So, I’m back at work today, trying my best to just be in the moment.  It’s actually going pretty well.

I did have a teary moment in the car this morning. I was listening to episode 52, the anniversary show, greedily listening for Andrea speaking, laughing, loving. 

I forgot that she had had to leave the recording before we finished.  At a certain point she announced she had to go, told us how much she loved us, and said goodbye.  

I gripped the steering wheel tight, and sobbed. 

But at work, I’ve largely been able to focus today, to make progress.  


I’ve been listening to a good book, Morning Star by Pierce Brown.  It’s an amazing book, which is often hard to read. It’s filled with pain, suffering, and death.

As I was eating my lunch, a few minutes ago, I got to a part of the book where the protagonist, Darrow mourns the death of a very significant character.  I’d rather not say who, in case you read it. 

Sharing in Darrow’s mourning weirdly feels comforting to me.  It feels like the whole universe kind of has me cradled in its gentle hand, keeps pushing me into things which both stir my grief and then smooth it out. 

That’s just the sort of epiphany Andrea and I would have dished about for hours on the phone.   The thing about being cradled by the universe is, I’m the universe too.  Part of being cradled is doing that same cradling for others, too.

It’s clear to me that Andrea is still just as vibrant and enormous a part of my life as ever. Her shape in it has changed, but not her worth or strength.  She lives in me.   She’s sort of everywhere.

I decided to blog about it for just that reason.  I hope that helps you, too, dear reader. 

AuthorMako Allen

So, I had this particularly shitty start to my day.  I went to the dentist, which wound up turning into a painful visit to an oral surgeon, and a second visit to the dentist.  It ate a huge chunk of my day, which in turn made me ultimately call out sick. 


But actually, it was kind of yay.  After I was done with my Daily Dose of Dental Devastation™, I was on my way home to take a nap, when I decided to call Frankie instead.  I wanted to check up on him.  I'd been worried about him since Andrea's passing away last week.

We spent hours talking to each other on the phone.  

This is something we used to do all the time.  We had fallen out of the habit of it in the past several years, for several reasons. One of which, he observed, was that Andrea was sort of his "local mako" doing the same sort of mindful processing right there with him that he and I used to do remotely.

Today, I was his "long distance Andrea", helping him do a bunch of processing like she used to do with him.  We both got a good long laugh out of it.

Plus, we talked about this video game we both love, and which Andrea did too, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

This is where the shrine part comes in.  I lamented to him how I was well and truly stuck on this one particular shrine, the Shora Hah.  It's finicky and challenging, requiring puzzle solving skills and some degree of precision targeting and quick reflexes.

It's horribly annoying is what it is.

Frankie gave me some tips, and we talked about how much Andrea loved the game too, and how they would sit and discuss the game together, try to look at things in it differently, see the problems from different angles.

We had this moment where we both got very quiet, when we realized we weren't talking about the game anymore, but rather how Andrea did pretty much everything.

Just a few minutes later, I got past the part I'd been stuck on for days, and then, keeping that facile, open perspective ideal in mind, quickly solved the rest of the shrine, and got all the way to the end.

That's me, solving the very last puzzle, how to light all those torches, simultaneously, without getting them squirted by water

That's me, solving the very last puzzle, how to light all those torches, simultaneously, without getting them squirted by water

I worked on the very last puzzle, and Frankie told me, laughing, how he had been STUMPED on it, and Andrea had made this simple suggestion that turned out to be the answer.  

(It's to stand right in the center, and do a spin-attack.)

I said I'd tried that, but it only got half the torches.  He told me to step back a bit, to "center myself more".

It worked.

I said, "Center myself.  Right.  Thanks, Andrea."

We both laughed together.  She's still with us.

AuthorMako Allen

There's no easy way to say this.  Andrea has died.
She died on Wednesday, February 28th.  

I've been grieving for days.  

Andrea and I sharing a cuddle, and laughing together, back in 2010

Andrea and I sharing a cuddle, and laughing together, back in 2010

I've known Andrea, had her as a part of my life, for about 15 years now.  We met, first online, through live journal, and then in person, for the first time, at the Fetish Flea.

This was the first day we met in person.  Note the baby pride pin tie clip thing.  I gave her that, that day if I remember right.

This was the first day we met in person.  Note the baby pride pin tie clip thing.  I gave her that, that day if I remember right.

I love Andrea.  Not loved, but love.  She was among the people I am closest to on this planet.  I consider her family.  

