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10:49 AM - Thurs 08.04.16
Message In A Bottle

Message In A Bottle

I often feel ambivalent about writing in here.

On the one hand, I feel compelled (I've kept a journal for over 35 years now, going online in the early 90s). At this point, it's "just something I do".

On the other hand, I increasingly seem to see it as a chore, like dishes or laundry, to be put off as long as possible.

Sometimes, I think about giving up the "online" part, and going back to writing "for my eyes only", but that wouldn't work for me anymore, because the function of my journaling has changed, I think for good.

When I was journaling just for myself, it was because I wanted to understand myself better. But now, while that's still true, it's also about "connection", a "message in a bottle" saying "I'm here, and if you want to hear it, this is my story...".

Before, I think I was "telling my story" to convince myself it was a story, and not just a chaotic jumble of events. Now I'm "telling my story", to go back to what my friend Wendy wrote, in the first online journal I ever read, "Because I feel less alone when I write it, and I think people feel less alone when they read it".


One reason for my procrastination this time around is that something happened this past Friday, something I haven't wanted to write about, because it's embarrassing and upsetting, but something that - If I am indeed "telling my story" honestly - is something I kind of have to write about.

I've developed something of a routine on Fridays, where - after my Weight Watchers meeting - I go to "Golden Apple Comics", a comic-book store on Melrose, check to see whether certain comic-books are in, look around a bit, then continue home.

(Trying to figure out how to "cut to the chase" here...)

I ended up parking somewhere I wasn't supposed to - I don't want to litigate the rightness or wrongness of it right now, but it's a thing that happened - and when I came out, my car was blocked in on three sides.

I debated whether to try and find an attendant, to see if they could move one of the cars or something, but decided I could work it out myself (I didn't realize I was somewhere I wasn't supposed to be at that point - Not seeking help was a manly, "I can do this myself" thing, not an "I need to get away undetected" thing).

So I gingerly did a 15-or-20 point turn, and slowly, carefully as I could, got myself free.

I pulled into the street, and was at a stop, waiting to turn right on Melrose, and head home, when in my rear-view mirror, I saw a guy walking up behind me, taking a picture of my license plate.

I got out of my car, and said "What's going on?".

It was one of two parking lot attendants, neither of whom I'd seen when I'd parked there, telling me I wasn't supposed to have been in the lot, and that I'd hit and damaged a car.

We went back to where I'd parked, and one of them went to the car that had been behind me, and pushed on a very pliable plastic piece of the car's front bumper, which revealed a small crack.

I was caught by surprise by the whole thing, and way off my game - Initially I thought it was a shakedown of some sort, and didn't respond very well, so everyone's tempers flared in a hurry.

I didn't think I'd done it, because I hadn't felt anything when I was backing up (And how did I know it wasn't there before, or that they hadn't done it?), but I didn't have much of a leg to stand on, because I apparently wasn't supposed to have been parked there in the first place.

(They weren't much interested in hearing about my confusion on that issue - there'd been nothing preventing me from parking there, since they must have been taking a smoke break or something when I pulled in. And I didn't worry about the "authorized parking only" sign, because I assumed my "authorization" was that I was doing business in the establishment next door.)

So they wanted my license and insurance info, threatening to report me for "hit-and-run" if I didn't comply.

So, extremely grudgingly (And not sure of how much "trouble" I was in, because I've never had a claim filed on my insurance before), I gave it to them.

I was extremely angry - first at them, then at myself (For getting into this stupid situation) - to a crazy degree the situation didn't warrant, and when they'd gotten the information, and I started walking back to my car, feeling like I was going to explode...

I exploded.

I started screaming over and over - "Fuck!! FUCK!!! FUUUCCKKK!!!!" - and slamming myself in the head, hard as I could.

To my recollection - and it seems like the kind of thing you'd remember - I've never done something like that in front of people (At least not in a good 50-or-so years), and I was so alarmed it was happening, I promptly burst into tears.

The two guys came over - clearly alarmed as well - telling me not to hurt myself, that it wasn't that big a deal, and giving me a bottle of water.

