the gods of coffee that she did not in fact work for Starbucks when it was a start-up company. Tulip believed that we must be thankful for past present and future equally.

Tulip thought that her job as a barista and sales cashier at Tallahassee Bread Company was going quite swimmingly. Which is why it was shocking when an assistant manager took her into the freezer to tell her that he heard she would be fired if she called in sick again. She wondered why he took her into the freezer instead of telling her in the kitchen. She was not ashamed. But she was very cold. Also, she wished that she could hear the sound of the classical music they played in the Café in the background. It would have made the moment more memorable for her. She had trouble remembering things when there wasn’t music playing and feared she may show up for work the next week.

Knowing that she would be calling in sick on Friday due to a student rally she had organized against the war in Iraq, she walked out of the freezer and into Bach and officially put in her one-day’s notice. She would not have minded working her weekend shifts and felt bad to leave them in a bind with such short notice, but there was no way she would work the weekend just to be fired on Monday. She was nobody’s fool.

Tulip could tell that Freddie Hornito was greatly disappointed to hear that she would be quitting the burrito business. Who would he smoke pot with after work? They had made it a thrice weekly tradition to turn off the fluorescent lights and let the paper lantern strands of twinkle lights and beer signs illuminate the small red cantina whilst they smoked pot out of apple cores and listened to classic rock on full blast. Freddie’s brother Jo was pleased by the many improvements that had come into fruition under the management of Freddie and Tulip. Tulip flirted with the beer distributor and had as result received free neon signs, beer samples, and cut outs of hot girls dressed as Indians drinking Bud Light. They resold the beer samples for a one hundred percent profit and were inspired to redecorate the eight-table restaurant with twinkling paper lanterns that came on a strand like Christmas lights. It was Tulip’s idea. Everyone in college had them. And she knew just where to get them. There was a local store owner whose shop she visited frequently, mostly to window shop and chat with the cute sales guy. They sold various hippie trinkets and treasures and she was pleased to inform that she would be buying more than just incense this week. She also invited the cute sales guy to see his merchandise on display at BBC and enjoy a free burrito if he desired. She figured it’d be good for business. The only people that came to Burrito’s were cops, construction workers, and Tulip’s friends. Who mostly ate free nachos and watched TV.

“Why are you leaving us?” Asked Freddie Hornito. “Is it the money? I can ask Jo if we can give you a raise. I’m sure he’d say yes. What d’you want? Eight-Fifty?”

“I’m retiring.” Tulip Touzie said with conviction.

They both laughed until their guts cramped from de-oxygenation and then Fred got out an apple core and a bag of pot and closed the restaurant for the day. They would need to sit down and discuss this matter immediately. Freddie Hornito was sure she was serious, and also sure that she wouldn’t have enough funds for a cushioned retirement and thought she might not have the sense to understand this fully.

Tulip always admired vagabonds and liberal folk artists. Her mother, Rose Touzie, felt slightly responsible for this because she only listened to peace inspiring music when Tulip was in the womb. Mostly Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan. When Tulip was twelve, Rose Touzie encouraged her to study alternative forms of religion before confirming to Catholicism. She had only intended to make Tulip aware that she was making her own mature decision to become a confirmed Catholic. It was never her intention to develop a Taoist slash Buddhist slash Catholic slash Hindu believer with a minor interest in witchcraft. She also allowed Tulip to frolic with the peanut butter and bean sprout eating Scientologist children next door who were teaching her God knows what about life forces and aliens. When Rose Touzie explained to Tulip how contradictory her pool of beliefs were, Tulip concluded it would be better to develop her own religion. She kept a book of deities where she named an individual god of every inanimate object she could think of. She kept it with her always, so that she could add to it as necessary. Rose often thought that her daughter’s eclectic behavior was quite possibly the result of information overload. She was never certain if her daughter would mature to understand things as they were.

When Tulip attempted to single-handedly take down the Marion County School Board after the implementation of block scheduling in the eighth grade, Rose began to worry. Her tweenager was writing papers on anarchy and even worse, socialism. She was becoming a weekly feature in the Ocala Star-Banner’s editorial section; each week her ideas became more complex and oddly, more possible. Rose immediately implemented required reading for Tulip in addition to her summer reading requirements. She would also need to read Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations and The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation by David Ricardo. Rose Touzie also started discussing rich capitalists like Warren Buffet as often as possible at the dinner table and how “awesome” it was to be American. She did everything she could. And after that failed, she bought her a guitar.

