Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Seven, Seven, Seven...

I do believe I've been wallowing. I've barely left the house these last seven days, I've done pretty much nothing in the house. Loaded the dishwasher a couple of times, ran some errands for the Grandmother, but that's about it. But I've watched a lot of television, contributed a little to the message boards, did a little work on my novel, did a little reading, and... and nothing else. I didn't think it was possible to fill up seven whole days with so very little.

I'm having a very hard time motivating myself to do anything. There are things I know I need to be doing... looking for a job being the top of the list, with laundry running a close second... but I just can't seem to make myself move. "Monumental lethargy" is how I'd describe it. But I don't feel bad... I actually feel pretty good; I just feel very still.

Whatever. As always, when I am short of material, I will take a meme from Dana Marie. Since I haven't posted in seven days, I thought it was appropriate.


Seven Sevens

1) Seven things I plan to do before I die:

  • Have a higher balance in my savings account than on my credit card.
  • Visit England, France, and Italy.
  • Fall in love with someone who is in love with me.
  • Have a home of my own.
  • Finish writing something that is worth publishing.
  • Get published.
  • Pay for sex.

2) Seven things I can do:

  • Balance anybody's checkbook (except my own).
  • Imagine how someone else might feel.
  • Remember thousands upon thousands of useless facts.
  • Learn things quickly.
  • Enjoy beauty.
  • Write about things and people and ideas, usually with good spelling and dazzling grammar.
  • Tell the difference between a shrimp fork and an oyster fork.

3) Seven things I can't do:

  • Understand why anybody would choose to be ignorant.
  • Understand why anybody drives slower than they have to.
  • Understand sports.
  • Eat avocadoes or celery.
  • Make myself throw up.
  • Give birth.
  • Stick my elbow in my ear.

4) Seven things that attract me to a man:

  • Looks, of course! I could be all New Agey and say I notice a man's aura, or his eyes or some intangible whatever, but the fact is that the first thing I notice about a man is his face/hair/body/hands/etc.
  • An offbeat sense of style.
  • Intelligence and diction.
  • A sense of humor.
  • Vulnerability.
  • Strength (which might seem the opposite of the above, but really isn't).
  • A deep, rich voice, preferably with a slight sibilance.

5) Seven things I say the most:

  • Anyway.
  • Whatever (and its close relation, Whatever).
  • I don't want to.
  • Leave me alone (actually, I seldom say that out loud, but I say it so much in my head that it counts).
  • Get out of my way! (but only in the car)
  • Hello! (but never Hel-lo!) Not only do I say this every time I answer a phone or meet a person, I also say it when I see a cute guy.
  • I wish...

6) Seven celebrity crushes (with links & pix):

(And yes, I know... I'm going straight to hell for sexualizing something so young-looking... but he's so damned cute! And he's not really underage, so relax.)

  • Brad Pitt (even when he's playing scruffy or crazy, though I do prefer when he's pretty)

(and now I discover there were only six sevens in the meme. Some people have no sense of balance and organization! I'll fix that myself with...)

7) Seven brief pieces of advice for posterity:

  • Never bathe a cat.
  • You can't change the past and you can't control the future.
  • Never get into a battle of wills with your own hair... you will lose.
  • There's no such thing as "free"... everything has some degree of cost.
  • It's better to be pissed off than pissed on (my mother's favorite phrase).
  • Never have sex with someone you wouldn't consider marrying (that one came from my dad, and he should know).
  • There are no clashing colors, there are only undesired effects.


I can't believe how long that took. I started this on Tuesday morning and it's now Wednesday morning... twenty-four hours later! And while I can't claim to have been working on it for twenty-four hours solid, I am amazed at how long it did take.

The main problem is that my computer is broken, something unpleasant happened to the power-supply, and I can't afford to have it fixed right now. I have been using the office's laptop, which I really need to return but am hoping to keep on loan for a little while longer, until I can get my desktop computer fixed. In the meantime, I do not have access to my nearly two gigabytes of electronic images. So when I was putting in the pictures above, I had to go hunting for them, I couldn't just get them off my own hard-drive. Big pain in the ass!

So anyway, I am going to go hit the job-boards, take my meds, and start a cleaning project that Grandmother wants done. And get started on my laundry! The Prozac makes me sweat, and I'm going through my t-shirts at hyperspeed.

Hope you're having a splendiferous day!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Prozac Nation

So now I'm a medicated nutwad. I met with my pee-sychiatrist (or Dr. Shrinkamadink as she shall henceforth be dubbed) last week and we discussed my symptoms and possible medications. Her first recommendation was for lithium, but I didn't care for the side-effects; next on the list was Depakote, which has a lot of side-effects, too, and usually needs to be paired with an antidepressant.

