Thursday, February 26, 2015

more bs for no real reason

Ahhh... it's always nice to get home from an extra long day at work, and settle in to do some more work.

It's also nice that the house smells vaguely of pine tar, I guess, but I wish it smelled more like dinner right about now.  At least I've got leftover short ribs to look forward to, even if the glare of the computer screen is beginning to feel like the beating mid-day sun on a fifty-mile trek across a desert landscape...

The Surly-braised short ribs are quite good by the way, as is the bison ribeye, in case you find yourself over at Happy Gnome on any old evening.

I've been busy lately, with this and that, but probably too much of that and not enough of this, if I must be honest.

It was good to hang out with my sister and the kiddos last weekend, and good to play outside for a short time.  Good to be looking forward to an island getaway at the end of next month, and good to have friends come to visit me here, and stay for a while. Good to take up a new hobby, and good to be getting an earlier start. Good to be sleeping through the night, and good to have my wheels aligned. Good to be where I am, but I can't say it couldn't be better.

Work's been a bear and not letting up. Some project work with new folks this week has been both energizing and tiring, but has gotten me no closer to fulfilling my obligations with regard to some neglected tasks which by anyone's measure could only be regarded as, relatively or objectively speaking, far less significant. Or maybe just less exciting. I need to work harder, do more, make it better, get it done. I'm not lazy, but I'm not as fast, not as focused, not as energetic as I used to be, and some things are just harder for me than I wish they were. Like, it's really becoming difficult for me to read contracts, and I don't think it's just an eyesight problem... I just can't fucking stand to do it, and when I try, it's like my cognitive abilities are instantly eviscerated. I suspect this is an early symptom of what is sometimes referred to as "burnout". On the bright side, at least I've had some opportunities in recent weeks to do work that engages me, and to remember what that feels like, instead of clocking out at the end of a long day feeling like a dud and a failure because of my job. This is important, because I can't see finding a new job without knowing what I'm good at and what I like to do. In all modesty, I'm being totally "under-utilized" in my current role, and it does start to wear on a person after a while, when other people and their bizarre and/or lame circumstances prevent a person from realizing their own potential as a human being, much less a "team member". That, I do believe, is a pretty good indication that a person should be looking for a new place of employment. As if I needed any more evidence.

Here's a random piece of information for today, which I just stumbled across... Apparently there are cultures that don't use "ego-centric" directions to orient themselves to things, such as left and right, front and back, or anything that's relative to their person. They use cardinal directions or "geographical" orientation. So if you were over there, and I was over here, and I wanted you to go further away, I would say go West, or go South, or wherever it was that was the opposite of my direction. I think that's pretty interesting.

Personally, I'd like to be going North, and spending some more time in the snow up there if I can find some, and it's getting to be that time of year again where there's not a lot of opportunity left to be doing that. Time to get a move on!

Anyway, I'm babbling, hungry, and tired of this screen, so I'm going to switch over the other one and get back to work. Take it easy dudes.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rise and Shine

That's about all there is to it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

It should be pretty obvious

Why would I wish to read a poem tonight,
when the light from distant planets
could yet reach my line of sight?

Friday, February 6, 2015


So I've probably mentioned this before, but ever since I moved into this house I have had a lot of strange dreams of a recurring theme, and I've frequently experienced what I think some people would describe as lucid dreaming. 

The "theme" goes something like this: I get out of bed and walk out into my dark house. I try the lights and they won't turn on. I realize I am in a dream, and usually am simultaneously hit by a sense of fear, as if the lack of electricity is being caused by something vaguely sinister (which may just be me projecting something sinister into the dark/unknown, except that what always seems to follow is something not very fun, which I recognize may just be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but let me finish the story before we go down that road). I move through the house, which often morphs into a different architecture, sometimes familiar and/or similar if not the same as a place I've been before, but only in other dreams. Typically I find myself being drawn down toward the basement, in spite of an ominous feeling, although on some occasions I attempt to flee the house and its presence, sometimes successfully. Other times I just summon all my resources to wrench myself from the jaws of sleep, and turn the lights on for real. 

Perhaps I should interject here that I often encounter total strangers in my dreams, and a lot of these people are clearly dead. Some of them have obvious injuries, others just have the look and demeanor of death, as I would imagine it, I suppose... I've spent a lot of dreamtime underground and in dark, macabre places with these apparently dead people, and it's really pretty weird. It's also extremely creepy, from time to time. 

