June 03, 2008


this is from the LJ, in January:
up again, down again, out of my head
I'm not sleeping again.

It's weird to be going through it all again, to recognize the patterns and sidestep the usual caltrops, only to find three more in their place. I need the meds, I hate the meds, I think they're the wrong ones but they're right enough to get me through a day without an idle thought of something spectacularly dumb (and something that I couldn't get right, although whether that was last-ditch self-preservation or sheer incompetence is an exercise left for the reader.)

I don't want to be here, I think, is what it comes down to, but I have too many balls in the air to simply leave, and as much as I want to think that the journey to a space where I can do that is worthwhile, I still can't seem to get it together. Mostly, I guess, I'm paralyzed because the choices are pretty much equally unappealing:

- stay the current course: wrong meds, distance ed until i return to UBC, work so i can pay for it all, etc
- get off the drugs, see where things go from there; attempt to stay course listed above
- go crazy
- another round of doctors and poking (literal, metaphorical) another attempt to fix me (tighten that bolt; keep his marbles in) and maybe success, maybe this again.
- crazy hippie bullshit (acupuncture, incredible amounts of weed)
- doing something dumb to retain control (squid tattoo, ill-advised piercing, etc)

they've all got their pros, they've all got their cons, they've all got me realizing that I should have used a list tag on them, and that this was a good exercise. I had a Moleskine book for recording this sort of thing and I filled it up. I guess it's time for another.


May 23, 2008

the ghost of you lingers

thoughts, assorted, below.
have become a social smoker, it seems. had a couple colts last night with some dudes from BW and woke up with the taste still in my mouth this morning. I dunno why they always seem like such a good idea at the time. will have to stop, to be sure that I can. addiction is too easy; reliance remains something I have problems with.
Other habits remain - have caffeinated pretty hard in preparation for (re)doing econ assignments but have not yet the point where I am together enough to do it and I don't know why. It would be easier if I could figure out the root cause and address it but I don't see that happening without counselling or possibly fullblown psychiatry.
Thinking about travel again, and how 2010 might be better spent raking in money than by getting out of town... this requires a mild alteration to the travel plans by either pushing back Emily Carr or by moving travel to summer breaks only; will cross that bridge when I get to it.
missed shooting National/Modest Mouse/REM because I didn't check my email soon enough. Must figure out way to do that like a Blackberry, without actually having to get one. Clunky fuckers.
bbq tonight, chez rob.
late night/early morning study times (1-5am, probably)
m83 tomorrow night
work on 4th sunday (wolf parade)
jamie lidell sunday night (with abra, possibly chad)
doesn't hold a patch to this week last year, which was: end of v-fest, bjork @ deer lake, sasquatch.
so it goes, I guess.
fuck me, the camera was a good idea. why i didn't do it sooner is beyond me.


May 11, 2008

on passing

I am a terrific liar.

It's an unfortunate development and a dubious skill and I would give it up in a moment, but not yet. There are times when I need every iota of it to pass as someone I'm not and to do so convincingly, and I hate the situations but I think I hate myself more for it.

Today was one of those times; as much as I try to rationalize I wish it wasn't.
Tactics were pretty simple; deflect relationship questions by talking about work, keep conversation topics to sports, beer, cars, and comics, and ogle passersby badly.

It's good practice; if/when I go back to concert production it'll come in handy.



May 08, 2008


not quite ready to talk about job news. all in good time.
have realized that clean breaks are impossible, and that for the most part, it's bad habits I need to break, not some ill defined aspects of my personality and identity. thus, changes are ongoing and it's important that I keep up the progress but it doesn't need to stress me right the fuck out.

resultantly, writing on skytrain again. snippets, mostly, in the moleskine that used to be denoted for marking up breakdowns. extracts follow:

...skytrains pair compression of distance with removal of personal space; windows ground passengers while reminding them of how far it actually is. add windows and suddenly everyone faces outwards (or steadfastly ignores them, to focus in, down, away. motion brings sickness, some times.) Been doing this so long that it's become prosaic.

