Hello readers- my journey in this blog has been up and down, mostly down, for certain. I’m happy to report that since taking 5-hydroxytryptophan (a serotonin precursor) for the past nine months, I’ve avoided severe depression. Hooray!
I haven’t avoided delusions, though. My delusions have been interesting and complex, and have stimulated an interest in a few particular celebrities as well as the plot for a story which I hope to turn into a novel (I’ve thought of making it into a screenplay, but I don’t know very much about screenplays and the last thing I want to try to do is sell a screenplay based on my own delusions- that seems very self-absorbed, even for Los Angeles). The novel is described briefly here. The interest in the celebrities comes from very vivid dreams I’ve had, of telephone conversations with people unknown to me at the time who (in “hindsight”) later seemed to be certain famous people, and from other vivid imaginings. For example, I’ve thought I’ve met the cast of Family Guy outside a Starbucks at Magnolia and Lankershim in North Hollywood, and was incredibly rude to Seth MacFarlane, and possibly others. In this scenario, I didn’t know who Seth was and didn’t care- I found him incredibly annoying, though I’ve now forgotten why. I’ve spent many insomnia-riddled nights wondering if it’s at all possible that this could have happened (the Starbucks exists, and this would have happened during the writers’ strike, which Seth was a supporter of, and I lived in the neighbourhood then). I’m sorry, Seth and coworkers, if I was rude to you- being Canadian the idea of my being needlessly impolite is actually grating on me.
My following Seth’s Twitter account- for all that it usually contains silliness- has actually been extremely helpful. One of his tweets led me to write this short story, and another (a link to a blog post by Jonathan Agin, who wrote about how more people were upset by Brian Griffin dying than actual real children dying of cancer) spurred me to work on this cancer-related project. I’m happy to report that the cancer project showed some good preliminary results, and I’m taking the lead on grantwriting to try to get funding to pay for follow-up work, to be conducted probably in 2016. I have collaborators at the University of Guelph, Duke and UCLA who all are interested in this work, enough so to volunteer time and resources to try to make the reseach happen- we just need funds, and I learned last year that crowdfunding research is difficult for a person as unknown as I am (I only raised 10% of my goal, so self-funded the rest of my work).
Thanks, Seth- I realize I probably won’t ever reach you to mention how you’ve indirectly helped me do these things, or how much I enjoy your singing. That’s OK. I am content with my seat in the bleachers.
The dreams I have can be unsettling, even weird (aliens! Time travel! Mind-reading!), but for all the anxiety they cause when they are realistic and creepy (for example, dreams of people conspiring to hack into my email account and phone texts), often they are entertaining, even comforting, and have helped inspire me to do things I would not have thought possible even four years ago.