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Journal

Journal Entry – 6.28.17

The time is 6:38 AM on Wednesday, June 28th, 2017.  I’ve been a bachelor for nine days.  In having my normal routine, schedule and life completely changed I’ve noticed a few things.

I’m more tired and sleeping later than I do when the family is here.  I find myself falling asleep about 9:30 but do not wake up until six when I usually wake up around 4.  I have a lot of free time but rotate between being extremely active and extremely lethargic.

There is one variable thrown into the mix which might account for the being tired.  I’m losing weight and a lot of it.  I’m working out much more and have changed my eating habits.  I drink a shot of wheat grass to start the day, then follow that up a bit later with fruit and vegetable juice.  Lunch is lite with either just a salad or sandwich and then something a little more interesting for dinner but also not as heavy as before.  I’m currently averaging 182 but hit 180 after a long hike.

I also miss my family very much.  I was looking forward to my alone time and need to make an effort to change my mindset and not waste it instead of just being lonely!  I had this time planned out in my head but when your entire routine changes and the time arrives I find that my mindset has also changed.

So what am I doing with my time?

Monday the 19th – Had beer with Brandon and Peter at Devil’s Slide Taproom

Tuesday the 20th – Cleaned the fish tanks and went to Moss Beach Distillery and Barbara’s Fishtrap with Will

Wednesday the 21st – Cleaned the cars, did gardening and had a few drinks for the summer solstice  with Brandon and Peter.  Ordered Go Sushi for dinner.


Thursday the 22nd – Finished watching The Untold History of the United States on Netflix.

Friday the 23rd – Hiked up Montara Mountain with Brandon.


Saturday the 24th – Read my Lapham’s Quarterly, played World of Warcraft and then went to Buffalo Wild Wings with Brandon and Peter for dinner

Sunday the 25th – Worked out, read, took a nap and started to remove the caulking from the bathroom.

Monday the 26th– In the morning I re-caulked the bathroom and cleaned the house.

Tuesday the 27th – Leg workout, read and play World of Warcraft

It does look like I’ve gotten quite a few more things done now that I’ve written it down than I previously thought.  It is good to get all my chores done in the beginning because time seems to go more quickly (and I get more lazy) the longer I’m alone.

One activity that has taken up more time than I had thought is Warcraft.  It has been such a long time since I’ve played that game I thought I’d also use this opportunity to get my character caught up in Legion.  The game really does suck you in and when the family is back I will quit yet again.

Today I’ll be getting all my work stuff done that needs to be done when the holidays come around and all my customers are taking vacations.  That is the last box I really need to check before the 4th of July and summer gets into full swing.  This second half of the week I’d also like to get a lot of reading done with my Lapham’s Quarterly and maybe take a trip to Archimedes Banya.  If time permits I might also dig through my treasure chest and ensure I’ve got everything archived in the computer.  I’ll also be getting a few more workouts in.

Time does go quickly when you keep yourself busy and this alone time really is going faster than I had imagined.

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Journal

Journal Entry – 6.20.2017

It is 7:03 AM on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017.  It is very late for me to be writing a journal entry but today is an unusual day.  My family left for Japan yesterday which means I’m a bachelor for a very long time.  This is normal when you’re married to a Japanese, they go home with the kids for the summer to see the grandparents and also to ensure that the kids are exposed as much as possible to the language and culture.  My oldest son will be attending summer school in Japan and so his Japanese will get much better.  He has grown up speaking it and was at his best at the language in preschool since it was a Japanese one.  But kindergarten was American and so his English improved remarkably while his Japanese got worse.  Living in Japan for a while should reverse that.

Unlike me, he needs to speak Japanese perfectly as he will straddle two countries and two cultures for his life.  In order to function well in Japan, get a job etc his Japanese needs to be on the native level.  We have around 10 family friends where the wife is now in Japan and they will even all get together in Tokyo one day for a play date.  How exciting it is to have that type of opportunity.  It is a rare thing as I don’t know of any other families who can go to another country and meet up with their same friends they have here in the USA.  I’m very excited for them.

The first few days of being on my own are kind of nice but saying goodbye at the airport made me realize how much I love them (not that I don’t already but it hits you all at once) and I began to miss them already.  We all need a break once in a while but when you know you won’t see your family for a long while one day apart seems like enough.

