Little packets

Life is being portioned out to me in little packets.

My computer can only do so much. After a few hours, it seems to clog down and I can’t access anything. Well… I guess those out-of-date notices are finally coming to fruition.

I ask three questions and get an answer to one. Move forward, stop. Wait. Honestly, it’s like I’m some token on a game board getting moved ahead by a dice toss. I never know where I’ll land, or what I’ll need to do next. Thank the Goddess I can multi-task!

J’s health scare was a false alarm. I’m glad beyond glad. We’ve taken time to catch up with each other, as we do every few months. I miss him…

Down the rabbit hole. That’s what I’m going to title my autobiography. And yesterday, it happened again: I wrote. Created. Became possessed. Writing has always been a thing with me, but the last year I’ve been on a new level. Not just with what I write, but how I write. I register nothing outside of the story. As I said to J this morning in my note, if the house caught fire my bro would have to drag me out because I wouldn’t notice it. And who is this clipped language, tight action writer I’ve become? Half the time I don’t even recognize the style. This is MK, my new persona. She’s intimidating. Unbelievably brief and tight. I ramble; she doesn’t. I go with the flow; she’s extremely directed. Yesterday, she began (once again) the story of ‘the girl’. It was the opening line that haunted me and drove me to it:

The threats came wrapped in toilet paper and egg.

Again: true. MK can’t write anything that isn’t true on some level. This particular incident happened when I was 13 or 14. My parent’s house was egged and TP’d, and a threat against my life was left in our mailbox. From what I understand, my parents stayed up most of the night with the police and cleaning things up. There was no evidence of it the next morning, when I got up, and they didn’t tell me for years. Of course, they didn’t have to tell me. School was Hell on earth. Not because of the academic load, but because of the other students. I was always under threat. I only ever told once, when I was 10. The backlash of that incident taught me never to say anything to any adult ever again. …From the opening line, the narrative just continued. And continued. It’s still not done.

But I think, maybe, that whatever this is – the story of the girl – it will only be Dr T who reads it. I don’t know that there’s a market for it. There are specific memories in there that Dr T should know about, but… Hm. I’m not even sure I’d want it released anywhere. Maybe out here. As a blog post.

Can’t say I’ve ever quite been able to shake the feeling that no matter what name I use, if I write too close to my childhood reality someone from my family will discover it. It’s probably nothing I should worry about. None of them are readers, for one. And all are in such denial that I don’t know if they really remember what happened. Plus, it’s from my point of view, which none of them have ever acknowledged. I mean…Like they’d recognize my thoughts! Ha! Fat chance. Still. I can’t shake the feeling. The fear. Because I know what would happen: they’d publicly defame me. All those familial accusations would be published, in print, and in my face. That’s how low they are. And that’s why I’ve always planned to put gag orders on them the moment I can afford it.

hate my DNA relations. What they are, what they believe, how they act. I hope, someday, MK will give me some distance and release. I now know one thing: if she can put it into words, she’s made progress. I couldn’t use words to describe what happened. I dreamt over and over of having no mouth, or a sewn up mouth, or just no voice. It was horrible. More horrible than the dreams of rape, than the dreams of being chased, of being out of control. Being unable to speak was the most terrifying.

MK takes those fears and puts them into sellable packets. Her ability to capture fear on the page is stunning.

I couldn’t do it.

But she’s giving it to me: those little packets of life. Of memory. Wrapped up and ready to consume. Once she’s done putting her spin on things, I can deal with it. It gives me shivers, and sometimes her blunt honesty makes me shake and tremble so much I have to stand up and walk away, but then it’s done. Over. On the page and out of me.

Those little packets.

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They shall receive

I was ready for a lot last night. As usual, I got something I didn’t expect. All in favor of making Beeps our newest Board Member say ‘aye’. And there it was. I am officially the theatre’s PR person, their go-to bundle of energy on marketing. My name will be listed with the government as a board member.

My planned look was as good as I expected it to be. The outfit looked great on me and I took my time with make-up so I didn’t fuck anything up. I asked my bro, before I left, how I looked. You look like you. Okay. Not over the top, then. Good. Down to the restaurant.

Two members were there when I walked in. They didn’t even blink at my look, and said nothing. Then, the director walked in and I received the reaction I was looking for. Wow…you look really great. You’re all…you’ve got make-up on. He then proceeded to tease his girlfriend, telling her that I could replace her at a drop of a hat. That went on for most of the evening, until we parted.

