Posts Tagged ‘quiet’

Night is mine?

2017-02-25 04:19:49 PST

Me, night owl? Oh, most definitely yes … but there’s much more to it than that.

“Night is mine”(?) seems more fitting. I really like the night. And in so many ways. Maybe just now finally realizing how much – and some fair bit of the why.

Always have? At least back to my teen years – possibly even (much?) earlier.

I like the quiet, the stillness, the darkness.

The hazy barely distinguishable dream-like scene – no lights at all, except slight bit of a partial moon behind thick fog and overcast … just barely able to make out shapes and forms – highly indistinct, quite ambiguous, black-and-white, appearing flat and two-dimensional. Or even more – well within a dark cool cave, turn out all the lights, and – total darkness – and just be with it – eyes closed or open – matters not – and quite indistinguishable. And to “see” that nothing – or really, rather not see at all – something altogether different than merely “not seeing”.

The cool, still, almost numbness – one can quite relax into it and feel nothing – gloriously devoid of sensation – nothing to distract, save possibly one’s thoughts – and nothing more.

I’d go out into the night, sit in cool, dark place, and just sit and take it in, eyes closed, quiet, and take in the nothingness … nothing save but what thoughts I might have. And sort of like a meditation, but not, … just sit and be with that, … thinking, … not thinking, … thoughts floating, drifting, imagining. Akin to an out-of-body experience? … but not – there was no sensation of “in”, or body, or any presence or being to have a sensation to be out of.

Night – a time to think, imagine, contemplate, dream, daydream – the quiet, the stillness, without all those distractions. The time I believe I’m very often at my best – most creative, able to think most clearly, broadly, deeply … and no dang wonder – without all those other distractions!

Drive, bicycle, walk … I remember from my earliest driving, I prefer driving at night in the dark – not all that other stuff to see … mostly just lights, reflectors, a lighted instrument panel, and little else to see at all, and a simple uniformity to it – a simple beauty in its starkness and general absence – mostly just clear markers to punctuate it, and nothing else. Bicycle ride – I’d go for rides – middle of the night – wee hours of the morning long before dawn – quite similar – and even more quiet – often as if having a city or more to oneself – highly quiet and still, almost as if it had been deserted or abandoned or hadn’t been occupied at all. Or likewise a walk at night in the quiet stillness … sometimes too, would pick a cool spot to just sit down and be very quiet and still in it.

Punctuated with – and sometimes punctuated with things one would never ever hear in the day. In the middle of a city and … inside, windows closed, still quiet of the night, and hear the screech of a red-tailed hawk cruising overhead, or the bay fog sounders from well over two miles away. Or bicycle by the urban lake – and at long past 2:00 A.M., hear the birds chirping up a storm – as now they can hear each other for many miles; at most other times, the relentless drone of traffic noise, could never hear the birds – nor they themselves across more than the smallest of distances.

A time to think, to dream, to imagine, to listen, watch, or read; to focus; to relaxedly attach/detach/”float”.

I remember too, many of the best conversations and such I’ve ever had – night – typically wee hours of the morning.

Dawn, dusk, sunrise, sunset … those very earliest traces of light of the coming dawn … almost never something I like seeing – as I find, to me, it signals the end of night. The end of my time, peace, quiet, solitude, and stillness, the beginnings of a stark reminder of what’s to come – noise, brightness, motion, things I effectively “have” to do or am pretty much expected to do, and the end of all that lovely peace and quiet; a return to all the hustle and bustle, distractions, interruptions, and expectations and demands.

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semi-random / select personal stats – or lies, damn lies, and statistics … except they’re all true

2013-09-26 21:36:58 PST

So, I thought it would be interesting/informative to post a bunch of personal statistics. All true stuff. Not exactly a representative sample though, and certainly not a random sampling, but more so to illustrate some general, and key points.

Some general and key points. I’ll state at least a bit of that up-front, so it might emerge a bit more clearly as “theme”, as one reads/skims through this stuff. I won’t highlight all the possible points and themes though … one might also draw one’s own conclusions … and perhaps some more interesting and informative than I could think up, and especially also since I’m inherently not the most objective observer with the subject being myself, though I might happen to know the subject better than anyone else.

General bits. As I’ve more-or-less stated before, lots of different ways of slicing, dicing, measuring and testing me. In/on many such test/measures/statistics, I come out pretty much right around average. Also, on quite a number of such, I come out at relatively extreme ends of the scale – typically in the 15% or less end of either extreme end of the scale/range, often 10% or less, many times 5% or less, and not to uncommonly 2% or less, sometimes even much less than that.

More specific bits. Won’t enumerate or (fully) list them here, but see if one can pick out some patterns – maybe even some I fail to see/recognize myself. But look for patterns in such things as friendships, relationships, academic performance/grades, correlations(?), communication, “connecting”, social stuff, interest/boredom, likes/dislikes, general personality characteristics, thought/analytic patterns, things missing/absent, shortcomings, blindspots, things/capabilities I just don’t have, things I haven’t done, things I have done and do quite well and/or thoroughly or am particularly adept at, etc., etc., and in not necessarily any particular order. Probably a lot more, and doesn’t necessarily include all of those, but that set might be at least a starting “hint” of things to possibly watch for. And, without further introduction …

Age: 50 years old (at least as I’m writing/drafting this)

Oldest age at which I worked, or again worked, a minimum wage job: 21 (at only and exactly minimum wage, not talking something that was pennies or nickles above that).
Most years ever worked for the same employer: 11 and contiguously: 8
Income: none of your damn business, but it’s “decent”, or “enough”, or something like that, not exactly a major concern of mine, anyway, though more is generally better – if it doesn’t also have downsides with it.

