Tit for tat

Another life line: a bright rope of hope sent to me from L. She’s more than busy right now, resurrecting her last play for a few additional performances before Christmas. But she managed to fill in the interview Qs and send them to me, each answer as perfect as anyone could ever want them. I’ve now 3 actors and myself for the newsletter, enough to ‘pass’. For a while there I thought the newsletter would go out like this: interview with me as actor, BIG interview with me as writer, a bit of other stuff, small answers from the cast. Ugh. Now I can balance it out more.

Thank you, Universe. Last night the rain was lashing at the window. Really lashing; I just sat there listening to it for a minute, thinking about my umbrella that I had to throw away en route because it blew inside out and broke to pieces. I said: It would be great if this blew itself out overnight. Today, unscheduled by meteorology, is a sunny and bright day. So thanks! I didn’t really want to get wet.

Managed to get a shower in yesterday. Didn’t color my hair; we’ve another hot water hog down the line. It’s not as bad as it was, but I do have to check and make sure we’ve got warm water before I begin something like that. Using cold water to get hair dye out… Oh, I’ve done it. Like most things, when you get old enough you get to experience them sometime in life. It isn’t pleasant. Cold showers even less so.

Class today. Dutch is pretty much the furthest thing from my mind right now, but I’ll give it a go. Don’t want to miss 2 classes in a row.

Will put in time on the newsletter this week. Finish up my test final recordings. Work to learn my lines.

Notes: my left thumb still hurts like Hell. Problems picking things up and holding them. Sleep is odd. Somehow I manage to curl up and sweat my shirts thru. Then sometime later I wake up in a cold, wet shirt, freezing my proverbial ass off. Had another ice pick in my head last night as I was watching tv. Started at the right temple suddenly, just like it always does. The pain kept up for about an hour. I managed to eat more food yesterday; been slipping back into a small bowl of soup for the day and nothing else. Ate 3 times yesterday. Taking lots of paracetamol. Haven’t yet pulled out the oxycodone. But I’ve contemplated it.

Hoorah; my shrink appointment is this week. I can talk about it all. Headaches included.

Fix me. Fix me, fix me, fix me! I’m so tired of reacting this way. Even when I think I’ve got it under control, those damned headaches come at me. I do my best to get thru them, but… It’s not like I’m capable of much. All I can really do is hold my head and massage that point at my temple, hoping a bit of pressure on it might eventually ease it off. I’ve never vomited from these headaches. But light and sound hurt me, and I can’t do much. Probably time to get them documented as real migraines. Or cluster headaches. Whichever. Maybe I’ll even get a drug to help when they come on. Usually the best thing I can do is go to sleep and hope it solves itself.

…Ach. I’d hoped, really hoped, that a few meds might be just what I needed. That all I really lacked was a small edge on my emotions. I’m finding that’s not the case. Dr T is finding that’s not the case. A comment during our last appointment: Well, you obviously have issues… Sure I do! I’m bipolar I, depressive baseline, and 53. You can’t get there without gathering a few issues along the way. *sigh* Thought I’d been pretty honest with myself, facing my fears, but my continued physical problems point to something else. I’m just stuffing things. Either that, or I’m developing brain cancer or something. Can’t count out that possibility, can we? Happy thoughts, happy thoughts…

That pain at my temple… It’s still there. Very low key. But still there. Better close the drapes. Make sure I wear my sunglasses when I’m out there. Close the blinds in the classroom, even; it’s often too bright in there for my eyes. Pretty obvious I’m on that edge; the pain has been coming at me for days now.

Hm. Maybe I should break out the big pain pills…

Was reminded this morning of a meeting on Thursday evening in Den Haag that I’d like to attend. It’s a feminist meeting, an open discussion of the issues we’re facing today. My bro’s band practice is moved from Wednesday to Thursday, so he’s not home and I’m free to do whatever. Thinking it may be a good thing to do. Hook up with like minded people. T’s encouraging me to go. It’s even at a venue close to the train station and really easy to find. I’ve written it into my agenda.

Finding the more I concentrate on me, the less I think about everything else. Good medicine. So my thoughts are all about me: my reading, how I feel, should I do my cuticles again, etc. Nothing heavy in there. I’m purposefully emptying my head of all that crap attached to baggage. Let other people worry about other things; that’s not my job.

From here I’ll brush my teeth and hair. Get dressed. Gather up my books for class. Chill.

I silenced my phone last night, and I think I’ll keep it that way.

Tit for tat.

Advertisements

You don’t know who you’re fucking with

Yesterday felt like Friday to me. Mentioned it to  my bro, who said he felt like it was Wednesday. Figured we balanced out to a Thursday between us.

Woke last night to a sharp pain in my left leg near my hip. Was sleeping on my side and something must be cutting or putting pressure on a nerve: hurt like hell, and my leg felt half-numb. Changed position. Eventually it left, but it took a long time. Do not like that. Long overdue for some walking during the day and I feel that was my alarm going off: move, or hurt. NOW.

Been wishing there’s a PPA group (Paranoid People Anonymous). Don’t know if I’m being paranoid or reacting sanely these days. The theatre’s WhatsApp group, once so vocal it made my phone go off a dozen times every day, is silent and remains silent. Hm. Has another group been started, one that doesn’t include me so everyone can safely bitch without me knowing? Yeah, I know: that’s a paranoid thought. Not very probable. But not totally improbable, either. I’ve watched the director whip together new WhatsApp conversations on a whim, including or excluding as he feels necessary.

Nothing, still, for December. No schedule, no request for me to fill in a calendar with my free times. Nothing.

