The one for my head is regular sized, with foam filling, and rather flat because I like to sleep with my arm under there. The one on my left is also foam, but a body pillow. The one on my right is king-sized and filled with down. I like to sleep on my side pressed between the two, and through the night, I’ll alternate between sides, hugging one.
When she comes over, she takes the king-sized one. My head pillow is too flat, and obviously my body pillow is too big.
So I lose my king-sized, and she becomes my replacement pillow.
In terms of presents, the Christmas season has been good to me. Even though I decided not to do gifts for anyone this year, that doesn’t stop people from buying me things. Along with a Mexx gift certificate, Eagle vs. Shark on DVD, and an electric hot rod that I can build, I got some great gifts.
My first Christmas stocking since leaving home. I used to have a stocking that my grandmother knit back when I was one (if I remember correctly), which had my name on it, and Santa bending over putting something down, but looking at the viewer as if he was caught in the act of delivering presents.
Instead of a star or angel on top of the tree, it would be my stocking. Since my grandmother was very much Chinese and not born into this culture, I always imagined her saying, “Silly white people and their silly mythical fat people”, while knitting it.
I admit that I not only save other people’s posts, but entire blogs.
Sometimes, there are entries I like to read over again. Other times, I just like to be reminded of how right I was. But more often than not, it’s the ephemeral nature of blogs in general, combined with the fickle nature of adolescent writers still trying to “define themselves” on a free medium, that gives me the itch to save. So many writers I used to follow have changed domain names, started protecting their entries, or deleted their blogs.
Some things are garbage and should be forgotten or thrown away — but some things deserve to be kept too. Word-for-word, exactly the way it was spoken, because that’s the way it was expressed.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your point-of-view, our words do last. Just because they aren’t there anymore, doesn’t mean they were never spoken.
There are consequences to the things we write, whether we want them or not.
When I watched Moonstruck in my university “Music in the Movies” class, we studied a scene where Ronny Cammareri (Nicholas Cage’s character) has a date with Loretta Castorini (played by Cher) at the Metropolitan Opera. She takes off her coat, and he says, “Thank you…You know it’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Opera”.
In his face, you see that he’s not talking just about the opera. After losing his hand and fiancée, he’s at the Met, arguably the most prestigious opera house in the world, with a beautiful woman in a black dress, and he’s missed this.
Even in the screenplay, there are set directions for the scene when they arrive:
CROWDSOFPEOPLE in beautiful clothes fill the plaza created by the three great buildings. A glorious fountain filled with lights forms the centerpiece. Behind the fountain, grand and splendidly lit, is the magical Metropolitan Opera House.
Ever since, The Met has been this place I’ve dreamed of attending. Unfortunately, it’s in New York, and decent seats can cost over $100.
So when my local movie theatre started offering live HD broadcasts of performances there, I decided I should go. To fulfill a dream in spirit, if not in the flesh.
The house is finally back to its’ former glory. The exhaust pipes to my water heater and furnace have been replaced, the holes in the ceilings have been patched up, sanded, stippled, and painted.
This means a few things of significance:
I get to dress based on mood again. I would come home and hang my clothes off the banister, then put the same clothes on in the morning, because my closet doors would be taped shut to prevent dust and errant paint/stipple from getting in there.
I get to sleep in my bed again. The entire bedroom was a mess, so I had been sleeping on the couch for almost three weeks. It felt weird to go back to a big mattress, like I was sleeping on some sort of unlimited surface area.
I get to use my photo/Tai Chi studio. Almost all my furniture was moved to the guest room. I haven’t been able to practice my Tai Chi, or take pictures of things against a drop sheet.
I have the use of my main computer. Playing games on a laptop screen doesn’t cut it when you’re used to three 24″ monitors, and music sounds the way it’s supposed to when you have a decent subwoofer.
No more time off work. I’m lucky in that I have such a short commute, but being there during construction still meant that I lost two days of pay.
I spent most of the weekend wiping dust of everything downstairs — walls, mirrors, decorations, counter tops. The splatters of paint were taken care of with a bottle of Varsol and a Q-tip. A few paint touch-ups were needed too, but nothing too bad. Then the house got an overall cleaning, to get rid of the evidence of muddy boots, dirt, and random pieces of garbage brought in during the whole process.
My back and feet are still sore from rushing to get everything done, but it was oh so worth it to have the cozy comfort of my house again.
A camera to mask my shyness, a lens to hide behind.
At Audra and Jesse’s I felt like I was back in university. Meeting people, learning names, throwing in for some pizza. Except this time, I wasn’t being dragged, kicking and screaming to the party. Maybe I was just feeling social, because I hadn’t seen my own friends in so long.
I learned that playing Punch Out on the Wii is as natural to you as it was back when you were in your room back in elementary school, crying because you were no one’s best friend. That watching Air Guitar Nation — when it’s hard to tell how seriously the contestants take themselves — is much more enjoyable with sarcastic comments applied liberally from the audience.
I want to know these people.
I want to find out what drives them. I want to know why they create, why they’ve chosen their mediums. Why they hang out together. Why they studied what they studied. Why they have the jobs they do.
They’re well-read, educated, opinionated, cosmopolitan. I felt somewhat out of place. Topics of conversation weren’t even close to my interests. Concerts aren’t my scene. Politics confuse me. Things are happening to other friends I’ve never met. But when there’s this much to learn, listening is just as good as taking part.
