Tag: West View

State of my fellow Asians address

There are at least two new Asian families in the neighborhood.  It brings great cheer to my heart to see fellow Asians swimming in the local sea of whiteness.  The one family is championship material.  Their kindergarten son wears impossibly perfect layered clothing and appears to be loved and revered by his peers.  Grandpa walks him home.  Grandpa wears fine threads as well, and always wears a Pittsburgh Pirates hat.  Nothing says local like a “P” hat.

It’s the other family I worry about.  Every morning Mom and son wait for the school bus across the street from my house.  Mom has sonny wearing a mask, as is the custom in smoggy Asian cities:

This may not be child abuse in the strictest sense, but it’s a heartbreaking sight nonetheless.  Poor kid!  It’s a magnitude of obliviousness that is difficult for the local observer to process.  It reminds me of a time in high school when I was in much the same situation.

During homecoming spirit week, one particular day was college spirit day.  Or something like that.  Basically we were supposed to wear a University of Illinois, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Depaul, etc. shirt.  Sure a few kids wore Northern Illinois, or God forbid an Iowa Hawkeyes shirt, but they probably had good reason for their actions.  What did I wear?  The one college t-shirt I owned: The University of Western Ontario.  It was a shirt that did more than just confuse my friends.  It was simply not possible for them to process such a shirt or the existence of such an institution, or why anyone would knowingly or unknowingly wear such a shirt.

So, my fellow Asian friend, I wish you the best of luck with that smog filter.  May you find a place in this world.  If you stick around the hood, may you learn the unwritten rules of American culture.  I pray that one day you will heal, as I have, from the wounds caused by those unappreciative of your blissful ignorance.

The latest from West View

Every day I walk the Katt.  As long as I jam a constant supply of ice cubes in her mouth she is oblivious to the great mysteries of West View.  So it is up to me to report what is happening on the streets of my beloved borough.

Two days ago a van carrying four tweekers, sporting an I heart SCRAP bumper sticker sped past the Katt and I.  At each stop sign the driver slammed on his brakes, screeching to a halt.  In response, the passengers shouted in unison “THIS WAY!”.  The driver would then peel out, zooming toward the next stop sign.  So there’s that.

Yesterday, down by Bronx field, I witnessed a lone octogenarian smoking a cigarette.  In his possession were three plastic grocery bags filled with 12″ softballs.  One by one, he pulled out each ball and threw it as far as he could (which was not far at all).  Then he retrieved the balls and started over.  So there’s that too.

Interrupted musings on a perfect day.

Yesterday I took the Katt for a walk.  It was a perfect fall day, probably the last nice day of the year.  It made me think…how many idyllic days are left in my life?  1000? 100?  My body was pain-free, stress-free, and I was doing something I love, with someone I love.

Yeah, so while I was thinking about all that, Katt fell asleep.  No easy task, considering how jacked up the sidewalks are in my neighborhood.  Just then a young Yinzer woman stopped me and asked if I was pushing a real baby.  Uh-huh.  Because grown men everywhere are known to push dolls in strollers.

I bought that “jogging stroller” on Craigslist.  And in doing so, I inadvertently became a Craigslist character.  Perhaps I will tell you about that tomorrow.

Diet orange Faygo gives me the bad man blues

Every day, amid the splendor of fall’s magnificent colors, my fancy dog and I stroll the rolling hills of West View, Pennsylvania.  My favorite day of the walk-week is Monday, because Monday is recycling day.  That is, I get to see what my fellow citizens have been drinking.  While I strive to live a life free of judgment toward my brethren, recycle bins overflowing with empty cans of Diet Orange Faygo and Natty Ice expose the supercilious wickedness hidden deep within my soul.

In other “news”, Asia has a new doo, and has taken up the trumpet.  Her venerable songwriting skills have been on display of late, as she recently penned several future hits: “We’re the gangstas, the preppy gangstas” and “I got the bad man blues”.

SpongeBob grew up in my house

A few weeks ago I stood in my driveway, minding my own business.  I was pouring old gas out of my lawnmower, if you must know.  My enjoyment of the fumes was interrupted by a pothead wearing a sweet jean jacket.  Walking up my driveway with an excited look on his face, he blurted, “John, is this your house?”.  It’s a small town, so yeah, he knew my name.  “You’ll never guess who grew up in your house”, he raved.  Then pausing for emphasis, he slowly enunciated, “Vincent Waller”.  Disappointed by the blank expression on my face he explained, “Vincent Waller is the creative director, sometimes technical director, and writer of SpongeBob SquarePants!”.  The potman went on to explain that he used to play in a jug band with Mr. Waller, etc, etc, etc, etc.

So there’s that.  Every day I breathe trace amounts of SpongeBob’s DNA.  ****Update**** Apparently Mr. Waller was born and raised in Texas.  Random potheads walking down the street are poor sources of information.

When I hear a song I like, I listen to it 30-40 times in a row until I’m sick of it.  As a result, I have a large collection of mp3’s that I never want to hear again.  The last two days I’ve listened only to:

I imagine that I’m sitting around a campfire with my friends. We’ve all brought guitars, and we’re taking turns playing and singing.  It’s my turn, and I’m playing this one.

There are a few issues with this scenario:

  1. I only have a couple of friends.
  2. The don’t play guitar.
  3. They’re not really into camping.

Adapting to a new evironment

When I first moved to downtownish Chicago, my life revolved around a sickfast sport car.  Both my car and I hated Chicago.  Potholes gnawed at its chassis.  Parallel parkers ravaged its fenders.  Cops fed it a steady diet of parking tickets.  After three years of Chicago misery, my car breathed its last.  While still in mourning, the following week I bought a bicycle.  Soon enough, my bike took me to faraway lands never before seen from the highway:  Mexico, Poland, Ukraine, Greece, Puerto Rico, and a third world African country.  Within a month I had fallen in love with the beauty of urban life, its vibrance and its decay.

Four years ago I moved to a small town just outside of Pittsburgh.  I have to drive (a minivan) everywhere.  While I slowly strangle nature, I’ve learned to soak up its beauty.  Every day I drive to Home Depot.  And this is what I see:

It’s nice.

Next week I will be better than you!

What is the blue giant doing?  And why is he wearing socks with sandals?  He’s cutting granite, and he was too lazy to put on shoes.  What’s wrong with a little sock/sandal action within my own house?  Nothing!

At 3:20 pm it occurred to me that my kids were waiting to be picked up from school, leaving no time to change footwear or shower away my layer of granite dust.  One reason I enjoy living in West View is that sock/sandal action is a step up from the community’s sartorial mean.  After picking up the nerds, I rushed Zach off to his eye appointment at the mall (not in West View), once again allowing no time to change footwear.  People at the mall were not impressed with my sandals.

You can judge my sock/sandal indiscretion all you want, but next week my freshly opened granite space will contain a Viking cooktop.  Viking!  What does a Viking cooktop mean?  In suburban sprawl or downtown condo terms, it means I’m better than you.  So there!