Pop the cork

Pop the cork, and watch it flow.

Not exactly sure what cork I popped yesterday, but it was defo a blockage. After signing out here I began writing in earnest. No outline, no format, no idea what it wants to become, just pure writing. I’ve had flashes of this…er, let’s call it a story for now, for years. But it sat there without substance in my brain. Great set up; now what happens? Still don’t know. But I’m allowing myself to get it out. The thought occurs that there is no story here – not really. No action to speak of, no thread of continuity other than my consciousness. It’s more like these blog posts than anything else.

Whatever. Let it go, see what happens.

Day one on the new med: very relaxed. The conundrum of to do or not do the housework or my exercising seemed small and petty. Enough work will get done around the house to prevent it from becoming a total pig sty, and same goes with my exercising – I won’t allow myself to get too lazy or out of shape. Did the big stuff: dishes, laundry, garbage and recycling. But I let the rest go. Too zen, and far too enjoyable to fall into writing mode – which, sadly, was interrupted about half an hour after it began by my brother returning from the comic shop. Didn’t get upset about it. I know just to shut down. He needs to talk, get out whatever it is that he needs to get out. I don’t really need to reply, just grunt at appropriate times – but if he tells me something he considers important and I don’t remember it because I wasn’t paying attention in the first place – well, then… Hell to pay, a toll which is totally avoidable if I just listen to him. But once he’s broken my train of thought, that’s it. Difficult to return to it. My train of thought is pure and unbroken, and once I’m there I can’t have additional input from anywhere. Just leave me alone and let me get it out. Even saying ‘hello’ to me can throw me. A greeting? What made that happen? What flows from it? …No, just leave me be. *sigh* But, naturally, he didn’t know I’d fallen into that state, nor that he was interrupting me. By the time I could have said something, he’d already spun my head out into a thousand different directions. Too late to pick up the pieces. Allow the interruption to happen, get past it, calm my spirit once again.

I hope to get back to it today.

Dutch, and Dutch homework: can’t be asked. Two weeks left, and I hardly think my teachers would love me for handing in a four page piece of homework they’ll need to spend hours correcting. I know I wouldn’t appreciate it. So I’ll hang onto the homework, and prep it up for my first class after vacation. I should be able to get to it in six weeks. Maybe. I’ll try to be disciplined enough to do it, I swear. My intentions are good on this (and yes, I know, that old saying is enough to imagine me merrily skipping my way down the path to hell, but I really will try).

The read through for the script is called for tomorrow, Monday. Didn’t even have to harp at the director about it! Would like to get a new print up of the entire play. My copy is marked up with red pen: change this or that. Get a good final print for myself. Take a shower so I’m somewhat clean when I go to the meeting. Buy a packet of cigarettes for the director to make up for all the ciggies I’ve bummed from him during breaks. Maybe even pick up a pack of cookies to share out during the reading. That always goes over well.

Think I’ll go back to some make-up today. Took another look at the series of ‘gaunt and exhausted’ make-up I did, and I’m not sure I like the final results. Difficult to say when I’m doing it in my home, under natural light. Stage lighting will change everything I see. I guess I’m pleased I at least have enough experience to know that. I know the make-up needs to be heavier than normal lighting because it won’t show up on stage otherwise. But I feel like my first attempts on the look were too greyed out, too zombie-like. I need to try again and stick to the browns for shading.

Looking forward to July. I’ll spend a few euro on getting some supplies I need and begin running the blood effects tests. And no, at this point I really don’t give a damn if we end up using the effects or not. I’m having way too much fun trying it out to care about that! Will also be buying a packet of make-up sponges. Want to try an idea I have for my wounds, sort of an in-between of the tissue and make-up version I saw and the latex buy it from the shop version. Tee, hee, hee! You have no idea how giggly and exciting I find all this.

…Dr. T said my new med would eventually stabilize me. Get me off my obsessive train and onto a ‘normal’ track. I feel it. It is so easy to say ‘no’ and not be bothered by it. To let it all go. To say ‘okay, you’ve thought enough about that’ and really be done with it. Geez! Is this normal? Really? This is what all you people have been talking about when you told me to ‘just stop thinking about it’? No fucking wonder you could be so complacent about it, so amazed at my inability to stop worrying. Holy Hell! It’s easy on this new med. Like a switch turned on or off.

Or an old cork that finally popped.

