After a 5-hour day of traveling unraveled into an 8-
hour marathon, courtesy of "suspicious bottles," I
arrived at my parents' late Friday night. The next day,
we headed down to northern Virginia to meet up with
some of my dad's relatives, all in the area for a family
Setting out from Delaware around 9 AM was offset by
traffic delays on the highway, leaving us reaching
northern VA by 1 in the afternoon.
After eating lunch at a family-owned (my dad's
mother's younger sister's husband's) Thai restaurant,
which doubled as a celebration of her retirement from
the hustle for one of my grandma's younger sisters, we
all retired to the house where my great-aunt lives with
her husband and two of my dad's cousins.
Lulu, another of my dad's cousins.
Mad food, always mad food up in the house when
family get together. You see the Papa John's, the Thai
food, and the Chinese, but you already know.
Pa dukes, videographer.
I ate mad much of food.
Two of grandma's younger sisters.
Grandma on the left, Tip (another of dad's cousins)
on the right. She brought her mom out all the way
from southeast Asia just to get up like Urkel: Family
Pat, probably the one of my dad's cousins that I saw
around the most as I grew up; and my grandma's
other sister, from the motherland.
Pat and her family are on some space age horticulture.
Congrats to Lulu and Wayne on the pregnancy: they
finna have a baby.
Leah, my dad's cousin from Nebraska (my dad got mad
many female cousins) and Tip.
Amy, wore out from a day of travel, food, and the like.
Uncle Fong's wife, Mary. After Uncle Fong died last
December, on a long-distance trucking haul, right
before Christmas, she and their three girls have been
holding it down something fierce.
Growing up, the girls were the relatives closest in age
to me that were nearby: they the youngest in my dad's
generation and I the oldest in mine.
I still remember them coming up to visit us in Delaware
in the early '90s, and us playing on the Slip-N-Slide in
the front yard.
April and Jenny.
Always gotta 打牌一会儿, you know how family do it.
Uncle Pengkhew took the late flight out from LA.
Duke hates to fly, but you know family is always
worth it. Being the now-youngest sibling and only
brother in the generation, he had to hold it down in
memory of Uncle Fong.
He arrived late in the evening, and my dad and some
others went out to pick him up from the airport back
in DC. They got back a few hours later, but you know
that the party was still moving strong.
Being the youngest in the family, Peng got four older
sisters watching over his back right now. As soon as
duke stepped in the room and sat down, mad food
was warm and brought up in front of him.
Consider the next few shots a play-by-play, a flipbook of sorts, of how
we do when we come through.
Wayne on his photography grind.
After kicking it at the family residence until around 11
at night, my dad and I headed back to our hotel room
where we re-joined my mom.
Living on my own and keeping the hours that I do, I
rarely get the chance to just sit down and flip through
some broadcast channels, so I took the opportunity to
get reacquainted with the late-night television.
The Chronicles of Riddick, some episodes of CSI,
America's Next Top Model, and Locked Up: Life Behind
Bars later, I fell asleep around 6 AM.
Two hours later, I was waking up to head off to church
with Pat, her sister, Wayne, Lulu, and Leah. We attended
the 9 AM service at Pat's church, Covenant Life, and had
a pretty fly introduction to their ministry.
After seeing some behind-the-scenes and kicking it in
their on-location coffeehouse with wildly discounted
Starbucks (a rampant brand which I am still proud to
say that I have never supported with my own cash
money), we headed back to my grandma's apartment
in Bethesda, MD, to rejoin the rest of the family.
My dad kicking it with his youngest brother.
Grandma's kitchen... classic. This is on some Norman
Rockwell shit (why is there no rapper nicknamed
Norman Rock Well yet? shoot, that is my new rap
A/K/A from now on).
Grandma's dinner table... many a meal eaten here as I
Shortly thereafter, we headed out for one last big meal
before my branch of the family tree split back on up to
But as we were leaving, I noticed my dad wearing a
polo shirt hypebeast kiddies would give their left little
finger to own...
My dad wearing the Bathing Ape classics like it's not
even a thing! What you know about that uh?
After lunch (one time for dim sum) at one of my
grandma's favorite Chinese places in the area, 我的
父母和我走了，为了回家。Thoroughly worn out, I
slept through the evening ride back, woke for a few
hours in the late evening, then went back to sleep in
preparation for the next long day of travel back to
-Grand Master a/k/a Norman Rock Well