While looking through the 15 bins my mother has in storage in her basement of my childhood things, I found a book from when I was 12 or so. The book is called The Hidden Power of Dreams (by Denise Linn) and is largely about lucid dreaming and using your dreams to help your spiritual journey.

The Hidden Glamour of Dreams

The book has a rudimentary dream dictionary in it. It does say that you should not use it directly to define something in a dream, but that it is more of a guideline for interpretation of the dream as a whole. Even with that huge caveat, it’s a really bad dream dictionary. Some of the interpretations are just definitions of that word, others have as many as four conflicting interpretations. See the following example:

BEE

Busy; industrious.
Social cooperation.
The possibility of hidden sweetness.
Feeling “stung” by some circumstance or remark.

I mean, come on, right? So I’ve decided to describe some of my most common recurring dreams and interpret them with the dictionary in this book, published in 1988, and then the Sneer Campaign way, which is probably more accurate and also exciting. Most of these dreams are actually definitely nightmares.

Continue reading

It is an outrageous fact of life that songs can easily get stuck in your head. Even when it is a song you love, eventually, after enough of a while, you begin to go insane. You might even begin to hate the song in much the same way that when you binge on a favorite treat, you become ill and can’t take the taste for a good long time.

This is certainly terrible, to see something you love turn into poison, but it isn’t nearly as bad as having a song you already hated to begin with get stuck in there. It is a form of torture. There is no silver lining. Terrible lyrics set to a criminally catchy tune will rake at your very being until it is raw and threadbare. You tell everyone of your tragedy, and they understand. We all understand. We’ve all had it happen to us.

Halp

Some people call these catchy songs “ear worms,” a fitting name that reminds you of vile parasites draining you of your essence. It’s true. This music wriggles into your brain and eats holes in there. There are probably as many remedies for ear worms as there are for hiccups. Listen to another song, listen to the offending song, put a pillow over your head and scream, scream until you hurt: all with varying results.

Well, I have happened upon a new method.Continue reading

While we’re both on wordly vacations having a blast, we’d like to let you in on our dream joint vacation.

Dollissa at Sea by Amanda Wood

First of all, we would travel by sea. Amandoll does not fly, and neither Amandoll nor Dollissa can drive. Since we want to see the world together, that involves mostly ships, and maybe a horse or two.

To start, this involves Amandoll arriving in Newark, NJ from Cincinnati. This can be accomplished by a slow train ride of 18 hours or so. Once she is retrieved from Newark Penn Station by a friend with a car, or Dollissa on foot (it is, after all, only 15 minutes walk), we will rest for several days, punctuated by small meals of wraps with thai spicy mustard.

Continue reading

When I was a younger person, in my single digits, I had some Big Ideas of how the world works. For no readily apparent reason, (because adults didn’t feed me these thoughts and I did not hold discussions on such topics with my peers), I believed all kinds of things that eventually faded – but they never went away completely.

Notions

I thought that if any water was murky, that meant there were sharks right out of view, ready to eat me. I thought that if Satan was the Father of Lies, then the greatest lie would be to pass himself off as God and to get humans to worship him and commit atrocities in his assumed name. I thought spiders in webs were our ancestors, for some reason, keeping an eye on us. I thought that if you slept in a room within view of the mirror, your reflection would wake up and jealously stare at you and try to get through and replace you in this world. I thought mushrooms growing in the yard were types of cheese. And yet, I didn’t fear that stepping on sidewalk cracks would break my mother’s back. That’s just silly!

But I want to talk about the idea I held most firmly: that the world and the future had limitless possibilities for me, and for anyone. Want to be an astronaut when you grow up? Well, I thought, all you have to do is just want it. The notion of having to study or train for space missions was laughable to me, if I even considered it at all. With this belief firmly in place, what kinds of plans did I make? With the universe existing only to fulfill our any desire, which desires did I select for myself?

Continue reading

You know how there are words out there for highly specific emotions? Like adronitis, the frustration over how long it takes to get to know someone. Or liberosis, the desire to care less about things. Is there a word for that feeling you get when you believe that there must be alternate realities that exist closely in space to your own reality, so close that they are ALMOST your reality, and that reality is that your real dad is cartoon buffoon Hong Kong Phooey? Does that even make sense? Great.

Well, since I was a very small child, I have had this feeling occasionally. And as I’ve aged, the feeling has lessened a bit, but it’s still there inside of me, shaping my personality to some extent.

Unlike other forms of insanity I probably have, this one can be traced directly to my mother. For as long as I’ve lived, my mother has always told this story about how she and some of the rest of my extended family took my older brother, then an only child, to see a Hanna-Barbera Icecapades show. While there, Hong Kong Phooey apparently took a liking to her and showed his ardor by sitting on her lap and dragging her from the audience to dance with her in front of everyone. She concludes this oft-told story by saying, “And then, nine months later, Amanda was born.”  Everyone laughs. Everyone always laughs. But once upon a time, I believed her. I was too young to understand that my mom might be kidding, but apparently old enough to catch the implication that Hong Kong Phooey was my real dad.