So today, I start the first day of my bachelorhood and I followed my favorite routine.  I woke up at 3:30 AM, drank my wheatgrass, put away the dishes, worked out, took a shower, meditated and am getting my journal entry in.  I’ll get my work done this morning and then perhaps start on my ‘to-do’ list which include contacting a painting company, re-calking the shower, clean the fish tanks, gardening and other many other things I have no time to do when the family is here.  Today is the summer solstice and I’ll have a beer with my friend Bill Tatz who I haven’t seen in 17 years.  We lost touch for a while and I even put up a post about it trying to find him back in 2007.  He found the post by searching his name on Google and we got back in touch.  This was right before Facebook became possible and he reached out by e-mail.  We’ve kept in touch since then and his job has him working in San Francisco now so we’ll meet up.

It is a great day to drink a beer with an old friend since today is the summer solstice.  It thought I’d take him down the coast a bit to the Moss Beach Distillery where we can sit on the patio by the fire-pits, reminisce and talk about how much our lives have changed since we met in Geneva in 2000 for a meeting at the World Trade Organization.

 

FIL248
Since I have so much free time I plan on writing more in my blog but for now I have to get to work.


*Update*  Picture of Will and me in 2017

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California Journal

Journal Entry – Kevin Here

Kevin is a childhood friend who I’ve keep in touch with over the years and it had been over five years since I last saw him; that was in Las Vegas and pre-kids.  It is well known that time speeds up the older we become and children add an extra accelerator.  He was only here for two days and so we packed in a lot in that limited time.

Sunset from Puerto 27
Sunset from Puerto 27

We ended up having to meet at the restaurant Puerto 27 as his plane arrived at the same time we had a mandatory kindergarten meeting.  There were no children allowed so we dropped them off with friends and upon picking them up I also picked up my buddy Peter and we went down to collect Kevin.  Of course we ended up drinking a few beers, watching the sunset and unfortunately see the Warriors continue to lose the magic they’ve had all season against Oklahoma.  We dropped Peter off and stayed for a few Pliny the Elder’s and a bit of conversation.

The next morning we were off to Napa.  Since I had recently quit my memberships at Viansa and Artesa I had to do some study to figure out where I would be taking him.  Aside from Viansa and Artesa the usual places are Cline, Jacuzzi, Domaine Carneros and Clos du Val.  I thought we’d go farther into wine country this time but was surprised to learn how expensive Napa has become.  Everywhere now charges a tasting fee of between $15 – $40 and they want you to do some type of tour.  I was curious about Darioush, Quixote and Frog’s Leap but thought the better choice would first be V. Sattui since it is one of the most popular, the wines are always very good and they can only be bought at the winery which makes the experience extra special.  We arrived at 10:30 well before the crowds and hordes of tipsy bride’s maids and had a nice tasting of which we each bought six bottles each.

Castillo di Amorosa
Castillo di Amorosa

I wasn’t sure where to go next so I asked our servers opinion and he said the Castillo di Amorosa would be an excellent choice.  This castle is also owned by the Sattui family so not much of a surprise that it was recommended but it was an excellent choice indeed.  Under normal circumstances I’m reluctant to drive that far into Napa / St. Helena because it will make the drive back about an hour or so longer.  Our server also mentioned that we should do the tour and that was also a great suggestion.

The castle is pretty fantastic and it was definitely worth the $40, especially because there is a tasting at the end.  The wines however were not spectacular and we did not want to pay extra for the reserve.  It’s pretty incredible to think about the lengths that Dario Sattui went to make the castle as authentic as possible.  The majority of building materials were authentic, bought from crumbling castles and shipped to Napa.

The following day was a blitz tour of San Francisco.  We started off at Twin Peaks and were lucky to have avoided the fog as well as arrive right before all the busloads of tourists.  It was then off to:  the painted ladies, Haight-Ashbury, a sausage from Rosamunde grill which we ate at the Toronado along with Pliny the Elder.  After lunch we went down Lombard street then over to Pier 39.  The hordes of tourists gave Kevin the creeps and we had run out of time so it was back to Pacifica.  We made a pit stop at Winter’s, the pier and Devil’s Slide brew house and he was off.

