Monday, November 26, 2012

A Madness Observed

I'm a drug addict.

I discovered this last week.  I've been on Cymbalta for several months now.  It's stopped the panic attacks, and the really lows that I was having.  Not really made me happy but at least I don't want to die.  A good thing, right?

But then on the weekend I missed my dose.  Didn't think it was that big a deal, but then the next day, I got sick.  Really sick as in a migraine headache, nausea, plus my mood crashed into the basement.  I was also getting these weird "brain zaps" where my head would twitch and my stomach would lurch, like I was having an adrenaline rush.  I wanted to curl up and die. 

It all went away as soon as I got back on the meds.  Ugh, that phrase makes me sound crazy.  "Off my meds."  It's how we refer to someone acting weird.  But there's no denying it, I'm a Cymbalta junkie.  If I don't get my fix, I'm going to go through some serious withdrawal, just like a heroin addict. 

That bothers me a lot.  I don't know why it should, it's just like a heart patient will go through serious withdrawal (i.e. death) if he doesn't take his heart pills.  Why is this any different?  Because being mental is a sign of defectiveness somehow.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Twilight zone - S3 E36 "Cavender is Coming"

As I go through TZ's third season, I looked forward and saw this one coming up, like a dead animal in the road ahead.

 "Cavender is Coming." This is the one that that is almost unanimously voted as the worst TZ episode ever. I had only seen it once... many years ago and I remember thinking "Boy that was stupid," but not really thinking much more about it.  Then later on, reading on the various fan boards, about how bad it is,  I was starting to think that watching it will make the average viewer's brain crawl down his spinal cord and try to escape out his colon.

So I steeled myself, wondering what I was in for. Would Carol Burnett call me on the phone and croak "Seven Days" and in a week crawl out of my television set? (Actually that would be something I'd like to see.) Well, I managed to get through it all the way to the the end with no urge to claw my eyes out.

To my surprise I found its really not that bad.

Don't get me wrong.  CIC is a bad episode, one of the worst.  Originally it had been broadcast with a laugh track, which is thankfully not on the DVD version.  It's painful, like watching a comedian bomb on stage.  Still, in my opinion,  it's not the worst epside.  "The Bewitching Pool," has that dubious honor.

I love Carol Burnett, but this role is all wrong for here. Her talent is playing nutty, over the top characters, a "Missus aWiggins", a Miss Haversham or the like. Here, Agnes is the straight woman, to Cavender, therefore Carol can't use her comedic talents to the fullest.

Another sin is that the jokes fall flat. John Cleese once commented that he had to keep Basil Fawlty thoroughly unlikeable and rude, because once the audience started to feel sorry for him, the it wouldn't be as funny. Agnes Grep is a nice lady with lots of friends and kind with children, so instead of laughing at her, we wince when bad things happen.

For example, there's a scene where she falls down the stairs and goes crashing through a mirror right into her boss' office.  This scene could have been hilarious if done correctly Grep crashes down and tumbles right in front of her boss who looks down flabbergasted and she looks up with a sheepish grin.  Somehow though... it doesn't work.  I can't put my finger on it; maybe it's the timing but it's just not funny.

Another potential funny scene, where the bus changes into different things... a horse and carriage, etc., and the poor bus driver who has no idea what's going on. Again it falls flat. I think they tried to cram too many situations into one episode, so they don't give us a chance to reflect on the absurdity or Carol to react to them.

This is a case in point that Serling isn't in his element when doing straight comedy. He can get us to chuckle occasionally, but he's just not in his element when trying to do an out and out comedy.

Oops, have to go now; my phone is ringing...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More to come

Finally went over to the Dark Side and joined the facebook crowd. Been using that as an outlet for a while, but I need to get writing again... Need is the wrong word. I don't need to do anything, but I think that I need to share some things in hopes that it will be of use for others. Next up is my latest Twilight Zone analysis.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Madness Observed

Finally took the plunge... and started on antidepressants. My insurance doesn't cover my therapy for the first $1000 and I don't have that kind of cash lying around. So I went to the doctor and tried a few things. Don't remember what the first prescrip was for, but it gave me terrible insomnia and didn't have any effect at all. Next he put me on Cymbalta, plus Lunesta for the insomnia. Ergh. It made a bit of difference. It basically made me feel nothing. The good news is that I don't feel like putting a bullet in my head. No anxiety attacks either. The bad news is that I don't feel anything at all. Complete "Vulcan" mode. No joy, no anticipation.... just ... nothing. I guess that's an improvement, but I sure wish I could feel happy, at least a little bit. It's been decades since I was genuinely happy for any extended period. Something's broken in me, and I don't know what. Very confused spiritually right now too. I guess my attitude towards Christianity could be summed up with a quote from Ghandi. "I like their Christ. I don't like their Christians." I just can't reconcile a God who would send people to Hell just for believing the wrong thing. And the God of the Bible sometimes seems like a complete monster, killing people on a whim. But I can't dismiss that God is there either, because this past few weeks there have been some events where I've been saved from disaster by some coincidences that I can only attribute to Divine providence. Instead of feeling grateful, though, it makes me feel guilty. Why me? There are a lot of people in far more dire circumstances than I am. Why do I deserve such special help? And now I feel guilty for not feeling grateful. This merry go round will drive me crazy. I don't know how to love God. I don't know what switch to flip in my brain so that I can be like those who are really on fire for Jesus. And do I really want to? Is it better to be honest? And to top it all off, the dark cloud came back yesterday. Feelings of despair... of feeling very alone. Like nothing matters. Wanting to curl up in the corner and die.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New writing project

I've started in on the discipline of writing a little bit each day, and starting a new story. Rather long... and I'm not sure how I'm going to present it yet.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Exchanging Hannibal Lecter for C.S. Lewis

Believe me, you don't want Hannibal Lecter inside your head.
- The Silence of the Lambs.

