Saturday, September 29, 2012

Horoscope Dreams

Aries (3/21 – 4/19) I have a pet rabbit that lives in the driveway named Jeffrey.  (The rabbit is named Jeffrey, not the driveway.)  Jeffrey's a good pet because he's completely self sufficient, lives outside, no cages or pet food are involved, but we keep tabs on each other.  When I leave the house, I always tell Jeffrey where I'm going.  "Don't worry, Jeffrey, I'll be back in a bit.  I'm just going to town to sit in that orange chair for a while."  Once in a while, Jeffrey sits in the middle of the driveway, obviously a plea to get me not to leave, but I love us both more than that.  We aren't going to have a clingy, dependent relationship, so I gently encourage him to move out of the way, and he hops into the bushes as if he's scared of me.  By the time I  get home, he's sitting right where I park my car again, and we both pretend nothing ever happened.  I never left, he never pouted, and so on.  Aries, your horoscope is about all of that.  

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):   My sister interprets dreams , which is a good thing, because I've been having lots of them.  And, as she says, it's not spooky.  The other night, I dreamt I had Mesothelioma, and the doctor told me that the only cure is to trudge through chest high snow.  "But there is no chest high snow around here," I commented.  The doctor looked at me, like "yeah, I know.  Do the math."  My sister tells me this is a good dream about growth. I'll take her word for it, because that's better than lung disease.  Your week will be all about growth too, with less pulminary disorder and more foliage.

Gemini (5/21 – 6/21):  Sometimes, life feels really hard, and the best we can do is just keep trudging along, wondering if its worth it, if anything we do matters. But really, that's not the best we can do.  The best we can do is to tell other people, "sheesh, life is really freakin' hard right now, will you stand on the sidelines while I swim through the big waves and cheer me on?  I might not be able to look up because the waves are huge and I'm trying not to get swept under and I'm tired.  Really tired."  And people will show up and root for you, and pass you warm soup when you're ready, and wrap you in a cozy towel when you need that.  They will.  And ever so slowly, and with great effort, you'll swim past the big waves, out into the calm vast ocean full of promise and curious sea life and peace.  Keep swimming, Gemini, because it will be worth it. We'll fend off the sharks.

Cancer 6/22 – 7/21:  I thought if I started writing down dreams, maybe I could mine that for blog posts, but it's not working out so well.  I wake in the middle of the night and jot stuff down.  Here, direct from the journal:  "B. had funny name for J-o.  Didn't know menu though I'd been there a million times. Brown rice."  Sorry, Gemini.  I'd like to turn your attention away from the dream journal, and toward shoe-making as a good way to encourage healthy subterranian activity.  Making shoes is a little way of saying to the earth, "we know you're down there and a lot's going on.  Thank you."  

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  I went to this movie last week.  If you're in the mood for thinking about time travel (and let's be honest -- when are we not in the mood for that?), I'd recommend it.  I sat in the very front row by myself with my large popcorn, and even though it was pretty neck-craning, a good time was had by me.  That reminds me of your horoscope, Leo.  A good time will be had by you all week.  If it doesn't seem to be the case, look up, look down, look all around!

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  One of the most hilarious bits of that movie was this:  the guy planning to time travel had a small metal box in a rusted out old truck.  He made a plan that if he's ever in trouble during a time travel trip, he'll put a note in the box.  Every so often, he looks in the box, and is visibly relieved when there's no note.  Virgo, set up your own box.  Look inside it if you're worried.  If it's still empty, all is well.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  A moment of silence for Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger, Sr., (February 5, 1926 - September 29, 2012).  Mr. Sulzberger made the gutsy decision to print the Pentagon Papers, which started a whole chain of events that end with Nixon resigning.  R.I.P., Arthur.  This week, Libra, each of your actions will start a chain of events too!  Be careful what you set in motion.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  For several weeks, I've been remarking that I'm free until October 4, when I have one thing to do.  October 4 is almost here, and we'll do that one thing, and my grueling schedule will open up again.  I can't wait to see my hero Emily Bazelon in person, especially since a secret guest has been confirmed. I don't know if I dreamt this, heard it somewhere, or made it up, but I think it's going to be Dan Savage.   Scorpio, your week will be full of secret guests, and not just on October 4.  Lucky you!

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  Speaking of math, I checked this book out from the library and it's bringing me great joy, just to struggle a bit and try to remember stuff I wish I used to know but probably never did.  Each day ends with a glass of port and a calculus problem and I'll say right here that this book and I are having a very positive, non-judgmental relationship.  Who even needs cats when you have all this going on?  Sag, struggle just the right amount this week.

