7:36 PM - Fri 1.27.17
I wrote this down on a piece of scrap paper recently, so apparently I thought it was important - "Used to fantasize about success - Now I fantasize about maintaining a bare minimum of security".
I don't really expect things to get better at this point (On my more optimistic days, I can intellectually acknowledge it's "possible"...but a longer and longer "long shot" as days go by), and I just hope that, somehow, things won't get worse (Which they will, of course, because what lies ahead, for the most part, is aging - if I'm lucky - and death).
(Well, I've certainly gotten off to a cheery start, haven't I?)
Actually, while it's not all sunshine-and-lollipops in my world (With all that aging and death I have to contend with), I've had moments, hours, even days lately where I've felt content enough to pose this hypothetical to myself, "Okay, finances are not an issue, but you never get more than you have right now - you're not going to go hungry or be homeless, but nothing great's gonna happen either. You just get to keep puttering around, living this low-level life till you spontaneously combust or something - would you take that deal?".
(The answer is I'd be tempted - I've been so afraid and anxious about money and "the future" that relief from that fear sometimes seems like the be-all and end-all - but ultimately, I think I'd chafe at a life where I didn't have any big thing to dream about or look forward to, even if my financial future were secure.)
And I think part of what has me on a (mostly) even keel these days is that I've had a commercial audition each of the last four weeks - So I'm kinda/sorta "plying my trade", there's the possibility of booking work that will, at the very least, provide some financial breathing-room, and there's just the fun possibility of "winning a prize".
I've also thought that, while things aren't perfect (I'm not a rich & famous, well-respected actor with a lovely wife, for example), there's been a certain "balance" - I'm working enough to feel like I'm "doing something" and having human contact, but not so much I feel tired and stressed. I have enough personal time to suit me, but not so much I feel bored and lonely. I have enough to do outside of work and home - Zumba, Therapy, the "dance project" with Josh, etc - to feel stimulated, but not so much I feel overwhelmed.
And as I said before, the commercial auditions give me hope (Even if I am starting to feel a little fretful over the lack of anything on the TV front).
My life right now is not "enough" - For example, I might be happy working a low-paying, part-time job at Weight Watchers as I do my little commercial auditions, but my bank account isn't - but at the same time, it's not without its appeal, because it "syncs up" pretty nicely with my (relative lack of) energy.
I've thought about it before, and recently mentioned it to Mark and Jane when we talked - While I'm not content with life as it is, if my dream of being a series regular on a TV show should ever come true, the demands of a regular TV production schedule would be a serious problem in terms of my age/sleep-apnea damaged energy level, and thus, to my ability to perform at peak proficiency (I joked to Mark and Jane, "Cue the development of a late-in-life drug problem...")
We all agreed I would somehow "find a way", hopefully without the use of performance-enhancing drugs, but nevertheless, it would be a genuine hurdle - Having "my dream come true" would come with challenges (But at least they would be fresh challenges - "Who should I hire first - a maid, a cook, or a personal assistant...?" - which would be nice).
Sat 1/28/17 (6:45 pm)
Trump signed an executive order yesterday banning refugees and citizens from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the US, which caused chaos across the country and the world today.
In addition to the inhumanity of refusing refugees, people with Visas and green cards, who've committed no crimes and did everything they were supposed to do, have been detained at Airports across the country (Like LAX, for example), and forbidden to board US-bound flights abroad.
(Just looked at Huffington Post, and apparently, judges have, for now, halted implementation of the executive order.)
I don't want to spend all my time in here litigating Trump's evil, but I don't feel like it's hyperbole on my part to say we are in serious trouble as a nation, maybe the worst trouble I've ever seen, and on multiple fronts.
I feel guilty I haven't done much of anything yet (Beyond start making a small recurring donation to MoveOn.Org), but today's assault on our Democracy firms up my resolve to shift the funds that were paying for my Hulu membership to a monthly contribution to the ACLU (I wish I had more money to give, because there are a lot of worthy organizations out there...but since I don't, I want to get "the most bang for my buck", and the ACLU is established, organized, and fights for civil liberties, which are high on my list of "Favorite Things About The US").
And in the interim, I have to do some serious soul-searching about who I am as a citizen, and what I can do, what I need to do, to try and make things right.
I don't know what to write about next...
The second meeting with Josh - which I've been calling "the dance project" for lack of anything better to call it - was once again a lot of fun.
(My only real "issue" this time was that he had me take off my shoes - I think out of deference to his downstairs neighbor, who came up and bitched about the noise the first time we got together - and it turns out my dancing feet, which are very flat dancing feet, have a strong preference for the cushion-y arch support of shoes.)