I wonder if it will be another five years before I see Kevin again?  What will have changed?  It amazes me how quickly the time has gone since the carefree days of 8th grade and now my 40th birthday quickly approaches.

Life is short and friendship is one of the most valuable aspects of this brief experience.  I am now certain that the adage which says, ‘If you have two friends in your lifetime, you’re lucky.  If you have one good friend, you’re more than lucky.’

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Journal

Journal Entry – Saturday May 11th 2013

It is 6:20am on Saturday.  The fog has not lifted for three days and remains especially thick this morning.  Perhaps it is revenge for me telling everyone how little fog Linda Mar receives.  

I just woke up from a very strange dream.  I was still living in San Francisco but was single and still living in my old apartment.  In this dream it was not the “real” San Francisco but a dark and sinister one, a distorted place yet not a nightmare.  I would be giving up my apartment in 3 days and the feelings of regret, of not wanting to move on were very intense.  I wanted to keep my apartment but there was no way to stop the process.  I also wanted to grab one last drink but the two friends (specific people from my youth) that I asked were too busy and that made me very sad.  

Interpretations?  Well, I was not single while I lived in an apartment in San Francisco so that is wrong right off the bat.  I do miss the convenience of the apartment right near Union Square but I think I miss the experiences I had there moreso than the apartment itself.  These experiences would include a bottle of wine on a cool San Francisco night where I can hear the revelry occurring on the street below while watching the fog roll in and listening to Tony Bennett.  The city always seemed most magical at night, so full of possibilities, so lively yet comfortable, manageable, home.  

I believe it was the feelings created by these experiences that were manifesting themselves in my desire to not leave my apartment.  My awake mind does not miss the apartment very much so the emotions in my dream must have bubbled up from my subconscious.  

As for the friends I think there is a more clear correlation.  At almost 36 years of age I find that many of the better friends of my youth have turned out to not be able to go the distance and remain good friends.  These are people I have reached out to on rare trips back home but they are “too busy.”  These are also people I have called and left many messages for but never receive a reply.

I read a nice quote by a Chinese historical figure that said that the excuse of being “too busy” to meet a friend just means that the friend is “not important enough.”  I really enjoy the direct and blunt observations of Chinese thinkers.  This observation in particular is right on the money.  

When these old friends of mine treat me this way it does bother me a little, but only a little.    I think of my actions when a friend (no matter how distant) comes into town.  I understand the value of friendship and will do everything in my power to spend as much time as possible with them or at least meet up for a beer.  I cannot understand why some of my previous “friends” do not do this for me.  But as I mentioned it only bothers me a little because through all of my travels I have made many great friends who are of very great quality: smart, worldly, generous etc.  I realized that I did not need to hold on to “friends” who turned out to barely meet the definition of “friend” over the long or even short term.

Furthermore, through traveling my own confidence grew and I came to no longer need friends supporting my sense of worth or to define myself.  I could now do that on my own and became very strong mentally.  Thus many of the “friends” of my youth are now downgraded to the status of acquaintance in my mind.  I still reach out from time to time but they will never be valuable, as they once were, again.  It is unfortunate for them because I can see their error and it is not only me they treat this way.  The only person they maintain ties to is their spouse and if this relationship does not last then they will suddenly find they have no friends at all.  

This is quite clearly the case my subconscious was reminding me of last night.  In my awake mind I can now recall many friends who would be more than eager to go for a drink with me.  

Switching gears I am determined to write more often in this blog.  I mentally castigate myself for not having written more over the years especially since I am now almost 36 years old.  It is time to write more and these writings are for me.  

It does not concern me how many actually read this and I do quite enjoy that this blog happens to be rather slow.  The important point for me is to record my own thoughts in a piece of software that I know well which is WordPress and to maintain physical control of the hardware on which it resides.  That others can also read my thoughts is a side note.  

In fact, that others can read almost acts as a deterrent.  Do communities, religions, ideologies actually repress our ability to think freely?  There are expectations in each of these things therefore, how can one be truly free when they have to abide by these expectations?  They cannot.  Since others can read this blog I do have a voice in the back of my mind reminding me of the parameters which I should stay in to keep within various expectations.  This voice has actually been a very big deterrent to my writing.  It is time to kill that voice, remove myself from any external expectations and just let my thoughts flow through my fingers onto the screen.     