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It’ll get done

Despite the thunderstorms, despite the flooding, even despite the roof leak in the building, auditions went well last night.

The skies opened up and poured as I got on the metro. There was the lightening and thunder I wanted, and there was the torrential rain we’d been promised for days. By the time I reached my stop, the shower had largely passed – but it left a swath of water in its path. I was flummoxed several times, and had to search for the driest path available. Very glad I wore my sandals and casual harem pants. Ended up pulling up my trouser legs and wading thru several spots.

The director eagerly took down notes on the horror films I picked out for the actors to look at. The original Night of the Living Dead, to emphasize the story is about everyone’s reaction and not the monsters. The Fourth Kind for genuine fear reactions. If they feel it, the audience will feel it. Yes. Communicated that clearly.

Had a couple of ughs. A couple of people who speak so stiltedly I’m shocked they thought they could audition (I have not yet auditioned for any Dutch production because of the language barrier). Also had a couple of real gems show up. Heard eagerness in the actors, saw smiles and laughter. Funny to sit as a fly on the wall and hear other people talk about character motivations. I recognize how they put themselves in the roles, imagine how they’d react. Letting that happen without comment. Breathe life into it! Make it real. You’re teaching me every minute about how people interpret my words.

*sigh* And contrary to most years, we have more women showing up than men. Already talking with the director about gender flipping some roles. I’m not opposed to doing a female heavy cast, it’s just that I worked my ass off to tailor it for the group and of course it still needs some adjustments.

But I’ve got three core members involved now. We’ve enough good actors to fill critical roles. Still could use a few more to fill out the cast, so we’re scheduling round 3 of auditions. Back to relaxing into the behind the scenes roles: writer, marketing guru, make-up artist, props master, sound direction. Decided I’d like to make an announcement prior to each performance. A little addition to creep the audience out: tell them that yes, what they’re about to see is based in fact and if they choose to search or google for any information they do so at their own peril. That’s a great set-up. Weave that mythology a little tighter.

Loving this whole process. Taking it all the way, having a hand in the production. It allows me some control, yet I’m not totally on the line for everything. I can take some of the burden of it off my shoulders, but still shape aspects of it to my satisfaction. Yeah. I’m all for this.

And I mentioned that when the production hub-bub has blown over, my bro wants to produce a pod cast of another script. Get the actors excited now.

Time has kind of stopped for me. I’m not writing, other than this blog. I’m not really getting to the gym or getting regular exercise. Everything is hot and sticky, and I just can’t find much oomph to accomplish anything. Dutch has become a real chore. Anything other than existing during the hottest part of the day is a chore. The only energy I really feel like expending is towards the production: walking thru flooded streets, staying on top of the auditions, communicating with the director. Cutting myself slack on that. I know where my priorities lie. Everything else – exercise, the language work, even housework – that’s all just means to an end. I’ll exercise so my back doesn’t bother me. I’ll work on Dutch because that’s the language here. I’ll clean up around the house so the general filth doesn’t make me sick. But that’s it. Get it done to the minimum level. Everything else goes into the play.

Today: exist. Try not to sweat too much. Monitor the windows for when the storms hit. Should probably open up my homework and take a swipe at it. The gym would be a great idea…but let’s face it: I probably won’t go. If I do, I’ll be as surprised as anyone else.

This stillness… It runs so deep in me I’m shocked. Shocked, yet grateful. I thought I’d have to be dead to experience this type of relaxation. And even then, I figured I’d be a restless spirit. Mmm. All those years never feeling like I ever had any time off. And I didn’t; I had zero time off from my fear and anxiety. Holidays, work days, birthdays, school: didn’t matter. The anxiety and fear were always there with me.

So take the time off, Beeps. Enjoy it. Roll around in it, wallow in it. You can trust yourself to chill and not fuck off on everything.

It’ll get done.

A perfect day

Go on, have a perfect morning.

Dragged myself up at 6, half reluctant, half excited. Out the door by 7. It was a good choice. The heat and humidity hadn’t set in yet. Began by taking a short detour, hoping for some kitty love. Score! Not the cat that knows me; someone new. A bit reluctant, as Dutch cats seem to be. Doesn’t take long, tho, before they flop down on the pavement, belly up, purring, nudging, loving me. A new friend to greet once in a while.

My feet just kept walking. Made it all the way to the end of the metro line. Walked up to the lake, down the beach, loving the silence and stillness of it. A solid hour and half tromp before breakfast.

