[I revisited this letter with a sober mind, fixed it up a bit, and added a little =====> incase you wanted to skip to the segue and a |||||=====> if you wanted to hop to the nitty gritty-ish.
Kent, today I did something that upset me greatly. It was excessive and unnecessary.
I woke up today at 8:30am and sat with the parents as I drank a cup of coffee. Then, I ate an egg and cheese quesadilla and half of an other one half an hour later (both the one and half of one were eaten at the same time, half an hour after I woke up). While eating those egg and cheese quesadillas, I was drinking a cup of milk tea (half an hour after I drank the coffee). I then got dressed and left 10 minutes later than I should have to go to the dentist.
I was waiting in the lobby, enjoying the classical opera music they always play and sadly found myself on my phone, and more sadly, laughing out load at a FB status I had posted 15 minutes prior. The status was “White & Wong Law Firm” (later edited to “The White & Wong Law Firm”). I then put my phone down, and continued to laugh at the post as I sat there waiting on the couch.
A few minutes later, the glass door opens and out walks my former co-worker. I stand up to greet him with a hug then sit back down. Then he sits down next to me. He doesn’t go to the receptionist like I imagined he would. I mean he just got done with the dentist so I feel like everyone was expecting him to go to the receptionist and do his thang, but he didn’t. He sat and we talked, and it seemed like everyone was just standing there, listening, watching, and expecting him to go to the receptionist.
We continue talking and I asked him how he heard of this dentist and he said “work!” I ask him “who at work recommended him?” Then he says “I was on a computer checking [specific website name followed by an explanation of what that website does] and I asked Freddy if he knew of a good dentist. He shut my monitor off and said ‘Dr. Trieu. You don’t need to look anymore.’” I look up, and in fact, everyone in the office is listening and watching him tell this epic referral story; at this point, I’m not sure if they still expect him to go to the receptionist. Everyone seemed so delighted by the story. “And then during our morning meeting,” he continues, “Freddy asked everyone ‘Who’s the best dentist?’ and all 25 people shouted out ‘Dr. Trieu!” Everyone in the office laughs. I kept thinking how weird it was to be sharing a referral story, no matter how great, in front of the people that work at the place. But, Dr. Trieu really is deserving of such high praise and I in fact left him only my third ever Yelp review, which can be found here.
After the “ahhh” following the “hahaha,” the DA, dental assistant, Sal, short for Salvador, told me that we can start getting ready now. I told Keith bye, then another goodbye hug for leaving the store a week ago without telling him bye. I go in, sit down, Dr. Trieu comes in, does his business, does an amazing job, per usual, then before I get up to leave Keith walks in again and sits down on the other dentist chair. At this point I’m going “what the heck is going on here? Why is he back?" Because of the curtain between us and the fact that he didn’t say anything to me when he walked in, I was encouraged to get up and not ask any questions.” (that parenthesis back there had no business being there and I thought I’d explain my mistake instead of erase it)
Alright, it’s about 11:30am and I’m out of the dentist’s office (I made a mistake again of capitalizing the D in dentist’s but decided to go back and erase it instead of explaining it this time) and ready to meet up with a friend and start working on the thing. There was a misunderstanding between my friend and I but this part really isn’t that important - the friend cancelled. Any who, I drove down to The America Tea Room that’s in the same Island (Fashion Island) that I will be dropping off the thing once I’m done with it.
I get there and settle down around 12:00pm, order a what-I-thought-was-gonna-be-a-cold hot glass of tea, Hong Kong-Style Milk Tea, in case you were curious, [and yes, I had to look that up online because god is in the details [and yes I looked up that saying online just to make sure that I got it right and the first link on Google showed “God is in the details” but the second one showed “The Devil is in the details” so I’m really not sure if I got it right but I’m going with it [and totally unrelated, the only picture I took during my stay was of a tea bag called Dong Ding. Hong Kong Dong Ding Tea is a possible drink to be made]]]. So, I gots ma tea, I gots a nice, big table that my legs were under, my butt was over a decently comfy stool [kinda gross that you sit on an object that’s also a medical term for poop] and my arms and belonging above the table that I believe was marble in material. And so, I’m ready to start working on the thing.
Actually, at this point, I still didn’t have my tea. The tearista, we’ll call him, came and told me that they didn’t have the tea I ordered and that the other tearista went running out to go grab it from I don’t know where but I wish I had listened to him when he told me as soon as he finished telling me but I had zoned out. I’m like, “It's cool, I’m gonna be here for a while - take your time.” Boy did I just now realize how big of an understatement that was. A few minutes later, I gots ma tea. And so, now that I gots ma tea, I can start working on the thing.
