Der Erste

Colton smiles for the camera with his wall-mounted US included in the background
Posing in my room of the Des Moines, WA house filled with 3 Waitsburgers (including me) + Caleb Laberge. Complete with US map and made up bed (double high air mattress)

It’s 18:41 already and I’ve left the house a total of three times today. The first instance was my solo walk to the Normandy Park Market, which is west of us by about 1/3 mile, by my guess. I purchased a maple bar for $0.99 from the woman employee who is a lifelong coffee drinker, presumable handles her finances well and whose daughter passed away several years ago (13 years ago, I think). She didn’t mention anything about her daughter today, but she definitely mentioned her once or twice in the past in reference to a local parade they used to attend together (probably the Waterland parade in Des Moines, WA). As a side note… I struggle coming to terms with the reality that I cannot consciously recall specific details of events I experienced or information I had been exposed to. I look at the output of my “remembering” efforts and heavily criticize any failure in performance or sluggishness in production of the prospected gem of information. I think myself faulty when I cannot immediately access the information I want and I am even harsh when the correct answer comes only after several moments of “searching”.

I think I’m dissatisfied in business and don’t want to do it in this manner any longer. I was looking to be in control of every aspect of my life. I know now that that path is absolute bullshit – interdependence surrounds every morsel of our lives.

It’s very difficult to imagine living through the death of a child. The best I can do is to imagine how my parents must feel at the reminder that I have had suicidal thoughts. To provide them that bit of information in writing, in a tone that conveys despair, must break their hearts in some respect. I wouldn’t wish such a feeling on any sensible person.

Back to Work

An interior wall with a window
Shelving space on the upper floor of the Des Moines house.

It’s just approaching noon today and I’ve been awake for nearly 3 hours. My muscular neck pain that suddenly struck from the left-side base of my skull down towards my upper back this past Wednesday 08-30, is finally subsiding. I haven’t had nearly the difficulty in switching my position while I sleep and am generally able to move it around much more easily. I would attribute this recovery to several factors: 1) Prescription medication fulfilled by the CVS pharmacy in Burien consisting of one each 10 MG Cyclobenzaprine and 800 MG Ibuprofen, taken three times daily with food 2) Copious amounts of water drank, assisted by a small glass placed in the bathroom that I fill and drink from each time I enter the room. 3) Stretching and yoga in which I explore which movements approach my pain thresholds 4) Mindful breathing and acceptance to recognize and allow the pain to run its course while instructing myself to be calm, release the tension and allow the pain to pass away.

Today is also the date of my very first serving shift with the DSquared Company’s Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering and Events division. I’ll be working at a wedding ceremony/reception along with Caleb Laberge, which is very fortunate as I’ll be able to glean a lot of wisdom quickly.

Right now, I’m feeling a little faint and anxious. This would be a good time to pour out the remainder of my second cup of coffee and get in my stretching/yoga before preparing for my shift. After I’ve sufficiently groomed, eaten, packed and dressed myself, I can pick up on another wholesome activity. I could return here to contribute more writing, meditate in a quiet place, continue reading Fear Essential Wisdom For Getting Through The Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh or find something else useful to pass the time by.

Brb

It’s now just after 2pm and I’m all geared up for my first shift at TnT (as the tribe refers to themselves). Caleb offered to drive (score!) as we’re driving into Seattle, near Capitol Hill, to a venue called the DAR Rainier Chapter House. Today’s catered event is a wedding and reception held for Jamal and Kayla. (I just spend a good minute or two reviewing the event notes I was sent via email to determine the last names of the bride and groom. I came up short so I’ll have to just forgive myself for not being ably to supply the information I was hoping to relay).

