Archive for November, 2007

November 29, 2007

Should’ve

“I know you have a little life in you yet
I know you have a lot of strength left

I should be crying
But I just can’t let it show

I should be hoping
But I can’t stop thinking

All the things I should’ve said
That I never said

All the things we should have done
That we never did

All the things I should’ve given
But I didn’t

Oh darling make it go
Make it go away

Give me these moments back
Give them back to me”

November 28, 2007

Reflecting about Mike Q

As I mentioned about a week and a half ago, I finally found out the reason Mike Q passed away. When I found out, it was almost like finding out he died all over again. Well, it wasn’t fully as bad, but about half. That’s still bad enough. I had to process almost everything all over again. It made me ponder everything. But I’m glad I know. I feel a lot better and a lot of questions have been answered.

After he died, the most his friends heard was when his aunt posted on his MySpace profile that his father found him next to his computer over Labor Day weekend. She said that was all they knew. People weren’t sure if they really didn’t know more or if they just didn’t want to say. We would understand if they didn’t feel like talking about it yet. They were (and still are) going through something very painful. But we all wanted to know. Most people just assumed it was drugs. It was thought that he probably overdosed, went to sleep, and never awoke.

Let me tell you the abridged version of my friendship with Mike. We met in 1999 at the Brass Monkey. My friend, Andrea Schwager, was in town and so we were hanging out in Fells Point, looking for something to do. I ran into my friend, Tim Kaye who told us that we should walk over to the Brass Monkey to check out this band called Velvasheen. I heard good things about them, so we decided to go. My eye was instantly drawn to Mike from the moment I walked in the room. I didn’t know at that moment who he was. But he just had this magnetic personality that you could feel from across the room, even if you weren’t talking to him. Moments later, I saw his band play and thought they were great. We met, talked, exchanged contact information. After the show, we got to know each other and became close friends very quickly. We hung out often, shared secrets and not so serious tidbits of our lives. We discussed music. We went to shows together. He used to play solo open mic at the 8×10 every week back then. I almost always went with him. There are a lot of good times we had there. We jammed on music together. He remixed one of my songs. He convinced me to go by “CherryTeresa”. We went to Ocean City together for my senior week. (I could write an entry on just the stuff that went happened when we went there. Crazy stuff! Haha). I lived with him temporarily when I was going through some rough times.

Like many other people in this world, Mike had experimented with drugs. But he started doing it more often and dabbling with more dangerous substances. Slowly, there was a change in Mike’s personality. He became harder and harder to reason with. Sometimes I felt like I was not talking to the same person I knew before. He eventually never wanted to go out. It wasn’t a temporary hermit thing. He stayed like that for a while. So for a few years, I barely saw him. If he went a while without talking, he would get back in touch with me eventually. I would hang out with him here and there. Sometimes it was just because we coincidentally ran into each other. Other times, we planned it. But it was always so good to see him and we always enjoyed seeing each other again.

Then, for a couple years, I did not see him or even hear from him. I heard he was addicted to heroin and not going out much because of that. But out of nowhere, he contacted me and asked me if I needed a job because he was working for Apple Tech Support and knew I would love that job. I got the job and even though we worked in different departments and had different schedules, he would make sure to either come visit me or sneak out during my breaks to see me. When I saw him, one of the first things I noticed was that he had gained a lot of weight. But I was happy about that. Why? Because most heroin addicts I know gain weight when they first get clean. He seemed alive again. So enthusiastic. He was that acting more like the magnetic person I had first met that night when I was still in high school.

I lost touch with him and other people at that company. I had to stop working there due to my health issues at the time. And shortly after, they laid off a ton of people. (Apple decided to move their tech support to India for U.S. customers, which didn’t last long. Now they’re back in America).

I saw him a few months later because he came to visit me. I never asked him if he did heroin or confronted him about his past drug problems. But he told me what happened. He told me how he was addicted to heroin and how he realized how it was ruining his life. He was on a methadone program. He said he was determined to turn his life around. The thing that worried me was that he was obviously abusing the methadone and not just taking is as prescribed. He pretty much told me that.

