Hey You

Thursday and my final day in the office for the week. It’s been a good week overall–if odd at the office; it was a Mercury-in-retrograde kind of week there, with things not working right and odd situations occurring. Kind of tiring emotionally and intellectually, but not so bad as to drag me down and curl up into a ball in a corner somewhere. I’ve felt rested most of the week and the writing/revising has been going super well (I am so excited to see how much I can get done over the weekend you have no idea); even continued last evening. But I slept well again last night, and I feel pretty good this morning with my coffee, and I made it through almost another week of work.

Last night I watched the first part of the Vanderpump Rules reunion, and just…wow. I’ve never seen anything like that on any reality show reunion. The whole “Scandoval” of it all is just…I don’t know. I watch reality television (anyone who’s read Royal Street Reveillon knows this, of course); not a lot of it, but enough. I find it all fascinating–the way the fans get so deeply involved and vested in these mostly terrible people and what they are doing; the question of what’s real and what isn’t and what is manipulation or over-dramatization for the camera, and so on. The entire “Scandoval” mess? I have so many questions, and there are so many layers. This “scandal” peeled back the fourth wall somewhat, and the viewers got to actually watch as Tom Sandoval, an original cast member for ten seasons, with an assist from his best friend, tried to control the narrative of what we were seeing on screen while keeping his affair off; having the knowledge of what was actually going on while they were filming (and what was being kept out of the camera’s eye) made the attempted manipulation only that much more obvious, and even more fascinating than before. I hadn’t watched the show in years; I got bored, frankly, because it just seemed like the same thing over and over again, but this brought me back (along with a lot of new viewers, plus others who’d given up on it came back; the show is breaking records in the ratings for Bravo and reality shows). As I said to Paul last night, “it’s absolutely amazing how after ten years the show was able to completely flip the script and everything–everything that happened over the past ten years–has been altered as we now see these guys not as lovable goofballs, but dangerously narcissistic monsters manipulating the narrative to make everyone else look worse while making themselves look like heroes.” Future generations of social historians will look at the Scandoval in wonder, trying to puzzle out why this became global news, worthy of being covered in major newspapers, including both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

A cheating scandal on a reality show made worldwide news and has trended every day on Twitter since the news broke months ago. I mean, how fucking insane is that?

I also realized at some point yesterday that the difference I’ve been feeling the last week or so around here means I’ve probably moved into another stage of the grieving process, rather than over it completely. And as I sat there with purring kitty asleep in my lap watching the marathon of the last few episodes of Vanderpump Rules before the reunion episode (part one of three!) aired, I realized you’re in the anger stage. I had noticed myself getting angry much more quickly than usual while scrolling through Twitter, and yesterday I sent some response tweets to assholes trolling friends that were pretty hateful, nasty and cruel (much as their tweets at my friends were). That isn’t like me; usually I’ll start typing the response and delete it unsent, as the actual writing of it vented the spleen and by the time I was finished and ready to send it, would think and how is this improving the public discourse as I deleted it. Not yesterday, so I am going to simply go back to the old “mute/block” trick, or just report them. I do report trolls for hate speech and conduct violations several times a day, with a rather high success rate percentage, if I do say so myself. And honestly, I prefer anger to the sadness, really. Not sure what that says about me, but the sadness paralyzed me and made me unable to write, but since transitioning to the anger stage the book has been flowing and I am enjoying revising it tremendously. Go figure. I wrote more last night, and I have to say, the book is beginning to take shape nicely. It’s amazing how regularly I repeat myself, but that also has a lot to do with my memory issues–oh, I need to explain this and forgetting I’ve already explained it in the preceding chapters…each of them, in fact. So there’s a lot of cutting and rewording and restructuring going on, but Scotty’s voice is starting to really come through and that’s the most important thing.

