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Finding The Lost

I used to have this huge issue with finding random objects when I needed them most. I believed that it was largely due to the idea that I had some weird form of adolescent onset Alzheimer’s. Fortunately that wasn’t the case because eventually I stopped forgetting where I put my glasses five seconds after I placed them down. But every so often the same problem arises.

Take last week for example. I went to the gym with my friend and brought my house keys with me. It ended up that I didn’t need to use them to get back in the house because my parents happened to be coming home as we were getting back. Later that night, I couldn’t find my keys. I always leave them on a hook near my bedroom door, but they weren’t there, so I started looking around. I asked Julieanne if I left them in her purse while we were working out, but nope. Eventually I just assumed that I couldn’t find my keys because I had accidentally left them at the gym.

The idea wasn’t so much panic inducing for me (for my paranoid everyone-in-Stockton-will-kill-rob-stab-you parents it was) as it was annoying. I was too lazy to go back that day so I would just go back the next. However, I wanted to call them to make sure no one would take them, and as I called and asked a woman told me that they didn’t have any keys up front, but asked me anyway,

“What did they look like?”

Oh, this is probably one of those things where they have random stuff that people lose and they ask you a description of what it looks like to make sure it’s actually yours.

“It’s just a ring of three keys. One of them has this blue plastic thing on it.”

“Okay, hold on.”

“Great news!” I think. False hope actually has me believe that they’ve found my keys. The lady returns to the phone a minute later to tell me that they didn’t find anything. I thank her and tell her that I’ll come in tomorrow to look myself.

I wasn’t actually sure if I believed that she looked in the locker room to begin with, that bitch. Not that it was her fault that I had lost my keys, but I needed someone to blame my misfortune on and she was a convenient option. It ends up that the keys were under a pile of papers on my desk. I found them later that night by chance.

Tonight I had a similar issue, but one that should have been less demoralizing considering they were just a pair of AA batteries. Keys are specific. You need a definitive key to open a particular door. But batteries are whateverthefuck. As long as it’s the right type; AA, AAA, and whatever else size batteries come in, you’re good to go.

I had recently found some of my old GameCube games and brought them into my room. Last night I had an inkling to start playing some games again considering I haven’t really played anything the whole summer. But rather than play something on the Wii I chose Grand Theft Auto for the PS2. Cars were stolen. Whores were battered. Fun times were had.

Tonight I wanted to play Metal Gear Solid because I’ve had it for years and haven’t even gotten half way through the game. But rather than play it on the GameCube which was still upstairs, I wanted to play it on the Wii. It would play exactly the same and the Wii was a much more convenient distance to me (two feet away), so I went for it… only to forget that to play any game, Wii or GameCube, you had to use a Wiimote to start a game.

This is where the hell of my existence started. As is the rule of the universe, neither of my Wiimotes had batteries in them. Each Wiimote requires two AAs. “No problem,” one would think, but not for me.

The first place I searched was my bedroom. None on the immediate area of my desk. None in the little cubbies on my desk. Ah! A single AA is in a random cubby hole of my desk. One down; one to go.

Not being able to find any more in my room, I went upstairs to ask and see if my dad had any. Just the week prior he had given me four AAA batteries. Not that I had asked for them or anything. He just likes to give me stuff I may need in the future. Or prepare me for life in a bomb shelter. (I actually ended up using them for my DVD player remote. Thanks prophet Dad) Ends up he didn’t have any AAs, just another set of AAAs. Damn.

I went into the guest bedroom where lots of my random stuff, as well as the random stuff of my siblings, is stored and started to scavenge through that. But after about a minute I could tell that I wasn’t going to get any batteries out of the mess, so I went downstairs to the family room, where more random crap is stored and looked some more. What’s ironic about this whole ordeal is that I’ve probably already searched the family room in recent months for batteries to no avail. But for some reason my stubbornness tells me to look again. Nothing.

So I went back to my bedroom for the second time and started looking through bookshelves and closets. Nothing that would use batteries. I went through remotes, but they all used AAAs, fuckers. I only needed to use the batteries for like, ten seconds literally. I just needed to select the damn game on the Wii and then I could use the GameCube controller for the actual gameplay.

At this point in time I knew that I had the option of looking for my Wii-specific rechargeable batteries that were probably in a box in my closet somewhere, but I was too lazy. Or resilient. Or stubborn. I don’t know which. I also had the option of bringing the GameCube downstairs and play it on that, but I didn’t want more stuff cluttering up my room. Or I was too lazy or resilient or stubborn. I assume one of those is proper reasoning.

