It just is

“Financial independence.” For some reason the words stuck with me yesterday. So let’s address it.

This two word phrase is an oxymoron. You cannot be financially independent. The value of said financial wealth is completely dependent on the market, ie, other people. If they don’t want your paper money or gold or oil or whatever it is you’ve stockpiled, you’ve got nothing.

No one and nothing is ‘independent’. Everything hangs off something else; this is a living, breathing eco system and that’s just the way it works. Taking money or wealth from one place and moving it to another is not an independent move, it’s totally dependent and takes it from somewhere or someone else. We’re dealing with a pie chart, people. Literally. And there’s only so much pie to go around. Pretending we have an open and unlimited supply of ANYTHING is bullshit economics. We do NOT live in an open system. It is CLOSED. Only so much clean air, clean ground, clean air. Finite. Use it up and that’s it, assholes.

Rule One in Basic Econ should be stated as: We live in a closed and finite system. Most economics go off immediately on theoretical bullshit (much like beginning physics classes). They’ll ignore certain aspects in order to ‘teach’ the basic equations. My theory is they teach nothing but ignorance by doing this. We have loads of people out there fucking with the world after only one or two econ classes. And what have they been taught? Open market theory. Infinite supply; in their world, everything hangs off of demand. Demand is the capitalists’ God. They worship it every fucking day. And it’s a demon god; they use certain tactics to get you to buy their shit. No one says ‘brain washing’. No. They now call it ‘marketing’. In truth, it’s the same fucking thing. Same techniques are being used. Repetition, coupled with fear or desire images and ideas to reinforce the idea. Buy this or else no one will love you. Buy this and get a woman that looks like the one we’ve used in this ad. Buy it. Do you remember the name? Most marketers will repeat it 5 times in ads. Watch them with an open mind and see it. Three is the rule, actually, to get someone to remember something. But modern marketing leaves these programming bits down to 10 or 15 seconds, so they load it up to get their money’s worth.

There is no economic model that actually is accurate. They don’t have all the variables included. No economic model on this planet takes into account the environmental impact of industry. Most won’t even take transport costs into account until you get into higher level stuff (or micro econ, which breaks things down into smaller components).

Most of all, tho, is that we need to remember that any economic model currently spouted as ‘the right one to follow’ was designed by the 1%. The slave owners. The people who can squeeze everyone else because of some ‘god given right’. And yes, they’re still out there. They will never develop a true model of the world because they need the models they show us to support their dominance over us. They are the ghost hunters looking for ‘proof’ that supports their position. They will discount anything and everything that does NOT support said position, and skew what they do get to convince the rest of us that yes, it’s somehow right that only a few people have anything and the rest of us are fighting just to exist.

Do I have the answers? Hell, no. The equations we’re talking about are BIG. But I do know any ‘widget’ should include certain costs that they currently don’t. Costs like how much it’ll take to clean things up after the company is done polluting the environment. Don’t act like it doesn’t happen. It’s happening everywhere right now. Nine times out of ten the company walks away and is never even fined. The communities, the people, bear the cost. And the risk.

And there’s another trick of the 1%. Any talk of taxing companies means consumers get those taxes. They’ll roll it out as a company tax increase, something that industry needs to bear. But no industry will let that pass. They’ll increase costs and cut their workers in order to make money. Who pays? Not those at the top. Not those with the money; they have money because they do shit like this. We will pay. Increased costs everywhere.

Tax increases always come back to the populace. Always. While industry ‘pays’ a bit of tax (technically; the payments come from their accounts), it’s always the consumer who pays it in the end thru increased costs. So there’s another oxymoron for you this morning: industry tax.

…An older and very cynical part of me is present today. This is the person who studied accounting, finance, and economics to learn what was going on. She’s not happy. Never has been. All she does is tread thru layers of bullshit and lies to find the truth.

*sigh* And she’s been blown off by lots of people. People who never completed the type of in depth study she did. People who, as is very common today, simply slagged her off on a personal level in order to shame and discredit her.

I really hate people who question my intelligence. I usually just point them to the correct reference material to prove my point. But I’m finding idiots are just as apt to think everyone is similar to themselves as I am apt to think everyone has the ability to put 2 and 2 together to get 4.

Meh.

Someday, maybe, I’ll write that book. The Big Book of Real Economics. Do the research, site my references, put those graphs together that every fucking editor wants to see, and release it. Shake things up.

For now… Ye Gods. If you can’t see it, I won’t explain it. I can’t explain why 2 plus 2 is four. It just is.

