Kitchen Magic Comeback!!

I have not cooked for a very long time. And I need to jump back into it. Here’s what I’m making!!

Bibimbap!! Korean style mixed rice!! Another Maangchi inspired recipe!! Wish me luck!! Will post results!!!


To My Biggest Hater


Dear Depression,

I don’t have to listen to a word you say anymore. I don’t need to believe anything you echo into my brain. Yeah you might be a part of me and you might be another driving force behind my writing, but that doesn’t change that fact that you are a hatchet faced lying piece of shit. You’re the part of me that doesn’t want to live and be happy because it’s easier for you to stay where you are, as you are. Stagnant, twisted, hating others, and then react like a fool when things don’t go your way. All you’ve done is weigh me down. I try to show you that life is worth living, I try to love you like all the other parts of myself, I try to convince you that not everything is all doom and gloom, not everyone is a cancerous human being, and not every challenge has to be a fight to the death. I try to show you that there is beauty in everything but all you’ve done is piss all over everything and spit at my face.

You might be a part of me, but you’re just one part that I have to live with. There’s more to me than just you. You’re not the driving force behind anything I say or do anymore. You’re not my crutch, I don’t need a crutch. I don’t need to prove or do anything for you or for anybody else. So I’m gonna live, feel good, and do the damn thing for myself. You don’t get to be a factor in anything anymore. So fuck all your noise. In fact, fuck your shit. I’m done with you. I’d love to say “It’s been fun”, but we both know that’d be a bold faced lie. This is goodbye!

Alex “Pen” Martinez

Bad Catholic

I’m not a religious person. I don’t like taking part in theological discussions. My relationship with the Universe has always been questionable at best. I like to say “Universe” instead of God. The name “God” feels so foreign and heavy in my mouth whenever I say it aloud. It makes me feel uneasy. The same is also true with the idea of getting down on my knees and pray. So whenever I feel the need to ask the Universe for guidance or help I write letters instead.

I was baptized in the Catholic church, but I haven’t set foot within an actual church since I was probably 11 years old. Never mind the fact that I’m gay, but the idea of conforming under the Catholic faith just seemed too restrictive for me. I wanted to keep myself open to other beliefs. I try to be understanding of other people’s religions, but then I sometimes thinks that it clouds their eyes. Sometimes I think it even robs people of their free will.

I had written before about how the Universe had sent me signs. I do my best to interpret the signs on my own because there’s no one else who can read them for me or tell me my fortune. It’s how I’ve been doing things for the last 8 years. I thought it would lead me to a better reality where I wouldn’t have monsters living in my head or have to always fight for my own survival.

The inside of my mind is a battlefield. Wars raging on 24/7, all 365 days of the year. My depression has created monsters and villains that I see trying to destroy everything good and decent. The heroes I see in my mind’s eye are the people that I wish were in my life to fight my battles for me. I have no such people in reality. I have no champions that are flesh and blood. I only have myself. And my inner demons are always these intangible beings. The irony is the deeper I fall into depression the more aches and pains I start to feel all over my body. As if I were in a real battle for my life.

I don’t know why but today my mind has been in that dark place that I’ve been trying to get out of. I didn’t understand why. Especially after I had spent all of yesterday cooking up a storm. I was feeling good while making gimbap, frying up shrimp and chicken, and chopping up vegetables for my stir fried rice while listening to good music playing. I was happy with cleaning up in the kitchen too. Then I enjoyed all that good food while watching The Hateful Eight on Netflix. Then I went to bed happy and woke up a mess. Then the power blew out. The electric bill had been paid. I know this because I’m the one person in this house who is in control over it.

One of my roommates had a small fire coming out of the outlets in his room. The fire had been put out, the house is still standing, but he also cut the power of the house. Next thing I know the landlord came over to address the problem. As usual everyone except me gathered around and commenced with the usual, “I hate my fucking landlord” bitch rant. I’m the only one that doesn’t take part in it. My biggest reason why is because I’ve been down that road with my Dad, with Mike, with the roommates I had at the Cottages, with all of Boone. I was angry with the whole Universe. I had all this malice accumulated inside of me and it nearly destroyed me completely. I don’t want to go through something like that ever again if I can help it.

