« »

if you’re happy (for crystal)

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Tonight, I was informed that one of my favorite barista’s at my local Starbucks passed away. Crystal Diaz was one of those people that you immediately can tell marches to their own beat. She didn’t have to die her hair pink or wear something extreme, it was just in her spirit. She had a funky, cool, artistic, sometimes even a little spacey, sort of vibe. I dug her. We talked now and then and she soon became a fan of GingerDead and Friends. It seemed silly and useless at first, but the thought of dedicating this comic to her kept nagging at me tonight, so…this one’s for you Crystal. I hope you weren’t also a big fan of Mickey Mouse. O.o

The last time I spoke to her, I was grabbing a caffeine boost before heading out for a late night at the Castle. It’s a local goth club and Crystal said she was jealous because she always wanted to go but had no one to go with. I invited her along, but she was working and then a few of us tried to make plans for the 3rd of July, but she would be away visiting family for the 4th of July weekend. I told her to get with me when she returned and we’d plan a night to take her. On July 4th, she died. Twenty-something, engaged and happy. It’s always harder to accept these things when someone is so young. I’m kind of stunned, but at the same time I’ve been around long enough to know this is how death operates. You simply don’t know when it’s going to creep up and take you.

This is why I’m really not kidding when I say I try to live life like I’m on vacation. It just makes sense to me to try to squeeze as much stimulation as you can out of it. Take chances on love, do things that you are afraid to do, immerse yourself in what you enjoy, etc. Sometimes, I even embrace the ‘negative’ things like anger or sadness. Right now, I’m feeling sad because I feel for her fiancee, family and coworker/friends, but in that sadness is a slap in the face to appreciate my own life where I have love and art and warm gooey brownie bites.

I’m happy and I know it.

*claps hands*


I don’t need any condolences. My sadness is minute compared to those that truly knew her and loved her. This post is not intended to start my own pity party, (although Tear-tinis are always a treat!) No, I would rather hear that you are grabbing your own life by the throat and giving it a good shake now and then. Go check out that crazy goth club you’ve always wanted to try…build a rocket out of paper clips…whatever floats your proverbial boat…do it. 😉

<3 calan

16 Responses to “if you’re happy (for crystal)”

  1. Adam_Y Says:

    I am sorry… and that’s not a condolence… just a statement of recognition of your, and apparently everyone else’s loss… Crystal sounds like the sort of person we need more of.

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    Thanks, Calan.

    One hand clapping makes
    only one half of life, cl-
    the other makes -ap

  3. Emily Says:

    Crystal and I went to high school together. It has been a long since I had seen or spoken to her but I always wondered how she was doing. This chokes me up. But I too agree and choke the hell out of life every chance I get it. I milk it dry. And I keep on even when all I get dust.

  4. Gabe Says:

    clap, clap

  5. Seraphine Says:

    Mostly, I hate clapping. It feels obligatory, like
    having to laugh when a comedian is on-stage.
    But sometimes I genuinely enjoy clapping,
    when I feel uplifted, inspired or awed.
    I wish there was a to substitute for clapping
    for those genuine moments. An airhorn
    is too annoying, screaming is ok, but really
    I’d like to do something special on occasion.
    Monkey sounds? I don’t think so…

    I’m sorry to hear about Crystal. I didn’t know her.
    It isn’t obligatory sorrow, because I do feel sad.
    You say nice things about her, and I believe
    you. It’s good you said nice things about her.
    Everyone deserves acknowledgement.
    It’s another thing where clapping isn’t enough.

    If you’re happy and you know it,
    then your face will surely show it.

  6. matthew Says:

    Loved the comic as usual. Need to be careful what you ask her to do hehe.

    Even though its a natural part of life it sucks that we have to go eventually. I just hope my family and friends observe my wish for them to have a good party that night and be happy for me since i finally solved the final mystery of life. If they don’t i will come back and haunt their asses for it lol.

    I do have regrets about this life so far but i am working on those as well as trying to just be happy and go with the flow. You can’t take it with you so i don’t understand those people who put financial gains ahead of family friends and having fun. Sure plan for your future just in case you make it that far but why make it the point of your existence.

