Oh right…. winter

I am sure I had a head full of deep thoughts earlier today, but they aren’t here now, so you will have to forgive me if tonight’s entry is a tad pedestrian.

Anyhoo, for the record, actual winter is happening here in the GVRD. Snow on the ground, cold outside, road salt on the sidewalks (thank god), the whole schmeer. Things are getting very seasonal[1] around here. And I am not sure how I feel about it.

Obviously, in an immediate sensory sense, it kind of sucks. My first day out in the cold air was extremely painful because my lungs are not used to it any more and so they complained mightily with every breath.

Plus, my gloves are not warm enough for this shit. So my hands are cold when I am getting to school and back as well.

So if you polled my senses, they would, as one, say FUCK WINTER.

But we are more than our senses, and part of me is kind of digging it, especially now that I have adjusted to it and so it hurts a heck of a lot less.

The cold weather mode of my metabolism is now fully engaged and my body is burning calories for warmth. That’s something that does not happen when the temperature is above freezing. But now that it’s proper cold like a proper winter, I heat myself quite efficiently. And so far, no overheating (SFX : knock on wood).

Last night when I was walking home from the Skytrain, I felt almost cozy. And that opened the door for a big ol’ nostalgia flood.

After all, for around 25 years of my life (including my entire childhood), this kind of winter was the norm for me. I have decades of memories of what I continue to insist is “real winter”, and most of them are from my younger days back when I lived in good ol’ Summerside, Prince Edward Island.

And gosh darn it, I miss that sleepy little burg sometimes. Nostalgia does that to a person, and no season is more nostalgic than the Christmas season. I have tried, for no sane reason, to resist nostalgia’s attempts to make bad times seem good, because as far as I was concerned, that made nostalgia a liar and I wanted to preserve the truth.

But truth and nostalgia don’t have to be at odds with one another. I can preserve the memory of how I felt as a child and all the terrible things that happened to my little sad self in those times without necessarily denying myself the pleasure of remembering them. After all, no time of life is all good or all bad, and it is not like I am in danger of suddenly deciding that I had a magical childhood filled with wonder and joy.

But it’s even bigger deal than that. I honestly think that my bizarre anti-nostalgia stance might well be interfering with my ability to truly put my past behind me. The human mind is not supposed to keep past trauma “new in package” fresh. We are supposed to process these things and get over them.  Interfering with that process by following the intellectual urge to keep one’s knowledge as accurate as possible is inviting disaster.

So much of what is wrong in my head is a result of some decision I made so long ago that I barely even remember it (if that) that presumably seemed like a good idea when I was young and stupid.

I wonder if that is what Asperger’s is like. And if I am on “the spectrum”.

I think I probably am, but at a level far, far below diagnosis. Perhaps all nerds would test positive for it at that kind of level. I have certainly suffered because of my lack of social awareness and inability to read a situation right.

There has to be a way to fix that. To not just teach us socially inept people to be more ept, but to activate the part of the mind that acquires social skills in the first place and feed the right social information into it.

This would probably not be a pleasant process. But if you could pull it off, it could give a whole new lease on life to a lot of people by balancing out their over-intellectual minds.

Wait, what the fuck was I talking about originally? Oh yeah, local conditions.

So my feelings about this spate of actual winter are decidedly mixed. Part of me really, really hopes this shit ends soon and we get a normal (for the GVRD) wet Xmas because that is easier to deal with than snow, ice, and so on.

But a slightly bigger part of me is just fine with this because not only is it seasonally appropriate, and not only is it nostalgic, but to a deep and long forgotten part of me that I thought had died a long time ago, it feels “right”.

This is what December is supposed to be like.  At least until Xmas or New Year’s Day.

Come Boxing Day, this shit can be kicked to the curb with all available force. Xmas is lovely but the rest of winter sucks donkey taint and I can happily do without it.

Especially February. Man, fuck winter in February. Winter can make February seem like the longest month. All the leftover cheer from the Holidays is gone and all you have before you is 28 or 29 days of sheer miserable drudgery. It’s such a drag.

So you hear (read) that, Xmas weather? Dec 26 your ass better be out of here or we will have to take stronger measures.

Jan. 2 at the latest.

And the best of this lousy fucking year : I won’t be spending Xmas alone this year. I have someone who is coming to see me. And I can’t wait.