I knew that they were going to be pissed off about something so I kept my headphones plugged in and I did my best to write something, anything, to keep myself from falling further into whatever bad spell I was already in. I had the volume up high, I made sure to pick the loudest song on my playlist, I was getting lost in my own world, and I was finally able to string together some sentences that didn’t come across as incoherent. But that’s when Marissa went and pulled out my headphones so I could be part of the “house meeting” with the landlord present when I really didn’t want to. There were talks about possibly stepping out of the house for a night while someone came in and worked on the wiring in the house.

It had been suggested that we should spend the night at someone else’s place if we couldn’t brave through the night without power. When someone asked me what I was going to do I slipped out, “I have no choice but to stay here. I have nowhere else.” I might have slipped out “no one” instead of “nowhere”, now that I think about it. Everyone heard that. I didn’t know why I had said that out loud.

Marissa offered to let me come with her to her boyfriend’s place and so did the landlord. I didn’t know how to answer other than just say, “Thanks. I’ll keep your offers in mind”. I was very monotonous with my response. Everyone went their own way and left the house to do whatever. The power in the lower part of the house had been restored, but not in the upper part where I sleep. So I stayed down and did my best to distract myself from my own thoughts. At some point the landlord came back to the house with these mini-fire extinguishers in case something else happened. Next thing I know I blurted out more stuff.

I told him about my depression. Not everything about it. But he knew there was something off about me nonetheless. I described it to him as this dark miasma that tries to suffocate me. I don’t know what came over me when I was sharing all this. I don’t even know why I was feeling down in the first place. It wasn’t even the strongest spell I had experienced, but I was feeling it anyway. The next thing I know he put his hand on my shoulder and asked if he could pray for me. I said, “Sure”. I mean, how could it make things worse? So he closed his eyes and prayed for me. He gave me a hug, offered up a room at his place if I felt uncomfortable about staying here tonight, and said we could hang out sometime.

Everyone always talks about how much they hate him and joked, “Oh well, we’re not supposed to be friends with our landlord”. But I didn’t pick up on any insincerity or malevolence from him at all. Especially during that prayer. This was only 2 hours ago and it made me want to write about it.

For a moment I almost thought he was the “Dream Man” I mentioned before. But I know that’s just wishful thinking. Pretty sure he’s as straight as straight gets. But I did appreciate his concern and that he listened to me. Even though it was through some involuntary slip.

Normally I wouldn’t give something like this a second thought, but there’s something about all this I just can’t seem to shake. It makes me wonder if my trust issues weren’t limited to people alone, but maybe to the Universe when this entire time I had believed that the one person I mistrusted most of all is myself.

The more I think and write about this I’m plagued with more questions. I don’t even know if I’m making much sense right now to be honest. But at least I feel better. That depression spell or whatever you’d like to call it has run it’s course.

I’ll find my answers and I will stand by own convictions.
Until then, signing off.

White Knuckling

Random PenSword Fact #4: Yes I am Hispanic. No I do not like eating tacos or burritos. Ese mierda no es comida real!!

I’ve always carried this perception that if you can’t handle anything on your own, if you have to depend on someone else for help then you’re weak, feeble minded, pathetic, or completely worthless. I’m pretty sure this mental seed was planted in me while growing up. I can’t say exactly when it happened. But growing up with a dad who gets pissed off just from drinking water and blames everyone for the slightest thing gone wrong didn’t help. Especially when I knew that I was different from other people.

My anxiety is acting up again. I’ve started feeling them rising up like a week ago. I’m not entirely sure what triggered it. The intrusive thoughts about self harm and suicide also returned, but I’m more capable of fighting them off unlike before. I don’t have a scratch on me.

