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Thursday, December 08, 2016

anticounterfeit

“Federal agents don’t learn to spot counterfeit money by studying the counterfeits. They study genuine bills until they master the look of the real thing. Then when they see the bogus money they recognize it.” 
- Tim Challies, "Counterfeit Detection"
~     ~     ~

my girlfriend and i argue with each other about which one of us will break up with the other. i have never broken up with anyone, yet i've been dumped (pretty badly one time (my car got stolen, and it still had a few grand in payments (and yes, i paid them))) at least four times. that may not seem like many but each of those relationships lasted more than two years, so it feels like many, okay? anyways my point is, i have a record.

and it's weird to be writing this, because i thought for sure i had done away with any concern for my romantic future. in fact i am more free-spirited and present-focused (in that regard) than i've ever been. but as i write this i realize that i really care about what happens to me. i realize i have the potential to be genuinely afraid, of losing something essencial to my happiness. i realize that being dumped is not nearly as terrifying as dumping someone.

i am irrationally afraid of breaking up with someone. and i have never ever been afraid of such a thing until tonight.

what if i change drastically? what if i have to eat every last one of my Nonchalance-Os later? without milk?! 

it could happen. people change, and i am one. i could experience something life-changing, heart-changing... ...but i guess the same could happen to anyone at any time. in fact growth should happen to people. and some of them should grow together.

anyways i don't know what's going to happen. but i'm not going to let that keep me from doing what i believe in. i won't let fear paralyze me. actually, my plan is to do its mom, and then describe the experience to it in great detail.

not really... i just couldn't think of something more offensive and immediately recognizable as a serious insult.

~     ~     ~

in early august '07, i was sitting alone at my parents' dining room table. it was past midnight. i had stayed up late that entire week, working on a present for my fiancé. the stacking sleep deprivation was doing a number on me, to the point where it was compromising not only my mental acuity, but my emotions also.

i had lit several candles throughout the living and dining rooms in an effort to get into more of a normal late-night-zae mood, but it wasn't working. in fact i was getting angry at the color of the flames... not because they were hurting my eyes, or because i wished they were some other hue. i was just angry at the color, for no discernible reason. but i was determined to finish this gift in time for her birthday, so i kept working.

the longer i worked, the more i started to feel something strange, something extremely rare (for me). i was afraid. not worried, not stressed, not apprehensive... i was terrified. it felt like something was lurking just out of sight, waiting for me to turn my back so it could dart over to me and slice me open.

i don't know why i thought of being sliced, specifically. but it gave me this great idea, which i quickly implemented.

i got up, went into the kitchen, opened the long drawer and pulled out the largest, most horror-movie-prop-esque knife we had. the blade was around 9 inches long. i brought it back to the table, put it down, and then turned my back to it.

and i waited.

AND THEN IT POUNCED just kidding, there was nothing there. which i had known the whole time, and though i was irrationally terrified, i was simultaneously very annoyed that my work had been interrupted. so, after a minute or so of waiting to be murdered, i put the knife back in the drawer and got back to work. oh and i finished the gift on time.

before you ask, the answer is, yes... i do still get booty calls from fear's mom.

~     ~     ~

i have sometimes set goals for myself in my relationships, so what i'm writing tonight isn't innovative in that sense. but this current goal (it isn't the only one; just the one on which i'm reflecting currently) is definitely a new one. i thought of it as a result of this ongoing, mostly playful argument with my girlfriend.

since i'm expecting her to break up with me, and since it makes sense that other people will try to win her affections after i'm gone, and since they may succeed, and since i love my girlfriend... it makes sense for me to invest in that future now. (right now is the second best time to plant a tree.) it makes sense for me to act in such a way that, even after she's left me, she'll continue to benefit from the choices i've made.

so, one of my goals in this relationship i have with her, is to treat her in such a way, that anyone after me who treats her not-as-well as i did, will utterly fail in their bids for her vulnerability and loyalty. my goal is to be better to her than i've ever been to anyone, so that the next person who romances her will have to do at least that well.

i want her to touch, tilt, look at, look through me and see a gold thread woven through, find a portrait of a trusted ruler, feel fine cotton fibers. i want to be the real deal; worth her time; useful in real life; fun to take places; i want her to feel rich because she has me. i want to be feit. i want to surprise her in a good way when she finds me in her pants. metaphorically probably.



i've grown a lot, improved a lot... but i try not to think too highly of myself. i know there are better [wo]men who will pursue her after i do. i want them to do so; and i want her to pick those better people out from the crowd of admirers. after she's left me, i want her to be happier with someone else than she ever was with me.

mathematically, it stands to reason that the happier i make her now, the happier she'll be later, when i'm just somebody that she used to know, some-bahdeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhh

sorry. bedtime. and i'm not gonna QA it like i normally do, soooo report any broken links or misspellings to your friendly neighborhood spiderzae. please & thank.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

morphous

tonight i looked past my immediate circumstances and saw the big picture, which allowed me to duck beneath the wave of anger and come up again without even straining my lungs. i decided to be gracious to my own face, to the same degree i'd have done with someone i loved. so, i actively Loved myself, in a way that made an immediate positive difference. i treated myself with kindness.

of all the things not currently taught (and trained) in the church, in the classroom, and in the home, i think this should be somewhere in the top 3 most urgent list... for our own sakes, individually, and for society's.

Monday, August 15, 2016

b-15a

i don't just let you hug me. (and i don't let just anyone hug me, either.)

timid people let others interrupt them in conversations. task-oriented bosses let employees take vacations, grammar nazis let slip a few errors here and there, parents let their kids have an extra scoop of ice cream, pilots let their attention wander while autopilot does its thing. responsible morning people occasionally let the alarm go to snooze.

"let" is a word with subtle notes of begrudgement, and strong tolerance on the finish. at very best, it's a word for rare moments of indulgence that go against one's better judgment. there are much better words for what i do with your affection. here are some of them (with complete sentences and everything!):

- i wolf down your affection. here's an illustrative video clip that has zero wolves in it. the music is creepy unless you watch at double speed (which i recommend highly), at which point it becomes kinda cool. (watch for me at 1:20 or so)

- i anticipate your affection, and miss it when i'm expecting it and it doesn't come. like when you're listening to music through your phone and someone calls right as your fav part is about to play. if i see your arm move toward me, especially in the corners of my vision, i lean toward it a little bit, automatically.


- i shiver at your affection. have your parents ever shivered at letting you have an extra scoop of ice cream? didn't think so. i realize how silly it looks from the outside, perhaps even from your own vantage point, but in the moment i care naht.


- i get drunk on your affection. while sober. i don't need to explain this one. and i don't mean buzzed, although that can happen as well. i mean it's tough to remain standing. that diane krall song is a crock. lies and manip. deceptionypoo. she and i both lied. sorrynotsorry.
~     ~     ~

my problem, whatever it is, has not to do with the above reactions but with how i feel without them, and how quickly i come to that feeling, in the absence of closeness. it has to do with what i realize i want, when i'm most honest with myself, and with how often i want it, and how much.

i think one of the reasons i ask "what are you in the mood for?" or some variation, so often, is because i can easily identify and empathize with desire. it's comforting to feel that someone else is feeling what i'm feeling; it feels good to think that i'm not the only one who desperately wants somethings. it could be something as simple as mustleib, or more complex like essencia... if someone is craving something, i can relate with them. (and i can possibly try to satisfy that craving, which feels just as good if not better. but this post isn't about that.)

in this chapter i am almost always in the mood for physical affection. a lot of it. even a little can satisfy me... for as long as it continues. if my desire for 24 hours with you were a tree, this would be one of the thickest roots. i could drink all of it and still not be full. maybe 48 would fill me? idk... it's been a very long time since i got to spend that much time with someone close to me. i actually miss the me who quickly tired of all people-ing, who sought seclusion regularly and savored it.

ok so for example: if i could have anything right now, it would be a backrub. not a massage (i think my shoulder/back problem might go deeper than sore muscle issues); a backrub. my whole torso actually. might as well go above the shoulders too. in fact everything from the waist up, and yes, i'm aware that that's not typical talk for a typical guy. but it's the case; i just needwant skin contact, the kind that calms. the kind that restores balance or zen or whatever. a spirit evocation that restores soulstuff.

an hour or so oughta do it. i think that would make this demon shut up completely, for the duration. and then if i could maybe take a nap with the person who so generously donated their palms and fingertips to the lonely zae foundation, it'd seal the deal. my tank would be full-ish-er. i would have no pain or emptiness or longing or desperation.

until after the nap ended and my napping buddy withdrew her company, possibly leaving me exactly as i was before: pitiful / needy. but maybe not so much that i couldn't hide it for another few weeks, which would be nice. preferably though, i would experience this several times a week. i'm willing to try a daily regimen even, with an optional break every other Saturday (those days we'd just sit next to each other).

tldr: i literally can't get enough physical affection.



none of this would have made any sense whatsoever to isaiah. i distinctly remember what my pains and longings were back then, and none of them overlapped with any of this. it's inconvenient as hell and i would flip off the switch for it if i had one, no hesitation.

