NOT THE BEES! said Not Nicolas Cage

Guess what I woke up to in my kitchen?

Giant ass bee.

I heard suspicious, bug-sounding crinkling in the kitchen, so, fearing the grossest thing in the world, I opened my door and saw a massive flying, buzzing thing banging against the closed window. My brain put those two descriptors together and successfully concluded: giant ass bee.

I closed the door of my bedroom with a brave, “IIIYAH,” and had a brief strategy meeting.

1) Leave it in the kitchen, let it pay rent, share cleaning chores.
2) Spray it from a distance and run away.
3) Try to capture it and somehow get it outside.

I didn’t want to kill it, so I nixed that option. I like bees when they’re not accidental prisoners in my home. So I decided to capture it. I picked up a Tupperware container, and the sturdiest paper I could find under duress, took two steps toward the kitchen window it was futilely banging against, and hid in the bathroom.

Every so often, I’d open the shower door and watch him arc out into the kitchen with a pissed off flurry of buzzing, then careen back at the window and ping against the glass.

Quickly, I leaned out of the bathroom and tried a new approach: opening the second kitchen window. I opened the glass quickly and then ran back into the bathroom as I heard it taking a loop around the kitchen. It adhered itself to the screen, probably tasting freedom on the other side, and I slammed the glass shut.

My problem was over. But the poor little dude was still stuck. I’d have to open the glass slightly, then open the screen. I had a big fan from a concert I’d gone to, and I decided to use the handle to open the screen.

Taking a deep breath and hoping it wouldn’t sting the fuck out of my hand, I opened the glass a silver and eased the handle through. I found a catch in the screen frame and pushed down. But alas, the handle bent under the pressure and the screen stayed firmly shut.

No help for it, then. I’d have to use my poor hand. In hindsight, this is where my oven mitt might have been useful, but Arieseses don’t think well under pressure. We act with foolhardy confidence, damn it.

I snuck my hand through to the screen and pushed it up, then quickly shut the glass again. I congratulated myself on finding a deathless solution and picked up my iPhone to photograph the giant ass bee who managed to find a way into my apartment even though all the windows were shut.

This concludes today’s episode of Bugs Try to Be My Friends. Tune in next time, the 5th of Never at -0 PM.




Robin Williams

My uncle passed away during my first year living in Japan. My mom emailed me about it, and I sat down on the floor where I was standing and cried. I felt so alone in that moment, so far removed from my family, and nothing felt safe.

My uncle was always smiling, always joking. Whenever I was around him, everything was laughter and fondness. He gave me one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received. When I said I wanted to live in Ireland one day, he paused to think about that for a second, and I held my breath. My uncle was Irish, born and bred, and whatever he said next would be etched in stone for me. Finally, he flexed his hands on the steering wheel and nodded, oddly serious for once. “You’d do well there,” he said.

He had eons of jokes ready for any given situation, and endless stories from his childhood in Ireland. He’d chuckle and call me a gerbil because of how I eat, and he’d take me on trips to see The Tiger Man, one of his clients who works with endangered wild cats.

I wasn’t ready to lose him, and it hurt to find out that was the end of his presence in my life. However, ever since his death, I’ve pretended that he’s still alive and I just don’t ever have the chance to see him when I go home. Maybe it’s not healthy, but it makes it hurt less that he’s gone.

I think it’s an especially brutal kind of pain to lose someone who could make you laugh. Maybe that’s part of why Robin Williams’ death is resonating so deeply with so many. I’ve seen people all over saying Robin felt like their favorite uncle, and it’s amazing that he had that kind of influence. He was such an intrinsic part of my generation growing up, even when he wasn’t in the public eye, he was always part of our lives. He was the Genie, Peter Pan, the lost jungle boy, Mrs. Doubtfire, Sean Maguire, and endlessly more.

Even though I knew he was mortal, I never thought I’d live in a world without him.

This one is going to sink deep.

It was known he was struggling, and he addressed it in his comedy and elsewhere, but I hoped he would outlive the pain.

Still, if I could tell him one thing, I’d say just this: “It’s not your fault.”

He deserved better. ♡

Honestly, I don’t think I can say goodbye to Robin Williams yet. And in a way, I don’t think I have to.

“Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.”
-Mary Elizabeth Frye