I never liked this group’s lackadaisical approach to things. The last minute ‘can you do this instead?’ questions and the actors needing scripts right up to performance night because they’re not memorizing their lines. But DAMN! I can’t tell if I’m extra hyper about all this and therefore just extra sensitive, or if I’m right on the mark. It feels like I’m right on the mark, but then, that’s the way it always feels. I mean… I’m not too far off, right? It’s 30 November and I’m talking about December here. I should be concerned, shouldn’t I?

Letting go is… Well, I’m finding ‘letting go’ means letting go of everything right now. Relinquishing all control over the blog. Spit out the newsletter whenever. Can all my plans for video. Trying to shed all those other jobs and just be an actor. Think about my role, concentrate on learning my lines. I’ll get a picture or two here or there. I’ll be able to blog once in a while about the group; I don’t have to post after every rehearsal. Yeah, it’s better to post after every rehearsal. To get this shit down to a science. But I feel like I’m dragging everyone through it, like everyone is reluctant to even give me their answers to 8 simple questions for the newsletter. It feels like they resent me doing these things. And I’m tired of working so hard and feeling unwanted and dissed.

Spent lots of time thinking about how I want to handle this and what I’ll do. I need to find that non-caring zone: the one where I let go of my expectations for the play and just participate. That’s the only place I can speak from and not cause trouble. Have decided to simply confront G and M on their attitudes. When I hear from G about how stupid my use of ‘creepy’ is (and I WILL hear about it again, I’m sure) this is my response: You were told you could change that to something you feel more comfortable with. It’s not really an issue anymore, so why do you keep bringing it up? The only reason I can think of is that you want to make me feel bad about my work. Is there something you need to say to me? Similar with M: I thought you enjoyed this script when we began. Now you seem to hate it. What’s going on? M doesn’t get as much thought because I skipped her rehearsal. I got an evening full of attitude from G, tho. She deserves to be called to the carpet.

No more dissing me. I’ll take joking around; I like to do that, too. And generally I feel like I have a large capacity to make fun of myself. But no more telling me my words are stupid, or something doesn’t make sense. You’re not even giving me the minimum respect any human deserves when you roll your eyes at me time and time again; THAT I will not put up with.

Thinking about being scary Beeps. Scary Beeps is very effective; I’ve used her in the past. It usually only takes one well placed threat to make people back off. I may be short, but I have an intensity about me that people respond to. Maybe it’s my bipolar effect. Or maybe it’s because I issue the threat the way I act: I feel it, every part of it. When I lean in close and with a small smile say, ‘You don’t know who you’re fucking with,’ people get frightened. Perhaps that thin line that’s preventing me from punching them finally gets their notice. Gee, she’s really angry! Yep. And most people have never confronted the type of rage I carry. Yesterday I indulged in a bit of ‘crazy talk’. But here’s a story for you: someone once pissed me off. Mightily. I cursed him without thinking. This was before I recognized the effect I have on my surroundings. Two weeks later I got a call telling me he’d committed suicide. I’ve no proof the two things are connected. Then again, I’ve no proof they’re not. But experience tips it to the connected side. There’s also the story of getting mugged in Chicago one night (I ended up in hospital with a head injury). I cursed that person, too, loudly and quickly. The next morning I received a phone call from a man in Chicago. One of his employees had found my purse with everything in it behind a bush in a park. They returned it to me, in tact. Nothing gone, nothing stolen, and no explanation for what happened. Other than my suspicions.

I feel like I can ‘get even’ with D, G, M, or anyone else. Not directly. Most of the time I won’t even hear about what happens; that’s the way it works. But it does seem to work.

You don’t know who you’re fucking with.

I’ll take it

Other than my rant – and thank you, gentlemen (you know who you are), for supporting that post with a ‘like’ – I’ve been regretting my foray into ‘let’s try less medication’ suggested by my rheumatologist. Damned methotrexate! It’s one that fools you because it takes time to build in your system. So I dropped the amount I take and was fine – great! – for two months. Now, I’m feeling it.

Damned rheumatoid arthritis. I hate this disease.

Taking more pain pills. Even the biggies. My bro stopped by one of the coffeeshops and bought me the strongest grass with the most oomph against pain. And if I smoke it straight and chill out, it works. But it’s expensive, and I’ve got class today…

Oh, and let me just bitch about the exhaustion before I move on, okay? I can sleep anywhere, anytime right now because that’s how damned tired I am. Back to a minimum of 10 hours every night.

Naturally, this is hitting me in my right arm. From the shoulder down to the fingertips. Continual pain radiating down. Gods, I should have taught myself to write with both hands!

Immediate concern: received a message from the director – scratch that, two messages – asking if I could meet with some of the actors tonight. Off I go at the drop of a hat. And we’re meeting at a bar. Naturally. So I’ve another night sipping expensive water. And me just now healthy after the last sniffle/cold/flu hit.

*sigh*

Reminding myself this is better timing for a medication trial than come spring. Things aren’t crazy right now. Telling myself that everyone else drags their feet and then jumps at the last minute, expecting you to do the same. I’ve no reason to reveal how organized I am. I can wait, until I feel a bit better, and do as they do. Golden rule, after all, right?

Man, I may need to buy some coffee tonight.

Most of all, I appreciate now (maybe a bit in hindsight) how well my team has kept me and my condition these past years. I’ve grown accustomed to no pain, to being able to move, to a certain energy. RA just saps all of that. Tuesday is my methotrexate day, and I’m going back to my old dosage right away. Minimize this as much as possible.