instead i sip, like Thomas, and wonder if i can afford the continued cost of masquerading as a nornal human. or if maybe there's a cure (an exorcism?). i wonder if a Justine would survive me. i wonder if one should even be subjected to the opportunity.

at this point i mostly believe one shouldn't.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

thieves

the first time i visited Eru-by-the-sea, the old jewelry-crafter gave me her undivided attention, which was a bit strange because there was so much newness to take in... so i was whelmed with everything already when she began circling me. i took pictures; they all turned out blurry but i kept them anyway. viewing them in rapid sequence has a cinematic effect, and reminds me of how i felt more walued and wanted than the gems for which she holds her breath each morning.
~     ~
when my first ex-girlfriend invited me to see the vikings, we spent the first dark warm evening walking around her neighborhood. she had been dating for over a year, but he had declined to hang with us. it didn't at the time, but it now reminds me (as i look back on it) of the first hours we spent together in person, at the beach, because of the bermuda grass and low trees and sand. she led me by the hand; we spent more time laughing than talking. i slept on the couch that visit. but later, when Caleb drove me there so i wouldn't have to leave my car while in Estonia, all three of us took the couch, and as i was falling asleep i felt one fingertip come to rest against one of mine, lightly.
~     ~
after a few years of e-friendship, and much talk of meeting someday, we met someday in spring '08. her family stayed at a hotel, on their way back from Disneyland. she convinced her dad to stay up waiting for her while she met the alleged Caliboy and his alleged lack of axe-murdering tendencies. it was very late. my fiance wasn't thrilled. i was feeling a little weird. we had less than an hour to hang out. i don't remember anything that happened after i walked into the lobby to find her reading (and she made me wait until she got to a good stopping point before hugging me).
~     ~
two days before our firsts, i served her (and others) four kinds of whiskey and a barbecued dinner. i tend to enjoy swimming only in my ideal conditions, but of the few notable exceptions, she is one. when she began circling me in the pool, i felt the way i imagine experienced time-travelers do when they shift: the world rocked abruptly but gently, and though i felt i was still in the right world, the surreal quality made me look up to make certain. hard liquor: check. barbecued food: check. the Baltic: close enough. femme fatale sharkling: check. danger of losing a finger or segment of upper body: double-check. not-so-accidental friction: check. mesmerism: mother-effffffff. and my next thought was, "she has no idea what she is re-creating... she's just doing what feels natural."

it was that thought which planted this post's seedling.
~     ~     ~
all of what we experience as adults gets interpreted, but not everything is consciously so, nor is everything deliberated upon. some experiences scale or burrow below our guarded gates, appearing in our inner chambers-- like thieves, but with benevolent intent (however selfish). these make for vivid memories, and perhaps even good blog posts.

i hope i create these for others at least as much as they have/do for me

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

the first dae

originally published 5-25-17 @ 1:30a

King Andrew~


lucky you. of all my friends, you'll understand this part of this chapter the best, which makes you the logical choice as this post's recipient (even though you'll likely never read it). but, in keeping with this blog's nature, i write to you not for your sake nor even for our friendship's sake, but for my own. writing with the knowledge that i *would* be not only heard but understood as well, is a treat. thanks! :D

~     ~     ~

i'm not sure what finally tipped the scale in my favor. i can't say any of my efforts to befriend her parents have borne any fruit whatsoever. whatever; like it mattered to me at the time. what mattered was that she somehow got permission to leave town, with me, for 24 hours. i'd rather have that than the love of a basquillion parents. for obvious reasons, on which i shall herein expound at length.

i took a half-day off (explaining why to my co-workers was fun...), then rushed home to do some last-minute cleaning so i could make lunch for the two of us. it might have been the deluxiest omelet in Fresnope's history, at least from my half-Asian perspective. oh right, you already saw the pic of it that i sent you that same day. you know what though, go ahead and look at it again right now. mmmhhh... wow. feast your eyes. okay that's enough, sorry. so i ate like 40% of it and she ate 60% without asking, which is normal at this point in our friendship. then we dumped the dishes in the sink and i hugged her for the third time or so that hour, which is also normal, and we took off. 


the drive north on 41 remains enjoyable for me even after the 150th time, but honestly i could've been stuck in LA traffic and still happy as fuck. i'm getting better and better at focusing on what's important to me. i'm getting better at narrowing that list down to just the bare necessities, the essencia that i've craved and pursued all my life (sometimes without truly knowing it). i know you know what that feels like, surely from memory but maybe even now. i hope you still know it and feel it now, times three.

so yeah, conditions coulda been crap and i still would've savored every steaky moment. but they weren't crap. it'd rained hard the night before, so we could see everything, and it was kinda dangerous because i really didn't want to keep my eyes on the road.  ;)  aaaaaand anyways yup, it was maybe 80° in the valley which meant perfecto° as we ascended. oh man... that moment when you kill the AC (not because you're afraid of overheating!) and roll down the windows to let in the piney scent and whatever petrichor is lingering... geez. a quality speaker system and i might have melted from the pleasure overload so it's probly a good thing i drive a piece of poopoo.

i wasn't quite hungry enough for my fav restaurant in Oakhurst (can't speak for her, and there's a really good joke about not-so-bottomless pits in there somewhere, but i'll spare you) so we just grabbed subs-on-the-way and headed to Mariposa for my 3rd favorite drug. the proprietor was his usual self: a bit surly but still personable. we got to watch the roasting process, and the scent followed us back into the car, not just in the bag of hot beans but in our clothes and hair. she commented that we probably looked addled, addicted, or both, taking turns smelling the goods and each other as we hurried back to the car.



our conversations are different. she takes her time thinking through things, like me but maybe even more, and she never lets a thread die. so, i can ask her a question, and not get an answer (or any detectable response at all) for 15 minutes, or an hour. but when i do get a response, it's baked to perfection, and i think my cumulative anticipation during the interim makes it taste about as good as anything can taste when you're hungry for that specific thing. i appreciate her patience with and dedication to the small things.

so the drive was rich, even when the only noise was the overly-loud engine (thanks Keith). i remember being hyper-aware of each moment, and yet time raced by. 

i can't remember whether you've spent much time in Yosemite, so i'll describe the trail to Sentinel Dome: it's as easy as one wants it to be, which is to say it never gets too steep for, say, a pregnant lady and a husband with a stroller, but there are opportunities to race around and hop / climb on things just for funsies, Micu-style. which i did. the trail things i mean.  ¬_¬  there was snow scattered around but not on the main part of the trail, which i think is ideal, because you can still throw snowtesticles (as we called them) but you don't come home with wet socks.

[sunset on the dome is intense. it's too much for color portraits; if you shoot in color then your white balance adjustments will change the person's eyes so they're not even recognizable. so if you see my shots of her face from this hike and you wonder why they're all black-and-white, while the landscapes are in color, that's why.]

on my previous hike up this trail, i'd been 3rd wheel, and the automatic comparison turned this experience up past 11. honestly i don't really mind being the 3rd wheel, i just feel that empty ache when i'm basking in the awesome and 80% of the other hikers are getting all lovey-dovey while i fondle my DSLR.  -_-  i dunno... the hike itself and the sunset and everything is exhilarating and fun in and of itself, but there are certain experiences in life that beg for company, and without that it feels just like your stomach feels when you skip a meal or two, except a lot worse and in your feels instead of in your tummy. it feels like when you need to yawn but can't make it happen; technically you do have enough air but it still feels like you're suffocating.

enough of that. i didn't feel that way this time; i felt satisfied down to my core, because i had literally everything i wanted. i wasn't just happy; i was content, completely.

that was 7ish hours into our trip... so, less than a third. i don't know how to express what i felt when i realized that, except maybe to write and perform a song, but i was busy at the time so i didn't. (plus my guitarist left me for someone else.) maybe later.



Nature's Inn B&B is owned (?) and/or-at-least operated by a gal named Sherilee, whose brother played some big brass instruments in the FCHS concert and marching band during the same years i played flute in that band. she recognized me as soon as i walked in, which i appreciated, and it was pretty nice to have quality service plus+. what's the plus, you ask? well, the hot tub was only officially closed at 10pm, and my 30-year-old muscles definitely appreciated its unofficial openness.

the mental itinerary i'd prepared for this getaway had "some combo of food, wine, music, snap-dancing, and probly sleeping" jotted down for 11ish, which proved accurate. (snap-dancing is exactly what it sounds like.) i drank ~40% of the Old Vine Zin, and so on. the chocolate was a 70% from Peru, in case you're wondering. the sleep was a superb balance of alpha, theta, and delta, and i neither remember nor need to remember whatever pleasant dreams i likely had that night. 

not sure how my sleep app would have worked with two sets of inputs but this was one of those times when i knew it was quality without any analysis. waking up was, in a way, reminiscent of Estonia, or perhaps it felt the way i always imagine Estonia feels / will feel. i've always said that my inner life has cast light & shadow on my external world, and not the other way around, but apparently i was mistaken. perhaps it's too simplistic a model. maybe the brightest times in my life are those during which things on the inside and the outside are positive and in sync with each other. 



we just barely made it to breakfast before it was all put away, which was good because this wasn't any continental junk, and we're both breakfast junkies. after shamelessly carbing up, we had two spare tires er i mean two spare hours to hwip up some vitamin D and pack.

