Probably one of the only parts of a dream I'll post here

This is probably one of the only parts of a dream I’ll ever post here, and I’m only posting it because it was so stupid.

I had it a couple of weeks ago when I’d caught some bug and was very nauseous for a few days but not throwing up. I wished I would throw up and get over it, that’s how yucky I felt.

That’s real life.

So I have this dream where I run to the bathroom and throw up and I felt so relieved, now I was going to feel better, except then some women janitors came in and were mad at me about it. Then the dream became kind of like “The Truman Show” but not. Had a same kind of feel as an early part in the Trueman show. One of those dreams where you’re stuck in the cycle of something happening over and over again, only I was witnessing it more than living it. And it turned into, over and over again, George Peppard, playing Truman Capote, going to a second floor window (I was watching from outside) and waving down at a car, and it was like a house and somehow also like the fake sky wall at the end of the Truman show, and then he’d run down and hop in a car to go with some friends to a party. And up above him in the wall part of the sky, on a kind of walk, was the real Trueman Capote looking over all this going on and after Peppard left then he’d go to his own parties that were like duplicates of the George Peppard-as-Trueman parties, except the Peppard-as-Trueman parties were like movies that came before Truman celebrating the success of those movie parties at his own parallel world parties.

It is weird when you dream of parallel worlds and George Peppard-as-Truman Capote resides in one and the real Capote resides in the other peering down on George Peppard playing like he really is Truman Capote because he does think he is him. The premise isn’t weird but the brain communicating via Truman Capote and George Peppard is.

In the end, I ended up getting in the car to go to the party. I woke up with the impression it was an old Ford Torino. We drove by a dream carnival that I’ve dreamt about maybe three times in my life, the last time over ten years ago at least. In the dream itself, I recognized the carnival from that last dream. I am usually on a trip on the dream when I pass by this purely dream carnival. It is always nearly empty.

Mid April Ghostlies

Aaron’s spooked. Late night before last I heard 4 distinct knocks seeming to come from the middle of the room and there was no source for them that I know of (and I know this apartment well). I mentioned it and late last night Aaron insisted he saw two shadows.

Aaron sometimes won’t sleep in his room because he insists he hears things. I used to assume it was upstairs or outside. A few years ago Marty and I were in his room (he was sleeping in our room) and we heard loud footsteps and the door jerked, someone trying to open it. We thought it was Aaron but when we opened the door nothing was there and he was sound asleep.

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.

Yoga enlightens me (or not) with dreams

I was at a spaghetti western yoga retreat in a courtyard of one of those beautiful Spanish style villas. With a pre Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood. There we were, Clint Eastwood and me and a bunch of other people, in this lovely courtyard, doing sun salutations, and it was so nice, the light of the sun a lovely soft yellow, the birds tweeting softly, the flowers blooming softly in the quiet and lemony pastel sunlight. I was having a question about technique when I began to wake up and as I woke up I looked around at the still vivid scene, becoming consciously aware of it, believing I was there, and thought, “Wow! It never occurred to me in a millions years that I’d ever go to and like a yoga retreat and it certainly never occurred to me in a thousand billion years that I’d be at a yoga retreat with Clint Eastwood in a beautiful Spanish courtyard! Yoga really will take you some great, unexpected places!” A nano second later, realizing this was but a dream, my not very awake mind that was still soaked through with the radiance of it all took a long look at the scene and believed it held great education, and that mind thought, “Yes, certainly the answer to my wrist problem is here if I pay full attention to what I now see in this dream.”

Then there I was on the bed, the dream receding, left with my wrists that began to annoy me Saturday.

I thought I was holding my hands just perfect the past seven weeks, the creases of my wrists perfectly parallel to the front of the mat and my fingers aligned just so and my knuckles digging in and the finger pads clawing the mat just as I thought was supposed to be done. The heels of my hands had begun to hurt (not while I was doing the yoga, but would hurt later) and I felt they were taking too much weight but I was clueless for I thought I was holding my hands properly and I was having no problem with my wrists, just the heels of my hands where that outer bone is were becoming painful. There was no pain at all during the yoga, no pain at all with weight bearing or wrist extension or flexing. None! Zero! Zip!!

Then Thursday through Saturday I did lots of simple data entry on the computer. Hours and hours and hours of it. Which has never been a problem in the past as I’ve always been good at protecting my wrists. I’ve spent years typing fiction and sometimes doing data entry and whenever I’ve had a hint of a problem I’ve backed off and been fine the next day. So careful I’ve been…but data entry is a different thing from typing fiction. Typing fiction you’ve plenty of time to sit and ponder what to write next. With data entry there’s more risk.

