amateur vagrant

i'm leaving and you should come with me

Are you friends with your exes?

I am not friend with any of my ex-boyfriends. I’m not even still friends with friends I slept with.

I’m not even still friends with all the friends I didn’t sleep with, so I am willing to concede that it might just be me.

I was something of a serial monogamist before I got married. I didn’t have a lot of boyfriends, but I had a couple of pretty lengthy relationships.

I just got caught up in people. I think that’s part of the reason I don’t want to talk to any of these guys. You kind of make a pig of yourself with them, wanting to know everything about them, and eventually, you’re sated. You’re done.

Like that time you had too much tequila, so you never drank tequila again.

(Except I eventually started drinking tequila again and I still don’t talk to my exes.)

Or that time you waited an hour for your food and when it came it wasn’t what you ordered and the beverage service was best described as “negligent” and now you never go back to that restaurant.

And if your friends suggest that restaurant, you’re like, no way! I had a terrible experience there! And so you have to pick another place.

Maybe I don’t have great instincts. I think there are some or a lot of women who will have a gut feeling about someone and avoid getting romantically involved. Historically, I’d be involved huge before I realized that my new boyfriend and I weren’t compatible. But by then I was invested, so I wanted to make it work. I wanted to force it. So you do that for a while, and that is just fucking awful.

(Then you break up and get back together because you are a masochist.)

By the time you are done, you’ve put each other through hell. Emotionally, you are the equivalent of raw, bloody, ground beef. You never want to see each other again.

After all the lying, the cheating (“We were on a break!”), the manipulating, I can’t imagine sitting at a table full of people who witnessed us trying to destroy each other and being like, “We used to date, god, years ago, but we’re great friends now. We’re going on a double date to wine country next weekend, actually.”

Once you’ve seen someone stripped of all their pretensions, or they’ve seen you that raw, it’s really hard to feel like you can pretend to be civilized around them again.

Impossible, really, for me.

I feel like if you never let your feelings get the best of you on the brink of the breakup, if you were always able to keep it civil, then maybe you weren’t passionately in love, and that’s the only way I love. I suspect that’s true of us all!

But some people are friends with their exes. Is it hard? Easy? Healthy? Beneficial?

Supplementary Reading: Science reveals what it may say about your personality if you’re still friends with your ex

 

June 30, 2016 reflections

100 things that make me happy

In no particular order (except J is number 1 because I wouldn’t have the life I do now without him):

  1. J
  2. Quiet days at home
  3. A good book and time to read it
  4. Pouring my heart out on paper
  5. Business time
  6. Any time spent near the ocean
  7. Starry skies
  8. Driving mountain roads
  9. Big, friendly dogs
  10. Outdoor showers/baths (in hot weather; I’m not a masochist)
  11. The octopus who escaped from his tank at the aquarium and made it back to the ocean
  12. Recess
  13. A chilled, crisp, dry rosé
  14. Broad City
  15. This t-shirt
  16. High heels
  17. Cheese fondue
  18. Not wearing pants
  19. Back rubs
  20. Wagon Wheel
  21. Fresh mint
  22. Dinosaur Kisses
  23. Super-smart kids
  24. IKEA meatballs
  25. Puns
  26. Showing off scratches I got being outdoorsy
  27. 4th of July barbecues back home
  28. Christmas
  29. Magic Mike
  30. Dinner parties
  31. Cards Against Humanity
  32. imgur
  33. Getting packages
  34. Fitting back into my old jeans
  35. Patio bars
  36. A cool breeze through my hair on a sticky day
  37. This music video
  38. Making people laugh (Total rush!)
  39. Hot pot
  40. Lists of inspiring quotes
  41. Street food
  42. Pretty journals
  43. Gudetama
  44. All varieties of curry (and stew)
  45. Typhoon days
  46. Vineyard picnics
  47. Bold lipsticks
  48. Dancing like our parents (it was a genetic inevitability)
  49. A good cup of hot, black coffee
  50. Treasure-hunting at thrift shops
  51. The Paper Bag Princess
  52. Game of Thrones
  53. Old friends
  54. New restaurants & bars
  55. Jeans that fit right
  56. Chips and salsa
  57. Margaritas
  58. Long walks alone (in safe, quiet places)
  59. Sleeping in
  60. Koi ponds
  61. Snorkeling
  62. My gramma’s house
  63. J’s biceps
  64. Skyping with my niece
  65. Puffer fish
  66. Butterflies
  67. Eating watermelon or mangoes in my swimsuit
  68. Saying what I meant to say in Chinese
  69. Stories of the Lost Generation in Paris
  70. Gypsy Vanners
  71. When all my clothes are clean.
  72. Cutoff jean shorts
  73. Camping
  74. Cuddling
  75. Dangly earrings
  76. Seeing people be thoughtful to strangers in public
  77. Ham salad
  78. My Aunt Clare’s pretzel salad
  79. Swearing
  80. Taiwanese breakfast shops
  81. Opportunities to be proud of my friends
  82. Costco trips
  83. Meeting people who read
  84. Amelie
  85. The Kiss by Gustav Klimt
  86. Kielbasa
  87. Beyonce
  88. P!nk
  89. Iced matcha-coffee (from Louisa Coffee…so good!)
  90. White PGO Bubus
  91. Getting my hair washed at the salon
  92. Music boxes
  93. Down comforters
  94. A cigarette after a big meal
  95. Duchesse de Bourgogne
  96. Pilot G2 gel pens (black, .05)
  97. Crocheting
  98. New whiteboard markers
  99. Lady Brett Ashley
  100. Dark chocolate