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um…Help?

It’s as bad as I’d feared.

Been working over the last 24 hours to find English theatre in NL with December performances. Stuff I can fill the newsletter with. Is it there? Is there one place to find it all? No. Of Course not. Not even with STET, which is supposed to be a sort of umbrella org for all English theater in NL.

I’m finding a great deal of competitiveness in Dutch theatre. Not quite what I expected.

Had to cull thru multiple posting sites. Go out to theatre’s websites because they don’t advertise on any of those sites. Pull info, dates, descriptions. Ye, Gods! And I was still light for the newsletter.

Out to filmpeople.nl, which posts calls for films. Mostly student stuff, unpaid. Nonetheless: I pulled six interesting posts and put them in a special section.

Expanding the section for L’s December performances with her other theatre group. It’s just blank right now; gotta figure out what to put there.

Have not changed the opening yet, nor written the announcement about my script. Leaving that for last. Hope to quote or paraphrase the director, keep it simple.

Been searching, too, for scripts we might do. I’d like to come to the table with at least 2 suggestions. Nothing more aggravating than having people throw up their hands and say: I’ve no ideas. Bring some ideas in.

Sent out a FB message to the board. Kept it light: been working on filling the newsletter, found this site to search for scripts, will change the website once the newsletter is done. Received a reply from one person.

Proceeding as if I’m still on the board. That may change, I know. But I feel like my behavior in the next week or two might tip the balance. Can I bounce back and give it my all? Can I keep being the cheerleader and newsletter writer? Determined to keep my promises.

Did my hair today. Sitting with a wet head right now, letting it air dry. Don’t know if you’ll see a big difference in it, but I can tell I didn’t go Carrot Top orange or anything like that. Good enough.

Pffft…. Have to put in more time on the newsletter. I want to get it out tomorrow. But not right now. Now I need a break. Cheerleading when you’re down…that’s a skill I didn’t fully appreciate before this. Whoo. hoo.

No word on a board meeting yet. This coming week, maybe? As usual, I expect the notice to come in last minute.

Stripped all the vids from the camera. Filled my back-up memory; need to find something new now ’cause I ain’t done. Haven’t looked at them yet. Haven’t wanted to add to my depressive feelings.

Talked with my bro. Excellent; we’re on the same track. We’ll ask for no favors from the theatre group. Rooms will be rented to record in. Travel expenses can be reimbursed. We may even be able to pay them a token amount for their time. We will not: put up with attitudes nor waste our time. Miss a recording date and you’re out (tho we’ll find something to do and not totally waste our money). Dick me on any aspect of the story or dialogue and you’re out; this is mine, and I’m directing it. Sign the release or don’t record. If none of them want to comply, the call goes out on filmpeople.nl.

That feels good. Knowing I’ll at least have the audio versions done precisely the way I want.

… Aaaargh! You know what the toughest part of the newsletter is? That damned opening. How do I say Happy Holidays! and We’re canning our current production and really sad about it at the same time? Talk about bipolar writing -! I’ve no flipping idea how to do that.

Tough weekend. Glad I took the time to do something for me. Maybe I’ll do my nails, too. Gotta find some comfort for me when and where I can.

um…Help?

That’s where I am

Monday. This week it’s my birthday and I have to see my rheumatologist. Not that the two are connected; I just happen to have both in the same week. It may also be the week the play goes down in flames.

Out to FB, delete the friend request I sent to D, the mega bitch. It’s sat there for weeks, unanswered. After yesterday, she can go fuck herself. I half expect her to be bitching to the director about me right now. I more than half expect a verbal exchange between us during rehearsal. Doing my best to visualize me remaining calm, pointing out her negativity and simply saying ‘You seem to be very negative, like you don’t like the script or the play. I get that you don’t like me, and that’s fine. I don’t like you, either. But why are you even in this production if you hate the story and hate your character?’

Yeah. I expect her to walk when I point out what a bitch she is. Because that’s what people like that do: they shove the blame far away from themselves, never taking responsibility for anything. I was to blame for her confusion, and after I sent her the motivational analysis, I was to blame for trying to straighten her out. It’s a no-win situation, and I’m sick of it. She can fucking walk. Please! Leave! You SUCK! Your acting SUCKS! Your accent is a fucking abomination and no one can understand a word you’re fucking saying! I’m taking a feather from her cap: if she’s gonna bitch at me about how nothing makes any sense in MY story, I’m gonna let loose on her shitty acting.

