Tweaking color palette; trip to Highlands, NJ; veganism… (Sunday, August 16th, 2020)

The weather yesterday felt like the most comfortable day of the year.

Not too hot. Not too cold. A breeze. Sunny but not with too many clouds. According to my iPhone app it was 82 degrees F. (Ah, I can relate today to Thomas Mann, one of my favorite writers, who often began his diary entries with a remark on the day’s weather).

If by chance, you’ve been a reader up to today (not the day you happen to be reading but August 16, 2020) you may notice a change in the blog’s color palette from a slightly white-ish, grayish yellow (similar to and inspired by the look of the Financial Times) to something between a light blue-green and turquoise. Why have I done this? First of all, because I discovered this morning that the colors between blue-green and turquoise are my favorite. Without putting much conscious thought into it I’ve been writing my private diary entries with my extra-fine turquoise Pilot pen. And I began skimming through articles on colors and their theoretical meanings and found concepts associated with blue and green actually to be the most resonant. A number of the sources I found merely assert color meanings as oppose to explaining how they arrived at such a speculation. Nonetheless, I found a number of consistencies among several articles:

“The Meaning of Colors,” from the Changing Minds website

From their table:

GREEN: durability, reliability, environmental, luxurious, optimism, healing, well-being, nature, calm, relaxation, Spring, safety, honesty, optimism, harmony, freshness BLUE: peace, professionalism, loyalty, reliability, honor, trust, melancholia, boredom, coldness, Winter, depth, stability, professionalism, conservatism, democrats

“Color Meanings– All About Colors and Symbolism” by the Color Meanings website

The site claims:

-that green is “The color of harmony and health. Green is a generous, relaxing color that revitalizes our body and mind. It balances our emotions and leaves us feeling safe and secure. It also gives us hope, with promises of growth and prosperity, and it provides a little bit of luck to help us along the way.”

-that turquoise is “The color of calmness and clarity. Turquoise stabilizes emotions and increases empathy and compassion. It emits a cool calming peace, gives us a boost of positive mental energy that improves concentration and clarifies our mind, and creates a balance that clears the path to spiritual growth.”

-that blue is “The color of trust and loyalty. Blue has a calming and relaxing effect on our psyche, that gives us peace and makes us feel confident and secure. It dislikes confrontation and too much attention, but it is an honest, reliable and responsible color and you can always count on its support.”

I won’t persist with repetitions but with what I have cited you can see a few consistencies for yourself.

Anyway, I was reading about colors and daydreaming about how I might play with some and I stumbled across a site that had a slight blue I liked (a site I actually cite again later in this entry for another purpose) and that inspired me.

I’m thinking, if I ever were to move from Bernards, it would have to be someplace with turquoise water.

This weekend our original plan was to stay at a bungalow in Highlands just a block or so (I forget whether it was one, two, or three) from the bay, with the Sandy Hook beach across from the Highlands beach (one of the very few “scenic” or “picturesque” views in my opinion.) We did not plan on our dog Yago needing a tooth removed and writhing and shaking in pain afterwards so we stayed home Friday night and planned on just skipping our weekend “get away.”

(It would have been our first getaway since we went to Washington D.C. in the summer of 2018. That said, having endured such a deepening distaste for East Windsor where we spent virtually all of the 2010s’ and to now enjoy the relieving beauty, spaciousness, mountains, and more ruralesque geography here in Bernards, it feels like quite the getaway itself.)

By Saturday morning Yago’s pain seemed to wane away so we decided to drive to Highlands and start the getaway a little late.

The drive was not an enjoyable experience for me.

I started the drive but my esophoria flared up.

My eyes had already been strained because for the last couple of days my eyes had embedded themselves into my laptop screen while I experimented with different color schemes, plug-ins, and widgets for the diary blog and other miscellaneous cosmetics.

Last night when I reflected on how my eyes felt I said that they felt “raped”—as in, forced open with tsunamis of visual stimuli pounding into them. Earlier, when talking to Ashley about it I compared the feeling of my eye-surrounding muscles to how arms feel after lifting heavy weights, particularly when one hasn’t lifted in awhile.

Dizziness was another symptom. And because there’s this feeling of both lost control and a sense of the body being thrust upon and over loaded with energy, force, and sensory stimuli, it can incite a bit of anxiety and as I’m already anxiety and panic attack prone, a mean bout of general malaise overcame me. To spare my wife and Yago the hazard of my driving in such a state we took an exit off route 287 South into South Boundbrook to a gas station (we needed gas anyway) so we could switch seats.