When considering what might become of this first day on the job, I’ve used my little practice called the Projected Outcome Spectrum. In this metal practice, I use my imagination to identify the worst and best case scenarios based on the limited quantity of “certain information” I possess. What’s most important in this practice is to suspend the image of that worse-case scenario long enough to realize that even it if were to come into being, I could definitely survive the ordeal and make it through relatively unharmed. 99% of all situations I encounter really have no life-threatening risk and just as many wouldn’t place me in a position where my reputation is at risk for destruction within my own community and/or every other community on this earth.

The really fun part about the Projected Outcome Spectrum practice is in imagining what miraculous results might come about as a result of me taking the initiative to acquire them. For example, in today’s shift, I might have golden opportunities to achieve above and beyond what was expected of me within clear range of my crew’s leaders and the client stakeholders (parents of the bride, groomsmen, wedding planner, etc.). I can show them how quick to learn I am

But I must remember, that nothing is guaranteed. There is an equal chance that preferred or dis-preferred consequences will arise. Equipping myself to handle the worst outcomes and pursue the best opportunities is my practice of coping ahead of time. When I’ve physically made it to the encounter, it’s then my duty to be present and mindful of all activity, internally and externally, so that I may experience the joy of the moment and respond in the most useful manner.

Acceptance is the gateway to performance!

10 Minutes

A dual-monitor computer desk setup with prescription pills on the table
My current desk presentation. Justin playing League of Legends on the left. Connor working on John Schuster projects on the right.

I’m going to participate in a brief 10 minute writing challenge for myself today to be completed in the next two hours, before I plan to leave for Clara Davenport’s house for a BBQ social in the Wedgewood district (or whatever the proper nomenclature is for named areas) of Seattle. Her current address is 4017 Ne 75th St, Seattle Wa 98115

Let’s call it… The 5 item ordered list timeline of my day… until such a time that a more scientifically proper and clever title is devisable within the facility of my mind.

1) Writing for my challenge, grandkids, forebears, contemporaries

What I’m doing right fucking now! I already spend a heady amount of time on my writing today (which is good, because writing excites me) in the form of notes and items managed in Google Keep (keep.google.com)

2) Drive to Clara’s House

Drive the gang over to Clara’s. Might just be Connor, because I’m still not sure if Caleb provided a final decision. I asked, and Caleb is coming! Remain very present for the duration of the ride. Spend a little time to perform the mental Projected Outcome Spectrum regarding the BBQ social I’ll soon be approaching.

3) BBQ at Clara’s House

Light Drinking/Smoking so that I’m still in good enough shape to drive home safely and legally. Bocce ball team dominance with Connor. Help with as much food service as I’m able to

4) Read the rest of the FEAR book by Thich Nhat Hanh

(2017-09-05 follow up: Did not touch the book that night. I also forgot to mention that 9/4 was labor day)

5) MAST Alcohol Servers Training Certification

Work for at least on hour on this shit and see how far along I can get.
(2017-09-05 follow up: Did not take any action towards certification after coming home)

Wow… I got distracted a few times during this exercise.. I still got a good amount of quality down in the 10 min time allotment.

Write Whatever

Colton wearing glasses and smiling at the camera in a yellow shirt
Me wearing my cheap prescription glasses from Zenni Optical and my slanted front teeth with a large 3rd canine neighbor.

I’m drinking from my trusty Cobalt insulated cup, complete with screw on lid and plastic straw. In fact, the entire apparatus is a hard plastic and resembles a disposable plastic cups you might find when ordering from a lemonade stand at a fair or large outdoor concert event. In this drinking cup… Wow, I can’t stand just calling it a drinking cup. Surely there is a more accurate and technical term for what I’m attempting to describe in this absolutely stale entry from Grandpa. Let me just Google for a few minutes and report back with my findings.

According to the Dollar Tree online ordering website (it was sure a surprise to see that this was a real thing), the object I have been describing is called a Double-Wall Plastic Tumbler with Straw. Now that my vocab power has advanced so significantly as the result of my research, I can forego everything written prior to this point and simply say, I’m drinking Mountain Dew on ice from the tumbler that says Cobalt on it (presently know as CDK global as a result of a merger and spinoff).

