Monkey Search: Concluded

My parents have come into town to see where I live and to visit in general, and today, we went out to the Batu Caves. The last time I went, I was not able to get inside because of the massive, cutlery-bedazzled crowd, but this morning, we went super early and arrived before most of the other tourists, so we had a more-or-less peaceful outing, and had the run of the place.

Batu Caves is still an active Hindu temple, so while services were ongoing, I tried to remain as unobtrusive as a tall, camera-wielding white guy can be. But there was work to be done. Monkeys had so far eluded me, save a brief glance during a jungle hike, so I was on a mission to document the local monkey population. Turns out, they can get a bit aggressive. We already knew this going in, but it was still kind of surprising to see how fast they descended on the temple once people began to arrive in quantity. The general guideline is that they will steal or attempt to steal anything not strapped to your body, so food and cameras should be secured. Because they are a menace (or at least can be), some of the locals took to throwing rocks at the monkeys climbing down the cave walls. I interpret it as a show of dominance, since none of the rocks seemed to be aimed to maim, and because the rock throwing petered out once the monkeys outnumbered the humans.

The arrival of the monkeys also brought out bunches of bananas and coconut husks, which the occasional service-goer would hand out to the small, agile creatures. Monkeys love bananas. No joke.

Also milling around the caves was a litter of small puppies, wrestling each other and greeting guests as they arrived. They approached us fearlessly and immediately began tugging on our shoelaces. I must have walked a good twenty paces, tiny, excited puppies hanging off my shoes. It was adorable, but we couldn’t help but feel a little heartbroken, knowing that they are unlikely to find a loving home. I worry more about a monkey getting ahold of one, but more than anything, I try not to think about it.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t post some of the pictures I took. Yes, most of the pictures are of or contain monkeys, but I’ve included the puppy pictures, too.

Batu Caves 1

At the top of the long stairs.


Batu Caves Interior 1

Just past the main temple. More stairs.

Cave Monkey

Monkey #1

Pondering Monkey

Monkey #2

Batu Caves Interior 2

An alternate entrance, if you have wings.

Cave Puppies


Batu Caves Exterior

On the edge of the cave exterior. I’m still trying to figure out how they got out there with the statues.

Roof Monkey

Not Monkey #2, but the next decent-quality picture I got.

Fence Monkeys

Just a couple of monkeys hanging out on the fence.

Monkey Thinking

Deep thoughts on a Friday morning.

For Day 19


A Hopelessly Fruity Post

Today, I’m spending the day bracing myself for the Writing 101 event, so I’m just going to post pictures of tropical fruits available here in Malaysia.


I’m not bringing a stinky durian into this house, so just imagine a cantaloupe that’s covered in spikes and smells like a banana rotting inside a gym bag. It’s a big thing in this country, but almost no one else on the planet likes it. Because of its obnoxious odor, and, presumably, its use as a weapon, it’s banned on the subways in Taipei and Singapore. I tasted it, and had to eat three (3) cloves of garlic to remove the taste from my mouth. Every culture, of course, has some heinous food they consider a delicacy, but which causes most other people to scratch their heads or dry heave. As far as I can tell, durian is the Malaysian answer to Taiwan’s stinky tofu.


_MG_3660Jackfruit looks a lot like a durian, but is slightly larger and more oblong. It’s also crazy sweet and has a slightly fibrous texture. The edible yellow pods have a giant pit in the middle, so one typically eats the fruit by stripping bits of it off like string cheese. This will make your house and refrigerator smell sweet, even weeks after it’s gone. If durian is Jayne Cobb, jackfruit is Kaylee Frye.



_MG_3641We’ve all probably had some sort of passionfruit-flavored this, that or the other at some point. What you may not know is that the actual passionfruit is wonderfully sweet and tart, and has some big black edible seeds that are fine if you eat the fruit with a spoon, but are super annoying when you blend them into a drink. Also weird is that it kind of looks like goblin snot. Pro tip: strain the seeds out before making a beverage out of passionfruit.


Dragon Fruit (Pitahaya)

_MG_3629There are two types of dragon fruit, so far as I can tell: white and red. White is white on the inside, and red is really more of a neon magenta than anything else. Both varieties have black seeds, like those of a kiwi. Also like a kiwi, but to a lesser degree, dragon fruit is tart. The skin (inedible) is waxy, thick and rubbery like a prop for a science fiction movie, but is surprisingly easy to cut with a knife–imagine room temperature butter. One note is that the flesh of the red variety, if eaten in quantity (roughly half or more of one fruit) will stain your insides, and you will be pissing magenta for the rest of the day. It could be a great prank if you have to take a drug test.