I’ve been nice, not saying anything. Now she’s gonna see the other side. People can’t handle my brand of honesty. I expect her to go within 10 minutes of the conversation beginning.

Yesterday I felt that disappointment. A bit of regret over having to take such drastic action. Today, I’m all for it. Do not care if this kills the EU premiere of my work. I still have the US premiere, still believe in my work. I can take this to another theatre company, we could shelve it and do it in the autumn of 2019 like I wanted, or it could just go bye-bye. Don’t know. All I do know is I’m not gonna have a bitch on the set who can’t act or take directions. She shapes up this fucking week or I’m axing her myself.

Foot. down.

Act one tonight. I have about a page and a half to memorize. My speeches are rather long; my character is in a therapist’s office, so she’s going on and on about herself and her daughter. I, unlike Ms D Super Bitch, know my character and her motivations, so it shouldn’t be tough. But I do need to devote some brain time to it.

Will probably duck out of class a bit early today. Give me an extra half an hour between class and rehearsal. I’m busy this week. And I deserve the extra time.

… One more thing. Ms D is so negative towards me that I expect to hear yet another complaint when I avoid taking her picture or getting her in frame. She’s complained about everything so far; take a left and she bitches, move to the right and she bitches. So I anticipate hearing a complaint about avoiding her, even tho she’s asked for it. She’s that type of bitch.

I don’t think I’ll include her in the cast interviews at all…

No response to anything else. No other answers in, nothing from the director even tho I sent him that note after reading D’s replies. I’m not a fan of this start-stop shit. But I understand others have jobs and things they have to do during the day. Just wish they were a bit quicker with things.

Calm is my word this week. No matter what happens, no matter what’s said. Stay calm, turn it on their heads. And make D pay for all the shit she’s heaped on my head so far – which is a LOT.

Will prep off a letter to the director. I probably won’t send it. I’ll wait, change the language, make sure I’m not too inflammatory before I actually send it. But version one will be acidic. Angry. Nasty.

Because that’s where I am.

Stop

Freeze.

I am, literally, thirty seconds off closing down some new writing. Had to stop. I found a prejudice in my writing. Making men all the bad guys. Including stereotypical gender role violence. And I’m making the hero a heroine again. While I acknowledge that strong roles for women are always needed, I’m concerned over my immediate pigeon-holing of this type of man or that type of man.

Tough stuff. As a writer, my work reflects me. Always understood that. In fact, that’s more true than ever these days. I purposefully insert my own experiences into my work, and that includes spousal violence, rape, betrayal, jealousy, envy, insane wrath…the list goes on and on.

But I don’t want that to be my thing. I don’t want people to read my work and see the same situations played out over and over. I know a writer (more than one, actually) who does that. Bo-ring!

So I am considering adding yet another layer to this script. Flipping things around.

Ye Gods, I’m grasping for the stars on this one. I don’t know if anyone will understand what the hell goes on. I smell a David Lynch fueled what the fuck thing coming out, sans special effects.

The weather has cooled down. No real precipitation, but at least we’ll lose less water through evaporation. I’m happy to be able to feel comfortable in my regular clothes.

My psoriasis problem has gone gonzo on my hands. Still haven’t called for a new prescription for that medicine. Will have to this week. I’m squeezing the last bit of the creme out of the tube now.

Hope this week to get back to a semblance of normality. Keep saying that, I know. But now that I can get outside without dyin’ in ten minutes I think I can run those errands and make a return to the gym. Get the back drop cleaned so I can start to shoot those vids. Check online for Garage Band instructions so I can do some basic editing on my computer. Want to make sure I make enough progress on the big projects that I don’t feel guilty when the story finally [Finally!!] comes out of me. Have made three starts on this already. Crossing my fingers the fourth is the last adjustment.

Scoured a website for my make-up wish list. That was fun. Chose as many lowest cost products as I could. Also tried to make sure I chose as many products from the business’ line as I could. Retail value online is over 400 euro. I’m figuring the cost to the business is less than half that. Still. I feel like I’m asking for a lot. I know I’m not, but I can’t shake the feeling. Really hope I can work my magic and make it happen.

Think positive.

I’ll get something from the make-up business. Maybe not everything on my wish list, but something. I can get the newsletter done, the videos, everything I have planned. Got it all worked out.

…Did I eat yet? I don’t think so…

Still have a bit more to do on my homework. And I need to check as much as I can against online sources. Ugh!