I heard more reservations from the director’s girlfriend. Maybe it was a knee jerk reaction to her boyfriend’s teasing. I don’t know. But she gave voice to her concerns, and I was glad of it. She really thinks this will tough to pull off because the group is used to doing comedy rather than horror. She wanted to know if I’d be willing to change dialogue if people thought lines were clunky or unnatural. She had a lot of conditions and concerns, actually. Did my best to assure her, told her I consider this a dry run of the play and of course I’m willing to have dialogue changed as long as the story remains the same.

Possible bad news: one of the board members who has a role is expecting a child with his wife in April. That means performances have to come before mid March or after summer. We discussed the possibility of early performances and autumnal performances. And they mentioned an international English theatre festival that will come to Den Haag in two years; they’d like to submit my work for consideration. So I’ve walked away with the feeling that they’re willing to take this play and work with it for a while, showcasing it in different venues. I feel good about that.

Heard a lot of negativity couched in polite terms. Gentle laughter when I said I’d like to earn enough from my writing to live off of. Reminders that, since I’m an unknown, I shouldn’t expect much in the way of audiences.

Held back on many ideas. No reason to blow them away like that; they were blown away by the newsletter rough I’d printed up. I’ll prove myself by the audience numbers. They’ll learn. I can get 70 people in a city this size to come to a performance. I know I can.

Have the green light on securing a domain name for their website. The newsletter is a go, as is the open meeting. The director’s girlfriend wants to hold the general meeting in the back room of a pub/club that’s having a Halloween karaoke party on the 31st. Her idea is to do everyone’s make-up in the back and then party in front. Not sure if that’s the best idea, but I’m staying silent on it. Gotta let other people run with their ideas. But I feel she’s putting some pressure on me. I mentioned that I wanted to visit the theatre supply shop here in Rotterdam and ask if they have a make-up artist who’d come and show us some make-up effects. Asking someone to come downtown at night to the back room of a bar (which, let’s face it: are always grotty) to do some make-up for free… Tough. Anyway, I gotta wait on announcing the meeting now because she’s got to do the leg work on the venue.

…So here I am, a board member. Active, dependable, part of the group. Me, part of the group. I feel a bit overwhelmed by it. I’ve moved from the back stage person, the fly on the wall props person who works in the dark, to playwright, actress, and Board Member in two years.

🙂

Oh, how little they ask. And oh! How much they shall receive.

Working on it

Language class. I turned in the Roald Dahl yesterday. Felt like I was giving up something precious, a well-loved toy. But my enthusiastic review of the book has more than one person in class interested in reading it, so…*sigh*…let them read it. Half the class left at break; next week is vacation and many were leaving early to head off to exotic places. The second half of class was warm. Intimate, even. Our teachers asked each of us what we most wanted to learn next semester, and gave us time to chat away (and get corrected on grammar). They also gave us a verbal review of our progress and work. The one thing we all heard was ‘slow down’. Forming Dutch sentences is difficult. Perfect past tense verbs get split, and personally I find it damned hard to remember the last part of the verb pairing in a long sentence.

I am in the top percentile. No more doubt about it. That terribly tricky article we had for homework was discussed. As usual, I went far beyond most. Most of the class hadn’t even read it through. Fewer still had tried to answer the questions. We tried reading it through, stumbling over those terribly long compound words, getting stopped every other sentence to be asked ‘do you know what this means?’. In the end, the teachers’ assessment was that their top three students found it rather difficult, so they weren’t going to push the matter. And yes, I was included in that top three student assessment.

Ach! They look at me differently. My teachers, that is. I can see it in their eyes. It’s almost an inside joke feel. They know I’m doing the work, they know I’m improving leaps and bounds over the others. My instructions are to keep reading, keep watching Dutch films and programs, keep writing. Had a flash of panic as they talked about my progress; was worried I was going to hear (once again) ‘You need to move up a level’. So I told them I loved the class, thought they were outstanding instructors, but please, please don’t make me go up a level yet because I need more practice right where I am. They smiled. I was assured they weren’t going to make me go to another class, that I was welcome to sit in on these lessons as long as I wanted.

Thank you, Goddess!

