Displays of P/A Behaviour on Metro!
There is a bus driver on the route 16 who has twice now very passive-aggressively tried to pick a fight with me.
Initially, I was just standing there, minding my own business, waiting for *MY* bus (the 316), but now, it's personal.
The issue: I don't want to ride his bus, so when it comes, I turn my head. Then one day last week, he stopped, opened up the bus door and said, in a very annoyed manner - but SMILING - as if I was a total moron, "You know, you can just STEP BACK if you don't want this bus."
I didn't initially say anything, but after he pulled away, I thought about it. I'm not a bus-riding novice. I've ridden King Cty Metro for over 20 years...nowhere are there any rules that say "step back if the bus arriving is not the one you want". Never have I been called out for not doing this, until now. If he had said it nicely, I would even comply. But I've ridden his bus before - I've seen him be extremely passive-aggressive with other riders when they annoyed him (there's a LOT of passive-aggressive behaviour in Seattle).
So, for the next few days, I would just turn my head away when I saw the 16 coming (but just couldn't bring myself to do what the bus driver said...yeah, out of SPITE). This went on without incident.
Then, this past Monday, I did the same, assuming it was acceptable, but he stopped and opened the door. The woman waiting with me for the 316 asked me "Did you want the 16?" I was about to reply, when the driver (same one) said, "You see? SHE can't even tell if you want to get on." I was about to reply to THIS, when he laughed and said "It's okay." Then proceeded to tell the woman, "I've told her and told her, but she still doesn't get it." Then he looked at me again, laughed, and said "It's okay". Then he pulled away.
WHAT THE FUCK??? You are probably trying to publicly shame me, but as an actor, I don't embarrass that easily. So, if it makes you feel better about yourself to stop your route, thus making all your ACTUAL RIDERS a little later to their destinations for the sole purpose of calling me out - KNOCK YOURSELF OUT! It isn't going to get you what you want, and at this point I would not set foot on your bus even if it were raining, midnight and I were being harrassed by thugs. So, hope you feel proud of bringi
Part of what prompted last week's post about horror is that I scraped together some money (well, not really - just used my credit card and put myself further into debt) to take a class at Hugo House called "Writing the Monster", because I've been in something of a rut in terms of writing for nearly two years now, and this recent and technologically-magnificent production of Pandora and the Box I just performed reminded me of two things: 1.) how much I like thematic material that is not only creepy but that goes to the root of the human psyche and 2.) how much I like performing my own material and having roles in a production beyond just hired-gun actor.
Not that I haven't written at all. Certainly there have been a few blog entries sprinkled about, and even some freewriting that has occurred in the past two years. And of course, the reason for the rut, my last day-job that involved lots of PR and copywriting.
But the inspiration to write anything of real note, like a short play or even a poem has just eluded me. That last day job just SUCKED every creative impulse out of me and left a dry husk in its place. Am only now starting to recover, and just putting myself in someone else's hands with thematic material I respond to has been balm to my inner creative writer over the past two weeks.
It's great, because even when we're just talking about horror and monsters, my whistle is wetted. And then the creative prompts...well...they feel eerily tailored for me.
Once again, I can't seem to get away from Greek myth and archetype. Last week's writing prompt was to pick a monster you loved and a monster you hated, then write about the good and bad things about both these monsters. I chose Medusa for the monster I loved. Then synchronicity struck last night, when instructor Evan had us draw 3 cards from his Mage the Ascension tarot cards.There was the first one, 3 of wands. And then I kinda gasped aloud a little when I saw the next one: the good ol' TOWER. I've written about the Tower before. I have a whole short play about the Tower, Fortune Teller, that has even been produced. I have thought a lot about the Tower. So, to see it there felt like synchronicity's way of saying, "It's time. You get to be creative and write again...and MAKE something this time."
And interestingly enough, the next card I drew was the one I've put here to accompany this blog post: the five of cups. Which, in and of itself doesn't necessarily mean anything to me, but if you look closer at the photo...the hair coming out of that faceless woman's head has mouths. They could be the mouths of snakes. This woman could be MEDUSA...another one in a looooong line of misunderstood Greek women. I've written about them before: The Hydra, Clytemnestra, Pandora...thought lots about this topic. I love all those old Greek stories, but it galls me that they're all about the boys: Odysseus, Hector, Creon, Agamemnon - most of the myths revolving around women show them to be more reactive than active for the most part: Penelope, waiting for Odysseus to come home, all of the women of Troy waiting to become of slaves of the Greeks, Electra waiting for Orestes to come home so HE can avenge their father's death...etc.