Are we best friends or what??

June 29, 2016 random note

Teaching in Taiwan: Private students

This is a continuation of my posts about the pros and cons of different teaching gigs in Taiwan.

Most of us call our one-on-one tutees “privates” and after all these years it still makes me giggle because that was the preferred euphemism for genitals in my family.

Pros: You usually get paid more per hour to teach one-on-one than you get paid to teach a class.

Cons: I hate privates. I get so bored teaching one person, a kid or an adult. The kids are exhausted already–they’re in school forever and ever, then buxiban classes, then you come right into their living room with extra brain work. Some of them are cooler than others, sure, but any eight-year-old can have an off night. And the last thing I want to do after teaching all day is teach for another hour, especially when my student is a surly, tired kid who really just needs to be set loose in the park for an hour like the human animal s/he is.

As for adults, I’ve been the English tutor and the Chinese tutee, and either way, things can get weird. First of all, Chinese people have no patience for this silly Western idea about free time. Like they will ask you what you are doing at all hours of the week and then come up with some crazy suggestion about teaching them on Sunday mornings or Friday nights. And if you say no without lying about having some other money-making opportunity, they will be confused or annoyed that you aren’t trying to earn as much money as possible, whenever possible. Beyond that, I find that students don’t always stick to the lessons, including me. After a few weeks, if you get along with each other, then the “classes” turn into these friendly, low-key therapy sessions. So you end up having a fairly intimate conversation with this other adult woman, and then you exchange money. I don’t like it.

I am sure that there are plenty of teachers in Taiwan who have taught privates without this problem, but I am telling you how it went down for me. I stopped taking on privates and stopped going to private Chinese classes because it just got too weird or boring to be talking about husbands and housework and maybe like dreams deferred at the same time for an hour every week.

The other drawback is that privates can and will cancel at the drop of a hat. Teachers who rely on private students for an important part of their income will often come up with some kind of contract that mandates that they still get paid even if the student remembered just an hour before class that it’s grandma’s birthday.

Also, you have to come up with your own materials and lesson plans and I find that it takes a lot more work to come up with a really engaging private lesson than it does to put together a fun lesson for 12 kids.

And finally, privates are technically illegal, though it has always seemed like there’s much lower risk of getting caught teaching in someone’s home. If you’re teaching a lot of privates, you might want to keep it on the down-low though.

Conclusion: Some teachers love privates. Some teachers make most of their income from privates. Some teachers believe that teaching privates is more enjoyable and less stressful than teaching classes. I am not one of those teachers.

June 28, 2016 life in Taiwan, teaching

Teaching in Taiwan: Illegal teaching gigs

This is a continuation of my post about different teaching situations in Taiwan. I’ve already talked about my experiences teaching in a big chain school and working for a salary.

After a couple of years, I found myself in a new situation where the school who was sponsoring my ARC was paying me an excellent hourly rate, but for only a few hours a week. I was greedy and I wanted to keep those high-paying hours, but all told, they weren’t enough to pay my bills. I took on hours at a bunch of different schools to make up the difference.

