😴I Can Hear It ASMRing In The Air At Night…🎵

Hello Gentle Reader,

Wow! Time flies when you are physically melting into the floor, doesn’t it? For those who aren’t in the Bay Area, we are having a bit of a heatwave these last two weeks. Supposedly today is the end of the worst of it, but I have a sneaky suspicion that there are more days coming. I was so jazzed that it had been, up until now, this summer temp was in the higher 80’s, and I was saying how this has been pretty close to perfect. HA! 🥵 🤬

I can barely function when it reaches 80 degrees outside so when it reaches triple digits inside and there is no air conditioning, I am basically just a bump on the couch.

Oh, and California is on fire… again. Part of the fire problem started when we had this freak ⛈lightning storm🌩 early Sunday morning. I was not in a good place on that day. Stress levels and anxiety were through the roof, Dear Reader. According to the weather advisory, it was only supposed to last for about 35 minutes at 4:27AM. It went on until nearly 11. I am also pretty positive that I heard the first crash of thunder around 3:30ish.

ANYWAY!!! I went off on a bit of a tangent there. Why didn’t you stop me? 😃

We closed out AJ’s Virtual Party with Dragon Theatre and it was so much fun. I think my favorite part of the “performance” was leading a group of the audience into creating an exquisite corpse style poem of their own.

It was exciting to see how hesitant they were to contribute at first, but once they got the idea, the poems took off so quickly and ended up being so beautifully unstructured but then structured in some points that it gave a nice little jolt of a rhyme scheme. Then, those poems from the audience were taken and made into a companion piece to the e-zine we created for our 27 original works and sent to all who attended the show. After the finale of the show, the director would invite anyone that wanted to join the cast in a game of online Scattergories. I haven’t laughed like that all year! Some of the answers were SO ridiculous that it was a highlight for sure. Highly recommend it! 👍

The day after the show closed, I was having a tough time getting to sleep since I had nothing to focus my energy on now. I happened upon a shoe shine video.

I had no idea it was an ASMR video, even though it says ASMR after his name! LOL! I thought that was some sort of shoe abbreviation that I wasn’t aware of (since everything is abbreviated nowadays.) All I knew what that the guy was shining them up as a final step before donating them. I thought the idea was great so I watched. As I watched, I began to feel strangely calm and relaxed. By the end, I was a little sleepy but not tired enough to actually sleep. So I let the next video play and this time I woke up after my phone had shut off and the earbuds were still in my ears. I was really intrigued by this. I knew that ASMR was nothing new as it has been on YouTube for at least 8 years, maybe more. I just thought all of it was food chewing videos. (YUCK!!!!I can’t handle that sound.) Thinking back on it, I recall that some of my favorite movie scenes involved ASMR-like things, such as whispering (specifically the scene in Poltergeist when the son is whispering with the mom and the paranormal investigator) or any time someone is writing and we are allowed to hear the pen/cil on parchment or paper, or Bob Ross’ painting. Something about that crunch of the brush meeting the canvas is hypnotic.

So I began to watch more of them. One of my favorites is ediyasmr. She is a hypnotherapist and reiki practitioner. I find her videos truly helpful getting to sleep. It feels odd that it is a compliment to fall asleep to their work, doesn’t it? She doesn’t make a lot if mouth sounds (like stirring a Mac and cheese pot) but her voice is calm and soothing and clear. There are some I tried but the comment sections were so entertaining that I spent as much attention reading those while listening so I didn’t fall asleep, but I was relaxed and entertained, so still gets a thumbs up from me.

What struck me about these videos is the number of styles that there are! If you don’t want to hear people whispering , they have strictly sounds, like pages turning or writing. They have meditations, and they have role plays. I found that last one interesting as well. Looking at it from an actor’s stand point, if you like being on camera, you can probably make a pretty darn good channel if you have the gear for it as far as mics and costumes doing the role play. I was really impressed with the production value of some of these ASMRtists. There was one that I found that did a whole series dedicated to hugs. Weirdly, after watching it, I truly did feel better.