I open up the file in my iCloud drive and pickup where I last left off. Just a few names left to fill out before I’m done with the thing. At this point its around 1:00pm, and I figured I’d finish typing up this thing real quick, bada-bing-bada-boom, go to FedEx to cut it up, write everyone’s name on the back of the strips, drop it off by 4:00pm, go to Macy’s to return my brother’s unwanted briefcase from Christmas, then head home, kick back, and watch something neat. I then started having that same thought again at 4:30pm, saying that I’ll be all done and home by 7:00pm. Then wholly freaking crap it’s 7:00pm and I can’t even think at this point. At some point in time, I ordered another tea drink, Sweet Matcha Green Tea Latte with Soy Milk, if you insist, that was served in this little tear drop shaped glass. Hoe man, this thing is taking forever. I become fatigued and start flirting with delirium. ‘Just a few names left and I’m done. That’s not bad, Karim. You can’t give up now..’ Then I remember 5 more names. My god, the time is now 7:40pm and I’ve written a little something for every name on the thing.
I read through all nine, single spaced pages, formatted it properly, hit save, waited 10 seconds, then slammed (gently) my laptop shut, put my headphones in my tiny little Nutella jar, left on my blue light blocking glasses that everyone I know hates and did not put them back in my eyeglasses case that has a super cool Adventure Time Mr. Fox sticker (these glasses also happen to be the gold framed twinsies of my other black framed ic! berlin sunglasses, which has a pixelated Finn, Jake, and BMO sticker (didn’t check, but I’m fairly certain about this one), and walked out of the Tea Room in my yellow SpongeBob SquarePants t-shirt and navy blue cardigan, worn over the t-shirt in no particularly unordinary fashion.
‘Alright, not bad, that took a lot longer than I thought it would, but it’s still not even 8pm yet. I can still go to FedEx, print up the stuff, cut em’ up, and write everyone’s name on the back of the strips, get out of there by 8:30pm, return the bag from Macy’s, then drop off the thing at my former place of work,’ I thought to myself. I go to FedEx, super cool dude greets me, I email him the thing, he prints it out on 15 pages, I pay $2.42 [I turned on my Raggedy Ann night lamp to make sure of the cost. At this exact moment, I went back and added the detail about the Adventure Time Mr. Fox sticker right after I typed this sentence. While I was there I also added the part about my eye glasses being twinsies with my sun glasses and that I’m fairly certain that it’s a pixelated Finn, Jake, and BMO. I am now very curious about that.. I just tried checking but remembered that I left my sunglasses in the car. I just hopped on RedBubble.com, found the Log-In to be exactly where I thought it would be, didn’t find the Order History where I thought it would be, but ironically enough, it was exactly where the Log-In button was. I’m looking at the Order History and there was just one order placed. I panic for a tiny bit that maybe I hadn't ordered it from Red Bubble and what if I nev.. nope, it’s right there, first one: BMO, Jake, Finn, just had the order backwards. [side-side-side note, cheeky monkey’s signed me up for a newsletter when I logged in and they just sent me an email. unsubscribe. [side-side-side-side note, of course they would have a confirm to unsubscribe button that would instantly turn into an Opt Back In button, they were cheeky enough to sign me up just by logging in.]].
Ok, we’re back at FedEx, the time is about 7:57pm, I printed the thing, which ended up being 15 pages and cost me $2.42, which turns out to be a little bit over $0.16 per print (thanks, calculator). Now, time to go to the self-whatever station and get a-cuttin and a-writtin. I was just at FedEx yesterday and was using the cutting machine with bro, met a super interesting guy that wouldn’t stop talking, so I sent a picture of the cutting board and said “Back at it again.” I then start a-cuttin up the thing and I keep a-cuttin. And a-cuttin. And a-cuttin. And a-cuttin. Cheejus Chrysler, how many names are in this thing?’ I keep a-cuttin.
Finally I cut everything up but I notice that some of the strips are noticeably smaller than others; in fact, some were so tiny that I wouldn’t even be able to write the people’s names on the back with my wide point Japanese brush pen. I can’t have the narrow-stripped people be receiving notes that were so narrow that their names had to be written in with a ball point pen while they had to watch their fellow peers receive fat notes that were written in my best attempt at calligraphy. I needed to hide the narrow notes, so I went to buy tiny envelopes to put the notes in.