It was past midnight by the time I got home, but I had hard time falling asleep. My brain was buzzing, trying to take in everything I had just experienced.
I’ve been reading Andrea’s blog lately. Normally, I don’t read blogs of people I’ve never met1, and even though I’ve met Andrea, I’ve never had a penetrating conversation with her, let alone gotten to know her. Andrea’s blog is a little different though. To the uninitiated, it’s a regular journal, but there are bits of insight and emotion scattered throughout that leave you feeling like you’re looking at someone stoned, naked, and through their kitchen window. The ordinary mixed with a dash of extraordinary is what truly gives one a sense of empathy, and it was this that drew me in.
It’s been making me feel so fucking nostalgic.
I remember being in that stage of life. Back in school. Getting drunk. Chasing girls. Unsure of anything but the way I was feeling in that exact moment.
It’s made me realize that I don’t write like I used to. My entries used to be so experimental. Aside from a single sentence as a last, concluding line2, and a penchant for being a little too personal, I hadn’t developed a particular writing style. Back when I posted something almost three times a day because I had to. When my posts had no titles (the same way Andrea has nothing but an incrementing number and location stamp) because they were about everything and nothing in particular.
Now, there’s too much purpose to my writing. Carefully planned out posts, trying to express something specific, without the stream-of-consciousness I used to enjoy. Lost is the old whimsical nature, the ordinary mixed with the extraordinary. I never used to care whether something was significant enough to post, and would just write it and hit that publish button.
I miss it.
But I can’t tell if it’s the way I used to write, or my life back then, that I miss.
Blogs rarely interest me when I don’t have a bit of personal insight from a first meeting. [↩]
Almost every single pots in this blog ends this way. [↩]
I’ve started learning large san shou in my Tai Chi class. While it’s fun to be practicing another interactive form of the Yang style, it’s also a little scary to be learning something new as my teacher nears retirement (when he reaches 60 in four years). I’m starting to worry that I won’t reach a level where I can practice effectively on my own before his time is up.
At 2 classes a week, 52 weeks a year, and 4 years left to go, we can expect roughly 416 classes total; every class is worth 0.24% of a very limited resource.
A classmate once told me that his coming retirement is a good thing. We’ll be forced to go elsewhere to expand our knowledge of Tai Chi, because we reach certain limitations when practicing with the same partners, skill levels, partners, styles, body types, and even teachers. While I understand his reasoning, it doesn’t change the fact that I may not be able to continue learning what I know now, if another teacher doesn’t offer the same curriculum.
Added to this is the fact that martial Tai Chi teachers are hard to find in a city as small as this. Good teachers, especially ones suited to your learning style, with the right balance of patience and discipline, are even less common.
It makes me wonder where I’ll be with my Tai Chi progress in four years.
The holidays are over. I suspect that I’ve eaten more chocolate over the last two weeks than ever in my life.
The two New Year’s parties were great, although I missed seeing Rob at Aaron’s. I did get a New Year’s kiss though, something I normally feel awkward about when the couples are all partaking and I hide behind my camera.
The holes in my ceilings have yet to be fixed, and it makes me cringe every time I walk into my bedroom or bathroom, so I spent all my time in the living room. Every day, I’d wake up, eat, play games, watch movies, then fall back asleep there.
On occasion, I’d visit friends or see a movie, if only for the sake of getting out. Some nights, I’d open the blinds and let the burning sky pour in, just so I could know that there was something out there outside of my little microcosm.
I’m glad to be back to life. I was feeling so lackadaisical and disconnected, drifting aimlessly without any reason or purpose. In a strange way, I feel recharged, if only because I had two weeks without a regular schedule.
Let me give it to you straight, straight like an arrow.
I’ve had these words stuck in my head for some time now. Lyrics from the titular Dears track I first heard in university, back when I would go home in the summer and watch The Wedge on Friday nights.
I know that’s awfully cynical to say, but I need proof that it is possible today.
I just wish I could accept that fact. I’m starting to wonder if that’s why I keep hearing the words in my head. It’s my subconscious reminding me, keeping me grounded.
Maybe that’s why we watch these movies. Hollywood would have us believe that love exists.
It’s the same story, where guy sees girl, falls in love, and happily ever after. In between, there’s always the overused plot element of the guy winning over the girl by revealing himself and his feelings. After all, this alone is enough to win any girl over, regardless of whether she found him attractive or not, she was married or single, or he was the nerd and she was the cheerleader.
But love doesn’t exist in real life, as much as I want to believe that it does.
This was by far the best concert I’ve ever been to in my life, and not just because Shane dedicated It’s A Drag to me and Julie (although that was TOTALLYAWESOME).
It was the intimate setting, chill atmosphere and awesome music that made it unlike any other performance I’ve attended. This private show was at 160 Workshops, a house that regularly opens its doors for craft workshops to bring people together in the Ottawa community.
Shane’s songs are always best in small venues like this. They’re personal and subtly striking, and the acoustic sound really brings that warmth across.
Shane did a mix of old and new material, then took requests from audience members, along with some participation on vocals, spoons, and cowbell. There also happened to be Canadian nerdcore rapper Jesse Dangerously in attendance, and after some prodding, he provided rhymes for Girls by the Beastie Boys, along with beatboxing background percussion for Les Ouaouarons.
And, of course, Krista Muir (aka Lederhosen Lucil) was the headliner, promoting her new full-length album, Accidental Railway. The album includes a huge map for a fictional town that Shane made, with names of streets and places taken from memories of their tour together.