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Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm a Work of Heart


In this segment entitled, "Getting to know your friendly, neighborhood Blog-host" I'll be dishing out plates full of backstory on Saboteur Academia's Fearless Leader AKA... me.

Born July 24th 1986 in Glendale, California. Youngest of 4 brothers. Grew up in the suburban sprawl they call Orange County. I called it living behind the Orange Curtain. My childhood neighborhoods were predominantly White, Christian, and Fucking Suburban Wastelands. Mother & Father divorced when I was 6, and in that classic 90's psychobabble trend I was diagnosed with ADHD soon after. Prescribed Ritalin and visited more counselors than contained within a psychiatric textbook. (UCI even studied me as part of "breakthrough" research into childhood development.) Other highlights include anti-Semitic bullying, reading Animorphs, gymnastics classes, belated Bar'Mitzvah, sporadic paternal presence, first sexual experiences with ironically Catholic Latina girlfriends, debate team, chess club, marching band, membership with 3 semi-professional gaming teams, various relapses of Mother's cancer (contracted when I was 2) until her death circa March 2003. I was 15. The last years of her life I recall functioning as combination cook, bedside nurse, and rehab counselor to an older brother addicted to Mom's prescription medication.

If you were to ask someone how they'd characterize me between age 6 and age 17, they'd probably say I was a smart-ass annoying nerd. Skinny and pale like Macaulay Culkin with glasses, a crooked tooth (even to this day) and a habit of saying whatever the fuck I felt like. It'd be an understatement to say I didn't have many friends. Whatever. So it goes.

But my greatest accomplishment during this period to date remains missing the initial 4 months of my Senior high school year, getting all the work I didn't do waived, receiving a 3.0 grade point average, and yet still managed to get accepted into Brown University on the merits of a heartbreaking admissions essay that I mailed to every university official on that campus. (I was unable to attend because they didn't give me any financial aid, so I couldn't afford it.)

Also, I'm quite proud of being the only person in my graduating class to successfully kick the shit out of... anyone, despite the fact that I was a skinny little bitch. Call me immature -- it was high school. The dude was a gang-banger wannabe named Chimp with a penchant for throwing water-balloons and jumping dudes with his five other friends. However, we threw down in the locker-room post-PE-class where it was mano a mano. His right punch gave me a black-eye, but it was worth it to headlock him, two knees to the gut, one to the face, locker-slam, and then choke him out.

What?? Of course I'm relishing the memory! Don't judge me.

Other factoids: I was born an uncle. My oldest older-brother from Mother's first marriage to a La Habra police-officer. He had two daughters -- one the same age as my youngest older-brother, the other my age -- as well as a son five years younger than I.

I attended a total of 4 different Elementary schools (every one in my district) until I was banned from the district for misbehavior such as fighting, biting, resisting teachers, falling behind in class, asking too many questions, and yelling. None of my principals could refute my statements that anti-Semitic bullying by teachers and fellow students was the cause for much of my behavior, nor did they ever investigate these claims. (Eventually I was repatriated into the district during middle school after going through rehabilitative education at a pseudo-reform school.)

I was the youngest member of my old professional gaming team, The SoCal Sockas at age 16. We won numerous regional championships in Starcraft 2: Broodwars expansion, as well as Warcraft III (RoC and FT). However, I quit when the team decided to compete in South Korea, and instead I went to college. Currently all of my former teammates are millionaires (by South Korean standards) living in Seoul. They all took Korean wives, and make a living by working as coaches, trainers, players, and commentators in the South Korean professional gaming scene.

As for me, I still think I picked the right decision. Why? Because I don't fancy living in South Korea.

Anyhoo. Hope ya'll found some infotainment in these bittles about myself.



Cheers

21 footnotes:

Alee said...

Interesting. I like it.

...still managing the accomplishment of being accepted to Brown University...(I was unable to attend because they didn't give me any financial aid"

Ugh. Brown has a history of being the Ivy with the worst FA. They probably lose a lot of students due to that.

You sound like you were a little menace. I can only imagine how mischievous you were, since you still are now!

Jasmin said...

Hey, where am I? Saving that part for the sequel?

You should put up the picture from your bar mitzvah.

Zek J Evets said...

Jasmin,

Haha, well I only kinda sketched a rough idea of my childhood thru high school years.

But would it make you happy if I dedicated an entire post to writing about you? =P

Jasmin said...

Yes... :-)

Zek J Evets said...

Jasmin,

Okay, I'll write a part two -- one of these days ; )

Franklin said...

Jewish and he read Animorphs when he was younger. No wonder he likes black women so much. Playful Jabs, Zek. Playful Jabs.

Don't ban me!

Zek J Evets said...

Franklin,

Haha, too late! Banned 4 lyfe! (I keed, I keed. Though I am genuinely confused how reading Animorphs makes me predisposed to be attracted to Black women...)

Franklin said...

It was a joke, because of the WM/BW couple of Jake and Cassie in the series.

Mira said...

Awww, nothing wrong about a crooked tooth! (Then again, I'm European; we tolerate these things).

But I don't get this part: "first sexual experiences with ironically Catholic Latina girlfriends".

They were ironically Catholic? Or what?

foosrock! said...

They all took Korean wives,....

Should the womanist in me be offended by this, or am I being overly sensitive?. However should I construe, Mr Mighty Male?!!.

Awaiting Teil 2.....

