A Pat On The Back

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.

  1. Which is strange, because the last thing I went to see at Babylon was a Dwarves con­cert []
  2. 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. []

Moleskine Cahiers

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.

Moleskine cahier

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:

THE MOLESKINE CAHIERS 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.

There’s so much to write and so lit­tle time.

Portraits of Tyler

Tyler side portrait

The last time I took pic­tures of Tyler was at the bike park. He looks very dif­fer­ent with­out his beard. I pre­fer with than with­out; it adds so much more personality.

Included is one for my body shot series.

Continue read­ing “Portraits of Tyler”…

The Honeymoon Is Over

Angel I can see myself in your eyes
Angel won’t you feel for me from your heart
Do return my heart to me
No don’t insist I’m already hurt

— Blonde Redhead, Elephant Woman

Yep. It’s over. Although she still doesn’t know.

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.

Not that it mat­ters. I’m over her.

And I’ve lost my inspiration.

Residence

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.

Headbanging

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.

Dying my hair red

Washing my hair after the dye job

Alicia drying my hair

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.

Highlights include:

  • 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.

Continue read­ing “Residence”…