Posts tagged with "Aaron"

parent time

When Karen’s at yoga, Aaron and I take turns cooking dinner and playing with Ryan and Ruby (read: keeping them occupied and out of trouble). Then we gingerly convince them to eat what they can (good days involve utensils), make sure they’re bathed, and put into bed with a story if they’ve been good. Everything is manageable as one but easier with two, especially when the simple act of getting rice into a child’s mouth can turn into an ordeal.

This is when I get to experience the joys of having children in manageable doses. That means not having to deal with diaper changes, and reading the same 30-word book only four times instead of 400.

Ryan and Ruby

The new laptops were presents from Nana and Papa at Christmas. Now they can send/receive e-mails, and blog about the awesome poop they just took.

Ryan used to be particularly excited to see his Uncle Jeff, leaving Aaron and Karen to wonder what got into him when I was around. Now that he’s a bit older, his face doesn’t carry the same glow when I arrive anymore, and he’s happier to see the marbles I brought. But Ruby is beginning that phase of enamour, and constantly clambering into my lap to involve herself in what I’m doing. Recently she started asking me to carry her (which I’m told means membership in an exclusive club consisting of her parents and me), even though she’s just learned to manage stairs by herself.

They seem to grow by inches every week, and they’ll soon be old enough to take care of themselves. I’ve learned to appreciate the little chances I have to be truly part of a family like this, especially after deciding last year against ever having kids of my own. And I don’t feel the need for children anymore cause this will always be enough.


Heather G made reservations for us (and Sergey) at the Back Lane Café last week. We hadn’t seen each other since the summer, before they were homeless 1 and I started recovering. Last time I saw her, she left me with a takeout Hintonburger and a meditation audiobook that she hoped would help me feel better. It was so sweet that she didn’t understand at all what I was going through, but tried so hard to help with very thoughtful gifts anyway.

This time, she wouldn’t let me pay, even though she treated me last time as well, and she said please with such heartfelt intent that I knew she’d be hurt if I didn’t give her the honour. We’d been playing phone tag for weeks up to that point, and between their careers and camping, they could only spare themselves for a meal sans tea or dessert. It made me realize how precious their time is nowadays, and the fact that they made the time to see me meant so much more than the two hours we spent catching up over a great food and conversation.

poached shrimp salad

Poached shrimp salad, with Niagara nectarines, bibb lettuce (for it’s tender texture), endive, lime, and hazelnut dressing. An appetizer good enough for a main.

Continue reading “reduction”…

  1. They got evicted due to an unsympathetic landlord, couldn’t find a suitable place to stay, and ended up putting as many of their possessions as possible in storage and selling the rest. Luckily, one of their friends needed a house-sitter, and it gave them enough time to find a place. []

I want to know do I stay or do I go


Filmed a great wedding yesterday, one that left me tired and sore and much deserving of a break. It’s a hazy Sunday morning, and another day that it’ll feel like it’s above 40°C with the humidity. Working nearly 13 hours and turning into a little puddle of Asian man means I’m consciously avoiding the outdoors today. I’ll be content to sip my coffee and peer out the window at the gently sunlit trees.

cat and drink on a hot day

Majel helps us taste-test cocktails for the reception.

Even though it’s getting ever closer to her wedding, and Lisa has an increasing number of things to get done, we’ve been able to see each other more lately. I’ve realized that it’s not good enough to have her meet my needs. I have to fill a certain role in her life too. That’s what brings meaning to the relationship, cause it means she appreciates me the way I want to be appreciated. So often, it feels like that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

I’m glad to have developed a ritual get-together with Aaron too. When we don’t see each other one week, it feels like a year the next time we catch up. Tonight I’m heading over to his house for the start of bachelor week, something we’ve been excitedly planning for a while now. It’s the first time he’s had the house to himself since the kids were born, so I’ll be staying there for a few days of games, movies, barbecue, and general guy stuff, coming back home to feed the kitties every now and then. We’re doing a six person Magic tourney tomorrow, my first in the Constructed format, and everyone’s making new decks for the chance to open some M13 boosters. I think my deck concept is BRILLIANT and I can’t wait to try it out.

Chet Atkins has also been keeping me company lately. I’m so glad to have found his instructional DVD, where he talks with his old man charm about what he likes in each song and how to play them, phrase by phrase. I grew my thumbnail out nice and long for nearly two months, cut it off for practicality’s sake during wedding season, then immediately regretted the decision. The electric strings I’ve been using have a really flat, dull tone in the lower register, and since the bass line is so important in Chet’s arrangements, it’s like an entire part is missing from any song I try to learn. I’m going to try learning with a thumb pick, which is something I’ve been avoiding for a while now cause I hate the loss of sensitivity (like a condom on your thumb), but hopefully the compromise is worth it.

I have things to organize, chores to do, errands to run, and a house to clean before I leave. For now, I’ll enjoy the rest of the morning, wasting time.

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. []

booster draft

Today, I got to introduce some very good friends to each other. Everyone got along famously, although it couldn’t have gone any other way with these guys.

It was the first booster draft for three of us. I was massacred in every game, and didn’t have any less fun losing to such great sports.

Magic: The Gathering booster draft

Two Innistrad and two Dark Ascension. Oh what glittering golden symbols lie beneath these wrappers.

Unfortunately, nothing interested me when we were picking out rares1, so I got nothing for the deck I’m currently building, and no direction for a second deck. But as Aaron said, even if you lose, it’s cheaper than a night of poker. Sometimes you lose it on the river, sometimes you draw 13 consecutive lands, and sometimes you OH GOD WHY ARE MY CREATURES DEAD ARGHGHHGHGH LETS PLAY AGAIN.

  1. And there wasn’t a single green rare — exactly what I was looking for — out of 17 rares. I have no idea what the chances are on that, but I know they’re not big. []