It’s time to taste the wasabi. Get things moving along, motivated by the sting of spicy that burns. Bambi’s father wants you to get up off the ground before the fire chases you down. You are faster than this. Mufasa knew you are more than what you have become. You are better than this. Shang needs you to get down to business to defeat the Huns. You are stronger than this.

It’s time to taste the wasabi. Try something new. Be daring. Be bold. Be brave. Not yolo brave. Not that foolishness. That kind of brave will only get you into more trouble. You don’t want no beef. With anyone. Or anything. Make Mark Twain proud if he is the one who said that famous quote that everyone attributes to him or Abraham Lincoln. Spoiler alert: neither one said that quote.

It’s time to taste the wasabi. The taste has been acquired. You can let gravity do the work now and take you down the other side of the hill. You are almost there. The band aid can come off now. No squirrels in sight. The last rose petal has fallen just as Belle is able to turn you back into who you really are. Finally get that haircut and leave the tower that has held you back from living. The shoe fits and it has never felt better to be yourself again.


the things you think at night

“Lights out at 10.” It’s been a long time since that’s happened. It’s my own fault really. I’d like it to be truly exactly 10:00 p.m. when I go to bed each night, especially on the weeknights, but it just doesn’t happen even though I know better. The problem is the alarm on my phone. I need it to wake me up because I haven’t gotten used to the alarm on my clock. You see, the time on my clock is a little faster than the accurate time on my phone so I don’t want to set an alarm on my clock. I end up relying on the alarm on my phone so I bring my phone to bed with me. That is a black hole of time right there when I should be catching some zzzz’s. I have this habit of checking my e-mails one last time, clearing out the junk folders, checking Twitter, and then heading over to YouTube to find a video that answers the question of the meaning of life. That usually include things like I wonder what avocado-based ice cream tastes like? Tom Brady likes that stuff and he is the master at keeping his body in shape so I must try that. I wonder what it would be like to be an emperor’s concubine? I don’t know if I could handle the pressures of being an emperor’s first wife. Man, God wouldn’t like to me have these thoughts! But it’s a part of my people’s history. I can’t just ignore it! I wonder if a crop top will go well with my new pants? Where would I wear a crop top anyway? I really need to find a better way to practice some of those high notes. I’ve got to stop being afraid of 5th position and beyond. I wonder if I could get the recipe for chocolate chip pancakes. There’s got to be some way to consume all those extra leftover chips.

I don’t even know why I do it as I’m pretty sure no YouTube video is ever going to answer that question for me, but it’s like I have to procrastinate sleeping so I can delay waking up so I can delay starting another work day or chore day, as if I can intentionally pause time before I start the next “hard” thing to do on my neverending list. Time moves on with or without me and I know this, yet I can’t resist the vampire apps on my phone. I must be insane because every time I do this, I know I’m going to have a hard time waking up on time and I’m going to be tired all day and find it hard to concentrate on anything I am working on. Yet I do it anyway. I don’t like the sleep-deprived feeling, yet it’s like I’m addicted to it. What I really need to do is go back to relying on the alarm on my clock and turn off all alarms on my phone. I may be up a little earlier than I had planned, but at least it’ll mean I won’t let my phone apps suck all my time away. A girl needs her beauty sleep or she’ll wake up a beast.



