Hello, Old Girl

color-300343_1920

Life has been strange and beautiful, and though I’m going to do my best to describe it to you, I don’t know how well my world will translate onto the page, but I’ll give it a go.

As I wrote last week, transitioning back into Vegas, seeing my dad off to Germany, ramping up new work plans, it’s been in intense emotional roller coaster– one of which I’m proud to say I’m riding to the best of my ability.

I’m in a period of loss, so to speak, losing my dad in proximity, and a few other things I cannot discuss yet, it’s strangely drudged up the residue of my first major loss– the death of my Grandma. Though it’s been about 9 nine years since she passed, it’s a loss that has left (or at least I thought) a gaping hole within me.

Brenda

My grandmother was magical. My childhood was full of wonder, imagination, and excitement of which she facilitated by encouraging my storytelling, love for books, and card games. Seriously, I was 2 when she taught me how to read. I’ve been reading books like a crackhead in need of a fix ever since. She saw something within me and helped unleash the madness that is Taryn into this world.

Brenda was the quirkiest/kookiest woman I’ve ever known. She laughed at odd things, remembered important dates at odd times, and when I was little, I thought she was nutty. “Crazy like a fox!”, she’d say when I told her I thought she was nuts.

At 27, turns out that I too laugh at odd things, remember important dates at odd times, and am a little nutty. I think I’m beginning to get the hang of this crazy like a fox thing.

Around 16 — I can’t remember exactly– I had this strange feeling to spend more time with my grandma. I can’t explain why, but I felt the need to spend more time with her and to say “I love you”. So each Saturday, I’d stop by her house with a DVD and we’d watch a movie.

We both shared an appreciation for good looking men, and Troy had just come about. “Brad Pitt and those legs,” she’d exclaim. I’m sure I nodded in agreement. The dude had some great legs. On that note, I need to rewatch that film, ha.

This went on for a few weeks, and sometime shortly after, she suffered a stroke on the bus she rode from work. When I first heard about it, it was hard to put into emotion because I was still removed from it. It wasn’t until seeing her in the hospital, in an altered state from the crazy lady that I adored, to a sickly being staring down mortality, that I began to shut down.

I couldn’t bear the pain of seeing my hero reduced to a mere mortal, barely hanging onto life. Though initially she was improving, it was about a year or so later that she passed, right after my first horrifically shitty year of college and some massive changes within my family. Needless to say, 2008 can go to hell for all I care.

As my sister told me the news of my grandma’s passing, I cried for a few seconds, and then I went into an emotional coma of sorts. I’ve always been terrible with feelings but this took the cake. I buried my feelings– deep into an abyss with plans to never really use them again. My world went gray, as the person who first introduced me to the vivid colors of the world was no longer with me. If I’m being frank, I thought the best parts of me died with her.

A semi kind of life

As time went on, I trudged through life, having some decent moments, but never truly allowing myself to experience joy or peace. Granted it doesn’t help that I’m an existential weirdo, lol. Anyway, it’s funny how caring for others will help you eventually learn how to care for yourself, and I’ve got an army of niece and nephews and a not-so-obedient dog to blame for that.

Over the years, I’ve dedicated a significant amount of time in helping bring up my niece and nephews. Changing diapers, potty training, school graduations, awards ceremonies– it’s been a blast. Though there are 7 of them, I can spot their unique identities, what makes them tick, and how to reach each of them on their terms. Looking back, that’s exactly what my grandmother did for me and my siblings/cousins.

So fast forward to yesterday, after spending the day watching a set of 1 year old twins, a 2 and 4 year old, memories of the craziest lady I’ve ever known came flooding back to me. It was odd, as I was walking my dog late last night (90 degrees at 10pm, yay Vegas), I began to think about what she’d say to me about how I’m “doing life”. I knew she’d never want me to live in the self-imposed prison I’ve created.