I had not done simple data entry since beginning the yoga.

I also, on Saturday, did a very different routine that at the end turned out to have some arm balancing postures that I shouldn’t have attempted but I figured there was no harm in attempting. Such as the Crane pose. I have to say though that I backed off promptly. There was no wrist pain (was still not having the wrist pain yet) but I realized this was something I shouldn’t have tried for a while yet and went on to something else.

But Sunday wham there I was with painful wrists that yelled when I tried to extend them. Plus, I still had the CRUD which took us down toward the week’s end and any pain was augmented by it.

What happened I think is I have been holding the hands, if mindfully, incorrectly, despite my best efforts, too much weight on the heel, and the data entry brought the problem fully to the fore.

I did some research and find that one is supposed to cup one’s palms so that the hollow is off the floor with a little space between the heel and the mound of the hand, which I haven’t been doing, I’ve been flattening the whole hand to the ground while trying to dig in the finger knuckles and keep the index finger flat. Plus I read that practicing on a mat on a rug can be a problem, causing the heels of the hands to sink and bear more pressure. We have thin rugs on the floor and I thought a thin rug under a mat would be all right. Perhaps not. From now on I’ll be rolling back the rug and using the mat directly on the wood floor, which I should have been doing anyway. Or I’m going to take my yoga practice to the front nook, with all the plants, where there is only a small rug under a chair to fold back.

A problem could also be that I’m double jointed so that my fingers and wrists can have a tendency to really hyper extend. And I mean really hyper extend. Which means I guess it’s really bad for me to have the rug under the mat. Like I said, it’s a thin rug but it does compress some with pressure.

So until the wrists feel better (hopefully this won’t take long as I didn’t experience any pain in the wrists until the past couple of days) I’m going to give the sun salutations a rest and work on some other postures then reintroduce the weight bearing gradually, working my hands a bit differently according to the above, and also do some supplemental wrist and forearm strengtheners. For now I may also pick up a wedge on which to rest my hands while I build up more forearm strength, if that is part of the problem, that I don’t yet quite have some of the needed muscle.

Man, and I so like Downward Dog and Plank position! I hated them at first. Now I love them. They’re two of my favorite postures.

Time to cultivate some real love and appreciation of other postures.

P.S. Found this tonight on the wrists.

I was on my way to sleep, listening to the radiator, when…

I was lying there late last night listening to how the radiator goes click click gumph gumph gurgle gurgle as it starts up.

As far as I knew I was still awake, meditating on the click click gumph gumph gurgle gurgle, playing with it in my head, when I was suddenly, something to do with William F. Buckley’s death, maybe something about the way he talked, maybe the gumph, I don’t know, anyway, there we were, whomever and I, in the back room and we were pulling out these thin cardboard, oblong boxes, about 18 inches long, and opening the ends of them and sliding out these lightweight headdresses that unfolded like fans into elaborate headgear that was a cross between a Samurai helmet, a Darth Vader helmet and something vaguely Brian Blessed Flash Gordon, mostly very sci fi with a nod to some ancient time in Japan when, it seemed, the bulk of a helmet was the neck-protecting beadwork, translated into the now with a made in China gleam to the molded plastic parts. And though Buckley was quite dead he was standing erect and talking and they put one of these helmets on his head. My mind was rushing on wonderingly over the fact we had these marvelous boxes with this headgear and I was thinking boy will H.o.p. be excited about this, I need to dig them out rather than letting them lie around back there. At which point rational brain nudged me to let me know that I should think twice on whether or not this was in reality happening and to reconsider whether or not we had these helmets, and I brought myself back around and tried to remember just how this had started. How did my brain go from click click gumph gumph gurgle gurgle to samurai helmets and William F. Buckley, Jr.

His manner and speech fascinated me when I was a child and saw him on television, he seeming built from tip of toe to top of head for Sunday morning political shows, sneeringly erudite in an unpleasant way that made his words seem like spitballs lobbed by his bored uvula through disdaining clenched teeth, spitballs which passing his lips were so fatigued by contact with non-rarefied air that they willfully self-detonated, trusting in the wind to convey their essence, every single particle of them wafting delirious in the wonder they were the greatest thing since French mustard.

Sometimes he said things that sounded sensible and humane. Which made it all the worse rather than better. I don’t remember what those things were because I learned to ignore them in the way a dog ignores a biscuit it knows will be closely followed by a kick.

I have no clue why my mind, on its way to nod, paired him up with a samurai helmet much like one of the ones we saw on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art surrounded by other shogun ghosts.

