Music Monday: Does anyone out there love Paolo Conte the way I do?

I always try to find some prime example of Paolo Conte’s music that will make people understand how amazing this suave bastard is. And I always think I fail. I mean, yeah – many of us Uhmericns have heard the “chips chips” song (Via Con Me).

 

But that doesn’t even touch on this man’s indescribable awesomeness. He has this way with a melody line that makes it unforgettable. His voice and lyrics – like an Italian-French-English mashup of old world European Tom Waits-lite. And his back story is pretty cool, too.

 

I guess maybe part of why I love Mr. Conte so much is how I discovered him. He was performing in Boston, and my mentor and boss was called in to do the stage tuning. Sometimes an artist would come through and specifically request him – none of that crap with his underlings, they wanted the real deal. I’ll admit, that time of my life I was still kind of desperately searching for a father-figure to fill the void left by my non-father. I kind of worshiped D for that reason. Well, when he got back to the shop after this particular stage tuning, he pulled me aside with kind of a giddy smile and pressed a free pass into my hand, insisting that I go to the show that night. I’d never heard of Paolo Conte, but D was certain I’d love it, that I could appreciate the unique stylings of that music. (Obviously, he was right.)

 

So, maybe I’m biased by that experience. But I’ve loved Paolo Conte ever since. Plus,  I kind want him to be my smoky, suave, questionable grandfather or something.

 

Here’s a neat video I found, I guess it’s an excerpt from a film I’ve never heard of, featuring “Sparring Partner.” Again, it doesn’t quite hit the mark in showing how great I think this artist is. But it is kind of a hot little scene. I mean, I didn’t want to go full-on tango this early in the week…

 

I made a thing. Or, “Introducing, FREE FICTION!”

*throws glitter*

I wrote a smutlet. I tried, unsuccessfully at first, to post it publicly on WattPad. Apparently bits of it are too smutty to be deemed fit for public consumption by the PTB at WattPad, so I went ahead and created a new page here. So, I bring to you, Free Fiction by C.C. Denham! Any little smutlets or short-shorts I’d feel bad about charging money for, I’ll be sharing at that location. Generally plan on stuff that’s 5k or less.

But, back to WattPad. I have decided to test the waters there for some of my less-serious stuff. I did figure out that it would let me post R-rated material publicly, but apparently certain keywords or phrases trigger their NC-17 flag, and those get hidden from the public, only viewable to those folks following me. If you’re a WattPad-er, come by and trade “follows” with me!

 

Stream-of-consciousness on anxiety

I am always listening to my body. Hyper-vigilance, it’s called. Every little ache, twinge, tightness, odd sensation, floaty feeling, whathaveyou – I’m there, more than aware of it.

There’s not a single day that passes where I don’t have at least one moment of worry (usually several): am I having a heart attack? “Managing” that worry is just a slight improvement on that routine: instead of freaking out, on a daily basis I force myself to calm the fuck down and accept that I have anxiety, that it doesn’t make any fucking sense, that I’m probably not having a heart attack, my symptoms don’t even really match that of one, but that if I am going to have a heart attack, there will be little doubt of what it is when it happens, and in the meantime there’s not much I can do to prevent it that I’m not already doing.

Even though I paid out of pocket for labwork last fall and went to the doctor (again), to appease my worries, I’m already considering trying to scrounge up another $300-400 for bloodwork, EKG, and a general appointment, to settle my fears, AGAIN.

NOT that doing any of that is actually any sort of insurance or guarantee against a heart attack. Google that shit and you’ll find any number of cases of people who went through the whole stress-test, bloodwork, monitoring thing, were diagnosed as “fine,” and then suffered a massive coronary.

I don’t even suffer the textbook/hollywood-style panic attacks, thankfully. Yet. The tightening chest, the gasping for air – nope. My ‘hyperventilation’ happens in the form of excessive yawning attacks, when it happens. My panic attacks are literally random adrenalin spikes. This last one, and one or two before it, started with 2 seconds of dizziness, then a hot, buzzing feeling traveling from my chest to my groin. Then it stops. Thankfully, less than 30 seconds, but it’s all so weird and out-of-nowhere that it freaks me out every time, makes me have the sudden urge to sob regardless of my conscious thought process, and sets me back for the next several days in a fog of disassociation and frustration.

