9:09 PM - Sat 12.29.18
I think that thought often. But today I thought that thought around 4:00 pm or so but did nothing about it till now (While I'm not sure this is the activity to be prioritizing right now, at least it is activity. So that's...something.).
And now I want to beat myself up about my procrastination/lethargy/whatever-the-fuck-it-is, or else go down a wormhole of trying to "explain" it.
But let's skip it.
In my last entry, I wrote about the holidays, and how "Xmas 2018" has been for me "emotionally"...but I forgot a couple things:
1. I really enjoyed the Zumba class holiday dinner (Which is becoming an annual affair). That was on the 14th at Palermo, an Italian restaurant on Vermont.
I don't think I understood, starting Zumba a couple years ago, how it was going to end up being, not just good exercise, but someplace where I would belong, a comfortable environment where I'm a known quantity and have made a number of friends (It's a friendly group in general, with a lot of smiles and friendly chit-chat- and a couple attractive women who are very good dancers who I enjoy watching, make of that what you will - but with Thea, Beverly, Carlos, and Salta, particularly, I've found good-hearted people I actually like).
2. I went to my first ballet (At least I think it was my first full ballet) with Kristie D., a casual friend and fellow performer from Lansing (Who recently moved to CA). And it was The Nutcracker, so basically the Xmas-time ballet.
(It was a fun afternoon...but she lives in Anaheim, and I'm in LA. And seeing as how she's a total babe and a very different person than I am, I'm pretty sure she was not seeing me as a potential romantic interest but rather, a comfortable, non-threatening, face-from-home to go to a show with - she basically texted as much - and I'm not really down with that, long-term. So I think this was likely a one-off. But a one-off still worth doing.)
3. The Santa Fe trip, while not really having anything to do with Xmas, Served the function of me kinda/sorta "getting away for the holidays", which I never do (And the party Saturday night was a "Solstice Party", so holiday-wise, there was that).
Thought I needed to mention that stuff because it all affected how I've felt during the holidays. I'll probably always wish, to some extent, that I could just close my eyes sometime in December and wake up on January 2nd...but I didn't feel as isolated and "outside-of-things" as I have some years.
In fact, I actually had...fun.
The big news since my last entry is that I had my last audition of the year Friday (A straight-to-callback thing for Hyundai), and I'm - wait for it - on "avail".
Another fucking "avail"...!
Why won't anyone ever just book me for something outright? Why the fuck can I only make it to "First Runner-Up"?
I've had a number of avails this year, none of them have gone my way, and it's been pretty damned frustrating.
But this one has an extra frustrating wrinkle:
I have jury duty next week (The gig, were I to get it, shoots some time from the 5th to the 8th. And Jane R. is coming during that time-frame, so we can do more of our documentary stuff).
One of the reasons I landed on this week for jury duty is that I postponed it previously, then picked a date that - I thought - was very unlikely to conflict with anything.
Yet here we are.
If I were to book the gig, fine. I'd happily, joyfully postpone jury duty. But looking at the way things have gone, I don't expect that's gonna happen - What I think is gonna happen is that no one will tell me anything, which means I probably didn't book it, but I'll have to play it safe and postpone my jury duty, anyway.
And once I do that, then I"ll be told I didn't book it.
New Year's Day 2019 (12:05 pm)
Had the option to go on a whale-watching cruise with Kristie D. today, but opted not - It's over 60 miles away, and I just didn't think I'd be up for all that driving, particularly when I would likely be up late New Year's Eve (In general, it's hard for me to get excited about activities where the drive to and from the place will take as much or more time than the activity itself).
(I wish Kristie, and the activities she brings to my attention, were both closer to me...)
New Year's Eve was relaxed and fun. I was back at Salta's place (She lives just blocks away), but it was a very different affair from Xmas Eve - instead of a lot of people I didn't know, it was a smaller group of people I mostly did know, which is my preference these days (Though don't get me wrong - I had a good time on Xmas Eve...eventually).
I was glad when I suggested Salta invite our friend Carlos that he was able to come. I think it was nice for him and definitely added something to the evening for me.
Well, I just called about jury duty tomorrow, and I don't have to go in.
It would be nice if I found out, yea or nay, on the commercial tomorrow. I'm assuming it will be "nay" because otherwise, I would have heard by now - though the callback being on a Friday, over a long holiday weekend, adds extra uncertainty to the mix.
But basically, I'm hoping either I'll book the spot and have to postpone, or not book it, but at least get the year's jury duty obligation out of the way. I just don't want to lose out on two fronts.
(After today's call, I've started thinking it would be lovely if I booked the gig and didn't get called in for jury duty, which now seems possible - particularly the last part. I just don't want to end up having to postpone for nothing, only to risk dealing with this same shit all over again a couple weeks/months from now. But anyway...)
Well, while this has been, on the whole, a better-than-average holiday season, there has been a sad - and for me, confusing - note in the past week or so...
I called my mother on Xmas eve day, thinking I would try to keep my call out of the way of her cooking schedule/visit from Tony and his family (After the fact, I found out she hasn't done any holiday cooking in years).
But when I called, the connection was weird - It sounded like someone had picked up, but no one was picking up.
I tried it over and over, maybe five or six times, with the same result (And this was after trying to call her at Thanksgiving and having it ring forever, then give me some automated message about putting in a "code").