Did manage to check my production notes. For now, they’re done. Undoubtedly I’ll need to adjust them in future. Holding off sending them to the director because… Well, why bother him during summer? I know no one else is going as manic as me on this. I’ll just come when meetings are called and present stuff then. In danger of overloading people that way, I know. Months of work thrown at them in one go. Have to hold back on that, too. Should really go thru my list and prioritize my September work: push the newsletter through. October and November can be production notes, videos, and vocal recordings. Churn out a Christmas newsletter, then use the holidays to finish up the marketing, vids, recordings, and whatever. Geez…can’t forget about the props, either. Well, that’s why I need to lay this all out for everyone. Find who can help where and with what. Delegate.

Oooooo! Delegate.

I’m not good at that. Never have been. Too many times I’ve been disappointed and let down. It seems I’m not good at communicating precisely what I want. I’ve tried writing out instructions, walking people through it… Doesn’t help. Stuff still gets screwed up, or they just don’t do it, or whatever. Hm. Comes down to trusting other people and letting go. I need to trust they’ll at least try, and let go of my expectations and ideals. The best way to do that is to identify jobs that are less vital to the scenes. Yeah…

And I don’t have to do that alone. That’s something the director and I can work on together.

*sigh* Still. Have to get past the mountain of work I’ve got lined up without blowing people away.

So, yeah. Freeze, woman! Take your next step carefully! Step back and think clearly. Your head is still cooking, as evidenced by the many attempts to get this new story out. You’ve a breathing space right now. Take it.

Just…stop.

Vroooooom…

I’ve had a lot of nightmares about being in the back seat of moving vehicles. Cars, roller coasters…anything, really, that my mind could use to portray a terrifying image of me being out of control. The dreams plagued me all during childhood and into my teens. Often I’d wake soaked with sweat, the image of what I’d dreamt burnt into my memory so deep I still remember those subconscious night-time movies.

These days, I’ve installed a brake system. Or, one’s been installed for me.

Two short conversations with my bro changed things yesterday. One was a bit of feedback on the letter I sent to the journalist who’s request for info was still languishing in the theatre’s inbox (btw, she received it and answered me very politely). The second was a re-think on video backdrops. I have some blue cloth that’ll work just fine. Red would match everything, but my bro used the magic words on me yesterday to pull my head out of the clouds: anything you do is an upgrade. Just making the vids is an upgrade. I don’t have to go 110% and have everything match like some demented housewife let loose on decorating her house.

Put out the pix of my first make-up test on FB. Lots of great comments. One ‘experienced’ twenty-something gave me a few ‘tips’. Just say thanks, Beeps. Let go of reminding people of all your experience. Not the easiest thing for me to do this morning. Guess I feel the need to justify myself. To remind people I’m in my 50s with decades of experience under my belt. Feels an awful lot like people ride over me, and I suppose they do. I don’t crow about myself in public. I’m not the person who’ll sit in a theatre meeting and list out all my albums, all my performances, all my films to every single person. I just say ‘I’ve done a lot on stage and on camera’ and generally leave it at that. I’ve had all sorts of comments come my way, trying to peg me into some square hole. Oh, amateur performances. Sure, we’ve all done those. …Oh, just a little one person show, huh? Nice you had a few people show up. …I’ve never heard of that director or that film. Was it actually released? …You’re a singer? Sing something for us. It’s got to the point I just say I’ve been working in entertainment for over 20 years. Think what you will; no amount of my listing my accomplishments will change your mind. But then, naturally, I have to live thru the disses. The people who tell me how to do something I already know how to do. The well intentioned acquaintances who give me advice about stuff over which they have zero experience or knowledge. *sigh*

It isn’t always easy being a 52 year old whom people treat like a 20 something.

Got to the gym yesterday. Took what I hoped was going to be a great and well deserved shower, but the hot water was a ghost thing in the building and within 2 minutes I was standing under an unheated water supply. Amazing how cold you can get in an unheated shower. The water wasn’t cold, just cool. But it sucked any and all heat off me. Didn’t even bother with conditioner for my hair, just a quick shampoo and get the fuck out of there. Despite it being a less than ideal shower, I felt refreshed afterwards.

Still having problems on my right side. Looking forward to my physio appointment.

Today I’m not going to the gym. Today I’m setting up for video shoots. Pull out and clean up the blue fabric I’ve got. Rearrange my desk area so I can use the backdrop. Mark off my desk with tape so I set up for pictures in the same place each time. Also need to head to the store to seek out blusher and lipstick. I’ve become quite fond of my make-up needs shopping. I’m not there for me, I’m there for the group. I stand in the aisle, looking at my choices, picking up packages to examine them more closely, dithering. It’s the only time I really shop like a normal person. My aim today is to get a cheap color selection for the vids. Still plan on asking for sponsorship for the final make-up for the group; this summer work just allows me to play with colors and figure out what we really need. I have a whopping €10 in my wallet to pay for both blusher and lipstick, so it’s off to the discount shops as usual to look thru the bins.

