Puberty at 51

It is a source of continual amazement to me that people who voted for 45 – restricting human rights, killing the environment, degrading women – are shocked when I inform them we can no longer be friends. I’ve been told to ‘grow up’ and ‘get over it’, or better yet: ‘it’s just stupid politics and you’re far less of a person than I thought’.

Wow.

As a measure of my self restraint, I’ve said nothing in reply. Good on me.

Feels like I’ve taken the first step towards adulthood. Sticking to my ethics. Saying “no”. No more! I won’t take it.

And you’re fucking surprised.

Seems you didn’t know me at all.

Now I may have to deal with a troll on FB. My ex pen-pal, who voted for 45 and said ‘it wasn’t a big deal’ (among other language that PISSED ME OFF) sent three messages telling me to fuck off then three more emojis throughout the night to make sure I knew he wasn’t okay with any of it.

One more message from him and I’m reporting him. I DO not and WILL not take being fucked around with on a social network.

And what goes through people’s minds? That this kind of behavior will reflect any better on them? That I’ll change my mind and say ‘oh, sorry! you’re so upset; let me take it all back’? Um…nope. Should be a clue that it took me as long as it did to say what I said. Time = thought. I thought long and hard about it. Thought about my ethics and moral stance, thought about the friendship, forgiveness, taking the higher road – all of it.

So let me make this utterly clear one more time:

I am not some messiah, willing or able to turn the other cheek after you abuse me.

Expecting me to be is on YOUR head. Telling me I’m wrong for my feelings is on YOUR head.

I’m not wrong. Now let me throw back your own language at you.

Suck it up, snowflakes. You big fucking babies! Whine, whine, whine. Sorry you’re so fucking stupid you don’t realize that when you shout obscenities at me and my friends, when you take away our rights, or when you destroy the planet I react with anger. I think your ignorance is on your own head, too. Read a book!

Went to the gym yesterday to try and burn it out. Two hours. I was tired, less angry afterwards, but not completely calm (obviously).

Didn’t help that my language lesson lacked ANY sense of direction. First, we were asked to pull random words out of the fucking air and make sentences. Then we were told to use ‘omdat’ (because) and corrected on grammar without being told the grammatical rules. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be learning. Couldn’t take anything down because the instructors said the correct sentences once and then quickly moved on. I was bored, angry for having my time wasted, and frustrated because I now KNOW how much better a lesson can be.

Fucking hell!

Happy news: have all of next week off. Thursday is Hemelvaartsdag (Ascension Day), and Friday a lot of stuff is closed to ensure a long weekend. Perfect for me! An entire week free of classes or appointments. I can write. Get the radio script loaded into the software, make the formatting changes, send it out and move onto the next script. Already stepped out the scenes for the next one in my brain. I think I can do it with 4 actors and very minimal set dressing. Can’t wait to get started; it’s timely, creepy, and easy to do as a production.

…You know, if I keep coming up with these horror/Twilight Zone plays, I’m gonna get a reputation for being able to write them. Maybe I can; it IS what I’m coming up with. But I think it’s all a fluke. I’m just stumbling into them. Discovering them by accident. I’m not setting out to write them. Gotta admit, they’re fun to create. And maybe I should let go of any expectations I have of myself. If I turn into a female Clive Barker, well…that’s not all bad, is it?

Ha! Listen to me. Dodging the flack thrown at my head and accepting my limitations and abilities. Now, that IS really growing up!

Can a person hit puberty at 51?

 

I don’t suck dick

This is not where I expected myself to be at 5 something in the morning. Not today. But noise woke me up (lorries? a thunderstorm? someone half a mile away closing their garage door?) and suddenly I couldn’t sleep anymore because one thing was on my mind: I’ve got a 45 supporter as a friend on FB, and that needed to change and change right away.

My longterm online correspondence (10 years or more) has ended. I opted to keep it simple – I can’t be friends with someone who voted for 45. Farewell. That’s a kinder message than members of my family received. Unfriend.

I should really go through my FB ‘friends’ and unfriend them ALL unless I know for sure they didn’t vote for the orange orangutang. That’ll leave me with a handful of people. *sigh* Just too lazy to do it. I only post derogatory news items of The Orange One and occasionally cuss on FB. It’s un-cool as a social website. Sometimes I think about just deleting my account, but then I remember the South Park episode when Stan tried to do that.

I don’t want to get sucked into a lame 80s cyber world.

Second dental cleaning yesterday because it was three years since I had it done and there’s just a lot of work to be done. The new hygienist was brutal. Had me spitting blood.