  • passing over and by an elementary school; peer down to vignettes of playground life - swings, balls, pecularities: one boy bounces a ball across a netless but fenced court and across from pitcher stands another. he wields a hockey stick half again his height and swings a lumpy arc as a building passes between us and resolution never comes.
  • skytrain cops embark; doors slide shut behind them with a synchronicity that belies repetition and possibly weariness. Fares checked to find that everyone obeyed the law, today - are they relieved? Underutilized? Restless? Cop shows have taught us nothing, I think.
  • sidenote to above: utility belts aren't nearly as awesome when in the actual world.
  • argyle sweater, tortoiseshell wayfarers, selvage jeans (cuffed, possibly with a square), suede wallabees, and ipod touch. Two-day beard, slight frown (with the way the world is, or what shuffle hath wrought?). Torn, here; do I want to hit him, or hit that? I am a terrible person.
  • guy at door, and i want to make this about his shirt. four vertical panels one tequila/two/three/floor, each portraying an knockoff Speedy Gonzales, prompting me to think "wuss". More interesting is the wearer than the item, though. Sunworn creases and careful goatee; chin up and eyes down as he looks out the window - sunset over the industrial zone between downtown and northeast vancouver. Grimaces as we slide into a station, shape of his shoulders suggesting a prior trespass, and as the doors whir open he casts another tentative glance and steps out. Paths here aren't crossed as much as they're tangents. Transit turns us all into loops.

It feels overwrought, more than a little clumsy and with a tendency to repeat tone and form. At the same time, it feels really good to be putting things out again. T-Shirts remain the final frontier; I think I can hack having an Exacto knife handy at all times, now, so I think it's time to make the shirts I have promised so many for so long.
last thing: this muxtape thing is some fun. I am (obviously) here: heeeraldo.muxtape.com.


May 02, 2008


I seem to have turned my sidelines into main ones, which is a promising development. Michelle asked me at Jordie's party when I was going to start making money off the photos I took, which to be honest was a bit of a surprise.

I bought the camera thinking I would have an exciting expensive hobby, being a grownup and all; barely six months later... this! I suppose that part of it was that I approached it on a lark, and really only associated going pro with people who have crazy gear and the experience to use it right.
Somehow, it never occurred to me that they had to start somewhere, too. There are times to muck around and there are times to buckle down and get the goddamn shot. As long as I know which is which, and how to get what I want out of a camera (and the people in front of it) I'll be just fine.

The impending BA Psych is becoming increasingly useless for what I want to do, but with so little left on it, I may as well finish and GTFO. UBC is rapidly becoming a place I no longer wish to frequent, and now more than ever I am ready to move the fuck on.

Plus, I have to meet Matt in Guam in two years. Can't do that without getting through this.


April 27, 2008

did I seriously just put Matt Good lyrics as a post title?
shit, when I did I turn sixteen again.

anyway: May is a break from fiction. School books, Web books, and that's it. No lit, no comics, no pulp or scifi or food writing (not fiction but still.)
it's time to shift from consumer to producer, and while I won't be writing necessarily, it'll still be output.

Three days to go... better get through this last book, and then one more spin through Pattern Recognition. It's like an old t-shirt... and now I have two copies in case of disaster.


April 22, 2008

one foot in front of the other

can't seem to get anything done in the house; tiny panic-fuelled burst of efficacy today has drained into lethargy and feverish RSS feed checking.

c'mon c'mon. I'm better than this.


April 06, 2008

april update:

  1. Take meals to work
    more meals taken, but not at 100%

  2. No more refined flour or sugar
    close but not yet.

  3. Go to gym.

  4. Finish off current distance ed classes, figure out next 9 credits thereafter
    did the second half but not the first.

  5. Put up portfolio site, get business cards made, finish pro bono projects
    getting there but not yet

  6. Move GTFO money into high-interest savings account
    turns out it was already there.

  7. Write (and stick to) budget.

  8. Get forms and receipts for sending off, send off.
    part one, yes. part two, not yet.


March 29, 2008

buh-wha: year 5?!

this was the year i stopped, and then started again. there were some demons wrestled, some truths faced, admissions made, and some growth. it hasn't been easy, but i'm still here, and i don't see myself stopping again.


March 26, 2008

pressure valve

I am feeling bottled up lately; there are things missing and other things that haven't filled the void, people who I miss being tired of, and a general lack of a lot of people who I used to be in constant contact with, whose tangents have run in directions away from mine.

I am a sad panda, but not in the way I used to be.


March 18, 2008

glowing young ruffian

been thinking about space, again. spurred partially by Spook Country and its locative art phenomena - a response, presumably to the rise of ubiquitous computing [cue Vanessa, "Damn, girl, you biquitous!"] and so, the ability to access anything from anywhere becomes pared down again to being able to access certain things only in certain places; although the data floats freely, it only coalesces on specific spaces, dowsed out by the forked stick of GPS and EV-DO (or EDGE or HSPDA or whatever). I don't know if it's feasible, but it served as a bit of a starting and focal point for two separate trains of thought. (sidenote: it's a quick read if you haven't read it already, and you can borrow mine if you really want [paperback is probably due soon])

