Monthly Archives: September 2007

Yo-Yo Tuesdays and Thursdays

It’s the same thing every Tuesday and Thursday.

I get home from work. I have some yogurt. I pow­er nap. I wake up. I eat some fruit. I take the bus to my Tai Chi class.

I’m more pro­duc­tive on the bus than at home. It forces me to sit, and removes me of all dis­trac­tions.

Some days I like to zone out. I lis­ten to music and let my mind wan­der. Lately though, I’ve been read­ing, to whit­tle down my list of pur­chased-but-not-fin­ished books:

  • Beautiful Losers* by Leonard Cohen
  • Mao: The Unknown Story* by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday
  • The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff
  • Tai Chi Chuan: The Martial Side* by Michael Babin
  • Power Taiji by Michael Babin
  • Yang-Style Tai Chi by Michael Babin
  • The Taoist I Ching trans­lat­ed by Thomas Cleary
  • The Tao* by Mark Forstater

Note: Those marked with an aster­isk are ones I’ve begun read­ing.

The one I’m focus­ing on now is the Mao book (which is a tome that breaks my back when I car­ry it in a shoul­der bag) because I’m near the end of his life and it’s get­ting so good and so juicy. Nearly 10 months after Bronwen’s par­ents gave it to me last Christmas, I’m almost fin­ished.

And I get so depressed when I read it because it’s filled with sto­ries of such tragedy, cru­el­ty, and mis­for­tune. Mao proves to be such a mon­ster, with over 70 mil­lion peo­ple dead from star­va­tion, sui­cide, or tor­ture, that it fills me with an almost infi­nite sad­ness.

Then I get to my Tai Chi class, and it’s so small and inti­mate, with such a great group of peo­ple, that I feel enlight­ened. It’s such a beau­ti­ful, tan­gi­ble expres­sion of my beliefs. My class­mates are all gen­er­ous, unpre­ten­tious peo­ple. The con­tact when I’m push­ing hands, uproot­ing, force-deflect­ing — the only phys­i­cal con­tact I have in the week now — charges me, and stave’s the lone­li­ness for anoth­er day.

When class is over, I get back on the bus and read more about Mao, and hurt again.

I come home around quar­ter to ten and cook din­ner and eat and write a bit and get to sleep way too late.

It’s an emo­tion­al roller coast­er I go through twice a week.

An Evening with Krista and Shane

Thumbnail: Krista Muir and Shane Watt perform together wide

As pre­dict­ed, I left my house feel­ing ner­vous and excit­ed, and put on my Top Rated playlist to dis­tract myself. The music of Lederhosen Lucil has nev­er touched me on a deeply inti­mate lev­el, the way, say, a Leonard Cohen or Thrice song does, but it’s still remained very per­son­al. I dis­cov­ered L.L. at a time when I was feel­ing rather jad­ed from life. The music was sil­ly, fun, and con­fi­dent, so I embraced it with delight­ful hedo­nism. It lift­ed me when I was in a strange state of numb­ness and lim­bo.

Thumbnail: Krista Muir and Shane Watt get ready to perform 
Thumbnail: Shane's North Korean guitar 
Thumbnail: Lederhosen Lucil swag 

I got there at what turned out to be an hour and a half ear­ly (though it was due to a mis­take on the venue web­site), so I wan­dered the store until the show start­ed, feel­ing like a fish out of water in a tiny room filled with hand­made wom­en’s cloth­ing and jew­el­ery. Though beau­ti­ful and impres­sive­ly unique, they would­n’t let me take pic­tures of any­thing1.

As soon as I saw Krista alone, I began to hyper­ven­ti­late, which was rather unex­pect­ed (I’m still get­ting over how hilar­i­ous­ly embar­rass­ing this was). I approached her and man­aged to spit out “Hi” in a whis­per. I did­n’t know what to say, so I just asked her to sign my CD (still whis­per­ing, unable to con­trol the vol­ume of my voice). I’m sure I’ll appre­ci­ate such a reac­tion in a cou­ple years, as not many peo­ple can cause me to be so flus­tered2.

Continue read­ing “An Evening with Krista and Shane”…

  1. I’m guess­ing to pro­tect the designs of the artists []
  2. Perhaps it was the strange feel­ing that Krista, who was now sud­den­ly in front of me, had so unwit­ting­ly affect­ed me, with­out ever even being aware of my exis­tence. Or per­haps I was intim­i­dat­ed. I like to con­sid­er myself a cre­ative per­son, but by no means a pro­fes­sion­al, earn­ing a liv­ing off my cre­ativ­i­ty. Krista is, how­ev­er, a born enter­tain­er. []

Empty Nights, Waiting for a Realization

I’ve done the math enough to know the dan­gers of our sec­ond guess­ing
Doomed to crum­ble unless we grow, and strength­en our com­mu­ni­ca­tion

—Tool, Schism

I sup­pose I feel it most when you’re not around. Empty nights, when it’s been anoth­er day with­out con­tact.

Part of me miss­es talk­ing to you, but part of me does­n’t feel like it just yet. It’s a con­tra­dic­tion I can’t explain. Not that it mat­ters any­way.

You’re not stub­born. You’re not lazy.

You just don’t get it.

Lederhosen Lucil is Coming to Town


I just found out that Krista Muir, who’s alter-ego Lederhosen Lucil I fell in love with two years ago, is play­ing in a small stu­dio in town on Friday. Entrance dona­tion is $5. As much as I want to go to hear her new album (released today, fea­tur­ing ukule­les over Yamaha syn­the­siz­ers), my main rea­son would be to get some pic­tures of her. I nev­er get a chance to do con­cert pho­tog­ra­phy, and she has a play­ful per­son­al­i­ty with the cos­tumes she wears.

I’ll prob­a­bly bring my 15mm and 24–70mm lens­es, and be shoot­ing at f/2.8 and 1600 ISO the whole time. I would con­sid­er my 50mm f/1.8 prime just for that extra stop of light, but I lent it to Pat and primes are much less ver­sa­tile in such sit­u­a­tions.

Two years ago, I missed her only stop of her tour in this city, when I had to “coach” my team in lad­der match­es at the table ten­nis league. That made me a sad pan­da.

Just think­ing about going is mak­ing my stom­ach flut­ter. I may go to movies by myself, but I nev­er go to con­certs alone. The noise and crowds of con­certs make me espe­cial­ly uncom­fort­able (and over­stim­u­lat­ed), but a friend always helps me get over it. Unfortunately, no one else I know enjoys her music (which I would describe as fair­ly eso­teric), and I would­n’t put some­one through music they did­n’t enjoy. Added to this, I’ll be tak­ing pic­tures, which always makes me feel very self-con­scious.

Normally, I take a few weeks to men­tal­ly pre­pare myself for some­thing like this, but since it’s such short notice and the oppor­tu­ni­ty does­n’t come around often, I’m forc­ing myself to go.

I’m scared, and ner­vous, and excit­ed all at once.

Edit: I just noticed that my “sim­i­lar terms” cus­tom field, which auto­mat­i­cal­ly enters key­words from the entry to match words in the data­base and pull “relat­ed entries” on the left, includes the word “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”. Hilarity.

You Caught Me Dancing

I always lis­ten to music when I’m in the bath­room, and I always dance when I’m alone.

Except you were in my room, look­ing in, and I was brush­ing my teeth to the beat. I don’t even remem­ber the song, I just know that it moved me, manip­u­lat­ing my joints and twitch­ing my bones like a mar­i­onette. Shoulders, hips, legs co-ordi­nat­ed like a shame­less drunk.

You asked. I denied.

And if you men­tioned it now, I still would­n’t admit it.