equivocality — Jeff Ngan's collection of thoughts, experiences, and projects, inspired by pretty much everything
29 Aug 11

You're my big bear

and that means you’d get a big bear hug the next time I see you, but they say you’ve shat­tered your rib cage, lost a pile of teeth, and bro­ken every bone on the right side of your body, save the arm.

I’ve been there man. You know that. That’s why you know I’ll never judge you for what hap­pened. You told me we could always talk cause you were once on the edge of the same blade, so you should have known the same, but you didn’t pick up when he said maybe there was a bet­ter chance you’d lis­ten to me. All I could do was sit there, try­ing to keep calm, but expect­ing the next call to be about a body.

I should be angry. Not cause you didn’t call me to say good­bye before you took off, but because you hurt your­self and you’re my brother, and that means you hurt my family.

I can’t stay mad cause you’re con­scious now, your vitals are sta­ble, there’s no brain dam­age, and relief has sur­passed anger. They say it’s mainly injuries to the bones and that bones heal, long as it may take.

Will I rec­og­nize you the next time I see you? Will I cry? Will you ever under­stand how scared I was? I can’t call cause the nurse needs to be by your side, and I can’t visit yet cause only imme­di­ate fam­ily are allowed for now. Otherwise, I’d be in a car, dri­ving down there with a case of Blue ready for you when you’re out.

I don’t want to worry any­more. I want to see with my own eyes that you’re okay. I want you drunk at my wed­ding with your cap on back­wards, scream­ing your ass off when I walk down the aisle. I want you at every New Year’s party, cause you’re one of the only rea­sons I go any­more. I want you to teach my kids how put some­one in a proper choke-hold cause they should know how to take care of them­selves, and you’re smart in all the ways I’m not.

We all need you as much as I do. That’s why you’re still alive, and that’s what I’m going to make you under­stand one day.

Me @ Twitter

OHMYGODBASIAMARRYME http://t.co/hZpxKwY

2 years, 7 months ago
Me @ Twitter
2 years, 7 months ago
Me @ Twitter

I think my heart just got a boner.

2 years, 7 months ago
24 Aug 11

Geneviève + James — Wedding Day

Interested in hir­ing me? Check out my port­fo­lio.

Earlier this month, I had the plea­sure of film­ing Geneviève and Jamie on their wed­ding day. It was a beau­ti­ful out­door cer­e­mony in the coun­try with only about 50 peo­ple, and a vegan din­ner for the reception.

One of the inter­est­ing things I got to see was the sock dance, an old French-Canadian tra­di­tion where the eldest unmar­ried sib­ling has to don a pair of ugly socks (sym­bol­iz­ing their cold feet) and do a silly dance. People throw money at him or her, which is then col­lected for the newly mar­ried couple.

I decided to keep the grad­ing nat­ural cause there are so many vibrant colours in each scene — from tat­toos, hair dye, clothes, foliage, and dec­o­ra­tions — that I wanted to bring out for a light­hearted, play­ful mood. Goddammit I love grad­ing; it’s become my favourite part of the process. You can set so many kinds of tones with colour alone.

The colours also led me to decide on using Beirut’s “Postcards from Italy” for the song, as the ukulele and horns empha­size that fes­tive feel­ing wonderfully.

I also got to work with Liz, a pho­tog­ra­pher who’s as fan­tas­tic1 as she is con­sid­er­ate. So far, she’s been the only one to say to me, “Tell me if I get in your way”, before I could say it to her. Guess who I’m refer­ring if any­one asks me for a wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher recommendation.

Sometimes I study the films of video­g­ra­phers I admire, and I’m inspired by their style but it never feels right when I try to achieve the same for my films. They rely on edit­ing to make their films inter­est­ing, and the films end up look­ing posed or unnat­ural. I’ve real­ized that I have to fol­low my own style — telling a story by cap­tur­ing the beauty in the sim­plic­ity — because that’s what I’ve been try­ing to do in words and pho­tos my whole life.

  1. She has a pre­view on her blog. []
22 Aug 11

small world

The drive to Toronto is get­ting eas­ier. It’s my only chance to really lis­ten to albums nowa­days1, not to men­tion the com­fort of see­ing famil­iar towns on the way, like the names of sub­way stops you can’t help but mem­o­rize as a child on the way home from school. And in a way, so many years later, Toronto still feels like home. Getting there is a jour­ney, but the peo­ple always make it worth it.

My patience tends to wear out about a quar­ter way in, when it becomes hard to main­tain a rea­son­able speed. It’s a test of whether I can drive safely to see how far I’ve grown as a person.

I fail every time.

Toronto view

The view from Alex’s down­town apart­ment. You can eas­ily tell Yonge Street apart from how brightly it’s lit.