Those of you who know me personally know who I mean. I haven’t talked about him here because part of me is afraid to wake up from this lovely dream I am having.

But some day soon, I will tell you all about him.

And there is one thing you know for sure.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. Xmas seasonal, of course.

A long day into night

Today’s day was extra long.

That’s because after my 1-4 pm class, my film group held their auditions for the one speaking role in our film, the narrator.

I enjoyed being back in the saddle re : auditioning people. It’s something I find inherently cheerful. All these bright young people doing their best. Plus, I like greeting them with warmth and, god willin’, a little laughter too.

So that was nice. But I would have had a lot more fun if I had been in charge. Our director is, in my opinion, too timid for the job. We barely worked the actors at all. I mean, I wasn’t looking for a marathon or anything, but I would have gotten different takes from the auditioning actors and thrown in some oddball requests to see how good they are at taking direction, as well as how they handle the unexpected.

As is, it was as diffident and timid and lazy as I have come to expect. The voice of the control freak part of my mind gets louder every day. Everything would be so much better if you took over, it says. Since when do you meekly accept the role you are given? Rise above it, take over,  and make it all better!

And one of these days. I might just do it. Make a play for leadership. Maybe sell it as merely taking a few menial tasks off the director’s hands. After all, they are doing so much work. I could help!

But always remember, kids. Real leadership has nothing to do with who is at the top of the org chart and everything to do with who people look to when a decision needs to be made.

My latent Machiavellianism aside, I did talk to the instructor of the course about my concerns today, and that helped me to calm down a little. He told me I should look around for a job nobody is doing, like researching film festivals and other venues for short films.

And lo and behold! That’s the job I ended up with today. Our final assignment for this part of the Production for Writers course is due next Tuesday, and that means I have to come up with five minutes of content about festivals, contests, and so on.

Should not be a problem. I’ll just make a video. I am way better at those than I am with PowerPoint and it gives me a chance to show off my other skills.

Especially that “making goofy ass videos” skill.

And five minutes might seem like a lot of time, but I know from experience that talking takes up way more time than you think it does. It will, most certainly,. be a matter of choosing what goes in, not frantically looking for enough content to fill the time.

It will not be the first thing I work on, though. Under the “due first, done first” rule, tomorrow’s main task will be to come up with a second draft of the outline for the first two episodes of my show.

I have lots of stuff to add and change, and fingers crossed, I have not somehow magically misplaced all the notes I took like last time.

All I had to base my first outline on were the changes I remembered from the workshopping session. And as you all know so well, relying on my memory is an extremely iffy proposition.

So hopefully the second draft will be a whole lot better.

I tried asking my teacher about how to handle the outline for a very dialogue heavy episode. She said to go to what people’s intentions are in the scene.  I do not find this to be helpful advice.

For example, I want to do an episode in the principal’s office as Sam and his best friend Edgar try to talk their way out of trouble with a tough no-nonsense principal.

But here’s what that outline would look like :


Sam and his best friend Edgar try to talk their way out of trouble with a tough no-nonsense principal and eventually succeed.

That’s it. That’s the entire outline. For an entire 11.5 minute episode.

The problem is that comedy does not have to be driven by plot. It just has to be funny. And a lot of that humour is going to reside in non-story dialogue.

The plot itself is not going to be all that funny. Especially not in the sort of comedy I write. I don’t really do wacky situations or hilarious coincidences or such.

Nobody would get a truckload of manure dumped on them in a movie I wrote.  Unless it completed a truly epic pun or other kind of joke.

And even then, I would really think it over first. Run it past a few friends.

But no, what I write, especially for this show I am developing, it sitcom humour, and sitcoms are mostly funny dialogue. They sometimes also have wacky situations (that’s the sit in sitcom, after all) but I have never been fond of that kind of thing.

Oh no, someone overheard something and misinterpreted it and now they are defying all reason by concocting a crazy scheme involving several felonies and getting into crazy kind of trouble rather than just talking to the fucking person.

Nuh uh. Not me. Not if I am calling the shots. I would, of course, write reams of that crapola if someone was paying me, but that would never happen with Sam, my baby.

I would never say this in a pitch meeting, but deep down, I would rather make one season of a truly excellent series than umpteen seasons of crap.

