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Archive for February, 2019

Restlessness, Vanishing, and Sidney Hall

Posted by Ó Maolchathaigh on February 3, 2019


Dictionary result for restlessness

noun: restlessness
  1. the inability to rest or relax as a result of anxiety or boredom.

Well, happening now, yes. A weird day. Spent 11 hours on a movie set in Santa Fe as a background actor, aka an “extra”, starting from 5:00pm yesterday evening until 4:00am today. Boring as all hell. Got home at 5:00am, fell into bed. The casting call had asked for people who had not been on the set as yet. I was interested in seeing what the movie was about. Love being on TV and movie sets. Waited all day to be used. holding Finally those of us still sitting around, about 15 people, were told they needed just five people for the next scene.
Question was who. I volunteered, as I had not been seen, which is what they had posted for. It was unclear if I would be one of the five, as five other people had volunteered. My “new” status might get me on set.

Nothing happened for a while. Finally it was time. My name was called. I was asked to bring my coat. I didn’t have one handy. The wardrobe people hadn’t had a coat to fit me, and took all of our production photos without one. When I found a coat, and actually I had one outside in my car I could have gotten, I was told that since they already had photographed me without a coat, I shouldn’t wear one. So, instead I had no coat with me, thus, they took another guy who had a coat, for a bar scene. Like it matters.

Anyway, that was the last scene they shot this morning, and we were all “wrapped” and sent home. Eleven hours. Santa Fe minimum wages: $92 for 8 hours, plus, 3 hours of overtime. All for sitting on my ass mostly. That’s the life of a background actor sometimes.
Finally dragged myself out of bed around 10:45. Fed the cats. Drank a cup of coffee. Played Microsoft’s solitaire Daily Challenges. Read email. Browsed Facebook for casting notices.  Checked my actor’s page. Ate a fried egg sandwich for brunch. Poured myself a glass of brandy (Calvados Morin Extra, from France); it’s something I picked up with an auction lot of “pantry items”, including: vegetable juice, reposado tequila, scotch whiskey, and other things like paper napkins, plastic bags, etc. The bottles had all been previously opened, but the whiskey was just less than full, so, at $5.00 for the lot, it was good deal.
Napped. Got up and made a cup of Earl Grey tea. Earl Grey is tasty black tea. It is interesting because it contains oil of bergamot, useful for kicking statin side effects. Statins, a widely used family of cholesterol-lowering drugs, can have side effects:
  • Headache.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Flushing of the skin.
  • Muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness (myalgia)
  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Abdominal cramping or pain.

All of which I have experienced since I have been taking a statin drug after my heart attack 5 1/2 years ago. My bad cholesterol is half of what it used to be. So, I’m back to drinking Earl Grey again – something I had forgone for just daily coffee.

Anyway, I used two teabags for a 10-oz mug. It’s probably what has me restless. I had sat down to watch a movie I rented: The Vanishing of Sidney Hall.

Sydney Hall

It is a fascinating movie, and I’m really enjoying watching it. Sidney Hall becomes a writer after an odd childhood, but experiences angst, depression, and regret after people take his novel about life a bit too seriously. He goes on a walkabout basically, which is what I did at his age, but I used a bicycle to crisscross the USA, trying to find myself. 1976(That’s a whole other story.) Anyway, partway through I began experiencing this restlessness. So, I wrote what you just read. I’m going to go finish watching the movie now.


It is a good story, moving along, but now I’m taking another break. I think that’s a good way to watch this movie, in sections. Instead of an intermission, there should be two intermissions. I find that this is the way I watch most movies now, like reading a book. Sometimes you can read a good short novel in one sitting, if you don’t count bathroom breaks and getting food and water. But, long novels require a couple days or three, not due to boredom, but just to have a chance to digest it in parts. Although my general restlessness – perhaps generated by depression – makes it hard for me to sit still through a two-hour movie, I like to think it’s my way of really appreciating a good story.


Finished it. WOW. That was so good. Intense. Complex. Sad. Fun. Well done. Holy, holy crap, it’s good.

I am going to watch it again. Not tonight. I’ve sleep to catch up on. But Wednesday night, my friend Ramona and I will watch it. I was planning to return the DVD to Netflix, and since I wouldn’t be able to get another one by Wednesday, we were going to watch something else on her Netflix stream. But, I am going to have her watch this. She’ll like it a lot. Her life is changing significantly right now. She has met the love of her life, just spent a lot of time with him in Germany, returned, but is now packing, getting rid of things, saying goodbyes, as she prepares to move to Germany permanently. She is so happy. I wonder if her reaction to this movie will be way different from mine? I’ll miss the little bit of time I’ve been able to spend watching movies with her. She’s just finished up graduate school now, and she’s off. It’s been a struggle for her. Strange boyfriends, cancer, and a bat-shit crazy mother (whom I knew 40 years ago).

From the way I built this blog entry, I suppose it won’t matter if I add some more to it next week. I’ll add Ramona’s reaction to the movie. It occurs to me that I could be adding new blog entries with updates from time to time on her new life in Germany, if I hear much from her. This last bit of time she spent in Germany was different. Previously she had sent lots of Facebook updates and photos. This time, a much longer time, she was quite busy, and having the time of her life, and I had to wait until she got back to hear about most of the trip. Instead of watching this movie as we’d planned, we had just talked. It was good to catch up on our lives. Catching up, but also, beginning to say good-bye. Cementing memories of who each other is, before the moment vanishes.


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