Sleep Patterns

In my younger days, I had dreadful insomnia. Most of that was due to an overactive mind, a sensitive nature and an unsocialized being. That combination leads to hours of thoughts circling and bouncing off the walls of my mind. At some point in my 30’s, I decided that needed fixing, so I spent about 6 months to a year observing when I was drifting off to sleep and how I could replicate the conditions in which I could drift off. I found out that sleeping in semi-fetal position, with a pillow between my legs eased the transition. 20 years later,…

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PayOffs

For someone who has written over 300,000 words in the past four years, I’ve slowed down. A lot. Part of it is to get some distance from the novel. I noticed that for the final edit, I rushed through a ton of words reading but not seeing. Now that I’ve slowed down, the editing is much tighter and the story reads better. But that’s mostly an excuse for the behavior. Honestly, the real reason I’ve been slacking is because Westina feels better. Back in 2011, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Even before that fall, she’s been struggling with pain for…

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Problems of a Multicultural Family

I stupidly gave my sister my hispanic neighbor’s address instead of mine. (Brain-fart!). She sent a package to W which arrived two days ago. Yesterday I went over to pick it up but because they didn’t know W’s name AND the package said it came from the Garcias, they thought it couldn’t be for my household so they sent it back.

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Love this Sound

Rain is finally here and hard enough to make a sound on the roof. Our house has exposed roofs so there isn’t an attic or a crawlspace between where we sit and the roof. This means when rain falls, we get to hear it all over above us. It’s such a nice soothing sound, and a great counterpoint to my moans and bellyaching about how badly a certain NFL team is doing. Sorry, had to throw that in. Back in Singapore, every room had a tin awning (tin was abundant; a fairly local source was in nearby Malaysia) so often,…

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Small Talk

I used to be really good at small talk. I could go into almost any situation and engage others in conversation. And then, I had to become a hermit because of my wife’s illness. It had been a full two years since I ventured out into Pacifica, to be with my buddies then. Before that, it was another year because Westina got diagnosed with cancer and was going through treatments. My friend was celebrating his 50th birthday party. Of course I had to go. And then I got a lesson in how badly I had forgotten the art of conversation.…

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Procrastination, My Middle Name

Probably one of my worst habits is procrastination. Westina can tell you. If I can put off today, today would occur in a couple of days. Basically, we read ONE chapter over three days. Yeah, I know everything hinges on me, but the website isn’t done, nor is the cover. Why should I hurry when I’ll just be sitting around waiting for others? But I should face it: Without a sword of damocles over my head, things aren’t urgent then. That’s the biggest reason why I’m a procrastinator: I’m used to threats dangling over my head. It’s not an easy…

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A Death in the Family

Last night my mother called to tell me that her aunt, Dennis Jiu Ma passed away. She said it had been a good death and that we should all pass that way. Apparently, Dennis Jiu Ma was walkinig up the stairs and collapsed. The ambulance was called for but before it arrived, she was already dead in Dennis Jiu Jiu’s arms. Mom was sad that she couldn’t get up and hop on a plane to Canada for the funeral. Her spirit wanted to, but her body won the argument. I’m glad that she’s finally able to recognize that her body…

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Annual Gambling Trip

Most Chinese are gamblers. We were taught early on that life depended a lot on luck and one way to find out if you’re lucky or not, is to gamble. And so I’ve been around slot machines ever since a child of six. I remember going to the Singapore Island Club back around 1969, 1970. My parents and their friends would go bowling but halfway through, my mom would disappear. I’d find her in the adjacent slots room and would get chased out because I was a kid. I remember wanting so badly to be inside that room with the…

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Hippo Birdie to Me!

Fifty one years ago, during a storm in Hong Kong, my mother almost died during a blackout while having me. This used to wrack me with guilt until I realized almost ALL Chinese parents said the same shit about almost all their children. It’s part of the collective guilt hoisted onto children to make them behave. Now, I use my birthday as an excuse to have a week-long celebration. This started on Thursday last week when I got my gopro. So far, the videos produced have only been for Westina’s eyes, but I’ll try to get some on here. Then…

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Dreams about High School

Yesterday, I got in touch with a high school friend here on FB. So of course, last night I dreamed about Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy. In the dream, I’m the age I am now and yet somehow, I was wandering the halls of the main building. Everything felt so familiar: going past Sister Dorothy’s bank cage, Sister Marie Therese’s door then past the dining hall and Green Room into the boarding room hallways. The biggest difference was that there were three times as many around than when I went to HS there. Yet, there were enough differences that should’ve clued…

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