December 31, 2009

looking deep inside (but I don't want to look so deep inside yet)

as always, my year-end survey meme thing. Hi.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
went to a conference, got laid off, almost hit a moose, made out in the office, broke things off before they started, shot a book, shot a new year's party, became the photo editor, shot a show in a bank foyer, made a huge mistake, had jaw surgery.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't settle, and eschewed pants, so yeah, I did.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
too many people, too quickly.

5. What countries did you visit?
The US.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Sanity, sig. other, a manageable debt load, a return to UBC.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
New Year's and the walk to Broadway/Granville, NASH Awards Gala, the day I got laid off. Two weeks of solid shooting, new job and then the AGM. Snow on my birthday, the last Kerrisdale Alpha party (I still have a scar), MeFi #10, lantern fest with Marielle, day 1 at the Ubyssey, Imagine, Had a Glass/Olio/Warped all in 28 hours, Pride (oof), jaw surgery, funeral.
Of special note: the day I quit all my non-photography jobs.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I realized that I could make a living off just my wits and photography, I got ahead with freelancing, and I didn't get fired. Or kill myself. That's probably the biggest one.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I continue to be unable to motivate myself without a fuckton of caffeine, I lost marks to anxiety, I fucked up at the paper.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Does it count as injury when you're recovering from surgery?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Tossup: 2x 580EXII vs 7D.

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, camera gear, jaw surgery, pants.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Music, eventual freedom from braces.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? sadder.
b) thinner or fatter? thinner, which comes of not eating for four days and then being on liquids for the following three weeks.
c) richer or poorer? poorer.

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

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

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
At home, sans parents, eating pizza (barely.)

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Love no, like yes.

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favourite TV program?
BSG, Mad Men, Heston's Feasts. TV's not something I consume a whole lot of anymore.

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?
Infinite Jest.

honorable mentions: Geek Love, Run, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, How to Eat, and The Visual Display of Quantitative Information.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The xx, Kraftwerk, The Rural Alberta Advantage.

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?
I don't know, I don't think I went to any movies; if I am sitting in one place for 1.5 hours I expect to be somewhere else when I leave my seat.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
24: we ate dinner at Swiss Chalet and then went to the Coppertank and then to the Astoria. It snowed, for some reason.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I need to leave UBC.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Threadless shirts, cardigans, corduroys, and selvage denim.

33. What kept you sane?
I'm not really sure.

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?
A lot of the stuff surrounding the Olympics, homelessness as a whole, and mental/health stuff.

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

37. Who was the best new person you met?
More Ubyssey kids: Geoff, Michael, Jonny and Ashley W.
Service BC types: Derek, Charmaine, Nina, and Nicole.
People I got to know better: Al Smith, Gord, Justin and Thor.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
Do it right the first time, save yourself the hassle.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
What do I share?
What do I keep
from all the strangers
who sleep where I sleep

The Strangers by St. Vincent

or: That secret that you know
But don't know how to tell
It fucks with your honor
And it teases your head

Blood Bank by Bon Iver.


December 28, 2009

into a white and soundless place

my uncle died. I went to his funeral, and made vague overtures about the whole thing on twitter and tumblr, but didn't really say anything about him, so I figure this is a good a place as any to do it.
I guess, really, there are four vignettes that encapsulate my knowledge of him not just from our uncle/nephew relationship but also what I got told about when my parents decided to tell stories of their childhoods, half a world away. Here goes:

