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. []