This whole discipline of writing with elevated specificity is a peculiar act. I’m still not certain if this technique would be the ideal form of journaling for my Grandpa’s Notes project. I do need to keep my audience in mind and ensure that I speak to and for them.

One of the interesting qualities of my routine writing and desire to publish my creations of expression is that I don’t have any obligation to follow a specific structure each time I contribute. Variety is just fine and I think my audience will enjoy the choice of formats! I don’t have to follow any firm and limited rules when I come to this place of writing. So long as I’m recording my experiences in some manner, I’m moving forward.

I’ve really felt to be in a funk today, thought it wasn’t necessarily because of a depressed mood. I think my body is just a little overworked from the consistent alcohol consumption I’ve partaken in for the last week, plus. I ate a chocolate THC edible that Justin Reedy gave me. It was a thin white chocolate square with pieces of some sort of dried fruit socketed within. I took it right as I started the Washington State MAST permit test from suresellnow.com. I passed the test with a score of 100% accuracy for each multiple choice question. Looks like I’ll get myself into some sort of paid alcohol service in the near future (which is something I would like to do… more so for events than for a static dining establishment, I think).

Snapping Awake

Colton's air mattress made up with sheets and blanket on his floor
My double-high airbed that I’ve been using for the last few months in my room in the Des Moines House along with other items.

It’s the latest I’ve written an entry since I’ve started this latest streak of writing. It’s 21:24 right now, and I just arrived home after my first Bikram Yoga class in the last 12 days. I felt quite flustered that I couldn’t immediately pick my practice back up after mine and Connor’s camp trip to Second Beach near La Push, WA from September 3-5th, 2017. That following day, Wednesday the 6th, was the day that I got out of bed with an incredibly stiff neck. I’m very grateful that my neck has been steadily improving over this last week so that I could perform my duties on my first catering shift with Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes catering and return back to my Yoga practice today.

I totally could have made it to the Yin Yoga class yesterday evening, but I was consuming marijuana, finishing up the training course and test for my Washington MAST permit and generally vegging out on an entire liter of Mountain Dew and king sized Mounds candy clumps. The sugar was absolutely flowing through my gullet yesterday.

During the day today, I’ve felt several intense sensations akin to that feeling when your seated and dozing off, then when you head nods too far forward or to the side, you snap it back up and quickly regain your sense of awakeness. For me at least, there’s a subtle sense of panic and concern for how silly my flinching must have appeared to others.

Today’s first instance of this wide-awake flinching might have been the instance when I was waiting in the hall, having arrived for my Meditation Class at Navos Health and Wellness Center. I was reading an ebook I had checked out from the King Country Library System using the Libby app on my phone called “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life” by Jon Kabat-Zinn. As I was reading this welling pull arose and then I felt myself snap awake in a slight panic, thinking that I might be on the brink of passing out. Even during the group meditation class, both in and outside of our formal meditation practices, I would encounter this same experience. The difference being, that during the meditation class (where I sat next to our instructor, Ben) I tried to adjust my relationship to the coming energy and embrace it with more curiosity, to see how it would play out if I resisted the urge to withdraw from the sensation as it mounted. This helped a bit, and I can’t recall this feeling arising with nearly as much intensity for the rest of the day.

Holy crap! That Bikram Yoga class nearly did me in. I actually had to rest for the second set of the pose following Trikonanasa (Triangle Pose).. I’m not sure what that specific pose is called, the one performed after Triangle Pose, but man alive was I getting worked! Around the time that I took this time-out in Child’s Pose, I noticed how light up my shoulders and upper back had become. It was like my central nervous system was so energized that I felt a sensation much like having received a thorough massage in the area with direct heat applied; The practice up to that point had me heavily stimulated! I didn’t even feel pain from my neck sprain! (The Dr. at the Immediate Clinic in Burien mentioned my pain having resulted from a sprain. I don’t know if he was write, but I’m not certain how else to properly describe it).