  1. He was eighth of ten children, the youngest son (and three years older than my mom). They grew up close, and even after my parents married my dad referred to him, jokingly, as his second father-in-law — even after they emigrated to Canada, my uncle kept tabs on my dad, a little.
  2. moving across the world strikes me as a fundamental act of either madness or faith. My parents did it with sponsors shortly after marriage and before their first child, literally starting a new life together. My uncle did it with my aunt, two teenagers and a tween, after 22 years (!) of a stable government job, moving from pre-instability Fiji into mid-90s northern California, with all its attendant madnesses, gaping pits of culture shock, and a whole lot of loved ones who went from a 16-hour flight to a 16-hour drive away. I can't get my head around it.
  3. they moved over in 1995, and we visited once or twice a year (and vice versa); not always the most traditional of vacations by any means, I remember one Easter weekend in 1998 or 1999, we piled into the minivan and drove for 18 hours straight to see my uncle for his birthday (two days before mine), stayed for two days, and then drove back. Somewhere in there, my aunt made crab curry with habaneros instead of jalapenos, and we all wept and ate snow crab and regretted it in the morning.
  4. He called, pretty much weekly, usually just to ask how everyone was, and what we'd been up to. The timing was such that he usually caught me as I stepped in the door while my parents were out running errands or on the night shift this week and so we got to talking about as frequently as him and my mother did. He was also more supportive of the photo hobby/side gig/gambit/eventual career than my parents were at first, and asked me to email him photos of babytron fairly regularly. (which I did; he met babytron this August when my sister went to visit him well before he took a turn for the worse. I didn't go for fear of missing a production night and cannot adequately relate how much I regret this.)

The last one is why, at the funeral, sleep-deprived, upset, and lacking most of my ability to speak (and all of my ability to speak Hindi) when my mom came over and looked at me, swollen and despondent, she reached for a hug and asked as she broke down again, "who's going to call us now?" I lost it. It's also why I dread phone calls a little because I know who it isn't and who it won't be (no matter how much I want it to change,) and in future, it's why I won't be putting work first for a long time.


December 19, 2009

gonna cut someone

man, everything blows this week:

  • I sound like a stupid baby; I got a haircut today and enunciating was a fucking ordeal.
  • two more editors left the paper. This makes three since the beginning of the year, and this time there are no clear replacements in sight.
  • the bits of my face that don't hurt are completely numb, which is terrifying; it's still too early to say if anything is permanent (and I hope none of it is)
  • one of my maternal uncles died. I wanted to go see him post-op, but he didn't make it. This was precisely two months (to the day) that my aunt (also maternal) died in Fiji. This is truly something I don't want to come in threes.

the last one makes the rest of them pale in comparison, and it's also why I'm off to California for 36 hours tomorrow. The worryingest bits: I don't look like my passport anymore, I can't talk very well, and there's titanium in my skull now. I hope my doctors notes are enough; I've heard enough about the TSA to be wary.

I've got chemicals; wish me grace (and cue the M83).


December 18, 2009

this is honestly just so I can right-click and save as: srsly


November 24, 2009

in case it wasn't immediately apparent, this whole surgery thing is ramping up the anxiety; I commented to someone on MSN that I'm looking forward to the end but not the means, since the means keep getting uglier.



September 26, 2009

glowing young ruffian(s)

I guess it would have been that funny in the not-irony irony way if it wasn't heartbreaking; standing on a 99, half-drunk, admitting that things were far from ideal, and they'd gotten harder, but that somehow both of us were more worried about the other. Surrounded by strangers who were undoubtedly catching the wrong end of this conversation,1 and letting the brave faces slip because the effort was painful and we were safe with each other. Hushed tones and averted gazes from us as the sadness we'd been revealing obliquely and in parts came together, were focussed on and then defocussed2; the whole too much to behold. Remembering the discussions we had before I started the effexor about the nature and value of sadness, and the necessity of valleys to make the peaks meaningful. His references to a dark period before we'd met, of thoughts and actions that he didn't regret3 and the ways and means of our shared states.
Off the bus and inside for a pit stop, an offer of bourbon deferred4, and then to the bar. Quiet reassurances exchanged, unilateral apologies for multilateral failures, the soft familiar patters of our respective strides. Before stepping in, a half-second to file these thoughts away and to put brave faces back on, blinking at their unfortunate familiarity before diving into the sea of distractions provided by a table full of friends.
It's the dwelling that gets you; in one spot for too long and it's the other kind of head lock, trapped in worst-case scenario planning5 and the creeping horror of an impending loss6.