Read the rest of this entry »

  1. Editors in both direc­tions this time, cause any­thing I lis­ten to nowa­days is Antje rec­om­mended. []
Me @ Twitter

Two din­ner invites = two rea­sons to give moon­cakes to friends = two left in a tin = not enough for me to get sick on them = time to buy.

2 years, 8 months ago
18 Aug 11

the path of least resistance

on the path of least resis­tance, you discover:

15 Aug 11

cause you're bored and you can doesn't mean you should

I always won­der if I’ll ever reach such a com­plete peace that I’d stop writ­ing com­pletely. One of the rea­sons I started this blog was to have a place where I could get things down and sort my thoughts out on a page, but I don’t need to do much of either nowadays.

I know so many peo­ple who’ve con­tin­ued writ­ing, even after find­ing that kind of hap­pi­ness in their lives. Unfortunately, hap­pi­ness has robbed them of lit­er­ary inspi­ra­tion, and now they have noth­ing inter­est­ing to say. It wouldn’t be so bad if they stopped writ­ing, but they post for the sake of post­ing instead of hav­ing some­thing to say or express or vent, and it reeks of des­per­a­tion and insecurity.

I used to worry that hap­pi­ness would make me a bor­ing per­son too, but now I wouldn’t mind as long as I real­ized it and gave up this blog. It’s so embar­rass­ing to write out of a belief that it’ll make you inter­est­ing. Or even worse, to be obliv­i­ous to the fact you’re writ­ing about the most inane things.

Me @ Twitter
2 years, 8 months ago
Me @ Twitter

Signs you’re grow­ing up. #sniff http://t.co/ng2VdCd

2 years, 8 months ago
Me @ Twitter

Met the most amaz­ing guy today. How many days do I wait before email­ing him? #man­crush #etiquette

2 years, 8 months ago
05 Aug 11

homeostasis

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Everything is bal­anc­ing itself out. I’ve stopped try­ing to pre­dict or con­trol my cycles of intro­ver­sion and extro­ver­sion, pro­duc­tiv­ity and pro­cras­ti­na­tion. As Oscar Wilde once said: “The only way to get rid of temp­ta­tion is to yield to it”. By doing what I want when I feel like it, every need is met in turn.

Life doesn’t get more com­fort­able than this. It’s been a great summer.

baby eating on high chair

Now on mashed solids. Ruby at 11 months.

I’m glad I got here by myself, with­out the help of a friend, or lover, or wind­fall. It was some­thing I had to do on my own, so I’ll always know I’m strong enough to pick myself up and con­tinue growing.

The only thing that’s really miss­ing now is another cat (or two), but I already blew my kitty bud­get on Leonard’s vet bills. I’m not at the right place for a new adop­tion any­way, and I’ve decided to wait until my major projects are fin­ished (hope­fully some time around the end of the year) before I take on another life.

father and baby

It’s offi­cial; Kyden has the soft­est, pinchi­est cheeks ever at eight months.

I’ve been back from my trip for about a month and a half, but it feels more like a year. I’m so dif­fer­ent now from the per­son I was before I left. I was dying then, but I’m liv­ing now.

The only way I can tell how quickly time is truly pass­ing is in the faces of my friends’ babies. Each time I see them they’re mak­ing new sounds, say­ing new words, more con­scious and coher­ent. I used to envy the care­free inno­cence they have when run­ning about naked, the single-mindedness they pos­sess when engrossed with a new toy, but now I feel like one of them.

Me @ Twitter

Hands on with the new Blackberrys. #friend­satRIM http://t.co/FgmcnfM http://t.co/dimxzGe

2 years, 8 months ago
31 Jul 11

everybody's gotta learn sometime

It’s strange to feel like I’m ready for a rela­tion­ship at only this point in my life. It didn’t seem right that any­one should love me if I didn’t love myself, and that didn’t really start until recently.

It also took a good round of ther­apy to fig­ure out that I was sab­o­tag­ing my rela­tion­ships so no one could have the chance to hurt me. If I con­sider which ones would have worked out had that not been an issue that caused me to break up with my girl­friends in order to pro­tect myself, I can only think of one. But that was a long time ago, and while we may have worked then, it’s no guar­an­tee for the peo­ple we’ve become, as I’m sure there’s been a lot of growth on both our ends. It’s only now that I feel like my per­sonal evo­lu­tion has reached a peak, a place where I’m sat­is­fied with who I am, and there won’t likely be any more dras­tic changes that may affect the dynam­ics of a relationship.

I’ve been able to rec­og­nize that the risk of get­ting hurt is insep­a­ra­ble from the trust we place in the peo­ple we love, and that risk is always worth it. I’ve left behind my bag­gage, some­thing no one else should have to deal with, and I’ve had enough expe­ri­ence to know exactly what I’m look­ing for in a rela­tion­ship and what kind of peo­ple work with me.

Took me 30 years to fig­ure it all out, but everybody’s gotta learn sometime.