Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What if they danced it? – 305.5

I am feeling a lot better now. Most of my problems are still there, but I am healthier (my throat still isn’t quite clear, but otherwise I am okay) and I am getting along with my sisters again. The fundamentals of our relationships haven’t changed, I am still unemployed, and there are still loved ones far away in precarious health, so there is a real risk of relapse. I believe I am going to need to start another series of searching out the past, analyzing and figuring out, and just generally trying to get it together, but first, something different.

I went to the ballet, and it was pretty good. This was OBT’s second program of the season, Lambarena. There were three pieces. Honestly, the first piece, Ash, was just okay. Then it was The Rite of Spring, which was better, and they ended on the title piece. I loved Lambarena. I loved the music and costumes and the movements. It was great.

At one point during the evening, my mind wandered just a tad, and this is how it happened. I was watching Gavin Larsen, and I remembered that the first time I saw her was in the pieces Twilight, which I mentioned earlier as being one of my favorites. Somehow the title reminded me of the annoying book series, and I suddenly had this thought of how much better it would be as a ballet.

Think of it! First of all, the prose is gone, which eliminates a huge deadweight right there. In terms of the plot of epic yet complicated love, well, that just fits right into ballet, and throwing in some vampires does not hurt it.

Now, think of the other things that are annoying. Bella is moody and ungrateful, Edward is brooding and stalker-ish, and hitting baseballs over the mountains is stupid. Put that in a ballet, and with the right music and choreography you can make it all look good. Suddenly the baseball game becomes awesome, instead of annoying. In fact, there’s room for a lot of athleticism because half of the characters have supernatural strength and can fly. Grand jetée, anyone? I would totally go see that.

So, I’m going to try and send an open letter to various choreographers. It has built in commercial appeal, especially if you time it for when people are starting to get anxious for the second movie. I mean, why not? I’m thinking Stowell, Canfield, McIntyre, and Thomas. Maybe Tomasson, but he already has a Twilight. I just think it has potential.

I also realized that when I was going over my favorite performances and performers, there were two major omissions. For individual dancers, I was really impressed by Holly Cruikshank. I saw her in Moving Out, and saying she is really bendy may not sound like a compliment, but her body seems to be able to do whatever you could possibly ask it to do, and to do it very fluidly.

For groups, Aero Betty is long gone, but they were something else. That first year that I subscribed to White Bird (the good year, before they started becoming progressively more disappointing), it started off with Diavolo who incorporated some trapeze, and ended with Aero Betty who was all trapeze. Shall I call them Calder-esque? I don’t know—I have never seen anyone else like them. Given that every number was at least partially aerial, you might have expected them to be somewhat repetitive, but every number was so individual and unique, and it was just an amazing evening. I’m really glad I got to see them.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Nadir – 303.5

There was an episode of “Frasier” where he was in competition with a handsome doctor, made worse when Frasier was shown up by the doctor on his own show. A caller appeared to be suffering from severe depression, but some questions from the medical doctor led to an alternative diagnosis of low blood sugar. It’s not that far-fetched. I know one counselor who had a case that presented as depression but was really a potassium deficiency. Obviously, there is a strong interplay between mind and body, where emotional issues can cause physical pain and physical issues can lead to emotional problems.

My point is that I have sunk back into deep depression, and I feel that it is due to prolonged illness.

It’s not that there is nothing to be depressed about. I am still unemployed. I had a very decent tax refund, which gave me two months worth of bills, but that just got me through to March, and there is nothing in sight for April. It used to be that there were jobs that I could do (even if they would not pay enough for me to get by), but no one responded to my applications. Now there are only jobs that I can’t do.

I’m not getting any hours preparing taxes. I was good at it, but he isn’t getting enough business, and so that dried up too. If H&R Block had called a little bit sooner, before I signed the non-compete paperwork, maybe I could have gotten some hours there, but those are skills that I cannot now take anywhere else.

