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Still Topsy Turvy

Sorry for the false starts Dear Reader but I’m still acclimating to my new environment and finding some semblance of a schedule.  NaNoWriMo has started and I’m behind the eight-ball.  Because there wasn’t time to outline a new novel, I’m revising the psychological thriller from last year – only I started last night.  Ahem.  I promised the London recap that’s almost two months late as well as another The Man story. Both might take a little time.  I need to read the Crucible before delving deeply into an issue I have with the play and discussing Richard Armitage’s performance.  An “end” post has been drafted about the trip’s surprising effect on me, so I am working on things.  And as for poor The Man, I have to check in with him; he must be exhausted.

While I handle time management issues, here’s a video from RA’s last stage door on September 13, 2014.  Sadly my iPhone stuck in portrait mode while filming in landscape, hence the small picture.  I flipped the view so we can at least see him properly.  As you will see, the line extended down the street and around the front of the theater. People stayed calm until halfway down the line when things became a little rowdy.  More aggressive fans pushed my friend against the wall, blocking her filming my encounter with RA.  This was unfortunate since I will talk about that moment in the “end” post.

So here’s a taste of what it was like.  Enjoy.

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On Saturday nights, the family would gather together and watch movies on the only television. (Yes, I’m dating myself here.)  One night Elmer Gantry, about a wayward conman taking advantage of a simple religious town, televised.  The incomparable Burt Lancaster played the conman.  Towards the beginning of the movie, he sang “I’m On My Way to Canaan’s Land.” Our pal Wikipedia doesn’t have an entry for it but suffice it to say, it began as a an old negro spiritual.  It was sung frequently during the Civil Rights marches of the 1960’s.  I recall it’s upbeat swingy rhythm that made it a joyful song to hear.  Lancaster starts singing at about 0:48.

Enjoy.

 

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I’m in a peculiar state of mind.

Last summer I talked about transitioning from major depression to “normal life,” but that’s turned out to contain it’s own triumphs, setbacks and pitfalls crisscrossing each other.  So now I’m at the junction of several smaller transitions in the middle of one overarching one:

Ongoing move from working to retired life and the resulting changing identity;

Moving away from intense psychological and physical stress and their conditioned responses;

Dealing with the ongoing residual fallout from the stress and the confounding battle with inertia;

Dealing with the drastically different changes in living environment;

Just deal –

Jodi butts in.  “Hello all!  Judi’s id here.  She does get boring doesn’t she?”

Jada coughs delicately. “This is Judi’s post.”

Jodi waves a hand.  “And if you’ve forgotten, Jada is Judi’s superego which leaves Quiet One over there.”

Quiet One sighs.  “I’ve been calling myself Julie for months.  Do keep up.”

Jodi sighs.  But you’re still so…quiet.”

Julie  nods.  “I speak up when it’s important.”

Jada arches a brow at Jodi.  “THAT, she does especially when you get a bit too rowdy.”

Jodi huffs.  “How was that incident in London too rowdy?  I wasn’t even looking at him!”

Jada coughs delicately again.  “We talked about this, dear.”

Julie chuckles.

Jodi’s mouth opens then snaps shut.  “Well.  Anyway, what Judi was trying to say was – ”

I gape at the trio.  “Hold on now!  London wasn’t Vegas. Nothing happened there we can’t talk about.”

All three stare at me.

I carry on, suddenly feeling insecure.  “Erm, er, so.  Can I continue with my post?”

Jodi tuts.  “But it’s sooo dry.  Can’t we just recap and get on with talking about London?  I love talking about London.”

I scowl.  “I can recap.  I wanted to say that-”

Jodi jumps in.  “She wanted to say that she was depressed being a totally stressed out, mentally and physically sick, broke mess who couldn’t see her way clear, and now she’s a less stressed, mentally better, physically creaky, solvent mess in a new home who can’t figure out where to go next with all the possibilities!  Right Judi?”

Jada purses her lips.  “Wellll, maybe that was a bit… harsh.”

