Fear & Loathing in the New Shen Wong Good Taste Restaurant

I was looking through my old files and came across this piece I wrote one late night in November of 2013. It is a humorous but fully authentic review of my meal at a Chinese restaurant that is sadly no longer in business. I hope it brings you the same sensation of uneasy nostalgia it brings me.

 

Yesterday I felt like having a succulent Chinese meal, so I slid over to the “New Shen Wong Good Taste Restaurant”, it was an experience I shan’t soon forget. The restaurant is situated off Burnside on 4th, bordering a homeless slum. Their menu offers a typical selection of Chinese-American cuisine. I was greeted at the entrance by a shaggy, smelly old tramp from the next door slum. As I moved to step over him he mumbled some sort of apology and quickly shuffled off. Inside the eatery I was met with the grim gaze of a short sultry chinaman seated behind a counter along the back wall, he refused to acknowledge my presence. I assumed this passive attitude implied I was to seat myself. I did so and took the opportunity to survey the establishment.

The first thing that struck me, besides the smell, was the total absence of any other customers. The empty dining room was decorated with the usual nonsense, cheap cardboard cutouts of chinese symbols, floral-pattern mildew streaked curtains, and damp pink tablecloths stained with the marks of countless unwashed spills. The brown felt carpet seemed to be saturated in a foul smelling liquid that made the entire building stank. Precariously situated behind the sultry man at the back was an enormous glass tank which was full of half dead fish. I realized the tank’s turgid water was slowly leaking from its poorly sealed edges and may have been the source of the carpet’s odorous moisture. I must admit I was not very impressed.

After a quarter of an hour or so waiting at my chosen seat, another leaner chinaman with a sour look on his face approached me from the kitchen. He took my order and slunk into the back where he, along with the other sultry man, stared at me for the duration of my meal. I selected the pork fried rice with a side of crispy shrimp and a mysterious dish identified only as “hot meat sauce on egg noodle”. I waited some great length of time before the food was finally placed before me. What I encountered on those plates will remain in my memory for the rest of my days. The shrimp was outwardly recognizable, yet when I bit into one I was surprised to find a profound absence of shrimp. Where the succulent sweet meat should have been there was only a wad of under-cooked bitter batter. This disappointing discovery was repeated with three more shrimp before I gave up. The illusive “hot meat sauce” turned out to be hamburger helper served over a small portion of cold noodles. The substance that claimed to be rice revealed itself to actually be a stale mound of brown vomit permeated by the occasional colored shape which I assumed where once vegetables. Oddly the rice was the best dish of the lot, it tasted vaguely of coconuts and had a scent reminiscent of pond scum that made me wonder if perhaps a sailor was operating the kitchen. I was also given a complimentary bowl of what I initially guessed was soup, however it was actually dishwater with a bit of onion tossed in.  

I could not bring myself to finish any of the food, still I paid the bill ($25, before tip). When I stood to leave the miserable experience, I looked back at the kitchen to thank the server and was met with his cold and suspicious glare, so I just made my way to the door in silence. As I stepped through the threshold back into the musty chinatown air, a woman from the restaurant called out to me. Apparently I had forgotten my umbrella. She held it out and said in broken English “you not get dis till you clean”. I promptly snatched the umbrella and ran. If I was to rate “New Shen Wong Good Taste Restaurant” on a scale of Hitler to Reagan, I would give it an Obama (approximately Stalin+Hitler-Napoleon=Thatcher/Clinton). So when you walk the streets of chinatown looking for some good taste, think twice.

The Gland Incoherence

Has it been long enough to write this? It’s only taken me what, a year?

In all seriousness, there have been a mix of things keeping me away from the keyboard, from the unacceptable excuse of  laziness to an increased quality of my life (such an increase, in fact, that there have been no gripes to catalog). That said, one of the chief reasons is that this story is unpleasant; yes, most of my stories are unpleasant, but this one is worse. Sure, one could suggest avoiding it for the time being, but not only have I already postponed too many Gripes (don’t worry, Fini – we’ll complete your tale someday), there is an importance in getting this one out of the way early.

Because it’s nasty.

