June 4th, 2001

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Stress, Depression, Back-stabbing Housekeepers, My Father's Wonderful Nurse, and Severance Pay. Father Melancholy's Daughter, Washed Down with Thai Leftovers, Tears, and Water


I am trying so hard to get this house cleaned up before the twelfth, when the staff of Mary Englebreit's Home Matters Magazine comes here to shoot my house for an article. It just seems like this impossible, daunting task, made so much harder by all of this natural grief that I am trying to force myself to get through, much sooner than I should have to.



I'm still struggling with coming to terms with my Father's death. I guess this is normal. I saw this great show on HBO last night, Six Feet Under, that was about a family of undertakers or mortuary directors. It was so good, the writing, the direction, the acting, everything, I really loved it and think it's going to be a huge hit, but it was also really morbid, and having just gone through so much of that; the selecting of the casket and plots, and all the creepy painful stuff you have to do, it just naturally brought up a lot of the feelings of grief and sadness I have around my Dad's passing.

I am very afraid of embalming, it just freaks me out, someone once told me about their using these big bore needles to take the blood out of you, and I was fighting to keep my dad from having to have that done to him, but in the end the Mortuary guy won out, and I gave in. It didn't help to hear one of the characters in the show say he had to put formaldehyde soaked cotton balls up his Father's ass so it wouldn't leak. God, the timing of this, well, it was just too real for me. I started crying and Scott was kind and tried to help, but I think he doesn't know what to do to help me.

I was just opening some eBay stuff that I had bought, and wondered what this hardback book was and then I remembered I had seen this book on the net somewhere and bought it impulsively because the title spoke to me. It's called Father Melancholy's Daughter, just because that's who I think I am, it kind of says it all about my relationship with my Father. He wasn't a well man. He was crazy for a long time and we all had to pretend like he wasn't. I loved him so much but there is so much I never had in my relationship with him. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia years ago, like maybe fourteen or more, he even went to see a psychiatrist (he didn't believe in psychiatry, he always thought everyone was out to rip him off) who put him on Stelazine. Anyway there's still a lot here for me to deal with emotionally, and it's hard to force myself to come up and look at how much work we have left to do, before these people come over. Part of me just wants to cancel but I've already invested so much time and energy in it.

I'm so tired of stressing out over money. Don't any of you guys know of an easy way for me to make money doing what I love right here from my home in a limited number of hours? Ha ha. At least I paid my SAG dues so I don't have to worry about that anymore, but my registration is behind and I wrote big checks to Noemi and Esther that I somehow have to cover. My rent money hasn't come in because my tenant has to pay the loan company, (loan company that's a laugh, it's two women in an apartment), first, then they pay me the difference. I still haven't written to my tenant to tell him that his rent went up in April by 6%. It's frustrating because he knows this, it happens every April, but he always makes me remind him because he resents having to do it. He's making a small fortune out of my building, running it into the ground. If he ever leaves I think all I'll get back is a gross shell. It's been described in the press (when Robert Downey Jr. was hanging out there) as a seedy strip club, weeeeee.

I think maybe I'm a little frightened and depressed, or stressed and depressed. The cat situation is seriously out of control, same with the dogs and the bunnies and the rats, the chinchilla, the ferrets, the lizards and the fish. It seems like everyone, including my son and the two women who work for me, kind of skate by on the minimum they can get away with. Then, when I kind of surface every once in a while from my sleepy underwater fantasy world, I notice everything that has been let go, and wind up seeming like a bitch for getting on them about it. I just hate seeing everything get ruined. It's hard watching pieces of expensive hard won Roseville pottery break little by little because someone forgot to push them back away from the edge of a shelf after cleaning under them, and a cat waked by and knocked them off. I know it's just stuff, I can't take it with me, but I just hate seeing it all crumble and fall apart. Why can't I find someone to work for me during the week who has energy and initiative? I'm such a shmo when it comes to hiring and firing people.

