For a Friend Who Just Lost Their Mother

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I couldn’t imagine having a family member pass away and not only having to shoulder all of the funeral expenses, but not having the money to do it. The funeral home says they need all of the money up front, and until then there’s no service or closure.


I can’t say I enjoy review time at work. This is only my second review at work (since this is year two) and I’ve already developed a distaste for it. I like the concept and understand the benefits. I am not saying they shouldn’t exist, but it is a painful process for everyone involved including me.

I’m not going to say it caused anything, but it triggered a lot of thoughts that have combined with what’s been going on with me as of late.

Here I am trying so hard to look at myself and my interactions with people. I am trying to have a real understanding of what I do versus what other people do in their interactions. I’m not talking about making people like me. I’m thinking more directly, how do I get what I want from my relationships with people? How do I get the relationships I want with people?

I need to work on some things.

As much as I’m open with my personality and confidence, I don’t actually open up to people. I don’t trust people. I put myself out there because I would rather die than be dishonest about who I am, but I have become so guarded over time from being hurt by people. It’s true that I have been making some new friends and rejuvenating old friendships lately, which is no small thing. But, when they’re talking, sometimes I realize how much they give to me freely and how much I hold back. I don’t trust myself to be upset, weak, or cry around my friends. I won’t admit I’m having a bad day, complain, tell them about a problem, or ask for help anymore apparently. I’m stubborn, independent, and do not want to burden anyone. I don’t want to focus on being negative. I want to have a good time with friends. I spent some time recently with a friend talking about some financial problems I’m having. I talked at length. That was weeks ago. I still feel guilty for putting that on them, for making that part of their night more negative, and I feel like maybe I hurt our relationship. Who wants to go out of their way to spend time with someone who just spent the last hour (or whatever) complaining about money?

Flip side, I listen to my friends problems and help them all of the time. I have no idea why I make that double standard for myself.

I should let people in and people help me. It could make us closer if it doesn’t push someone away.

I have to be willing to take that chance. Keeping at a distance from everyone may seem wonderfully safe, but it’s a large burden to carry on yourself.

I need to learn to take chances in my relationships with people. The worst thing is that people may drift away, but if I don’t let them in closer, they’ll do that anyways.

Waywards Wandering – Chapter 2: Babysitting

Here is the latest installment of Waywards Wandering- the novel I am writing. Click here to read the first chapter. To refresh those of you who are not new to our story: Kanji Takimura and Deathwish are two long-time, mismatched friends who have received a summons from their mutual friend Lial Pelung-Kionen. Kanji and Deathwish are both followers of the protector Goddess Brihaad and are sworn to a life of helping those in need and ridding the world of its ills. One obstacle in their path is Deathwish being a humanoid reptile who often unintentionally frightens others with his sharp pointy teeth and telepathic communication. Trying to get some breakfast before leaving the small city of Prima leads to an accidental tavern brawl. Our heroes may be apt at slaying goblins and the like, but winning a tavern brawl is apparently out of their league…

And now, resuming our story…

After a stern scolding by the town magistrate and with their purses considerably lighter, Kanji and Deathwish trudged away from their prison cells sometime that late afternoon. They were a bit battered and bruised after the brawl at the inn and terribly hungry, but otherwise unscathed. However, frustrations were beginning to consume Kanji and it showed clearly on his face and in the quick gait of his walk.

Slow down, I’m trying to keep this cowl up and my tail tucked in.

Kanji slowed and sighed.

“I’m sorry… I just was thinking, the entire time spent we incarcerated, that situation could have been easily avoided had we been better prepared. Remember back when it was you, me, and Lial? Lial and I together would very easily draw attention away from your…”

Deathwish turned his hooded head and stared at Kanji pointedly.

My charming character and ravishing good looks.

“T-that’s not what I meant, people- they just-” Kanji cut off his stuttering when Deathwish raised a scaly hand,

I know what you mean, Kanji. I also know that if we continue this journey we’ll be hard pressed with just the two of us if danger faces us. Like… say we get attacked by roving beasts in the Wastelands-

It was Kanji’s turn to raise his slight, pale hand, nearly lost in the loose folds of the robes he wore, “We’ve discussed this before. We’re not traveling through the Wastelands. It is an unnecessary risk when we can take a well-traveled road all the way to Highen-Po.”

Dangerous? How dangerous will it be when every town and city starts to expect a great, green monster coming to their town.

Kanji winced at that point.

Besides, we’ll make better time.

“If we don’t get delayed by monsters, dehydration, loss of direction, or death,” muttered Kanji sarcastically. He coughed then and quickly changed his harsh tone, “Either way, the conclusion is the same. We need help.”

But we need a warrior, emphasized Deathwish, not an extra person I need to defend. As it is, I have my arms full with you.

“Well, we could put that as a top priority if I didn’t need someone to help me baby sit the likes of you,” Kanji shot with Deathwish with a mischievous smile. They shared a laugh, meaning Kanji laughed openly and Deathwish smelled of mint leaves, the ridges around his nose wiggled, and he projected telepathic chuckles.

They chatted, sometimes more seriously, but more often easily as they made their way back to the center of town. Thankfully, no one took more than passing interest in what seemed like two robed monks, one small and talkative, the other large and silent. By the time they reached the main road, the sun was starting its descent down over the grassy hills of Prima. Finally Kanji stopped and turned to Deathwish.

“We need a new place to stay for the night, and not being the biggest of cities, we’ve used up our only obvious option,” stated Kanji.

Why don’t we just be away from this this Brihaad forsaken place and onto the road? Deathwish smelled slightly of mildew, showing his irritation.

