Archive for the ‘Family Craziness’ Category

Under the Influence

Posted: March 6, 2011 in Family Craziness


Grass in the shade grows,… differently, I’d imagine.  Is the chemistry of the soil affected by the lack of the sun?… Not to mention the direction of the blade and the strength and depth of the roots.  Grass is very pliable and takes on the imprint of something heavy laid on it.  The color of it isn’t as bright if it’s under the influence of lack-of-light coupled with the heft of cinder-blocks — it just aint as healthy ya’know?

How much euphemistic cement has been laid on your soul?  You probably thought I should say soil,… but I mean it the same — the foundation for your “grass”… the stuff growing out of you showing the lawn of your life.  Has the water been a futile effort because a pile of logs is in the way?  Is the fertilizer only bullshit heaped on seedless ground?  Have things been trampled and packed-down so there’s a broken trail cutting through your field but it’s not leading to where you want it to go?  Is the sunshine unreachable and unattainable to catalyze the chlorophyll into a vibrant green and you’ve fooled yourself to think you’re a new breed of deprived albino-strain bred to subsist in caves?  Do you only care what your “neighbor” thinks, constantly comparing your yard to their’s, competing in a jone’s-way to be just… more?  Or do you take pride in what you’ve done with your own two hands and bent-back, cultivating with purpose and consideration.

We are our grass — and our lawn speaks for itself.  I’m no expert but my friend is.  Yes she is a bonified freaking grass-expert professional and she (in effect) has told me exactly what I need to do to fix my soul.

Offload the fucking bricks one by one.  Doesn’t matter how much naturey rain or purified spring water I sprinkle or pour onto that shit, it isn’t gonna grow right, BE right,… be ABLE to grow verdant and true, with the burden of the past scarring its direction.  Once the load is lifted there needs to be a status-check to see what the reality of the situation is.  A little bit of sun will have to be shined.  At first it will seem too bright and it’ll feel like the light is scalding, but after the initial weak/retarded/crippled/damaged pieces have been seared-away, that’ll leave a void for the possibility of seed-receptivity.  The earth will probably have to be stirred up a bit to aerate the stagnant places to get some air where the sun don’t shine so-to-speak — and that will feel uncomfortable like a tilling-machine rammed up our ass.  Awesome.  Something to distract me and look forward to when I thought I was going to just be able to lay there on the down-low and breathe (for a few years) after the damn clutter was removed.  You mean I don’t get to fly under the radar?

Swailing might need to be done.  Burn that mess to the ground, nuke it for broke get rid of the weeds and disease in one fell swoop.  Hurts though.  Hard to see through the smoky haze that’s unseeable to the other-side.  The smell clings to everything and it seems like you’ll never get clean.

Decide the seeds — which means set your intention.  Only an idiot would clear the area then pray or wish the type of result you want, miraculously poofs on the scene.  Do you long to be Kentucky bluegrass or Bermuda?  ARE you turfgrass but want to be fescue?  How much shade do you need, how high-maintenance are you?

Then a crop has to be planted.  Oh yea, and that means some stupid birds have to be fended off.  I think some sort of netting (let’s call it safety-netting) is a good idea,… I’m, I mean the shoots, are still fragile and this will give a little manageable shade (reprieve,… haven) — still letting the sun through while keeping the peckers off.

I’ll be vulnerable to the elements and environment at this stage, requiring a lot of tender-lovin’ care.  And bluntly, we’re just not going to know for sure if that dirt is going to let anything “take.”  Dirt’s pretty resilient though.  You can throw trash and compost and shit (virtually) on it and that stuff will magic-wand it into mutant super-powers dirt.  With a little help from fairies and worms of course.  Unseen support coming from places we didn’t really think could be so important.