Right now, there's no "due date" for turning this into something - like some kind of choreographed performance piece - but I'm enjoying getting together with Josh and "exploring the possibilities". He's coming up with interesting things for me to do, and seems pleased with what I have to offer in terms of movement.
In short, it's fun...and not to put too fine a point on it, but it's been a very long time since I've had honest-to-goodness "fun" in this context (And I don't know if I've ever functioned as a "dancer" before, in this way. Who would have imagined I'd be a dancer at fifty-five?).
Thinking about Ryan a lot lately...
And I mean, a lot.
For some reason, both with Ryan, and my "edibles" connection, I've been caught off-guard by the fact that they - like any business, really - want my ongoing business.
And with Ryan, in particular, I had no business getting involved in that business in the first place - I'm pretty sure I've already said it in here, but it struck me, before my first visit with her that "If this goes badly, I'm going to really regret spending that money, but if it goes really well, I'm going to regret that I didn't have that money to spend in the first place, and certainly don't have it to spend on an ongoing basis".
So she texts me from time-to-time, and some of those times have been to say, "I'm going to be in LA on such-and-such dates - Wanna get together?".
And I do. But I don't. Because I can't.
But it doesn't mean I don't devoutly wish I could. It doesn't mean I don't think about it...and in exquisite detail.
But while I can justify what I did initially - I liken it to going on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation you can barely afford - it doesn't make any sense to make this a "thing" I do, and could very easily get obsessive about, to the tune of maxing out credit cards and putting my rickety financial stability in jeopardy (Because when it comes down to it, the only reason I've survived out here in LA this long - beyond the initial help I got from friends - is that I've always lived within my very limited means. And Ryan, bless her sexy heart, is by no stretch of the imagination, "within my means" - This is a woman whose time is worth hundreds of dollars an hour...and that's when she's offering a discount).
Going back to the expectations I have of my future, it's hard to imagine things get so good for me financially, I can say "Debts are paid, my home set-up is on-point, retirement's good, I'm firing on all cylinders financially - It's 'Ryan Time'...!"
Well, I could go on in this vein, but I think you get the idea - Jim tried caviar and really liked it, then remembered his budget only allows for PBJ (Not a very good analogy, as I think about it, but it's getting late, and I'm too tired and lazy to come up with something more apropos).
Trying to think if there's anything else interesting going on...
In connection with the thing I'm doing with Josh, I'm planning to get together with Thea - my Zumba instructor three days a week - after class on Tuesday, to record a couple of the routines we do (I asked her because it was surprisingly difficult to pull Zumba moves "out of the ether", when I was with Josh, without the benefit of Thea, the music - because I don't know the names of any of the songs - or my fellow Zumba-ers as reinforcement).
I have a slight bit of "performance anxiety" about it, which is dumb, but a bit more "will my knee hold up?" anxiety, which is less dumb (After doing my thing with Josh on Monday, then Zumba that night, things felt a little "iffy" knee-wise, to the point that I was kinda relieved when Thea told me she wouldn't be doing the class downtown the next day - I opted to skip that night, and walk instead). But I'm mostly just looking forward to it - It'll be fun to get to hang out with her one-on-one, and assuming my body holds up, it'll be really fun and challenging to dance with her.
After that recent little wave of literacy I was so pleased and proud of, I've been in a lull, as I ponder what I want to read next (That never seemed to be an issue when I was a kid).
I read a couple chapters of Emma, and liked it well enough, but still "fell off" somehow.
And I continue to read graphic novels on my smart phone via the public library's "Hoopla" app, but that's not the "reading" I had in mind when I wrote about wanting to reconnect with the "voracious reader" I used to be.
Thinking about myself as a "reader" made me recently think of something from my early teenage years - I used to go to a second-hand furniture/junk store in town, because they also sold paperback books.
I was there one day, looking through the books, and the owner patted me on the back for reading.
When I self-deprecatingly said, "It's just junk" - my favorite books at the time were Nick Carter spy novels - he said, "It doesn't matter. You read. It's more than my kids do".
That came to mind because it struck me, as I thought about wanting to get back into being a "Reader", that I didn't for a second think, "I have to read classic literature, and the great philosophers, and only books that are 'good for me'" - If something like that "speaks to me", fine, but I don't have a "required reading list" (And while I'm bright, I don't have any illusions that I'm an "intellectual" - I'm not gonna read out-and-out junk, because life's too short and I'm not a 15-year-old anymore, but like with TV and movies, my tastes are decidedly more middlebrow than intellectual. It's okay if a book makes me think, but I'm really looking for a book to make me feel).
And I guess that's about what there is.
Now I want to do my Spanish before I get any sleepier...
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