What came before: a cancelled concert, a shuffling of plans, a realization that it had been too long, two phone calls, a meeting point and then a meeting. From there, a long and public hug7, a walk down to 2nd and then a Canada Line trip up Cambie to 25th; both of us too lost in conversation to steer towards dinner until we decided on a place that was about a block from our starting point. Noodles, dumplings, additions to the party, a trip to Firefly. Large beers in a kitchen, waiting for confirmations, cherries and soba and hobgoblins in said beers, and then a walk to pick up a bicycle, the promise that we'd see you soon, a walk to the bus stop, a saddening of eyes and a slow fade to the airing of our woes.

What came after: suspension, revelry, disbelief that a bar closed at midnight, the houndstooth couch and bourbon manhattans. Three hours of chatter, and my hitting of a wall. I crashed in the den8 at 3 and failed to let him sleep while I snuck out at 10 to head back to the job I had been successful in not thinking or talking about. A barrage of text message apologies trailed into ephemera, and then I was back on the clock.

The point, I guess, is that I'm still fairly angry that one of the best people I know and love dearly has to deal with a whole stack of painful nonsense but that being able to at least be there was something I can and will be doing more often. You should join us.

1. As if there was a right end.
2. Defocus like a lens; take the edges away and let it fade slowly into nothing. The size obscured, the edges dulled. It's easier to avoid, this way.
3. With effort and as part of a greater no-regrets paradigm.
4. Not refused. Merely deferred.
5. Both of us.
6. Again, both of us.
7. Good hugs are hard to find.
8. During my first tour of the place: "This will be the den. Also, your room when you need it."


September 08, 2009

so it turns out that Twitter is a poor venue for self-talk.

excuse me while I try not to freak out over the next ten days.


September 02, 2009


stored for future reference:

spencer: Reasonably well
gerald: aw
gerald: I can't say I mind watching the baby
gerald: we get along
gerald: there are mild adventures
gerald: it's not like I'm having any
gerald: children, I mean
spencer: Currently or ever?
gerald: short-term, certainly
gerald: ever isn't planned
gerald: not opposed, to be honest, but you know... mechanics.
spencer: fair enough. There was just a tone of finality. But there's always surrogates or adoption
gerald: both of which fall under "mechanics" as requiring planning, accomplices, etc
gerald: a hint of madness (and not my regular sort)
gerald: one day, maybe
spencer: Ah, I thought you meant mechanics in the bits and parts sense
gerald: that was the joke
gerald: but there was some truth in there to, unwittingly
spencer: Aha


August 14, 2009

racing like a pro

after what can only be described as a series of poor-verging-on-surreal choices, I have survived what I feel to have been my first freelance/photojourno trial by fire.

an approximate schedule:

