Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas time lightning round update post

  • I should be sewing right now. I SHOULD BE CRAFTING. I have presents to finish. Lots and lots, although not all due by the 25th. So I came downstairs to sew, then I ate some nachos, then I decided to update my blog, then I spent about half an hour reading TOVA test manuals, and here we are.
  • I took what I am pretty sure was a TOVA test on Monday (do you see how I foreshadowed that in the previous bullet point? I am literary devicing the hell out of this post). It had numbers instead of little boxes, so it may have been a different brand than the one in the link. Anyway, it was horrible, and I don't have the results yet. The doctor said that generally if the person looks away from the screen during the (15 minute OMG it was so awful!!) test they have ADHD, and I read everything she had posted on the walls. But still, I'm worried that I failed the test, or passed it, however you want to look at it, and that's not what the problem is and then I'm back to square one of not knowing why everything about me is wrong or how to fix it. And I am just going to continue to freak out until I know exactly what I need to do, because I am irrational and this is how I do.
  • Bell choir plays on Friday night at 11:00 for the Christmas Eve service and I have no idea how it will go because I had to cancel practice Monday because of the snow. Actually, I had to cancel practice via ad hoc phone tree from my car stuck on I94 in the middle of snowstorm + Vikings game gridlock. Monday was a stressful day, guys. 
  • Ryan got me a photo book of all our Disney World food pictures, plus a shit-ton of chocolate and random wasting-time books. I am getting him an Arduino, which he asked for. I have no idea what it is, so I looked it up on Amazon, clicked on the first product that came up, and bought all of the "Frequently Bought Together" products. Total cop-out gift, I know. He may get something sewn too, if there's time, which there won't be, because I still have a few bullet points left in me. Onward...
  • Speaking of the food picture book, I've noticed lately that a lot of pictures of me could be classified as food porn. Not food porn in the food-blogging sense, like "Oh, hey, the editor called, he was wondering if you could Photoshop a few of those water droplets out of the picture you sent over. That tomato looks a little too juicy." I mean in the actual sense of food and porn, like, there are a lot of pictures of me sticking phallic shaped foods into my mouth. Case in point, my current Facebook profile picture. What's that all about? And, more importantly, is there a way to monetize this phenomenon? Surely there has to be a fetish for photos of people eating food in an accidentally sexy manner? My knowledge of nontraditional sex is limited and I'm afraid to Google it.
  • Holy crap, I just Googled it. Food porn (the blogging kind) has a Wikipedia page with a subsection titled "Actual Pornography." If this page had pictures (why wouldn't this of all pages have pictures!?) it would be the best Wiki article ever.
  • Clicked over to the Google image search and was confronted with several pictures of women wearing bacon bras. HOLY CRAP AGAIN.
  • This is probably a sign that I should get back to the Christmas presents. Here are a couple quick previews:

There are more, things that aren't far enough along to have photographed. But I've got the rest of the weekend, really. How does Santa do it, one is culturally obligated to wonder at this time of year.

Okay, back to work. But one more bullet point I just thought of.
  • "Lightning round" is a pretty inaccurate title since it implies some sense of speed and I took about half an hour to write this. But what would be better? Potpourri, or something like that? Miscellany? Clusterfuck? That last one is the most accurate but I had a swear word in the title of my last post so I need to self-censor this time around.
Ugh. Time to try to salvage some productivity out of the night.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

That at least explains all the dick jokes

So I've been going to see a therapist. It's been okay, really. She's nice. She's also an ordained minister, which is kind of cool, but also weird, because you know, am I allowed to talk about sex? Because all of it thus far has been premarital (not that I have any specific reason to talk about sex, it just would be nice to know how awkward I should feel if it were to come up). But she is a Lutheran minister, so at least I know she doesn't think I have demons. We are a demon-free people, on the whole.