Just when you thought all the hard work was done, you’ll need to take a look at the surroundings and see if extraneous “things” are inhibiting the chances of survival.  You’re tired and want to rest but yer going to hafta paul-bunyan it up and ax some of those dead tree branches jutting precariously lifeless over your field, and cut away some of those pesky hanger-on vines.  Trim that crap AWAY,… because it’s causing “shadow” where you don’t want it,… and well,… it’ll just be um lighter and PRETTIER, more feng-shuiy too.  Yes now you have the ability to start paying attention to neglected, ignored and avoided things like aesthetics.  Took too-much out of you before — but now’s when it has to happen.  It’s not enough to be dirt.  There’s gotta be some hope.  There’s gotta be some bling.

Then,… one of the most important parts,… time.  To be patient and wait for things to take root.  For baby-shoots to sprout and that should start to give you some giggles of laughter bubbling up because admit it,… you were afraid things were barren beyond repair.  But there you are… coming back to life again.  Then as the beginnings get stronger, the water of love gives the grass purpose to reach for the stars along with the sun.

Annndd in my usual Kathisms — sooo many freaking steps to the process — can’t I just lay SOD?! Haha Unfortunately my verdict is that would be the not-so-cheap yet easy way to get to the point.  Because isn’t the main objective here, to grasp own my value?  Understand that the labor is a necessity to prove I’m worth the hard work.  I AM worth it. It’s not easy being green — but I deserve it. To be soft and lush and full,… so I can roll-round on & in myself, inviting the picnic-of-life to come play on me.

I’m done with being “under the influence.” It’s time to grow my own damn self.  BOOYAH.


The Little Mom

Posted: October 24, 2010 in Family Craziness

The Little Mom

I miss my little mom.  She’s been in Okinawa for many weeks visiting her sister and I haven’t heard her voice in so long… too long.  She lives alone now and goes through phases when she doesn’t interact with people since she’s busy quilting or mowing the lawn, so sometimes when she gets on the phone she talks forrrEVER and I find myself doing the dishes or checking email while I murmur “uh-huhs” intermittently at the right time (fooling her into thinking I’m listening.)  But I’m pining for that today — the long run-on sentences that jumble from one subject to the next with no segue, no coherent plot-line — not giving me time for input or response.  I miss that.

The relationship between a mother & daughter is such a strange animal.  Talk about love/hate.  When I was young I ABHORED it when someone said “you’re just like your mom!” — What the…?  Anything but THAT.  My nemesis, my critic, my disher-out of this-is-for-your-own-good MOM.  Me?  Ms. Sophisticated Worldly Gift-to-the-universe-for-forward-thinking… like HER??  But now… I love it when people say it.  I’ve known her for all my life, and I have watched her grow up, witnessed her go through many hardships not understanding what it must be like in her shoes, wondered how she stayed in a marriage for 40+ years when I think I woulda dumped ‘im a LONG time ago (then again there were many times she needed a good thunk upside the head, we’ll call it even),… I learned where she came from and was frankly astonished at how she survived what she did.

She’s vibrant and full of life.  4’11” of still-can-probably-kick-my-ass, walks every morning at 5am, does step-class, drops the buzz-phrase “my trainer”, has tried CrossFit (hates wallballs, liked pullups with the mondo-huge band), buys random figurines from yard-sales to repaint to keep her mind fresh.  She’s imprinted me with many values that I hated imposed on me when I was an ignorant know-it-all girl, but now that I’m a (ahem) wise all-knowing woman, I embrace and am grateful for.   I do quirky things that I never knew were quirky until others express how impressed or thankful I turned-them onto that idea, and realize it came from her.  She does some majorly crazy shit that helped me become a strong independent PERSON, not succumbing to the myths that a.) girls can’t lift heavy things or move furniture, b.) you’re old, wrinkled, and over-the-hill at 35, and c.) it’s better to be polite and keep your mouth shut and fit-in with society.  No, she lived the example to speak your mind because it’s better to live with having asked, than live with regret for wishing you’d said something.  And boy, with me, did that last one take.