    Thursday, August 13
  • 2130 - leave to meet Culture kids at the Lamplighter
  • 2215 - get to Lamp, do the rounds, see Kaitlin and Aleks in addition to Culture kids + Lougheed. Shoot the Raccoons and a singer-songwriter that Kaitlin knows.
  • 2300 - leave lamp, head to Bourbon
  • 2310 - arrive at Bourbon, am blown away by The Heard.
  • 2330 - say hi to Abra, wish her a broken leg
  • 2335 - say hi to Piper, apparently engender envy of Piper's vocal lesbian fan club.
  • 2345 - shoot Piper's set.
  • 0005 - see chad, say hello.
  • 0025 - leave for red room
  • 0045 - party in the red room; it turns out I know four groups of people there (ex-Ubyssey, CiTR, Aleks, and Lougheed).
  • 0110 - it's Steve Louie! I like him.
  • 0120 - The Clips throw down an amazing farewell set.
  • 0210 - we leave the bar.
  • 0240 - me and Lougheed catch an N17
  • 0310 - back at Ubyssey Haus
  • 0320 - bed
  • 0715 - up again (!)
  • 0747 - miss the 4, get on an 84.
  • 0804 - miss a 7, get on a 4.
  • 0816 - on the 253 to Park Roral
  • 0840 - at LDB at Park Royal
  • 0845 - meet James from Had a Glass (v. cute, well-built but so friendly that it's not at all imposing)
  • 0900 - start shooting wine bottles
  • 0945 - finish shooting wine bottles
  • 0955 - London Drugs pit stop.
  • 1005 - on a 253 to downtown
  • 1030 - coffee #1; venti Pike Place
  • 1035 - 44 to Ubyssey Haus
  • 1040 - so many emo kids
  • 1100 - walk to Ubyssey Haus, check email, tidy up.
  • 1110 - half of Haus wakes up; are bewildered to hear about 0715-1100 period of my day.
  • 1115 - convalesce, a little.
  • 1145 - head to office with Justin
  • 1230 - after a little light internet, leave office
  • 1300 - Justin picks up a cheque, I say hi to Marielle
  • 1315 - Coffee #2 (Jeremy's Blenz: "give me an enormous drip coffee, please.")
  • 1330 - part ways with Justin, eat lunch.
  • 1400 - make way to site
  • 1430 - I'm in and tweeting.
  • 1550 - Brokencyde
  • 1615 - Bad Religion
  • 1645 - Streetlight Manifesto
  • 1715 - NOFX
  • 1730 - loaf in sun
  • 1815 - Alexisonfire
  • 1840 - leave site
  • 1900 - Ubyssey office
  • 2040 - parent pickup
  • 2130 - home

inside 24 hours I shot eight bands from two festivals in four venues (and on three stages in one venue) in addition to a trip out to West Vancouver to shoot wine bottles, for a total of three shoots and 1200 frames with a short break for a little under 4 hours of sleep, fuelled only by grim determination, obscene amounts of caffeine, and a sub-par noodle dish from the VIllage.

I feel spectacularly worn out in some ways; my shoulders ache from the weight of my gear, my shins from walking and my elbow will undoubtedly be next. I'm occasionally incoherent from sleep-lack, and I admit to a shorter fuse than usual. Sitting here typing this, showered and full of ice cream, I realize that this is the blissful kind of tired, and that I honestly haven't felt this way since I worked on shows.

It's a good feeling, and I'm glad to have it back.


August 08, 2009

welcome, ghosts

given that long-form thoughts stay here, short ones go to twitter, photos go on either on flickr or to facebook, is it any surprise that my impending photoblogs will also go somewhere else entirely?

the recent works blog is coming along, and the portfolio side requires some tweaking to bring the look and feel into alignment, but I think they'll hit the prime time soon.

feel free to comment on the unfinished forms, though.


August 05, 2009

sea change

I gave notice today, and my last day will be almost exactly six months to the day I started. This has been the last in a long string of jobs I've held since 2006 that can all safely be described as settling.

I think I'm ready, but there's really only one way to find out. goes.


July 27, 2009

spare thoughts

rereading Julie+Julia, it's weird how much of this whole blogging thing is about externalizing one's interiorities, and taking one's voice (issues of occupancy aside), wrapping it in CSS+(X)HTML and simply shouting it into a void. I guess it's not that surprising that someone else's exposed insides might attract comparison and identification and occasional connections, but it doesn't make it any less wondrous.

twitter's been even stranger, that way. I don't hold back about anything which seems foolhardy given that it's #3 hit for my name but I think it's just that I'm tired of lying about it, maybe. Either way, it is what it is, and as inconvenient as it would be to get disowned ahead of schedule, it's slowly become something I am less petrified by and approaching some level of readiness for, which is all sorts of fucked.

shymalan-esque twist on above: the baby. I could probably get by without the adults, but I can already tell that bowing out of babytron's life is going to wreck me. We get along, and I like being an uncle, to some extent. Better get quality time in while I can, then.


