Friday, December 13, 2013

Cancer Blows

                                   It had been a particularly cold Easter when my grandfather first expressed his distain of Church services to me.  We had been standing in my aunt’s kitchen, a particularly lavish affair of a room, awkwardly glancing at each other.   That’s when he blurted it out.

                                    “Your Grandmother made me go to Church this morning.  Had an Asian priest.  What type of Catholic priest is Asian?  I couldn’t understand a damn word he said.”  I couldn’t help but laugh.  I’m sure there are more than a few people that will point out how discriminatory he was being, or how awful of a comment it was – but there, in that moment, it was fucking hilarious.  There we were, surrounded by our prim and proper family, a whole salmon, a pitcher of sangria and an assortment of side dishes, and there was Grandpa, spouting off about Asian priests and sermons.  He was really the only family member on that side that ever understood me, understood what made me tick and think and wonder.  The rest of the family would be talking about the latest pop star, but Grandpa and I would be tucked away at a table, talking about the mating rituals of the bonobo chimpanzee.

                                    We buried Grandpa last Thursday.  My mother and her sisters (Grandpa had 6 girls, despite his best efforts to have a son) did their best to console my grandmother – the woman who had been married to my grandfather for 64 years.  They had met when she was 16.  He had asked her to marry him…and she had said no.  Three times.  I guess the fourth time was the lucky one, because when she was 20 they married and got right to work on having children.  My grandmother never had any problem telling my grandfather where to go and what to do with his opinions.  He would have done anything for her – would have made anything happen for her.  Now she struggles.

                                    As I sat in an unfamiliar church surrounded by family – the people who I’m supposed to be the closest to and yet seem the farthest away from, I couldn’t help but think about how much Grandpa would have hated it.  He wouldn’t have wanted a big fancy ceremony and a bunch of flowers and people crying over him.  He would have wanted a pint and a football game to watch.  Funerals are for the living.

                                    And there I was contemplating all of this when the priest took the pulpit.

                                    He was Asian.  And very difficult to understand.  God does have a sense of humor.

                                    I should be saddened by Grandpa’s passing – and I am, in a way.  I am saddened that my grandmother – a strong woman – has been reduced to hiding in her house and barely eating.  I am saddened that my mother is unsure how to cope with this tragedy, and that my aunts and their husbands are equally confused.  I am saddened by the suffering that my grandfather endured in the months before his death due to the cancer that wracked his body - that completely decimated him to the point where he told the doctors to sedate him until he died.  I am saddened by that.

                                    But I am joyful that he is no longer in pain.  I am joyful that he was able to find some control over how and when he went, despite being riddled with a disease that tragically claims so very many lives.

                                    And so, I refuse to say goodbye to my grandfather.  For me, this is simply a parting of ways until I can join him (hopefully not for a very many years).  

                                    I love you Grandpa, and I miss you.

Saturday, July 20, 2013



Even the word is ugly.  An ugly word for an ugly condition.

It’s a dirty little secret people like to sweep under the proverbial rug.  It’s something that society mocks, something that is real and tangible and altogether far too common.

I’ve known a lot of people, been friends with a lot of people, who have it.  I have family members who have it.  I am surrounded by it, on a daily basis. I laugh.  I have fun.  I float through my life, day in and day out, drifting on waves of contentment and pleasure.  I am privileged, and I am incredibly lucky for everyone in my life and everything I have.  I want for nothing.

And yet.

And yet, there is a little part of me that I hide away.  I stuff it in a box in my mind, and lock it up and pretend it doesn’t exist.  Pretend that I don’t add a new layer of chains to it every day, pretend that there aren’t dark secrets that I don’t want other people to know.  Because, the truth is, if I’m being honest – I?  Am not perfect.  I?  Am not always happy.  Sometimes, I feel like just staying in my apartment and crying it out.  Sometimes, I just want to curl up in bed with my cats and hide away from…everything.  And everyone.  Sometimes, I  just lose myself in a bottle of Jameson.  It helps me sleep.

