Equivocality’s new minimalist design is very impressive. The site appears clean, bright and refreshing and navigates with natural simplicity. Jeff has eliminated clutter to focus on content, which is strongly unified within the site’s sharp, spacious design. Attentive visitors will revel in the site’s exquisitely restrained details, such as the subtle texture provided by the bleached background grid, or the dynamic interplay between complementary typefaces, Arial and Avenir. Overall, the design’s thematic neutrality and universal approach inspire visitors to relax, focus, and enjoy.
In addition to a detailed site review, Jeff Starr did a mini interview with me. I’ve come across Perishable Press several times through my WordPress wanderings and it was great to work with someone I’ve always known but never met.
I met her a few times. She was nice. Quiet. I was one of the more junior students and she would occasionally give me words of encouragement.
But what endeared her to me was the way she interacted with him. A comfortable familiarity, an unspoken bond they never overtly displayed in public but kept hidden between them, a secret they shared as if to reveal it was to spoil it.
Sometimes, they’d talk about their kids. They were getting older. Getting married. Moving out.
When they found the cancer in her body, he suspended classes immediately. He told us we could find new teachers with his blessing. I looked up their address and sent a basket filled with pâté and dipping oils. That was over a year ago.
They buried her last Wednesday.
And as much as I’d like to do something, anything to make him feel better — offer my condolences, tell him he has an ear — there isn’t anything I can do. Nothing will make up for his loss.
If you gave me the hypothetical option of photographing anyone I wanted, I’d ask if it could be someone who had already passed away. If so, I’d choose a Byronic hero like Mikhail Lermontov, or another one of the 19th century Russian Romantics, or even Lord Byron himself.
If I could choose someone living though, I’d choose Tiana.
I asked Julie to come to the show with me. I did it with trepidation, because I considered it a big favour, and felt like I didn’t know her well enough to ask. But Blake was out of town and she was going out on Saturday, so it just happened that she decided to keep her Friday free.
It pretty much saved me. When driving to the pub, I was hit with an anxiety attack, which I’ll elaborate on in another entry someday.
Julie was the perfect person to bring, I imagine because she has experience with people who suffer from anxiety. I told her I may suddenly want to leave at any point, possibly even on the way there. She told me she didn’t mind coming, she didn’t mind leaving, she didn’t even mind standing outside the pub with me for a couple minutes in –16°C weather while I mentally prepared myself. I owe her big time.
We played cards to get my mind off the anxiety. I taught her how to play Slapjack, she taught me how to play Egyptian War. It worked.
While waiting for the show to start, I gave Krista the large prints from the previous shows. Krista gave us some random Larry and Bob balloon stickers she found on the bus (Julie and I think they were from a deaf person). Julie also met Cory there, her schoolmate from horticulture college, and Krista’s sister.
At the first show, I told Shane he should make an acoustic version of his album. Since I paid him in person for a pre-release EP that night, he told me he did have an acoustic version and promised to give it to me. I asked him earlier this week if he could bring it, which he did, but he forgot it in his suitcase. Quite a pity, since he told me he was in the studio making sure he mixed it right for me. He felt terrible about it, and told me he’d mail it to me instead. March 14th is when the album officially comes out.
The sets were rather short. Shanker and Romps opened for them, a garage rockabilly duo. Our view of this performance was a bunch of people who were much taller than ourselves.
The highlight of the show was seeing Shane perform It’s A Drag (and getting a video of it!), my favourite song on the album. Krista did the backup vocals. This is the only time you’ll hear such a dulcet harmony from another awesome artist, certainly something you can only experience from a tour. Krista also got Cory up on stage for the Bumblebee Song as an encore.
Julie asked me if I still had a crush on Krista. I had to think about it for a little bit, and the fact that I had to think about it made me realize that I don’t anymore.
I started crying in class. Thankfully, no one noticed. People can get awkward around a crier. Unfortunately, suppressing a good cry is as unsatisfying as stifling a sneeze.
