Here we go!

Tonight’s the board meeting.

I’ve planned my day. Chill. Take a shower by noon so my hair has a chance to dry before I leave. I know what I’m gonna wear. I’ve practiced my make-up. Even printed up a newsletter rough for them to look at and a list of topics we need to discuss.

Not thrilled to find the meeting turned dinner party is being held at a place where main courses run €20. Yeesh! Couldn’t we have sat around a room at the University and ordered pizza? Plus they want drinks… Planning on sticking to water. May have one beer, but honestly, drinking just isn’t worth it anymore.

I’m loaded up with pertinent facts and interesting ideas. Undoubtedly that means the ‘dinner party’ will degenerate into a ‘drinking party’ and little to no work will actually get done. Will do my best to get answers on the most immediate needs and then back off, if that’s what happens. Don’t want the reputation of the wet blanket in the group.

My bro came back from choir rehearsal last night so wound up I had to sit up with him ’til 12:30 – and even then he was still manic. Yeah. This is why I went with him the very first time, to avoid what happened last night. Hoped that it wouldn’t happen like this. But there he was, walking in, that half crazed, half desperate smile on his face that says “See? I’m dealing with this,” when in actuality he isn’t dealing at all. Then it came: the outpouring. An hour and a half of talking, complaining, bitching, whining, pointing out a thousand arguments he probably should have said to them and not me. His frustration led him to lash out, too. I heard what had him worked up: pressure to perform, to bring in money via the company. So I got a “hit”, too: a very loud complaint about the play and how it wouldn’t do him any good. I think differently. I think it’s a great way to get the word out and build a solid reputation. But the play was bashed, and I was bashed for getting caught up in it rather than concentrating all my efforts on promoting my brother and his work.

Now, I’ve tried to explain ad infinitum to my bro how his frustrations put people off. How his voice raises, his face grows angry, and he looks bleeding intimidating. I’ve tried to teach him some tact, too, pointing out easier ways to phrase things that wouldn’t be so offensive to others. But, no. He wants to be offensive when he’s wound up. He wants to be confrontational. Then after he calms down he comes back to me and whines about no one wanting to be his friend, no one wanting to work with him, etc. But somehow it all comes back on me; I’m not supporting him enough and that’s why he doesn’t have this or that.

Worse still: if I hold his hand through life, he gets angry at me for that. If I let him handle it on his own, he gets angry for that. I can’t win. He won’t listen to my advice, he never tries to do anything different.

It’s not my fuckin’ fault, dude!

…Class yesterday was mixed. Fun to be back, fun to find my brain more focused on Dutch. Did well on homework, even scoring 100% on one of my papers. My teachers said I didn’t have to keep doing the verb conjugations, but I will until 100% becomes common place. A few mistakes during dictation, but not too bad. I even managed to slip in a Dutch turn of phrase during the lesson (which P, the woman who did our summer lessons, noticed and praised me for). Loaded up with letters to write, along with a warning to keep my letters to one page only. Gotcha. Brevity. I’m all for that. I enjoyed everything that happened in the classroom. It was the time during the coffee break that was the problem.

No one was at the front desk when I entered the building, so I still had to sign in and collect my tickets for free coffee or tea. The woman at the front desk was on the phone when I went down. I stood quietly to the side of her, waiting. Then two other students joined me. When the woman finally got off the phone, she ignored me and served the two other students first even tho I’d been standing there at least 3 minutes longer than them. Why? Well, they were all from the same country, of course. They knew each other. Okay. Not happy about that. Missing some basic Dutch courtesy. Sat down at the table with everyone else, a little to the side. Tried to open up their tight conversation ring, but it didn’t work. I sat there, sipping my tea, listening. No eye contact, no word sent my way, until one of the women touched me on my knee (I later described it to my bro as if she’d reached out to stroke a dog that had been hanging around the table) and offered me a bone. I said two sentences, and was then promptly ignored again.

Now, if I sit there and read my book my teachers come over to ask why I’m not talking with everyone. But when I try joining the conversation, this happens. They all sit there talking about their homelands and children, two topics I can’t really join in on other than as an interested by-stander.  I dislike this break time. I only need ten minutes to pee and get a tea. Then I’d like to return to the lesson. But, no. Talk. Socialize. With people I have nothing in common with. With people who ignore me, week after week. It’s not fun.

I’ve a few short hours to drop all of this and concentrate on today.

And now my brother just woke up.

Joy, joy. Here we go!



Finally! Enough silence I can think.

The past several days my bro has been unsettled. The upshot of that has been hours on end of talking. Over my gaming, over films, programs, dinner, first thing in the morning, last thing at night. I counted the other day; missed three episodes of a program while he jabbered.

There are two things that occur when my bro’s like this. First, I don’t really get a chance to talk for days, sometimes weeks, on end. Second, when I finally do get a chance to open my mouth (usually outside of the house), I end up going on and on very similarly to my bro because I’ve got so much built up.