Strange dreams lately. I dreamt of shitting my pants. Literally. Yeesh! Of all the dreams in all my life, and that’s the one I wake up remembering! I know enough shrink-speak to diagnose this as a classic ‘fear of being out of control’ thing. Same anxiety I experienced as a child, wrapped up in a brand new nightmare. And not surprising: I am not in control. I’m working in a group now, and by definition that puts me out of control. I have to rely on others to do their part of it. I have to co-operate, meaning operate from the control of more than just myself. Others can overrule my thinking, as in the new graphic from the director’s girlfriend. Not even close to what I wanted. But, now that I’m in a group, I need to include others. So I went with it. But I don’t feel good about it. I don’t feel it works for the production, for the feeling of it, anything. She doesn’t get it. That much is obvious.

Managed to get thru my Dutch homework yesterday. Other than a rather strange request in section 2, I found it terribly easy. Basically, it’s a short read with a series of questions that dig into your understanding of the text. Kudos to my teachers: it’s on male and female languages. I’ve belly-ached once or twice (or more) about how Dutch uses separate words for the same thing: they still have actress and actor, teacheress and teacher, etc. Right up my alley. And it’s something we can do now that there are no men in the group. Not exactly a safe topic among mixed company. Again, a nod to my teachers for being so sensitive. They’re wonderful examples to me.

The hot water in the building continues to be a dream. To take a shower when I want, to wash dishes anytime of the day or night, to get warm water when I bloody well wash my hands is a luxury I’m not soon to overlook. Every human on the planet should go through a few years without ready hot water. It teaches you so much about thankfulness and all the good that society can do. That is such a problem these days. We gripe about slow internet access, or how long the microwave takes, or the traffic when we can’t drive as fast as we want. Luxuries, all. Humanity is a spoiled brat, unthankful for what it has and greedy, always, for the next new thing.

I guess, in a way, I’m thankful for what’s happened. For the years without hot water, for the rheumatoid arthritis, for everything that’s seemed bad in my life. Because it’s made me appreciate all the more what I have. More and more I find myself coming from a place of thankfulness. I’m thankful to my teachers. I’m thankful to the theatre group for doing this production. I’m thankful to my brother for sticking by me. I’m thankful for the trance writing, for the wonderful stories I’m building and spinning.

This is the good place age brings. It’s what everyone tries to achieve. It’s not something you learn, because you can’t teach it. It’s something you become. Do not think, at 20 or 30 (or even 50, like myself), that you understand the word ‘acceptance’. Learning that definition comes with time and experience. It is both a letting-go and a holding-on. It is a flower that blooms at the last, and being perhaps the last flower ever from that particular vine, is all the more beautiful for it.

Or maybe I’ve smoked enough of that super strong stuff for this morning…

…Doesn’t matter. I’ll take it.

Is it me?

The roads are melting. That’s how hot it is. NL has deployed gritters to try and keep asphalt on the streets. Sweden is burning, Greece is burning, and we are sitting in the middle, the grass now so dead and brown it might need replacing in some areas.

Watched some heat lightening strikes yesterday. Good ol’ Mom Nature teased us. Brought in some huge black clouds, rumbled around and made a lot of noise, lit up the sky for over an hour of huge jagged strikes, but we only had rain for about 2 minutes. Enough to make the earth gasp, enough to make the streets sizzle, but not enough to really do anything. Today is forecast to be 37C.

Saw my very cute physiotherapist yesterday. He’s getting to know me. First thing out of his mouth in a teasing manner: Okay, what did you do to yourself this time? He pulled my legs, pushed my back, wrenched my hips around ’til he found the tender spot. Then he pushed in with his elbow (OW!) and manipulated me in a new stretch that really targeted my side pain. I feel better than I have in weeks.

Naturally, the building’s lift is out. Well…not quite out. I tried it yesterday. It came to the appropriate floor, and the doors opened. Then they slammed shut and opened and slammed shut again, for a total of four hard slams. I wasn’t gonna trust it; the stairwell was hot, but no way as hot as getting trapped in a small box with no air ventilation. Ended up doing the stairs twice, in rather quick succession. Strange thing: both times I miscounted, or forgot to count. Got the top thinking I still had one more flight to go. My bro thinks that’s just my body adjusting to the climb up. I wonder if I managed to ‘move’ a flight somewhere. I know how crazy that sounds; I also know it’s not impossible.

Doing loads of not much. Staying cool, eating popsicles. Drinking water, watching tv. Getting up earlier than usual, like today, to drag down the garbage and try to get shopping done before 10 a.m. Can’t even do much on my computer. The whole thing weirded out yesterday while I was playing games. Froze up; had to restart. I coulda fried an egg on the screen it was so hot.

Ventured out with my bro the other evening. We needed smoke, and wanted to buy the full Grimm DVD set. Summer tv is here and there is jack shit on. So off we went: first to the big mall by us, where we picked up the DVDs for ten euro less than downtown. Then off to eat in Markthal: fish from the fish guys. We stayed indoors to finish off cans of soda (our table was in the shade), then gathered up our things and headed into the heat. Down to the coffeeshop, get in the queue, pony up funds for smoke (I got a freebie; hoorah!), and back to the metro. Home by 6:30 with smoke and entertainment plus a really good meal under our belts.

Need to just ride this heat out for a few more days. Then it’s supposed to break and the temp should return to the 20s. It’ll feel like autumn after this…

Received a reply about the robot text for the theatre site. Ugh. Basically they walked me thru the same instructions that were online (which I’d already read). I think if I go to the text page and just change ‘Disallow’ to ‘Allow’ it’ll work, but I want to check with my bro. He’s been doing SEO coding for years; he’ll know.

Hope to drop off the fabric I use for a video backdrop at a dry cleaners. Get it brightened up. Tried yesterday but the place I stopped at wasn’t going to open ’til later. I wasn’t about to go back in the middle of the day. I’ll just find somewhere that’s open in the mornings.

