equivocality — Jeff Ngan's collection of thoughts, experiences, and projects, inspired by pretty much everything
11 May 09

Amnesiac Weekends

My throat has devel­oped some­thing of a raspy tinge from talk­ing all week­end. I’ve never had par­tic­u­larly strong vocal chords. I told myself I’d speak as lit­tle as pos­si­ble today; we’ll see how long that lasts. Maybe I can drink some honey tea instead.

It wasn’t so much that I over­booked myself as plans going on for much longer than expected. Which pretty much means I didn’t get any work done, so I won’t be going to Toronto next week­end so I can catch up. Not that I really want to any­more, as the last two days have left me feel­ing over­stim­u­lated and sat­is­fied. Anyway, Dan took a quick look at my chart for this month (on his own ini­tia­tive) and told me not to do any­thing big on the 15th and 16th because it’s “risky”. I never let my horo­scope deter­mine what I do, but maybe this is the way the uni­verse tells me to stay home.

I didn’t even have time to do my weekly gro­cery shop­ping. I’m eat­ing stale bread and canned soups today.

The best part of the week­end was hav­ing an excuse to use the Numi Dancing Leaves teabuds and teapot that Louise bought me last Christmas, some­thing I’d been sav­ing for spe­cial occa­sions. Amazingly, I got three full steeps — which trans­lates into six cups — out of one Golden Jasmine bud.

Those things I had been try­ing to for­get got lost some­where in the before I even real­ized it. Isn’t that what for­get­ting is about?

Sometimes I need these week­ends. They recharge me, they give me hope, when hope is so fleeting.

I’m try­ing to ride that feel­ing, and let it carry me forward.

12 Apr 08

Nothing In Particular

It’s late. I should really be in bed. My eyes feel super dry and tired. I don’t even think I have enough energy to floss before brush­ing my teeth, but I’m going to force myself to do it cause I have a den­tist appoint­ment on Wednesday. At least I’m show­ered, warm and comfortable.

I haven’t sat down in my chaise to write in a while, although I should because it feels so good. The two-day writ­ing sched­ule fits nicely in with every­thing else going on in my life.

It’s been busy. Andrew and Alex left last week, so I have to the house to myself again. The com­pany was a fun change. Through them, I met Ziny and Ellen, whom I did pic­tures of yes­ter­day. Hopefully I’ll be doing some more of Paige tomor­row, as well as more work on my next project in the upcom­ing week.

Dolly by the window

My sleep­ing sched­ule is still some­what messed up, but only because of engage­ments that keep me up late. Thanks to smoothie power, and a bet­ter under­stand­ing of how to con­trol my eat­ing through bouts of IBS, my stom­ach is much bet­ter. I’m still break­ing out pretty badly though.

Went to see Dan today. I haven’t been to his place since last fall. Last time we hung out, it was for phở and to watch Being John Malkovich at my place. Every time we hang out, we play musi­cal ten­nis, where we take turns lis­ten­ing to a song, and giv­ing another song rec­om­men­da­tion based on the pre­vi­ous one. This is super fun, and only Dan has a taste in music as diverse as mine to play this correctly.

Drove to Quebec for the first time, and the roads are pretty bad. The lines have mostly faded and the shoul­der has encroached on the road, so you can’t tell where you’re sup­pose to be. On top of that there are pot­holes every­where, and the usual assort­ment of bad dri­vers, and this makes dri­ving in the French province less than fun.

Since I don’t take the bus any­more, I don’t have any time where I just sit down, hence no time to read. With the time I’m sav­ing, I’m try­ing to read before I go to bed. My book rota­tion right now is the following:

In the next cou­ple of week­ends, I’m try­ing to hang out with Darren, Navid, Pat, Julie and Blake, Frédéric and Misun. I don’t like to mix friends. It’s not as effi­cient, but I pre­fer to con­cen­trate on one (or one cou­ple) at a time.

Through all of this, I’m miss­ing Bronwen sooooo much.