Getting back into my gym routine. It’s still a slog, and I’m still out of it at the end of the day (which, frankly, I consider a plus right now). Receiving that nod from other members. The one that says ‘Yep. I see you. You’re here working hard.’ Damned right! I’m still the only person I’ve ever seen warm up at the gym. Do not understand that one. But okay, I get it. You can’t even touch your toes, much less get your forehead down to the ground when you stretch. You can’t twist your torso half way around and hold it. You can’t do the military lift your legs from a prone position on the floor. All of that makes me stand out. No one’s asked me yet why I go to the gym. The only equipment I use is the cross trainer and the treadmill. But it’s the only place I have enough room to do my isometrics and yoga, which is what’s really kept me in this good of shape. Maybe someday someone will ask…

No word yet on the theatre board meeting. I shot out to the sign up calendar, to see how it was going. After being told there were only three board members, I find six people are invited. Hmm. Naturally, there’s not one night in two weeks all six of us can get together. The best we’ve got is five. I feel a bit like I’m being brought in front of the board for a reason. Have I overstepped my bounds? I wouldn’t think so. I’d think this group would appreciate any help with marketing since they’re such a well kept secret. Not worried. If they don’t want me to continue at this pace, that’s okay. I, as the actress and behind the scenes helper, will back off. But I as the playwright will not. No way. It’s mine, and I’m gonna shout about it.

My bro’s been dropping hints left and right about needing help with the company. Took time last night to do some write-ups for him on his book, and he came out of his room after reading them to thank me. That felt good. And I’m glad he thought I hit on some key words to use. Also wrote up some updates for the company site, letting people know what we’re working on. Must remember to help him out more.

Ach! Did I miss the boat by not becoming a marketing guru? Seems so. Seems I’m the one with the drive, the right turns of phrase, the good graphics sense. Fine. Now, just make it work for me. Use my magic to whip up some interest in the projects that will further our goals. My bro acts as that guiding rod, keeping me on track when I go off on a tangent. It works, even if I find it a bit constraining at times.

Happy I have this little lull. A bit of quiet time when I’m not really under pressure to do anything by a deadline. It allows me to try and get back on my schedule. That’s not so easy. I’ve reset my entire life. Used to be bed at ten, lights off by 10:45, sleep ’til 7 or 8, and go. Now I’m off to bed at 11, lights don’t go off sometimes ’til after midnight, and I’m sleeping in ’til 9. Even more important: my new schedule is set around my pill times. But I must admit I feel a bit guilty. I don’t know why. Guess it’s being raised by a farmer’s daughter. If I wasn’t out of bed at 7, I’d better be sick. No other excuse. Hung over? Didn’t get in ’til 3 am? Too bad. Get up now. Otherwise, she’d start hoovering right outside my room just to bug me. I’ve never quite got over that early instilled guilt. But the theatre group are all on this later schedule, so I figured I should just get on it now. I’ll be working late at rehearsals for the next several months anyway.

No word about my schooling. We were supposed to receive letters about the upcoming semester. My bro just headed off this morning, even tho he didn’t get anything. He’s anxious to start. I have a wee bit more time; my class starts on Monday. But I was supposed to receive tickets for a play they were promoting, and I never got them. Think that’s already come and gone. Too bad. I was looking forward to seeing what they did.

Today it’s the gym again. Don’t plan on much else because of how tired I am after working out. Tomorrow I’d like to hit the malls. Walk around, look. Probably buy that underwear I need. Maybe new shoes for the gym. I’d like to get that done before school and meetings.

And I got an email telling me I should really check in with the dentist. Yeah, yeah. Been meaning to do that, too. Just like I’ve been meaning to call the dermatologist.

Well. I’ll take my quiet time this morning and enjoy it. Head out later on. It’s almost time to stop dawdling and start work.


No more of that

Finished writing my essay for class. Still have to recopy it, but the many grammatical and spelling checks I do are done. Think I have a couple of wonky sentences, but I don’t know how better to write them. Dahl showed up in my writing a few times. His word tempo, prepositional phrase use…he even taught me the word ‘schemering’ (twilight), and of course I used it. Found myself using a few words he taught me, in fact. That’s something I just do, and as I’ve grown as a writer I’ve become more cautious in allowing myself to read while I write. Give me Jane Austen and I’ll give you Pride and Prejudice 2. Feed me Roald Dahl and I’ll puke out a children’s story. Immerse me in Tolstoy and the Russian side of me will surface. It’s a fact about myself I refuse to see as a weakness. It’s just a literary tic, and, in fact, it’s got its uses. I found it particularly easy to slide into the Russian lilt during Taman because I’d just recently finished Tolstoy.

This behavior does make me think I’ve a touch of autism. That suck-it-all-up and spit it back out habit. If you don’t give me the words to begin with, I can’t start. I don’t know where to start. And it’s short phrases and idioms that trip my trigger. Learning ‘huis’ or ‘loop’ is fine for simple things, but I’ve gotta have the ‘time to get out of Dodge’ phrases. In Dutch, it’s been ‘Ik ben in de war’ (I am confused – a handy phrase to know) and ‘Wat is er aan de hand?’ (What’s going on?). I feel like my entire understanding of the language has been built on these two phrases. And the more of those phrases I get, the stronger becomes my foundation.

This dual language thing, now…that’s new to me. Refreshing. I can run at two speeds: high speed intellectual verbosity in English, and then what I think of as gear 2, Dutch. Gear 2 is simpler, more descriptive…more innocent, even. It has to be, seeing as I’m still learning. I judge myself to sit somewhere between a 10 year old and a 14 year old in comprehension. More difficult than that and I’ll catch the gist, but not the full meaning. But not too bad for only three years of work.