It is kind of an unofficial mission of mine to change this. Re-interpret these myths for our modern age and sensibilities. The hydra was a wonderful vehicle for exploring the idea of multiple personalities (Stings Like Acid). Pandora struggles with issues of lonliness and control. I'm excited to burrow into another one of these Greek anti-heroines and find out what's there...because I appear to have another muse knocking at my window, with each snake on her head hissing to get in mine. Come to me, Medusa!
How Horror is Like Heroin.
"It knows what scares you." This is the tagline as well as a quote from the 1983 ghost film Poltergiest, and the statement is not idle. Since the dawn of my memories, I've been fascinated by ghosts, haunted houses and all things creepy and supernatural. I remember seeing previews for movies like It's Alive, Prophecy and Burnt Offerings in the 70's as a kid, but never being allowed to go. I devoured fairy tales and ghost stories in books like it was going out of style, and started writing my own ghosty tales.
The year I turned 13, Poltergeist came out, and I finally got to go. So I went. Alone. In a nearly-empty theatre with only about 5 other souls. It scared the BEJEEEEZUS outta me. From the moment Carol Ann and her mom walk back into the house and find their dining room chairs perfectly stacked on top of each other, through the creepy tree coming in the window to grab Robbie; Carol Ann getting sucked into the TV, the creepy clown doll coming to life and the hellmouth in the kids' bedroom, I was transfixed and creeped out. But it didn't end there. OH NO. Poltergeist was the gift that kept on giving. My imagination, of course, ran away with me. We actually HAD a clown doll hanging up next to our kitchen. NEVER did I EVER pass by it without first turning on the light. And my insomnia, which I'd had since birth, became worse that summer, as I lay awake and alone in my bedroom, contemplating each unidentifiable noise and each wavering shadow in the darkness with the pending dilemma: if I close my door, am I keeping the monster out of my room or closing it in with me?
The lack of sleep didn't seem to deter me: I was hooked. I wanted more, I wanted creepier. Stephen King came next, follwed by Anne Rice, which invariably triggered my vampire phase. I cut my vampire fangs on Lestat rather than Bella and Edward, and newsflash: VAMPIRES DO NOT WANT TO BE YOUR BOYFRIEND AND MARRY YOU. They want to suck you to a dry husk. Also, they don't sparkle in the sunlight, they fucking BURST INTO FLAME AND DIE. Well...most of the time. Unless they're Lestat. I wonder if a vampire phase is just a thing weird girls go through, like normal girls go through horse phases.
My fascination with horror did not diminish but only grew more rabid and sophisticated as I got older and started dabbling in things supernatural myself. There was the ill-advised ouija-board phase in college...on a campus where weird things were known to happen on a fairly regular basis...this opened a portal that I've never yet been able to close, and has afforded me with some of the most frightening real-life experiences I've ever had. Still the desire for more and creepier has persisted.
Truthfully, in all these years, I've never seen another movie, tv show or read a book that has frightened me as much as Poltergeist (not counting the real-life experineces, of course...). There are films that have their moments: The Excorcist and The Ring come to mind. And then the tons of well-crafted films that are excellent but don't really scare me all that much: I'm looking at you, Alien/s and The Cabin in the Woods. Not to mention certain episodes of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Supernatural and Lost. And of course, slasher films have never really done much for me.
But THIS is why horror is like heroin: you are ALWAYS chasing after your first high, well your first SCARE. And it's just never as good or intense as the first time. You always remember your first time.
I CAN RANT IF I WANT TO.
So, this is probably something stupid to talk about or be irritated by, given the vast array of problems on our Earth, but it's my blog and I'll rant if I want to.
Public transportation. Yes, that's right, half of that says "PUBLIC". Which means, no, it's not your space, it's not your house, it's not your entire row of seats. So MOVE THE FUCK OVER! No, I'm not going to gingerly sit with half my ass hanging off the seat so you can sit there with your bag next to you. You're not that skinny - put it on your lap and move the fuck over. You're not in your living room, you're on the BUS, I paid as much for my seat as you did yours, and I don't feel like hanging off it just so as not to irritate you. I will say "excuse me" and I will plunk myself FULL DOWN in the middle of my seat. Did I end up on your coat? Did I jostle your texting arm? Are our legs touching now? WHOOOPS. IF you don't like it, then MOVE THE FUCK OVER.