I've been learning a lot of interesting things, mostly about myself, things that I already knew because somehow I have managed to become really self-aware, which I think is part of the problem, because I'm critical. Anyway, they were things I already knew about myself but didn't put together as a cohesive whole, because I have a serious thought maintenance problem. They're a cloud or something. A big electron cloud, and my head is the nucleus, and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle is directing the show. Is that too esoteric? Is quantum physics not an appropriate topic to use in an analogy? Because I have thought long and hard about this (critical self-awareness, you see) and quantum physics is the best I could come up with. My thoughts are wave packets and it is impossible to know where they are and what they are doing at any given moment. (That's not exactly what the uncertainty principle is, but for the sake of the metaphor it works. Also, the electron cloud of thoughts is hazy and green. Obviously.)

So we have been discussing what it means to have hazy green negatively charged sub-particle thoughts, along with a lot of other, non-bastardized scientific terms like "working memory" and "executive function," and oh, hey, it turns out I have like all of the symptoms of ADHD. What?? Come on.

To be honest I kind of expected it, and a former therapist recommended I get tested for it, but at the time I was busy trying to keep myself from wanting to die, so I forgot about it, then I remembered it again but put it off, and so on for five years, right up until the point a few weeks ago when I was convinced I was getting stupid and about ready to become a recluse. Because that is what I do. With everything. And, also, it's always better to err on the side of blaming yourself for things like this. I didn't want to come across as a victim or an excuse-monger, you know.

So next week I'm going to take the test, which I'm scared to death of, because 1) it's long, and I'm afraid I won't be able to concentrate long enough to answer questions correctly, and 2) I'm afraid I won't be able to think up good examples for the questions I'm asked. But maybe they've factored that into the test already? I don't know. I do know, not on the subject at all, that Ryan was overjoyed that I told my therapist I hate movies because they're too long. Because that is totally what I'm going to focus on fixing, Ryan.

But regardless of how the test turns out, I already feel better. This is validation in a way, this idea that something is wrong, yes, but it can be fixed. I remember it was the same way with my depression a few years back - I didn't start to get better until I had read a ton of research on depression and convinced myself that it was an actual, medical problem, not just my ability to fix myself. Plus, just having a term to search for on the internet is cathartic, really - today I found an article that had a 10-step guide to using a day planner to make lists and OH MY GOD THAT IS THE BEST THING EVER.

Seriously, I told my brother to get me a planner for Christmas. I'm pretty excited about this. There may also be color-coded post-it notes.

Bottom line: Things are gonna be okay, I think. They're about to get expensive, because next year my deductible goes way up, but I'm not taking classes next semester (I *may* be on academic probation...another warning sign I guess I missed...) so this is what I'm going to work on. Organizing. Color-coding. Paying bills in a timely manner and filing them in an easy-to-access-come-tax-time spot. Oh, and not being so hard on myself. In that vein, all future references to "bullshitting my way through life, desperately hoping I don't get caught" will now be referred to as "developing and maintaining effective coping strategies." I'm no expert at either, but I think cognitive-behavioral therapy and public relations may be the exact same thing.

There you go. I probably have ADD. So I'm not stupid. I'm just an 8-year-old boy.

Edit: OH MY GOD I JUST REMEMBERED THIS! The greatest South Park episode of all time!
Sad part is, that's my favorite book...I was totally yelling "It's a gold car! It symbolizes money!" at my screen the whole time... :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Naomi Beck, Tiny Playwright