Made a start on my homework. Need to put in an hour or so defining the words I don’t know. Shouldn’t take long to get it done.

Wondering when and if I’ll have time to write for me. Haven’t gone back to the new script yet. Lots of ideas for it; just haven’t made the time. Hm. Note to self: make the bleeding time! I’ve nine months before the premiere. Plenty of time to make and release vids, update the website, create the playbill, and find sponsors. I can find a day a week to settle down and just write. Great that I have so many ideas on how to market this play, but I also want to move forward as a writer. Spending all my time on marketing is like spinning around in a vehicle: you make a big mark, but you don’t go anywhere.

My vehicle goes. Always has.

Vroooooom…

Control

There is nothing wrong with your computer screen. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. Beeps is controlling transmission. You are about to participate in a great adventure…

I’ve been given absolute control. M opened up the theatre group’s website to me. With one click, I went into webmaster status. …Shit! It’s a lot to learn on the fly. My bro does our website (via coding, for Goddess’ sake!) so I’m next to an idiot. Lucky for me, it’s all point and click: the idiot’s version of a website. Spent several hours navigating the pages, finding out what everything does, what I can add, move around, change. Worked on updating the home page first. It still had ‘Tickets for our current production are now on sale!’ scrolled across the top; that’s 3 months old at best. Created a special picture for the site to advertise my play. It’s based off all the other marketing that will come, so it ties in nicely, but it’s a little different so it stands out. Put out a very short (3 sentence) description to tease the audience. Pulled all the pix I could from our FB page and made a slideshow to add some oomph to the front page. Still have the SEO codes to change. The site that hosts us makes it easy to change SEO codes on every page. I looked at them – all blank. No wonder our website shows up on page 2 or 3 of a Google search! Will keep working on the home page ’til I’ve got it all, then move on. Several more pages to do.

Yeesh!…I’m in that place again. About to become Ms. Superstar. The go-to, reliably enthusiastic, million ideas superstar. The one who gets the work done. Anything I do to update the web is gonna look good, and I’m not a slouch. Just because I can’t code doesn’t mean I can’t put together a really snazzy page.

Should I have gone into marketing as a career? Not the first time I’ve wondered that…

Much to do, and the summer is shortening as my list of tasks grows. Stay. on. point.

Happy to say I took no shit from myself yesterday and headed to the gym. The lift in the building is broken yet again, and the heat’s been high, and I’ve a hundred other reasons why I haven’t gone to the gym on a regular basis. None of that matters now. Unless I’m dying – literally, not figuratively – I’m going.

K reminded me meds help, but you still have to help yourself. You have to do everything you can to work with the meds. I haven’t been doing that, and it shows. Love the explosion of creativity. Love it. But this is when I need to really be strict with myself. No excuses or alibis accepted. Move first, work second. And get your homework done, too, while you’re at it.

Got 3 weeks before I see Dr T again. I’d like to honestly be able to say I’m doing well, keeping my work and mind balanced, and feeling good. I don’t want the appointment to go like this: Yeah, the first week on the med was great, really great. Slept loads and felt good. Got busy, tho. Created a newsletter for the theatre group, then they asked me to update their website, and I’m working on sponsorship and props and make-up videos and general meetings and strengthening our connections with other theatre groups and getting the word out to the public and I really hope by the time the play happens I’ll have a few hundred subscribers on both YouTube and to my new newsletter that I’m writing. That’s a more accurate picture of me right now.

Today’s a day that the main market is open. I could go downtown and wander the aisle of hundreds of tables heaped with food, electronics, clothing, and bedding. Find that red cloth I want for vids. Shouldn’t be expensive; I imagine ten euro will get me what I want. Then I could set up for the make-up instructional videos and get those done. Most importantly: I have no lighting for the vids, and now’s the time to take advantage of the bright sunlight streaming through the windows. Wait ’til September and I’ll lose that light. Hm. It’s late July. Maybe I should do that today. It’ll take me a few days to shoot what I want anyway, and then there’s editing.

