[Write a List]

The grass is greener right where I am.

I am mystified at how some people seem so healthy. Living well is a lot of work, and certain people make it look easy. I once wrote a concise schedule on how to live my every day of the week. According to the schedule, I know when to tend to my cats, wash my hair, my work availability, and when to sleep and wake. Some days tell me when to work on my projects, and others tell me when to exercise. I have never followed my schedule perfectly since the day I wrote it. My big idea is that I will be a healthy person when I follow the schedule.

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Why I Write

In therapy, I read out loud what I call the ‘Asperger Rap.’ I felt liberated telling someone, this time a psychological therapist, my very personal thoughts in a creative way. I like finding ways to tell people what is going on with me. Between reading the ‘Asperger Rap’, writing comic about my adolescence (be patient, it will be finished one day), to dreaming of being a disgruntled stand up comedian, my therapist determined I have a strong desire to tell a story, my story. Continue reading

Grandma’s last words

Make the guests some coffee.

Aunt 5 felt overwhelmed as new people, unannounced, knocked on the door and filled the den where Grandma lay in her hospital bed. Grandma had always been a hostess. Blessed with graciousness, she entertained friends and family for her whole life. Aunt 5 inherited from Grandma her hospitality and entertaining abilities. I associate my aunt with Pampered Chef products and Independence Day garden parties.

All month, relatives took over Aunt 5’s home. We came in and out until we no longer felt the need to knock. We never knocked at Grandma’s house and she lived here now. When we stood vigil as Grandma breathed her last breaths, and I felt the need to stay the night near Grandma, I hardly formed it as a question. I needed to be near Grandma and this is where she lived.

“Make the guests some coffee.” said Grandma to her daughter who watched as Uncle and  Auntie 1, their pastor and several friends filled the granny flat, chatting and praying. Humbled, Aunt 5 turned on the pot. Grandma was overjoyed as her new friends made themselves comfortable and sang praises to God.

I was quickly offered coffee the next time I visited and held Grandma’s hand. We heard her words repeated at her memorial that month.

I am grateful for Aunt 5 and her family for taking care of everyone in Grandma’s last days.

I am grateful for Grandma who guided us, even in her last days.


fishing 2005

Twilight boat fishing for red rock cod, 2005.

I do remember the positive times with my father. Dad loved to fish. I thought I loved fishing as well, but I really just loved impressing my father. I found that out about myself after I noticed how much I loved my excuse to sit under the deck after I threw up over board. But, I still loved the swell and fall of standing on a fishing boat in the Pacific Ocean.

Dad was very good at being impressed. He loved to praise his daughters and his favorite psychedelic rock musicians. I have heard “This is one of the top ten songs in history” a few too many times for one genre. I always enjoyed, though, hearing that a school assignment was ‘spot on’ or ‘genius’.

Dad loved to share things with his family. He passionately shared his love for psychedelic rock and fishing with my sister and I. Dad worked hard in order to take our family on vacations and make us fresh caught fish dinners, pulled out of the ocean that night. He loved the art of gift giving, especially when it gave him a reason to shop out of the Smithsonian catalog.

Then, Dad’s qualities would become magnified. We went on more vacations, listened to more psychedelic rock. We ate fresh caught lobster every day for a week once. But, before I could get scared, life became quiet again as Dad slept.

The pendulum swung a few more times with relative peace between episodes until 2016. Dad snapped in half and regrew a newer and less reasonable version of himself in his place. The music, figuratively and literally, became a whole lot louder and a whole lot worse. Fleetwood Mac and their contemporaries blasted the house at inappropriate decibels from the time he woke to the time he decided to sleep. My mom’s life became a poorly written soap opera with the lead antagonist played by Chevy Chase. The episode has lasted so long; I have confused my real Dad with this present day maniac who took over his mind and body.

My father is slowly dying in front of us. He declined farther than I have ever seen and has lost more than ever before. This new man is not my father. This new man harasses my sister over childish things that did not exist before he thought of them. This new man does not even bother to harass me. I want my Dad back.

When I hear the latest and the greatest from my mom, I don’t feel much more than irritable amusement. After our conversations, I feel fine. On the surface I thought I was unaffected. I did not cry or yell. I felt dull. I even felt good in other places of my life. Work was easier. Telling customers about our promos and helping them find the right high heeled shoe distracted me well.

I was sinking, though. School got harder. My 8:00 a.m. class became impossible to attend, as did my Friday class. Next thing I knew, I skipped entire days of class. I got to the point in my semester I only found value in attending my 5:30 p.m. class. I petitioned to withdraw from my other classes on terms of medical depression. My petition did not pass. I failed 75% of my classes in Fall 2016.

This is not the first time my mood affected my education. In 2012, I withdrew entirely from my previous university, San Jose State, when I became depressed. I had a very rough summer and I lost several friends at school. I slept a lot and could not do enough work to pass the six credit hours I was taking.

Dad picked me up from San Jose and drove me back to Oceanside. We yelled at and laughed with each other the whole way home. Sometimes my dad took good care of me. I want my dad back.

Hot Sauce Proposal

I am thankful Hubby did not propose to me this way.  While playing with the hot sauce packets at Taco Bell, this is the most coherent dialogue we came up with. I hope no one takes this method too far…

taco bell hot sauce gif