The problem with having a specific layout style is that it only caters to one mood or topic.
In an attempt to achieve even more universal mid-tone minimalism, I’ve re-aligned things a bit: more contrast, bolder titles, composition to a vertical rhythm, and a lack of that titular capital E that was taunting my sense of alignment.
Let’s see how long this lasts.
The number of comments I’ve received has exceeded the number of entries I’ve written, the latter of which passed 1000 this year. I remember when I first started in 2002, using a basic content management system I wrote with Perl scripts. It didn’t even support comments. Eventually I moved to Movable Type, and finally settled on WordPress.
I’m glad to say that I don’t get any more of those random one or two word comments that never actually say anything, although they’re pretty common on other blogs.
They give me feedback, make me think, and further the discussion of what I say.
Edit: I found out today that the release date has been pushed back until September. Very disappointing.
In this secret society, the competition is brutal and the stakes are high. It is the unsanctioned, underground, and utterly unhinged world of clandestine Ping-Pong tournaments. Down-and-out former professional Ping-Pong phenom Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler) is sucked into this maelstrom when FBI Agent Rodriguez (George Lopez) recruits him.
Balls of Fury, a comedy that mixes ping-pong, matrix effects, and Christopher Walken, comes out in less than a month. George Lopez’s Scarface impression is spot on, and the fact that it’s based on Enter the Dragon (although the title comes from another Bruce Lee movie, Fist of Fury) gives it even more super awesome flava.
My friends agreed to come watch it in the theaters with me. Even Bronwen is going to make it, travelling over 700km to be here. I’ve been chomping at the bit to see this since John sent me the trailer last year.
This Sunday, I’ll be flying to New Hampshire — with cohort Louise — for two weeks of training. The schedule is pretty open, with nights and weekends off, giving us a chance to travel and explore.
Confidence and sociability comes and goes in cycles for me. When I first found out about the trip I was at a low-point, so I wasn’t feeling strong enough to make extra plans. Such plans would have included taking a few extra days off to meet Maggie (aka number18) at my transfer in Philly on the way back. One day I’ll get to meet her and take pictures of her.
The good thing is that I’m on an up-swing right now, so the excitement is starting to settle in my brain.
It was an entertaining night. A sit-where-you-please atmosphere, devoid of stiff shirts and long speeches. Rob even donned his baseball cap for the entire ceremony. I got to know Mark better too, in the car and at the table.
The only thing that marred the evening was Sarah proving herself to be an idiot, devoid of any social graces or conversation skills. At one point, she brilliantly remarked that she “loves Johnny Cash” when the DJ put on Love Me Tender. Another person I put on my list of people to avoid like they’re coming at you with a bottle of horse semen.
I tried to get as much bright, high-contrast photography as I could, playing around with both direct and bounced flash. I also got to try a different photo workflow, which involved separating the colour channels and pulling out bits for contrast. The 24-70mm is supposed to be the bread and butter of wedding photographers, and this makes perfect sense to me now as it stayed on my camera for most of the night.
When I die, let there be no obituaries or announcements, for the ones who should know, would know.
Let there be a gathering instead of a funeral, where my friends can relax and speak what they wish.
Let the dress be casual, for no one should be anything but themselves around me.
Let there be mention of my flaws, for there would be no truth or humanity without them.
Let there be humour and laughter, for I love these things in my life.
Let there be no religious service, for my life has been devoid of religion.
Let there be as much celebration of my life as there is mourning that it has ended.
Let everyone have a copy of Turn On The Bright Lights by which to remember me.
Let my ashes be scattered, for I hope to carve my name on hearts, not marble.
As far as bachelor parties go, Rob’s was a low-key deal. Seven of us in all. Half were from out of town, so we drove to Kingston to meet up.
The first stop was Aaron’s dad’s house. Parked in his driveway was a 1980s Lincoln Continental Town Car, before they started to downsize the series. It’s a massive car, with what looks like a complete couch in the back. As the coupe, it wasn’t even the full-size model. This is the only car that pimps teal.
Most of the day was spent giving each other welts in speedball, which I learned is a testosterone fused version of paintball. All speed and all accuracy. I wasn’t used to a lack of conventional cover (in favour of inflatables), or the small playing area, but managed to survive without any body hits.
Of course, being his bachelor party weekend, we had to put Rob on his own team, though he didn’t quite find out until it happened. This follows the tradition of other fraternizing celebrations, such as birthday beats.
It was back to the hotel to get changed, and off to Rob’s favourite place to eat, which was a Chinese buffet. It also happened to be Chinese New Year, so they had an entire roast suckling pig, though no one else dared to try it until I assured them it was safe.
More time was spent back at the hotel, in the hot tub, playing poker poker, breaking electric heaters in the exercise room.
Before leaving the next morning, we went across the street to the conveniently placed Golden Griddle, an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet for the gluttonous masses. I’ve never been one to get their money’s worth out of buffets, but I’m sure that Rob and Aaron more than made up for my relatively small portion. I can’t imagine putting such lead into my stomach every weekend. Unlimited bacon and sausages should be reserved for bachelor parties, business contracts, and maybe the occasional bris.
Drinking was limited; Rob was still recovering from strep throat, as can be heard in the videos. More energy was spent making sure Sergio had a successful blind date; a testament to how much Rob takes care of his homies.
This week, I received a small package from Brenda and Jack.
It really touched me. Not because of the amount of things in it, but because of what was in it.
A T’ai Chi handbook. Dark, thin chocolates; my favourite kind. A chopstick rest in the shape of a cat. They even put money in a red envelope, following the Chinese tradition of wedded couples giving money to the unmarried. Everything in a red bag with red wrapping paper, the Chinese colour of luck. This isn’t their culture, but they’ve made the effort to understand it. They probably had to go out of their way to find this stuff, things which aren’t available just anywhere.
I’ve done nothing to deserve this.
The funny thing is that Brenda and Jack are the parents of an ex. I can hear John warning me, “They laced the chocolates with arsenic”. I’ve been fortunate enough to get along with the parents of many of my girlfriends. I used admit to Pat that I wish they could replace my own.
These are people who know me and my interests.
More than my own parents ever did.
Bronwen is my original muse. We happened to meet shortly after I got my SLR camera, and ever since, she’s my primary model when doing photographic tests and experiments.
These were taken over the course of about a year. From before we started dating to passed the break-up.
Every angle captures a different side of someone.
Looking back on these reminds me of how much I miss it when she had red hair, which she dyed for me (but didn’t like to admit it). Too bad I can’t convince her now to do it again.