Saturday, August 31, 2013

do the unco pill, the unco pill!

That's Unco Pill on the paddleboard.
My dad celebrated his birthday on August 26. It was the second Monday of the school year, and everyone was laden with things to do. Somehow, we managed to scoop out an hour from our normally concrete routine and have dinner as a family at Mimi's Café. My dad procured a handy-dandy coupon, and off we went! I brought a laptop to finish some English homework, set it up next to the bread basket (in quite a show of digital-age manners), and typed to the rhythm of munching family members. It was an atypical school night that I hope my dad will remember. 

Now, for some notes on Dad:
- Mr. Bill spends many hours wandering the digital world. He's navigated into the farthest corners of the Internet, pocketing countless online treasures to share with his friends and family. Not a day goes by without his emailing me some fascinating snippet. Here's a typical subject line: "3D Printed Building. Bay Area Innovation FTW!" (I have learned not to cringe at FTW, because my dad says it aloud rather often. Another one of his favorites is 'sketch.'). I respond in the lamest of ways - a meager smiley is all I can manage - but I do read them all. If you see this, Dad, I thank you for enriching my life in this way!


- It's an Asian-church (or simply Asian) custom to address every member of your parents' generation as Uncle or Auntie. My dad, the lone white guy at each church we've attended, is Uncle Bill to his countless nephews and nieces. This summer, we gave him a (ferociously loud) Beats Pill speaker. He totes it everywhere, hence the nickname Uncle Pill. Uncle Pill bestows the gift of loud music to all dishwashers, laundry-folders, and shower-ers that cross his path. My dad has the most eclectic music taste: Hawaiian yodeling, Fergie, harpischord concertos, ska, and Irish folk music are his go-to Pandora stations. 


- My papa has been a fine scholar all his life. Feed him a question of physics or philosophy, and he will surely address and digress! The remarkable breadth of his knowledge gives him a peaceful perspective on all earthly matters. I confess that I tend to side with my mom when they disagree, but I always admire the wisdom and swift rhetoric of my father's points.


- Though he looks best in brown (in my opinion), my dad refuses to wear it - he will only wear a shirt if it has a splotch of bright color on it. My favorite T-shirt of his has a neat row of peachy houses along a turquoise river and says 'København' - I wear it to school, sometimes. He was drawn toward California by its gem-like seas and Spanish tile - everywhere is an exercise in his preferred bright colors. My dad paints his days with a very lively palette, rarely within the confines of a line, but always with careful brushstrokes. In dreary circumstances, he reminds the rest of us to don our halcyon-hued glasses.  


This is the tiniest sample of all you inspire, Dad. Happy belated birthday!

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