So old

12 04 2016

It’s been two years since the last post and almost ten years since we all graduated from high school. Yeah, time flies and all those clichés, but does it get you wondering about whether or not what you’re doing is life making any impact in the world? I feel like most people get jobs to make money for themselves rather than make any sort of change; for example, someone in business or finance just makes money for themselves or for their clients. Whereas a doctor makes money but more importantly, aids and saves people. I find it frustrating that the “best jobs” are often ones touted as making the most income rather than measured in merit, and it’s still difficult to reconcile being a writer/artist in a world where people look down on you or have assumptions about your job. I constantly wonder if I should be doing something else, followed by constantly reassuring myself that what I’m doing is in fact worthwhile and meaningful. This entire paragraph probably should’ve been posted on my blog instead of this one that one checks anymore.

Also, I’m going to change the layout of this because it looks bland. How is everyone else doing? Excited for the high school reunion? I’m considering lying to people and telling them I own a medical marijuana clinic. It probably would come across as more accomplished than a writer.


17 02 2015

I want to do something more. But I don’t know what or how.

Goals back in high school

10 06 2013

While I was cleaning earlier today, I came across my old agenda from high school. Most of it was boring crap about assignments, but every so often, I answered the philosophical questions posed by the makers of the agenda, usually in some sort of angsty way.

One was about goals and being driven to do stuff. The question they ask is “Did you record a goal last month? Great, have you started moving on it yet? No? Then it’s time to create a game plan. Write in your baby steps here:”

Here’s what I wrote.

1. Get money.

2. Go to a store.

3. Buy a new life.

4. Apply liberally.

5. Enjoy the outstanding effects!

Oh, how witty my 17 year old self was.

Cloud Atlas Redux

29 04 2013

Watched it again tonight because I’ve been thinking about the film a lot recently. When it finished, I cried.

What a beautiful notion — not being able to be with someone you love in one era but perhaps in another life, you might. That strongly resonated with me. It made me think of the one I will always love and how we might not be able to be together in this life, but in another time, in another place…

I wish he would watch this movie. I wish I could make him see. I wish this so hard.

When life makes you sad…

12 01 2013

watch old re-runs of Season 2 of Ally McBeal.  Satisfaction guaranteed.


Time goes slowly for me

23 07 2012

I sometimes forget that things progress faster with others than for me, so that when I find out a friend is seeing someone, I’m surprised, and little jealous.  But it’s only been… months, I think to myself.  How did things go by so quickly?

But it’s not that things move quickly for them; things change slowly for me.  I wonder why this is.  I wonder if it’s because I’m hesitant to meet new people, or I don’t make an effort to follow up with certain people after meeting them, or I’m not assertive enough.  In my mind, I don’t know what people are thinking though.  Maybe they don’t want me to be in their lives.  Maybe they aren’t actually interested in me.  Maybe I’m trying too hard.

One of my friends really believes in the saying “sometimes he’s just not that into you”, believing that if someone likes you, they’ll make an effort to pursue you.  But since my efforts are apparently too much, I hold off, and then they go and things progress without me.  I feel like if I don’t contact people, they will forget me because no one really “pursues” me.

A guy I’m seeing told me he had a bad dream where I disappeared somewhere and he was slowly losing his memory of me.  And though he tried to fight it, he couldn’t, and was sad.  I told him, “that sounds like reality.”  And I believe this because I’ve seen it happen.  I’ve felt it.  It is experience.

The older I get

21 05 2012

the sleepier I seem to be.  I didn’t used to get so tired I could pass out, but here I am, sitting in front of my computer, with my eyes closed, letting my fingers do the typing, on the brink of falling asleep.  I know I feel old in many respects, but this is a new one.  Maybe I am just an old man physically as well.  Oh well.  I’d fit in well where I am work.