_MG_3644I had a post a while back with some pictures of a rambutan tree I found when I stumbled onto an orchard in the jungle. Rambutan (singular and plural), have these thick hairs on their outsides, but they’re almost rubbery like a dragon fruit’s exterior. The inside is white like a peeled grape, and tastes pretty much the same. In the middle of the flesh is an inedible pit the size of an almond, so don’t just chomp into a rambutan unless you’re trying to remove your own teeth.



For scale.


Strawberry-Passionfruit daiquiri: the crunchiest of daiquiris, if you don’t remove the seeds.

Recap: Taipei

Back in March, I went to Taipei for a birthday vacation and to visit my parents. My mother is teaching art at one of the local universities for a semester, and my dad, along for the ride, is spending his time trying to learn Chinese. On Skype, I could see that one wall of their tiny apartment is papered with pale yellow Post-Its, on each a different Chinese character. In person, that wall revealed itself to be merely a half a wall, the rest occupied by cabinet space and a kitchen counter. But aside from watching my parents move around in a far smaller space than they’re used to, I had a couple other observations about Taipei that I’ve been rolling around like a hard candy on the tongue.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived is that there’s some English in use, but it is definitely not Kuala Lumpur, where you can stagger around vomiting English and expect everyone to have at least a vague notion of what you’re on about. Mandarin, particularly the Taiwanese variant, is definitely the way to go. You obviously can get by with the typical pointing and numbering, but if you have a scrap of dignity it helps to know basic stuff. Even if you can talk like a caveman (“Eegah shtemlo!”), you’ll save a lot of time and awkward stares. I learned a something about myself through this: even with the beginning-level Mandarin I have under my belt, I can understand a lot more than I thought I’d be able to; on the other hand, the crippling fear of failure that has plagued my personal and professional life for as long as I can remember applies to speaking. On multiple occasions, I’ve stood in front of a room of people and performed some truly terrible comedy, but faced with one waiter and an empty coffee shop, not one word of anything remotely Chinese sounding passed my lips. If I’d wanted chicken wings, I’d have ordered a breast or thigh instead. That said, the layout of the city and the way people conduct themselves is very reminiscent of a city like San Francisco (at least the 1990s version that I remember), which alleviates some of the language-barrier complications.

The other thing I noticed when I was there was the love of doors. Seriously, doors–and gates, too–are a thing. Walking down the street, it’s difficult to find houses or apartment buildings in close proximity that have the same style or design of door. Instead of carrying on about it, I’ll just post my favorites below. They all link to the original photo on my Flickr page.









_MG_3575Maybe it’s obsessive, but I found myself drawn to this little intricacy. I’ll probably come back with more doors because I’m due to return in about a month to pick up an engagement ring I ordered.

Oh. Did I bury the lead there? It’s only under about 450 words–a pretty shallow grave. Don’t worry. I have 50-something more days of this, so I might make a game of seeing how deeply I can bury a lead.


Yesterday, I went on a little trip to the Thaipusam festival at the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur. Below are pictures, followed by a short announcement regarding the future of High-Definition Fantasy.







After this post, I am changing the visual theme for High-Definition Fantasy. This is in part because, at least on my browser, the words are too large and there are some formatting issues (spacing, mostly) that I can fix using a different theme. I’ve waffled on the issue for a while, but think that it’ll be a good change. If, however, the blog becomes unreadable on your mobile devices, or whatever, just let me know, and I’ll consider changing it back.

Tomorrow, you will see a post that I’ve been working on for a week and change. It’s a departure from my normal voice, and is on the long side.


Christmas came a few days early this year. My girlfriend weebled and wobbled, but couldn’t couldn’t wait six days. In a bag, weighing about as much as a brick was a brand new tilt-shift lens.

She complained that my response to the gift was not as enthusiastic as it could have been, but to be honest, I think I was just in shock. I’ve always wanted one of these, but have no idea how to use one. Well, that’s not entirely true. I have been messing around with it and already come up with some pretty good shots.