Religion: Atheist. For many many many years, I was agnostic – though much of that, highly devoutly so. I became agnostic right around the same time I called the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus into question – yeah, from a quite young age. Though it was simple, easy, and soon that I became a non-believer in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus, that “God” question (and “Jesus”? – WTF – how did that get into the picture?), well, the “God” question was a bit tricker (much easier to disprove the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus), so, … mostly tabled figuring that out ’till I was about 14 or so – when I had enough mental horsepower to much more properly address and figure out the answer to that question … and I more-or-less mostly did, short version being – definitely agnostic – question inherently unanswerable and answer unknowable, thus question almost entirely moot, and … me, at least then, what I later termed myself as – “devoutly agnostic”. Thoroughly reexamined that in early 20s, and reached same conclusion again, and, additionally and even more so, that it didn’t matter – either way there was no determinable or measurable difference of any significance whatsoever, so the question was completely and totally moot – at least for most all intents and purposes as far as I was concerned. And, … a few years ago … updated slightly. Reclassified myself as Atheist. Why? Really the more fitting descriptor and classification, as, in examining it, I was really firmly planted in the “Teapot agnostic” category anyway. So, really ought call it what it more properly is and is the more apt descriptor – Atheist. And, … am I “militantly atheist”? Naw, I don’t go around hammering folks over the head with my (dis)beliefs. People are gonna believe what they’re gonna believe – facts be damned. When people want/need to believe something badly enough, … they will, and do, … doesn’t have to have anything to do with reality. And I’ve seen this in people, … both in others, and even sometimes in myself. I think I mentioned a wee bit of that somewhere in my blog posting stuff – essentially part of psychological survival mechanism … but can have its downsides, too.
But I say stuff like “damn”, and “hell”, and maybe even sometimes, “god”, how could I be an atheist? I also say stuff like sh*t and f*ck, and likewise generally use them as expressionals, not in their literal meaning. Relatively ingrained in the culture, language, and my experience of it, so, … those words – and their expressional usage, also get mixed into my use of language/words – again, not general use of their literal meaning, for f*ck’s sake.

Gender: male
Sexual orientation: heterosexual (perhaps boringly so, but probably somewhere around “average” in that camp/categorization)
Marital/relationship status: single, never married, was once engaged.
Was engaged? Yes, over 8 years, after still not even living in the same country and having not even seen each other in years, and the last couple years or so of that things drifting much more apart than together, I (technically I, anyway) broke it off.
Ever engaged before: No
Ever close to engaged before? No, not really. One woman wanted me to propose, but I never did, she eventually broke it off with me – and that was a damn good thing – I should have broken it off much, much earlier – but I didn’t know better way back then (first “serious” relationship).
Sexual drive/interest?: As best I’ve been able to tell (can’t say I’ve thoroughly researched it), seems to be approximately “average” for my age and gender, and as far as I know always pretty much has been for me.

Number of women I’ve ever had intercourse with in my entire life: 4
Durations, longest to shortest, of sexual phase of said relationships:
on-and-off over a span of several years or so (but was a rather messed up not good relationship)
a few months or less (maybe only a couple months, if that)
about 6 weeks
about 3 days (not that we weren’t compatible, but she lived thousands of miles away, was only out for a short visit, was considering a possible move to the area, and decided not to move to the area)
Total number of women, in my entire life, that I’ve ever had intercourse with that were under 35 years of age: 1
How young was she? she was 21, I was 28, it lasted about 6 weeks … not that we weren’t compatible, but … life happens – it was broken off)
Greatest age span other direction: I was 24, she was 37 … she was my first
My entire life, grand total of women I’ve ever kissed where I was romantically/sexually interested in them: 7 (not 100% sure of that number, but that’s probably the correct number). Hmmmm, and given that the average length of any relationship I’ve ever been in has been much less than 7 years, that’s the vast majority of the time not even making it so far as kissing. :-/ Okay, so the vast majority of the time I don’t make it so far as holding hands, let alone a hug, and there’s nobody there that I’m anywhere close to that being a real possibility to even do that with.
My entire life, grand total number of women I’ve ever gotten so close with, to have at least more-or-less crawled into bed naked with (or something close to that) and at least gotten significantly touchy-feely or something like that, and also including those that I ever had sexual intercourse with, grand total count: 7
Isn’t that damn frustrating, relatively average heterosexual male, relatively average sex drive and such, having spent so little of one’s life involved in a sexual relationship or having sex with any woman or women? Yeah, pretty damn/darn frustrating, but not chief/highest among my frustrations/concerns (ranked higher, if not much, much higher, would at least include good close connection(s) and lack thereof – e.g. (general) lack of good close friend(s), and near total lack of almost any meaningful physical contact whatsoever (random handshakes don’t count and random brief hugs from near total strangers also hardly counts; and perhaps some other things rank comparably high among chief frustrations/challenges).

