Melina Gunnett

July 24, 2012

Baby Steps, Baby!

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 2:36 AM

I have been avoiding writing this post all day.

No, it isn’t because I totally failed at last weeks task I set for myself, to try to act like a responsible adult. I did mostly fail at that task, but not entirely. I managed to shower, eat and dress myself all week, so I at least surpassed toddler stage. The dog is still alive too, so I must have remembered to feed and walk him. (Okay, Using the dog as a marker is kind of cheating. His owners were here until Saturday morning.)


Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

I had a long list of things that I needed to get done. Some got done, some were partially completed, some I successfully avoided. Oh wait, avoiding them isn’t a mark of success in this case. On the up side, I did finish the second draft of my book while avoiding doing less pleasant tasks.

Obviously I wasn’t prepared to start acting like a grown up right out of the gate. Baby steps baby! So that is what I am going to try this week. I am going to complete at least one task each day. One task, how hard can that be?

I guess it depends on how you look at it. My task today was to sort out my filing drawer and find the paperwork I would need to finish other tasks this week. I did manage to drag my butt out of the house and buy more hanging folders. Now they are sitting on the desk mocking me.

Now that I have admitted that, I have to do something about it. That is why I have been avoiding writing this post, it let me avoid the filling. On the upside, I got all my laundry done, my bulletin board hung and updated the antivirus software on my computer while trying to avoid the task I had set for myself. The downside – today is almost over and if I don’t get it done will feel like a total failure.

So I am off to file – just as soon as I walk the dog.

July 22, 2012

A Dangerous Method – Review

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 7:51 PM

I watched a dangerous method last night. When it was over I wasn’t sure exactly what to think, so I decided to sleep on it. Now that it is a new day and I have had time to think about it, I still don’t know what to think.

I really should like this movie, it seems to be rather well done and the characters are interesting, but I kept getting distracted. I probably missed something important at the beginning of the movie because I was staring at Keira Knightley and wondering what the hell happened to her. For some reason the normally beautiful Keira was transformed in to an cadaverous caricature for this film.

I did find her disturbing, if that was the goal (she was playing a mental patient at the beginning of the film) then kudos to the director, he succeeded. Personally, I think she is a good enough actor that she could have managed it without the being changed into a coat hanger and I doubt it as the reason anyway. They did not have her character gain weight to a healthy level as she got better.

The biggest problem I had with the movie is entirely my own. It was my own internal struggle of myth versus reality. I spent some time this afternoon researching Sabina Spielrein, she is a real person as are Jung and Freud and most of what took place is the movie appears to have really happened.  I was hopping researching the truth would help me resolve my own conflict, and while it did help me clarify what was causing my visceral reaction, it did nothing to resolve it.

When I picked the movie I knew that it as about a psychoanalyst that got involved with a patient, I just had not realized that it was Carl Jung – the Carl Jung, Sabina was one of his first patients and he was very young at the time. All excuses, although even he admits (as much as he actually admitted anything) that he knew better. While Sabina freely admits to the affair in her letters and diaries, Jung is always circumspect, even in his letters to her.

Jung has, in my mind become an archetype of a psychoanalyst. This is where I run into issues. I don’t want to see him as a human, complete with faults and weaknesses. I want to see him as the brilliant mind that understood the depths of our psyches and helped us develop a way to communicate with and understand them. At the same time, the movie (and the letters it is based on) also gives insight into how he came to have these understandings.

Perhaps I would be more understanding if he (Jung’s character) was not portrayed as such a distant, cold person. From everything I can find he was such a person, but could he not have let down his guard a bit in private with is wife or lover? It is a hard dose to see someones humanness without getting to a chance to see their humanity.

That said, the move does portray and accurate look at the relationships between the three primary characters, at least from the correspondence we have. While parts of the movie made me uncomfortable, it also made me think. It made me contemplate the characters, their actions and my reaction to them. I don’t think Freud, Jung or Spielrein could have ask for a better tribute to their work than that.

July 16, 2012

Fakin’ it

Filed under: Odd Thoughts, Photographs — Tags: , , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 7:15 PM

Today is Monday, the start of a new week. My motto for this week: “Fake it ’til you make it.” I figure if I pretend to be a responsible adult all week, I might actually accomplish all the things a responsible adult would. So far, so fail.

I had it all planned out when I went to bed last night.  I was going to get up as soon as my alarm went off this morning, shower, eat breakfast, check my mail and be sitting in front of my computer getting some work done by noon. How hard could that be? I mean noon – some people’s work day is half over by then. I even set my alarm before I fell asleep.