One time when my mom called out of the blue, I asked her what’s wrong, she sounded down.  She sighed heavily and said “I guess I’m having a sort of bad day… I’m disappointed in myself,… it’s kinda scary being up on the ladder painting the house.”  My heart stopped.  Up on a fucking ladder painting the fucking house??!!  What the FUCK??  The fucking woman is in her 60’s, my dad is dead, she’s alone, and she’s damn frikkin’ painting the HOUSE?!  Oh my GOD I am a failure as a daughter(!) If word gets out about this, if she falls off that GD ladder, frrraaaaack, I’m going to hell.  Instead I take a deep breath, put my eyeballs back in my head, exhale, pretend like I’m not going into cardiac-arrest, and say calmly, “Yea that’s a little scary, it’s okay to be scared (please be TOO scared) — mom, you knowww me or my brother could (drive 5-6 hours like right now ohgod) to help you… um I didn’t know you were planning that, I don’t think he knew it either (because he’s going to burn in hell too for being a terrible son)… orrr we could hire some Mexicans or teenagers…” (something, ANYTHING, fuck.)  She’s like “yeeeaaa, I just got the idea in my head then just started in on it…”  (I’m shaking my head trying to extricate my fingernails from the surface of my desk) “…Or at least mom, you shouldn’t be alone when you’re up on a ladder like that, I’ll call one of our friends to come help you.”  (Gets off phone fast with psycho mom and immediately calls high-school buddy who still lives in town and BEGS him to please just stop by the house please PLEASE.)

When I was playing flag-football I’d take the team down to Florida and we’d stay at my parents. I’m talking like 14 of us.  We’d bring a boat, go skiing at the bayou ½ a mile away in the mornings, then go to Destin 20 minutes away midday, then come back to ski at dusk.  Really what our schedule was more like, was wake up to a million biscuits and omelets, eat.  Then go ski, we didn’t need life-vests because our bloated asses could float the Nile, come home eat.  Then we’d squeeze our fat selves into bathing suits then go to the beach and lay around like beached whales, come home, eat.  Then we’d eat.  My mom would just cook and cook and get new schemes of what to cook.  Homemade sushi, grilled salmon, ribs, cake, springrolls, cake.  Cake, muffins, cookies.  Cake.  More cookies.  We’d be like “mom, it’s okay if you don’t cook so much…” (steps on scale to find out it IS possible to gain 9 pounds in 2 days, wants to commit suicide.  At the same time as stuffing another friggin’ cookie in mouth.)  She responds with “that’s the way I show love.”  I say you’re killing us to death with love.  We virtually had to leave so we would stop eating.  As she shoves take-home bags in the car which we immediately dig into.

When I first watched ‘The Secret’ I already knew I had good parking karma.  Whereas others drive to the mall during Christmas season and think MAN there’s not going to be any parking spaces, so they park at the back, NO WAY.  I always drive straight to where I want to be fully EXPECTING for my spot next to the entrance to be there.  And it usually is.  I also got the epiphany that it’s probably the reason why I don’t have many wrinkles.  Cuz it’s DEFINITELY not from lack of hard living(lol) — sleep?  You can sleep when you’re DEAD haha.  Okay I do have good genetics, my mom has less wrinkles than MANY of my friends (once you go Asian ya won’t go caucasian hee hee) — but I believe that because I did not grow up with those American-woman stereo-type mentalities imposed on me “ooohhh when you reach your thirties your skin will start pruning up” — “Ohhh you know, when you reach your forties you won’t be able to jump up on the counter to get shit off the top shelf of the cabinets because you just won’t be ABLE to do thaaat (gasp) plus your ass would have slid down your leg” — “Ooohhh you know, hormones.”  I don’t know if it’s because we didn’t talk about looks when I was growing up so I was also protected from the limited thinking warnings — but when I look in the mirror, I FULLY expect to see the same thing staring back at me.   I notice what’s there and it’s the same.  So I think that’s why I don’t have wrinkly old skin because I’m not WAITING to see that.  I just expect to look as good as my mom.