Yesterday, I figured out what the very best thing is about being in an adult body: you have full rights to say ‘no more of that’. As kids, we were all forced to do things we didn’t want to do. Eat our vegetables, do our homework, go to bed on time. We have even formed societal rules that reinforce this behavior on us when we’re full grown: timetables and agendas to stick to, taxes to pay, social niceties to observe. We give ourselves so little space to put our foot down it’s little wonder so many of us forget we have that power. Often it then comes out all screwed up – power plays, physical and sexual abuse, lying. I was reminded yesterday of my power to say ‘no’ in a very simple way: I changed the program on the tv. I’m one of those people who likes to put the tv on quietly in the background while I’m gaming or cleaning. I run Comedy Central almost all day, because I don’t want drama or news or negativity, and I find a quiet day long laugh track generally is the best thing for me. But lately CC’s been running Family Guy all day long. That program grates on my nerves. As usual, I quietly submitted for days, grousing in my mind that so much Family Guy was being shoved in my face (along with Friends – ugh!) but doing nothing about it. The simple act of putting in a DVD with NO commercials and NO Family Guy or Friends was amazingly freeing. It was with a heady feeling of power that I hit the button on the remote and said ‘no more of that’. My brother laughed. And that incident got locked in me. It’s so on my mind this morning that I can think of little else.

‘No more of that.’

I imagine myself with the power to do that to my unwanted repetitive thoughts. Holding a remote and hitting a button. ‘No more of that’. Yes. I’ll use that in future. The screen goes blank. Maybe some evil pixie will turn it back on over and over. I’ll keep turning it off.

No more of that.

This is the full power of being an adult. Saying ‘no’. It is why rape is such a horror to live through. It’s not just the physical assault, which is disgusting and sickening, but it’s the fact that our ‘no’ is disregarded. It puts us right back into two or three year old bodies, saying ‘no!’ firmly to our parents and just as firmly being forced to comply. It is an assault on the youngest and most innocent part of ourselves, a hideous reinforcement of the idea that we are not masters of our own fate.

…*sigh* And then they blame us for it…

No more of that.

Tomorrow is full. Doctor’s appointment, language class, script read through. Today is full, too: write out my essay, tidy the house, shower, make lembas. Wishing I’d bit the bullet on that last hated task and taken care of my orthopedics, but, oh well! Say it with me: no more of that.

Keep waking up at night, biting my mouth guard. Not hard, and not enough to cause pain. Just enough to wake me up. It’s made me aware of how often I do it. Answer? Very often.

My reaction to that is the same as my reaction to just about everything today.

No more of that.

Let loose

I get to be someone’s nightmare.

Received the script for the short film. What a flippin’ joy! Not that it’s superb or anything, no. Written by native Dutch speakers, it has as many mistakes in grammar and spelling as my Dutch homework has every week. But I get to use a knife, and have blood dripping from me, and try out a real fight scene.

Suppose I shouldn’t say I got this 100%. Still have to audition, after all. Tho I’ve little doubt they’ll take me. For one, they seemed to be scrambling to find people to do the roles. For another, I be good, and they’re asking me to do a role that’s weird – my forte. I even have a blond wig, which I’ll wear because the character is written as having ‘long, blond hair’.

Of course…it might not happen. I might be disappointed. But the mentat in me (sorry, I’m re-reading the Dune series again) tells me the odds of that happening are very slim.

Waiting ’til the sun is up before I SMS my Thursday teacher to tell her I’m not coming. I could go. The script isn’t that tough to learn. But I’m not gonna go. I’m gonna get some gentle exercise at the gym, read my lines, prep the role, and get ready to travel all by lonesome up to Den Haag on Friday. A little frightened of getting lost. Always am. Don’t know why; I’ve never been lost and not been able to eventually find my way. But I always get tense. Will I find it? Will I find it in time? Building in an extra half to take (according to Google maps) a 7 minute walk from the station to the meeting place. Figure I’ll buy a city map when I get there; have none in the house. Last time I was in Den Haag, there was a lot of construction going on and the route Google maps gave me was absolutely useless. Worried? Get your back-up plans in place.

And this time, for the first time, I feel comfortable enough with the language to ask directions from anyone. My Dutch is good enough I shouldn’t miss a word, or a turn, or anything anyone tells me.

Fell into writing yesterday. Didn’t plan it. Just…did it. Opened up part three of the thriller. Knew I wanted an additional scene with one of the characters. Read the script. It was obvious where the extra scene should go, who should be in it, and what should be said. My fingers started typing even as my head was asking are you sure you want to open up this can of worms? But it wasn’t a can of worms. It was easy, almost too easy. Another one of those things I’ve obviously thought through and completed in my brain. Do that, and the writing of it becomes almost automatic.

I’m pleased. The extra scene adds to the story. Always a bit worried extra scenes or dialogue will end up detracting from what I have. Guess I should put that worry to rest. I know how to weave it in seamlessly.