Fail! 10am came and went while I was still comfortably tucked into my blankets.  Apparently the alarm doesn’t work very well if I have the volume turned off.  I didn’t even have the vibrate mode turned on (the low, rumbling, electronic growl is usually enough to wake me up). The only reason I even woke up before noon was because Asimov (the dog not the writer) was barking loudly outside my door.

I almost rolled over and went back to sleep. Okay, I tried to, but he just kept barking. I finally barked back that “someone better be strangling kittens outside my door or I was going to make him into a bath mat” and got up.

Asimov Burns

You moved, it’s my bed now.

No one was strangling kittens.

Yet somehow, instead of decorating my bathroom floor, I ended up with a little white dog curled up, tail wagging, on my bed. It was just too early to maintain my annoyance, or was it?

That’s when I looked at my clock. The alarm had been going off for 15 minutes.  I just hadn’t heard it because the volume was turned off. (Yes I’m claiming it was OFF, not just turned all the way down and playing so softly that only the dog could hear it thus explaining why he was barking loudly at my door. No one was strangling kittens, he does not get an excuse.)

Of course, now the dog was on my bed being quiet, cute and needed to be snuggled. (Yes, I know I’m a sucker, unfortunately so does he.) I knew I needed to get up, get showered, put on coffee… I also knew I should not be taking my turns in all my scrabble games, playing solitaire until I finally won a game, or finishing the game of Peggle I had left open on my computer.  Guess what I chose?

Yeah, I had already started to lose my battle to be part of the responsible adult world. There are so many things I needed to be doing and so many, far more fun, things that I could be doing. I am capable of being a responsible person, really I am.  I am just easily distracted when I don’t have someone else to be responsible to or for. That is the whole point of this “fake it ’til I make it” week, learning to be responsible to and take care of myself.

My ability to find something distracting in a empty room is one of the main reasons the project has been a fail so far, but it is still early in the day and the week has just begun. I still have time to redeem myself. While I didn’t make it by noon, I did manage to have to start writing by 1pm. I may not be exactly on my planned schedule, but my butt is in the chair and not playing games or watching movies. It is a start.

I even managed to do some of the stuff I had planned to do before I sat down to write today.  Well, sort of… I am showered and dressed, even if my hair is a slowly drying tangle because I haven’t brushed it. I have eaten, even if it was a slice of cold pizza instead of coffee and eggs on toast. Now I am writing, even if it is a blog post instead of rewriting the last 11 pages of the book so I can do a final edit and turn it in.

Tomorrow is going to be the real test. My official move in date was two weeks ago and there is a whole list of things that any reasonably responsible adult would have already done, like: Changing my address, driver’s license, car registration, insurance, voters registration, bank, library… I haven’t done any of it yet. I also have a list of things I have been putting off because of the move, like: new eyeglasses, a hair cut, legal stuff involving the land in CA, checking on the lease in MA, finding an agent to sell the land in VT…

I really need to consider breaking that list into at least two days worth of errands before I have a panic attack.  I suppose actually making a list of everything that needs to be done would be a good idea too, but I that can wait for tomorrow.  Right now it would just another form of procrastination. I know what I’m supposed to be doing today and making a list isn’t part of it.

It is time to stop finding things to sidetrack myself and get things done like a responsible adult. I’m going to fake it ’til I make it baby! — I just need to keep going, ignore any distractions, and get it done. I can do this!

Is it cheating if I go make coffee first?

*Just a little note for my friends who love animals and/or take things too literally.  No you don’t have to call PETA or send me instructions on the proper skinning and tanning of animal hides.  While I grumble about and often threaten the little white dog with a Botox injection to his voice box, what I usually end up doing to him is pretty much what I did with him this morning.  I took him out for a short walk around the complex, played with him for a few minutes and gave him a marrow bone to chew on.  Did I mention he was spoiled?

July 7, 2012

Every Circus Needs a Ringmaster

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 3:37 AM

The first time I appeared in a newspaper I was three. I wish I knew where the clipping was packed so I could post the picture, I was a cute little thing back then. I was the ringmaster, proudly leading my preschool’s circus parade, in my big white hat, matching boots and swinging a sparkley baton. The hat wasn’t the traditional top hat you see most ringmaster’s sporting. It was more like something that would have been worn in a marching band, but that’s not the point.

That hat made me feel like I was in charge, in control, all I had to do was point my baton and things would happen. I could really use that hat (and any mystical aura of command it might be endowed with) because my life has definitely been a circus of late — and I think the elephant may have stepped on me.

