angry reader of the week: david yoo

Hello! Gather 'round, because it is time you met the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is writer David Yoo.

Who are you?
I'm David Yoo, and I'm a writer. I suppose you could also say I'm kind of like Morgan Freeman's character in The Shawshank Redemption--I'm the guy who gets you things. Actually, I'm the exact opposite of that guy, but I make up for my lack of ever following through with getting you things with an unrelenting stream of false promises. Which is par for the course for most writers; we're not exactly altruists.

What are you?
In addition to writing I'm also a teacher--I'm on the faculty in the MFA program at Pine Manor College, and I also teach creative writing through the Gotham Writer's Workshop. I have a monthly column in Koream Journal called "The World According to Dave," and if you skim a handful of them you start to realize that my world is really insular, given that I spend the bulk of my time in my house. I'm Korean-American, grew up in a homogeneously white town in Connecticut, and as a result I grew up a cultural nomad. I'm verging on old, given the fact that last weekend I attended my 20-year high school reunion. Well, I'm not so old where I've gotten to the point that I start feeling grateful that I still get carded regularly--what I'd give to look incredibly old but actually be really young... sigh. I'm also a father of a 2-year old son named Griffin, and it's my favorite job by a country mile. Except when he poos. In the tub (funny in Caddyshack, not so much in real-life.)

Where are you?
To give you an idea of how overworked/exhausted I am, I actually just spent a few minutes pacing my cluttered office in what realtors would describe as a "cozy" house in Framingham, Massachusetts feeling increasingly livid that I had to deal with such an abstract, pseudo-philosophical query. note: I'd originally misread the question as "When are you?"

Where are you from?
Born and raised in Connecticut, with a five year detour in Seoul, Korea, where I developed a fondness for packets of salted soy nuts and half-melted choco pies. After high school I went to Skidmore College in upstate New York, followed by further schooling in Boulder, Colorado, before returning East, which I haven't left, since. Basically I'm a lifer New Englander who hates winter with a passion.

What do you do?
My first collection of essays for adults, The Choke Artist: Confessions of a Chronic Underachiever (Grand Central), came out a few weeks ago. I'm admittedly awful at describing my books, so if you're curious please check out my web site: www.daveyoo.com. I'm also on Facebook and Twitter, though mostly for spying purposes (btw, sweet tankini, Becca!) Prior to this latest book, I'd published three novels for teens. When I'm not writing or teaching, I'm either playing with my son, or getting called offsides a dozen times in a single half to the sheer disgust of my adult soccer league teammates, or visiting open houses with my wife (we're not looking to move, I just like legally checking out peoples' drawers and closets when they're not home.)

What are you all about?
I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore! Oh-who am I kidding, I'm probably going to take it, which is the reason I'm mad in the first place. Basically, I try to model my life after Abraham Lincoln, who once famously said: "When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion." Plus, we both hate vampires.

I suppose if I were to I.D. the distinguishing trait that most impacts the rest of my persona, for better or worse, it's that I'm a bit more self-conscious than average. I blush when friends come over and see my phone (which has caller ID), worried that they'll bust me on the fact that I've been pretending all this time to not know it's them when I first pick up. I guilt myself into over-tipping, God forbid the stoned delivery guy who just handed me what feels like a plastic bag full of soup thinks I'm a cheapskate. When I return bottles at the liquor store I hastily explain to strangers I'll never see again, "We had a big barbecue last weekend, that's why I have all these beer cans." I repeatedly re-bloused my dress shirt at the last wedding I attended in efforts to hide what I'm convinced is an abnormally short torso. I was mortified when I test-danced in front of a mirror in the bathroom at said wedding, confirming to myself that I'd made the right decision to forego the dance floor and embrace my lifelong stance as a wallflower in dancing situations, subtly re-blousing my shirt when I thought nobody was looking.

What makes you angry?
Not a definitive list but a serviceable cross-section:

-Drivers who pass me on the right when the far left lane is wide open.

-People who wear eyeglasses purely for fashion reasons and not because they're blind like me. It's poor form. I mean, sure, I'd love to tool around in a wheelchair all day, but I don't, out of respect.

-People who start and/or end every sentence with "You know." It often seems that these people are from California, you know?

-People who still type LOL. At this point it's a cliché, and thereby holds no meaning whatsoever, never mind the fact that it's rarely tethered to a sentiment that's remotely laugh-worthy. Emoticons, on the other hand, are timeless, in my humble opinion. My favorite is the smiley face with red cheeks--that dude just got caught masturbating...

-75 watt bulbs. Trying to read under a 75 watt bulb makes me feel like I've been transported back to the 1970s for some reason, the same déjà-vu-ish-y feeling I get seeing rusty white vans in strip mall parking lots.

-Laptop batteries. They lie.

-I was going to list social intolerance, but tucked in the midst of a list describing my hatred for people who type "LOL" and crappy drivers makes it sound disingenuous.

-Speaking of crappy drivers: people who park their cars practically diagonally in a spot, forcing me to do the same in the lone spot next to them. Then when I come out to my car with my groceries someone's always glaring at me because the original car is long gone and it looks like I'm the tool who pulled a Dukes of Hazard into the lot... sigh.

-People who don't say thank you when I hold the door open for them, but then glare at me when I intentionally bump them from behind as I brush by for revenge. Hypocrites.

-People who angrily motion for me to slow down when I'm driving exactly 25 mph (granted, I'm in a church parking lot, but still...)

-I'm passionate about what I like, so I end up making the same mistake over and over, letting friends borrow my favorite books and CDs, even though I know I'm never going to get them back. This makes me very angry, but I have to admit it's probably karmic justice, given that 40% of my CD collection have initials scribbled in red ink on them that aren't "DY"

I'd go on, but I have to go change the light bulb...

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