July 07, 2009

highly concise desert island albums

thor is applying for the red bull music academy, and says

they ask questions like "list your favorite 10 albums and tell us why" and give maybe 15 lines for that

this works out to 1.5 lines per album so I thought I would give it a shot. Thirty words, including album names. Here goes:
  1. Radiohead — OK Computer: first album I received, and one that sparked a lifelong love of music.
  2. Okkervil River — Black Sheep Boy: inherently nerdy (named after a Russian short story), nobody else has been quite so able to gutpunch me in the emotions.
  3. Wrens — The Meadowlands: I moved to the suburbs at 18, and despaired in the manner of teens believing they were inimitable. I was wrong, because they'd been there, too, and made an album that saw me into my 20s.
  4. The National — Boxer: is it weird that they make me nostalgic for a life I never led?
  5. Joanna Newsom — Ys: behind the endlessly divisive voice lies inventive compositions rooted in the music of ages paired with lyrics depicting tales more vibrant than any Disney joint.
  6. ...and you will know us by the trail of dead — Source Tags and Codes: one verse sealed it: what is forgiveness / just a dream / what is forgiveness / everything"
  7. Bjork — Homogenic Live: Joga was made for orchestras.
  8. Mogwai — Government Commissions 1996-2003: cheating, sort of, but this is the only way to get Like Herod and Helicon I on one album.
  9. Autechre — tri repetae: I found this years ago at the local library, and it was my gateway drug into IDM.
  10. Sigur Ros — Agaetis Byrjun: a man plays guitar with a bow, and another sings with the voice of a whale. 900 pairs of cheeks in the Chan Centre find themselves moistened.

anyway, there's that: poorly thrown together, but mostly remarkable as a piece of writing not rooted in AUGH I HATE EVERYONE, nor one excessively dissected before being put up for the world.


July 03, 2009

home and in a daze forever

Recent advice, summarized: Write your way out of a thinking block—because you'll never *think* your way out of a writing block.
Merlin Mann

with the above in mind, here goes:

It's hard to move between two contradictory ideas of normal, and as much as the commute between works out as the overlap between both circles in this Venn Diagram (leave it at two, for now), it too becomes its own grind, and the days when I don't have to deal with the transition (either way) are few and far between.
Wednesday morning I woke up on a couch at the Ubyssey house, saw nobody awake (but remembered our breakfast plans) and so read Infinite Jest until things picked up. Someone else saw me doing so, and grabbed Anathem and we sat on the couch occasionally touching but worlds away, buried in words and shrouded in silence.
Later that day, I spent a solid hour doing it again, but in a room full of people who'd seen me reading before breakfast and thought, "I haven't done that for a while. Why not?"

[cont.'d, some days later]

I got through 150-odd pages of Infinite Jest (which is manages to satisfy and tantalize simultaneously; get wrapped up in the joys of constructions and realize that the plot beckons farther down the rabbit hole.) which I haven't been able to replicate, either in state of mind or in circumstance— it feels, most days, like my time in the house is regarded as pretty much up for grabs, and so any time spent in relative stillness is due for usage.

A couple weeks ago, I got pulled away from rather a lengthy and difficuly round of photo editing (cloning a shirt down to cover an expanse of belly unbecoming of grad photos is a huge pain in the ass.) to stand around in the back lawn and hold pieces of lumber. As "it'll only take ten minutes" turned to forty with no end in sight, I pointed out that I had work to do, and that it was paid, and I needed to get it done.

There was an eventual point to this, rooted in displeasure and the awkward relationships of parents and adult children (rendered stranger through living together, cultural assimilation differences, and my constant and low-level dread about being outed/disowned ahead of schedule) but it seems needless to hash it out when all it's going to do is infuriate and then sadden (in that order.)

Instead I'm going to hit the button and walk away, deep breathing before thinking is buried in body-tasking; practice for all the things I'm going to leave one day.


July 01, 2009

unfortunate observation

I wasn't home for 38 hours, and then I was, and then everything either of my parents said to me was an imperative.

I was wondering why the time away felt so much like a vacation, and now I have my answer.


not this, not now, not again.



