Personal website of photographer and writer Ben Douwsma.
I took a short break from social media last weekend; I’m not sure what specifically triggered it, but when I made a deliberate choice not to check in on my feeds, it felt good. I decided to take another hiatus from starting after work today and lasting until the morning of the 23rd. I haven’t felt like I had enough focus, motivation or energy lately (and definitely wasn’t using it to be social), so I hope this will help with that and let me find my voice again.
I’m leaving Facebook Messenger on my phone because family members use that to check in, but I also appreciate e-mails (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text messages (not posting my number here, sorry).
I used to write longer e-mails to people; I still do this for a handful of people, but I’m finding it harder to come up with the words in private correspondence, especially when so much is already said elsewhere online with just a double-tap or an emoji. These days I’ve been finding it easier to sort my emotions and think through experiences on here than to hash them out in private.
Even though this is in a public space, I hope you feel like that by reading this you’re connecting with me on some personal level. My favorite writing online always has this sense of intimacy to it and a sense that it’s one person trying to connect with each of their readers as individuals.
I had a depressive episode last week. I’m doing better now, but it brought back memories of two years ago when this state was more common. I’m not sure what (if anything) triggered it; I’m just going about my business and then all of a sudden I’m in a mood where I’m dreading and consciously minimizing interactions with others. I just hid in my cubicle on Friday, trying to endure the day, and as soon as I got out of work I was in a hurry to get off the Halifax peninsula. I knew I was in no mood to cook, so I stopped off at Mary Brown’s for dinner, and then once I got home I just stayed in bed for most of the weekend.
I was going to write another entry about how winter’s been wearing me down (particularly the physical aspect of traipsing over insufficiently cleared sidewalks), but I already explored that subject in the last few posts and it’s already March, so I’m just going to give another short update on what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been thinking about, and what’s on the horizon.
Not much exciting going on these days; winter still has me mainly seeking warm apartments and minimizing time outside. The last few days brought a snow storm and freezing rain that turned my apartment building’s driveway into an impassable frozen hazard for a few hours, and this morning brought bitterly cold wind. It also doesn’t help that I’ve been so tired in the last little while.
Hey all, it’s been a little while since I’ve posted a personal entry, but there really hasn’t been much to report since the beginning of the year. Most of my focus has been on work, sleep, spending time with the cat and writing SNL reviews, and that leaves precious little time for much else. That said, I know there are a few people who are curious as to what I’ve been up to these days, and I don’t want to write the same e-mail multiple times, so here’s as good a place to write it.
I decided against going out for New Years Eve tonight. Chalk it up to exhaustion and cheapness; I just don’t feel like making the effort to go down to the peninsula or spend a lot of money on drinks tonight, even though tomorrow gives me ample time to recover. I spent most of last week at my parents’ place in Miramichi, and figured I may as well take advantage of this long block of alone time before the routine starts up in the new year.
I didn’t sleep well on Sunday night. It’s easy for me to sleep the weekend away, but as soon as I have to prepare my body to go to bed and wake up at specific times of the day, my mind starts filling with fragments of songs, random questions that don’t need answering, and hypothetical conversations I could possibly have. When my brain starts making this much noise, I always have trouble ignoring it.
I’m currently in one of my moods where I feel the need to take a break from people whenever I can. I’m not sure if this is the depression flaring up again, but my energy’s been lower than usual and I’ve been minimizing the amount of time I spend in public outside of work.
I haven’t bothered writing since last Monday; it was a fairly hectic week at work, and I found myself falling asleep for hours as soon as I got home. Whenever I came to and tried to work on something, the cat would decide that she would lie down on my computer keyboard, and by the time she stopped playing that game with me, it would be time to go to bed anyway. Autumn’s adorable and I love her, but she really knows how to push my buttons. I guess that’s the thing about cats.
Sketches include “Bar”, “The Limits of the Imagination”, “Models Against The Wilderness”, “Master Thespian”, “Line of Death”, “The Pat Stevens Show” and “Sore Toe”. Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble perform “Say What!” and “Change It”. Sam Kinison also appears.
Sketches include “Risky Business”, “The Pat Stevens Show”, “Dalkon Shield Trout Lure”, “Back To The Future”, “The Limits Of The Imagination”, “Shakespeare In The Slums”, and “David’s Date”. The Nelsons perform “Walk Away” and “Do You Know What I Mean”. Penn & Teller also appear.
One thing I love about reissues of old albums is when they have information regarding the recording sessions for the individual tracks. This is more a thing that happens with jazz albums, where many were cobbled together from different sessions and lineups, but I’ve also seen rock reissues that provide background information about the sessions, as well as details about single releases, chart positions, and so forth.
I would love something similar to exist for TV shows that are made of short segments, particularly sketch comedy shows like SCTV, Kids in the Hall, and SNL.
Sketches include “Monastery”, “Miss Pregnant Teenage America”, “The Pat Stevens Show”, “The Limits Of The Imagination”, “Name That Tune”, “Master Thespian”, and “Concerto”. Al Green performs “Going Away” and “True Love”.
Sketches include: “Press Conference”, “Gulf Coast Furniture Warehouse” “Cleveland Vice”, “Death of a Gunfighter”, “Hospital”, “That Black Girl”, “Big Ball Of Sports”, “No Offense” and “Jack’s Discount Emporium”. The Replacements perform “Bastards Of Young” and “Kiss Me On The Bus”. Sam Kinison also appears.
Sketches include “Rapping Wrapper”, “A Dozen Eggs”, “Hildy”, “A Roy Orbison Christmas”, “The Big Tree”, and “Time Machine Trivia Game”. Dream Academy performs “Life In A Northern Town”. The Cult performs “She Sells Sanctuary”. Penn & Teller also appear.
Sketches include “Entertainment Tonight”, “Trojans II”, “Liars at Home”, “The Pat Stevens Show”, “Fantasy”, “Stand-Ups”, “Holiday Moms”, and “Fisherman”. Sade performs “Is It A Crime” and “The Sweetest Taboo”. Steven Wright also appears.
Sketches include “Halley’s Comet”, “Posterior Arthropod”, “Master Thespian”, “Double R Rolls”, “Ad Council”, “Cliches”, “Vegas Nancy”, “U.S.S. Cameron”, and “The Limits of the Imagination”. Mr. Mister performs “Broken Wings” and “Kyrie”. Sam Kinison also appears.
Sketches include “Tightrope”, “Say No”, “Locker Room”, “Pee-Wee’s Thanksgiving Special”, “The Pat Stevens Show”, “Die Foreigner Die!”, “Big House”, “Dinosaur Town”, “Love Letter”, “Pregnancy Tips”, and “Money Magnetism Seminar”. Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Zydeco Band perform “La Louisiane” and “Frisco Zydeco”.
Sketches include “Firefighters”, “Wacky Glue”, “The Pat Stevens Show”, “Ford & Reagan”, “Trojans (I)”, “Those Unlucky Andersons”, “Jose Cuervo’s Party School Bowl”, “The Jose Cuervo Institute”, “The Life of Vlad the Impaler”, “The Blue, The Gray, And The Yellow”, “Drums Drums Drums”, “Pathological Liars Anonymous”, and “Craig Sundberg: Idiot Savant”. Sheila E. performs “Hollyrock” and “A Love Bizarre”.