I get so irritated by this sort of behaviour. Especially in a bus that is growing more and more crowded and there is obviously going to soon be SRO, and still , people don't move their bags. I certainly don't shy away from asking them to, but I notice, day after day, on a crowded bus, with plenty of folks standing, there will be one or two seats occupied by someone's backpack. The "someone" in question, does not voluntarily remove the backpack; nor does anyone standing bother to call them on it and ask them to move it. Is it just that PAC NW passive-aggressive/shy thing? Or is it that we're moving further and further away from having in-person social skills these days?
OH MY GOD. Why was that so HARD??? You'd think no one in the history of the world had EVER moved before. This felt like a harder move in some respects than my move from Seattle to Baltimore 7 years ago. At least physically-speaking. Although I guess I had 4 months to work on that one, whereas I only had a coupla weeks, 2 households and ONE CAT to think about this time!
And now: 2 microwaves. 2 toasters. 2 rolling pins. 4 coffee grinders, 3 french presses, 2 automated coffee makers and 1 espresso machine...and a partridge in a pear tree. Enough pots, pans, flatware and plates to feed an army. 2 HD TVs. 3 or 4 computers (assorted Mac and PC). 4 dressers. And on and on and on.
I'm sentimental about some of my stuff, especially my frying pans, as stupid as that sounds. I love to cook, and through trial and error, with my omelet pan, I can make the perfect eggs. I've gotten used to making certain dishes in certain pots or pans. It's not like I couldn't use others, but for chrissake, I'm a TAURUS, we hate change more than most, and considering that, I'm mostly a trooper. The bigs changes, oddly enough, don't seem to phase me as much as the little changes, like dumb sentimental attachments to omelet pans. Also, if we break up, I'll have to go out and buy stuff all over again...carefully-acquired stuff considered over a 20-year span of living alone.
YES - there's the other part: I have not lived with anyone in 20 years. No roommates, no significant others, no family. It's just been ME. And then, me and Vixen, for the last almost year. But the point is, I haven't had to deal with anyone else's crap (both literal and figurative) in my living space in a very long time. Home is where I've always gone to escape annoying people and recharge. The S.O. and I do quite well most of the time - but everyone annoys me occasionally and eventually. And we've never really been joined at the hip like many couples. I want to maintain that as I have since we started dating - I still need to have time for friendships and the theatre - both of which I've carefully crafted and fostered. I've spent long years developing my life, passions and friendships so I wouldn't have to depend on someone else (or LACK thereof) for my personal happiness and satisfaction. And it's worked. I find myself, at 43, witha really incredibly solid sense of who I am and what motivates me. I have my own opinions. I like my solitude.
Yet in all this, I remember though, that the S.O. and I BOTH like our space. INDEED, we brought it up on our first date - neither of us wanted to live with anyone for a loooong time. We have dated now for a little over two years. We've vacationed together, had family holidays together, spent copious amounts of time together. Spent time with each other's friends. Have things we like to do together (FOOD!) and things we enjoy doing separately. Neither of us has ever expected the other to change anything fundamental about themselves. So, we have a pretty good foundation going in terms of moving in together.
But amid the flurry of rental agreements, security deposits, walk-throughs, packing, borrowing assorted vehicles and mobile items from friends, unpacking, consolidating and arranging our stuff, and feeling very, very stressed out about the whole thing, I lose sight that this is kind of a big deal for me, in terms of being the official end to a very LONG era. An era I often thought would never be over. An era pock-marked with periods of depression and self-loathing, but also personal growth and epiphany by the bucketful. An era that was quite good and FULL, really, though I often couldn't see that.
It's interesting to be on the other side of it all, really, and realize that I'm still the same person, fundamentally, and I haven't had to compromise on that, though I did have to wait a REALLY LONG TIME for someone who could put up with it! ...and I have to say that it is really nice to wake up with a morning cuddle, and a purry kitty lying between us. Even this cynical old bitch has her soft points.
Day to day thoughts, rants and mental detritus.