first: Entertaining idle thoughts about spaces and tags (graffiti and folksonomical), I ended up walking by SPEC, where I had the comedy-of-errors interview which led to me spending the afternoon on Kits beach, reading and eating Thai food and watching Jamie Bamber (aka Apollo) idly run by. Passing that, I hit the corner of Maple and 4th; across the street is the site of the post-ACF-12-cleanup dinner at Los Margaritas, down the street was Zulu Records, where I picked up the infamous Squarepusher ticket, and nearby was gravitypope, site of my temporary obsession with Medium Shoes (now, sadly, out of business).
There are a lot of places that each carry their own space/time association, and while they're largely welcome (and informative when they're not) they're largely inescapable for me, especially in the city.
There's a map in the comic Fun Home that lays out a characters life - born here, grew up there, died in this spot, and all within a relatively small number of miles of the same town. It's a fictional character, but it seems so plausible, and it's not a map I want to be trapped by, posthumously. It seems likely on some days more than others, and somehow it is both enticing and repellent; possibly reflective of a divided outlook on risks vs security or tied to the strangely logical notion of a fear of success (more on this later).
Either way, I have come to the conclusion that I want to markup another city; in the sense of extensible languages and not paint markers; I imagine it wouldn't be too hard given GPS-enabled cellphones and cameras; if cameras have become embedded in other technologies (of dubious quality most times, but not always) then GPS might not be far behind. Of course, given the space-bound (!) backbone required for GPS to make any sense, the location-via-cell-tower method could be a more usable stand-in.

fuck me, I'm rambling. Point was: I think I invest too much of my identity in civics; although nobody wants to be from Surrey, leaving so much of myself in East Van and on campus was hugely unhealthy. I don't know how to fix it, short of self-redefinition and the gentle restoration of self-esteem, but I'm trying.


March 13, 2008

the steep approach

I'm drawing again, which I think is a big deal; it was pretty much the first thing to go post-SNRI and between that and the photography/HTMLing, I feel a lot closer to myself. The diet, while occasionally difficult to moderate, has so far adjusted well to the white flour and sugar removals; next step is to up the leafy/dark green veggies which shouldn't be too hard, especially if I keep remembering to take lunch and not get stuck eating downtown, which (obv) is terrible for me, unless I go to the make-your-own stirfry place (and that's frankly just sort of disappointing.)

Work sucks; I won't deny it. I'm well liked and the job is easy, but I need to GTFO, or as Dan Savage would say, DTMFJ.

School... is okay. I've been avoiding it and I need to stop doing so.

I miss people.
I am seeing some folks and have also made new(ish) friends via the Ubyssey/new AUS kids/UBC Insiders, it's not at all the same; maybe I actually am turning into a curmudgeon.

Fuck it. Time for Smash Bros.


March 05, 2008

Project Unfuck

I wanted an easy way out; some sort of colossal "Unfuck My Head" that would basically set things up so I could knock them down again - no panicking, no nonstarter status, no endless feelings being trapped by myself.

I got the first one, at least. As for the others, I came to realize that there might be more to this than I thought at first. There's no telling without visiting a proper shrink and getting a proper diagnosis as to whether I am just an enormous underachiever or if it's ADHD or something equally buzzwordy and ridiculous.

It came with a healthy dose of side effect, both physically (metabolism down, weird cravings up) and mentally (weird things to sex drive, no creativity) and generally wreaked havoc, with the only upside being that I felt in control of myself, again.

So I stopped. Tapered down, and realized that I spent a year and a half on pills that were helpful, but not a cure-all (though they were explained to me as such) and also that I needed to do this the hard way.

...which brings us here.

This marks a beginning, I think, of several things. The first of which is the abandonment of the mild superstition I have of writing things down here, because then they don't happen. The second is a concerted effort to make shorter-term goals and deadlines that are within a longer-term framework; I tend to do one without the other, which curtails effectiveness.

    The Longish Term Goals (end of year)
  1. Lose the gut. Get back down to a 32

  2. Get back into school, kick its ass.

  3. Derive sole income from web, photography, and concert production work

  4. Restart sensible savings plan

  5. Clear out personal debt

  6. Get back money I am owed (by insurance, mostly)

    This month's short term goals:
  1. Take meals to work

  2. No more refined flour or sugar

  3. Go to gym.

  4. Finish off current distance ed classes, figure out next 9 credits thereafter

  5. Put up portfolio site, get business cards made, finish pro bono projects

  6. Move GTFO money into high-interest savings account

  7. Write (and stick to) budget.

  8. Get forms and receipts for sending off, send off.

wish me luck.


March 01, 2008

toes, dipping, waters, so on.

As Rob once pointed out, we default to talking about music now, when previously it would have been the weather; at least within the people I know (and like enough to regularly talk to). Accordingly, then, it would only make sense that I fall back on a music post as a reintroduction to the medium.