I knew side-effects would be pretty much inevitable, but the two mood-stabilizers had possible effects that I'd really hate: weight-gain and sexual dysfunction are common with all of these meds, but hair loss and liver problems can come with lithium and Depakote, so I'd really rather not go there if I can help it. Fat I can live with, but bald and fat? Nothankyouverymuch.

So we talked some more, and finally came to the decision that since my manic phases aren't that bad but my depressive phases are desperately unpleasant, I'd rather start off with a mild antidepressant... and if it flips me into manic, I have a backup of Depakote to stabilize me.

So today is day three of my 10mg Prozac treatment; after seven days, I go up to 20mg. I'm told it will be twenty-eight days before I start seeing results, but I already feel different. I feel kind of wide-awake and cheerful, with more energy than I've had lately... kind of like manic, but without that anxious edge. Also it feels like there's too much blood in my head, a kind of pressure that's a little odd but not uncomfortable. And my teeth itch. And I'm really thirsty, and I have gas. I can't tell if it's all connected to the Prozac, but it's different from before I started, so...

If nothing else, I'll have something interesting to talk about at my next group class. I think the classes and the visits with Dr. Shrinkamadink are going to be more useful than the pills, but I'm glad to have their help; and I'm really glad to be finally gettings somewhere and doing something definite about this condition. The sight of those pills sitting on the table give me a great sense of satisfaction.

In other news... there is no other news. No job prospects, no real progress on Worst Luck, nothing else much going on. I've started an exercise program today (a Pilates video, I only did the warmup part today, I'll add a little more each day), and trying to become more agressive about my job-hunt (though I don't really know where to start), and though I haven't progressed into the story of Worst Luck I have been working on "Chapter 7 Part 2" (editing and reworking, I've only written one further paragraph).

And so that's what's going on with me. How are you? Well, one hopes.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I Do My Best Thinking...

It seems all of my writing-desire is being siphoned off by the message boards at Just Us Boys. I obsessively check on the threads I've written on, obsessively check for new threads, getting wrapped up in various opinions and perspectives and experiences. It's a lot of fun... but I feel like I'm neglecting you all here at Mannersism. So it occurs to me that I'd like to share some of my JUB writing with you; but you don't want to join the message board, do you?

So instead I will simply reproduce the board topic and my little messages; I've removed any references to other JUB members... I mean, there's a line between "borrowing" and "plagiarizing," a line between sharing a conversation and breaking a confidence.

And here we go...


August 1st, 2005, 04:01 PM #34
Thread: Do you believe in God?
(This started off in regard to a recent poll in which Americans overwhelmingly professed a no doubt whatever in the existence of God while Western Europeans were infinitely more ambivalent about the existence of God).

Regarding the initial poll, I think it's more a matter of cultural attitudes; Western Europeans like to doubt themselves, they wore themselves out on theistic wars centuries ago, and I think they see religion as a political construct more than a spiritual construct; but Americans consider doubt a weakness, and many see the separation of Church and State as making the Church inviolably sacred.

I liked what (another gentleman) said, that gibes closely to my belief: I believe that God is the central organizing principle that set the whole thing in motion, a universal intelligence or energy that we can "tap into" to guide our actions in accordance with universal form. I think of God as being infinitely good, but not necessarily humanly good.

And I can't imagine a God who requires apologies and praise, nor a God who meddles in the actions and events of the world. I think that's an anthropomorphic concept, no more intellectually evolved than the polytheist mythologies of the ancient world that saw wilful gods in the wind and the waves. People require apologies and praise, people like to meddle in actions and events, and we have projected that onto God.

I can't think of God as "some guy," but I can understand why people would come to see God that way... unable to conceive of a higher plane than their own consciousness, they project their limitations on things that cannot be limited. It's poor philosophy is all.

Regarding the Big Bang versus Creation, I don't consider them mutually exclusive, nor do I consider Science and the existence of God mutually exclusive... I think we come to understand Creation (the physical universe) through Science and can come to understand how God works through this study.

I studied Sagan's theories (or those of them that were boiled down to a National Geographic intelligence), and I understand the concept of the Big Bang to be cyclical; that the universe expands so far that it starts folding in on itself, and in the act of expanding, also begins to contract... expanding inward. The concept of infinity is different from a being-and-nothingness paradigm... the time before the Big Bang was not "nothing," it was an infinite density of matter that reached critical mass and started expanding outward again. On the other hand, it is our limited three-dimensional minds that consider matter and the lack of matter as the only two possibilities; if dimensions are also infinite, then there are sure to be other things going on of which we cannot possibly conceive. But that's neither here nor there, it's just something that (another gentleman) said got me thinking about this.

