Slow Yet Surprisingly Interesting
2020-09-20, 8:37 p.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
Today was Designated Outside Day.
Cameron wrote me back, finally, so I wrote her back on a nice card that said "Just breathe" on it, which is kind of funny since she was talking about the smoke. She said it was wonderful to be able to see me so often during Robin Hood and it was a fascinating experience, and it was good to be part of something with people again. Hear, hear. I said I miss acting and hey, if she ever wants to do something online....who knows there. I am terrible at rounding up people to do things, so it can't be me who tries at it. I ended up passing her my craft and book sites since she asked what I was knitting/for book recs, so there you go. It is slightly weird to be talking about an Internet thing IRL without being able to be all "Here's the pics!" I did mention that I'm attempting a replacement gift for Scott since I'm sure she can deduce off my webpage what stuff most likely went to him, but hell if I know when I will finish the thing and especially how the hell a dropoff would go. No idea when or how I'd do that, since I don't think the ding dong ditch at his temporary house is gonna fly and going in person at the store has.... temptations on many levels, sigh.
I went outside on the patio again and Reggie the neighbor 2 doors down was outside on his patio reading Nietzsche and drinking orange beer, was bored, and wanted to chat. We talked behind walls and an entire apartment worth of separation, so that felt pretty safe. He verified that Sneezy (I guess his real name was Jay?) has moved out of the building, thank gawd. He wasn't thrilled with him either. Anyway, we chatted at a safe distance for around an hour, which was great. Job hunting's not going well, he's having a COVID relationship of seven months but she works a lot at her business and who the heck knows how things go these days--well, who does? I hope they can work it out. Reggie mentioned talking to Linda about me (missing?) and Linda walked by later and I finally actually gave her my name after all these years :P
If the new neighbors are listening in--and let's face, these days they probably are because where else ya gonna go--well, hopefully they heard complimentary things about themselves. Or at least that they don't smoke or cough outside. Anyway, I'm so happy to hear that Sneezy is gone, can't even tell you. NOW I CAN GO OUTSIDE AGAIN SAFELY, or at least on my patio.
To immortalize RBG, I did the following:
Writing exercises for the day:
10 Questions: 3. Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you? The only milestone is, of course, the coronavirus....I went from December 31 to August 15 before seeing my mother again. I saw her for an hour in her driveway during a heat wave, trying to keep six feet apart with masks on, and she kept asking to hug or to go out to eat and I had a hard time saying NO to her once, much less multiple times, much less when I didn't want to say no at all! I can't say I enjoyed or felt better about the experience, but at least she did. I hate seeing people while having to stay distant from them. You can't forget about the virus while you do that.
Supplemental Question: How has the COVID-19 pandemic experience affected your relationships with your family members, near and far? I haven't heard from too many family members--just a few. Haven't heard from the ones nearest to me physically at all. I am still in fairly regular communication with my mom, but have only seen her physically once all year and it was really difficult to stay distant and safe. I've always been distant from most of my relatives (well, other way around really) so that's not a shocker, but you'd think we'd try ONE family Zoom for Easter or something, but noooooooo. Mom is at least happily distracted with her boyfriend.
30 Day Create Your Future Self, Day 6: Today's lecture references the virus and how people have a pessimistic view of the future, which probably means you don't have a very powerful present. "Your present is probably in the form of distraction, addiction, depression." I like how he says you need a goal/specific outcome to help you find a path to get somewhere. You need a path to creating that goal, and if you don't have one, you won't feel motivated to do anything. (HEAR HEAR, THAT IS EXACTLY IT.) You need to have hope or else you won't have agency, you won't have a goal or goal directed action. But in order to have hope, you need these three things: (a) a view of your future that you want, (b) the sense of agency that you can do it, and (c) the pathway to getting there. You need a specific goal that turns into a process, and within that process is your pathway. And here's the part Shanna would like: "Just because your future self is way far away doesn't mean that you have to take a linear pathway to get there, there are nonlinear ways to get anywhere." "What's the one outcome that if it were true, your future self would be possible? What is the outcome that if it were true, everything else you want is possible?"
-What is your Keystone Goal? What's the one outcome that, if it were real, would allow you to do everything else you want to do? I'd say "get famous for performance of some kind," but I'm not looking for fame these days. So.... get as many performing gigs as possible, that's gonna be the goal.
As for online activities, I watched an astrology lecture with an astrologer/psychotherapist named Greg Bogart (I read one book of his I borrowed from my therapist), which was mildly interesting, as he just discussed case studies. I kind of prefer lectures where people tell me how to do my own, as it were, but oh well.
Then I took my first online improv class, "Improv From The Heart" with David Alger of Pan Theatre. I confess I haven't been super into the Pan shows I've seen so far, but this was definitely a different experience. By which I mean it was both the most slow/boring AND, in a sense, the most interesting improv class I ever took. Go figure, eh?
The first, I dunno, 30-45 minutes of it was doing typical improv exercises, like dancing, mirroring each other, counting to 20 by switching who counts them, etc. But then he had us just individually stare at the camera and count to sixty. Slowly. There were ten people in the class, so that was for all of them. For a long time. This was very boring and I only stayed interested by sneakily crocheting that collar off camera to keep count. After I'd done my time (we were supposed to have camera off when not performing), I just started watching videos of RBG's closet while waiting for it all to end. So dull.
And yet....when we finally finished and he said we could ask questions, I just said "Why?" He said, "The hardest thing to do is to be a performer in this space. You have to let yourself be seen." And giving you the counting gives you something to do.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Makes sense. Not that I have issues with that one, mind you, but excellent point.
The other two exercises we did after that were pretty similar: you have to observe someone in the class and then repeat the observations they have about you and vice versa, and then another one that was similar to that about mind reading that I found confusing. This was also pretty dull to sit through watching and not much more fun to actually do--it was fairly clear the last one wasn't my best fun!--but he said the idea behind it was to throw the focus of yourself and onto your partner, to get more intuitive. Pay attention to little units of behavior and become more judgmental because your character has to have reactions to things. The exercise is about developing connection.