equivocality — Jeff Ngan's collection of thoughts, experiences, and projects, inspired by pretty much everything
19 Mar 13

in the arms of men

My wit and my elo­quence are not at their best at this par­tic­u­lar moment, which is why I have no quick riposte to your rib­bing. All my humour is dry and self-deprecating any­way. It’s mak­ing me won­der if you think I can’t take an Asian joke or two. The truth is, I don’t know how to make fun of any­one but myself.

Too bad you’ve got piss tests com­ing up. We’ve got this bal­cony, the right occa­sion, and I don’t drink any­more. Doesn’t mean I can’t lis­ten to your war sto­ries, or dan­gle in the air when you give out bear hugs. Perhaps I’d be less awk­ward when it comes to such bond­ing if I was in high-school JV foot­ball. Seth made the team one year, and scored a touch­down for guys like us.

downtown Ottawa

 

I remem­ber you. Iain and I went to buy a $5 hit off your bong 10 years ago, back when we cut our teeth on prairie fires and five-cent wings and I’ll-never-do-that-again. You were danc­ing to jazz by your­self in a beater and per­pet­ual Kangol when we walked in, but you wore no shame on your face. The world is small when our lives are not.

Last time I saw Iain was at the house­warm­ing, but I still think of him every time I use those crys­tal glasses he gave me that day. He would have wanted them filled with some­thing tight-bodied and twelve-years old. Nowadays all I can take is a lit­tle Bailey’s on my Mayan choco­late Häagen-Dazs. Luckily they’re also per­fect for ice cream.

bachelor

 

I’ve long missed these nights. Breathing fresh air when step­ping out of a stuffy bar. That sud­den calm when com­ing out of the din. Big groups with the chance to change con­ver­sa­tions. Nights that have been replaced by din­ners with nuclear fam­i­lies and one-on-ones. Oddly enough, the only thing in com­mon are sto­ries of how one’s son is learn­ing to play with his dick. The world would have me believe that a man isn’t made by the drinks he orders but by the atten­tion he gives his kids.

If only I didn’t have to go so soon. I’ve never been to the peel­ers in Ottawa, and I can only imag­ine where my bills will end up.

/
29 Sep 09

You Nostalgia, You Lose

Found this old video of back when I lived on Island Park in a 16th floor apart­ment, with Trolley and another per­son who shall remain unnamed.

Trolley looks so young! It’s not his face, just his hair that does it. And remem­ber when I couldn’t stop lis­ten­ing to that AFI album? Seems like so long ago. I guess you’d only remem­ber if you’ve been read­ing since 2004/2005, when we did stuff like this.

I won­der if I’m still too young to feel nos­tal­gic. It seems like the only peo­ple who rem­i­nisce are those who are much older than me, but I already get nos­tal­gic about my uni­ver­sity days, when things were relaxed, I could sleep in, or skip class, and I didn’t have a mort­gage to worry about.

/
05 Jan 08

Residence

Ah, res­i­dence. The first year of uni­ver­sity, the first year away from my par­ents, and my first year in Ottawa. Also, the year I was intro­duced to Fear Factory, Dream Theater, and Refused.

I found these old pic­tures while orga­niz­ing my pic­tures folder. Boy, do they take me back.

Headbanging

Take a look at this photo, for exam­ple, where I strapped a pair of khakis to my head, and started head bang­ing to Deftones — Shove It (My Own Summer). Why did I strap a pair of khakis to my head? Cause I didn’t have long hair. Why did Pita and I decide to do this one day? I have no idea.

Dying my hair red

Washing my hair after the dye job

Alicia drying my hair

Or how about these ones, where the girls agreed to give me red chunks, back when I was obvi­ously in my Tool phase. Nadine mis-read the instruc­tions, mixed the wrong chem­i­cals, and it came out all sparse.

Highlights include:

Pita took these pho­tos, got them printed, and scanned them. Dated ’99. Sure they aren’t great. They’re dark. They’re grainy, taken with a cheap film cam­era. But they’re still unfor­get­table mem­o­ries, and it gives them a cer­tain dated style. Makes me wish I had a taken some pic­tures myself.

Read the rest of this entry »

/
26 Aug 07

Long to Belong

Among the shots and the rounds, the friends and the fun, I found a grad­u­a­tion photo framed on his shelf, a can­did shot of the Class of ’05.

Every one of my “clique” was among the faces. There were oth­ers as well, peo­ple I knew from class, even though I never talked to them. How dif­fer­ent they all looked — all prim and proper in aca­d­e­mic regalia — yet familiar.

I was the only one not in co-op, and grad­u­ated a year before every­one else. My con­vo­ca­tion was insignif­i­cant. I only went because my par­ents wanted to see me make that walk that stage, a return on their invest­ment. I don’t know who the dean of my fac­ulty was, or who handed me my diploma. I was just another num­ber in a prof­i­teer­ing insti­tu­tion. It meant nothing.

But see­ing that photo struck a chord in me.

It made me real­ize how I’ve never really fit in. How I never belonged to a group. For some rea­son, I still long for that, or, per­haps, to have had that at one point in my life. Last time it was ele­men­tary and high-school. This time it was uni­ver­sity. I don’t know why. I have my own group of friends now. Not a clique, because they don’t hang out with each other, but a mot­ley crew I’ve built through the years.

I know it doesn’t make sense. There’s a rea­son I was never truly a part of any group.

The log­i­cal side of me under­stands that it isn’t sig­nif­i­cant. That it doesn’t, and shouldn’t mat­ter. That noth­ing is more bor­ing and pedes­trian than fit­ting in.

But another part of me feels like I missed out on something.

And I don’t know if I’ll ever let that go.

/
03 Apr 06

Cold And Sterile

Thumbnail: Circular ceiling
Thumbnail: Seeing around corners
Thumbnail: Geometric roof
Thumbnail: Campus stairs
Thumbnail: Map reader

The cam­pus life when you’re just a num­ber, when you choose not to party with all the brain­less idiots, when uni­ver­sity is just another awk­ward tran­si­tion out of high school.

I remem­ber this.

/