I would be just fine with creating that quirky little show with a passionate cult following. Maybe that particular cult would be enough to crowd-fund more episodes. Maybe not.

All I can do as an artist is make good art. The market decides the rests.

Again, I will write whatever I get paid to write.

But my creations will always be awesome.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.




Long dark afternoon of the soul

Man, afternoons suck sometimes.

Namely, on days when I have nothing in particular to do besides blog. Right now, I don’t have any big projects to work on and so I am kind of at loose ends. And for some reason, that has led me to feeling very blah in the afternoon. both yesterday and today.  I end up all sleepy and overheated and listless and lazy.

Part of that is nudity, admittedly. Yesterday I was hanging about naked because all my clothes were in the wash. Today. it’s because I will just be getting into fresh clothes after I shower before going out later so why waste a change of clothes?

Although considering how craptastic I feel right now, I am considering revising that estimation. I just woke up from a nap and already, I feel like going back to sleep. Pull a siesta and sleep the whole afternoon away. I feel drained and listless and vaguely cranky. That’s no way to pass one’s Sunday.

I mean, sure, technically, it’s a day of rest in the Christian tradition, but there’s rest and then there estivation  (the summer equivalent of hibernation).

And it’s not like it’s a good kind of sleep either. It’s lousy sleepy, all sweaty and smothering and full of too-intense dreaming that sometimes borders on the nightmarish.

Like, I just had a dream where I was exploring a haunted house set up for a movie, but it quickly turned real. So I was really getting into the whole thing, getting scared and tense like I was in real danger while also experiencing it like a horror movie and hoping for some really good scares.

I don’t remember exactly what happened, just scraps. Like moving slowly through dark rooms, looking into mirrors to see if anything cool would happen, and one confusing sequence where some kind of malign spirit that was after me went through this whole elaborate powering up sequence which I suppose was meant to scare me into thinking it would be this powerful demon at the end but nothing it did seem to really change anything.

Perhaps I was really exploring my own subconscious mind. You know, that dark forest of the mind outside the strong, clear light of the reasoning mind that I fear and that, in my more delusional moments, I like to pretend does not exist.

After all, if one defines one’s mind as everything one’s inner eye can see, then there can be nothing outside the light, right?

Especially when you are as “bright” as I am. I can do a lot of things with this powerful mind of mine, and that circle of light illuminates much that is dark to others.

It’s kind of funny. Normal, healthy people of average intelligence see and understand a lot less of the world than I do. And yet they get along in life a lot better than I do. They clearly do not need the sort of understanding I posses, at least in most things.

But I do. I search constantly for understanding because I only feel safe once I have figured things out. Once I have, in a sense, conquered them with my mind. I have so little faith in my ability to handle things in realtime that I can only relax when I can fully understand and predict things.

Maybe not predict them in detail, because that would make life incredibly dull. But I need to understand the range of variables or I get freaked out. That’s not a good way to go through life. Far better to have the totally unpredictable happen and build up your confidence in your ability to deal with it, or at least, to survive it.

But I don’t wanna.

I definitely feel like my horizons need expanding. But I spend so much time merely coping. It’s hard to build up the confidence to face the unknown when you feel like you are just barely holding your guts in most of the time.

I wish I could escape that feeling and feel whole and hearty and ready for the world instead. It happens now and then but not nearly often enough. Most of the time I feel tired and dull. I manage, but I am not exactly attacking life with great zeal.

Plus I think the change in the weather is affecting my mood. Less sunshine means less happiness. Maybe this is the year when I will finally get around to getting full spectrum bulbs for all the lights in my room. Hopefully that will help. Plus I still, in theory, have that light therapy device in my possession…. somewhere.

I definitely feel more cheerful on sunny days. Whether it would qualify as actual Seasonal Affective Disorder is debatable. A lot of people find sunny days cheerful. I would go as far as to say that if you live someplace where sunshine is rare (like most of the Northern Hemisphere), the association between sunshine and happiness is so strong as to be nearly universal. All our visions of paradise or “our happy place” are sunny.

Perhaps it’s cultural, perhaps it’s seasonal, perhaps it’s our bodies getting really excited about producing some freaking vitamin D.

My own vision of basic happiness is, shockingly enough, not much different than other naked beach apes. A sun-dappled meadow, a light breeze, happy animals wandering about, and happy families soaking it all in.

