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.

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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!

Symmetry in Life

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Never did get my writing time in yesterday. Isn’t that a shame? I was all ready for it. All hyped up about it. Then life intervened and instead of writing I found myself out in the city for most of the afternoon. Didn’t get home before 4 p.m., and then there was a 45 minute catch up on all the cymbal and high hat hits my brother moved 1/100 of a second in his new material and please won’t you listen to it because it’s so much better.

As a perpetual people pleaser, I find that often happens to me: the ‘time’ for my stuff gets shoved aside due to circumstance. Other people seem to be able to say ‘this is a priority for me, I’m doing it’. I say ‘this is selfish work; I can put it off for another hour or day or week’. Of course I mind. Of course I have a moment of ‘damn it!’ every single time it happens. And of course I bend in my wishes; it’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always done.

Yesterday I spoke up. Calmly. No blame, no ‘I’m trying to WORK here!’ or other nasty comment to my over-excited brother. I said ‘Okay, I’ll do this. But understand I want to get back to my own work this weekend. I want time to write, and I want time for music. My music.’ I put my toe in the sand and drew a line: this far, and no further.

The first thing I faced when I came out this morning was a cupboard that’s looking pretty empty. The coffee supplies are low again (no, no, NO! MUST have coffee in the house) and there is NOTHING for dinner. So what was my first thought? Yep. I’ll have to do the shopping today. No I won’t! I love my brother, but I’ve indulged his desire to keep working ad infinitum at this point. HE can do the shopping. HE can give up some time on his music. I’m doing my thing today. If that means come 5 p.m. my bro suddenly realizes there’s nothing to eat in the house because no, he didn’t get his butt downstairs to do that one thing out of the house today, then so be it. I like the pizza we get delivered. Got no problem with that. But I’m getting further on my work today, come hell or high water.

The yoke of responsible smoking is falling from my shoulders, as well. Oh, I’ll still mark down every time I fire up. Hell, I’m going above and beyond right now; since my last appointment was blown off, I’ve now run out of room on the calendar Heike gave me to monitor my smoking so I’m keeping track independently on a plain piece of paper. But I am DONE with pushing myself on quitting. That is not my goal, was NEVER my goal, and I’m just getting turned around and mixed up by having it so in my fucking face. My goal is movement. Progress. Stop sitting around being stuck somewhere when I was 5 or 12 and live my life as it is NOW. Gain confidence. Communicate with others better. Learn how to be happy. Quitting smoking is and always WAS Heike’s goal. I am tired of fulfilling other people’s expectations of me.

*chuckle* I can’t help but think I’ve made excellent progress so far. None of these lessons were probably cooked up or scheduled, but do you see what I’ve done? I’m standing up for myself faster and with greater clarity than I’ve ever done before. First I wouldn’t take any more morning appointments with Heike. Then I decided I had to start fitting time in for my projects. Now I’ve said no more and decided Heike needs to go. And I’m not looking for time for me, I’m making time for me. In my book, all of that IS progress. Damned GOOD progress, too.

My brother said the other day that he only wished I would have taken his advice and given Heike the boot sooner. Not. dancing. to your. tune. And I told him that.

Today and tomorrow are scheduled to rain, rain, rain. Perfect. Nothing but buying my lotto card today to make me feel like going out in it. It’s all inside, in the gloom with my colored lights on. The house is still clean from last weekend’s superwoman fly through so I don’t even have any pressure to pick up dust bunnies. It’s just me and my equipment. Goddess, please let the neighbors go on holiday this weekend! (And as I write this there is a profound stillness in the house; not a sound but the wind outside.)

…My lotto ticket might not get bought today….

For the record, I swam yesterday. Got in the pool and slinked by the kids splashing on the floatation mattress. Eased by the other non-drowners. Spent 5 minutes at the end of my swim acting the fish: I flipped around, let myself sink to the bottom a few times just for fun, paddled a bit, tread some water, and dove like a dolphin. Why not? That’s all anyone else was doing. And little me came out and shouted Yes, you silly fool! This is what a pool was MADE for! Chalk one up for free swim time.

Today I will not venture out to see George; already the weather is too much. But I’ve visited often this last week due to the freezing temps. Another duck is trying to imitate George and take the bread from my hand but sadly, he is only Not-George (He has yet to present a name to me, despite my trying several out in my head. Nothing fits). *shakes head* George has a sense of humor about the whole thing. Don’t ask me how I know this. I just do. I also found something else out: when I walk away from the pack, I can’t pick George out. It’s only when George looks at me that I recognize him. That’s how unique that look is; it defines George for me. You can’t tell me there isn’t a soul in there. That’s what I see when he looks at me. Not a duck, not a mindless animal. There is someone THERE. And call me crazy (I’m pretty used to it), but somehow there’s a connection between George and my therapy and my work and LIFE.

Times like this and I feel small. Caught up in something far bigger than myself. But this is not a small and scared me, this is a small me given a chance to do things differently. I can see that, too.

