My Amazing Fiancé: Julia Baxter

072

My lovely Julia!

 

In honor of Women’s History Month, I would like to blog about some of the very special and incredible ladies in my life. They inspire me, guide me, get me through the rough times and most incredibly of all, put up with me and all the nonsense that comes with that!

For this first post, I will focus on my fiancé, Julia Baxter. What an incredible stroke of luck it was to have met her! Those of you who have followed my blog from the beginning know my story. I was thoroughly convinced no woman would ever want to be involved with me. The rest of my life would be spent in solitude. I was too unattractive, too neurotic. Guys like me only get the girl in the movies. Turns out, I was wrong.

Sometimes, it does happen in real life. The funny, anxiety ridden artist can end up with a wonderful lady. (One of the first things I noticed when I saw a photo of Julia, was her resemblance to Diane Keaton. Maybe that had something to do with it.) I decided to take a shot at a dating site. Yes, there are all kinds of crazies out there. I interacted with a few. Went on a couple of dates, none of which worked out. Then, I clicked on one of the site’s suggestions, you know, here’s someone you might like. I was intrigued.

The story gets interesting here. Julia had no photos on her profile. But it was well written, funny and sincere and she seemed like the type of woman I am attracted to. Neurotic and complex! Unbeknownst to me, Julia listed herself as living in a different part of the State of New York, which put her geographically close enough to where I was living in Connecticut at the time. Quite fortunate as it is unlikely our paths would have ever crossed otherwise.

012

Summer fun in Cooperstown.

 

Julia, as it turns out, was on a very bad date that day. She came home lamenting the inability to find a smart, funny guy. Logging on to the dating site she saw that she had been visited by a guy whose profile title was, “Smart, Funny”. The rest, as they say is history! We dated for two years and I requested her hand, and the rest of her beautiful self, in marriage on a horse carriage in Central Park. We are happily engaged and enjoying our lives together.

085

She said yes!

 

Julia is an absolutely remarkable person. She works at SUNY Oneonta, placing student teachers and teaching education classes. She also teaches Sunday school and does counseling and is a Reiki master! Acting in community theater musicals, planning vacations and always ready to help family and friends. I get tired just thinking about everything she does. She a terrific mother, sister, friend and truly, the love of my life. She supports and inspires me. I would not be accomplishing the things that I have been lately, were it not for her.

As an empath, Julia reads me like a book, always knowing what I need, whether that be a pat on the back or a kick in the ass. (It’s generally the latter.) Therapy and medication certainly were the major factors in helping me deal with my depression and anxiety issues, but Julia has also been vital in that regard. She understands because she has the same issues! What a perfect match!

We enjoy our life, cars parked together in the driveway, shoes side by side on the porch, my Zoloft next to her Prozac in the medicine cabinet. A match made in the DSM. I love you, Honey. I don’t know how I ever survived without you, but I’m so glad I don’t face that now.

Advertisements

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Those of you have followed my blog since the beginning. (I know, that’s a very small number. It’s probably zero) know that I suffer with dysthymia, or neurotic depression. I’ve had it since childhood but was not aware of it until it was diagnosed about seven years ago. Since that time. I’ve been able to recognize the symptoms and learned to pull my self out of it. It’s not easy and I have to fight it constantly, but as time has gone on and I’ve examined and adjusted my life, I’ve gotten more control of it.

I have not had a bout of depression since January of this year. That’s an extremely long time for me and it shows great progress. That streak has come to an end as darkness settles over me.  I know, that’s a little melodramatic, but hey, I’m a fiction writer. I’ve put myself into a position that I should have known enough to avoid. All of us have a number of different roles we play in life. We’re not defined by any one aspect of it. Our occupations are a big part of that, but we are also sons and daughters, parents, siblings, spouses, friends, co-workers. We have hobbies and passions. All of these things add up to make us the unique people we are.

There is a phenomenon of which I am very aware. Sometimes, people will define themselves entirely by one aspect of their life, usually their job. When things are not going well in their work, and that is inevitable from time to time, they feel like failures as human beings. It’s a fallacy and it can lead to depression, especially if you are predisposed to it, as I am. This is the situation in which I have placed myself.

