Chaos Attraction

Recap Day: November 2017, Section 5

2017-12-27, 8:56 a.m.

November 23: Thanksgiving was very chill. We skipped Turkey Trotting (thank gawd) and watched the parade, eventually went to my aunt’s house and watched partial sections of various movies (they usually change the channel or otherwise stop it while you watch--the only movie I saw in full was Sing, which seemed pretty good but I missed a lot of dialogue), watched the kids acting like 2 and 4-year-olds (boy, my cousin’s gonna love it when they open their gifts and find a toy guitar and toy drum in there....). Dylan smiled a wee bit more than usual, so that’s a yay, and Aidan wanted to help with my yarn. I am happy to report that their giant dog Kane has been through more dog training and was a lot less in trouble/trying to climb in everyone’s laps this time. Unfortunately, Mom snored horrendously in the new bedroom we were sleeping in and I got no sleep at all there. Blech.

November 24: We actually went to Apple Hill (again) and got more apple donuts and apples, and eventually met up with Alicia and family, who were up there getting their tree. The kids were cute and adorable--Aidan pours cider for everyone like a champ (did not spill and he’s four, that’s more than I can say for myself) and Dylan climbed the kiddie tables and played Superman. After picking up various booze at other farms up there (for mom’s boyfriend!), we eventually went up to Grass Valley and the usual fairgrounds crafts fair. We didn’t get a whole lot there--I think we’ve pretty much gotten what we wanted in the various years that we’ve gone. Maybe we won’t go next year, or if we go we’ll just hang out in one or both towns. We attempted to go by Cornish Christmas but the parking was 100 percent full up by 4 p.m., so...never mind. We ended up briefly hitting Nevada City (still pretty damn full, but at least got a parking space there) and went into a few stores before they closed. I was sad that the bookstore and the fairy store are both gone now, but I did hit the toy store and got some earrings and an eco-whatever store and got a few butterfly magnets. We haven’t been there in several years and that bums me out--we need to go by there more often. But when the weather has sucked, Mom hasn’t wanted to drive up there and I can totally agree with that.
Incidentally, the weather today was in the 70’s. Hell if I know how that happened (er, global warming), but it was nice on that day. I wore Christmas leggings and a Christmas knitted short skirt and a short sleeved shirt (Keep Calm and Define Naughty) without freezing. Eventually we went back to Vacaville to go to Boudin, and then we both drove separately back to Mom’s house. Mom’s snoring died down, I guess, because I slept that night. Huzzah.

November 25: Today was Dickens Fair day--we brought along Mary (whow now goes along with us to Woodminster) since she hadn’t been in ages. This year I had a full on outfit more or less--I have a bonnet, a neck ruffle, a fancy blouse, insertable sleeves I made myself to go with the blouse, and a blue skirt (with pockets) to go with the blouse. I looked like I was glowing, one lady said, so huzzah there. I didn’t end up buying anything since I restrained myself from getting fancy hair doodads or any fancy clothes. Mary seemed to like it well enough, but she didn’t seem to be paying that much attention to stuff somehow.
Also, I mentioned yesterday that it was in the seventies? I’m not sure what the temperature was here--at least in the sixties--but usually the Cow Palace is a bit drafty and only somewhat warmer than when you’re outside, and there’s bits that are close to open walls and the like. However, this year with the temperature being warmer and uh, there’s a lot of people bundled up in warm was pretty hot/steamy in there and it made Mary kind of sick and she like, disappeared for an hour to walk around outside while her phone was dying. So...that’s not great. It was a bit of a buzzkill, unfortunately. Now Mom is all “let’s skip both events next year.” Well, I would be fine with skipping the fair in Grass Valley to just go walk around downtown while we can still park at this point, but I like the dressup and environment of Dickens, so I’d rather not skip that. They did have a new Gilbert and Sullivan-themed show about “Trial By Jury”--I think the plot was about a guy who walked out on his fiancee--but I wasn’t so into it. Maybe I just don’t like G&S style? Mary liked it though, so at least someone did (Mom, as usual, slept through it).

November 26:
Well, today was a day of joy. The most exciting thing about it was finally getting new tires. Because after paying $1000 to get the check engine light to go off months ago, I had enough of the credit card paid off so I could add more money to it all over again. I had to get Mom to help me figure out how to do this (I hadn’t done it before) and that led to three hours of screaming, or so it felt like that. She called Costco before they opened and was told something like there’s already a ton of cars in line and it’ll be a 2.5 hour wait (I guess we were supposed to just sit in the car?) before we could even get in, or something like that. So she freaked the hell out and harassed me out the door...and uh, it boiled down to “hey, drop off the car and we’ll call in a few hours.” Also, it only came to $500, so that wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.