Did send out a rant – check that, two rants as of this morning – to Celtx, the online software I’m using. Once again, it won’t let me bring a new project in as a stageplay. Even when I ask it to. I’ve told admin about this before, and today I received a very pat ‘hit the stageplay button on your project folder’ answer. Oh, they got their asses chewed off! Like my original complaint wasn’t clear! I really don’t expect a reply to this morning’s email. It had a lot of CAPS in it, and I asked them if they thought I was a complete moron. Not exactly the tone that will elicit a speedy reply. Must admit, I allowed myself to blow my top. I already decided I’ll take it in as whatever the system gives me. The local group I’m working with…they only need something they can read. It doesn’t have to be bloody perfect. Just readable. So that’s all I’m really after (tho it would be nice to get a fucking stageplay when their system says it’s capable of that).

And if the world blows up and I get kicked off Celtx for bad language in my email? Well, I’ll just format from my word processing system. It’ll be slow, and very un-perfect, but it’s the way it WAS done for years and years. I think I’ll manage.

Screw this half-assed shit that’s trying to pass itself off as something good.

My bro keeps harping about autism. In connection with me. Where once he scoffed at the idea, I think he’s now firmly convinced I suffer from some form of it. It wasn’t noticeable in English. My parents were verbose, and I listened closely. But you can tell now that I’ve moved into Dutch. The memory lapses. The strange way my brain works. How I have to write it before I can speak it. As well as the overwhelming frustration of it all, and the freeze-ups I experience. I’m not particularly happy about that. What’s the point? There’s no medication that could help me; my brother tells me that, too. Why do I have to have some label attached to me? To explain away my behavior when I ‘get out of line’?

Why can’t I just be accepted as different?

Part of me says ‘Don’t you want to get better if you can? Wouldn’t it be nice to not struggle so hard? Look at your bro. He’s better on medication. Better able to work. Better able to control his thoughts.’

But…do I want to control my thoughts? Isn’t it because I go to the edge that I have the ability to act the roles I do, to write the stories I do? Do I really want to hobble myself?


I just want to let loose.

A harsh woman

The morning has been derailed. How and why? Two well placed words; that’s all it took. Two words connected with (again) one of my uncle’s emails: Sarah Palin.

As if I want to hear anything that person with a vagina has to say! (SP is not a woman in my book; SP is a man with a vagina or womb, just like the word “woman” implies.)

The why of it all escapes me. Perhaps it was just to rile me up; people tend to find that shit funny. Like me getting angry and passionate over something is fucking funny. Ha, ha, ha! Look at the female getting all upset over women’s rights!

Some things are good. I find it good that I don’t live in the states anymore. I find it especially good that I have zero access to guns (great temptation this morning, and if I still lived in the US and had access to guns – which I would have IF I lived in the states because guns are fucking everywhere – I’d start killing people).

Some things are bad. My sciatica woke me up this morning, despite the exercise I’ve been getting. I’m disappointed in myself to not be able to ride out the latest tide of bullshit from my family without losing it.

Looking forward to my bro going to the comic book shop today. Good! Get the fuck out of the house!! Let me work on MY writing for a change. Feels a lot lately like my life revolves around my brother’s. Help him do his stuff. Make sure the kitchen is clean so he can cook dinner. Tidy up when he’s out of the house so it’s not a mess. Been trying so hard to make sure his life runs smoothly that my own is getting left behind.

Not that I have much of a life to live.

Things I don’t understand:

  • I don’t understand women in videos who get real excited and start screaming when one of their children announces they’re going to have a baby. Do. not. get it.
  • I don’t understand how so many people on tv shows can get involved in community projects yet remain such shitty people.
  • I don’t understand what’s taking so fucking long with the theatre group. All they need to do is set a date and announce it.
  • I don’t understand people who lie to make themselves feel better. Lying out of guilt I can understand. Lying because you want to hurt the other person or put them down, I don’t get.
  • I don’t understand anyone who supports 45 or any right-wing politician. Talking to those people is like hitting my head against a brick wall. They’re all ignorant. You can point out every hypocrisy in their agenda, and the followers all just nod their heads and say ‘yep’ like it makes sense.
  • I don’t understand men who think rape is funny, or something to be streamed live on Facebook, or something to be excused because they have “a sexual emergency”. Cut all their dicks off.
  • I don’t understand why I have such a hard time keeping it together.

…Right. Popped a codeine pill for the sciatica. Smoking a J to calm the Sarah Palin anger. And screw you if some judgmental crap just came up for you in your head; I’m fucking dealing with it in my own fucking way and fuck you if you don’t fucking get it.

I’ve been called a harsh woman, and I guess that’s true. Cross the line with me and you’ll never make amends. You can’t. My “line” goes pretty far. I’ll take a lot of shit, a lot of pain from people before I cut them off. But once cut off, that’s it. And if it seems a surprise to you, if you’re one of those people who turn around to look at me with a shocked expression on your face because up to that very moment I haven’t complained about you bashing me around every single second of your existence, then my response is simple: you have no human decency. Not even the concept of it. If you had any inkling of decency you’d understand your behavior is unacceptable. Hurtful. Wrong. But no. You try to make me feel I’m wrong. I reject that.

But I will mirror your behavior back to you. Laugh at rape and I’ll call for all dicks to be cut off. Treat me like a second class citizen and you’ll find a full scale revolt on your hands. Belittle me, hurt me, ridicule me – it will all come back to you in spades. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But never mistake a passage of time for the idea that I forgot what you did to me. I didn’t forget.

