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12:20 PM - Fri 12.26.14
A Xmas Story (2014 Edition)

A Xmas Story (2014 Edition)

(Currently in the latter stage of binge-watching Oz, a 90s-era HBO show about life in prison. I've been enjoying it, but at the same time, am eager to finish it, so I can "get on with my life", such as it is. But anyway...)

Not ready to say "this has been a better holiday period than most", because 1) the holidays aren't over yet, and, 2) I've been caught off-guard in the past by a wave of depression hitting right after the holidays.

But I am ready to say I enjoyed Xmas day.

Tim G. had invited me to come over to his place on the day, but I opted to just hang out with Howard (That's no comment on Tim, at all. He's a great guy, and I enjoyed doing Thanksgiving with him last year. But when I found out Howard didn't have a Xmas thing going on, spending the day with the guy I spend most of my time with throughout the year seemed a no-brainer).

We saw a matinee of Into The Woods at the Vista (The ticket my gift from Howard), then had dinner at Fred62; enjoyed the movie, enjoyed the food, and enjoyed the conversation, so it was pretty much a big "win" in my book.


Sun 12/28/14 (11:45 pm)

This Xmas, while I had the usual angst over how the day itself would play out - though the fun I had with Howard this year has me thinking to make "dinner and a movie with someone" (If there's a "someone" available) my own little "Xmas tradition", and skip the "who's-gonna-invite-me-where" drama - the bigger issue this year was not having money.

In a word, I'd like to be extremely generous with my holiday gift-giving - lavish, even (And - this just occurs to me - I'd also like to figure out how to give actual, meaningful gifts, which is something I've never felt very good at).

Instead, I give less and less each year, and for various and sundry reasons, that makes me feel pretty crappy (Alternately "stingy" and "poor", and like I'm not really "participating" in Xmas - Which, with the whole "I'm a poor little orphan boy who doesn't have a home" bullshit, is already something of an "issue" for me).

This year I was so freaked about what a bad year it was (With WW struggling for members, and Shameless the only thing that happened with acting) that I wasn't going to do anything for anyone, but that just "didn't sit right", so I decided I would at least buy some gift cards for "the kids" - Aaron and Trevor (My nephews), and Cary's son Donovan - and "call it good".

So I bought three $25 Target gift cards - In better years, I've done $50 cards - but ended up having to "re-gift" some of my own Xmas gift-card swag, when I discovered I'd accidentally put one of the kid's gift cards in my Mom's card (Guess I didn't want to admit what a shitty year it's been by not giving her anything).

And because of the whole "He's the guy I spend most of my time with" thing, I like to do something for Howard.

Selfishly, I didn't want to "use up" any more of my own "Target money" (It's become my "tradition" to combine the cards I typically get for some relatively "big-ticket item" I wouldn't/couldn't get myself), so I "re-gifted" a gift card from ArcLight (Which was more "gift-giving gesture" than actual gift, since whether I "kept" the card or "gave it away", it amounts to seeing a movie at ArcLight with Howard), and a gift-card from Trader Joes (Since there's not one in my immediate neighborhood - I go to Ralphs - but Howard regularly shops there).

As in previous years, people were very generous to me - maybe more generous this year than last, actually - which alternately makes me feel grateful and embarrassed (I suspect at least some of the extra generosity comes from my going on about how badly things were going for me during the year).

Anyway, I hope I'm in a position to "do better" next year (Or, barring that, that I can at least figure out a way to be really thoughtful on a budget - My biggest "gift giving dilemma" is basically, "What do you do when pretty much everyone you know has more money than you?").


Mon 12/29/14 (10:15 am)

I rarely if ever feel like "There's nothing to write about" in here.

My issue, most of the time, is either, "Which thing I'm thinking about do I write about first?", or "How do I write about this thing which is emotionally difficult or embarrassing?". Which connects to the ongoing push/pull between "The desire to reveal" (Because I want you "to know me") and "The desire to conceal" (Because I'm afraid if you do "know me", you won't like me).

But I'm starting down that "writing-about-writing-instead-of-just-writing" rabbit-hole, so let's move on, shall we?

I've been thinking about an entry centered around "What people say to me" (Advice given to me, sentiments about life that stuck with me, etc), but right now, I want to write about what I said to someone recently.

Howard and I, in our post-movie coffee-house conversations, often talk about our shaky finances, our careers, and so forth, and there's a lot of circling around the same basic sentiments.

But we were talking about this stuff recently, and it struck me, regarding issues of finances, work, and career, that "I'm upset with myself for not working harder at things I don't want to do in the first place. Instead, I should be working harder at the acting stuff, not just sitting on my ass, waiting for "my team" to get me auditions".

And "working harder", in the context of an acting career, means 1) Getting more people to know what a delightful human being I am, 2) Getting more people to know what a good actor/fun performer I am, and 3) Working on being a better actor/performer and a more delightful human being.

Yes, in practical terms, I've gotta do something to generate more money (For example, giving the new WW online thing a truly good-faith effort), but the bulk of my energies - such as they are - really need to be applied to get me where I actually want to go.

It's an obvious thing to say, but a much harder thing to do (In order to "work harder", for example, I need to work on having more energy).

But be that as it may, that really needs to be my "guiding principle" moving forward, so that I actually can "move forward".

But speaking of "moving", I've got to start getting ready - I'm seeing American Sniper with Howard (At ArcLight) in a little more than an hour.


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