Yesterday: hoovering, dusting, toilet duty, mirrors, sink scrubbing, dishes, grocery shopping. Even did my cuticles during my break.

Keep tackling these things and looking around for something else to do. Something besides sitting on my butt, playing computer games.

Did some nostalgia surfing. Searched out current news for some of the other places I’ve lived. Sent out a hooray to my Irish connections. Damned proud of all those young women who fought so hard for change. Saw a few pictures, read a few street names that brought up that feeling I get once in a while… That longing for a home that never really existed. It’s sad most of all. There’s a longing mixed in, a remembrance of fun I had in cities and towns, but mixed in with that is a revulsion of the things I didn’t enjoy. I remember the stifling heat. Physical pain and emotional torment. I remember the oppressive feeling of so many situations. The stalker. The clubs. The jobs.

In short, it’s complicated.

Complicated…

Been thinking about how there are no white hat characters in real life; we all wear shades of grey. Thinking about why good people might do terrible things. I guess that’s why I began writing in the first place. Owning up to – on some level – my own horrible acts. For years I just beat myself up. Vague ego bashing. Now…I’m seeing things from a new perspective.

Now, I can state the truth. Yes, I left an ex with several thousand dollars of debt for drugs. That was a horrible thing to do. It was a horrible relationship, and I hated him by the end. He became my stalker – perhaps in no small part over the money involved. It was crazy time with a capital CRAZY. Dark and desperate, and even then I could see it only leading to darker and more desperate situations. But no matter what my reasons, from his perspective, I left him abruptly with a large debt. A debt I’d sworn to help pay back.

And does he have right to damn me to hell every night? Certainly, that was the tipping point in his life. He was no great winner up to then, that’s for sure. Alcoholic, drug addict, sleeping on an ex-girlfriend’s couch (and it says a lot about me at the time that I was able to justify any of that). But from what I’ve been able to find out thru online searches, he then turned to burglary and prompted got caught.

So, am I to blame? I didn’t help. If he wanted to believe his life before all that was okay, well then yes, I fucked that up. But I believe I was fighting for my life. To get away from the drugs, away from him, away from that insanity. I do not think I’d be alive today had I stayed. I made my choice.

I think I’m getting around to beginning to forgive myself for that.

Knots untying. What’s left once that old rug unravels? It’ll be interesting to find out.

Do bad guys love the dawn? That fresh start to each day, that appreciable end to every night’s activities. Do vampires think ‘Oh, thank God!’ when the dawn light comes, knowing they can clock out and get some rest? We never think that way. Vampires and bad guys curse the dawn. It burns them; they are visible. Maybe we’re all turned around on that. Doesn’t every factory worker look forward to the end of the day? Go have a beer, put your feet up, chill in front of the tv. Are days like that for bad guys? Hm. I think I’d like to see that. Or at least play with the idea.

Tomorrow I’m back to Dutch lessons and schedules. And I’m just about ready for it. A little rusty with my verbal skills, but I’ll get there. Second auditions on Wednesday. Feel about ready to begin working on the computer again, tho only an hour at a time. Still having brief headaches.

Things I’d like for today: a really big thunderstorm. Love ’em, haven’t seen a good one yet this year, and it’s possible tonight. Other: something to keep me entertained. Passive, plopped in front of the tv, cold soda in my hand, entertained. It’s hot out. A shower (for me) would be good, too.

Not too much to ask, is it? And it would follow up my perfect morning, and make a perfect day.

Time to shut down

I can never sleep well after a performance. My body, like it or not, is set on its schedule and performances and the world be damned if it’ll stay in bed an extra few hours because I’ve been up late.

Ah! And now I understand. I’ve heard so much about performing in Amsterdam; the audiences are tough, the standards are high. Yes, the audience was tough. By the time the third act rolled around, they were laughing loudly but the first… The first act’s job is to warm up the audience, and I was never so aware of that as I was last night. Sure fire gags to get a big laugh stuff suddenly fell on silence. It was a cold audience, no friends or family there to cheer us on, just people who came to see a show. I felt it and folded it right back into Wendy’s nervousness. I looked towards the audience more often, used that fake smile that fell in an instant showing she really wasn’t enjoying the situation, fidgeted, blew my nose loudly, belched, whined in that whiny voice, and finally – finally! – near the last 10 minutes of the act began to get real laughter in response.