I lost an aunt last week. Again, I wasn’t prepared for it. I knew there were health problems but I thought they were under control, and I was wrong. Maybe it’s the way the information travels, from them to my aunt to Mom to me, changing languages in the process, but I was as unprepared to lose Zia Luciana as I was Zio Paolo. I’m grateful we were there in the spring, because I had no idea it was the last chance to see them, but now there is always this nagging about who will go next. They weren’t even the two oldest. Now we only have Elda, Giorgio, and Giovanna. Those are the two oldest and the one with early Alzheimers. I only got to meet them for the first time three years ago and now I am losing them.

Also, we had to put Suzy down on Monday. I guess I am having a harder time with this one because she was so young, and it’s the first time it was a chronic condition rather than age or cancer or something that was going to take them for sure. The thing is, her epilepsy was getting worse, and I felt like it was at the point where she was losing quality of life, and we were. She wasn’t even getting enough time to feel like herself again between seizures, and maybe if we had stuck it out for a few more days she would have had some good months, or weeks, but it felt like it was spiraling out of control. What I really felt like was going to happen was she was going to go into a seizure and not come out, and it would happen on a weekend, so we would have to load up a shaking, or at least insensible dog and take that nightmare ride to the emergency clinic in Tualatin. I felt like it was the only thing to do.
Still, maybe it was the sleep deprivation talking. That weekend the seizures started at 2:30 AM Sunday (and I had only gone to bed at 1), and they kept up again into the night and next morning. I don’t think I had eight hours even between the two days. Even so, we kept thinking that if she didn’t have anymore it would be okay, and then she kept having one more, three times in three hours.

The sleep deprivation was why I was actually in denial about having the flu. The cough and nasal issues could have been cold or allergy. The headache could have been related to the cough and sinus pressure. The thing that made it flu for sure was my body hurting everywhere and that shaky feeling, and I thought maybe that was just that I needed sleep. After getting some sleep, I still felt like someone had beaten me over my entire body with a baseball bat, and shaky, so I gave up and decided it was the flu.

That has gone down. The next day I felt like I had only been beaten over part of my body, and the next day it was just the joints, staying upright has become less of an effort. The problem is, I am still not well. I feel like I am clammy (even thought I am not clammy to the touch, it is just a sensation). Also, I am still easily tired, like, I will make my bed, and then need to lie on it for five minutes. This does put a damper on the job hunt, as well as giving me concerns about whether I will even be able to do a job if I am lucky enough to get one.

The other problem is that I have been sick for so long. This bout with the flu only started last weekend, but I’d had a really bad cold a few weeks before that, and even though the worst symptoms went away, there were lingering effects, so that I have had one thing or another wrong with me for over a month.

I am just worn down. I can make do with not very much for a long time, but at this point my reserves are just spent. The depression may be part of the energy problem, but I know the physical problems are part of the depression, because I am just worn out and I cannot keep my chin up anymore and I don’t feel strongly motivated to anyway.

It’s a lot like last time. Death still sounds like the best thing that could possibly happen to me. I still can’t seriously consider suicide, because it’s wrong, and selfish, and cruel to those you leave behind, but also because having lost some people, I feel like it would also be a slap in the face to those whose lives were cut short. Some of them really would have wanted to stay.

Also, really, even I know I don’t actually want to be dead. What I really want is to not hurt anymore. I want something good to happen, but that seems impossible. No one is interested in my writing. The production companies have more scripts than they know what to do with, and the agencies already have people to worry about. I still believe my work is good, but it kind of doesn’t matter. That contest I’m doing, well, I’m not winning, which could be depressing, but I’m losing to really stupid, illogical, poorly-written entries. Now that’s demoralizing. Or maybe I’m just way off track and my work really does suck. In that case, then I guess it is a mercy that no one will look at it.

I am losing weight, but I just keep feeling fatter and older. Uglier. My family is exactly the same as they always are, which I can usually live with but I am having a hard time with it now. I am no closer to ever having a significant other, and I can’t find any reason to believe any of this is going to change. So this is my life, and I’m depressed about it, except that I could handle it a few weeks ago, and eventually I assume I will be able to handle it again. But what I really want is a deus ex machina. I’m willing to work hard and make my own luck, but there just don’t seem to be any good prospects within reach right now. I’m going to need something out of left field.