Julie snickers.  “I think Judi means to say that her situation is constantly evolving, but for the better, with small transitions coming fast along the way.  Now she has to learn to adjust to adjusting – learn new behaviors for her new world.”

I sigh.  “Thanks Julie.  Yes, I’m trying to adjust to adjusting and not being able to predict what happens next.  Very aptly put.  It’s such a strange feeling.  Don’t think I’m very good at it.”

Julie pats my hand. “You’re doing great.  As Dr. G. says, don’t rush it. Just consider plans and chart a schedule.”

Jodi sits up brightly. “Okay!  So can we talk about London now?  You know, that Armitage bloke.”

I blink tiredly.  “What?”

A soprano voice sings out. “Have no fear, FAN GURL is here!”

I groan. “Oh no.”

The trio hoot and holler.  “Oh yes!”

 

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No music today – just an update and funny video.

First, finally moved into an apartment on Friday. I’ve yet to recount my moving hell parts 1 and 2 because that’s a whole ‘nother post. Suffice it to say that 98% of my stuff made it. Basically intact. The whole experience has been unreal; I kid you not.

My buddy Elsa is on her way bearing my Pomeranian Patty (who I understand dragged her to the car when she realized she was going on A Trip.) I’ve unpacked about 85% of the boxes in the eclectic style of decorating otherwise known as the I-don’t-care-where-it-goes-I’m-so-damn-tired fashion. My other buddy Trina can come and organize it all. (Joking Trina…kinda.)

Don’t have wi-fi yet but but do have 4G on my iPad that’s eating up money. So I’ll leave you with this hilarious video. Dog lovers (like a certain British actor) will love it.

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Test 2

*pick up mic*  Hello?  Is this thing on?

ETA: I’m a genius.  The blog is back in session.  Please comment if you received an email notification and how many.

ETBSA: Good grief, I’m drowning in my own notifications.  Really hope everybody received only one.

BTW, the WordPress 4.0 update caused the blog to default back to manual moderation.  While I fixed that, comments might have reset to everybody needing a one time manual clearance. So I will check the moderation queue frequently to make sure all commentators are re-approved.

 

Test

Don’t look behind the curtain; I’m not dressed.  You can leave a comment, though.

After 11 days of intense apartment searching, calling, viewing, and kissing a lot of toads,  we finally found a place.  (I’ll explain the move and what happened to the original place in another post. Bastards.)  It’s not quite as posh as my condo (nothing will be short of winning the lottery), but at least I won’t burst into tears when I enter.  Long story short, ninety percent of negotiations over financial issues have been completed – a few more hoops to jump through and the deal will be done.  So thankfully, we don’t have to hit the panic button and discuss having an unexpected extended here with friends.  While my friends have been beyond welcoming in their large comfortable home, I sorely need my own place.  And Patty the pom back. (She’s staying with her foster parents in Michigan.)

So I’m standing on the very cusp of my new suburban life.  But not being able to see forward in the metaphorical distance made me a bit nostalgic as I stood in the empty apartment gazing out the window at a prairie.  Suddenly I realized that the hazy city horizon lie 26 miles away.  After residing there all my life and living downtown for 25 years, it evoked a wistful yearning.  I suppose it’s a kind of grief – an unwanted loss of part of my life.

It made me think of the following classic folk song that’s been stuck in my head.  Oh Shenandoah describes a sense of longing for the past. One of my favorite burgeoning a capella YouTube singers, Peter Hollens, made a lovely rendition of the song.  It’s a beautiful song which didn’t hold much meaning for me until now.  Of course, I’ll get past this but for right now, I yearn for my own Shenandoah.