Capricorn (12/22 – 1/19):  If anyone needs trees, we can set you up.  But that's a shameless bit of advertising right in the middle of your horoscope.  The thing is, Capricorn, that you're in such a great, grounded, thoughtful place that I don't think you even need a horoscope.  All you need is a tree.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  Okay, stuck again, so I'll look back at my dream notebook.  I know.  I'm sorry, Aquarius.  But here you go, right from the notebook:  
I was helping M. move, and had to pack up a horse and ride it to her new location.  But, when last seen, the horse was loose in a circular driveway of a nursing home; the nursing home residents were inside eating a nice meal on a table set with linen. One elderly man thought the horse had gone to the racetrack because it loved to run.  No one was particularly worried.  
Aquarius, you'd have to ask my sister for sure, but I think your week will be full of feasting and running and not worrying too much about the loose horse.  

This may be where Jimmy's buried.

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  Okay, Pisces, when I'm really out of horoscope stuff, I turn to Jimmy Hoffa.  Just like DB Cooper and time travel, couldn't we read about that forever?  It looks like we will.  They dug up one more yard in the Detroit area this week, and gasp, didn't find Jimmy.  My favorite part of this particular one is the homeowner, who said, " "This has turned my life upside down. My son can't even come out and cut the grass."  Seriously?  The police come digging around in your yard looking for a legendary labor union boss with mob ties who may have been interred in your yard 37 years ago, and you're worried about lawn cutting?  Some people miss all the joy in life.  Thank goodness you're not like that, Pisces!  Rejoice.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Portal Mystery

There was a sign on the portal for a few days, but this morning, poof, it was gone!  Some people say that it got sucked in, and will appear in a news article in 1864 if I look, or maybe an article in 2057 if I look ahead.  Others say that perhaps the time travellers needed to keep the note handy to refer to as they try to figure out this new town.  Either way, I hope they're doing okay.  Someone, and I'm not naming any names, but someone may have to replace the sign.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Right?  What other explanation is there?
Many days ago, I noticed a pair of shoes near the base of a huge cedar tree in the park by the river.  It’s the tree that used to have the beehive in it, the one that gets lit up at Christmas-time.  

The shoes were positioned as if someone had been running, and then poof, no more person, just the shoes.  The distance between the shoes made it obvious that the person had been running really fast towards the cedar tree, suggesting two possibilities: either a new dimension opened up, or a head injury ensued.  I didn’t see any blood.
This is where they sealed up the old beehive.

Several days later, I noticed that the shoes remained in the same position.  I pointed it out to Cake Boss, who agreed that evidence suggests that time travel starts right here in this town.  

The next day, Cake Boss texted a photo of a sock near the portal, and a second photo of the shoes, which had been moved and placed on the feet of a silhouette drawn on the parking lot.

Photo courtesy Cake Boss, 2012

I was on a hiatus from doing my own data collection, because I was busy helping R., who had been pretty sick all week, get packed for college.  It gave me one final opportunity to use my proficiency as a vomit assistant.  Did he realize it’s quite possible that no one will ever hold his forehead again when he’s retching over the toilet, or wipe his clammy face with a cool washcloth? 

We pulled out of the driveway on Saturday morning in a car crammed with stuff.  “We should probably stop at the portal before we go," I suggested, as we pulled out of the driveway.

“The portal?”

“Yeah.  I think there’s a leak into another dimension or time zone down at the park.  I don’t want you to be that kid who grew up here and never saw it.  It would be like going to high school with Jerry Garcia but you didn’t really know him.”

He didn’t say much, but after we ran one last errand (the first last errand of many subsequent last errands), he got in the car, “To the portal!” he announced enthusiastically.  At that moment, I felt like maybe I had done a pretty damn good job as a parent. This young person has priorities.   And not to be over-dramatic, but maybe the whole thing is a metaphor for the portal that he was travelling through, from childhood to adulthood, and he wanted one last moment of childhood.  

It's a pretty cool tree, and I can see why it would
attract people  from other dimensions or eras.
“I’m surprised you’re interested in going,” I commented.

“I figure it’s probably the last time I’ll have to indulge in one of your weird little things.”

The shoes had been moved again, but we repositioned them the proper way, which I’ve taken on as one of my jobs in the world.  To put the shoes back.  It's what I do.  R. confirmed that they appeared to be from the 1980’s or possibly earlier.  I don’t know why I consider him a shoe-dating expert, but sure, let’s just go with that.

I won’t go into the whole college drop-off thing, because lately it feels like my writing is turning into that thing where I chase down a marble that rolled under the dresser when my time would be better spent answering the work phone if it rings, if you see my point.  "Sorry, I couldn't get to the phone for three weeks because I dropped a bead one day and I followed where it rolled, and that led to 17 other distractions.  I didn't find the bead."