I just moved down to Portland.( “Ah, moving!” you say. “That explains everything.” — Not really.) This should have been an easy move. I had several months to decide where I wanted to go and, since I had purged most of my possessions before I moved back to the West coast, everything I owned fit into a cargo van with room to spare.

I drove down at the end of May to look for a room. It looked like finding a place would be easy, Craigslist listed a plethora of choices within my budget. Then a friend came up with an even better idea. Their lease was expiring and they wanted to buy a house, so why didn’t we look for houses and I could rent a room from them.

We looked, but finding a house you want to own isn’t as easy as finding an apartment or room you are willing to live with for a while. I wish I had put more time and/or thought into it before I bought my house in Massachusettes. In the end we decided to do the sane thing, rent an apartment.

Finding the right apartment was another adventure. All we wanted was a place in good repair with three bedrooms and storage. All we could find were apartments that, at best, met two of the three criteria. We finally settled on a two bedroom that was at least big enough to hold all of their furniture. Actually, I rather like the place we ended up with but it won’t be home until we have everything here and put away.

Getting everything here has been an even bigger adventure than find the right place was. By adventure I mean PAIN IN THE BUTT! Actually, getting my stuff here went relatively smoothly. We drove up to where I was living and packed all my stuff in an afternoon. (The advantage of having few possessions.) When the apartment was ready I rented a cargo van, had a friend drive up with me and help me load it because I had pulled my back out and dropped everything off at the new place. My move went easy.

Oh, yeah – in the midst of all this I both managed to get sick for a week (The kind of sick where you don’t get out of bed unless it involves getting closer to the bathroom.) and injure my back so badly that I couldn’t even sit up for a couple of days. My back is almost back to normal now, but it was lousy timing. I couldn’t carry anything for most of the move.

Still, my stuff made it to the new house, now all we had to do was get my roommates things here. No problem, we rented a moving van and hired 4 people off of Craigslist to come do the actual moving.

Problem – None, that’s right NONE of them showed up. We had a truck and no one that could load it. Emergency calls were made and we got some help, but the truck had only been rented for 6 hours. It was a cross town move, that should have been plenty of time. Wonderful friends – let’s just call them heroes, because that is what the were, came and helped. We got about half of the stuff moved before we had to get the truck back.

Returning the truck was a mixed blessing. We really needed something to move the rest of the furniture in, but the truck itself was a mess. The roof leaked and dripped water all over my roommates mattress, the brake lights went out (Twice, the first time we took it back and they “fixed” it for us.) and the A/C shot out hot air.

To top it off my roommate left her phone in the truck and when we went back five minutes later, it was gone. They “said” they didn’t find it, but if that is the case who exactly was listening to her spotify and messing around on her facebook? Either way, it left us down a phone for the rest of the week.

I’ve lived on the road so much the last year that I am used to not having most of my stuff with me so, of course, I am the one who’s stuff was all in one location. The next several days were spent shuffling back and forth across town to get the things we needed one car load at a time while we figured out how to get the rest of the furniture to the new place. We couldn’t actually unpack either, because most of the storage furniture – shelves, cabinets, bookcases – was still at the other house.

In the end we ended up renting another cargo van to haul everything. Since it had unlimited mileage, it cost about the same amount as renting the truck and we got it for a full day. Already burned once by anonymous people on Craigslist, we hired some friends to help with the move. Did I already mention that we have awesome friends?

So most of the stuff is here now. There are still some small boxes and miscellaneous things that need to be brought over form the old house, fortunately we still have another week to do that and get it cleared out. The last two days have been spent slowly recovering from the move, if you call recovering trips to Ikea, building shelving units and unpacking.

Somehow in the midst of all this I did manage to turn out one short story and submit it, my book, sadly had been sitting – only 30 little pages away from the completion of the second draft – for almost a month now. I didn’t get to make any of the road trips I had planned either. I’m supposed to be at a convention right now, but I’m to tired to deal with it and really, really want to get back to writing.

Unfortunately reality isn’t done with me. I still need to go grocery shopping if we want to eat this weekend. Anyone have a spare time-turner so I can be in two places at once? While I’m out I might as well make one more Ikea run to get the last few things I need in order to put my stuff away and, oh yeah, pick up another load since we will be on that side of town and…

You get the idea. There is always tomorrow, but now you can see why I want a magical ringmaster’s hat. I want to be able to just point at what needs to happen, have a giant spotlight go on and watch as everything arranges itself just the way it should be. I bet I’m not the only one. If I can figure out how to make them, I’ll be rich!

In the mean time, since those errands refuse to run themselves, I better get going.

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