Freddie Hornito had listened to Tulip play her guitar on many occasions. All of them had involved a group of about nine close friends and a bottle of Jose Cuervo. If she had planned on supplementing her retirement with income earned from guitar performances she would have to learn more than five chords. Even though Freddie only knew Tulip for three-quarters of a year, he was sure that she wouldn’t be willing to go that far. Tulip was really good at learning almost anything really fast and she always quit as soon as things became too complicated. For this reason, Freddie didn’t see this early retirement coming. The burrito business was as uncomplicated as things could be. Tulip learned everything real fast and nothing ever changed, so she could just coast like a car on cruise control; and so could he.

Freddie sat there apple core in hand and said, “Tulip, you’ve gotta’ explain this to me. Retirement? I just don’t see how you’re gonna’ support yourself.”

“I figure I can just work for rent, you know like the Mennonites or whatever, and then travel a bit. You know, while I’m young. Old people are always using retirement to travel. I wanna’ do it while I’m young. And hot.” Tulip said frankly.

Freddie Hornito was not familiar with the Mennonites, but if Tulip said they existed then it must be true. A later search through Wikipedia confirmed that they were in fact real and there were 1.5 million of them world-wide which meant Tulip would have a lot of people out there looking out for her. Tulip was happy that after much deliberation, Freddie decided not only to support her early retirement but also to give her a thousand bucks towards the cause. Freddie wanted to go with Tulip and knew she’d welcome the company, but he was on probation for possession of illegal arms. Tulip knew Freddie was completely harmless and had petitioned his arrest after learning that the guns were a family heirloom. The guns held so much historical value that Freddie was afraid to register them for fear that someone from the registry would get greedy and try to steal the Cuban weapons for themselves. That and the fact that he had also been arrested for possession of marijuana so many times that he assumed they wouldn’t let him cross the border anyhow. Shit, if he made any missteps they just might ship him back to Cuba. And that would undo all that his parents had done to keep him here. No, Freddie Hornito figured he was better off staying in Florida. He told Tulip to use the money to buy him some more decorations for the restaurant, and send him some postcards while she was at it.

Tulip smiled and agreed, but they had turned off the music an hour ago after a cop on his lunch break persistently knocked on the door, jonesing for a chicken burrito. She knew without Sammy Hagar in the background, she was likely to forget her promise in about a week. In fact, she would be surprised in a week when she noticed her bank balance had increased by a thousand dollars. And even more surprised to learn that it was she who made the deposit. How incredibly curious, she’d think.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Gaspirilla '09 One Hell of a Good Time

Ever been to Gaspirilla with 10 crazy girls and one bachelorette? I have. Suckas!

This past weekend after getting my fill of casseroles and assorted baked goods at my bestie's bridal shower, I packed a suitcase and carpooled with 10 awesome ladies to Tampa for Gaspirilla. The result: unbridled debauchery, and ultimate good times. We packed 5 party people to a car and danced our way to Tampa. We arrived at the hotel for check in and to our dismay learned we had trusted our GPS more than our common sense and were, in fact, at the wrong hotel. A potty break later we were back in the car, satisfied that our hotel was better than that one anyway, seeing as that one smelled like onions and croissants.

We pulled up to the right Hilton and were quickly intrigued by the amount of sunburnt party people with mardi gras beads and Bud Lights. Anxious to put on our party dresses and penis nametags, we unloaded the car and popped a bottle of Arbor Mist Champagne; which was a white trash delight. (The aroma of sparkling wine cooler lingered in our room thereafter).

We hit the town with a cabbie who played Trick Daddy
and let us squeeze 10 butts into 6 butt capacity. This lead to an overlap of four butts. Good way to get to know these chicks. After a dinner of croquettes and Jameson gingers, we hit YBOR like a hurricane. Decked out in a veil with shot glasses and a T-shirt with gummy lifesavers dangling about the mid-section that said, "Suck for a Buck", my bestie was ready for some pirate scouting.