But, they never called me when they said they would and Mom started flipping out and eventually called them and they were all, “we called hours ago.” I had to show her my phone multiple times to prove that no, they didn’t attempt to call me and she didn’t believe me one bit anyway. Gawd. Then she proceeded to yell at me about my driving for like an hour in the Costco parking lot while I tried to get gas.

You know what? I despise asking for help. I consider it shameful, even. Why? Because well, of Mom. I’ll get my help if I ask, but it comes with hours of screaming and upset and panicking and nitpicking attached. I wish to god I didn’t have to pay that price of dealing with her upset. But at least hopefully I won’t die of bad tires and driving in rainy weather now.

Oh, and I am feeling very tired of hearing about her friend Pat and the nitpicking she does on everyone this weekend. Then Pat proceeded to call Mom today and since Mom insists on always sticking everyone on speakerphone, I got to hear her complain about me by saying something like, “well, she finally got around to doing it, she should have done it months ago.” I then yelled, “I DIDN’T HAVE THE MONEY, I HAD TO PAY $1000 JUST TO GET THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT TO GO OFF AND THEN I HAD TO PAY THAT OFF SO I COULD PUT MORE MONEY ON, WHAT WERE YOU EXPECTING ME TO DO, THEY DON’T LET YOU PAY IN INSTALLMENTS.” That shut her up.

Oh yeah, and hey, remember the dead bird story? Well, Mom has had some mouse in her garage for ages and she put out traps. I have been wondering what the hell is gong to happen if she ever actually catches anything because I don’t think she’s gonna want to deal with the corpse. Sure nuff, she just caught a mouse and was too grossed out to want to deal with it. (If anyone wondered what would have happened had I told my mom there was a dead bird at Meg’s, I guess now we know.) She kept telling me she wanted me to help her with this and I uh, did not want to. After debating calling Mauricio, she eventually insisted on dealing with it while I was still at the house. She got a shovel and a bag (I advised her to keep the bag literally as close to the corpse as possible, don’t just go through the garage with it on the shovel assuming you won’t drop it), scooped it up, put it into the bag, and walked it out to the trash. So there you go.

When I got home, I started working on this here NaNo novel again--I’m at 47k. I’m usually done before Thanksgiving (or at least hit word count), but Thanksgiving is early this year, and at this point I am now caught up with documenting the rest of the year I missed and am writing what happened today. Hopefully this continues for Holidailies--btw, I had no idea they are now doing a February and October version of it! Wow. I also decided to document all of my holiday clothes and figure out a schedule for wearing them so they all get worn at least twice in the next month. Is that weird? Uh, yes, but what the hell. I have two pairs of leggings, a vest, a skirt, a light-up apron, six T-shirts, one half sleeve shirt, one long sleeved shirt, and ten sweaters, though the most decorated ones that I did myself usually just come out for special occasions. Perhaps this seems excessive?

November 27:
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this here too much so far, but the teacher of this class is putting on a show called “Gumbo” in February. As far as I can tell it’s some kind of mixed bag variety show and he picks a theme and people (I thinik?) come up with their own things to perform for it.

The flyer says:
“Gumbo is a musical theatre variety production that celebrates the “Spirit of Diversity.” It interweaves the many types of performing art skills (music, drama, dance, song, spoken word, roller blading, hula hooping) into one delicious dish. This year, Gumbo’s theme explores gender. The conversation regarding gender roles, biases, equality, and identity is so very important for our campus and for our world.

Audition material: Please prepare a 2 minute audition piece that reflects both your artistic skills AND some aspect of gender.”

I asked him about this and it sounds like you pretty much make up your own thing. He said he wanted some historical stuff--he mentioned Abigail Adams’s “Men would be tyrants if they could” quote--and then I was all, OH LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE PETTICOAT AFFAIR!, which is a thing I got obsessed with during my presidential reading spurt last year.
However, trying to boil all of that drama down into 2 minutes is...HAHAHAHAH NOT HAPPENING. I debated trying to do so in a song parody or something (clearly Cynthia’s song in “Beautiful” is lingering in the brain), but really, is singing my strong suit? Like, I don’t even have sheet music or know how to handle such. Plus, see above “how do I boil that down in 2 minutes.”

The other thing I have been considering is doing some kind of spoken word poetry on the tyranny of having to say sorry all the time at work. But (a) it’s not like I do a whole lot of that in life, (b) it’s not exactly an upper now, is it?

Then last night when I was supposed to be going to sleep, I got the bright idea to do a monologue from the point of view of Margaret Eaton. Because I’ve read her autobiography (dictated by her), and lord knows she was a dramatic character. I could put together a monologue just based on that! So today I ran off to the library to get the book and try to work on that... uh, in between memorizing three pages of lines and answering shit tons of questions and scoring the script, I guess.

