Posts tagged with "father"


Holy shit how did this song find me in the mid­dle of blan­ket­ing white snow­fall, instead of sum­mer? I’ll take it either way1. I’ve needed a new addic­tion after too many maudlin jazz albums, too often fuelled by hard-living and a woman. This means I’m ready for a taste of warm weather. I miss the wind through my clothes and the smell of girls’ skin when it’s been touched by sweat and sunlight.

cat close-up


I’m in the process of sim­pli­fy­ing, which has meant fig­ur­ing out my pri­or­i­ties, and truly let­ting go of the things I don’t need, whether it’s a bad habit or rela­tion­ship or thought. Maybe this is why I haven’t been feel­ing my age; it feels like I’m con­stantly start­ing over in var­i­ous parts of my life.

This hasn’t made writ­ing any eas­ier. I’m always wait­ing for a feel­ing to last, but it tends to pass before I have a chance to get it down on paper. Maybe the insta­bil­ity is what I should be writ­ing about. Not about who I am, but how much things are changing.

Audra recently wrote about how frus­trat­ing it is when she can’t get into a state of per­ma­nence. She said it par­tic­u­larly well here: “I know it is not real­is­tic for all progress to be lin­ear, or for things to be able to become con­stant once they become good. But I sure do day­dream about it.” It makes me feel so val­i­dated when some­one is able to put into words the things I’ve been going through with­out hav­ing talked about it with them.

Chinese dinner

My dad asks if I want to get a pic­ture before we start, Lisa says he must know me very well.

In between: Chris finally kisses Angie. It’s a good­night kiss while her creepy col­league is asleep in the same room, yet some­how man­ages to be the sweet­est first-kiss ever. I start to grow my hair out and wear it down, out of bore­dom. People say it fits me. Byron brings me his toys so I’ll toss them again, and I begin to won­der who’s train­ing who. Lisa meets my dad. We finally watch True Romance and Gary Oldman becomes my new favourite actor. I rack up over 150 hours played in Awesomenauts this year, and I’ve made online friends (it’s weird). Assad loses another gen­eral to the rebels, there’s still no end in sight after three years of fight­ing, and oth­er­wise I remain bliss­fully igno­rant to the world.

  1. Also comes in a highly enter­tain­ing music video ver­sion. []

Crystal + Jae-In Wedding Day

Shot with a Canon 5D Mk II, mostly using my new 70–200mm f/2.8 IS II. Be sure to watch in high def­i­n­i­tion, and let the video load com­pletely before play­ing because the pac­ing and momen­tum are crucial.

Editing took about 25 hours, and I’m super happy with the way it turned out. There were so many great moments, and the footage has a won­der­fully vis­ceral feel to it. The most chal­leng­ing part of post-processing was colour bal­anc­ing all the footage, which I had to do shot-by-shot. When you’re film­ing for an entire day, you tend to get a huge vari­ety of light sources and temperatures.

A note about the tea cer­e­monies. The first one was the Chinese ver­sion, which allows rel­a­tives to hand red pock­ets or jew­el­ery (usu­ally gold and jade) to the new cou­ple. The sec­ond one was Korean, named Paebaek, and is much more elab­o­rate. Relatives line up for a for­mal bow, tea serv­ing, then throw a hand­ful of dates (rep­re­sent­ing girls) and chest­nuts (rep­re­sent­ing boys) to be caught by the bride and groom with a blan­ket. The num­ber of dates and chest­nuts caught sig­ni­fies how many chil­dren they’ll have. No sur­prise that grandpa only grabbed chestnuts.

Then the bride is given one of the dates they caught, and the groom has to take a bite out of it from her mouth. The per­son who ends up with the big­ger piece is the one who will wear the pants (which is why you see the bride tena­ciously try­ing to keep the big­ger piece for her­self). At the end, the groom has to carry his mother and mother-in-law around the cer­e­mony table, then carry his new bride out of the hall.

Also, this:

dad at wedding


29 8/12: The Son

There’s no rev­e­la­tion more star­tling than the fact that your dad is cooler than you.

This is espe­cially true of my own father, who isn’t just cool for an old guy, he’s cool period. As a teenager, I remem­ber him wear­ing a leather bomber jacket, and learn­ing to ride a pur­ple Kawasaki Ninja sport bike which he even­tu­ally traded in for a sil­ver Porsche.

When I was even younger, my friends would tell me he looked like a secret agent. One time he came to help me move out of res­i­dence, and his jeans had wider cuffs than mine (and back then I loved wear­ing wide-leg khakis). I can’t remem­ber a time when he didn’t wear some­thing by Lacoste, Polo, or Tommy, and even though he may dress far younger than his age, he can still pull it off.