i expected the drive home to be a little bittersweet, as endings to rad vacations are wont to be, but here my expectations were rueened. we spent an hour or so discussing plans for future things, and anticipation of near-future joys are for me joys in their own right. i'd even argue that they're necessary for my emotional health. oh that reminds me: she still wants to eat or at least meet your baby (i assume they're still babies; they better not have growed up already). might be kinda cool to have two togs shooting at once. different styles / angles. good times. you down?

it was kinda nice coming back to my place and parting ways there, instead of at her parents' front door. i really didn't want to scramble for a safe answer to any of the seemingly innocuous questions her parents might have asked. not that i'm ajamed of the actual answers but i kinda don't want to squander the goodwill i've been soooo generously given. =Þ

~     ~     ~

"isaiah, i don't get it. what's so hard to understand here? you could've addressed this to anyone."

not true. just by calling me 'isaiah' you point out why that isn't true. most of the people who would really get it, are readers of this blog, and that's not very many people. everyone else would hear this story and ask how long we've been dating. if i told them we weren't, they'd ask when we're planning to make it official. i've already spent so many hours explaining it... i'd rather not do so again. you're all caught up on the most important things so writing to you is super easy. that's a big deal for an INFJ like moi.

thank you for getting me, and for befriending me all those years ago when i was somewhere around 100 times as difficult as i am now. 

on the off chance you do read this, and on the off-chance you actually enjoy doing so... stay tuned for dae two. i hope my words convey not just how i felt about these experiences, but also how much i enjoy writing about them.

-i/j

Thursday, July 21, 2016

my sympathetic side

i do this very rarely. that's justification enough.

this article may or may be extremely relevant to the internal changes i've been experiencing over the past few years, and perhaps over the past few months as well.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

mu mannetu süda

enough time has passed that these sudden increases in heart rate now merit documentation. apologies to anyone who visits these pages hoping to read something interesting.

~     ~     ~

my earliest memory of this particular set of physiological anxiety symptoms, is from 2+ years ago when i was working on my fidnass in preparation for my first Estonia trip. i hate the treadmill slightly less than i hate actual running, so i settled for that; and i kind of enjoy sprinting sometimes, whereas i find jogging a bit Satan-y.

at that point where my lungs realize they can't sustain my pace, usually around the 2- or 3-minute mark, a few things happen at once: i feel like my heartbeat gets more powerful (it's already fast, so there's no detectable speed increase); i feel panicked, emotionally, as if my fight-or-flight mode has been activated; my lungs don't just hurt from the constant & intense exertion, they also feel harder, as if they're actually trying to resist my commands to expand and contract; and my various muscle groups try to redistribute the overall workload amongst themselves, which causes balance issues but seems at least somewhat effective in giving the most tired muscles a bit of a break.

fast forward to late spring / early summer of this year. these symptoms and a few others (increased heart rate, and a sudden 'drop' feeling like when you start down the first big slope of a roller coaster) occur sometimes at random and other times at not-so-random. so... randomception. uneffingbelievable.

sometimes when they strike, i've just imagined a scenario in which i fail at a social interaction, or in which i am called out for / accused of something in front of others. sometimes i've just remembered an important deadline. sometimes i've recalled a time when i was embarrassed, or when i committed some unsavory act which still elicits pangs of guilt, or when i was hurt by someone else.

but other times, i'm not thinking about anything at all; my mind is idle, or even blank. other times i'm looking forward to something, feeling happy or satisfied or peaceful.

other times the tiny panic attacklette hits right after something has surprised me, like when i catch a fragile glass that almost falls off the counter, or when my phone buzzes, or when the AC kicks on.



i don't know what any of this means. all i know is that it isn't normal for me, and i have to do something about it. step 1 was applying the few tools i've acquired so far, which have been mostly unsuccessful. this post is step 2. the third step will probably involve my general practitioner (#fuego).

all credit for the comprehensibility of this post goes to john eric gregorius and john wineglass, whose band name should have been gregorius wineglass because miks kurat mitte??

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

ngicabanga ngawe sonkhe sikhatsi


sawubona wena wekunene!

ngiyakwemukela ku blogspot yami. leli likhaya lami langikhuluma khona ngemizwa yami.

you're welcome.

so in my evaluation today, we didn't even go over the comments i left in my self-eval form. we mostly discussed my goal for next year, and whether the workload recently has been the right amount. oh and Hibo mentioned the two biggest "incidents" that have occurred since our last 1-on-1 (which was in May, i think, because i was gone at the appointed time in June). as usual, she was very calm, even-handed, tactful, and yet somehow still super straightforward. i tell others that she's hard to read, but i think she's just extremely good at remaining objective and... and at maintaining just the right amount of professional distance. she's just barely personable enough to be categorized as friendly. like, by a hair.

it's a big difference from all my other managers so my description is probably skewed. Jennifer is also good at remaining calm but she became a good friend over many years, and that was more her fault than mine; Mike and Glenn (i had to think for a minute to remember our CEO's name; that's a good sign!) were super personal all the time, whether being negative or positive in their approaches to things. even all-business-all-the-time Erin was stern and critical, and in that way very personal.

Hibo... when we're talking about work, it's almost like she's a really amazing AI: human-seeming but programmed never to color outside the lines of her managerial program. like, Commander Data would be easier to befriend. part of me is super grateful for a supervisor with qualities that make my work life predictable & stable & safe, but another part of me wishes i had only ever known Hibo outside of work.

anyways all of that is my discursive description of how our two personalities interact. this is happening because i'm writing you for the sake of connecting with you, rather than to convey a certain idea. "rarely discursive" my ass..

~     ~     ~

i'm going to sleep early tonight, again, because clearly it did not work for me last night. today was horrible. i couldn't focus; i could just barely handle tasks that i would've breezed through last week. i've been rubbing my eyes all day, even with my lunchtime nap and an easy morning. i don't know... today was hexed.

so i've dubbed tomorrow Productive Day. wish me all the lucks.

hope you are enjoying all those animal wangs- i mean all those opportunities to express sacrificial love for people. i hope you really are ♫saaaaafe aaaaand sooooooound~... i hope you're benembering to write me. i hope you are celebrating your victories and being compassionate with yourself and not just others.

i hope none of the negative emotions, moods, or vibes i've been living with lately are a direct result of your absence, because if so then i'm in for an extra-shitty 11 days or so because apparently ngikudzinga eceleni kwami sonkhe.

Friday, July 15, 2016

dear diarae

aside from you ruining it by leaving me... today totes rocked.

i pretty much stole the show at work. first i "solved" the lame riddle that everyone SHOULD have heard by now, and got that ridiculous 4,500-calorie cronut AND got my picture broadcast (not included in this post) to the whole effing office... 



...then Rohia made fun of me for eating the thing because i always turn down her m&m offerings due to the sugar content, and this thing had like 145% of the world's sugar so yup. probly the worst choice i made today.

the other choices tho. idk... i think if people keep not disliking me, i'm eventually gonna have to admit that i'm not 100% socially inept. today was my 3-month-iversary, along with a dozen others, and we went to lunch and while it wasn't super awesomely amazing, it was cool to celebrate making the cut. i felt appreciated and remembered, which is a big deal to me. i have in my head a hundred narratives, all easily recalled, of times when i just bombed. when others found me easy social prey. when i destroyed instead of edified. when i regretted being not a lifelong hermit.

today was different. i got into work early; i helped co-workers. i even got some praiseypoos.



but that's not even the best part. i joked with everyone, even my boss. i made people laugh. and THEN in the evening, this other project for which i volunteered was super effed up but i didn't know, because it was a kind of task i have little experience with. so, i had to get the programming team involved (i actually had to use my desk phone.. that almost says it all) and it got escalated and junk but i was still the person on point, so even though i barely knew what i was doing, i got the spotlight and Hibo asked me to stay late so i worked like... 2.5 hours of overtime, from home, and i effing killed it and i learned a ton of stuff and it was awesome.

