Double Squee

I’m planning a The Hobbit binge-watch as my Christmas celebration.  And with the fourth season of BBC’s Sherlock starting on January 1, my fan-girl is quite happy.

♥May your holidays be filled with squee.

Brain-Sick

When the Voices ComeBrain-sick.

It’s how I describe my state in the worst of my bipolar symptoms.  It feels more positive than saying, “I’m having a bad day” or any other way of answering the question “How are you?”  But, after almost four years of blogging, I’m still hesitant to announce it.  As a rapid cycler, the icky way I feel now will change soon, so why carp?  Why give the demons a voice?  Then, the mood changes again, so I’m right back where I started.  To tell, or not to tell, that is the question.

Yesterday was one of those days where I didn’t dare pay attention to my own thoughts.  I went to the movies instead.  It’s a kind of meditation, giving the thoughts a padded corner to fuss and do their gymnastics while I turn my attention to the soft darkness of the theater, the popcorn, and the old friends up on the screen.  I went to three movies in row, seven hours of peace, seven hours of safety.  The twisted thinking and sorrow waited for me outside the theater.  We went to a nice dinner together where I ignored them with my journal and pretty fresh strawberries with whipped cream.  I forgot to take my sleep aid, so they woke me up early for another day together.

This is just the way of it.  There are days of moving forward and days, like these, where standing still is an enormous victory.  I’m thankful that I don’t judge either any more.  I’m grateful that I can simply accept being brain-sick.  It’s almost as comforting as returning to Middle Earth.  Almost.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

I Knew What Was Coming

I bought my ticket in advance.  I put on lipstick.  But I knew what was coming.

Thorin BoFAThe Hobbit has been one of my favorite books since I was in junior high.  I wrote my Senior Thesis on Tolkien.  I’m in love with Richard Armitage.  But I knew what was coming.

Everyday for the last few weeks, I’ve whipped from depression to hysteria.  I wondered, since I knew what was coming, if going to the movie now was wise.

But, I went to the premiere last night and sat in a full house of other Tolkien geeks who cheered and wailed along with me. Because we knew what was coming.  And it was glorious.

And as an additional kick to the emotional gonads, Billy Boyd (Pippin from The Lord of the Rings) sings the theme song.  In this YouTube piece, his song overlays all six of the movies Peter Jackson crafted from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings along with behind the scenes moments.  Those are mostly of the cast and crew saying their own farewells.  Excuse me while I go get another box of Kleenex.

Flames Over the Atlantic

In a few hours, I’ll be winging my way across The Pond for my first British Adventure.

I can’t wait to meet my darling blog-friend, Evelyn, who has so graciously offered her hospitality and companionship.  Her eclectic knowledge and far-flung interests never cease to astound.  One look at her blog will tell you that.  We speak a wonderful language that I’m sure no one else can understand.  Part poetry, part trans-continental colloquialisms, part bipolar-brain, we delight in each other’s weirdness.  She was the first person to buy a card from my Etsy sight.  I feel like I’ve known Evelyn all my life.  Here she is with Fred (who seems to speak the same Irritated Cat language as my Henry).

Evelyn & Fred

Then, there’s that other piece of business I’ll be tending to while in London.  A bit of theater.  In the front row.  Agog.

For Hobbit fans, this soliloquy might ring a few bells.  Alas, poor Richard seems to be destined for the torch.  Is it any wonder I’m smoldering?

Evelyn has instructions to box up my ashes and ship me home.  I’ll send up a smoke signal when I get back.

Confession

PJ

Whenever I see that someone in New Zealand visited my blog, I’m sure it was Peter Jackson.

Focus on Gratitude: Day 8

iPodI know I gush about music.  It is truly one of the things that makes my life worth living.  When I bought an old-sytle iPod a couple of years ago, it was like winning the lottery.  I made a little carrier for it out of old socks and a shoelace so I could have my music everywhere—on my walks, in the truck, at the movies during that awful pre-show junk.  I sling that thing over my neck and rock.