The owner of the place met us in the afternoon. He shook my hand and said hello. The group went to dinner at a place nearby (good food), and when we came back I transformed: the lashes, the blue eye shadow, the bright red lipstick, the ugly leopard print blouse, the hair pulled back with two garish clips, the glasses. The walk came in, and the voice came out. The owner passed me again, in make-up, and said hello: Wendy responded. We did our thing, hitting lines and marks the entire time. Curtain call. Then I hurried backstage to take Wendy off before joining everyone at the bar. The owner was serving, and I had two beers on tap. Finally, after most of the guests had left, the owner stopped by our celebrations to speak to us once again. He looked straight at me and a puzzled frown came over his face. Sorry, what was your name again? he asked me. I introduced myself. Then the penny dropped. Oh my God! You were in the first act! I would have never recognized you! Jesus, what a transformation! You’re one hell of an actress! The owner looked dazedly around at the other members of the group, as if to ask do you people know what you have here?

Most of the conversation before the performance was geared towards the performance, as you might imagine. We were all focused on the task. But the conversation afterwards… I have been accepted as a full-fledged member of the group: they’re teasing me. One would ask: So, do we have any idea what script we might do next? And the director would answer: Oh, I don’t know…maybe I’ve found one… all the time with sly looks aimed at me and grins they couldn’t quite hide. Auditions were discussed. Timelines. I found more enthusiasm from the members than I initially expected.

Oh, they’re not doing it because they feel they have to, or just because they can do without paying royalties! They like having me there! I was included in backstage pix, crowding around and hamming it up for the camera just like I see other people doing. I was hugged both formally and informally – sometimes just an arm slung around my shoulders in an inclusive camaraderie that I felt on a new level. Yea! I’ve found it so difficult for so long to find people I have anything in common with. And although I still would like a bosom buddy, I find having a circle of friends like this is almost as good. It is immensely gratifying to honestly say I’m not worrying about what was said or done last night; there is nothing to hash over. Nothing other than the warm memory of the smiles and the laughter, the excitement and expectation.

Wow. Put that one down on the calendar! I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say that before.

Class on Monday is looking less and less likely. I heard from my friend and film co-star; she plans to be shooting until the evening, so I’m looking at a late night again. Good time to catch me, when everything’s topsy turvy from the performance. I’ll nap this afternoon with the tv on and stay up later.

Snick. Wendy is gone; the magic silver ring is back in my ear.

Auditions might be called yet this month. The re-writes are done. Still have to check page numbers on tech notes. Still have to think about the legal end, too: I want releases for recorded voice and/or video sequences, and I want something between myself as the playwright and the group just to cover my ass. Those things fall to me to write. I don’t need complexity, just clarity. This is mine, you can’t do it without my permission, you understand your voice will be used in a performance and all rights to the recordings remain ours, etc. I’m not a fan of legal writing, but I can do it.

Will need another meeting with the director. Need to map out the schedule, especially the sound which I suspect will take longer than the actors. I want to move on that over summer holiday, so we have at least the roughs to use in rehearsals. …Ach, I will not have my notes fully made for any podcast/audio versions. I just won’t. It’s too much to pull it apart and re-write. Damn. Oh, well.

This production will help me in the next. And the next will help me in the first film version. And the first film version will help me the next time, when it goes full-length and big budget…

Yeah, yeah. We all know where that line of thought takes us.

…It’s Sunday. Time to shut down.

Who I could be

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gah, people are such sheep!

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

I no longer think sheep are ‘cute’.

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

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

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

I’m beginning to see who I could be.

 

Feels like a Monday

Meetings, paperwork, questions, look it up, more paperwork, more meetings. Ugh. Pulling together the new application for residency. Horrid shit. Hate having to fill in the blanks myself. Hard to believe anyone with “knowledge” of this process charges thousands to do just that, but they do, which is why I’m dragging myself through it. Gods. Nothing like sweating every little stroke of the pen to make you fuck up. I could write those answers out a thousand times on a blank sheet of paper. Doesn’t matter. When it comes to committing my answers to THE FORM, I freeze and make mistakes.

Strained my knee at the gym earlier in the week. Nothing bad, but had to take some days off. I’ve had knee problems, and I don’t want them again.

Watching tv. Reading ‘Perelandra’ from CS Lewis (again). Doing my best (per my bro’s request) to stay calm. Not working well, obviously. Here’s another five a.m. I’m seeing.