In that moment, as I was walking Abbey in the suburban streets of Vegas, I spontaneously combusted into hysterical bouts of crying. Man, was it ugly– but also peaceful, freeing, and about freaking time. On a side note, I’m so glad no one else was out, because I’m sure I looked like a mess. Even Abbey kept giving me “wtf” looks from time to time. I wasn’t crying out of sadness or grief per se, but they were tears of joy because someone who I’d hadn’t seen in many years had returned to my life — me.

Not gone, just sleeping

Maybe this is my roundabout way of accepting the loss of a loved one, but it’s nice to be able to resurface from a long slumber. Much to my initial belief, I didn’t leave, I’m not broken, I just came back from playing an unintentionally long game of hide and seek. That’s at least what I’m telling myself, anyway.

I can’t help but to think and smile because though my grandmother is not with me, I’ll always have her. I find her in the things that I do, how I behave, how I think, my work ethic– I find her in me. So as it turns out, I was never gone or broken– just hiding underneath the layers of time.

Today I say hello, Taryn. Glad to have you back, we have a lot of catching up to do.

The Perks of Snail Mail Pt. 2

A while back, I talked about writing letters to my best friend back home. As it stands, it’s still something I continue to this day. In fact, I’ve expanded my little operation to a few more friends in Cali and Hawaii. Continue reading “The Perks of Snail Mail Pt. 2”

Fear and self-loathing in Las Vegas

Why hello there,

Long time no see!

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a splendid holiday! Mine was swell, except I spent most of it abandoning my family due to work obligations (yup, I am owned by the “man” once again, but more on that later).

Now that I’m finally starting to understand the work/life balance game, I’m back in the blogging world!!

I have some awesome news to share with you all, including being published in a prestigious magazine, but that is a different story for a different day. So on with the show!

I’m having the case of nostalgias lately. A.K.A., I’ve been sulking in a corner licking my wounds and moping like a whiny baby because life is unfair.This has been brought on due to the fact that I haven’t had very much downtime and I’m growing increasingly unhappy doing what I’m doing. Fortunately for me, my mom came into town for a couple days to visit and it was definitely much needed.

I’ve always appreciated my parents and have known how lucky I am that they are really awesome. Quite honestly, I prefer spending time with them than most people because they’re fun to be around. While my mom was in town, I got the pampered kid treatment; the dinners, hugs, and words of encouragement, which was exactly what I needed after the on the job drama I’ve had (I swear I’ll talk about it later).

On top of having my mommy in town. My best friend’s little brother, Micah, who’s like my own little bro happened to stop in Vegas and needed a place to crash, so he came to my house. I haven’t seen him since my trip to SD last year, so it was nice to catch up and see how he doing. Even though I only got to see him for an hour, it was really nice just to chat with someone from back home.

This weekend was fun with my mom, but I was super bummed to take her back to the airport. While driving, I felt like a little kid being taken to daycare for the first time. I did not want my mommy to GOI even accidentally went to the wrong part of the airport. Alas, she is back in Monterey and I’m moping a bit.

I suppose being back with old familiar faces reawakened parts of me that have lain dormant for some time. There was a point in time in the world where I was fearless and took life by the balls! Where that girl is, I’m not entirely sure, but something tells me, she’s going to be resurfacing soon. 😉

MjAxMy03YWRmNWQ5MzNjMmU2MTJh

4 Artists That I am Obsessed With

Music is in my core being. Growing up in a musical family, I was surrounded by different instruments, musicians, genres, and anything and everything in between. My house was never quiet; and looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a child, I grew up learning and listening to classical and jazz music primarily (I’ll do a post on my favorite composers/jazz musicians later). They are two of my favorite genres hands down. As I grew up, my musical preferences were/are all over the map.

Music Doodle

If you shuffled the songs on my iPod, you could go from, Death Metal, Classical, Jazz, Pop, Punk in 5 clicks. Seriously, I love it all! Each style of music offers its own uniqueness and complexities, you just have to be open to listening for them. Full disclosure, country isn’t something I can get on board with. While I admire the musical talent of country artists, a lot of the content is very depressing. That said, there are still some country songs that I tap my toes to. While I love almost anything under the sun, there are a few musicians that I can never grow tired of.