Oddly enough, the beach is only in there at the periphery. I love the beach but I have never imagined it as paradise, possibly because I grew up around beaches and so they are earthy, mundane (but lovely) things to me.

I imagine the visions of peoples that have a surfeit of sunshine are different, and involve a lot of shade and water. Or during the rainy season, their happy place is indoors, warm, and dry, like on Ray Bradbury’s Venus.

But here’s the thing : almost nobody has a vision of paradise where it’s night.

We’re creatures of daylight, after all. Diurnal. And our visions of paradise are really visions of our long lost ideal habitats.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.


That thing I wrote

I did something today that made me proud of myself : I wrote something that was bouncing around in my head instead of just letting it die and rejoin the primordial substance of my creativity like I usually do.

I called it Be You Later, and it is a translation of some of my ideas about procrastination into a kind of screenplay form.

It’s quite rough, naturally, and would have to be seriously worked over before it was actually produced. But that was never the point. The point was to actually follow my inspiration for once and actually give vent to my thoughts shortly after they occurred to me for a change.

Before I wrote it, most of the elements were already there in my head. That’s how my creativity works a lot of the time. It’s all there but the connective tissue and writing the thing is just a matter of putting the ideas into actual words and adding the necessary connections to make it into a whole.

That’s not always the case. Sometimes I have no idea what is going to happen until I write it. That’s how it’s been with my novels, and I have to admit, it can be pretty fun. And this might be idealistic or self-serving of me, but I figure that if I don’t know what is going to happen next, neither will the reader.

But for shorter things, I usually have a basic outline of it in my head before I write. It’s not in words, exactly, although scraps of dialogue will likely be in there somewhere. It’s more like a sequence of connected ideas in the stage right before being translated into actual words. Pre-words, if you like.

And you do, right?

So anyhow, I wrote the thing. I won’t say I hope that kind of thing will happen more in the future, because who knows? It would be nice, but putting pressure on myself to do it more will result in it not happening at all so why worry? It won’t accomplish anything.

That kind of philosophical attitude towards things does not come easy for me. I am a goal-oriented passionate person who tends to accomplish things through focus and drive, not via letting everything hang loose and seeing what happens.

And focus and drive can get you pretty far. But when it turns into pressure, I, for one, have to bow the fuck out because for me, pressure achieves the opposite of its goal.

I often think of myself as being like water. And water does not compress.

Following my passions and desires is a far more healthy and effective method for getting things done, and that means I have to surrender control to unconscious forces, and as we all know, I find that a very hard thing to do.

I mean, I am highly creative, and that involves letting unwilled mental events (colloquially know as “inspirations”) occur in your mind. So I am not that much of a control freak. Quite frankly,. an entirely predictable mind sounds like death itself to me.

But I don’t let those inspirations move me. They pass through my mind to no effect, like a a comet shooting by. And I just watch it go, and nothing happens.

Were I the classic artist type, my inspirations would inspire me to rush to the nearest computer type device and bang out the script or story or whatever in a fevered passion before falling, weeping, to the floor from the beauty of it all.

Admittedly, I am pretty sure there’s no writers that operate like that. Maybe poets. I have thought of being a poet, but it doesn’t seem like it would lead to my kind of life.

You know, one where you can earn enough money to eat.

Besides, I want to be around fun people, and poets do not strike me as a fun bunch. I want to be around bright, funny, wacky, intelligent people. Not mopey poets in love with how deep and mysterious they are.

That’s why I want to work in TV comedy. It’s full of people like that, or at least I hope it is. For me, the ultimate would be to be a Simpsons writer,and not just because they make money like rain makes puddles.

It’s also that from what I know about them, they are a gaggle of comedy nerds just like me and I feel like that’s a place where I might just fit in. And I hope the writer’s room of any kind of comedy is at least somewhat like that.

But comedy is my main thing, and that’s where I hope to work in TV. I will, of course, write literally anything people will pay me to write in the beginning. But I will be aiming to write for a comedy of some sort. Sitcom, sketch comedy, desk jokes, dirty limericks, jokes for executives to make them appear more human, graffiti, whatever.

And if that doesn’t work, maybe I will try to figure out how David Sedaris makes huge money writing tiny books of comedy about animals, and do that.