And I am a harsh woman.

The Bad, The Ugly, and The Good


Been working on my script, doing spring cleaning, even managed to get out for a walk during the spring-iest spring day we’ve had so far.

Also feeling fat, worthless, and that nothing I do matters anyway.

The Bad: The ringing in my left ear is down a bit, at least to the point that now I’m sure I’ve got ringing in my right ear as well. I can hear things – it’s a lot like listening to a crappy little AM radio, tho: tinny, high end, and ugly, ugly sound. Tried my iPod the other day and it sounded so shitty I just put the iPod away on a shelf for now.

I miss bass. Thumping, deep, soul shaking bass. Of all sound frequencies, the deep rumble of a good bass is what gets me going. It moves me, it vibrates me, it makes me feel better. The high end doesn’t have the same effect. Music is pleasant, but only pleasant in the manner that sun on your back on a spring day is pleasant; a bit is okay, but you can live without it and too much isn’t nice at all.

The dizziness is ongoing. Just when I think maybe it’s better, I bend over or twist my torso and everything goes wonky. I experience a moment when I feel I’m falling, even if I’m not. Over and over again: put my head on the pillow and I fall 12 feet, turn around too fast and I fall 5 feet. Almost think like I should go bungie jump just to remind myself what falling really feels like.

The Ugly: My brother’s autistic quirks have all focused on one thing: his music theory writing. He’s been doing it a long time, and is finally working on pulling together all his tidbits into a book. A book I hear about 24/7 – me, the writer. I hear about how my brother thinks it will sell. I hear about maybe some publishing house picking it up. I hear about how difficult it is to sit in front of a computer and churn out the writing itself. How the layout is tough. How he needs me to proofread. All in all, the topic of my brother’s book is THE topic in the household, and sets everything – me, my health, my own writing – a distant concern.

He’s so caught up in his book that he didn’t even ask me how my appointment with the doctor went the other day.

Sometimes he won’t even let me complete a thought about my work. He cuts me off mid-sentence to tell me something else about his graphics or his writing or his layout frustrations.

It’s not helping.

I’m headed out back into life this week, come hell or high water. Fuck the dizziness; I’m going to the gym and if I fall and die on one of those machines I only hope the gym pays out for my fucking funeral. I’m going back to class, too, and screw the deafness. I’ll ask ‘what’ a thousand times over rather than sit here one more fucking day, alone with my thoughts.

I’ve had enough.

My mind is made up regarding the theatre group as well. IF I hear from them again (no guarantee in my mind), I’ll go to their meetings, I’ll participate in their silly warm-up exercises, I’ll audition for a role. I’m also going to pull together my own group to help me with my script ideas and just have fun. The theatre group’s loose scheduling isn’t good enough for me. We don’t meet often enough, don’t get to participate in actual acting opportunities enough, don’t move fast enough. I don’t plan on actually starting a theatre group. But people interested in acting, who want to have a bit more social interaction and group fun, coming together every week to act something out or read something aloud or improv a scene – yes, that I want to create.

That, I need.

The Good: I’m pleased with the work I’ve accomplished. The spring cleaning was needed, and you’re never really aware how much cleanliness affects you until you get things polished up. It’s subtle, I’ll give you that. The gleam and shine on everything, just out of the corner of your eye – it cheers me. The script is turning into something more than interesting. I’m pleased with how often I find the female references a bit grating; that’s the point in switching them. Listen up, boys. This is the type of thing we hear all time. Decided I’ll take it to the next level and remove every gender reference. I want to find out how it reads completely sterile. But I’ll work on a duplicate file, and save this version. Not sure which version will end up being ‘the one’.


This, too, will pass


My brother is one of those people who like to have some sort of background sound on 24/7, and to that extent, the modern age of iPods and streamed tv works for him. He pops his personal playlist into his computer and lets it run all day and night in his room. He surfs the tv channels to find something non-offensive to both of us (usually Comedy Central) to run a continual stream of sound in the living room. But one must always prepare for the worst to happen, and for my brother (and myself, since I’m the one stuck in the apartment), that means keeping the tv remote close in case re-runs of Melissa and Joey come on (or goddess forbid, Tosh).

Feels like I’m prepping for the worst quite often lately. My mind has begun contemplating the idea that this is it, my hearing will not improve and I will endure with only half my hearing for the rest of my life. I’m considering tackling the Big Clean in the apartment in case everything with immigration goes wrong and we’re asked to leave. And as always, I circle the drain of life vs. death: what’s the point? How much longer must I suffer this existence?

Been watching tv, trying to distract myself from my ongoing hearing problem and associated dizziness. Don’t know if it’s the best thing for me, but I still don’t trust myself with more than walking down the hall or short jaunts through easy passages – still staggering a bit from dizziness. Every morning I hope to hear more than that buzz in my left ear. Every morning I’m disappointed. Crap is flowing out of me; it could be my brains, now liquified from too much self-contemplation. Find I don’t care much. I can’t care much; I’m in overload. But my tv watching exposed me to an episode that discussed ‘dreamers’ and ‘losers’, and made special mention of ‘you don’t want to turn into a 50 year old dreamer who has nothing and has to sleep on someone’s sofa’.