4. Killswitch Engage

I’ve been listening to Killswitch for about a decade now (gosh I’m old) and I’ve loved everything they have put out to date. I remember when I first heard them, I was about 13/14 years old. I was intrigued with their sound because they were blending metal with a melodic chorus which was odd but amazing at the same time. My Last Serenade is still one of my favorite songs of theirs to date while My Curse has to be my absolute favorite. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live twice now with both Howard and Jesse as the lead singers. I don’t listen to them as often now, but they’ll always still hold a place near and dear to my heart.

                            197217_4374570759_7824_n

10155141_10152362158045699_7610651244102551902_n

(Warped Tour 07′ and Extreme Thing 14′)

3. Disclosure

Words cannot describe my love for Disclosure. Their chord progressions are out of this world and Latch, dare I say is pure genius. That song is like sex for your ears. I’m not one to put songs on repeat, but I could listen to that song forever and ever and still find something new to love about it. Aside from that particular song, Disclosure’s music is all really good. I have all of their albums and EPs and everything is legit. I have yet to see them live, but before I leave this world, you’d better bet it’s going to happen.

(Their live set in Paris, which is awesome!)

2. Fink

I first discovered Fink back in 2008 when I heard Trouble’s What You’re In. If you couldn’t tell by now, I love emotionally evoking music, and Fink does not does not disappoint. He is another artist that I’ve yet to experience live, but on my short list of live acts I need to see, he is on the top of that list. There aren’t too many artists that I continue to grow with throughout the years, but I doubt that I’ll stop enjoying Fink anytime soon. I highly recommend checking out all of his albums though I will say that I love them all equally and for different purposes.

1. Bonobo

Last but certainly not least, Simon Green A.K.A. Bonobo is on the top of this list. Aside from the fact that he is positively gorgeous, his music is as equally, if not more beautiful than he is. I have no clue how he does it, but Bonobo manages to capture the emotional equivalent of the human condition in his work. Every one of his albums is vastly different, especially his older stuff, yet they all have that unifying quality that is, Bonobo. Each of his albums speaks to me in varying ways and I always find them applicable in different aspects of my life. If I’m happy? Bonobo. Feeling down? Bonobo. Dealing with anxiety, Bonobo. Just wanna groove? Bonobo. If I sound crazy, it’s all good, he’s just that legit. I actually saw him play this year in Vegas with a live band, and it was hands down the best live performance I’ve ever experienced. 

The audience embodied a hugely diverse group of people, yet you could feel the sense of unity among us. Peace, harmony, and acceptance filled the energy of the room. Everybody was swaying to the groove of the music. It was one of the most surreal and ethereal experiences I have had to date (no I wasn’t on drugs). If there’s anything you get from this post, it’s that you need to listen to Bonobo, preferably live. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

IMG_10191

(Bonobo live at the Brooklyn Bowl LV this year)

(Recurring- My favorite Bonobo song of all time)

So these are a few of my favorite things, lol! Listening to music is such a huge part of my life, as I imagine it is for most people. I hope you check out these people above as I love their stuff immensely. Also I just realized that 3/4 of these Artists are from the UK. Hm even more reasons for Abbey and I to get across the pond sooner than later, lol! Who are the groups/bands/artists that you can’t live without?

The Origin of My Reading Addiction

I LOVE LOVE LOVE to read. Seriously, getting lost in a book has been a past time of mine ever since I can remember. Being able to get lost in the imagination of literature is very enjoyable for me. The more vivid the imagery of the book, the more enthralled I become. When I was young I was very fortunate to have parents who not only supported my reading addiction but funded it enthusiastically as well. Every year in elementary school, there was a book fair. They would hand out these little pamphlets which had an assortment of books you could purchase. I would diligently circle every single book that I had to have (usually about a dozen books). 100% of the time my parents purchased every book on my list. (thanks mom and dad!) And every year I’d burn through the books as if I was fire and they were wood.

