Dear Nanay

Dear Nanay,

It looks like we’re going to miss All Saint’s weekend and your second death anniversary prayer/food gathering with the family.

And Christmas. This is going to be my first Christmas without the rest of the family, as we’re being extra cautious and not doing any socializing without a vaccine. If anything else, your eldest is still paranoid as heck about health.

It’s going to be difficult on top of an insane year and I remember when the lockdown was first announced, we discussed as cousins how we were going to keep you at home if you were still alive, and who would have to tell you the news. What we thought was a month long inconvenience is now a hellscape with no end in sight.

And now you have Bacon with you up there, I hope you guys are splitting those shake shake fries that you’re having all the time.

I miss the family and being able to just be in the same room and pick at the same food, or rib each other to make unnecessary expensive purchases at each other, and the possibility of travel.

But we’ve been so lucky to not have lost any human this year to covid, not like hundreds of thousands of families in the world and I’m not discounting that. Small miracle considering how many people we essentially need to interact with on a daily basis.

I miss sitting next to you and hearing you make snarky comments about the rabbits and telling me they’re all fattened up for slaughter. No, they still can’t be eaten, and now they have lavender in their diet, so they might have a slight potpourri like taste. (That sounds horrible but I know of a French guy who might find that good)


I still don’t know what to say

What can we say after most of a year being in lockdown? The fear that it will be even longer still? The uncertainty of what we face in still unprecedented times?

So I’ve been trying to get out of being in my head a lot of the time and listening to a better voice, one that used to be Anthony Bourdain. It’s been difficult trying to find solace in a man that died by suicide. However, just hearing him speak still gives me that sense of a friend who’s going through things too, but will always be willing to listen.

So I will take his words, sent to David Chang by email after a night out.

“Be a fool. For love. For yourself. What you think MIGHT possibly make you happy. Even for a little while. Whatever the cost or good sense might dictate. Good to see you. Tony.”

This is my new mantra, however semi-destructive it might be to my liver, my kidneys or my knees. Cheers AB.


I think you should listen to Florence and the Machine’s Rabbit Heart today

Anyone who’s met me knows I am a crazy rabbit lady (my friend Marian Jo has mocked up collages even) but this is a whole different thing. I have been working by myself a lot, and when you work nights, the times are even quieter, and even though I use a friend’s music around 60% of the time while working, when I need to fill the quiet, I listen to songs I can sing to.

I have been listening to Florence and the Machine’s Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up) lately. The lyrics are apt for a lot of things I’ve been thinking about:

Here I am, a rabbit hearted girl
Frozen in the headlights
It seems I’ve made the final sacrifice

We raise it up, this offering
We raise it up

This is a gift, it comes with a price
Who is the lamb and who is the knife?

Life is so different since March that who knows what things really mean anymore. I just know that I will keep listening to songs, I will keep singing at the top of my lungs, and I will fill my days with melodies that help my soul along. (Instead of the past few of food and drinking, but suffice to say I’m still going to use those some days).

You can listen to the song here

So are you the lamb or the knife?


I don’t know what to say.

We’re all living in a dystopian world, and we’re all having to deal with this apart from the people we’re living with.

Somehow it doesn’t feel real. What’s happening to everyone in the world right now. And while I can genuinely call myself fortunate, my family is healthy, together and keeping each other in what these times can only call sane, you can’t help but feel for everyone else going through crap right now.

I guess it’s the demonizing of other people that’s making it harder. Everyone is facing a kind of isolation but also trying to be there for each other. Where we used to just run to each other for a real hug or just being in the same room, now it’s the one basic thing that’s keeping us alive and safe. We don’t know who has it, and a once innocent handshake can now literally lead to someone dying.

No man is an island, but it feels like we’re all now islands apart. For an unclear period of time. Until there’s a clear cut cure, until we know we can survive this as a species.

Technically, life hasn’t changed that much for me, I get up, I go to work without changing out of what I slept in, make food, eat food, clean up. But there’s something isn’t it, when your mere being is a threat to life. I am sure every introvert started this thing sure that they would be winning at isolation, but now more than 30 days later wanting to be with the people they’re not living with, or just feel the “normalcy” of everyday socialization. Of finding an end to the uncertainty of what will happen to us, or the economy, or the people at risk, or the possibility of finding a way to be with each other again.