Doing my best to keep myself in check. That’s tough with total control. Ideas: create a page that contains head pix and short descriptions of all our members. Which productions they were in and what role they played. Link up those pages with any social network pages of the actors: filmpeople.nl or FB or LinkedIn. We have nothing like that, and I think it’s needed. Need to connect our YouTube page with the website as well, plus copy all the videos that are released on FB and get them over to YouTube. Monetize the YouTube site asap. Check all our social pages for continuity. We don’t have a logo, and that’s bugging me. Trying to match font look, background pix, and other key elements to provide that ‘yes, I’m on the right page’ feel to visitors.

Meh. Like I said: for people who teach marketing, they really don’t have their shit together.

So I’m dreaming. Imagining full audiences. Audiences of people who don’t personally know this or that actor. Audiences of people who’ve crawled out of the woodwork due to my work. I’m imagining long lists for the newsletters, hours answering this or that query, and the occasional bit of help from someone.

But even my greatest flights of fancy include a touch of concern: I never see the director’s girlfriend as happy. I expect her to continue to be a naysayer. In fact, I imagine her animosity may grow with time. She’s proven herself to be insecure; I pegged that one pretty quick. *sigh* And it’s not like that jealous reaction is something I haven’t run into before…

You had your chance, honey! This is mine.

Sit quietly, ’cause I will control all you see and hear.

Who I could be

Negative. The celiac test was negative. On one hand, that’s great. Pizza is still on the menu. On the other hand… Well. Still have more tests to do.

Got down to it. Ran thru the trilogy, made the changes. Opened up the lighting and sound notes, finished them off. Left checking all the page references ’til later. Brainstormed videos, made notes on what I think would work for the director. Ran my lines for Saturday.

Trying to break my inevitable early morning grousing about people who are related to me via DNA. It keeps coming up, and I keep reminding myself it’s not worth it. Not worth another round of circular, angry thoughts. They’ve been proven to be assholes. They’ve been proven to be abusive. I understand where they’re stuck, and why they can’t move out of their patterns.

Have been assuring myself they don’t waste time thinking of me. I’ve been reluctant to own up to being “the writer” in full – at least, out in the real world. Concerned that at some point down the road the family will come at me again. For so long, all I wanted was to disappear. Fall off their radar, escape their derisive notice. Now, I’m feeling like I want to stand up and take the acknowledgement I’ve earned. The people I’m worried about…they barely read much less go to plays. They’ll never find out. I can have my life, do what I want, without fear of any repercussions in the future.

I guess I’m finally feeling safe, and a bit stable.

Or maybe I’m just clawing my way out that hamster wheel.

Thank you, medication. It does not banish my repetitive thoughts, but it does make it a hell of a lot easier to say ‘fu-u-u-u-uck you!’ to them. I can shift my brain so much easier into forward, happier thoughts. Calming thoughts. Hopeful thoughts.

Sleep is getting easier and better. Still have occasional sweaty hands, but that seems to be pulling back, too. Good appetite. No headaches to speak of.

Still not back to the gym. I’m too feline at the moment, stretched out head to foot, completely relaxed, completely at ease. It’s a kind of rich relaxation I rarely experience, and honestly, I don’t want to jinx it. As long as things are good, just chill.

That’s a good reminder to myself to take control. I’ve got such a thing about those words. ‘Taking control’ is very negative to me, so I guess in some ways I avoid it. Especially of late. But…there’s been no news allowed on the tv for two days now. No commercial tv, actually. I’m running DVD series I own (at the moment, Black Adder). Gods, commercial tv is fucking annoying. We tend to just put up with it; I advise against that. Invest in good entertainment and shut that shit out. No annoying jingles. No nagging about all that stuff you can’t afford. No ‘you’re not cool unless you do/own this’. If you really want to see something on broadcast tv, record it. Nothing more gratifying than fast forwarding through that hated advertisement.

Gah, people are such sheep!

You know… I used to think sheep were cute. That was when my personal experience with sheep consisted of looking at fluffy caricatures of the actual animal. My time in Ireland taught me different: sheep are stupid, smelly, and damned annoying. They respect no fences. Adhere to no boundaries. Shit everywhere. Eat everything. They move in mindless mobs, and startle at the slightest provocation.

I no longer think sheep are ‘cute’.

Hm. Now, is that my statement on sheep or people? Hard to say. It fits both so well. But I’m not in the mood for deep delving into my psyche. Feels like I’ve done too much of that.

So, silly stuff. Comedies. Games. Simple food, regardless of the test. A bit of work, a lot of play.

The world is coming into focus. Balance. Calm. Work. Hope. Simple tasks done every day. Simple things, small things that add up over time.