Have not taken the time to just write, and maybe that’s a mistake. Once again, I find my head mulling over diverse story lines. Some scenes are crystal clear in my brain. I am editing up there. Cutting things down to the basics. I keep thinking: No, I don’t need to show all that. It’s unnecessary. Just do this and you’ll get all of that plus more in one scene that the audience will understand. Excellent. Now, tell me what the full story is, please…

August is literally around the corner. I’ll have a short breathing space, then I’ll need to dive right in. My goal is to release the first newsletter in September. Thought about beginning with the first release in October, but that makes things tricky with advertising for the new production. Better to push a little on the first issue and get it out quick so my months line up: September, December, March, June. I’ll be able to churn out three whole issues before our first performance. That allows time and space to whip up interest and showcase any sponsors I manage to snag.

Am very ready to get going on all this. Keep imagining a very large gathering for my October make-up/general interest meeting. Keep seeing in my mind people who will take the extra time and effort to learn what I have to teach because they want to help. Focusing on those positives; I won’t get them if I don’t put it out there.

My feet won’t stop moving. I sit, but my foot just goes and goes, whipping back and forth in a tempo that has to be locked in my subconscious ’cause it sure as hell isn’t in my foremind (suck it, spell check; I’m making that a word). I wonder if my spirit is running that road, back and forth, fast as a hummingbird. I wonder if my unsettled foot is evidence of that. If, somehow, I’m creating this heat.

Is it me?

Make it rain

Sprang another hole in that mania shield. This time: marketing.

Long thoughts and soul searching. Came to the conclusion the theatre group is missing a beat by not having a newsletter. Many have asked; many have been disappointed. I’ve volunteered my writing skills. Spent yesterday pouring thru the form, our online info, and filling in our first issue. Naturally, it’s heavy on my production. It feels more than half an ad, but then, that’s what a lot of newsletters are. Pretty happy with what I have so far.

And, oh! This group needs help. I mean…for a bunch of teachers who teach business marketing, their marketing skills are terrible. Awful. They don’t take advantage of anything: not their members, not their social pages, not anything. Little wonder the group has had problems getting an audience of 20 to come to a show.

Well, do what you do, Beeps. You be the master of marketing on nothing. Maybe that’s these people’s problem: they’re used to talking about marketing on unlimited funds. That happens in academia. Their examples are huge corporations, and millions are moved around on chalkboards and computer screens all under the motto of “This is normal”. But that’s easy marketing. Anyone can make money when you start with money; it’s the law of averages. Spend enough and you get to a tipping point with your audience. Enough people get your message, your pitch, to buy your product. And once that happens, it spreads like disease. But doing it without throwing unlimited funds at the problem – now THAT’S a challenge. And not something everyone can do.

So…now I have passwords to all their secret social pages. I have the go-ahead on the newsletter. They’ve given me the reigns. Buckle up, people.

Want to announce a general meeting for October. The group hasn’t had a general meeting for a while. Auditions, rehearsals – sure. But not a meeting to bring in new blood. Not a meeting to draw attention to ourselves. Realized I have a skill I may never have really considered: special effects make-up. It’s something I’ve always done; vampire make-up, zombie make-up, pretend blood. Mostly for Halloween. But not everyone does these things. I tend to think it’s easy, that everyone can do it, but…That’s not really true, is it? So I thought we could call a fun general meeting in mid-October. Our rehearsals for the production won’t be bad at that point. Once a week at most. Pitch the meeting as a general meet n greet but also as a ‘learn how to do make-up effects for Halloween’ thing. I could use a couple of volunteers and do a zombie look, a bruised look, and a bullet hole in the head. Some people will learn, some will just think it’s cool, some will just want to come for the fun. Plus, it’s gently pushing the production: we need to master these techniques for the new play. Get that interest stirred up. And I could really use another make-up expert backstage. Have this feeling most of the actors will remain passive: here, do my make-up for me. I won’t have time for all of them, so help would be great.

My back is doing better, day by day. Still have some pain, so I’m moving slowly. Went down to the main library yesterday and checked out Roald Dahl’s autobiography. I’m greedy for his words; gobbled up over 50 pages between metro rides and reading before sleep. It is precisely my cup of tea: a historical account written by a great author. Love Tolstoy for the same reason. There is a flavor to the words of someone who’s lived thru it that’s just different. More authentic. Writers who imagine historical settings…they may do really well, but it’s not the same. Things get glossed over. If someone dies, it’s a tragic death, clean and with memorable last words. The truth is greyer than that. Death comes, no font of wisdom spews from the nearly dead lips, and reality crashes in. But one can easily see where Dahl’s material came from. His descriptions of his early childhood mimic his great works, and I am left with the evident trail of truth to fiction to follow thru his pages. Ah! Here’s where The Witches was born. Aha! And that’s a bit of Matilda in there. Truly fascinating.

Made a to-do list with huge things on it, like ‘search out T-shirt marketing’. That small phrase really contains hundreds of smaller things inside it. But start with the biggie. When I get into it, it’ll break itself down. Hoping just having the list will help me stay on track. I do not – do NOT – need another hole in my mania shield. I have enough leaks gushing water as it is. Keep on point, keep focused. Train that manic energy to the tasks at hand. If I spring too many leaks, I’ll overload and burn out. And I’m in danger of doing that right now.

Today I want colorful fun. No nonsense, straight up fun. Will get a walk in for my back and swing by the store to pick up a few things, then back here for play. Since my bro is by the comic shop today, I’m doing make-up. Want to try a few things out. Maybe even give the tissue paper and glue wound a try. Better check for hot water before I do too much.