I think that everyone can sympathize, to a certain extent.  We all have shit, ladies and gentlemen.  We all have secrets that we want to stuff in box and pretend don’t exist.

Am I depressed?  No.

Do I feel sadness? Yes.

I cannot imagine trying to wade through life with that type of weight bearing down on my shoulders every day.

And furthermore, I cannot imagine someone ever making light of it.

Is this what our society has turned into?  Someplace where we aren’t complete until we validate ourselves with the pain of others?

No thank you.  If that’s the case, I’ll stay at home with my cats and my books. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Life marches on.

It’s inevitable. A lot has happened in the last two years since I posted to this blog. I’ve started other blogs, discontinued them, and then started more in an effort to replicate what this one was to me. I wanted a fresh start, someplace to chronicle life on my own. However, despite my carefully constructed places, life marched on and trampled those other sites. I didn’t connect with them, and I had gotten so wrapped up in trying to be someone I wasn’t – someone I could brag about, someone who was cool and calm and who wasn’t a neurotic mess. Someone that people would want to follow. I wanted a blog where I could post my ideas, just as long as they were politically correct and contained the sufficient amounts of wittiness, humor, and thought-provoking concepts that I found necessary for a successful site.

I found myself growing disinterested with those other blogs, and started to absorb myself into my work. It’s a little known fact that I’m a bit of a workaholic – despite my disorganization, I love to work. It gives purpose to my life.  I started working 70+ hour weeks, started to focus on that and trying to be successful. I don’t regret it for a moment – I learnt a lot during those first few months - but I started to burn out. And, in the process, I lost myself a little bit. I couldn’t replicate the bare and raw honesty that this blog provided me in the other blogs I tried. Maybe I’m just sentimental, maybe I just don’t respond well to change.

In any case, here I am. Again. I’m still with the same company, just with a different position. I like my job. I like the people I work for, and the people I work with. I enjoy what I do, and I make good money.

Captain America is somehow still with me. In the two years + that we’ve been together, he for some reason hasn’t grown tired of me yet. I don’t think he’s simple minded, but sometimes I wonder – he seems to enjoy my special brand of humor and dorkery. He treats me far better than I deserve, and he puts up with far more than any man should ever be asked to. I am eternally grateful that I’ve found someone who won’t look at me like I’m nuts when I explain, in great detail, how I plan to train my cat to fetch me a beer out of the fridge.

Speaking of cats, I’ve acquired some animals. There’s the cats – Smushie (so named because, as an extreme Persian, her face is concave), and Nomeow the Russian Blue (a very dignified animal). Between the two of them, I am well on my way to achieving my dream of becoming a crazy cat lady. Tuck the parakeet is still around, although Ash (the other parakeet) died a few months back due to a tumor. I like to think he had a good life – or at least a better one then would have been afforded to him otherwise. I’ve also acquired, somehow, an African Grey Parrot named Metoo. Metoo and I have a love hate relationship – I love her, and she responds by biting the shit out of me on a daily basis.

See?  Smushed face.

And then there’s me. I’m still a neurotic mess. I still like to stare at the stars and the moon; I still love the scent of honeysuckle and almonds. I’m still a bibliophile. But, I think I’ve matured a bit. Grown a little older, perhaps. I’m 28 now – only a hop and a skip to 30. I’m starting to settle down – an eventuality that used to terrify me. Now I find comfort in making a home (albeit a sloppy one) for myself. I’ve always been a bit of a homebody, but I’ve lost the lust I had for the grass on the other side of the fence.

It’s not that I’m not motivated. That’s not it at all.

It’s just that I’ve learnt to find comfort in the little things, and to appreciate what I have for what it is.

And, really, what more could one want?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Just Can't Wait For Fall

Warning: Very random post ahead. You're warned.

I love fall.

Quite simply, it's the perfect season. Just like Goldilocks, I prefer my weather neither too hot, nor too cold - and fall's weather lands perfectly in that lovely in-between.