Either way, I ended up looking through each room again with the hope that I would magically come across some random object that contained batteries that I somehow missed the first time around. This is what bugs me the most. I always have a need to recheck a room, even if I can’t seem to find anything. I assume that others do this as well though. We torture ourselves by repeating a pointless task in the hopes that we will punch circumstance in the face and find what we are looking for. But not for me and not tonight.

I started to get desperate. I looked in the kitchen. My parents also keep random shit in the kitchen cabinets. Pens. Candles. Ritual burning papers. But not AA batteries. I looked in the bathroom. I never look for stuff in the bathroom because batteries are not a particular bathroom-useful item. And I was proven right because no, there weren’t any batteries there.

So finally, after about a half hour of rummaging through my house, I gave up on playing the damn game. It just really confused me that so many objects in our home require and use AAA batteries yet not a single one uses AA. Aren’t AA batteries more common than their scrawny sibling counterparts? I guess not in my household. It confused me even more that I had a single AA lying around in my room but not two. I knew that I had used AAs before, but I just couldn’t figure out where.

I sat back in my chair, defeated by a tiny little piece of crap. When I’m not playing games, I’m at my computer. When I’m not watching TV (actually even when I’m watching TV), I’m at my computer. And so that’s where I was, at my computer.

Ding!

Wireless mouse. What does it use? A single AA battery. The partner to the other one on my desk. I’m not sure whether I blame myself for being so thoughtless or life for being so spiteful. Maybe we’ll both take the blame for this one.

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Money Honey

I probably have a compulsive buying problem, which wouldn’t be so complicated if it weren’t for the fact that I also beat myself up for spending money on things I don’t need. The former comes from being American; the latter comes from being Chinese. It’s kind of funny how that works out. In the Land of the Free, we spend and spend and spend until someone comes knocking at our door telling us we owe him our first born child because of the insurmountable debt we occur. Hell, take my baby. I don’t care. Just give me unlimited access to eBay and I’ll be a happy camper.

My parents are fairly stable financially, but this is something I didn’t learn until my later years in college. I was always raised with the belief that we were one step away from being considered legitimately ghetto. Not the fun kind of ghetto where you get to speak ebonics or shank people for talking about your momma, but the Stockton ghetto where people take a quick look at you and regret that they did. It’s like smelling someone who hasn’t showered in a week, except that you’re smelling them with your eyes. They start to water a bit, and you’re not sure if the tears are from pity or trauma.

Any time I purchased something non-essential, I felt like I was going to hell. This was cemented by the fact that my dad was shocked at the price of anything and everything. “Oh my Got! Twenty-three dollars for Super Mario!? How come it cost so much? *sigh*” This isn’t to say that my father wouldn’t let us buy things. In fact, he generally didn’t mind as long as he had the opportunity to complain about it after.

We’re at the store and I need a new tooth brush. The Oral-B ones are nice and spiffy looking, but the generic ones are cheaper. Which do I go for? Don’t even think about touching anything that requires a battery or has spinning parts. He would have a bitch fit if he found out. At the moment I’m feeling dangerous and so I go for the Oral-B, but not the fancy one, just the basic. Not all that spiffy, but not Stockton ghetto, so it’ll do.

It’s not even the complaining or yelling that gets to me. I can stand all of that. It’s just the guilt that comes after. My dad has this way of making you feel like you’ve crushed his life savings on a whim. “$4.99 for toothbrush!?…*sigh*” Slight amounts of anger and surprise, mixed with a dash of worry. It’s that worry that gets to you. Will we be out on the streets because of my need for a designer tooth brush? I sit up and think at night, ready to pack my bags in case the eviction notice comes.

Oddly enough, my dad loves the thought of getting a good deal. It’s when he’s most happy, as it is with all Chinese people.

“Peter! I buy 5 box of Midol for you! It’s on sale, so cheap.”
“Baba, Midol is for girls. I don’t get periods.”
“It’s ok! Very cheap, so you can keep for later. I still have more box upstair if you need.”

My dad will come into my room at least twice a week with something random and offer it to me as if I had been bugging him to buy it for Christmas. It’s usually something food-related like aloe vera juice or “practical” like a flash light. And normally, this wouldn’t be an issue, except that he has the need to explain the gift as if I’d never seen it before.