April 27, 2009

put the sounds of your house in a song

last week marked the last party in Kerrisdale Alpha, and also the last party wherein Al and Jordie have been roommates, an arrangement which had existed for most of what I think of as my adult life.

It's weird to realize how much that space, and the access thereto, changed things for me. It's been pretty much the textbook definition of safe space (esp. after Gavin's party, wherein I made out with Gary and lost my glasses, leaving me metaphorically and literally stumbling into awkward new territories.) I've slept it off, chatted over breakfast, came in to hang out, stored, lost, found, and made myself at home in every definition of the word. I worked my first show off that couch, fleeing V-Fest at T-Bird to return, shower, sleep, and leave again. I've spent at least four New Years in the last five years with Al, Jordie, Rob or some combination thereof. There's been shelter from snow and adventures in baking, post-bad-date moping, laughter and sadness and drinking and some of the best people I know.

We gave it a grand Viking funeral, with a room filled with balloons and a house filled with joy, and as I closed the door behind me for the last time, I felt a weird pang of sadness for the times we wouldn't be spending there any longer.

So: on to better things. I didn't leave my identity in one place again, which was nice, and I've lined up another couple places to crash, which is sensible. Time moves quicker than it used to, it seems, so I should go do things and not write about them.

It's been a wild ride, party house. Thanks for the memories.


April 12, 2009


I ended up at karaoke last night for the fifth time in three weeks (seriously: a birthday, the post-AGM celebrations, ducking into the Gallery, ending up at not-Hoko's again, and then the Biltmore), but only last night was there any actual talking, and it was most definitely uncomfortable truth hour.

in the midst of an excited exchange about everyone's new homes, I let out a defeated sigh about my continued existence in suburbia and suddenly all eyes were on me, with the usual litany of why can't/won't/don't you move out? and as much as I want to say fuck, yes, let's go, I know that I can't just yet, that part of it is that I'd like to leave on good terms and part of it is that I still don't feel whole, and that were anything to go wrong again I'd much rather be here than out on my own, to some extent.

Part of it is cliché "first generation children operate in two sets of social realms" but then you add in the whole queer thing and suddenly I am a Venn diagram of identity sets and operational expectations. It seems silly to want to align them a little better before another round of turmoil, but I do, and will try.

There was substantial support for just going whole hog and pulling the band-aid off all at once, so to speak-- operating on the assumption that reconciliation was inevitable and that time and knowledge was all that was needed for my parents and their peers to adjust and accept. The problem is that the one test case doesn't bear that out, and it's difficult to explain to people just how weirdly insular the family-cluster is, as odd as it seems.

I could just work in the extra ten hours a week I wouldn't be travelling, reconnect with friends and make an actual go at a relationship and just leave this life behind. It's a tempting thought and one that doesn't stand up to scrutiny; as much as it frustrates me, I know that it's not a tie I'm willing to sever and I'm not alone in it, (as my sister and el babytron are here basically every day and that's pretty unorthodox, to be honest.) so that remains an idle fantasy.

I realize that at the end of the day I want this to happen on my terms and not for reasons of convenience. I also don't want to come out as a means/attempt of hurting them, and part of that is knowing when and how to bring it up (myself out? no idea) as well as having the logistical side ready. Being about to put myself into a sizable debt hole which I regard as all sorts of necessary evil, I can't proceed thoughtlessly here.

I'm going to keep thinking, then.


March 29, 2009

grace and chemicals

it's weird how much these three words have resonated with me since I first heard them in an M83 song. I think I will write more on this when I'm not in the middle of Ubyssey production.



March 21, 2009

on a good mixture

there's a lot to be said about the Battlestar series finale that aired last night, and I won't be saying it here. Looking back (to yesterday, admittedly) it was less about the show and more about the showing. I watched it at Goh's place, with a couple of other guys from the paper, and absolutely demolishing beers.


