Desperation hiatus, how I got here, and how I'm moving on - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Desperation hiatus, how I got here, and how I’m moving on

Before I get started, a couple of things I want to make clear.

-My household is in a desperate spot right now and I don't know if we're going to even make it through April. If you've appreciated my work these last nine years and are in a position to help PayPal is open, and in regards to the Patreon:

-What I'm writing about here does not have any impact on Patreon supporters. If anything, this is so I can clear up and focus on those who have been and continue to support me. I'm still working on the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood piece and will be doing deep dives into Old Stone (a Chinese thriller from 2016) and Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters.

-This is also not going to be affecting development on The Boy Who Stole the Sun. Seth and I have been making excellent progress the last couple of weeks and gotten the game back on track. When there are updates we'll still be posting them here.


I am in nearly constant pain, exhausted, have no money, and need a break

As of writing my household doesn't have enough money to make rent. That will (hopefully) change in the next couple of weeks but as of now - we don't. Our credit card has $3.38 left to help. This morning I woke up with familiar pain in my side that a quick infusion of water and trip to the restroom confirmed I passed another stone. I have no medication because I can't afford the specialists I need to take care of my chronic kidney stone problems. This came after a terrible night a shade over a week ago when I needed to find a quiet place by myself to lay down while crying because I was out and had a combination kidney / back attack.

On kidney pain: I've had two surgeries over the course of working with three different male urologists that were experiences so awful I'm convinced insecure men go into urology for the purpose of causing pain to other men's penises.

Other history: I have depression, anxiety, PTSD from a year of abuse when I was 11, ulcers, bleeding hemorrhoids, recurring (though thankfully subdued for now) sinusitis and esophagitis. While years of therapy and the compassionate work of non-urologist doctors have helped with everything else, my combination of health troubles and subsequent treatments make it difficult for any one to go away for long.

So for the last year I've been dealing with all that, plus being responsible for about 90% of the cooking and cleaning plus miscellaneous domestic duties at home, trying to keep things going with the site, looking for paid work, submitting freelance pieces when I could, and taking care of my wife. I won't detail her problems here but she's in a similar and sometimes worse state as myself. I just got to a point where I could function so I became the caretaker on top of everything else.

The combination of funds despair and pain's forced me to confront that this site just isn't making money. I haven't been able to focus as much on it as I can (or, if you want to put it this way, should) so things have slipped. Every time I'd try to get back on track stuff happens.

Why did I try?

I worked in the insurance industry for 10 years. Started because I wanted to return to and finish college (they had an, at the time, good tuition reimbursement program) and it would have been more money than I was making at the movie theater I worked at.

The insurance industry, at least where I was, exists as a pitiless bastard of passive-aggression designed to feed off those who genuinely want to make a difference and should have picked a better field. My office was a converted warehouse of constant sickness because they never bothered passably cleaning up the filtration and duct systems. If, god help you, you were sick or had or developed any kind of disability (be it physical, mental, or otherwise) you were treated to the smiles of wannabe serial killers initially sympathetic before plumping you into a bureaucratic nightmare of even more insurance and constant "not a threat" threats about your impact on metrics when sick or having a depressive episode.

Without exaggeration - I'd be considerably healthier if I continued being happy with my budgeting skills and lower paying job at the movie theater.

But life went on, and after having a full-scale mental and emotional breakdown a couple of years after kidney surgery two plus beginning my years of therapy the options were leave the insurance industry like the end of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (which surely would have left me in a situation like the beginning of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest), or leave.

So I tried. Then medical bills came back. Then the lack of supporting work or freelance success kept kicking me. Then I needed to expand my domestic load from 90% to 95% for a bit. Then I needed to take care of my wife. Then my own pain's started flaring up again.

Stuff happened.

I'm still lucky

Things are bad and looking grim but, all things considered, I've been shielded from even worse consequences because of my privilege. As proud as I am of my writing and attempts to consider perspectives outside myself - I'm still a white dude with movie opinions on the internet. That gave me education access, server tools, and a community to build with a head start over those who don't have those things because they are not white dudes with opinions about movies on the internet.

I'm also not saying bye. I fully intend on returning to updating this website with reviews once my finances are built on something more solid than ash. My job hunt hasn't gone well but I'm hopeful (at least more hopeful than freelance responses which...didn't go so well). My work with Seth on The Boy Who Stole The Sun will continue. And those who I'm extremely grateful still support me on Patreon will get more detailed analysis than I've been able to do here (give or take a The Last of the Mohicans, probably the best thing I've written in the last year).

Rounding off, for now, as Ebert put it in "A Leave of Presence"

So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies.

Posted by Andrew

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  1. Sending what little I can in this very moment. I’ve also often found that staffing agencies have gotten me work incredibly fast. Not sure if those kind of solutions will work for you, or if they’re near but it got me out of some jams in the past.

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