As to the afterlife, I have a feeling that the soul goes on after the body dies, because human will is that strong. But I don't have any definite beliefs as to what happens, I'm just interested in seeing what happens... my curiosity is piqued. Not that I'm in a hurry to find out, mind you. And if nothing happens, I guess I'll never know. I'd like to believe that everything will be known in the afterlife... the meaning of it all. But that's just my desire.

Oh, I could go on and on... I've thought about God a lot because of the scars left on me by Religion. I am even considering starting a thread about reconciling homosexuality with Christianity. And I still struggle with religious thought, thinking about why I believe what I do believe, thinking about why other people believe as they do, and considering where I might be wrong in my beliefs and where I might share enlightenment with others.

Religion does seem to bring out the worst in some people... but then, so does football. It also brings out the best in some people. If I ever get it all figured out, I'll let you know.


August 1st, 2005, 11:58 PM #39
Thread: What exactly IS "straight acting"?
(I kind of got my panties in a wad because a lot of people were taking this opportunity to be condescending and insulting about effeminate gays... which you know I couldn't let go unchallenged)

I've always found the term "straight-acting" rather offensive: it implies that straights are somehow better than gays. I mean, it's okay if you prefer masculine men... even in the gay ghetto, I know all sorts of guys who'd pass for straight under any circumstances (if they weren't talking about rimming all the time). You don't have to lisp or overinflect your speech or swish your hips, you don't have to wear Prada, you don't have to call hair-gel "product" or even use it if you don't want to. But that doesn't make you any better or worse than anyone else.

I myself pass for straight more often than I like, women hit on me and straight guys start talking about pussy as if there weren't a lady present... mostly because I tend to dress plainly and move unobtrusively when I'm not performing. Walking down the street in my Gap chinos and tee, my hands in my pockets, one Airwalked foot in front of the other, I'm just a big dull guy, same as anyone else.

Masculine men are a perfectly valid preference. It doesn't require a defense, you don't have to come up with all sorts of arguments about how effeminate gay men make everyone look bad, or wonder aloud "why do they act like women if they're trying to attract men who like men," and so on and so forth. I like men with a touch of femininity, myself, but I'm not averse to a bit of butch, either. It's something you can like or not like, as your nature dictates.

But when you dress it up in the phrase "straight-acting," you set up heterosexuality as the preferable paradigm, you set up heterosexuality as the only correct way to be. And that's just plain homophobic.

My two cents, a bit off-topic. Sorry if I flamed.


August 12th, 2005, 10:06 PM #33
Thread: What a fucking load of Bullshit

(This thread was posted in response to someone coming across this crazy anti-gay "childcare" website that endorses Joseph Nicolosi's recently published book Preventing Homosexuality: A Parent’s Guide, which the psychiatric community has roundly condemned but which nevertheless got published and is selling briksly)__________________________________________________________

Echoing what several people have already said, the "studies" Nicolosi is espousing have made the medieval mistake of taking symptoms for causes. To say that these early indicators of homosexuality are the causes of homosexuality is the same as saying that weight-gain, mood-swings, food-cravings, and frequent urination cause pregnancy.

I mean, I had a distant father and an overbearing mother and stepmother as well as an abusive stepfather. Nicolosi's family model describes mine fairly closely. But it also describes a lot of people's families. Fathers are typically distant and mothers are typically overbearing, particularly in America, at least by Freudian standards. I know absolutely mountains of people who were raised by distant fathers and overbearing mothers who are all straight as boards.

Gay children typically become attached to female relatives and supposedly female behavior because we are presented with a solely heterosexual paradigm from birth on; and we want to be the one who mates with the Daddy, so we become the Mommy. We are given no examples of close and affectionate adult male relationships (I mean, how many people ever saw their fathers hug or display any kind of affection for another man? I never did... American men are typically not allowed to be affectionate with each other), so we will frequently try to fit ourselves into the mommy-daddy paradigm by becoming what we perceive as feminine.

Thus is born the queen. But while all queens are homosexuals, not all homosexuals are queens.

The thing is, Nicolosi and his ilk are deeply threatened by homosexuality, and there's usually an anal-invasion phobia at the root of it. So they allow their fears to override their scientific training, and abuse their doctorates by broadcasting their specious "findings" to others like themselves. You can believe almost anything if you really want to believe it.

I hope someday there's a cure for such people. Their sickness infects the world.


August 16th, 2005, 10:52 AM #24
Thread: What Makes People Gay?
(This thread was started off in response to the Boston Globe Article that you'll want to read if you haven't already)__________________________________________________________

It's long been my opinion that degrees of sexuality are inborn and the manifestations of that sexuality are a complex of nature and nurture; and science will one day identify those markers, but not for some time yet... we're focusing on something as large and clumsy as the hypothalamus because we simply haven't the technology to look at smaller physical manifestations; just as Kinsey had to use clumsy and inaccurate volunteer testimony for his research because the subject was so taboo that you couldn't get a really decent and diverse sample, yet the study of human sexuality could not have proceeded without those flawed and partial studies. The findings published in the Globe are a step, and what the general populace makes of scientific findings is always unpredictable... will it enlighten as Einstein's dense theories, or will it cause recidivist backlash like Galileo's rather simple proposals?

