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

every red fucking light

it’s far too late to be doing this, but I know I’ll lose it if I don’t get it down right away.

cause the music. my god. you never truly feel it until this hap­pens. like it’s writ­ten for this moment, when the song isn’t over so you have to dance in the car for 0:34 cause you’re home already.

i wasn’t going to men­tion any­thing until there was some­thing worth men­tion­ing. then i excit­edly spilled my guts to trol­ley over the grilled atlantic salmon.

things fell apart shortly thereafter.

i keep think­ing of how i wouldn’t have changed a thing if i had to do it all over again, how any­thing done dif­fer­ently wouldn’t have made a dif­fer­ence any­way, but that’s never much com­fort is it. these are also the nights i queue up only three songs to make sure I get out of the shower in a timely manner.

aaron knew some­thing was wrong when i broke into a sweat and took off my coat. i lied cause it was his day and not mine, but all i wanted to do was go home and drown myself in iso­la­tion and play until my fin­gers bled1.

i’ll always be caught in this flux. there is no arrival for me. the oscil­la­tion has always been the des­ti­na­tion, but the waves get a lit­tle calmer each time.

  1. he knows how bad i am at hid­ing things like this, how it always eats me up, and i feel ter­ri­ble cause i know how he always wants to take me away from that. []
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02 Oct 10

but doctor, i am pagliacci

I can’t put together a coher­ent thought lately. It’s all just bits and pieces rac­ing through my head. I have six drafts open at once, but I get nowhere. And since I can’t write, I have no catharsis.

Only pent up emo­tions and thoughts and ideas and love and crazy and lust and worry.

grumpy cat

 

Maybe that’s why it feels like I’m barely hold­ing on to my san­ity. I don’t under­stand myself any­more. There are so many ups and downs in a day. Even my nights are haunted by dreams, some­times won­der­ful, mostly scary. I’ve been try­ing to find mean­ing in the lit­tle things; bet­ter ways of chop­ping rose­mary, adjust­ments to the form when prac­tic­ing Tai Chi, new strum­ming pat­terns on the uke.

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30 Sep 10

Protected: wish you were here

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13 Sep 10

Protected: rest for the wicked

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23 Jan 09

Protected: Forced To Deal

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29 Dec 08

The Return of Water

Well, I have water. And hot water too. I’ve been doing loads of laun­dry and dishes in the dish­washer. Not to men­tion sweet, sweet BMs on a toilet.

Bathroom ceiling

Bedroom ceiling

But my bath­room and bed­room ceil­ings still look like this. Not to men­tion the coarse dust on every­thing and the uprooted fur­ni­ture. I had sev­eral entries with pic­tures to post, but my colour-calibrated mon­i­tors are sit­ting in the spare room. I have no idea when the con­trac­tor is going to be back to get every­thing dirty again. Otherwise, I’d do some cleaning.

Either the con­struc­tion com­pany is on hol­i­day (which con­tra­dicts what the worker said), or they’re dodg­ing me, because I haven’t been able to get a hold of any­one for days now. I’m stuck in limbo here, lit­er­ally liv­ing in the liv­ing room (what a fit­ting name). It’s left me rather sick and unmotivated.

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25 Dec 08

Holiday Hell

Nightmare. The word almost every­one has been using to describe this hot water sit­u­a­tion. From my friends and cowork­ers, to the plumb­ing tech­ni­cians, to the sales reps, to the contractors.

When the con­trac­tor came over to make holes in my ceil­ing, he brushed against a pipe that went to the hot water tank, and since it was almost rusted com­pletely through, it snapped and started leak­ing. Water shoots out of the hole any time I turn the water on, so I’ve had to shut off the main valve. Now I have no water. I can’t wash my hands, I can’t go to the bathroom.

The exhaust pipe that goes to my fur­nace isn’t up to code any­more either, so even if I get all this work done on the house, my ceil­ing would have to be ripped up again when the fur­nace goes. And since mine is 12-years-old and rated for 15 years, it could die on me as soon as three years (or sooner). So I’ll be get­ting the fur­nace pipe replaced too, which essen­tially dou­bles my pipe instal­la­tion costs.

