Monthly Archives: July 2010

you got to hold on

I have all this stuff I mean to write but when it comes to typ­ing it out, it seems point­less. I don’t mind feel­ing this way any­more. I’d much rather come off as witty or inter­est­ing, but I can set­tle for honest.

My pol­icy nowa­days is to act the way I feel. Instead of try­ing to cater to other peo­ple or fit into social norms, I do what I want. It takes some trust in myself to believe that I’m gen­er­ally a good per­son, but every­thing seems to be work­ing in my favour.


With another wed­ding booked next year, I was able to jus­tify a new lens. The final one in my lens path: Canon’s 70–200mm f/2.8 IS II USM. It lets me take pic­tures like this.

I have some­thing major going on each month until December, at which point I’ll prob­a­bly her­ma­tize for three weeks until another round of hol­i­day craziness.

I used to have Hold On by Tom Waits play­ing here.

The sum­mer has been warm and fuzzy, and it’s filled me with con­tent­ment. I don’t care about the future any­more. I’m liv­ing in this moment, and thank­ful it’s a nice one.

Fell in love with a beard at 160 Workshops

I could explain how awe­some this night was, but I think this beard speaks for itself.

It’s a custom-made piece by Emily Comeau — named the Smirkin’ Merkin — and a pro­to­type for Jesse’s merch. As a per­son who’s never even come close to hav­ing a beard, I wanted to keep it SO BADLY even though it was brown and didn’t match the cur­tains (or the car­pet, for that mat­ter). I wore it for the first song I played, but it got way too warm to keep on in a house full of people.



Continue read­ing “Fell in love with a beard at 160 Workshops”…

The premature exit

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

I barely stayed for two hours. It wasn’t the game (though it did prove to be as frus­trat­ingly ran­dom as I remem­ber it) or the peo­ple (who were quite nice and refresh­ingly intel­li­gent). When I told Jess, she said, “But it’s so early.” I just shrugged my shoul­ders. As an intro­vert, she understood.

Onegin: premature exit


Sometimes I won­der if I come off as an extremely anti-social per­son. I tend to be the first one to leave par­ties, and some­times so early that the host will ask me if every­thing is alright. When it comes to being around peo­ple, I’m def­i­nitely a high-maintenance per­son. I’m much hap­pier in one-on-one sit­u­a­tions, and even more often I pre­fer being alone.

As much as I’ve grown and changed, I’ve always needed the world in small doses.


This is pretty much the most awe­some sit­u­a­tion I can think of. A jam ses­sion with Nic on beats and bass, Jesse rap­ping and on organ + glock­en­spiel, Audra on clar­inet, and me on ukulele. Figuring out what sounds best, mod­i­fy­ing arrange­ments, prac­tic­ing until it feels right.

The night was actu­ally a rehearsal for Jesse’s upcom­ing Canadian liv­ing room tour, the last stop of which is in Ottawa, at the same place I first met Jesse and Audra and Jacob.



Because Jesse’s sis­ter is only avail­able on the east­ern tour dates, that left a spot for one instru­ment on the final tour date, which I’ll excit­edly be fill­ing with my ukulele. It’s only for three songs (and singing one part of a three part har­mony) but it’s going to be so much fun.

Here’s Jesse singing and rhyming and con­duct­ing us and play­ing the glock­en­spiel at the same time. It’s a new track off his upcom­ing album with an obvi­ous theme about video, except in this ver­sion he made an arrange­ment of Video Tape by Radiohead and VCR by The XX to book­end the verses. I’d never heard VCR, so Jesse had to teach me the chords on the fly.

I recorded this on my iPhone so I could prac­tice on my own; I won’t have a chance to see them for another rehearsal before they go on tour. I’d never heard the song before, and it was our first time play­ing it through together but every­one knew when to stop. It felt com­pletely nat­ural. We were com­mu­ni­cat­ing with­out words, our instincts cul­mi­nat­ing in that won­der­fully solid unison.

Even though I’m still rusty, it felt amaz­ing to be play­ing an instru­ment with other peo­ple again. And this time with mate­r­ial that’s fuck­ing genius, not the same old con­ser­va­tory pieces some teacher chooses for you. At one point I was play­ing around on the ukulele when Jesse had to get the phone, and Nic started putting beats to what I was doing and it made me want to steal Nic for all my practicing.

See Jesse Dangerously in your town:

Friday, July 23rd — The Bird House in Halifax, NS — 6156 Duncan Street, 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 24th — The Galley in Fredericton, NB — 1–178 Westmorland Street, 7:00 p.m (with feminist/anti-capitalist gum­boot troupe Rebelles).
Sunday, July 25th — Gallerie Rye in Montreal, PQ — 1331a Rue Ste Catherine Est, 8:00 p.m (with the vegan ukulele of Nicola IV).
Monday, July 26th — 160 Workshops in Ottawa, ON — 160 Primrose Avenue, 8:00 p.m. (with electronic/acoustic singer-songwriter Jacob Earl).

29 8/12: The Son

There’s no rev­e­la­tion more star­tling than the fact that your dad is cooler than you.

This is espe­cially true of my own father, who isn’t just cool for an old guy, he’s cool period. As a teenager, I remem­ber him wear­ing a leather bomber jacket, and learn­ing to ride a pur­ple Kawasaki Ninja sport bike which he even­tu­ally traded in for a sil­ver Porsche.

When I was even younger, my friends would tell me he looked like a secret agent. One time he came to help me move out of res­i­dence, and his jeans had wider cuffs than mine (and back then I loved wear­ing wide-leg khakis). I can’t remem­ber a time when he didn’t wear some­thing by Lacoste, Polo, or Tommy, and even though he may dress far younger than his age, he can still pull it off.

Now he’s a man mov­ing closer to his 60s, dri­ving a Mercedes and a BMW, with what seems to have a coterie of women whose com­mon inter­est is him. He watches pop­u­lar movies, prac­tices singing, and dances on a reg­u­lar basis. Even my grandma once told me that peo­ple like him because he’s the fun one to be around.

Self portrait at 29 8/12


This is all very dif­fer­ent from me; a shy, intro­verted, awk­ward per­son whose idea of a good time gen­er­ally involves being in front of a computer.

Still, with all these dif­fer­ences, I know I’m his son. Just a chip off the old block, with the same work ethics, the same per­fec­tion­ist ten­den­cies, the same neu­rotic tendencies.

We get grumpy when we’re hun­gry. We hate feel­ing sweaty and some­times have to shower twice in a day. We make the same silly jokes when we’re around new peo­ple. We dec­o­rated our houses exclu­sively with mod­ern, min­i­mal­ist fur­ni­ture before we knew what each other’s houses looked like. And as I grow older, I’ve also started devel­op­ing the same night owl habits, care­free atti­tude, insom­nia, and diges­tion problems.

I turn 30 in four months, and I’m becom­ing my father’s son.

The Turning 30 Series