Although the song that is really summing up how I feel at the moment (which is what I mean when I use the abbreviation "ATM"--not automatic teller machine OR the porn translation. *shudder* I have limits) is "Better Days" by Bruce Springsteen. It came on the shuffle on the Zune just as I spotted the sign that read, "Sackville - 50 km." I was singing at the top of my lungs (voice is shot from almost eight straight hours of singing along in the car--only way I could stay awake). Such an amazing song, and the live version from the MTV Live and Plugged In (I think that's the album) also has one of my ultimate theme songs, "Red-headed Woman" on it--the live version is so FUCKING AMAZING and electric, I can't hear it without singing along and feeling utterly euphoric. The timing tonight helped, too (although anyone observing me would have thought I was utterly insane, but then I'm a Masshole at large in the nicest place in the world, Nova Scotia). The line that always puts a grin on my face and tears in my eyes:
"Tonight this fool is halfway to heaven
And just a mile outta hell
And I feel like I'm comin' home!"
Perfect sentiment to sum up the weird, wired state I'm in.
Christ, I'm in brain overload right now. Eight straight hours in my own company with nothing but the road and the occasional text message (before I crossed the border; suddenly, my smart phone has no G3 connection. Argh) at rest stops can make one a BIT reflective. The adventures of the past week have had no small affect on me, either.
Still reeling from the New York trip. *shakes head* I wish I understood why things affect me so deeply. For the most part, I don't give a rat's ragged arse about most shit. I really don't--I hate celebrity culture, think the imbecilic gossip rags need to be burnt en masse (ditto all of the WRETCHED women's magazines... Christ on a crutch, WHAT IS THE POINT OF COSMO EXCEPT TO MAKE WOMEN TRULY STOOOOOPID AND SHALLOW?) However, ATM, I feel too euphoric and too fucking tired to do my usual slam of the head on the desk. I find crushes so bizarre. Life-affirming--the fact that I can find anyone attractive these days for any other reason than looks is reassuring that I haven't completely lost all faith. And that I can feel something other than black cynicism (and actually made a pass... Lawdy Lawd, WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?)... a good thing. Maybe my heart isn't dead.
I don't want to think about sad things right now. I actually feel good right now. Calm. Safe. Happy. I'm home. Oh, mercifcul Gods, I made it home and for the first time, I drove it.
See, I love to drive. I truly, truly love to be behind the wheel. I have dreamed of road tripping before I ever even got my license when I was 18, and the only chance I ever had to do the long-haul road trip involved a dying VW Rabbit, my (now late- ex-)husband, and fabulous cat. That was the last time I saw my Grand-dad, Buck. Horrible trip--the Rabbit's headlights wouldn't stay on, so we couldn't drive after dark, we were broker than sin (thanks to him; happy thoughts, happy thoughts), and everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. The company sucked, too. Trying to put a marriage back together after four months with an entire country between you... stupid, stubborn bitch I was. I paid for it.
But this... this is the kind of trip I've been dreaming of doing FOREVER: just packing up, getting in the car, and GOING. The stop last night at Camp Atherton was (as always) LOVELY. Bill and Jane give me hope: married fifty years, still in love with each other, and just DAMN FINE people. Laura and Ferd... best wedding I ever went to, and you won't find two people who love each other more or who work better together. Again, they give me hope.
Plus, it's impossible to have a bad time at Camp Atherton.
Laura pressed a wardrobe on me; I have to pick up most of the clothes after I get back because, honestly, I couldn't fit them in the car. I MUST clean out the trunk while I'm here; I felt bad for the poor customs officer trying to shut the stupid thing. He was sweet, though, once he realized he was dealing with a daft American librarian in desperate need of a vacation amongst Canadians. Gods, I don't need to buy any nice clothes for forever; she has such exquisite taste. Not that I'm upgrading my everyday uniform of jeans & Woot shirts; I like it. It fits me. I also finally have back in my wardrobe pink Chuck T's. I have missed wearing pink Chuck's--they used to be my signature footware. Finally lost enough that I can wear real sneakers again! YES!
She's also downloaded my novel to her Nook; it was very cool (strange, but cool) to see my novel on somebody's ereader. :-) Soon... Rewrite may start today; doubt I'm going to sleep. Too wound up.
But the dream trip... I really like long haul driving. It's soothing, believe it or not. I love the speed... the road spread out before me, and nothing to do but drive.
Good thinking time. Plotting time, too.
Trying to sort out the men in my life. *sigh* So bizarre... texts from Captain Strap-on AND Potential Paramour. Totally schizoid. I mean, I never date more than one (of course, Potential Paramour hasn't even had a face-to-face yet, so fuck knows if he's even serious) at a time. Part of it is ethics, part of it is laziness--I'm such a bad liar when I have to deal with someone on a regular basis. Cops and meter maids, no problem: can lie like a rug and weep on cue and save my bacon. People I have to see or speak to regularly? Impossible. I'm trying to keep too much else straight to be able to keep anything but the real story straight.
Besides, I hate lying. It's just not fun. It's too easy to fool people. (Trust me, it is--I've convinced someone that something that wasn't there was; it was scary, that. Fun, in a very sadistic sort of way, but scary. No one should be that weak-minded.)
It's all about power, innit? Use and abuse. Been thinking a lot about that lately. The problem with me writing & performing again is that it's all coming up, and I'm remembering things I'd buried for a while. *shakes head*
What a year it's been. Actually, the past three years, if I think about it: the failed engagement, leaving the DW fandom community, the gastric bypass prep and realization, the weight loss, the adjustment, dating again, putting Idiot away, the suicide attempt, therapy, break-throughs...