AND THEN i was late to beer with Ron and Youa, my ex-co-workers from Arise. two of the best, actually. i hadn't seen them since i got fired in January. they told me about how they'd been let go also, and we caught up and drank all the best beers and they liked all my prints and it was awesome. Ron's wife came too and i got yooou'n'iiiii booooooth an invitation to their home in Tollhouse for wine and cigars <3 <3 <3

sooo yup you're comin' with me. and i told them i'm pretty much 85% single which means you can hold my hand there if you want and no one will think it's weird.  ^_^  oh actually, i should say that i got us TWO invitations: one for early August wine & cigars, and one for October coffee & cigars. and i'm really looking forward to it because i haven't been up that way in a long hwile and Ron is super cool and his wife seems pretty great also and i hope you like the idea or else.

and now i'm home listening to my partybedfuntime playlist  >:3  and blogging, and i feel at once fantastic and effing bereaved.

you haven't been online in 8 hours. #wtkk

i miss you. you better be writing me as i write this to you. and i hope you are safe and sound. and that you're enjoying a unique kind of happyness which i still remember well, in my heart and mind.

i hope you are killing it there. in the life-giving way.

ma armastan sind, minu varandus
-i

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

koishī

[my first title idea was "you put the 'cute' in 'acute loneliness'" but surprise: i have literary standards. welcs.]

your reputation, or maybe your aura, benefits from a certain accidental stealthiness. allegedly your jealousy is a large, lively beast, rearing its ugly rear at the slightest provocation... but it hides behind your non-chattiness, and even when you mention it, there's more declaration than description.

zaes are wont to define things, but this time description is called for. ma ei soovin midagi, aga ma tahan midagi very specific... somethings. and i want them the same way i want food. no matter how i distract myself, nor what i use to do so, the longing pushes against my legs like a 30-lb. bob-tailed tom-cat. i have to use circular movement martial arts to stay upright. if i turn away from it thrice, it mrreowls and extends hooked claws, more like a malk than an adopted stray.

and i want them the same way i want certain foods. (metaphorical general caloric intake would never warrant a blog post.) and i want them times 4½ when i know someone else is enjoying them.

the classics are classic for good reason, clichéd as they are. jealousy is not compared to a flood (though it does wash over me, and pushes at me with as much force), nor is it likened unto a beast (except in this post, and i rather enjoy that comparison). instead, jealousy burns. it's an explosive, destructive consumption of energy. it can't be sated; feeding it helps it grow.

and yet something about it mesmerizes. i find jealousy of others (jealousy for me) intensely satisfying, like the first sniff of a newly-opened bottle of viking blod... or dad's rosemary-grilled beef ribs, which he buys at Wal-mart, of all places. how can any good come out of Wal-mart? anyways jealousy: electrifying heat, and many-hued light that draws my gaze despite a strong will to focus on anything else.



so, it's 7:43a and i, in my super-comfy boxer-briefs, recline on a fine leather couch near the heart of Tallinn. the breeze coming in (it's likely flown in all the way from the Baltic just for some facetime with lil old me... awww) is perfect. i've just finished my plate of munad, paprikaad, sibulad, ja õllevorst. my shoffee-cop music is klipsching on single repeat.

and still Grimalkin rakes his claws across the you-know-whats of my heart.

jealousy and the lonelies: cool band name? secret code for viking blod and rosemary beef ribs? you decide.

~     ~     ~

jealousy is indeed a fire. i can't say i'd abolish it entirely, because it does warm me... when it isn't my kindling that's being kindled, anyway. and roasting my desire for certain favorite people over an open fiiiiiire~ does lend that desire a nice flavor when it is eventually sated.

but the pairing of jealousy and samishii isn't delish. it totes not my goat, nor flips my boat, nor floats my skirt. actually it does what rancorous blisters do. sure, you can go on vacation to the wonderfulest place in the world, and get shamelessly groped by hot married blond baes (and boys... *sigh*) and have exotic mulled spiced wine served to you in an ancient stone fortress-turned-restaurant while the sun takes hours and hours to finish setting... but that seemingly tiny thing on the back of your heel is gonna burn, even when you're comfortably seated at said fortress, and the walk home, though externally picturesque and serene, is gonna hurt like Charles' dickens. like a mother. like the kurat.

and when you're lying in bed at night, or in the morning, or hwenever, with nothing to distract you, then the coup de grâce. all the ignored notifications will light up your amygdalae like a newly-impassioned tog's DIY LED panel, and even your dreams will succumb, warping until you get some kind of Alice in Wonderland meets [spoiler alert] a retired Denarian's death-curse.

and then you'll research subtly nuanced foreign language idioms and write whiny blogs as though you know what you're doing (though you're actually clueless when it comes to both).

ma kuradi igatsen sind, minu varandus.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

be still, my butt

you'll be okay. you are okay. you've been okay this whole time.

all the preparation this time will be better than every other time, because you've practiced and learned and intentionally grown. the layovers this time will be shorter (but not too short, because you thought of that), the airports will be kinder to you (minge põrgu, Шереметьево!), and you have more friends there now than ever. also, you have fewer enemies there than you did the last two times you went.

you're worried about matters here, like a new roommate (or apartment?), and debt, and two weeks delinquency from your nascent career opp. you're pushing harder this week toward your goals than you have in a long time. you're spending too much time with people and not enough with Rocky Patel & Klipsch & Farknucks. you've got, uh... idk what else. new soap. such life change. wow.

so, maybe you just need a social break. maybe you need some time to yourself.
or, maybe you need to stop striving for a bit. put your goals on the shelf for an evening.

maybe you need moar hug.

whatever it is, even if you don't get it you'll be fine. not like omg superfine but the "chill; you're on the right path" kind. mellow out. do some fav drugs. get to bed on freakin' time for the 3rd night in a row. (eff yeah!)

and for peace' sake, get a tan. you look ridiculous.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

bidnass

hi friends & family :)

over the past 7ish years, my pasión for photography has provoked several of you not only to pay me handsomely (despite my standard fee of $0 + travel expenses), but also to refer me to your own friends & family. i've come to the point now where my not-business has outgrown my casual approach. this is not a bad thing, but it requires me to make some changes.

my circumstances, plus the advice of some others whose wisdom i trust, are prompting me to come up with pricing for my photographical work. the most important reason for me to do this, is that it will let me prioritize projects and deliver the final product within a reasonable timeline. i'm always eager to see the end results, as all of my clients are (understandably!), and i hate making people wait more than a couple weeks for finished photos.

~ everyone who's currently waiting on me (Andrew and Katie Peterson, Katie Banks, Shawn Johnson, Ciarra Katilina Parra, Siera Marshall, and Madi Unruh): i will do my best to work through these ASAP! no more than 5 minutes will elapse between me finishing those pics, and me sending them to you.

~ everyone i shoot for in the future: any work for which i charge, will be prioritized. i'll schedule not just the shoots themselves but also the day i plan to send you the goods. it may not be a short turnaround every time, but at least you'll have an expected date right off the bat, and i'll have some structure to help me manage my time & energy.

's all i got for now... details forthcoming. THANK YOU everyone who has expressed appreciation for what i do, and thank you especially for appreciating the way i do it... and, thank you most of all for [still!] being patient. ;)

-j

Saturday, May 21, 2016

zin-carla

two years and three days should be enough. fuck my memory for not being shitty enough... i'm so over not being over what should have been 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

not i, but Sidhe

Moving onto a dance floor full of Sidhe is like dropping acid.

Partly it's because they're just so damned pretty. The Sidhe maidens there were all in Maeve's league in terms of sheer physical attractiveness, and some of them were just about as barely dressed as she was, only in what must have been the latest trends in the Chicago club scene for the fashionably provocative. And, yeah, the boys were pretty, too, and tarting it up just as much as the girls, but they weren't nearly as much of a distraction to me.

Partly it's because of their grace. The Sidhe aren't human, even though they look like close relatives. When you see an Olympic gymnast or ice skater or a professional dancer performing a routine, you can't help but be impressed with the sheer, casual grace with which they move, as if their bodies are lighter than air. The clumsiest of the Sidhe operate at about that same level, and the exceptional leave the mortals eating dust behind them. It's hard to describe because it's hard for the brain to process-there's no frame of reference for what I saw, the motion, the balance, the power, the effortless subtlety. It was like suddenly discovering an entirely new sense with an enormous amount of input: I kept seeing things that made my brain scream at me to stop and watch so that it could catalog and process them properly.

And partly it's because of their magic. The Sidhe use magic the way the rest of us breathe, instinctively and without thinking about it. I'd fought them before, and their power was largely invoked through simple gestures, as if the spells had been hardwired into their motor reflexes. For them, movement was magic, and at no time so much as when they danced.

Their power didn't come after me, specifically-it was more like I had plunged into it, as if it were a pool of water occupying the same space as the dance floor. It subsumed my mind almost at once, and it was all I could do to grit my teeth and hang on. Ribbons of colored light flared in the air around the dancing Sidhe. Their feet struck the floor and their hands struck upon bodies, their own or otherwise, adding rippling layers of syncopated rhythm to the music. Gasps and cries joined with the beat and the melody, primal and fierce, echoing and challenging one another from all quarters, as if they'd practiced it.