  7. calan Says:

    Adam – for sure. she was into flash and design and such…one of us so to speak.

    Elizabeth – love it! thank YOU

    Emily – thanks for posting and welcome. keep on milking it, sister 😉

    Gabe – clappity clap clap

    Sera – Obligatory clapping or laughter is kinda lame. It’s up there with having to fake smile for a photo (which i mostly refuse to do), but perhaps nothing is as bad as the Birthday Song. I loathe it.

    Matthew – thanks. i kinda love this comic to be honest…might be the next postcard. i agree with everything you said. as for the regrets, don’t bother having those. it’s useless. live – learn – grow it’s those dumb ass things you do that you grow from if you let yourself, that’s why i can’t subscribe to regrets. to me it indicates i’m hanging on to a mistake instead of learning from it.

  8. matthew Says:

    LOL the birthday song. No joke there. I hate singing that. But i especially hate having it sung to me. I agree with you on the letting go of regrets.

    Please do make it into a postcard. If it would fit i would say a shirt as well. Take care.

  9. Seraphine Says:

    i sing something silly like
    happy birthday to you
    you belong in a zoo.
    but please, you don’t
    have to sing for me…
    unless you’re ani difranco.

  10. Cady Lola Cep Says:

    Ahh, Mickey Mouse was always annoying, he probably deserved that . . . 😛

  11. justme Says:

    Mickey always was
    one to lend a hand to friends
    he won’t miss them–much

    Lenoir inherits
    the mantle (or should that be
    gloves?) of Icon-hood

    I think it’s pretty cool that even though I didn’t know Crystal, just your memory of her can make us all stop and think about how we live our own lives, if only for a moment. Maybe she’d have liked that. I would.

  12. coolioness Says:

    Well, I’ll give you a Tom Swifty for you trouble. Hope you guys get it!

    “She sliced off my wrists!” Mickey said off-handedly.


    Why did she die? I mean, illness, natural causes? I don’t mean to intrude, just curious…

    Always live life to
    The fullest. Especially
    By stealing Mouse Hands.

  13. calan Says:

    justme – that’s a lovely sentiment – thank you 🙂

    coolio – her heart – i don’t know too much of the details, but i believe she had a condition with it. apparently, it reared it’s ugly head that day and ultimately stopped working.

    nice Tom Swifty, btw. 😛

  14. Laura Peterson Says:

    I met Crystal when we were both in 8th grade. She was the best friend I ever had, and WILL ever have. She died at my apartment, or between my apartment and the hospital. I was with her the rainy Chicago day that she died, and I found her in the morning and was the one who called 911. I am so sorry I didn’t know that she needed help, I would have given my life to save hers. I miss her, and I was stunned to find a reference to her here, online. Any friend of hers knows what an incredible, resiliant person she was. She had so many obstacles in her life, and somehow got through even the worst of them while remaining the best friend a person could possibly ask for. If you want to, please feel free to contact me. My e mail is (removed for your safety)  Anyone who wants laura’s email, just drop me a note and i’ll send it to you.  calan(AT)(gingerdead)DOT(com)  i just don’t want to post it here due to spiders and spammers.  my email’s already slammed with that crap no reason for laura to get hit as well.

  15. calan Says:

    hi laura,

    thanks for posting laura. you can see above i removed your email just to save you the chance of getting all sorts of spam. so many robots and spiders and such crawl blogs for that info. i get a lot myself but that’s part of having a site like mine so i’d rather seriously interested people email me and i can pass your info along.

    what a horrible experience. you sound like you are quite resilient as well. i’m truly sorry for your loss. best friend’s aren’t replaced i know, but i hope you have other close ones around you that are helping you through the grieving process. the first year is always the toughest. my thoughts are with you and all of crystal’s loved ones. she’s definitely missed.

  16. Andrew (PerhapsToast) Says:

    Oh man, I was catching up on comics since I haven’t been keeping up with them lately, and I seriously started cracking up when I saw Mickey Mouse in the corner there.

Leave a Reply