equivocality — Jeff Ngan's collection of thoughts, experiences, and projects, inspired by pretty much everything
29 May 05

May 24 2005

The long week­end was just plain relax­ing. It’s good to get out every once in a while, although once a year is enough for me to appre­ci­ate my clean room, my com­fort­able bed, and the com­pany of my kitty cat. Getting to know Chris, Aaron’s brother, was a treat.

Thumbnail: Burning log
Thumbnail: Wet and dry leaves

It driz­zled for most of the week­end, but it wasn’t enough to stop us from play­ing poker in our tents or under the tarp. As can be seen in the last photo, on the last day, the leaves were com­pletely dry under our tents (left side of the pic­ture) while leaves on the ground were soaked through (right side).

Thumbnail: Barbecue grill
Thumbnail: Coffee cake

Even camp­ing food is easy. Meals cooked over the fire are plate and utensil-free. Cake is eaten with hands, and one feels no more guilty in the com­pany of oth­ers than gorg­ing alone.

Thumbnail: Friday night
Thumbnail: Moonlight
Thumbnail: Night trees
Thumbnail: Tree canopy

I man­aged to get some great shots at night. I still won­der how I’d do with a nice dig­i­tal SLR though. The one in the bot­tom right cor­ner came out espe­cially well: the cir­cu­lar lens pat­terns of my Maglite can be made out in the leaves.

Thumbnail: Drive through
Thumbnail: Bowling balls

One of the best parts of camp­ing is pass­ing through all the lit­tle towns along the way. It always reminds me of the drive up to John’s cot­tage. The build­ings are homely and unique, with so much per­son­al­ity. We passed by an old, work­ing drive-through in the mid­dle of nowhere, and I had to get a pic­ture of the weath­ered sign. There also hap­pened to be a tiny, pastel-coloured bowl­ing alley, and we decided to play a few games. Funny how the one time we end up going bowl­ing is the time that Trolley couldn’t go with us (he’s never been bowl­ing, and we keep telling each other that we have to go with him sometime).

Thumbnail: Fungus growth
Thumbnail: Trillium
Thumbnail: Salamander

A growth, a flower, and a lizard. I have no idea what is grow­ing on the log, but I do know that the flower is a tril­lium, which is the provin­cial flower of Ontario. It’s also pro­tected, which means that one can get fined for pick­ing it (Any per­son who con­tra­venes the act is guilty of an offence and on con­vic­tion is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000, or to impris­on­ment for a term of not more than two years, or to both). The lizard is a sala­man­der, and there were a few crawl­ing around in the leaves.

27 May 05

Wrinkle-Free Friday's

How do I explain how good it feels to be iron­ing my clothes on Friday night?

23 May 05

Living On Borrowed Time (Bonus)

An old nurs­ery rhyme pro­posed that life is but a dream. If Dr. Leary were alive today, he would add, most likely in an LSD induced state, that we’re just an imag­i­na­tion of our­selves. I have a hard time agree­ing with either apho­rism, but even if they were true, it wouldn’t matter.

A cer­tain glut­to­nous cat once mused, exactly 19 years ago today, that life can be com­pared to some­thing found on the din­ner table. Perhaps the most famous com­par­i­son, how­ever, was by a tech­ni­cally bor­der­line defi­cient per­son who said that life is like a box of choco­lates, because you never know what you’re going to get. As things go on, one real­izes that there isn’t one com­par­i­son that’s more valid than another.

Even an out­spo­ken Queensbridge rap­per has flowed, “You a killer or a hus­tler, dealer or cus­tomer / Gangsta or buster, young­ster or old nigga / A weed head, a coke snif­fer / You rich or a broke nigga / Know you all relate to this shit that I wrote nig­gas / Life is what you make it nigga”, and I tend not to disagree.

For me, it now seems like life is sim­ply a test.

More impor­tantly, how­ever, from here until the end, no mat­ter what, life is gravy.

21 May 05

Preview: May 24

Thumbnail: 12 eggs in a pot

Went camp­ing over the long week­end. Pictures/video to come soon/eventually.

19 May 05

The Fourth Morning

I was going to write about how I slept well for three nights in a row, but the third night turned into this morning.

17 May 05

The Friend With No Calendar

I value the friend who for me finds time on his cal­en­dar, but I cher­ish the friend who for me does not con­sult his calendar.