My teeth look amazingly white, tho.

Reason to feel both jealous and hopeful: yesterday’s language lesson found me sitting in with another student and teacher because my usual teacher is off on holiday. And DAMN! I’d really like to permanently switch to this new instructor. She was probably a teacher in real life. First, we had reading to do. Then questions to answer. Then complicated words to pronounce. Then a spelling test. Then simple chatting over our opinions on the story. It was THE most thorough lesson I’ve ever had. I was corrected on pronunciation and syllable emphasis. English was readily swapped to when needed. My grammar was corrected, and sentences were spoken to me slowly, clearly, and repeated until I got every single word precisely. SO jealous I don’t have her as a regular instructor. Also hopeful that I can find a teacher out there who’ll really teach me rather than sit there half bored as I try to read aloud.

Went into overtime using my Dutch when a knock at the door revealed two workers from the local Buurtwerk (neighborhood work) group. They’re out covering their areas, checking in with residents and asking about the neighborhood. What’s good about living here? What’s not good about living here? I stumbled through with my pidgin Dutch. Sure, I made grammar mistakes. Sure, I inserted English when I didn’t know the Dutch. Point is, they understood me and I understood them. Progress!

Inclement weather. The skies are grey, the clouds low and threatening. Please send us a good, ripping thunderstorm! I love thunderstorms. The sheer power let loose strikes me dumb. I just stand in front of the window, looking. And I’m 14 years deprived of thunderstorms; Ireland didn’t have them. So gimme, gimme, gimme!

Preparing mentally to dive into editing mode with this new software. Almost there. I find editing like reading Dutch: I can do it any time, but how well I do it depends on my mental prep. When my head’s there, it goes super fast. When my head isn’t there I spend most of time going over three lines and not being able to get beyond them.

Naturally money is tight. Tighter than tight. Another big bill showed up. Apparently it was a February bill that someone forgot to send to us, and now they want their money. All my doctor’s visits hit at the same time, so that’ll cost us. And the exchange rate is for shit. Goddess! Whatever happened to the idea that the euro was created to be a one on one challenge to the dollar? Thanks, Nixon, for killing the gold standard and hanging all the world’s currencies on the mighty US dollar. Stupidest move ever. Now currency manipulators use their power to create false values to world currencies. Just another slave game by the 1%.

Caught myself last night thinking that there’s a whole part of life I never let myself experience. Family, home, kids, cars, job. That stray thought occurred to me during a car commercial. Not sure what it was about that ad that triggered me. But trigger me it did, and a flood of all I’ve missed came whooshing towards me followed by regret and fear. Was able to recognize I was chasing that ‘grass is greener on the other side’ idea; I was reacting to an idyllic scenario, not anything based in reality. Oh, wouldn’t it be great to be young and in love and have lots of money and be thin and beautiful all at the same time. Fuck yeah, it would! I always thought so. But should we really allow ourselves to lead around by this carrot on a stick that’s only ever available to a chosen few? Goddess! And I’ve heard some of these chosen few espouse the idea that this was their destiny, the almighty guided them to it, blah blah puke blah. Um…it was chance. Luck. Chaos. A roll of the dice.

Or the dick you sucked.

There’s one thing about me that’s always been true, and I guess my life reflects it.

I don’t suck dick.

Down to the bones

It’s happened. I’m a true Rotterdammer. At least, I’m true in the sense that I can make my way around the city sans map and reach my destination no matter what the road block. Good thing, too, since I had to reach the hospital to have my x-rays done and the entire city came to a crashing halt to hold tribute to their victorious football team. Oh, it was all jerseys and scarves downtown, mad mobs bent on having a good time despite it being Monday. When I realized all the trams were down, my head reached into some hidden compartment and out popped a map, complete with metro, tram, and bus lines (backup: the line of taxis always present around Rotterdam Centraal). No sense of panic. Hopped on the D line metro, off at a stop my English speaking mind continues to insist calling “Melancholy Way” even tho that’s not the translation, and a quick northern line tram hop to the hospital. My butt didn’t even hit the chair before I was called in, stripped down, x-rayed, and sent back out.

I was on my way home by 9:50, the time of my actual appointment.

Short break at home to tidy up: dishes, garbage, ashtrays, bed-making.

Off to the gym, where my body hit its stride after 40 minutes of exercise and things really started to kick in for me. The sweat flowed down my face. My heart rate reached 140 and hovered there. Didn’t want to stop, so I just kept going. Full on work-out, complete with free weight reps.