_MG_3063Even without using the tilt-shift portions, the picture quality is astounding. It is necessarily a manual focus lens, so it won’t replace my 50mm f1.8 (the “plastic fantastic”) for general purpose shooting–t least, not all the time.

From what I can tell after watching a couple online tutorials and messing around with the lens a bit is that the purpose of the tilt and shift mechanisms is to alter the depth of field and focus points. This allows for some corrections in perspective (parallel lines and whatnot) and some interesting distortions of perspective. Currently, I’m not sure what the difference is, usage-wise, between my 45mm and, say, a wider-angle 24mm. In either case, I’m going to learn a lot more about photography in general, just by figuring out how this lens works. And as far as my photos are concerned, it’s going to be a gift that keeps on giving.



Today, we took a walk to a construction site. With minimal commentary, photos follow.

Do Not Enter

We did anyway.

Colorful. Dead.

Colorful. Dead.

The rambutan farm's fence was decorated with bottles.

The rambutan farm’s fence was decorated with bottles.

A rambutan tree at the rambutan farm.

A rambutan tree at the rambutan farm.

For westerners: a rambutan is a fruit about the size of a golf ball and the fruit inside has the taste and consistency of a peeled grape, except that it has a pit about the size of an almond.

For westerners: a rambutan is a fruit about the size of a golf ball and the fruit inside has the taste and consistency of a peeled grape, except that it has a pit about the size of an almond.

A rose is a rose is a rose, but an orchis is sometimes a tiny purple vagina.

A rose is a rose is a rose, but an orchid is sometimes a tiny purple vagina.

Leaf 1

The lighting was perfect for a cool macro shot.

The lighting was perfect for a cool macro shot or two.

An empty explosives box. We threw rocks at it, of course.

An empty explosives box. We threw rocks at it, of course.

Petronas barrels with the Petronas Towers in the background.

Petronas barrels with the Petronas Towers in the background.

I'm artsy as hell.

I’m artsy as hell.

Mud from the construction site, drying in the sun.

Mud from the construction site, drying in the sun.


Fern gully.


The rubble from construction makes for some pretty great sci-fi landscapes.


Life on Mars.

I still haven't figured out how to get red from over-saturating. It's a problem.

I still haven’t figured out how to get red from over-saturating. It’s a problem.

This might be my favorite shot of the day.

This might be my favorite shot of the day.

These photos can be found at my Flickr page.

Time Capsule

Since I was in high school, I have had a big, transparent yellow folder, in which I put things that have meaning to me. IMG_0750There is no particular order to what goes in. Something from 1999 could just as easily abut something else from high school as it could something from two months ago. I never intended it to be a record of my existence, but that is exactly what it became. I have never edited its contents, and only once or twice did I ever look inside, and then only briefly. Today I opened it up and, working my way from the front (visible), documented what I found. Some things I have grouped together to avoid pointless repetition.


IMG_0751When I was in graduate school in Boston, I would go to trivia nights at The Tam, a serious dive bar in the Theater District. Our team, Grandma’s Hot Friend, would compete for cash, which we would spend on the next week’s drinks. Failing a first-through-third place prize, we would angle for the special fourth-place consolation prize–usually whatever the quiz master, Al, could scrounge up from some dollar store. One night, we won a coconut ukulele. Around Christmas time one year, we won Santa hats. I listen and think better when I doodle, even if it’s on top of names of random countries and fake math.

Birthday cards

IMG_0752IMG_0754IMG_0758 IMG_0761

Birthday cards, newest to oldest, some from my parents, some from other people. The newest was for my 30th birthday, and when opened, it is supposed to play the chicken dance. Now, though, it just produces eerie hissing and clicking sounds.

Graduation tickets

IMG_0753Tickets to the reception and champagne (brut–let’s not kid ourselves) reception for my graduation from graduate school. I earned my MFA in nonfiction creative writing, and I’ve clearly been making the best of my education.

A flier for porn

IMG_0755A flier for the 2009 Indie Erotic Film Festival. I still have seriously mixed feelings regarding this particular little adventure. On one hand, hey cool free floating burlesque sexuality–pretty much just a cinematic parade of penis and vagina. On the other hand, pretty much a cinematic parade of penis and vagina in the company of complete strangers.