Leaves die in a splash of color (because, I guess, if you're going to go out then you might as well make a spectacle of it, and even Mother Nature is entitled to be one dramatic bitch sometimes), Halloween is right around the corner, apples are ripe for the picking, and there's this delicious crisp quality to the air that just makes me tingle.

That's right. Tingle. Not to be confused with Tinkle, which is an entirely different notion.

Football, hockey, fencing. I semi-follow football, pretty much bleed black and orange when hockey season starts, and I couldn't tell you anything at all about fencing - other than it sounds kind of cool, and I can totally picture myself with a sabre.

Ok. Let's face it. I just like sharp, pointy objects.

Something else I happen to adore: fall clothing. Boots. I will totally hit up Marshall's (because, well, who doesn't love Marshall's?) and make Charlie Sheen look positively sane in comparison. My girlish squeals of delight will echo down the aisles, and passerby will avoid all eye contact. I don't care. God help any soul unfortunate enough to be between me and a fabulous pair of boots. I can be a bit of a slut when it comes to a good fall jacket (or hoodie!), and it is painfully obvious whenever I step into the gloriously air-conditioned interior of my local Marshall's.

I've decided to join a gym this fall. It's one of those "open 24 hr" deals - hopefully I won't get stabbed or raped or mauled on my way there after work. Seeing as how I normally work until 9 to 9:30 pm, a 24hr gym is necessary. Along with attempting to eat better, I'm hoping that it'll do my body some good. Updates to come.

Then there's also Captain America (the boy). At the risk of sounding disgustingly sappy, I'm excited to spend this fall with him. His birthday is in November. I'm getting him Pixies tickets. I totally couldn't keep my trap shut and (right before eating dinner with him) I was totally all "So...DOYOUWANNASEETHEPIXIESWITHMEONYOURBIRTHDAY?"

After a moment (which I assume he took so he could decipher my babble), he blinked. Then told me I was awesome.

I know Captain America. I am awesome. Thank you for noticing. :)

Apple picking has started. I think I'm going to attempt it this Sunday. Maybe make a pie.

A pie seems like a nice way to welcome in fall, right? Right.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Nyx's guide to a first date

So, my bloggie buddies Dom and Andres have recently done a joint post here, advising members of the male portion of our species on how to woo the ladiez. I read it, loved it, couldn't agree with them more on certain points.

I'm totally stealing their idea. If anyone has more experience in fumbling, awkward boys I dare them to come forth with their stories. Do you hear that ladies?


Nyx's guide to romance. Here you go, fumbling awkward boys. Enjoy. And even for you non-fumbling, non-awkward might be able to pick up a few pointers. I'm going to bitch a bit in here too, so be forewarned. know what I'm talking about.

We want the Bad Boy...

Yes. It's true. We want the bad boy, the guy who is the Jim Stark to our Judy. We don't want a boy that we're going to have to defend. We don't want to be the man in the relationship - it's up to you to be the man. And, let's face it - if you come off too nice, we're going to think that you're a wuss. That said, being a complete jackass isn't going to make our lady-parts swoon either. Just be you - be comfortable and secure in yourself.

Don't be a conversational whore

Ok boys. I know that you are more emotionally invested in your game of Magick the Gathering than more people are in their children. I realize that it's hard to focus on anything other than what sweet awesome attack you're going to totally pwn your opponent with, and I realize that you totally want to share the details of that attack with whoever you go out with. I have three words for you, compadre:

Don't. Do. It.

That's like...a total date killer. Especially if the girl isn't into it. And even if she is...the first date is about figuring out the other person's personality. Not about rambling on and on about your card game. Or sports. Or...insert hobby here. Seriously. You're on the date to meet us and vice versa. Don't make it all about you.

Personal Hygiene

...I had thought this went without saying, however a friend of mine recently informed me that she went on a date and her date had B.O.


Instant turn-off, boys. Please. Bath. Shower. Whatever. Just don't smell like that funk that's at the bottom of a garbage disposal. Also in line with personal hygiene: clean clothing is a must, hair (if you have it) is to be neatly groomed, never ever style the peach fuzz on your chin into a goatee, and please keep the neck-beard to a minimum. Also: certain men can wear scruff, and it's dead sexy. If you are not one of these men, please, for the LOVE OF GOD, don't attempt it. You'll wind up looking like a squirrel with mange.