What I find interesting in this thread and in other discussions of the "gay gene," is that people frequently posit the problem of future eugenics programs in which parents will abort a predisposed-to-be-gay fetus. It would certainly present a bit of a conundrum to the Right, wouldn't it, if an anti-abortion/anti-gay person were suddenly confronted with the choice of either having an abortion or bringing a gay person into the world. Makes ya think, no?


August 16th, 2005, 11:09 PM #8
Thread: Are heterosexuals just self-centered?
(The original poster wondered if straights' inability to comprehend and empathize with gays was a form of self-centeredness, un unwillingness and inability to see beyond their own desires and experiences)

What an interesting question! I have often considered several of those points, and have a few ideas.

The "Defense of Marriage" argument is interesting to me because nobody has ever actually argued it. They just say that gay marriage threatens the institution of marriage, and the dumbasses of the world fall right in line believing their family structure is being threatened. Nobody has ever explained how, exactly, marriage is threatened by same-sex marriage. Nor do they bother to aim their pudgy little fingers at any of the real threats to traditional marriage, such as easy divorce and serial-marrying celebrities.

Demagogues always use threats to children and spouses as a way to demonize another group. "They" (in this case "The Gays") are going to take your children and your wife... despite the rather obvious reality that we don't want your children or your wife. And the plebes feel threatened and they react to the threat.

But really, no thinking person could possibly believe this rhetoric. And the only straights I've met who do believe it are the people who indulge in blind faith... who as a rule don't think about the thing once the name of God is invoked.

And straights do turn a blind eye when it's their own sexuality in question: as (another gentleman) pointed out, St. Paul the Apostle was entirely against sex, period. He wrote that it was better to get married and screw your wife if you couldn't control yourself at all, but the ideal is complete chastity (I just came across that somewhere when I was looking for something else, but I can't remember where). You never hear about that from straight folks, do you?

The Old and New Testaments go on for page after page condemning adultery and fornication and sex-for-pleasure, compared to maybe three or four mentions of homosexuality, but it's those tired old anti-gay scriptures that get quoted all the time. When Pope Freakynut the Whateverth issued his statement condemning all extramarital sex, as well as marital sex that was not intended to culminate in children, all anybody parroted and published and got behind was his rather fleeting condemnation of gay marriage.

Sexuality is a very strong urge, and so people who have never had to think about their sexuality (because it's the norm, so what's to think about) get very narrow views of sexuality; they have no empathy because they were never shaken from their beliefs. We homosexuals and bisexuals and transgendereds have had to think about our sexuality at great length, so we can comprehend and sympathise with other sexualities because we have considered it. Just as people who have gay children have had to think about it, and frequently come to a more empathetic view than people without gay children.

And then of course there is the Country Club Factor: it's so much easier to think yourself better-than someone else than to actually do the work and try to be a better person. And it's always easiest to take a rather small group of people for this exercise, a group of people who are different from you in one major area. A racial minority, a religious minority, a sexual minority. There's always something.

The "Ick Factor" as so many people call it... it's not the gay sex, it's the butt-sex that gets them. Most of the straight men who've ever asked me about gay sex have focused solely on anal sex as being Ick, and seldom ever consider any other form as being something we'd do (cocksucking is more a power issue, and they can't imagine giving up dominance in this manner). And I have a theory about that: consider the defensive posture that a man would take if he didn't have any weapons.

Most animals defend themselves from more powerful enemies by curling up in a ball, and humans do this too. Such a posture defends your head, your throat, most of the easiest accesses to your heart and entrails, your major arteries, and your genitals... but it exposes your asshole. That is sufficient to inspire a deep animal phobia in most people. And I think that phobia is the chief cause of the Gay Ick Factor in straight men.

Well, these are just some of my many thoughts on this topic. Thanks again for bringing it up.


August 17th, 2005, 10:04 AM #37
Thread: What Makes People Gay?
(This second post in this thread responds to another post, in which a member posited that his sexuality was caused by having been raised by women, bonding perhaps too strongly to his mother and grandmother, and having no male role models, as per Nicolosi's "studies"... but I omit the quote since it's not my writing).

While I don't have any scientific proof to back this up, and am not aware of any studies having been made, it seems to me that straight little boys grow up in such environments, too. But instead of submitting to female interests, they rebel and seek out neighborhood males.