But he eventually did end up turning his life around. Earlier this year, he went to rehab and got off the methadone. He was clean. He was doing well at the job where he started working. He was making music again. He re-connected with a cool girl who he was dating. He had plans and goals and it seemed like he would achieve them. He was planning on moving to New York. He did get into debt because of some issues that happened while he was on drugs. He fell asleep at the wheel because of the methadone, so there were legal bills. He had health/teeth problems caused by his drug abuse. All that stuff was pretty depressing and enough to make someone want to give up on life. It could make someone want to just say “screw it” and do drugs again. But he didn’t. He was fighting the odds and winning.

But then he died. No one knew what happened, but figured the logical explanation was: He must have relapsed. It was Labor Day weekend. He probably wanted to have a good time. His tolerance went down because he stopped using. He took too much. He got sleepy as opiates tend to make people that way. He laid his head down on his desk and never awoke.

He lived in his father’s basement. His father is the one who found him. It turns out that after he called 9-1-1 and the police showed up, they searched the place for about six or seven hours. They found no drugs there at all. His family also searched the place afterwards. Nothing turned up.

The toxicology results showed that there were no drugs in his system. They then ran other tests and eventually the results showed that he had died of acute bronchial pneumonia and that his lungs were filled with fluids. I am guessing that the past drug use didn’t exactly help his overall health or immune system. His basement also flooded a few months earlier, which may have contributed to that.

But the point was that he didn’t directly die because of drugs. When I first found that out, I felt so relieved. But part of me was thinking “What does it matter? He still died.” And I felt like it was almost worse that he didn’t relapse. He went through all that work to better himself and he died anyway. I just kept thinking about all the things that could have been and probably would have been. And I thought about the fact that there are at least two people I know who died after kicking heroin.

What saddens me is that I didn’t see him in the last few months of his life. He would try to get back in touch with me but I pretty much ignored him because I had almost given up on him. I didn’t know that he had went to rehab and I assumed he was still in drugs. The last time I saw him, he was acting like the weird druggie again and not himself. I used to try to save people but it never worked and only caused me frustration. I decided to distance myself from him. I feel awful. I just wish he would have told me he was clean. I wish I would responded to him more. One thing that does make me feel a lot better is that Becky (the girl he was dating before he died) told me that he talked about me often as if we were still in touch and he had nothing but positive things to say about me. She said she had no idea we lost touch by the way he would talk about me. So I’m glad to know he didn’t seem to resent me for that. But I still wish I could have been around him, especially since he probably was the old Mike Q again and acting like that.

Mike, I truly miss you and I am sorry I didn’t believe in you more toward the end. You were such a good friend to me. You did so many wonderful things for me. I never asked, but you did them anyway. I never even came close to repaying you and for that, I am a jerk. Please know that I do think about the real you – the you that the world saw when you were clean. I remember the good times more than the bad. I think about you a lot. I always have. You have influenced me in many ways. I am still somewhat in denial that you passed away. Part of that is because you are still a part of my life.

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November 28, 2007

Volcano dream

Often times when I am sick and/or medicated, I have these random but lucid dreams. They completely make sense and feel real while I’m dreaming. But when I awake, I’m like “What?!”

This past weekend, I had a dream that I was in the Pacific Northwest. I believe I was in Washington, near Seattle. I was there with my mother  and we were in seeing distance from some beautiful mountains. The landscape looked unbelievably gorgeous. The colors in my dream were beautiful. We were enjoying our peaceful walk and talk through nature when suddenly, lava rapidly poured out and we realized that we were near a volcano. Although we were about a mile or two away from the volcano, it almost got to us and killed us within seconds because it was coming out at an usually fast rate. We had to run out of there and the lava spread through much of the nearby town and injured hundreds of people and caused a lot of destruction. We just narrowingly avoided being melted alive. Scary.

The next thing I remember was that we went to a restaurant and we saw a friend of mine with his parents dining there. This friend is coming back to Baltimore in real life, but not until next month. Well, in my dream I saw him and he was sort of in hiding in the restaurant. But then I went up to him to talk to him and he and his family were happy to see me and in a good mood. We were chatting and I asked him what he was doing there because I thought he wasn’t coming back for another couple weeks. He said not to tell anyone and that no one else knew. And that he was laying low and not letting anyone else know he was in town. He told me not to take it personally that he didn’t call me when he first came back to town, as his MySpace profile even said the former city as his current location.

