Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It Ain't Easy Being Me

One of the reasons I called this blog Ted's Creepy Van is because a lot of folks automatically assumed I already had one.  Over the years, I've been told I look like an ax murderer, a butcher, a rapist, and a serial killer. 

No woman has ever called me handsome, sexy or anything like that.  Ever.  I've always been the scary-looking guy.  Last month I was lamenting that with all the whores and sluts in this world, it depresses me how none of them try to hook-up with me.  A co-worker said, "Yeah, but Ted--you've killed people."   

So I embraced The Van.  The Van became part of me and I, it.  The Van is that part of us all and in truth, we're already in The Van.  The Van is some sort of dark, menacing Tao with odd bits of wisdom mixed with desolate isolation and vulgarity. 

But it has moments where it isn't all fun and games. 

First, let me say it's supposed to be Spring here in Southern Wisconsin but it's not.  Not even close.  It's 36F and the wind chill is about 24F.  The shit cuts right through you.

I was running errands and I saw a woman walking quickly down the sidewalk.  She was beautiful.  Great legs, wearing my favorite bits, and it was obvious she was cold.

We made eye contact as I drove by into the gas station, since my car was on fumes, and she avoided making eye contact with me again as she walked by.

Despite the cold weather and her obviously not having enough layers on, she certainly didn't want a ride from me.  Her look made that clear.  Gentlemanly or not, she would rather have been cold to the bone, than get into a car with me.  And judging by how fast she walked past me with her head down as I pumped my gas, it was really obvious she didn't even want to talk to me.  The head came back up after she passed the gas station.

There's been a lot of talk about Alpha Male vs. Beta.  But I think we need a new category.  Both Alpha and Beta males would have asked her if she wanted a lift.  The Alpha would have given her a broad smile and made some comment that charmed her into accepting.  The Beta would have been so non-aggressive that she might have felt like she was taking advantage of him.  

But what about us Creepy Guys?  The guys who make women uneasy and afraid?

The ones who, when they walk into the room, make the weaker hug the wall and keep a wary eye out. 

The ones who, when people describe them, say things like, "he seems like a nice guy but..." as if there is that thing nobody can put a finger on.

The ones who give off that vibe that lets you know they're looking at you as if you were food.  Or they're trying to decide what color of duct tape would look best on your skin.  

Women have always been terrified of me.  My wife was so terrified to talk to me she was visibly shaking.  She had to talk to me because I had to deliver a message to her English teacher.  She absolutely did not want to talk to me at all.  It was only after our meeting and subsequent e-mail exchanges afterwards that she realized I'm not an axe murderer, serial killer, rapist or any of those other things I keep getting accused of being.

 When I get enough money saved up, I'm going to buy myself some shirts in pastel colors.  Soft pinks and violet hues, and some Drakkar Noir.  It'll take longer for people to worry about what I might do.  It'll be my sheep's suit.

It's too late for this to work on many who already know me and about The Van.  But life is full of first impressions and those precious seconds can mean a lot.  


Monday, March 24, 2014

Creepy Video Time!

This video is making the rounds.  I'm not sure who made it, but I offer over 9000 internets for your awesomeness. 

I'll warn you, it's creepy beyond most of the stuff out there.  And it's a tad NSFW, but how many of you would actually click on a vid I post while at work, right?  I mean, come on, it's Uncle Ted--you know I'm not right in the head.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I Told You So!

This weekend was Pub Crawl here in Monroe, Wisconsin.  It's a big thing here but I don't know why.  I mean, the only difference between this weekend and the other weekends is that people take pictures and post them on Facebook.  I guess you could say I'm surrounded by heavy drinkers. 

I've been pretty butthurt this weekend.  It started because I wasn't sleeping much.  Too much caffeine.  I've been drinking tea instead of soda pop and since I love drinking liquids, I drank way too much. 

So the butthurt didn't start with me not sleeping, but it didn't help, and I found something that really pissed me off. 

Saveur Magazine had some articles on Korea cuisine.  Korean food is now trendy amongst the foodie snobs and various food writers.  Anthony Bourdain gave his blessing and now we're all supposed to eat kimchi. 

I was writing articles on Korean food for American travel and food magazines over fifteen years ago and nobody cared.  This was back before magazines allowed electronic submissions and queries, so I had to spend about $30.00 on International Reply Coupons and enclose them with each SASE I sent off.  It was bullshit and took forever. 

I wrote about the religious implications of the Korean rice harvest and why it didn't matter how cheap the farmers in Texas could produce the same specific grain, it would never sell.  I thought for sure it would sell.  Nobody wanted it. 

I wrote an article on Korean Buddhist cusine, which was different from regular Korean food, and far healthier.  I thought for sure with all the health magazines out there somebody would pick it up.  Nobody did. 

I could go on and on.  I used up my IRCs on queries.  When they were gone, I gave up. 

So last night, I was looking through Saveur Magazine and the online Saveur 100:  2014's Best Food, Drinks, and Whatever.  (Not really, I'm just pissed.)  And they had three Korean items on the list.  First, they had the Gwangjang Market, with all the small food tents and trucks.  Been there, done that, took pictures and tried to get somebody to buy them. 

Second, they mentioned bindaeduk, which is a mung bean pancake.  It's bland as hell and you have to put stuff into it for flavor.  Squid, octopus, veggies, kimchi.  It's seriously bland.  You can buy the mix in an Asian store. 

Third, they mentioned Yuja-cha, which is a tea made from sweetened citron rind and served hot.  It tastes like hot lemonade. 

None of these even begins to touch the surface of Korean culture and the food.  None of it even comes close. 

When I was submitting these queries, I really did look at myself as a diplomat of sorts, maybe even a cultural translator.  I figured it was my job to educate folks.  Part of what I did over there was teach tour guides English so as a result, I learned a great deal about Korea's history and culture. 

Most of these articles I've found were just flashes of random things.  And while they weren't negative, they certainly didn't illustrate just how wonderful it could be, if one took the time to sit down and learn. 

I don't think I would have made a good travel writer for magazines.  I keep noticing how I tend to focus on the culture and why they do what they do.  And none of these flashy, snobby articles do that. 

This weekend, some things happened.  I learned something.  And like always, those lessons seem to circle back around to the past somehow.  I don't talk about Korea much.  I don't talk about what I did there, or how important it was in my life, growth and development as a human being.  And I certainly don't talk much about the people I left behind.  One of these days I will. 

It's easier to talk about food.  Food makes memories easier to revisit.  We eat to remember and when we remember food, we remember the good times more than the bad.  Sometimes I think there is redemption in food.  Maybe that's why I'm so damned big and I can't find pants that fit.  And maybe that's why I'm not sleeping. 

Even Gold Mountain must be seen after eating. 
심지어 식사 후 볼 수 있어야합니다.

---A Korean Proverb.