Now he’s a man mov­ing closer to his 60s, dri­ving a Mercedes and a BMW, with what seems to have a coterie of women whose com­mon inter­est is him. He watches pop­u­lar movies, prac­tices singing, and dances on a reg­u­lar basis. Even my grandma once told me that peo­ple like him because he’s the fun one to be around.

Self portrait at 29 8/12


This is all very dif­fer­ent from me; a shy, intro­verted, awk­ward per­son whose idea of a good time gen­er­ally involves being in front of a computer.

Still, with all these dif­fer­ences, I know I’m his son. Just a chip off the old block, with the same work ethics, the same per­fec­tion­ist ten­den­cies, the same neu­rotic tendencies.

We get grumpy when we’re hun­gry. We hate feel­ing sweaty and some­times have to shower twice in a day. We make the same silly jokes when we’re around new peo­ple. We dec­o­rated our houses exclu­sively with mod­ern, min­i­mal­ist fur­ni­ture before we knew what each other’s houses looked like. And as I grow older, I’ve also started devel­op­ing the same night owl habits, care­free atti­tude, insom­nia, and diges­tion problems.

I turn 30 in four months, and I’m becom­ing my father’s son.

The Turning 30 Series

Magneta Lane and my Cousin Darren

There’s been a smat­ter­ing of good music lately, but this is the song that haunts me; Love and Greed by Magneta Lane. I added it to my col­lec­tion on the 12th of October, and it’s already in my Top 20 Most Played. By no means is it the best song on the album; it’s just the one that hit me the hard­est.

To hear it as a track by itself is a lit­tle out of con­text. It comes as 7 of 10 off Gambling With God, their lat­est album, and the songs lead­ing up to it charge at a much faster pace. The dra­matic change of tone between the verses and the cho­rus are effec­tive in sub­tly draw­ing you in, against lyrics that should be screamed more than any­thing else.

My favourite part is when Lexi says, “I don’t want recy­cled love / if I did I’d pour wine in a cup / and get all liquored up / and fuck­ing crawl in front of you” when the gui­tar and bass stop, and it’s just Nadia doing the bum-ba-da-bum-ba-da-bum-ba-da-bum under­neath on her toms.

With the way she says fuck­ing with such sac­cha­rine soft­ness, one can’t help but won­der what intense sor­row could have caused this sullen, hon­eyed voice to spit such profanity.

It’s stuff like this that makes rather plain look­ing Lexi Valentine so god­dam attrac­tive, very much in a Karen O kind of way. I guess you could say I have a fas­ci­na­tion with Lexi swear­ing, because she does it so infrequently.


I gave this song to Darren, and he sent me back this reply:

shit this song is on auto-repeat right now.… ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Darren’s the only per­son in the world who sees love the way I do. ____ knows me in every other way — logic, mind­set, emo­tion, per­son­al­ity, habits, taste — but he doesn’t under­stand my love, which is a big part of me. The only one who under­stands is Darren1 because we share the same quixotic ideas about it. It’s as if we devel­oped this roman­tic atti­tude as a back­lash to how our fathers (broth­ers, who also look the same) raised us with such aloof­ness. This ideal is how we bond.

One time he told me he can’t wait for the day when we’re at his house with our girl­friends, and we’re play­ing Cranium, and we’re just…happy.

This is how I know he’s the only per­son who hears this song the same way too.

  1. Not even my girl­friends have come close to under­stand­ing, aside from Bronwen. []

See You In Toronto


I’m so glad that Toronto remains a place where I can go to get away. There are places to stay, an end­less cycle of friends or acquain­tances to visit, and some­one else takes the wheel and drives.

It’s amaz­ing to see how much Toronto has changed. How cer­tain streets down­town have turned into trendy, expen­sive shop­ping dis­tricts, a Canadian ver­sion of Rodeo Drive, and a far cry from the run-down roads I would visit every lunch in high school by rollerblade and sub­way to buy Magic cards and Warhammer figures.

MindBender loves you

After Bill Clinton’s speech at the CNE, there was a brief ques­tion and answer period. The host asked him, “What do you like most about Toronto?”, adding that Torontonians seem to have a sort of self-deprecating humour1. After mak­ing a diplo­matic com­ment on the Aboriginal art as being his favourite thing, Clinton said, “You folks can make fun of your­self, but peo­ple would kill to live a soci­ety like this. You should be very proud.” I had to agree.

Dim sum

Before leav­ing, I had dim sum with my dad, and we caught up on each oth­ers lives a lit­tle bit. He sounded pretty happy when I called to ask him if he wanted to go.

I bought a pair of wind­shield wipers but didn’t replace them, bring­ing them with me to his house instead, hop­ing he could show me how to install them. I could just as eas­ily have read the car man­ual, but I wanted some­thing to share with him. Maybe now I can catch up on these father-son things that I seemed to have missed in my childhood.

  1. I sup­pose you have to, with how well the Leafs have been doing in recent years. []