My childhood bedroom was actually a library which my parents converted into a bedroom. I insisted that it had to be my room because of the floor to ceiling, wall to wall book case that was in it. During that time it was my mission to possess every Nancy Drew book ever made. I owned all 56 of the Nancy Drew Mystery Series (Not every one ever made, but close enough). My formative years were spent filling up my bedroom with all the books I could get my little fingers on. 

Presently, my passion for reading is still very strong. I don’t do it as much as I would like (I currently have 15 books that need to be read) but I’m working on it. What got you into reading? What was your favorite childhood book?

 

Image

R.I.P. Chipped Tooth

When I was about 4 or 5, my older sister and I were playing in the backyard on our swingset. Back then my sister loved coaxing me into doing stupid crap, like I’m sure most older siblings do. So this particular afternoon she told me if I jumped off the swing, I would be in the army. Now, I have no clue why I wanted to be in the army, but this was an offer I could not pass up. I kept swinging, getting higher and higher until finally I was ready for lift off. Til this day I don’t really know how to explain the following events accurately. In some crazy way I managed to fly backwards under the swing and hit my mouth. I have no idea how, it had seemed as though I defied gravity or something.  It hurt at lot, but hey, I made it into the army. Anyway, I digress. That was the day I chipped my front tooth.

Fast forward 18ish years, I had recently started going to the dentist a few months ago. They pretty much told me that my mouth was a hot mess and I needed a lot of work done. I should preface this by saying I’m not the hugest fan of the dentist. Not because of the pain or procedures being done. That’s the easy part. It was the constant judgement by the dentist and dental assistants that scared me shitless. But I knew I should probably take care of my dental drama and I had insurance! So, why not?

During the course of a few months and several grand later (ouch, the most painful part) I went to my final appointment yesterday. I was still a bit confused by the last procedure because I could have sworn I did not have a cavity in my front tooth. I mean, my oral hygiene isn’t that bad. Then I remembered my lovely chipped tooth. Honestly, it was so minuscule that I had to point it out every time I told my “army story”. Plus it had become a part of me (both literally and figuratively). So I asked the dental assistant for a bit more information on what they were going to do. She said quite condescendingly that I had a cavity in the corner that needed to be fixed (And people wonder why I’m not a fan of the dentist). And I was told my chip would remain.

So, I was sent back into the office and they got me prepped and ready for the filling. I had also asked would it be noticeable. Despite the fact that they are a hot mess, I have a great looking set and I didn’t want to ruin the merchandise. I was again reassured that I was in great hands. The dentist came in, very friendly told me that this wouldn’t take long and I would be good as new. I actually liked him because he had been very nice and nonjudgemental throughout the whole process. So I relaxed and they started.

After about 30 minutes of having multiple hands in my mouth, I was done. The dentist told me to bite down on some blue paper to see if my teeth line up. And then added that I needed to be careful with chewing my front teeth otherwise I could chip my tooth again. “What?” was what I stuttered after he told me this piece of information. Then he added, yeah we fixed that little chip in your tooth. He then gave me a mirror to check out the procedure. And then walked out of the room like he had cure an innoperable disease. I sat there looking at my teeth for a few moments.

It was gone. My quirky little chip that had been there since I was a child had been covered up without my consent. I was so dismayed, I had grown to like it. I remember being in my teens thinking I should get it filled but it was really not even noticeable so I just let it remain.  I was really upset that I had asked for them not to touch it. But what really pissed me off was that they had tried to pass it off like it was a cavity and it was only a cosmetic procedure. I felt like I lost a bit of my childhood history that day. So now I sit here with pearly white teeth mourning the loss of my chipped tooth. But on the bright side, I think this gets me out of being in the “army”. 😉

Image