Yesterday evening provided me with a good laugh. Just so happened to be online and on FB when a message popped up on my screen. It was from R, my co-star in the film whose scenes got cut. It was totally in Dutch. I understood it immediately, tho I couldn’t reply in Dutch. He said ‘Just heard I got cut from the film. Have you seen the final version yet?’ Now, the job of telling him he was cut from the final was up to S, the director. It was a joke at the premiere that he was dragging his feet on it, and not saying anything to R. My first thought was ‘he finally got around to it’. So I messaged S, telling him I just got a note from R asking about the film. S replied quickly, saying yes, he’d just told R about the film and he didn’t think R was taking it too well. LOL! I am online so rarely and not really connected with my phone, so call it dumb luck or providence, but I found myself involved in ‘The Student Film Scandal’ (which is what I’ll call it, and it gets capitalized because it’s been a running gag for MONTHS now) in real time. Back and forth I went, both R and S online and messaging me.

To R, I did what I told the crew to do in the first place: I played to his ego. My first reply to him was that yes, he had been cut in the final, that it was sad but I also knew he’s a pro and probably had it happen before. That soothed a lot of anger away. He then asked me what I thought of the film. I replied that I think the crew got what they wanted, and when you take into consideration the lack of lighting equipment and tight spaces we were working with, it turned out very well. I also shared with him that I thought I looked terrible due to the poor lighting. He came back quickly, saying maybe it was better he wasn’t in the film if it had such bad lighting. I replied with a joke, telling him every wrinkle on my face was blown up horribly, so yes, it was probably a good thing he wasn’t in it. He ended the conversation with laughter.

Kept S informed of what I saying to R. Admonished him a bit for not doing it in the first place, but hey! S is young. Probably never fired anyone before, whereas I have had plenty of that experience. In the end, my conversation with S was light and laughter filled. Hell! I made both of them laugh, so I guess I did that pretty well.

What I didn’t say to either of them was that I always see myself as unattractive. Never ugly, just unattractive. I’m an almost. Almost pretty. I see it every time I look at myself. Or, that’s what I think. I’m a little too heavy, my face doesn’t have the right angles to it, my teeth are a little crooked, etc. etc. Almost. It takes decades before I can look back at a picture and just see ME. Then, I can acknowledge it: wow, I was pretty back then. I can’t do it real time. So I wasn’t shocked or surprised at all by what I saw on screen.

I’m learning. Slowly. Both the language and a bit of self acceptance.

I know my vision mind is skewed.

I’m working on it.

It never really stops

It is done.

I’ve a few typos and formatting mistakes to fix. But the story is done. Did a full read through of all three parts plus the prologue. I’ll be the first to say it: brilliant. I’ve woven this story brilliantly. Each piece is tense and frightening. Each piece stands alone. Do them front to end, though, and an entirely new picture emerges. Pieces of a puzzle. A magnificent, full length, 90+ page puzzle.

The excitement over finishing it matches the flatness I feel now that it’s done. What the fuck am I gonna do now? Now that I no longer need to think scenes through. Now that all considerations are done and over with. I’ve been working on this for so long – the original first story was concocted in my brain over a year ago. It just never stopped. I put it on pause during Taman and my other work. But it never stopped.

Good Goddess! I may need to go through a mourning period, if that makes any sense. Feels like a big part of me just…turned over in bed, got up, and walked away.

Did not wake up to a merry email in my writer’s account this morning. And yes, for the first time in my life, I was expecting it. The theatre group in the states was scheduled to meet on Friday, and the director said she’d be getting back to me after that. Hoping their work ran late, she was tired, and she decided she’d wait until after she slept before writing those emails. But meh. I know those are all patch kits against a wave of disappointment threatening to leak thru my dyke. The longer it takes to hear from someone, the more likely it’s a rejection.

I’ll put that off. The disappointment can wash over me when I actually hear that no, my work wasn’t selected. For now…try and topple me. I don’t think you’ll get too far. I know what I did on the re-writes of the first part. I know what I just finished. It’s good.

