Tag Archive: friends


Last Leaf

The past week has been a blur…  a dear friend and colleague of mine passed away last Saturday.  The thing is, I knew it was coming.  She had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  I was witness to her gradual functional decline while at work over the course of a few years.  To put it bluntly, ALS sucks.

Right now, I struggle in my grief.  It’s not easy being far away from everyone else who knew her.  To everyone around me currently, she was just a co-worker with a tragic disease.  To those of us who knew her, she was a brilliant mind with a big heart for her patients.  She was the best kind of nerd and we bonded over our love for technology and other assorted nerd things (especially Harry Potter).  She had a witty and mischievous sense of humor.  She was one of those people who asked you how you were doing and took the time to actually listen – a rarity in a fast-paced work environment.  I appreciated her also for her human-ness because it was not all magic and rainbows.  The struggle with losing her independence was very real and you couldn’t help but hurt with her.

When I first heard the news, I just tried to stay as busy as I could in order to avoid the truth.  Time’s a bitch though and things start to surface.  I find that I’m rubbish at small talk lately.  When I’m still, I start to reflect a lot and then the tears come.  Most of the time, the tears end as quickly as they came.  I long to connect with those who knew her, but at the same time I avoid it because I don’t want to cry.  Messed up, right?  I’m trying to deal with things the best way I can, though.  I was talking with a couple co-workers this week and they really helped me, especially since they have either recently experienced a loss or dealt with a major loss.  I really appreciate them.

One of the things that help me cope is music.  There’a song called “Last Leaf” by OK Go that’s just beautiful, tender, and melancholy.  It’s been a favorite of mine for a long time and it felt like it was finally time to learn how to play it.  You can find it here.  I feel like this song helped me start grieving and being a little more open about what I’ve been going through.  For those of you who know me, you know how tight-lipped I can be…  that’s all starting to change since I’ve moved far away though.

I know it’s going to take me a while to process everything.  I think the memorial service will happen in May sometime.  I hope to be able to attend.  To my friend, I miss you, your generous guidance, pun-ny humor, and big heart.  You were well-loved, as evidenced by the army of people who rose up to provide daily support.  It was never out of charity, but an expression of friendship and care – that in itself was amazing to witness.  Thank you.  I hope to make you proud.

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To my soul mates!

Do you believe in soul mates?

If you asked me a week ago, I’d probably respond with disdain because I was in a man-hating mood (long story, not for the internet).  In short, I felt like a soul mate will forever be outside my reality.  #foreveralone Dramatic, right?  Lol.  (Don’t judge me, I think we’ve all felt it at some point in life).

Anyway, in my man-hating frame of mind, I stumbled upon an article on the Hello Giggles website about how we all need platonic soul mates.  As soon as I read the word “soul mate” in the title, I promptly rolled my eyes and then clicked on the link to read the article.  I admit…  I totally didn’t read the title.  I just saw those words and assumed it was going to be some fluffy article about the “ONE” and I was truly ready to roll my eyes at least 20 more times while reading.

You know what?

It was a great article and it was the perfect time to stumble upon it.  As I read, I realized I have been fortunate to have a LOT of soul mates.  No, not the romantic kind of soul mate.  I understand now that my close friends are soul mates.  You know who you are.  Sometimes, we drive far distances just to meet halfway and talk in a parking lot late at night.  Sometimes, it’s a chance 15 minute encounter at a Blues Festival that somehow morphed into true friendship.  It’s found in those people you haven’t seen in months or years, but as soon as you get together, it’s like no time has passed at all.  It’s found in people who really know who you are, all your flaws, but love you all the same.  Those people are soul mates.  I understand that I had a very narrow view of what it meant to be a soul mate.  I admit it: I now believe in them.

I can get hung up on being single while all the rest of my friends are married with kids, but my heart is more at ease because I see how lucky I’ve been so far.  Whoever my romantic soul mate is, the standard has been set pretty damn high.  He’s going to have lots to live up to thanks to all my platonic soul mates.  🙂  Maybe that’s why he’s such a unicorn.  😀

Anyway, you should give the article a read and come to your own conclusions.  You’ll find it here.

Do you believe in soul mates?

Hey, did any of you actually click the link in my YouTube description box to get here?!  If you did, let me know!  If you didn’t, welcome and please let me know what brought you here.  I’m so curious!

So, when I first started posting YouTube videos last March, it was a way to share some of the recordings I had worked on over the years.  I used to post them to MySpace back in the day, but needless to say, that became… irrelevant.  Anyway, my first two songs were more “studio” based, but when talking to some close friends, they wanted to see something a little more raw…  Back in December, I posted the first of my One Take series here.  Granted, I never intended it to be a series, but it was really fun to do.  With studio based recordings, I can record takes over again and cut/paste accordingly.  With this series, it’s like performing live and I really love live performances.

This past Monday, I got a chance to record a song (or two) with my good friend, Tricia.  We used to sing together all the time for church and special events.  She’s got a powerful set of pipes!!  Not only that, but she’s got an awesome, irreverent sense of humor that I love.  We did a LOT of laughing that day.  😀  The other thing I love is that we can talk about stupid stuff, but also stuff that matters in life.  It’s always a joy to have that kind of friendship.

Why did I pick the song, “Take Me to Church” for this recording?  From a musical standpoint, the song is beautiful and emotional, filled with all these gorgeous minor chords that I am forever drawn to.  I guess I like angst-y songs?  Lyrically, my interpretation of the song is that it’s a scathing criticism of religion and how many individuals have taken advantage of others in the name of “religion.”  It also hints at the (ir)relevancy of the church in people’s lives (e.g. – “my church offers no absolutes”).  There was a pretty good read on why people are leaving church here.  I think songs like this are great because they show us how we can all do better at actually being loving, kind, present, and relevant, not only as individuals but collectively.

I hope you enjoy the video.  I’m sorry the audio isn’t that great.  Most of my gear (both recording and video) is in California still, so this was a pretty barebones setup.  Please let me know if there’s a song you’d like me to consider recording or if you’d like to collaborate!  Thanks for reading!

It’s like American Gothic, only on a couch with Asians and a dog.  Delightfully and purposefully awkward.  I love that Prince is posing with the best of the ’em.