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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.


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