I’m beginning to see who I could be.

 

Be open to it

I can’t figure people out. Not until time has passed and I’ve been able to review over and over what went down. I dislike that aspect of me; it makes me feel inordinately dumb. Why can’t I understand what’s happening while it’s happening? But, no. My comebacks come to me too late and I am left replaying the incident ad infinitum, wishing I’d said or done things differently.

Woke up thinking of my play. My head was obviously reviewing Sunday’s get together with the group. All those disparate parts came together – the two players who said they weren’t going to act this season, the cool reception I received on my work, the lack of enthusiasm or even the follow through on the commitment of coming to the read through, and the situation I walked in on two years ago with the poor group of actors and the director who walked out… I realized the group may allow me to use their name and their director, but the group may very well have nothing to do with this. I think I’m smacking my face against some good, old snobbery. I think most of the group will not participate or even audition for my play; they will feel it beneath their dignity. They will not take the chance on a newbie playwright unless said playwright has some medals or awards behind their name. They’ll smile, say ‘sure, we can do that’, but in the end they’ll all have excuses about why they can’t be in the play, how busy they are, etc., and it will fall to walk-in actors like I had at the read through.

Maybe I’m all off on this but…my spidey sense is tingling. It’s been going off since Sunday, despite the pleasantries. Just a few too many silences, too much eye contact avoidance, too little enthusiasm. Can’t help but wonder if this is what happened when I first joined the group. They had a second director, one who also wrote scripts. The first production I worked on was one such written by him (a dismal play, poorly written, horrible in almost every way). It didn’t escape my notice then that the ‘core group’ largely didn’t participate in the acting. I was never give any reason for that, but could it have been they were unwilling to do something that wasn’t sent via a publisher? I can’t totally rule out the idea that they all thought the script was crap and didn’t want to be in it, tho why they’d approve the script if they thought it was crap is beyond me. *sigh* Considering some of the other stuff I’ve seen and heard from them, I wouldn’t be surprised if plain old snobbery were at work.

That director/writer left the group and is now in Den Haag working with a different set of people.

I find this whole idea doubling upsetting because I wrote the trilogy and tailored it for them. Wrote characters thinking of particular actors in mind. Wrote the story, the settings, the needs with the venues I’d seen, the abilities I’d witnessed, the resources I knew the group had at hand. To have it dissed out of hand, when most haven’t even taken the time to read my words… The prospect is disheartening.

But it isn’t something that’s going to stop me.

I’ve worked with less and done more. To hell with their procedures, to hell with what “they normally do” – I’ve seen their average audience size, and what they normally do doesn’t cut it. I will work my magic for my production. If the results are such that everyone wants me to do it for them and their upcoming plays…well, then I’ll have real bargaining power, won’t I?

Began honing ideas. Roughed out a flyer for advertising. Outlined an ad video I want to make and put online to hype the performances. I’ve already scoured the internet for must invite names: artistic directors of bigger theatres that do English productions, reviewers, journalists. I will look at radio, public television, and internet vloggers and podcasts. I know how to market on a shoestring. I know about product placement, tag lines, what’s kitschy and what’s catchy.

The goal is to give my work as much chance of success as I can without killing myself.

That means taking control of some of these loosely performed aspects of the group. They’re all teachers at the school of business, but none really know about marketing. That much is obvious when they can’t fill an 80 seat theatre. Every production, they have flyers and posters printed. Where they put up the posters in this city, I don’t know. Never saw one up. Never found a place to put one, either – there are restrictions almost everywhere. Flyers are easily overlooked and most just end up in the trash bin. I’m not opposed to flyers, but…cut the size down, and rather than putting stacks of them at drop points, take a few afternoons and head down to the neighborhoods surrounding the theatre and put them in people’s mail slots. Chances are much higher they’ll at least be glanced at. Maybe you’ll only snag 1 out of 100 that way, but that’s one more than we’ve got now.

…This means, of course, that I’ve largely mapped out this year’s activity. I’m booked; don’t ask me to do more (and let’s stick to that!).

Well…good. Lateral thinking helps me. I like the full aspect of projects like this: take it start to finish (with help). Help is the area I’ve largely been lacking in past projects. One look at my vids would tell you that: written by me, directed by me, starring me, edited by me… I got so tired of it I filled in all those jobs with my pseudonyms just to make it look like I wasn’t an ego-centric mad old woman.

And…you know what they say about help; it comes from unexpected quarters.

Remember to be open to it.