They hadn't. It was just what they were.
Jim Butcher - Cold Days

~     ~     ~

i failed.

nbd, normally... i'm accustomed to that. but doing so in public evokes jameful feelings, keeps me up late bloghwining, and makes me reconsider ever re-attempting to succeed.

it wasn't so much about the dancing, although that was sharply unpleasant... in fact now that i think about it, it was in stark contrast to the experience just one night prior, when my siblings and i (with barely any practice) wowed the room and clearly outshone every other performance. (i failed that night as well, but that failure was a handful of mistakes, whereas tonight's failure consisted of simply not succeeding.)



when i spend time with a friend, most times i hold myself responsible for their well-being and their enjoyment of that time. i think that's one reason hanging out in a group can sometimes be relaxing for me, despite my introversion. i can rely on others to make things fun for each other. one-on-one, i take it all on my own shoulders. ...and, when the other person is female, my inner chauvinist steps in and runs an even tighter ship than usual.

i don't need something to be officially labeled "date" in order to treat it like one. oh, right-- that's what they call chauvinism when it's a good thing: chivalry. huh... they have similar phonetics... maybe there's an etymological relationship there. i love those! *ahem* enivei jepp, that was the real failure. and don't disagree with me; i have my standards and i'll flagellate myself with them if i want to. besides, it's for your own good.

i don't needwant to be good at all the things. i just needwanna be enjoyable company, capable of making someone's evening. especially since ceasing my spiritual services, i've felt the need to be nourishing to those close to me. it isn't a goal that pulls at me from the future, but it still pushes me (just as strongly if not more strongly) from within the present. i think the need's been strengthened as well by my realizing how much i need nourishment from others.

plus it's supes affirming to be told that i've made someone's whatever. my photography is now significantly motivated by that, since so many have expressed their appreciation for how easy and fun i make the shooting.

i haven't lost whatever it is that's shaped the foundation of all my relationships with the sexier sex since elementary. it's just developed into a more mature form. wouldn't it be great if i could push it one more level? like, get to the point where i can be confident of my ability to be a good date, regardless of whether i ever actually date anyone again? wouldn't it be sweet if my deer ones wouldn't even realize until afterward that i had shown them a good time, created an experience that would be long and fondly remembered? i want to be good enough at that, that they aren't even conscious of it until they reflect on it, because it was just that natural and seamless.

i guess i want to be a great date even in my platonic relationships, and that's kinda interesting to me because it isn't hwat i came here to blog about.



most of my life i've stuck to what i knew, except when practicing in private. it's worked well for me in most cases. i should've expected these painful feelings of inadequacy when i thigned up for thith gig... i should've known that the price of swagger is shared between me and those in front of whom i swagger. lesson learnt? probs not; it usually takes me a dozen or two such lessons before i catch on. in matters of knowledge, i learn quickly; but when it comes to wisdom i'm the halfwit, the runt of the litter, the dunce. i probably venture out of my corner too often. *tosses dunce cap like a college grad*

iff past patterns are predictive, i have a great many more opportunities ahead, to practice with members of leagues far above mine. somehow that depresses me rather than encouraging me. i think to myself, "great... can't wait to fail again, and again, in the company of beautiful women. *much to the chagrin* of those beautiful women who may invite me to enjoy their lives with them."

maybe i should join a chess club.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

threadbare

patterns that persist from chapter to chapter deserve special attention, for gaining insight and for making plans. this particular fucker deserves deliberate, strategic action. i can't force myself to believe it will ever cease entirely. and i can't do nothing in response, because it harms my friendships and hinders my progress. 

quarantining myself is a good choice on these occasions and i feel that's a good start. but i need more. i need to continue adding tools to this toolbox. i need cognitive flexibility, and consistent follow-through, to be and feel ready whenever it strikes. i need a distinct military subdivision that does nothing but wait around for this alarm to sound, so it can scramble all the fighters at the first sign of trouble. 



handling life is all about being prepared, and being prepared is all about forming new habits, habits that take care of me for me. and forming new habits requires me to focus on the process and keep the long term goals in mind, rather than dwelling on immediate circumstances. 

my immediate circumstances could have been different, if i'd only prepared for them. if i'd only done something good for myself before i really needed it. i wish that i didn't need so much so often, especially from people. i wish i could go back to being alone and still, without pain. i wish i could go back to who i was before valerie. i wish i could be not pathetic 

Monday, April 11, 2016

cat, i'm a kitty cat

i was gonna thank you over fb for yesterday evening, but i couldn't. i mean yeah one could, but should one?

most of the time, when i feel the need to wax belletristic, i expect some or all of the recipient[s] to be a little weirded out. i've been over-expressing myself since early high-school. people seemed to feel that i felt too strongly and too often, and even those who didn't think that, may have wished i didn't let nearly so much of it out into the open. but despite consistent, discouraging criticism over a long and formative time, i persist.

my skills have improved (by that i mostly mean my discretion)... but i still try to be careful, still feel hesitant, still expect blank stares and confused blinking and awkward silence. i think that's a big part of what drew & draws me to you: you don't respond that way. your reactions feel validating. when i refer to you as rare and valuable, remember that as one of the reasons.

anyway that's all some kind of #disclaimer. and now i have to add another one because this is the first time i've ever embedded an mp3 with a meaning that should not be taken as 100% relevant to its parent post. lot of 'firsts' in this chapter, i'm noticing. but yeah i'm'a pull a Reelika and i'm verimuch #sorrynotsorry for it. this blog is for me first, its intended audience second, and everyone else hella last.

~     ~     ~

i have always always disliked weddings. my own, others', small, big, whatever. i've enjoyed exactly two in my life. one was in Estonia.

and that seems to be a running theme, which is really interesting because every time people ask me about my plans and i mention emigration, a tiny voice i've been ignoring for many months now says something like this:

"in all your search for applicable wisdom, especially in the mind-over-matter category... in all your pursuit of zenfulness, haven't you ever wondered whether Estonia is merely one tangible expression of that which you want most? haven't you wondered whether you could find & create the essence of it here in California, even perhaps here in your hometown of F---no?

"you claim that you don't dance, and that you dislike weddings. yet you enjoy these things in two circumstances: one is Estonia. the other dominates just over half of your blog posts this year. what have we learnt?"

shti. now i have no choice but to respond, because really? dancing??? for over an hour. in public.

i allowed multiple. professional. photographers. to take pictures. of me. dancing. in. public.

...with a girl. a remarkable human female who apparently didn't not value the experience also.

oh man and i totally forgot to mention taking dance classes with that same girl. and she wasn't even under duress! the devil didn't make her do it! (guess i'm subbing for him. hmmm... good album name: "subbing for the kurat")

none of my past selves-- not even me from summer 2014-- would recognize me by my actions and experiences recently. they would ask who cloned me, and how the clone was modified to be half as lame, and whether the process was finished, and should they expect me to win some Nobel prizes or perform flawless rocket surgeries in my sleep for my next tricks.

and perhaps most or all of my blissful experiences in this chapter should be mostly or completely attributed to the graciousness of others. but either way, i have some gratitude to pour out.




i can't get all i need here. but i can, apparently, have more than i thought i could. just a little bit, just a little bit. speaking of things i need, if you ever have ideas for that phrase that cuts it, please share so i can use it in place of a lame old "gratitude" label.

#getsome

Sunday, April 10, 2016

kin

i can't let myself really write about this yet because if i do, i'll just stop functioning. the logical choice is to bottle it until i can actually do something about it. there just hasn't been a good opportunity, to help myself or to help you. but, don't think i'm not shaking like you were. we aren't exactly close friends but that doesn't seem to make any difference. i'm putting you in the way-back of my mind because it's the only way for me to accomplish anything right now. but my circumstantial alarm is set and i'm checking it constantly.

last night i had a dream that mom was driving all of us along the coast. she stopped paying attention to the road, and drove us off a cliff into the water. while the vehicle sank, my 'camera' zoomed in to 1st-person and i had to really push myself to focus instead of panicking. i was the first one to get a door open. after that i opened two more.

it took only ten seconds or so for the vehicle to submerge completely, but i pulled you out before it did, and everyone else followed.

the rest of the dream is less relevant to you specifically, but i remember that i was somehow strong enough to grab hold of the vehicle and pull it along with me while i swam to shore. barely. i even saved the dumb car.

everyone made it out.



if it doesn't make sense to you, well too bad, but i love you, to the point where i would have needed to throw up if i hadn't released this small measure of pressure. 

i'll come find you soon. please please don't not be there...

Thursday, April 07, 2016

the sixth or eighth layer

during my junior year of college, some very cool popular worship team musicians (with whom i was acquainted but not close) invited me to a worship concert. i foolishly accepted.

perhaps a thousand people packed the venue. i could have endured; i could have handled that, even as a 20-year-old with half the confidence i now possess. even lacking any close friends there, and even in my then-standard sleep-deprived state, constantly under pressure from someone or other to be more me than i was ready to be, i could have managed.

but the fact that everyone believed the concert was worship, was too much for me, so i ran out.

i had wisely, perhaps instinctively, chosen an aisle seat. i ran, out through the faux-yay and around in a u-turn, in search of a peaceful place, which turned out to be a children's playground. once there, alone and unable to hear anything except a faint electrical Bb and some distant highway traffic, comfortable under the sickly yellow light (though it was brighter than the auditorium) i felt i had escaped death-by-ten-thousand-of-jesse's-nails-digging-furrows-into-a-thousand-chalkboards. my lungs gleefully expanded again, and i began making mental notes to later share with my then-favorite, Andrew, who i knew would have no trouble understanding the sensation, despite my near certainty that he'd never felt that particular type of panic.

even then, it wasn't normal for me. i can count on three fingers the number of times i've experienced it. the first was maybe 1998 or so, at a family gathering, which should make sense to anyone who 1) has been through junior high, and 2) who's survived a Micurricane. 

that night at the Hillsong concert was the second.

the third was today, at BC's Pizza and Beer, in celebration of their 19th year of business.

