I have power. I am confident. A success story. People think I’m an interesting person. I feel radiant and abundant…If I don’t fit it in an imperfect world, I am better than the world I live in.
Another one of my favorites from last year’s Tallgrass Film Festival is now streaming on Netflix, and I definitely have to urge/beg everyone to watch it.
A former TV child star David (Pat Mills) who refuses to grow up, loses his job and decides to become a high school guidance counselor despite the fact that he has no credentials and completely unqualified. He is in denial, broke, and an alcoholic.
Yes, this is a comedy.
If I could take a break from being an adult for even just a week. I would totally be this character. I’ve attempted and failed the bathtub scene with the plastic bag of wine, btw. Someday…
There’s a lot of stigma that comes along with having a mental illness. I was raised in a culture where mental disorders simply did not exist. We don’t take medicine for depression, depression just means you’re sad and that was temporary. Even now, in this culture, the stigma exists. It’s all in your head. Of course it is. Not a lot of people will admit to having been diagnosed. I have a close few that discuss it with me, and I’ve compared it to a sort of Alcoholics Anonymous group. We’re there to support, and hold each other accountable, but not to out each other.
If I think back to when I first realized I was thinking different that everyone else I would go back to when I was 16. That’s when I first experimented with cutting and/or burning myself. At 16 though, you chalk it up to teenage angst. I was sheltered. Despite the attitude problems, I was a good student, and I rarely spent time outside the house. I had friends at school, but I didn’t have close friends I hung out with outside of school. At 18 it started getting worse, and by then, I knew something was wrong and I did write suicide letters just in case, one for my parents, and one for my sister. I kept them inside my journal cover, and still have them to this day.
Around 20, a doctor suggested I was suffering depression. We tried a multitude of medications that just didn’t work. By 23, I saw a specialist, and was diagnosed Bipolar Manic Depressive. To this day I still question the diagnosis. I remember the doctor asking me, “Why do you think you act the way you do?” I simply stated “My mother is emotional. My father is temperamental. I’m both.”
The doctor placed me on a new medication that did work. It had its side effects of course. The manic went away. I lost my passion to be creative, my motivation to be productive, I lost my drive to live. I woke up every morning, went to work, did my chores, and lived like a zombie. I was referred to a therapist. She was actually very helpful. I communicated that I wanted to live without the medicine. She gave me projects to focus on. Things like concentrate on your blog, try going back to school, reevaluate your relationship with your parents. So then I had things to focus on and I was happy to write in my journal again, because I saw them as challenges I needed to accomplish. I think this was when my OCD with to-do lists started. We both agreed that since I knew what my triggers were, I could safely get off my medication, but I had to promise to start immediately when I felt I wasn’t going to be able to handle myself anymore.
Years passed. I had many slip ups, but nothing big. I had big life changes occur, but I still managed to keep my drive. Whenever I got in my depressive state, I’d give my friends the heads up. I would refuse social invites. I would stay home and read or watch movies. I kept to myself until it passed. I looked forward to the manic stages. I took advantage of the excess energy. Got super productive, super active, super social. That’s how I lived. I am an in-betweener.
Last year, during Tallgrass Film Festival A Light Beneath Their Feet was screened as one of the independent films, I watched it and it made me think of many things:
I could be worse, I could be like her
What if I end up like her?
What can I do not to end up like her?
Is this how I seem to everyone else around me?
I am still struggling with my own inner demons, there is absolutely no denying that. I am paranoid of how others perceive me, and I am attacking myself with makeshift scenarios that may or may not occur, or have or haven’t occured. I’m trying to keep my focus, I am trying to be productive, and I am trying to be accountable. This is going to be my life, for as long as I choose to live it.
I don’t think I can sum up all the battles I have to fight on a daily basis in one blog. So I choose to just site a webpage with the symptoms. These are not all inclusive. And if anyone reading this, wants to reach out, give advice or ask for advice, I hope you feel free to.
Symptoms of a depressive mood episode may include:
• feelings of emptiness or worthlessness
• loss of interest in once pleasurable activities such as sex
• behavioral changes
• fatigue or low energy
• problems with concentration, decision-making, or forgetfulness
• restlessness or irritability
• changes in eating or sleeping habits
• suicidal ideation or a suicide attempt
On the other extreme side of the spectrum are manic episodes. Symptoms of mania may include:
• long periods of intense joy, excitement, or euphoria
• extreme irritability, agitation, or a feeling of being “wired” (jumpiness)
• being easily distracted or restless
• having racing thoughts
• speaking very quickly (often so fast others are unable to keep up)
• taking on more new projects than one can handle (excessively goal directed)
• having little need for sleep
• unrealistic beliefs about one’s abilities
• participating in impulsive or high-risk behaviors such as gambling or spending sprees, unsafe sex, or making unwise investments
Some people with bipolar disorder experience “mixed mood states” in which depressive and manic symptoms coexist. In a mixed state, a person will often have symptoms that include:
• extreme changes in appetite
• suicidal ideation
For those that want to watch A Light Beneath Their Feet it is currently available on Netflix.