A post card

IMG_0757A postcard, blank on the back, of John Lennon circa 1971. It was a gift, I assume, and most likely from my dad, but it’s really anyone’s guess. Fun fact: This is actually a scientifically accurate depiction of everyone circa 1971. It wasn’t until 1985 that the US government sprayed for airborne music notes. Pan flutes are still a thing though.

Program for a memorial service

IMG_0760This is the program and music pamphlet from my paternal grandmother’s memorial service. It was a surprisingly difficult affair. We had seen her passing coming for a long time prior, but that knowledge didn’t seem to soften the blow. It was also one of the only times I have seen my father cry.

A ticket to Ellis Island

IMG_0762I honestly have no idea why I saved this. It was my first time to the Statue of Liberty, so I guess that might be it.

A pile of newspaper clippings

IMG_0763My parents send me newspaper clippings depending on what’s going on and where I am. Together, they all look like a mishmash of lefty rhetoric and international news. There is not a single piece from a particularly pivotal moment in time–just news stories that might escape the typical level attention given to print journalism.

Small drawings


I think I drew the mouse muffins ad in a Semiotics for Media and Advertising course, but I could be wrong. You should really buy one, though. They’re good.

Break-up letters


Humorous, sad, infuriating: it’s all closure one way or the other. I’m old fashioned. I like a woman who can break up with me over snail mail.

Letters of encouragement and recommendation


Lest it appear that I was being flippant, I also like getting good news in the mail.

An ad featuring Mayor Bloomberg

IMG_0767This is one of many things I had glued to my door during my freshman year of college. If I’m not mistaken, this was his sassy response to the question of whether he even smoked marijuana. Right or wrong, sassy responses to inane questions have a table reserved in the smoky cocktail lounge of my heart.

A postcard from Wes Christensen

IMG_0769Artist and family friend Wes Christensen had us pose for a painting about six or seven years ago. It was pretty cool to be depicted in paint. I noticed one thing, though: my head sort of looks like Megamind’s.

Pearls Before Swine comic

IMG_0770I think I saved this one because it perfectly depicts the two halves of my personality: joyfully surrealist and inconsolably grouchy. I would make a terrible grapefruit.

Pictures of a girlfriend


The first one is from high school prom, and the second is from some other thing in high school, probably after prom. I covered faces with my pocket-size comp book because not everyone in these pictures was 18 at the time. She is an author of one of the break-up letters above. Instead of thinking it’s weird, just know that this is the comp book I used for stand-up comedy–another relationship that failed–so it’s ok to laugh.

The Constitution of the United States of ‘Merica

IMG_0773I suppose I included this in case this was ever buried in a landslide and unearthed a thousand years later, which probably means that I threw this in the big yellow folder after I started treating it more as a time capsule and less as a repository for sentimental crap. Honestly, though, the purpose oscillates between these two things fairly often. Generally, when I move apartments (or across the planet) I throw stuff into the folder that I don’t want to toss in the trash.

Pictures of me


I think I covered my face in the first photo because I documented it right after the others. But then I found my high school swim team photo. I get the feeling I may have also censored the first photo because it’s my pimply teenage face, and the second is me being all fit and healthy looking. It looks like I caved to vanity. But what in the name of Pete am I doing with my hands?

Pictures from my first visit to Las Vegas

IMG_0775I went to Las Vegas with my mother when I was in high school. It wasn’t a gambling trip, though. We were there to catch a bus out to the Department of Energy’s atomic test site, where the US set off hundreds of nuclear bombs in the mid 20th century. We were able to walk right up to craters the size of small towns, but were told to avoid touching pretty much everything but the ground. So maybe we were there to gamble. If you’re still unsure about where we were…

Anyway, it seems that I was pretty interested in that Holy Cow brewery. It pretty much features in every photo.

Drawings and sketches


Most of the drawings and sketches I have in the folder are from high school. Some, like the abstract things in the last photo, are more recent. Let it be known that I was drawing zombie factories before it was cool.



In high school and for the first bit of college, I was very much into math and science, and hated, hated, hated my English classes. To an outside observer, though, I can see the irony. I got and sent an awful lot of mail, and this is just the stuff that I saved. I had pen pals and distant romantic interests, and we put the postal service to the test.