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Journal

An infrequent entry

It has become a very infrequent occurrence when I actually sit down to write something of substance here in my online journal.  I believe this to be unfortunate as thus far I’ve lived a rather exciting life yet often cannot find the time/motivation to set these experiences down so that they may be preserved.

Instead, I have turned this into a photo journal where, using my smartphone, I can take the lazy man’s approach and have all my internet properties/accounts linked up so with the snap of an Iphone button the picture is automatically uploaded and loaded into my various pages.  In this way I can satisfy my desire to catalog my life.

Indeed, that is exactly what this blog is.  It is a catalog of my life where one day I will look back and read the story of my own life.  Well, perhaps I shall be looking at more pictures than actually reading if I am not able to shake myself from this persistent demon that weighs me down and impedes me from writing these very words.

Perhaps it is not my own melancholy that keeps me from writing but also one I shall call “the great interrupter!”  Unlike my demon, I do love my great interrupter who is also known as my two year old son.  When a two year old is present, neither deep thoughts, nor the setting them down in words shall be accomplished.  The Great Interrupter rarely rests and he will find me no matter where I may try and hide.

Aside from The Great Interrupter there are other forces that impede me from my writing. These sirens whose voices are not spoken yet clearly heard are the constraints known as Corporate, Community and Acquaintance.  We all keep a certain image of ourselves which can often differ depending on the group we are associating with.  That is to say we may have a different image/reputation at work, in our communities and with our friends and family.  Make no mistake, these are constraints which, in my case at least, hold the pen back and give nourishment to my demon who diminishes my will to write.

I have decided however to cast my demon down and put these sirens aside for a moment and write.  No joke, as I wrote the previous sentence The Great Interrupter has appeared and beckons me to him!!!

I’ve returned.  That was very distracting and is what The Great Interrupter really excels at.  In fact, I’ve lost my concentration and find that the previously pleasing Ave Maria For Cello by Max Brunch has begun to needle my brain like a scratching of a chalk board.  Therefore, I’ve switched to DeadMou5’5 Aural Psynapse in the hopes of shocking my mind back into a frame in which I can release my thoughts onto the weblog.

Well, Deadmou5 didn’t work and here I sit flailing desperately reaching for any sort of music to act as a life raft and pull me back into this post.  Let’s try Pavarotti.

Why do I have this urge to write?  It is a force that not even my demon can hold down for ever and it will continue to break through my lethargy even if it is on the rare occasion.

Perhaps the final and most powerful tempest which discourages entries like this is that I compare.  Through my smartphone, I read most of the day and realize just how many talented writers there are in the world and how in comparison to them I seem like the town simpleton.  I compare them to myself and perhaps this more than all the others gives my demon the power it needs to murder any glimmer of a post in its infancy and before it takes any sort of shape.

It is this wraith of self pity that I am also eviscerating today as the will to write has become too great and I will not be able to rest until I’ve pressed the “post” button.

When I write, my mind and my experiences are the only things that exist in the universe.  Nay, my mind and all my experiences become the universe. Writing for me is a way to capture, to imprison on the page the true essence of life.  These are the flickers that last not more than a moment but impact and touch our very soul.  The first warm spring day after a long winter, a first love, Christmas morning for a child, the discovery of beautiful music that arouses long dead memories and transports you directly to the time and place in which they occurred.

I find that as adults these moments become muted, either by age or by pushing them aside as we fall into a daily monotonous slumber.  We become “task completers,” as the magic and wonder of life is slowly and completely drained.

It is this candle, the wonderful magic of life, that I wish to keep burning bright until the day I die.  The mind just like any other part of the body needs exercise and to be trained.  It must be trained to hold these memories tight in an arena where both the 5 year old self and the adult may have a conversation.  It is where the child may remind the adult of the joys of exploration and the immense pleasure of discovery.

Writing for me is a release, a necessary activity that has for far too long been neglected.  It is time to put my demon, the sirens and the tempest at bay and do that which I love to do.  The Great Interrupter shall keep interrupting however.  There is not much I can do about that.