Oh God, I just got off the phone with my Father's nurse Aurelia's daughter Josie. I LOVE Aurelia, she is such a good person. I miss her so much. Rosa, my Mother's scheming, hypocritical, back-stabbing, overly dramatic, compulsive liar of a housekeeper pushed her out of her job and my Mother let her. She let her go without any kind of severance pay after five years of totally faithful loving service. The least she could have given her would have been two weeks pay. Josie was calling to tell me how unjust she thinks her Mother was treated and I couldn't agree more. I listened and completely sympathized with her and then she got off the phone. If I had any spare money, if I hadn't blown it like I always do, compulsively on eBay or at swapmeets, I would send it to her. Josie said Aurelia was completely demoralized. I feel so sad about all of this. I wish there were something I could do. I already stood up to my Mother and tried to defend Aurelia, Mom just said it was for the best, and called Aurelia a cry baby. Lovely isn't it? No wonder I'm so screwed up.
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Oooh yeay I just found some more. I never get to buy these, just can't afford them, but at least we can all have this copy : )
The photographer that I love so much is/was Alfred Cheney Johnston, I think he went by A. C. Johnston and he was famous for his Ziegfeld nudes, which as you can see are so pretty. There's just something so ethereal and romantic about them. I love vintage nudes but these are exceptional. I like the first one more than the second.



Here's a portrait of Ziegfeld Gal. You know this is probably the most beautiful photograph this woman ever had taken of her.
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God, I'm so sick of the stress. Things just keep coming at me and I never seem to be able to break free. I seem to go from one stressful upsetting event to another and I think I've been living like this for so long, with small breaks in between when I get away and travel. Well, there are always moments, snatches of happy moments, where I stop and think about how grateful I am to be right where I am, like tonight when I was putting warm compresses on Scaredy-Cat and Beau was helping me, I told him how much I love him and how happy I am when we together doing some small thing like that. The problem is, my depression, or my outlook, or bad mental habits, or whatever it is, is always there in the background nagging at me, telling me to get what little happiness I can, grab what little time I can with my son before it's all over, and he's moved on and doesn't want to be near me anymore. I don't know where it comes from, this frightened pessimism, but I know I had it when I was little. I used to get depressed about going to Disneyland before I even got there because I would think about how soon I would be in that moment afterwards where it would all be over. Maybe that's why I started buying or collecting things obsessively, because it's something tangible that I can hang on to.

I just want to be happy and live in the present, be at peace, not be angry at anyone, or feel insecure or hurt, or driven to achieve something amazing. I'd like to have long stretches of time where I don't feel this constant time pressure nagging at me, there are always so many things that need doing, and I'm never satisfied. When your life's ambitious goal is to win an Academy Award and find some way to do good and make a difference in the world at the same time, there isn't much room for mellow simplicity. I'm always driven but I never get anything done. I'm sick of it. I wonder if I'll ever just accept myself as I am? Will I be all right if I never become hugely successful or famous? What if I just found some warm soft comfortable spot and laid done my burdens? Stopped wanting so much, stopped needing to be someone, stopped feeling this ense of pressure and competition, stopped hurting and yearning when I see so many people I've been close to succeed in the entertainment industry on such a huge scale. What if I just acted like a cat and lived in the now, napping in the sun, forgetting about the stupid future?

I think the only way I'm ever going to be free is if I can break away from my Mother in some way. I am my best, happiest, and most joyously free self when I'm acting or singing, when I'm travelling and exploring, discovering something new, or when I'm at a nude resort or at Burning Man.

Noemi and Beau got into a fight tonight. He was blocking the refrigerator and he refused to move. She got angry and was a bully and pulled his hand off the fridge, she hurt his wrist, but he should have let her pass and refused to. She thinks he was disrespectful, inconsiderate, rude, and started the trouble. He thinks she was mean and hurt him. I tried to help them see the other's point of view, but I'm more mad at and sick of Noemi that I am at Beau. She's the adult, she should know better than to get physical with him. She's pouting in her room now, she thinks he's a liar and that he always runs to me and changes the story. He thinks she's a liar and always changes the story. I think they're like a couple of stubborn immature squabbling kids and I'm sick of it.

I so want to have someone who can really help me and be generous with their energy and time. She gets started so late and only seems to really get anything done on the days when Esther comes and they both work together, but the problem is that I just don't have the money to pay two people to catch up on the work that one person can get done if they aren't chatting on the phone all day and moping around. This isn't working and I don't have the courage to face it. Oh and I called my Mother tonight and told her that Aurelia's daughter Josie called and of course she got defensive and turned the whole thing around and made it about Aurelia's abandoning her. My Mother is so unbelievably self centered. Fuck I'm almost forty and I'm still wasting my life wishing she were different, trying to get her to be kinder, more generous or more understanding, hoping she'll open her eyes and see the world the way it is instead of how she imagines it to be. It would be so easy for her to just do the right thing by Aurelia but of course she wont. When it comes to money or emotions my family is useless. Beau is crying gotta go.