I take medicine, and I see a therapist.

I’m working on adjusting my diet to improve my quality of sleep.

I at the very least try to get 20-30 minutes of solid, cardiovascular exercise a minimum of 5 days a week.

I don’t feel stressed, at least on a conscious, emotional level. I do, however, know that I am stressed. I’m an introvert, and I am currently involved in a couple of commitments that have severely cut into my introvert-time. It also has cut into the little bit of regular writing I had tenuously started a few months back. And that has created a lot of angst and guilt with regards to my personal goals and dreams.

I know all that probably exacerbates the anxiety thing, whether or not I consciously associate it with the physical symptoms of anxiety. Heh – it’s like my mind sets all that aside, but my body doesn’t. And then out of the blue, when I’m feeling perfectly relaxed, bam. Fucking ass shit.

I also apparently come by this honestly – my mother, brother, and probably my sister all suffer from some kind of this thing (although my sister, despite having been through some fucked-up shit including breast cancer, refuses to even consider counseling, never mind the rest of it).

 

I’m just – tired.  Tired and frustrated. I hate being victimized by this stupid damned random-ass chemical misfire. And I know – I know I’m damned lucky that this is all I deal with, knock wood. (See? I’m fucking paranoid – I’m paranoid that even writing about this will bring about the fates to cause me an actual heart attack or some other massive health catastrophe in a flash of some kind of poetic irony. Because my brain is a fucking dumbshit.)

I sometimes wonder if the drugs are doing more harm than good – I am crying right now, but barely, and it’s an effort to do so. I used to cry all the time. My therapist recently asked me if I talk to myself. I know I used to. Now, when I drive back and forth all over the place every day, my car is often silent. My head is filled with chatter, but I don’t open my mouth. I was told to work on that.

All I can do is push myself through the next few weeks. Two more weeks of rehearsals, then opening night. A month of weekend performances, a visit from the MIL, and then I’m free and clear.

Right now I want to curl up in bed, but I’m afraid to, because my stupid motherfucking brain. And sadly, chemical relaxants are a bad, bad idea for me – any physical change that I can feel will backfire.

Time to go breathe.

Damn it.

Ugh.

This blog has sat stagnant for so long, the spammers have begun sweeping in, shitting little turds in the comments sections of old posts like diarrhetic vultures.

I’m still here, still struggling, which makes for boring-assed blog material. Struggling? Okay, yeah, people are starving, living without clean, running water or electricity. I guess that’s why I’m not as inclined to publicly air my shit as I was in my twenties. Every time I toss out a glass of water that has cat hair in it, I am reminded of how fucking blessed, how utterly privileged, I am.

All the same, in the context of trying to be a writer, trying to be a self-employed and functional member of society, I feel a lot of strife and outright fail much of the time. I’ve been wrestling with generalized anxiety disorder for some time now. And for the past month or two I’ve been fighting with what I’ve described as physical depression: I can’t seem to get enough sleep, no matter how much sleep I get. I’m not sad, but try telling my body that. My motivation is shit. And at the same time, I’ve gotten myself mired with noisy mental shit that’s taking up all my brain-space.

How the hell does anyone out there have time to get their panties in a tizzy about Amazon, or E.L. James, or whoever that chick is with the 1D fanfic? I mean, I get it – we’re all struggling along, trying to find a single, tiny thread of our dreams to weave into any kind of corner of reality. But fuck, man. Right now my head is so noisy with shit I don’t want to think about, I haven’t had a decent daydream, fantasy, or mental plotting session in well over a month. I guess if I had time to bitch about what someone else was doing, I’d have time to actually write my own stories.

I will say two things: 1) I’m not doing theater again for at least a few years. And 2) I’ve learned a lot about the body lately. Like, did you know excessive yawning can be a form of hyperventilation? And did you know that excessive sugar/carbs can trip up your insulin, cause your system to overreact,  creating a glucose drop which in turn triggers your cortisol to spike and essentially ruin your sleep? I’m trying – trying to figure this shit out and get myself back.

That is all, for now. I’ve been kicking around some ideas for an actual content-heavy blog post, but for now, this is it.