Whatever, enough build-up. On we go:

The Gland Incoherence

After a somewhat bizarre trip across the state of Oregon (we’ll get to this another time), fellow writer Funky and I found a temporary home in the apartment of our friend, Garrett. He was living on the second story of a popular downtown complex, splitting rent with a friendly middle-eastern man named Abdul (who soon, from a mixture of general discomfort and strange American antics, would be moving out). There we cooked slabs of fish in whiskey, slept in a sweaty pile atop randomly assembled mattresses, and chain-smoked enough cigarettes to personally incite climate change. In a simultaneously fun and impossibly bleak way, it was a perfectly enacted stereotype of the urban, white, twenty-something lifestyle –  communal, loud, directionless, indulgent, and somehow still quite lonely. Jolly Oswald was there, too.

On the second night of our stay, a tragically misinterpreted light appeared, something I took as a lifeboat to fight my grubby first-world emptiness with; this light was a young woman. Yeah, that’s where this grease-stain of a story goes. Good old unreliable Mack fucks it up again, combining his classic weakness with impossible ignorance and desperation that is (admittedly) often seen, though not usually implemented in such a catastrophic way.

Her name was Ysabelle. I mean it wasn’t; she went by Jasper, then revoked it (“call me by my real name,” she once asked me soulfully), then took back revoking it because fuck it. So we’re calling her Ysabelle. Just let that one slide.

She was an on-and-off nonbinary, hetero-but-sometimes-bisexual-polyamorous, semisexual nymphomaniac who was in love with two other people upon the time of meeting me (one of them being a trans woman who had recently reverted to identifying as male again, because they had just completed a stint in prison and wanted to fight for custody of their alienated children). Also, she was pretty nice. Also also, she had cervical cancer (this is important and you should remember it). Also also also, I’ve been thinking about giving up on this story ever since beginning this awful paragraph, but I won’t because it’s literally been a year since I’ve contributed anything to this literary pile of refuse.

The first night we met, she sat down on Garrett’s couch and told me that she had fallen madly in love with me. I asked her what made her so sure about this (we’d been talking to each other for about an hour, now), and she kissed me instead of answering my question, because it was both easier than improvising reasons behind a falsely proclaimed emotion, and I was too much of a shithead to ask for anything beyond spontaneous and rudimentary sensual gratification. That night, we slept in the same bed, but there was virtually no touching – though this detail may seem a little arbitrary, it left an incredible impact, as we were so immediately close and yet without a shred of intimacy. Beyond that first kiss, there was nothing.

Fast-forward a handful of days, and all of that would go tits-up.

See, roughly around the time of meeting her, I reacquainted with another young woman (don’t worry, she had a weird older boyfriend at the time, so this doesn’t quite go the predictable route, at least not immediately). Her name was/is/will likely remain Sofia, and I very much liked/like/will continue to like her. By like, I mean feel gross romantic things (I like her more than I dislike cherry candy, which is a really big deal if you understand how much I truly despise cherry candy, and also this is another thing you should keep in mind for later). When Funky and Oswald proposed we go and see Sofia, I was on-board in a way that lacked all subtlety and grace; witnessing the activation of my Attention-Seeking Vacuum, hindsight provides the understanding that Ysabelle was probably made nervous by this pitiful display of need, and opted to come along as a chastity belt rather than a guest. I was too dense to see this, as my empathetic skills had crash-landed at an record low, and I honestly believed it would be a wise idea to bring her along. It wasn’t.

Shortly after we reached Sofia’s house, it was painfully obvious where my attention would be for the remainder of our visit. Within minutes, Ysabelle had spread herself on Sofia’s living room couch, telling me that she was tired and wanted to take a break from all of the socializing. When I attempted to rejoin said socializing, she grabbed my pant-leg and drew me back to where she was lying, showing me a tattoo that ran the extent of her forearm. Terribly paraphrased by my garbage memory, it said “I was birthed from the rot and the flowers, and when I die I will at last rejoin them.” She told me the words bore great significance, but wouldn’t reveal what significance that was; when I asked again, she demanded that I admit my mutual love for her, and after I responded by saying nothing, it was her turn to repeat a question. I choked out something along the lines of “I don’t think so,” doubtlessly sounding like an intoxicated Muppet doing an impression of a deaf person trying to whisper across a stadium (this analogy solely exists to communicate my inability with tact, please don’t read into it).  The response I gave upset her, but I couldn’t really tell (refer back to that Muppet thing I just apologized for), so I went out with the rest of the squad to drink water that tasted like runny mud and was also a muscle relaxant. Jump to a couple of hours later, and we were back at the house, loosened up and acting like a bunch of assholes.