The thing is, I wasn’t medicated or suffering an illness when I had this dream. But it was still like one of my “sick dreams”. Weird.

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November 28, 2007

Bang(s)

I finally got side-swept bangs to cover up my enormous forehead. I think they call that a fivehead. I’ve been wanting to do it for a few years now but I was afraid of looking too hipster or emo. I also didn’t know who should do it. Then I saw a picture my friend

 took of the two of us together. My fivehead was so big, it was worse than Rihanna’s. (By the way, her music is bad). Sure, the angle made it seem worse. But still, people might sometimes look at my head at that angle in real life and see the same thing, too.  You can say “Well, it’s not that your forehead is big, it’s that your hairline starts higher. Whatever it is, it just doesn’t look right. So it was time to get those bangs. I just did it myself and it’s not as hard to do as I thought. I thought it might be hard to make them stay to the side, but I figured it out. I think it looks good. Nothing amazing. But it helps cover up my big head.

I’ve spent the past few days working on my portfolio that’s due for one of my classes. I didn’t go out Friday or Saturday night because I wanted to spend some time on that. Sorry to those I said I would hang out with, see their band, check out their artwork, etc. but I needed to work on this. I have some more stuff to do with that, but at least I am getting closer. Next week is the last week of classes and it’s due then. The week after that is finals week.
I kind of don’t feel like going to class tomorrow night. I don’t dislike my class, even if it is four hours.  My teacher is awesome and the other students are cool. I think it might be the combination of having off last week and the fact that it’s now dark and cold when I go there. One thing I noticed is that it seems like less students are dropping out. I don’t know if it’s a night school thing or if it’s just that maybe the year I went was a year that more people quit. When I went in the Fall/Spring of 2000/2001, a lot of people dropped out. As time progressed, the classes would become more vacant and it was a lot easier to find a parking spot. That hasn’t happened this semester.

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November 28, 2007

An emo kid makes a funny (not depressing) picture

A friend of a friend “found this online”. Who knows who actually made this. But it’s too funny.

(Just for the record – I did not make this! I would not fantasize about this. And if I did, I would not make an image of it. And I would use a better program than MS Paint – I’m just guessing it was made with that, haha).

Here’s Brandon again:
Brandon Thomas, Benji Madden, and Chris Cosgrove. 2000. The Vault (Baltimore, MD)

-Brandon Thomas was Brandon Fogle back then. Benji Madden was Benji Combs back then. Chris was better known as Kahz.
-Brandon was in Margret Heater. Benji was and still is in Good Charlotte. (They hadn’t released their major label album yet). Chris was in Jepetto.
-Brandon later fronted Bleed the Dream and is now the lead singer of Phantom Communique. Good Charlotte is famous now. Chris is a professional roadie for major label bands such as Dashboard Confessional.
-The Vault closed down a couple years ago and is now a pool hall.

I remember this show like it was just a few months ago. But then when I look at this picture and see how much younger they look and how much less ink they have, it feels longer. Also, when I think about how much things have changed since then, I realize it was over seven years ago. I was in high school. Oh, to be young and ignorant again.

November 27, 2007

About me: Google images survey

Google your answer to the following questions and choose a photo from the first page.

Age you’ll be on your next birthday:27 A place you’d like to travel:South Korea
Favorite color:
red
Favorite object:
yamaha s30
Favorite animal:
beagle
Your favorite place:
on stage
Bad habit:
hair pulling
Current cell phone:
pink razr

Nickname:
cherry
City where you live:
Baltimore, MD
First job:
waitress

Major in college:
legal office administration but I used "legal secretary" to search
Most well-known person you’ve met:Clint Eastwood
Your Race:
EurAsian
First Computer:
Blueberry iMac
Hometown:
Dayton, Ohio
First crush:
Danny Pintauro
Current crush:
nobody
First name:                  
     
Last name:
First and last name (together):
Current job:
   accounting assistant
November 26, 2007

“Play Peter Griffin”

My favorite “Family Guy” parody. (If you haven’t seen Amadeus, you won’t get it).

