Named after Dexter the serial killer. You can’t keep this cat down. If you leave anything lying around that’s not more than 25 pounds, he’ll play with it. This usually involves batting, scratching, knocking it off a table, or chewing it.
I suspect this is why Darren keeps his house so clean.
It’s been snowing for three days now, the first real snowfall of the season. It’s a wonderful feeling to look outside and see it falling1. Winter brings it’s own sort of coziness, like the way sun is for sports and rain is for movies.
A lot of people don’t like the winter, whether it’s because they get tired shoveling, they’re late from cleaning the car, they don’t like dealing with the messiness, or they simply hate being cold. To me, it’s all part and parcel of living in the Great White North. The summer brings as many unpleasant issues — burning car seats, stifling heat, unavoidable sweat. I wouldn’t be able to appreciate one if it wasn’t for the other.
I tend to get tired of the weather only at the end of each season, because they seem to drag on for so long2. It’s a never-ending cycle of enjoying the new season, then missing the next one.
There’s this great poem by Shioh T’ao I think of when trying to explain this:
Spring comes, and I look at the birds;
Summer comes, and I take a bath in the stream;
Autumn comes, and I climb to the top of the mountain;
Winter comes, and I make the most of the sunlight for warmth.
This is how I savor the passage of the seasons.
My version would go something like this:
Spring comes, and I admire the blossoming feminine beauty;
Summer comes, and I go for a drive;
Autumn comes, and I fall in love with everything;
Winter comes, and I cherish the warmth.
This is how I savor the passage of the seasons.
This is why I love Canada. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
For now, I’m enjoying the snow.
Admittedly, it’s been a mild winter so far; maybe I’ll feel differently when I have to scrape ice off my windshield at –40°C. [↩]
There’s a saying that Canada has only two seasons — winter and construction. [↩]
We’re standing in his garage in our pajamas, with winter coats on. After a short drive around the block to bring the oil up to temperature, he pulls out the bright orange dipstick to teach me how to check the level.
Even though he’s never seen what’s under this hood before, he knows where everything is. Every nozzle for every fluid, every connector to every part. A sixth sense that all dads seem to have, like when a steak is cooked medium rare, and when the TV is just big enough.
This is the first time we’ve ever done something like this. A strange sort of bonding I rarely had in my childhood.
Inside, I’m showing him how to use Photoshop, to take the wrinkles out of his friend’s faces. Anything helps at this age, I suppose.
In my heart, I wish my dad had shown more interest in my photography. I wish he wanted one of the prints I brought, maybe to show other people and say that he was proud of me. But he didn’t. And I say nothing because it’s one of those things that shouldn’t have to be said.
He keeps bringing up his dance partner. The person who called him to make sure I arrived safely from the drive. He wears two new earrings in piercings that weren’t there the last time I saw him, a gift from her, and I wonder if “dance partner” is his euphemism for “mommy”.
I’m too scared to ask.
There’s no reason for me to stay more than a night, because there’s nothing more to be said.
I’m writing this in my head
somewhere between Belleville and Oshawa
as Leonard Cohen croons to me
on the stereo about missing something.
I’m trying to put this
together in verse;
it’s the only way that makes sense.
Maybe because the songs he sings are too good,
or I’m still affected by the last time I had
strep throat and we read
Susan Musgrave poems in bed.
So much for swearing
that I’ll never write like this again.
I wonder why she ends her phrases
the way she does,
about whether her titles come from
those clever little moments,
Maybe I can figure out how they do it
and I can express what it felt like to hug
her before leaving,
about how I didn’t realize how hard I was
doing it until I let go and felt her
She wouldn’t admit that she’d miss me
until I did it first. She had
said it more than me, last time, you see.
She had paid it forward,
now it was time for me to pay it back.
I’m driving out to Toronto tomorrow. Instead of a long vacation, I’ve decided to do long weekends until Christmas.
I’m praying for a safe drive, as it’ll be my first winter with the Civic, and the fact that it already snowed in Toronto today. I’ve always pictured myself in my car, warm inside, protected from the cold outside. I like that idea.
As per usual, I’ll be packing all my camera and video gear.
I’ve been so busy getting ready for this trip — organizing plans with people, getting my pictures printed and framed, packing, doing extra work for my first boss — that I’m already feeling somewhat overwhelmed. It’s going to be four days packed with people, so I know I’ll be feeling overstimulated by the end.
Normally, I don’t like to have things this tight, but there are so many people I want to see. If I could, I’d fit in Andrew and Alex, maybe even explore on my own.
It’s times like this I wish I had someone to take care of me1, because I’m tired of taking care of myself.
Pat once told me there should be a person in every group who’s always controlled, calm, and together (in case of emergency, or otherwise), and he tries to be this person. It must be true, because he’s my rock, the friend who has never let me down. I once asked him if this idea extended to his marriage, and he told me that it applied to 90% of the time. But for the other 10%, when he’s tired, unmotivated, and doesn’t care anymore, Jenny takes over, and he admitted to me that he’s become dependent on this. [↩]
My friends know I don’t celebrate my birthday, because I don’t believe in rituals1. I went through most of Thursday without anyone mentioning anything, aside from Louise calling me from the road, reminding me that we were going out for lunch the next day — which the three of us do on our birthdays at work.
