Posts tagged with "father"

moulting

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Holy shit how did this song find me in the mid­dle of blan­ket­ing white snow­fall, instead of sum­mer? I’ll take it either way1. I’ve needed a new addic­tion after too many maudlin jazz albums, too often fuelled by hard-living and a woman. This means I’m ready for a taste of warm weather. I miss the wind through my clothes and the smell of girls’ skin when it’s been touched by sweat and sunlight.

cat close-up

Guizmo.

I’m in the process of sim­pli­fy­ing, which has meant fig­ur­ing out my pri­or­i­ties, and truly let­ting go of the things I don’t need, whether it’s a bad habit or rela­tion­ship or thought. Maybe this is why I haven’t been feel­ing my age; it feels like I’m con­stantly start­ing over in var­i­ous parts of my life.

This hasn’t made writ­ing any eas­ier. I’m always wait­ing for a feel­ing to last, but it tends to pass before I have a chance to get it down on paper. Maybe the insta­bil­ity is what I should be writ­ing about. Not about who I am, but how much things are changing.

Audra recently wrote about how frus­trat­ing it is when she can’t get into a state of per­ma­nence. She said it par­tic­u­larly well here: “I know it is not real­is­tic for all progress to be lin­ear, or for things to be able to become con­stant once they become good. But I sure do day­dream about it.” It makes me feel so val­i­dated when some­one is able to put into words the things I’ve been going through with­out hav­ing talked about it with them.

Chinese dinner

My dad asks if I want to get a pic­ture before we start, Lisa says he must know me very well.

In between: Chris finally kisses Angie. It’s a good­night kiss while her creepy col­league is asleep in the same room, yet some­how man­ages to be the sweet­est first-kiss ever. I start to grow my hair out and wear it down, out of bore­dom. People say it fits me. Byron brings me his toys so I’ll toss them again, and I begin to won­der who’s train­ing who. Lisa meets my dad. We finally watch True Romance and Gary Oldman becomes my new favourite actor. I rack up over 150 hours played in Awesomenauts this year, and I’ve made online friends (it’s weird). Assad loses another gen­eral to the rebels, there’s still no end in sight after three years of fight­ing, and oth­er­wise I remain bliss­fully igno­rant to the world.

  1. Also comes in a highly enter­tain­ing music video ver­sion. []

Crystal + Jae-In Wedding Day

Shot with a Canon 5D Mk II, mostly using my new 70–200mm f/2.8 IS II. Be sure to watch in high def­i­n­i­tion, and let the video load com­pletely before play­ing because the pac­ing and momen­tum are crucial.

Editing took about 25 hours, and I’m super happy with the way it turned out. There were so many great moments, and the footage has a won­der­fully vis­ceral feel to it. The most chal­leng­ing part of post-processing was colour bal­anc­ing all the footage, which I had to do shot-by-shot. When you’re film­ing for an entire day, you tend to get a huge vari­ety of light sources and temperatures.

A note about the tea cer­e­monies. The first one was the Chinese ver­sion, which allows rel­a­tives to hand red pock­ets or jew­el­ery (usu­ally gold and jade) to the new cou­ple. The sec­ond one was Korean, named Paebaek, and is much more elab­o­rate. Relatives line up for a for­mal bow, tea serv­ing, then throw a hand­ful of dates (rep­re­sent­ing girls) and chest­nuts (rep­re­sent­ing boys) to be caught by the bride and groom with a blan­ket. The num­ber of dates and chest­nuts caught sig­ni­fies how many chil­dren they’ll have. No sur­prise that grandpa only grabbed chestnuts.

Then the bride is given one of the dates they caught, and the groom has to take a bite out of it from her mouth. The per­son who ends up with the big­ger piece is the one who will wear the pants (which is why you see the bride tena­ciously try­ing to keep the big­ger piece for her­self). At the end, the groom has to carry his mother and mother-in-law around the cer­e­mony table, then carry his new bride out of the hall.

Also, this:

dad at wedding

 

29 8/12: The Son

There’s no rev­e­la­tion more star­tling than the fact that your dad is cooler than you.

This is espe­cially true of my own father, who isn’t just cool for an old guy, he’s cool period. As a teenager, I remem­ber him wear­ing a leather bomber jacket, and learn­ing to ride a pur­ple Kawasaki Ninja sport bike which he even­tu­ally traded in for a sil­ver Porsche.

When I was even younger, my friends would tell me he looked like a secret agent. One time he came to help me move out of res­i­dence, and his jeans had wider cuffs than mine (and back then I loved wear­ing wide-leg khakis). I can’t remem­ber a time when he didn’t wear some­thing by Lacoste, Polo, or Tommy, and even though he may dress far younger than his age, he can still pull it off.