So I messaged Lori, my sister-in-law, and told her what had happened.
She messaged back, telling me my mother had been in the hospital for the past couple weeks, refusing to walk and exhibiting increasing symptoms of dementia. She was "under observation", and the hospital was in conversation with Lori and Tony about finding a retirement home for her.
Between that and her own holiday prep and her job and what-all, Lori didn't have time to say much beyond that, so a couple days later, I messaged, asking if she had time to talk, so I could get more of a sense of things.
So we talked on the phone. And in the interim, things had gone from discussions of a retirement home, to hospice care, and how "the end is months - maybe weeks - away".
To hear Lori tell it, they didn't seem to know exactly what was wrong - said there had possibly been a stroke, but they weren't sure - while Lori thought she was simply depressed and ready to die (While still in her home, she'd lost a ton of weight -, she'd apparently just stopped eating unless Lori was there to make something for her - and was talking a lot about just making it to eighty, which will happen on the 27th, as if that was basically "the finish line".).
Lori, who has had an actual "relationship" with her - both her parents are gone, so my mother is the last "parental figure" she has - is pretty broken up about it all. She's alternately shocked (She talked about how quickly this has all taken a turn), emotionally numb, and actively grieving (And I would imagine she's also pretty stressed-out - all these conversations the hospital is having with them about retirement homes/hospice care are happening in the context or her and Tony basically living financially month-to-month, with no real savings to speak of).
And how do I feel, you ask?
Vaguely sad - She was never really my mother, but this is a sad, depressing thing to be happening to anyone.
And while I don't think I was looking/hoping for additional information/insight - about her, about me, or what-have-you, it's still sad the door is now definitively closed.
I also feel vaguely guilty - I never got into regularly calling her, partially out of fear it would be a strained, boring conversation, and partly out of dreading I'd call one time and she wouldn't know who I was (Tony kind of "put that in my head" years ago, when he mentioned her starting to "slip" mentally).
Of the two emotions, I think "sadness" is more appropriate than "guilt" - It is a sad thing that's happening, after all
But in terms of "guilt", if I hadn't made the overture to Tony and Chuck (My brothers) years back, she'd never have had any contact with me at all.
And while I wouldn't say we really established a mother/son "relationship" these past however-many years - how was that ever gonna happen? - I got to know that my mother was proud of me, and she got to know that I was basically okay, and not mad at her, so it wasn't like we didn't each get something out of the deal, maybe as much as we were ever gonna.
It has me thinking fearfully again about my own mortality - and fear of Alzheimers/dementia - because I don't see where my "Lori" is gonna come from if/when that time comes (Not to mention where I'm gonna go and what I'm gonna do if I become unable to take care of myself in general - have I mentioned lately how I'd dearly love to experience more acting success before it's all over, in part so I could have a financial hedge against ending up impoverished in my last years?).
Somehow this solidifies something for me I've worried over in recent years, which is "What do I do when my mother is dying/dies?"
The answer, as friends have suggested, is "nothing" (Or, as some friends have said, "Whatever you want to do").
Unless, when dying, she's lucid enough to ask for me (Though I don't know why she would), or Tony or Lori want me there (And I don't know why they would), there's no reason to go. We never experienced each other as mother and son, we have no shared history together, and Lori and Tony (And their kids) are "her people", not me.
Long story short, if I were to go to WV at that time, I have no idea what I'd be going there for.
Jane R. is coming here this weekend (For a few days), so we can film some stuff for the documentary. And I'm going back to Sante Fe in a little more than a month to film a fantasy club scene.
And Mark and Jane are coming around the end of the month for a visit (Over her - and coincidentally, my mother's - birthday).
They were hoping to spend time with me here in LA over a couple of days, then have me go with them on a little road trip for a couple days - to San Francisco, among other places - then come back, and head back home a day or two later.
And I've never been to San Francisco, so it's an idea that is not without appeal
.But doing that, only to leave again for four days a week later is...just too much - Too much worry about missing work, too much worry about missing auditions/gigs, too much worry about wearing each other out, etc.
Basically, too much disruption for little Jimmy to be comfortable with
(At this point, I want to go down a rabbit hole of explaining/feeling bad about how I've scaled my life down to something "manageable", and how anything that threatens that scaled down life, even if it's a positive thing, makes me hugely anxious. But I imagine you've gotten that already, so I shall move on.)
The back-half of season 9 Shameless will be starting up soon (The 20th, to be exact). I don't know that it really matters to me, one way or another, beyond the fact that I might conceivably be fresher in this or that casting director's mind when I'm being submitted for something.
(At least one can dream.)
I continue to worry about Shameless winding down. While I have fairly good reason to believe we've got two more seasons - though nothing is official at this juncture - it's all-but-impossible to imagine three (And on some level, I don't want there to be more. I'd like my next bigger/better thing to happen instead... though get back to me when they announce the show is over and that "bigger, better thing" hasn't materialized, and I may yodel a different tune).
Tempted, since it's New Year's Day, to launch into my "Year in Review" (Which I didn't do last year. But I'm feeling up for resuming that hallowed tradition).
But I feel like this has gone on long enough. And rightfully, a "Year In Review" should be its own entry, not something glommed-onto the end of another already-too-long-entry.
So till next time....
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