The world is turning on each other a lot of the time, and it seems like we can’t celebrate anything, or mourn anything without getting some backlash. And I have been a coward, hiding, lurking at other people’s posts and writing while not being able to put into words what it is that’s going on, and overwhelmed with feeling everything and nothing all at the same time.

I’m closing one chapter of my life and starting a new one this month, which is scary in itself, but also a miracle in this climate. I will acknowledge how fortunate I am to be able to do this and keep going, but also know how far I’ve come in the past year (in weight gain at least, further than ever before).

Even a joke feels insensitive. And wrong. But I do hope that people find pockets of joy in this time. And if you can hold on to it and keep it close, do it.


Of octopuses and grade school

There is a running joke between my grade school friends and I, that we all used to be pogi, and now we’ve grown out of it. It’s always jarring looking at photos of us from the time, where nobody had a haircut lower than our chins, where you couldn’t wear a skirt outside the uniform without being made fun of, and being girly was almost a dirty word. It took me a long time to change my perspective, and moving schools was the only way I could grow out my hair to the length it is now (it took me about 2 years, and I’ve never cut it above my chin since).

It is to no one’s surprise that none of my crushes growing up felt the same way. Besides my non stereotypically feminine look, my gruff, unfriendly personality was the cherry on top. While I am not saying I’m any nicer now, I can count exactly one crush that (eventually) felt the same way about me. It is one of my life’s cuter moments, and even if I cannot name names now, but the five people reading this already know who it is.

I was telling friends this weekend about something I never got to do in grade school, because I never had a crush not want to shoo me away at the time. It made them laugh quite a lot, and I have to admit it does sound a little ridiculous to me now, but if I can find a way to do this, consider me happy.

You see, every year, there is a week of fun stuff at my school. There are rides, booths you can play games in and win things, and basically it’s a week of goofing off in school. It was a big thing. It was basically school fair week. We waited for it the whole year every year, and it was a big deal if a guy asked you to go on the octopus ride specifically. The ride was conveniently set up in front of our school building, and to go on it with a person of the opposite sex was a public declaration that they liked you (and also an excuse to get closer to you, or hold your hand) and most likely will ask you to “go steady”.

And believe me, holding hands in grade school? A hella big deal. (I mean for me, it still is. Holding hands and a kiss on the forehead? Pretty much the most intimate, everyday thing I think two people can share, but I digress.)

Our group of misfit girls never got asked to go on this ride, but the girls we were friends with, the ones who actually looked like girls, did. I had to watch as every single one of my crushes went on the octopus with a friend that was super popular (a friend I still see whenever she’s in the country by the way), and was well liked by everyone. Girls that were on the cheer squad, who got peppered with gifts every single Valentines’ day.

I grew out the hair, but I never outgrew the awkwardness. And while I have crossed off a lot of things in terms of milestones with men I’ve loved (and much more than I could’ve wished for, I’ve been pretty fortunate), this particular one evades me. I would like to think that if I luck out again in the future with a crush that isn’t a crash, there is a possibility of crossing this off.

But isn’t that the great part of the unknown? Everything is possible.

Do you have something from your childhood that seems small but you never got to cross off?


I think you should listen to Bazzi’s Paradise today

Sometimes you just need to unwind, and I need to unwind. It’s a shame I gave up alcohol and soda for the next month, but that doesn’t mean that I still can’t have fun yeah?

But yes, I do not have the excuse for any alcohol fueled behavior. Really though, is there anything more dangerous than the combination of no sleep and stress? I do want to have fun, hopefully at a beach, or a rooftop, with a nice view, or maybe just sitting with friends somewhere fun to eat.

For now, since we are all adults that have responsibilities (some responsibilities more intense than others), we have to wait until the weekend to do this.

My solution? Spotify playlists. I have been going extra loud on my earphones (which has not made me popular around the house), and because the funner songs are the newer songs now, (and when I say new, I mean less than a decade old because I am old). One of these is Bazzi’s Paradise.

This is my year man if you couldn’t tell
This is our life and we’re living it well

Late nights in the city causing hell
Burn this bitch into the ground, oh well
If all we got tonight, let’s do this right

So when you have a night of fun this weekend, maybe listen to this to start. It feels like something to let loose to. And we all need this, five readers. We work too hard, we are too responsible too often, and we are on the danger of burning out before we really enjoy anything.

