Monthly Archives: June 2012

i miss

try­ing new foods with my Uncle Joe and the fas­ci­na­tion I used to have for Six Feet Under and being able to sleep more than four con­tin­u­ous hours and gui­tar lessons and the sound girls make when you squeeze them just right and the idea of camp­ing but not the actu­al act and remem­ber­ing how to play Sunny Road and Trolley and Steph already and snow and peo­ple-watch­ing when tak­ing the bus and long-term rela­tion­ships and

two girls and a baby

these kind of moments before we all par­take and

the smell of rain in Paris and make­outs and know­ing what to say to peo­ple when they ask me how I’m doing and being led by the hand to the bed­room and being called Jeffy Bear and hav­ing a rea­son to wear Classic by Banana Republic and get­ting real­ly excit­ed and being pur­sued by some­one I’m not try­ing to avoid and the time in my life before all this med­ica­tion and hav­ing some­one I could call my best friend and cud­dling and walks and old /b/ and Bruce Springstein before he went rock and no one I should­n’t and hav­ing a Tai Chi teacher and

bums like this

lit­tle bums like this and

know­ing how to play piano and pounc­ing on sur­vivors with Dave and Tyler and hav­ing a sta­ble source of income and being part of her life and hav­ing her in mine and Hawaiian sun­sets and find­ing sales for clothes that fit me and play­ing songs for Antje and the inti­ma­cy of oral and simul­ta­ne­ous orgasms and sex, obvi­ous­ly and hav­ing some­one to spoil and new episodes of Reno 911 and host­ing big par­ties and the way Leonard would sleep on my neck.

Version 13

The design of the site was updat­ed a few weeks ago, bring­ing the lat­est incar­na­tion of to ver­sion 13. I thought ver­sion 12 was going to be the final design, but I’ve real­ized that things inevitably change in my life, and the site is always ends up being a reflec­tion of those changes. At least it last­ed over a year, which is more than I can say for any of my pre­vi­ous designs.

Clean and clear and under control

After going through a peri­od where I felt shat­tered and began to ques­tion every­thing that was impor­tant to me, I knew I had to rede­fine myself. It made me want to strip every­thing down, and go back to my ultra-min­i­mal­ist roots, while bor­row­ing a few much-loved ele­ments from pre­vi­ous designs such as fine dot­ted lines. All the code has been built from the ground up instead of being based on a pre­vi­ous theme.

Now there’s only one col­umn, with every­thing cen­tered to keep it all nice and sim­ple. This lets me post very large pic­tures, which I’ve real­ly been enjoy­ing late­ly, and some­thing the pre­vi­ous theme had restrict­ed me from doing. The pic­tures scale nice­ly though, so peo­ple with low-res­o­lu­tion mon­i­tors will still be able to see an entire pho­to with­out ever hav­ing to scroll.


One of the biggest changes from any of my pre­vi­ous designs is the use of a non-sys­tem font for body copy. I want­ed to move away from the Helvetica I’ve been using for so long now and give the site a unique feel. I decid­ed on Proxima Nova, which retains human­is­tic pro­por­tions with a some­what geo­met­ric appear­ance. I’m still frus­trat­ing­ly dis­ap­point­ed by the cur­rent state of web typog­ra­phy, so I’ve turned to Typekit to take care of that for me.

don't give up on me now

In the last ses­sion, I explained to my ther­a­pist how I felt more respon­si­ble for and in con­trol of my own hap­pi­ness, and less depen­dent on oth­ers for a sense of iden­ti­ty or ful­fil­ment (things I’d strug­gled with before). I also told him how I’ve been more vocal about my needs, to give my friends a chance to be involved in my life instead of always putting my feel­ings aside, and how I’m lucky that they’ve respond­ed so pos­i­tive­ly to that. I’ve made some major life deci­sions that I believe will lead to pos­i­tive changes, I’ve been pro­duc­tive, and I’m hap­py for right now instead of being delud­ed by a hope­ful sense of what the future may hold1.

When I brought up idea that it may be the med­ica­tion that’s been help­ing me so much, he said it’s good but not that good. Otherwise, he’d be pop­ping pills every time he need­ed some sort of per­son­al epiphany. Instead, it’s there as a way to help me think more clear­ly in cer­tain cir­cum­stances, but it does­n’t do any think­ing for me. This came as quite a relief, as I did­n’t want to think that I’d be depen­dent on some­thing for this sense of men­tal well-being.

My ther­a­pist’s ini­tial goal was to teach me how to take bet­ter care of myself, due to the fact that I had insuf­fi­cient cop­ing mech­a­nisms. Now, he believed I could han­dle that suf­fi­cient­ly, and after say­ing that I looked “delight­ed”, we agreed that I did­n’t need to con­tin­ue with our ses­sions any­more, some­thing he’d nev­er said to me before. I walked in and out of there feel­ing good. I like the fact that he respects me, cause he’s one of the few peo­ple who tru­ly under­stand me.

On the oth­er hand, I did­n’t par­tic­u­lar­ly care for my psy­chi­a­trist, an hoary man who did­n’t seem to have a sense of empa­thy, whom I met for the first time a few weeks ago. As a sign that my expe­ri­ence with him was part of Canadian health­care indus­try, he had no clue why I was there, when it was a doc­tor at the same clin­ic who had to write the refer­ral for me. At the appoint­ment, I was asked to fill out a ques­tion­naire that includ­ed things like:

  • Are your par­ents divorced ____, for how long _________, and what age were you ____?
  • Father/mother: how much edu­ca­tion did he/she have?
  • Please cir­cle the type of socioe­co­nom­ic envi­ron­ment in which you grew up: poor / low­er mid­dle class / mid­dle class / upper mid­dle class / wealthy
  • Habits: mar­i­jua­na ____ fre­quen­cy ____ gms ____

Sometimes he talked over me, as if he was­n’t inter­est­ed in hear­ing what I had to say, although it’s hard to blame him for that, see­ing as how his role is to mon­i­tor my med­ica­tion instead of deal­ing with any kind of psy­cho­analy­sis. At the end of the appoint­ment, he said I had a lot of options cause I had a lot of inter­ests and intel­li­gence. The only thing is, I don’t think I told him any­thing that would have giv­en him that impres­sion, so it all came out as flat­tery.