Thanks for that. Thanks for the confirmation that yes, even in liberal Hollywood prejudice is alive, well and very active. Thanks for the social diss. Most of all, thank you for putting it all in perspective: my life, my work, and myself are nothing in your world.

So why do you keep trying to tell me suicide isn’t a good option? Why do you fight me so hard when I mention I have no reason to live? Why do you prevent me an easy option, with people I care around me, where I could just close my eyes and go to sleep peacefully? Why do you continue to force me to endure something I find tortuous?

Why, when I point out this hypocrisy, do you ignore it all and blame me for what I see as truth?

Find myself falling back on an old habit: rocking. Rocking in my seat, rubbing my hands over my pants. Again, and still. Every single pair of sweatpants I have in my possession has the same marks: pulled up fabric knots over the thigh area, where I rub and rub and rub in a useless effort to calm myself (it’s also why I have to replace my sweatpants at such a fast rate; I ruin the way they look within 10 days of buying them). Rubbing my pants is my adult version of rocking. A physical tic I can get away with in grown up company. But in private, I do what I have always done: I rock myself. Back and forth. The rhythm is automatic. It is also something I do unconsciously; I catch myself at it, like coming out of a trance. Geez, I’m rocking again. I don’t think about it. I just do it.

Tears come easily. My mind wanders at will, and I often have to drag it back to whatever is in front of me. Missing large chunks of tv episodes that way. Sometimes I’m aware of only the start of a show. Then next thing I know, I’m hearing the end credits. Conversely, I’ve been able to lose myself for hours in research on legal contracts for my brother – a mind boggling language that demands high levels of concentration. It’s like getting through a maze. I find myself getting lost in side arguments and ideas, rather than concentrating on the main problem. And although my bro is very thankful for any help I can give him on this, I can’t say I feel like I’m making much progress. But it does pass the time.

Nothing is moving fast enough. Everything drags, takes too long. What’s taking so long?!? The days, the nights, the waiting to hear from this person or that, my heath, the dizziness – a week is packed into every day, a month into every week, a year into every month – and yet somehow time flies past me, too: here it is, Saturday again, another week down the fucking drain with little to nothing to show for it.

Side note on smoking: been restricting myself a lot. Four is my top number.

Wish I’d do the same with food; feels like I’ve been gaining weight again. Pudgy. Everything is slack from lack of exercise.

Hang on. When it comes down to it, that’s the only thing left. Hang on. I have great moments of clarity, usually when I’m writing to a friend. It’s not that I don’t mean to share myself with them. Not at all. I do worry about overloading them because I’m well aware I’m in the middle of some sort of episode. It’s outside the norm of my behavior. So I say I’m not bad (which I’m not; at least, not at that exact moment), and continue to act out less than what I’m inclined to. Is that causing this weirdness in me? My attempts to remain calm?

Breathe. This, too, will pass.

I just keep paddling


My head is on backwards. My eyes are turned inwards.

Neither is conducive to happy living.

So I am melancholy. Am I in love with melancholia? Wanting to hold it close out of some long forgotten childhood thought that this was romantic, brave, inspiring?

Sometimes I wonder….

I find myself feeling sad lately. Sad because I spent so much time looking back, leveling blame. And that’s not to say that people in past weren’t to blame. They were, each in their own way. Yet I recognize they were all human, all reacting to things that, as a child, I was ignorant to. Am I ready to move on now? Can I let go of all of this and live in the now, feel the now, not react out of some old, hidden trigger that inevitably ends up causing trouble in my life and pain to me and the people I care about?

I want to be.

But I’m not sure I am.

Yet isn’t this life, to take what’s happened and move beyond; to reach for more than we know ourselves to be; to try, in essence, to become what we want to be? Aren’t all our lives tallied up in the minutes we brush our teeth, the number of times we need to piss, the people we’ve loved and even hated?

What is this…coldness that reaches over me? To know that the people before spent their time cleaning their homes and buying their cars and milling through their own lives blindly, all the time never truly believing death awaited them – is that something to be afraid of, or something to give me comfort?

Why can I not settle myself today?

They don’t talk about you. There it is, in five little words. Here it is in one big word: forgotten. Story of my life. According to my uncle, my siblings never discuss me. Never. That cold thought has wormed its way into my heart somehow, without me knowing it. I should have brought it up earlier; I knew it bothered me. But I let it pass, like I let so much pass. Or so I thought. My subconscious latched onto it and grew it into something big and ugly and festering. It seems to me twice the size it actually is, because my own mind is so often filled with the why of yesterday. Is there a day of my life when I do not reflect on my past? No. I think I can honestly say no. Even when I am most present in the now, I am still aware of the past, thinking of it, feeling it shape my dreams and my fears.

Yet I have left no footprint on my siblings.

How small that makes me feel.

How alone.

It makes me think on others I’ve known. Do they sometimes think of me? Or am I truly forgotten? Lost in time and memory, a part of the past – and therefore not to be thought of or discussed?

Have I lived such an inconsequential life that no one’s noticed?

Is it right of me to want to be noticed and remembered?