It turns out that if you start life thinking that you are half-cartoon, it kind of sticks with you, there in the middle, for all of the rest of your life. I mean, I know I am not actually a half-cartoon! Don’t send me to the asylum yet. Anyway, it would clearly have been an actor dressed up like Hong Kong Phooey, not the real poorly-animated dog. It would be like thinking that Santa and Mall Santas are the same thing. No! Regardless, in my idle time, I start to wonder what my alternate reality life must be like, the one where HKP was not an absentee father. Let’s look at my art therapy session.

Continue reading

Have you heard of Neko Atsume? It is one of those app games that kids go crazy for these days and Dollissa and I are not immune to the hype, ourselves. Is there actually much hype over it? Not enough, I tell you. Not enough by a LONG shot! I will wait here while you immediately rush out to obtain it from your respective app store. It should only take a moment. Then, come back here to read the rest of this because you will be momentarily confused, giddy with possibilities and promises of round little cat drawings.

neko6

Step 1: Don’t Care That You Can’t Read Japanese

I’m sure the Japanese words are full of impossibly cute descriptions. Maybe you can read it and tell me it is true? However I, and I will assume most of the rest of you, can’t read it at all but that’s okay. You aren’t there to read, you are there to gather cats to you with food and toys.

Continue reading

Here’s the deal. Although I never see actual costumes for cats in stores (they are all “small dog” costumes that we force onto our little furry shitheads), there appear to be plenty on Etsy, and a lot of hilarious ideas online. So here is my idea for a kind of cat costume that the world really needs, and not the ones it is providing to me, a lover of cats.

As a purebred catlady, I know that cats have strange personalities. Some, like my Tuff Ghost, you can never touch, let alone costume. Haircut lets anyone put anything on her, which is why I make her use the buddy system when going out. Olive decides in each moment what she wants to do, and it is never predictable, although you can definitely predict that she will not want to dress up as a dragon (again). But this idea is probably good for any cat that would allow traditional cat costumes, or maybe even just a harness. Not in a pleasing way of course, but because it will be impossible for your little darling to shake it off.

Continue reading

From time to time, I lose my mind and become convinced that I drink too much coffee. I know people are always doing some sort of martyred brag-lamentation about the truly colossal amounts of coffee that they drink in a day, but I’m not one of those. I drink very small amounts of coffee, only two to four cups a day, but I drink it EVERY day. Sometimes I notice that if my coffeedrink routine gets messed up, my personality takes a turn for the worse. Sometimes when I notice that, I become indignant! How dare coffee treat me like that! So then I resolve to show it a thing or two about dependency and I quit it.

I have heard of people quitting all of caffeine, but I have never done that. I just sometimes quit drinking coffee but then switch off to heroic amounts of tea. As great as tea is, it never seems to be a good replacement for the coffee caffeine that my body apparently has grown to need. Tea is there for drinking after the coffee has been finished for the day. Therefore, I have probably not even experienced actual caffeine withdrawal to the fullest extent. Even so, once when I quit only-coffee for two weeks, I had a seven day long headache that did not respond to medication, as well as feelings of impending death that lasted for the same length of time.

Maybe you have been thinking that you could use a break from coffee? Perhaps you are like me, and resent that you are apparently HOOKED. Perhaps you would like to prove to yourself and your coffee that you can stop any time you want. As a seasoned veteran of quitting the bitter bean, I am here to help you. Quick! Take my tremoring hand as I take you down the dark and frightening path to potentially healthier living!

Continue reading

Sleep doesn’t really come to me easily. I am regularly snubbed by the Sandman, and I have been for many, many years now. I’ve tried a lot of different methods to promote a peaceful slumber, regular sleep patterns, or even just a block of snoozing that winds up being semi-restful. Some things work for a while, but apparently my unconscious mind hates routine as much as my awake mind does, because it eventually gets bored and rejects it. Boo hoo all I want is to sleep!

This is all I ever want!

However, over the past few months, I have discovered the joys of hours-long YouTube videos with ambient sounds! It actually worked for me to drift off while listening to ten hours of rainfall, eleven hours of rushing stream, or twelve hours of ocean sounds. When I realized that hours of moving-water noises might actually mess with my sleeping bladder, I tried nifty things like eight hours of forest and six hours of English countryside and dear lord even eight hours of a cat purring. Those sunny ones were both good for having that midday nap feeling and the cat one somehow begins to massage the center of your brain… I have even dozed happily to twelve hours of ambient engine noise from a Star Trek ship, even though I do not really ever watch that show!

Tibetan bowls, lakes, white noise, the sounds of busy restaurants, and binaural theta waves – there are so many excellent videos on here just to make our lives more restful. Thousands of hours just sitting there, waiting for you to discover and test out. But, there are some that just don’t do it right. The first couple of times were accidental, but I immediately noticed that they affected me as I slept. I’ve gone and tested a few in the name of SCIENCE and I’ve come out a changed person – a more cautious person. I am here to tell you to not do these things. Do not do as I have done.

Continue reading