Now he’s a man mov­ing closer to his 60s, dri­ving a Mercedes and a BMW, with what seems to have a coterie of women whose com­mon inter­est is him. He watches pop­u­lar movies, prac­tices singing, and dances on a reg­u­lar basis. Even my grandma once told me that peo­ple like him because he’s the fun one to be around.

Self portrait at 29 8/12

 

This is all very dif­fer­ent from me; a shy, intro­verted, awk­ward per­son whose idea of a good time gen­er­ally involves being in front of a computer.

Still, with all these dif­fer­ences, I know I’m his son. Just a chip off the old block, with the same work ethics, the same per­fec­tion­ist ten­den­cies, the same neu­rotic tendencies.

We get grumpy when we’re hun­gry. We hate feel­ing sweaty and some­times have to shower twice in a day. We make the same silly jokes when we’re around new peo­ple. We dec­o­rated our houses exclu­sively with mod­ern, min­i­mal­ist fur­ni­ture before we knew what each other’s houses looked like. And as I grow older, I’ve also started devel­op­ing the same night owl habits, care­free atti­tude, insom­nia, and diges­tion problems.

I turn 30 in four months, and I’m becom­ing my father’s son.

The Turning 30 Series

See You In Toronto

Street

I’m so glad that Toronto remains a place where I can go to get away. There are places to stay, an end­less cycle of friends or acquain­tances to visit, and some­one else takes the wheel and drives.

It’s amaz­ing to see how much Toronto has changed. How cer­tain streets down­town have turned into trendy, expen­sive shop­ping dis­tricts, a Canadian ver­sion of Rodeo Drive, and a far cry from the run-down roads I would visit every lunch in high school by rollerblade and sub­way to buy Magic cards and Warhammer figures.

MindBender loves you

After Bill Clinton’s speech at the CNE, there was a brief ques­tion and answer period. The host asked him, “What do you like most about Toronto?”, adding that Torontonians seem to have a sort of self-deprecating humour1. After mak­ing a diplo­matic com­ment on the Aboriginal art as being his favourite thing, Clinton said, “You folks can make fun of your­self, but peo­ple would kill to live a soci­ety like this. You should be very proud.” I had to agree.

Dim sum

Before leav­ing, I had dim sum with my dad, and we caught up on each oth­ers lives a lit­tle bit. He sounded pretty happy when I called to ask him if he wanted to go.

I bought a pair of wind­shield wipers but didn’t replace them, bring­ing them with me to his house instead, hop­ing he could show me how to install them. I could just as eas­ily have read the car man­ual, but I wanted some­thing to share with him. Maybe now I can catch up on these father-son things that I seemed to have missed in my childhood.

  1. I sup­pose you have to, with how well the Leafs have been doing in recent years. []

Finding Love For Two Bachelors

The fact that my dad and I are the eli­gi­ble bach­e­lors in the fam­ily means we get a lot of advice around the din­ner table. They bring up avail­able women. Friends of friends, daugh­ters of dance part­ners, or this-person-I-know.

It’s strange to come upon the sud­den real­iza­tion that my dad and I are at the same point in life. Does that make me old, or him young?

They ask us our tastes: Looks? Personality? Older or younger? I say, “Money”, but they know me well enough to know I’m jok­ing. A joke to hide my answer, for to reveal myself in this way is to expose a cer­tain vul­ner­a­bil­ity. So they side­step the ques­tion and ask me if I’m after any­one, think­ing that if I describe a per­son I’m inter­ested in, they’ll be able to fig­ure out what I’m look­ing for. It’s com­pli­cated, I think to myself, so only reply with a “No”. They ask me if there’s any­one after me. “No”. That’s even more complicated.

Last week, my grand­mother asked me how old I was. “28”, I told her. “Already! You’re almost 30. It’s time for you to get mar­ried.” She says if I stay in Hong Kong all the girls will be after me because I have some kind of gen­tle­man scholar look. My dad too; he’s the man’s man, who’s always been fun and pop­u­lar. And we have Canadian pass­ports. Apparently, we’re in demand.

But they also want to make sure we’re not get­ting involved with the wrong type of women. Someone who will take our money once we’re mar­ried, or force alimony once they trap us with chil­dren. They tell us to keep an eye on each other. I say that my dad doesn’t need my approval if he wants to get mar­ried, but I don’t need his approval either. So they tell us to bring our girls to meet them, to be sure they’re okay.

I won­der; is love this easy for other peo­ple? Something oth­ers can con­trol, when I can’t con­trol it myself?