“Are you there, God? It’s me, Cat Furniture.”
A nice person emailed me to wish me a happy new year and also to ask: “What kind of self-care stuff are you doing these days, if you don’t mind me asking?”
I don’t mind. Probably the biggest thing I’ve been doing is updating my professional CV, working on my professional portfolio and reel, and applying for some fellowships, conferences, and job opportunities in my field. I want a tenure-track job in teaching screenwriting and film/video production. As part of a local grant program, I’m also putting together a 12-week documentary course for high school students who have dropped out and returned to school, and will be piloting that this semester. I’ve also been compiling a lot of resources for my courses: clips, how-to guides, curated lists of tutorials, etc. Good for my students, good for my teaching portfolio. I guess that’s more “work care” than “self care” but I’d like to get paid more and have more stability and institutional support to do what I do, so updating and fancying-up the materials is in order.
The other big project/change is getting in a pool or on a treadmill regularly. I read Hanne Blank’s book about exercise in November/December, I joined the YMCA with my boyfriend a couple of weeks back, and together we’ve been going 4-5 times a week. It’s been weird – my brain can remember being an athlete and knowing how to do certain things once upon a time, but my sedentary, recovering-from-a-knee-injury body has been very much “ummmm…what?” about the whole thing until just this week when it’s been more like “Okay, I guess this is going to be a thing now (sigh).” Fingers crossed that the whole “Yaaaay! Exercise!” thing kicks in before March.
Over Christmas I marathoned all of Twin Peaks. I’m also watching movies. Recently:
- Wild – Liked it very much, loved every minute with Laura Dern.
- Ida – It was amazing. Heavy subject matter. Amazing.
- A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night – If you like The Toast’s Misandrist Lullabies or want a Male Tears mug, this is the Iranian noir vampire western for you.
- Dear White People – loved it. I thought it was so clever, funny, smart, and loving/forgiving of its characters while also being a reference-feast for film nerds.
- Calvary – beautifully made and thoughtful.
Soon I will see: The Imitation Game, Selma, Two Days, One Night, Goodbye to Language, Big Eyes, Almost There
Also I’ve been watching a ton of Werner Herzog, Les Blank, and Albert Maysles films on Netflix/Hulu/Amazon in preparation for some documentary courses I’m teaching. I’m especially interested in films like Little Dieter Needs to Fly vs. Rescue Dawn, Grey Gardens vs. Grey Gardens – films where a documentary was adapted into a fiction piece.
Other recent/winter/holiday projects:
- Reading for pleasure
- Seeing friends
- Dealing with some mental health stuff (like, actually dealing with it, not just enduring it)
- Getting enough sleep
- Writing longhand in a journal every morning and making lists and then checking things off lists and sticking sparkly star stickers to the checked-off items
- Planning a wedding
- Pulling out all the art I need framed/hung up and getting it on the walls, among other habitat unfucking measures.
- Culling the wardrobe of ill-fitting pants (not a metaphor), stained shirts, hole-y underwear, etc.
- Misc. writing projects for the page & the screen.
What self-care kinds of things or new adventures do y’all have going on?