the bro code

The gas company gave some employees free tickets to the Cleveland Guardians baseball game yesterday. The seats were waaaayyy up there, and I had a nice Goodyear-blimp-like view of the game. There was a metal and plexiglas guardrail directly in front of my seat, and the architect designed it so I could not see home plate without leaning into my neighbor or painfully craning my neck. The “chicken strips” were just big nuggets of mechanically-separated goo. But the worst part was that it was a night out with the bros.

I’m not a social person; I like meeting new people about as much as I like the New York Yankees. The problem is that my friend at work (AJ, from a previous post) asked if he could have my extra tickets for his friends. That’s fine, no one else I know wanted to go with me, but then again I don’t have any other friends. AJ, however, has lots of friends, primarily other middle-aged white guys who try to be as ironic and witty as possible to cover for the fact they don’t discuss personal or serious topics.

Instead of going to the game alone, I allowed myself to get roped into joining the gaggle of guys for the game. They were mostly well behaved, but they occasionally made inappropriate comments and were unusually loud a few times – typical for a bunch of older dudes with alcohol. I like to sit quietly and watch the game, but they kept involving me in the conversation. As the game wore on, I wished I had not gone at all, but I survived. I did get a nice sunset picture from the upper deck, so it wasn’t all bad.

I have always enjoyed the company of females or mixed groups rather than just a bunch of guys. I don’t know what to talk about with other guys – sports, grilled meats, booze, tools, strippers? Those topics were pretty much all that was discussed, with the typical amount of one-upmanship and embellishment. I mostly sat back and let the conversation flow around me. As usual, I felt alone in the crowd, although AJ did his best to make me feel like part of the group (which I appreciated).

the weekend update

Job update: I found out who was chosen for the job I interviewed for. She has no field experience and no design experience, but she was well known by the hiring manager. I was lied to, because I was told by that manager that they wanted someone with more field experience. I think I didn’t get the job because they didn’t know me personally and because I’m a middle-aged white male. I hate to be that way, but that’s the company culture. It’s not what you know, but who you know. I wasn’t bitter before, but I’m a little salty now.

Psych update: I saw the p-doc this week and told him I wasn’t having mood swings, but I’ve had a pretty good depression for weeks now. In addition, the Abilify makes me want to eat everything in sight. We are going to try a newer brand-name drug, Vraylar, because it treats both depression and mania, and weight gain is much less common. Hopefully I will have some good news to report.

Mindfulness update: I’m going to tell the therapist I want to concentrate on some other method of treatment. I’ve lost interest in the book, I can’t seem to get started on the exercises, and I don’t believe it will work for more than a few moments. What I need is to find a way to fight the social anxiety enough that I can actually exercise without thinking that everyone is looking at the fat guy trying to exercise.

Baseball update: I’m hoping the Giants can win today so they don’t have to play in the wild card game. I also hope the Cardinals beat the Dodgers in the wild card game. Fuck the Dodgers. If the Giants get to the World Series and lose, I’m afraid I will go into a deep depression like I did in 2002. It sounds silly, but I feel like I’m in a precarious place right now, and all I need is a trigger to push me into a spiral.

olympic peninsula

I don’t have anything of substance to say, so I’ll post a few pictures. In 1997, while working in Vancouver, I was sent to a 3-day workshop in Seattle that began on a Monday morning. Of course I didn’t go directly there. I spent the weekend looking at stuff on the Olympic Peninsula: rainforest, moss, elk, wetlands, beaches, Indian museums, forts, bridges, and ferries. It was a great weekend … until Sunday night, when I didn’t feel very well. I went to the Kingdome to watch a baseball game, and I became violently ill with some kind of intestinal distress. Ew, enough said. I was sick for the next three days, but I still attended the workshop for my boss. That is dedication.

Anyway, here are a few poor quality pictures from the peninsula.

lake_crescent
Crescent Lake at dusk. This photo was taken with a cheap plastic 35mm camera, then the paper photo was recently scanned. No color fixing. Despite the poor quality, one of my favorite photos ever.

ahlstrom_prairie
Dead Elk, Ahlstrom Prairie

ozette_trail
Boardwalk trail on the way to the beach.

whidbey
Whidbey Island Bridge (I know, too much dust!)