Thursday, May 19

2011/09/05 | 05 songs | 13:22
Thank you very much, Matsuda-san and Master Tessa.

1. Purinchipessa
Thursday, May 19 was a pretty ordinary day. I had to return a couple of text books to the Japan Foundation library in the morning and I decided I would walk if the weather was nice—thirty percent chance of rain, it seemed. My Purinchipessa (the Japanese pronunciation of the Italian word for “princess”) was going swimming with her friend and then shopping after, but we had a nice morning together eating our cereals of choice.

2. Let’s Avenue Road Here
According to Google Maps, a walk to the Japan Foundation library was about one hour and twenty minutes. I packed the two books, my umbrella (at a thirty percent chance of rain does that makes me a pessimist?), and my sunglasses. I walked the entire length of Old Forest Hill Road, turned left onto Kilbarry Road and then right onto Forest Hill Road. I walked South along Avenue Road all the way to Bloor. Along the way I listened to music and admired the trees and other passer-byers. It took one hour, one minute, thirty-nine seconds and zero milliseconds—timed on my iPod.

If you are thinking that Avenue Road is a cruel name to give a road, Canadian legend has it that when the English surveyor was walking along Bloor Street where current day Avenue Road is he said to his team in his accent, “Let’s ‘ave a new road here.”

3. Master Tessa
After returning my books I sent my best friend a text message asking to meet. It was about her lunch time and she worked just down the road. During her break Master Tessa and I found a giant rock to sit on and talk about classical music and work expectations. She wanted to buy a birthday card for a mutual friend and I said, “I know this sounds cheap, but I will help finance this card if I can append my name to it.” She agreed and I gave her $2; I still owe her $1 more.

We then walked and talked about how we love condos and the idea of living downtown. She showed me the condo that she was going to live in one day, which is already titled by her name. Her lunch time was over and she had to return to the museum, so I donned my headphones, headed beneath the ground and a took the train home.

4. Ordinary is OK
I work in the video game industry and being saturated with game culture for 50% of my day makes one thing very clear: games are about being awesome, fun, amazing, exciting, rewarding, engaging, fast, sleek and loud. They are about testosterone, adrenaline, blood and sweat. They are cutesy, round, shiny and colourful. They are filled with rules, points, highscores, 1-ups, power-ups, achievements and trophies. They are digital, clear cut, right and wrong, black and white. The medium is made with 0s and 1s; the game is either off or its on and in your face.

But all I want to say is this:

Ordinary Is OK.

It’s OK to be our boring selves. It’s OK to be honest and simple, humble and plain, sort of right and sort of wrong, kind of funny and kind of not, a little bit interesting, not at all fancy, sometimes broken, but sometimes fragile, a tad sweet, a pinch salty and a little bit more human all around. There is so much more that games can be, but we need to look more closely inside our own lives instead of always searching through the stars and skies.

5. Sunday, May 19
Just another regular day, and that’s what I love about it. It’s not Thursday, but Sunday will do.

Two years after the original May 19 fell on a Sunday. Back then I expressed my yearning for plain, boring, somewhat amusing, slightly one way and partially another. That I live in a world that’s obsessed with BANG and POW, but that to me ordinary is OK.

These feelings are as strong as ever, and to me this is how it sounds. This arrangement briefly touches on each of the four songs from the original Thursday, May 19.

This day, two years ago, was most unspectacular, yet extremely memorable.