Archive for the 'Stories' Category

The Saddening Plight of the Lowliest Kitchen Utensil

Photo from Flickr user, Gelzerman

Hey there! Remember me? We met at the grocery store five years ago, right after you moved into that new apartment. You were picking up some Ben and Jerry’s for your date night when you bumped into me while I was hanging out on a hook by the freezer aisle. At first it was just a sidewards glance; I was sure you would just keep going and never look back. It’s okay, I understand. Measuring cups seem to get all the attention these days but you know how they are. Never there when you need them. Always getting lost, then you have to go find them only to realize they’ve been used by someone else. Caked in some sort of super-adhesive, animal feces-looking substance… And that’s if you’re lucky! Most times they’ll just up and leave within a month of moving in––and without even a word! But I digress…

Apparently something about me caught your eye. Maybe it was my chromed scoop; ever so lustrous and curvaceous. So shiny it could give Rudy Giuliani’s forehead a run for its money! Or maybe it was the allure of my scoop release lever. With a flick of your thumb, it ejects any number of frozen treat from my clutches no matter how sticky it may be. How could you possibly resist this new-fangled technology? Oh how I wish you had chosen me for either of those features, or even my ribbed, silicone grip; but alas, I know this is not the case. I was on sale at the right time and place.

You and your beau had just moved in together and were purchasing ice cream but realized you had no way of scooping it––or so you told yourself. Let’s be honest for a second; I’d like to believe that you chose me because I filled a need in your life but what actually caught your eye was my price tag. Only $8 for all this functionality and what’s this? Made in France! Oh what a steal I was for you. You probably called up your friends, bragging about what a good deal I was. Treating me like a prized possession… “I am useful!” I thought triumphantly, “This person has given me purpose in my meager existence” little did I know the fate that was to befall me.
Sure you used me that night. Cherry Garcia, was it? And maybe a few times in the weeks immediately following. Okay, I admit it. I remember each scoop like it was yesterday! Cherry Garcia, Phish Food, Karamel Sutra, and… that’s it. You’ve ignored me ever since, eating ice cream with spoons like the uncouth animals you are. Five. Whole. Years I’ve sat idle.

Since then, you got married and got a bunch of other crap as “presents”. There I sit: day in, day out in the furthest corner of your utensil drawer. Watching in agony as you reach for the vegetable peeler or the citrus zester or even the goddamn garlic crusher! What the fucking fuck––you don’t know how to use a fucking chef’s knife? You didn’t buy me because you needed me, you bought me because I was… cheap! I feel like a dirty whore except I can’t even turn tricks; you won’t let me. I’m an Ostrich, I need to run! Across the plains of french vanilla and Neapolitan, taking in all my surroundings and presenting them in a semi-regular hemisphere! I’m suffocating in here and you don’t even care. No one cares!

Maybe someday you’ll have kids and you’ll need more space. Maybe you’ll move out of this dingy place. Maybe while you’re packing you’ll see me here: neglected, rusting, covered in dust. Maybe you’ll take pity on me and clean me up and take me with you. Maybe you’ll even remember to take me out at the kids’ birthday parties so that their scoops look extra special one day out of the year. But let’s be honest, you’ll probably throw me out along with the melon baller, the melted spatula, and the Slapchop. I’ll wind up in a landfill somewhere because your dumb ass was too lazy to recycle me. I’ll look up into the blue sky for the last time before I’m covered with more perfectly functional yet totally useless crap, and that will be that. Until you go to buy ice cream again and realize you don’t have an ice cream scoop but what’s this? It’s on sale for only $8? How could you pass this up!

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Happy Holidays!

In the next week or so, many of you will be heading over to your relatives’ houses. Your mom and dad will be there, so will grandma and grandpa, maybe even your great aunt and uncle. They’ll all be dressed differently, maybe some will have aged better than others but every single one of them will have something in common: they’ll all want your tech advice. We all like making jokes about how old people can’t use technology and we like to complain about how hard it is to teach them. Although this is often the case, just think back to why you even bothered trying in the first place.The following story took place over the most recent Thanksgiving break; my first time home from college. I hope that you may take a thing or two away from my story and remember what the holidays are truly about.

“What’s the difference between this youtube and that youtube?” Grandma says in sing-song Mandarin pointing to the two icons on her new iPad.

“One is the app and one is a bookmark to the website” I try to explain. Of course to her, there was no difference between the two.

She asks for the third time: “So which one can I watch Chinese soap operas on?”

“Neither!” I reply, thoroughly exasperated. At this point I’ve reached the limit of my feeble Mandarin vocabulary. I continue in broken Chinglish along the lines of, “It’s illegal putting company’s show on internet. The government lawsuit sea-pirates if they steal television!” I look up at her and she’s still as confused as ever; I’m frustrated with her and at my inability to communicate such a basic concept in my mother-tongue.
Grandma sighs as do I–we’ve been here before.

We got her the iPad for mothers’ day hoping that she could use it to finally learn “the internet”. After all, there were literally several documented instances of septuagenarians all around the world figuring out the thing on their own. As far as personal experience goes, let’s just say there’s a reason why every old person isn’t foaming at the mouth to get one.

This is at least the third time I’ve tried to teach her to use the iPad but all she wants to do with it is watch soap operas with it. At one point I dug up a few episodes on youtube which subsequently convinced her that every show must be iPad accessible somewhere on the internet. No matter how hard I tried, there was no way I could convince her otherwise–so I gave up.

I gave up on the grandmother who had just spent her afternoon making me dinner. The same woman who travelled across the world to take care of me because my parents were working full time and couldn’t do so themselves. My grandma who left behind the rest of her family and all her friends to make sure I would grow up safe and healthy. I gave up on her because I was frustrated that she couldn’t figure out an iPad. I felt miserable, but you know who didn’t? Grandma.

After fuming for half a minute, I looked up again at her and there she was; still smiling, eyes twinkling. “I’m sorry I don’t understand this, maybe I’m just too old” she said with a chuckle.” I had no words; what could I do but hug her tightly and hope she understands I’m sorry for everything. When I think back to all she’s done for me I realize that I will never be able to pay her back. The least I could do is try my best to teach her how to “internet”. But even if I fail, which inevitably will be the case; it really is the thought that counts.

Reed College: Better than Disneyland

They say Disneyland is the most magical place on Earth and having been there many times myself, I have to agree. It is a terrific place for people of any age to just sit back and have a good time. Although it is indeed magical, it does not deserve the title of “the most magical place on Earth;” no, that title belongs to Reed College. For me, it is that time of life; college picking season! Continue reading ‘Reed College: Better than Disneyland’

Snowmodo 2009

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There’s a tech blog that I regularly frequent called Gizmodo, and last weekend was their second annual Snowmodo ski and snowboard reader meet up in Northstar Ski Resort. Seeing as two of my favorite things in the world are snowboarding and gadgets, there was no way I would miss this for the world! Unfortunately, the world had something else planned… None of my friends could make it up, I couldn’t find a ride with any of the other readers either. In a last ditch effort to find a ride up, I joined a bay area skiing forum which I knew nothing about in hopes of soliciting a ride. As luck would have it, a guy in my town promptly posted an ad stating that he was going up to Northstar for a day trip on the same day as the event! I eagerly packed my bags and come Saturday morning at 4:45 in the morning, we were off. Continue reading ‘Snowmodo 2009’


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