Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ten Things About My Childhood

  • When I was five or six I tried digging tro China in our backyard strawberry garden. I dug the hole much wider than it was deep and at that rate I probably would have taken ten lifetimes to reach where I was going.
  • My first crush was in Grade Two, I guess I was about six or seven. I wrote a love note for a girl in my class named Shauna and passed it to the boy in front of me to give to her. Instead he read it out loud to the whole class. I almost died.
  • When I was seven or eight I ran away from home. I packed a few things and walked North (!) to Hawaii through our local park. I was going to hop on a train but I couldn't figure out which one went there, got hungry and came home. I was gone for about half an hour.
  • In Grade Four I had a wicked crush on my teacher for the year. (Her initials were G.G. but with the way she wrote it we used to call her "88".) I stayed late to help her prep for the next day, told her I loved her and she said she loved me back. She handled it so well, I'll always be grateful to her for not breaking my heart.
  • When I was about nine I tried to chop down our poplar tree with the back of a claw hammer.
  • I went to the ballet on a field trip when I was about ten. Not because I liked the ballet but because I was the only boy on a school bus full of girls. Loved every minute of it.
  • My brother and I used to catch snakes in our local field by the railway tracks. When I was about eleven we put some of them in a bucket, covered it and went out for the day. When we returned my mother was furious; they had escaped in the laundry room. She didn't realize it until one of the snakes poked its head out of a sock. I almost didn't make it to my next birthday.
  • My friend and I once set a very small fire on the tracks after a train had passed. The train stopped and the conductor (at the end of the train) called us over. I thought we were in serious trouble, but instead of giving us a lecture he showed us around inside the caboose. We never set a fire again.
  • I wore braces and headgear in my early teens and hated every minute of it. In total I've had eight teeth removed although luckily you'd never know it.
  • I used to sleep over at my best friend's house, and in the summer we use to sneak out of the house late at night and hop through people's backyards. One time we made too much noise and a friend of mine got spotted by the homeowner. We got scared, took off and left him there. (Some friend huh?)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Surrender (poem)



To feel the sway upon your hips
To be the drop that leaves your lips
To trace your curves
To split your seams,
To be the flesh that fills your dreams.

To dive into your deepest part
And break the glass around your heart,
To swim your secrets one by one
To catch you as you come undone.  

To feel my hands as they dig in
Beneath the fabric of your skin,
To fight daybreak's impending gloom
To cast love-shadows in your room.

To consume your will
To steal your breath
To lead you to your little death,
To put your fears upon the shelf
To close your eyes
And lose yourself. Registered & Protected

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Secret Sunday

I'm happy to say that tomorrow I'll be posting the first poem I've written in months. Feels good. =)

Time now for the 56th round of Secret Sunday, a chance to anonymously share secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty.

All are valid.

Here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wants to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free. Let me know and I'll follow along.

And now to it...

Saturday, January 21, 2012


People's reactions to PDAs (public displays of affection) are interesting, and usually fall under one of two main categories. There's "Aww that's so sweet!", usually from people under forty who are generally pretty accepting of these things. The forty-plus crowd is a mixed bag but this is where the "Why don't you two get a room!" comments start. Fifties and over say this too but for some reason feel it's often also a good idea to include a lecture about appropriateness and all that crap.

I love PDAs. The first thing I saw when I arrived in Paris so many years ago was a couple reclining on a park bench, locked in an everlasting kiss as if it was their last. I loved seeing that and wished my camera was handy, I'll always consider it the shot that got away.

Sandy and I are always affectionate in public. We hold hands, hug and act goofy. Sometimes I'll get an overwhelming urge to grab her and we'll kiss like no one's watching. Of course they usually are, we just don't care.

How do you feel about PDA's? Do you and your significant other act as affectionate in public as you would at home, or do you feel it isn't appropriate? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Letters From You (Souvenirs From My Blogging Friends)

One of the best things about blogging is the chance to correspond with people from all over the world. There are few things I love more than getting something from a long-distance friend in the mailbox, it's a physical way of making our connection stronger. I hold onto anything you guys send me, and on the weekend I finally decided to get it organized.

The challenge was how to get this...

into this...