Immediate family? Yes
Siblings? Yes, one, about 3 years younger, female.
Parents? Yes, they separated when I was 8, divorced when I was 9, they’re still both living.
Custody: Mother
Visitations?: Yes, but fairly quickly tapered from frequent, through infrequent, to non-existent.
Last time my dad made any effort whatsoever (like picking up phone and dialing or mailing or sending something) to contact me: 1983
Close with … dad? No, see above
Close with … sister? No. Were once-upon-a-time, probably only back before I was a teen. I actually get to speak with her on the phone maybe about once or twice a year. Generally I call, get voicemail / answering machine, leave message, don’t hear back – lather, rinse, repeat.
Close with … mom? No, not really. She’s a radically different (and relatively weird) person. We haven’t been that close since sometime back when I was a teen, or perhaps even earlier than that.
Kids? Nope, and not having any. I wouldn’t do that at my age in any case, even if I’d felt much different about that otherwise – I think having kid(s) at such (relatively) advanced age is quite unfair to the kid(s). Dad ought not be a senior citizen long before offspring even graduate from high school. That’s more like the age a grandpa ought be. Two of my grandparents were at my high school graduation. They were in their later 60s (or very early 70s?) when I graduated high school. I invited my dad, but he didn’t come or even so much as respond (and that was no surprise to me) – yeah, that’s unfair too, but life ain’t fair.
Born in? Locally – in the San Francisco Bay Area
Parents Born in? Both born in California
Grandparents Born in? USA, and if I’m not mistaken, half of them were born within the greater San Francisco Bay Area

Favorite color: Blue
Eyes: Blue
Myers-Brigs: INTJ
IQ: none of your damn business, I may not have specific number(s) handy anyway, and different tests/scales tend to measure rather differently. I’m pretty smart, but probably more notably generally rather consistently hardworking (or that combination thereof). I’m no genius. Those that think making Mensa level consider that to be genius have no idea what genius is. In my very limited exposure to genius, it’s pretty damn friggin’ mind-blowingly impressive. Have a peek looking for the string “genius” for a mere partial hint of that, on beaten down at … for …
Shy?: Yes, rather, but I rather/quite warm up to those I know rather to quite well, and who know me fairly well, and whom I’m comfortable with
Introverted? Yeah, quite, see the INTJ above
What are you like when you get angry? Essentially, I don’t do anger. Have a look, search for the string “angry” on: (some) “Rules” to Live by (or personal philosophy, or redundant stuff (most) everybody may have already thought of and said/done before)
Prone to boredom? Yeah, probably quite a lot so. See, e.g.:
Boredom Proneness Scale (BPS)
and on beaten down at … for … look for the string “could read the same page 10 times”
and on Autistic? Autism spectrum? Asperger syndrome? Neurotypical (not)? And other testing, etc. search for the string “extra round of hearing tests”
Am I on the autistic spectrum, or autistic, or have Aspergers or something like that? Possibly, but best guestimate, likely close – within striking distance – many traits, but probably just (barely) short of the diagnostic criteria … but that’s just a semi-educated best guestimate, and is not at all a professional diagnosis. Plausible deniability can also be a good thing. :-) What diagnosis?

