Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bald Faced Liar: the truth

1. Peter Buck, guitarist from REM, likes my thighs. TRUE. I was 18. Friends and I had gone to New Orleans for spring break (I am never letting Brody go to New Orleans for spring break or anything else). We attended an REM concert. After the concert, we returned to Bourbon Street, and we saw Mr. Buck strolling down the block. No one recognized him, even though he was wearing the same shirt as during the concert. I asked "Will you sign my thigh?" Or maybe Megan or Angie did. In any event, he smiled while he did so. I still love him.

2. I sat in Bill Clinton's seat, on his campaign plane. TRUE. I lived in a college town in Michigan (battleground state) during the 1992 campaign. Being a college student, and obsessed with politics and Democrats and all things liberal, I skipped all my classes and worked almost exclusively on Clinton Gore. Angie and I met the governor at the Lansing airport, and somehow we managed, after the motorcade had left the airport, to get ourselves on the airplane. Ok, we flirted with the cute pilots. We sat in his chair, and it was still warm. sigh. Naivete. Angie has pictures. We both have awful perms.

3. I shared breakfast with Harvey Keitel. TRUE. Ok, a bit of a stretch. I went to school near NYC, and my friends lived in NYC. They discovered this restaurant called Bubby's in the Tribeca area of Manhattan. Mr. Keitel lived down the block. One Sunday over eggs and pancakes, he was there. 12 feet away. But we both ate breakfast at the same time in the same room.

4. My grandfather was a Nazi. TRUE. My mother was born in Karlsruhe, Germany in October 1938 to Katia and Frederich Schuler, my Oma and Opa. Frederich was a police officer. When Hitler came to power, all police officers had to become Nazis. Frederich's job during the war was to evacuate people from bombed buildings in Karslruhe. He died as a result of injuries received during a bombing of Karlsruhe in 1942, when my mom was 4 years old. After the war, my mom tells stories of the extreme poverty that they endured. To make a little money, my Oma sold her services as a fortune teller, because there were always people who wanted to know what happened to their relatives during the war. My Oma made enough money to feed her two children, but she was no psychic. After my mom moved to the US, she would eventually meet and marry my dad, who, it turns out, served as a sergeant in the United States Army during World War II, in what was then-Czechoslovakia.

5. I shoplifted an entire summer wardrobe.  TRUE. Sort of. Not one of my proudest moments but yes, for some reason when I was a teenager, I became obsessed with stealing bathing suits. I lived in Michigan with no beaches, but there you go. This was in the days before those pesky theft deterrent devices on clothing. It was easy and stupid and a kick. My obsessions stopped as strangely as it started, with no warning or rational reason.

6. When I sat at the negotiating table at the DMZ (border between North & South Korea), the North Korean guards pulled their guns on me. TRUE. For four months, during the year after college and before law school, I "worked" in the American Pavilion at the Taejon Expo in South Korea. As part of this ridiculously over-funded and awesome experience, somehow we managed to get ourselves invited to the DMZ. It's a very tense place, the DMZ. Before then I had seen soldiers off-duty. Soldiers on-duty, with weapons, on both sides, are quite a different experience.

We were taken into these small buildings with conference tables that were in the middle of the actual DMZ. Our guides warned us that the North Korean soldiers would come up to the glass and peer in when we were there. They did.

Our guides also said that we were not to interact with them or look at them. Which worked as well as not wanting chocolate when I'm on a diet.  I looked.

The North Koreans had machine guns, and were peering in. Our guides said that you can tell if a country is rich or poor by the dental work. North Koreans have bad teeth. I couldn't help but look. I felt like an animal in a zoo though. It was very tense, frightening, and quiet.  So I did the only thing my 22 year old self could do in the situation: I started to laugh. That made the faces of soldiers on both sides very stern.

Looking back, I think the American and South Korean forces permitted our visit to harass the North Koreans because, really, why bring 30 American twenty-somethings with cameras to the DMZ? What other purpose could there have been except to mess with the North Koreans?

Still, the North Koreans held their guns up to the windows in the buildings.  But no one was injured.

7. My husband is related to Shaun White, the snowboarder. LIE. At least, I'm not aware of any connection between them.


SaRaH said...

Darn you Harvey Keitel. Darn you to heck.

Jacque said...

My life is so DULL compared to yours. :)

Dawn said...

Wow, such an exciting life!! :)

I have similar Oma and Opa stories. My Opa also fought in WWII for the Germans, against his wishes, and my grandmother dealt with tons of poverty also. They came to the US in 1953, when my dad was 3.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I shouldn't read these. Too many of them scare me.

Angie said... I thought I asked Peter Buck to sign my thigh.... :)

Shannon said...

LOVE this...and I know you asked me to do this too and I will, I promise.

Brittany said...

Hi! My comment is going to be totally unrelated to your post.. I just recently got a blogspot account.. But I have been following Brody's story since November of 2008.. My daughter was born October 31, 2008 with VACTERL and I found your blog when I was looking information up.. I am so inspired by your family.. Especially Brody. He is and was then a ray of sunshine on a dark and gloomy diagnosis. He is an AMAZING little boy.. In fact, I told my husband more than once that I want Olivia to marry Brody.. But I could be rushing things a bit.. Olivia has right radial club hand and a floating left thumb so she will also have four fingers on each hand.. And a lot of other things.. But I just wanted to say that I hope you keep this blog up and running for a LONG time so that someday I can show Olivia that she is not alone. I never, ever want her to feel like that. I want her to know that there is someone else just like her and just as awesome as she is! Thank you!

Christine said...

Brittany! You have made my week. Brody is already engaged to several people, but Olivia might have an edge over them with her Halloween birthday. If she likes Spiderman, it's a match made in heaven. Thank you for postig and sharing a bit about you- Where is your blog? ;-) email me through my profile so we can chat- if you'd like. Are you on the Yahoo group? xoxo