It was the same box of tiny envelopes that I had bought with bro just yesterday, when we met the really interesting guy that wouldn’t stop talking. This part was pretty cheap on my part, but I told the FexEx lady that my bro had just bought a box of the very same envelopes yesterday but only used 25 of them. I asked her if I only end up using just a few, if I can combine them with bro’s remaining 75 envelopes and return one of the boxes. She told me that if I opened this box up very carefully, that I can take what I need, replenish it back to 100, then use Elmer’s glue to make it look like the box was never even opened. This was the short version of her five minutes of scheming, and by the end of it, I realized that there were about 100 names on my thing and that I will probably use all 100. I thanked her for her elaborate plan and effort, nonetheless.
Fast forward through her following four minute story of the doctor that came in and stole a stack of papers from the copier and now it’s just past 8:00pm. Now that all the strips are cut, I just need to fold them, put them in the tiny envelopes, write everyone’s name on the back of the envelope with my broad tipped Japanese brush pen, go return the bag, drop off the thing, then bam, done! So, I start a-foldin, a-putin, and a-writin. So on and so forth. It felt like the strips were infinite. The stack seriously wouldn’t end and it didn’t look like it was getting any smaller. It’s 8:40pm and I still have a few more a-foldin, a-putin, and a-writin to do.
The clock is now really ticking down as my former place of work closes at 9:00pm and I still need to pick up ma momma’s Apple Watch, which came back from repair the day after I quit, about five days ago, but it just so happens that the thing and the Watch are happening at the same place. All the strips are in the envelopes and I realize that I forgot to write a note for Orlando. Crap. I take an empty piece of paper and hand write Orlando’s note, which looks significantly fatter than all the other notes because my wide tipped Japanese pen puts like five words on a line and I took up the entire piece of paper that I then had to fold into the tiny envelope. Done!
I take all my stuff, walk to my car, get in, drive, across the street to where I used to work, where I’ll be dropping off the thing and picking up ma momma’s watch. I get there in three minutes, park, go through the giant glass doors of the Apple Store, say hi to all my peeps and former co-workers, which is what I had titled the thing, “all my peeps,” and go to the back of the store to pickup the watch and contemplate if I want to drop off the thing. I don’t care how long it took me to produce. This thing, that's now nearly 100 little things, are very, very, very unnecessary. So much so that while I was a-cuttin, a-foldin, a-puttin, and a-writtin, I was repeatedly shaking my head and quietly cursing at myself for how unimaginably unnecessary and excessive it all was.
=====> I had written a very tiny, 2 sentence farewell email when I left work and it upset me how short it was. I had started writing a small note for every single person that worked in our store 4 hours before the start of my final shift, got about 60% of the way though, but didn’t cover all the names. It’s now the final few minutes of my shift, I don’t have a note written for everyone, there’s no feasible way of sending out the notes that I do have to everyone separately, and because of all this, I didn’t have time to type up a normal, 5 line farewell email like everyone else. So, I had sent out my rinky dink 2 sentencer email with the opening of “This is a sad day,” then with the body of “I cherished every single minute I spent with each of you. Something else went here.” then a sign off.
And so, I’m sitting there at the Genius Bar, holding the things in one wide open hand, contemplating how excessive this all was and if I want to proceed with it. Matt talks with me a little, Brisa comes out to hand me me mum’s watch, and I’m just sitting there, contemplating. Everyone sees the envelopes though and I say “ya, I wrote a little note for everyone.” It’s been six days since I quit, I’m sitting there with nearly 100 tiny strips of notes perfectly folded down the center, placed in just purchased tiny envelopes with everyone’s name hand written on the back, with the Cowboy fans getting a little crappily drawn empty-centered star on the lower right corner, and all the letters were separated into the 5 different departments of the store. ‘You know, just a little note for everyone..’
At this point, I was fully delirious. I had consumed 4 caffeinated drinks and ate only one egg and cheese quesadilla and a half (see, it doesn’t sound right which is why I opted to count them as two separate entities earlier.. hmm.. maybe one and a half egg and cheese quesadillas.. got it) in 12 hours, and I’ve been working for 7ish straight hours. More than the hunger, tiredness, and delirium, however, was the overwhelming disappointment in myself at how excessive and unnecessary this all was.
|||||=====> I’m honestly feeling very bummed as I get home, eat, and sit down to finally relax and watch a movie. I open up my Reminders app, look through the 127 movies in my Movies list, and having learned what the movie was about and more importantly, who it was about, it was a no-brainer - I’m watching Uncle Kent 2. I haven’t seen the first one and I had no idea what to expect and I’m also not sure why I decided on starting with the sequel. I’m still upset at myself about the thing from earlier but I just started the movie and I’m super ready for it.
A few minutes in, I grab my little live resin pen to smoke ma Gorilla Glue, then in the movie, you reach for your wax pen while on the porch and smoke it at exactly at the same time, so much so that I ended up holding it in for as long as you did. I coughed a little and seconds later, you coughed a little. It was at that instant that I forgot about all the worries of the day. I was in.