I am no stranger to nightmares, and by that I don't mean bad dreams that seem real and make you scared and sad (like being chased by a huge man with an axe who is trying to kill your family) but serious nightmares, which are literally terrifying, where it feels like my person--or even my very soul--is in danger. For example, when you are asleep in your bed and become aware of a presence standing at your feet, and you are suddenly grabbed by the ankles and dragged down the bed...that can be a highly unsettling experience. 

 I’ve acclimated to this, to the extent that I can. It hasn’t been particularly easy since it’s not something I can really control, though I can control certain external factors that may or may not contribute to these peculiar states of mind. I don’t think this is “normal” but I do know (or at least suspect) that I’m not crazy. I’ve always had vivid dreams and I guess it’s just part of who I am, and the mystery of existence. There are many positive aspects of active dreaming, and remembering dreams, but the flip side of that is all of this weird stuff. 

So, anyway, last night, after waking up and writing a love letter to my couch, upon which I'd been resting quite soundly, I crawled into my bed, turned out the light, and attempted to do a little more sleeping. I've been keeping odd hours for the past week, due to various social engagements, and probably haven't really gotten into any deep sleep cycles in a while, which may explain some of what happened next, but I don't think that accounts for all of it... 

Some time after falling asleep again, I sat up, got out of bed, opened the bedroom door, walked down the hallway and out into the next room. Suddenly I became aware that I was not awake but in fact still in my bed, and falling into a very deep sleep out of which it would be difficult to extract myself, which is sometimes cause for alarm, for me. As this was happening, I felt someone or something begin to pull me from the bed by my ankles, at an angle toward the door of the bedroom (not the foot of the bed, this time). This was disturbing, but not entirely terrifying, and my response--which seems quite appropriate under the circumstances--was to recognize what was going on try to wake myself up. I remember thinking, this has happened before, I know what I need to do...and so I forced myself awake, opened my eyes, sat up in bed, and, in an almost cripplingly drowsy state, got up, opened the bedroom door, walked down the hallway and through the doorway to the next room, at which point I was met with such a strong force of resistance that I could not move forward. It was as if I were being blocked by a current of water, or wind, and I simply could not take one more step, which would have put me past the threshold. Now, at this point, I actually woke up, blinked a few times at the mindlights darting around the darkness, and just to be sure, reached over to turn on the lamp--which, needless to say I did not turn off again for the remainder of the night. 

At some point during all of this--somewhat strangely, as I recall, it was while I dreamed I was awake but was still dreaming--I considered using my last lifeline, the Phone-A-Friend option... but who you gonna call, at that hour of the morning? And what's anyone going to do about it, if they even answered? And who can actually dial a dream phone, anyway? 

I will freely admit that this sort of episode could very well be the result of some psychological or mental defect of mine--or a physical one, for that matter. I'm sure there are "experts" who probably have some great ideas about what could be causing such drama, if that's what it is, or such exploration, if you want to think of it another way. But, frankly, looking to Jung or Freud or some Dream Doctor to shed some light on this rather dark situation seems about as useful as asking Marco Polo for his opinion on watersports, to me. 

I mean, what was that? Seriously. And who could possibly know, if not me? I guess one semi-rational explanation is that I am manifesting a bogeyman who tries to steal my soul while I'm sleeping, because I am so attached to my own ideas that I couldn't possibly just "let go and let God" and see what might happen if I allowed my mind to shut down for a few hours. But you know, "going with the flow" shouldn't feel like being forcibly dragged out of your bed by your feet, I don't think. I'm pretty well read, I went to college, I understand myths and metaphors, and when there's the semblance of an actual story or relatable experience involved, I can usually get a decent read on my dreams. It would make some sense to me if I were re-living a horrible accident in gruesomely realistic detail, or I was on stage without a clue what my next line is, or I was running through the jungle with a bow and arrow hunting peacocks, or showing a fairy how to use a typewriter, but I'm just walking around my own house in my pajamas, for crying out loud. Could we strip it down any more? And still I can't see it! Am I just terrified of my own shadow

If it's obvious, and I'm missing it, I would certainly appreciate being let in on this particular little secret. It really sucks being in the dark, sometimes. 