My eyes felt almost immediate relief but the damage had already been done unfortunately since towards the end of the later afternoon my eyes felt so out of whack that merely walking or standing or looking around dizzied me.

How was Highlands?  

Mediocre. Not much to it. A little “downtown” strip with a few restaurants…and with social distancing and all they were not heavily filled. There’s a few tiny parks and beaches none of which welcomed dogs, so that was disappointing.

There is a nearby restaurant– Kyoto Asian Cuisine—  **[1] Kyoto Asian Cuisine;  —  (I forgot the name but my wife had remembered. She has an impeccable memory!) that became the highlight of the excursion. We both ordered—via Doordash—the “drunken noodle.” The meal brought a surprising thrill to our day. They spoiled us with a panoply of vegetables: broccoli, red onions, scallions, asparagus, cabbage, carrots, egg noodles, and egg. I can only make one complaint: I am for the most part a vegan as diary products have come to nauseate me both physically and intellectually so I disliked the egg aspect and I hadn’t noted any mention of egg in the menu. I hope you will not think me a hypocrite for eating it anyway. I was hungry and at least there wasn’t any meat in it. I figured this would be my “last official non-vegan” meal.

(The vegan thing is actually relatively new. The change occurred roughly a month or so ago. I forget the specific event but I recall the psychological process that emerged…a sudden feeling of disgust over cheese and eggs, visualization of liquid from an animal and pre-animal protein stuff. So we’ve been buying mostly vegan products though my wife still consumes diary.

One company that does fantastic job making fake dairy is Myoko’s Creamery.

I love their slogan too: “The official cheese of OMGs. You won’t believe it’s made from plants.” They have, in my opinion an overall impressive website. As I mentioned earlier they inspired my color palette change for the blog. This morning we had their fake butter on our vegan pancakes. We also buy their fake cheddar cheese which is exquisite and damn close to the taste of real cheddar.)

 The bungalow “we stayed in” (I shall explain very soon why “stayed in” is in quotes) which was part of the “Summer House Cottages” **[2]this does not appear to be the property’s website but offers a fair bit of information about it; the property’s website as of this writing is a dead link… saddening to me how a link can go … Continue reading cluster of little bungalows was frankly disgusting. I don’t recommend anyone to vacation there. First of all, on the blanket there was a brown stain. I don’t want to speculate as to why. Second, their was a plastic wrapper on one of the dusty bedside wall mounted desks. And dust was perhaps the bungalow’s motif. The entire placed was dust filled. The bathroom smelled bad. The bed seemed smaller than even a queen size.

Initially we figured we would just deal with it but the “neighbors” in the surrounding bungalows were rather loud and it annoyed Yago which, if we spent the night, might also annoy us, and the space had already annoyed us so Ashley suggested we leave and I enthusiastically agreed and was glad she thought to make the suggestion.

Before we left we watched an episode of “Rake” which we’ve been binging.

Their was a character who read Nietzsche and Sartre and made a remark about nihilism. I wish I had thought to write it down. Later, at night, while I was in bed with the news in the background there was another philosophy reference on the TV. MSNBC’s Joshua Johnson cited Santaya:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

I often find it reassuring when television programs reference philosophy. It provides a sense of intellectual care, a sort of more than average thoughtfulness, as if these are the smart people of television.

Some things to do: check for more typos on the diary blog, read from Cesare Pavese’s diary (just arrived in the mail yesterday), make sure all my posts feature my donation button (one never knows!), walk Yago (it’s been raining today. I don’t know how I missed that considering we planned a trip to the beach and I could have sworn I read that though it would be cooler than usual no rain was mentioned), and grocery shop…and…enjoy the afternoon…

Still tweaking my blog:

So if you catch any typos or typographical errors, mishaps, I apologize and hope you’ll forgive me. Certainly do feel free to let me know, or to share your thoughts in general at Meantime, I’ll be on the lookout for them myself as I do hope you have the best reading experience I can offer.

You may also note some shifting around in styles, color palette, et cetera, as I explore how I can improve the aesthetics here and here. I’m using the WordPress 2020 theme, Elementor for some extra plug-ins and customizations, and Logojoy for my logo-header.


1 Kyoto Asian Cuisine;
2 this does not appear to be the property’s website but offers a fair bit of information about it; the property’s website as of this writing is a dead link… saddening to me how a link can go dead, how a website can disintegrate into nothing, as it would be so interesting if they could be preserved so posterity can see the internet as we see it. Good cause for taking screenshots I suppose.

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