While I was there, I picked up the library copy of “A Girl’s Guide to Chaos,” which is what I first did monologues out of way back in the day when I was still trying to do acting here. In fact, one of the monologues in that book is the one I did where the woman said to me, “Is this your *first* audition?” It wasn’t. I said it was and shamefully crept off the stage, having realized that apparently, I just sucked. I thought I was fabulous and I somehow sucked so bad she thought I’d never tried to be on a stage before. This is when I came to the conclusion that apparently you had to have been born with acting talent and I... had not been.

I wonder if I do those monologues again, would I be any different? Better? Hell if I know. But I haven’t seen that many monologues that I deeply love (this play and Tassie), so...I’ll keep a copy on hand, just in case.

As for class: the later we get into the class, the less it seems like we do much of anything? Like today it was all, turn in your papers, do some weird warmups, and then hey, everyone go rehearse for your scene! Get off book today! (YEAH, RIGHT.) I think the rest of the classes are going to go similarly except for one day he wants to watch a DVD for an hour and another day is going to be the exit exam.

So my scene partner and I worked on the blocking and trying to come up with creative things to do in the scene. This scene has a lot more scene directions in it than the last one that we have to accomodate for, which is a bit annoying, but we’re making it work. I am really feeling this scene because it’s about a girl who wants to be Somebody, but isn’t managing to actually be anything other than yet another loser clerical worker--and meanwhile she’s friends with a girl who’s getting married and moving on. I can relate to that all too well. I was actually getting kinda verklempt while doing the scene, so I think I should do that, be kind of near tears in it. That should be interesting. I’m not really into doing drama (I am all about the comedy), but I can do this.

November 28:
Last day of NaNo! Or at least I plan on finishing today, anyway.

I got a weird phone call at work where the girl was very snippy/weird/defensive at me right from the getgo. I gather she was giving the student who answered the phone trouble and insisted on only talking to a staff person and then she immediately asked for all of my information and my boss’s information so she could like, pre-emptively complain about me...I also asked for stuff like her ID number and she claimed to not have one, and then I was all, okay, so did you graduate from here or not (it sounds stupid, but sometimes I get calls from people who haven’t) and then she mouthed off that she went to Yale...she was a real peach. However, thankfully her issue was easily solved and then she was sweet as pie afterwards. That’s a relief because my boss is out this week and I was thinking “aw fuck, she’s gonna get me fired.” I sent him an e-mail warning him anyway just in case.

Also, one of our former employees came back to visit today. She was a student employee who actually landed a full time job...and then she got another job in a department that I’ve heard Very Bad Things about, but said bad things were stuff I heard like 15 years ago, so it was all, “well, let’s hope...” Nope! The job turns out to be terrible! She says everyone who possibly can leave is leaving, nobody knows how to do anything so you have to figure it out yourself, and at one point she said, “I’m supposed to be coming back from lunch by now but my supervisor isn’t there so who cares.” My student assistant kept saying something to her in Spanish and later told me she was asking, “Worse than here?” “Yes.” I cracked up laughing and was all, “Yeah, that’s what I thought that was!” I’d wanted to ask her myself but figured given the details she’d given that the answer was yes. How sad is it when you find somewhere worse than here? I really hope she finds something else...and feel bad for her for jumping into a worse mess than here.

Okay, back to NaNo: I was reading Richard’s (a writer friend) blog today and he said he was giving up on his NaNo novel for the year--he was way behind, he wasn’t enjoying this one, etc. He’s been doing it as long as I have (minus one year) and mentioned having burnout after having been doing it for all these years. He’s not sure if he’ll be back next year. And I was all, ME TOO.

So here’s what I wrote back:

I hear that. I’ve been pretty burned out on NaNo for years now-I don’t even care about going to the meetups or posting to forums any more. I was seriously considering quitting this year except for not wanting to break my streak either. I have also had whopping “I don’t care about writing” in the era of Trump, I haven’t written a journal entry since January officially. (And as for my novel idea I mentioned at writing group, upon rereading that book, I quickly lost my taste for the idea. I’m not in the mood to write about a poor little rich girl doing philanthropy right now, and one of her love interests is really a giant damn turd.)

So I ended up just writing down/trying to recreate all the lost journal entries I would have done this year were I not obsessively reading Trump news every night. This has actually gone really well, I’m all caught up, and hopefully will hit 50k tonight. I think I’ll even be able to do Holidailies this year. It’s helped to get me back in writing groove big time. Added bonus: pulling this off while taking a class that has a lot of homework/writing at times.

So while the last few years I’ve been circling the drain about NaNo burnout myself, at least I got some writing done, is how I’m thinking of it. It’s a little late now for this idea, but I think if you’re having a problem like you were this year, try switching to writing or working on something else rather than plugging away at what you’re hating. You’re not like me in that you only have 1 “novel” idea a year, you usually have other things you could do. Really, the goal is to get writing done, so get it done however you can. They have “NaNo Rebels” for a reason!

And now recapping the rest of this year is DONE. Whew. Finally.

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