It’s been about a half an hour since I started writing. I was going to write down notes while I researched more about Bikram Yoga; That was my original intention. But, I’m happy with the experiential recounting and commentary I provided here. Mwwuah!

Today is also Caleb Laberge’s 29th Birthday.

Donut Method

A digital wristwatch held up next to a Monster Energy can and donut
A Maple Bar purchased from the Normandy Park Market, my wristwatch, and one of my favorite flavors of energy drinks.

I’ve got just over two hours left in this block of my schedule until its time for dedicated web design work. Before the web work, I’ll finish up this writing, eat, complete a foam rolling session, and clean myself up with a nice shower. Then, I’ll remain attentive to any form of web design work/learning. After three hours of keeping web design as my priority, I’ll be able to let go of any compulsion to do “productive work”. Finally, any time after 9pm will be reserved for reading and preparing for bed… or whatever else I deem better caring of myself

This scheduling is part of a new method I’ve just devised to manage my priorities throughout the time in a day. “I’m proud to finally share with the public this personal management instrument, which will be the 830305th you’ve received from me this year.”

If I’m continuously creating new rules and systems for mastering my own productivity and self-care, and not getting the results I want, should I continue with the meta-method of reinventing the tool with each iteration? I do routinely buy a maple bar during the morning hours of my work day. How is that working out for me?

Today is Justin Reedy’s 27th Birthday (at least, I’m really sure that he’s 27 now)

Expanding Air

An old boat frame bursting with vegetables growing in a garden within
Connor’s garden in its second year of production from within our northern neighbor Charlie’s old fiberglass boat frame. We decided not to worry about the potentially lead-based paint potentially leaking toxins into the plant fruits.

I’ve just unfolded a new twin-sized mattress from Tuft and Needle that today by FedEx in a large box that weighed around 50 lbs. The mattress was tightly compressed and wrapped in an air sealed plastic bag. As soon as I tore at the bag liner with my Chicago Cutlery paring knife, the mattress rapidly expanded to it’s promised height dimension. It’s resting on the floor of my room on top of the remains of the plastic bag that encased it. I’m keeping the plastic bag underneath it until the twin-sized wood slatted frame that I ordered from Amazon.com arrives.

While I’m excited to have a brand new product that will certainly get daily use from me and only me (unless a lucky gal takes me up on an invitation to make each other feel good), I know that this onset of excitement and pleasure will pass. Just as each new breath I inhale invigorates me, new objects that come under my ownership impart a pleasurable stimulation. In this case though, it will quite likely be an extended length of time before a new mattress comes into my possession. The wisdom I can hold onto in this moment is to recognize that this excitement I am experience also shall pass, just as each breath will. I remain calm and joyful knowing I now possess another gift in this life of mine among the countless other gifts I have received during my days on this Earth. Just as many of those other gifts have been relinquished, this mattress too will one day degrade in its appeal to me, will become unsuitable for sleeping on, and will be discarded as waste or reclaimed as material to be re-processed into a new product.

Tonight, I’ll sleep and look deeply into this protean feeling of satisfaction by acquisition and its counterbalance, relinquishment.

Liquid Misery

I got drunk as fuck last night during cosmic bowling at the Hi Line lanes in Burien with Connor, Justin and Caleb. It probably would have been wise to eat something during the course of the evening as I was responsible in part for procuring at least three pitchers of Goose IPA… I think. Plus, we rounded things off with shots of maple whiskey… which just sucked. Justin also wasn’t drinking.

Coming Down

stack of books with a weekly planner of colton's
(From top to bottom) My latest lended book from the King Country Library System by Thomas Armstrong, a memory book purchased from Amazon.com; an English Idiom Dictionary ordered from that same Amazon.com checkout; a day planner purchased from a local office store in Twin Falls, ID; and another Amazon.com purchase that I obtained sometime before my latest move back to Des Moines, WA.

