Meet the gorgeous Barong that Samurai House Pup brought back for me from his recent training foray overseas. It's crafted from Kamagong, one of the hardest woods native to the Phillipines, and is perfectly suited to my tastes in weaponry as it does not possess a sharp blade. It can, however, if properly wielded, deliver a considerable amount of punishment to an opponent, probably even a lethal ass-whupping, so I intend to rain with it on the roof once the weather gets warmer. Yeah, I know I'll never carry it anywhere outside of my building, but it will be fun to become self-taught fluent with it.
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Saturday, January 20, 2018
Friday, January 12, 2018
I first encountered him a while back at a Corrine Orr signing, where I ended up stuck behind him on the signing line for maybe twenty minutes. He's as eager and friendly as a Golden Retriever puppy and his enjoyment of geek culture is evident as he accosts fellow line-standers whom he has never met and relates his entire life story, including the history of his stays in various care facilities, recitations of the laundry list that is his collection of celebrity autographs, details of his favorite movies, the porn stars he's met — whom allegedly want to "cut it" with him — and anything else that crosses his misfiring mind. That would be dealable, provided he'd eventually go away, but if you show this one even the slightest modicum of common courtesy, he'll be all in your face, going on ENDLESSLY about whatever, calling you "buddy," attempting to fist-bump you, and so on. The only way to be rid of him once he starts talking at you is for the line to start moving — at which he will thrust his fists into the air and let out a loud "YEEEEEEAAAAAAH!!!" — or to have some kind soul on line in front or in back of you take notice of your plight, pretend that they know you and call you over so you can catch up, and when you get close to your pretend pal, your savior leans in close and says, "Don't worry. I got you, man."
Tonight's record signing at Manhattan's Forbidden Planet was scheduled to start at 6:30pm, so I showed up a little over an hour early, situating myself as the fifteenth person on line, and waited for some of my friends to show up so I could squeeze them in. First to show up was Vinnie, and as we chatted, I heard the unmistakable voice of the fan I just described, and caught sight of his signature shaven pate. Upon realizing who it was, I leaned in close to Vinnie and filled him in on the guy, advising him NOT to engage. Vincent soon witnessed for himself that everything I said was true, as did my friends Xtina and Dark Heather when they showed up. The girls ended up in front of me, which put them directly in the line of fire for the guy's attention and being able to hear his ramblings to other innocent attendees, including the aforementioned porn star litany.
But the classic moment during all of this was when, during one of the staff's frequent announcements that those on line had to make sure to buy their items for signing before they began admitting the fans to the signing area, the bald dude announced "I HAVE A SHIRT!!!" The staffer who made the annoucement had clearly already encountered the guy previously during the evening and was obviously fed up with him, though he remained polite. Nonetheless, his tone of exasperated sarcasm was evident to all who were not mentally ill as he responded to that statement with, "Yes. You have a shirt. And it's YELLOW!!!" Those who heard that covered their mouths to hide their involuntary smiles and to stifle assorted titters. It sailed straight over our boy's bald head and he continued to prattle on to anyone within range.
Sadly, some of the guests were running behind schedule, so the start time extended to over 30 minutes beyond what anyone expected, so those near the bald lad were stuck in a limbo of awkward babble. Fortunately for the attendees, plus to say nothing of the signers, when the line finally began to move, things were handled in an organized and expedient manner, so items were swiftly passed down the signing line of celebs, allowing for brief photo-ops and such, but the fans would not have been allowed to just stand there and endlessly jaw at the guests. So the signers were spared time coming to a standstill as the bald guy addressed each and every one of them at considerable, synapse-misfiring length, and he was down the line and back out on the street in maybe five minutes.
Thursday, January 04, 2018
My mother's latest run-in with a Westport moron:
Though still ill, mom's off the ruinous chemo drug and is feeling well enough to hang out at Westport's senior center. While spending time there last week, some ancient white lady whom she had not met before looked her up and down and said "You must live in Norwalk." (For those not in the know in regard to Fairfield County's racial assumptions, it used to be common for all black people to be assumed as residents of either Norwalk or Bridgeport, both of which featured higher concentrations of us boogies than Westport/Weston/Fairfield. During my earliest years in Westport, I was often asked if I had been bussed in from Bridgeport or Norwalk, and often asked by white kids who would pose the question in what I later learned was Amos 'n' Andy-style dialect, which their parents had apparently taught them was how the majority of black people spoke. No, I am NOT joking.) My mother, irritated at having been asked that question for the umpteenth time over the course of 4.5 decades, simply answered with, "No. I live in Westport. I've lived here since 1972. Are you asking me that because I'm black? Because that's the message I'm getting," and left it at that.
Skip ahead to today, and mom was once more at the senior center, when the same dusty old twat approached her and flatly stated, with no preamble whatsoever, "You MUST be from Africa."
Let us pause to consider the staggering ludicrousness of that pronouncement for a moment, shall we? First of all, my mother originally hails from deep, rural Alabama, and is the spawn of a highly-mixed gene pool that includes black, white, and Native American, and she bears a reddish/orange complexion, so she looks NOTHING like a native African, by any stretch of the imagination. Nor does she speak with anything resembling what is considered an African accent. Her original accent was very southern, though her diction and such were quite precise (as enforced by her domineering mother's rigid matriarchy's standards), but once outside of her home state she worked hard to divest herself of the accent that she felt sounded "ignorant." She now rocks a sharp Connecticut manner of precise speech, with her southern twang only re-emerging when she's majorly upset. In short, there is NOT ONE THING about her that would lead any sane person to conclude that my mother was from straight-up Africa.
After forty-five years of being barraged with the stupidity of the privileged in Westport, my mom's heard it all and is damned near impossible to shock, but that one momentarily stopped her dead, and she said she nearly laughed in the obnoxious coffin-dodging axe-wound's Boris Karloff-as-the-Mummy-like face. Collecting herself, mom fired back with, "No. I was born in this country. My parents were born here, and my grandparents before them were born here. Prior to that, I can't tell you, because that's as far back as I know regarding my family's history."
That was where the conversation left off, so I'm waiting to see if mom encounters that woman next week and if the woman asks my mother if she hails from the city of Helium on the planet Barsoom.
Wednesday, January 03, 2018
I had my first Jing Fong dim sum meal of the new year, and it was great, with me being one of perhaps ten non-Chinese in the whole place. This time around, all of my favorite items were to be had within five minutes of being seated, and the lo mai gai made me glad to be alive. Just what I needed during my ongoing recovery from the blast of negative vibes that was this Christmas holiday.
That said, on the train back to Brooklyn, I found myself in a car with a small number of commuters, and at the otherwise empty far end of the car there stood a wild-eyed black guy who was balancing himself carefully as he slowly expectorated a long, thick bolus of phlegm onto an empty seat. He defiantly glared at all who dared to look at him while he did that, and when the glob had cleared his mouth, he laughed long and loud with a Joker-like cackle, and proceeded to merrily distribute his lung-butter upon more empty seats. I always wondered how random patches of dried phlegm ended up on subway seats instead of the floor, and now I have a pretty good idea...