There’s something about a written letter that just can’t be replaced by email or Skype. The act of sitting down and writing it with pen and paper is more analog, more personal than a flurry of rapid key strokes. You feel every line and loop, and nothing is written that isn’t intended. Reading a letter is a similar experience. You can tell by the handwriting what mood the person was in, if they’re being sincere, and how much thought they put onto the page. And if the mail comes quickly enough, you can tell what their home smells like.

A warning

IMG_0785I posted this line from The Inferno above my dorm room during my freshman year in college. It was good advice, and too few people heeded it.

A pertinent question

IMG_0787Another item glued to my freshman dorm room door. I remember that this was born of a conversation I’d had, and so actually has some basis in reality. It was a metaphor.


IMG_0788More crap posted to the door. Stylistically, Sinfest has changed a lot since I took these off my door. I found this out while getting the link for the comic, so you can tell how important is has been to me. I pretty much just threw anything into the big yellow folder at one point. Maybe I thought I’d want to remember what bits of paper I’d pasted to a door once upon a time–which was apparently any bit of paper I could get ahold of. I do remember that I glued part of a box of crackers to the door. That bit of wanton randomness still amuses me.



While not the first dog in my home, Lizzy was the first dog that was mine. She was a great dog and could run faster and jump higher than any other dog I’ve known. I still miss her terribly, and she’s been gone for almost ten years.

The first two pictures are of proofs for a t-shirt my dad and I made when I was in primary school. It was the first time I’d ever used a silk screen.

Love coupons

IMG_0791Let’s just call them what they are: expired.

Aikido stuff

IMG_0796Belt requirements and techniques for the Aikido dojo I went to throughout high school. I developed chronic pain in my knees and couldn’t continue, even though I tried in college.

The Greek alphabet

IMG_0797I have no idea why I saved this, since it is readily available anywhere. Maybe I didn’t anticipate the iPhone.

Zapf Dingbats

IMG_0798128-point font. I’m sure there was a reason I printed these out, but whatever it was got overwritten by more important info long ago. Why I saved these is even more baffling.

Scout numbers

IMG_0799I was both a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout, and I’m fairly certain these are from the former, but it’s really anyone’s guess. Since this is more of a mnemonic journey, I’m not about to cheat and ask my parents. Unless I found these on the side of the road somewhere (don’t rule that out!), I’d say they were from Cub Scouts.

The Three Stooges

IMG_0801I thought that maybe this was another item I’d pasted to my door in college, but there are pushpin holes just above Curly’s head, so I think I had it tacked up somewhere. Doesn’t matter. I have always loved the Three Stooges, and I’d have been surprised to have not found something like this in the folder.

Temporary tattoos

IMG_0803When I got a real tattoo and freaked my mom out, temporary versions became obsolete. Honestly, though, I’m super tempted to get both of these done for real. The first is Rogue from the X-Men. She kicked more ass than Mike Tyson, Bruce Lee, and Mr. Miyagi combined, and I mourned the way her character was treated in the movies. The second is from Scud: The Disposable Assssin (see the Jesus-with-a-laser-gun picture in my post “Science Fiction and the Soul”). For a while, Scud has a “loaner” arm that features this tattoo. Unfortunately, the loaner arm belongs to a werewolf, who also happens to be part of the Royal Shakespeare Company and who eats Venus (the planet). I guess you had to be there.

Stuff in various languages!

IMG_0804Ancient Mayan, Chinese, and Japanese. The bookmark with Mayan spells out my name and birthday. So good luck with that. The chinese pouch is from a Chinese New Year celebration ages ago. And the Japanese thing is a sticker. I probably meant to stick it to something, but never did.

A polaroid

IMG_0805I went to a wedding out in Napa Valley when I was probably 12 or 13. I got to screw around with a camera, probably to keep me out of trouble. This is one of my parents’ friends, who I haven’t heard from in a long time. It’s actually pretty good for a candid Polaroid. Now that I think about it, I’m now about as old as she was in the photo. I keep stuff forever, people.

California Scholarship Federation

IMG_0806I am a card-carrying nerd.

Laws Concerning Food and Drink

IMG_0810I have this piece in a book now, but this is where I learned about Ian Frazier, sometime around the beginning of college, maybe in high school. I’d actually heard it on the radio first, but then went and found it on the internet. To this day, he remains one of my favorite writers, and was a role model during my time in grad school.

