Yearly Archives: 2006

Holiday Observer '06

Thumbnail: The cat
Thumbnail: Salad
Thumbnail: Tidbit

On Christmas day, I felt like doing some­thing low-key, with­out the large gath­er­ings usu­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with this time of year, so I decid­ed to spend it with Joel’s fam­i­ly. Hanukkah had already passed for them; it was just anoth­er day. Charlotte, who learns from Nigella Lawson, cooked a tremen­dous meal of roast beef, beans, and secret pota­toes. Even the dessert was a fan­cy form of choco­late pot mousse, made from 70% cocoa Lindt and all­spice.

We set­tled down with a lit­tle Gamecube, and I taught them Dutch Blitz, which we played well into the night. By the time I left, my spir­its were up again.

It was a nice mix­ture of young and mature. A place where I could shut off my brain and be a kid, but have a thought­ful con­ver­sa­tion too. They real­ly made me feel like I was one of the fam­i­ly.

I arrived with hand­shakes and hel­los, but left with hugs and kiss­es.

Photo Wrap-up '06

I was going through my pic­tures and real­ized that there were quite a few I haven’t post­ed, so I decid­ed to do an end-of-year wrap-up. Most of these are pho­tos I like but they did­n’t fit any­where, or were made redun­dant by oth­er pic­tures telling a sto­ry.

Thumbnail: Bronwen with our drinks at Moxie's 
Thumbnail: Model home wall art 
Thumbnail: Smiles around the cabin in Tremblent 
Thumbnail: Metal beatle 
Thumbnail: Karen plays with Chaos 
Thumbnail: Tremblent cabin 
Thumbnail: Blood oranges 
Thumbnail: Dolly goes for a treat in the hand 
Thumbnail: Me and Bronwen waiting for the bus 
Thumbnail: Just A Taste brownie 
Thumbnail: Maneki Neko, the beckoning cat 
Thumbnail: Eating yoghurt 
Thumbnail: The treats of Chinese vendors 
Thumbnail: Paper cranes 
Thumbnail: Stunt rider 
Thumbnail: Nala in my room 
Thumbnail: Jenn and Karen 
Thumbnail: Bottle of Miracle by Lancome 
Thumbnail: Steph's cat 
Thumbnail: Gerry's view 

Since we got bought out by a pub­lic com­pa­ny, the pur­chas­ing pro­ce­dure has changed quite a bit. Some of the top brass from the head office in Boston flew in this week, and I made it a point to thank the CFO for per­son­al­ly approv­ing the pur­chase of a new Canon Rebel XTi, 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, and 50mm f/1.8 lens. After the pres­i­dent intro­duced me, he told me I did a fan­tas­tic job with the pic­tures in the com­pa­ny cat­a­logue, and it real­ly made my day.

I think I’ve real­ly devel­oped as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er in the lit­tle time I’ve owned my first SLR cam­era. Looking back on a year of pho­tos has made me real­ize that I’ve learned a lot, not only sim­ple pho­to­graph­ic the­o­ry, but famil­iar­i­ty with my cam­era and post-pro­cess­ing as well. I still have a lot more to learn though, espe­cial­ly with expo­sure and meter­ing, as dig­i­tal cam­eras make it easy to get good shots with­out real­ly need­ing to have an in-depth under­stand­ing.

Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend: Louise

The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong baby
And you’ll be sor­ry some­day

BB King, The Thrill Is Gone

Our rela­tion­ship was a night­mare of ups and downs.

You had the amaz­ing abil­i­ty to make me feel good about myself, by say­ing the right thing with intel­li­gence and elo­quence.

Yet every time I felt like I was mak­ing progress, progress that took tremen­dous effort and ener­gy, progress for you, you would put me down. Every time I took a leap of faith and put myself out there, you would hurt me. It was­n’t even a case of bru­tal, tact­less hon­esty; you would insult my pride for no rea­son.

I think it betrayed a sub­con­scious inse­cu­ri­ty. Something you would do to make your­self feel bet­ter. Like your con­stant need to prove that you’re busy and mov­ing on. It’s as if your life is emp­ty, void, and you’re des­per­ate to fill it with some­thing.

I had to end things when you went too far.

There were no regrets, because I did my absolute best to make things work. Even though I suf­fered, I ignored the pain, and tried work­ing through it. I only gave up when you proved too stub­born to change or under­stand.

The rela­tion­ship was­n’t a total loss. It was an inter­est­ing intro­duc­tion to the sub­cul­ture. It was pas­sion­ate­ly sex­u­al. It also made me more con­fi­dent, although I real­ize now that it was­n’t because of you. You bare­ly gave me any trust, and every step for­ward I made, you pulled me back two. It was me who fought through all the inse­cu­ri­ties and rose to the occa­sion.

When you came back in January, with­out a word of apol­o­gy or men­tion of the wrong you did, I had no inter­est in con­tin­u­ing the rela­tion­ship. After that, I thought of you when­ev­er I heard the song Buried Myself Alive by The Used.

Then, with all your let­ters and your apolo­gies and your tears, two years lat­er, you asked “nicer than that”.

Unfortunately, it was at an unsta­ble time in my life, so I asked you to back off and wait. Your idea of back­ing off and wait­ing is leav­ing me creepy com­ments and dat­ing to fill the time. I just can’t under­stand how you keep mak­ing these mis­takes. It’s almost like you pur­pose­ly sab­o­tage your­self.