“I want to go back to the apartment,” Ysabelle said.

Feeling genuinely terrible, the cruelty of the situation hit me like Ron Jeremy’s wrecking ball. Though not enough, I was very remorseful, and offered to ride back on the bus with her (none of us drove at the time). On the way home, she shared much of her life with me, some stories truthful and others clearly fabricated, and all I could think was “I have ruined this person’s life,” which was admittedly an amazingly dramatic thing to be thinking, but it gets worse so hold on a second.

The events took place as follows:

We arrived at Garrett’s apartment, and nobody we knew was home. Abdul had some friends over, and they were playing a game in the living room, dance music pounding from a speaker near the balcony.  A sinking feeling filled my gut, sickening but difficult to explain, and I couldn’t keep my sight from locking onto my own feet.

Once we retreated into the bedroom, Ysabelle shut the door behind us and threw me a small bottle of lubricant. I almost dropped it, and when my eyes unlatched from what she had given me (I swear to God, I thought it was lip balm at first), she began to tear her clothes off like they were on fire. It looked like a bad eighties commercial, where a glam-rock girl with a pixie haircut and Member’s Only jacket is knocking shit off the shelf like it’s going out of style, and apparently this is supposed to be selling you Levi’s jeans. Only I didn’t want the Levi’s jeans that Ysabelle was selling me, so I stood there like a scarecrow and watched as my reality became a hilarious nightmare.

“I want you to fuck me,” she hissed, trying to tear my shirt off and scratching my back. Her nails reminded me of a movie poster I saw once, where a werewolf was ripping his claws through the screen, making this face like “I don’t give a shit, I’m breaking the fourth wall!” However, in this case, the fourth wall was the skin between my shoulder blades, and it wasn’t a Joe Dante film.

Soon enough, we were on the floor. “Put on the lube,” she was snapping at me. “Put on the lube.” I had never used lubricant before, and this whole ordeal was ludicrously weird, but I did my best to comply. Uncapping the container, I spilled way too much into my palm, and began mashing it inelegantly against my partially flaccid penis, the liquid far colder than I had anticipated, dripping onto the carpet and sheets beneath us. The scent of artificial cherry flooded into my nostrils, and I began to wretch, trying to pretend like I was stifling a cough as vomit threatened to eject from the back of my throat.

“Is it on?” she asked.

I tried to nod, propping the balance of my body onto one elbow and hurling the lube angrily across the room, the frigid sensation that once coated my balls transitioning into one of heat, awful stinging heat, as though the substance was attempting to drill into the follicles of my testicle hair. My thighs trembled and I began to sweat, but the combined tension and extremity of the moment prevented me from articulating this pain, so I said nothing.

“I shaved my pussy,” she gasped, her speech greatly worsening the sense of impending sick. “Put it in.”

Biting my lip, I began to enter her, but like all other happenings within this story, such an act did not go as planned. There was something inside of her, something bulbous and fleshy that was so large in size, it seemingly left a bulge in the skin above her groin. The sight and feel of it shocked me, and my mind returned instantly to her cervical cancer, my hand brushing over her skin in attempts to recognize what I was dealing with, the rough hairs of her shaved vagina scratching my open palm as I resisted the urge to break my own neck.  There was something wrong here, and although I was worlds away from being a sexual expert, it was all too apparent that this was a special sort of case.

Pulling back from her, I stood up, grabbing my underpants and sliding them on at lightning speed. Our gazes connected, and she too shot up, whipping a blanket like a cape about her shoulders and sprinting into the bathroom. Upon Garrett’s mattress, I sat alone, sliding back into my clothing and doing my best to ignore the stench which now filled his room.

When she returned, she was weeping. “I don’t know what you did to me,” she cried, holding out her bloody hands, squeezing her legs together with a tuft of toilet paper jutting out the front. “Do you have something?”

“Something?”

“An STD, do you have an STD?”

“No,” I scrambled for the right thing to say, fidgeting awkwardly in place. “I don’t. For sure I don’t.”

“Then,” she tilted her head down, shadows casting dramatically across her face in the shitty lamplight, “I think you found it. The cancer; you found the cancer.”

Although I have no clue how such a thing works, or if one is actually capable of “finding” cervical cancer with their botched erection, there was no doubt in my mind that whatever had just transpired was deeply wrong.