I saw this thing about him and he’s kind of cute and the little excerpts I have heard seem witty enough. But, quite irrationally, I resented him for not being any happier now that he is rich. Or at least pretending he isn’t any happier.

It’s the same way I feel about Douglas Coupland. How dare you still be unhappy when you have everything I want out of life! That’s almost like saying money and success don’t buy happiness, and if that’s true, what hope do I have?

And yet, if I did have all he has, and someone told me I had no right to be unhappy, I would tell them to go fuck themselves.

It’s funny how we react when a very deep bit of societal programming – like, say, the kind that tells you wealth equals happiness – is seriously called into question.

That’s why nobody ever really believes that they, themselves, are truly rich.

Because if they were rich, they’d be happy!

Obviously, the solution is to get more money!  Surely, eventually, we will reach the right amount of wealth, status, and success to be happy forever!

I know the problem….. it’s taxes! I would be rich enough if it wasn’t for taxes!

A surprisingly large amount of politics amounts to exactly that.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.


Be You Later

(Tim, an average college student, is sitting on an old beat up couch and playing a video game on a console. As we open, his roommate Linda enters. )

Linda : Wait, shouldn’t you be working on your term paper for Microbiology?

(Tim doesn’t even look up from his game. )

Tim : I still have time.

Linda : I thought you said it was due tomorrow.

Tim : Exactly. Tomorrow. As in 24 hours from now. I still have time.

Linda : (sighs) Whatever.

(Linda leaves. A few beats, then Future Tim (FT) appears. )

FT : Um, excuse me. What the fuck was that?

Tim : What?

FT : You know what, you asshole. You just threw me under the bus.

Tim : I fail to see how.

FT : God, am I always this much of a dick? You threw me under the bus by making it so that now, I have to do all the work.

Tim : So?

FT : So I am fucking sick of it! You always do this! You keep putting things off to the last minute and then I end up having to do a week’s work in one night. You just sit around playing video games knowing I will have to pick up the slack.

Tim : Works for me.

FT : But I am you. Or will be, anyway. You’re only screwing yourself over.

Tim : Not from my point of view.

FT : And it doesn’t even make any sense! It’s the same amount of work no matter when you do it. So why not do it right away and get it over?

Tim : Because then I would have to do it, instead of you.

FT : But I am you, god dammit.

Tim : Not yet you’re not.

FT : Doesn’t it bother you to know you will be stressed out and panicking and cursing yourself when you become me?

Tim : Yup. That’s why I have to make sure I enjoy myself as much as I can before then.

FT : That makes no fucking sense.

Tim : That’s your problem. Not mine.

FT : Not this time, asshole. This time I am here to MAKE you do it so I don’t have to.

Tim : We both know you’re not going to do that.

FT : Oh yeah? Why not?

Tim : Because it’s easier to just do the work yourself. And we always do what’s easier.

FT : Well…. fuck. God DAMN I hate you!

Tim : Now go back to where you came from before I delete our notes and make you have to do all the basic research again as well.

(FT screams in rage, and disappears. )

Tim : You know, I should probably do something about that guy But not right now.

(Tim goes back to playing his game, unconcerned. )




Ten Thing To Remember About Trump

Ten things to remember about Trump :
: 1. Remember that Donald Trump will not, in fact, be King of America, whether he knows it or not.
2 Remember that a lot of people still hate Trump’s guts and will be gunning for him with everything they got
3. Remember that even a Republican dominated Supreme Court will only put up with so much bullshit because they are concerned about their legacies, and that will put a hard limit on how much Little Donnie the Crybaby can get away with
4. Remember that just because the President and Congress are part of the same party does not mean they will get along at all.
5. Remember that while the Republicans have a majority in both the House and the Senate, their majorities are not fillibuster proof
6. Relatedly, the margins between the parties are relatively small and it would not take a large number of defectors on the Republican side to kill a bill
7. Remember that Trump’s voters are even know realizing that he will keep none of his promises to them and plans to totally fuck them over, and if you think they were mad BEFORE….
8. Remember that soon, all the old scared scary senile people who voted him in will die and modern conservatism will be finally free of them
9. Remember that the international community is not going to let Trump get away with any bullshit, they hate him too, and finally
10. Remember that we are all just people trying to cope in this crazy life and that people do not always mean what they say…. sometimes they are just saying whatever it takes to hurt the people they are mad at.