Academics/school (and traces of career bits), and highs and lows of it.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Earliest I can remember goes back to 3rd or 4th grade, not going to detail it here, but picked up a certain pair of technical books, read ’em, was quite interested and fascinated – and that’s what I wanted to be (career specifically related to the subject of that pair of books)
Later, around mid-junior high or so, that significantly changed, based on two key factors. B) – career research – the path to get to what I wanted to be was unsuitably not to my liking and not economically feasible for me to obtain, and A) I’d found and developed (more-or-less stumbled onto) another technical interest, which not only had much of my focus and attention, and I not only quite liked it, but it kept growing, and I kept developing that technical interest/skill, and it was in line with viable career option – so that became my what I want to be when I grow up – and has more-or-less remained that to this day, though it’s somewhat morphed and evolved/transformed along the way, but still relatively similar/related, and much overlap.
Academic lows, highs, and perhaps select random (or not so random) bits
More-or-less flunked out of college – it’s (much!) more complicated than that, but not going to detail it here
College degree(s): none whatsoever
Highest level of education achieved: About mid Jr level at a quite top-ranked college in a quite top ranked program – not going to precisely detail, but within the University of California, and in a program that was quite competitive to get in, and also very well ranked at the time – and in the “competitive to get in”, getting in required academic achievement / test scores well above the admission requirements of the University of California – which are themselves rather high – that was notably due to demand vs. available openings, so it was highly competitive to even be able to get into that program at that school.
totally random: why do emotions sometimes make my typing feel very different … physically … keys feel very different as I’m going through typing this document … but seems to have been a relatively steady build/progression in the change of the feel. Odd, but very much there presently.
Other notable academic lows – there was the Teacher from Hell – She very much coerced me to fit her (counter)example role model of the “bad” kid with the really sucky poor performance, and I more-or-less molded to fit her coercion rather effectively … poor performance, poor grades, faux poor behavior (repeatedly getting blamed for and accused of having done things I didn’t do, and being coerced to confess to having “done” those things I was accused of – though I’d not done such things at all). I remember in that class, that a particular regular test, that getting 3 wrong on it was an F – and I remember getting at or near that a lot – perhaps even sometimes more than 3 wrong. I also got sick a whole lot that school year. Psychosomatic. Can you say little kid under extreme and repeated regular stress? Yeah, that’d do that.
Academic highs and other bits.
First time I ever got straight As. If I’m not mistaken, it was 5th grade. Had a particularly excellent and very encouraging and supportive teacher. I think she well realized what I was capable of, and exceedingly well worked on encouraging and building and fostering that in me. Had a quite good teacher in (half of) 4th grade, and quite possibly also (half of) 3rd grade (some family moves were involved, … parents separated and divorced, etc. … later there was a remarriage for my mom … and a redivorce – my dad has never remarried … though somehow he seems to manage to get into significant relationships a helluva lot more easily and quickly than I manage to, … but darned if I know how. It’s not like he’s ever been around for me to observe (other than when I was quite young – and parents were not having a good relationship – at all) and/or to give me relationship/dating advice).
Of those 3rd/4th grade teachers, if I recall correctly it was 4th grade, but one was particularly effective at figuring out that I wasn’t performing anywhere near up to my capabilities, and managed to put the pressure on, in a useful way, that got me performing much more up to what I was capable of. Perhaps I was quite bored – and mostly used to it, and not trying very hard at all. Well, she put the screws to that … in a useful way. Don’t know that the boredom went away, but at least I was working hard and effectively, and up towards and to the performance levels I could achieve.
Where have I always, or generally or almost always sucked on the academics/school stuff?
Handwriting – it’s always been poor (and only gets worse over the years). I think my best handwriting ever was when I first learned to handwrite – and it was pretty piss poor – not very good and only got me probably about a C grade – certainly not B or A, and … it never got better, … ever, … I think it only slowly got worse and worse over time. Now it’s so damn bad most/much of the time I can’t even read my own handwriting anymore. But I got straight As in 5th grade, and that (probably) included a grade on handwriting? I think that teacher was also slightly generous – in that if I was doing the absolute best I possibly could at something and working damn hard at it … I’d eventually get an A, … I think she figuered out my handwriting wasn’t getting any better … no matter how damn long and hard I worked and practiced at it.
Random aside. Scholarship interview from hell. One particular scholarship interview I went on. At the time, my grades were all straight As – possibly excepting some Bs in English. Definitely one of the top students. And the person interviewing the scholarship candidates – individually, and including me, was really only dealing with such top-notch students. And how’d that interview go? He spent essentially all the whole damn interview berating my handwriting, and telling me were he my teacher, or parent, or something like that – or maybe even me, that he’d have me doing nothing but working on the handwriting, continuously, over and over, hour after hour, day after day, for however long it took, until it was quite excellent, if not perfect, “A” quality handwriting. What a friggin’ *sshole – that was not a nice interview. And the next candidate came in. And, … should’ve interviewed us separately, but what does he do … starts interviewing the next candidate, and, does same thing – take the one less than perfect strength of that candidate, and rips ’em to shreds on it – totally devastating that candidate and ripping ’em to shreds … and even worse, that candidate came in with their parental unit, who was there to witness the whole thing in front of ’em. What a piece ‘o work. Yeah, I remember exchanging some WTF looks between myself and the other candidate. And then this interviewer goes on to say how he just loves interviewing the scholarship candidates every year, and he’s been doing it many years, and intends to do it for many more. What a sadistic bastard. Maybe if I’d told him that, I’d ‘a got the scholarship. Who the hell knows.