Pros: I felt more free in this situation than in any other situation I’d been in and I loved it. I worked here and there for just a day or two a week, two-four hours a week. I showed up early and tried to do my job well and my managers loved me because the kind of teachers who want to work off the radar aren’t always the kind of teachers who give any kind of shit about teaching. When I wanted to take a whole week off, nobody complained because I was only missing a class or two at each school and because they wanted me to come back when I could.

Cons: But, I was teaching illegally and I felt very nervous about that. I know people and know of people who have gotten deported for teaching at schools they didn’t have a work permit to teach at, so it felt a lot more risky than teaching even at a big kindergarten with pictures of foreign teachers on all the advertising. (It’s also illegal for foreign teachers to teach kindy here.)

Conclusion: Ultimately, I looked for and found a better salaried position because I wanted to get my APRC and wanted to be working enough hours legally and making enough money legally to qualify in five years. The thing is, once I have my APRC, I can teach at all those schools legally, anyway, and I won’t have to worry about getting in trouble.

NB: I live in Zhongli in Taoyuan and there’s a really nice ratio of well-off people who want to learn English to foreign English teachers. If you want to live somewhere cooler, I don’t blame you, but the job market will be a lot more competitive.

June 27, 2016 life in Taiwan, teaching

My favorite Taiwan night market food

大腸包小腸 Little sausage in a big sausage

I feel like this is so over-the-top you’d think it was American. You take a grilled rice sausage, split it down the middle, and wedge a sweet Taiwanese pork sausage in the gap. Top it with some pickled vegetables, maybe some hot sauce or curry powder for an incredible flavor punch. You can’t make a habit of eating these very often if you don’t want to spend a lot of money buying bigger jeans.

潤餅 Spring rolls

These are “Chinese burritos” filled with cabbage, sprouts, a little char siu pork, and pickled vegetables. The wrap is a thin, spongy pancake that really feels like a crepe. As far as Taiwanese street food goes, I consider this a healthier option because there are way more vegetables than meat and the meat is pretty lean.

花生卷冰淇淋 Spring roll ice cream

This is kind of magnificent. Very special. You take a soft crepe, put a couple scoops of ice cream (taro ice cream, anyone?) on top, grate some Chinese peanut brittle over it, and then sprinkle some cilantro over the whole mess. Wrap it up and eat it like a burrito. It’s incredibly refreshing on a hot day, not at all messy, and the flavor combination is wild!

臭豆腐 Deep-fried stinky tofu

Stinky tofu literally smells like rotten baby diapers. Because of the stench, it was years before I tried it. But once I did, I loved the taste–the same way I love a stinky blue cheese or red wines that smell like cat piss. It’s not for everybody, but I think stinky tofu with some Taiwanese pickled cabbage is phenomenal. It’s a umami tsunami cut with sweet and sour. It’s crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside with a funky crunch from the relish.  I promise it’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.

 

蚵仔煎 Oyster omelets

These are doughy and sticky, filled with fat oysters and covered in a sweet pink sauce. Somebody told me once that oyster omelets were originally “poor-people food”: something starchy holding together what little protein and vegetables you had around the house. It looks like a mess, but I think it tastes amazing. If you’re lucky, you can get a super fresh oyster omelet at a restaurant or stall near a harbor.

 

June 26, 2016 food, life in Taiwan

Picklebacks

Guys. So. When we went back to the US last summer, we heard that everyone in Philly was drinking picklebacks. We went to this place called Sidecar to wait for some friends and ended up trying all four of the picklebacks on their menu. We were so hooked!

In case you haven’t had the chance to try a pickleback yet, it’s generally a shot of whiskey chased with a shot of pickle juice. Only some people are super creative so they are doing variations like shots of tequila chased with shots of brine from salsa, whatever. Just something salty and sour chasing something hard. Mmm.

We wanted to recreate that experience for our friends in Taiwan. You can get commercially made pickles here, but everybody online says not to use that juice: it’s too salty, there are too many additives, and so on. We couldn’t find all the spices we needed, like mustard seed, here in Zhongli, so I just ordered a bag of premixed pickling spices from iherb.com. I’ve never really pickled anything before and I wanted to start off with something easy. Also, some customers reviewed the products and said they didn’t like the cinnamon chips in the mix, but I thought that sounded like it would be real good in a shot you are supposed to drink.

