Popcorn Orchids


When I was growing up, my Popo grew orchids. On one side of the house were the giant yellow Oncidium “Popcorn” orchids.  On the other side was the screen house with numerous Cattleya and Anthurium.  She hung old nylon stockings full of chicken manure in the screen house for fertilizing. 

The popcorn flowers were grown along with the red torch ginger with one purpose.  To decorate graves.  And it seemed that whenever the holidays or Memorial Day would come along, there would always be plenty of flowers to use. 

I have fond morning memories of my Popo misting her orchids with a hose spray every morning while listening to Hawaiian music and smoking cigarettes.  And she put a LOT of evaporated milk in her instant coffee too… us grandkids learned early on how to use the pump pot to make her coffee, and the lighter to help light the cigarettes.  I liked tasting the coffee after making it and feeling all grown up.  

Her kitchen was painted yellow and overlooked the Oncidium.  

have I run away from grief for 19 years?

this is my question for the doc today:

I went upstairs to look through some boxes. 1. art supplies 2. diaries/sketchbooks I’ve been meaning to go through to find evidence of past depressions/ruminations that exist in my memory

1. found – check! now I have more clutter to go through downstairs.
2. found – check! some of the things I found in here were really inspiring… some really good art. some really good poetry and prose. huh. i should try more of that.

3. surprise find! a previously locked box of memorabilia. I don’t even care how it became unlocked. inside were pins! yay! I’ll wear them today. some smoking paraphernalia, cigarette cases, zippos and the like. 4 pocket-watches that never worked, but are pretty. a bunch of tin containers, one of which contained the below picture of my late dad and our late dog, Luna. Fuck man! I’m crying again typing about it.

Now, maybe it’s weird that one picture could send me in the emotional direction with such force! as it did. Or maybe it’s weird that I have NO, repeat, ZERO pictures of my beloved and much-missed father up in my house; I never have. Or maybe it’s weird that I have not once gone to visit his grave… it’s within a mile of my current job, as well as the college I attended after his death – 19 YEARS AGO!

Okay, now I know I smoke pot. And sometimes I drink beer. But only now did I realize that I don’t think I’ve properly grieved for the loss of my father.

*long pause*

I never know where to begin. He died from a massive heart attack while walking up the stairs of Aloha Stadium to attend my high school graduation. 1998.

I had been smoking pot pretty regular already at this point. Drinking, drugs, sex. That all started in 93. Found some evidence in one of the ‘ole sketchbooks up there today. It’s actually pretty eye-opening what an insecure and vulnerable little kid I was out there, doing the things that we did.

of course, i cried when I realized the man i was marrying would never meet my dad in this life. I bawled when I understood that my daughter would never meet him. i MISS him.

I dunno. maybe i’ve grieved in my own ways. it just felt really raw today, seeing his face. I’m okay though.

My shrink suggested I write a blog…

I’m worried it will expose too much.

I’ve survived thus far by living so far under a rock that no one notices me.  I don’t know what’s kept me there…

But I don’t want to be there anymore.  I want to breathe fresh air.  I want to run and jump and dance and I don’t want anyone around to see it. 

Where can I do that?

Maybe in paintings and stories.  Maybe there I can be me.  Little me who has so much to say, but I’ve been waiting so long for my turn to say it that I’ve nearly forgotten what it was I wanted to say.  

It’s that I’ll be something.  Something to remember.  To many people.  I will leave a mark.  

I’m just not sure how… And the pendulum swings so far to either side of reality, of sane judgement. 

It’s good when I like my art, when I feel that someone might look upon one of my drawings at some time in the future, and still feel an emotional connection to the artist that painted it.  

To imagine that I’d have any positive effect on anyone outside of my personal circle is a dream.  Hell, I’m honestly worried that I’ll just scar them…

Ahh, but as my shrink says, I need to contain that massive ego of mine, it’s so worried about been seen and not liked.  Who gives a fuck, right?  Sigh… 

Time to hit post and make some tags and listen to some sad music 💜 

Phalaenopsis NOID, one of my first orchids

I bought this orchid about a year ago.  This picture was taken this past spring. I think it’s my second orchid.  The first being a purple Oncidium NOID that I don’t have a picture of.


My Popo had a small greenhouse my Goong Goong had built her, and it was full of the most beautiful orchids.  They are probably gone now, but I mean to go and check.  It’s not longer my grandparents’ house, they have passed on.

I remember that Popo would fertilize her orchids by hanging an old nylon stocking full of chicken manure in her greenhouse.  And that was it, as Brian says, simply “shit hanging in there.”  I won’t be doing that, lucky neighbors.

I do, however,  think that I’ve got a new love for orchids blooming… Ha!  I’ve probably bought 4 in the last 2 months.  I’ll post more pictures here as I take them, along with notes.

💜👻