I’m tired and I’d like a break. No time! Next week begins my language lessons. Have I tried to wrap my tongue around Dutch lately? Hell, no! Have I run thru my lines for the upcoming production? Hell, no! Feel kinda bad about that, but only kinda. I did have my shit down cold before the break. And language…well, that’s a constant struggle. But hey; I deserve a holiday, too. Maybe I can’t go anywhere or do anything, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve simple time OFF. Time to fuck off and do my own thing.

Kept the words of my excellent rejection in mind over the past few days. I’m a good writer. Keep telling myself that; it’s difficult to cut through years of feeling like and being told I’m a loser and actually grasp that truth. Of course, even my best intentioned thoughts are tinged with negativity: being a good writer is no guarantee of success. And I noticed certain family members who insist on commenting on everything bleeding thing I do (generally using subtle to not so subtle put downs in the process) have managed to stay quiet about the feedback I got on my script. Oh, got nothing to say now that someone has something NICE to say about me and my work? Well, no worries. It IS still a rejection, after all. You remain top dog in your own pathetic little world.

Gods, I hate my family. I mean really, really dislike them. A LOT.

Have not committed myself to anything just yet. I’ve more stories floating in my brain. Stories that pop up in the middle of watching tv, or on a walk. Letting it all be right now. My last script taught me that I can write off a strong outline no matter what occurs in my own life, and I trust myself enough now to back off a bit. Let those ideas rest. I’ll start to commit to paper in a few weeks. Ideas, sketches, characters. There are two strong contenders for my next project. Which one is chosen will probably depend on how full the outlines become. I suppose I should check on submissions calls; what people want, how limited the cast sizes are, etc. But I’m feeling like I just want to write. I’ve got a handle on most limitations, and it’s never a bad idea to just have stuff ready to send out.

…Checked out a couple of ‘playwright’ web pages. People who claim to be professional playwrights (don’t know and can’t say for sure, because I never heard of their works). Found one woman with 25 scripts to her name. I was impressed – until a deeper look revealed five of those scripts to be 10 minute affairs. Really? Isn’t that like a jingle writer claiming to be a song writer? Maybe I shouldn’t be such a bitch about it. Just take a look at one of these so-called 10 minute scripts. Not sure what kind of a “story” can be told in that short of time. …And then there was the rest of the so-called 25 scripts. Included a lot of shorts. A lot a lot. Very few full length pieces. By the end, I wasn’t impressed with her “credentials”. Though, DAMN! She listed a lot of awards.

Does humanity really suffer from ADHD? Seems so. Anything more than 500 words on a blog post is just asking to be ignored. Tweets have become the norm for communication – even from the American presidency. Ten minute plays, flash fiction – short, short, short! Is the illiteracy rate really so high? Seems so.

And you know…it doesn’t matter if I’m in the right on this issue. Doesn’t matter one bit. I’m the odd one out: a person who reads. There’s an old saying that a seeing man would be king in a world of the blind, but I don’t believe that’s true. I think that seeing man would be shunned, belittled, cajoled and ridiculed into going along with the mob. Because that’s the true nature of humanity: mob rule. Think differently and risk everything. Oh, maybe in ten or twenty or a hundred or so years the rest of humanity will catch up with you and then they’ll say ‘oh, gee, that person was such a genius!’ but I HATE the Van Gogh effect of dissing and ignoring artists and thinkers until long after they’re gone and then holding up their work, proclaiming it’s wonderful, and isn’t it a shame we didn’t give this person props when he/she was alive.

I mean really….fuck off! I hate this so much that if I actually get enough money together to bother with a damned will, I’ll write in a clause to reject ANY award given to my work post-mortem.

…Why, oh why, does it feel like a Monday?

Pacing Myself

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Two days of mild, sunny weather. The bird shit is mostly gone from the balcony. Mostly. I can’t answer for the gang of birds who gather ’round midnight for a coo and a dump. I can say I took out a small bag’s worth of guano (had to shovel it. literally). With luck, we’ll get some more pigeon scarers out there before the week is over. And I’ll just make the balcony part of my cleaning rotation. Maybe if they don’t SEE huge piles of shit, they’ll be less likely to spend a penny themselves.

I swam. I walked. I was OUT THERE, baby. Figure I might as well enjoy the weather before it gets too hot for me. And for right now, I’m not having pain. At least, nothing that stops me or even gives me reason to pause.