Woke up and opened my personal email to have an old picture of my mother stare back at me, with a message from my uncle: “My niece K posted this on Facebook. A beautiful woman, inside and out.” *projectile vomit* Leave it to the damned family (maybe I should start calling them The Damned Family) to get all sappy and sentimental at this time of year. They’re all drinking too much. *sigh* And I know – I know! – what narcissists do. How they twist shit around. Still. I’ve been playing a dangerous game, occasionally checking in on family members’ pages. They work so hard to make everything seem normal. They make me doubt myself. My own memories. The only thing that keeps me sane is that very, very old memory I pulled up of not knowing whether good mommy or bad mommy was walking into the room – and the accompanying fear. No. Not fear. Terror. I was bloody terrified of my mother. That can not be written off as a ‘drug induced paranoia’ or whatever else they call my claims (guessing on that, but considering I’ve been called a drug addict I think it’s a good stab in the dark). That’s a very early memory, and sadly, very real. I’ve never brought any of this up to them. Why? I’ve already experienced my sister calling me a liar when I said I remembered things from a very young age. You’re lying! No one remembers when they were that young! Yeah. That protest has denial written all over it.

Still having pain in the right side in my mouth The tooth that had the root canal work is the worst, but there’s also a tooth on my lower jaw that hurts. Hard to brush around those areas. Still taking morphine. If this is what I think it is, it’s just got to stop fucking hurting for a while. So keep drugging it. Tuesday I’ll go to the doc’s office and set up an appointment with this physiotherapist she wants me to see. Soft foods, and as little stress as I can manage. Hope it quiets down soon.

I have no hope of my brain quieting down anytime soon. Already dithering between several possible new scripts. The work on Taman has made me want to write more historical dramas, and with an eye towards future work for the same competition, I’m now thinking about Mata Hari and Maya Deren. I’ve also got an idea written down that’s been bugging me. Another sort of thriller. I’ll probably explore that first; several strong scenes are already in my head and won’t stop replaying over and over.

Want to re-set. Take the last day or two of the year and fuck around, without thinking. I need it. Want some new games, too, but my computer system is too out of date to handle anything new. Oh, well. Make do with what I’ve got. Or try.

Come back to the world, Beeps! Your brother needs you!

Yeah. That’s another thing. My bro’s let me write and write and write, without thought towards him or anything else. He waited until I read everything through, then we talked. And I’ve gotta be present, in the here and now, and work a bit of magic for him. Support him, because he’s gonna need it. Cheerlead a little. Pick up a bit more. Help him reach his goals, ’cause in the long run, we both need that.

The door is closing on 2017. It’s been a long and sometimes painful road. But I’ve made more progress this year than ever before. Personally and professionally. And I can acknowledge that.

It’s a good way to end this chapter of life, and start the next. Because it never really stops.

Progress as a verb

Run.

Nothing like watching a horror film to make you remember why working out is important. What if. That’s all you really have to ask yourself: what if. What if disaster struck, what if you were being chased by an axe wielding maniac. Three years ago, my answer would have been ‘lay down and die’ because I was stiff, out of shape, and in a lot of pain. Yesterday, my answer was run. Run fast, run hard – and the great thing was, I found I’m still capable of doing that.

For the record: 8 minutes and five seconds in I passed my first kilometer. Passed the second kilometer in 7 minutes. My knees felt good, I felt strong. Did my stretches and abdominal exercises and free weights, too.

These days, I have a fairly decent chance of getting away from natural disasters and axe wielding maniacs. Not if I’m with a bunch of 20-somethings. But give me an average group, and I’ll be able to outrun a couple of them. I’ll also be able to fight if needed. I’m lifting more, getting some real muscle definition, and while it may be a while since I had any martial arts lessons, I still know how to move.

Don’t underestimate this old broad.

I said I’d laugh at myself if my plan worked, so HAHAHAHAHAHA BLOODY HA! My letter on behalf of my brother was answered – in less than a day. Fastest response I’ve ever seen on flipping ANYTHING. They want a PDF sample. That’s my must-do today: check the text and pick what to send. And since I didn’t send a sample of the manuscript, let me crow because it’s all down to me. My letter, my writing, my pitch got this response. Bloody hell! Wish I could do this for my own stuff! But envy aside, I’m very pleased and working to contain my excitement. This next letter is as important as the first, so I’ll work on it as well. Pleasant, friendly, open and willing to compromise while at the same time holding a high degree of professionalism. That’s what I shot for in the first letter, and I’m holding to the same standard in the second.

Goddess, please help me not fuck up!