My desktop is almost full of files, folders, and projects in various states of ‘doneness’. Nothing shows my mania more than my desktop. It’s a snapshot of my mind. I’ve got passwords, articles on strange phenomena, pictures, scripts, story ideas, recipes and notes. A total hodgepodge.

…Maybe we need to up my new med.

Very fitting I sit here in the Netherlands. I feel like that damned Dutch boy, sticking my fingers into the dyke, trying to keep back the flood. The flood is inevitable; I should just accept that.

Time to make it rain.

Flow

Spent an hour walking a path that usually takes me about 35 minutes. I was slower in my movements than I’d been in a long time. It hurt. Tremendously. And it tired me out. Had to pause and catch my breath while crossing a bridge, then came home and napped.

I do not like that kind of pain. I am, however, used to dragging myself thru it. Once again, I proved my doctors correct: the pain is less today.

*sigh* Golden Rule Number 1: Move.

Obviously, that’s top of my list today. And it should be every day. I shuffle around my Golden Rules, depending on my mood. That one needs to be implacable. Permanently inked onto my eyeballs. Dying? Tough. Move. Wallowing in self pity? Oh, poor you. Now, move. On a roll? Step off it; you know what’s next. It needs to rank up there with sleep and food – not a desire, but a necessity.

…Mmm. Lots to think about lately. And here my bro just left the house, opening up a window for me to write…

Thoughts on names. The names I choose in writing bother me more than anyone else. My names must have hidden meaning. I spend days on sites, culling thru various definitions, finding the right name for the right character and letting them become. In my new piece, I’m choosing “Priam” for the surname of she who is now called ‘Mother’. I think I can get away with that and not feel too heavy handed. A few will get the reference; many will not. Can’t find a reason to give her a first name. She’s the oldest character on stage, and all defer to that seniority. …Want a definite line between the older gen and the younger gen on names. Older gen names are standard stuff: Ann, William, Lucy, etc. Younger gen names have to reflect the world they’re in – a world devoid of growth or water. So far I have ‘Skye’ and ‘Cole’, which I like and may keep. They feel like a Skye and a Cole.

Been watching Twin Peaks again, from the start. And oh! I may not like Lynch’s politics or sexism, but his imagery on screen does make my mind spark. Had a v cool idea for the script. It means taking what I’ve got right now and creating that outline, because I’m about to spin off into The Twilight Zone…

Oh, Hell’s Bells! Just had that stupid notice on my computer to take my injection today. Gods, I hate doing that. I know I should be thankful it’s only once a week. My dad had diabetes and he had to shoot up twice a day. Of course, his syringes were smaller than mine, but still! …And I am thankful it’s only once a week. I’m even more thankful it works. I still can’t like it.

Very excited by the artwork I’m getting in from K. My bro and I have limped along for decades using our own artwork. It works, to an extent. I mean…it’s there. It got us out into the sea of the world. But it’s not crowd appealing. K’s taking some of my bro’s ideas and expanding them, making them into a stylized, professional version of the raw drawings. Hey! Sort of like they do with the Simpson’s drawings. Yeah. Anyway, I’m really jazzed by them. All sorts of marketing ideas.

Feels a bit like the main gush of mania has been capped off, but little streams of it are seeping through…

That would actually be very beneficial. As long as I don’t run myself into the ground.

Special effects for the production: Took a long re-think on my idea and decided against it. Going to go back to the vid of tissue paper, glue, and make-up wounds and study it. Try that technique. I’ll still need to pre-set the area before performance and keep it wrapped up during most of the play. So I’ve got to get something I like, then wrap it up and test it by wearing it around the house all day. Plan similar tests for the squibs: get something I think might work, then strap them on and wear them around the house. Need to find out if normal movement might break them. Can’t have that! The actor has to wear them during Act 3, so they only need to survive for about 35 minutes. We can tape them on during Act 2, when she’s backstage. My wounds, on the other hand, have to survive under gauze for two acts.

Ye Gods! My bro’s been playing his new songs so often that I can still hear them even after the sound is off and he’s left the flat. Talk about making an impression on your ear!

Left myself hanging a bit right now. I have no actual book in Dutch to read before sleep. My heart is set on getting Roald Dahl’s autobiography from the main library and reading it over the summer but I’m in no condition to head down there right now. Instead, I’ve found myself picking up Bridget Jones’ Diary – in Dutch – and randomly opening to a page to read a bit before I turn off the light. I picked the book up ages ago, thinking I’d be able to get thru it. Nope. Too difficult at the time. Last night I read a passage that brought to mind the English equivalent. It was weird. Not just comprehension, but recognition from both sides, both languages. I heard, simultaneously, my English speaking reader voice and my Dutch speaking reader voice reciting the text. And I understood both. Talk about parallel lines of thought!

Time for me to show a little discipline. Eat something, take my shot, and get out for a walk. That doesn’t mean kill myself or overdo it. That means eat a bit, do what I need, and head out for a hopefully pleasant little neighborhood jaunt to come back refreshed and feeling looser.

Follow the Golden Rule. Let everything else flow from there.

Are you learning?

Two days of walking and my back is almost pain free. At least I can get up out of a chair without moaning from agony. Thank you, Goddess, for giving me such an easy fix on this one! I swear I’ll do better from now on.

Had a long letter from J, my street bro and friend for decades. He’s had a major blow-out with his DNA sister, and I can tell he’s upset. Need to write back to him today on it. Give him some support and kindness.

Writing a bit. Playing a bit. Telling myself all I need to do now is walk and get my back into shape. Everything else comes second.

