Holiday Stretch

Hi there.

I’m already in hol­i­day mode. Sure, I have one day of work left — Monday — but my brain has checked out. I even took the day off yes­ter­day and made it a long week­end because I have extra vaca­tion days left, and they can’t be car­ried forward.

The chaise lounge on which I do my writing

This is how I spend most of my time nowa­days: on my new chaise lounge from EQ3, with a mug of tea by my side, in a gen­er­ally unkempt man­ner. Unshaven, with the flour­ish of a cowlick in my hair.

Last year, in which I declared that Christmas is dead, I stayed home out of spite, not directed at any­one but myself. This year, I’ve decided to go to Shirley’s for Christmas Eve and Christmas, and Pat and Jen’s for New Year’s.

But there’s a stretch of a sev­eral days in between in which I have no plans. Even though it’ll be a chance for me to do some extra writ­ing, work on my photo projects, maybe even relax a bit, part of me wishes I was busy like every­one else.

I know I don’t have any­thing to com­plain about. I’m lucky enough to be spend­ing the “impor­tant” days with friends who are impor­tant to me. I’m even lucky enough to have a choice of where to go. But I know that dur­ing the stretch, when other peo­ple has some­where to be, some­where to go, I’ll feel some­what for­lorn. They’ll have a place where they belong.

Maybe I’ll belong here, at home alone, on this won­der­ful chaise.

Papa Was A Rolling Stone

My dad called. After 14 months with­out contact.

Not that I wasn’t expect­ing it. He e-mailed me two weeks ago (flagged with the lit­tle red excla­ma­tion point to note that it was impor­tant), telling me that he was hav­ing a party on New Years. “Can you come and join us?”, it said.

“Us?”

Is he dat­ing now, I won­dered. Married?

I sat on this e-mail, unsure of what to say. A lit­tle while before this, Merv struck up a con­ver­sa­tion with me about fish­ing. I told him I used to go to this one fish­ing spot at a lift-lock in Peterborough with my dad, and it made me won­der what I would say if I ever talked to him again. He didn’t even know me when we were on speak­ing terms, how would he know me now? I’ve changed so dras­ti­cally in the last year.

We never left things off on bad terms. We just stopped talk­ing to each other, so there wasn’t any ani­mos­ity, on my part, at least. I never con­tacted him because I never felt like it, and I was expect­ing years to go by before he con­tacted me.

Then he called on the week­end. It took me by sur­prise. I thought e-mail was a way for him to stay dis­tant, while ful­fill­ing the min­i­mum parental respon­si­bil­ity. I had guests over and was enter­tain­ing and some­what charged up. He started talk­ing to me in Chinese, and I could only reply in English. It was too much for my mind, and I was too much on my guard. So I told him to call me next week.

And he did.

Continue read­ing “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”…

Portaits of Meghan

Thumbnail: Meghan in red dress

A few por­traits of Meghan. Her big eyes and waif-like fig­ure give her some­thing of an inno­cent look, while the dress and labret bal­ances this out with a bit of an edge. Very appeal­ing, in my books. Makes you won­der which part is more true of her.

Continue read­ing “Portaits of Meghan”…

Defining Myself Through Others

I’ve come to real­ize that as much as I’ve grown and gained, I still seek approval from oth­ers, albeit to a much smaller extent than before. This approval is how I define my self worth.

It’s an old, bad habit.

I can trace this habit back to my par­ents. I would always do things to try to win their approval, only to be met with a com­ment about not being good enough, or unsup­port­ive silence. Their con­stant crit­i­cism led to low self-esteem and feel­ings of inad­e­quacy. Yet another exam­ple of how they mind­fucked me.

At this point, it’s just a knee-jerk reac­tion. Remnants of my old, inse­cure self creep­ing up. I know that one day, I’ll be able to break the habit completely.

Until then, I have to remind myself that it doesn’t mat­ter what any­one thinks of you.

Christmas Wish-List '07

A look into my cur­rent tastes, updated for 2007. This list is some­what shorter than last years because the ones I haven’t checked off still apply, and I’ve been guilty of some spend­ing this month; The first two sea­sons of Robson Arms on DVD (which I des­per­ately waited two years for), sea­son six of Trailer Park Boys, my mit­tens, a RAZR 2 (the cell phone I’ve had for five years died), an elec­tric tooth­brush, and var­i­ous gifts.

Photography

  • Bogen / Manfrotto Background Support System 314 ($280) — To quickly set up dif­fer­ent coloured back­grounds in my pho­tog­ra­phy room.

    Bought it on sale, which was still $260.

  • Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 Ballhead ($475) — My cur­rent tri­pod isn’t strong enough to hold most of my lenses in place, and the lock­ing mech­a­nism is extremely chintzy. Very frus­trat­ing when work­ing with dark shots. A ball­head would give me tremen­dous flexibility.
  • Gitzo GT3530LSV Mountaineer 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs ($625) — Carbon fiber tub­ing makes for an extremely light and portable set of tri­pod legs. Packed with all the impor­tant lit­tle fea­tures like an anti-leg rota­tion sys­tem, the Gitzo leg lock­ing sys­tem, and remov­able rub­ber feet.

Furniture

  • Rubix Cube Ottoman ($129) — A black, two-toned square ottoman to go with my leather couch.

Housewares

  • Bodum Assam 2-Cup Tea Press ($25) — I have one of these at home, but it would be great to have one at work too, so I can make more than one cup of tea at a time.

    Julie bought me a Stokes gourmet Formosa tea infuser for Christmas 2008. A lit­tle cham­ber for loose leaves dan­gles from the top, as opposed to a press, which can cre­ate bit­ter­ness in tea.

  • Braun Impression WK 600 Kettle ($90) — A large ket­tle for my tea. Right now, I have to boil water in two cup inter­vals, which takes a while when guests are over.

    Andrew and Alex bought me a sim­i­lar model for my birth­day, and it’s SWEET.

  • Tingler Head Massager ($15) — On Jason’s rec­om­men­da­tion on my recent post about man­ual stim­u­la­tion. The reviews say that it helps put you to sleep, and that can never be a bad thing.

    Found a cheep one at Zone for five dol­lars! Doesn’t vibrate or any­thing but still pretty good. Next is find­ing some­one to use it on me.

Games

  • Orange Box ($50) — A nos­tal­gic trip back to the days of my favourite game ever: Team Fortress Classic for Half-Life. I hear the game­play has changed a lot, but I don’t care. We’ll prob­a­bly be play­ing this at the next LAN.
  • Odin Sphere ($40) — A side-scrolling fan­tasy RPG for the PS2 that I don’t want to miss.

Movies/Shows

  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure OVA ($52) — My favourite anime of all time: a com­bi­na­tion of fas­ci­nat­ing uni­verse, and very intel­li­gent action. I cur­rently have a copy in Japanese with French sub­ti­tles. While this helps me learn more French, I also don’t under­stand much the phrases.

    Found a copy of this for download.

  • Reno 911 sea­sons 2–5 ($90) — An hilar­i­ous, orig­i­nal look at law enforce­ment. Trailer Park Boys from the other side of the law. I have the first sea­son (thank you Music World for going out of busi­ness and giv­ing me 20% off), but I’d love to get the rest, along with the movie.

    Bought all of these on a lark. Did not regret the decision.