PE – as in Physical Education (no, not other stuff people think of under the term PE these days). I always hated PE, but I got straight As in it, at least Jr. high onward. Why/how? Yeah, sure, I sucked at it, didn’t like it, etc., etc. But getting an A was fairly straight-forward. Mostly just a matter of consistently showing up, on time, prepared, not breaking the rules, following instructions/directions … that was about it – a relatively easy A – other than the bit about it sucked and I hated it and I was never any good at it. But, much as I despised it, it was still probably (well, at least physically) relatively good for me. Socially and all that, eh, not exactly a nightmare, but mostly pretty darn unpleasant. Yeah, picking teams, … I’d generally get picked dead last, or close to it, for most anything and everything, … yeah, that’s how not good I was athletically. It’s not like I didn’t develop the general health and physical strength, etc. (at least relative to body frame and such), but … anything like good/better coordination, aim, throwing distance, speed, etc., … yeah, I was towards the bottom on most all of those, so pretty much generally rather sucked for me. I was almost always the smallest and lightest in my class – or at least nearly so – including PE classes – not a good or enviable position to be in in PE classes.
English – I friggin’ hated it. I more-or-less learned enough to do “okay” – as in like actually write “relatively well” – when “relatively well” is compared against typical K-12 students and corresponding grade levels anyway. As far as college or college graduate English skills level comparisons, or better business English skill sets … yeah, I’m still pretty sucky on such comparison scales. Interesting odd bit – foreign language – had bit ‘o that in the K-12 … and, … I often think I learned more about English in my foreign language class than I did in English. Well, not totally and strictly true, but, e.g. “conjugate the verb” – I never had any friggin’ clue what that was or meant or how to do it, … until I had to learn how to do it in another language. A whole lot of the stuff in English that I learned how to do properly – e.g. subject verb agreement – was not by learning the rules, per se. It was mostly learned through analogy/methodology – figuring out how to put together similar sentences and phrases – often simplified versions thereof – such that it became quite clear which way was correct vs. incorrect – then I could back-track that to the more complex construction. Never really learned what all the damn parts were called and what they were. Just learned how to figure out how to put ’em together properly. That was generally “enough” … through high school, and even through college. Yes, college. Sure, my English writing and such was never great. But, it was enough to somehow manage to squeak by passing the University of California (minimum) requirements on English for graduation – so I did manage to (probably barely) cover that. I quite remember very specifically on the test they gave us. They gave us 3 possible topics to write about, and told us to pick one and write about it. That was the test. I couldn’t spell worth sh*t, so the more interesting/challenging part of the test was coming up with analogous words or phrases that I was fairly confident I knew the correct spellings of, and use those in the construction of what I was writing, as opposed to whatever else otherwise came to mind. And write out the test paper that way. And, … quite to my surprise, I passed. No idea how close I was to flunking it though – it was a pass-fail test, and we only got those results – passed, or failed, nothing more detailed than that. I also remember one kind professor in college, in giving me feedback one one of my papers, said that it has some, “Ehm, … typographical errors” … the implication and manner in which he said it, implying that college students – University of California at that, no less, wouldn’t make spelling errors on their college papers, so it must have been typographical errors. Well, those were papers I typed on manual typewriter (I didn’t have access to nor could I afford an electric typewriter). And, … spell check, word processing? Yeah, not then, not for me – at least not something I had any reasonable access to yet – that came some years later. My Misspeller’s Dictionary was one of my most heavily used references … but it didn’t do me much good when I had no clue whatsoever that I’d misspelled the word. And I was on a starving student budget, so it wasn’t like I could pay someone to proofread my papers for me, or type them up, when it was time to turn my handwritten draft into a finished paper. Wasn’t until later years, with computerized spell checking available, that very slowly my spelling started to slowly improve (though it still to this day, quite sucks). But alas, auto-correct (and, egad, auto-mangle – I hate auto-mangle, but that could be a whole ‘nother post) slowed that progression – don’t learn the correct spellings nearly as well when something else corrects them, rather than me having to retype them with the correct spelling.
So, I hated English, though in my compulsory learning of it, some teachers, etc., were much better at it, than others, … and some highly sucked at it.
So, … PE, easy A … why not in English? I did manage to make it to straight As in English in junior high … I don’t even remember exactly how … at this point I really don’t. Yeah, I think I just blocked that crud out … or sufficiently redundant it’s not worth remembering – and replaced with better more relevant information in the brain :-) … or one can hope. Anyway, high school, was more challenging on English. Not in a useful way, but more of what it did and didn’t take to get an A, and in which English classes (not like I had much choice about that … if even any). So, some teachers, and grading/scoring systems, I could get an A, … others it was completely and totally impossible for me. And the last two teachers I had in English, it was completely and totally impossible for me to get an A in English. The first of those two – Jr. year of high school, not only did we have to read books that bored the sh*t out of me, and I couldn’t remember worth beans if my life depended upon it. Heck, to this day – _The Great Gatsby_ – if someone pointed a gun at my head and told me to write a paragraph summarizing the book, I probably couldn’t even produce a paragraph about the book, … and even at the time, I don’t think I remember very much at all about it – even as and right after I read it. So, … gun to my head on that one – and I’d be a dead man.
Random stat: number of times someone’s put a gun to my head: twice (and no, they didn’t ask me about _The Great Gatsby_, or I’d be a dead man and wouldn’t be writing this).