The counselor that I was seeing over the summer is gone so I can’t go to him. I’m going to this group counseling called Mindfulness. I had a pre-counseling meeting last week. There’s nothing else to do except to wait to hear back from the office and let me know when the real thing begins.

Until then I’m left to fend for myself. I like to think that I’m better equipped to handle things on my own now as opposed to how it used to be. But then again having to grit my teeth through uncomfortable situations is hardly what I’d call new. I like to think that I’m a third degree black belt in the art of white knuckling.

What bothers me more is that I feel like I’m slipping back into old bad habits. Normally I’d be pissing and moaning about it. Calling myself stupid for letting it happen. But I’m at the point where I can say, “Be cool. People slip. You can bounce back from this.”

I’ve been able to keep fiction writing. I had forgotten how cathartic it can truly be. I’m starting to care less about how sloppy the presentation might be. I’m actually giving myself permission to write a shitty first draft. I’m letting of the idea of having to to draft and edit everything all at once while fighting off thoughts of, “That’s so cliche,” “This not an original story,” “Give up writing and look into a new career”, and blah blah blah, yada yada yada. Maybe writing here on WordPress has helped with that.

It’d be amazing if I were able to complete writing an entire novel without having to jump through all the hoops. But it’s something I cannot avoid. The true writing process is just another thing that I have to white knuckle through. There can never be any short cuts. Not in writing or in anything else in reality. People can try to take the easy way out, but based on what I’ve seen it always blows up in their faces eventually.

Back to the subject of my anxiety, I’m dealing with it. I’m allowing myself to feel it for like a good 5 minutes and then I do what needs to be done; cooking up dinner, do my assigned reading, pay my bills, something productive. I remember writing about how the parts in my mind that are plagued with depressing, suicidal thoughts is like a muscle. Maybe this is my way of working the other mental muscles that’ve been atrophied this whole time. If so it’s definitely working. I want to get to a point where I can rest easy with everything and feel happiness without strings attached, never have to worry about the world around me being destroyed.

I’m not quite there yet, but I want to believe that I’m heading in the right direction. Maybe the recent eclipse wasn’t complete bullshit after al. Only time will tell. I still got things to do.

That’s all I felt like writing about. Good day everyone.


My Happy List

I’ve been “that guy” who talks nonstop about depression and anxiety and the things that trigger it to put me on edge. I need to take the time to get out of the darkness. I’m playing out some music that I haven’t listened to in a long time. It’s gotten me feeling all nostalgic and shit. Then I re-watched this video on HartBeat’s YouTube channel (I highly suggest subscribing) where she lists all things that make her happy. So I thought it a good idea to do the same thing. This really needs no further explanation so here I go!

There will be a crap ton of photos. Not sorry for that.


This is Jewels. She was my best friend and hands down the coolest dog in the world ever. She wasn’t my dog. I took care of her when her owners were traveling. My Mom got me the gig. I was like “What are you, nuts?! I don’t know anything about dogs! Let alone taking care of them!” My Mom said she’d help out and that the dog sitting money would go straight to me. Then I met her and it was love at first sight. She was the sweetest thing ever. And she was so well behaved too. She didn’t bark or jump up on any furniture and she listened to me as if I were her owner. I took care of her for a huge part of the summer in 2012. It was one of the best times I ever had. Taking care of her was always a joy. Especially during Christmas time. She wasn’t mine, but I loved her like she were my own and she loved me back in return. She was a better friend than anyone I had ever known. Jewels died from cancer back in February. But I have nothing but the most beautiful memories of her. Sometimes I can still smell her on me. I look back on all the times she followed me around, kept me company in the kitchen, and always rolling over the floor and asking for belly rubs. I miss her dearly. But it’s thanks to her that I realize that I am capable of loving someone other than myself and can be loved in return unconditionally.


Coffee! Because without it I’d have no reason to get up in the morning. Wired is better than tired, twitching is better than bitching, death before decaf!


This fucking beautiful frozen delight!! It’s like an organism that goes off in your mouth in every spoonful. Not lying!