I kept watching, not knowing what to expect until you continued to shake the box of salad for longer than was expected, then I hit a wall of pure bliss and reencountered a novel sensation I had just experienced 3 weeks prior when I watched the play Clown Aliens. The intensity of what I thought was funny was overwhelming to the point where I had to stop the intake of funny. For Clown Aliens, I would look away and tell myself that nothing was funny, but for Uncle Kent 2, I paused a few times, rewinded to save a couple videos and pictures of the movie on Snapchat that I knew I’d probably never post or send to anyone and through it all, I was smiling ear to ear.
I continued watching, giddy and delighted, I eventually figured this movie out. It was just like Clown Aliens: unexpected and absurd. I had recently learned that unexpected absurdity is one of my favorite things. It was at that realization that I had fallen in love with this movie. I began thinking about a thought I recently had, how people that passionately love a particular thing that isn’t widely loved, must also have other niche-y things they love or have in common.
So, since this movie that you made whose tone and style I think perfectly aligns with what I consider to be the funniest, I begin wondering if there might be other similarities. I noticed that you were using a Paper Mate Flair pen to write everything down. I love Flairs and they are one of my favorite application-filling/list-making pens. Then later in the movie, when you put your phone away, you put it in your left pocket, screen facing your thigh, and the top of the phone a-scootin in first. Ok, I’ll be frank, these observations were pretty silly, but then, I thought of writing you a tiny little note just to tell you how much I’m loving your movie. I thought that it would also be a perfect segue to ask you if there is anything I can do to help save Adventure Time.
You see, I was beyond devastated when I found out that Adventure Time will be cancelled in 2018. AT is only one of two things that truly make my brain smile - AT and AC (Animal Collective). I’ve always thought of AT as the smartest show that I’ve ever seen. I believe this to be well intentioned, but I view every single episode as having a very profound message and lesson. Dungeon Train is the episode that birthed that realization for me with its beautiful and relentless conveyance of one central message. I’ll stop there and not gush much more about this wonderful episode.
When I broke my favorite mug (a ’67 Canada Expo mug with two small holes for holding), I watched Puhoy, and tried yet again to understand why Jake’s mug returned to him after he had thrown it through BMO’s favorite window (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried solving this one because it’s my go-to reference for every time I begin regretting something, which I do oh-so often). When a very, very close relative died a few weeks ago, I put on In The Vault then continued watching AT for hours. Later that night, unable to communicate how I felt with my parents, I watched In The Vault again with them. I’m 30, by the way.
Often times, when a friend asks me for advice, they would automatically start shaking their heads as soon as I open my mouth because they already know what’s coming - an AT reference. One quick example is we were recently at a hookah lounge with some buddies and one buddy was talking about his expectation of relationships and how he used to expect girls to being committed 100% to the relationship but later changed his stance to 50% needs to be personal and the other 50% is for the relationship. He said he was having a hard time having the girl follow this breakdown. I then shared my insight. I told him that Finn really liked Flame Princess but he knew that he couldn't change her. If he tries to dim her fire that burns him, he kills her. So, if he loved her, he would have to accept her exactly as she was. And so, he did. They played cards together with oven mitts and tin foil gloves, he would wear a tin foil suit just to hug her, and they kissed by kissing the same rock.
This is only a noble effort on my part to try and explain how much I adore AT. It is for that love that I made it a goal of mine to reach out and do whatever I can to help save the show, even if I have to put my entrepreneurial ambitions aside; however, I’ve been complacent, as usual. Just a few days ago, I opened up about seven IMDB tabs for various writers and producers, so that I can reach out and send them a tiny little tweet or something. Your name was among the seven tabs. So, when I looked at my Movies list today, there was no other choice to make but Uncle Kent 2.
After getting about half way through Uncle Kent 2, I decided to pause and write you the tiny little note that I had thought of writing you earlier. I contemplated whether I should make it this long excessive thing, that would be written how I wanted it to be written, or to do what is normal and expected and just send you a quick little note to tell you how much I loved the movie and maybe a side note about AT. I decided that since you helped create what is my favorite thing (AT), made this movie that is already possibly my new favorite movie, that maybe you might enjoy reading this excessive note that is just as unnecessary as the thing I did earlier today and everything else in between.
P.S. Final side note: I paused the movie long enough to see my Apple TV App return to the home screen, have my Apple TV go to sleep, then my sound receiver, followed by my TV, then my receiver display shut off. Pretty neat, I always wondered the order of things.
P.S.S. I wanted to throw this out there for consideration: Uncle Kent 3 should be a series! I just say that because I want so much more of it and think it would be a great thing.