I cried a little, we laughed a lot, we got drunker and cast awkward toasts to absent friends and idle notions, discussed the people we work with and who'd do whom and where things would go next year and moved conversation from inside couches to outside balcony (along with the vices.) and realized I'd blindly lucked into yet another fantastic group of people.

went to karaoke (high), ran into but did not speak to richard (I was very singularly focused on getting cash from the machine. I swear.) and spent the rest of the night drinking beer and singing badly.

Back to Jordie's to sleep, and now I am home, post-hangover and wondering what it was I was thinking of in the first place. I think I just wanted to memorialize this, one of the first days I went through without the usual litany of anxieties-- I am dealing with serious future-planning stuff (photo editor! raising freelance rates! more clientele!) and doing pretty alright, given that earlier versions of me would have self-handicapped and nothing would have happened.

Maybe growing up isn't so bad, after all.


February 06, 2009

things I didn't put in a facebook meme:

7. I spent half of 2006 and most of 2007 on antidepressants.
8. I came off said antidepressants the hard way, when I decided that this wasn't a good idea and then spent three weeks tapering down my dosage and another three days in withdrawal.
10. I am a terrific liar. The reasons for this are many, and it pains me to do it, but it's easier in the short-to-mid term and I'm getting disowned in the long run so whatever.


February 02, 2009


Autechre: opera for robots?

I put it on when I want to do something else; it ends up soundtracking a commute more often than any circumstance wherein I put it on just to listen to it, but now that I am giving it a fair shot, I'm liking how it feels; how it seems to skirt the edge of something and then careen away wildly to bury traces of emotion between a pile and a driver. It doesn't make conventional sense, and doesn't map in any way I'm used to, and I think I like that.


January 28, 2009

like a little drop of ink in a glass of water

reviewing the archives, I notice that this has been the third time I have announced a resurrection.
maybe it'll stick. here's hoping.


thinking out loud, you said, I'm overwhelmed

I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, for some cataclysm to rear its ugly head and send me back into prior paralyzed depths of my ridiculous anxieties, to return to the space I took so long to get away from.

I watch myself more astutely, now. Sometimes it's to keep a lie alive; nouns are edited and verbs omitted, timestamps skewed and intoxication temporarily ignored. More often, though, it's to spot the signs in case of disaster; am I sleeping enough? what's my diet like? why am I worried about what I'm worried about? Sometimes I feel like a miner who too focused on the canary, runs the risk of falling down the mineshaft.

I brush against them, sometimes, as I root for missing socks, the lone rigid object in a drawer full of fabric tubes; the childproof lid and orange bottle reminding me of a simpler time when all I had to do was take with meal and do not operate heavy machinery. I don't have a record of those days; they passed in a vague haze of office work and utter apathy punctuated with occasional bus treks from Langley to somewhere that didn't suck and periodic episodes of catastrophic doubt. I don't miss them.

I wonder, sometimes, if the easiest thing would be to start up again, to let the days wash over and by me in some obscene parody of a time-lapse montage as I sublimate my own desires and let my life be lived for me again, because today was a bad day and school is hard and work blows and I can't keep this up and and and everything is no good.

Then I remember the bottle, and I remember how I stopped feeling like things were so bad, and then I stopped feeling like myself, and then I stopped feeling altogether.

The bottle stays in the sock drawer. I will only throw it out when it is an empty gesture, not because I might need it and can't be trusted not to cave, but when I don't need it and have no use whatsoever for it.

That day is getting closer.


well whatever, you do this

I find myself compelled to write at inopportune times; it doesn't help that I will get myself all jacked up on caffeine and then do things I need to focus on because of my atypical reaction to large doses of stimulants, then find myself distracted in new and exciting ways.
So far, this has led to the addition of a business card blog (!) to my RSS feed, at least three bookmarks about CSS grid layouts that would necessitate a full teardown and overhaul of any web project I was on before it could go live, and about two pounds lost to fidgeting.

