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. []

Birthday Weekend

At The Japanese Village

I prob­a­bly looked like this the whole week­end, cause it was non-stop awe­some­ness.

The Japanese Village

Last week, Aaron asked me if I want­ed to go to The Japanese Village. I thought it was just to hang out, since we had­n’t had a guy’s night in a while, so I did­n’t clue in that it was for my birth­day until the day of. Aaron told me I could order any­thing I want, as it was his treat, but I ordered the only thing I ever get when I’m there; the filet mignon cooked medi­um rare, which I think is the best in the city. It was good to hang out with him and Trolley again.

And, of course, silli­ness is always present with these guys around.

____ in town

Chilling on the couch

____’s been work­ing two straight months, with­out a week­end off. The last time was when he came to Ottawa to vis­it. Between all the activ­i­ties, we only had enough time to watch one movie — American Graffiti — and between the two of us, we could sing every song that came from this film based in the 60s (me cov­er­ing The Platters, him cov­er­ing every­thing else).

I usu­al­ly only get to see him once a year, so twice in two months was a spe­cial treat.

Cranium Party

I’d love to do games nights on a reg­u­lar basis, but peo­ple aren’t avail­able on the same days, so I used my birth­day as an excuse to get as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble togeth­er for a giant Cranium par­ty. I told them that instead of giv­ing me a present, they should just come to the par­ty. It worked, and we had enough for four teams of three. Some peo­ple also brought snacks, like hon­ey mus­tard pret­zels, car­rot cup­cakes, and fresh­ly baked choco­late chip cook­ies.

It was the high­light of the week­end.

Dim sum with my dad

John and dad at dim sum

On Friday, my dad called me to wish me a hap­py birth­day, and told me he was in town for 10 days. We made plans to have dim sum. ____ came too, which is always inter­est­ing to see his reac­tions to what food is as the token white guy. I had a phoenix talons for the first time1, because I was feel­ing adven­tur­ous, and I have to say that they weren’t bad, but I did­n’t care for them either. They’re too hard to eat, and the sauce was­n’t to my taste. It was strange to see both John and my dad at the same place, and in Ottawa instead of Toronto.

I told my dad he could prob­a­bly sit and observe one of my Tai Chi class­es, so he could see what I do, but he was­n’t inter­est­ed, and I’ll admit that the indif­fer­ence hurt a bit. Afterward, I asked John what he thought as a 3rd par­ty observ­er, and he told me I had a good rela­tion­ship with my dad. I’ll take his word for it.

I needed this

I need­ed this week­end so much. To recharge. To stop think­ing about things. To get com­plete­ly wast­ed. It felt like it was my birth­day the whole week­end, and I won­dered what I did to deserve it all.

  1. It was­n’t the taste, but the look that has always pre­vent­ed me from try­ing them. []