~     ~     ~

this past weekend, i started to get sick... for the second time this year. [insert my usual rant about my immune system's kickassery here]. i handled it passably, especially considering i had to work on Tuesday, and went to the gym on Wednesday (and killed it). it wasn't quite as bad as my nearly-yearly case, but somehow this one twisted me up a little extra on the inside. still, i pushed through it using all of my new skills, and had planned to conclude my recovery process today.

perhaps i was already doomed since yesterday. it was so hot last night that i couldn't lie down, let alone sleep, until (with some inspirational assistance) i realized i could sleep in the cool air outside if i simply moved my mattress. i did so. i awoke at least once, but i went back to sleep quickly, and my total time was about 6 hours. it wasn't the best quality-- there are lights out there i can't turn off, and i needed headphones with music + white noise to dull the roar of the nearby airport-- but it would have sufficed, had today not been further ruined.

my first mistake was choosing not to mute my phone during late-morning naptime. it was a conscious choice, made with full lucid awareness of the potential consequences, which probably makes me even more culpable. confession would be one of this blog's labels if it weren't so common. enivei, i didn't make much progress, because sometimes i greedily place certain things above sleep on my customized pyramid hierarchy. 

my next mistake occurred around 1-something in the afternoon, when Shawn, who had escaped class early, needed a place to kill a few hours. i know enough about Shawn, and about his home life, to feel compassion toward him on a regular basis. i've offered a dozen times to let him crash at my place anytime he feels the need. he had never taken me up on that offer until today.

i had tasks that needed doing weeks ago, and had planned to take care of them today. instead Shawn came over (with a 5-minute heads-up), and Shawn is the kind of person who requires direct, conspicuous attention 99% of the time he spends with friends. he stayed and chatted with me (which, in other circumstances, would have been no big deal; it might even have been pleasant) until 4-something, when it was time for me to prepare for one of mine, Shawn, and Brandon's semi-usual nights of craft beer and good (well, delicious anyway) food.

except, tonight wasn't a usual anything. the establishment is celebrating another anniversary as i type this, and the growing popularity of craft beer (plus the growing popularity of BC's itself) meant standing room only. the free beer and pizza probably contributed to that as well.

on any other day this week, even my sick day, i think i would have done better. with just a few fewer things icing the shitcake, i could have made it. but kuradi saatus conspired:


  • just before Shawn arrived, i had experienced some strong, immature negative emotions that have still not receded, despite my quick, relatively mature-ish response to them. i can't talk about them yet. the situation is not fully resolved, and i do very poorly with unresolved relational situations, in proportion to the level of closeness i have with the other person in the relationship.
     
  • some of the people in that restaurant were going for the gold in the douchebaggery marathon. Brandon and i stood in line maybe half an hour for our share of the pizza, and when it finally arrived, out of nowhere sprang a 6'-tall natural-born asshole. he had on a smarmy grin and a backwards baseball cap. he slid his lean frame in between Brandon and i to nab an empty plate and attack the goods, pointed his douchey nose at me, and said something about needing to get enough for two people before piling his plate as high as physics would allow and sneaking back into the protective anonymity of the crowd.

    now, normally i would pronounce internal judgment and then put it out of my mind, because dingleberries of this quality are not worth the mental effort it takes to categorize them as such, but in his face and actions and scumbag tone of voice i found an archetypal reflection of that vast milling throng who had filled the room to near-overflowing, not for the love of craft beer and the BC's family, but for the fleeting pseudo-satisfaction of their avaricious demonsouls, which i'm sure were gratified to the point of NR-17-rated obscenity by that carnal nourishment.

    so, fuck that guy.
      
  • after we got our pizza, Brandon considerately led the way to a less crowded part of the building. while i stood there debating with me about whether to pull a Boromir or a Cowardly Lion, someone said my name. this 6-footer was no douchebag, but rather a friendly John... from my previous place of employ, Arise Solar.

    this presented a special kind of problem. when they last left their up-and-coming hero, he was strolling out of the warehouse office with a happy-go-lucky grin on his face and an offhand "be right back." well, he didn't be right back; he instead be right fired and never talked to any of those people about what happened. they befriended him, forsook other coffees for his, helped diagnose his car troubles, and just made his life generally better (most of them).

    this John guy had been one of the best. a fellow Wolverine-cosplayer, with a beard far worthier than mine, a gentle but firm manner, and a wonderful ability to see eye-to-eye with me from his own unique perspective, he'd quickly risen to the ranks of my top 3 favorite co-workers. i found myself agreeably disarmed just by his friendly, low-key greeting.

    i gave him the sincerest, friendliest response i could muster, and told him i was looking forward to starting my new job this coming Monday. he congratulated me. he said some people were waiting for him at his table, and that it was good to see me. i reciprocated aloud.

    ...i didn't consider to which "people" he might be referring, until my padawan walked past me a few minutes later, headed in the same direction John had been. she looked great. i had never seen her dressed for a party rather than work. she made a very obvious lack of eye contact and hurried by.

    my mind was nearing the limit of its stress threshold, but it managed to turn its inductive gears just enough revolutions to conclude, "there must be a whole group of my coworkers in that dining area. the area in which Brandon and i are waiting to be seated."
 
mida... vittu. so much icing. i've betrayed a few people in my time. this was really not the best night to run into some of those i'd most recently failed. this was not the night to be tripping painfully over loose ends. i almost sent the Padawan a text message right that second, a real doozy, with no paragraph breaks and way too much emotion.

but no. there was a better option. i waited until Shawn was outside, handed Brandon the suddenly-buzzing plastic square thingy and walked out to my car. i sent him a message ("i could ruin myself but i won't. i'm going home and then maybe to starbucks to blog. thank you for being a good friend") and took off.

i drove home in a manner i'd never consider trying with you in the passenger seat. though it was a relief to be out of the stormy sea of people, i still had evening traffic with which to contend, and it was the next best thing to hostile toward me. i engaged evasive / offensive maneuvers mode, parked on the wrong side of the road, went in to get my things, then left again for the mall.



halfway there i realized i had left my lighter and cutter at home, so i rerouted for Cigarros Limitada. the oldster stacking chairs out front looked just like Gran Torino guy except friendly. i walked in, grabbed a Liga Privada No. 9, and went to the counter expecting only a terse exchange. but no; this guy was special. he asked if that would be all for me, and i gave him the lines i'd prepped on the way. 

"oh no no," he replied, quiet but jovial. one of his eyes was very lazy. i have no idea how i found that endearing. "you don't want this one guillotine-cut. you've picked out a real nice one; that one deserves a V-cut."

i attented, and he taught me about how different cuts affect the flavor, not just the draw. i thanked him. he included not only a box of matches, but a free V-cutter with my purchase. i gushed gratitude again, and fled again, this time to Starbucks.

the new guy looked top-shelf Asian, so i willingly entrusted him with my quad ristretto and steamed breve on the side, as well as my grande half-passion half-black iced tea with no water and three pumps classic. those things were of no lower quality than usual, but alas, it was way too cold to smoke. i tried it anyway, but the wind blew out my flames (how was i supposed to know?)... so i went home, closed all the windows, turned off all the lights, hexed myself a dark electric blue, and popped open the draft (see what i did there?) i'd begun while drugging myself in public only half as much as i'd intended. 



i didn't mention the other layer of this week's shitcake, the one regarding a sudden family development that mom called about last night (in tears, which was a bit difficult for me). better i not, out of respect for privacy, so suffice to say that it poked yet another hole in my boat's bowem.

as i finished typing that paragraph, my phone rang. it was mom again, calling with an update on the situation. i handled it while the call persisted, about ten minutes, and now that i've hung up i feel like crying.

~     ~     ~

i was going to finish this post with a list of things from which i would greatly benefit, but now i think i just want someone very large and very strong to pick me up, wring me out until the last drip drops, then put me somewhere dark and cool and absolutely silent until everything is over. i agreed to assist my family in the ways that i can, and i will... but i feel like i can do nothing, especially in my current state. i feel like no matter what i do, things will still roll merrily along until they reach either Lewis' hell of stasis, or else Gygax' Malbolge.

i feel like giving up on things. i feel like it would be illogical to not. i should probably hope that i sleep well tonight, but hope seems too much effort. i wonder if anyone else has ever chosen despair for the simple reason that it's easier.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

rose-scented poopnuggets


~     ~     ~

a major purpose of this blog is to define things, especially if doing so creates several more narrow ideas within a larger category that most people would consider indivisible.