Just a few, short weeks left before performing. Don’t know I’m actually ready for it. You know how things go – once someone knows the jokes, they tend to not laugh. That’s what’s going on. My funniest bits go un-laughed at, and I’m starting to doubt the comedy of it all. And I know how much laughter from the audience can throw you. Hearing other people laugh can set you off. I’d like a bit more indoctrination on that, but it’s gonna be feet in the fire, and keep a straight face because you really only get that experience by performing. I keep in mind that the funniest bits on the old Carol Burnett show were often when they’d lose it a little and struggle to keep straight faces. In other words, don’t be afraid of the process. Or even more simply: trust yourself.

…For the very first time since beginning my heavy cross trainer exercise, I find myself wanting to go to the gym two days in a row. I’m not as exhausted as I’ve been in the past. Tired, but not exhausted. Feeling pretty good, as a matter of fact. That’s why I want to go. And so I will. Not to cross train, but to walk on the treadmill and do some biking and lifting. Won’t let myself fool myself into two hard days. I know how that goes! I’d do it, and burn myself out so much I’d have problems the rest of the week. Nope. Simple movement today. If I can live through that and begin doubling up on days at the gym, then I’ll consider two hard days in a row.

Wow. Can you imagine? When you spend a lot of time sick or in pain, you begin to think that’s it forever. It’ll never get better. And let’s be clear: it ain’t easy. I invite anyone into my brain during my work-outs to experience the nausea, the pain in the push, and all the shit I have to shoulder my way through before I get the endorphins everyone talks about. But it IS getting better. The image of me toddling around barely able to walk, or the one of me using some sort of walking aide…they’re beginning to fade from my possible futures. At least, in my head. I know RA; later today I might not be able to move. It’s a bitch of a bitchy disease, striking when you least expect it, taking you down when you’re not prepared. These are things I always need to remember. I just enjoy not dwelling on them.

*sigh* Got to admit I’m wound up. Received a letter from immigration the other day. It was just to pick up some paperwork, but I thought maybe it indicated a positive response in our case. It wasn’t, yet it was. It wasn’t the magic ‘yes, you can stay’ answer I wanted, and I must admit I feel disappointed even though there’s no reason for it. I also feel a heightened anxiety over the entire issue, which again is nonsensical. What the letter does indicate is movement. Progress. A forward motion in life. The great gears are turning, and things are changing. I’ve lived through this often enough to know I might not be pleased with the outcome, and I guess that’s what’s worrying me.

We risk everything to move forward. I risk my health every time I work out. I risk my brother’s shot at the best music publisher in the biz if I don’t get that package just right. I risk failure on stage. And, the hardest to admit, I risk facing deportation if my immigration case doesn’t go through.

But stagnation isn’t the answer.

Progress is. Not as a noun, but as a verb. I progress through life. Yes.

The Old Fashioned Way

Three a.m. …Three a.m.!

I tried to stay in bed. Honest I did. But the season’s first buzzing insect came in and dive bombed my ear – probably something that, if I heard like a normal human being, wouldn’t bother me but I DON’T hear like a normal human being – and that was it; I couldn’t stand the noise, my head started to race and after an hour of tossing and turning I said fuck it and got up. If I’m dead tired by the time my lesson begins, I just won’t go.

In that strange way that my life persists in unfolding, waking up so early was a good thing. My bro left the windows open last night, and guess what’s happening outside the windows? Yep. Full on storm. I’d have had a very wet kitchen and living room if I hadn’t got up.

As it is, I sit now in the dark, a cup of coffee and a smoke by my hands, listening to the howling winds and pounding rains.

…C’mon. Gimme some thunder and lightening.

Got to the gym on Tuesday, felt damned good about it, too – evidenced by my post. La-de-dah. Is it perhaps possible to have TWO good days in a row? Or is that just way out of line?

Wrestling with formatting the script. Damn, damn, damn. Now I remember why I searched out software for my computer. Bleeding frustrating internet connection and cloud service! Meh. Sorry; I know I sound like a crotchety old lady when I talk about technology these days. But REALLY?!? I’ve lived long enough to see phone service start from shit, go to great, then go back to SHIT with the advent of mobiles. I was there at the hail of the business computer system. Oh, we’ll go paperless, they said. You know what happened? Twice as much paper was WASTED because of the manner that everything got printed out, and copies had to be run because COMPUTERS FUCK UP. And audio? Children, don’t even get me started. I know y’all can’t hear, anyway.

