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. []