Been pondering from time to time my feelings of worthlessness. I keep watching tv and film and wondering how these jerks and idiots get jobs that pay enough for them to live in the manner they live in. Keep remembering how I never felt I was worth that much money, despite my knowledge or degrees. And I’m sorry, but no one’s worth that much money for anything. This person made 36 million last year. For what? Being a jerk? Acting like an asshole? They didn’t solve any crisis, they didn’t save anyone’s life, they just made money. Why do we have such inflated salaries? Who needs that much money to live on?

I don’t want to be – and will never be – that decadent. If tons of money come my way, I’ll use it differently. Invest differently. No stock market schemes, all straight personal investments in people I believe in. People are the only real resource, anyway. Why invest in cyber space or gold? It’s meaningless, worthless. Why invest in real estate or things? You can’t take any of it with you. The only thing worth investing in is people. Changing their lives for the better. Giving those that really struggle just to make ends meet a chance.

I don’t want things. I want people to remember me. My jokes, my advice, my help, my kindness. I want people to stop and ask themselves what I’d do before making any choice for themselves. I want people to think. I want to help people over those hard spots in life, point out the pitfalls so maybe they can do better than me. I want people to try harder to understand others and themselves. I want others to do better in life than I have, and I hope my experiences, advice, and help, are valuable to them.

That’s the only real kind of immortality any of us can ask for. A lot of people have kids to pass on their knowledge to, but after growing up with my older siblings I was all too aware of the idea of how far the apple can fall from the tree; biological children were never the answer for me. You are my children. Everyone and anyone reading this is my child. This is my experiment: to treat every human like my child, to see everyone on this planet as an opportunity to be a bit kinder, a bit better version of ME that leaves people pondering their own behavior and hoping to improve themselves. The only real way I know how to do that is be honest. Destroy the pedestals even as they’re erected: I am not perfect. I yell and scream. I can be petty and purposefully hurt others. I make a lot of mistakes. See me for what I really am, not that rose colored version of me. That version will be built in the future, not in my lifetime. That version will be the myth, the legend, the one that lives on in the tale told ’round the campfire. And hopefully that version will be inspiring, even if it’s not realistic. The problem is, of course, that we all build our our mythos. Our actions build it, day by day. And just like you can’t really see when your body drops a couple of pounds because you look at yourself every day, you don’t realize what kind of mythos you’re building until you get some feedback.

So no, I don’t really know what I project. No one does. I am heartened, tho, by those few who open up to me. Who come back to me when they’re hurting. My children, wanting a kiss on their boo-boo’s. That’s a bit condescending sounding, and I didn’t really mean it that way. Oftentimes all I feel like I can do is kiss it, remind them how important they are to me, how great I feel they are, how much I care about them. I can’t offer much concrete help. But there are people out there who return to me with their problems, offering them up to me in messages, hoping to get that inspirational letter in response. I know that, and do my best to be there for each and every one of them. I always say I’m not the ‘mothering’ type, but I do have a lot of ‘mothering’ characteristics.

And I guess the word ‘mother’ got a bad reputation in my head. Just like the word ‘lady’ got a bad reputation. Those words were brought out to shame me, to justify horrible behavior, or to constrain my impulses. I can not remember one day of wanting to be a ‘lady’ or a ‘mother’ in the sense C used the words.

But I do want to help people. Protect them, shelter them from the worst in life. Whether that’s lady-like or motherly, I can’t really say. It is a base impulse in me, tho.

…Sorry; I still can’t use the M word in association with myself. I can accept I’m a carer. That’s straight-forward, and clean.

I care.

And I always have.

I cared about my high school prom, even tho I loudly proclaimed I didn’t. I care about my current poverty, tho I do my best to not worry too much. I care about the world, and people, tho I shout and scream and tell everyone to go to hell from time to time.

I care so much I have to shout about how much I don’t care so when I get hurt it’s not as bad and no one thinks I’m as big a wreck as I am…

Are you listening, my children?

Are you learning?

Unstuck in time

A-a-agony! I’ve sat on my arse long enough to waken the back monster. Ow. I suppose lugging my heavy books around yesterday didn’t help.

Class was fun. Me and my bro and four other students. My teachers were welcoming to T, and he got a chance to show off his translated music theory book to them. He did well, too – keeping up with our in-class work and getting at least 50% of the answers right (he, of course, focused on the 50% he got wrong – a good reminder of what I must sound and look like). Next week is screwed up with holidays as well, and the teachers asked him if he’d like to come back. After that, he needs to apply for a class transfer thru the org that gives lessons. Two lessons with us will give him a good idea if he can make the move up. I think he’s more than ready. And, if I’m honest, worrying about T – whether or not he knew a word or understood the instructions – kept me from worrying about me. I just answered as best I could and laughed at myself when I didn’t know what to say. So it ended up being one of the lightest and most fun classes I’ve had.

And after starting the day with so much nothing in me, having fun by the afternoon was a real relief. I grinned for real, laughed for real, relaxed for real. Gods, I love school. So much. Learning is fun. Okay, I sound like some public service announcement, but it’s true for me. I get a real rush of excitement when I spell a word correctly or answer a difficult question well. Yesterday we worked on antonyms. I’ve done some of that: left, right; up, down, etc. This was, naturally, a step up in difficulty. My teachers know I’m a big reader, so they chose a hard word for me: ordinary (gewoon). I barely use the word at all, and have only sussed out the meaning thru my reading. My first guess was ‘ongewoon’, adding on the ‘on’ in Dutch that is akin to the ‘un’ in English. That got everyone to laugh. Then, out of this fog of unknowing, a word popped up for me: bijzonder. I knew it was correct, tho it is yet another word I don’t use when I speak because it’s only a word I know thru my reading. Same thing happened again later: I came up with the correct answer even tho I’m not using the word. It’s all thru my reading; I know more words than I think I know. Same thing happened to me with English when I was a kid. I find it freakier in Dutch than in English, tho.