I was also saddened to hear that Tina Turner passed yesterday. I’ve been a fan of hers since I was a little boy and I saw her perform on some variety show–Dean Martin’s, maybe? I just know it was when we still only had a black-and-white television, which means we were still living in the apartment in the city (sidebar: interesting how television was dominated back then by variety shows and westerns, which are incredibly scarce today…the variety shows were no big loss, and the westerns were ludicrous, racist, and sexist, so no big loss in either case). I think it was “Proud Mary”? When she finally started getting the stardom and accolades and success she’d always deserved (and never quite reached) in the 1980s, I was delighted–and she gave us some truly great music, too. That voice! That power! That stage presence! It saddens me that we no longer have her in this world, but I’m grateful we had a Tina Turner in the first place.

But I will always think of Schitt’s Creek whenever I hear “The Best” now.

I also got the proofs for my short story “Solace in a Dying Hour” to go over prior to the anthology’s release, which is very exciting. I always love when I sell a short story, and love it even more when we get to the later production stages.

And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. May your Friday Eve be as delightful as you are, Constant Reader, and I will see you again tomorrow.

Shellshock

And Monday rolls around again; but this is a short work week thanks to Good Friday and Easter; the book is due on Thursday (YIKES) but I am still thinking I can manage to get it turned in on time (hope brings eternal). I got some good work done on it yesterday, and am ever hopeful I can get more done tonight when I get home from work–which would be lovely. I also managed to make it to the gym yesterday, which was delightful (despite the annoying other people there) and am also looking forward to a very short work week this week–well, it’s a three day weekend this weekend; thank you, Catholic southeastern Louisiana!

I am a little out of it this morning; groggy Greggy, if you will. Not sure what that’s all about–I didn’t think I had much trouble sleeping last night, but I did wake up once around four–but this morning I don’t feel completely awake, either, and thus far am having a little trouble focusing this morning. Hopefully when the caffeine kicks in, the focus will improve. Or not. We’ll have to see how it goes.

I’m not sure why I am so not myself this morning. Like I said, I thought I had slept well last night, but had trouble waking up fully; my legs are also tired, but that’s undoubtedly from making it to the gym yesterday–my legs usually are a bit achy the day after a workout–and I am hoping I’ll get whatever rest it is I need tonight when I go to bed; Tuesdays are a difficult day for me to make it to the gym after a day of work–and my patience for other people is very slim on those nights, so inevitably I wind up readjusting my workout or skipping an exercise because, well, people. I am adjusting to my new gym, but I still miss my old one. We were members there for seventeen years; our membership would have able to VOTE this year. I still am hoping to get to the point by May that I can change up the workout from a full body workout to arms/shoulders, chest/back, and leg days…and I am very pleased with the changes to my body.

We watched Tina last night on HBO MAX, and my word, what a force of nature Tina Turner is, such a gift to us all. Those live performances in the documentary are just mind-blowing; I remember seeing the Ike and Tina Turner Review on television when I was a kid doing “Proud Mary” and was all, wow, who is she? She is amazing. I always followed her career throughout the 1970’s–when she was making the rounds of TV shows and doing Vegas and cabaret shows to pay off the debt she took on when she left Ike–and kept thinking, she should be a much bigger star than she is….so imagine my delight when Private Dancer was released. The big hit single from the album, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” wasn’t a favorite of mine, but I was certain the album would be magnificent–and I was right. I still listen to it all these years later, and I am really happy she became the superstar she always deserved to be. I never read her autobiography–I also never saw the film, despite wanting to see the performances, because I didn’t want to see the anger and the abuse, frankly. Obviously, her story is a part of the culture now; I know what happened to her, what she went through, and what she overcame…but it really hit home watching Tina. It resonated with me all too well–I know what it’s like to stop caring about yourself and your life far too intimately–but if you’re a fan of Ms. Turner, I can’t recommend the documentary enough….it also made me want to listen to every Tina Turner playlist I have on Spotify.

And on that note, I am going to try to kick the cobwebs out and get some things done before I head into the office. Have a great Monday, Constant Reader!