Thus: Five in Heavy Rotation - Post-Leap-Day edition.
It's five songs I've had on repeat, or I've been listening to in my head, or singing in the shower; heavy rotation doesn't always mean that it's in a form that is trackable via Last.fm. Here they are, and also a little bit about them.

Okkervil River Song - Okkervil River
Newest addition to my Okkervil River collection (surprising, I know) - I've listened to it six times in a day and will probably do so a couple more times until I know the words. I've heard it in podcasts, and once live, but it becomes something else when applied directly to the skull. It's a paean to unsustainable self-reliance (which a certain person has previously yelled at me over MSN about), lost love, and the importance of working towards dreams. Plus, it made me tear up a little the first time I heard it.

Racing Like a Pro - The National
For some reason, this album is tied tightly to my Murakami binge, and the weird alienation plus sub versus conscious mind motifs that the author loves carries through into this particular track. I love the palpable tension and the careful use of strings in the background. It's also a reminder to not settle, which was a New Year's resolution I made with Al, and probably the one I will end up keeping to more than the others.
Plus, for the longest time, I thought the chorus was "your mind is racing like a pronoun" which made no sense but appealed to me anyway.

Bitches in Tokyo - Stars
cross off all the ways I failed you
because I failed you
but I'm still in your blood
you're still on my blood.

[if you have to ask...]

Gouge Away - Mogwai (Pixies cover)
"Hey! You got Scottish post-rockers in my early-90s pre-grunge!" It's perfect; sludge and accents nailed to serious drums and Old Testament allusions.

Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down - Interpol
In Pattern Recognition, William Gibson writes about "psychological prophylaxis", or the act of restoring emotional normalcy by resuming daily tasks; it seems fitting that the act of reading the book (and listening to an album that I played while reading it the first of countless times) would act as a normalizer on my part.
Lately, though, this song makes me miss a trio of people, all of whom I have gone from functionally constant to now sporadic contact; two through circumstance and one through some sort of weird clean break on the other party's end.
At the end of the day, I guess there's nothing to do but wonder about ducks in faces at 240 knots and move on.

Downloads up here. It'll come down in two weeks.


I think, sometimes, I don't write because I don't want to augment future memories of this time; I'm not happy with a lot of things.

At the same time, it seems a bit like cutting off my nose to spite my face and ultimately having a record of mistakes made and lessons learned would only be useful in the longer term.

I guess I'm back, then.


February 17, 2008

blow me, 2007!

better late than never, I guess.
time to relapse.

anywhoo: standard year end meme follows:
1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
Spent a full 12 months out of school, did only distance ed classes, got fired, temped, bought a DSLR, went to Sasquatch, went to a bunch of queer events, drank so much I blacked out, worked retail, bought a Mac.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No and yes.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
The US.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
to move forward with the five-year plan. It really was a lot of decompression.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I can't be arsed.
Fair, birthday, New Years, telling my parents about drugs, MBP Day One, Sasquatch, V-Fest, Okkervil River... the day we killed the fair.

would I like to forget the summer? yes. will I? probably not.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Being control, walking away, letting myself be helped.

9. What was your biggest failure?
There were a lot.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Tossup: 30D/MBP

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
They know who they are.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
They know who they are, too.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Braces, mortgage, tuition, etc.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Music, restoration of sanity..

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Mistaken for Strangers - The National

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Saner.
b) thinner or fatter? Definitely fatter, working on it.
c) richer or poorer? Poorer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Commute, settling.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
At home.

21. Did you fall in love in 2006?
Yes. No. I'm confused.
Hold me?

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favourite TV program?
Battlestar Galactica.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nobody new.

25. What was the best book you read?
Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

honorable mentions: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Kimberly Elam's Grid Systems and Typographic Systems.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The National, Battles, The Twilight Sad, Grizzly Bear.

27. What did you want and get?
Material stuff, space, etc.

28. What did you want and not get?
Material stuff, freedom.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
No Country for Old Men.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
22: ACF Staff Dinner.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Stable neurochemistry.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
I like sweaters.

33. What kept you sane?
Effexor, 150mg, once a day... at least it did until I stopped taking them, started again, and then tapered down.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Uh, most all of the cast of Battlestar Galactica.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
I wasn't stirred a whole lot, in retrospect.

36. Who did you miss?
Most everyone. We seem to have grown up and apart.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Pretty much everyone at the Ubyssey but especially Brandon, Matt Hayles, Paul, and Kellan; Sean from temping @ Credential; Gary from Metafilter.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007:
This is worth fighting for.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
The National - Racing Like A Pro:
Your mind is racing like a pro, now
oh my god it doesn’t mean a lot to you
one time you were a glowing young ruffian
oh my god it was a million years ago