I love anime! Especially Miyazaki films. They’re some of the best things I’ve ever seen. Other anime titles that I love include, but are not limited to; Sailor Moon, Akame Ga Kill, Inuyasha, and The Slayers. There’s a lot more, but I want to keep this part short and sweet.


My video game collection! I’m an avid gamer and I’m proud of it! Most people I knew from childhood were always into Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. Nothing wrong with those titles, I like them but I didn’t get into them until later. While everyone was into Tolkienn or Rawling’s works I lost myself in games like Final Fantasy 8, Legend of Dragoon, Chrono Cross, Valkyrie Profile. These titles, for me, weren’t just fun games to play at the time, but I fell in love with the presentation of everything they had. Interesting characters, compelling plots (I was 14 when I played these games, shut up), beautiful music, and a worlds that I loved escaping into when reality sucked. I collect titles like they’re Pokemon and I collect game consoles like they’re the Dragon Balls! Except for Xbox One. I’m not into the Microsoft franchise and plus they don’t offer up a lot of titles that I’m interested in. And even when there is a good game coming out on XboxOne that I’d like to play it’s also available for PS4. I am a Sony boy!


Pokemon and pocky! Because reasons….


The WWE! I love pro-wrestling! I watched it every week as another way of escaping reality and getting out of my head. My top favorite superstars are Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Sami Zayn, Tyler Bate, TMDK, The Revival, and Finn Balor (who by the way is my future husband. He just doesn’t know it yet). I especially love the WWE games because there is an entire community dedicated to creating their own wrestling promotions, superstars, championship belts, etc. This is a photo of one of my own creations that I’m particularly proud of. I want to make my own promotion and put it on YouTube, but time management is an issue. One of these days it’s going to happen. Probably with the release of WWE 2k18.


Anything that came out of Dorothy Zbornak’s mouth on Golden Girls. Golden Girls in general. Shameless binging of Golden Girls via HULU….need I go on?


Seeing random shit like this that always has my sides hurting from laughing so hard.


Everyone has childhood superheroes. Almost everyone will say Batman, Green Lantern, or the X-Men. Yeah they’re great heroes, but for me it’s always been the Power Rangers. I’ve been with them from the very beginning (which should be a huge hint as to how old I really am). I’ve kept it a secret from a lot of people to avoid ridicule while growing up. My closest friends know about this because we’d always play as Power Rangers ourselves. We’d create our own villains, monsters, zords, and act out our own Ranger characters. This played a huge impact on my creativity when I was younger. The Power Rangers were always one of the few constant things I’ve had that brought me much needed comfort whenever I had to move away and transfer to a new school and just couldn’t connect with people. Plus getting up on Saturday mornings to catch a new episode was always something to look forward to. And yes, I’ve seen the new Power Rangers movie and I FUCKING LOVED IT!! Rotten Tomatoes and all the haters can just SUCK IT!! I walked out of that theater as a very happy vintage nerd! While I’m at it I also watched and enjoyed the OTHER Power Rangers movies from the 1990’s. YES, even Turbo! I also enjoyed the rebooted Ghostbusters movie and enjoyed it for what it was! Gonna stop here before this rant eats up the rest of the post!!


Hand written drafts! It feels so good to work that pen across the paper and fill up the page space! I’m actually preferring that than staring at a blank Word document for hours and wanting to beat the shit out of that blinking cursor which I always feels is mocking me!!


My cooking apron! Anytime I put it on I’m like, “Yeah baby!! Let’s chef things up tonight!”


Good pizza! Because reasons…


Snow. I know I like to piss and moan about all the things that are wrong with Boone and Appalachian State. But they do get beautiful snow. It reminds me of life in Ohio where I was born. I love playing in the snow. I love wearing my winter’s best clothing. All the best looking clothes are meant for cold weather, let’s be real. I love being snowed in and drinking good coffee and being with people I care about. I love watching the snow fall. I especially love all the summer people suffer because they can’t show off their muscle guns or bikini bods. I’m like, “Uh oh!! Time to get a personality, STAT!”