In short, we picked up C., who, by the way, has OCD of the knee, which is a real thing and it’s not funny, so you won’t see me making fun of that here.  We drove to campus, and R. was a little afraid that people thought he was that guy  with two moms, so he spent some time clarifying to people we met.  "Uh, just so you know, these ladies aren't romantically involved," he would say.  People would respond in a way that suggested that they didn't really believe him, but didn't hold it against him either.

After one final trip to Target, I gave him a high-five and drove way.  End of that chapter.  I hope he can talk someone into offering vomit comfort, should that need arise.

 Anyway, if you see something interesting at the portal, let me know right away. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Time Wasting by the Stars

Aries (3/21 – 4/19) Scenario:  you get laid off, and then your former employer calls a few months later and asks you to come back to help with a big backlog because, strangely enough, no one has been doing your job since you left.  Question:  does the woman's body have ways of shutting that whole thing down?  That's my question and your horoscope, Aries.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):   Your week will be super fly, man.  The adjective.  As usual, new challenges, but this one involves using "fly" as an adjective at least 5 times.  Let's see if we can bring that word back.

Gemini (5/21 – 6/21):  Sometimes it seems like I'm running a little preschool for just myself.  My days are filled with snack and nap, arts and craft time and outdoor play.  Oh, and a little bit of work.  One astute teen told me that the only discernible difference between me and a preschooler is this blog, but I'd like to offer that I also drive.  I drive myself on little field trips nearly every day.  The point of this, Gemini, is that I need a little more circle time.  See what you can do.

Cancer 6/22 – 7/21:  I have to confess that it was more fun having Sarah Palin in the race last year.  She added a touch of novelty and bizarreness that even Clint Eastwood's chair hasn't topped.  But I think we should try to embrace the freak show that Paul Ryan brings -- shaving an hour off his marathon time, bald-faced lies in front of millions, and so on.  But let's forget about that whole thing and focus on making shoes from scratch.  Then we can try walking a mile in them, possibly at Mount Rainier.

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  The other day I met with a friend who wants help with his OCD help selling trees that he can't seem to stop growing; he has thousands now, and they're getting big, and it's pretty hard to see the forest for the trees,.  It occurred to me as we were looking around that I'm turning into that person.  You know who I mean?  Not the one who has the steady government job in the cubicle, but the one who does random stuff for money?  But anyway, as we were discussing it, he said, "If you're really confident, you'll pick out the ones with the best form, drag them into town at Christmas time, sit in the parking lot of the Mexican restaurant, and sell them from your truck."  It turns out I'm not that confident, Leo.  But if you see me selling Christmas trees on the corner one day, you'll know that either things have gone terribly wrong or terribly right, you decide.  This week will be like that for you -- wait, does what's happening mean things are going wrong, or right?  Assume everything is going splendidly as much as possible.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  One of my time-wasting things is looking at websites that illustrate the giant floating mass of debris from the tsunami that's washing up on our shores.  I'm not going to make it too easy for you to do this yourself by putting a link, because I care about you.  The websites that photograph the individual objects, well I think way too much about them.  Where did they come from?  Was there medicine in that bottle?  Is the person who owned that still alive?Virgo, don't do that.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  Another time-waster that I cherish is reading the "missed connections" section of Craig's List.  The part that fascinates me, besides all of it, is this:  when men post, it's truly a random, "wow, I saw you on the bus, you were hot, write to me!" type thing.  When women post, it's more of a, "Charlie, I know, I've never said this out loud before, and I don't know if you read this, but I really love you and I'd never say that with my actual mouth in front of you."  The women write to people they know, and the men write to random people they hope to know sleep with in the future.  I want to hunt these people down and find out how it all turns out, but it turns out that this is CL, not a book.  Let it go, Libra.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  So many ways to waste time, Scorpio.  I hope I don't seem too creepy, but here's another:  When someone I don't know comments on a friend's FaceBook status, I like to look at that person's friend list, select the "people you might know", and then click on someone from that list who I don't know, and look at their list of people I might know, and so on, until I find a weird connection.  I don't know why that makes me so happy, but the world seems a little smaller and better that way.  Your world will be like that this week, Scorpio.  A little smaller and better.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  Speaking of that, the feature I wish they had on Facebook is, is "People you may have caught your cold from".  I don't want that information in order to be annoyed, but rather, I'm jusut interested in how disease travels.  Is this the cold that R. got in a mosh pit, or did I get it when I drank from C's water bottle, or was it somewhere else?  And is this the one that clears up in a few days, or the one that spirals into the hideous vomiting thing?  Anyway, FB, if you're listening, see if you can get people to post the instant they feel symptoms, and then add that search feature, would you? Oh, and Sag, your horoscope?  Keep being charming, the way you always are.