Anthony Hopkins played both Lecter and Lewis, in "Silence of the Lambs" and "Shadowlands" respectively.  He was brilliant in both... I still hear Hopkins's voice whenever I read Lewis' work.  However I hear a "Lecter" inside my head a lot... the voice telling me how much I suck.  This voice is bent on my destruction, telling me how much everyone would be better off without me.  It is contemptuous of me, dismissive.

Watch this speech of Lecter's to Clarice Starling...

Hannibal Lecter

That's what I hear inside.  A lot.  Not those exact words of course, but the tone, dripping with contempt.  This voice is grinding away at me and is probably the reason why I hate myself so much.

I need to kick that evil bastard out.

Lewis has always been the person from history that I would like most to hang out with.  Just... hang out and talk.  I've been trying recently to hear his voice in my head rather than Lecter's

Thursday, January 5, 2012


 I wrote about how hard it was to write the paper, because, the second I wrote something down, it was no longer perfect.  As long as I did nothing, it remained flawless.

-Bill Cosby

And this is why I procrastinate.  Procrastinate to the point of never getting started.  This is why it is so hard for me to write.  In my imagination, the story is perfect... spellbinding.  But the moment I have to set the thing down, to actually try to convey the images into words, it can be less than perfect.  I get angry and call the whole thing off.  So many half started things, because if I can't do it flawlessly, it isn't worth doing.

This is a big obstacle that I have to overcome, if I'm going to actually get anything worthwhile done.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chloe: The Rise of Antichrist

Buck Williams had the stunned look of someone who had just hit him in the back of his head with a shovel, just before falling unconscious.  He staggered once and fell back into the padded chair across from Chloe's desk.

The Antichrist's desk.

"No... no," he moaned once.  "Chloe.... you can't do this."

"I can, and I have."  Her voice softened.  "Buck, the God you worship is a monster.  He took away almost everyone I cared about, causing untold misery and heartbreak.  Billions dead.  People suffering everywhere.  And they're all suffering because God loves them so much?"  She snorted.  There are only two possibilities.  Either your picture of the way God is, is very wrong or... and this is what causes me to really shudder... it is right on the money.  Such a God, I can't possible believe in, let alone worship.  In fact, the right thing to do is to use every ounce of energy in thwarting his will."

She got to her feet and stared out the huge windows overlooking Manhattan.  "There is some supernatural force at work here.  But to call it God..."

"You can't change the End Times, Chloe."

She smirked and turned to him.  "Can't I?  I've access to a time machine of sorts.  Your 'End Times' checklist.  All I have to do is figure out what I'm supposed to do... then do my damndest to make sure that doesn't happen.  No rebuilt temple.  No New Babylon.  Of course there's not much I can do about earthquakes and such.  But if I know they're coming I can get ready for them.  And people will applaud my foresight and be more receptive to my message."

"Your message?"

"A God that requires worship is not worthy of it.  A God that uses bullying tactics and threats is not worthy of it."  Her voice raised in volume and became shrill.  "A God that uses the same methods of persuasion as a third world dictator or a Mafia boss... IS.. NOT... WORTHY... OF IT!"  She slammed her palm down on the desk."

"Chloe, I ...  I don't want to see you go to hell."

She closed her eyes and composed herself.  "I've no desire to, but it's too late.  Really, is there anything in your Prophesy that allows the Antichrist to repent?  Wouldn't take it if it was offered, anyway."  Her breath hitched once.  "I did... I do love you, Buck."

"I love you too!  This is why this doesn't make any sense!"

She ignored him.  "But... this is bigger than both of us.  You must choose now.  Me.. or your merciful God."

"You know the answer to that."

She nodded slowly a single tear falling down her face.  She wiped it away her face setting into hardened stone.  "I thought as much.  Please don't get in my way, Cameron.  It won't be pleasant for either of us."  She turned and faced the window again.

A long silence.  Then she heard him get up, open and close the office door.  She fought for several minutes to force her emotions under control. 

Her intercom buzzed.  "Madam Secretary?  Dr. Phillips is on line one."

"Thank you."  She turned around and hit the blinking light.  "You have something for me?"

"Ah... Madam Secretary... I have the results of the... err.... tests."

She inwardly sighed.  Getting a straight answer out of anyone was almost impossible,  because everyone would prefer to give her what she wanted to hear, rather than speak plainly.  Truth was a rare mineral that she had to sift out of vast sands of bullshit. 

"And...?"  She threw a great deal of impatience into her voice.

"Well it is... ah... positive."  His hesitation wasn't really his fault, for he had no idea whether this would be good or bad news for her.  "It would be best if you started a regimen of vitamin supplements and be back to see me in a few weeks."

"Thank you, That will be all."  She disconnected the line abruptly, sat down and pinched the bridge of her nose.

Pregnant.  Well that certainly complicated things.