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8:07 PM - Sun 4.22.18

Life Is (Not) A Constant Struggle

I've tried to write in here a number of times since my last entry.

But for whatever reason, it just wouldn't "stick'. I got in this cycle where I'd write, read what I'd written, decide it sucked, then delete the whole thing in anger and frustration.

(And when I say "anger and frustration", I mean serious anger and frustration - The last time, between frustration with my writing, and anger at some stuff I'd written about failing to "reign myself in" on the food/weight front, I had an episode of hitting myself that almost had me calling my therapist, because I was having a hard time stopping myself.)

So tonight, I'm writing, and whatever happens...happens. The writing still may suck, but I'm not going to punch myself in the head about it.

From what I've written so far, you might guess that I've not been in the best "head space" since my last entry.

And you would be right - For whatever reason (Mostly acting woes, but also the aforementioned unhappiness with my eating and weight issues, along with a side order of "I'm gonna die poor and alone, and my life will have meant nothing" anxiety), I've been struggling a lot of late.

It was clear, in retrospect, that I'd been marinating in my own unhappy, angry, and frustrated juices for quite a while when, on Friday, something that should have just been just an annoyance - having to postpone/reschedule a pest control thing because I hadn't understood how fully I had to prep for it (Or that me and Hamlet had to be out of the apartment for "at least" two hours while it was going and for some time after) - left me so furious at myself that, again, I thought I'd have to call my therapist in order to stop smacking myself around.

(The return visit from the pest control guy, which I'm on the hook for to the tune of $125, half the coast of this heavy-duty procedure, is scheduled for this coming Friday.)

But all that said - And I'm already feeling judgmental about how much time I've spent writing about this bullshit - things haven't been all bad.

Having to pull everything out of my kitchen drawers, for example, motivated me to continue the piecemeal process of getting rid of crap that started a couple months back (This borderline hoarder has now gotten rid of some books, a ton of magazines, a fair amount of old clothes, a dozen water bottles and travel mugs, and earlier today, dropped off three old cell phones to the recycling bins at the Best Buy near where I work).

And while I feel some anxiety over getting rid of this stuff - whether thinking I should have read all those old Hollywood Reporters that were collecting dust, that I might need one of those old phones "in an emergency", or that I'm going to immediately need some article of clothing I haven't worn in years and just got rid of for my very next audition - the stronger feeling is relief and a small measure of pride in myself for pushing-back against my "hoarder tendencies".

And speaking of pushing-back against "tendencies", on Wednesday, I had dinner with a group of strangers.

Since I have, on rare occasion, donated small amounts of money to liberal causes, I get a lot of progressive newsletters/junk mail.

And some weeks back, one of those newsletters invited me to sign-up to participate in one of the Embrace LA dinners being scheduled across LA, to talk with strangers of various stripes about race and community and what-not.

Now, social engagements with complete strangers are high on my list of "things I don't like to do".

Add to that some light concern about showing up to a discussion of race as possibly the only old straight white guy in the mix, and the very idea of going to this thing just made me anxious.

So I signed up for it.

And to my surprise - Not sure why I was surprised, but I was - I got a confirmation a week or two later.

The dinner was in nearby Echo Park, at the home of an older woman who had an art studio, and wanted the space to become a salon for play readings and performances...and I guess dinners where strangers get together to discuss race.

Even though I present as a very outgoing, engaging guy, I always worry about social awkwardness, having nothing to say and/or not knowing what to do with myself, but the organizers of the event did a good job of setting up the way things were going to go, and giving enough direction to things that we weren't just on our own as a group to spontaneously have an interesting/productive conversation about race and community.

Turned out I was the only old white guy there, but it wasn't any big deal - It's not like I had to stand in for "white privilege" or anything like that.

Though that said, afterward I was a little worried that I'd presented myself as more racist than I am (I operate on the assumption that, as a white person in America, "we're all a little bit racist") - when talking about moving to LA and my first impressions of the city, I described one of my adjustments being that I grew up in an all-white town, had never experienced being the only white person in a crowd of people, and found those experiences in LA a little disconcerting (But just to be clear - In the past 17 years, I've gotten over it).

Afterward, a couple people commented on my "bravery" and "courage" in coming to the event - I'm telling myself they weren't just thinking "He's really uncomfortable around ethnic people, yet here he is!", but that they also considered, as I did, that a white person showing up at an event about race, might feel uncomfortable or defensive about just where that conversation might go.

It ended up being a nice night, even if I'm not sure that it really "did anything" - I feel a little bit like the people that would sign up to have dinner with a group of strangers to talk about race issues aren't really the people who need to be gotten together with other people to talk about race issues, if you follow my drift.

(But I signed up to be told about future events - Not just future dinners, but opportunities to do stuff in the community. And I also signed up to be told about any events the Host, like play readings and such. So while it's possible this might just be a novel "one-off" thing I did, there's also the possibility that something more could come of it.)

In acting news, while I'm still not having as many auditions as I would like (Particularly theatrical auditions), I can't say that nothing is happening - In the first three weeks of this month, I've had four auditions, which is as busy as things have gotten so far in 2018.

And while I haven't booked anything so far this year, the new season of Bosch dropped recently, so it was gratifying to be able to report that news on my social media, to have some people see it and comment favorably/be excited to see me, and to watch it myself and feel like I came off all right (I'm in the 6th episode, then have a phone conversation with "Bosch" himself in the following episode - I recorded the phone call while shooting episode 6, but it was still fun to kinda/sorta "act" with Titus Welliver.

(Nice to just have a reminder that, every so often, I book acting gigs, and then show up on TV. And while I'm trying not to give it too much thought, I can't help but think, "If they get another season, maybe they'll need a certain ballistics expert again...".)

In health news, while I struggle with weight and food - and have the belly to prove it, to my horror - I've done a pretty good job of sticking with a modest routine of, in addition to Zumba, weight-lifting/resistance band exercises, push-ups (mostly "cheaters", but am starting to experiment with real ones) and planking.

And while I was wrestling with some frustration - "What do I have to do, and how long do I have to do it, before I'm gonna start seeing any results?" - I recently noticed my arms, while still thin, definitely have "definition" that wasn't there before (And was proud enough of that fact that I recently Instagrammed a picture showing off one of those "defined" arms).

Am hoping actually seeing some results from my efforts will help me get control over my food (And thus my weight), so I can be proud of my appearance in general, rather than a couple individual body parts.

And in retirement news (Don't get me wrong - I have no plan or interest in "retiring", but fear that life/"The Biz" might someday "retire" me against my will), I actually called the Motion Picture and Television retirement home in Woodland Hills recently, to find out what the qualifications are, how soon I can "get on the list" (If I can "get on the list"), etc.

I left a message, and they got back to me a day or two later - They said that if I needed assistance, they might be able to help me, but if I was calling about residency in the home, I was a couple years early to even inquire - They told me to call back when I turn 60 (Apparently, you can't actually get in till you're 70).

I feel extremely doubtful that I'll meet whatever initial financial requirements are necessary (unless lightning strikes and I book a series or something). But that said, I was proud of myself for "taking the bull by the horns" and calling, instead of just impotently worrying (The nice thing I've heard about the place? If you can get in, they don't kick you out if/when you run out of money).

Well, there are other little things that have made me happy recently, that have snuck in around those big unhappy moods (ex. I took a couple shirts in to have missing buttons sewn on, so it's been nice to have those "back in the rotation"), but I think you get the idea - I'm struggling, but not all the time.

And that seems as good a note as any to end on...


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