That’s all.

Ball of Frustration!

I am so fucking angry right now.

I am so angry that I could pull the head off ten chickens and still be mad at the end. I am so mad that I wish I was the Incredible Hulk so I could punch something into the Sun. I am so mad that I could kick a hole in the side of a battleship and not even feel it.

I am telling you, I am quite put out.

To tell you why. I have to start with a funny little thing that happened to me this morning. Namely, that I found my fucking bus pass.

You know, the same bus pass that has been missing for two weeks and whose absence has cost me $8 per school day in transit fees, severely straining both my finances and my nerves the whole time?

Well, it turns out that it was sitting on my floor, right under my computer chair, inches away from me the whole fucking time.

If I had only thought to look there when I first noticed it missing, I would have saved myself all this heartache, stress, guilt, frustration, rage, confusion, and expense.

I am out at least $64 because I am too stupid to be standing up when I am looking around for something that has gone missing. The goddamned fucking piece of shit card was right there all this time.

Oh, but that’s just where this day started.

See, I reported the card missing. The person at the ministry then told me that I had to wait for a letter to arrive, then pay a $10 fee, then I would have my new card.

So when I found my beloved card, I called them up to tell them I found it and that they could cancel the cancellation of it and the sending of a new one as well.

I honestly didn’t expect this to work, but I figured it was worth a shot.

And yup. that was no longer an option. Oh well. But while I was on the line, I asked the person there whether I was doing things right by doing what I was told to do, which is wait for the letter THEN pay the fee.

That had never made sense to me.

And lo and behold, it turns out I could have paid the money immediately and that if I had done so, I would have had my new card way sooner because they don’t send out the fucking card until you pay the fucking fee.

So, not what I was told the first time at all. This whole thing could have been over ages ago and I could have saved a lot of money if the person I talked to  the first time hadn’t completely misinformed me about how this shit works.

Oh, but we are still not done. According to the person on the phone today, now that I have paid the fee (I did it right after I hung up), I will probably get it before the end of December.

Get it? I might get it before the new year, I might not. That’s how long it takes these people to just stick a fucking card in an envelope and mail it to me.

That means there is zero chance I will be able to avoid paying $8 a day for the remaining 7 days of school, bringing the total number of days sans bus pass to 15 and my financial loss to a staggering $120, or around 13 percent of my monthly income, 25 percent of my monthly disposable income. [1]

And according to the person I talked to today, there’s absolutely nothing she can do about it. I’m the one living on $975/month due to being disabled. They are the ones with billions of dollars in the budget. They are the ones who fucked up, not me. But I am the one who has to pay for their error.

And all at Christmastime! Merry Christmas, everyone!

I truly feel like the universe owes me that goddamned money. I know I will never get it, but I still feel that way. None of this should have happened.

I mean, I know losing the card in the first place was my fault, but everything after that happened because some cocksucker at the ministry didn’t know WTF he was talking about. This from the the same part of the ministry whose phone line has wait times of over an hour, because apparently the whole section has like three people working there.

Or they are all just a bunch of lazy assholes. Pick your poison.

And I know that I will get over this. That in time, I will shrug this all off and eat the loss and move on with my life having learning a harsh and painful lesson in the casual callous cruelty of bloodless bureaucracy and the total lack of accountability thereof.

But that doesn’t make me any less mad now. I have been fucked over by the system and nobody even gives a shit. I have lost a lot of money because of some dumbfuck dipwad turd gargler at the ministry and there’s not a damned thing I can do to get it back.

For my entire life, I have been at the mercy of other people’s fuckups, and I am sick and tired of it. I deserve better than that,. I don’t deserve to get stepped on my every goddamned idiot who couldn’t find their dick with both hands and a hard-on. I don’t deserve to be treated like I don’t exist or that I don’t matter. I don’t deserve to be smacked around by fate. And I sure as hell don’t deserve to lose my precious cash over a petty bureaucratic error that I just plain can’t afford.

So while there is nothing I can do to get my money back, I can at least express me rage at how I am being treated.

I refuse to suffer in silence any more.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. What can I say. When some people get mad, they kick their wastepaper basket. Me, I do math. So I can quantify my rage.