Today: gotta go to the gym. Agonize my way over there, hurt for an hour on the treadmill. Get moving again. Open up that back. Well, there I go: in the end, the pain will drive me back to some sort of exercise routine. Shouldn’t sweat it so much.

Will tackle homework while my enthusiasm is so high. I always do more when I feel like this. Still have lots to do, and I have a new word puzzle to wrestle with this week.

It’s been raining for days on end now. Greyed out, wet, windy, colder. Does not entice me to go out much. At least there’s no chance of drought in the foreseeable future.

Want to get back to this comedy I’m tinkering with. The first act is turning into a set-up. I’m using stereotypical archetypes familiar to us thru television and film. Setting: a space ship. So yes, there’s a captain who’s pulling off the impossible, a first officer who’s offering up all sorts of suggestions (and who’s a ladies’ man), a science officer devoid of emotion, a hot-shot pilot, a sexy communications officer, and a combative security officer. I want it played hammy, shown exactly for what it is. Act 2 is where the twist comes in, and things change. Still don’t know how or if I’ll get them ‘home’ again. Most of these types of stories end by bringing your characters back to the original set point having learned something about themselves. Hm. Tho an idea did just pop into my head…

Boy, I like my computer. Typing is so much faster and easier than writing things out by hand. Pull up the file, make notes, add question marks where I’m unsure of my ideas (???), and boom; I’m done. I have a chance of keeping up with my head by typing. I’d need to learn shorthand to do it by hand.

Feels like I’m a bit unstuck in time. Just floating. Tuesday? Yeah, I guess it is. Feels like a Friday, tho. Fridays are days to begin shutting down and concentrating on me and my stuff. Tuesdays are days to take care of things in the world: work, errands, stuff you need to do but don’t really want to do. Like…going to the gym and walking for an hour.

Well, that still leaves me a lot of hours in the day. And hopefully my back will feel better.

…Holy shit. It’s May. Didn’t quite realize that.

I’m more unstuck in time than I thought.

Bump on a log

Bump on a log. I have sat for days, zombie-like, in front of my computer or the tv, not really hearing much, not really seeing much. My brain has felt fully empty – an oxymoron, I know, but that’s what it’s felt like: so much emptiness there’s no room for thought. What do you want for dinner? I don’t know. What are you gonna do today? I don’t know. When are you gonna start writing again? I don’t know. There is so much ‘I don’t know’ to sit and ponder over I can barely make a start on the basics, like dishes or making my bed.

This is my process. I begrudgingly accept it: the lengthy instances of sitting on my ass and seemingly doing nothing. I was taught this was wrong. Something to fight against. Oh, the years of harassment and nagging! The inevitable guilt I feel when it happens. I know I am a bump on a log. I know I sit there and sit there. It’s what I need. Just like the early mornings, the pacing sessions, the web searches. My brother handles this better than I. He is unfailing cheery, unfailing willing to pick up the slack I leave sitting around (for the most part; the dishes still aren’t done). It would be annoying if I paid more attention to what’s going on.

Ach, that’s two dishes references in as many paragraphs. Guess we all know what my trigger is.

Finally made a start on the dreaded tech notes check. Taking it slow. Trying to not drive myself insane.

Finished my latest Roald Dahl and began another. Have a loosely scheduled trip to the library today…sometime. Fine. Get me out. It’s been days…I think. Saturday? When was the last time I left the house? …Probably Thursday, when I took out the recycling. Yeah. Well, if I have to think that hard about it, I need to get out. A little metro ride, a little walk, return the book, pick up some smoke, a metro ride home. All in the sunshine.

*sigh* Keep forgetting to take my pill on time. I began at noon, brought it up to 11 a.m., but now it’s scooted back to 1:30 because I keep bloody well forgetting. I’d like to get it to either my pills in the morning or pills in the evening, but neither of those times are set in stone and my anti-depressant needs to be a bit more regular. So I’m floating. Trying to find a time I’m always aware of – now that’s difficult. Not sure what to do.

The tapping stopped, for the most part. I can go off into it at any time. It’s right there in my feet. But I’ve found if I don’t start, I can prevent another afternoon of incessant sound. And…keeping my shoes off helps.

… _ _ _ … (that’s SOS in text code, for those of you wondering…)

Some of the fog is clearing. I’m beginning to think again now and then. My brain really does go far, far away when it creates and when it comes back it’s like a snap into focus. I become aware in an instant of many things simultaneously: undone work, my surroundings, my brother’s mood, the weather. I can feel this coming to an end. I am ready to get back to something like a routine, albeit a summer routine. Not sure now what I’ll write. I was so certain, the other day, but now… Now I feel very different threads coming together in my brain. There’s something else up there waiting to give birth, and it’s almost ready. Or…it’s ready enough to sit and gestate quietly now that it’s kicked its twin out of the womb. I can wait. I know how it goes when I wait: an easy birth. One great push and out it comes. Cool. Just give me that frontal lobe back, please. I need it for my day to day.

Been haunting my emails again, hoping the theatre group would just pull themselves together enough to begin talking about auditions without me nudging them. No such luck. I’ll need to write something to the board member and the director. Worried about bugging them too much. The director, especially. But auditions should have at least a week’s notice; in my mind, two weeks would be better. It’s almost the end of April. That puts them mid-May at best. If everyone thinks they can pull this together after summer holiday, I’m willing to let them try but there’s one condition: I want the actors to have the script over the summer, so they can read the story. Once you know the story, the lines are simple. They follow the action. It’s logical, scene to scene. Just…read it.