Had that satisfactory aching butt muscle feeling last night. Good.

Dinner by 4, because I skipped lunch as I generally do and once my work-out is done I need food and need it NOW. My bro volunteered to get Turkish pizzas and of course I said yes. Who can say no to a Turkish pizza? So I stuffed my face with flat bread wrapped savory meats and veg topped with hot sauce. Yummy.

Heard from the theatre group. The director is organizing rehearsal time. Amazingly, this group is scheduled to rehearse from now ’til July, when summer holidays begin. Then we’ll rehearse AGAIN post summer holiday. Don’t know why they need so long to memorize such short bits. Also noticed the people who were notified; other than myself, I saw no new members – just the same old people who make up the core group. Mm. Bit of favoritism? Can’t say for certain, since I wasn’t present for all the auditions. Happy enough to be included this time, tho I’ve got to admit to a sad feeling for everyone else who wasn’t chosen. Sure know how that feels, and it’s not nice.

Organizing info on theatre submission opportunities. Pulled a lot; now I’ve got to schedule it if I’ve a hope of making any deadlines. Found one or two places to try sending out my radio script, as well. Really need a helper. Someone to take care of this scheduling and sending so I can concentrate on writing more. Been saying THAT for years.

Click, click, click. I can feel the gears moving. Something in the grand scheme of things has shifted. Starting to understand Dutch without trying. Still have to listen closely; there’s still plenty of mumblers out there! But when a person does speak clearly enough, I don’t have to work quite so hard anymore. Noticed it on the metro yesterday. Reading Dutch has just become reading; not figuring out a foreign language, but reading a story. Yes, there are still words I stumble over but my head thinks less on that and more on the tale. And writing…writing has become something else, too. I no longer feel I’m stumbling around, trying to write. I’m just doing it. Cutting out the fat, closing the loopholes, catching the grammar mistakes earlier on – there’s no longer a question of whether my material is good. The question has become have you streamlined this piece down to the skeleton? You can always add back in a few lines, fluff it out if needed for timing – but you gotta get that story down clearly first. Condense your message down to one sentence, and stick to it.

Take it down to the bones.

Fill it up

Saturday. Summer heat is here. Nights are still blessedly cool, but you can tell the dog days are coming: the shady areas under trees are no longer colder than the sunshine. The earth doesn’t have to suck up every bit of warmth to wake up and get the day started. It’s warm already.

There are a very slim few weeks after the bitter cold leaves and before the real heat sets in when I feel GOOD. That time is now. Taking advantage of it by walking outside in the sun with no jacket on. So pleasant! To not shiver when a breeze blows; ach! That’s a slice of heaven.

Began a bit of research for my next writing project. Reading what’s available on the web. Taking notes. Not really believing it because, well, it’s on the WEB. The web is not an accredited source, which is pretty evident once you begin taking notes and find that just about everything out there contradicts some other information.

Working to get the hate out of my heart. And oh, how I hate these days! There are more than a few people I’d gladly kill. Blow them the fuck away because I think the world actually would be a better place without them.

I’m not the fucking messiah. I can’t turn the other cheek (it’s black and bruised and torn). And unlike Sting, I can’t write an upbeat pop song about it.

Woke up and realized I’ve decided to tell my long term FB pen-pal he can go hang himself. Haven’t done it yet. Haven’t decided on the exact wording. But I can’t be friends with someone who voted to destroy the environment, illegally withdraw human rights from millions of people, and restore male dominance over a woman’s body. This decision goes against my people-pleasing. It’s hard to tell him to fuck off. But…I just can’t imagine continuing any discourse with this person. I don’t want to tell him anything about myself. He’s violated my trust, as surely as if he’d raped me himself.

Hm. Maybe that’s how I should put it. Think he’d get it?

Reading Dutch now with little hiccups. Still many words I wonder about. Do my best to catch the meaning from the sentences. I think I’ve read enough to get a flow going. My inner voice speaks the words out (sometimes VERY slowly, especially if it’s one of those 36 character compound words the Dutch love so very much). Not sure I’m pronouncing some things correctly – syllable emphasis is everything, and when I’ve got four or five syllables to choose from…well, YOU tell me which is correct. And naturally, being a story, it’s all past tense verbs. But my grammar is improving. That was evident in Friday’s language lesson. I heard less correction from my teachers, and saw more nods and smiles. Maybe my Thursday teacher doesn’t like me – I don’t really know, and probably never will. But there’s no reason for me to feel like an idiot. I’ve been studying with volunteers in a haphazardly taught program for two years and I’m doing pretty well. Yeah, the book I’m reading is “only for teens” and maybe the way I pronounce some words does reveal my American roots (two comments from Thursday that are still bugging me), but I’m making progress.

