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

was I more alive then than I am now

I try to sched­ule my time with peo­ple very care­fully; with intro­ver­sion, there’s a del­i­cate bal­ance between iso­la­tion and over-stimulation. I always make sure I get a lot of alone time between major events. The only prob­lem is that means I’m alone for too long when plans don’t work out.

On the other end of the spec­trum is the fact that I can never say no to peo­ple if I’m too busy. I’m the one with­out kids, so my sched­ule is a lot more open than most my friends, and I never know when I’ll have another chance to see them. This is prob­a­bly why I’ve been film­ing for four days straight.

Luckily, this included a won­der­ful per­for­mance by the inim­itable André Bluteau, whose debut CD is out now, and which you should most def­i­nitely pur­chase after lis­ten­ing and sub­se­quently loving.

I added a touch of grad­ing to give the video a bit of creamy 1950s American diner feel. I’m thor­oughly impressed by Apple’s Motion soft­ware, and the power it has to cre­ate object-tracking text effects. Text can add such a nicely sub­tle cin­e­matic touch, though doing 3D trans­for­ma­tions to make words match the plane of a fore­ground object is an exer­cise that will make your eyes bug out.

Andrew Vincent live @ Raw Sugar Cafe

The only thing pre­vent­ing me from mak­ing out with this man was his green hat. Don’t, don’t, don’t cover it up.

Also head­lin­ing was Andrew Vincent, who opened his set with Girlfriend’s Dog, a song I first gave to Bronwen when we started dat­ing. It was right before she moved in for the sum­mer, and she had Bear, who was also a Labrador Retriever.

Now I under­stand why I need to much time in between events. After the con­cert, I didn’t fall asleep until three in the morn­ing, even though I was exhausted. The strug­gle not be shy and intro­verted drains me, but the sim­ple act of being around so many peo­ple leaves me inor­di­nately ener­gized. It’s too much some­times, but I never know what to think of that feeling.

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18 Aug 09

Missing A Ride

I almost did some­thing stu­pid crazy excit­ing adven­tur­ous tonight. But I didn’t. Maybe it was too last-minute. Maybe I was feel­ing too shy and intro­verted. Maybe I’m com­pla­cent. Maybe I’m too com­fort­able where I am right now.

Maybe the con­se­quences of fail­ure were greater than the poten­tial gains of success.

Sometimes I won­der when the scales will tip that bal­ance. When — if ever — will I be unsat­is­fied enough with things to step out of my com­fort zone and take those chances?

When will I catch that ride?

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08 Oct 08

Patterns in the Chaos

I hap­pen to have a chance to write now. It’s rain­ing, so nat­u­rally the win­dows are all open.

My life has been some­what chaotic lately. Weekends spent being social have been turned into intro­verted exile, a way of charg­ing my bat­ter­ies once again. The added ben­e­fit is that I have more time to tie up loose ends on my projects. I’m even get­ting back into the still photo medium again.

Dry erase boards

I installed these dry-erase marker boards next to my front door. I use them to keep track of my tasks, projects, and errands, so I can come home and imme­di­ately decide what I feel like doing. The two sil­ver clips are used for hang­ing notes and letters.

Nothing feels bet­ter than putting that thick black line through a task. Writing on frosted glass is pretty tasty too.

Dry erase board closeup

I use the other board for quotes, a way to keep myself moti­vated — or grounded — every time I pass by on the way in or out of the house. It’s also a nice way for me to prac­tice my hand-drawn typog­ra­phy, by try­ing to bal­ance char­ac­ters, words, and lines on the board in dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions in an esthetic manner.

There’s some­thing famil­iar about this. A feel­ing like I’ve been here before, not in this sit­u­a­tion exactly, but in the mid­dle of the chaos.

All I know for sure is that I feel like I can han­dle it much bet­ter than if this was hap­pen­ing a year ago.

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20 Dec 05

Retreat

Hello, I’m an introvert.

When going through Psychology 1101 to cover a required sci­ence elec­tive, I stud­ied the char­ac­ter­is­tics of intro­ver­sion and extro­ver­sion, but the mate­r­ial never really res­onated with me. As I saw it, there are vary­ing degrees of both, I fit some­where on the intro­verted side of the scale, and this was the extent of the appli­ca­tion of such a subject.

I can force myself to be social, friendly, cheer­ful (what Shirley and I call being on), but I can only do this for lim­ited amounts of time. Usually I can keep it going just a few hours for a party or gath­er­ing, or as long as a few days as required if we’re out camp­ing or snow­board­ing, but never longer than this.

The rest of the time I spend in my room, away from the world, because the social inter­ac­tions of every­day life are a huge drain on me. When I’m alone, I recharge in a way I can’t explain. I’ve spent years feel­ing guilty for this behav­iour. The North American atti­tude is that there’s some­thing wrong with being quiet or unso­cial. The most strik­ing mem­ory I have of this was dur­ing frosh week, when oth­ers would con­stantly harass me to go drink­ing, or danc­ing, or par­ty­ing with a bunch of peo­ple I had never met before.

Now there’s an expla­na­tion that makes more sense to me than a sim­ple degree on a scale. In a recent arti­cle, neu­ro­science researcher Marti Olsen Laney talks about the con­nec­tions between intro­ver­sion and biol­ogy. “It impacts all areas of their lives: how they process infor­ma­tion, how they restore their energy, what they enjoy and how they communicate.”

I real­ize that there’s a greatly sig­nif­i­cant cor­re­la­tion between the way I behave and my intro­verted mind­set. Introversion is an atti­tude that affects almost every aspect of my life, deeply rooted to a phys­i­o­log­i­cal level. It isn’t some­thing I should be ashamed of or embar­rassed about.

And if I can come out of my shell every now and then, I’ll be alright.

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