Monthly Archives: December 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