----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: Where is the Sun?

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Where is the Sun?

We are mired in the depths of winter. It's cold, gray and gloomy out, but at least it's stopped raining temporarily. Still, the lack of sunlight is beginning to affect my mood. I took a nice hike on Wednesday, the one day the sun decided to grace us with its presence, but the uplifting effects did not last long. Yes, it is true: I have SAD, aka seasonal affective disorder.

I don't know too much about the technical medical details of SAD, but essentially, people who are deprived of sunlight for long periods of time get (you guessed it) sad. This was manageable when I lived in L.A., where there is no real winter and it can be 80 degrees in the middle of January, but I'm not doing so well now that I'm back in Northern California, where the temperature has been hovering around 38. (Well, maybe it's been warmer than that, but it hasn't hit 50 in days!) Still, I thank my lucky stars that I'm not back in Chicago. That was the most miserable winter I ever spent.

Chicago may be a great city in a lot of ways, but for me, the winter negated all of the good things about it. I was there for the second-worse blizzard of the century, when the snowdrifts were piled up higher than my head. Okay, I'm only 5'1", but still! I had never dealt with cold weather before. I only like snow when it's something you can go visit for the weekend and then leave far, far behind. I didn't want to live with it! When I got off the plane after winter break, my boyfriend met me at the airport and had to show me how to wrap my scarf. (He was from Pittsburgh. For him, the weather probably seemed like a spa vacation.)

Anyway, it was so bitterly cold and so snowy and so dark that I got a severe case of SAD. And I guess it's not at all uncommon for other Northwestern students to be similarly afflicted, especially the weather wimps from California. When I went to the student health center for a recurrent sinus infection, I mentioned my depression, and I was delighted to learn that the health center had special lights meant to mimic sunlight and make me happier! I got a prescription to come in early in the morning and sit in front of the lights. I felt just like a little plant, yearning to grow. I would sit there for about a half hour each morning and just stare into the light. I think they worked, too. But the problem was, the lights were most effective when used first thing in the morning, and I am not a morning person. Eventually, I decided that an extra hour's sleep would do just as much to improve my mood as would sitting in front of the magic light, so I stopped going.

That brings me to my next problem. Tomorrow is Sunday. Sunday is a day for sleeping in and relaxing. (Well, now that I don't have a regular job, I can sleep in every day. But that's not the point.) Alas, tomorrow I cannot sleep in. I have to be up very early. Horrifyingly early, in fact. It will be dark and quite possibly freezing out. I have to get out of bed at 3:15 a.m. tomorrow! Normally, I would not torture myself in this manner, but I have to be on set at Memoirs of a Geisha at 4:30 a.m. in San Francisco tomorrow, so there you have it. The sacrifices I make in my efforts to become an actress! I am dreading the early hour and the dark and the cold, but perhaps once I get on set, everything will be fun. I hope so. Otherwise, I may get really depressed.


  • At 10:14 AM, Blogger Bruingirl said…

    After a couple weeks of rain and nothing but rainclouds on the horizon for miles, we have beautiful blue skies now! It has been amazing this past weekend with temperatures in the 80s!! It's January! I LOVE SoCal...and all you NoCal people think you guys are all that... hahaha ;-)


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