A lot of people having been saying the wrong things to me lately. On top of that, the abundance of interaction I have with people — a side-effect of my projects — is leaving me drained and overstimulated.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s in my nature to be emotional. That trying to change this is like trying to teach a bird not to sing.
I don’t even have time to deal with this. I have to put it all aside, because there are more important things to think about right now.
At the bus stop, I realized that I have a tendency to brood. I don’t listen to happy songs to get me out of the mood. It’s all minor keys and lemon peels, so I can help it run its course.
Introducing the tenth version of equivocality.com.
When approaching 10.0, I knew I wanted a notebook feel, so I used a grid background to give the hint of paper. The idea was minimalism. Single column, no more icons, and super stripped-down meta data.
It’s still based on the good old 480 pixel-wide column, although it’s broken down into a grid with two main columns, which is used for the footer and other varying pages. The dates on the left side are bullets that break out of the grid to help visually separate entries, and for a bit of style. Otherwise, it can be a little boring.
I saw her there again. She was sitting in a corner of the coffee shop, head on the table. Last time she was still carrying her grocery bags. This time, there were no bags, no Dora The Explorer hat. Only a thin, hooded winter coat, and salt creeping up to the shins of her sweat pants.
Occasionally, she would prop her head up, as if to reorient herself to her surroundings, and her matted hair would fall about her face. She never seemed to notice. She was gone again.
But was she lost to the world, or was the world lost to her?
It was one of those days at work. Things weren’t exactly going wrong per se, but it was stressful enough as it was. People were all over me, wanting this or that, undermining my decisions, interrupting my conversations, running around like their heads were cut off.
I kept reminding myself to breathe deeply (from the feet, as the Taoist sages are often described as doing) and calmly, kept thinking about the word tattooed on my wrist, and it worked for a while.
By 3:15, I had to get out of the building. It was supposed to be a three-song walk, but it ended up being nine. I didn’t even bring my coat; I was burning so much inside, that I didn’t need it. The winter slushed creeped up my jeans by six inches, but thankfully no one noticed.
Tyler was leaving as I was stepping back into the office. He invited me to an art show at Bablyon tomorrow1. I told him that I’d think about it, knowing in my head that I wouldn’t go.
I had to stay late to work on the server. Fifteen minutes later, Tyler walked into my office (he must have walked part way, then turned around) and asked if I was alright. Admittedly, I’ve never been able to hide my moods very well, but I thought I was doing a decent job of it2. He told me he could feel that my energy was low, so he asked if I wanted a hug. I politely declined, not because I didn’t appreciate the gesture, but because I didn’t think it would have helped. He gave me a firm pat on the back anyway and stepped out of my office.
And it helped more than I ever would have expected.
Which is strange, because the last thing I went to see at Babylon was a Dwarves concert [↩]
Something of an old habit of mine. Not being able to hide my moods is often a blessing in disguise for me, because it communicates to people that something is wrong. Otherwise, they’d never know, and it would never be fixed. [↩]
I’ve officially retired my old notebook, the one I’ve been using since 1999. Starting in my first year of university, it went everywhere with me. Long trips, short trips, camping, in the bath, you name it. I even included it on my list of what I was bringing to Hong Kong. It’s filled with so much randomness: doodles, code, thoughts, quotes, lyrics, bad poetry (my own, of course), lists, ideas. One day, I’ll scan them in and document them.
But alas, it’s full.
As a replacement, I bought a set of three Moleskine Cahiers. They’re thinner and lighter, which is exactly what I’m looking for; it took me over eight years to fill my last one, and I didn’t need something that would last that long.
I do have several pocket size Moleskine notebooks scattered around the house and in various bags for use in situations such as riding the bus, but those are rather difficult to write in unless sitting at a desk due to their small size.
These cahiers are a little different. From the insert:
THEMOLESKINECAHIERS are journals with heavy-duty cardboard cover, in black and buff with visible stitching on the spine. The last 16 sheets are detachable and there is a wide pocket for loose notes.
The pages have a delightfully smooth feel to them, and absorb ink without bleeding. I’ll be keeping one in my backpack, one in my shoulder bag, and one in my camera bag. I need them now more than ever.