—Robert Brault

I called Pat yes­ter­day. In the past, I’ve always let him call me, since he’s invari­ably more busy than I am. Even if we try to make plans to hang out, we usu­ally leave off with him get­ting back to me as soon as he finds out when he’s avail­able next, due to the fact that he likes to be booked a month in advance. This time, I wanted to be the one ini­ti­at­ing, because I real­ized that out of all my friends, I see him the least. Even if we hang out once a month, which may be con­sid­ered quite suf­fi­cient, that’s only 12 times in a year.

The thing that makes it awk­ward is the fact that I don’t know the make-up of his social cal­en­dar. I don’t know how much of his life is devoted to Jen or allo­cated for other friends. Usually I only see him between events, and he’s always rush­ing off to do some­thing else. The last thing I want to do is be a self­ish per­son and smother him, espe­cially a per­son whose time is as valu­able as his. This is actu­ally one of the things I worry about, when I know that I shouldn’t (John has recently helped me real­ize that I over­an­a­lyze things). I trust that Pat will let me know when I start tak­ing up too much of his time.

In either case, as usual, he’s going to call me back to have din­ner at the Black Tomato. I had to rec­om­mend that we go, because I always enjoy myself when I patron­ize that restau­rant. I also chose to have a meal instead of doing some­thing else, because food is one of Pat’s hob­bies. He treated me the last time we had dim sum, when it was actu­ally my turn, so I’m hop­ing he won’t put up a fight when I go to pay for the bill. In addi­tion to the great fusion food, I’ll have the chance to order a glass of Wynns Coonawarra Estate caber­net sauvi­gnon which I haven’t had the plea­sure of tast­ing for a few months.

A chance to catch up, a chance to get to know Jen bet­ter, a chance to try out some new food. It’s going to be good.

15 May 05

Cornus Canadensis

Many things to say, but this is the most rel­e­vant right now. This also hap­pens to touch on almost every aspect of my life, and I find myself con­sid­er­ing things from a gigan­tic range of angles. Unfortunately, I can only briefly touch on each of them, in an effort to stave digression.

The first and most impor­tant goal I’ve ever had was to gain a healthy amount of con­fi­dence by the time I was middle-age. This was so that I could enjoy at least half of my life as a strong indi­vid­ual. I set this goal because I real­ized that I had an unhealthy amount of self-doubt, which con­tributed to a depress­ing life and lifestyle, as well as unre­al­ized potential.

This meant fight­ing off the inse­cu­ri­ties that were bred into me, which amounted to most of my child­hood. It hasn’t been easy in the last cou­ple of years, but it’s worked. Every six months, I’d real­ize how much I grew. This time, I real­ize that I’m there.

I finally feel like I’m in con­trol of my life. I speak to peo­ple dif­fer­ently. I think dif­fer­ently. Instead of avoid­ing con­flict, I can meet it head on. For me, this was prob­a­bly the most dif­fi­cult thing to do ever imag­ine doing. I would plan my life around such an avoid­ance, from my friends to my rela­tion­ships. I had a con­flict pho­bia, an illog­i­cal fear of a spe­cific sit­u­a­tion, but I fought against it and won. In psy­chol­ogy, peo­ple over­come their pho­bias by remain­ing relaxed in the face of their fears (because one can­not men­tally be relaxed and scared at the same time). I had the oppor­tu­nity to do this, by plac­ing myself in uncom­fort­able sit­u­a­tions over the last four months, and approach­ing them cere­brally at the same time.

I also have to say that a major con­tribut­ing fac­tor to the suc­cess has been going through the D/s lifestyle with Loo. Having a sub­mis­sive as expe­ri­enced as she was, plac­ing her trust in me, gave me a sig­nif­i­cant boost in con­fi­dence. She once pointed out to me while watch­ing Secretary, that Edward Grey’s con­fes­sion to Lee Holloway about pre­vi­ously being shy was a very accu­rate detail. In Loo’s expe­ri­ence, many put in a dom­i­nant posi­tion are able to break out of their shells, and I never under­stood or believed her until now.

So now that I’m here, where do I go? I’ve accom­plished the biggest goal in my life, some­thing I’d planned on work­ing on for the next ten years, and it feels like I’ve lost a major part of my rea­son for liv­ing. I feel like an astro­naut who dreamed of land­ing on the moon as a child, only to accom­plish the goal and real­ize that he had never dreamed of any­thing else.

I sup­pose I still have the rest of my life to decide.