Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Grandma's Deathday

Today's the anniversary of my grandmother's death. One year ago, just a few minutes past midnight, she slipped away in a coma from a severe stroke.

We had spent two days gathered around her sleeping body, touching her limbs, trying to collect signs that she would be coming back to us. When the nurse trailed a finger against the sole of her foot, the toes arched and crinkled. She gnawed and gnashed her teeth, clamping down hard whenever the nurses probed a tube in her mouth, and we believed that she could still hear us, and was trying to respond. Still responsive, we thought. Still responsive.

It comes and goes, these memories of her. Mostly, I think of her slow shuffle through the streets, the way her arms sway in momentum and the way the sun glints off her glasses. I think of the way she'd hold my hand and say that my blood circulation is bad, that her limbs are even warmer than mine. I think of how she used to tell me a horrifically bloody Little Red Riding Hood tale as my bedtime story and how she used to bring me bananas, star cookies, and those pink candies she preferred that were wrapped in designs of flowers. I think of her love of Hong Kong TVB dramas and wonder what her reactions would be to the new shows that are coming out.

I smile sometimes. But mostly, I cry.

I feel guilty that I can still be happy today of all days. And there are no words of comfort that still doesn't sound mundane to me. "It's okay.", "She's in a better place now.", "She wouldn't want you to feel sad." I've heard them all.

What matters?

I think of her final, lonely moments.

To think I almost forgot.

Through Me Chapter 21

Whew, Through Me Chapter 21 has finally been updated and I kinda made the deadline? Okay, technically, I said tomorrow in the Sunday update which should mean Monday, but since I count days by my sleep cycles and I'm still up, it's still Monday to me ... and people on the West Coast?

Sorry for the long wait! Please understand though that if I promise a day, unless I post another note on the blog stating otherwise, I will try to update on that day even if I have to work into the next morning - which means, your best bet is to check early next morning and not every other hour that same day because I know that just builds, simmers, boils up frustration and I get scared from the griping that results. I'm a timid creature.

Unfortunately, since I have so little free time, I generally cram a writing marathon in on one day and then I burn myself out. Please don't get frustrated if you don't immediately see an update on the day I promise. I am working on it. It will be out by dawn.

This past weekend has been largely spent on this chapter, except I scrapped most of the original halfway to rework it again. I'm absolutely worn out. But! Now I have ... epidemiology readings and worksheets to look forward to. Joy.

One note: I think Fictionpress' alert system is down again since I haven't received notices of some reviews so I think the Chapter Alert is most likely messed up too. I'm also not too sure about the effects on Private Messages so if anyone needs to contact me, please understand if you don't hear from me. I probably didn't get it.

Now I ... need to sleep.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Updates? Update & Phlegm Puker

Sorry, readers! I've scrapped most of what I had and had to rework the next chapter for Through Me because the original scene didn't jive with me. I can't get it out by tonight, but I'm aiming for tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

My Biochem exam kicked my ass. I was in catatonic shock afterward. It's not that I failed it, but it's something that I wished I could have done better on. Ever had moments when you go over the exam and change your answers - and the original answers always end up being the right ones? I ALWAYS do that and I despise myself for it. It gives me hurtburn.

The other day on the train, as I tried to review my notes and get a quick nap in, I was jolted from my blissful reverie of having found a seat during the busy morning hour by the passenger next to me. I was utterly revolted. The man sitting next to me had finished his breakfast of bread and coffee before proceeding to cough and hack the rest of the trip. He'd coughcoughcough and make this sound like he's going to throw up (everybody in the train car had turned around, alarmed, probably thinking "Oh shit. Please, please, please don't let some puker delay the train.") and then he'd cough up a wad of phlegm into his empty cup. It wasn't just once. He did it maybe four times throughout the ride, continuously hacking as if he's about to spew his food and then he'd just reach down, uncap his coffee cup and spit into it, continuously filling it with his phlegm.

Ugh. The worst thing about this is that he didn't even take his cup with him when he left the train. No. He left it underneath his seat, all germified. Despicable.

My skin crawled the rest of the day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Sorry about being AWOL for so long. I've been completely blindsided by quizzes and exams this past week and I'm currently studying for a major Biochem exam that's approaching this Friday.

I cannot wait for the weekend. I have a few days off coming up so I believe I should be able to get the next chapters out over this weekend. Until then, I hope everyone's having a nice transition into Autumn. Not me, though. I'm not really a big fan of the cold.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Love Spats

I have two more quizzes on Monday. That's another one for Biochemistry. The readings make my eyes bleed. I do this thing where I like to pinch together the pages of the chapter I'm supposed to read and then go, "Oh, that's not too bad. I can do this in an hour." And then I realize that the text is printed on what amounts to toilet paper or those nifty oil absorbing sheets and the pages are so paper thin, they go on and on and on ...