"your chosen terminology is too esoteric. try again."

it's semi-commonly understood that the Greeks had several words for "love." that's because love is not indivisible; it's a word that encompasses several other words, other more precise words with narrower meanings.

today's exercise in deciding what i'm discovering about my life is about a particular kind of loneliness, one i have rarely experienced but which i'm feeling more frequently lately. not sure if there's a word for it, in any langueege let alone mine, but i'm'a go ahead and call it happiness constipation for now.

you are probably already familiar with it, even if not consciously. this phenomenon occurs when you are in a great mood and want to share it with someone, but can't, because there isn't anyone (at least, no one who would effectively provide the outlet you need).

it's similar to other emotional constipations, like when you need to cry but can't (for whatever reason). it's also similar to being really angry but not knowing where to direct that anger (and thus being unable to).

i suppose i could look at the bright side, which is that the increasing frequency of this experience is a visible sign of growth. but thinking about the concept of a bright side directs my attention to the beautiful weather, which makes me feel the happiness constipation even more, because i want to share that weather with someone as well.



the unpleasant feeling arising from the unmet need to express something socially, to emote something pleasant with someone, is distinct enough from other lonelinesses that it really does deserve its own term. my best googling attempt yielded nothing helpful. i'll do some mentally back-breaking etymological work later.

i'm pleased to report that i'm approaching the point where i'll need a personal dictionary. i can't keep linking back to random new-word-definitions; aggregation needs to happen, and soon. #staytuneypood

give me this day my daily overdose

i spent a comfy evening mostly in the background of a social gathering, a couple meters away from six wildly entertaining people, some of whom love me. i served them coffee and things. i made them laugh. i hugged my cousin. i made fun of my aunt.

when i left just before midnight, i tried to ghost away but Branberry caught me with a goodbye, prompting a round of goodbyes from all. i reciprocated once-for-all and slipped away, pressing [play] and humming a harmony with Karen.

as i pulled out of the driveway, i felt happy that you were there with me-- and immediately wondered, how can i feel genuinely happy about something that isn't the case?! some careful analysis revealed that i had accidentally confused the feeling of singing one of my all-time favorite songs, with sharing space with you.

apparently, you do for me one (or more) of the things that music does. while mind-boggling, this fortunately seems not to conflict with anything asserted in past posts... but maybe my understandings of it, you, and friendship, are expanding.

[that phrase that cuts it]

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

what the eff i've done

i'm reading your post for the third time. why? i'll tell you one of the reasons: i'm still trying to understand what you're apologizing for. so far, my only theory is that i have perhaps misrepresented myself. herein, i hope to undo any unduly-effected incrimination. (and maybe get a semi-solid post out of it in the process. i do not know why i woke up at 3am... maybe i should go back to full doses of Unisom? or maybe i shouldn't drink forty CL of medium-light-roast coffee a couple hours before sleepytime. shouldn'ta wouldn'ta couldn'ta.)

"HE'S CASTING! EVERYONE DOWN-"

oh, shut up. hell's bells...

~     ~     ~

it's true that, as someone who has passed all the way through Christianity, i've acquired a certain self-preservational instinct. self-preservatory. ugh stop effing redlining me, blogger... you don't know things. sorry, readers. self-preserving ... ? oh yeah you like that. COME AT ME BLO

it's true that, as someone who has passed all the way through Christianity, i've acquired a certain act-in-my-own-best-interests-ness. at the same time, though, i've retained several qualities that would be considered Christlike if things had not become different. and now that i think about it in that light, i realize that in my conversation with Shawn about how i treat women, i never once tried to use my religious upbringing as an explanation, even though some of my stories directly referenced church experiences. huh.

back to the apology at hand: i erred. don't you love it when those British types say "erred" and it rhymes with curd, and bird? except their accent makes it "uhhhhd." õõõd. sorry again. in the recent past, i made an error. i said this thing...

first: don't ask for something without knowing what it's really like.
second: then don't let go

...and then i hwined & hwined about blah blah excruciating yada yada. and at the time of the writing, sure: i was pleading on my own two behalves. sure: i'm a bit twitchy now, after being intensely pursued and then discarded many times. sure: i've blogged pages and pages, and written lame / lyrically dumb songs about the pain. #booeffinghoo

but the truths are these: first, that that attitude doesn't fit who i want to be. second, that i should be warning peeps for their own sake, not mine. Mab strike me down if i ever plead on my own bewhole again, especially in regard to burnination. *chin-thrusty-glares at self*

~     ~     ~

the weird thing about break-ups and [whatever a platonic break-up is called... burnination for now, i guess]s, is that it's entirely possible for one to break up with someone and still hurt and feel regret after initiating it. Alexa was in tears over it on several occasions, the first of those months before our relationship ended. Llaura genuinely missed me while cheating on me and, many months later, tried to talk with me again in person, for some reason expecting me to desire friendship again (and genuinely desiring friendship herself). others, having ceased to show any sign of life on their side of the respective friendships, would still make occasional eye contact and therein reveal the pain of separation they were feeling.

it may seem to many people that i'm walled off, socially, but the truth is i'm an open book for those who truly wish to know me. Google, anyone?? i hide nothing here (except perhaps the tawdry, sordid details; i prefer to speak in theme and metaphor, not because i'm afraid but because the surface stuff doesn't really matter). and one of the benefits of being an open book is that i always have a ready outlet for emoting. the downside of that is, others who have no such public diary seem even more walled off than i do to others. in other words, if you don't express yourself as openly and fully as i do, i subconsciously assume that behind your walls, nothing whatsoever is happening.

the truth, if my bridge-buddies are to be believed, is the opposite. still waters and suchlike. that certainly seems to be the case here.

and because that is the case, and because i have realized it to be the case, i have come to appreciate the value to others of withholding from them. by holding back, by keeping some distance, i reduce or remove their future pain. i can say with certainty that i would have caused a great deal less grief to them if i had never become close in the first place.

so, yes... there is a particular safety in never getting close to me.

"what safety?"

you'll never have to feel regret or longing for what/whom you eventually abandon. you never have to feel any guilt for causing me pain. you never have even a slight inclination to read my shamefully pathetic hwimperings for months after our friendship ends (or, if you do read them, you don't care about them). you never unfollow, unsubscribe, or delete old pictures or all of our messages at once. you never alienate me by trying to raise our undead friendship.



i think i have decided. i'm about 95% committed to unwithholding, at this point. that said, there's still time to get off of the ground floor of something big, while the 5% is shrinking.

fair warning, fair lady.

with all that out of the way, i can say this other thing: though my heartmindsoulthing is at 95%, i really feel as though i've not gone far out of my way for you. what's the most i've sacrificed in one swoop? a few hours of sleep? that doesn't even count; i got way more out of it than i gave. what, then? a few cups of coffee? same answer. gas?? come on. that's probly your effing $10 in the just-the-tip bucket right now.  >:(

part of me believes this friendship will always be just slightly out-of-balance. it isn't a bad thing. i don't prefer to receive more than i give but i can allow it, to some small degree. for now. anyway, i hope you finish this with a deep sense not of forgiveness but of retroactive uncrimination (it's better, trust me). i never meant to imply that you had made demands of me, and i certainly never felt that you had done so. not that i would be upset if you demanded something; in fact i'd appreciate it. you're too polite with me. "make me an omelette" should be the feminine analog to "make me a sandwich."

regarding vulnerability and trust: they are certainly two distinct things in my world. as i've mentioned to Sduff lately, 'trust' is one of those troublesome concepts that society has mangled. trust with hwat, exactly?? in common vernacular, 'trust' is mistranslated from 'expect.' they are not synonymous with each other.

  • i trust you to be a remarkable friend; i expect you to make mistakes.
  • i trust you to be honest; i expect you to sometimes keep secrets (which is certainly your prerogative, and i encourage you to do so when it benefits you).
  • i trust you to not hurt me on purpose; i expect you to cause me pain (which is not wrong, and the expectation and allowance of you to do so is certainly my prerogative).
nothing you've done or haven't done has compromised me. as for straining or hurting... i go to the gym to destroy myself so that i can slowly slowly slowly approach (probly not ever reach) an acceptable physical state. i didn't recognize this fully until a few years ago, but all situations in which i feel emotional pain in the context of some relationship, are unique opportunities to grow. i want those. i need them.

okay... almost all. there are some exceptions.

despite being exceptional, you aren't one of them.



lastly: in any case where you desire something, i will quote your master: you do not have because you do not ask. were you not paying attention when you finally admitted you were hungry and i literally lept from my chair to start scrambling those eggs? have i not offered enough invitations? have i not programmed your number to bypass my Do Not Disturb function?

fine. i renew my vow to myself, to be who i have always been and do what i have always done. and if i'm very successful i may even manage to convince you that i enjoy it. even if that doesn't happen, i would encourage you to make demands of those things which you know i'll say yes to, and to make bold requests of those things about hwich you're uncertain of my response. loving you means the opposite of giving anything begrudgingly, and as wonderful as it is to receive from you, i crave the giving even more. that's one of the other reasons i read your post three times.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

unajamed

sometime in the past 24 hours, i dipped my toes in the baltic again.

i watched the sun set, and rise, again. i danced freely, with a vision, again. i intoxed and detoxed seamlessly, again, which is not very easy. i got qunk and then sober again, also seamlessly (id est, without sleeping in between the two). i had my fill of new and old music, again, in three languages from four or more countries. i smiled so hard my face hurt, again. i went out late for random gourmet snacks, again. i cried, again.

i wore my wedding ring, again, and it fit.

i canceled plans with my ex-closest friend. mixed some new drinks. practiced my pho- & cinema-tography. asked & answered PQs. 'sang' with barry white, joan jett, and the three daughters of mordechai.

basically i was happy again, and i should probably admit that if i keep posting these stupid happy posts, it will not be quite as easy to leave as i would have liked.

