Monday, July 18, 2011

Still Trucking...

Or should that be "Truckin'?"

Things are very much the same here-- still rainy, still being overrun by vicious mosquitoes. Still going to the gym, still eating healthy, still very few results to show for it, at least scale-wise.

Still, I persevere.

I have some very vague ideas for a new play, which caused me to go on a spree of requesting books at the library, never thinking that they would of course all come in at once, which they have. That's one of my favourite parts of the process-- research, not lugging 50 lbs of books home from the library. And not even specific research, just the reading about things because I am interested in them and may become inspired. So much more interesting than, say, the reformatting of a script I have to do and have been putting off. Or organizing my mailouts for script submissions now that the postal strike is over AND I have some cash to get a shit-ton of scripts printed.

And of course, I want to take on an entirely new project, which has to do with reading. I have always wanted to read all the books on one of those 100 Greatest Novels list, because although being the child of two English Lit PhD's has made me fairly well-read, I always feel like I should read more.

And I think I'm going to try the Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels list, at least partially because the list starts in 1923 (the year Time Magazine started), thus neatly allowing me to avoid 1922's Ulysses. It also had a pretty good selection of books from across the 20th century, and most importantly, books I am interested in reading.

I'm starting with Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, just as soon as I can back my truck up to the library.

Side note: I actually witnessed an audience member answer their cell phone at a play I was at on the weekend. I thought people only did that in hilarious anecdotes in which a Broadway star berates said audience member publicly.

The ringing (set to one of those retro-actual-phone-ringtones) took place at an unfortunate moment-- Emilia was just tucking Desdemona into bed (where we all know she is about to be--spoiler alert!-- imminently strangled by Othello), and there was a nice quiet moment. The ringing started immediately before her exit, which momentarily led me to think "She's on her way to answer the phone?".

It was someone a couple of rows behind me. He pulled out his phone, answered it, and "whispered":

HOLLISTER-SHIRTED DUMMY ON HIS IPHONE: I can't talk now. I'll call you back later. OK? Ok. OK. Bye.


So if you're not going to turn off your cell phone because you're I don't know, a brain surgeon or an army colonel, or a head of state, or Mr. Hollister behind me, please, please, please do not answer your phone. It is rude. It makes you look stupid. And no one believes you're that important, anyway.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Not that I'm one to rejoice in the misfortunes of others...

But Mr. Movie director who let me go because I wasn't available on the days he didn't need me?

It kind of seems like his project isn't going well.

Nor am I the kind of person to creep on people's facebook pages and learn the types of things that I'm not rejoicing about.

Well, rejoicing is a little strong. Maybe a slight smirk.

Just a slight one.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Rejection Letter Made My Day...

Strange but true.

Today I got my official rejection letter from the Big Time Theatre, and I have to say it was one of the nicest rejection letters I've ever gotten. Along with the usual "We saw so many people and it was a tough decision blah blah blah", there was an actual note from the director and the AD at the bottom telling me they thought I did really great work, specifically one of my monologues. And they thought I was funny and terrific and good, and that not getting cast had absolutely nothing to do with my audition.

Nice, right? Usually I banish rejections to their appropriate project folder in my email, but I actually read this one a few times over the course of the morning, because I am eight and compliments make me giddy.

Who knows, maybe they'll think of me when casting time rolls around again. And it was so nice to hear that I am not completely delusional, that I am right to keep pursuing this. Because I'm good at it.

A pulled shoulder muscle is keeping me away from the gym today, although it makes me feel lazy. Hopefully the bugs won't be so bad/torrential rains will hold off and I can take a walk later.

Happy Monday, friends!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

OK, maybe not the entire mission. But my goal of going to the gym 3 times this week is achieved!
Hmmm, writing it out like that doesn't make it sound very impressive. Certainly not as impressive as my ability to start making excuses NOT to go to the gym the moment I get up. But I have to say, I'm a little bit impressed with myself.

Next week, I'm planning to go FOUR times. Excuses be gone!

It's pouring rain here. It was pouring rain yesterday. It was pouring rain last week. It's going to pour rain next week. My shoes have finally given up the ghost (I suppose there's only so much water exposure you can expect $15 shoes to take). Our basement is continually leaking. And even in the downpour on my way to work this morning (dressed in my miles-too-big purple windbreaker that makes me look like Grimace, but is the only waterproof thing I own with a hood), I noticed that there were STILL mosquitos flying around. How is this possible?

So it hasn't been the summeriest of summers so far. And grown-up life is sort of getting me down lately, what with its expectations that I actually pay my bills and show up to work every day (for example, on a Saturday). As my mother would say, all I need to do is write a bestselling book, and my problems would be solved.

She's serious, by the way. That's ALL I NEED TO DO. Of course, now that Oprah's off the air, it might take a little longer to become fabulously wealthy from my writing, say three or four months instead of one.

Sigh. I guess I could always write it this weekend.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Fear and Loathing in Las Gym

So I have this fear of dentists. I didn't always, it was just something that developed over the years of not going to the dentist, partially because I was too poor, and partially because I had become afraid. It's gotten better since I've been going regularly, and I accept it as one of those unpleasant things you have to go through if you don't want to end up in one of those real-life stress dreams where all your teeth suddenly fall out (I hate hate hate those dreams).