Grumble, grumble, grouse, and bitch.

You know, progress is a clear step forward. Not half a step forward while your other foot slides back into the muck. Humanity’s slipping. Sacrificing quality for speed. Not a big surprise. So many on the planet think it’s okay to sacrifice all sorts of things for another buck.

Haven’t you paid attention? You don’t have more time with all these electronic gadgets. You aren’t better informed. Just the opposite. You’re down to reading tweets as news, and spend all your time with your heads buried in your phones playing games or messaging or doing some bullshit that’s NOT NEEDED.

Like anyone CARES you just took the biggest dump of your life.

Goddamn it!

……Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. I hate starting a day this way. 

Prospects for going to class are diminishing rapidly. *sigh* All I want to do at this point is get my head on straight. After that – class or no class, sleep or no sleep, gym or no gym, work or no work – doesn’t matter.

Oh, I’m off. Well off. Bad dream? Some storm rider, come into my dreams thru the window? Don’t remember. Only remember the buzzing insect, the tossing and turning, then the storm.

It’s a mini bad day. I get them once in a while. Only real solution is the old fashioned one: let it run its course. Get up when I can’t sleep. Write. Watch tv. Nap when I can. My entire schedule will get turned topsy turvy, but them’s the breaks. I’ve tried these days the other way: pushing thru. Does not work well. I snap and bite and generally drive people off. Better to hermit the day away, and fall asleep to the pounding rain.

Keep your eyes open

Do not know how long I was at it yesterday. Began writing before my brother woke up. Took a breakfast break when he came out of his room for coffee. Back at it before he left for the comic book shop. Surfaced around five in the afternoon. Came up gulping for air, actually. It was intensive.

And the first draft is complete.

Shivers. I think I’m dead on with my 30 minute timing, too…

A glance at my calendar told me I’m not one month ahead of myself, but two. So I’m not touching the new script for a few days. Oh, I’m itching to read it through. Test it. See if it’s as good as I think it might be. But I’m gonna let my brain rest. Honestly, it feels swollen. Like the grey goo is all puffed up and pushing against my cranium. Not pain, exactly…just very tired.

Two days ago my brother pointed out that our glass recycling needed taking out. Today, the recycling is still sitting in our kitchen, un-taken-out. The dishes aren’t done, either, for the second or third day in a row (I forget how many). I wonder how my bro feels about that. …Irritated? Has it wound him up like it winds me up, and will his sleeping brain program him to NEED to clean when he wakes up? Color me skeptical. I think he’ll easily let it slide for a few more days…whereas I, now out of my writing trance, am irritated by it no end and will probably begin cleaning by 8 a.m.

Someone needs to do the grocery shopping, too.

…Thinking about calling for a reading of the new script, tho I’m concerned about two things. One, this is very topical. So topical I’m not mentioning it (even the title of the piece) to anyone but my brother. It’s not that I don’t trust the people I know, I just know that people are stupid. They’ll say something without thinking to their hairdresser or the receptionist at the dentist’s office – who’ll then say something to someone they know, who happens to be a writer, who’ll be better known or have an agent or just get their stuff out faster than me, and suddenly my brilliant idea is old hat that no one wants to read. My second concern is more personal: I don’t want to call a reading just to toot my own horn or show off – Come! Read my fantastic script! I feel confident on my timing, sure in the story telling. There’s no real reason to read it through, no questions I have other than can it actually be pulled off? – And the answer to that question will not be revealed in a read through.

I’d like to squeeze in some gym time today. Not that I’m in the mood to go and sweat. Nope. Want to let my body ooze through the day, inert and sluggish. But I think getting up and (at least) walking for an hour would do me good.

Received a temporary rehearsal schedule from the director. Temporary because it’s only laid out for four weeks and if anyone can’t make their night, the whole thing will get shifted around. Fine by me. I’ve nothing on in the evenings. Thought we were going to work with two scenes each night, meaning four actors would be at every rehearsal. But the director’s schedule has only one scene blocked out each night. Which means, since my acting partner is on holiday from now ’til July, I’m working alone with the director on my nights. He even blocked himself in for reading the other role in my scene.