So here's what I came up with. It starts with a Dec 9, 2009 webcam video from a very dear friend in Cairo that I burned to CD. I didn't take a picture of it, but Mae if you're reading it means just as much to me today as it did then. I've put this stuff in order by date because, well, that's just me. Unless noted each friend has their own page...

(left)  Sept 30, 2010. A hand-sewn Halloween bag from a friend who barely has time for herself after looking after her young son and daughter, yet still made time to make this for me. How great is that? I left the bag loose so it can be removed when Halloween rolls around each year.
(right)  Dec 10, 2010. A drawing by her little guy. I don't know what it is but it really doesn't matter, all I know is it's one of my favourite things I've received.

Also in the same package she surprised me with mix CD's that have everything from ballads to alternative rock to hip-hop and hardcore rap. Pretty impressive for a country girl huh? I've been listening to them tonight as I put this together.

(left) Dec 2010. My first 'bloggy' Christmas card. Such a thoughtful friend.
(right) Jan 2011. One of those notes that makes you feel lucky to know someone. And on the left of that page, a token of thanks from her beloved pup for the birthday poem I wrote her. (The one and only poem I've written for a dog, BTW).

(left) Jan 18, 2011. A hand-made calendar, very nicely done. Plus a personal note with hearts and smiles. What more could a guy ask for?
(right) Mar 16, 2011. Knowing my interest in such things, a long-time friend sent me a book of erotic short stories. The book now resides on my shelf but I've kept the cover here as a keepsake, along with her note. Loved getting this in the mail.

(left) June 13, 2011. This note was included with some bath gel, shaving gel and Hugo Boss cologne from a friend who worked in a bath and body shop. Proof that blogging can be good for your health and personal hygiene. =)
(right) Oct 21, 2011. Photos I bought from Ari's Etsy shop, The Happy Cactus. (Yes, if you have a business I'm happy to plug it on my blog). A crafty girl in more ways than one. The picture at top of the Confederate tombstones really caught my eye, the lighting is incredible.

Dec 14, 2011. Another CD sent to add to the others, this time a recording of a friend of her husband's. I love being introduced to different kinds of music, especially when it's as personal as this is. I've blanked out names on the Christmas card for this photo but not her upcoming addition. B., I'm as excited that you're expecting as I would be if you were someone in my own family. Can't help feel that I'm going to be an uncle, or at least a virtual uncle! 

So there you go, that's it for now but I plan to do another post like this down the road. If you ever wonder what blogging relationships mean to me this should tell you. Keep those cards and letters coming, and I'll do the same!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Secret Sunday

Time for the 55th round of Secret Sunday, a chance to anonymously share secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty.

All are valid.

Here's how it works:

1) This is open to anyone who wants to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

2) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free. Let me know and I'll follow along.

And now to it...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Holding the Cards

Last year I decided it would be a good idea to pick up a holder for my personal blogging 'business' cards. Most of the places I checked didn't carry them, and the ones that did (engraving shops) usually dealt with more ornate holders. I didn't want anything too pretentious.

Then a couple days after Christmas we were walking through a store when I happened to stumble across this great little gadget. It's a plastic case with two heavy elastic bands attached to the cap at one end; just pull the cap to get to the cards. And, as a bonus, the first one I saw just happened to match perfectly. (Looking at this photo reminds me I have to have updated ones made with my new number).

It only cost me about six bucks and does the job really well. Good score huh?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Amazing Is...


When a young blogging friend asks
 if she can call you her big brother.

A certain special someone 
brought extra sunshine into my life today. =)

Photo by Metin Demiralay. Credit here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Does it not seem that no matter how much we grow as adults our hearts can remain a fragile, wondrous child?

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's a Spamathon!