My entire world pretty much consists of my writing and filmmaking career, so when that’s not going well, I have nothing to fall back on. It’s where I am now. It’s really sucks because I am completely aware of it but I feel powerless to change it. There is nothing going on in my life right now except for MY SPIRITED SISTER. The campaign has slowed to almost a halt and I’m doing everything I can to change it. It’s not really working. My only escape is the one I’ve always had; going to the movies.

Thank God for films. Movie theaters are my sanctuary.  The one and only place I can forget about the mess my life is and become absorbed in another world. If it were possible, I would love to enter a movie and live there, like in Woody Allen‘s THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO. The difference being that I wouldn’t come back out of the film. I would stay there.

People talk to me about movies all the time and I’m amused by how many people think their life stories would make a great film. It’s natural to feel that way, but I have no such delusions. Nobody wants to see my story. What would I even call such a film? I think that if I made a movie about my show business career I would title it, FROM HERE TO OBSCURITY. A film about my love life would be called LESS THAN ZERO. Amazing how I can bang out these joke titles but I struggle to come up with good ones for my actual work. I’m so lucky I have Cooper to work with.

There, I’ve done my venting. I don’t know if it will help or not, but I’ve got work to do. I’m a fighter and I always battle until the end even in a losing cause. The campaign ends this Friday. We need $6660 in pledges or we lose what we have. So, if you’re reading this, and if you haven’t already pledged, take a look at our Kickstarter campaign, choose a reward and really consider becoming a part of it. It really is a great project. Do it for my partner and our three young stars. Do it for the great team of people who believe in this project and are working so hard to make it happen. Do for yourselves, so you can  be proud to be a part of something special. Don’t worry about me. I’m a survivor. I love the darkness. It’s my muse.

Melancholia: Why My Skies Are Always Gray

Things continue to progress nicely for ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?  Tomorrow, I’ll finish my shot list and storyboards and Sunday afternoon, I have a meeting with my director of photography, editor and first assistant director.  We’ll put together the schedule for each day of shooting.  Once we have that level of preparation, the shoot will go smoother.  We will be better able to handle any curveballs that may be tossed our way.

Other members of my team met today to work on set design, wardrobe and props.  I have a team of dedicated and talented individuals who believe in this project every bit as much as I do.  Just about everything is in place.  Of course, one thing that we can’t control is the weather.  We can only hope it cooperates during our exterior scenes.

Shooting in October in the Northeast will give us the beautiful colors of fall on the trees.  The final scene of the movie takes place outside, and there are numerous trees on the private estate where we’re shooting.  It should be beautiful, especially for a film about romance.  Naturally, we are hoping for no rain and mild temperatures.  Personally, I am also rooting for gray skies.

A bright, blue sky with a  few puffy clouds is the standard “perfect” weather scenario.  But I’ve seen enough movies in my day to know that a gray sky with a little haze adds a much more romantic feel to a movie.  It’s wistful, just a little melancholy.  It adds a dreamlike feel to the film.  After all, movies are often compared to dreams, and they sure as hell are nothing like real life.

I love gray skies in real life as well.  I feel as though they are the backdrop of my life.  They define my most common mood.  Blue and sunny doesn’t cut it, nor does dark and stormy.  Just gray, with the sun occasionally looking like it will break through, but it never does.  Melancholy.  That’s me.

I’m in a reflective mood tonight, so bear with me.  I know I’m rambling, but that’s my style.  I’m just throwing my thoughts down.  I’ve always loved going to the movies.  It’s about escape for me.  In the darkness of a movie theater, I am able to get my mind off all the things I don’t want to think about.  It’s the only place that happens.  It’s what I hope my films can provide for someone out there like me.

It’s often a difficult transition when the movie is over.  I watch a comedy where the smart, funny guy wins the girl; beats the really good looking jerk.  It’s a good feeling.  Then the lights come up and I look at the empty seat next to me.  It’s back to reality, where things like that NEVER happen.  Melancholy.  Gray skies.

Now, I’m directing my first film and also playing the lead.  I’m playing a married man with an amazing wife.  It’s more escapism.  That will never happen to me in real life.  What will it feel like when we’re finished with the film?  When reality rears it’s ugly head again.  No matter how well this film does, deep inside, I won’t be truly happy.  I will never be.

I’m very fortunate in that I’m a tough little bastard.  This would destroy a lesser man.