Oooh, that smell!

Got called into the office after class today. Hygiene issues. People have complained. I can’t say I am surprised. I knew I had been letting things slip lately.

For whatever reason, my old difficulty with the shower came back. So for a while there, I was only showering once a week. Sundays. Normally I shower a minimum of three times a week, Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday nights – aka my social nights.

But it got hard to talk myself into the shower for a while there. Very not good. I don’t want some future employment opportunity to pass me by because someone thought, “Michael Bertrand would be perfect for this job, but man, does he smell bad. ”

So I will up my game back to at least presentable levels. I will probably never be the sort of person who showers every morning. I just can’t even. But I can at least get myself back to the level I was at before.

That’s the thing about depression. It can make even the simplest of things much, much harder to do. Like taking a shower.

I suppose I was telling myself that as long as I wore deodorant and my clothes were clean, I could slip by unnoticed. But clearly, that is not enough to get the job done. The body itself gets dirtier and the only cure for that is a shower.

Ironically, if I was going to school in France, this would not even be a thing. Apparently the French only shower for special occasions. And you can really tell.

I could not adapt to that. Not at my age. I get the feeling that if I lived in France, I would have to live someplace way out of the way, where the trains are never crowded and there is lots of fresh air to be had at all times.

But lest we in North America get to feeling all high and mighty about not being like the smelly French, we should remind ourselves that by Dutch or Japanese standards, we’re all a bunch of filthy pigs.

Anyhow, the hygiene thing will be taken care of. The small talk before the intervention was more interesting, because I got to tell the head of the Writing Department, Michael Baser, about the problems I am having in my film group.

I told him how one person is doing all the jobs, we’re not hiring anyone, and how I didn’t feel like I was learning anything from the experience. He said he would talk to the teacher of the class about it. So that will presumably start something happening.

Not the way I would have preferred to handle the situation. I was working up the nerve to post something about it on Facebook. Just lay it all on the line : how I’m not happy with my limited role, how I didn’t feel like people were taking things seriously, about how I don’t feel like I am learning anything if we’re not casting or hiring or any of that.

If things go the way they are going now, I will end the class knowing no more than I knew going in about how to do a short film. And I want to make those so I can showcase my writing talent and show TV people what I can do.

One nap later…

However, because I did end up telling Baser all about my issues, that puts me in the awkward position of waiting for the hammer to drop on my group when I am the one who set it in motion in the first place.

Not that I think any punishment will happen. VFS doesn’t operate like that unless it has to. Presumably Baser will talk to Bob Woolsey, the instructor of my Production for Writers course, and Bob will talk to us, and hopefully things will be rejiggered so that we all get something to do and we’re actually doing things like hiring and managing and such.

If not, I may have accidentally screwed our group dynamic for good. Then again, we don’t have much of a group dynamic now anyhow. Part of what convinced me that I had to do something about the situation instead of suffering in silence is that I don’t think any of the other members of the group are super happy either. Our last meeting had all the joie de vie of a depression support group. I think we have stumbled into this situation with very good intentions and a plan that sounds good on paper, but that did not take into account things like morale, motivation, and most of all, that we are all supposed to be learning from the experience, and we aren’t learning anything.

It would be nice if we ended up hiring a few pros. I would feel a lot better if we had someone with a lot of experience on the team. Hiring a good director would be a great start, because honestly, this group needs an executive and yet none of us have any sort of standing to take over.

Theoretically, the person who wrote the script is in charge, and that’s the same person who wants to be the director, editor, sound person, lighting person, and damn near everything else. Plus we’ll be using her apartment.

But that person does not seem to me to be the right fit for director. The project needs someone to organize things, assign tasks, and most importantly of all, keep people fired up and excited about the project.

Instead, we have a diffident director with extremely low affect and who wants to do everything themselves, leaving little for the rest of us.

I would do the job myself if I thought I could get them to follow me. I would love to take on that role. I guess I would be the producer in that case. It was what I had planned for myself before reality set in.

I really feel like I was born to organize and lead.

I just lack the self-confidence to believe anyone would follow.

I will talk to you nice people tomorrow.



Neanderthal no more

Well I finally gone and did it. Thanks to financial assistance from an interested party, I was finally able to go to the mall and get my cell phone activated.