Enjoy.

calm-movingIf you’ve been following my trials and tribulations over the last 3 1/2 years, then you know about the ups and downs of my illness, the battle, the job fiasco, the retirement, and the endless climb back to a fully functional life.  It caused an enormous financial strain I wasn’t mentally equipped to handle last year.  Then there was a severe relapse this past winter (which I will talk about another time) followed by the financial problems coming home to roost.   Suddenly I was land rich but so broke that friends and family stepped in to keep me afloat and offer grave advice.  So I bit the bullet – it was time to sell.  I called the realtor and signed the listing agreement.  Life came to a standstill while I dedicated all my energies to parting with a place and community I loved and don’t want to leave.

Nine days after signing on the dotted line, the condo was on the market.  Fourteen groups, an open house, and 11 days later, I had a contract.  The final dates materialized: closing day – Sept 5; walk-through Sept 4; moving day – Sept 3.  Two days until I leave; four days until financial solvency returns.  The move will be very bittersweet.  So what will I do now?

Because I won’t have a positive cash flow until after the closing, making final arrangements for a new place is on hold.  I’m in communication with one place and will get the ball rolling the moment the money hits my account.  In the meantime, my stuff goes into storage and I will stay with friends until things are sorted.  Patty the pomeranian is at her foster parent’s house during the transition.  Friends are texting, skyping, calling and making sure I stay focused.  (I’ll have to post later about my friends.  I may not have many, but the ones I have are absolutely incredible.  They are truly good, loving people.  Getting choked up just thinking about all they have done.)

Men have just taken away the sofa that’s just too big to fit properly in apartments.  It was 22 years old, so it had a good life.  It still looks good, so it will give another owner happiness.  The place is 95% packed.  In the next 24 hours, I’ll pack this computer.  Then the movers arrive first thing Wednesday and take away my stuff.  Then I’ll sweep, leave the keys for the realtor, and head to the train station with my suitcase.  It will be an austere send-off but that’s best.  Another door in my life will close, while another opens.  My friends say to look at this as a new adventure and I’m trying hard.

I will try to keep up with you all via  iDevices.

Oh, you may want to look for me on Twitter next week because of… things.  Just sayin’.

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REPRISE: Social Media

Hi all.  I’m still alive and in the middle of barely controlled chaos known as relocation.  Unfortunately I’ve not had the time to compose an original story.  So in honor of Richard Armitage joining Twitter (I KNEW it would happen.  Should have bet all of you),  I’m republishing an old story that seems quite fitting for the occasion.  You know the one.

******

The buzz pierced through the fog of his mind like a hatchet.

The Man lie prone on his stomach, face buried in the pillow.  The arm dangling over the side felt dead.  He peeled open an eye, but the light’s glare snapped it shut.  He flopped onto his back, sending a jolt of pain through his brain.  The buzzing continued.

He lifted his head gamely, trying to pinpoint the noise.  Hotel room …. floor… pants … trousers… oh, the phone.  Ignoring the banging headache and few unsuccessful attempts at snagging the trousers and rummaging through the pockets, he managed to silence the thing.  He lie back again and groaned over the hangover.  He’d had a few glasses of wine the previous night while – doing something or the other – something about fans.  Why did dealing with fandom seem to drive him to drink?

The phone dinged.  Running a tongue across parched lips, he lie waiting for the rest of his body to check in.  The phone dinged again.  He was popular this morning.  Another ding.  He fumbled, then raised it to blurry eyes.  The red-haired bloke had texted, “Wow!”  Wow?  He peered at the next texts.  “Hey, you really know how to make an entrance!” and, “I couldn’t have done that!”  His eyes opened wider as he scrolled through tens of messages from friends.  His PR person had left four messages.  His agent left a text, “WTF!!!  Did you really put that on Twitter?!”

The man frowned.  What in the world were they on about? His fingers flew across the screen as he opened the program and searched for his tweet.  He vaguely recollected that a few fans had been dubious about his identity, even on a verified account, when he debuted several days ago.  They had demanded he tweet a picture of himself; he agreed.  What was wrong?  He tapped open the link.

The man sat bolt upright, hangover completely forgotten.  Oh.  Shit.