Tip the waiter well

If you're paying, then please make sure you tip the waiter well. Nobody likes a cheap-ass, and yes - we are watching.


Seriously. Really? This has to be said?

Don't fucking patronize us, listen to us

We're talking to you because we value conversation and want to make sure you aren't a mental midget. You lose more and more points every time you oogle our cleavage. You also lose points for sounding like an arrogant ass, and treating us like we're inferior.

Personality's a must

Don't just sit there staring at us through dinner. Don't expect us to make up all the conversation. Don't expect us to do all the work.

Participate. Share your views, your ideas. Show us that winsome personality. Just don't make us feel like we're out to dinner with a tree stump.

Have some pride

You're a nice guy. You don't think you've committed any grievous errors in judgement on the date, and yet...she didn't call you back! But you really liked her!

Sometimes, it just doesn't work. Move on. There's someone out there who will dig you, but to find her you're going to have to work a bit. I know what it feels like to be emotionally crushed. Trust me - if she didn't call you back, it's not something bad - it's just that you two aren't compatible. Work on finding someone who you are compatible with - you're a great guy, after all, and you deserve to find someone who can make you happy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I squished a lightening bug on my windshield the other day. As I drove, my eyes kept wandering to the florescent smear of the poor guy's insides, splattered onto my windshield as if to say "LIVE WITH WHAT YOU DID, BUG KILLER."

Anyways. So there I was. Driving. With glowing bug guts. I put on my windshield wipers and sprayed the hell out of my windshield in an effort to clean the distracting, glowing guts off of it. Didn't work.

Apparently, if you're going to murder an insect by slamming into it at a high speed, make sure it's not a lightening bug - that shit is impossible to clean off.

So there I was, in the humid (because...this is Delaware. And summers here are humid as fuck) night, cleaning bug guts off my windshield with a bottle of Windex and a not unsubstantial amount of paper towels. I had happened to have a crappy day, and I felt as if it were my own blasted insides that I was cleaning off that damn windshield.

I could hear children playing down the street in the summer night. I remembered when I was younger, teaching Leech how to catch fireflies and romping around the neighborhood with my buddies until all hours of the night. We were kind of invincible then, in our own little bubbles of self-assured childhood.

I miss that. It occurs to me that I've spent a good deal of time mourning my childhood. Somewhere, along the lines of life, I lost my innocence and wonder, and grew up and became responsible. I think it's a problem that a lot of people in my age bracket grapple with - finding their place in the world.

We all want to hold on to our childhood selves, we don't want to lose who we are - but we want to succeed. We want to stride forth in the working world and be individuals that are capable of standing out in the crowd, and yet in our pursuit of this we tend to lose who we really are. It's a tricky sort of paradox.

How many compromises do we have to make in order to succeed? Hopefully, not many. However, a good many of my friends have forgotten who they are in favor of fitting in with the crowd. I've even caught myself, a few times, losing who and what I am in an effort to assimilate.

And it's sad, in a way, that we're even being forced to make this decision (even if said decision is oft made subconsciously). It's sad that, in a culture that claims to celebrate and embrace individuality, we're all losing our own individuality in an effort to stand out.

What happened to just being me?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's day

My dad is, and always will be, an irascible, opinionated buffoon.  I can say this because I'm his daughter.

If any of you said it, it's be grounds for harsh judgement on my end.

My dad taught me how to use a chainsaw properly.  How to take care of a fishtank.  How to best annoy my mother.

He taught me how to make pancakes in the shape of a 's.'

I love my dad.  Even though, more often than not, he frustrates the hell out of me with his old-world ideas on what a family is and how "ladies" are supposed to behave.  Even though he eats his weight in ice-cream on a weekly basis, despite having diabetes.  Even though he can be the absolute densest person on earth sometimes - which, quite frankly, is annoying as fuck.

He's still my daddy.

Happy Father's day, y'all.