Monthly Archives: July 2009

A Letter To The Officer Who Made Me Drive Into A Ditch

(If you haven’t seen the pic­ture.)

Maybe we have a few things in com­mon. We were both dri­ving back to the office at the end of the day (me to drop off the cas­es I had picked up, you to do more paper­work). Both five years at our jobs. Both with­out pri­or acci­dents. But I’m actu­al­ly in mar­ket­ing, not deliv­ery, and if it was­n’t for the fact that our so many of our dri­vers had called in sick, I would­n’t have been on the road at this par­tic­u­lar time on this par­tic­u­lar day.

It was actu­al­ly a few fac­tors that led to my dri­ving into the dirt shoul­der, and even­tu­al­ly, set­tling in a ditch fac­ing the wrong way in the grassy medi­an. You drove from the onramp direct­ly into the pass­ing lane — where I was — with­out check­ing your blind spot. Or sig­nal­ing. I did­n’t real­ize you were com­ing into my lane and about to hit me until it was too late. I did­n’t have time to brake, so I had to dri­ve half onto the shoul­der. As I steered back onto the cement road, it caused a dif­fer­ence in trac­tion between my left and right tires. It made me veer left, and I tried to cor­rect it by steer­ing right. Then the same thing hap­pened in the oppo­site direc­tion.

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The Appreciation Paradox

Often, when some­one thanks me, I find myself say­ing “Don’t men­tion it” or “No need to thank me”. Yet when some­one does­n’t thank me for a favour, I feel like I’m being tak­en advan­tage of.

It’s a fun­ny thing that I feel like a thank-you is unnec­es­sary only after some­one has said it. Maybe it’s because as long as the per­son appre­ci­ates the favour, that’s all that mat­ters.

It’s sim­i­lar to the way Pat once offered to let me stay with him and Jen if I ever find myself with­out a job and a house. I’d prob­a­bly nev­er take him up on the offer because I nev­er want to be a bur­den any­one. At the same time, he knows this and does­n’t expect me to take him up on it, but he offered any­way because he knows I would­n’t take it for grant­ed, and would still be hap­py to take me in if the sit­u­a­tion war­rant­ed it.

Perhaps such acts become more of an acknowl­edg­ment than a prac­ti­cal ges­ture. As long as I know that some­one is appre­cia­tive and rec­og­nizes a favour, that’s all that mat­ters. But real­ly, isn’t that what a thank you is — an acknowl­edg­ment through thanks? At the same time, with­out a thank you, how would we know that some­one is appre­cia­tive?

It’s like the act itself is simul­ta­ne­ous­ly nec­es­sary and unnec­es­sary.

this ambition made me tough

Dirty pool

If it has­n’t been painful­ly obvi­ous already, I’ve been busy. Even though it’s only been four days since my last entry, I think that’s the longest I’ve ever gone with­out writ­ing since my month-long hia­tus back in 2006. There are so many thoughts I have been putting in the back of my head to write down, so many pho­tos I have yet to work on and post.

kitty 1

The big project is the house show on Saturday. This week I’m get­ting things ready: clean­ing; buy­ing ice, ice cream, and top­pings for the ice cream bar, cups, spoons; mov­ing fur­ni­ture; cre­at­ing playlists for the lounge time before the show; orga­niz­ing food and sleep­ing arrange­ments for the artists; and prepar­ing to cap­ture the whole ide­al in pic­ture and video.

Pho with Aaron and Trolley

I think I’ll be able to breathe again some time in mid August. Until then, I’m work­ing away hap­pi­ly, and learn­ing to pri­or­i­tize instead of doing what I feel like.

Kitty 2

But even then, I don’t think I’ll want to stop. I’m quite enjoy­ing these projects, or, should I say, fin­ish­ing them because it means I’m pro­duc­tive, and there does­n’t seem to be any­thing more sat­is­fy­ing at the moment. I haven’t sat down and lost myself in a game in a while, which is strange for me. And even stranger that I’m not jonesing, as it used to be my favourite pas­time, and the only one that would relax me. Most of my relax­ation time now comes in lit­tle dos­es of quick iPhone games.