In addi­tion to mov­ing as much fur­ni­ture out of my room as pos­si­ble into my guest room (thereby rob­bing me of my photo stu­dio, Tai Chi prac­tice area, bed­room, and main com­puter), I’ll have to cover the remain­ing things in sheets to pro­tect them from the dust. When the pip­ing is all replaced1, the con­trac­tor needs to come in and patch up the holes, scrape all the stip­ple off my ceil­ing, respray the stip­ple on, and repaint it. I don’t even have an esti­mate of how much that’s going to cost.

The house is my one area of sta­bil­ity. Where I retreat to when every­thing else is falling apart. The one place I need to be con­stant. I won’t feel set­tled until it’s all been resolved.

And to think that I was look­ing for­ward to the hol­i­days. I was pic­tur­ing myself enjoy­ing my well-earned time off, eat­ing bacon and eggs, play­ing a few games, and start­ing some new projects.

How far away the image seems now.

  1. And with luck, they won’t refuse to do the job because they don’t have enough clear­ance. []
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22 Oct 08

Walk It Off

Sometimes, I have to get out, even when it feels like it’s 40°C out­side, because I need my music loud, and I need to fuck­ing strut, and the birds clear the way cause they know it’s seri­ous, cause the pic­tures are fuck­ing killing me, so I’ll just keep skip­ping songs until it hits me then I’ll CRANK IT until it hurts, walk­ing it off like it’s nobody’s busi­ness, danc­ing inside to the bass pound­ing in my ears.

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25 Oct 07

A Truth is Worth a Million Words

You inter­pret my heart, my nature, as you wish to believe it.

— Onegin

People see what they want to see.

As I touched on a while back, some of it comes from inse­cu­rity. Other times, from a fal­lacy of pro­jec­tion as some peo­ple igno­rantly, and mega­lo­ma­ni­a­cally, believe that every­one must think and act as they do. There are a few other cases that don’t fit into either of these cat­e­gories though.

An exam­ple: I once offered a guest in my house some yogurt. The first thing he asked was, “Is it going bad?”. He didn’t believe I would have given it to him oth­er­wise. It was a per­fect reflec­tion of his dead­beat friends who expected you to eat before com­ing to a party, and he had never known any other type of peo­ple. A more extreme exam­ple is if you offered to feed some­one at your house and they got insulted because they thought you were imply­ing that they couldn’t afford to feed them­selves. Some peo­ple see things that aren’t there. It’s an amaz­ing sub­con­scious sign of their characters.

The way some girls inter­pret things is also an inter­est­ing phe­nom­e­non. Some of them think a guy who’s talk­ing to them must be hit­ting on them so they drop the b-bomb in ran­dom points of con­ver­sa­tion, just to warn you they have a boyfriend. Some girls think you’re gay because you don’t make any advances towards them. Some girls think you’re torn up, depressed because they declined your advances, and end up mak­ing a big­ger deal about it than you do. I want noth­ing more than to tell these girls to get over them­selves, but I bite my tongue because they end up embar­rass­ing them­selves more than I could ever do myself.

There are also times when a per­son is so pig-headed and stub­born that they see every­thing through a fil­ter, inter­pret­ing your actions in some crazy way, and believe you’re at fault because they sub­con­sciously refuse to see their own mistakes.

The old me would have been insulted when some­one assumes I’m a cer­tain way. Nothing would anger me more than some­one pre­sum­ing to know how I feel or what I’m like, and I used to care des­per­ately what they thought, even if I knew I was just mis­un­der­stood. It’s an inter­est­ing feel­ing to be passed that now1.

The truth leaves no room for bias, only interpretation.

I’ve learned never to take respon­si­bil­ity for other peo­ples’ inter­pre­ta­tions. Only take respon­si­bil­ity for your intent. You learn a lot about a per­son from the way they inter­pret things and from the way they see the world.

With the truth in your heart, it doesn’t mat­ter what any­one thinks.

With the truth on your side, noth­ing can go wrong.