That night, once Garrett and Funky had returned, we all laid down together and watched an animated movie. After she had fallen asleep, I brought Garrett into the hallway and told him about what happened. He had been drinking something at the time, and upon gaining this information, pitched his cup against the plaster wall, glass shards and extra-pulp orange juice cascading through the air. “I care very much about her,” he said, stepping about the glass (we were both barefoot). “I haven’t told you this before, but when we first met, she told me that she loved me, and we also had sex too, and I also found the cancer.”

“What?”

He spoke frantically – “I mean I found it, the cancer. I found it, too. I touched it with my penis.”

I shook my head and he disappeared through a nearby doorway, quickly returning with some traffic cones he’d allegedly stolen. Setting them on either side of the mess, he clapped his hands together as though dusting them off, then headed back into the apartment. The cones, along with everything else, remained there unattended for days.

The following morning, we made coffee and sat out on the balcony. She was leaving to see her doctor soon, to discern if anything new and/or horrible had occurred inside of her body. I dumped a comical amount of Funky Mannequin’s raw tobacco into a rolling paper and nodded along, beginning the second stint of chain-smoking that would prove to rival the first. About halfway through my massive smoke, she proposed to me.

“Let’s just get married,” she said. “We love each other, we can just get married and go wherever we want to.”

Politely as I could, I declined, so she took a bus to Vancouver and asked the no-longer transgender parolee if he would like to marry her instead. He also declined, so she stayed in Portland and drank the baby to death.

Oh, you thought I was going to end on a funny line. No, that’s seriously it, that’s how this story ends.

Sorry, folks.

A drawing of Ysabelle, made shortly after our unfortunate encounter. Yeah, I know I’m an edge-lord, sorry.

 

Next Up: Seven Sinks And The Bridge Of Despair
And Maybe Then: The Unplanned Interference
And Eventually Someday: Acid-Master Reverend Stu’s Californian Romp
And Then Eventually Someday Somehow After All That: 260 Miles: The Borderline Homoerotic Tales Of Traveling Way Too Far On Foot And Getting Ticks On Your Nutsack

Floor-Sleepin’: Ep. 3 – The 2nd Annual MacBook Pro Shitting of the Bed

So here’s the fuckin’ deal: When I went to college, I went to a film school, and as part of the program, we all got MacBook Pros and thousands of dollars worth of software. We got these in December of 2012, and it was as if Crushmush came early.

Exactly a year later, in December of 2013, my Mac shit the bed.

I was trying to copy some files from a USB drive over to a folder and in the middle of the process, the fucker froze. I let it sit, half expecting it to un-fuck itself, and waited. After an hour or so of waiting, I gave up on the situation getting any better and forced it to shut off, holding down the power button until it powered down.

After it turned off, I gave it a few seconds before turning it back on again. However, when it turned on, it lingered on the gray screen with the Apple logo, the shut itself off. I repeated this infuriating little game over and over again, but to no avail. Shit was fucked, yo.

I scoured the internet (on my trusty PC) for hope. For something. Anything. Anything at all that could fix the little metallic bitch of a door-stop. I had so much work on it and all these expensive programs. The night it happened, I was so angry and sad and depressed, I sat down on the floor of my apartment all alone in the dark and wept pathetically before getting up and leaving to get dinner.

The next day, I bought an external hard drive and tried in vain to use the disk utility to try to copy my files over. Then there was a glimmer of hope. My roommate, Eli, walked in with his friend Josh. I asked Josh if I could borrow his Mac so I could put mine into target disk mode and transfer files from it through his over to my external HD. He obliged, and set his computer up. I put mine into target disk mode, plugged in the fire wire, and plugged it into his Mac. There it was, sitting on his desktop, ready to be plundered for all its sacred data.

I spent the bulk of the day copying the entire HD over to the external, being ever so careful to not accidentally unplug one, or let them fall asleep.

When the deed was done, I scheduled an appointment for the Genius Bar at the nearest Apple store, which for me at the time living in Hollywood, was in this magical place called The Grove. I asked my roommate’s girlfriend Stefania if she could drive me down to The Grove on the specified date (because she was the only one of us who had a car).

Grumpy Cat at The Grove. Sell out....

Grumpy Cat at The Grove. Sell out….

