Trying to process it all…and failing

My brother, Leo, sent me a photo of my mom sleeping. It looked like a 19th century death photo—not kidding. I’m still trying to process it. She isn’t coherent and isn’t able to communicate with me over the phone. She is having massive panic attacks and is combative with staff. She no longer recognizes my brother and I doubt she knows who I am anymore.

I’m sorry to be a downer, but I can’t not mention all this, because it’s what’s happening now and it’s my mother. I cannot not discuss how devastating this is and how it’s affecting my every waking moment. How I know I need to be at peace with letting her go because she needs to transition peacefully, but how I’m not ready to lose my mother.

She adopted me, raised me, made me who I am in so many ways. But in the end, to love her is to want final peace for her. When she is gone, a big part of me will go with her.

I want to thank my loving, sensitive husband for being with me at this time and helping me through this. He is an angel incarnate. Such a gentle, understanding soul. I love you, Paul.

Dropkick that jerk from your life, girl

Paul ran to Walgreens a little while ago and there was a guy outside who’d apparently been thrown out of the house by his girlfriend. Paul heard the guy talking shit to his friend sitting in the car and saying he was gonna “kill that bitch” because he had to sleep out in the cold.

Of course, this is a primary example why Paul & I have kept more to ourselves over the years. Stuff like that — brutish, thuggish behavior — fills us with incredible anxiety and we just don’t wanna be out and about in the world around people like that. It seems society is getting meaner and more thuggish by the day. Almost as if anti-intellectualism and lack of education is worn as a badge of honor and is something to brag about.

In my view, if this is the way that guy is, then I’d say his girlfriend not only needs to kick his ass out of house, but out of her life as well. Why women get with these assholes is beyond me. Not a fan of the shit-talking, macho man type. Better to be single than be miserable with a jerk like that.

Celebrating eight wonderful years!

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Eight years ago Paul T. Sninchak and I met in person, at Pikes Perk on Tejon, for the first time. We had coffee, talked, he kissed my hand, and we walked down Tejon, where we shared our first kiss (he asked my permission first, which greatly impressed me). My life changed in so many ways — it was a blessing! In September, not long before we met, I wrote a letter to myself, outlining the type of man I wished I could find…and in November 2005, I found him. Every single characteristic/personality trait I wrote down he has — every single one! He is my husband, best friend, lover, stepfather to my children, creative manager, confidante, and anything else you can think of. Happy original anniversary, my love! They don’t make ’em like you anymore…and I’m so BLESSED and THANKFUL we are on this life journey together. The universe couldn’t have brought me a more fitting or loving partner. ♥♥♥

What is a “real man”? For me, the definition is different.

It occurred to me there’s a reason why I find my husband so irresistible…and it is the same reason why I find many Asian (especially Japanese) men attractive.

My husband is confident in his masculinity without having to buy into all the tropes of what our Western culture often tells us a “real man” is or what one should look like. Often that cultural definition means he has a macho bent, is rugged looking (the typical Marlboro man vibe), drinks beer or whiskey, watches sports all the time, etc. You get the old stereotype I mean, right?

My husband does not fit any of those things, and I can assure you he is a “real man.” He’s straight edge, hates watching sports, and doesn’t adhere to macho behavior. Oh, and he’s not afraid to be romantic, either in public or private.

As for Asian men, they can dress up in androgynous clothes and perform in visual kei (ヴィジュアル系) bands looking very feminine in their makeup and wigs…but that doesn’t mean they’re not “real” men, nor does it mean they’re gay (a common snarky comment from guys who, apparently, are uncomfortable or somehow threatened by pretty men who challenge ideas of what “a real man” should look like.)

It means such male Asian performers are confident enough in their sexuality to express themselves and perform as they wish, all the while knowing who they are without feeling the need to prove that they’re “man enough” to anyone.

I, for one, am not turned off by the aesthetic of pretty men, regardless of culture. The subtle sexuality that’s hinted at beneath it all is what I look for. Creativity, an artistic bent, a love of books, a more understated energy that belies a hotter intensity at the core is what does it for me. Oh, and intelligence is essential as well.

So, the next time one of you men wants to say a guy doesn’t look or act manly enough, you better check yourself. That guy who doesn’t like football and prefers to read poetry instead might charm your woman into the bedroom and seduce her ten times to Sunday while you’re busy dissing him with your buddies.

Men come in many packages and don’t fit into tidy stereotypes—just like women. What is a “real man”? However he defines himself…not how you choose to define him.

Untangling My DNA: Some Surprises Ahead?

My full ancestral composition info isn’t loaded yet, but apparently large parts of my DNA match that of other people from these countries. I figured the UK and Ireland would figure somewhere, but NOT Switzerland, Norway, and Russia! Wow! I loaded a screenshot of the info 23andme recently added to my personal DNA profile. Now I’m even more eager to get the ancestral composition results!

Hooray for awesome family visits!

Cannot express what a wonderful time we had with Jon and his girlfriend Cait. I didn’t check email once (sorry if you emailed me) and I felt like I finally got some time to just be me and hang with my kids.

Britt was amazing and helped me do so many things, like cooking, straightening up the house, and making a special treat for Jon’s 24th bday.

Overall, the only bad spot was that Paul had to work till 11:30 p.m. every night, but we did stay up and hang out several hours after he got off work.

All the way around, I’d say the visit was a success. These past several days gave me perspective on why I get so stressed out and have such a hard time. I’m really not as kind or forgiving of myself as I should be. I’m critical of myself in major ways and I’m rarely happy with anything I do (contrary to what some people may think).

Also, there is not enough balance in my life between work and play. I’m probably 90 percent work and 10 percent play right now. Moving that to 70/30 would be better. I love my career because I enjoy what I do. So I don’t see it as *work* like most people think of their jobs as work.

Anyway, gained some perspective and that’s always a good thing. Beautiful time with the family and so grateful for my adoring husband, two fantastic kids, and Jon’s magnificent girlfriend. As far as I’m concerned, Cait is family now.

Ever see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? Cait reminds me of Ramona SO much! Seriously. She IS Ramona! I adore her in every way possible.

Sitting with (another) suicide

Found out some terrible news about an online friend. In fact, this person was on my LiveJournal friends’ list. I This person committed suicide, and that’s the second person I’ve known who has committed suicide in the past year. Still trying to digest this news. The weird part is that his brother is on my FB friends’ list and is also a former h.s. classmate of my husband’s. I knew about the suicide when it happened, and I was sad for his brother’s loss. It tugged at my heart and made a lump form in my throat. I couldn’t imagine losing one’s brother that way.

What I didn’t know — until yesterday — was that the person involved was also an LJ friend. You see, I knew his first name, but didn’t know his last name (or had forgotten it). I didn’t realize it was THAT person. We hadn’t exchanged any comments for some months on LJ because, well, I am not on here as often as I used to be. So the news hit me again as I realized this was a person I knew and had communicated with as well. This person was brilliant, funny, educated, and talented. The world has truly lost another amazing person. Once again, I wish I could rewind time, change history, stop what eventually happened (the suicide).

Tomorrow will be the one-year anniversary of my old friend Harold’s suicide. That one I’m still coping with…and will be for a while. Our parents knew each other and hung out together in the 80s. Harold and I flirted with each other and even made out a bit in 9th grade. I think we crushed on each other quite a bit, but were too shy to become full-blown boyfriend/girlfriend. We reconnected again and dated briefly before Paul and I got together in 2005.

I don’t know what else to say, which is odd for me. Just a lot in my head about all of this. It’s one of those things that I need to sit with, silently, and ponder.