09 Jul 07

Throwing The First Stone

I swore in front of Dan. We were talk­ing about Monty Python, and I wanted to tell him about John Cleese’s use of the word “fuck” at Graham Chapman’s funeral. It was the per­fect oppor­tu­nity, because I wasn’t swear­ing myself, sim­ply quot­ing some­one else. I could have said “the f-word”, but I didn’t.

I’d been hold­ing back for a while. I don’t swear in front of some­one until they do it first, the way I don’t use the Lord’s name in vain around Christians until they do. I usu­ally let the other per­son go first, to gauge their per­son­al­i­ties and adapt. I think Dan was the same way though, and he was hold­ing back. Like wait­ing for the other per­son in a rela­tion­ship to break wind, some­one, sooner or later, has to be first.

Dan swears in front of me too now. Nothing vul­gar or exces­sive, but it’s good to know that clean-cut Dan has a hard edge too him.

23 Jun 06

Character Is Destiny

Thumbnail: Reading papers

An hour before arriv­ing, he calls me, excited, to let me know that he’s run­ning late. He explains that he got caught up in the cal­cu­la­tions for my natal chart. Out of the hun­dreds of read­ings he’s done, both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally, he hasn’t seen a chart like mine. It’s described as a bun­dle, where all ten plan­ets are con­tained within 1/3 of the 360° chart. This means that my energy is con­cen­trated, focused, self-driven.

The read­ing takes four hours of cal­cu­la­tions and prepa­ra­tion, with an hour-and-a-half ses­sion of thor­ough expla­na­tion. After help­ing him with his new com­puter last month, a triv­ial favour for me but a big one to him and his fam­ily, he offered a read­ing in return. I hap­pily accepted, never being one to dis­miss such a unique offer. He swore me to secrecy because he’s retired, and will only do this ser­vice as a spe­cial favour.

Before he begins explain­ing though, he tells me that I can take the infor­ma­tion he gives me for what it’s worth. He doesn’t tell for­tunes, he sim­ply sees pat­terns in the num­bers. It’s up to us, our per­son­al­ity, our deci­sions, to deter­mine our fate. “Character is des­tiny”, he says.

I can­not describe this man.

There’s too much to him. Too many facets, too deep a per­son­al­ity. He’s a book unto him­self. I could explain as much as I could about him, and one would still have no idea what to expect when meet­ing him. Even today, he sur­prises me every time I see him. I tell peo­ple that he’s a stay-at-home dad, an ath­lete, a writer, an astrol­o­gist, but I haven’t really described him at all.

The chart offers a sub­tle glimpse. The stokes are wide, large, and deep with con­vic­tion. It’s a mix of cur­sive and print­ing, a gen­eral insight­ing into his flex­i­bil­ity. His notes are messy, cor­rected. He prides him­self on being accu­rate, not vague like the far­ci­cal daily horo­scopes, and it’s for this rea­son that I start to believe him. There are things that he describes to me — my penchent for revenge, my philo­soph­i­cal pur­suits, my affin­ity for cer­tain sports — that slowly bring my ever-present, skep­ti­cal guard down. He says that I have a nat­ural cre­ativ­ity, that I’m visu­ally artis­tic, that I see colours dif­fer­ently from other peo­ple. Because of this, he encour­ages me to start mak­ing money off my art within the next 15 years, or I’ll have missed a good oppor­tu­nity. Sometimes it goes over my head; the posi­tions of my plan­ets, my houses, my sagit­tar­ius ascen­dant. He goes into so much detail about my career, romance, sports, travel, and friends that I can’t begin to list it all.

Although there are a few points of inac­cu­racy, I have trust in what he tells me. Ceasar said “men will­ingly believe what they wish”, and per­haps I’m sim­ply one of these men. So will this change me? Will I act on these new insights and become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Will I dis­card them, and end up with the same fate? Maybe it’s wrong alto­gether, some sooth­ing snake-oil, although I don’t think this is true for rea­sons I can’t explain. It’s too soon for me to tell just yet.

All I know is that I’d like to be like this man. I’d like to be as com­plex, as inde­scrib­able as he is.

Maybe one day, if des­tiny is character.