Maybe it was just a phase. Maybe I’ve accepted the fact that she’s taken. Maybe we’re too similar. Maybe I’ve realized it would never work. Maybe I just love her less, the more I know her.
Or maybe it was just a phase. One of the many things cured by time.
It makes me wonder if I cling to such feelings simply because I love being in love, unrequited or otherwise. It’s like when you’re in a purely physical relationship with someone, and you start getting feelings for them. You wonder if you’re really in love with the person, or in love with the idea that you have someone with whom to go to bed, someone to kiss and kiss you back. It’s a blurry line, something you don’t figure out until you remove yourself from the situation.
Ah, residence. The first year of university, the first year away from my parents, and my first year in Ottawa. Also, the year I was introduced to Fear Factory, Dream Theater, and Refused.
I found these old pictures while organizing my pictures folder. Boy, do they take me back.
Take a look at this photo, for example, where I strapped a pair of khakis to my head, and started head banging to Deftones — Shove It (My Own Summer). Why did I strap a pair of khakis to my head? Cause I didn’t have long hair. Why did Pita and I decide to do this one day? I have no idea.
Or how about these ones, where the girls agreed to give me red chunks, back when I was obviously in my Tool phase. Nadine mis-read the instructions, mixed the wrong chemicals, and it came out all sparse.
Failing Calculus 2 with Dave and Jarod. When we wrote the supplemental exam, it was five people total in the program who failed, three of whom were us. I guess I had the wrong study buddies. In the end, I was the only one who passed.
Most of the guys on the floor getting sued for sexual harassment.
Jarod and Jono’s rave room, lit with a blacklight and disco ball, which was somewhat famous around campus.
Constant conflict between neighbors, me and Pita included, over the volume of music.
Going to the gym with Dave, and having him spot me while I benched the bar. As in, the bar without weights. Afterwards, I would spot him while he benched 240. I don’t think I could have helped much.
Pita took these photos, got them printed, and scanned them. Dated ’99. Sure they aren’t great. They’re dark. They’re grainy, taken with a cheap film camera. But they’re still unforgettable memories, and it gives them a certain dated style. Makes me wish I had a taken some pictures myself.
A place I’ve been, a feeling I’ve had, a girl I fucked one night in the fall.
Back then she cried. Lying in bed next to me, she told me she was sorry. I believed her, but I didn’t trust the tears, because she knew how much it turns me on. She got what she wanted anyway, and I suppose I did too.
That was the last night I saw her.
And now this. A replacement who used my shots, my concept, my idea, and called it destiny.
But it isn’t candid enough. It’s too forced. Unnatural. As if she’s trying too hard again to capture what was lost, and what she could have had.
So she found another version, and used him in my place.
An hour to the new year, and I’m in the train station.
Trying not to throw up. Trying not to think about meeting new people. Trying not to think of having to see people I hate.
One of the station doors is propped open, but there isn’t a single person inside. The station, normally bustling, is empty, with just the buzz of the lights to fill the empty space. Not even a waiting taxi outside. Everything sterile as a hospital. I wanted to take a picture, but I could barely move, so I pulled out my notebook and managed to scribble two words:
Another debilitating panic attack.
Pat and Jen’s party was postponed, so I had already decided to stay home. It was ten when Aaron called me to go over1.
Halfway through the bus ride, I was filled with a sudden rush of anxiety. Maybe it was the people on the bus, or the fact that I wasn’t mentally prepared to be at a party. I couldn’t breathe, yet I was hyperventilating.
I had to get off at the next stop, which turned out to be the train station. As I sat inside, the anxiety would pass in a couple minutes, then come back in a wave as strong as before. I called Aaron and told him I was going to head home, but he insisted, so he sent Rob and Doug to pick me up.
I arrived drained and exhausted. It was a hellish night.
I can only hope the rest of the year goes better than this.
The only way I found out about the New Year’s party was from Rob’s comment. Aaron never told me about it himself, so I wasn’t going to presume that I was invited, because I never take my friendships for granted. [↩]