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11:00 PM - 08.14.15
Did I Miss Anything?

Did I Miss Anything?

Was pondering why I don't write in here as much as I used to (And why I feel a great deal of active resistance to writing much of the time, even as I, paradoxically, continue to feel the need to do it).

And today it struck me - My general tendency when attempting some creative endeavor (Drawing, playing an instrument, journaling, etc), and hitting a point where I feel creatively "stuck" or frustrated by an inability to "execute" as well as I'd like, is to start avoiding doing that thing.

And I've been frustrated by my writing in here for quite awhile now.

On a long list of "Things I Hate About Myself", "giving up when creatively frustrated or challenged" (instead of "pushing through it") is near the top.

But more on that later...

(In my defense, I did have an entry in the hopper recently that got "eaten" by my computer, but anyway...)

Shitty journaling aside, a lot's happened since my last entry.

A week ago this past Sunday, I had my latest sleep study (I've lost track of how many I've done now. Three? Four?), basically to verify what I already know - I have Sleep Apnea.

From my previous experiences, I knew it was not going to be a great night's sleep, and in that regard, the evening did not disappoint; I imagine I slept more than I realized, but I had a terrible time falling asleep, and felt as if I was awake for hours throughout the night.

During a sleep study, if you do have episodes where you're not breathing (The "apnea" part of "sleep apnea" - your throat relaxes, which blocks your airway, so you stop breathing, and hence, can have hundreds of "mini-awakenings" throughout the night), they come in and hook you up to a CPAP machine, which basically blows air through you, so your throat doesn't close up.

Now, here's the thing I was encouraged about - I definitely slept better with the CPAP than without it (though I still woke up a number of times, and was already awake when they came to get me in the morning). I had some problems breathing through my nose at one point, but mostly, it wasn't bad.

And while I assumed I'd be a mess the following day, dozing fitfully all day in a vain attempt to "catch up on my sleep", I didn't end up napping at all, and didn't feel any worse than usual (And I assume that was because I had the CPAP on for a good chunk of the night).

So anyway, that happened.

Next, I have to make an appointment with my Dr, and we go from there.

One thing I'm interested in discussing with him is if I can get in on an investigational study - they're working on a new therapy where, instead of a CPAP machine blowing air up your nose, an implanted device electronically stimulates the hypoglossal nerve, which sends a message to the muscles of your tongue and throat to stay on the job, and keep your airway open.

Might sound extreme - It's a one-hour surgical procedure, and I'd have a "device" in my chest - but if would work for me and mean not having to fuck with a mask and tubing and what-all, I think I'd like to do it.

But if CPAP is the thing, I'll make it work.

I have to.


Shot my first episode of the new season of Shameless a week ago yesterday.

I'd been looking forward to it for awhile, and even though it was a little disappointing not having much to do (I had three lines in a group scene), it was still fun to be back...not to mention comforting to know a nice check will be coming my way in the very near future.

That was the first episode of the season, and while it's no guarantee of anything, it made me feel hopeful that I might be in a good number of episodes this season (That's one of those things where I say to myself, "Jim, you're setting yourself up for disappointment here" - like hoping I'll make the Chicago trip again this year - but I just can't seem to help myself).

The day before I shot the first episode, I was told I was in the second episode as well.

And yesterday afternoon I got a call from production - I'm going to be doing some singing in the episode!

Then they sent an MP3 of the song in question (Which, happily, I already knew, though it'd been a long time since I'd heard it. And while I know the tune well enough, I didn't really remember the lyrics, beyond the title).

It's too high for me (I'm a bass-baritone, so most rock songs are), but for what I'm doing in the episode, I think that's fine - I've decided, for convenience's sake, that Kermit, like Yours Truly, can carry a tune, but isn't a capital-s "Singer" (What I haven't figured out yet is what kind of "performer" Kermit is, or if he has a sense of "performance" at all. Hard to imagine he's as confident as Yours Truly, but who knows? In his heart-of-hearts, maybe Kermit - like Yours Truly - is a rock star).

Anyway, I was super-excited to get this news, because it felt like the antidote to my disappointment over having so little to do in the first episode - "Cool! I'm going to get whatever lines I get in the scene, and I get to sing!"

Then I got the script.

I don't have any lines.

(What was I saying before about "setting yourself up for disappointment"?)

But it's still something different.

And I still get paid.

Anyway, I'm shooting that on Monday afternoon (Which is another nice thing - It's my day off, so no having to scramble to get someone to work for me at Weight Watchers!).


Was pretty unhappy when I got the IRS thing some weeks back, saying I owe $1100 in taxes from 2013.

(To give you a sense of what a bite that is, I currently have about $3100 in my checking account.)

I'm not a big "numbers guy", I'm not terribly well-organized, and I do my taxes online (Which means there's no one to call for help - "The IRS is coming to get me about taxes for 2013! I barely remember 2013! What do I do?").

But I knew the "taxable retirement income" bit they quoted was wrong, because I'd rolled over my IRA into my 401K at work, specifically to avoid this sort of unpleasantness.

So earlier this week, I sent back the form contesting that bit, with documentation from my credit union - and I've kind of decided that's "good enough", that when they send the amended statement back, I'll just make arrangements to pay whatever the difference is, and "call it good".

...though it does strike me that this action gives me a little more time, and maybe there's some way to knock a little more money off my bill (They're also saying I failed to report a bunch of W2s, which I don't understand at all - Why would I have said, "Well, I'm going to report these W2s, but these other W2s? Fuck those!"? I just think that, for some reason, I must have never gotten them, and was too disorganized to know the difference)

I guess we'll see what happens...


Got an email from the LA Bookpals program - the volunteer reading thing I did last year - saying it's time to get back in touch with our schools to make arrangements for the coming year.

I enjoyed doing it earlier this year, but was feeling pretty stressed over the challenge of finding three or four books to read each week through the entire school year (As opposed to just two months or so - I began my assignment earlier this year back in April, and was done in June).

But I decided I was going to offer my services again, and just "do my best" to come up with suitably hilarious books.

So I called the school, and the contact person is not at there anymore, and neither is one of the two teachers I worked with.

So I've contacted the principal - haven't heard back yet - and we'll see what's what.

I assume they'll want me back - cause why wouldn't you? - but if she doesn't get back to me, that would be okay too.

It's interesting that my difficulties in finding books I think are good enough almost trumps the fun I had doing it, and the ostensible good I was doing for the kids...but here we are (Once again, I clearly don't like having to try too hard. To my chagrin there's something about struggle, of any kind, that I really don't like).


Sat 8/15/15 (1:00 pm)

Still thinking about my writing in here...

Letting a lot of time go by before I write an entry might serve a purpose - If I'm ambivalent about how "honest" I want to be in here (Or frustrated about my inability to express complicated thoughts), I just wait till a lot of "news" piles up, and my writing in here becomes (Or stays) just about making sure "I haven't missed anything".

And I end up missing everything.

Gotta work on that...


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