A little earlier…

A little earlier I was reading Touching the River which is all about electrified art. H.o.p. was drawing elsewhere. Then I was done and reading something else and H.o.p. gets up from the table and starts dancing around telling me about a new character he’s just come up with.

THE ELECTRIC KNIGHT!

He’s all electric. Even his sword is electric.

His opponent?

THE DARK SIDE OF ELECTRICITY.

Yes, that’s the opponent’s name. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but there you go.

* * * * * * *

Have been having hours long conversations with my brother on what to do about my piecemeal computer, which needs more memory and has one of its fans going. I’m hoping to make this one last a little longer. Trying to figure out how we can upgrade it just enough to do its job without getting too pricey, and then if it is still not up to speed I’ll have to bite the bullet and get a new one but I can pass this one along to H.o.p. in decent working order.

My brother referred to my computer as “a special case”.

I said I knew what that meant.

He said he was trying to be polite.

Parenting a nine-year-old, after you stop wondering if you have a poltergeist, you start wondering if you’ve lost your mind

WHERE DID IT GO?

We’ve had problems with lost items in the past, in this apartment, which have nothing to do with H.o.p. I had long ago concluded there are teeny tiny blackholes abounding that science knows nothing about, which suck up random belongings and very occasionally spits them back out a few months later, though most often the items are gone forever, I guess those of which the black hole elves are especially fond.

Aaaaaah, but week before last it was different. I began to feel like I was losing my mind. Too many items disappeared and the elfen blackholes simply don’t choke down items on a daily basis.

I really knew I must be losing my mind when H.o.p. started yelling for a new little game board he’d made, one with a Red Wall illustration he’d drawn. I could remember having seen it two days after he’d made it and thinking, “That shouldn’t be there, it’ll get lost,” picking up the item while doing a quick straightening up and putting it on the bookshelf next to my desk.

Then here was H.o.p., Sunday, after the the Saturday I’d put up the item, screaming where was it and it wasn’t on the shelf. It wasn’t anywhere. We looked up, down, under and over and it was nowhere to be found. I kept asking H.o.p., “Can you remember when you last had it?”

“I didn’t!” he kept saying. “Don’t ask me again!”

Eventually he calmed and resigned himself to the fact this game he’d made was nowhere to be located.

But it had to be around here somewhere. Usually the elves don’t go running off with tin Altoid cans. I don’t remember ever having lost an Altoid tin to a black hole. Doesn’t happen.

I even dug into the trash, because I remembered that when I’d been cleaning I’d been holding the tin (the one which H.o.p. had turned into a game) in my left hand while throwing some trash away with my right. Had I glazed over and thrown the tin away as well? I went through the trash three times.

I stared at the book shelf.

I cleared out everything under the bed looking for it.

I went through H.o.p.’s drawers. I searched under the sofa-futons. I looked under every pillow and even went through my knapsack.

We once lived in a duplex with a fireplace covered over by a painted piece of tin. We could hear squirrels and birds in it occasionally as the chimney had never been blocked off, wild urban fauna making homes in it. We never found any evidence of the squirrels entering but during the year or so we lived there every earring I had lost its mate. I’d a number of earrings and every single one lost its mate. I didn’t lose a single pair complete, just the mates disappeared. (Carole, hi, it was the earrings you gave me from when you were living in Mexico, plus every other pair of earrings I had at the time.) When we moved out we even took up the gratings and searched down in the heating vents, wondering if our American Bobtail had deposited them down there. No. And moving out all the furniture revealed no secret hiding places.

I always thought it bizarre that it was just the mates of earrings that disappeared, leaving me with one of every pair.

It didn’t occur to me when all the earrings disappeared that I was losing my mind, but with the Red Wall Altoid tin I was wondering what in the hell was going on. Yes, that week H.o.p. has always shown up with an item that had gone missing (except for some sheet music of his) but the accumulative effect was playing with me. By Monday morning after the Saturday I’d put the Altoid tin up, and the Sunday when it disappeared, I was still worrying, “Where is his game? Where is his game?”

Finally, this squeal came from up front. “I found it! I found the game!”

Where had the game been? Situated underneath Elmo in what has become Elmo’s chair, which was originally the highchair where H.o.p. first tasted mashed carrots, then broke down into a table and chair (by design, not force) and the chair’s vinyl upholstery is long cracked and coming apart but H.o.p. loves it so we use the blue table as an end table holding books and Elmo sits in his little blue chair in front of it. And H.o.p. often sits on the floor next to Elmo’s chair with his foot high stack of paper, drawing.