“Leave without having even eaten, our coffers now low, and a decided need for an additional companion?”

We could get some dogs. Eat a few. Have a few fight for us in the Wastelands. They don’t cost much, they’re ferocious fighters, and a portable self-sustaining food source.

Kanji’s jaw dropped and he rose his voice in an agitated stutter before he detected the scent of mint and realized his friend had been joking. He sighed and pointed at a large, though modestly made stone structure down the road.

“There’s a temple of Brihaad here,” Kanji smiled, “and, last I checked, we were some of her most devout followers and bearers of her divine powers.”

Great, we’re going to hire another one of you?

Kanji shook his head, “No, we’re going to explain our position to the head clergy and hopefully he’ll assign someone to our charge, as well as feed us and give us a place to stay the night.”

Deathwish smelled horrible, like socks that had been worn through a bog and left in a moist place to grow, Assigned to our charge? We’re going to take on a novice priest? How will that solve our problems? The last thing we need is to watch some child!

“Rather than an overgrown reptile?” Kanji quipped, shook his head, and continued down the path to the temple. “Just trust in Brihaad, Deathwish.”

At that Deathwis nodded and was humbly silent. He knew the compassion of the lady protector, as well as her strength. Inspite his sarcasm, Deathwish truly believed that the Goddess Brihaad would help him find his path as she always had, since he had first come to this world.

Brihaad had led Kanji to him and gave him a place to stay within the walls of a house of her worship. There he was trained with warrior techniques and faith in her powers. Before Deathwish, the brothers at the Wenga monastery had said there hadn’t been a paladin of Brihaad in centuries. Priests, yes. Monks, plenty as that was their specialty in Wenga. However, a special blessing was reserved for those particular warriors of Brihaad. They were not apt with a variety of powers as were the priests and monks. However, they could heal wounds and diseases with their touch, will, and strength. Deathwish had begun by being able to make gashes shallower and fevers abate with a simple extension of will and prayer to Brihaad. Now he could heal much more major wounds and terrible diseases. He could also sense evil within a person, so that he better knew how to serve Brihaad. In addition he attained a level of mastery with his chosen weapon like a spiritual bond. This is how Deathwish was with his broadsword fashioned by his own people. It was the only thing that came with him into this world.

Deathwish missed his people very greatly, but he knew it was likely that he would never see another of his own kind again. Brihaad comforted him, gave him purpose, and he jested that she was the only ‘woman’ Deathwish felt he would ever need. Still, he knew the longing for his own kind would never abate.

Continue to Chapter 3

Parent Pressure Balance or Break


Warning: contents under pressure. Additional pressure may result in blowing up or petering out: in short, getting absolutely nothing productive done.


Painful areas

I know that for many people, a small amount of external stress can be a motivational tool. For people like me, I need very little. I might be slightly allergic. When I get too much I become sluggish, have trouble breathing, and have urges to watch stupid television (even without basic cable). I am naturally instilled with a love of working and learning. As a backup, I also come standard with a guilt complex that makes me do things even when nobody is watching. Get your own Cindy for only x/hr plus vacation days and benefits. She will get what she was supposed to done, do it well, or will lose sleep trying. You need not do anything except occasionally smile at her. Giving her cookies may increase productivity.


I’ve heard parents are supposed to know their children the best. They’re supposed to be able to push the buttons that make the child do what they want when they want it. If this is so, most parents (or children) are broken. How do they get busy child to clean her room? Well, they think, let’s treat her like she’s an insolent slob and shame her. Let’s threaten her. Said child goes to start cleaning their room, and then gets treated like an insolent slob or punished. Suddenly, child doesn’t want to clean their room and won’t, where she would have before if you’d just asked. Parent’s take note. If you push too hard in one direction, your children, no matter how far into adult hood they wander, will push the opposite way. Or, the will fall down. The direction does not matter.


I recently moved back to the area I’m origionally from. I’ve been gone about five years. In those five years I somehow managed to find a steady stream of interesting work, while I was still a student even. I aimed high managed to not work at fast food chains. Even for the worst of those jobs, I sometimes had to spend weeks looking and not getting the jobs I sometimes felt I was over-qualified for. Sometimes I got it on the first try.


Now I’m doing this song and dance again. I have a degree, refrences, and work to show for it. Still I don’t have fifty people breaking down my door asking me to work for them for $60,000 a year. This is no suprise to me, but it’s still a lot of pressure. Additional pressure is not needed at this time. I can read my bank statements and bills. I understand enough math to know how interest works.


I know I’m not the only person that is going, or has gone, through this.


So this is to all parents out there. If you want us to become productive, independent beings who will take care of you some day, first you have to have confidence that we can do things. Even people who don’t appear to be completely ego ridden and narcissistic are hard enough on themselves when they are trying. We need parents to be on the team cheering for us, especially past childhood, even more since we aren’t even on that team.


Show your confidence in us by not telling us what to do. You may think you aren’t, but your disapproving head, shaking suggestions might as well be mind control. Even though you, the parents, are the pillars of success and all that is right in the world, you got there by figuring it out on your own. Chances are, you ignored your own parents and still do to this day.


Parents out there, we appreciate that you help us all you can. Take us out for meals, make us care packages, and listen to our trails and tribulations without god-like judgment. However, be sure what you’re giving us is help. Don’t weigh us down with extra pressure, because we’re trying to learn to solely help ourselves, and that pressure alone could very well make us stand still, fall, or break.


This has been a public service announcement- brought to you by non-ham-like ham (but not spam) and the letter Y.


Poke me gently. I’m under a little pressure.


Oh, and I think the interview went well. Thanks for asking.