That’s good. Think of positives.

Smoking less. That’s because I made hash brownies. Still. It earns a check mark. Getting fresh air and regular movement. Not my heavy duty work outs, but maybe that’s a good thing, too. Pretty much pain free. Can walk, bend, turn, lift, and use my hands without wincing. Definite positive. Still got great hearing. Ignore the ringing; ignore my stray thoughts that make me wonder if I’m hearing all the life getting sucked from the planet. I can hear, and hear well. Positive.

Now all I need to do is fill up my time…

The Benefits of Talking to Yourself

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My hate meter is off the scale. It’s always been off the scale where 45 is concerned; now it’s gone nuclear. And my hate encompasses anyone connected with 45: his family, staff, and the people who voted for him. I hope every single one of 45’s homes has a huge sinkhole open up and swallow the whole fucking thing while 45 and his people are inside. Disgusting fucking excuses for human beings.  [Note: never miss an opportunity to beat THAT horse. He deserves a whipping every day for the rest of his life. ‘Nuff said.]

If you put in an order for a perfect day a year in advance, you couldn’t have received a better day than yesterday. Warm, but not too warm. Sunny but with plenty of shade under the newly leaved trees. Every window, every door in this fine city was thrown open to the elements. I was out and about, down at the new comic book shop. It was their Grand Opening and Free Comic Book Day. The new space is killer, more than twice the square footage of the last, with a long line of windows along the street that entice and tease curious customers through the door. Never have I seen them so busy! It was great to see, and great to know the shop looks like it’ll be around for a long time to come. Spent almost three hours there, looking around (there’s enough space they finally got the INDIE comic bins out where I can look at them), and chatting. Off to Blaak, and the best Turkish pizzas in Rotterdam, then back home. My day was gone without me even noticing.

Today, there are three must do’s. I must read through the latest chapter of my bro’s work; I promised I would. I must get out for a real walk of at least 40 minutes. And I must open my radio script and begin making the changes I’ve noted after the read through.

Been dealing with some anxiety issues, even one or two small panic attacks. Had a revelation. My panic attacks (if that’s what they are) feel a lot like I used to feel before going on stage. A sinking feeling in my body. Dread. Nausea. Hot and cold sweats. As a kid, I vomited. Every time. But I got over it, and in getting over it I realized I went through all that because I doubted my own ability to get through the situation. Once I learned I could do it, I could put myself out there and NOT fail, not fall on my face, not throw up in front of the audience, that fear went away. I get a bit nervous before performing, geared up, excited – but not that panicky feeling. So, all I need to do is teach myself that I CAN get through it (‘it’ being whatever the Universe decides to throw at me). Simple, right? Doesn’t ever feel simple in the execution of it. I still go through it, still leave my body when I freak out. But I can bring myself back. Eventually.

My sneaky trick on myself worked! Ha-ha!! Now that I’m done with Tolstoy, I’ve chosen Homer’s The Iliad as my bit of English literature. And oh my! Give my Russian names any day of the week over this! But that was the point: I’m making myself choose between reading something incredibly difficult and boring in English or something easy and fun in Dutch – and I’m choosing the Dutch. Maybe I’ll never get through Homer. I’ve ten or twelve chapters to read that explain the text before I even begin, and I’m already bogged down and bored by it. lol. And I’m not sure Homer would appreciate knowing I’m using his work as a way to keep me reading a foreign language. But it’s working, for now.

I should find something similar to do about my smoking. Tho in this case, it’s got to be something more desirable than toking up, not less.

Tough one.

Hope to squeeze enough cash this month to see the new Alien film. Been dying for Ridley to come back to the series, been waiting for so long for the follow up to Prometheus!

…Did I just give myself an answer? Make sure we can see the film by cutting back on smoking? …Yep, I think I did.

See how beneficial talking to yourself can be?

I want it to happen

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A rare word to my followers: thanks. I’ve picked up a few newbies this week, and received some comments that have boosted my mood. It’s gratifying to know someone out there connects with what I write. I’m late in replying, late in acknowledging awards, late in reading and commenting on your words – and I know it. That’s my bad. I haven’t forgotten you or meant to diss you. I’m just a bit lost in my own life.