I'm puzzled, I truly am. It's one thing to analyze but it's another to grapple, emotionally and physically, with the sense of a presence and of a danger, in a setting that is an exact replica of actual reality, in both space and time. It's just so...real. 

Maybe I should do some reading up on bardos... If this is what I've got going for me right now, I'm really gonna be in for it when I kick the bucket. Holy hell, batman. 

Anyway... if you're still with me, thanks for reading, and I promise you that I'll be making an effort to get back to writing about all the mundane things like family and friends, life and death, food, animals, plants, weather, poetry, home improvements, and what's not on television, just as soon as I get my taxes done. 

And if intentions have any influence over anything at all: I'm gonna stick with the flying dreams, tonight, so help me God.

Dear Sofa,

Sorry I fell asleep so early while we were hanging out together last night. I'd had a long day--for the past few actually--and you made me feel so comfortable and relaxed that I couldn't help drifting off. I'm sure you know how that goes.

I just wanted to thank you for being there for me the way you do. You're always waiting with open arms when I get home, and even if I ignore you completely for a few hours or sometimes entire days, you're more than happy to welcome me back into your warm embrace. I lean on you for support and I'm not sure what I'd do without your presence to hold me up, some days. It means a lot more to me than you probably know.

I remember when you came into my life and what a difference it made... Others noticed it, too, and many people have told me how much they appreciate you and the things you do. It's hard believe so many years have passed since you moved in! I know there have been some rough times and you've taken your share of abuse, but you weathered it all with such gentle stoicism that I can't help but admire you for it. You still look as beautiful as the day we met, if not more so, and I do mean that. You wear your experiences well and I don't know anyone who wouldn't agree that you are quite attractive...even at your age, whatever that is! ;)

In all seriousness, the fact that you have accommodated so many of the people closest to me, and those I care about the most in this world, speaks volumes of your commitment to being a part of my life. Not only have you made room for others but you have made nearly everyone who has met you feel at ease in close quarters. That is a rare quality and one I don't take for granted, believe me.

We've been together through laughter and tears, sickness and health, late nights and early mornings, bad times and good ones too, and we've both seen a lot of changes, for better and for worse. The thing is, I know that, no matter what happens, you'll always be there for me, unconditionally, my respite and my place of rest, my confidante, my home base. Nothing you could do or say, literally, will ever change how I feel about you. I love you, I really do. Sometimes I wonder if you know that.

I could go on, but it's late, and since we just said goodbye a short time ago and will be seeing each other again tomorrow, I should probably go pay my (other) bed a visit. I just wanted to take an opportunity to let you know how important you are to me, because people just don't do that often enough these days. You are a wonderful piece of furniture, and I am grateful for every moment we  spend together.

Stay clean and keep it real,

Yours truly.

Monday, February 2, 2015

just one more

gracias a mi hermana

Aural Pleasure

loving this a little...

Isn't it?

If the value of one's life were measured in how many times, less or more, you did what needed to be done when it really matters, I am not sure the numbers would stack in my favor. And isn't that what it's all about?

Today was a long one, with no stupid game involved. It would sure be nice to decompress by sleeping. A girl can dream, can't she?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Some kind of blues riff

I was supposed to be in bed a half an hour ago, or two hours.  I am tired; logic tells me this, and other things that stand to reason, despite an unsettling backdrop of ill-mindedness. I am more lucid than I wish to be, and than I should be, at this late hour. I feel like a shadow, watching myself from across the room, like the ghost of Christmas past. Spirit, remove me from this place!

Today should have been a good day.  In fact, it was.  Quite good, in a few ways. But something hovers over me that I cannot place--or rather, I cannot place myself, where I am or ought to be. Thoughts follow each other like music on staves, in harmonic counterpoint, a minor key, closer to a pentatonic scale maybe.

These notes are just a fraction of a song-cycle I will never compose. The page is silent, and so is this house. If another soul were here, I would no doubt hear them breathing, a room away. I'll let the furnace run instead, and listen to the absence of concern, as warmth strikes the walls. What I wouldn't give for a lullaby.

Try to imagine you are sleeping in the passenger seat. Have a warm drink, and go to bed. Nothing that is happening now has ever happened before, no need to be surprised about it.