First club we walk past has a line and the door guy quickly sweeps us in and waves cover. We're thinking
hells yes this night is going to rock! 10 shots of tequila and we hit the dance floor. We dance like maniacs and when man whores try to lurk in and infringe on our girl bubble, Megan A flips them out with her white girl jersey fist pump. (Of course she only pumps for the ugly ones.) We hustle the cute ones for our bachelorette. I mean shoot, its her last chance to get some suckers to buy her a drink! Disparaged by the overwhelming amount of over confident gel heads and thugs, we bounce to the next bar.

PIRATES are everywhere at the next bar! And so are drinks for our bachelorette. The girl was on fire at this spot and must've pulled about twenty bucks from here "suck for a buck" t-shirt. One pirate named Brian (with the crazy eye) is spending WAY to much time with our bride to be and luckily he's outed by a real pirate who yells something like, "He's not even a real pirate. Look at his hat. It be made of foam. Yarg." The MOH and I decide it's okay to just get on stage and make announcements at our leisure. I give a heartfelt shout out to my Megan and the ladies all get a hold of percussive devices strewn about the stage. Next t
hing we know the bride to be is on stage spanking a pirate and getting a song dedication whilst 10 crazy ladies are dancing and playing tambourines and moroccos... and me and Jennie are yelling, "More Cowbell!!" We leave on a high note and skip our way over to Coyote Ugly for some bar dancing.

The bachelorette's on the bar as fast as she can climb and Christine's right behind her for some partner dancing. Our girl pulls in some more dough for her drink fund and actually gets a little reprimanding from the bouncer for letting someone eat
a Life-Saver off her shirt. Apparently they have a rule there that people can't touch the ladies dancing on the bar. (Good rule if you're not wearing a t-shirt covered in gummy delights.) We dance like ass holes to Avril Lavign and assorted raunchy bar classics and we ride out to the next bar.

My tootsies need a break and I see a row of giant Harley's parked on the curb so I ask an old leather daddy if I can sit on his bike and rest my weary feet. He's cool with it so I kick back and relax on the Harley. The bachelorette and I have a full fledged photo shoot which we took very seriously at the time.
The pics are priceless.The leather daddy offers to take our crew for a ride but he's three bikes short of a deal. Damn.

We pretty much bust the doors down at the Irish Pub next door and I quickly convince some gentlemen to let us get in on the next game of beer pong. Chrissy pulls through as a first string hero and we beat the guys into submission during round one. Meanwhile the ladies have met a good looking UFC fighter and we've got a gay girl turning straight on us. We must be drunk! For this reason we decide it's a good idea to drink irish car bombs AND red headed sluts. We're one throw into round two of beer pong and I'm turning Puerto Rican with my beer pong psych-out-the-other-team-strategies when the bachelorette yells "RIDE OUT LADIES!!!" And we're off to whatevies is next.

We're walking to the next bar when Megan A. drops her lipgloss and bends down to pick it up. Her control top is busting out of her short dress but it's the liquid pouring from her purse that I'm looking at. We're all confused, WTF was that?! "Oh shit! That's our Bud Lights from the last bar! I was gonna' pull them out when we got to the next place..." Wow.

We're wild'n'out yo.

Things start getting fuzzy right about here...but I know the following happened. The BTB forced Christine to trade her shoes because her whore shoes were killing her, a bouncer stole a Special K Bar from Megan A's purse, Jaime shook her booty on the dance floor, Christine fell off of the bachelorette's lap and onto the street, Chrissy STILL had a rash in the shape of a penis on her chest from her unusual penis nametag allergic reaction, Megan A and I purchased more "purse beers", and lastly I bit a hole in Megan A's tights in retribution of a previos incident which resulted in my tights being ripped.

A little after 3am, we bombarded a taxi van on the corner of 5th and 12th who was conveniently stopped at a red light and therefor could not escape our posse. Against his will, we all piled in the 6 butt capacity seating and Megan A sat on Amy resulting in some backseat discomfort. Meanwhile, our other Megan (the bachelorette) did a roll call on repeat and responded for those not listening. We hopped out of that clown car and into our suites for some rest. The fact that the cleaning staff was laughing at me in the morning leads me to believe we may have made a scene....

Basically, we kept it classy.

*A special shout out to Melissa and Jennie for making this bachelorette party rock!!!*