Maybe a new little side project

The other day this came to my mind, something which I thought could be an interesting project to pursue on a long term basis, something which would be perfect for blogging, which could be possibly entertaining while offering a tiny, unassuming window on a narrow spectrum of experience that is infrequently talked about and often mocked.

Daily, I would take a different person’s photo, an off-hand portrait or a picture that would allow the person to remain anonymous (such as their hand, their shoes or midriff), and I would ask them three questions.

Have you ever seen a UFO?

What is the most peculiar or profound coincidence you’ve ever experienced?

And I’ve been searching my mind for the third question. But I keep thinking it should be what is the person’s earliest memory. I could also ask the person if they have any religious affiliation, are agnostic or atheist or…whatever.

I’m not looking for anything in particular, this wouldn’t be like a poll.

On Sunday night I was thinking this was a great idea and I would start it on Monday. But on Monday I was then a week deep into trying to get my new computer (I’m now in Vista world) somewhat in order, was occupied with that, and then decided my project would be lame anyway. Then I thought about it again a little on Tuesday, this time thinking of maybe different things I should ask and deciding no, no, I won’t do it after all.

I hadn’t talked about this with Marty or H.o.p.

Today, sorting out the computer continued. I was on the phone to India for three hours and the technician was great. Afterward, I did some website updates for someone. I started a new painting. I realized I needed to reload in my Wacom brushes and some other brushes. I remembered some programs I still needed to install but have to locate them first (I still need to purchase a scanner as mine won’t work with Vista). I began gathering together some of H.o.p.’s newest sculptures to photograph since I can now manage them again on the computer. We had pizza for the second time this week, as a special treat for H.o.p. Marty was in late from the studio and we were all kind of drained so there wasn’t much talk about anything and what talk there was was about the studio. We watched some jazz history on television. I did my yoga. H.o.p. went to bed. Marty went to bed. Then after a couple more hours of painting I went to bed. Then after a little while longer H.o.p. came stumbling in from his room, crawled into our bed and was fast asleep again immediately.

As I lay there, unable to sleep, I thought again about the project that I’d on Tuesday decided to abandon. And I thought maybe it would be a good idea to do it after all. Still though, as on Tuesday, I had gotten away from the initial purpose. I thought of a hundred other practical subjects to ask about but the list of questions grew too long, so I narrowed it down to one question, thinking maybe I should ask if the person had one bit of history they wanted to relate.

Then I remembered my original idea. The UFO question and the question about a peculiar or profound coincidence. Maybe, I thought, I should ask if they had ever dreamed something which came true? Or maybe that was getting to be too much.

Wondering if this was really a possibility considering that I’m rather shy and not good at approaching people (but certainly I could approach one person a day on this?), thinking that I would need to invest in a cheap digital recorder too, I lay there, waiting for sleep, reciting in my head over and over the two resolved upon questions I would ask. “Have you ever seen a UFO? What is the most peculiar or profound coincidence you’ve ever experienced? Have you ever seen a UFO? What is the most peculiar or profound coincidence you’ve ever experienced? Have you ever seen a UFO…?”

And this voice suddenly announced beside me, “They have found the aliens.”

I looked over and it was H.o.p., eyes shut fast, talking in his sleep. I can’t recollect the last time I heard him talk in his sleep.

That was the only thing he said.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

11 thoughts on “Maybe a new little side project”

  1. Doesn’t it sound like a fun project? I think I’ll pursue it.

    Am wondering whether I should put it on a new blogsite. (The Hanford Project series began here and then after I’d done with it I migrated it to its own area.)

    First the recorder.

  2. Great idea. Go for it.
    (and ignore same comment in the “Ride” please .. had the wrong one up.. only that was a great idea too how the tickets worked out and giving them that great time together. 🙂

  3. I never saw a flying saucer and never particularly wanted to..Thumbs desparately wanted to see one, but never did, however Buddy Rich saw one on the freeway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles ….Thumbs was most envious.

  4. Gin, I’m getting a digital recorder and you can tell me all about what you and Thumbs never saw but Buddy Rich did, and if you don’t know anything else about what Buddy Rich did see, you can tell me more about what you didn’t. I’ll be just as pleased.

  5. Ola! Dig the project.

    I used to be quite shy, but a couple of years working as a claims adjuster and interviewing people daily turned out to be pretty transformational. I remain fairly shy, but no longer to the extent that anyone notices.

    As for the UFO’s: I saw one in ’74 on my way to school (I was 11 or 12), and a fleet sighting roughly thirty years later in January 2005. Each event lasted several minutes. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that what I had seen was not conventional aircraft, balloon(s) or satellites. It was pretty remarkable.

    P.S. I used to love watching Buddy Rich go freakin’ crazy on the skins.

  6. yeah, i’ve seen some weird lights in the night sky that zigzagged and then were gone…and once a big burning muticolored object in the Nevada desert.

  7. I’ve seen more than one, but the first was at night, just outside Richland, WA, in 1962. My mother (driving), and my sister (22 – 12 years old than me) both saw it, too. At least, that was my first ufo sighting. But ask me about close encounters,,,of the third kind…and I’d start with a tale from 1959 in South Australia…

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