“Aloe vera very good for you! The doctor say it clean out your inside. Good for skin too. Your mom use it on her scratch. We got it cheap at the store. Go ahead and drink it. Little piece of aloe vera inside. It very good for you. It has some sugar inside, but not too much so it okay.”

This is when I know to acknowledge his presence, but ignore the item. If I show any sign of interest, whether it be positive or negative, he continues his curatorial explanation for another five minutes. In the past I used to argue when I’d get random things from him that I didn’t care for. But that only made him describe the item with extra detail, pissing me off far more than I could imagine.

Either way, I’d end up with the shoe cleaner or USB automated coffee warmer, so I’ve learned to accept his “gifts”. Who knows, maybe one day when I’m on my period and start feening for a hot latte, I’ll think back to these moments and thank my dad. For now, I’ll just buy that video game off of eBay and wait for the next time he enters my room, wondering if it’s going to be lecture on spending or a new pair of ShamWows.

Fish Can Be Bitches Too

Yesterday I added two new ghost shrimp to my tank. But more to my enjoyment were the two free snails I got from the pet store. I asked the wife of the owner if they were selling them, even though I assumed they were because there was ink on the tank that read $3.99 per snail. However, the snails I wanted were extremely tiny. Maybe one third the size of a tic tac. How could a snail that small be $3.99!? And luckily, they weren’t. She gave me two for free, which pretty much made my day.

Today I was around the area of Pet Smart and I knew they had some yellow guppies. I had been meaning to replace Betty since she died, but I never did because I thought it would be improper to get another fish so quickly after her death.

I did some research on my snails to see what they were like, and apparently most people consider them pests. They spawn like crazy and overtake the tank if you let them. The snails usually come into fruition through live plants owners purchase and put in their tank. They hide like stowaways and then have hermaphroditic sex all over the place. I also learned that guppies fight when there’s overcrowding in the tank. Currently, Yu is attacking the shit out of Percy, my newly named yellow guppy. I feel sad for Percy. I thought the three of them were getting along, but Yu has been at it for the past hour. Yu’s also getting snippy with Oliver, but Oliver is a good boy and doesn’t really fight back. He’s definitely the more relaxed fish out of the pair.

Sadly, Percy has to hide in the lower, coach part of the tank while Yu and Oliver enjoy the richness of the top. In my attempt to appease their anger and violence, I considered sacrificing one of my ghost shrimp. None of the guppies ever bother the shrimp anymore, but hey, one less animal is one less animal right? More room in the tank for the guppies. I wasn’t sure about sacrificing a ghost shrimp though. People do eat tons of shrimp throughout their lifetime. Hell, we eat cows and chickens too. And they’ve gotta be more valuable than a ghost shrimp. But for some reason I just felt bad at the idea of killing him; flushing him down the big bowl of poopy death.

And so after a few minutes of consideration, I did it. I took the blue net, dived in and captured Biggie, the largest of the four. Maybe I shouldn’t have named him… He swam in the toilet water for a few seconds as I considered letting him swim throughout the night. If he could survive the toilet, then I’d put him back in the tank because he was a trooper. But then I realized my mom was still downstairs and likely to use the toilet. I could imagine the fit she’d have at the discovery of a shrimp swimming through her waste. And so I painfully flushed him down the toilet. He fought his way back while the water was circulating, but to no avail. Gone. Forever. Now there’s just Tiny. And two other ghost shrimp that I’ve yet to name. One is pregnant with eggs. I thought about calling her Preggers, but then I wouldn’t know what to call her once she gave birth. The other is just kind of… medium sized. There’s nothing particularly special about him.

Yu is still at it, attacking Percy and every so often Oliver if he gets in the way. I wonder if that’s how Betty died. The shrimp are much more civilized. They swim by each other and give a little nod. Sometimes sharing the same hiding spot. Or maybe they’re just scared to death of Yu. After all, he does think he’s the king of the tank. But we all know that Oliver is really the leader. Yu just has anger management issues.

So say we all

Battlestar Galactica started off as an extremely strong show. Such good twists and turns and drama and all that fun stuff. Down the line it started getting kind of dull, but in the end, it was a freakin good series.

I just finished the series finale earlier today and maaaan, I don’t think I’ve seen a much better ending to a show than that. Albeit I haven’t really seen THAT many endings to shows, but yeah. It was very tragic, very thought provoking and very fulfilling in the end. I mean sure, there were lots of things that could have worked out better overall, but I’m a happy camper. Especially since Heroes’ demise. Don’t get me started on that. >:O

Oh BSG, how you have touched me.