Zek J Evets said...

foosrock!

Haha, I would hardly call myself a "Mighty Male".

Mighty Nerd would be more apropos.

Either way, I think you should be offended if you are offended. I know for a fact that my ex-teammates and their wives fetishize each other willingly -- they treat their wives like exotic, submissive whatever-have-you, while the ladies treat their husbands like "Americans with lots of money" & etc. In the end, it's all just shallow and kinda fucked-up.

Zek J Evets said...

Mira,

Hmm, maybe that sentence was badly worded. It was ironic because a Jewish boy does not, typically date Catholic women. Why? Because their parents (and probably even the girl herself) tend to assume you're going to Hell.

No shit, I remember one of my exes' mother regularly bemoaned the fact whenever I came around to hang out.

Having someone condemn you to the fiery depths because you're a different religion kinda makes it hard to have a normal high school relationship.

Mira said...

So what it was, then? They wanted to rebel against their parents? Jewish guys are incredibly hot and irresistible?

I mean, I'm familiar with the whole "don't date a guy of another religion/ethnicity" thing. It's quite popular where I live, especially in the past 20 years or so.

The funny thing is, I recently discovered my first boyfriend was Jewish (ok, half Jewish) and I had no idea.

And I know an opposite case, a Jewish woman marrying a Catholic. She was my (Catholic) grandmother's best friend from high school. She married an Italian... In 1938.

(She survived the war, btw)

I guess it's strange for me to see these issues happening in the US in the 21st century. No, wait, who am I kidding...

Zek J Evets said...

Mira,

All of the above? ; )

But seriously, I have no idea.

Lots of Catholics and Jews marry, probably because our two religions share something in common: guilt!

That said, in my experience, people are practicing Catholics do not get along well in a relationship with non-Christians. Not that it doesn't happen. Or that there aren't positive examples. Just that it's rare.

Mira said...

I don't know. Most of the people I know (and that includes my family) aren't/weren't religious. They were atheists even before the socialism. So the fact that my grandma was Catholic didn't mean much to her, and she didn't think twice about converting when she married my grandfather.

I know this attitude might sound naive, given the unfortunate events in my part of the world, but seriously, people here didn't pay that much attention to it. Well, there were those who did, but many people didn't. Religiously mixed marriages were fairly common (which made it more tragic when the shit escalated). But between us, people here aren't that religious here. No matter what they say.

Americans of all religions seem to be more religious than the people here. The thing with us on the Balkans is that religion = ethnicity, and THAT one is a biggie. But other than that, I think many people see religion as more of tradition.

But what I find particularly interesting about this Jewish guy I dated is that it was pre-1999 (pre bombing and the new escalation of anti-Semitism here). I mean, he wasn't religious, and neither were his parents. I didn't even know he was Jewish until a mutual "friend" told me, a few months ago. The most telling thing here is that the "friend" felt the need to mention it, in a form of: hey, did you know he's Jewish? It was something that people didn't pay attention to before, not in this way anyway.

Same goes for other ethnicities, a few decades ago.

Sure, there were always people who did pay attention and who were against mixed marriages. But seriously, not as many as you'd think.

Zek J Evets said...

Mira,

I suppose on your side of the equation, it's easy to see it as a non-issue, but when people know you're Jewish -- even regular, tolerant, well-meaning people -- people treat you differently, make different jokes, different insinuations, and often times you'll find someone saying something offensive at a random and think it's just common sense.

Mira said...

No, he didn't hide that he was Jewish, just like I didn't hide my grandmother was Croatian. It just... never came up in the conversation. His family wasn't religious (they didn't celebrate Jewish or Christian holidays), and neither was mine. He wasn't officially inducted in any religion and he was an atheist, like his parents. (His sister was into Zen, but that's another story).

And it's not about him being Jewish and me not realizing it. It's about the mutual "friend" feeling the need to tell me that, like it's a big news.

It seems naive from this point, but that was before certain things had happened in my country. We were 17 back then. It's interesting that when I met my husband, at 23, the issue of ethnicity appeared early int the relationship (read: on the first date). He told me his grandfather was Albanian and I told him my grandmother was Croatian. It wasn't as much because we identify with it, but because none of us wanted to be with someone who'd hate other ethnicities. If someone has a problem of me being part Croatian, I'd like to know it right from the start and not after I get involved/start a friendship with them. I have a reason to believe my ex would do the same these days, just to see how people react to it.

Jasmin said...

Until now I thought the "ironically Catholic" thing was supposed to be a joke about how Catholics aren't supposed to be having premarital sex (or premarital anything; even prolonged kissing is frowned upon).

Zek J Evets said...

Jasmin,

Hmmm... I guess it could have multiple interpretations. My writing is meant to evoke multiple meanings ; )

Mira said...

Jasmin,

The funny thing is, I never thought about that meaning. Do I simply assume everybody's open to the premarital... everything, regardless of religion?

Zek,

I guess my Jewsih guy example wasn't the right one, because there are much more "controversial"
things you can be here than Jewish (namely, and in this order: Albanian, Croatian, Roma (Gypsy), homosexual, American). In any case, the point was that I found it fascinating (and a bit strange) that there are people who don't pay attention to religion/ethnicity even if their culture makes them to. What is this? Idealism? Naivety? Being too stupid for your own good?

And no, I have no idea how this fits into this post.

Zek J Evets said...

Mira,

Haha, no worries! =)