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. []