And the more progress I make, the closer George gets to me. He’s now literally on my foot half the time.

🙂 I love the symmetry in my life.

Too Far

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It’s now 4:15. I got out of bed at 3 a.m. because my shoulder hurt and my sinuses felt blocked and I was doing that tossing and turning that meant get up and do something NOW or lose several hours trying to rest and not getting it. Thought I’d play a few games, check online, roll a joint. Get TIRED and bleeding go back to bed.

No. My body did the full wake-up thing. Broke down and made some coffee to keep me warm this morning.

I’m guessing it’s anxiety. 29 hours to my counseling session.

Woke up dreaming/thinking of my family, particularly my sister. Woke up hating her as much as ever, wanting to hit her and drag my nails across her face and make her hurt in every and any way possible. Where oh where are those face-hugging aliens to implant a chest burster in her? I’d watch the video of THAT sucker hatching (because you KNOW someone would video it and put it on YouTube) and enjoy it every bit as much as I do the film versions. Yep. I’d run that video up into the million hits just watching it over and over. Slow motion. Reverse. Frame by frame. Full volume. Thumbs up and a hundred comments of lol and rofl.

It’s mean and evil of me and I could give a rat’s ass.

My hate is so complete it’s a beautiful thing.

Had this strange thought while half awake. About family lines, and repetition. About generations. I trace the family’s illness back to my mother’s parents. Undoubtedly it goes further back than that, but my grandparents are the oldest generation I personally knew and therefore feel okay about blaming (crazy, I know). I think my mom hated my grandmother. Maybe hate is too strong of a word, but I’m fairly sure there was discord between them that was never resolved. That unresolved relationship ended up getting played out again, this time between my mother and her daughters. It’s only the fact that neither I nor my sister reproduced that this particular problem is gonna die out. Nobody’s gonna work on it but me. But my little unit isn’t unique in my mother’s family: she comes from a set of 6 siblings, every one of which had multiple children. Of all these children, only 2 reproduced. The rest of us said fucking forget it.

Family problems. Don’t talk about it! And don’t dare say the family isn’t good to you; look at all they do and have done (guilt, guilt). They never sexually molested you. They never beat the shit out of you. You should be thankful (true words; heard that shit from my mother once. She never got how horrible it was that the only thing to be thankful for was the fact no one from the family molested me. Fuck!). Unspoken solution? No one have kids. Let the family line die out.

*grumble* My apologies for whipping this horse again. I just can’t seem to stop for long.

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So I watched Alien yesterday. Glory, glory! Gods, that film never looses its impact. True test of a classic. First thing always to hit and always to hit well: the soundtrack. Oh, man I love that soundtrack. Creeps me out to no end. Gives me shivers as it comes in, the hollow sound of it and the random clicks. John Hurt’s tiny waves of his hands as the chest burster comes out – no one could have done it better. The smoke and the strobes. *sigh* It was great. As an Alien devotee, I have a full slew of films to watch now: the Alien series, AVP series, and Prometheus. Thank you, Ridley Scott, for coming back! Can’t wait to see you wind this whole thing up into a neat package – ’cause I KNOW you will. Today’s fair is Aliens; Cameron’s take on the story. As usual, the film becomes more about Cameron than the story taking place. Nothing says more than the director’s cuts intros on the Quad. Each director was asked to say a few words about the extended director’s cut. Scott said after 25 years there were a few things he wanted to tweak. Cameron rambles on and on and adds 40 minutes of bullshit that’s not needed. Fincher didn’t make a statement; he was too pissed off about what happened but in MY opinion, the director’s cut of Alien 3 is the best of them all. And Jeunet on Alien Resurrection – OMG. Says it all about the French film industry; he got what he wanted on the first cut. There wasn’t much extra to add because he got. what. he wanted. Don’t mess with the French in filmmaking; they know what the fuck they’re doing.

I am smoking too much, but who can blame me? Especially when this came in yesterday from TrefPunt Coffeeshop as a late Xmas gift:

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The package included an ashtray; a pack of papers, filters, tubes, and a lighter; a HighLife magazine; a postcard; a bong; a grass grinder; a chocolate bar; and an energy drink. It all came in a cool little sack, too. For free. Because we’re good customers. Dudes! This is a smoker’s dream!

And no, I have not fired up the bong yet. Thought I might save it for an occasion, like New Year’s.

Oh, and that’s the glass table we got for free. I was verboden (use the Dutch, lady!) to put anything on it, so this display is entirely temporary. I have noticed my brother puts a lot of stuff on the table, tho. Hm…

Speaking of my bro, he told me yesterday how much better I’m doing this year compared to last. How he sees me trying to stay out of depression, doing my best to combat all of this and not lose it. It was good to hear. Can’t always see my progress from the inside. And on days like today, when I can’t sleep more than 5 hours and I wake up thinking along the lines of a mass murderer, well, it doesn’t feel like I’ve come too far.