Sunday, August 28, 2016

My Ancestory may not be gluten free

My mom gave me a DNA test kit for my birthday to learn about our ancestry. The results came in the other day.

If your property overlooked a lake, my family tree would be the kind of tree you'd you go in for. Because it wouldn't block your view. Turns out, my tree has only two honking big branches:

Normal family trees are more full-bodied. See me compared to an average German below. You certainly wouldn't want a German family tree outside your picture window. All those twigs and leaves, you wouldn't see shit.

At first, I was keen on the idea of such pure simplicity. But then I remembered something. I remembered I did the "swab your cheek" thing while I was eating crackers. Turns out, crackers are unexpectedly sticky. This became clear when I was jamming the swab into the tube.

Where did the crackers come from? Because maybe my genetics lean savory spelt crispy with chia seeds.

I expressed my concern to Tom. He replied, "Do you think if you eat Tortilla chips you could become Mexican?"

All I know is that Tom is 2.6% Neanderthal and I'm only 1%. So at least I have that going for me. Or the crackers do.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My First Impressions of Omaha Nebraska

We flew out of Newark and flew into Omaha. We picked up our rental car and headed out of the parking garage.

In Omaha - Pulling out of the Airport Parking Garage

"We're not in Jersey anymore, Toto," I said to Tom.

Our hotel billed itself as 'located in the heart of downtown Omaha.' Which confused me. All I spied nearby were flat-topped concrete buildings sprinkled along wide-ass four lane roads with passing lanes separated by expansive empty parking lots. No pedestrians. Basically, no traffic either.

Downtown Omaha

"Where's the city?" I asked the front desk clerk. She gave me a funny look. 

"I mean, where are all the things?" I continued. 

"What kind of things?" replied the front desk clerk. She was really very pleasant.

"I mean, where's your downtown?"

"We're right in the middle of downtown, actually."

I took a moment to regroup. Clearly I've lived east coast way too long.

Basically, it turns out, Omaha consists of three high rise-ish buildings in a cluster. They call this "Midtown." And then a couple miles away, there's a block or two of revitalized warehouses lined with cute shops and restaurants. It's kind of like a tiny little meatpacking district, but with fewer streetside pharmaceutical peddlers, B&Ts and blond Russians in stilettos and micro minis. 

Someone also mentioned a neighborhood where "all the immigrants live" and where the tacos are amazing; but I never got a bead on the specifics.

I decided to go out for a walk and investigate what lay in between this "Midtown" and "Downtown." 

Midtown in the distance
A few blocks out, I passed a yard, patchy brown grass and a car sitting on the grass with the hood open and a guy in a wife beater bent over it. A woman stood nearby talking loudly and shaking her finger. A cat ran by. 

At some point it became clear that although Omaha boasts 400,000 residents, it might be because it covers like 200,000 square miles.

But seriously, the people were lovely. They put up with my shenanigans and puzzled blank stares. They are very proud of Omaha for many excellent reasons. It's just not really a city is my only and main point. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Every Four Years

photo credit:

The expertise in my family unit is amazing, especially when it comes to synchronized diving (“Obviously the Chinese dominate in both synchronization and execution”), uneven parallel bars (“Oh boy, that hop on the landing will cost her”) and the Nigerian men’s soccer team (“Well played in the backfield although clearly outmatched when it comes to that side-of-the-foot maneuver.”) 

On the whole, we are easily qualified to take over the expert commentary. Or maybe the color commentary.

Or at a minimum just commentary.