For those that missed my Facebook Live rant, the blog will become more and more personal, and less “watered down” or “censored.” I feel for myself it should serve a multipurpose, especially since I have found less and less time to journal, and more and more time posting on Facebook which for some people seem “excessive.” I’m not saying I’ll be posting less on other social media but definitely, I need to use this blog more as an outlet for how I feel and what I think. It’s not for anyone else, but for myself. I think it’ll more therapeutic and inspiring for myself, and for anyone else that might want to read it, take from it what you want.
I sat at Barleycorn’s (local bar) last night and started a conversation with the bartender, “So you don’t know me…” I think that’s a great opening because it tells them this conversation is not going to be normal. Finally, I asked when are you supposed to have a midlife crisis and he states “depends on when your life ends” and I thought what if I die tomorrow, I already missed it. And he said “Live each day like it’s a midlife crisis.” That was so good, I told him I’d write it down and I did.
Now, I’m starting my midlife crisis, and I don’t know when and if it will end.
Watching the movie “Mad Tiger” Kengo Hioki (AKA Peelander Yellow) explained his history in art and painting and finally after 10 to 20 years finding it ridiculous and “killing” his art.
“Resetting myself? No. It was an execution. I wanted to kill myself. I also hated myself. That’s why I wanted to kill myself.”
So, this is my version of my execution. Somewhere along the line I thought I could be the cookie cutter adult. Kill that. I’d rather be happy.
Kengo and I at Barleycorn’s last night
Yes, I’m quoting a guy that looks like Pikachu, and he’s sort of grumpy in the movie, but who isn’t now and then. He eat your smile, though! Gotta catch them all! That should be a life motto.
Watch “Mad Tiger” trailer:
*also available to stream on Netflix
And to end, another quote from the movie:
1 John 4:18 … ‘There’s no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment.’
Our fear originates from relationships with people. That’s where our fear is coming from. We put a mask on to pretend that as if everything’s going well and just have a facade and superficial relationships. That’s how we end up becoming insincere to each other by lying and deceiving.
So, I did get to watch The Little Prince on Netflix this weekend, and I it was not at all what I had expected.
First, disappointment, it was not a retelling of the book, it was a movie about the book. So, I still highly recommend reading the book itself. They tried to put in some of the good parts, but really missed so much.
It was still an entertaining and heartwarming story. It was basically, more about a little girl, her friendship with the aviator, and her fear of growing up.
Best part was the Jeff Bridges voice over. You can’t miss the voice. I love the way he tells the story. Definitely fit the old man character.
For those not in the loop, The Little Prince is still on Netflix. Here’s the trailer:
I had never heard of Neil Gaiman until last year. My friend bought tickets to a reading and he asked me to come with him. I was excited and so I decided to do a bit of homework prior, and the first book he recommended I read was American Gods. It definitely was a good introduction to the author. The book was so amazingly written. You know the feeling, when you finally finish reading a book and you just sit there telling yourself “It’s all true. It’s all so true.” That’s what effect it had on me.
The reading itself was also an experience. Neil Gaiman is a very charming, and wonderful speaker. He read some, answered some questions, but what I loved the most were the stories. He inserted anecdotes here and there and all were funny, sometimes cynical, but always “so true” as I laughed and nodded in agreement with a man too far to even see me, but somehow I felt I was having a one on one. Thank you again, to my friend, for the experience and for introducing me to another wonderful author.
As everyone knows, the blog became stagnant when I was switched projects at my last contract. Times got busy, but I always meant to post about this. Now more than ever, if I could, I would urge you to pick up a Neil Gaiman book. Let’s start with American Gods. Why? It’s been adapted into a TV series. Yes, my friends, I am totally nerding out.
I really don’t want to spoil the plot, because I want you guys to read it first, but here’s the trailer because it looks like they will do the book justice. Or, at least, I’m hoping. We’ll find out soon, so far the release date is a non specific 2017.
