Monthly Archives: November 2005

Winter Has Come

Thumbnail: Cat snowprints

Thumbnail: Cozy comforts

Cats are always curi­ous in the snow. As they sniff, the touch of their noses melt the snowflakes, and their tongues come out to lick away the mois­ture. They cau­tious­ly walk into it and inspect their paws, won­der­ing how they sud­den­ly became wet.

As for me, I’m com­fort­able at home with a warm drink and the glow of my mon­i­tors. The week has me burned out nowa­days, and the week­ends have become the only time for me to relax, the only time I can enjoy the sun­light dur­ing the short­ened win­ter days. You can always rec­og­nize a win­ter sky by its pale­ness, caus­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly bright days and orange nights.

Christmas will be here soon. Vacation and trips home and fam­i­ly and the spir­it of the sea­son. Fall has come and gone. How does the time pass so quick­ly? Did I imag­ine I’d be here, at this stage in life, a year ago? Not at all.

I nev­er real­ized how much I missed the win­ter, until the snow start­ed falling.


I received a birth­day reminder two days ago in the form of a card from my par­ents (a Richard Scarry-esque draw­ing of a crowd of cats, cell-phones to their ears, with the line inside, “Can you hear me meow?”). I had most­ly for­got­ten, although it came to mind about a month ago, and the thought remained dor­mant until Pat brought it up today.

During the week I made plans to meet Pat and Jen for dim sum, not know­ing that they secret­ly invit­ed Aaron and Karen as well, and that it was real­ly to take me out for my birth­day. Afterwards, we came back here to play some Donkey Konga and Mario Party. As sim­ple as it may seem to sit around play­ing games with a bunch of friends, it’s rare to find a day that our sched­ules match. It’s even more rare to hang out with a group of peo­ple I can total­ly relax with and just have a good time, let alone be able to indulge in the plea­sure of a bunch of addic­tive par­ty games with them. These are real friends, peo­ple who remind me how good it is to laugh, and help me real­ize that I don’t do it near­ly enough any­more.

On a day that I ask for noth­ing, I was giv­en every­thing that I could have want­ed.

Introduction: Lacey

Thumbnail: Lacey hides

Thumbnail: Lacey scratches

Thumbnail: Lacey naps

Aaron and Karen adopt­ed anoth­er cat, and named her Lacey. She’s a tiny thing, with downy white hair and ears like satel­lite dish­es. So far she’s a bit shy, as Chaos fol­lows her around often, but I think she’ll get used to it.

Until Lacey came along, I would have nev­er sus­pect­ed how much the cats look like their own­ers, but the resem­blance, as dif­fi­cult as it was to put my fin­ger on at first, is strik­ing. Chaos is the near­ly over­weight cat who some­times has a goofy look on his face like he’s say­ing “WHATSGOINGONOVERHEREGUYS??”, and Lacey is much small­er with big ears and del­i­cate fea­tures.

The Inconclusive End

Over break­fast, a gen­er­ous gorg­ing of sausage links, over easy, and hashed browns, the real­iza­tion dawns on me that out of the eight peo­ple seat­ed, four of us have worked in the same office.

In fact, three of us had the same job; while Aaron was work­ing as a devel­op­er, Pat was brought in to replace Jacques, and I was hired when Pat left. What a small world. That’s how Pat and I met Aaron, how Aaron met Jacques, and it was only on that day, four years lat­er, that Pat was intro­duced to Jacques.

Now we can sit around a break­fast table, fill­ing our­selves with greasy food and caf­feine in prepa­ra­tion for a week­end of gam­ing.

How long ago those days seem, work­ing in an unmo­ti­vat­ed gov­ern­ment office, dat­ing some­one I thought I want­ed to make my wife. I remarked to Pat how fun­ny it was to believe back then that I knew what I want­ed in life, and with a smirk, he asked me, “You think you know what you want now?”.

The ques­tion was rhetor­i­cal, of course. Sometimes Pat knows me bet­ter than I know myself. In his way, he was remind­ing me that even now, after all my con­tem­pla­tion and all my con­clu­sions, I still may not have fig­ured that out yet.

Do I real­ly know what I want?

Not real­ly. In my career, my rela­tion­ships, my short-term life I can say that there’s a path I’m mov­ing towards, but I also know that this will most like­ly change. As I learn and grow, as new goals are met and made, what I want changes too.

And per­haps being sure of this is what I real­ly want.

The Everyday Sickness Of Stress

Thumbnail: Card by Elle

I called in sick again today, but this time I did­n’t go in.

In Psych 101, you learn that a group of stu­dents are sprayed in the face with the cold bac­te­ria dur­ing their exams, while a con­trol group is sprayed dur­ing the reg­u­lar school year. The result is that the stu­dents going through their finals are more than twice as like­ly to get sick. Stress low­ers the immune sys­tem, and the les­son here is that there’s a direct con­nec­tion between the health of the mind and the body.

Knowing this isn’t enough to pre­vent it. Sometimes it all adds up, and you get worn down.

Little sur­pris­es come in the form of friends offer­ing to pick things up from the phar­ma­cy, peo­ple I’ve nev­er even spo­ken to ask­ing if I’m okay, or care pack­ages from ex-girl­friends, con­sist­ing of choco­late bars, vit­a­min C drops, African peanut soup, a DVD of BMW shorts, and even a get-well-soon card.