Once my mom was visiting me here in Atlanta (yup she drove her own dang self) and while I and my then boyfriend were still lounging in bed at the crack of dawn at 8:30am on Saturday morning my cel phone rings.  I see on the caller-ID it’s her, I answer the phone, “You are so weird, you’re a weirdo, it’s okay to just knock on the door you know, duh.”  She says, “I went out for a walk this morning.”  I say “Okaaaay.  Mommy, we’re dressed in here, it’s okay if you just come in ya’know…”  She says, “Now I don’t know where I’m at.”  I mean really, do I have to finish this part of the story?  I’m like “EH?!”  Yea, she went out walking, got turned around, and couldn’t figure out how to get back.  Thank sweet Jesus she had her PHONE with her.  I mean wow.  She’s seriously phone-challenged as it is.  COUNTLESS times she’d call and say “Where have you BEEN, I have been trying to reach you!”  Puzzled I’d say, I didn’t get a voicemail message from you…”  Invariably she’d say (peeved, like it’s my fault)  Well, I didn’t LEAVE one.”  One time I drove to Florida, got there, and the front glass door was locked.  The regular wood door was wide open inside, I could see IN there.  I realized I didn’t have a key to the flippin GLASS door (we actually installed that the week of my dad’s funeral, I didn’t even think it locked.  Hell, I don’t remember much that week alcohol-haze, oh whatever.)  Anyways, I call my mom.  I can hear the phone ringing inside.  No one’s home (in more ways than one.) I walk around the house, maybe she’s in the back yard, nope.  I call her cell, no answer.  Screw it, I went to the liquor store, then sat on the front porch drinking scotch.  The cats just sat inside the glass staring out at me probably thinking what is this fool DOING?  Why is she sitting out there?  My mom drives up, SORRRYYY, I had to run an errand I didn’t think you’d make it here that fast, you were so fast, was the drive good, you hungry?  I’m like, “Mom, why didn’t you answer your cell?”  Deadpan she admits, it’s inside, in the house.  You know, with the cats.

Travis/T-rex from CrossFit North Atlanta just knows her as the lady that sweeps.  Everything.  She came to the gym one time and just swept.  For like 4 hours.

My little mom is the queen of knick-knacks.  Holyshit that woman has her house decorated with every sort of collection known to mankind.  Alright well maybe not EVERY kind, I’ve seen her other Asian friend’s house and SHE has every sort — but what my mother has, is in freaking massive abundance.  We had to’ve started her on birds like a thousand years ago.  Some Mother’s Day present when we were kids, so okay yea, maybe we’re to be blamed on that one.  But now it is just out of CONTROL. Her latest thing is photos.  We’re talking framed, laminated, cork-boards, her bedroom mirror is no longer a mirror but a collage.  My dad died a few years ago and we didn’t even like him then, but now the house is a SHRINE.  It’s a little bit weird.  Two grandkids, the walls are like one gargantuan storyboard of their lives.  From birth.  To now.  And Mads is TEN.  Once when I needed to change the “Kath & her current boyfriend” pic, I opened the frame and no shit, there were layers and LAYERS of the chronology of failed-relationships immortalized right IN there.  It was creepy.  It was fucking HILARIOUS.  She didn’t throw the old photo away, she just stuck the new boyfriend on top of it. OMG.  No words.

Here are 3 awesome FB videos to explain my mom:  Not Enough Valium (on the eastern seaboard), Infomercial Mom, and Maddie’s Puppet Show.

Below is the latest item she bequeathed to me.  An owl house.  I think.  She shifted from regular birds to specialize in owls because that’s her sisters “special bird”.  Whatever the hell that means.  So now I get one.  Yea for me.  I have it in my office stashed behind the bookcase.  Man,… I really miss her.