On the heels of my questioning his girlfriend’s reaction and all that I see occurring within the dynamics of the theatre group, that tiny, black and white rehearsal notification set my heart racing. Oh, Goddess! Not again! 

What the fuck am I gonna do now?

My first thought: circumspection. Don’t stand too close, don’t laugh too long, don’t talk too earnestly to him – and certainly don’t bring him any blueberry muffins! That grates at me. Damn it! It’s so rare I meet someone who could actually be my friend that when I do I become this big, enthusiastic dog. Jumping around, slobbering everywhere – happy just to be there. And I like to stand close to my friends, laugh long and hard with them, discuss real issues in a forthright and serious manner, and bake them goodies. It’s what I do. So to ask me to reign it in…feels like I’m asking myself to erect walls – something I’ve been told I do very, very well. Something I’ve been trying very hard NOT to do.

Ach! Enough. I’m thinking too far into the future again. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I shouldn’t be making so many bleeding assumptions.

Look down at your feet. You have so many steps to take before you’re there!

Just…walk slowly. And keep your eyes open.

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.

Moving Rock

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I GOT IT! I DID IT!!

Two days before the next scheduled audition date for the theatre group, and the director knows he wants me for the role of Wendy (NOT Peter Pan’s Wendy; we’re not doing panto). Doesn’t even have to see the other people try out. !! There’s plenty of other roles, so I don’t even have to feel guilty over this:

I decided I definitely want you as my Wendy from act 1 together with JR as Jonathan. I thought you both represented the characters very close to my view of the act and the chemistry was certainly there! Very impressed indeed 🙂

Very impressed indeed.

Oh, thank you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I know I wasn’t going to get all wound up about anything connected with the theatre group, but – WOOHOO! Just gotta celebrate. I haven’t auditioned for a role for 30 years, so going thru the process and winning a position is cause to blow my own horn for a change.

Eeeeee! I feel as giddy as I did when I was a kid and won a role.

The director liked me. I did well. The don’t hate me for whatever reason. I’m going to have loads of rehearsal time, getting me out of the house, away from smoking, and into social situations.

Ah! That’s a better wake up call than a cup of coffee, any day of the week.

Now, let me add to that good feeling.

Wrote out seven pages yesterday; the climax scene in my radio drama script. Kept to my notes, and for once I didn’t add in shit loads of side line conversation like I generally do. Straight to the points on my outline. Haven’t taken the time to read it, but I liked what I was getting while I was writing it, so, fingers crossed it won’t take too much editing.

Took a walk outside in the fresh air and sun.

Saw the first of the new Doctor Who series.

Enjoyed a home delivery pizza. Three, actually. My bro and I built a half and half pizza online, and got an extra veggie pizza with my bonus points (so it was FREE) – so really, tho there were only two pizzas delivered we got three flavors. YUM! An informal household poll last night showed 95% of participants were interested in ordering two half and half pizzas next time so we get four different kinds [polling error: +/-5%].

The one thing I cannot say ‘woohoo’ about is my smoking. Too many butts in the ashtray every morning. But (and I remind myself, here), that’s not bad. It’s just something I want to improve on. It’s like someone forgetting to clean the toilet. It’s gross and nasty, but it isn’t “bad”. It’s a habit that should be changed for health reasons. That’s all.

I had a good 24 hours.

Now, I’m gonna take that goodness and make another good 24 hours. Can’t expect the next 24 to be as exciting as the last, but it can be real, it can be solid forward movement to build more good days in the future.

I find it rather odd that ‘real’ and ‘solid forward movement’ for me consists of getting exercise, cleaning the house, and attending to my responsibilities – all the things that, due to their repetitive nature, can make me feel like I’m standing still. But there it is. There’s that movement by standing still stuff again. Keeps cropping up in my life, reminding me that’s the way forward.

I am a moving rock.

C’mon, Jackpot!

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Ah! Back to my preferred order in life: wake up, coffee, and blogging. I can do those other days but they’re just not the same.

Big, big plans today. Whirlwinds of cleaning. We’ll see how long my body can keep going. Dust sucking might just knock me out; there’s still a lot of moving and bending and maneuvering involved even with the new shelves and new storage spaces. Then there’s window cleaning and getting out on the balcony (might need to wear hazmat clothing for THAT job). And of course, the inevitable dishes that need doing.

