The XXX Meme

Sorry to get you excited. Nothing racy going on in here. I’ve just been tagged three times by three bloggers with this meme, so before I get tagged a fourth time, I thought I’d get this one out of the way. Four X’s just isn’t as eye-catching. Read on if you want to know seven random things about BusyDad (I’m already referring to myself in the third person? Ok, I’m getting too big for my britches).

This one’s for you Chuck @ D is for Dad!

... and Bernard @ Raising Eli!

... and David @ metaDAD!

As always, I must post the rules:

* Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
* Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
* Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
* Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 Random Things

1) This blog exists because of Chairman Mao

It’s all Mao Tse-Tung’s fault. If it weren’t for this guy, I’d be royalty. Let’s go back a few decades... My grandfather was a governor in old world Nationalist (pre-communist) China. The good guys who fought alongside the USA against Japan in WWII. Gramps was livin’ large -- 13 kids, concubines, Ferraris (or the equivalent 1940’s pimp ride), the whole bit. When the communist revolution (led by Mao Tse-Tung) occurred in 1949, he fled to Taiwan, where the Nationalist Chinese Government set up temporary exile.

My dad grew up understandably bitter at Communist China and became a diplomat for the Nationalist government on Taiwan. They assigned him to the Consulate in Boston, where I was born. Life was good. His diplomatic immunity meant we never had to pay parking tickets. In 1977, when it was evident that the “rogue” communist government was here to stay, President Carter switched official diplomatic recognition of China from Taiwan to Mao’s People’s Republic of China. Taiwan to this day has been an entity plagued with an asterisk. Not really an independent country (they still claim to be the rightful government of China, nearly 60 years later, talk about hanging onto a pipe dream!), nor the recognized governing body of China, the world still hasn’t decided what to do with this footnote of a nation/province/island. Closer to home, this shift in US foreign policy meant that my family had to start paying parking tickets again. But we stayed despite this newfound hardship. Dad found work as a research fellow and mom became a kindergarten teacher (and has since made her way up the ladder to Director of Foreign Languages for the entire Boston Public School System!).

I often wonder what my life would be like if that pesky peasant with that little red book were never born. Would I be living the life of aristocratic privilege, throwing million-dollar birthday parties attended by Paris Hilton, the prince of Dubai and P. Diddy in my villa on the shores of the South China Sea? Woulda, coulda, shoulda... I have everything I need: my family, my mutt, my rowdy friends, my gas guzzlin’ truck, beer-battered onion rings and yes, this blog. USA! USA! USA!

I have used up most of my allotted time on random fact #1. The other 6 shall be short(er):

 
2) Supersize Me
I love McDonalds. I finished my first solo Big Mac at the age of five, as a reward for being good at the dentist. I have a bottomless pit in my stomach for it. I can eat 5 Big Macs in one sitting. I have had 10 Egg McMuffins for breakfast. Remember in the documentary of the same name when the dude threw up after eating that Double Quarter-Pounder with Cheese? Pussy...

I’m also on a crusade to bring back the McDonald’s fried apple pie. The crispy, fragrant, batter-bubbled crust, the piping hot filling that warranted a government warning label… oh they made me so very happy. I would be picketing McDonald’s headquarters right now if it weren’t for Wal-Mart. Some Wal-Mart McDonald’s locations still carry my coveted fried apple pie. For complete list of fried apple pie hold-outs, go here YOU ARE VERY WELCOME.

 
3) I would win Fear Factor if it weren’t for the water stunts
Perhaps the explanation for random fact #2 is that I can eat absolutely anything without fear. If some human being somewhere on earth legitimately dines upon it, I will try it. And likely enjoy it. I’ve eaten grilled cocoons, dried caterpillars (a popular snack in Botswana), steamed lambs brain and braised entrails of all sorts. If Andrew Zimmern ever retires or dies of food poisoning, I’d be more than happy to fill his spot on Bizarre Foods.

 
4) But I hate vegetables
I’ll eat them on a dare, but I cannot eat vegetables as an element of my regular diet. Exceptions are eggplant and mushrooms. I consider those honorary meats. When I was a kid, I crafted the perfect excuse to not eat my most dreaded vegetable: Chinese Snow Peas (they resemble a flat string bean). I told my mom they made me dizzy. I still use it to this day.

 
5) I’ve been on the whiskey since age 5
My dad used to end each day with a Scotch on the rocks. As his little heir apparent, he would bestow upon me all the Scotch knowledge that would fit into my toddler head. How to savor the aroma, how to full enjoy each sip from the moment it awakened your lips to its slow burning traverse into the depths of your belly. And I would look forward to that nightly *tiny* sip that he afforded me. Not just for what it was, but for the connection it built between us. My grown-up wish had always been to sit with him and share a rare bottle from our collection, just telling stories, man to man. He passed away almost four years ago, and because he worked overseas, I never did fulfill that wish. His ashes rest in a pagoda overlooking the Los Angeles skyline. On Father’s Day and his birthday, I sneak a flask of Johnny Walker Blue Label into the temple (that is strictly forbidden, but some rules were meant to be disregarded) and I splash a generous shot onto his plaque and sip a few myself. The little guy also partakes in a “dip” as well. Some things transcend life, age, time or place.

 
6) John Cusack kicked my ass
I’ve been training in some sort of martial art for the past 17 years (karate, kung-fu, submission grappling, kickboxing, Muay Thai). During the mid nineties, I trained with kickboxer and fight choreographer extraordinaire Benny “The Jet” Urquidez. For our sparring sessions, he’d often bring in professional fighters from all over the world who happened to be preparing for an upcoming fight, or were in L.A. for an audition for an action flick. On one such occasion, I had the privilege of sparring with John Cusack at his office/gym in Venice, CA. He whupped me. To his credit (more like, in my defense), he had been training with Benny Urquidez since the late eighties when he played an aspiring kickboxer in Say Anything.

 
7) I make the best New England Clam Chowder known to man.
I don’t brag much, but this one is well-deserved. I’m actually thinking of selling it one day online.

I’m gonna break the last rule. Not because I feel rebellious, but because this blogging circle of mine has seriously begun to cannibalize itself. If someone doesn’t let this field lie fallow, every post will be a meme before long. I will however, tag one blogger. I don’t think she’s been tagged yet so she’s ripe for the pickin. This person is Shalene from Proverbs31WomanWannaBe. She’s a mom who has found faith in a big way. Seeing as I can’t even find my flip flops after the weekend’s over, I feel that she may some interesting insight on life and randomness.