Andrea and I have been one another's cheerleader and support for ages.  She was an utterly amazing human being.  Here's a description of herself she wrote for her Kensho Kitten blog.

I’m open-minded and I live outside the box. I love hard and refuse to play by the rules. I have several long-term Partners and a handful of very dear friends that I call my Chosen Family, and they fill my life with blessings.

I am introspective and I practice authenticity and self-acceptance, while encouraging others to do the same. I’m deeply spiritual but in a silly and irreverent way. Every day I pray that I may learn to have compassion for assholes; it’s called a practice for a reason.

I am a no BS, no head-games kinda girl, and I don’t deny uncomfortable truths. In fact, sometimes I enjoy talking about things that are ‘uncomfortable’ simply because society doesn’t want us to. Like bodily functions, especially at the dinner table!

You can’t say I didn’t warn you.

That was Andrea.  She loved Hello Kitty, unicorns, the color pink, and talking about farting and pooping and  coming.  (Not all at the same time, although in retrospect the idea and the conversation about such would have made her roar with laughter.)

I could (and have, and likely will again) go on about Andrea for hours and hours.  I'm sure there will be more posts about her.  I just went back and even made a Special Andrea Tag for my blog, to make it easier for you (and me) to find these posts again.

She occupies a very special place in my life and heart.  I have been grateful for her before, and will continue to be.


In the course of my grief, I've been sort of binging on her.  Going back through old photos, old texts, listening to her appearances on the Big Little Podcast.  Just positively guzzling her digital self down, in big chugs.

That was when I stumbled across something of a gift that Andrea made for me, with me.

We did an episode of the podcast that was a personal interview with Frankie and Andrea, all about them, their love, their history.  During the interview, one of the more odd subjects that came up was how they both were these hard-charging, grizzled long distance travelers.  

On the regular, it's nothing for him to get in the car and drive 15 hours straight someplace.  Andrea used to take 19 hour long bus rides from Massachusetts to Michigan to visit with him.  And they both did those things regularly to come visit me, here in Virginia.  Often during these travels, they'd listen to episodes of the podcast.

Frankie joked on the show about how he'd be listening to Spacey and me on the show, and then the phone would ring and it would be me, and how weird and meta it was.  Plus, how when he'd be listening, he'd often respond to the podcast as if he were a part of the conversation in progress.  Andrea added that she did that too, and because she knew my humor so well, she could predict the things I'd say next, and how good it felt to be included, even though I didn't know it was happening.

Then, at 1:00:38 I observed how it was both sweet and creepy, because I could see people doing the same with the podcast for me, long after I was dead.

Hear it, her us for yourself.

When I heard that, this morning I broke out in tears.  I wailed.  I tortured myself with it.

Then, I stopped.  Because I knew just what Andrea would have to say to me about this self-torment, "So, how's that working for you?"

I laughed, a little at first, and then a whole bunch.

There you are, Andrea.  Right where you've always been.  I love you.


AuthorMako Allen

Yesterday was a big day for all mankind.

Elon Musk's SpaceX successfully launched a test flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket, sending the whimsical payload of his personal Tesla roadster into space, on its way to a heliocentric orbit around Mars.

I've been a Musk fan for a long time now.  I think that this launch is the beginning of a whole lot of change.  There are a series of technologies Musk has created which compliment one another in improving how we live and get around.

His solar roof tiles will provide cheap, plentiful power, which will come in handy, to power your self-driving electric car.

Speaking of your car, his boring machine will create a vast tunnel and tram system to eliminate surface road traffic.

Plus, surface travel without a car is going to be boosted by the near-vacuum-tube based pod hyperloop system.

Roads are going to get a whole lot less congested with this stuff.  This will be further enabled by the Tesla Semi, which is not only electric but soon to be completely autonomous, self-driving.

But let's get back to that space thing for a moment.  The Falcon 9 rocket isn't just stronger, bigger, reusable, and thus cheaper to run.  It's not just going to get us out to the stars.  It's also going to make our planet a much smaller place, by making it possible to go almost anywhere on earth in about an hour.

When I sit and ponder the potential social changes this sort of technology will bring, it astounds me.  It'll lower borders, create jobs, make medicine more reliable, enlarge humanity's reach out to the stars, improve our life on earth in countless ways.

Yes, the world is filled with social ills.  Yes, there's poverty, racism, sexism, misogyny, bigotry, and hatred rampant in it.

But there's also this, and I'm thrilled to be a witness to it.

This is all really happening.


AuthorMako Allen