From the ages of three to five, I lived in an apartment building near a Navy base that was filled with Navy wives and single mothers. It was perfectly normal to not have a Daddy around, there were maybe three or four men who actually lived in the building for more than a week or two at a time. And there were lots of little boys around to socialize with... I doubt seriously if they all turned out gay. Personally, I only played with my sister and the other little girls.

Lots of straight boys were raised by their mothers and grandmothers. The thing is, homosexuality is still considered an anomaly, so studies like this are still focused on "what makes you gay" rather than "how is sexual orientation created"... like I said, I don't know of any studies showing how heterosexual men brought up in "gay-making" circumstances turned out straight. But from my own anecdotal evidence, I'll bet you find that while the female environment has an affect on heterosexual children (everything that happens in childhood has some affect), it does not turn them gay.


August 18th, 2005, 07:19 PM
Thread: Are These the Best of Times, or the Worst of Times?

I guess I take a wider view than my parents' and grandparents' generations: they had some things better, and they lacked other things that I appreciate. But for everything we gain we lose something else.

I think the thing is that we're in the midst of the Information Revolution, a huge cultural shift comparable to the Industrial Revolution. Education suffers because we have so many things to distract our minds that didn't exist twenty years ago, like video-games and DVDs and hundreds of channels of television. Family relationships have changed because we no longer spend huge amounts of time together with nothing to do... most parent work outside the home, and for longer hours.

But the Information Age also overloads us. Things seem worse in some ways because we hear about all these things that we didn't used to hear about when there were only newspapers and radios and they weren't in competition with each other to out-bad-news each other.

And then, as we know more and more about each other, we are confronted with information that we aren't ready to handle... before WWII, most people were only exposed to their neighbors and families, not to foreign cultures and gays and Jews and any number of people otherwise unlike themselves; and not every intellect is capable of handling that knowledge, so they react... they are reactionaries.

But I take an historical view: the rise of the Right today is so similar to the rise of Savonarola in Renaissance Florence... a time of unprecedented freedom and learning and change; the common people got scared of so much change, and were ripe for a demagogue. The similarities are staggering.

But to answer the original question: I wish we still had craftsmanship in common things the way they had two generations ago (I live in a house built in the 20s that would cost millions to build today, with hand-laid hardwood floors and hand-laid miniature tiles and lath-and-plaster walls and custom-made mullioned windows... things you just can't get anymore); on the other hand, I wouldn't want to have to live without computers, I never would have become a writer if I had to rely on pencils or typewriters, if I couldn't look up information at the touch of a search-engine-button, if I couldn't communicate with people all over the world without having to get out of my armchair.

It's all give and take. I don't think any one time is better than another, it's just different.



And that's just the longest posts that I've written this month; I actually started on this board when I was in Texas, and I've made 132 posts so far (an average of 4.43 a day). It takes up so much of my time that I feel kind of... fulfilled. I suspect I'll have to get bored with it before I can get any work done on my other writing projects.

Maybe next time I'll write something just for you!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I Wanna See Blood and Gore and Guts and Veins In My Teeth!

I want to beat the shit out of a homophobe. I mean it... I want to grab hold of Fred Phelps (of God Hates Fags fame) and shove an electric cattle prod so far up his ass that his eyes light up. I want to put Joseph Nicolosi (discredited but published author of Preventing Homosexuality: A Parent’s Guide) in a burlap bag and bludgeon him with croquet mallets. I want the entire staff and support structure of Love in Action (the so-called "ex-gay" movement, none of whom are gay themselves) naked in my basement so I can go after them with my weed-whacker. I want to make those people suffer for the suffering they've spread. I want to humiliate and maim these people.

Manic? Yeah, I seem to be. I've got most of the symptoms: I'm not sleeping well, and I am grouchy as hell, and I am having difficulty discussing things with anyone who disagrees with me in the slightest; I'm fidgetting and squirming and incapable of concentrating for more than a few minutes; I'm horny as all get-out; and everything I hear on the news and the message boards pisses me off so much that I want to lash out and draw some blood... I want to kill, I want to tear the flesh of the neocons and gnaw on the bones of the fundamentalists.

This is terrifically unpleasant. I am trying to do the things that I learned in my first bipolar class, like avoiding sugar and caffeine, avoiding stressful situations, and I am going to go for a long walk a little later on when Caroline comes over... that ought to work off some of the nervous energy. But I am really looking forward to my next bipolar class, and to talking to a doctor next week.

I simply need more ways to deal with this. I wouldn't wish this feeling on anybody (ordinarily... right now I wish this feeling on a lot of people, as well as the feeling of having one's skin torn off inch by inch, the feeling of having one's colon filled with boiling Tobasco sauce, the feeling of having one's genitals eaten off by dung beetles).