But the most important part about carrying my music around is being able to sing along with it.  I’ve been told I have a fair voice, but even if I sounded like a chainsaw, I’d still belt it out with Adele and Bonnie Raitt.  It makes me feel good.  Singing pulls in oxygen, much like exercise.  It releases endorphins.  It’s a natural anti-depressant.  I firmly believe I started singing as a youngster to self-medicate.  Hells, yeah.

Yesterday, I felt like crap.  I’m at that point in a long bout of lung crud where there’s a kind of relapse—laryngitis, hot and cold flashes, endless coughing, general body funk.  So I went to see Desolation of Smaug again to cheer myself up a little.  As the credits rolled, everyone left (Cretins!  How dare they not stay to see who the Scenic Artist Foreman was!), and Ed Sheeran’s theme song started.

Alone in the theater, I sat up and belted it out in my croaky voice (because, of course, I have the song memorized).  When Ed hit the chorus, “I see fire…” I was on a roll—harmonizing and warbling, getting all those endorphins flowing.  And when the song ended, I sighed in contentment.

I looked over to get my coat and saw a man standing at the end of my aisle—mouth open.  He slowly lifted his hands and applauded.

Hells, yeah!

Focus on Gratitude: Day 4

The depression is back, but that doesn’t preclude gratitude.  Our funny little brains are so amazing.  Even in the worst despair, there is a part of the brain that holds Light.  We just have to turn toward it.  We may not be able to reach out for it yet, but the brain will keep it safe until we can.

This morning, I’m surrounded by music—beautiful, heart-filling music.  At David Kanigan’s site, on my iPod, and on my Pinterest boards where I go to get a lift.  And as I am still full of gratitude for my Hobbit adventure on Friday, Ed Sheeran’s theme song is foremost on my mind.

Focus on Gratitude: Day 3

Truly, the tales and songs fall utterly short of your enormity, O Smaug-Henry,   The Stupendous.

cats, Henry

I am grateful, indeed, for my own King Under the Sheet-Mountain…

cats, Henry

No matter the Terror and Destruction.

It’s Almost Here

DoS Erebor

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug premiered in Los Angeles on Monday (Monday?  Who opens a movie on Monday?).  All my heart-throbs in one place, at the same time, in the same picture.  Fan-girl overload.

DoS group

I bought  my ticket last week and keep it in my billfold.  As my little respite of stability slips away, I keep that ticket in mind.  I have something fabulous to look forward to next week.  I get to sit in the dark with these lovely characters again.  I get to fall into a story I’ve loved since high school.  I may be cycling and beating back my own dragons, but I’ll be in good company.

And just in case you’ve been living under treasure in Erebor, here’s the trailer.

Chocolate Covered Cherries

chocolate-covered-cherriesSo, here I am, practicing living and accepting my life As Is, and what happens?  I’m dipped, like a juicy cherry, in chocolate fantasy.

It’s a pattern.  I see a movie (hero) that touches some core hunger, and my imagination gallops off with me hanging on by my teeth.  It happened with Christopher Reeve in Superman.  It happened with Indiana Jones.  It happened with Christian Bale in The Dark Knight.  Now I’ve been kidnapped by Thorin from The Hobbit (and his portrayer, Richard Armitage, by association).  Scenarios, stories, images spring fully formed from my fevered brow like Athena from Zeus’ forehead.  I scribble them all down to try to get them out of my head, but there’s no draining this well.  More Stories take their place.  Details, dialog, complicated plots.  I’ve been invaded.

Thorin Oakenshield, Richard Armitage, The HobbitThis manic brainstorm is lush and intoxicating, sexy and completely distracting.  I can live there instead of the Real World, which is painful and plodding. The desire to stay there is incredibly strong, but I’m supposed to be facing my reality, right?

I do the best I can, which isn’t much.  When the Stories in my head take a little break, I place myself in space and time (I’m in my truck, my hands on the steering wheel, Annie Lennox is singing about broken glass…).  I take a few deep breaths and feel my body.  Here I am.  Then the Story picks up again and I’m onto the next scene.

I’ve decided it might be better to just ride this pleasure cruise until the mania shifts.  And it will.  I’ll do my best to reorient and ground in the Real, but I don’t think I can stop my brain from doing this.  I’m not sure I want to.  I like chocolate covered cherries too much.

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