The hardest part is knowing you will never walk through the Orchestra doors again to come give me a hug and ask how I’m doing, even more than it was for me to visit you in your home for the first and last time and see you in your skeletal state. I wanted to be positive or say something uplifting, but I lost it as soon as I saw you that night looking like my dad did right before he went. You comforted me when he went. You comforted me when I was having a hard time at work. You did stuff like that for anyone you got to know and helped any Orchestra member work on their craft with you if needed. You were that kind of music teacher, one who was not just a music teacher. And that was just with the musicians you knew. The next day I heard someone sobbing in my car on the way home after work. Your record was on. I wanted to comfort her, the one that was sobbing. But my ugly cry was clouding the road and I couldn’t stop the sobbing because life’s not fair when it comes to cancer. I laughed at no jokes at work. I spoke to no one unless I had to. Nothing was worse than realizing the sobbing was coming from me, the girl who hates to be sad, who hates it so much she has to listen to Britney Spears to get back in a better mood. In less than two weeks later you went. My sobbing had become uncontrollable at this point. Then those of us who could make it said good-bye to you on a Monday night. But it’s not really good-bye. It was a celebration of your life, the way you left your mark on this world. It’s not about the numbers, but when I looked around and saw so many people there, it was a testimony to the way you spread joy to everyone you came across and made friends wherever you went. You were that kind of follower of Jesus. I didn’t lose it until one of your best friends in the Orchestra went up to the podium to share your funnies. There were so many, laughter came shooting out of my belly like a dragon and that was the beginning of the end of my sobbing. It was like a switch turned it off because I finally got it. It’s not about being sad because you’re gone. We will see you again one day. It’s not even about the way you played your sax so beautifully and humbly. It’s about the fact you lived a full life with the time that you had. You prioritized your family and friends because life is meaningless if you don’t appreciate those around you. But it all comes down to your love of the Lord, which is what motivated everything you did on this Earth. Now if I have a bad habit I want to break I’m going to think of what you said at the music convention to the trombonist before I start something I will regret: “Don’t do it, man!”



A drizzly morning. No bears though. Only mamas. Backaches. Crush thinking. (As per usual.) More sleep needed. One stop for lunch and groceries. Good finds at good prices. Fast cashier. (And polite.) Nervous stranger. Wondering why I have this effect on some people. Pimple on chin. Thank God for face masks. New pajamas. Clean sheets. Dreaming of going to bed on time. And caramel lattes.


Brain Fog

I don’t know when I started listening to K-pop, but I’m pretty sure I found it on someone’s Xanga once upon a time. So it’s been a while, but I do know that I listen to it as a way to have some pop music playing in the background that won’t distract me since I don’t know Korean. Well, I don’t know Korean except for the few words I learned from watching “My Sassy Girl.” Which words? Let’s just say I was asked once why I am threatening the death of Korean squirrels. XD

I listen to K-pop off and on, but lately I am on again and this time it’s Hyuna. I am liking her newer stuff more than her older stuff, but her music videos, especially her older ones, are still too provocative for my taste. So I try and pay more attention to the translated lyrics and the music. Amazingly the lyrics are different from what I expected and I know a lot of Asian pop tends to sprinkle in some English words here and there without really knowing the definitions of those words, but I like Hyuna’s twist on how these words are used. For example, calling a love of flowers a “flower shower.” I like that idea now and I can credit it to Hyuna. (I like the music video for this song. She looks more pretty and ladylike rather than provocative.) She also sings about not being cool, which I think is vastly different from all the songs out there saturated with tints of how cool the singer is.  

How’s this?


Alla Marcia

Some body parts are long, like an elephant’s nose or a flamingo’s ankle. Some foods are as big as football players, like cheese wheels made in Wisconsin. Some letters don’t stand for anything like the “D” in D-Day. This Page Is Intentionally Left Blank is a contradiction, but it’s there to keep the pages in order and not mess up margins and such. I love being able to cook my grandmother’s “get well” noodles for anyone who is not feeling well or for whenever anyone has a craving for it. And the beat goes on.


the purrfect spot

I remember you liked to take naps on the little bit of carpet on the stairs in the garage that leads to the back door of the house. I suppose you felt like you could hear your humans better and the carpet must be comfortable to lie on. Mom didn’t like the idea of you inside the house, so the unfinished basement it was, just for you to call a little home of your own. (I know it was a huge improvement from the CoMO apartment you lived in with me, as much as I missed my humble abode two hours away, or an hour and a half if I drive fast.) It’s been over a year since you’ve been gone, but I still avoid stepping on that spot as I see you curled up all cozy on the carpet, looking all peaceful like everything is fine in the world. I never wanted to ruin that little bit of Heaven for you. I’m so glad you missed all this virus craziness, though I’d imagine the only way it would have affected you is seeing me home more than usual. Looking at that spot now tugs at my heart and I know you could never be replaced, but I don’t want to ever fill that spot. That is yours, my black and white ball of fur. I’ll miss you for always, but I want it that way.  


to all the yous

I could have stayed while you helped me find a job near you in the city, but I chose not to, moved back home and left a possible heartache waiting to happen. But then again, you have never stopped being my friend completely and I have always felt safe and comfortable around you, so there’s that.