The hardest thing I'm finding right now is to be patient with people and refraining from sharing my bloody-minded opinions with others. On that message board (Just Us Boys), there are a lot of opinions shared which are different from mine, particularly in regard to revealing one's sexual identity.

There are a lot of closeted people on that message board, and they all seem to have some defense about either "my personal life is nobody's business" or "disappointing my family and alienating my coworkers (or in more extreme cases, losing friends and family and jobs) is not worth the spurious rewards of being out." And I disagree with them.

The Defending My Privacy people seem to be letting other people do all the work of liberation and struggle; the "I'm afraid" people are allowing the rest of us to suffer with our perceivably small and deeply divided numbers so that they can be safe. Both seem to be internalizing the homophobia of the people around them and have come to believe that their sexuality is wrong or at least shameful, that the homophobes have a right to their wrongheaded opinions.

Both piss me off. Rationally, I know that coming out is something that is different for everyone, something that you can only do when you're ready to do it. There are all sorts of compromises, all sorts of gray areas, all sorts of mitigating circumstances. But emotionally, I get so impatient with other people's fears (hell, you know how impatient I am with my own fears); and with my manic swing running rampant, I'm finding it really difficult to keep the vitriol out of my writing, difficult to refrain from shooting off in an inappropriate forum, difficult to offer sane perspectives instead of demanding agreement on threat of violence.

Maybe I should stay off the boards for a while. But message boards are so addictive! And if I wasn't on the message board, I'd have to confront my complete lack of motivation to work on Worst Luck. I had a dream this morning about the characters, and it gave me an idea for a motive that I needed for introducing this new character who is waiting in the wings... I'm going to take this as a sign, that if I'm dreaming about Danny and Marquesa's conversation, that my mind is almost ready to get back to work. One can hope, anyway.

And hopefully this manic swing won't last too much longer... and hopefully the inevitable ensuing depression won't be as bad as that last depressive swing was. And hopefully I won't make any irrevokable mistakes or implacable enemies while I'm in either state. And hopefully the medication and classes will work. And hopefully...

I'll keep on hoping.

And in the meantime I'll think up a prize to give anyone who can name the source from which my title is quoted.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Writer's Block

This is getting ridiculous! I can't write! I can't even think of anything to write! I can't think of anything to write here, Worst Luck is dead in the water, and I haven't written a single email in weeks! I do a little responsive writing on my message board, and I've jotted some notes for the novel in my notebook, but nothing much. It's terrible! I feel empty and impotent.

Here's the funny thing: the depression that plagued me in July pretty much cleared up a few days before I went to Texas. And then it came back a week and a half after I came back from Texas (it made a very definite reappearance on Saturday, and hasn't much let up since). I guess that's a good thing, you certainly don't want to be depressed in Texas... it's depressing enough as it is without the veil of bipolar gloom making it worse.

On the other hand, it is making me look at the things in my home and routine that might be enabling the depression. The sameness of my life is kind of depressing; the bad eating habits and all, which weren't any better in Texas (they fry everything there), seem worse here because I can do better.

The job-front might be contributing somewhat. I had an interview for a job I really want last week, and while I think I handled the interview itself fairly well (though there were several things I wish I'd said in response to the interview questions), my emotions before and after were totally off the charts.

The day before, I panicked about what I was going to wear, so I went to this consignment store in Rockridge and bought a pair of shoes, a belt, and a tie. They were nice items for quite cheap, the shoes were from Barney's and the tie is Kenneth Cole, and I got the whole accessory-trio for under sixty bucks, so it was a good investment; but really, I do have shoes and ties already.

Then when I got home, I couldn't decide what shirt to wear with these new shoes and tie and belt... most of my dress shirts are warm colors, and I wanted a cool summery look for the interview; and the only cool colors I had were medium greys and bright blues, which didn't go at all well with the brown shoes and belt I'd just bought... and I didn't want to switch to black shoes and belt because they'd darken the dark taupe suit I planned to wear, rendering it not cool and summery. So I had to run down to Ross in Alameda to buy a new white dress shirt.

All the while, I was sniping at Grandmother and Daddy; I needed help from Grandmother with coordinating the shirts and ties, I needed her outside opinion, and she was being singularly unhelpful. She finds it distatsteful to just say she doesn't like something or just say that this shirt and tie don't look good with that suit. She has to couch her objections in weirdly noncommital phrases, or pick on some random and irrelevant detail... like I have this one shirt I really like, navy-and-white stripes with a white collar from Lord & Taylor (another consignment find), to which she objected because it looked "outdated." Now, white collars are very "in" for spring and summer these last two years, so the objection was entirely groundless, and so it pissed me off. The truth is, it doesn't go at all with my dark taupe suit, in fact no blue looks good with that suit, and that's all she had to say.

