So long to all that

This time of year the Television schedules are fit to bursting with tedious review shows. These inane dribllefests are hosted by a vacuous panel of D-list celebrities who plough through a three hour show bereft of any humour.

The relentless head shots, repeats of footage you only saw last week and pithy comments tend to bring on feelings of self-harm after about 3 hours.

So, with that in mind, I thought I would do my own review of the year.

January:

The year started off really badly. I was started a poorly paid boring job, listening to corporate drones who used newspeak. However rather than hang myself I went for an audition and got the part of Dr Spivey in One Flew Over The Cuckoos nest.

Feb:

More tedium in my paid job. Child protection training was done on-line, which was ironic I suppose. I had to suffer the horror of cartoon social workers blabbering away about things such as neglect and abuse. This made me want to go out and punch the nearest child in the face and steal his dinner money.

March:

March was actually not a bad month. I had a night out in a pretend casino and lost lots of pretend money and drank real tequila. Actually, that was probably the only highlight. So, really it was another shite month.

April:

Ah, this month I did Cuckoo’s nest. It went down a storm, but afterwards I felt like there was a huge hole in my life. With no new productions coming up, I had precious little hope of any form of relaxation to look forward to. I did a few days filming, which was something of a curates egg. I did not enjoy getting up at 4:30am. I did however appreciate a large cooked breakfast that was free of charge, lunch and afternoon snacks. Oh, I started this blog as my previous site (which was hosted by Blogger) died on me.

May:

My career reached yet another nadir. I don’t think there is a collective noun for the plural of nadir but maybe ‘a nuisance of nadir’ would be appropriate. I turned down a job, as frankly I have to admit to myself that I am far too judgemental of people’s behaviour at times. Sexual health promotion would not be the ideal job for me. I can’t be laissez-fair about this sort of thing. I am typically English, and I like being repressed. I spent my day job handing out ill-fitting shoes to people and trying to work on peoples inter-relatedness. Hmm. I’m a fine one to do that.

June:

I met my new and truly terrifying new dentist whom I thought was both evil and attractive at the same time..I’m such as sucker for that.  I had some shots done for a theatrical agent, erm….I think that was it. I’m sure something was going on somewhere else but I can’t recall.

July:

Audition month. I went for the 39 steps, which I didn’t get. I did however get my first part in a musical. I’ve never done a musical before. I must admit it was quite daunting at first, my character didn’t sing but I did sing in the chorus the songs ‘Oldest established’ , ‘Luck be a lady’ and ‘Sit down your rocking the boat’. Meeting this new company did me the world of good however and I’ve made some great friends there. It was also the holiday to Majorca which went very well, despite the appalling food, the family and I had a blast.

August:

Time for my post holiday psychosis. I decided to roll dice to make decisions for a few weeks. I re-started meditation, read books on Buddhism and the Tao. Spent my paid working hours doing absolutely nothing at all.

September:

I started to write my book ‘Kevin the third’. I did nothing else other than rehearse that month.  Not really my most memorable.

October:

Show time. Guys and Dolls was a blast as was the after-show party. I auditioned for Dick Whittington and got the part of Alderman Fitzwarren. Donned a moustache. Went to work in a team I had previously been fired from. I had job interviews but in the end I turned them down, my heart isn’t in mental health nursing.

November:

I spent a great deal of time rehearsing and reading about economics. Not at the same time of course, that would be dangerous.

December:

Lots more rehearsing for Panto. Of course we had Christmas which wasn’t particularly fun for myself and Lady Nobacon. I may post more about that once the festive season is over.

Hmm

What a boring year!

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Learning Joy from Vortigaunts

Strangely wise I’ve always been something of a fan of computer/video games. My first computer was a Spectrum 48k complete with rubber keys and I would spend rainy and dark afternoons playing games on it. Perhaps my views are tinged with nostalgia as the games were simple and had monochrome sprites rather than the more realistic graphics we see today.

Spectrum games were certainly quirky things. My £1 pocket money meant that every other week I could get a new title, particular favourites of the time were ‘Streaker’ a game where you wake up naked in an alternate universe and have to solve puzzles to get your clothes back. Another simplistic classic was ‘General Election’ whereby you had to choose how left/right wing you were according to the variables in the electorate.

These days games seem to be endless killing sprees. I’m not keen on games such as call of duty or modern warcraft. There is nothing quirky about them, instead they tend to glamorize war in my opinion. However there are some glimmers of imagination still out there in the video gaming world. One of my favourite characters are the Vortigaunts from the Half Life series.

One particularly useful thing they do is refer to humans as ‘The’. So I would be ‘The Egbutnobacon’. My son would be ‘The Patrick’. I find this particularly useful when it comes to meditation. After all, we do identify with names so much don’t we? We may become offended when somebody forgets our name, or misspells it. We feel embarrassed when we can’t remember somebodys name. It seems then that names are pretty central to our ego, our sense of self. If you can strip away with your name, which surely must be the ultimate label, then maybe just maybe we can begin to free up a little.

Who knows? Maybe we could end up naked in an alternate universe.

Anniversary

It’s been 8 years to the day that my father died whilst on holiday. He was 61 and to be honest it was completely out of the blue when it happened. He was scuba diving (he’d never done this before, he was something of a sedentary chap) and something happened. Either it was a heart attack or some kind of “Freak” wave that then triggered off his arrest. Regardless he didn’t come back from that holiday. He was with my mother at the time and the horrible thing was the boat broke down so she had to stay with him whilst he turned different colours.

Hmm

Grim eh.

Still it’s 8 years on and life goes on. I am pretty much the double of my father, I have a great many of his characteristics too, but of course I am bound to do, genetics and learned behaviour and all that!

I once read a quote in a book that challenged the reader to ‘Live as though your father is dead’. One could be rather glib about this as I’ve been doing this for 8 years, but I think the real purpose of the authors words are to be free of the expectations of your father. I think it’s an interesting exercise, and a challenging one. Because despite his physical death, it took me time to let go of his ghost, his expectations.

I think for me, that meditation has helped me start to let go of expectations, I must emphasise that I really do mean ‘start to let go’.

Excitement

Well, since I’ve taken up meditation again I’ve started to feel much happier. Sadly, a lot of people I know have no idea about meditation and think it’s either weird or dangerous.

Strange that. Considering millions of people practice this on a daily basis that us in the west view it with suspicion.

It has such a nice feeling for me. I find it easy to stop drinking when I’ve meditated as I feel so mellow. It’s one of those things though that is deceptively simple.  One lets go of the mind, by that I mean that I stop following my thoughts, that I just let them go. They still come and go but I don’t get hooked on them.

I’m also excited because the next 2 nights I’m on a TV drama. ITV’s drama ‘Appropriate Adult’. I’m looking forward to this and have decided to miss a rehearsal for Guys N Dolls on Monday.

The musical is coming along nicely, I’m still unconvinced by the script and feel that the show is too long. However I am enjoying the experience and I think the show will do well.