***

The man glanced down at the bowl of soggy cereal he couldn’t eat.  Naturally the news had spread like wildfire through the cast and crew, but they all treated it as hilarious.  Some passed his table with a few joking words; others waved, winked or flashed an enthusiastic thumbs up sign on their way out to the studio.  He gulped some apple juice as his phone continued lighting up like a Christmas tree.  He switched it to silent.

***

The man stared into space, barely listening to the 3-way conference call with his agent and PR person.  The agent had stopped swearing and started listening raptly to the woman five minutes ago. When the agent began chuckling, the man blinked in confusion.  What, everything was okay?  The woman expounded on “changing social mores,” and “appealing to a younger generation.”  At the part about “getting maximum exposure out of the situation,”  the agent burst into laughter.  Exposure, indeed. Imagine the rags back home.  Classy,  just classy, he thought.  He groaned, head sinking down to his chest.

What would his mum say?

***

The newspaper clippings tumbled out of the large envelop onto the table.  He pawed through them: Guardian, Daily Mail, Sun, Times, they were all there.   The rags had tried to make a mini- scandal of it all, but his PR person had arrange a quiet chat for him with a reporter who relayed an amusing story about “smartphone mishaps” and “depth perception,”  which other papers picked up.  He snorted.  The reporter had left out the part about “doofus” and “pissed.”   For the most part, reaction had been favorable.  He found himself with a half million followers on Twitter in 10 days.  They didn’t care particularly what he tweeted, as long as he acknowledged them.  He picked up the infamous picture and looked with a new eye.  He had no clue how he’d managed to set a wide angle that he didn’t even know the phone had, but the pose looked rather lazy and sexy against the sheets, even if he had only intended to reveal a portrait angle. An inadvertent centerfold.  His agent reported that interest in him had not been adversely affected.   It was all a silly mistake to be put behind him.  He sighed in relief.

Right.  Now time to get a different smartphone.

***

The man sat poised at the laptop, stone cold sober.  He knew his feelings could get seriously hurt, but he itched to know what his fans thought.  He’d heard not a peek out them in a month.  Considering the past problems, it was worrisome.   The red-haired bloke had joked he felt a little jealous because his own fans were still talking about it.  So, what were his fans saying? Hopefully, he’d received boffo reviews.  He found himself giggling.  Oh, this was ridiculous.   I’m too old for this silliness, he thought.  He glanced at the sheets containing line changes for tomorrow, then back at the screen.  Oh, hell.   He surfed to the forum, logged into the members-only section with his secret account, and read.

Oh for fuck’s sake!

He stared glumly at the announcement: “DO NOT OPEN THE JPEG.  Looking at his junk is disrespectful.”

They haven’t seen the picture?  What, am I supposed to tweet, please look at my junk?, he fumed.  He could imagine the red-haired bloke falling down laughing at the news.

Bloody fans suck.

*****

Life imitating art maybe?  It tickles me just thinking about.

Happy birthday Richard Armitage.  Have a ball on Twitter.

 

 

20140721-010904-4144886.jpgThe effort to downsize is turning into an entire series with cliffhanger episodes. After two days decluttering and generating an amazing amount of trash, Condo was ready for part two: the cleaners. Vera the realtor brought in two who only spoke Russian but cleaned Condo within every inch of its footage. A dust mote did not survive. Seriously, it’s not been so clean since construction nine years ago. They put the white glove test to shame. The downside to this pristine-ness is now I must emulate a neat freak and keep it this way until we land a buyer. Gulp. Next, maintenance must plaster and paint cracked hall walls caused by the building settling. This is a like closing the barn door after the horse has gone through but the cleaning availability couldn’t be helped. So now I must hover with a Dust Buster during repairs. Things could get freaky.

Next Pictures Must Be Taken. Simply taking snaps won’t do, oh no. Upscale sales require an upscale photographer. Good grief. So, Condo will sit for its photos this week. Then the listing goes live. Do I get to rest? Of course not; I need a place to land. Enter Friends and Family. Family has me concerned. Friends are having way too good a time scouting.

More later.

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