Christmas Observer '07

Another Christmas with Shirley and her fam­ily, although this time Bill’s fam­ily came down as well. I spent Christmas Eve night and Christmas day at their house, par­tak­ing in the Christmas expe­ri­ence with those who believe in the impor­tance of such a ritual.

Presents under the tree

We were wrap­ping presents (from “Santa”) until mid­night on Christmas Eve. The tree must have been raised the two feet off the ground to fit every­thing under­neath. Negotiations went on through the night as to what time to wake up, but the kids woke us up at 6:30 any­way. Looking back on the pic­tures of 2005, you can tell how much they’ve grown in just two years.

Loads more pic­tures behind the cut.

Continue read­ing “Christmas Observer ’07″…

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.