Listen to Bazzi’s Paradise here


I think you should listen to Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” today

I have been holding in rage all day, and really, it’s misplaced, and like what I’ve just been told by my sister and mother, I really shouldn’t pour it on others.

So I will listen to moody songs and angry music and will keep trying to sing this out.

And I told you to be patient

And I told you to be fine

And I told you to be balanced

And I told you to be kind

And in the morning I’ll be with you

But it will be a different kind

‘Cause I’ll be holding all the tickets

And you’ll be owning all the fines

I feel like I keep telling the people in my life to calm down and it’s not really working? And I can’t calm down because I’m absorbing their frustration, but really they absorb some of mine and it’s a vicious cycle.

So maybe I’ll just keep going in circles and keep telling them it’ll all be fine, and maybe it will someday or maybe it will all go down in flames.

For now I will keep trying.

Listen to Skinny Love here.


What we owe

I have been thinking about the universe, and what we owe. I believe that life owes us nothing, and that we’re here for a short period of time. If that’s the case, and the universe owes us nothing, does that mean we owe it zero too?

Raised Catholic, I’ve always been told that while we’re owed nothing, we owe everything to an ever knowing, powerful being that created us out of nothing. And while I am not atheistic at this point, I don’t think we can reduce a singular being to teachings by flawed, self-serving men in the beginning of time who had the influence to be able to contribute to a book that can’t be questioned or reinterpreted.

I am not here for a religious debate, but rather, to pose a moral question. If life owes us nothing, and we owe it nothing, then what’s the point? Who even measures this exchange? What are we here for? If we’re here to serve and we die before we have the chance to, or are unable to because we are inequipped physically, financially, or morally to do so, does that mean we’ve fked up? Or is it jut a luck of the draw? If you know more, are you luckier than the ones who can freely do morally bankrupt things because they aren’t able to grasp the extent of the damage they’re dealing?

I’m going round in circles. I’m lost. What is the be-all and end all goal of humanity? Is it to be successful? What is the measure of success? And if it’s not success, then what is it? To marry, have kids and continue the species? What if you’re incapable of that? Aren’t there already too much people in the world to still think like this? Is having progeny even moral at this point with a dying planet? And if it’s to love, what if it never works out for you, and you never have the chance to do this, are you a failure as a person?

I am asking more questions that I have the answers to, and honestly, I am not sure I can spin this positively to end. Since I have roughly 40 more years to navigate and no fking idea how to do it, I am asking for your help. Because sometimes it’s too damn hard trying to see years into the future, and I’ve stopped trying to plan for more than a year in advance.

Do you know what we’re here for? Can you tell me?


I think you should listen to Rihanna’s Love on the Brain today

I’ve been thinking too much about work lately. And it shows, even conversations with friends/family are spent discussing ideas I have been working on, and I am back to working in my offline hours.

I am trying not to, still afraid of burning out, and the last time it didn’t really work out well for me.

But hey, I know I can stop when I can and if I should, who knows? For now, it’s working, and I will find other ways to occupy myself outside of work.

But I digress.

I have had this song on repeat for a bit this morning, and here’s what I think, sometimes, it’s not so bad to go nuts about something, and if it’s love, then good for you.

And you got me like, oh

What you want from me? (What you want from me?)

And I tried to buy your pretty heart, but the price too high

Baby you got me like, oh, mm

You love when I fall apart (fall apart)

So you can put me together

And throw me against the wall

If it’s too practical, or it doesn’t keep you thinking about them, or you wanting them a bit too much, then maybe you’re not doing this right. There’s a little comfort in the madness of wanting someone so badly that your brain can’t stop about them.

Or maybe I’m just nuts and have watched too much movies where insanity over love works out, instead of the stuff where in reality, it doesn’t. My reality is so different, but who knows what the future holds? I kind of like not knowing, and have stopped trying to plan that part of my life. I’ve spent so much of my adult life trying to do that and it takes too much of a toll when stuff doesn’t go as planned.

But again, I hope today you have someone that makes you want to go black and blue, but doesn’t really push you over for that to actually happen.

Listen to the song here: