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10:10 pm - Tues 9.12.2012
Some Hair And Original Teeth

Still Have Some Hair Left (And Many Of My Original Teeth)

(Watching Parenthood, so starting this entry during commercial breaks...)

Went to the Dentist yesterday, to get that pesky broken left molar pulled.

(When it broke - a week ago Friday afternoon, the result of a bad cavity, I went to Western Dental, since there was one just a couple blocks from my place and I thought I had an "emergency" on my hands. But ultimately, I ended up "doing the deed" at Whittier Dental, where I've gone in the past.)

Going in, I was very nervous about the whole thing, not being a huge fan of pain; one of my two root canals there had been terrifically unpleasant (One of the more physically unpleasant experiences of my life, really).

But actually?

It wasn't that bad.

One thing I hadn't thought much about, this time out, was what a difference being able to breathe through my nose was going to make; In the past, any dental procedure was pretty unpleasant, over-and-above the "pain" involved, because with fingers and instruments and irrigating water obstructing my primary breathing orifice, I felt like I was being waterboarded

I still had a little bit of an "issue" yesterday, but it was comparatively manageable.

As for the "extraction" part of the program?

Well, as promised, there was a lot of "pressure" (The Dentist actually seemed to be standing on the chair at one point for leverage), but I'm happy to report there really wasn't any capital-P pain.

Afterward, I felt relieved it hadn't been as bad as I'd anticipated...but I also felt a sense of sadness; I think there was a low-level "mortality thing" going on, over the idea of "getting older" and "falling apart", that sort of thing (I know you don't have to be "old" to get a cavity, but you know what I mean).

And since this all happened because I only go to the dentist when I absolutely have to - as opposed to getting regular checkups - I felt upset with myself for...I don't know - failing to "take care of myself better", I guess (It's interesting that I have that "issue" about my childhood - wishing people had "taken better care of me" - but as an adult, I haven't really done any better for myself).

I was thinking yesterday about the pop culture "trope" of an old guy expressing how vital he is by saying, "Still have my hair, and all my teeth!". And it bums me out to not be able to say that. But anyway...

They didn't give me any "good drugs", just prescription Ibuprofen and an antibiotic...but I'm fine - haven't experienced anything more than the beginnings of a dull ache towards the end of my second WW meeting this afternoon.

Anyway, now that the deed is done, it's - maybe? - time to look at "the next steps" of perhaps getting veneers and a night-time mouth-guard (To deal with the fact that I grind my teeth at night, and maybe to see if it could help me with my sleeping issues).

Big steps - Big, expensive steps.

I don't know if it's over-stating things to say "I'm tied up in knots over this"...but I definitely feel "pulled in different directions"; I want to do it, and think the potential "up-side" is tremendous, but the idea of taking on an extra $200-a-month-bill for the next two years (When I'm constantly stressed over money as things stand) is daunting, to say the least.

I have a little bit of "breathing room" to ponder the issue, because the dentists office is going to see if they can get my health insurance to cover the mouth-guard (And if not, then see if my dental insurance will cover it), but I don't have as much as I'd initially imagined.

(I wasn't "thinking things through" - I thought I could get the mouth-guard first, paying it off over time if need be, then get the veneers "down the road"...but, logically, the veneers have to come first, because they're going to change the "landscape" of my mouth.)

I've also got some "moral issues" with the decision that I'm not prepared to get into right now...

Let's just say that, while there's no bad time for this to happen, it would be really great if I happened to book a long-running national commercial right now.

Because then I could just do it, without having to feel anxious or guilty about it.

Cause I want to "Just do it".

I really do.


Weds 9/12/12 (8:11 pm)

(Watching Hang 'Em High, one of the lesser Eastwood Westerns...)

When finding out I'd "jumped the gun" by assuming Shameless was done shooting for the coming season, I had a day or two of great relief.

Then it occurred to me - "This doesn't necessarily mean they're going to use you again before the season really is over" - and after the briefest of intervals, I was right back to worrying again.

So I was very happy to get a call from my agent late Tuesday morning - Shameless had called, and they wanted me to come in for the 9th episode (Which I'll shoot sometime between the 24th-2nd).

I'm pleased - Of course the money is important, but it's also very meaningful to me that I get to keep coming back, that this character I've helped create - however small - continues to mean something to the show.

And I'm always amused by what they give me to do (Even the bit in my last episode, while disappointingly small - Just a quick exchange with Macy - made me laugh when I first read it).

And as I've said before, after years of one-shot appearances, it's just really nice to have someplace you can call "home" as an actor.


(9:49 pm)

I've had a number of occasions lately to consider the folly of having "expectations" - good or bad - about anything.

I almost constantly fear bad things that never happen, and - less often - anticipate good things that fall through.

And little to nothing that actually does happen ends up being as good or as bad as I imagined.

(Or as I said on Facebook, "Smart as I think I am, I pretty much never get it right".)

This is something I've thought about before, many times, but I've always gotten hung-up on the impossibility of eliminating what I believe is an innate human tendency.

But in talking to Amy B. about the issue yesterday (Amy B. is one of the WW Leaders I work with, and is something of a Buddhist), she said it's a "practice"; you don't think in terms of "eliminating" having expectations, just in "catching yourself at it"

Do that often enough, consistently enough, and you reach the point where it's just a fleeting thought, and not something that's "running the show".

This isn't a new idea to me, but I've been very resistant to it. In my heart-of-hearts, I want to be perfect - I don't wanna have to "manage my thoughts", I don't want the thoughts to be there in the first place.

But as a strategy for happiness and general well-being, "Wishing I were perfect" clearly hasn't worked out.

It might be time to try something else...

3:10 am - Weds 9/19/07
No Original Thoughts Here
Tues 9/18/07 (3:05 p.m.)

No Original Thoughts Here

A lot of things going through my mind right now...

Once again, I'm thinking I should, every so often, write about other things in here ("Other things" being things other than my day-to-day existence)--mostly just to show you I'm at least aware of a world outside my own small and petty concerns--but then I realize I have absolutely nothing new to add to the public discourse (About Michael Vick, Larry Craig, Britney, OJ, the war in Iraq, The Emmys, etc.).

And that actually makes me sad, about how lacking I am in original thought of any kind.


I own a 1990 Toyota Corolla.

It needs a great deal of work, and I'm in the process of getting a great deal of work done on it.

The whole process makes me feel...tense, because on the one hand, it's a seventeen year old car, and what am I doing, spending all this money on a 17 year old car?

But on the other hand, it's a Toyota, and they have the reputation of running forever if you maintain them (And the work I'm getting done is mostly maintenance work that's been long overdue). And I don't want to spend even more money on another used car right now, when the flow of money from acting has become a trickle (The Monk gig, after taxes and Brett's cut, will keep me going awhile longer, but that's about it).

(And I know some of you would be unhappy with me/worried for me if I bought that motorcycle/scooter I've been thinking about for awhile now.)

I don't like not knowing what to do, and being afraid I'm throwing money down a hole no matter what I do


Now that Monk has come and gone, my thoughts have, immediately, moved on to the next gig, whatever that may be.

I want at least two more co-star gigs before the year's over, and I want them to be good co-star scenes (I also want a guest-star audition or two before the year's out, as unlikely as that might be).

I also want at least one more good national commercial before the end of '07 (Though two or three would be better). I don't want to have to start dipping into my savings just to pay my monthly bills, since there's a reason they're called "savings" (Have I mentioned lately that ArcLight doesn't do much more than just pay my rent?). But more than that, I want to start being able to put money away again, as well as continue paying Mark&Jane and Cary&Kay what I owe them.


Under the heading of "What Are The Odds...?", Vicki called me recently, with the first audition she's booked for me since I signed with her.

The audition was for The Shield.

I love The Shield. It's one of my favorite shows ever, and it would be an acting wet dream of mine to be on the show (I’ve fantasized for awhile now about going “Through The Looking-Glass”, and being on a show I’ve watched as a fan).

The audition was Friday.

And I had the Monk shoot, so I couldn't do it.

Considering how few theatrical auditions I've had, how few theatrical gigs I've booked, and that I've gone for months with no calls from Vicki, and the odds that this would happen seem astronomical.

Yet here we are.

But on the "glass half full" side, if your agent has to call a casting director to say you're not available for an audition, telling them you have a job probably makes an impression.

And I hope this also impresses on Vicki that if she does get me out, I'll book, so it'll motivate her to redouble her efforts on my/our behalf.

...and there's a lot more to write about, but if I did that, I'd be cutting into precious pre-work nap time.



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