Number of times I’ve been shot: once – okay, that was a BB gun, and no, didn’t count that in times someone put a gun to my head (that was a distance away, and had no idea there was anything pointed at me, until after I’d been shot).
Anyway, one of the key tests the teacher would do, was essentially a memory retention test of this sh*t we were required to read. She’d do stuff like give a short quote, and ask us what character said it, to whom, in what context, what they meant by that or its significance, etc., and much as I wanted to get an A in the class, and read all the material – even reading it many many times, I really couldn’t give a f*ck about the material itself – not to mention I didn’t remember the material worth beans (yeah, probably being totally disinterested in it would do that). Yes I read the damn thing – might’ve read every page up to 10 times, but it didn’t interest me, and I couldn’t remember it worth beans, … so, … I’d get Cs on those key tests (probably would’ve gotten Ds or Fs, were it not for the teacher telling us some fair bits in class about the book … not that listening to her tell about it was at all interesting … more like torture – listening to how she was so interested in it was not at all interesting, but more like some kind of twisted bizarre torture), … and also working my ass of on everything else in the class, best I could hope for was something in the B range … and that was what I got and was stuck with. Anyway, Sr. year in high school, a much better English teacher, but … alas, no way in hell I could break out above a B in that class. Yes, the reading was boring as hell, and, as even older English, it was even more difficult to understand (words, context/history, whatever). So, yeah, the reading bored the hell out of me. But, fortunately, the teacher was damn good and effective and explaining the material. Were it not for that, I never would’ve known sh*t about what I was reading in that class. “Of course” we had to read the stuff first (that was homework), then he’d explain it, so, … pretty futile when I read it, but, whatever, at least later I’d have some clue of what I’d read – at least after he’d explained it anyway. Can’t really say I learned much about English at all in that class, but it was quite bearable, and, probably learned a lot more about other random useful stuff in that class (oh, like life – and no, not from the reading materials) – which is generally a good thing. Anyway, once the teacher got rather familiar with the student’s writing, it was damn near impossible to break out of what he thought of that particular student’s writing. Fairly early on, my writings and homeworks and such were getting graded as “B”. I’d work my friggin’ *ss off trying to get an A, and… I’d still get a B, maybe a B+ if I was really lucky. I’d also slack off and do a half-*ssed job. And, … I’d get a B, … or maybe sometimes a B-. Essentially anything and everything I could do in that class was going to get a B, as long as I didn’t horribly screw up, … so I pretty much resigned myself to a B (and the + and – made zero difference on how GPAs were done at that school), and applied more of my focus and energy to things where I had to work hard(er) to get and maintain As, and/or for interest and/or other reasons I just wanted to perform better and/or to my utmost (e.g. ’cause I actually liked and found quite interesting some of the other stuff).
Things I generally excelled at: math, science, electronics/computers.
Top grades/awards/honors, and notable achievements? I won’t enumerate them here, and did also mention some of them earlier. But, to name some:
About the top 2% or so of high school graduating class (of about 600), various awards/honors up through at least high school (mostly from jr high onward), not going to enumerate them or even mention them all.
high school: the top student in math, science, and electronics – across the board, every class, every year, and most every single test and in some cases all of them.
Calculus and college chemistry – the top student – but that was jr. college, and smaller classes – roughly 30 or so students in the calculus class. Yes, I got all As in that class and all those tests, but, much to my surprise, when the instructor told me specifically how I was doing/scoring, I was not only total A, but the highest in the class. Chemistry started with about 35 students at the beginning of the year, and ended the year with only 3 students finishing the class. I was the only A.
On to University of California. First class in my particular interest/”major”, about 150 students, I got the highest score in the entire class of those about 150 students. Next class in my particular interest/”major” – about 80 students – first midterm – I not only got the highest score, but my score was also about 10% above the 2nd highest score in the class.
One math class in college, well, I generally learn quite well from (science/technical) books, but … the book sucked, and … the teacher sucked too – just didn’t get it. So, … I never learned the stuff, yet, … much to my surprise, I passed. Yeah, … that instructor should’ve flunked 90% of the class, as most of us did not learn the material worth beans. I think that would be another example of how one shouldn’t use a curve for grading.
Time as I write/draft this: 1:12 A.M. (what, me, sleep?), and no, I’m not tired “yet” … though I did get in an about 20 or 30 minute nap much earlier this evening (guess I was tired and/or bored then … yeah, … more bored, … was watching moderately short video (under 20 minutes long) that just wasn’t interesting enough to retain my attention …zzzZZZ – for a bit, anyway). Yeah, … mandatory compulsory training videos that are too slow and I can’t speed up will often likewise also do that to me. Like rereading the same page over and over ’cause it doesn’t interest me and I fail to retain it, well, video like that I can drift off repeatedly – and watching it again and again doesn’t particularly help, as it’s less and less interesting on each consecutive pass. And yes, I passed the required test on that mandatory training. Required to get 80% to pass, and I (“of course”) got 100%. So, … I retained (at least for the short term memory test exercise), at least any bits that weren’t common sense (e.g. random bits highly specific to that exact company) – even if I repeatedly micronapped through the video (hey, they do say sleep helps cement memories in place … and … if the recall is needed shortly theafter, rather than next day … insert micronaps? Who knows, maybe that’s part of how I got 100%). Okay, so I took good notes too (cryptic and nearly illegible, and only the non-common sense bits), but was also open notes test (and I later typed them up, so I might be able to actually read them after my short term memory would no longer have the context to help decipher what I’d written).