Now, I loathe Los Angeles. But The Grove, man…. That place was beautiful. It was lined with all sorts of high-end shops and restaurants/places where I was too poor to enter. It was beautiful nonetheless, especially considering it was Crushmush time, so they had all the decorations up and the soundtrack for the Charlie Brown Crushmush special could be heard intermittently over the speakers. The See’s Candies was giving out free samples. We bought mint toffee lollipops. We met Grumpy Cat. We perused the Barnes & Noble, which was three stories high, and bought Starbucks holiday coffees.

Eventually, my appointment came around, and I ventured off to the Apple store. I climbed the glass stairs, checked in, and sat down to await the illustrious Genius. They arrived and I went over my predicament, explained how I backed up my data, and they began tinkering with the machine to see what could be the problem. As it turns out, the drive had been completely fucked and was unable to ever boot. I was lucky I was even able to get my data off it at all. He was going to need to replace the drive. I handed him my Mac, thanked him for the help, and I returned to Stefania and Eli so we could depart from the consumerist wonderland of The Grove.

…As in Benito Mussolini. I like to think I was being subtle; Josh told them “Adolph….” (Yes, I know, I did eventually trim my nails.)

A few days later, I received an email to notify me that my Mac had been repaired and that it was ready for me to retrieve it. We made another trip to The Grove, got my Mac, snagged some more free samples, killed time in Barnes & Noble, and got the barista at Starbucks to write the names of horrible historical figures on our cups, and finally left. I spent the rest of the night transferring all my stuff back.

I thought that was going to be the last major problem I was ever going to have with my MacBook Pro.

I was so fucking sorely mistaken.

Exactly a year later, which, you know… is this month, I went to do some work on my Mac. Was gonna fire up Illustrator and get some graphic design work done. I was loading up some fonts when I saw there was a new software update. I finished what I was doing and installed the update. After it was finished, it needed to restart, which I let it do.

During the restart, a gray screen with various lines of text in a multitude of languages popped up saying there was an error and to press any key to continue or to let it do so on its own. I let it go on its own, not wanting to jinx it. What followed was an hour-long stint of the gray loading screen with the Apple logo and a little spinning graphic. I powered down the computer as a bead of sweat graced my brow. I powered it back up again and was met with the same image. A wave of heat coursed through my body. It happened again.

It was the 2nd Annual MacBook Pro Shitting of the Bed….

Again, more searching for answers. More solutions that don’t work. More sweat. More tears. More anger, more depression.

The good news was that I hadn’t done any extra work since the 1st Bed-Shitting. Anything lost honestly wasn’t worth saving or it wasn’t finished/hadn’t had a lot of work put into it.

The Apple store at Pioneer Place in downtown Portland, OR.

The Apple store at Pioneer Place in downtown Portland, OR.

So I was off to yet another Apple store. I made an appointment for the Genius Bar at the new Pioneer Place Apple store here in downtown Portland. The store is beautiful and so is that area of Portland, but not much merriment, or Starbucks, was had as I only had time for them to fix the Mac. The operating system was practically non-existent due to the error during the install. I had to get the OS re-installed.

And now my Mac is back to square which-ever-number-it-was-before-the-first-bed-shitting.

Here’s the thing about Macs: They’ll do a lot of nifty things and they’ll do them well. But when they fuck up, THEY FUCK UP HARD.

(I guess this is also a reminder to back your shit up.)

[Next: True Jackassery – Tales from Hollywood 1
A new series about my crazy-ass college experiences.
Floor-Sleepin’ will resume at a later point.]

The Broiling Fires of Hell

I used to work as a cashier in a Burger King. It was an easy job. All I really had to do was take people’s orders and look busy for the rest of the time. Occasionally I would work Drive-Thru, which was pretty fun because I got to talk to people over a radio headset and stick my head out the window and suck in a quick breath of fresh air, because orders had to go out at a break-neck pace. There was also the constant danger of slipping on the greasy floors and maiming myself, or worse, falling into the deep fryers.

One day, an old friend of mine showed up from who-even-knows where he’d been living. He was only around for a short time, so the only chance we had to catch up was on my 30 minute break. He drops by, picks me up, and we drive around and talk about the old days; the shenanigans we pulled. At some point, we stop in the woods to smoke some weed. Well, to smoke a lot of weed. More than I should have to be in the right mind going back into work.