Wouldn't it be nice to live in some alternate universe where everything you read was real? Lately some very generous folks have left me late Christmas presents out of the blue, just to be nice. That's right...I've been handed more money in a few weeks than I'll ever earn in ten lifetimes. Take a look at some of this generosity, and the bazillions I've made almost overnight:

  • Dearest Partner, I am Mrs Sonia Alafinja from Ivory Coast.... $7, 500,000. 
  • (wow, money donated from a small-ass African nation? THAT never happens)
  • My Dear, I know this proposal letter might be a pleasant surprise to you as we don't know ourselves before...$7, 500,000 
  • ("pleasant surprise" wasn't my first reaction. Or my second)
  • (only one and a half mil Gates? C'mon you can afford to BUY the Ivory Coast, you can do better than this)
  • Dear Friend, you might find it difficult to remember me again though it has not been quite a long time...5,000,000,00 EURO
  • (yes it is difficult to remember you, probably since we never met before. Assclown) 
  • Hey listen, I know you were looking to make some extra money from home...
  • (so what, now you have the latest in mind-reading software?)
  • Winner!!! You have been awarded the sum of 1,000,000 British Pounds and a Toshiba laptop
    (British pounds, great. Now I have to go through all the work of figuring out what that works out to in Canadian dollars. So inconsiderate of you)
  • Your email has been selected by the United Nations Organization for a cash grant award of 350,000.00GBP
    (yes, because we all know the United Nations just GIVES cash away to random people. And stop with those effing British pounds again, you're beginning to annoy me. Give me those strange Canadian bills that make Americans look at me funny, it's more familiar and comforting)

    They also had my sexual health in mind, which was thoughtful:

  • Heat of your meat. Viagra.

  •     (what does that even mean? Do they use a probe or something? Ow.)
  • Feeling Horny? Match Parter NO STRINGS ATTACHED fun....

  •     (the answer to the first part is yes, always and there's no such thing as sex with no strings attached. We all pay somehow.)

        And finally...

        • 御泥坊正品 玫瑰滋养矿物睡眠面膜
          (to appeal to my Korean/ Japanese heritage, because I'm so OBVIOUSLY Asian)

              It's nice to be thought of, isn't it? Sigh.

              Sunday, January 8, 2012

              It Comes Back to This

               I've been tossing around ideas for new posts to tell you more about myself, mainly because that's the kind of writing that draws me most to others. I love getting to know people and learning whatever they care to tell me about their lives; because of this I find it hard not to talk about myself on my blog without also mentioning the influence that you my friends and readers have on me, since it's been a significant part of my life the last few years. It often comes back to this it seems.

                And so I've been having this inner conversation with myself for weeks; wondering what I should write, when and even if I should write it. At first I felt I was being evasive, writing about other people. But then I realized that in many ways this is very much about my life because it's a reflection of what holds the most meaning- my relationships and a shared ability to connect in a very real way despite, in this case, being separated by computer screens and hundreds of miles. These connections aren't secondary to me, they're not some happy by-product of blogging. They're the reason I began in the first place.

                In late August of 2010 I received an e-mail from someone I'd never spoken with, a young student (I'm re-reading her e-mail now as I write this to make sure I get it right). She told me she discovered my site the month before and it had been a big help in her life, that she was struggling with depression and reading my blog had been an inspiration to her. She said she was slowly starting to make some changes in her life and become the person she wants to be. Then she ended it by writing, "Thank you for your inspirational blog, because of it I'm gradually discovering myself."

               This person came out of nowhere, I had no idea she was reading me. It was one of the most unexpected, amazing things that has happened and for the first time really made me realize the impact we all have not only on each other as regular readers, but on those we're completely unaware of. Somewhere out there, reading your words on their computer screens, are people who feel the same way about you.

               It's hard to explain the affect people who share of themselves so willingly can have on me. Especially those of you who are obviously struggling internally with certain area(s) of your lives and yet are so uplifting to me during conversation, or others on your own pages. It's tremendously powerful and selfless.

               One of the biggest things I've gained from all of this is realizing how much I still don't know about myself. I've learned a lot from people younger than me; things I've held so steadfastly to have been challenged and shaken by differing points of view and it's been an amazing experience rethinking some of the ways I approach life.

               A couple years ago I wrote that we don't stand alone uninfluenced or unaffecting. Today I believe this to be true more than ever; who we are is very much the sum of who we meet. 

              * Secret Sunday will return next week. If you'd like to participate sooner please drop by here .