Percentage of time my blog posts are too long: Hmmm, what, 90%? 95%? 98.75%? …

Social/friendships/relationships
Number of good friends I had, up through age 10 (10 years): About 5 to 7 or so? Any of them concurrently? Possibly some modest overlap. Bit harder to qualify “good friend” for such younger ages, so quite debatable.
Number of good friends I had, from my age 11 through 23 (12 years): 4. Any of them concurrently?: No
Number of good friends I’ve had/have, including those that are/were good relationships, from age 24 through current (50) (26 years): 3 Any of them concurrently?: No
Grand total number of relationships that I’ve ever had that ever began from a dating context: zero
Percentage of all relationships that I’ve ever had that started from friendship (or acquaintanceship then to friendship) context rather than starting from a dating context: 100%
Total number of good friends and/or relationships from my age of 23 on up, that ever started from context of first meeting in person (as opposed to via phone, on-line, BBS systems (back in the day) or personal ads in printed newspapers (way back in the day): zero
Not including the last 7 days, number of times someone has touched me, or I’ve touched someone, for more than 30 seconds, within the last 6 months: zero
What about if the last 7 days are included? 2 or 3, but a rather unusual and kind’a contrived circumstance.
Since college, number of people I’ve lived with (as in someone moved in, not just some visit): zero
What about visits or extended visits?: Longest thus far was a stretch of 5 months staying in the same place. And yeah, we got along wonderfully, and even in relatively tiny bit of space (pretty much couldn’t get apart from each other, even if we wanted to). And yeah she still lives in another country – far too long too far apart … that didn’t work out :-(
Preferred living state, alone, or with someone, or ???: With someone, at or above “good friend” level. I had my fill of roommate stuff in college – don’t particularly care for it. Random college roommate bits: was annoying to get locked out of my room, zero advance notice, ’cause the roommate was bonking some chick again. Number of times I had sex in college: zero. Number of times I locked a roommate out: zero. Had a roommate that was sleeping with other women in the room, while I was in the room! Yeah, that took a little getting used to – but not much, … about 3 days (or less) and I was quite used to it, and hardly (if at all) distracted me. Had a roommate that would type his papers, overnight, in the room … loud electric typewriter, with a loud crisp “bang” with every keystroke as it hammered the paper. And he’d do this with the bright overhead light on. Yeah, … that took me about three days(/nights) to get used to – and after that I quite slept through that too.
Longest vacation I’ve ever had/taken: about a week and a half, or so, at least in my entire adult life (And extended periods of unemployment don’t count – as then I was generally working to rectify that – never really counted as a “vacation”, though I might’ve rarely gone briefly on a vacation within – thought that was never more than an extended weekend – never a week or more). As a kid, longest vacation (not counting Summer vacation from school itself) was 3 weeks.
Why are you still single?: Probably mostly because A) I quite suck at social (especially that getting stuff going and getting acquainted and such – especially making it to beyond the idle chit-chat … though I do fairly well once I manage to make it that far), and B) nobody knows me (well, damn close to nobody at all). I’d say, of the 5 “significant” relationships I’ve had – regardless of quality, 3 of those 5 do or would want me or want me back, if I’d be with them, or if they were here. Actually, perhaps that ought be counted more like 3 out of 4 – as one was very short (more like a 3 day fling) … or … maybe 4 out of 5, as, if she were still here or had stayed here … who knows – quite possibly.
But wouldn’t one have to be crazy to not want me? ;-) Well maybe one is. Insanity is allowed as a valid excuse. 8-O
Toughest things I’ve ever done for a (good) friend or “partner” (relationship): Put myself at substantial risk (multiple occurrences) and/or make substantial sacrifices to keep them safe/well.
Pets?: None presently, mostly had some as a kid. I tend to much prefer cats.
Too good to be true? Naw, I’m good, but I’m nowhere near perfect. But true, yes.
And, then I worked on this draft until sometime around 2:30 or 3:something A.M., and … stopped, not because I was tired, but because it was quite sufficiently late(/early), and I needed to be getting up fairly early, so – I worked on putting myself to sleep – as I sometimes do. Tire myself out and/or bore myself to sleep. So, I switched to some utterly unengaging task, and … bored myself to sleep in fairly short order. And, continued writing (and first bits of “real” editing) when? Next evening/night? No, skipped one – to sort’a take a break from it. Next evening after that? Almost. Early morning. I got bored a bit in the early evening, and fell asleep, … then woke up around midnight … not tired at all – well, far too early to get/stay up, so, … after a while, went to sleep again, … then woke up around 3 A.M., … again far too early to get/stay up, so, … went to sleep again, … then work up around 5 A.M., … at that point I’m like f*ck it, I got enough sleep, … whatever, … stay up, … so, … here I am at it (this writing) again (for lack of anything better to do? Whatever). And did I polish it off that morning? No, too much yet to do (mostly read the damn thing and make a lot of edit corrections, and round out some bits here and there) … anyway, that evening, I’ll likely finally get it wrapped up and posted (“polished” is probably overly optimistic – “done” being a more apt descriptor).