I guess we’ve gotta start keeping an eye on Elmo.

P.S. The person who lived after us in the apartment with the tin-covered fireplace, removed the tin and used the fireplace for a mini personal hydroponic pot farm, the tin hiding. So, I hear! I never saw it myself. It was a duplex and we’d moved to the other side. After the guy moved out and his sister went in to clean the place out for him (which he’d neglected to do) it turned out he had a full wall of stacked, unwashed cat food tins, which explained the flood of roaches we were getting on our side. A few months later we were sitting outside with friends who lived in the neighboring buildings and we started noticing pot plants growing here and there and pulled them up. Well, other people noticed them. I’m bad at identifying plants and wouldn’t recognize a pot plant to save my life, even though I did a biology paper on marijuana in tenth grade and included meticulous drawings of pics found in the encyclopedia. Doesn’t every tenth grader?

Anyway, I figured the wayward pot plants had something to do with squirrels having raided the duplex neighbor’s fireplace.

Just occurred to me that my earrings may have been spread around the yard in little squirrelly hiding places?

Waaaaay too much

Way too much Monkees the other day. I woke up from a dream this morning of looking at old black and white pics of them in pot cleaner ads. (I only briefly had to wonder why it was pot cleaner ads.)

But while we’re on it here’s a great Mike Nesmith quote on Hendrix opening for the Monkees.

He was opening in front of us and, of course, you know, he walked into the beast, he walked into the, there were the waving pink arms, you know, 20,000, waving pink arms, like this, so every time he would say, “Foxy!”, they’d be “Davy!” “Foxy!” “Davy!” Oh man, it was some seriously twisted moments.

Southwest Seekers Series of Digital Paintings


Then I Saw Her Face
Digital Painting, May 2007
29 in h by about 28.5 in w

Click here for all posts belonging to the “Southwest Seekers” series of digital paintings.

Detail.

The title is of course drawn from the song, “Now I’m a believer”, keeping with the UFO museum’s theme of “The Truth is Here”. She’s a sort of modern day Madonna/angel, with UFO halo, standing alongside the modern equivalent of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s “The Creation of Adam”.

The most fun part of the painting to work on? The dots and the transparent fabric over the skirt of the dress. The most tedious part? The starry sky.

Thanks to Phoeebstock at Deviantart for the stock image for the model.

Background ref my own stock. At the Roswell UFO museum.

The Odd Note

Seriously, the odd note. I’m sitting here yesterday morning working on photos and there was a peculiar wispy beep sound from the kitchen. We should have no beep sounds coming from the kitchen, but there it was.

And then tonight I wake up and come in and sit down and after about five minutes from behind me there was a brief and clear pipe kind of whistle in G. It was so clear and resonant that I was able to check out on the piano what the note was, which is how I know it was G. If it was coming from he radiator, it seems it would sound like it was coming from the radiator. Instead it just sounded like it was coming out of the empty air.

We live in a flatulent old place.

There's Jazz On The Other Side of the Great Divide

If I don’t write this kind of thing here, I’ll never remember it. I don’t believe H.o.p. will mind, when he’s older.

* * * * *

H.o.p.: Mom, I’ve gotten over my deathitis! I now think of it as crossing to the other side of the road.

Me: That’s what many people call it. Crossing over.

H.o.p.: I know what to tell all my toys when I die, that I am leaving them to my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Me: They’ll like that. I’ll do the same with my toys when I die.

H.o.p.: And I’ll be able to see you again, and dad, and do fun stuff. Like floating in the air.

Me: Floating in the air would be so much fun.

H.o.p.: And I’ll get to meet Miles Davis!

(This was kind of unexpected so I said nothing, but he was already going on.)

H.o.p.: Now I understand what death’s all about, it’s about going to the real world of life. It’s going to the world of spirits. Thank you for helping me get over my deathitis.

Mom: How did I do that?

H.o.p.: Telling me it is like crossing a bridge.

Me: Oh, OK.

H.o.p.: I say bye now to my being afraid of death and hello to my not being afraid of death. I can hug spirits while I’m alive, too. Here, I’ll give you a hug. You are spirit.

Me: Thank you!

H.o.p. (coming back in a bit later): But I’m still scared of bugs. OK? And I’m glad you don’t go on boats because sometimes people can slip off boats and get eaten by sharks.

Me: I suppose it happens, but rarely.

* * * * *

P.S. I’m not sure it isn’t unrelated that we spent an hour, much earlier in the evening, reading “Why did the chicken cross to the other side of the road?” jokes while Marty was trying to figure out why H.o.p.’s Spanish CD wasn’t working.