Capricorn (12/22 – 1/19):  We're nearing the end here, and I think I should make it sound more like a normal horoscope before everyone completely gives up.  So here, Capricorn:  with the Morning Star, Venus, showing up to the left of the sketchy moon, your day will be a little left of normal.  Drink more juice, smoke less weed, and beware of the undertow.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  Here's a time waster, if you haven't gotten enough ideas:  check out the electricity usage on Bainbridge Island.  Because life is short.  It's pretty interesting, if you watch it for long enough.  Not unlike birdwatching, in fact, without the birds.

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  Our sweet little town got a new library a few weeks ago, and it's really lovely, and I spend much time there these days, so if you're looking for me, Pisces, I'm usually in that orange chair in the back room.  And, not that I'm paranoid or anything, but Homeland Security also visited my work website, but they got there from my Linked In account.  Does that seem a little freaky?  Anyway, Homeland People, if you have business with me, come find me in that orange chair.

Monday, September 10, 2012


So many questions...
But I'll just ask the one -- does the war against terrorism involve taking cats to the beach?  I hope they got some useful tips here.  Our nations security depends on it.  (No, cats don't like the beach.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Downward dog and the sparkly marble

This fall, I’ll be co-teaching a series of three writing and yoga workshops with the amazing Sara T.

Many of us think about writing, and wish we would write.  In fact, we are going to write, as soon as we get time.  But the biggest problem about writing is all of it.  First, getting ass to chair.  Then, once you get there, having an idea, and then, feeling like the whole time expenditure is worthy, and sticking it out through those first uncomfortable moments where the blank page stares at you, judgingly.

If it’s not already a habit, it’s nearly impossible to find space in a busy day, or any day, for that matter, to sit down and write.  If you do carve out even a modest chunk of time, there are so many things that can derail it:  what would I write about?  Why bother? Shouldn’t I be doing something more productive with my time?  I’m not a very good writer.  What would I do with it if I did write something?  Oh, I hope no one ever reads this.  And at the very same time, I wish someone would read this, because then they'd know me.

This series of workshops will help address all of that.  The big tangle of things that keep us from writing.  I happen to believe that, well, not to be too strident, but each of us writing is a good thing for the world.  That what the world needs every day is for us to show up and fully tangle with it, and writing is one good way to do that.

I feel better when I write and do yoga, and I like the world better too.  I’m not competing in the Downward Dog Olympics, and I’ll probably never write anything noteworthy, but even so, yoga and writing are the best parts of any day.  Because they’re the parts that are about just being. 

We'll begin each session with half an hour of yoga, during which the lovely Sara will skillfully lure us into being right in the present moment, the way she does.  No experience with yoga is required.  The next hour and a half will consist of writing, each week with different focus.  No experience with writing is required either.

Week 1 will focus on silencing the inner critic.  The biggest obstacle that keeps us from writing is that irritating voice that says, “What could you possibly have to say,” “Is this really the best use of your time?” “You’re not a very good writer”, and so on.  Yeah, that voice.  We'll gently shush that critic, in the way you would quiet your toddler when it’s just not time for them to talk.  

Week 2 will be about sparking creativity.  There are times when we feel particularly creative, and times we don’t.  We’ll do some playful yoga and writing exercises, and identify practices that help us access our creative selves even when the creativity seems so distant from where we are. 

Week 3 will be about finding joy.  I know, that seems lofty.  Like, if I had that, why am I sitting here, drinking a glass of wine alone, writing this silly blog?  I don't have the secret, but you do, and it just might involve slowing down, doing yoga, and taking the time to write and remember all of the amazing strokes of good fortune that have come your way, and even though terrible or even just boring things happen every day, there’s so much to marvel at.  

Natalie Goldberg says, “The deepest secret in our heart of hearts is that we are writing because we love the world.”  I’d like to add that sometimes, we love the world because we write.  Writing is holding that pretty little marble that is our life up to the light, twirling it around this way and that, being struck by how it glitters in a certain light, and capturing that so that other people can see it too.  

Session 4 is a surprise!  That's all I'm saying.

The world needs each one of us to share our own tiny candle to light the way for someone else who needs it, to show your sparkly marble to someone who's marble is a little dull right now.

As Anais Nin said, "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."  This might be that day.

Details and sign up information can be found here.  I hope you'll join us.

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