I like that picture

One hour ago, I triggered my brother into calling me “wrong”. It was not my intention to hit his hot button. And…quite often I forget I’m not the only person in the world (or this house) who struggles with life. So I acknowledge my…not so great attempt at communication this morning, or saying the wrong word, or whatever set him off. My bad.

I do not accept his judgement.

Have not and will probably not say this to him. Why risk more fighting? He’s triggered, I don’t know by what, and if I continue it’ll just get worse. I realize what came out of his mouth was programming, and if I pointed it out to him he’d realize that, too. It would be great to modify our communication to rid ourselves of this crap. Right now, I just want to acknowledge it and not buy into it.

Faulty programming. Ignore.

Aren’t I doing well this morning? Not triggered myself, aware enough to put some distance between me and what I would typically consider a trigger situation. Good on me! Stayed calm, backed down, not holding onto anger that’ll manifest itself in some twisted passive-aggressive shit.

What is best for me? That’s foremost in my mind today. Getting upset was not on that list, therefore, I avoided it.

Spent yesterday in zen mode, making cookies. Lembas is a long process and a hand-intensive recipe. I considered my options and felt my stomach needed the acid soaking properties of my cookies more than my ass needed to walk, so I made cookies. It was a good choice.

Headed downtown in a few hours to meet S. Looking forward to seeing her. She texted me last night, asking me to bring a bottle of my cordial for her dad. That makes me smile. One of my herbal products that’s found a fan. S also mentioned she’d like to discuss her script. Again, this deference to my skill and experience makes me smile. It’s good to be acknowledged, no matter by whom. And…it feels good to pass along a bit of my knowledge, to hopefully help someone else avoid the pitfalls I encountered. Go, girl! I find myself willing in many ways to pass the baton onto the younger generation. Go. Do what I couldn’t do. I am so proud of you for all you’ve already done, all you’ve already accomplished. Just…remember me from time to time. That’s all I ask.

S brings out the mother in me. Or the big sister. Someone caring and kind. Someone who wants to put this young woman above herself.

It’s someone I like.

…Calm exchange with my bro. Neither of us wants to fight. That’s good. Feels like a little plaster on that owie from this morning.

I am reflective and absorbing. Reflective on reality, my perceptions, my feelings. Absorbing on the language. The two go in hand in hand for me, and I credit learning Dutch as the unconscious key that unlocked my brain. Words carry meaning to each of us. Some words become attached to traumatic experiences and become triggers, setting us of on illogical courses of action without understanding why we’re doing it. Dutch has no triggers for me. It’s all just sound and syllables that I am now, as an adult, attaching meaning to. So the phrase ‘ik hou je van’, which is the Dutch equivalent of ‘I love you’, doesn’t set me off on those old patterns. ‘Ik hou je van’ means to me that someone’s got your back, someone will always be by your side, in your corner. It doesn’t mean you won’t disagree or go through hard times. Just the opposite: to me, it means you acknowledge the hard times and still choose to be there.

That’s the adult me, with all my foibles and English triggers, putting meaning onto the phrase. But I can say it without the strings I always felt were attached to ‘I love you’. ‘I love you’ means one of two things to me: I control you or I want to fuck you. I don’t like either of those definitions, but those were the ones taught to me. Not the verbal teachings; I know what ‘I love you’ is supposed to mean. But in my house, verbal and non-verbal lessons were always at odds with each other.

…Which means, if I let myself think it through, that I can tell myself ‘ik hou je van’. I can’t love myself. I’ve tried, over and over and over. But I can have my own back. I can always be on my side. I know my brain can play tricks on me, focus on the negative, say those terrible things to me repeatedly. But it’s MY brain, and in the end, I am not a slave even to myself.

Oh, that’s a good one. Say it again: I am not a slave, even to myself.

…Just felt a moment of…I don’t know what. Juxtaposition of my world, I guess. Everything kind of went boom in my head.

A moment of total control. Me. I’m the one who decides. I’m the one who acts. I’m in control. Not my mother, not my family or my siblings, not “them”, not even my head. Wish the feeling would have stuck around longer. But it’s a start. I’ve felt it. I can build from there.

Take that out into the world today. You don’t have to act on it. You don’t have to try and force the feeling to return. Just remember you felt it. Remember how it felt. And consider living with that feeling. Think how it might feel to head downtown on the metro, knowing 100% you’re the one in control. No fighting tears behind your sunglasses. No angry imaginings forcing you to ‘try’ to calm yourself down. Think about what that might look like.

…Yeah. I like that picture.

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.