Sunday, March 28, 2010
Is Terry Gross messing with me?
I have a little app on my iPhone called "Things". It's where I track things that come into my head so I remember them later. I like to listen to "Fresh Air" on NPR and invariably, Terry Gross gets me so into whatever she's talking about or whoever she's talking to, that I write it down in "Things".
One of those Things I wrote down a while ago was "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". Not actually a Judd Apatow movie, but certainly one of the cousins (Judd is an exec producer). It was written by Jason Segal, who I loved in "Freaks and Geeks" and really haven't seen much of since. Being in the midst of an MS exacerbation, I've been watching a fair amount of video. I tore through the first series of "Glee". I really loved it in the beginning, but then it started getting on my nerves. Possibly because I'm not sure I actually like any of the characters. I like a lot of the music performances, but also really hate some of them. It does do a great job of capturing that thing that drives me crazy about performers - they tend to be gluttons. "I want the lead! I want the lead! I want the lead!" Some musicians tend to have this unique and somewhat fatal combination of huge egos and very low self-esteem. "Look at me! Wait, why don't you love me??' I can say that because to some degree I am one of them. But it's not a quality that I like in myself or in others. Possibly, I hated the characters also because they are all far, far more talented than me.
So this weekend I downloaded 'Sarah Marshall' from Amazon. I watched the first half-hour or so late last night after my son fell asleep. It did not make me laugh. Really, not at all. I finally just fell asleep. I woke up this morning, and meditated for about 20 minutes. (I'm really trying to kick this episode behind me. So yeah, I'm resorting to fucking taking care of myself. To a certain degree, anyway.) At the end of the meditation, I was asking the universe to help me figure out what is next for me on the work front. My current work situation has been slowly imploding and it's pretty clear it is time to move on. It just feels so terrible at the moment. It's a good lesson for me in managing my own ego, and in letting go, but I am not liking it. So then I opened my eyes, and the first thought to pop into my mind was "Is Terry Gross fucking with me?? Did she really think this movie was funny? Shit! Is she just a shill, and is she leading me to ruin?"
It was my day to bring flowers to church for the service. I hadn't played in the band at church for many weeks, and I wasn't going to today, but I thought I'd bring the flowers and just stay for the service. I was feeling a bit better than I had the day before. Still, I could use a little of the divine. So I went. I walked in during the band rehearsal. The first thing I noticed was how beautiful the music sounded. 12-string guitar, drums, harmonies - really nice. My heart immediately was telling me how much I'd missed hearing the music, and also how much I'd missed playing and being a part of it.
When I walked into the sanctuary, I saw another woman at the keyboard. WOW - it was as if I walked in on my husband with another woman. 'OH MY GOD, THEY"VE REPLACED ME!'. My heart sank for a minute. I took a deep breath and just listened to the second half of the song - it really was beautiful, and I was smiling by the end.
The person behind the keyboard was the woman who plays the piano for the choir. She was playing for the choir anyway, so she just stayed up to play for the service. And I've always been ok with having another keyboard player around - it would be a good thing and could take some pressure off of me. But my reaction to seeing it, when I wasn't expecting it, was pretty funny. I later told the minister and lead guitar player Dave about it. He said "When I saw you, I did the same thing. I thought 'oh no, what is Trish going to think!!???" That made me laugh.
I thought church was going to be overwhelming and weird, but it was pretty ok. I really liked seeing my bandmates and I think they might really have missed me while I've been sick. I came home and played the piano for a while. The piano coda to "Layla" - something about that is very, very healing to play. I taught it to myself 30 years ago but haven't been able to remember all of it. So I went online to find the right chords and it kind of came back into my fingers. But my mind cannot remember it on its own. These days, I need my music. I think I'm ok with that. I saw Diana Krall on the Letterman show and she was using music.
Since I'd paid for it, I decided to watch the rest of the movie. My kids had both gone out with friends, my husband was off to London to see The Who perform Quadrophenia (hey, if I can't travel, then he should go and represent both of us. This is what you call acceptance. It's my birthday present to him.) So why not watch the rest of 'Sarah Marshall". A funny thing happened - around the time of the yoga class scene, I started laughing, and I started liking it. I was still skeptical. But first of all, Russell Brand totally won me over. He was adorable. And I really loved Mila Kunis - I think she's beautiful and liked her character. By the end of the movie, I was rooting for Jason Segal's character. Kind of like "Pineapple Express", I think it was a movie I wasn't sure I was supposed to like, but I did. But then I am sometimes a sucker for the Farrelly brothers/Judd Apatow/Ben Stiller ilk. My gosh, even JONAH HILL make me laugh. His imitation of Russell Brand was hilarious.
Ok, Terry, you're off the hook. I'm sorry I doubted you!! I hope you'll forgive me.
Tomorrow morning is the first senior management meeting at work that I don't think I'm supposed to go to now. It may be the right thing to just work from home. The worst thing is, I still have this shred of hope that something will change.
This particular MS exacerbation has brought with it some really horrible depression. I've resorted to using major doses of caffeine to help lift me out. The work thing is not helping any. I'm feeling a little bitter that for my entire life since a young age, I have had wrestled with recurring depression, and later, recurring MS. What the fuck? I'm working on the acceptance and getting away from the freaking self-pity.
I'd really like to figure something worthwhile I can do for the world, or my little piece of it, with the time I have left.