Chupa’s friend Jonic, a creative director at an ad agency, has a lovely wife who stays at home with their kids. In 2014, she produced a line of impeccable ceramics, but then discontinued production despite a welcoming reception of her work.
One night, we went out to celebrate Jonic’s birthday. While the guys discussed work, politics, and work politics, I asked Alisa about her ceramics background.
“This is going to sound kind of bad,” she said, “but . . . I’m one of those people who’s good at everything.”
A year later, Jonic crashed at our place so he could commute to work while their house was being renovated (Alisa and the kids were with his parents).
I mentioned Alisa’s talent, and asked Jonic about her paintings and other work.
“They’re incredible,” he said, “and she has no interest in art whatsoever. She couldn’t care less.”
“What a waste! I would kill for those skills.”
“Some people are like that," he mused. "They have all the talent in the world, and they just don’t give a shit.”
On Sunday (Mom’s only day off), I tried to cajole Mom into organizing the guest bedroom closet, which houses half of her collection of cheap clothes. You can’t walk into it without getting irritated by the plastic bags housing giant, billowy comforters that take up most of the floor and tangle with your feet like leeches.
Mom grumbled about not wanting to clean, but followed me into the guest room anyway.
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“Ever been to Jiufen?” I asked Mom.
“You should go! It has a nice view of the sea. It’s supposed to be the city that inspired Spirited Away. And they have the best gweh I’ve ever tasted - your favorite, with taro and the green one with radish or whatever the chewy stuff is.”
She looked skeptical. “How did you get there? You don’t speak the language.”
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Two orange tabby brothers followed us home in December. They lived with us for five weeks, snuggling, wrestling, running around like madmen and punching each other in the face, until their owners saw our “found” signs (which had been posted in front of their house for weeks).
Chupa misses them a ton. They shredded furniture, ate my expensive paintbrushes, pawed wet paintings and shoved my brush around whenever I painted, but they were cute and soft fuzzballs.