Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

Because the only thing that beats going crazy is going crazy with somebody else

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Well Isn't This Just Great

I've never enjoyed not knowing what to do. (I can't think of anyone who likes feeling ignorant or unsure.) Everyone has a comfort zone. We go out of our way to stay inside them-- stick to things we're good at, hang with people we like and are like us, avoid unnecessary challenges and upsets.

In terms of a comfort zone, I feel quite close to the edge of mine. It's been brought to my attention that I avoid dealing with things that make me angry. I laugh them off, or ignore them, or pay attention to something else until they go away. It's pretty much how I left things with my first roommate, here in New York. We had issues, we never talked about them, we avoided each other, and then I moved out.

Why do I avoid conflict? Why do I back down every time? Why do I wait them out?

My patience has been rewarded (sort of) in the past. If I was in a show and didn't get along with someone (this was rare); I knew it'd only be a matter of time before the run was finished. Then I'd never have to see them again. Problem solved?

Why bottle it up? Why refuse to face it? What is so wrong with anger that it can't be processed in a healthy way? What the hell is so wrong with a disagreement? Or a balanced confrontation? Or facing an issue that needs resolving? And most importantly, where the fuck do I get answers at this point?

This sounds stupid even as I'm typing it, but I always assumed Anger Management courses involved people who couldn't control a temper they already had-- not a temper they never lost. It's about being assertive.

I get angry, or offended, and then do nothing about it. I don't bring it up, I don't try to resolve the issue, I just clean up after it and subconsciously expect/wait for it to happen again.

It pisses me off.

Not pants-rippingly-turning-green-and-monosyllabic pissed off, but still. A degree of anger is there.

I think there are things I can do to become more assertive. Responsible things. It's not about power, or taking control, it's about getting done the things I need to get done. Doing what's right for me.

On a side-note, it is grossly uncomfortable even writing about this subject. Change is uncomfortable-- like trying on clothes that are too small, and having to move around in them even though they're constricting you.

Still, this is important. Important and worth sharing. Thanks, coach.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How I Went A Month And A Half Without Blogging

Heh. Well, now we'll see if that kind of headline draws any additional readers-- I've been doing a fair bit of in-office research; and writing a good headline has been part of the work. Good stuff.

I had an excellent birthday. I'm enjoying being a prime number again for the first time in a decade; just in time for my own personal Saturn Return.

I've been brainstorming, but have been doing little actual writing. That's going to change. I need to get All Fall Down out of the way before I try to tackle anything truly new. At least write the last two scripts-- it's still going to be a while before they see shelves. I'm living with it.

Saw a tarot card reader last week (by far the most unique birthday gift I received, thanks boss). He had encouraging things to say; and only one or two ominous warnings, so that's good.

I feel... good. I went for a long walk yesterday (2 miles on the track) and I've been meditating semi-regularly. I like it, and I like how it makes me feel. Gives me a clear head.

I have plans to build a sketch comedy team-- plans that are still in the very early stage. I have yet to even hold auditions. Need to get on the ball there. I have time and should be making the most of it. Weekends are the ideal time to hold try-outs, and I won't have a free day before Halloween. *Shrug.*

I need to change the way I go about doing certain things. Get rid of some bad habits, and force-feed some new ones until they stick. I'm pushing 30. It's high time. I've taken a few steps toward that goal, but they won't happen overnight, or by accident. 'bout time I used some willpower. Eh?

Oh-- I also went *out* Friday night. To socialize. Flying solo. Cannot remember the last time I did that, but seeing as I'm not going to meet anyone sitting around at home, it was the next best option available. So. There's that.

Anyway. Life, going on. As it does.

I'm putting myself out there.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Things Are Looking Up

Hello, dear readers. Lots to report so we'll dive right in.

I've been working steadily for almost two months at a bankruptcy firm-- business is booming. I have yet to run out of things to do, there. (It's good to be busy.)

I've been sending out vibes and the universe has been kind in response: I currently have more freelance work than I know what to do with. I love it. Some VO work, a ton of copy-editing to get through, and oh yes, back with a former employer to help him with his writing. Shazam.

It's a warm day, and I'll be taking in some Shakespeare in the park this afternoon, after I get a long-overdue haircut.

In other news, I had my first VO audition in far too long, this week. I think it went well, but only time will tell. I long to get back into the cartoon biz. That is all.

Working full-time hasn't hampered my creativity; I conjured up an idea for a comic book miniseries on Thursday. Will flesh it out a bit today before I put it aside; there are bigger pots on the stove that require my attention. Need to stay focused.

A series of random events led me to meeting a nice young woman on the subway; she was showing her visiting brother the Big Apple. We clicked in our brief encounter, and yours truly has a dinner date this Tuesday. I didn't think those sorts of thing ever actually happened-- random rendezvous leading to dates. Still, I guess this is how strangers become friends.

More to follow, folks. Ciao for now.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Lots To Do

It's been a good weekend. The 4th was restful, and I managed to get a good bit of writing done this weekend. I'm working on a new project, something I won't jinx by discussing too prematurely. I'll leave it at, "It's off to an encouraging start."

I'm tired. Tomorrow's a long day. It's that simple. Money is tight these next few days, but income is coming in from a few different sources that should compensate: two day jobs, eBay and a freelance assignment from out West. I'm doing what I can, folks. Keep your fingers crossed.

On an unrelated (but very important) subject, my Dad is having surgery first thing in the morning. It's serious but not life-threatening; for which I'm immensely grateful.