Haunting thoughts; and I’ve no real power to drive them away. I wonder now, if this moment, might not better be spent. I could be helping to feed the hungry, build homes for the homeless…yet here I sit, whining and whinging on about my mediocre western lifestyle.

I was born in suburbia, and suburbia still runs strong in my veins. I may aspire to greatness, but what greatness has ever come out of the modern white ghettos of look-alike houses and sprinklers on the lawn? We latch-key children, allowed to run like heathens until the setting sun brought our working parents home to a tv dinner or take out in front of the tv – what chance had we? What were we to think as we sat in front of the evening news and saw nuclear detonations, only later to be told by our coddling elders that it can never happen here, never to you, never to us? And how were we to think, as educations standards lowered and lowered until a degree from a University wasn’t enough, or no! That’s now the equivalent of a high school degree; you must earn a masters or a PhD to be taken seriously now.

What fucking hypocrisy.

I watched the film version of the novel my Thursday teacher had me read. The spoken Dutch was near incomprehensible to my ear – I’m guessing the actors were not from Rotterdam. But I caught a bit of it. Enough for me to understand why I first perceived the novel to be funny: the main character is a stickler for literal meanings. It’s something I can well relate to. For one, my brother has that in spades. For another, so do I, in my own manner. Yet that behavior was thrown, in the film, in a negative light. The main character has emotional problems. He’s violent, and angry. His statements make everyone uncomfortable.

Hm. Been there, done that.

And as I watched the film adaptation, although much of the spoken language was beyond me, I understood more of the nuances in the story than I got from reading the book. That, too, has gone into the pot in my mind and set to simmer. I’ve seasoned my soup with the sharp embarrassment of knowing I’m not that great with reading comprehension AND this idea of seeing one’s self from another angle.

Ugh. I’m uncomfortable in my skin, my life, myself.

Yet I keep telling everyone I’m okay. Doing well.

Maybe just the act of committing these thoughts to cyber space helps. I don’t know. Don’t feel I know much at all right now. Don’t know why I started writing this, don’t know what I’m gonna do for the rest of the day…. I’m afloat in a sea of I don’t know.

I just keep paddling.

Apply Fertilizer and Water


The cross trainer at the gym is a bitch. Ten minutes on it and my legs were spaghetti. Can’t wait to hop on it again, later today. I may have to metro home.

Wowie zowie and hallelujah! I heard from the theatre group. My email tells me it’s only been a week. Really? Only a week? Have I been that impatient – again? Now I’ve two people reading the script and willing to help me move to the next level. ‘Natch I read the damned thing through again and found half a dozen errors and typos. Just can’t seem to catch them all in digital form – give me paper, and a pen, and a highlighter. Besides, I’m still old fashioned enough to feel that a story doesn’t really exist until I print it. Digital don’t count. It’s just fluff in digital form; an oral version that can be manipulated and lost. Give me a hard copy. Then it’s real. Now I’ve just got to get the printed version minus the errors I found.

My CV is finished, as are notes on script development, character lists, scenic breakdown, and a cover letter. Give me a synopsis and I’m ready to see what people think. *sigh* Still not sure if the pacing is right. Still not sure if it’s funny. Still not sure of a lot of things, but I’m willing to try. I’ve a dozen theatre groups that are willing to look at new scripts and take digital submissions. Top of my list. I’ll see what feedback I get before I start ponying up money for additional print copies and postage to the ends of the earth.

Today I’m back in Dutch class, and my head feels like I can barely make it through the usual ‘goede morgen’. Ye Gods! If anything, I feel less inclined at the moment to tough the language out – I’m old, I’m lazy, I might actually have half a career writing in English – the list goes on. Then I think about how pleased I feel to get through simple transactions in Dutch, and I double down on my efforts. I may never speak the language well. I may never be able to write in Dutch. But damn it! I AM gonna be able to get through simple things with it. Just gotta relax….

Made an appointment to see my doctor on Monday. Been having some dizzy spells. Mostly when I lay down or sit up in bed, but sometimes just from turning around too abruptly. It began in early December. I figured it was part of a cold I was having; stuffed up nose, clogged ears – made sense. But the cold faded and the dizziness remained. So I made an appointment. I expect to find nothing. My doc will look in my ears and nose, take my temp and blood pressure, make a few notes on her computer, then look at me with a small frown. I don’t see anything to explain it, she’ll say. Then the suppositions will begin. You had a cold, you say? I suppose it could have been because of that…. Yeah. And I suppose it could have been because aliens were coming down and zapping me with their gizmos while I slept, too. Suppositions! Useless shit.

Here comes the old routine, back with a bang. I can feel time speeding up on me again. Language class in the mornings. Work out. Errands. Housework. No wonder when I zone out, I zone out. Too much daily shit; to get anything done I really do need to check out from reality for a stretch.


Been kicking around some new (and old) ideas for my next script. I know! Don’t tell me. I barely finished with this one. Don’t even have it out the door. Don’t even have a synopsis. Don’t even know if it’s really done or if I’ll have to go back and make some adjustments. I’ve told myself all of that, and far more. Can’t help it. Been contemplating a lot of angles, a lot of stories. I don’t know which one I want to do next, and that’s a real problem. I suppose I’ll muddle through something over the next few months, writing here and there. Then at the next break I’ll probably do what I did this time: trash it all, start from scratch, and write it in a few days. Dat be my style.