We’ve made big batches of pickle juice for picklebacks three times now. We were kinda fudging the recipe until I found this magic ratio: equal parts vinegar and water and four times the sugar to salt. It was like SO MUCH SALT and EVEN MORE SUGAR, but in the end the pickle juice was almost pleasant to drink. It made for a nice, bracing chaser without making your eyes twitch from the acidity of the vinegar.

For the most part, our friends have loved the picklebacks, with the exception of people who really don’t like pickles. Also, unexpectedly, our Taiwanese friends seems to like picklebacks even more than our Western friends. I had thought the unfamiliar spices wouldn’t resonate with them.

A big jar of pickle juice can disappear pretty fast once we start pouring as most people will ask for seconds. Our bar-owner friends started thinking about other drinks, like dirty martinis, they could mix with pickle juice. It was really great to feel like we were inspiring people to be creative with new ingredients.

It went way better than the time J was trying to convince every one to put chocolate on their blue cheese. That’s delicious, no joke, but even I can see how it’s not for everyone.

June 25, 2016 drinks

Links: Don’t quit your day job!

I know I’m not the only one who has been depressed on repeat because I haven’t been able to swing the location-independent freelancing, content-creating lifestyle–so I know I’m not the only one feeling some relief reading all these posts that have been popping up about how it is really hard–like, financially, physically, etc–to quit your paid work in a brick-and-mortar location to put yourself at the mercy of your talents and your clients.

And how if you don’t have or can’t acquire some capital to float you through the beginning or lean times in the future, you might never be able to make that leap.

And how if you don’t ever make the jump, you aren’t a failure. Everybody’s gotta eat, even some of us who are compelled to create.

Also I always never really grasped how some people make a living telling other people they could become bloggers who tell other people how to make a living become bloggers who tell other people how to make a living becomebloggershowtellotherpeoplehowtomakealivingmakealivingmakealiving…

That’s why this blog is called Amateur Vagrant and not Professional Vagrant.

Here are some links that might make you feel better about yourself if you’re feeling trapped because you’ve been convinced doing anything but your art or being anywhere but the beach makes you a failure.

Nah, man, it just makes you a multi-dimensional human.

Real Artists Have Day Jobs
Before there was a book, there was this post to tell you that if you are compelled to make art, you are an artist, even if you need to have a side gig to pay your bills.

Quitting Your Job to Pursue Your Passion is Bullshit
“Quitting your job to pursue your passion is bullshit. This messaging is only beneficial for privileged people and very dangerous for working class people.

The statement alone reeks of privilege. It confirms you had a full-time job to begin with. It confirms you had time to develop a passion (that you can capitalize off of, enough to meet your cost of living). It confirms you had the option to pursue something different because you feel like it. There are more challenges to being self-employed than just mental perseverance and grit. We are predatorily luring working class people into an entrepreneur lifestyle as the answer to living a meaningful life and loads of money. It’s the new American Dream.”

3 Compelling reasons why it’s not a good idea to quit your day job
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Don’t jump the gun and give up your paycheck before your baby business is strong enough to support you. Your day job
1. Gives you money.
2. Gives you time (in the form of money).
3. Keeps you sane (because you don’t have to worry so much about money).

And here you can eavesdrop on a conversation with two of my wisest friends:
A: I think all the stuff we read about quitting our day jobs leaves us with the impression that were not supposed to be content doing what we’re doing. If you’re happy teaching and writing at home, that’s okay. It’s actually great!
B: I remember reading a piece geared at photographers saying, basically, you can’t be an artist and a professional photographer at the same time. Because as a professional you’re stuck doing photo shoots to the specifications of clients. And that you’re better off as an amateur who can afford to take risks and play around with your style, etc. I think the same holds true for writing.
Me: I’ve been coming to that conclusion, slowly. I actually remember you talking about your dad before and his reasons for not baking pies full-time. And at the time, that made no sense to me. But I realize now I could probably be and could have been a freelance travel writer and like write for content mills, etc. But I know I really don’t want to do that so I haven’t explored that area much. And I realized like man, if I wanted to make ends meet as a freelance writer, that would be so much of what I had to do. And then what you said about your dad came back to me and I understood where he was coming from. He wants to bake pies, not run a business. That makes so much sense.
B: That said, I would still love to open a barbecue stand in Munich and drink beer all day.
Me: Dude, I wouldn’t even mind that gig and I know nothing about barbecue or beer.
B: Maybe that’s the key: Quit your job to do something you’re a little ambivalent about but that sounds fun. A way longer title for an article.

