Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

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

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.