Every day is too long, yet flies by. Maybe it’s the sameness. Everything blends into one big mass of blah. Sun, heat, tv, games, Dutch, dishes. Over and over. My wrist continues to hurt. It’s annoying, and keeps waking me up at night. Maybe it’s time to take out the big pain pills. The paracetamol ain’t doin’ it.

I want to scrape myself off myself, if that makes any sense. Scratch this tired repetitive zombie off me. Rinse it down the drain in the shower. Say ‘goodbye, inaction’ and become that calm, forward moving person I know I can be. I’m almost there. Please be patient with me a little longer.

Have this bad feeling this summer will be tough on my RA. It’s not even May and I’m contemplating morphine pills for my wrist pain. Fuck. And you know what the worst thing is? If I say something about it, I’ll hear the old make sure to get regular exercise stuff. How does walking or using the cross trainer help my wrist? No one’s ever been able to tell me. They just repeat how important regular exercise is, like I didn’t know.

Summer: my hands and feet swell. My knees and back get bad. Does not matter what I do or don’t do. And I love the idea of summer. Warm sunshine. I have great memories of summer activities.

But now… Now, summer puts me into bump on a log mode. Thinking in dark rooms. Babying my hands and feet because of pain. It’s a natural de-evolution.

Bump on a log.

Balance

It is NOT just withdrawal. Nope. Indulged after my 4am freak storm. While I felt a bit better, it didn’t stop the feeling of a knife sliding into my temple. It’s a light sensation compared to what I’ve been through but still there. No…this isn’t just withdrawal. This is something else. Neuralgia? Maybe. Not for me to diagnose. Just for me to live through.

My biggest fear in all of this is they’ll end up saying ‘it’s stress’. And then every time I complain about something, that’ll be their first go-to explanation. It’s a discount. And it’s why I don’t go to the doc with every single complaint. I know my body reacts to stress. I know about sleep problems, digestion problems, headaches, etc. because I’ve lived it. This ain’t any of that. Or if it is, it’s at a new, hitherto unexperienced level. That’s scary. Just contemplating it is scary.

Woke up to a shitload of crap in my inbox. Mostly junk. But one email from the theatre group. It was ‘Hey everybody! The date for watching the video is coming up fast. Where are we meeting?’ I didn’t even know the date was coming up fast; no one told me a date had been decided on. I sent a note back saying ‘Didn’t know the date had been set. I know I’m not on your social network, but please let me know when and where. I’d like to see the video with everyone.’ Hope that wasn’t mean or nasty. Didn’t mean it to be. But…really! I have to roll my eyes with these people. They’re all so “connected” yet they can’t keep me informed? If they used the tools they tout, like Facebook (which we’re all on), this wouldn’t happen. It’s their insistence that FB is old school and out of date that creates this situation with me out of the loop. In my eyes, that’s one more way to just exclude me. You’re old school, you’re out of date, no one uses that anymore. Then why try to use it to advertise the group? Why claim you’ll communicate thru one medium and then throw that away and make it difficult by using another medium that not everyone in the group has?

…Gods. Whatever. I’m not putting all my eggs in that basket.

Been talking with my bro about producing my scripts via his company. He’s under pressure to produce something, some product that uses Dutch people and is done right here. I want to see my work done. Yesterday we got a flyer from a place within walking distance that’s got sound proofed rehearsal rooms and a small recording studio. Our home studio is…well, shoved in a corner, under wraps, and currently needs some repairs to be back to 100% usefulness. This new place advertises room rates that we could afford. My brother is beginning to be excited. I’ve been spending loads of time on YouTube, culling through all the unsolved mysteries and creepy stories looking for new subject matter. Why not do my scripts? We can monetize them on-line. Frankly, I’m sick and tired of hearing about internet millionaires while simultaneously seeing such a small trickle of income reach me. So the talk is now of renting rooms, finding actors, producing my scripts. My thriller trilogy is so sound intensive it can easily be turned into an audio script. And I’ve already got a radio script set to produce. Find a few creepy pictures to accompany the productions, and viola. The idea hits all the bases: my brother’s need to produce something here using Dutch people, my desire to have my work done, it’s within our financial abilities, and it’ll be something that can generate some money.

I like that. Something real I can hang my hat on. Something I know I can trust. Not blindly sending out, never hearing squat again. Not teasing me, almost making the cut. Not dependent on some mysterious board decision or someone else’s assessment of whether or not they can pull it off. The sound can be exactly what I want. Oh, I know how to make you shiver!

Managed to get back to reading Dutch. My language skills are weird. Don’t know if everyone goes through this or not. It’s like puzzle pieces falling into place. I look at the sentences; sometimes I get it right away and sometimes not, depending on the words used. If I don’t get it, I stare. I re-read. And then it kind of slides into place. Something clicks in my head, and I get it. I don’t know how I’m doing it. But every time I do do it and run to my dictionary to check and see if I’ve got it right, I’ve got it right. Reminding myself I did this with English. I have one or two memories of doing it. As a kid I didn’t question that kind of nonverbal understanding. As an adult, it scares me a bit. Makes me question myself. I keep asking ‘is that right?’ But the words are coming. My head gobbles them up, whether or not I want it to. I can feel it. A word becomes a stand-out for me. I become uncomfortably aware of it in all its versions. Slowly the meaning gets seared into my brain. It’s weird. Just plain weird. I’m not getting the language from repetition, tho that helps in recognition. It’s something deeper than repetition. Once again, I can’t explain it because I just don’t have the right words. Or maybe the right words don’t exist, at least in English. Maybe I’ll find them in Dutch.

Want to get out of the house today, if my stomach lets me. Go for some fresh air and walk around the neighborhood. I know I need it.

I’ve been off for months.

I need to re-establish balance.