So I arrive back at work to resume my shift as a cashier, except my manager approaches me with a new job. “I want you to work the broiler,” she tell me. I replied enthusiastically, “sure thing!” I had no idea what she was talking about. She proceeded to walk me back to the broiler, and I find myself deep in the dark, dank bowels of Burger King, staring at the steel heart of the restaurant. A large, sturdy machine which has accumulated only a slight rust over many years. There is a slot on the top of the back-side. From it, you can see inside the heart, and the fiery hell-storm inside paints the walls red. My boss looks as though she’s burning alive at an uncomfortable rate as she tells me how to put patties on the tray, slide the tray into the broiler, and let it cook for a time. Afterwards, a small plastic tray should be placed in a side compartment where cooked patties fire out. She then walks away, leaving me alone to fend for myself in Hell.

Well, I tried cooking about 3 or 4 trays of patties, but I kept forgetting to set a tray in the side-slot. So they keep coming out, I keep feeling the flames licking my eyes, and I’m trying to pick them up with a spatula and tongs, but they keep falling apart and I can’t get them out. I think I heard yelling in the background. I don’t understand what’s happening or why, or how anyone could leave me to die in such a place.

I never worked the broiler again.

Floor-Sleepin’: Ep. 2 – The Perfect Pussy

It was Sunday, November 30. A friend of mine, Branson, had come to collect me so we could venture into downtown for some jolly co-operation. Initially, we had plans to go to a sword shop… because why else would Branson want to go downtown except for the chance to gawk at lethal, sharp metal sticks.

Branson’s initial intention was to show up early, to be my alarm clock, as we like to say, and force me awake so we could embark on our metropolitan escapade. I had already been up since an ungodly early hour (as is the nature of floor-sleepin’) and was the one telling him to get up.

We made our way to his house to kill time and wait for another friend, Kyle, to not show up. He wanted to go at the mention of “sword shop”, then proceeded to take a shower, after which, he informed us that he was going to sleep instead.

We headed into downtown, bundled up against the cold and incessant wind. Downtown Portland plays host to a thing referred to as The Saturday Market, where people peddle their wares and food trucks congregate. We parked, paid, then set out to find this sword shop. It was a bit smaller than expected and was stocked with an assortment of various weapons that I wouldn’t trust Branson with. There were actual swords, assorted knives, flails, and other such dangerously named items, along with replica Master Swords that pined for our wallets to empty themselves.

After perusing for a few minutes and deciding our money best be spent elsewhere, and definitely not on regret, we left to check out the rest of the hipster bazaar. We chatted and explored, hoping maybe we’d run into somebody we knew.

At one point, I remembered something I read online: Oregon is the most booziest state in the country. I mentioned this to Branson as we were walking at which point, apparently, the words “this place” were spoken, and one of our fellow pedestrians figured this would be a good opportunity to regale us with a tale that was smoldering a profane hole through their teeth. A Russian woman with short hair wearing a coat that looked a little too big for her and a scarf, who I shan’t name mostly do to the fact that I’m a bit scared of them finding this post, turned and asked us a question:

“Can you answer something for me?”

“Um, sure.”

“Why would anyone in their right mind cut their dick off?”

Initial reaction to laugh stifled, I replied with a half-hearted “Ummm… I do not know.”

She went on to elaborate: She had seen, I think/hope to all hell, a video of a man getting his genitals cut off and reshaped into a vagina. This baffled, and assuredly, disturbed her. However, the end result was apparently a sight to behold. She called it… “the perfect pussy.” She described it in vivid detail as to the size and shape of it and its lack of hair. She couldn’t get over it. She had seen the perfect pussy. I thought maybe the subject of the video was getting a sex change/were transsexual. She asked if we knew what they called a person who would do such a thing, to which I replied “transsexual,” but she already had an answer:

“‘Fags.’ We call them ‘fags.'”

Russia must be really weird because that’s not how we use that word…. Which I guess makes The UK even weirder, I guess. Regardless…. This is where things get even more Portland. The woman tells us that she is a filmmaker and she has made music videos for bands like Guns N’ Roses (which I’m pretty fairly kinda certain that she hasn’t) and she was wondering if such a “spectacle” would be good to include in her next video. Heh, heh… NOPE. I suggested that the shock value would make it rather interesting to which she agreed. Branson pursued the music video angle a little further and asked her what sort of work she had done and asked where to find it, if she maybe had a business card. She gave us the name of a supposed YouTube account (I pulled my iPhone out to type it in, because “Oh, holy shit, if this was for real,” but Branson strongly suggested I put it the fuck away) which I later tried to find, but no cigar.

