9:03 PM - Fri 8.21.15
During a recent fight with my brother Tony, on Facebook (That started over the Iran deal. Which I only vaguely even give a shit about, truth-to-tell), he invited me at one point to "suck a bag of dicks".
I totally wanted to go into Louis CK's hilarious routine about that particular insult - "Am I supposed to just suck on the bag, or do I have to suck each individual dick? Do I have to make them all cum?" - but I just opted to insult his intelligence for such a lame insult (I went to that "You're not too bright, are you?" well a lot...not because I really believe it, but because he seems pretty defensive about it).
It felt a little sad, that it was the first time we'd really communicated in I-don't-know-how-long, and all we could manage was to argue and insult each other (And we were trying pretty hard to "go for the jugular" - He was making fun of my journal, and how boring/depressing/pathetic it is to read about how my life isn't working out, I was pointing out the wide gulf between his supposed "Christianity" and his conservative beliefs, and throwing anything else we could think of into the mix to make the other person mad).
And then a weird thing happened - suddenly, the whole thing just seemed really funny.
I went from feeling like my head was going to explode with rage, to literally laughing out loud as I was reading his responses.
And he seemed to feel it too - I'm not sure what turned things around, but I kind of think it was Tony, and not Yours Truly.
But in any case, even though I have never been a "brother" till now, we had an exchange at that point which struck me as exactly how two lifelong brothers would talk to each other.
I love you, fuckface.
I'm still kind of marveling over the exchange.
It's not the kind of dynamic I've ever experienced before - where you call someone stupid and hypocritical, they call you pathetic and sad, then you have a good laugh about the whole thing.
I used to be a voracious reader.
I was always reading. And if a book wasn't handy, I'd read whatever was - the cereal box at the breakfast table, the bottle of shampoo in the shower, or anything else I could find.
It was hugely important to me - to feed my imagination, to ease my pain, to figure out who I was (I think that's why I was very big on biographies when I was young) - and it was instrumental to my seeing myself as "smart" (I had to be a smart guy, after all, because I read all the time).
But over time, that voracious reading habit ebbed, then all but died, a casualty of the Internet (And maybe of the increasing fatigue brought on by age and the worsening effects of unaddressed sleep apnea).
While I quit seeing myself as an "intellectual" a long time ago - probably when I first started working at Schuler Books, and met actual intellectuals - I still thought I was "smart" for a long time after that, for whatever that was worth.
But it kept bothering me that I didn't really read anymore, that I often couldn't remember the last time I'd read a book. And it ate at my self-esteem, and my sense of who I am (A person who thinks, a person who reads, who is "drinking in" knowledge, and vicarious experiences, and other people's thoughts and feelings).
So I'm happy to report that I seem to be reading again.
I recently read Dr Sleep, Stephen King's sequel to The Shining, Stitches, by Anne Lamott, and am currently some ways into Sick In The Head, Judd Apatow's book of interviews with stand-up comics.
Not exactly intellectual heavy-lifting, but that's not really the point - As I said, I gave up identifying as "intellectual" a good twenty-five years ago.
I don't know that I'll ever again be able to attach the word "voracious" to my reading habits.
But I'm reading.
And that's good.
It was bothering me recently that I wasn't following up on two things, relatively simple to address, that would be to my benefit.
Thing 1: Filing a claim with SAG-AFTRA regarding the first commercial I shot this year (The credit union spot where I played a singing banker).
Don't want to get into the whole thing, because that would be really fucking boring, but basically, one of the other actors in the spot found out a link to the spot had been on the company's member website, and thus had been used on the Internet, without the actors having been paid for that usage.
That actor told another actor, who then told me.
And the remedy to this situation was to fill out a simple, one-page form, and file it with SAG - It's a one-page form that could potentially mean a $970 paycheck, maybe more.
Thing 2: I wasn't following up on the sleep study I did a few weeks ago, which was basically just a matter of making an appointment with my doctor.
So a few days ago, I posted a FB status to the effect that I didn't understand why I wasn't getting these things done.
And then I got them done - the next day, I called and made a doctor's appointment (for next Friday), and filled out the claim form (Which I dropped off at SAG earlier today).
I could go on about why I was dragging my feet, but ultimately, that doesn't really matter; the thing that's interesting to me here is that, apparently if I publicize my "To Do" list, even if no one really gives a shit, I'm way more likely to actually do those things.
Good to know.
I'm suddenly not sure if I wrote about shooting the second episode of Shameless in my last entry, or if that was in an aborted draft of this entry.
If I haven't written about it yet, and you find yourself interested, "stay tuned", and I'll open with that next time...
(For the record, it was a lot of fun!)
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