Monthly Archives: December 2008

Zentastic Swag

Thanks to Paolo for sending me a shot of his Zentastic shirt!

zentastic-shirt

Our Trip to La Paz, BCS, Mexico

It was wonderful being back in La Paz, my first real trip since moving back three years ago. Great to see a few old friends, and nice to be recognized around town (everyone wanted to know where Nefarious was of course). As well as revisiting many of my favorite places, we did plenty of things I never got around to doing when I lived there like driving out to the cactus sanctuary (more interesting than it sounds like) near the old mining “ghost town” of El Triumfo. We even visited the piano museum with it’s delightfully odd potential-vampire host.

Of course I got almost no work done!

Most things were the same, but I was surprised to see a massive development — a full subdivision with about a hundred homes and two skyscrapers — has been built on the sand bar across from the Malecon… The first serious hurricane is going to wash the whole thing away, and apparently it’s built very cheaply and is already falling apart before people have even moved in. Not sure if they’re having trouble selling them… I guess real estate down there is really hurting because with the low prices in the States due to the decimated economy, the deals are Stateside. My old house there seems to have been deserted and has been entirely taken over by the plant nursery next door who are now using the property for storage.

Caitlin with a sea lion swimming under her:

caitlin-and-a-sea-lion

We rented a car while we were there and being back in Canada it sure strikes me how much more I enjoy driving in Mexico — people are much more intelligent drivers. I think having looser rules as far as stop signs and such goes forces people to think.

We ate a ton of tacos. I think I’m still stuffed.

Is it racist to say that I have an issue with Chinese tourists? People don’t seem to think it’s wrong to comment on the “ugly American” stereotype, but really, the Americans were polite if a bit dopey, but the Chinese tourists were without exception loud, obnoxious, rude, and unappreciative of what they were experiencing… Very unpleasant to be around.

Anyway… Zillions of pictures from Mexico follow (seriously, bandwidth hog after the break) — general pictures from La Paz, El Triumfo, and San Antonio, at the beaches of Tecolote and Ballandra, around Isla Espiritu Santo (where we got lucky and saw not only dozens of dolphins, but several grey whales as well), snorkeling at the sea lion colony, and more.

(Continued)

We’re back… with good news!

She said yes.

ballandra

A Decade and a Half in the Making

As you know, we’re in Mexico right now. This was written last week and is being automatically posted. I probably won’t be back online until the end of the year, so comment moderation will have to wait until then. I hope everyone is having a good holidays.

mexico

Caitlin and I are now in our fifteenth year together.

Way back in 1994 I walked into Stainless Studios — this is before I worked there — and she was working the counter. I had a huge instant crush on her, and from that point on our lives moved in parallel. I started working with her, as a jeweler, and like a puppy bringing their catch to their master, I made her jewelry after jewelry, including a spiral ring that she wears to this day. I got to know her as a talented, creative, and funny dream-girl and muse that I admire, respect, and Love to the bottom of my heart. She inspires me to create and to be the best I can be, and she makes me dream of the future and desire to improve it and live it with her.

We’ve had a few bumps and scrapes along the way, but they’ve never dulled our love and for most of these fifteen years we’ve been close friends, and often more — for the last two years, much more. I’ve gone through a lot in the last two years — medical difficulties and a trying legal dispute. Without her loving support it would have been hellish, but with my life so full of love, I felt like nothing could hurt me, and I still feel that way. A constant euphoria fills me when I think of Caitlin and the family that we have here — as well as being the perfect partner for me, Caitlin is a wonderful “step-mom”. I would never invite someone into my life if I didn’t feel they were as good a fit for Nefarious as they are for me, and Caitlin is caring, warm, and understanding with both of us.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, today in Mexico I’m going to be proposing to her… It’s something I’ll only get to do once in my life, so I want to succeed in having it be an ideal romantic memory. I chose one of my favorite places in the world — one that I think she’ll like as well — and am going to tell her how I feel, get down on one knee, and pop the question… For real. Wish me luck!

Picking out an engagement ring is pretty nerve-wracking… it’s something you really want to get right. I knew I wanted something special and unique, and I knew that Caitlin is far too exotic for anything I could easily find in a store. Because I knew she liked their work, I went to Deadringer and commissioned them to make me a custom Armageddon ring, with a pair of citrines set into the eye sockets — they look amazing contrasted against the shadow patina. The inside is engraved with “1COR13” (a love-themed tattoo that we’ve shared for a decade), and a part of my head tattoo (meant to say “you’re always on my mind”). It’s really beautiful — the pictures don’t do it justice.

deadringer

So, when I return, I hope it will be with my fiancé.

I Love Caitlin and I want to spend the rest of my life with her.

On this winter solstice eve

Caitlin and I leave tomorrow for a “much deserved” vacation… I think our last vacation that left the borders of Canada was Vegas in 2000, so it’s been a while! This will be a nice, relaxed episode of painting and crocheting on the beach, drinking Coronas… Trying out my underwater camera… Seeing how much Spanish I remember… Enjoying the cool breeze on the Baja…

I’m not bringing my phone or my computer with me, so I won’t be replying to messages or calls until we get back, nor will I be moderating comments — sorry!

All-in-all, 2008 has been a great year for me. Most obviously, my difficult legal dispute over BME resolved in a very positive manner. While I didn’t get to stay on running the site, the deal we spent far too long working out allows me the wonderful opportunity of having some time off while I decide what entrepreneurial adventure to tackle next… and that adventure has already begun and I have high hopes for it and am looking forward to working with the friends who are doing it with me.

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More importantly, the two beautiful lights of my life, Caitlin and Nefarious, have been joyful companions on this adventure with me, and have brought so much happiness into my life, and given me the strength and motivation to keep improving myself and keep following my dreams. I’ve had such an amazing time with them both, and they act as my muses and inspirations in all that I do. I’ve hugely enjoyed being able to pursue painting again — when I finished high school, I made the decision to follow a life in art rather than a life in science, and I remain content that I made the right decision.

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It’s been such a joy — more than I can write — to watch Nefarious grow up and to help her learn. She is an amazing child, and every day of being a dad has left me fulfilled in a way that nothing else has ever been able to do. When I drive to her school to pick her up at the end of the day, every time I find myself overflowing with happiness that I’m about to see her.

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As much as I’ve greatly enjoyed the life of being a father, I continue to enjoy my regular conversations with my own father, and the projects we have together. We first worked together in the 80s on cutting-edge technology, and I’m glad that he’s involved in my current projects in the same sphere twenty years later. Additionally, when I was a child one of the ways my father passed on his ideals to my brother and I was through interactive storytelling, and I’m excited to be working on childrens’ books with him to take these ideals and ideas to a larger audience.

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Medically there’s been some struggle in 2008, but finally it seems like it’s coming to a conclusion, and the sense of hopelessness I had about it seem distant. It’s affected me more than I’d like, but at least I’ve learned about myself because of it, and become emotionally stronger through the struggle. The pain has also made me appreciate Caitlin and Nefarious even more.

I leave 2008 with warm memories and positive anticipation for 2009.