I tend to get very testy when my stress level gets above a certain level... I think most people do. But Grandmother doesn't grasp that when I get testy is the time to stop putting stress on me. I don't think she has ever understood the concept of changing one's behavior to not aggravate another person's emotional state. And my Daddy wouldn't know an emotional state if it jumped up and bit him in the ass... unless you explained it to him.

So anyway, I bought the new shirt, pressed it, pressed my pants and brushed my jacket, buffed up the shoes, and had everything set out so I could just get dressed the next day and head out to the City for my one o'clock interview. And of course I got a little behind schedule (Grandmother again, for some reason our internal clocks are wired so that we always need the bathroom at the same time), and started stressing out on the drive out to the City. But I got there in time, I was cool-calm-and-collected during the interview (though I was sweating like a... I was going to say "pig," but neither pigs nor dogs, the other usual comparison, are able to sweat... so I was sweating like a guy in a starched shirt freaking out at a job interview), and I think things went fairly well.

But since then, I have been seriously depressed. And it wasn't good timing, I had a show on Saturday night and so was around a lot of my depression triggers (lots of people to whom I would be likely to compare myself negatively... young, pretty, thin, talented, etc.) My self-esteem is down in the sub-cellar, I wake up grudgingly in the morning and have difficulty going to sleep at night, I have a weepy sensation in my chest, my temper flares up inappropriately, and I just feel sour.

I don't like not knowing if I got the job, and I don't like the possibility that I might not have gotten the job, and I don't like the fear of what happens if I do get the job but I'm not good at it or I hate it. And I think that this, along with my growing disgust with my burgeouning belly and my ennui around the house, is making me depressed.

But whatever. I'm working at my old job this week, training the replacement who is replacing my replacement (if you follow me). She's a nice lady, I like her and think she'll do a sterling job. Her first order of business was to rearrange her work area to her liking, which I think bodes well for longevity. And everything I've told her so far has been filed away efficiently, no repeating. She's a natural!

It's something to do, and some money in the bank, for which I am grateful. And next week I start my bipolar class, and then I have my doctor's appointment, to both of which I am looking forward with keen anticipation. And if the job for which I interviewed doesn't pan out, I have a plan of action set up to be put in motion as soon as I hear from them. So things are looking up.

And I seem to have done a bit of writing... how very cathartic!


Monday, August 1, 2005

Meme Without a Name

I find myself starved for content again; and as often happens, God (in the form of Dana Marie, Queen of the Universe) has provided me with an assisting meme; the title of the meme seems to change with each incarnation, and I was unable to come up with one of my own, so I'll just have to jump right in without prologue. Normally I would also link the provenance of the meme, but I think I won't this time. I have my reasons, but they aren't very good reasons, so go ahead and hunt them down yourself.


Ten years ago: Let's see, I'd just achieved sixty days of sobriety, I'd just gotten back from the same Texas trip I just now got back from, and I was probably intent on cleaning something (I did a lot of cleaning in early sobriety). I was also preparing for transfer to San Francisco State University, mailing off transcripts and pushing endless papers involved with financial aid. I was twenty-seven and still smoking, so I weighed thirty-five pounds less, I had a little more hair, and a little more of it was brown; I knew nothing about the internet, and spent all of my computer time writing a truly dreadful novel that I have since abandoned and playing solitaire. I still believed that falling in love would solve my problems, and that I could somehow make the man of my choice love me.

Five years ago: Hell if I know... I had to consult correspondence from the year to figure out what I was up to, but none of it contained anything about my personal life. I guess I didn't have one, because that was the year I decided to rewrite Stag Island, the first novel I'd ever tried to write. I had come across the original manuscript in a drawer, which I'd written one bored winter in 1991/92, and though I cringed at the bad grammar and worse dialog (this was before I went back to college), I considered the premise rather clever and usable. But I had already evolved the characters I'd created the first time while I was in college, and they no longer fit the premise correctly... it was intended as something of a dark comedy. So I came up with the conceit that this new incarnation would be the novel written by the main character of the first novel, a sort of roman a clef, replacing himself as narrator with someone quite different from himself... and went to work on it from there. It is here that I created Danny Vandervere and the various characters I am now using in Worst Luck, which is a sort of prequel to Stag Island (which I will someday actually write).

One year ago: Fortunately I have my blog to tell me what I was doing this time last year... I was helping take care of my little cousins, and taking a week off from work, and that seems to be about it. But here, you can read it yourself.

Yesterday: I started writing this but didn't finish because I started in on the Just Us Boys message boards; then my dad wanted to use the internet, and then my niece wanted to use the internet, so I watched TV instead. Among other mindless drivel, I caught two or three episodes of Kill Reality, which is rather amusing. But would it be amusing without Reichen Lehmkuhl, who is possibly the most beautiful gay man on television? He's soooooo fucking gorgeous! Those eyes! That skin! Those great succulent pecs! I'm in loooooooove!