Sleep is going to summer mode. Later nights, earlier mornings. Oh, joy. It’s not even May yet. By this rate, I’ll be getting 4-5 hours a night in June. If I’m lucky.

Woke up thinking about doctors and Heike and Addiction Central. Actually, my thought was very specific. They [Addiction Central] should have my phone number. The entire last phone call to the place replayed thru my head and buzzed around my annoyance over the receptionist’s inability to (1) understand much English and (2) get my phone number down correctly. I realized what a load of shit that was. As soon as my name, birthdate, or BSN gets typed into any computer, ALL my info comes up – including my damned phone numbers. So harassing me over my phone number was unnecessary. They already had it.

Just one more wind up from the Universe.

Also telling myself to GET OVER IT and go see my huisarts. Allergy season is here, complete with sneezing fits, coughing, and filling up tissues at a rate that makes me think my brains are leaking out. I need something to help. And I’m dragging my fucking feet because I’m still angry and embarrassed over the last visit. Every time I think of seeing my huisarts, the girl pipes up from the back of my brain: Like HELL I will. She also absolutely refuses to seek out a new huisarts. So she’s keeping us stuck. Gonna have to talk that out with her.

Been trying to find a new pace in life. Still active, but not so frenzied as I was in my 20s or 30s. Yes, it’s nice to get dishes done every day but the world doesn’t END if I don’t do them (Absolute 100% guarantee on that. I’ve tested it). So when my days get full or I feel tired, I don’t bother anymore. Used to push to ‘keep up’ with housework, which when I was already hurting or pressed for time only served to irritate me. These days, if I can’t take my time doing it I don’t even begin.

For the record, yes, I’m smoking “too much”. Big fucking quotation marks around THAT phrase, since it’s pure perspective. I’m probably back to the same rate I was pre Addiction Central, though it’s now on a lower grade marijuana than before. Overall, I’ve taken it down. Things are also working for me right now so I’m not gonna fuck with what doesn’t need fixing. And I’ve had some success on making life safer for me; I find times when I don’t WANT to smoke before going out into the world. Language class is a good example. I’ll take a few hits an hour before class begins, but I won’t stone. Same with heading out for errands. I want that edge taken off me but I don’t want to float around the stratosphere.

That’s progress.

Found a fantastic station on my tv system. ‘Round about the 800th channel the tv switches to radio service. A private radio service on the smart tv system. I’ve got 150 channels of non-stop, no talk, no advertisements, genre-specific music to listen to. And I’ve found my home: channel 900, The Chill Lounge. For the past several days I’ve had down tempo psy trance playing in the house and it’s UTTERLY RELAXING. My brother and I are both into it. We’re smiling more, talking more, relaxing more (even during this springtime manic phase). I like it SO much that I find switching to broadcast tv a bit jarring. The sound is harsher, people are talking (SO unmusical!), and the adverts! Ugh! I’m finding there’s very little on that makes me want to brave ‘live’ television. Let me record it so I can edit out all the stuff I don’t want to be exposed to. Spent 20 minutes just listening to The Chill Lounge last night while waiting for The Daily Show because Family Guy was on prior, and the east coast nasal quality (GRATING!) of the voices was just too much.

Less than two weeks before J comes to visit, and there’s still much to do. I want my hair done, for one. That’s always a production for me; walking in, using my Dutch to ask for an appointment, getting thru trying to describe what I want to the stylist, and just sitting there being unproductive for over an hour. Nothing I really look forward to. Maybe when I have more of the language it will be different. I’ll be able to chat with everyone.

*snort* Like I don’t find THAT an irritant some days.

Trying to stay focused on the bigger picture. To remember that it won’t be sunny days from here on out. Every once in a while I may have to suffer a hail storm. Bad days, triggers, frustration, anger – none of that is ‘behind’ me. The trick is to not let them STOP me. So I’ll continue on at a slower pace. Watching the road signs. Remembering to consult my map. Stepping back. Waiting. It’s okay to give myself time to think something through before acting on it. And it doesn’t matter how much time I take.

I have all the time I want.

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Ready to Deliver

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Hmmm….I’m rolling my morning smoke and eyeing up my bag. Either I got up in the middle of the night and decided that a snack of fresh bud was a good idea, or my brother inadvertently rolled from my bag. OR…I really have smoked that much, in which case, bad on me! But I swear that’s not how I left it last night.