Melissa McCarthy is always Melissa McCarthy and the her sense of comedy has gotten old and the humor was lacking, even with Kristen Wiig at her side, who I usually expect to be very hilarious. Kate McKinnon’s character was probably the one that lucked out with the best lines, I mean best if you had to choose from all the bad ones. She had like one good scene, and then it was over and I was watching the time again. Leslie Jones’ character also had potential. She was your know it all New Yorker, knowing all the ins and outs and history of every corner of the city. I thought they could have really used that to make the plot just a bit more interesting. Seriously, even Chris Hemsworth couldn’t salvage the movie for me. I cringed for him. There’s even a dance scene with him after the end credits, but I was already so disgusted I opted to walk out of it.
I don’t think I’ve felt this strongly about not liking a movie in a very long time.
Younger Season 1 was release March 31, 2015. I fell below my radar, until recently when I saw a trailer for Season 2. I immediately searched an consumed, without much effort, 12 episodes.
Liza Miller (Sutton Foster) is a 40-year-old divorced mother of a college aged child pretending to be 26 years old to land a job in publishing. The amount of awkward is just enough to forget that the story can never be believable. (Who hires someone without an appropriate ID that shows date of birth?) Liza is able to snag a job and a younger boyfriend without ever having to reveal her true age.
Hilary Duff plays Kelsey Peters, Liza’s new friend and colleague. Somehow I think her acting might have gotten a bit better since she got older, or maybe I’m just blinded by my new love of the series. Nico Tortorella as Josh, Liza’s much younger boyfriend, is cute enough to make you consider the possibility of dating someone 14 years younger, until either bad writing or bad acting (who’s to blame) makes him seem like a stereotypical former frat boy. (Not all 26 year old males smoke weed and play video games all night, you know? Maybe a majority, but not ALL.)
It was an easy series to get through. I wouldn’t call it riveting. It definitely kept my interest as I simultaneously watched and cooked or washed dishes. It had enough sarcastic jabs at millenials to make it funny without being bitter. I am officially ready and waiting for Season 2.
ALERT: Do not watch the Season 2 Trailer if you do not want to spoil Season 1 for youself.
I had not intended to watch The Force Awakens. I had watched Episode I and II, and I think lost interest after. Star Wars being so firmly fixed in American pop culture, I was able to easily fake understanding whenever there was a Jedi or Vader reference thrown my way, even without doing any other research, and with only the image of Hayden Christensen as true representation of The Force in my head. Until this year, when true fandom sat in the other cube from me at work.
One of my coworkers breathes Star Wars. It was merely a quirk easily shrugged off at first. (He wondered if he could wear a collared shirt with Vader’s helmet embroidered on the chest for Casual Friday.) Then it slowly became part of his work identity as the cubicle decorations came up, and the Star Wars trivia occurred. It was inevitable, I would eventually verbalize to the man I had no clue what the heck he was talking about. But I had to, he insisted because the new movie was coming out. Yes, yes, I will put the movies on queue. No, not this weekend, next weekend maybe. And then, the excuses ran dry and even I felt lazy and ashamed so I buckled down and prepared to focus.
Episode IV (the fact that I’m even doing these in Roman Numerals make me feel icky geeky.) The acting was horrible! I could not ignore the novelty of actually being introduced to legendary characters I have heard about for so long, but the awkwardness of them all was still hard to take. I wrote commentaries as I watched just to keep me going, but near the end, comical or intriguing I still had to continue.
Episode V. Prepared for horrible scripts and awkward over-acting, I was more able to listen and learn about the story unfolding. And I emerged with so many questions. I was starting to become a student. Gag!
Episode VI. Can I just for now say there is absolutely no way I should have to yell SPOILER ALERT? I do believe I’m the last person on the planet to hear about this. Darth Vader dies! Does he? Is he dead? Or is the Emperor dead? I saw Skywalker do a fall like that too and he survived. Maybe the Emperor also landed on something, slid down a shoot and escaped. Who knows? My coworker does I’m sure, and I wait until Monday to pose these questions to him.
Episode VII – I think I have learned enough about the Star Wars fandom not to even recap my thoughts until much later.
But my mom saw through social media posts that I had been watching Star Wars and decided to treat myself and the kids to a night at the movies. It was amazing!
The theatre was full of cheers, and laughter and comradery. My son and I bonded over details we noticed that we could tie to the other episodes and those we couldn’t (he’s not very knowledgeable about it himself, though I believe he is the nerdier of the two of us) and we discussed what we wanted and expected for the next episode, to which he said “You think you can wait?” You know what, I don’t think I can.
Now, I’m going back to start from the beginning (The Phantom Menace) so I can go back to work having done all the research possible.