Monday, August 27, 2012

Long Weekend

Although I can't go out of town or do anything too fancy, it will be a fine weekend in the park with my new sweetheart and her dogs... I'll get to meet her sisters and parents at the Labour Day picnic, which will be interesting at the very least. She's of Irish descent, and it promises to be a rollicking good time involving wine and... wine.  :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I can't remember the last time it has been August, and my feet were so white.  I have not been outside this summer, and it's almost over.


Thursday, July 26, 2012


For some reason my street has traditionally been attractive to rabbits.  Every so often, they just show up.

This morning, there were two wild rabbits, still surprisingly white, sitting in my front yard.

It may not have been the first time it's happened, but it somehow still seems odd to me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


And with that, a weight is lifted. At least it begins to be.

Monday, July 9, 2012


It's a sunny day.

Get over it.

If you don't like it, change it.


I'd like to only write here with good news.  That's been the plan, anyway.

It's a bit hard at the moment.

Should I talk about waking up with crusty eyes thanks to my contacts being 10 days past the change date?

Or the living room filled with soccer stuff because I'm still waiting to be able to get my wagon fixed?

No, the redemption I need is in the stay-in-summer I'm having.  I'm not going out, not going anywhere.  No outdoor festivals, no yoga, no running, no... escape... there must be something I'm missing, some way of... restoring.

It's not all bad, I guess.  I finally went on a date last week, cheap movie night with a Filipino girl.  She's a nurse, so she works odd hours and even corresponding has been difficult, much less finding something to do.  Which is all fine, I guess.  I'm not much in the mood for being social most days.

Work has ground to a halt.  My phone apps are getting nowhere.  No one wants the PC apps anymore.  That 9 to 5 offer is looking pretty good, and I'm going have to decide on it soon.

This isn't helping.  Dwelling isn't helping.  Writing it out isn't helping.

I need a change.

Monday, June 25, 2012


The manager that brought me in four years ago to my recent ended engagement has done it again.  He's invited me to join him in another city, nearer the mountains and farther from where I've been most of my life.  It's a good offer, and comes at a good time, but I'm unsure as always.

Can I uproot and start again elsewhere?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Breaks

This is an odd summer.

I'm playing on only one soccer team, and this week I just turned over the only team I was coaching to a gentleman that was my opponent last season.

It's for the best though.

I have to focus on work, focus on rebuilding. I have put off planned new products for too long, spent too much money, and now it's time to get it together.

It will keep me busy and that's fine.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Today the very happy, smiley Korean shopkeeper I like here threw me a small package of chocolate macadamia nuts on my way out the door.

Mmmm... Candy from pretty strangers...

Friday, April 6, 2012


Yesterday turned out to be a better day than predicted. We went to the "hippie" town where the boys bought souvenirs of a legal yet questionable nature. We also hung out on the beach watching the surfers for a bit...

A French speaking couple (he was Caucasian, she was perhaps Chinese or Japanese) came by and I offered to take their picture together... Afterward, the woman told me, as an afterthought and a bit of a reward, that down at the end of the beach were some turtles, so we headed off that way...

I looked and looked, but all I saw were some rocks that looked vaguely like a turtle. I turned around and steeled my nerve to make an inquiry to the sole other beach occupant, a nubile young lass sitting with her one year old baby...

Some things are easy to see...

"Excuse me, but have you happened to have seen any turtles arrived here?"

She pointed to a spot three feet in front of her, and directly in my path. There was a turtle.

"Some of them look like rocks," she said.

...only once you know they are there.
"I can't believe I didn't see it!"

And though I knew and reminded myself that my focus on how to approach and ask her a question was the cause for the oversight, I was still stunned and embarrassed...

That evening we had supper with friends and went to see a dumbass movie, after which we left my eldest behind at a yogurt shop to try his luck meeting girls.

Finally, we were on vacation.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Intentional infidelity

One should not rest one's full emotional weight on any one person. This tends to bend the relationship, if not break it entirely.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Medicalities and Other Stories

Next week will likely be our last family vacation. We return to the island... It's likely our last, because the boys are leaving high school, one this summer, the other the next. The changes between last year and this year are significant. When I was over at the musician's house last weekend, the comparison was made between her toddler's second year and my boys' last year... in her household, the development was walking and getting into new forms of trouble. In my household, one year ago started my eldest's foray into environmentalism, only to see him sidetracked by friends into smoking. My boys had their first jobs, their first cars. A year of changes, indeed.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Talk shows

It's easy to see everyone else's hypocrisy, but not your own.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Exchange Program

Despite my many imperfections, I am proud of myself.  I have made it a tradition to take the opportunities given to me by the people in my life, to let their suggestions and offers enrich my life and my self.  I still decline things sometimes, but by and large that is due to practicalities rather than false internal roadblocks.  There are steps backward, but there are more steps forward.

I am the pragmatic version of Jim Carrey's "Yes Man".

I wonder if I'll end up with Zooey Deschanel?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


The world requires finesse.

You want to be true to yourself, but if you don't phrase things a certain way and people take insult or form a judgement of you, they will not give you a chance to explain yourself.

The listener has their point of view before you even start to present yours.

