Monthly Archives: January 2008

Featured at Perishable Press

10.0 is cur­rently being fea­tured at Perishable Press, the first in a series of arti­cles explor­ing min­i­mal­ism in mod­ern web design. From the article:

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.

An Unspoken Bond

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.

Our bond will remain unspo­ken too.

Portraits of Tiana

Tiana smiles

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.

Continue read­ing “Portraits of Tiana”…

This Is Not A Cry For Help

I have sui­ci­dal thoughts every now and then.

They don’t nec­es­sar­ily come out dur­ing bad times. It’s rather ran­dom. And it’s not like these thoughts involve plan­ing how I’m going to do it, I just think of how much sim­pler things would be if I weren’t liv­ing. A line from Being John Malkovich comes to mind:

[Consciousness] is a ter­ri­ble curse. I think. I feel. I suffer.

I think the root of my “suf­fer­ing” is the anx­i­ety I har­bour. Anxiety about social sit­u­a­tions, the state of the world, and other triv­ial details that make life seem com­pli­cated. I don’t want to have these thoughts, but I do. Then life gets even more com­pli­cated, and I get more anx­i­ety. It’s a vicious cir­cle, until it becomes not about the anx­i­ety itself, but anx­i­ety about hav­ing anx­i­ety. I didn’t really iden­tify it until I was in the car with Julie, feel­ing sick and sicker until I almost asked her to pull over on the highway.

All I want to do is stop think­ing. Suicide would be such an easy solu­tion, and as much as I dis­agree with the rea­sons for sui­cide in the first place, I hon­estly believe this is true.

It makes me scared that one day I’m going to make a stu­pid mis­take with a per­ma­nent consequence.

I know I have a good life, I know how illog­i­cal these thoughts are, but that doesn’t stop them from reoc­cur­ring on a monthly basis. I remem­ber hav­ing these thoughts as early as high school, although they were much more com­mon back then.

More fre­quently, I have thoughts of muti­la­tion, about once a week. Not self-mutilation, because there’s never any­one specif­i­cally doing it to me. It’s just me in black­ness, then a float­ing knife fly­ing into my wind­pipe, or an axe split­ting my head down the mid­dle, or an ice-pick in the back of the neck, or…well, you get the idea.

I’ve never told any­one about this. Not because I’m ashamed of it, but because I didn’t want any­one to worry. Not even my clos­est friends know.

But har­bour­ing this fear and anx­i­ety, I’m slowly real­iz­ing, is dif­fi­cult. It’s pre­vent­ing me from enjoy­ing life. I’ve decided to get some help; my first appoint­ment is in three days.

I’m tired of liv­ing with this.

Krista and Shane at Irene's

Flyer for the show at Irene's Pub

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.

Me and Julie

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.

Other shows with Krista Muir and Shane Watt

  1. At the Workshop Studio & Boutique
  2. At Le Petit Salon des Arts
  3. At Irene’s Pub