Our lives mirror each other, with mine copying yours right after, but this time I didn’t have a baby right after you did. Now your boy’s growing up and there will always be a part of me that really wants to re-connect with you again, but my heart stops me right before I reach out to you. The beating in my chest knows like a little hummingbird that I wouldn’t be able to talk long before I had to leave again.

You said you liked the feel of the big ones. You wanted me to try a cig at a frat party once after our big split, but instead I spitted out some words from my research on secondhand smoke and lung cancer then tried to put a positive spin on it when I saw the look on your face and the look on the guy’s face, your flavor of the week.

You said your parents compared you to me and you resented me for that. I felt terrible knowing this was happening to you, but still you wanted to stay with me for spring break as you introduced me to your boyfriend and friends at university and then never talk to me again. You didn’t plan it that way, but it just happened. Now all I can think about is all your sexy stories you told me during that time.

I miss everything about you, even that time in fifth grade when I tried teaching you how we could walk through walls one day just because of It. It was meditation because what else would it be? You always remembered my birthday and it’s a quality I’m going to miss in future yous from now on.

I should have made it clear I understood you have no intentions with me and I accept you for who you are, even while you have trouble sharing with your family who you are, but I didn’t. Now I just miss you while you live states away, but you did buy a copy of my book and come support me at my very first author outing, so there’s that.

Every time I see your posts on Facebook, I know you’re going to make me smile because that’s what you do. You made me smile big while we were at university together and I was going through my darkest time. I don’t know how to thank you for that, but I do enjoy your cooking and painting and baby pictures. Mmm mmm good.

I still have the image of you smiling with a 2-liter bottle of Surge dancing on your head in my mind. We had just come back from “Titanic” and going to the movies is one of your most favorite things to do. Now you are out there saving lives and I hope to God you are doing okay.

We write letters now because I randomly reached out to you one time. You’re like a daughter to me as well and I’m so proud of all you’ve accomplished so far. Now you have an actual daughter with the most loving husband anyone can ask for and I’m loving the pictures you are sending me of her.

I can summarize us in one word: AIM. You loved that thing and you would probably still be on that thing now if AOL hadn’t shut it down. That thing is how we bonded and grew and became so close later on post-elementary school. You told me you want me to look in the mirror every day and say, “Any guy would be damn lucky to have me.” It’s because of you that I believe this and am grateful for you pushing me to see the things about me I never saw just for not trying.


The Imagination Express

I’ve been hanging onto an alicorn’s wings. Maybe I’ll ask Peter Pan nicely to teach me how to fly and make besties with Wendy Darling and The Lost Boys. I wonder if he has an alicorn? I do know he has some mermaid friends and then there’s also Tiger Lily. Typical boy. I want to give Wendy some womanly advice, but I have a feeling she already knows. So maybe I’ll go have a chat with Smurfette and suddenly not feel so alone anymore. Mera will show me how she controls water and what it’s like to be married to Aquaman. Then I’ll be able to wash away all the Dementors attacking my mind. I’ll be able to focus on Ursula and finally tell her to go away with Expecto Patronum. No singing necessary. Once I hit the sand I’ll wave good-bye to the Loch Ness Monster. The pumpkin on the ground will turn into a carriage and my alicorn will chill with all the horses and we’ll bibbidi bobbidi boo our way home. I know Harry Potter’s got a hippogriff. I may need to try to hang onto one of those wings next time.