My brother is in town this week so yesterday we all got together and went to the buffet at the casino, because we are a classy bunch of people who appreciate the option of eating multiple portions of pig in a single meal. After brunch we went back to my mom’s house, where I was cajoled/guilted/forced into going through some of my old things which are still in her basement. I moved out almost six years ago but I’ve never been motivated to dig through the piles of books and papers, mostly because I knew I’d end up sitting and reading everything. But faced with everyone’s prodding I finally agreed to spend 15 minutes cleaning out an old nightstand.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Most of the things I found I threw out right away - old magazines, homework, more stickers than I care to admit, that sort of thing. But I had plenty to keep, too. Old music flash cards (this was out of pure laziness - I assume that someday I will need to teach someone notes and key signatures, and I will be happy that I don’t have to make my own flash cards), a few letters from my dad (he used to write one to my brother and I at the start of each school year), some school awards, a letter I wrote to a former teacher but never sent, decorated with the aforementioned sticker collection (confession: I have had a crush on every male teacher I’ve ever had since junior high. I kept the letter more out of embarrassment than anything. I don’t think I can even read it!), and, probably the best thing that I forgot I had/did: a play I wrote when I was seven.

Yeah. I wrote a play! See, when I was little, I had a ton of career aspirations, but the one I remember having for the longest was writer. Or more accurately, a flight attendant, so I could see the world and meet a lot of interesting people to write about. I was a practical child. I remember writing stories all the time, but as far as I can remember, this was the only play.

So here it is: The Big Trip, by a seven-year-old Naomi, transcribed with spelling/punctuation/style errors left in. A few notes:
  • Tania was my best friend at the time and Aubrey (spelled incorrectly throughout) is her older sister. I believe we performed this for the kids in the nursery at church. As I recall, it was a total flop.
  • The parts are written for the performers rather than the characters, which I guess shows that I was writing it from a directorial perspective. It should be pretty easy to figure out who the characters are, because they usually introduce themselves. In the scenes on the planes, I'm the flight attendant.
  • The Peabody is a real hotel in Orlando, Florida. My family had gone to Orlando the previous summer and seen the duck march there, and I was absolutely enchanted. As far as I know, the catch phrase was of my own invention.
  • At the top of the first page I had written and crossed out "Daddy and Naomi's Big Adventure" (supposed to be a play about the time Dad and I took the car to the shop and rode the bus home) and on the back of the last page I have "The Mystery of the Lost Items" (no idea what that was supposed to be about). Even back then I couldn't finish things :/
  • I still do not know the difference between a scene and an act, so I can't comment as to whether that is correct or not.

The Big Trip
by Naomi Beck
Naomi, Tania and Aubry

(written March 1992)

act one Tania’s House - T.A. office

Tania: This house is getting very dull. I think I shoud go on a trip. I’ll call the Travel Agent right now. (Tania dials the phone)

Aubry: Travel Agent office. Miss Conolly speaking.

Tania: Hello, I’d like to go to Florida and reserve a hotel there, too. Do you have any?

Aubry: Yes. I have a hotel and a flight for you. The hotel is the Pebody and I’ll get your flight pass ready for you. You can pick it up tomorrow.

act two Travel Agent’s office

Aubry: Here is the pass. Have fun packing!

Tania: Oh, Thank you! I’ll have fun!

Aubry: You don’t get it. Bye.

Seven Weaks Pass
Act three on the plane

Tania: Wow! This is neat!

Naomi: Buckle your seatbelt. This plane takes off in five minutes.

One Hour Later

Naomi: Here is your meal. Enjoy.

Tania: This is good!

Act four the hotel

Naomi: Pebody, Pebody, Pebody! May I help you?

Tania: Yes, can I get the key to my room

Naomi: Here it is. Have fun.

Act five Tania’s room

Tania: This is a nice room! (Tania relakses then gets her swimsuit on)

Aubry: Hello, I’m the maid. I’ll clean your room for you.

Tania: All together, this is worth all the money I paid.

One Week Passes
Act Six on the plane

Naomi: Well, it’s nice seeing you agin!

Tania: It’s nice seeing you to!

2 Hours Pass
Act seven Tania’s house

Tania: Wow! Was that ever a good trip!

Aubry + Naomi: Well Tania, was your trip good?

Tania: I just said that. Come on, let’s go! I’ll tell you all about my trip.

(Everybody walks away.)

The End