~     ~     ~

"i could drink a case of you, dearling... and still be on my feet" - DK

Saturday, March 19, 2016

i-ssencia

others would say i take things personally when i shouldn't. i might have to agree with them on a practical level, but in principle, one is either trusted or distrusted. i wish i could apply for trust the same way i apply for jobs.

i feel i would do wellish. were someone to transcribe from my soul to 8½-by-11" cardstock, and include relational records, i doubt i'd get much resistance.

of course the opposite is also possible: maybe if everyone read my blog, none would trust me.



today i made several dozen mistakes... but only a few were egregious. the majority will iron out with time and effort. the few will probably persist until i can't show my face in anywhere ever.

today (technically) i grew a little. maybe i should give myself a small break. and maybe i should forgive myself for being a little too empty, a little too much me, because others would say i take even my own insults too personally.

today i give myself a sharp reminder, that i'm not in Estonia yet. so until then, less me for everybody.

Friday, March 18, 2016

the opposite of friendship

saw some old pictures just now. hard for me to comprehend that it was only a few years ago i attended your graduation, photographed you and family and friends and the socal supermoon, followed you around downtown on foot, illumined by italian lights and thinking there was nothing i'd rather be doing anywhere with anyone else.

missing your face, your voice, and your care makes my chest hurt. seeing your lioness sister growing up makes me want to try again immediately before it's too late to even consider the possibility. i can hear you strumming your guitar in between song covers in the womens' bathroom. i remember chilly spring air drifting in through the door we propped open a few inches so we had just the right mood lighting. i remember lambchop complaining about the cold.

i remember the best fourth of july ever, where i discovered my second favorite cigar in a drawer in the hallway of someone else's home. i remember my first attempt at omelettes, which sucked, and you getting angry and wanting everyone to leave except me.

i remember you unintentionally helped me decide & discover that altos are the best sound ever. i remember teaching you to harmonize by the numbers. i remember being patient with you when you made the same mistake a dozen times in a row before getting it right, and i remember how blessed i believed myself to be, to participate in such a thing. i remember the acoustic profile of the nursery and the creak of the rocking chair while we waited for the entire AVT to arrive. i remember wishing i could be simultaneously leading and photoshooting because the windowlight in there is pretty dang good.

i remember summer camps and you pretending to be a homeless person begging for $5 in exchange for washing the windshield.

i remember mad-libbing the eff word into Disney songs.

i remember drinking a long island iced tea with you for the first time. i remember you looked crazy good in that dress and those heels. i remember feeling confused every time i looked in your eyes and found fear festering there. i remember trying new recipes with you, new chords, new ice cream flavors, new dissonances. i remember driving from Fresno to La Mirada and back again in a single night for you, and how much caffeine i consumed while i was there, and how many tattoos the barista had, and how your front porch didn't look like your front porch (and indeed, turned out not to be).

i remember us making people cry, and everyone enjoying that.



i have a shit memory. but i remember your everything from three, four, nine years ago better than i remember my anything from last week.

i remember you and my chest threatens to collapse inward.

this is what losing someone is like. it's like being hungry and having no mouth. it's like watching your favorite band play, but being deaf. 

the opposite of a friend isn't an enemy. it's a lost friend. i'd rather have a thousand enemies at my heels. i'd rather break my arm again. i'd rather retch violently once every day for the rest of my life. i'd rather be a single devoted Christian white court vampire. i'd rather forget how to harmonize.

sometimes, i'd rather forget you.

oh desiiiirrre, it won't briiing you baaaack

lately i've caught myself (/ been caught) dodging bullets fired many years ago, or swerving to avoid potholes that exist only on roads no longer traveled. it's not symptomatic of anxiety, nor is it a twitchy reaction to false alarms. it's a way of thinking, and an ingrained belief, operating mostly on the subconscious level. well, until now. holding subconsciousypoos up to the light of lucidity is one of the main purposes of this blog.

~     ~     ~

my condition isn't entirely useless. if one is conditioned to duck when one hears gunfire, well... megahea. or, in my case, if one has lost every intimate friendship with every female ever, then perhaps one's adaptation to that unbroken pattern is an evolutionary survival mechanism. on the other hand, perhaps one is perpetuating those patterns, reinforcing them by capitulating to them.

this is probably a good opportunity to put one of my newly realized beliefs into practice. each relationship should be treated differently, based on a basquillion different things. each fran can be trusted with a slightly different set of things. regardless of what i decide to do about my condition, it won't apply itself the same way to every situation. it'll be merely a principle, which then needs customized applications. maybe some situation will convince me to go all in; maybe i'll have to withdraw somewhat from some of my current attachments (even those that don't need such action right now).

but the thung is, this particular pattern has held without exception so far, sometimes without any capitulation on my part. and while it's true that every friendship has crests & troughs, and that i have had a greater number of close friendships with girls than i have with guys, anticipating and... preacting to?... the seemingly inevitable ending is optional.

i'm rambling. time for a paragraph break.



in recent chapters, my best franships with women are hobbled by less recent past chapters' bridge-burninations. i learned the hard way the consequences of diving in headfirst: delayed onset skull fractures, unscheduled heart hemorrhage, et cetera. that isn't to say i always acted in accordance with my knowledge (acting thusly is a large part of wisdom), but at least i learnt at all.

this 'learning' has given me the conscious option of holding back. cannonballs and belly flops permitted; divings prohibited.

"what's diving look like, non-metaphorically?"

oh man. i needed that question. i was dithering about until you asked that. now i have some meat to masticate.

diving in looks like this:
  • the friendship becomes a major creative outlet for me. i spontaneously record songlettes, write poemies or fictionypoos, take photos, handmake gifts... and share them exclusively with that friend. i even dedicate and/or address whole blog posts to that specific person (see next bullet).
     
  • the friendship prompts fresh travels down new & old avenues of thought, which leads to both gradual and breakthrough progress toward the [re]formation of my worldview, and of my self-concept. (this post is an example of that.)
     
  • i am both more open to and less invested in other friendships. it's easier for me to respond to others' social needwants, perhaps because i have a good source of fuel?, and yet, because i'm in a fairly consistent state of satisfaction, i don't seek / request as much of what i needwant, socially, from others.
     
  • my sensitivity to beauty in its many forms increases, and remains fairly consistent. this is in marked contrast to times of social darkness (lack of close friendship), when a graph of my sensitivity to beauty would look like a bipolar seismograph, and the line would mostly stay below my average. but yeah, when i've divened in, movies and music and dreams and reminiscences make me cry more, and more often.
     
  • i dedicate more time and energy to my own health, not for an end goal but because i am motivated. i have the energy to invest in the first place, because the friendship nourishes me in my most important ways.
     
  • i purposely come to rely on that friend for a large portion of my inner zen. it's deep enough that, if i feel like something's wrong with me but i'm not sure what it is, it's probably that i haven't had a positive interaction with that person for 12 or more hours. i've become so used to it now, though, that i know exactly where to look when i feel such an angst. i also tend to lose... idk, inner homeostasis??... if i find myself in conflict with that friend. in fact it's almost certain that any negative tension with that person will affect the whole of me, nonstop, until it's resolved, at which point i'll feel like all the gray skies [muthafucka!] everywhere have suddenly parted and mister bluebird is on my shoulder.
     
  • when my needwant to care deeply and often for someone is met, my problems and failures seem to shrink. i don't value them less but i am not so emotionally suffocated by them. i guess this means my capacity for depression is lessened. that's a big deal.
     
  • my previous losses become easier to process. i haven't yet figured out why, but something about a close friendship helps me more usefully examine past losses thereof.
     
of course, it's a spectrum, with diving in at one end and discarding at the other. right now i feel i'm sitting at an 8.5 or so (but, my vector has a positive value).

so, my question for myself is, at what number should i be sitting?

~     ~     ~

monsters lurk underwater. one of them, the one that prefers to nibble at me during the friendship, is shaded in greys; another is the aforementioned depression, waiting to break the surface and swallow me whole if i happen to be standing on the bridge when it burns. several others, tiny but fierce, wait in line behind those: after the initial destruction / loss of the friendship, each picks a random number between 1 and 24, and the number picked is the month (following the end of the friendship) in which each (respectively) ambushes me with tooth & claw.

in past close friendships i've chosen to ignore all of these, partly because i am proudly fearless and partly because i need the things that close friendship provides. when one truly needs a thing, one sells all he has to purcheese the field in which the thing is buried.

(concerned parties may be concerned at this point that my friendship is selfishly motivated. well, yes; it is. go google the famous philosophical debate on whether altruism is even a thing. oh fine here's the link. anyways lookit: i'm not unique in this: those we think of as selfless, enjoy being so. so... uhm, yeah. so there. don't look at me like that. ¬_¬ )

in present times, and in the future, things may be different. i'm still deciding.

"don't hold back."

first: don't ask for something without knowing what it's really like.
second: then don't let go, because guess what? i talked about perpetual patterns at the beginning of this post, but did i mention that i've never been the one to end any of those close friendships? ever?

that means that i expect you to do so. that means that any desire on your part for me to dive in should be tempered by your [lack of?] trust in yourself to not do what every other close female friend has done. you (whoever you are; this post isn't or at least won't always be meant for just one person), my friend, wouldst ask me to do what popular society thinks of as the definition of insanity??

well, maybe i'm inclined to acquiesce. okay i'm strongly inclined.... like, an 89° angle. but i'm also inclined to not die excruciatingly on the inside, again. and again. and again.



somehow even though this post marks growth for me, i feel vulnerable and stupid and lame having exposed myself this much.

blogging is good for me.