Reading about “brain sex” was interesting. It made me think of Tolga and I. We have a creative, nerdy and entrepreneurial brain connection between us. Well, that’s when my brain is working, anyway.
Tolga says his creative endeavors or technical developments flow better when I am near him, that I open his mind to new software uses and tech strategies. I, too, like us to be near each other when working on our projects. Tolga will put software upgrades in my drop box and I’ll test it, modify it if needed, and then pop it back to him. Last night he did 7 upgrades on one software alone. It’s incredible to witness.
Plus he makes glorious digital things just for me and the young’ns. It’s like having our own personal Microsoft Corporation.
It’s his work of love.
This moment, it’s way beyond Saturday night, it’s 3:45 a.m. Tolga is working four feet in front of my chair, and I’m watching him create video candy for Hollywood rainmaker Kevin Allyn and his close friend Michael King. (Yes, the boxing Michael King, the guy who was largest-TV-syndicator-in-the-world Michael King, the King World mogul Michael King.) Tolga should be off the clock, but he’s addicted to creation, completion and he can’t stop working. And he doesn’t just “work,” he quadruple works. That’s why his work space is a multi-monitored monstrosity, aka the Tolga Command Center. When a project is rendering on one screen, he’s advancing code on another, compositing on another, studying special effects on another, breaking only periodically to produce a dance track or play the cello. He’s like the supersonic, highly-efficient Octomom of multimedia. The Ozzie Osbourn of Code. The Poster Child of Not Focusing–and creating valuable assets as a result. Thank goodness he didn’t listen to the corporate potatoheads who endlessly berated him for “being all over the board.” Now, it’s his competitive advantage.
Tolga and I also advance each other. We read each other quotes, excerpts, articles or chapters from books that inspire us. We share links, softwares, new media discoveries, articles from Richard Dougherty’s clipping service–and we analyze what it all means to us, to our companies, to the world, and whether it can benefit the people or projects we love. This is what Tolga and I do instead of socialize.
But it’s ok. Together, Tolga and I are like a room of 30 people.
He’s not the kind of guy to fix the car or do the laundry. But he double-checks my papers and my Wikipedia contributions for technical accuracy. We have a geek connection (although he’s at alien levels and I’m at airhead levels.) But we’re in sync. When we go places, sometimes we simultaneously, randomly state the fonts we see. Just a soft statement of font recognition. ‘Tahoma. Copperplate Bold. Bank Gothic.” Sometimes it’ll accidentally get verbalized mid-sentence. “Yes, I would like to order Lula Kabobs with Falafel…ah, Lucida Grande…and a side of Hummus.”
Occasionally we disagree. “That’s not Georgia, that’s Bookman.” “No, it’s Georgia — Bookman has thinner O’s.” This is life in Nerdsville. If an occasion calls for a gift, my preferred gift is usually a “Tolga Something.” Tolga Graphics, or Tolga 3D work, or Tolga Motion Graphics, or Tolga Software or Tolga Music or Tolga Animations or Tolga DVD Menu Authoring or maybe even a Tolga GUI. A number of people worldwide would stand in line for a Tolga GUI. It’s sort of like an Andy Warhol.
He’s immersed in digital everything like no one else on the planet. He created HD streaming in 2003, and no one would believe us. Real HD, not Internet HD. We have yet to see a video platform even come close. And one time when he was sleeping, he had a nightmare and he was kicking the blankets and fighting in his sleep. So I woke him up. He was so upset, almost crying like a little boy. His nightmare? He dreamt that someone was trying to steal his brand new flat-screen HD monitor that he loved so much, and he was fighting them off. How cute is that?! And sometimes when he sleeptalks, he even spews out code. No kidding. Once, I sat by the bed, listened to his mumbles, transcribed it and read it to him when he woke up. It helped him with a breakthrough. It was amazing.
When we’re brain fried, we find it relaxing to play with Bambi or we de-stress by getting stupid silly, amusing ourselves in original ways. Like, when I sit on Tolga’s lap, he pretends I’m SO heavy and says things like, “Hippopotamuses are NOT supposed to sit on handsome stallions.” Even though each time I sit on his lap I expect another good-natured fake insult is coming, he changes the comparisons and I always laugh.
The World According to Tolga
Since Turkish is his native language, English cliches make Tolga curious. He ponders the origin of words or phrases, and then he makes up his own comical, historical scenario to explain how that came to be. I call it “The History of the World According to Tolga.” It’s reeeeally funny to me. No one thinks like him.
It’s also crazy-fun to collaborate with him on something smart and intense like strategy for interactive TV, and then follow it with something super-dumb like driving around the Las Vegas strip looking for people with unique walking styles (that we name) and then rushing home so we can try to replicate them ourselves. Or, like – we’ll both be on the floor, and I’ll be positioned as if to give him a back massage but instead, I’ll have an astronomy reference book to check if there are constellations that can be identified from the mole formations on his back. And while I’m looking for the Big Dipper, imagine Tolga squawking, pretending he’s a little chihuahua getting squished by an enormous elephant.
Even though Tolga swears like a sailor, uses the F-word 1,000 times a day and smokes like a chimney, there’s something innocent about him. Sort of like Mork. Or Borat.
Shallow Hal Syndrome
And he’s nice. For years I was quite overweight, yet Tolga didn’t even seem to notice my fat. I would complain about it and even make him grab my fat so he would agree I was right. EVEN THEN he sincerely acted like he could NOT see any fat, and his nickname for me was “Gorgeous.” I told him he had “Shallow Hal Syndrome.” Now that I’ve lost the extra weight, he looks back at my plump pictures and seems stumped as to why he didn’t notice it at the time. “I really did NOT think you were fat,” he declares. “Maybe I was blinded by love.”
He melts me. He spoils me…with laughter and dazzling ideas and exhilarating creativity. He’s one in a billion. This is why we’re still together in spite of enduring a number of challenges. He always a sweetheart. He’s patient, doesn’t raise his voice or try to control me or micromanage my life, and doesn’t care about my eccentricities or my myriad of imperfections. I never have to walk on egg shells around him. He even helped raise and financially support four kids that were not biologically his. Who else would do this? Just a rare few men. When people are in need, Tolga will give them the shirt off his back if he has it. That’s where most of his money has gone. He has impacted countless lives and is a greater man than people even know.
Plus, he’s so freaking positive and he thinks the best of everyone, trusts everyone. He doesn’t even want to hear negative things about people, not even behind closed doors. He’s fiercely loyal. He makes people realize what stars they are, he “juices people up” as he calls it, in front of others and he loves everyone.
The moral of the story is – after reading the article on brain sex, it occurred to me that maybe “what I look like physically” doesn’t matter to Tolga because he’s insanely addicted to the brainy and creative side of life. There’s a rumor that we both might have a touch of Asperger’s. We find the thought amusing and so what if it’s true? Who cares? Maybe it contributes to our unique connection.
Whether Tolga and I will ever actually marry is TBD, but regardless, I will always hold this man in the highest esteem. In the mean time, at least we get to sit by our computers and, like best friends, without even touching, we get to have incredible, super-alien brain sex. Often.
Not everyone can say that.
Here’s the article.