Meaning my smartphone is no longer a smartnothing. I have finally crawled out of the primordial ooze and fought my way up the evolutionary ladder to become a Modern Human, homo wirelessicus, user of cellular technology.

Number available by request.

It feels good, this cellphone-having thing. I feel like I have finally managed to eliminate one of the things which puts me in a tiny minority.

It’s not as good as being young, rich, and/or thin, but it’s a start.

I’m kinda tired right now, which sucks. I was hoping to complete my daily blog entry in this sitting so I could devote the entire evening to getting at least half of my pilot episode outlines done. They are due Friday, and I want enough time to do them properly instead of my usual slapdash dumbass last minute bullshit.

As is, I imagine I will be lucky to finish half of this durn thing before having to slip into silvered slumber for a little while at least.

The radiator under/behind my desk is part of the problem. It puts out such lovely toasty warm radiant heat. And it feels great but it makes me sleepy too.

The result of that is that I am stuck in a (hilariously small) moral bind, where I know that I could solve the problem by turning down the heat in my room, but then I would lose all the lovely warmth and I don’t want that, so I remain, as it were, compromised.

If that was about sex and not warmth, it could be the outline of an Anais Nin story. Or, I suppose, one of those moralizing stories about the inevitable outcome of living a life of sin and blasphemy which were always very careful to explicitly describe said sins, sometimes with illustrations.

Puritanism was such a scam.

So yes, I have gone cellular. my legs are nice and warm, and a friend sent me a code for two new (to me) games. Which is a mixed blessing, because while I love my video game time, I need to get things done and I don’t need the extra temptation.

Plus, I already have a game on the go, Fallout 3. I played Fallout 4 so much that I can’t stand to play it any more, but I wanted something along those lines.

And then I remembered there’s two whole Fallout games I have not played, Fallout 3 and Fallout : New Vegas, and Fallout 3 was on sale for like $10, so I figured, what the hell.

So far, the game is much tougher and has much less in the way of plot than Fallout 4. It’s taken me a lot of game time just to get to the point where I am doing sort of okay. Before that, it was super hard and I had to run away from a lot of fights.

And that sucks.

And the thing is, it’s not like the greater difficulty is based in a desire to be realistic. I had to shoot a guy in the head five times to kill him, and he wasn’t even wearing a helmet. How realistic is that?

Um…. he was a bad guy. In the video game. Just to keep things clear.

I am always worried that someone will think I am crazy. Even though I am crazy. But my kind of crazy doesn’t lead me to strip naked on the Skytrain or think pink hippos are flying or makes me do something deeply “disgruntled”, so I am not dangerously crazy.

No, I have the highly unobtrusive kind of insanity that stays out of everybody’s way, doesn’t attract anyone’s way, and can go undiagnosed and untreated for years on end without anyone even knowing anything is wrong!

And the only person I am a danger to is myself! It’s such a tidy and convenient form of madness that it’s a wonder it hasn’t caught on big time.

O wait it has, that’s why there’s so many depressed people out there. Society should thank us for for being such low maintenance loonies.

Preferably in cash.

I’ve been struggling with my anger lately. There’s such bitterness and rage inside me and I need to find a healthy way to express it. I have talked before about maybe writing horror stories, but I know what kind of nightmares I keep and I guess I am still too worried about what people think of me to let those thoughts step out onto the page.

I wonder what Clive Barker’s friends thought of him when they started reading his stories. It must have given then pause, at least a little, to read about all this extremely graphic and elaborately symbolic violence and depraved sexuality. I wonder if any of them pulled away from him at that time, unable to handle his nightmares.

Stephen King’s wife, I am sure, was just fine with what he wrote. And not just because of the money. She was his first editor and it was she who fished a partial manuscript for Carrie out of the trash and started reading it, and then took it back to him because she wanted to know what happened next.

And, you know, there are worse lives to have than his.

Maybe the truth is that I am afraid to open up that part of my mind at all. Intellectually, I know that setting one’s demons loose can be the best thing for you,but emotionally I am still too scared of myself and what I might become if I open that particular door.

Same with BDSM. I can imagine being dominant to someone. I have the right kind of controlling, dominating personality. All I would have to do would be to imagine the person had done something really horrible and had to punished for it.

But I am terrified that if I let that side of me out, it would never go back in.

And then where would I be?

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.