At least I won’t have to be see­ing him for much longer, as I was told that I could stop my dosage, but he rec­om­mend­ed that I con­tin­ue for at least six months after I start feel­ing bet­ter (not after I start tak­ing it), which means I can’t still can’t drink until some time around Christmas. But by then, hope­ful­ly I won’t have to.

  1. One thing I’ve learned is that real­ism is more valu­able than opti­mism (and a lot more valu­able than pes­simism) when it comes to psy­chol­o­gy. []

change and productivity

I spent the last few days con­vert­ing the guest room1 to my new office, after giv­ing it two coats of The Plaza and mov­ing my com­put­er out of the bed­room. This deci­sion was spurred by the fact that I found myself spend­ing an unhealthy amount of time in a sin­gle room of the house, the excep­tions being when I was eat­ing or poop­ing. Now my work area is delight­ful­ly bright, and I have a view of the sum­mer foliage out of the front of the house.

new office with cats

With half the fur­ni­ture now moved out, the mas­ter bed­room looks espe­cial­ly min­i­mal. I’m keep­ing some of my pho­tog­ra­phy light­ing in there, includ­ing a large soft­box, which is a dec­o­ra­tion that fills the room nice­ly but also makes it look like a cheap porn set.

I used to be trep­i­da­tious about cer­tain things, like com­mit­ting to a paint colour or walk­ing into a room with large num­bers of peo­ple, but now I find it a lot eas­i­er to get over my anx­i­ety. It makes me think my anx­i­ety used to affect me more than I real­ized. Doing things that were out of my com­fort zone was a test I need­ed to give myself every now and then, but now I don’t find those things to be uncom­fort­able at all, and I tend to act with­out think­ing too much or over­an­a­lyz­ing.

I won­der if this is what nor­mal feels like. And how much of it is per­son­al growth ver­sus the med­ica­tion.

In either case, it’s nice to be get­ting thing done again, when I had so recent­ly found it hard just get­ting out of bed. Someone relat­ed to me his expe­ri­ence on phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal psy­chotrop­ics, and he said the peri­od was marked less by what he wrote or cre­at­ed, and more by what he did or peo­ple he met and con­nect­ed with. For me, it seems to be man­i­fest­ing itself as a peri­od of change and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty.

  1. Which, until last week, looked like this. []

happy child

The sum­mer start­ed unevent­ful­ly, with a mix of rainy weath­er and cold nights. I long for after­noons in the bright sun, Lou Reed dur­ing his Velvet Underground years croon­ing to me over small speak­ers, with noth­ing bet­ter to do than wip­ing the con­den­sa­tion off a cold drink. It’s a life that does­n’t seem far away, and yet a life I nev­er imag­ine mak­ing for myself. I always think it’ll just hap­pen some day, that things will fall into place if I can take care of every­thing else.

Friday Night Magic

It’s okay to be OCD about how your cards are orga­nized as long as every­one else is.

Aaron has me over for din­ner every week with Karen and the two kids. It’s a rit­u­al he has yet to break, even though he told me he did­n’t want it to be a cal­en­dar event when I asked him if we could do some­thing on a reg­u­lar basis1. Every Wednesday he leaves work ear­ly to let me in the house, and makes up the time by work­ing longer hours on oth­er days, a sac­ri­fice that means more to me than he’ll ever under­stand, and some­thing I nev­er had to ask him to do. It’s nice to be able to look for­ward to reg­u­lar plans, and some­thing I share only with him that makes me feel like I belong.

About as often are Magic nights with Trolley and Steph, and these invari­ably include some­thing deli­cious for din­ner, when Steph takes the culi­nary arts to a whole new lev­el. They take care of me with food and con­ver­sa­tion and boost­er packs that they nev­er let me pay for. I’m sure I owe a great deal of my san­i­ty to them, when Magic was the only thing that took my mind off the fact that every­thing fell apart.

pretty wolf

Nobody fucks Pretty Wolf.

In between are things less fre­quent, but no less impor­tant. Musical projects with Jesse or Seth that give me the kind of goals and pur­pose I’ve been look­ing for. Sessions with Lisa, when we get to share the things we don’t share with any­one else. Hangouts with Tiana to debrief on our ever-chang­ing lives, and to give each oth­er advice or a pair of ears. Dinners with Heather G when I need my dose of opti­mism and adven­tur­ism. Not to men­tion the peo­ple who send me mes­sages of check up on how I’m doing when they can’t be here for me phys­i­cal­ly.

big dog and two girls


It feels strange to be busy again. To be pro­duc­tive, and social, and to need days off when I’m not even employed.

Not that it’s been an attempt to stay occu­pied; more like mak­ing sure my needs are being met. That I have ful­fill­ing rela­tion­ships that pro­vide me with what I need, involv­ing peo­ple who make me feel hope­ful and worth­while and con­nect­ed and nur­tured and pro­tect­ed and sat­is­fied and accept­ed and under­stood and val­i­dat­ed and loved and con­fi­dent and safe and in con­trol.

  1. Only because it’s some­thing he want­ed to keep casu­al, where nei­ther per­son felt any pres­sure. []