They said if the owner of the car didn't complain to them, they wouldn't bring it up. And after a few more minutes of trying to calm me down, I got myself together, they went back to the lot, and I drove home.

As you can imagine, this was the main topic of discussion in therapy this week.

This was a somewhat unusual circumstance, granted, but nevertheless, I can't do this sort of thing if I become agitated in a public place, whatever the circumstance.

But that's all I'm gonna say about that, at least for now.


Shot my fourth episode of Shameless yesterday (For the record, that's four of the first five episodes of the coming season).

My friend Mike M. had been put on "avail" weeks ago for the episode, so when I heard nothing, I assumed my little hiatus (I wasn't in episode 4) was continuing.

But I got word on Monday that I was in the episode, shooting on Wednesday - Not sure why I got such late notice, but was just happy to get the word (I thought it might be like that one episode where a one-line day-player crapped out on them, so they just slotted me in. But when I got the script, Kermit was in two scenes, so...who knows?).

Anyway, it was a fun day. I had enough to do, relatively, that I was satisfied on that front, and the atmosphere, within and without, was pretty positive (And I was happy my friend Mike was also working - As I've said before, I feel slightly bereft when he's not there, because I don't really have anyone to hang out with between setups).

Speaking of Mike, he's emboldened me to try and get more pictures when I'm on-set (To try to make my social media happen - theoretically something I'm supposed to be doing as an actor).

It really does work - I've gotten new followers on Twitter and Instagram each time I've posted a picture from the set, and I definitely get more "likes" - but it's difficult to get what I think are good pictures. It's fun, though, and gives me another thing I can do during my "down time".

An interesting/odd thing about having fans of the show liking my Twitter and Instagram accounts (And Mike has said this as well) - They think you know everyone on the show, and all about what the writers have planned.

For the record, I only know the people I work with on the show. And the only "scoops" I have regarding the plots involve the episodes I'm actually in, since they're the only scripts I see - beyond that, I don't know any more than the fans...and I sure as shit don't know if Noel Fisher is ever going to be back on the show, which is the question I get most often (Though personally, I kinda doubt it).

Anyway, that was a fun day, though - once again - I ate too much "crafty" (Something I thought I'd gotten under control, as an actor who's also a Weight-Watcher).

Was wrapped by mid-afternoon, so had time to come home, screw-around, and try-to-nap for a bit, before Zumba class in the evening.

It's been slightly disconcerting, so far this season with Shameless, that when I get called in for an episode, it's consistently popped into my head, as the day begins, "I hope I get out in time for Zumba...!".

But what can I do?

Along with everything else, I've been feeling discouraged about Zumba lately.

I think I've said before that it was feeling like I'd "lost a step" in class. And while I think part of that has been my general mental situation, and a struggle with concentration, another part has been practical - The class has grown since I started, and I'm typically in the back of the room (Because I'm a tall guy with a giant head), and I've had a harder-and-harder time seeing the instructor as she teaches a new routine.

But this week, I tried to make a point of not being in the very back, and it helped (I think I was also just grateful having her back for the class, because she was gone most of last week, and there was no class last Weds).

Thea, the instructor, is kind of amazing. She's a good instructor and all (In additional to wanting to watch her to learn the routines, she's just fun to watch in general, cause she's such a good dancer), but there's something more - She just exudes warmth and love. I feel it, and you can tell the other students do too - people want to "connect" with her on the way out after class.

Anyway, class this week was more fun than it's been in awhile (Though one "sour note" - On Tuesday, I was there 15 minutes before class, another instructor, but it was still too late, because the class was in a smaller room this week, and it was full).

So yesterday, I had fun on the set, then I had fun at Zumba in the evening.

Which constitutes the best day I've had in recent memory.

I thought about it afterward, wishing this was how my days went most of the time - Satisfying work (Doing the work I want to be doing), then having something fun to do in my off time.

That's a wish that could be a double-edged sword - Being me, I could get depressed over that not being the case, or I could see it as a problem to be solved/a goal to be worked-toward ("So, how do I make that happen...?") - but I'm going to try being happy that it happened, instead of bummed that it doesn't happen more often.

And there's more I could write about...but it'll keep.

I think I've said enough for now.


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