Myself in ___ years

30 04 2012

Someone asked me recently what I’d be doing in 10 years.  I responded, “I can’t even imagine myself in 10 years.”  This person laughed, interpreting what I said to mean, “Ten years?  That’s so off into the future, I just have no idea!”

What I really meant was that I couldn’t even imagine myself alive in 10 years, let alone what I’d be doing if I were.  Maybe it’s my uncertainty about the future.

Or maybe it’s that I genuinely feel like I won’t live past 30.

Top 15 albums of my life

23 02 2012

Another note I posted on facebook a few years ago.

Think of 15 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that no matter what they were thought of musically shaped your world. When you finish, tag 15 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good.”

1. Seeing Double – S Club

Okay, so not a good way to start off this list. But this was the first album I ever bought with my own money, and I listened to it over and over again at the time, not realizing until later that, some of it was quite bad. Needless to say, it’s the kind of music I hope never to write.

2. Harmonium – Vanessa Carlton

Also known as the record that was a failure, at least commercially. Artistically, I consider it the best album Ms. Carlton has ever recorded. I admit that upon the first listen, I had mixed feelings, and the only song that stood out to me, apart from the first and only single “White Houses”, was “Private Radio”. After giving it another try, I was surprised to find that the songs had much deeper themes and tones, mixed with great arrangements and melodies. Harmonium is the one album I could never stop listening to. Honestly.

3. Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson

Unlike Harmonium, Breakaway was a big seller back in 2005, not only in North America but worldwide, thanks to successful singles. “Addicted” (which was supposed to the be fifth single but was deemed too “dark”… psh) would make my heart beat faster because there was someone who I felt addicted to but couldn’t let go, and “Because of You” struck a personal note with me. Breakaway encompasses various moods and whatever it may be, there’s always a song or two that fits whatever I’m feeling.

4. Folklore – Nelly Furtado

Also known as the record before she began dancing and wearing less clothing, Folklore rests as Furtado’s most diverse-sounding album, incorporating many instruments such as the sitar, squeaky organ, backwards vibes, and the caxixi. The songs, matched with introspective lyrics, just make you feel good, even if you don’t want to.

5. Poses – Rufus Wainwright

And breaking the streak of female artists, Rufus Wainwright is one of the most underrated artists today. Poses is my favourite album by this Canadian piano-playing songwriter. The album to listen to lying down and relaxing… although I can’t listen to “Evil Angel” anymore because it scares me. Really.

6. Rent original soundtrack (movie version)

Ah. What to say about Rent? It’s one of my favourite musicals (I haven’t seen many either), and one of the few that actually has a meaning and a good story behind the music. From the classic “Seasons of Love” to the song that makes me cry whenever I hear it, “Without You” (sung by Rosario Dawson), the soundtrack reflects opinions and the genius of Jonathan Larson. There was one time where I listened to “Without You” over and over again and I cried several times because of I remembered someone I no longer talk to… and this all happened in public too. That was fun.

7. Surfacing – Sarah McLachlan

My favourite Canadian female artist, Surfacing is just a great album. Thoughtful, and might even inspire you to do…. something.

8. When the Pawn… – Fiona Apple

God, how I love this woman. There are songs on this record that I just scream because of the anger behind it (“Limp”, “Get Gone”). She’s an awesome songwriter, and her lyrics prove just that. Everything about this album is fantastic. Definitely an album people should know more about.

9. Catching Tales – Jamie Cullum

In my eyes, Jamie Cullum is and will always be way more creative than the likes of sappy Michael Buble. Branching out from the typical jazz standards (though there are still a few on this one), Mr. Cullum also writes his own songs in his own unique style; if you ever get a chance to see him live, go do it. Not only is he an awesome pianist, but his shows are always unpredictable. Jazz music for the modern age, as opposed to re-recording jazz standards that everyone has done (*ahem* DianaKrall *ahem*).