Today marks the 16th anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, New York known as 9/11.

I didn’t contribute any bit of writing or photo journaling yesterday. I’m a little bit sad about my lack of performance and for the fact that I really didn’t “think” of submitting my entry. I was so enveloped in attending to our guests and the festivities of the day, that I had the perfect excuse to neglect this calling of mine that I’ve resolved to pursue routinely. At times like these, it’s important to remember that the broader timeline of my attendance doesn’t feel nearly the gravity of impact that I feel so viscerally in the wake of my present shortcoming. It hurts much more now than it does over the long-term.

Let’s recount some of the events in bullet-style over the last couple of days:

09-09

  • Woke up hungover as fuck from a night of drinking and bowling (as mentioned in the last entry)
  • Put my sheets/hat/towel and whatever else was tainted with my vomit into the washing machine
  • Ate two fried eggs on naan bread with hummus and avocado
  • Dined at Pho Vina on 1st Ave in Burien and ordered a large bowl of chicken pho with a lemonade ice tea
  • Showed up at the Hall at Fauntleroy in time for my Serving shift with Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering
  • Bought a 6-pack of Rolling Rock Beer at the Seven-Eleven near Fauntleroy and happened to see my fellow Server, Corbin, putting gas into his Lexus
  • Stayed up past 4am by watching various YouTube series discussing StarCraft Broodwar or StarCraft Remastered.

09-10

  • Woke up very tired from having stayed up so late and because I was still recovering from prior hangover
  • Begin discussing plans with roommates for our Sunday of hosting guests to watch the NFL’s season premier while featuring the Seahawks game.
  • Bought a few groceries for a taco bar as well as mimosa components
  • Prepared ground beef tacos and toppings for a taco bar served from the wooden octagonal table I’ve been setting up my computer workstation on.
  • Seahawks lost to the Green Bay Packers after a drudging, low-scoring game
  • Played a card game of Hearts with 5 players
  • The following guests were present at our house at some point during the day: Anna Bornstein, Brandon Embrey (and his dog Sadie) and Jess… the 19 yo girl that Justin is dating.

A Website

A photo taken of a sheet of paper containing notes about the development of grandpasnotes.com
Drew this up yesterday to produce an operational plan for this Grandpa’s Notes journal project and website. So far, most things have been going along smoothly.

Today, I’ve spent a large handful of hours in assembling my first website with the use of WordPress, the poster child of modern website Content Management Systems (CMS). This is absolutely not the first website I’ve produced (kinda been doing that for a living the last year+) , just the first that I’ve created on the WordPress infrastructure. And to be fair to myself on the seemingly meager progress on the site’s overall presentation, most of my time spent today was in learning how to configure basic WordPress, Theme and Plugin settings that are necessary to make my current “stack” function ideally.

This website I’m assembling, and I say assembling because I’m hardly writing any bit of coding language, is an arm of a larger enterprise I’ve been gravitating toward the past few weeks. For eleven out of the twelve days this month has witnessed, I’ve produced content for this “journal” I’ve been compiling. What I’ve noticed is that I’ve truly been contributing towards this one, grander project for the majority of my adult writing career. Upon recently realizing that much of my writing captured in files once located on my last desktop PC was irretrievable (the one I bought after college and swapped out a bunch of parts into), it sunk in more deeply that I needed to arrange my submissions into an accessible and meaningful system.

On this day, there is some version of the Grandpa’s Notes website alive and accessible on the web at https://www.grandpasnotes.com! I hope the site looks much better when this piece is read at a future date… starting at some point in the next week.

Can you tell I’m not yet satisfied in my mastery of web design/development? I recall catching myself often with thoughts of criticism when the topic of my website knowledge is brought to mind and I also might act bashful when another person inquires about my profession.