These little guys! These are my cousin’s kids. The one on the far left is Sammy, Charlie in the center, and the girl is Katarina. I never thought I’d be good with kids. I have a hard enough time dealing with people closer to my own age. But these kids like Jewels have helped me learn and grow so much. They love me and I love them to death. One day when I was having a really bad day and the suicidal thoughts kept creeping in I got a surprise FaceTime call from my cousin and it was Katarina who wanted to call. Not to say “Hi”, but to say “Please come back! Please come over!” It made me come back to my senses. She’s a little saint for making that call. I’ll never forget the timing. It makes me want to work harder to make myself better and be there for those kids.


Last but certainly not least is my Mom. Here she is with Jewels, spoiling her. My Mom is the sweetest person alive, but she’s also one of the strongest people that I know. If she says that I’m the strong one it’s only because I got my strength from her. She’s my biggest reason for wanting to work harder and get better. I’ve disappointed her in the past and always had a hard time forgiving myself for it. I want to stop being such a huge screw up. I want to be successful in life. I want a family of my own that she’d love to welcome into her life. I know I always have her support, no matter what. Which is why I want to keep going forward and keep fighting. I came clean to my Mom about my depression and told her that I wanted to hurt myself and die. It made her cry hearing that. It was another huge wake up call. Even if I went ahead and ended things so I wouldn’t have to feel pain my Mom, my cousins, and those kids would be destroyed. I don’t want to be the reason that they cry or hurt. I’m going to turn things around for me and them. I’m gonna fight my nightmares like a real warrior and I’m going to come out on top.

That’s all I got for now. I’m probably going to do a continuation of this list at some point because when it comes down to it there is a lot of things that make me happy. I’ve kept myself closed off from it all because I became so addicted to my own misery. I want to be happy, I deserve to be happy, there are reasons to be happy all around me just like there is for everyone else. Only major difference is that those things don’t come from the end of a beer bottle, a bong, or anyone that’s lives by “hooking up” with the first person that they see.

Until then, later days!


So yesterday I was really excited about finding my dream house being advertised and how I applied for it. I posted an ad asking for roommates. I told them the perks of having me as a roommate. I’m getting a lot of responses. I’m attracting a lot of attention to the place. But now I’m getting a little antsy.

My anxiety is trying to take over and do the thinking for me. I’m fighting it. I’m trying to be calm. I’m breathing, I’m typing, I’ve got Sense8 season two playing on Netflix, I’m trying to find a happy mental place.

What’s the problem? The last time I was happy about finding a place and was positive that things were going to work out I got blind sided and things fell apart. Plus because a lot of people are now interested in this place I’m starting to wonder if I’m making more trouble for myself.

I’ve turned in my application for the place. But does that really secure my spot? The manager asked if I had roommates in mind. His exact words that followed were “Will need enough people to cover the entire lease before we move forward”.

Plus there’s already this one person who says she’s got a whole group ready when she responded. Now it’s triggering thoughts like:

“Did I fuck up?” “Was I supposed to have people ready before I applied?” “Do I have the place or not?” “Who decides the roommate selection? The manager or me?” “Is there more work for me that I have to do?” “This is too good to be true. Remember the last time it was too good to be true?” “What do I do if things go wrong again?”

Followed by “I will not lose my shit. I will not lost my shit. Iwillnotlosemyshit Iwillnotlosemyshit Iwillnotlosemyshit Iwillnotlosemyshit Iwillnotlosemyshit Iwillnotlosemyshit.”

And then it goes into an infinite loop.

I’ve mailed questions to the manager. I have no idea when the guy will back to me. Everyone is always so conveniently busy when I need answers or any type of favor.

I want to believe that I will get that place. I want to believe that I’m not going to be stuck in the shithole Cottages any longer than I already have. I want to keep it positive and I want to keep it going. I don’t want to let something else to do the thinking and feeling for me.

So here I go….