So when I got home around 9:30 that night — tired and hungry after Tai Chi — I was surprised to find a letter taped to my front door. This letter lead to my birthday game:
Then, before I went to bed, I realized I had two phone messages:
Hearing Dan and his family singing was awesome, but hearing my dad’s voice was something else. He had never called to wish me happy birthday himself; it was a day only my mom would remember, and she would always pass the phone to him.
It seems like every year I expect nothing to happen, but I end up being surprised in one way or another.
I took this photo of myself recently for the updated photography section. The touch of grey along the sides of my hair came as something as a surprise. I never get a good look at the sides of my head, and my friends never mention this chronological landmark. I suppose I’ve been going grey since I was in my late teens, never noticing how far it’s come along until now.
But turning 28 never phased me.
I tell people I didn’t feel old until I turned 27. It’s that age where you’re closer to 30 than to 25, the difference between a “young adult” and an “adult”. More of a milestone than the step that 28 is.
It seems like every time I talk about being in university, or at my current job, or how long I’ve known John, I keep adding another year. An incremental reminder that I’m getting older.
I hope this reaches you. I don’t know how else to contact you.
I know we haven’t talked in a while. It’s not like we ended on bad terms or anything — far from it. For me, high school was filled with people in that uncomfortable category known as “acquaintances”. And while we never hung out much outside of school, I still considered you somewhat close for a schoolmate, cause the fact of the matter is that I didn’t hang out with anyone outside of school.
I’m glad I was in the same house as you, and that for part of it, your locker was across from mine. In many ways, I used to look up to you. You were different from everyone, but you fit in everywhere. You carried yourself with a combination of humanity and intelligence. On more than one occasion, you taught me how to be a decent person in a way that my parents never could, without even realizing it I bet.
To be honest, I don’t look back on my days at UCC very fondly. They were awkward and uncomfortable for me. The only person I keep in touch with on a regular basis is John. Aside from him and a few others, I was glad to leave my UCC past behind me. I still think of you from time to time though, whether it’s out of concern or curiosity.
I’m coming to Toronto in a few weeks, and was hoping we could meet up. I’d like to find out what you’ve been up to in the last ten years, because you used to be good at anything you were interested in. Maybe you’ve changed as much as I have. I remember you as a good person, and as I get older, I’m learning that good people are few and far between. I’d like to keep in touch with the ones I’ve been fortunate enough to know.
I’ve been blessed with friends who paint, sculpt, carve, design, sing, and compose, and I’ve been fortunate enough to find a printer and framer who are artists themselves in what they do. Even though they have different mediums and ways of expressing themselves, they’re all driven by a sense of passion. Some can explain where it comes from, some can’t, but you can tell it’s rooted deep within their beings.
Passionate people have always attracted me. When you talk to them, you become filled with ebullient energy. You feed off each other, like a dialogue of ideas and inspiration.
It’s warming. It’s moving.
Together, you become something that’s greater than you are by yourself.
Last minute Halloween party means last minute costume.
I’m walking down the consolidated aisles of Walmart at 7:30 on Saturday night. The costume packages are all 50% off, and the models on the labels are all pre-teen. I don’t think I’ll fit in the tights of this Batman costume, and this vampire cape only goes down to my waist.
I’m suddenly struck with a fit of nostalgia. Remember that time when I was at that party with Becky, who was wearing a witches mask, trying to engage her in a conversation after we met at the Honest Lawyer1? Remember when we went as Supertroopers to the party at the girls house? Remember when I got drunk off that bottle of Earnest and Julio Gallo?
I hurriedly grab a black cowl and bloody knife, and walk to the checkout line. With my full-length leather trench coat, I’m hoping it’s enough to gain acceptance to the party, but not too much to stand out.
As I leave, I wonder if Halloween still exists for those of us past our trick-or-treating days.
So the plan is to get there early. That way I don’t have everyone looking at me when I walk in the door. Bail when it gets too loud, or the people too drunk. But everyone invited through Facebook was told eight while I was told nine, and I’m almost last one there.
I’m a visual person. Personally, I’d rather people visit my site instead of adding my feed to an aggregator. It’s a sad fact that the number of subscribers to my feed nearly doubles my daily visitors. The look of my site is a reflection of my current personality and mindset, and even though it hasn’t changed in a while, it’s still relevant. I’ve held off using a feed reader for as a long as possible, because I believe that a site’s look is as important as the information that it conveys.
But my blogroll keeps growing, and I’ve reluctantly turned to using an aggregator to keep track of the sites I read on a daily basis. It’s a lot more efficient, but cold, and boring, and I feel like I’m missing out on something the writer is trying to say.