Maybe I’ll talk to my bro. He’s got a way of cutting through shit that I find very useful. Where I see obstacles, he sees different paths. I’ll lay a bet he says something off the wall over one of my story ideas. Something I think is complete hogwash. But that seed he lays in my brain will grow. It always does. I think it’s his autism. He looks at the world differently. Don’t know what I’d do without him. My stories would certainly lack a distinct spin if he wasn’t around.

For now, it’s gym time and Dutch, dust-bunny chasing and sink cleaning. So unglamorous. All that little shit that is life. But I’ll take that tired and true routine right now. I’ll fall back into that rut of learning and slimming. As ruts go, it’s at least productive.

The words will grow. The ideas will grow. The stories, the scripts, will grow.

All I need to do is set them in the window,  and apply fertilizer and water.

A Little More Autistic


Brick walls. They’re everywhere in life. I’ve sure run into them often enough. I’m surprised I haven’t broken my damned nose yet.

Today’s brick wall (let’s paint it black) comes in the form of some stonewalling from my uncle. He claims my eldest brother never contacted him, and he has no idea what I’m on about.

After my last post, I waited until T was up and talked to him. I read my message to him and asked for advice. He thought it was excellent, and only suggested I find a way to end on a lighter, happier note before sending it to Uncle D. I did. After receiving my uncle’s reply, I went back over the entire email conversation with my bro to find out if I was truly insane – did I read more into it than was there? T backed me up; my uncle’s first email asked about Geert Wilders and my voting habits. My reply was very short: I know Wilders, I vote locally, I can’t vote on the EU level. Now, between the original question and my reply, something bloody well happened. Because the message that set me off does not address anything I said. Instead, in reply to my statements about Wilders and voting, I received a four paragraph long explanation of how my uncle voted over the years, why he voted for this chosen candidate, why he left the Republican party and is now a member of the Libertarian party, and how he feels about Trump. His answer pretty much mirrors what I would have expected out of my eldest brother in reply to a short email conversation we had over my birthday. Hm. T’s acknowledgement that yes, something sounds fishy, helps: there’s no logical way to get from A to B without some hiccup having occurred. He also told me that gossipers don’t like getting caught out, and that’s pretty much what I did.

It’s left me feeling melancholy. Not sad, really. I already knew this about my family, and have no surprise over anyone’s reaction. There’s just a dull lump of ache in me. I can’t run away from the truth anymore: my family isn’t brave enough to be honest. They can’t own up to their past, their words, their actions. They lie, they manipulate in order to avoid the truth, they tell me I’m wrong every step of the way even tho there’s not one atom in me that doesn’t quiver and tell me otherwise.

This is how I was taught not to trust myself.

My uncle’s subterfuge – if it exists, and although I must acknowledge the possibility of me being wrong, I’m sticking to my guns here – is not major. I remember as a child shopping with my mother, my sister, and a cousin. My mother was trying on coats. My sister and cousin were laughing at her because she was so fat. My mother asked me if that’s what was going on, and I lied. I said no. Because I thought if I could convince her that wasn’t what was happening, she wouldn’t feel bad. I can liken my uncle’s lie to that: an attempt in his mind to save me from some perceived greater hurt. He’s a good guy. I think he’d be motivated in that manner. So I can’t hate him or be angry over anything he does.

*sigh* Naturally I’ve considered the possibility I’m being paranoid. That’s something else I’ve heard before: you’re being paranoid. Somehow it always seems to crop up at a time when a lapse of logic has occurred, when something shifted that can’t be explained away without introducing a lie somewhere.

Perhaps that’s the element missing in my understanding of social interactions: lies.

People have called me naive. I’m the gal who falls for silly jokes, over and over, because I just don’t get people who do that type of thing. My tendency is to believe people until they prove they can’t be trusted. And there have been times and circumstances in my life when I continued to believe, despite the proof….Oh, who am I kidding? I let people walk all over me for a good, long time, and then I finally explode like a spitting bobcat. That’s something I’ve been trying to change. Call out these people earlier on. Say what I need to say up front. If they’re cool, they’ll deal. If not, they can fuck off.

But speaking up is difficult.

It’s doubly difficult when you don’t trust your own instincts.

…So I fall back, time and again like a crutch, on my brother’s advice and thoughts. I run my logic past him and ask him to check my answer: is it right? Did I make a calculation error somewhere?

And underneath that: Am I bad for thinking this way?

Lower still: I’m scared.

T knows this. All of it, right down to the deepest muck there is. He’s always understood that part of me, just like I’ve always understood his sometimes cryptic replies to questions. That’s that weird twin-like connection we have. It’s so deep it’s difficult to explain. And his autism has, oddly, been a strength for me. He lacks many filters non-autistic people have; he just blurts stuff out. It can be really hard to take in. He’s also a hard ass on many subjects: knowledgable, articulate, and dangerous to debate.

I used to try to help T be a bit “less” autistic. I’d remind him of the types of things he shouldn’t say or bring up. Give him a couple of social niceties to use to break the ice.

I don’t do that anymore. If anything, I strive to be more like him: bluntly honest, sometimes to the point people find me repellent but DAMN IT! I’m true to myself.

Frankly, I think we should all be a little more autistic.