Or maybe my brother will wake up and say ‘Hey! It’s a great day. Let’s let the housework sit and go do something’, in which case I won’t get anything done around the house. I never know.

And it IS supposed to be nice weather…

The longer I contemplate it, the more I think I should let all the ‘work’ I usually reserve for weekends go. Get outside today. Go somewhere different. Have fun.

Been saying that a lot lately – have fun. Maybe it’s my mortality creeping up on me. Seize the day, have a laugh, because tomorrow you may die.

Fuck. I’m a cheery camper, aren’t I?

Okay… I’ve deliberately shorted myself on a cup of coffee this morning. That’s a damned good reason to get out and have a cuppa somewhere public. Be social. See and be seen.

Do something.

Stop. Right now. You just made it sound like you sit on your ass doing nothing all day long. That’s not true. Want to back up and restate that?

I want to do something different today. Outside. In the nice weather.

Better.

Finally got all the print outs of the paperwork I need to renew my passport. AND the letter to Heike. Got to sign that sheet and dump it in the post. Today. Get it off my back, good-bye, sayounara, so-long.

I might be paranoid, BUT…It sure seemed to me that my rheumatologist was taking an awful lot of notes, clacking away on her computer during my visit. And I think she was mirroring me deliberately, testing my mood. Of course I was excited about my shoes, chattering away non-stop. She slipped a comment in, something along the lines of ‘It’s so much easier to be energetic and happy when your feet don’t hurt so much’. That just makes me go Hmmmmm. Medical files are very integrated here; the fact that I was seeking help at Addiction Central as well as any notes like ‘depressive’ or ‘bipolar’ would have come up when she pulled my info.

Well. So be it. I never said I was anything but what I am. Maybe if someone compiles all the notes from all the doctors visits they’ll see it.

Been thinking less lately. lol! Not that I’ve been acting like a ditz; Beeps don’t do that (unless I’ve been drinking, then it’s a different story). I just haven’t spent every minute lately analyzing myself, trying to figure out why I’m feeling this way or that way. Of course I can only DO that because I haven’t had any strong negative emotions come up in the past 24-48 hours. Odd. I let myself be happy to just be happy. I won’t let myself be sad to just be sad. No. Sadness needs ‘fixing’. Anger needs ‘fixing’. Anxiety needs ‘fixing’. The only emotion that doesn’t need fixing is happiness.

There’s a flaw in that thinking.

So let me take a minute here….

Okay. I’m happy because I’m looking forward to J’s visit. I’m really getting excited about it. I’m happy because I’ve still got my trial pair of shoes, which means my feet are protected and I can walk. I’m happy because my custom shoes are getting worked on, and to have all that effort and money spent on my feet makes me feel special. I’m happy because I feel I’m making progress with the language. I’m happy because flowers are blooming and the trees look like they have lace hung on them and I LOVE everything that spring brings. I’m happy because finances are getting a bit better, the house is looking neater and cleaner, and I don’t look so scruffy some of the time.

Sounds like logical, real life reasons to be happy. While my thoughts still get ahead of me – stuff like thinking I’ll be able to clean the whole house, top to bottom, in one day – I’ve been able to realize that thinking is ultimately destructive to me, and take a more leisured pace. I haven’t wanted to push myself physically, so I’ve not hurt myself. Just the opposite. When I find myself walking briskly I check my step, pull back a bit to ensure I don’t hurt myself.

Good days, in other words. Drink them up to the last drop.

There’s no great surprise for me in finding that having something to look forward to, feeling less in pain and more mobile, feeling more confident with the language, and feeling less financially restricted all makes me happy. I’d think anyone would feel happier.

Where will the future take me? Don’t know. Had a long talk with my bro last night about a cordial I make. His kickboxing instructor was ill, so my bro took him a bottle of this stuff. It’s my own recipe. Amazing drink; clears your throat like you wouldn’t believe and it tastes great, too. ANYway, his instructor is a big fan of it (as are most people who try it) and he thinks we should get it out on the market. The great thing is that his instructor is a business man first, well versed in the ins and outs of Dutch business practice. He also is a very sociable person, and has many connections. So who knows what will happen? I may just get introduced to someone who wants to license the recipe from me. Ka-ching! That’s money in the bank with zero effort. I’ll take that.

I’m feelin’ lucky. And today is a lotto day. C’mon, jackpot!