  1. It’s actu­ally been quiet a few months since I wrote this entry. I didn’t post it at first because I wanted to be absolutely sure that it wasn’t a fickle feel­ing, and that my strength was firm. Reading back on it now, it seems more rel­e­vant than ever. []
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04 Jul 07

Antipathy Never Came So Quickly

Try to put me down and make me feel bad. Do your best to make your­self look good.

Throw some advice my way (I’ll leave it). Assume you know me bet­ter than I know myself (what arro­gance!). Give me some food for thought, and believe you were any­thing more than a pass­ing fancy (but try to get over yourself).

My god, how wrong I was about you.

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05 Mar 06

A Jumble Of Emotions

I’ve been a jum­ble of emo­tions lately. A mix of excite­ment and worry, fun and stress, unset­tling uncer­tainty and crossed-signals. On top of it all I keep get­ting all sorts of BULLSHIT from peo­ple, when it’s the last thing I need.

I gen­er­ally don’t like this feel­ing. To grow, and this is espe­cially true for me, one needs a foun­da­tion of sta­bil­ity. Once the basic things are con­stant, there can be changes and adjust­ments made to improve. Now I find myself strug­gling to keep the sim­plest things under control.

It’s cer­tainly been an inter­est­ing year so far.

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03 Nov 05

Still Being Tested

It’s been rough going the last few weeks. Every day is a con­flict between doing some­thing relax­ing, doing the chores that will make me feel com­fort­able, or going to bed. Even now I can’t relax. I clean my mir­rors of fin­ger­prints in between sen­tences, or brush Dolly of excess fur as she force­fully nudges my wrists in mirth, and only con­tinue writ­ing when I come up with the next idea.

A sore throat and weary body had me call­ing in sick today (I sus­pect that I caught some­thing from pet­ting the same cat as Karen yes­ter­day, who’s seems sick as a dog), although I ended up going in and work­ing six hours any­way. All the extra cur­ric­u­lar things are slowly wear­ing me down. There’s the two side-businesses, the new effort of learn­ing as much as I can about my new Canon Rebel XT by pho­tograph­ing every­thing, and the blog­ging. I also started table ten­nis again, although I’m not sure how often I can attend, tak­ing four hours out of a week­day. The one reprieve is a LAN party I’ve had planned since September that starts tomor­row, and even though it’ll be a good week­end of gam­ing, it’ll still mean lit­tle rest. Normally I’m planned, pre­pared, and prac­ticed for a LAN, but this time it’ll all be improvised.

I’m being tested, and even though I know that I’ll get through this, it’s still dif­fi­cult. I’m forced to deal with peo­ple I’ve avoided my entire life. I’m push­ing myself past the lim­its of any­thing I’ve ever gone through. To be hon­est, it’s a lit­tle eas­ier than I would have imag­ined. The strength and con­fi­dence that I’ve gained over the last two years has helped tremen­dously. Knowing that things get done in their own time keeps me from being over­whelmed. If I can make it through this, I’ll be stronger than ever.

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18 Oct 05

Today, Finally

It’s dif­fi­cult to sleep with so much on the mind, and even more dif­fi­cult when you’re filled with anger about not being able to fall sleep. With my duvet wrapped around me last night, I turned my alarm off com­pletely, decid­ing to get into work when­ever I woke up, know­ing that I’d need the rest to focus on a per­sis­tent net­work issue. After try­ing to fall asleep for an hour with­out suc­cess, and feel­ing like I’d waste the rest of the morn­ing, I got up very frus­trated. Those who know me, know that five hours is con­sid­ered calami­tous. I cooked a heavy break­fast of bacon, eggs and toast, know­ing that I’d still have time to get to work early, a bit of sus­te­nance to get me through the rest of the day.

The main prob­lem I’ve been fac­ing for the last week has been the setup of a VPN for a new out-of-office sales rep we recently hired. It was the per­fect morn­ing to get to work early, because I could work on the server for about an hour with­out hav­ing to worry about affect­ing any client com­put­ers. I traced the prob­lem to an out­dated ver­sion of the firmware, and crossed my fin­gers (after my last flash­ing dis­as­ter) as I burned the lat­est ver­sion. This was at 7:00 in the morn­ing. I spent the next 13 hours try­ing to fig­ure out why inter­net access stopped work­ing within the range of inter­nal IP addresses .1 to .36 (which makes absolutely no sense with­out being a power of two, and espe­cially odd when we had no DHCP ranges set).