June 24, 2016 links

Teaching in Taiwan: Salaried jobs

This is a continuation of my post on the pros and cons of different teaching situations in Taiwan.

I left my big chain school job in 2006 to work at an English-immersion kindergarten from 9-4, Monday-Friday. I had two hours for lunch while the kids napped. I also taught cram school classes from 4-6 for an hourly wage.

Some people work hours like 11-6, five days a week. They aren’t teaching all those hours, but they are expected to put in face time in the office. You can use that time to prep and grade homework, and then it’s like you’re getting paid to do all the stuff a responsible teacher would do anyway. I found that just the fact of being paid salary instead of hourly made me way friendlier about putting in extra prep time for my classes without feeling like I was volunteering my free time to my employer.

Pros: Working for a salary was great. I got a big raise just by switching schools, and I didn’t have to work evenings or Saturdays anymore.

Cons:  Teaching kindy full-time more of a “real” teaching job: I had to come up with lesson plans and activities on my own. I was prepared to do all that after two years at a corporate buxiban, though. Occasionally, I still had to do some activities on Saturdays or evenings without any extra pay, but I didn’t mind so much because I was salaried and not hourly. BUT I was at a school that respected the [foreign] teachers’ free time. Be aware the some schools will give you a salary and then feel entitled to take up a lot of your time outside of your teaching hours, too. I’ve seen foreign teachers have to show up, unpaid, to scrub the walls alongside everybody else on a Saturday morning. Any owner/manager who steals any employees’ time should get lost. Fortunately, I didn’t work at a school like that. However, at my school, it was a big problem if I wanted to take even one day off, for any reason. It’s difficult or impossible to find subs for afternoon classes because just about everyone who is working at all is working in the afternoons. The school made promises about having a foreign teacher in the room for every single class, so our options were always very limited.

Also, be aware that it’s illegal for foreigners to teach kindergarten here. I’ve heard many different reasons why this is the case, but the bottom line is that you can get in trouble for it, as in deported. However, there’s also a big market for English kindergartens, so the schools and the authorities usually work together to avoid creating situations where anyone would get in trouble. Generally, the authorities give the schools lots of advance warning about when they are doing their inspections, and the schools set up escape routes or hiding places for the foreign teachers to avoid confrontation with the authorities. Generally.

Conclusion: If you have a low tolerance for risk, don’t teach kindy. But a lot of foreign teachers and schools believe the risk of getting “caught” is very small. You make more money working those morning hours, too. I happily worked full-time for a salary for many years. I quit when I started to feel like the responsibilities were taking up more and more of my time outside the classroom and the salary hadn’t budged for ten years. Also, after a couple of years, I was bored teaching kindy full-time. I think it’s very possible to find an excellent salaried gig, but do your homework before you commit to a contract at any school.

June 23, 2016 life in Taiwan, teaching

Teaching options in Taiwan: Big Chain School

I’ve been teaching in Taiwan for about eight years, off and on since 2004. I’ve had a few different teaching experiences during that time and I thought it might be helpful for those interested to discuss the differences and what I think are the pros and cons of different situations.

From 2004-2006 I worked for a big chain school. It was my first job out of college. I didn’t like it there much, but I stayed because it took me a long time to work up the courage to leave. I don’t think I’d like it any more today for the same reasons I didn’t like it back then.
Cons: It’s a really corporate environment. You have to punch in ten minutes before class, grade a pile of homework right after class, follow the pre-made lesson plans EXACTLY. You have to go for training a lot during your first year. You might get observed a lot by middle managers who feel obligated to complain whether or not your class was well run. There are weird rules about bonuses and raises that look and feel like ways for management to play mind games with the staff. And the staff is really big, so everyone has to follow the same rules. For example, when one of the new American teachers requested a couple of Saturdays off because, hey, she wanted to see some of Taiwan during the year she was here, then management lashed out with a new “rule” that none of us were allowed to take any more Saturdays off–indefinitely. What I resented most probably was that they felt like they owned all our time. There was no saying that you were unavailable certain days of the week or times of the day. Your schedule could change for the better or worse at the drop of a hat. Also, the hourly pay at the chain schools is generally lower than it is elsewhere, especially for the newest teachers.