She eventually, thankfully, finished what she had to say, and bid us farewell. Deciding that we’d had enough of Portland for one day, weeks even, we headed back to his place to unwind and warm up, but not before stopping at Fire on the Mountain for some tater tots.

[Next: Ep. 3 – The 2nd Annual MacBook Pro Shitting of the Bed]

Floor-Sleepin’: Ep. 1 – My Bathrobe

So I developed a habit exactly 2 years ago: I like to wear my bathrobe all day, every day, during the winter season. I had started college late in 2012 and after a few brief months of enduring the acrid stench of Hollywood, I was allowed a short reprieve for winter break and returned to the amnesty of Portland for a short while. I slept on the couch and almost constantly wore my bathrobe, using it as a second blanket at night as a means of defense from the cold that the heater tried so fruitlessly to stave off. It didn’t help that the damn thermostat took the piss sometime last year and stopped working, rendering the heater just about useless, making my robe all the more crucial.

I elected to forego a shirt in most instances, keeping the robe closed with the sash, and hardly ever wore boxers under my pajama pants. This way, I was never too hot under the blanket but never fully subjected myself to the cold. (Yes, I am currently wearing underwear as of this writing… but for how long?)

This trend became a mainstay last year out of a combination of nostalgia/tradition and a compulsion to stay warm (for reasons stated above). I returned to Portland, cagey and in need of companionship, glad to indulge in winter break of 2013, bathrobe at the ready. Starting about sometime last month, I donned the illustrious garb and sauntered around, constantly sleepy-eyed, as the cold was making its presence known and my more vulnerable parts weren’t too thrilled. Mind you, I prefer the winter seasons, mostly because I can deal with the cold easier than the piercing simmer that is summer. Living in Portland, you’re treated to a most interesting style of winter as it doesn’t snow often, but you can always count on the infamous rain. In Portland, you don’t “bundle up and grab an umbrella,” unless you’re an unwitting tourist or a Californian pansy. Instead, we “liquor up and grab a hoodie.” Not exactly being of age, my dealings with the cold usually devolve into binge consumption of holiday coffees, peppermint teas, and spiced ciders, welcoming the warm, festive swills into my system, excreting jolliness in the form of half-lidded facial expressions, excessive lounging, and general laziness.

This year, I have added a scarf to my wardrobe. So… that’s new, I guess. But it has recently donned on me that in almost prophetic coincidence, I have become Patton Oswalt:

The way he describes his depression’s puppy-like enthusiasm, especially and most certainly regarding the bathrobe, is my life all throughout the holiday season. And rather than The Princess Bride, it’s the same old holiday specials we’ve all seen in tandem with the Cartoon Network ones from my childhood, heady with the musk of nostalgia. It is my essence, my very being. However, rather than a puppy (belligerent, repugnant cretins), I’d liken it to a fluffy kitty: Lazy-ass cat curls up and sleeps for half the time, the other half is spent ignoring any other outside stimuli with the exception of the occasional display of affection, instead focusing on whatever trivial distractions it feels up for, and eating. It is truly the vapid nature of my depression kitty that embodies the holidays, undoing any good intentions the Prozac-like months beforehand had.

At this point in the writing, I’m no longer decent (so have fun with that knowledge), and in need of a new trivial distraction.

I love the holidays!

[Next: Ep. 2 – The Perfect Pussy]

Boogers

When I am sick and laying in bed, I dig out the longest strand of snot from my nose that I can find and roll it between my fingers until it forms a solid, tacky ball, and then flick it across the room. There is a graveyard on the walls in my old bedroom.

Does it serve a purpose? No. Does it help me get better? No. Is it something I am dedicated to? No. Will it change the world? No. In fact, it just does more bad than good. It’s another way for me to be a slob, and it turns into a cement when it dries, making it incredibly difficult to remove from the wall without taking part of the wall with it. It takes something already messy and unhygienic and amplifies it.

However, what it is is a mind-numbing source of entertainment. It doesn’t require any thought process. I can do it over and over again and not become tired of it, even as my eyes begin to glaze over. It gets attention, positive or negative.

A lot like a person thrusting their warty dick of a coveted opinion into the STD-laden vagina that is the Internet.

But now I’m being a hypocrite. I really just wanted to talk about my booger catapult.