And HMMMM again! The tobacco pouch is practically empty! The plot thickens! Someone was smoking last night, and it wasn’t me. That leaves my brother or Santa Claus. And it’s not Santa’s season.

Last night I experienced a period of time when I didn’t think about smoking. Full out didn’t need it, didn’t want it. I found I was perfectly fine just watching tv without toking away. Last night’s 5th J was less than half smoked when I shuffled off to bed. I’m getting close to taking myself down to 4. Maybe I’ll experiment and see what that’s like today. No pressure. If I do it, great. If I don’t do it, great. But I sure as hell will be listening to myself, and if I don’t need it I’m not smoking it. Even if there’s a J waiting in my ashtray.

Yesterday didn’t include much to talk about. In fact, my afternoon ‘job’ was to watch a film on our digital recorder and delete it. We’d filled it up again to 98%. So that’s what I did: relaxed, watched a film. It felt like my engine was cooling down, and sleep hounded me for the rest of the night. Kept dropping off and jerking awake until my brother laughed and said I’d better just get myself off to bed. I got in 9.5 hours – that’s a record in the last 5 years at least, maybe 10. Maybe more. I don’t sleep well.

Getting pulled in twelve different directions this morning. Imagining myself tackling my dusty shelves, getting studio work done, my sit-ups, squeezing in a walk, and deep conditioning my hair. Plus I’ve errands to run outside: my lotto ticket, pick up more smoke because (ugh) I just emptied one bag, finally make that hair appointment. My head says go, go, go and my body says no, no, no. I’ll never get it all done. Frustrating old woman with RA body! Really ticks me off that I can’t keep up with myself.

Fly, fly, my thoughts. Winged creatures circling above me. They dive in and peck at my brain, sparking some idea that has nothing to do with anything, then leave. Fuckers.

Sometime today I’ve got to squeeze in 20 minutes of Dutch, too.

Whoa! STOP. Right. the fuck. now. I’ve ‘got to’?!?! No I fucking don’t! I’d like to, I want to, but I sure as fuck don’t ‘got to’. I don’t GOT to do any fucking thing if I don’t want to. It’s my choice. I can sit in my jammies and play games and toke up all my bud if I WANT to today. Stop using that language!

Right now, I honestly think the most important thing I could do for myself today is to lay down flat in the corpse position and try to reach that zen place. All the rest is secondary. All the rest will be EASY if I reach zen. My still point.

Don’t think I can. Don’t think I can reach it today. Too fast, too much. Don’t want to be here. My head…my head! Chop it the fuck off! Stop up my ears with headphones and blast some damned music so maybe it’ll drown out the incessant chatter, chatter, chatter.

Maybe that IS what I need. Music immersion. I’ve been avoiding it because turning on my music and the visualizer means toking, which I don’t want to do. But I feel like I need it today, smoke or not. If I really have toked up that entire 2 gram baggy in slightly over 24 hours I’ve got some deep shit going on that I’m not acknowledging. Something I can’t bring out, which would then be the driver in my racing thoughts. FUCK! Goddamn mother fucking BULLSHIT! I thought I was beyond hiding things from myself!!!

…So fucking frustrated with me right now…I’d choke the living shit out myself if I could.

Deep breath. Where is it? What is it? Surface crap, surface crap. You can’t kid me, baby! That’s not enough to send us off like a rocket. What’s wrong?

Silence. That question shuts my head up. Can I trust myself enough to say okay, maybe it’s hypomania or mania or just being jazzed up. Jizzed up. Whatever. Don’t know. I’ve hidden things from myself in the past. Nothing more world-tilting than having a repressed memory surface. Throws everything into question. I’ve only had two experiences of it, both from childhood and both remembered as I became a teenager. Is there something more? How could I even tell?

I need to get out of my head today. Get my hands dirty and tackle real world stuff. If there’s something cooking back there, it will eventually surface. That much I can trust on. If I try to push it out it’ll just sink further in and be harder to access. Let it go. Damn! I’m all tight in my spine right now. Fucking fuckity fuck.

Fine. That’s the title of my new song. Only it’s all in caps: FINE. Because that’s the way I generally see it when I say it – I’m FINE. Yeah. It’s pure sarcasm. Maybe it’s time to get that little gem going again. I’m in just the right frame of mind to give the lyrics a go today. I want this piece to capture my anxiety, to give listeners the same rushed and slightly overwhelmed feeling I get. It’s all got to come from vocal delivery..And baby, I’m ready to deliver.