My head is reeling. I remembered something else about 1996: that was the year I was diagnosed as bipolar II and put on meds. Now, at first, those meds were a miracle: for the first time since I was three, I didn't want to die. My moods evened out. Of course, my health was also going into the toilet because I wasn't REALLY bipolar II, my thyroid was broken. (This is a common misdiagnosis, BTW--the thyroid directly affects mood, and some of the symptons can mirror acute bipolar disorder.) After a while, they also lost their efficacy, and more meds had to be added. Eventually, I went numb--walking through life wrapped in cotton wool and not giving a monkey's toss about it all. Losing my job and health insurance was actually a boon back then because I meant I had to quit all of the meds. System was cleansed and started over with a clean slate.
By then, they'd found the broken thyroid. Of course, I had already gained a gajillion pounds. Eventually, I had to go back on meds, but I found a good doctor who put me on something that treated anxiety and depression, and I finally realized that I didn't get anxious because I was depressed--I got depressed because I was anxious. The light bulb appeared over my head, and I was on the road to making other discoveries...
But, yet again, I digress and can't even remember what the original point was. 1996, I think. Fourteen years. I haven't been this healthy since before I got married, honestly. Emotionally, I've never been this healthy before. It's weird. Good weird, mind you, but weird. Not quite sure what to do--feel like the energy's going to just explode out of my fingertips.
I have to make a decision, soon, too. Right now, I'm writing and writing and writing... it's crazy what's coming out. I've been playing with the one-woman show thing for a long time; it's a dream, a goal, really. I don't know if I'm cut out for standup; I realize that part of it may be the venue I'm open miking in--definitely not my kind of humor, and there is a bit of a boys' club attitude--inadvertant, but there and off-putting. So I have to find someplace else down at home and see if anything will come of it. The other part (and I think I made this in an earlier post): I'm not a gag-man. I'm a storyteller, and a two-minute shot isn't enough for a proper build-up & sell, and honestly, most of a my stuff NEEDS the build up, the twist, the seeming non sequitur, to get to the final BANG! It's like sex--no one likes a rush job (well, a quickie once in a while is cool, but it doesn't provide a lot of pleasure if it's all you're getting).
And I don't want to do something half-assed. There is nothing worse than a half-assed performance--spending your hard-earned money to see a show and getting crap from the performer. Hey, I know I've been out of the performing game for a while, and it's going to take a bit to get some things back on-line (note to self: start doing the Linklater progression again; you need to restore your vocal range). I haven't lost my stage presence--that's the one thing I've always had and always will, the natural charisma and rapport with the audience. You either have that or you don't, and if you don't, get the fuck out of the game. I've got my timing. What I don't have is the polish. THAT is going to take rehearsal. Argh. I really hate taking direction (surprise, surprise), Feedback I'm fine with, but direction... probably because almost every director I've worked with sucked.
Harsh, yeah, but truth. I've gotten incredible feedback from actors I've worked with over the years, both as a director and a coach, and the bottom line is that I've learned from negative example. Plus, I've got a natural eye for performance evaluation. I KNOW how to tweak. Which means I'm going to have to invest in a fucking video camera, tape everything and analyze it like a sports coach after a game.
Yeah, yeah, I know... I'm continuing with the stand-up. I have to to build up connections so that when I finally get to stage the one-woman, I have an audience and solid rep, as well as face-time with an audience.
Wow. I just tossed down a handful of Cheerios and chased it with iced coffee. Delish. Forgot how good plain Cheerios are. So few things I can actually eat these days, and not get ill or have side effects. Had the loveliest dinner last night--utterly fabulous roast pork (and I do NOT usually enjoy pork in any form unless it's bacon or a Niman Ranch ham steak), roast potatoes (yeah, I know, I'm SUCH a bogtrotter with my padaydahs), delicately seasoned green beans, and a caprese salad with summer tomatoes... blissful food, delicious food, the kind of proper Sunday dinner I haven't had in a dog's age... Let's just say, it was a good thing I was sleeping alone last night. If I could have bottled the side effects, I could have saved myself from at least one fill-up along the road today. I don't wish the gastric bypass undone--I wouldn't trade my life right now or my body for anything--but there are days...
Although, truth to tell, I've always had serious issues with food. I mean, so many things have always made me throw up. I really envy people who can eat anything. I wish I could. I wish I could eat fish and seafood--other people rave so much about it (and it's supposed to be so good for you, if you don't think about the mercury levels). I don't miss the junk food, the fried crap (I couldn't keep it down before surgery, although I still make the attempt at fried chicken... my inner Southerner insists upon it), even ice cream... no whooper, y'know? Pasta... pasta, I do miss, but that's the tomato sauce screaming at me. Alcohol... I can still have an occasional tequila, and I'm getting too old to get wasted. Too expensive in so many ways.
I just wish that healthy food (besides yogurt, cereal, coffee, apples, bananas, fruit in general, salad, and cheese) would stay down. (And please, no "talk to your surgeon" advice. I've done that, I've been given shitloads of advice, none of it works, and I'm healthy otherwise, so... I just have a semi-vegetarian diet. *shudder*) Especially as for the next two weeks, I'm in a place where regular meals happen. (And I will get to help with them. In a kitchen one can move around in. I love cooking...)
Lot of navel-gazing tonight. More thoughts on performing and mental illness tomorrow. Or later today. Plus, I still owe you guys the Celebricrush post.