Pros: If you’re new to Taiwan and new to teaching English, a big chain school will make sure all your visa paperwork is in order, help you find a place to live, train you, and provide the materials they want you to use. Not having to figure all that out when you probably don’t even speak Chinese is a big, fat luxury that you might want to take advantage of. And after a year at a big chain school with a recognizable name, if you want to stay in Taiwan, you’ll be extra-qualified to find a better-paying gig elsewhere.

Conclusion: Despite my criticisms, even I’ve considered going back to a [different] big chain school for the next two years to make sure I could get my Alien Permanent Resident Card (APRC) on time. It would be a stable place to work and I know they would handle my paperwork correctly. If you’re new, you might like working at a big chain school for similar reasons. But most people who want to live in Taiwan beyond a year would probably be able to find more comfortable situations at other schools.

This is turning out to be longer than I expected, so I’ll put information about other kinds of schools in the next post.

 

 

June 22, 2016 life in Taiwan, teaching

The things I got in trouble for when I was in school

As a teacher, sometimes I feel like my most challenging students come to me as karmic retribution.

I was mostly a good kid. I talked way too much, but I always got good grades. But every once in a while, I did something out of character. Or every once in a while, my teacher made a bad call. Whatever.

Here’s the complete list, to the best of my memory.

In first grade, me and some other girls got sent to the office for drawing smiling faces inside our letters and putting crayons in our shirts like boobies. I don’t remember getting in much trouble, but I remember being scared. I also remember thinking my teacher was a bitch. My mom never found out because after that I realized pretending that crayons were boobies was very shameful and I didn’t want her to know. (Massive eye roll.)

In fifth grade…well, in fifth grade, I was hormonal. I was a tomboy, so I wanted to play tag with the boys, but I wanted to play kissing tag. I got in trouble for that.

Then there was the time that me and some boys were rough-housing all morning. We went to art class and made paper-mache masks, and while Peter was lying prone on the ground, I stepped on his junk. Not all the way! I knew better than that! But I got sent to the office. Rightfully so. The principal told me about the grasshopper and the ants by way of telling me I needed to start storing up food for winter. He and his wife left after that year; he was kind of phoning it in.

In sixth grade, some of us were throwing paper balls when we had a substitute teacher. He told me to pick up a ball that wasn’t mine, and somewhere in my juvenile head I decided this was my moment to prove myself to my peers who never thought I was cool. “I ain’t your dog and I ain’t picking it up!” I said. He wrote me up on an official yellow form and sent me down to the principal’s office. The principal said she was surprised to see me there and told me to act right.

In eighth grade, a girl on my bus threw a banana peel out the window and it landed on the lap of a kid in the other bus. Funniest thing ever. The bus monitor didn’t think so. He didn’t know who did it, so he sent a bunch of us to the principal’s office. She asked us all who did it like four times before the culprit burst into teenager tears. The rest of us were allowed to leave.

(I would like to say here that at that time (c. 1994) and place (Abidjan) our bus monitor was an ARMED Ivorian man still couldn’t not act like brats.)

In twelfth grade, I got to school early to finish an art project that was due. The bell for homeroom rang and I ran upstairs to ask my homeroom teacher if I could stay in the art room. She said no. I said “fuck” under my breath. She thought I said “fuck you” (I really didn’t) and sent me to the principal’s office. He scheduled a meeting with my mom and told her I had an attitude problem. My mom told him unapologetically that it was genetic. My philosophy teacher was the guidance counselor at the time and he also met with me and my mom. He said he was shocked at me: he was up all night, unable to sleep, wondering how I could have been so disrespectful. (I really wasn’t.)

I had to meet with my teacher, the principal, and the guidance counselor for saying “fuck” under my breath. This is why I don’t seize days, y’all. This is why I always try to think twice before I tell a female student she needs to calm down because I do not want to be responsible for creating girls who are afraid to be bold.

In college, my then-boyfriend and I got suspended when I was caught in his room after visiting hours (Christian college). Ironically, we didn’t even sleep together that night. We were just hanging out. I had to call my mom in Taiwan and confess what I had done with the director of student affairs watching me. She got on the line to reassure my mom that I was taking responsibility for my behavior like an adult. My mom, who by my age had already left the Navy, had a kid, and been married twice, laughed at her.

I wish her attitude was genetic.

I’ve gotten speeding tickets, but the only time I’ve gotten out of one was when I was behind another car going even faster.

I do miss those West Virginia country roads…

 

 

June 21, 2016 random note