This meant care­fully learn­ing the exist­ing struc­ture of a net­work I didn’t set up and fig­ur­ing out the Windows inter­net pro­to­col. I’ve had no for­mal train­ing in being an MCSE, so a lot of the day was spent read­ing through white papers and tech­ni­cal notes for a pos­si­ble DNS/DHCP/IIS/firewall/RRA set­ting I may have looked over. Network ser­vice slowly degraded through­out the day as I began trou­bleshoot­ing, includ­ing a simul­ta­ne­ous crash of the main cus­tom soft­ware on every sys­tem, a loss of dynamic dns address­ing (which brought our new online ser­vice down), until I couldn’t even find the net­work address of the router.

When you’re filled with angry per­se­ver­ance, you get a lot done. If only other peo­ple could under­stand that. Wearing a face of deter­mi­na­tion means I don’t have time to be pleas­ant, or have a lunch, or lis­ten to innane sto­ries of your grandchildren.

On the walk to work, I had already decided that as soon as I got off, I was going to play some table ten­nis at one of the bi-weekly ses­sions, vision blurred, eyes dry­ing, as tired as I was, and pass­ing out after din­ner. This obvi­ously didn’t hap­pen. I’d been seri­ously plan­ning on going since last week, but things just kept get­ting in the way.

Until the last 15 min­utes, the only thing I could think about was whether I’d have to pull an all-nighter, and whether or not I’d even be able to solve things if I did. That’s the risk of tech sup­port; the solu­tion can be as sim­ple as it is elu­sive, and there can be no progress until the very last tweak. Halfway through the day, I already decided that I’d call an exter­nal net­work spe­cial­ist to help if I didn’t get any­where by tomor­row after­noon. I was too tired to worry about not get­ting the net­work up before the next busi­ness day, which would basi­cally bring the com­pany to a stand­still, and too tired to be angry at every­thing that was going on. After fig­ur­ing out our net­work struc­ture, three calls to tech sup­port, and learn­ing inter­net pro­to­col the­ory from the ground up, I finally fig­ured out that all I needed to do was do a hard reset of the router, and con­fig­ure every­thing from scratch.

It was prob­a­bly the most dif­fi­cult day I’ve had since I started the job, but I knew that if I could get through it and fix the prob­lem, I’d be able to get through any­thing that could be thrown at me. Not only did I get the web con­nec­tion work­ing through the entire sub­net, I also got the sales reps lap­top to con­nect to the VPN through dial-up. Yesterday was a late night, get­ting a web­site done for a client friend. Tomorrow’s another 14 hour day, and even though I’ve known about it for a month, I don’t think it’ll make it any easier.

I real­ized that I only really feel lonely on days like these, when my body aches, my mind loses focus, and all I want to do is have some­one else take care of me. To have some­one else decide what to do, because I’m too tired to decide for myself.

Stepping out­side, hun­gry and exhausted, I put on a win­tery playlist for the walk home, since it was two hours past sun­set and the fall nights are get­ting frigid. The first song that came on was Explode by the Cardigans. I’d been sav­ing this song for months now, skip­ping it every time it came on so I wouldn’t get tired of it.

Today I finally deserved it.

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15 Oct 05

Just One Thing

It’s been a long week, although it was tech­ni­cally made shorter from the long week­end. Three can­cel­la­tions in three nights. Nothing’s work­ing out. I left work early yes­ter­day because my eyes stopped func­tion­ing. The pre­vi­ous day I’d worked a full 14 hours.

I used to get angry or frus­trated at things like this, but now I find myself cold and emo­tion­less, accept­ing things as the way they are. The advan­tage is that I’m a much more sta­ble per­son. It isn’t even any attempt to be stoic, but I’m sick of all the bullshit.

All I want is a break, just one thing to go my way.

Please?

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