Lots going on, lots to do. More to follow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

*Cue the theme to "Jaws"*

As you may or may not have heard, on Sunday June 14th, being of sound mind and body, I dressed up in shorts, a t-shirt and an inside-out bathrobe and took to the streets. Specifically, the streets of Union Square. I did not go alone. No sir. By my side (or in front of me) was Herman, a 7-foot long fibreglass great white shark. Perfecting the image of insanity was the sign I'd drafted, which read "Need $ for Shark Food (He's doing poorly)".

Call it a social experiment. Call it a chance to blow off some steam in a manner not entirely dissimilar to M*A*S*H's own Trapper and Hawkeye. (They frequently acted crazy to prove that they were sane.) Call it thinking and acting outside the box.

Sure, some folks were confused. They were no doubt asking themselves, "Why is a healthy, seemingly cognizant adult sitting on the street, asking (via print) for hand-outs for what is obviously a fake shark?" To ask why was to miss the point. There was no reason. There still isn't one. It was just fun.

The majority of passersby got the joke. Some gave a chuckle, some only a smile, some even gave a dollar. Many took pictures. The minority took offense to my harmless attempt to kill a few hours on what was a glorious and beautiful day.

Here's the kicker: It made New York Magazine. After only a few short hours of benign frivolity, my harmless antics were deemed worthy of recognition in their weekly "Neighborhood News" segment. Others mentioned in that week's post: Social Security fraud (he was dressing up like his dead mother), a cafeteria-wide food fight, and last but not least; an official police search for a runaway pony. The spirit of the post, I gathered, was this: "Real-life events that would make a person say, There's something you don't see every day."

Needless to say, my roommate is chomping at the bit to resume the activities Chondrichthyic. My own self, I'm not so sure. A repeat performance might smack of unoriginality. We'll just have to wait and see. I wonder who else might be, too...


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Internet Therapy

Things at the moment are far from ideal. I'm working less than 10 hours a week (and taking interviews). Money is obviously tight as a result. A family member is going into hospital soon, for a serious operation. My prayers are with them. Not for the first time, I'm wishing I was closer to Maryland. (I almost wrote 'home'... but that's New York. For the time being, anyways.)

The screenplay's new draft is complete; which leaves me with far too much free time for uninterrupted thought. Not the best pastime at the moment. Applying for jobs and so forth takes up less time than I'd like.

There are blessings. A supportive family, good friends (local and abroad) and a patiently understanding landlady. That, and something to look forward to: an audition for a touring production. I don't want to jinx myself by divulging too much; let's just leave it with the firm stance that there are two parts I'd be great for.

Anyway. When feeling low, as I do now, one solution is to process the items and put them in perspective. My roommates are out and I'm not up for calling anyone; so that leaves you, gentle reader.

Are you sitting comfortably?

I maintain that the choice to move to New York was the right one; nevertheless I'm facing the reality that it's a choice I won't be able to sustain much longer without drastic improvement in my prospects. Prayers are welcome as ever (not to mention recommendations).

I don't know what's coming next; a feeling that's never been comfortable. There only so many things I can actively do to attempt some measure of control or influence on my life: namely to look for work, and submit my writing for consideration with agencies, producers and friends with connections. My roommate Trevor believes in me 100%, a feeling I take comfort and encouragement in-- he knows that I'm trying.

The past six months have been educational in more ways than one. I worked for (to put it delicately) a difficult man. I compare having worked for him with having worked for Life (the state of being, not the magazine) : there were parts I did not like, parts I disagreed with; but on the whole it was educational in a good way. Calvin's father of Calvin & Hobbes fame would issue some unwanted chore or task, saying "It builds character". There weren't that many unwanted chores-- it was the man's verbal abuse that built character. If he read this, he'd shake his head and say "you missed the point. I was trying to show what it's like to be a businessman." I'd say the point was received just fine.

Sunday is Father's Day. I volunteered to travel down for the weekend, but Dad's ministerial duties will make him largely unavailable. (He's got to be at the church on time, after all.) He suggested I visit in a few weeks' time. Sounds good to me.

I'm single, and not doing much dating. Making mild efforts with a dating service, but otherwise I'm not actively looking for anyone. This is not because I don't want to; quite the opposite. I want very much to find the right person. I do know, however, that looking for them never gets results. It's a funny world.

I'm proud to say I did something completely random on Sunday, and on the whole original. Dressed as a crazy person, I carried a 40 lb. fibreglass great white shark to Union Square and asked people for donations to buy shark food because Herman (the shark) was "doing poorly". About 80% of the passersby got the joke, and moved on with a smile. Some even left donations! Call it a social experiment, call it a M*A*S*H-worthy exercise in blowing off crazy-steam. I call it a fun way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon (and make thirty bucks). I don't frequently indulge the 'weird' side of my creativity. In any case, the occasion was extremely satisfying.

And look at that... I'm feeling a bit better. Thanks for the ear, as always. Ciao for now, folks.

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Here We Are Again, Same Sh*t, Different Day

Not for the first time; I'm finding myself in the unenviable position of being between jobs. The timing couldn't be worse.

I'm going to be trying to sell a few things on Ebay as I continue looking for work. Also, I'm polishing a screenplay that will shortly be going out to the one or two viable showbiz contacts I have that could do something with it.

Frankly, I hate being in this position. It's a god-awful feeling. Things I'm trying to get done get pushed further and further off; and it just feels like it's completely out of my hands. Damn it. Damn it.