A girl

IMG_0811In high school, I went on a week-long school trip to Washington D.C., and while there fell in love with a girl from Minnesota. She was an awesome punk-rock chick with combat boots and a nappy brown overcoat. We corresponded for a while after the trip, and she sent me her Christmas sweater photos. She wasn’t 18 in the photos, so I wanted to cover her face, but my comedy notebook wasn’t big enough (there were a lot of pictures), so I used a big Sponge Bob sticker, which was also in the folder. Next best thing.

I got the sticker from my dad at some point.

Wedding invitations

IMG_0812I save stuff from other people’s weddings. If it’s something I can fit into the folder, in it goes. If it’s not, it usually remains in my possession somehow. I think I still have a yarmulke in the pocket of one of my coats. I recently found pasties from a burlesque show in one coat, so the hat’s bound to pop up sometime.

Anime crap


For my birthday in 2008, my friend Mike asked me what I wanted to do, and I replied that I wanted to do something terrifying. We went with our friend Claire to the anime convention in Boston. Never one for half measures, Mike talked his way into three press passes. It was like watching old Ben Kenobi use a Jedi mind trick. I’ve still never seen anything like it. What we saw there was indeed terrifying, interesting, colorful, and stupefying. For more info, check my Flickr page, starting with this photo.



My friends send me postcards, and most of the time, they’re awesome. I saved these. Front and center is an Easter card from my friends Ron and Amy. It’s not exactly a true postcard, since they sent it in an envelope, but let’s not split hares. The Spock card and the one under it are from Liz, and the Tide card is from Kim, from when she was in Taiwan. The one with the feet is from my girlfriend’s trip to Rome. Now that I’m in Malaysia, it’s my turn.

Carl the Friendly Snake

IMG_0817Carl the Friendly Snake. He dreams of cake. I think I did this doodle while at the AWP conference in Chicago in 2009.

The Fat Jedi

IMG_0820A few years ago, Mike, his now-wife Sarah, and I were sitting at the bar of UNO Chicago Grill in Harvard Square. I can’t remember exactly why, but Sarah started telling the bartender the (true) story of a fat guy who would dress up as a Jedi and project Star Wars onto the back of a comic book store. One thing led to another, and the bartender created, with our guidance, the Fat Jedi line of cocktails. Let history record that this is the very napkin on which these abominations were born. There is one for each color of lightsaber. We’re sticking with the original trilogy for two reasons: no one wants drunk nerds talking about the prequels, and talk of adding malt liquor to the purple one (Samuel Jackson’s) sounded a bit racist.

Fat Jedi Green (The Luke):

  • Midori
  • Mountain Dew
  • Apple Pucker
  • Sour mix
  • (I have a feeling we added vodka to this, but let’s call it an optional addition)

Fat Jedi Blue (The Sir Alec):

  • Gin (necessary because Obi Wan was always played by a British actor)
  • Stoli Blu(eberry)
  • Blue Curacao
  • Sour mix

Fat Jedi Red (The Vader):

  • Jagermeister
  • Cranberry juice
  • Grenadine
  • Watermelon Pucker
  • Rumple Minz

The Vader is exactly as harsh as it looks, but that’s the point. It is palatable, but just barely.

The “D”

IMG_0821A Django reference. My dad gave this to me in high school, and I’ve carried it with me everywhere I’ve gone. I have no idea why, other than it still makes me laugh.

A comic card

IMG_0823A postcard-type-thing that I picked up at a comic book store. Not sure when or how it made it into the folder. Perhaps during a move?

I Heart Porn

IMG_0824It’s a sticker my friend Liz (Spock postcard) gave me for my birthday one year. I thought about putting it on my laptop, but technology gets obsolete so quickly. It found its way into the folder. Maybe someone can stick it to my casket/urn when I die.


IMG_0825It’s a birthday card, but I thought it deserved its own entry, since it pretty much depicts the vessel that now holds it.


IMG_0828I lost my work badge and had to get it replaced. This is where it ended up. The yellow folder is a time capsule as much as an Island of Misfit Toys. I’m surprised I didn’t fine a half dozen left socks in there.

That’s it. The folder is getting full, and there’s some anxiety as to whether I’m going to need to discard it in favor of a larger vessel or simply duct tape it shut and start again. One thing I have noticed is that I put less and less stuff into it every year. Am I suffering from a lack of passion, or as I grow older do I simply imbue physical objects with less emotional gravity?