              Wednesday, January 4, 2012

              Shoe Candy- For The Ladies

                Thought I'd do something a little different today. I know many of you go ga-ga for shoes, so when a friend e-mailed me some photos of designs by Kobi Levi it seemed only natural to share them here. After doing a little reading I found that Kobi Levi is an Israeli designer who graduated from an art and design school in 2001. Everything is hand-made in his studio (in other words, mucho donero).  He's actually on Blogger and can be found here:  All photos are copyright, Kobi Levi Footwear Art.

              Miao 2010

              Market Trolley 1998


              Rocking Chair 2003


              Tongue 2005

              Mother and Daughter 2011

              Double Boots 2000

              Androgyne 2002

              Toucan 2011

              Mallard Duck 2011

              Swan 2011

              Blond Ambition 2011

              Slide 2010 

              Chewing Gum 2009



              Tuesday, January 3, 2012


               I realized last year that in a way I'm a hippocrite. I'm not saying what I discovered makes me a bad person and I'm not beating myself up over it, but it's a shortcoming I think applies to a lot of us. I'll explain.

                When I began blogging three years ago it wasn't to talk about my life, but a very strong need to reach out to people. At the time I was struggling with regaining a part of myself that I'd lost sight of after my car accident, and I felt the best way to do that was to connect with others who were trying to heal in their own way, from anything. I've since pulled out of what I was going through, still the people I'm drawn to most today are those who are looking for...something. Inner contentment. Answers to uncertainties in their relationship. A clearer path in life. A way to somehow close wounds that have been open for too long or sweep away regrets that have overstayed their welcome. The word 'broken' is tossed around a lot, I prefer to think of it as "in repair". It's these people I've met and the conversations we have that hold the most meaning for me.

                I encourage others to share their problems, I'll go so far as to say it's something I need in my life. It's incredibly rewarding being told that I've helped in some way, it gives me a far greater sense of purpose and accomplishment having a chance to help people grow instead of corporations. I know this is something I want to pursue professionally, I'm just not sure if I'm ready to do it on a larger scale (as I wrote about here ) .

                People apologize for opening up and being a 'burden', I always assure them they're not. (Believe me I get as much out of these talks as you do, possibly more). The reason I say I feel hippocritical is because I'm reluctant to unload my problems for the same reason, that I don't want to feel like I'm dumping on someone else. Even knowing that person as well as I do and knowing they'd be there for me in the same way.

                People who are hurting can still be amazingly uplifting, I see evidence of this all the time through blogs and e-mail.  Many who are obviously battling their own demons, questioning their self-worth and whether that darkness will ever lift are so ready to give words of encouragement and appreciation to someone else. Why can't we see the good in ourselves as easily as we can see it in those we care about, or see what others see in us?

              Sunday, January 1, 2012

              I Resolve To...

              A friend asked me what my resolutions are for this year. I didn't think I had made any, but when I began to answer I realized I actually had them listed in my head. So here they are:

              • Help more people in the following ways:  Keep supporting my wife as she strives to make significant changes in her life. Have more conversations with people both in my physical world and on-line. Listen more than give advice. Volunteer. Continue to be there for friends when needed or asked.
              • Health: Stay active, improve my stamina and strength (especially my core)
              • Announce a major accomplishment this month
              • Finish renovations inside the house (mostly trim work)
              • Return to my hobby of model-building, possibly compete less competitively but enjoy it more
              • Blog: Write more diverse topics, do the unexpected and controversial. More personal posts.
              • Learn more about photography
              • Read more psychology books
              • Finish an instrumental piece I've been working on
              • Writing: finish some poems that are in limbo and write new ones. I wrote so much last year that I got a bit mentally burned-out but feel I'm ready to continue.

              What are your plans this year?

              Secret Sunday

              I'm starting this year off with the 54th round of Secret Sunday. For those of you who are new, this is a chance to anonymously share secrets and/or fantasies you've been keeping to yourself. Some are uplifting, some are heartbreaking and some are just plain naughty.

              All are valid.

              Here's how it works:

              1) This is open to anyone who wants to participate, from regular follower to casual visitor.

              2) If this is something you'd like to run on your blog please feel free. Let me know and I'll follow along.

              And now to it...