November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving yesterday

I helped my mother prepare the feast. Her cooking is the best – no offense to anyone else. Whenever I eat anyone else’s Thanksgiving leftovers, while it may be good, I just think about how much better my mom’s cooking is compared to theirs. I can’t help it!

My samchoon/sungmo/and cousins came over. (Samchoon is the Korean word for Uncle. Sungmo is the Korean word for Aunt. By the way, Emo is the word for maternal aunt).  It was really good to see them. It’s crazy how much older the three of my cousins have become. The oldest is 17 and in her senior year of high school in the magnet program of Towson High Law and Public Policy. She’s figuring out which colleges to attend. She scored an 800 on the Math portion of her SATs. For those of you who are unaware, 800 is the highest you can get in each the math and verbal portions (which is why 1600 is a perfect score). I remember as if it wasn’t that long ago when she was three years old and she was solving Algebra problems and fully understanding it. 

Now you know why I say I suck at math. Sure, I’m better than most people in America. But compared to my mom’s side of the family, I’m horrible. My mother and brother were exceptional at math. Yes, I may have gotten good grades in it. I even took A/P Statistics my senior year of high school. But it did not come easily to me. Unlike English or Social Studies, I actually have to try at Math and study hard. I actually blame part of it on the bad Baltimore County Public School System because I know they teach completely differently than they do in Dayton, Ohio. But that’s something to get into another time.

Now, back to Kathy. What I love is that she isn’t going to college for anything math or law related. She’s applying to art schools! This is the best! My family is composed of these book smart people who are passionate about the arts (music or visual arts). And we are so stereotypically Asian in this sense haha! I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. But it is what it is.

Last night, I went to see gODHEAD play an acoustic set at Fletcher’s. It was a good show. There weren’t that many people there at all. I think a lot of people were just lethargic after the Thanksgiving meal. Or else they were one of the crazies who were standing in line to shop for Black Friday.  Plus, there I’m guessing a lot of people were out of town. But I had fun because the people who were there were awesome and the music was good.

November 22, 2007

Voice Post: Happy Thanksgiving

November 20, 2007

I killed a bunny last night

    Saturday night was the Lennex show at the Stone Cellar in Ellicott City. Do I need to describe that I had a good time? No. That’s a given.
    I went to Fletcher’s last night to see Oddzar and Truth Be Told. Great music and fun times. The place had a good amount of people for a Monday night, but it wasn’t packed. But it was better that way. Quality over quantity. For real. A lot of the people who went to the Lennex show were there.
    Of course, I did my typical “I’m leaving after the bands are done! I have to work tomorrow” thing. Then it was “Okay, I’ll go downstairs. But only for a minute!” And eventually it was “Well, it’s 1:30, I might as well stay until close”. And then the “I shouldn’t be outside talking, I will only get a few hours of sleep” situation happened. At least I turned down going to some of the afterparties.
Mike Miller from gODHEAD showed up later. He was hanging out downstairs. He’s a nice guy. gODHEAD are on tour with Jonathan Davis and played at the 9:30 Club earlier that night. They’re playing an acoustic set Thanksgiving evening at Fletcher’s (not with Jonathan Davis) and I’ll be there. I’m looking forward to it.
    I was in a great mood all night. But during the drive home, I hit a bunny! I tried not to hit him, but he just ran so quickly that even though I braked and swerved, it didn’t do any good. Still, I’m not happy about that. I’m surprised it was a bunny. I haven’t seen too many in that area of Mount Washington before. I’ve actually been slightly worried that I might hit a deer or fox because they are everywhere in my neighborhood since they turned the golf course and the quarry into neighborhoods for the wealthy. The animals’ homes are gone now and so they just run into the street. I feel badly for the animals, especially since they are so cute! Haha, I know it shouldn’t matter what they look like. But still, it makes it even sadder. I didn’t even know there were foxes in this area until they built those $600,000 houses. Rich people ruining everything! (JK). 

Edit (4:04 PM EST) – I forgot to mention that I won the Retarded Dance Contest last night. I know that’s not a politically correct name for something, but I didn’t make up the name. And I should mention I didn’t have much competition haha.