The French exam I took last week went well: 99. I misspelled juillet. But! My Biochem quiz totally thrashed my butt. I'm still recuperating while trying to memorize various things about laminopathies and the details of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. My brain is going through atrophy.

The other day, while I was downstairs trying to force myself to study, I overhead the most bizarre conversation. It was so awful, it was amusing.

A man had stopped right in front of my house at the fence to my driveway, probably thinking that the brick wall of the store next to my house served a good privacy bubble for his phone argument.

Not if he was practically bellowing his words out.

I sat by the window to my driveway, just several feet away from him, but hidden from him. I couldn't see him either though I did try to crane my neck, peering sideways to see if I could catch a glimpse of what might be the biggest asshole in the world.

So I was reading about the basal lamina when a loud voice suddenly snarled, "I owe you nothing! What do I owe you? What? Do I owe you something just because I had sex with you?"

Hmmm. Basal lamina or crazy lovers' spat? I dropped my pen.

He followed it up with more sparkling lines:

"Where are you now? Here. Just do me a favor and come back right this minute and meet me. Just walk back. I took the time to meet you and you're acting like a child."

"Yeah? Well, let me tell you something, you're not the first good looking chick I've gone out with!"

"I gave this my best efforts and I don't see you trying. We have a good friendship and you're ruining everything. You know what you told me last time. Remember? You said you were happiest being with me so why do you have to go and be like this? Stop crying. Stop crying! Just stop!"

"What the hell do I owe you? Friends don't owe friends anything! That's not how a friendship works. I don't owe you and you don't owe me!"

"You know what? We had a good thing, but you're too spoiled by men. Yeah, men catered to you. I don't do that. I don't cater to women."

"So are you coming or not? Come back and meet me at Dunkin Donuts. Start walking back right now."

And then there's my favorite:

"I wrote a poem the other day and let me tell you, it was pretty damn good. I write good poetry. Yeah, you don't know anything about me. It's your loss."

I have no idea how that came into the conversation/argument, but I presume he was trying to elaborate on the many awesome qualities he has.

I was chatting with a friend online while the man was still yelling away on his phone outside and he suggested that I step out onto my balcony and dump a bucket of ice water on his head before doing a giggle, duck and run.

Since the man was speaking on his cell phone, it was all one-sided and I have no idea what happened in the end, but I sincerely hope the girl didn't get suckered in and ended up trudging back to meet the guy. He was absolutely callous about her feelings and if they were "friends", then he was a friend she didn't need.

Anyway, I've fixed up some more parts of False Facades and in between studying for my quizzes, I'm working on the new chapters to TM and UF. Kaetlyn has been flung clear across the library and is still getting attacked in Unfinished Business. Meanwhile, in Through Me, Tristan is finally back at home and everyone is preparing for the first party of the season.

Until then, Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival to those who celebrate it!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Guitar Hero

Last weekend, I played Guitar Hero for the second time in my life. I was pretty awful. I got booed off stage within seconds. My fingers don't seem to work properly. My ring finger keeps wimping out on me and I can barely press any buttons in time.

But have no fear. After two hours with that thing on easy mode, my first three fingers can now function on command and I can whammy like no other. Is it sad to feel so accomplished?

xkcd on Guitar Hero

I have a Biochem quiz on Monday and a French exam on Tuesday. In between studying, I'm working on the next chapters. I feel absolutely dead, but I like the stormy weather right now. Rain always makes me feel better when I'm inside, safe from the downpour.

Friday, September 5, 2008

New Semester

So it's been two weeks back now. Classes are going okay so far though I'm ridiculously behind on my readings already.

What I've learned so far:

1. When you're asleep and someone pokes you in the arm and you awake with a jolt and go "Uh?", that's the sound of E, Frenchified.

2. 我可以写中文。

3. Random tidbit from my Epidemiology class: never eat pork that is remotely undercooked. Trichinosis = parasitic worms whose larvae thrive in raw pork meat that can eat their way through into your muscles. This isn't really a major problem in the developed world, but there are still cases that occur. Trichinosis may have inspired certain pork prohibitions in various religions such as Judaism.

4. I will never catch up on my Biochemistry readings no matter how desperately I try.

5. I might have insomnia.

6. I have a scholarship foundation dinner coming up and it's located at the end of the world. It's a two hour subway ride and then another half hour bus ride because there are no train station near it. Thank goodness for Google Maps?

xkcd on Google Maps