I marvel at the creativity of the human brain and the people that come up with these really neat ideas. It just shows how important creativity is to us a a species and the good that it does to help entertain, cope, and even heal, and it is so frustrating that I don’t understand why the Arts aren’t given as much value as sports. But that is another rant for another day.

Have you ever watched an ASMR video? What is your favorite? Do you have a favorite ASMRtist, or do you make videos? Give a shout out in the comments and let’s get some more eyes on your vids!

Thanks for letting me bend your ear, Dear Reader. I hope you are safe and alert and staying hydrated if you are in this heat wave or even if you aren’t.

Until next time…

I’m Not OK & That’s OK

white ceramic sculpture with black face mask
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Hello Gentle Reader,

How are you holding up during this pandemic? I hope you are well and staying safe and healthy.

If you would have asked me last month, I would have said I am great. That would have been a 3/4 true statement. People ask now and I tell them I am doing ok. That is a lie, Dear Reader. A big ol’ bold faced lie, I tells ya!

I think I really hit “the wall” about two weeks ago. I have tried to keep myself busy learning some new things, completing yarn projects that I had started but never finished, and even moving all the furniture in my apartment around. I would have done a closet cleaning, but I did that around Christmas time. Every time I try to work on something theatre related, this deep sense of despair hits me like a kick to the chest.

Yup! Like Bruce Lee is kicking me in the chest…

Ever since I got the directive to stay home on March 11th, I have been having a hard time sleeping. I have tried sleeping pills and they do the trick, but I don’t take them repeatedly  because I don’t want to make a habit out of it. I used to find that using them for one night would reset my sleeping rhythm and I would be good until the next bout of insomnia.

Now, I think they enhance my anxiety more than anything else. When I do sleep, I either can’t get comfortable or I have nightmares that set the anxiety into overdrive or scare the shit out of me. Sometimes both.

I think of my friends every hour but I find pulling up social media to be less stimulating than actually seeing them in person or laughing with them and feeling that vibration fill my heart with joy. When I think about logging on, I just get overwhelmed.

I have an ongoing text conversation with my siblings and a cousin and my nieces, but it isn’t the same.  It is nice to have, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t the same and my brain doesn’t like the lack of punctuation and all the spelling errors thanks to voice text. LOL! I know, Kind Reader, I am being ultra whiney right now and I should be grateful for the contact. I hear you and I acknowledge you.

It’s true, Gentle Reader. I am being whiney. But here is the point of all of this. It is ok to not be ok. I have always said to embrace your feelings. Acknowledge them and walk through them. I am bringing them to light because maybe in doing so, it might help someone else that is struggling with this shelter in place malaise as well.

For me, I imagine working my way through them as though I was walking through a haunted maze or house during Halloween.  For those of you who don’t know, I love horror movies but am terrified of the dark. (Rereading that last sentence during editing makes no logical sense, I know, but then again, neither does loving performing but hating being in pictures.) Walking into a haunted house is always a sense of fun and dread, granted there is no fun in the feelings I am currently fighting. I jump at everything that pops out or screams at me. I have night lights in every single room of my apartment. I think every noise that the neighbors make is something other than what it is. I am a psychological mess. I freely admit that. I’d love to see a therapist, but worry that I would go bankrupt for all the sessions I would need to fix me. But I know I am not alone. And You are not alone.

So as we work through this and maintain vigilance in the face of this pandemic. Honor your feelings. Work through them in any way that you can. If you want to drop me a line, feel free to do so. Maybe we can trade ideas. If you feel like this is way too much, please, PLEASE, reach out to NAMI.ORG or you can call them at 800.950.NAMI or text “NAMI” to 741741.

My Dear Reader, we are all in this together. Be kind to yourself and to others.  We don’t know what others are dealing with. Be safe and be aware.

Until next time…