There are a lot of things that I have gotten good at whose necessity and proficiency I am mostly alarmed by, and along with lying (I am the best liar you know.), I'm now used to building distractions into my workflow; it doesn't help that I have three to five things on the go at once, and there are notifications popping up at inopportune moments but it makes me wonder if/when I hit a wall on this front, and suddenly I stop being able to pay attention to anything at all.

It's a worrying notion, and I realize now that I carry a couple of low-level worries with me at all times which carry the potential to grow alone or in concert and return me to the space I occupied before-- all passed deadlines and learned helplessness.

and now I'm rambling. This post is shelved.


January 21, 2009

facial horrors

yesterday at the orthodontist, they filed down my front teeth, which makes them smooth and leaves me a little closer to someone with normal teeth. My mouth feels weird again.


January 15, 2009

cold boot

went to Saskatoon with the Ubyssey, had a blast, learned a lot and slept a little, came home starry-eyed and full of (urban) fervor. that's another post entirely.

Returned home, and the next day I called the ol' bookstore to see when I was in next to find out that hours were cut by 1/3rd and that I had no hours on the schedule, that I might be able to go on EI, and that boss was v. sorry but that there was nothing she could do.

Moped around for a couple hours, simultaneously hanging out with sister and niece (who was happy to see me, apparently) and being all frown-like when my sister asked me how much I had in checking, in savings, and on my Visa. She's been the financially sound one for as long as I can remember (working in banks will do that, I suppose) so I answered and she said I'd be fine, which got me thinking: well, now what?

I have a pretty solid idea of where I don't want to work, and a decent one of where I do, so while a job hunt happens, I have a lot of freeish time, suddenly. There's a possibility of EI while I'm off, and so maybe it's time for a sabbatical-- I could get my online presence under control, get on top of my distance ed, and do more shooting as a whole; freelance, paper, and just for kicks.

So what's standing in the way? I'm not really sure. I guess it's time to find out.


January 04, 2009


I do this yearly, hiatus or deadblog or no, and maybe this will mark the return from two years of not writing.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
Got As in distance ed, marked 12 consecutive months at a job, bought a zoom lens, started making money off photography, went to Pride, shot shows, stuck to a five-year plan.

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?
Yes. My sister.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
The US.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Sanity, sig. other, a job that I don't hate, a return to UBC.\

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Odd Balls (NYE, Pride, Halloween), Pride as a whole, closing Seymour (and getting drunk with Ashley) the day I got my grades back, Radiohead, Okkervil River interview, Canada Day, starting at Davie, the birth of ye olde niece, Ubyssey 90th, New Year's at the Lotus. Night's at Al's and mornings at Art's, Corn Maze and Jess' whirlwind tour of the city, motherfucking snowed-in Boxing Day.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I got As in some courses, I got ahead with freelancing, and I didn't get fired. Or kill myself. That's probably the biggest one.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I continue to be unable to motivate myself without a fuckton of caffeine.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes but I didn't go mad again.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Tossup: 580EX/17-55 2.8/IS

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, camera gear.

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

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Blue Tulip - Okkervil River

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? Richer.

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 2008?
Love no, like yes.

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favourite TV program?
Battlestar Galactica, 30 Rock comes in a close second.

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?
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

honorable mentions: White Walls, Consider the Lobster, Wild Sheep Chase, Cloud Atlas.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Frightened Rabbit, The Dodos, St. Vincent

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?

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
23: I don't remember, probably I went drinking.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I miss ACF. A lot.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
I like selvage denim. I bought something like four pairs of the stuff.

33. What kept you sane?
I'm not really sure.

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?
American election/Prop 8

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

37. Who was the best new person you met?
More Ubyssey kids: Goh, Keegan, and Trevor Record; Carl, Jake, and Endie from BW; Ian and George and Fife from roadie-ing, and Kristen, Chloe, and Marg from RBF.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
This is worth doing right.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
The Notwist: Good Lies-
let's just imitate the real
until we find a better one

alternately, Radiohead: Nude-
Now that you've found it, it's gone
Now that you feel it, you don't
You've gone off the rails