The trick is to make them understand you before they get sidetracked by some irrelevant detail, somewhere within the information you are giving.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I am thankful for my grandparents in many ways, from my inherited hair line and resistence against greying, to the help that has allowed me to live as well as I do, to the example they provide.

I spent many summers of my youth with them.

My grandfather was a better father than my biological one, whom I didn't see between the ages of 2 and 22, and my stepfather, a conservative police officer with a bent towards excessive control of the family.

My grandmother always made sure to ask how I was, and gave help when I needed it.  When I was young I resented the constant "eat this, it's delicious", but I was a scrawny thing after all.

I know that we all have limited times on this planet, and I am glad that they are not just around, but that they are active and fully functional as they approach an age with 3 digits.  I am thankful for that.

I only wish I can find the time to visit them more often, before it is too late.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

High Notes

My birthday day ended with good things.

I played two games of soccer, as a guest.

I was told by someone I played with, a pretty good player, that he'd rather play with me than against me.

A thirty year old woman I know pulled her husband over, and pointed at me, saying there, see, that's what 45 looks like.

People were glad to see me.

I was glad to be with people.

Now you know why I still live here despite the weather and the work.

Happy Birthday.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ending on the High Note

It's not the experience, it's how you remember it.

Apparently we are creatures that are affected more by our memories than the actual events.  Our memories are focused on the peak of any given experience, and the end of that experience. 

The examples are clinical, from the book I've been reading.

Volunteers put their hands in painfully cold water for 60 seconds, and 90 seconds.  The first 60 seconds of the 90 second version were the same, temperature-wise, as the 60 second version.  The last 30 seconds were one degree warmer, and so ended with a less painful state.  When the volunteers were asked which experience they preferred to repeat for the third trial, they said the 90 second version.

Similar results were found for painful surgical procedures - what mattered was the average between the peak of the experience, and the level when the experience ended.

It's not logical, but we aren't logical.  We have a pretty good, but flawed, way of making decisions.  We have a pretty good, but flawed, way to record a lifetime of more experiences than we can actually record in detail.

So... the most successful vacation has enough time to allow one to relax, a strong high point, and a good ending.  And the photos to bring the memory back up again.

The most desirable lifetime is one that has no major stress, some high points, and a good ending.

Which makes one's desire to plan for one's golden years quite understandable.  It's not who we are dating right now, it's who we'll be with when our life is over, and what the overall narrative of our life was. 

What path will give us the memories that prove we had a good life, and few regrets?

And does this mean that it's better to have many short term relationships as long as they end well?

I don't know... I'm still trying to figure out how to use this knowledge to overcome the flaws in my decisions, find happiness, and give my story a Hollywood ending.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Reading Psychology

The problem with understanding more about how the human mind works, the inherent biases, the ease with which falsities are assumed to be true... the harder it is to have hope that we can do the right thing and have positive outcomes.

Fortunately, I have a human mind, so I can believe that there is hope anyway.

Here's to obliviousness.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happiness is...

A good woman, a playful dog, a park on a summer day...


Being satisfied with what you have, not desiring unnecessarily.

How does one balance that with a goal of not missing opportunities for a lack of effort?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Spare, Change

It's amazing how fast the body can be modified.

In one month abroad, I lost ten pounds, most of it fat, some of it muscle.

In the month since I returned, I've gained back seven, most of it fat, some of it muscle.

You would think that I might be able to exercise some control in the process, but perhaps a lot of who you are is where you are, and what you spend most of your time doing.

Friday, February 3, 2012


On my way back from the coast last month, I was stunned when both my tripmates were attractive, friendly women.

The first hop was shared with a woman from Japan who had married a Canadian man, in the country for an annual ski trip.  We had both been on the same brutally long transoceanic trip, and had a great conversation about family and culture.

The second hop was with a woman originally from my city, currently working on the coast in the environmental regulation field.  She was an interesting mixture of Dutch and Filipino heritage.  Our conversation was once again great, and amazingly I stayed awake through it all.  I even boldly offered her my phone number as we got up to leave the place, despite my stinky, dishevelled state.

At the bar.  There's still room for a book, and wings.

In our conversation, she mentioned a movie that I now forget the name of, and a book, "The Value of Nothing", which I've been reading this week as part of my "go to a bar, have some water and wings, and read a book" series.  (It's just like going out and being social, without all the awkward "I have friends" part.  Maybe I still have a way to go.)

Although I see a few minor errors in it, overall it presents some very interesting and inspiring ideas, not the least of which is to question the true meaning of the words "democracy" and "value".  The author talks about situations where struggles for justice have been completely misreported to us in the West (Somali pirates being a reaction to toxic waste dumping), and where those struggles against the more heartless forms of capitalism have met with some success (such as the women's farming co-ops in India, and the peaceful revolutionaries in Mexico).

My son is constantly concerned about this world, and apparently the state of it depresses him even more than it does me.  He very much wants to find a way to make it a better place.  I've passed the book on to him, and I do hope he finds some of the same things that I found in it.

I love the little things in life that can turn into bigger things. Shallow intentions leading to deep inspirations.

Unexpected outcomes.