Of all the particularly good friends I’ve ever had, or even fairly good friends, how many of them are or have ever been married and/or have or have had kids? Let’s see … at least for those I know about (e.g. not counting friends I only had when I was a kid that dear knows what they’ve done since I last knew or was in contact with them – and, as far as I know, never got married or had kids, … but may have and I might not know). Let’s see, … 2? I think that’s it. One very good friend, when I was in my late teens / early 20s (from about 16 to 23) … he was about 20 years older than me, married (remarried at that) and kids (from both marriages). He died. :-( Still miss him. One much more casual friend – some occasional contact outside of work context, but pretty darn infrequent, and that’s about the only time when there’s any communication there … anyway, that friend is married, has one kid. All the rest, never married, though some quite wanted to, and never were, and one was engaged … but that didn’t work out either. Yeah, not too long ago, a coworker was attempting to explain something, and was like, “Do you have kids?” … and … so much for that attempt at explanation, and, went on to attempt to explain in manner that I just really couldn’t relate to. So, yeah, last time I’ve at all been around a good friend that had family/kids … I was still in my teens or so. Oh, wait, … 3, … forgot, one fairly good friend (well, don’t have that much contact/communication … never have, whatever) is married – never had kids though, and that friend is moderate bit older than I am.
Most I’ve ever bicycled within a single day or 24 hr. period: 200K
Most I’ve ever bicycled in a year: over 5,000 miles.
Longest period I’ve ever gone without bicycling at all: about a dozen years.
Any known allergies? Mostly just the basic hay fever kind of stuff, but have pretty close to zero problem with that in the Bay Area when I’m on the West Side of the Berkeley-Oakland hills – which is where I’ve lived essentially about the last 30 or so years, and fairly rare I venture East of those hills. Also got allergy shots in my late teens, which may have also done some long-term good on that – but didn’t 100% “cure” me of all those allergies, though – at least for the long-term. Before the allergy shots had a fair while to work (which I didn’t start until I was 17 or nearly so, and didn’t continue past 17 due to a move and not being able to afford them after having moved), for essentially all my teen years before that, and going back to age 11, I had really bad hay fever allergies. Basically from about March or so through about September or so, my nose was running a lot, and all the time – constantly running/dripping, blowing the nose – typically couldn’t go more than about 5 to 20 minutes without blowing the nose, lest it drip down my face. Yeah, that probably didn’t help with social connections. About only exception I can think of was PE class. Egad, allergies active, and mandatory suit-up, and … no handkerchief or pocket for such? Well, I guess when much more physically active – blood pumping fair bit to quite a bit, breathing a lot, mostly rather to quite dry air, etc. – not a sustainable state, for – about 40 minutes duration … my nose wouldn’t run so much under that shortish bit of circumstances. So, yeah, hotly and heavily engaging in physical activity holds that off … at least while it’s going on that intensely – but again, we’re not talking a sustainable rate or state.
Any other allergies? Hives. Had that moderate number of times, I think entirely as a kid. And, caused by what? Don’t think we ever definitively figured that out. Whatever it is, seems something I exceedingly rarely encounter, and the reaction not all that bad – other than a bit annoying, so, doesn’t seem to be much of a big deal.
What do you wanna be when you grow up? Heh. Bit late for that question, but what remains? For work? More interesting and challenging – in a good way and that I like (not as in frustrating or beating-the-head-against-the-wall kind of “challenging”) would be rather to quite good. I don’t much cared to be bored – and that includes work, and, … for many of the past years (probably about 8 or so now), much of the work has been pretty boring for me – probably mostly because I know it dang well, and it doesn’t particularly push or challenge my capabilities – at least for the most part – and on the technical stuff (and the non-technical stuff doesn’t interest me). And, what about the non-work stuff? Connecting. That’d be good, … dang friggin’ good. Ideally, some great relationship that would last “forever” … married ‘n all that. Ah well, ain’t even made it so far as cohabitation yet, though was engaged once (and living well over 1,000 miles apart – buggers that). Sometimes I very much feel like I ought give up. Odds certainly aren’t good. :-/ Already 50, and … only ever really came fairly close on that front – only that one most excellent relationship, … goes downhill pretty fast from there. 2nd best relationship only lasted 6 weeks. The remaining relationships, much briefer, and/or just really not good relationships. So, yeah, if it took me about 40 years to find and have one great relationship – and at that, we were over 1,000 miles apart, well, if it takes me another 40 years to, … yeah, … not particularly encouraging odds. Crud. But, … whatever, I haven’t given up hope, … but ’tis pretty discouraging. Yeah, so far this year only had one date and that didn’t even last an hour. Then again, I’ve never had a relationship that came from starting with “dating”, so, maybe I ought mostly forget about the “dating” approach entirely. On the other hand, have had very few friends (or relationships) in my lifetime, whereas, at least overall, I’ve been on quite a number of dates – guestimating I’ve probably been out on dates with maybe like 100 or so different people, … though, the vast vast majority of those were only one date, rarely two, and the number that were three or more … probably under ten of those. And no, that doesn’t mean we had sex on the third date – have gone well past 6 or 12 dates, no sex, not even a kiss or holding hands, … not that it always goes that way (okay, so exceedingly rarely to make it to that many “dates” or repeat meetings with (potential) friend or whatever).
What do I want to do when I retire? Hell if I know. Would be nice to actually have a good relationship. Okay, would be good to have friend(s). Ah, well, I don’t know, futz with some technical goop to keep me occupied? Can’t say I find even that all that enjoyable when there’s zero connection for so long. Not like I need someone else to appreciate it, but geez, … maybe at least once in a great while someone to appreciate that I like it and am interested, and maybe even did something interesting or cool or noteworthy? Ah well, whatever.

About how long is this blog posting? Yeah, about 8,400 words. Yep, too long.