Window shopping

I like being busy.

But we’ll see how long that lasts.

The Case For Nature (vs Nurture)

When I was young, my dad had a fight with his broth­er over open­ing a con­ve­nience store next to a phar­ma­cy (my uncle is a phar­ma­cist) in a plaza that my grand­moth­er owned. Both types of stores have lots of com­pet­ing prod­ucts, so the argu­ment was about who would be the one to open their store. I guess my dad won, because he bought the con­ve­nience store and ran it for quite a few years.

After that, I did­n’t see my uncle or his fam­i­ly at all. For so long that I com­plete­ly for­got that I had a cousin, Crystal.

When my grand­moth­er came from Hong Kong to vis­it one year, she reunit­ed the fam­i­lies again, and I saw them for the first time in a long while1.

At that time, the pop­u­lar thing to do was play cards. I had the rep­u­ta­tion as being the fastest, most dex­ter­ous deal­er out of all the kids. But when I went over to my uncle’s house one day and we were play­ing Asshole, I noticed Crystal deal­ing exact­ly the same way I did, except faster, with­out even pay­ing atten­tion.

It was at that point that I real­ized, “This per­son is my fam­i­ly”.

The only oth­er time I had such a stark real­iza­tion was dur­ing my trip to Hong Kong ear­li­er this year. At an inter­na­tion­al buf­fet, we grabbed some dessert from the cart and ordered some tea. My uncle, aunt (both sib­lings of my dad), and I were sit­ting at the table, with deli­cious pas­tries in front of us, but none of us were touch­ing them. When some­one asked my uncle why he was­n’t eat­ing his dessert yet, he said that he has to have tea with his sweets. And it turns out that was the exact same rea­son me and my aunt were wait­ing too. One of these lit­tle quirks that one nev­er expects some­one else to have, and some­times we’re even ridiculed for it, and yet here we were, three peo­ple doing the exact same thing for the exact same rea­son.

I gen­er­al­ly believe that humans are more like­ly a prod­uct of their expe­ri­ences, with a touch of inher­it­ed qual­i­ties too. After all, I’m almost noth­ing like either of my par­ents. It was only these two expe­ri­ences that made me admit that there’s a lit­tle more of us that’s inher­it­ed, that we’re a prod­uct of our genes, than I would have believed.

  1. I even dis­cov­ered that I had a new cousin, Darren, who was Crystal’s broth­er. []

Sexual Secret

Secrets aren’t so bad
We’re too young to feel safe
I don’t deserve all this now
Don’t want to feel I’ve made mis­takes

I want to tell you every­thing
I want to tell you every­thing
But if I tell you every­thing
What we can build won’t mean a thing

Secret’s Aren’t So Bad, Magneta Lane

There’s this thing, this sex­u­al thing I like. I mean real­ly like. It’s not exact­ly deviant, but cer­tain­ly some­thing that some girls may find gross or unap­peal­ing.

Even though it’s such a big deal to me, I nev­er told any of my girl­friends about it. Only one of them liked it, and even she did­n’t know how impor­tant it was to me, because it was some­thing she want­ed from me.

I know most of my girl­friends would have prob­a­bly indulged me (at least once in a while) if I told them, but I nev­er did. Not because it’s embar­rass­ing, but because I nev­er want­ed any of them to feel oblig­ed or pres­sured into doing it. I always think that one day, I’ll tell the right per­son because she’ll ask me what I like, and she’ll do it for me because she loves me. None of them have, yet, maybe because it’s nev­er got­ten bor­ing in the bed­room.

So for now, it remains this lit­tle secret I keep, because secrets aren’t so bad. They can be lit­tle gems that bring peo­ple clos­er togeth­er. So why reveal them all so soon?