Monthly Archives: October 2010

To begin again

It’s snowing. The first of the season, and it hasn’t stopped for four hours.


I have so many things to write about, but this is the only thing on my mind right now.


The view out the back.

Nothing fills me with hope the way snow does. I write about this every year. If there were ever a Wikipedia entry about me that said love, depression, and winter, were all themes in my work, it’d be right.

a change of seasons

We’re doing this a little differently tonight.

I decided that I don’t spend enough time in my living room. I’m always at the computer in the corner of the bedroom. It’s my crawlspace, my cozy nook, thanks to the darkness and a decent set of speakers. Then I go to sleep on the couch in the living room.

But I used to spend nights writing in this living room. Usually on the ground with my back to a patch of wall between the window (open, of course) and the back door. Or with a mug of tea at the dining table. Nights full of warmth, and emotion, and clarity. I miss that. Back when I could still write about love. Back when I had love to write about.


But I’m here now in my blankets with my laptop. On the TV is The Brown Bunny in all it’s grainy old-school glory, and Vincent Gallo, that sexy motherfucker. I wish I could be as cocky. The second time through the movie you realize that all the girls are named after flowers.


Sunday night feels like it’s been alternating between snow and rain all weekend. As per tradition, I’m seeing how long I can go without turning on the furnace before it gets too cold. I’ve never minded the chill; it only makes blankets and hoodies all the more comfortable. My cat tends to be a lot more cuddlier too, and aggressive even, in where she plants herself next to me.

I’ve been waiting for the snow to come. Even with the hassle and the mess and the biting cold, it’s still worth it to wake up to a white world.



I’ve been drawn to photography again. With video, an important moment can be easily lost, but with photography the viewer has no choice but to confront the single frame presented to them. There’s also something about a lack of context. A photograph is more conducive to letting an audience wonder what has happened to lead up to the image, and what happened after.

The problem is that I don’t have anything to photograph anymore. I feel so uninspired. I never go out. Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting more and more anti-social. I work from home for four days a week now. Every time I think I should pick up the phone and call someone to catch up, I never do.

I’m starting to feel less and less guilty about it. I can’t tell if I’m getting comfortable, or just lazy.

into the saddle

I’ve been building up a collection of new music for France. Stuff I’m saving for when I’m on the plane, or the train, or walking the streets. I can tell these tracks will define my time there, as well this point in my life.

Most of it has been driving. Not necessarily loud or aggressive, but songs that mark the time with bass and a steady beat, reminding me that I’m still moving, and that life won’t wait for me to catch up.


Taylor NS32CE


I played around with Darren’s Seagull and immediately understood how visceral it is to hear and hold a decent guitar. The tone response and resonance was delightfully tactical on the larger instrument. The logical result of this is me saving up for a Taylor NS32CE six-string nylon acoustic/electric of my own. It has everything I’m looking for in a guitar:

  • nylon strings (for a wonderfully mellow sound)
  • a grand concert shape (which is suited to my smaller frame, and the proportions of classical nylon guitar never appealed to me)
  • a cutaway (for easier access to the high frets)
  • a 1 7/8 inches nut width (which is closer to classical string spacing, and hence better suited for fingerpicking)
  • a solid wood body (sitka on top and sapele — a common alternative to African mahogany — on the back and sides)
  • a non-flowery, non-metallic rosette (which I find far too common on typical nylon string guitars)
  • a gloss finish on top (though the sides are satin, and I don’t know how I feel about that cause satin dents really easily in my experience)
  • bonus: a slotted headstock (which I find to be more classy than regular ones)
  • bonus: no fretboard markers (cause I don’t like most, and this would help me correct the bad habit of always looking at the fretboard)

Also, the sapele is a gorgeous dark red with light striping that contrasts alluringly with the light sitka on top. But money has been super tight lately, and I’m trying to hold off on all purchases until I come back from my trip, since I don’t know how much I’m going to spend over there.


My dad sent me pictures of his new drum set, bought for him by some women whose name and relationship with him always seems to escape me. A full-out kit with three toms, a kick, a high-hat, a snare, a crash, and a ride. It’s probably the last thing most people expect to see my dad playing, but I remember when I was a young boy him mentioning the fact that he likes drums. Along with a new Honda sport motorcycle and a new Mercedes SUV, it’s hard to deny the fact that he’s living his dreams now. Darren jokes that he’s exactly where we are now — bachelors, getting into music, no real responsibilities, just trying to live as happily as possible — only he’s almost 30 years older than us.

He signs his e-mails to me as “Daddy”. It always reminds me that I’ll always be his little boy.

under warranty

My tenor uke is sitting in a box packed with Styrofoam, waiting to be picked up by courier. There was a defect in the neck that caused a buzzing on the 1st fret of the C string, and every string after the 12th. I wasn’t willing to put up with it for the price I paid, so I’m getting it replaced by the manufacturer. I’m glad I hadn’t named it yet.

I destroyed the strings on Joolie (my Mahalo Les Paul-style concert uke) and was too lazy to restring her. There was a length of time when I didn’t have a playable uke, and this lead to the realization that I’ve developed the habit of picking up and plucking away on one impulsively every hour.