10. The Great Chopin

Unfortunately, I can’t find the CD to tell you who plays on it, but essentially, it’s just a collection of his greatest works. We all need some Classical (technically, Romantic period) music from time to time. I especially like listening to the Revolutionary Etude because I’ll never be able to play it well. Haha

11. Amelie soundtrack – Yann Tiersen

The movie that put Yann Tiersen on the music market, this soundtrack made me actually look into (and appreciate) French instrumental music. He writes such great music with great arrangements… I think he’s in a rock band now, though. Hopefully he’ll still be doing instrumental work.

12. The Fountain original soundtrack – Clint Mansell

Although I don’t actually own a hard copy of the disk, this is one of the best and interestingly produced soundtracks I’ve come across. After seeing The Fountain (which I found pretty good… I think I need to see it again), I went in search of the soundtrack because of the two strikingly haunting piano pieces — “Last Man” and “Together, We Will Live Forever”. Sadness and longing fill both these songs so much that I’ve teared up on more than one occasion. The rest of the songs are, of course, dramatic and intense, like the movie. So good. I cannot express how much emotion these songs contain.

13. Goodbye Blue Monday – Jeremy Fisher

A great guitar record from a fellow Vancouverite, full of fun, upbeat songs. When everything is going well, I just put this on and smile.

14. Closer – Josh Groban

It’s been a while since I listened to this one, but I remember the songs and how great of a singer Josh is. Mixing pop songs with Classical-type vocal songs, this is a record that appeals to not only the older audience, but to younger ones as well. As a side note, Josh seems a lot cooler/funnier than his music makes him out to be.

And lastly…

Now, people that know me know that I’m not a vain guy (well, not really). But because this list is supposed to be for albums that have had an effect on me and my life, I feel like this has its place (or will) in my life. And technically, it’s not finished, but it will be sometime this year. So, without further ado…

15. Journal of a Teenage Existentialist – Aaron Chan

The CD I’ve always wanted to make, for the people who just want to listen to some sad stuff. I started writing songs when I was 17, and even now I find these songs relateable in some way. If I wasn’t able to write these songs, I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d be doing. With music, I’m able to pour my thoughts and feelings into some creative, something worthwhile, in the hopes that other people will hear them and be able to feel something as well.

So there you have it. Voila.

Saturday Morning Documentary: Human Planet

14 02 2012

It’s been so long since I’ve done one of these and I haven’t really been keeping up with my documentaries,  but since these files keep sitting on my computer, waiting to be deleted, I might as well write about them.  Yet another well-produced BBC documentary series, Human Planet explores eight different terrains across the globe– from Oceans, to Jungles, to, surprisingly, Cities, all through a human lens and humanity’s impact and adaptability throughout the world.  Narrated by John Hurt, it seems the series’s goal is to highlight human ingenuity in a time when it is so easy to blame and criticize ourselves (think: global warming, landfills, war, our fascination of the Kardashians).  In many ways, Human Planet more than achieves this goal: as the series shows, humans are willing to walk towards lions to get freshly killed meat, live in high altitudes and train eagles to catch prey, and as a community, work together to save an ancient building by covering it with mud.  Yes, we have lots of potential to do great and wonderful things.

One of the things that bugged me about this series is the cinematography.  It’s very well-shot– almost too well-shot.  Perhaps I’m just used to watching documentaries that feel more spontaneous, less technical and less set-up.  There are shots were the human subjects stare off wistfully into the distance, as if asked by the British crew to do so, or, for example, shots of the villagers chasing monkeys in the jungle, and the camera just so happens to be on the ground floor, capturing their feet as they run past.  It’s shot as if it were a feature film, at a variety of angles, and for me, it made me do a double-take.  However, other scenes, like following a man as he walks across a river on a rope, is shot so well and beautifully that it doesn’t draw attention to it.

Although not as entertaining and awe-inspiring as Life or Planet Earth, Human Planet follows the trend of well-made BBC productions.

Annual fishing in Lake Antogo