I don’t want to be involved in the dra­ma any­more. Nothing is ever sim­ple with you. Even though you say you’ve changed, it’s not worth the risk to me. You had your chance, and it was a damn good one.

You’ve wronged me too many times. The last time you left my house, not know­ing when or if you’d come back, I felt noth­ing.

I knew then that the thrill was gone.

A few oth­er things:

  • On the phone, your voice could be so cute that it would make me weak and for­get every­thing you did.
  • Out of all my girl­friends, you were phys­i­cal­ly the least attrac­tive, yet you were the most con­ceit­ed about your looks.
  • It was very much appre­ci­at­ed when you brought me flow­ers at work, and the times you’ve dropped off food and oth­er good­ies at my door. No one else has done this for me.
  • The way you would remem­ber events was often com­plete­ly wrong. It would­n’t be so bad if you weren’t com­plete­ly con­vinced that your inter­pre­ta­tion was cor­rect. It made things rather scary, like dat­ing a schiz­o­phrenic. You could total­ly fab­ri­cate how things went, the way you want­ed to remem­ber them. The root of an argu­ment would turn into my fault, instead of yours.
  • You were a knock­out in bed.

The Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend series

  1. Introduction
  2. Ashley
  3. Michele
  4. Christie
  5. Jackie
  6. Louise
  7. Bronwen

Brown Hairs On A Yellow Face

Trolley and Aaron can grow beards as I’ve nev­er been able to. It’s always made me a lit­tle envi­ous. I’m not one who can have that gruff, dis­tin­guished look.

This comes as a strange phe­nom­e­non. While my dad could nev­er real­ly devel­op a full beard, he could quick­ly grow an all-over scruff. Scruff like it was made of steel wool. Sometimes he’d have to shave twice a day, and he kept an extra elec­tric shaver in the glove com­part­ment just for this pur­pose.

Apparently, I did­n’t inher­it this gene.

Thumbnail: Razor shavings

Thumbnail: Razor shavings close-up

I did, how­ev­er, inher­it some sort of muta­tion that turns cer­tain hairs brown. I always thought it was Scottish her­itage on Aaron’s part that gave him the orange high­lights in his beard. Now I don’t know what it’s due to.

Unfortunately, I can’t show off this muta­tion, since I have to shave fre­quent­ly.

When I don’t shave, my sparse facial hair makes me look like I’m still going through puber­ty and my balls have yet to drop.

Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend: Jackie

Am I not your favourite gad­get, no more?
How come my lit­tle baby?
Am I not your favourite gad­get, no more now?
How come not any­more?

Since you bought me, I feel lone­ly
Since that day things are wrong
Could you not repair me, hon­ey
Is my war­ran­ty guar­an­teed gone

—Ellen ten Damme, Gadget

There was always some­thing about you.

Your voice. Your Joisey accent. Your hair style. Your always-on chok­er. Your pierc­ings (I was always a suck­er for brow rings and tongue studs). Your taste in music. Your off-the-wall per­son­al­i­ty.

It was all so excit­ing. Something I’d nev­er expe­ri­enced before.

But you were a total dra­ma queen too. You would get upset over the most ran­dom, innocu­ous things. I could nev­er tell if you tru­ly believed the ridicu­lous things you said, or whether you just said them for atten­tion. Either way, I hat­ed it.

You could also be as imma­ture as a teenag­er. I hat­ed how you would do things like leave in the mid­dle of a game and storm off to the oth­er room because you thought you would lose.

I put all my feel­ings aside for you. I would always let you have your way, but you’d nev­er even con­sid­er mine, and I hat­ed it.

Most of all, I hat­ed how you meant so much to me, while I meant so lit­tle to you.

Even though I knew it would­n’t last, even though I knew you were com­plete­ly wrong for me, like poi­son in the blood­stream, I could­n’t end it. Sometimes I still won­der if you ever think of me, or whether I was just anoth­er thing you used to occu­py your­self in the sum­mer, between boyfriends.

I’ve writ­ten more entries inspired by what hap­pened than by any­thing else. I don’t want to give our rela­tion­ship any sig­nif­i­cance, but the truth is that I can’t deny how impor­tant it was. What we had would­n’t even count as a rela­tion­ship, if it weren’t for how much it affect­ed me.

My pre­vi­ous rela­tion­ships were nev­er sat­is­fy­ing. It felt like I could nev­er fall in love or appre­ci­ate my girl­friends for who they were, and I always believed it was my fault. Then I fell in love with you, and it helped me learn that the fail­ures of the past weren’t any­one’s fault, and sim­ply the result of incom­pat­i­bil­i­ty. If it was­n’t for this real­iza­tion, the suf­fer­ing and the heart­break would­n’t have been worth it.

You were the only girl to ever break up with me. It was the short­est rela­tion­ship I’ve had by far, but for some rea­son, it was the longest for me to get over. My heart tells me you were spe­cial, but my head tells me you weren’t spe­cial at all.

You were only the one I could­n’t have.

The Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend series

  1. Introduction
  2. Ashley
  3. Michele
  4. Christie
  5. Jackie
  6. Louise
  7. Bronwen