I was beginning to wonder if I'd developed a similar fear of the gym. I don't know what there is to be afraid of at the gym, but I definitely felt a slight twinge of anxiety upon thinking "Yes, today is the day I join the gym again!". There are several things that could be responsible for this fear:
* being surrounded by skinny people
* actually just fear of being surrounded by people in general
* fear of awful music remixes
* fear of some sort of terrible free-weight avalanche resulting in my crushing

Well, none of those really seem to make sense. Could I just be confronting my fear of not making excuses and just doing something? Because it's no revelation to anyone who knows me that I am an extremely non-athletic person. Gym class was one of the great banes of my existence in grade school, not only because I was a chubby kid who got made fun of, but because my utter lack of skill meant that I would only ever get marks for "effort", thus ruining my chances of getting straight A's.

Yes, I was the kind of person who worried about getting straight A's in grade school. Particularly in light of how it would affect my future of getting into an ivy league school, because these were the things I thought about when I was eight.

But I digress. Anxiety be damned, this was my day off, and the day to start going back to the gym. When I got there, I discovered that my workout pants were actually too big compared to the last time I worked out, possibly my brief couple of months of attempting to "Become A Runner" last summer. Pants too big? Clearly I'd accomplished my goal, I should probably just be-- but I stopped myself from leaving and just forced myself to get out there and do something on the elliptical.

* once you actually get started, it's not so bad
* most people at the gym pretty much universally ignore you, which is excellent
* in baggy clothes and with no makeup, I can still look like I'm about 12 sometimes. Well, a rather rotund 12 year old, or a 12 year old who's had several children, but I'm talking about the face, people!
* if your music is good enough, you can make it through almost any length of cardio.
* never time your workout to end with the onset of the lunchtime gym crowd. It's unpleasant, noisy, and there will always, always be someone spread out in front of your locker.

So, my first 35 minutes are done. The plan is to do this 2 more times this week, then presumably sign up for an actual membership once my trial membership is over.

I wish the dentist also had 3 free visits before you had to pay, it would have made my bank account a lot happier.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Summer sickness

I don't know why being sick in the summer is somehow more of a rip-off than being sick in the winter. Let's face it, I'm not exactly spending the sunny months going trail-riding or whitewater rafting or having picnics or other outdoorsy pursuits.

Or maybe it's just the fact that I have an extra-long weekend (off till Tuesday afternoon) that it seems outrageous to wake up with a sore throat and a tummyache and a host of other plague-related symptoms.

Maybe it's just allergies.

No, I know I'm sick because I spelled "outrageous" wrong 4 separate times just now. The brain, she is not functioning correctly.

I'm kind of hoping I wake up miraculously cured tomorrow so I can enjoy a guilt-free weekday off! I was planning on doing some shopping, but not getting paid on payday (which sucks, I KNOW) has kind of put a damper on that. Maybe I'll head up to Value Village. Maybe I'll even head out to a strange and exotic Value Village.

Here's hoping!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Tackling My To-Do List

So a dear friend of mine and I were discussing inertia in theatre, and how you can get that horrible feeling of never accomplishing anything and not going anywhere and ohgodwhydidIchoosetodothiswheneveryoneissomuchbetterthanme-ism. I'm sure other humans feel this way, not just artists. But anyone in a creative profession had better learn to motivate themselves to get shit done, AND to validate themselves regularly, because depending entirely on the whims of others for validation is a one-way ticket to crazytown.

And there are some awkward situations that I think just don't occur as much in the non-artsy world. Case in point:

Let's say you have a job interview, an interview that goes really well. And your good friend, as it happens, is interviewing for the same job. And although your interview went well, your friend calls to tell you with breathless delight that she got the job! And you're in that weird place of being happy for your friend, but terribly disappointed for yourself, and being externally congratulatory yet internally self-berating.

And while I'm sure this happens in non-artistic fields once in a while, the thing for creative jobs is that this can happen ALL THE TIME. Not that I'm complaining, I could always choose to go and be a lab technician, or a cash register repairperson or something completely unrelated to my field. The point is, it's important to feel like you're getting things accomplished.

So my friend has been using a strategy where she writes to-do lists of things she has to accomplish, and keeps them all in the same notebook. So she can see on a regular basis how much stuff she's gotten done and feel good about it. So I decided to try the same thing.

That's when I realized I'm scared of the list. And I did my usual trick of breaking things down into their component steps. But actually doing these things on the list is a little frightening. If I were into psychologically analyzing myself (giant eyeroll here, guys, it's totally one of my favourite hobbies), I might think that making the commitment to accomplishing something actually puts me in a position of potentially failing. Or potentially succeeding. Whichever could be scarier.

It's taking a risk, see. How much easier would it be to sit here and think "I'm going to do that, and one day I'll do that" while blithely eating bonbons or something. Or looking back and saying "I could have done that, if only..."

Not where I want to be.

So today I'm starting the list.

I should put "say you're starting the list" on the list. That way I could already have something crossed off.