Five snacks I enjoy:
1) Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
2) Dreyer's Whole Fruit frozen pops.
3) Grapes.
4) Bowl of cereal (esp. Frosted Mini Wheats).
5) Pudding.

Five songs I know all the words to: I know all the words to hundreds and hundreds of songs. I swear, I can memorize anything if you set it to a catchy tune. But most of them I have to have the music before I remember all the words, so here are five songs I sing to myself frequently a capella;
1) "Once Upon A Dream" (also known as "Sleeping Beauty's Waltz," from the Disney animated feature Sleeping Beauty... it cleans out songs that get stuck in your head)
2) "Stardust"
3) "The Man I Love"
4) "Good Morning, Heartache"
5) Pretty much any and all traditional secular Christmas songs.

Five things I would do with $100 million:
1) One big-ass fabulous house here in Piedmont, with furnishings, art, and good-looking servants.
2) A fleet of fabulous vintage cars, including but not limited to a few Rolls Royces, at least one Jaguar, a 1935 Deusenberg Model J Victoria, and a 1961 Caddilac convertible in ivory white.
3) Trust funds for all of my relatives that pay them enough to live on but not so much that they become spoilt.
4) An unending shopping spree, flying from Fashion Week to Fashion Week across the globe, amassing more stuff than I can even store, much less wear.
5) Fund a secret gay task-force of spies and super-ninjas to harrass, humiliate, and bedevil homophobic politicians, ministers, and publicity-hounds. We won't assassinate anyone, really, just make their lives a living hell until they all shut the fuck up.

Five places I would escape to:
1) Hawaii.
2) The bedroom of my fabulous mansion (see above).
3) Italy (it's a small country, but plenty of places to hide).
4) Victoria, British Columbia.
5) England (even smaller country, but I won't have to learn a new language).

Five bad habits:
1) Procrastinating.
2) Assuming the worst outcome before I even try.
3) Eating sweets all day every day.
4) Burping really loud.
5) Procrastinating (it's such a bad habit, it's worth repeating).

Five things I like doing:
1) Shopping
2) Writing
3) Eating
4) Reading
5) Masturbating

Five things I'd never wear: Never? Never is an awfully long time. I mean, there are things I wouldn't be caught dead in right now, but if I started exercising and got a full-body wax I might. So, I'll just have to be general here;
1) Anything itchy.
2) Anything avoidably unflattering (like a half-shirt with a thong on my current physique).
3) Anything lime-green or hot-pink (the only two colors I've found that look bad on me).
4) Anything that would make me look like a Mormon or a Republican.
5) A really big Western belt-buckle.

Five TV shows I like: .
1) CSI (the Las Vegas one, not the spinoffs)
2) Law & Order (again, I prefer the original, and also like SVU, but the rest of the spinoffs leave me cold).
3) Mystery! (not all of them, but recently the Inspector Lynley Mysteries and the new Jane Marple mysteries are fabulous)
4) Smallville (Tom Welling! And gorgeous-boy guest-stars... like when Ian Somerhalder was on the show for several episodes, and there were Tom and Ian in a frame together, I thought I would simply plotz!)
5) Phil of the Future (I don't want to talk about it... except that Ricky Ullman is really eighteen, not the fifteen he looks and plays, so the terrible things I want to do to him are perfectly legal).

Five biggest joys of the moment: .
1) Finishing a chunk of novel (which I haven't done in weeks)
2) Making Grandmother laugh.
3) Orgasms.
4) I don't know?
5) I can't think of any more.

Five favorite toys:
1) My desktop computer.
2) My old job's laptop computer, which I still have but will give back when they need it or when I get a new job.
3) My N-64 (it's an antique, practically)
4) My Palm Pilot.
5) My new dildo (Okay, I'm getting into TMI here, but I really like just playing with the thing, rather than inserting it anywhere [which I really can't do, it's too thick]; it feels real, except that it vibrates, and I simply love holding it).


Okay, so now you know even more about me than you did before. Probably more than you really wanted to know. But that's the risk you take with reading these blogs. And hopefully I will be able to pry myself off the message-boards for long enough to write something here of weight and import. And get back to work on my novel.

Oh, speaking of work, I have a job interview tomorrow! It's a full-time job in San Francisco, so I won't have nearly as much free time if I get it, but it pays quite well. So wish me luck!

Now I have to go get my front tires replaced and my front axle realigned (my bald tire finally gave up the ghost while we were in Texas, so Miss Jane sat on her axle for several days, and I've been driving around on a doughnut since I got back). Wish me luck on that, too!