My head is full of English. Another bad on me. Three people spoke to me at the pool this morning, and I did my fall back: smile, nod, and laugh a bit if their body language and facial expression indicates that’s appropriate. Make non-committal noises. Mmm-hmm and uh-huh are my two biggies. Did I understand them? A little. Not enough for two years living here, not enough in my book – although I’ll admit my book is a tall tome that’s intimidating to read and twice as scary to live. My grasp of Dutch is a constant struggle. And active listening is a pain in my ass! I want to hear and understand. Right now, I hear and have to think, translate, sort out the sounds that are thrown at me at such a fucking rapid pace I can barely distinguish where one word ends and another starts. It’s so much work!

The writing has begun. Nothing on paper. Nothing will go down on paper for a while. But the scenes have begun. The words are flowing. The ideas are coming. My time spent on the radio drama was very worthwhile; I’ve learned that short ideas grow into long pages all by themselves. All I need to do is find my short ideas, the three main areas I’ll circle around during each act. Act 1 is obvious: set up. Introduce the characters, the scene, the setting, the conflict. I know one character dies, tho I’m uncertain if that’s Act 2 or 3. And I’m thinking ahead, of the resolution. Do I end it with the end of the war? Not sure I like that idea. Too bleeding obvious.

Keep hearing music in this thing, too. Keep seeing characters burst into song. It’s not what I want to focus on, and I find it distracting. Though I’ve got to admit…I’ve had ideas for one or two songs that I might include. Showing the solidarity of these women through singing is appealing.

…Better check the rules. If they allow musicals…maybe. That’s all I’ll say. Maybe.

Shocker: came home from the pool to find my brother had the dishes done. I was doubly surprised considering he’s busy with writing and busy with beginning of the month stuff like paying bills. It was pretty nice, though. Volunteered to make an easy dinner tonight to take the stress of cooking off him.

Tomorrow I go downtown, get my blood tests done, and copies of the script printed up for Thursday’s read through. Where will my head be at by Friday morning? Should I even be thinking about that? Guess I’ve got to, on some level. There’s still the final touches on the radio script: last minute edits and final numbering. Technically, it’s not done yet. Just gotta keep it together a bit longer, though I already feel the pull of the next piece dragging me away from this world.

And I want it to happen.

Numb me out

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Struggling again. Sciatica pain has stopped me from doing more than just walking (which hurts). Now that I’m close to the end of my radio drama script, I took the time to really look at the terms and conditions on the BBC site. Those lovely terms and conditions have changed. Thanks, Brexit. Now the BBC won’t accept anything from outside the UK or Ireland. So I feel deflated, and like I’m working my ass off on one more thing that will never see the light of day, because of course I haven’t received any reply from the place running the competition….

I’m so fucking useless.

And sure, there’s one or two places out there that will do my hard worked script for free. …How insane have I been lately, thinking a radio script written in English has a chance in Hell as I sit in the Netherlands, surrounded by Dutch? Just about every English speaking country is under some isolationist spell at the moment; don’t even bother submitting if you don’t live here. Fuck.

Right now, I’m wondering if I haven’t made every wrong decision I possibly could have made. Shoulda done this, shoulda stayed there, shoulda said yes to that, shoulda, shoulda, shoulda…

Sundays suck.

Keep telling myself to keep going. Forge ahead. Pull myself up by the bootstraps. Obscurity does not necessarily equal shitty work.

It just makes it damned hard to keep the faith.

I take a little comfort from the fact that the door to acting is still open to me. I worry about my ability to physically get through it; to stay healthy, to keep my back feeling good, to be able to walk and move…these are real concerns for me. But at least I have that chance. I have something that gives me hope, and cements my determination to perform on stage again.

Writing isn’t like that. Feels like I have to beg at a table for scraps. Please, please consider this…please read my work…please, someone, answer me! Wonder who I should be blowing. Wonder if I would blow said person to have that chance.

…Have two weeks vacation. Two weeks, essentially, of Sundays. Gods! Will I even survive it? …Why was I looking forward to this time off?

Oh, yeah. So I could write. Go back to spinning my wheels. Churn out another tale no one will care about. Another script no one will ever perform.

Needless to say, I’m dragging my feet on contacting everyone about a read through. I’ll do it, regardless of how I end up feeling. I said I would, so I will. But I’m dreading it a bit. Dreading hearing whatever they think they need to tell me; the story is bad, the timing is off, the characters aren’t real, it doesn’t read well, I should try doing this or that, change the action – whatever. Can’t imagine anyone saying anything good about it.

Tomorrow I can pick up my refill of codeine laden pain pills.

Just in time. Numb me out.