Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Blue Victoria Crowned Pigeon of Happiness

In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, I had a series of intense dream images.

(1) Donald Trump was lying next to some carney performers, observing some sexual act (but not participating in it). I was next to him, watching the show, then pointed out to him that media people were approaching. As the cameras and microphones descended, he passed me his credit card (!). It did not have his name on it; rather, it had an African name (no, not "Barack Obama"). I did not expect to use the card in the future (in fact, I felt self-righteous about not planning on using it), but still it felt very nice/warm/protective that he had given it to me.

That dream segued into:

(2) I'm watching 2 blue birds with crests, plus their 2 babies, flitting around a pond. All of them, for their food, are dipping into what I, in the dream, call an "artichoke."

I wake up then. What was that bird?? And immediately upon waking: OH, it's wasn't an "artichoke" but rather, a "lotus flower"! I had to search on the Internet today for what-in-the-world type of bird that was: turns out, a "Victoria crowned pigeon."

No "official symbolism" that I could find online for "Victoria crowned pigeon" combined with "lotus." But these felt good to me both in the dream and when I woke up. Trump, too. It was a good night.

Donald Trump Full Interview With Erin Burnett 9/28

This was interesting psychologically to watch. How to handle Donald Trump. If you're an aggressive male interviewer (or rival candidate), Trump tenses up and gets aggressive and defensive in response. Erin Burnett, though, has had a history with Trump (appearing on his "Apprentice" show in 2009 as a guest judge), and he clearly feels comfortable with her. He's still fast-talking and opinionated, but her persona is not interfering with his (as a journalist's should not be), and he's a lot looser/calmer/more comfortable in his communication style. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Morning Star

I've learned that all the stars that I see now
might have burned out years ago, their light just taking longer.

Not Venus, though. I know that she's still there.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis and The Poor

I got goosebumps watching Pope Francis at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC tonight. I have long missed feeling a sense of community in my life, and have long searched for such. But I was also somewhat torn: The age-old pomp and circumstance of the Catholic Church were inspiring, but then I remembered what Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation were all about: Things have always gotten corrupt within the established order!

This quote from Pope Francis is inspiring to me: "The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak."

But then Francis is also quoted as saying that it's not enough to give charity to the poor/homeless--that one must meet them, encounter them... As one who has "met" and "encountered" "The Poor" and "The Homeless," let me tell you: The Poor and The Homeless don't behave on a daily basis like they might when meeting the Pope. I've met some of "The Poor" and "The Homeless" up close and personal at bus-stops/on buses: I've been cursed at, lunged at, belittled for being a "white woman on the bus." I've had to listen to assholes cursing at the top of their lungs--- just in general, or at exchange students or similarly weak-seeming women next to them. I've listened firsthand to a guy behind me on the bus spouting off to his buddy about how he was going to get his girlfriend pregnant before he had to go back to jail, just so she'd be eligible for extra government money.

I've been poor. Working poor, that is. I have ZERO sympathy, though, for the Pope's generic absolution for the slackers. "The Poor" are oh-so-humble in the abstract, but absolutely shitty in reality.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Flying with Ted Hughes

Yeah, yeah, the last time Ted Hughes spoke to me was when I was in a completely ridiculous graduate writing program in San Francisco, back in '94. (And the man wasn't even dead yet. I wrote him about that dream, and he wrote me back. I framed his response, and I still have his card next to my desk. Hughes died of cancer in 1998.)

Last night, in 2015, I dreamed that I was flying with Ted Hughes. I was scuttling around some sort of town festival, worried about having to go pee. Ted Hughes came wandering along and grabbed my hand and we stepped off a cliff -- not a drastic cliff hundreds of feet down to the sea, but a maybe 20-ft cliff. And we sailed on down. We were both smiling after we landed. But when we landed, I still had to pee and I was still complaining about THAT. After just having flown.

I didn't wake up feeling great, though I should have. Hughes doesn't appear to me very often (TWICE exactly in my life), but when he does, I believe it's serious. My Spirit Animal.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fuck You, Homeless Guy on the Bus

Not EVER right if he's just lying/sitting there minding his own business.

THIS guy, though, on the bus I was on this afternoon... He kept nodding out, would "perk up" every few minutes to curse out someone who had just gotten on the bus.

After 10 minutes of listening to his shit, he went on his "Fuck You" rampage to a lady sitting across from him. I, at the back of the bus, saw red. I yelled down to him: "FUCK YOU."

After his initial surprise, he yelled "Fuck you" back to me.

We went back and forth with the "Fuck you"'s, and then the bus driver took over and told the guy to shut his "nasty mouth" or else she'd kick him off the bus. He shut up.

I hate riding the bus. Now, I get on it with an attitude. I'll probably be stabbed on the bus or punched in the face before I die.

With this guy, though, I felt absolutely fearless. While most homeless guys' bark is much worse than their bite, the guys are still a bit scary when they're mouthing off. In this case, I looked right into the man's eyes and told him, "No, YOU fuck off!" Adrenalin flowing. Wondering what I would do if the man approached me physically, but also prepared to punch him if he punched me.

I'm 50. I have a Master's Degree. I have a father who reads my blog but who has never protected me from anything. My father doesn't think anything of his daughter having to ride buses with nasty, psychotic, drunk guys on a daily basis. Sad.

'The Great Gatsby' (2013)

I just saw Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" tonight for the first time (with commercials, on AMC). I'd read F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel too young (in my teens) and didn't quite understand the emotional gravitas and heartbreak. Also as a teen, I saw the crappy '70s version with Redford (and his '70s hair) and Farrow, and the ridiculous ennui (so apropos for the '70s and utterly un-apropos of the Roaring Twenties) and hated it -- and so have rather dismissed everything about "Gatsby" for the past 30 years. 

Luhrmann's version, though, was moving and thought-provoking. I first discovered him via his "Moulin Rouge" in 2001 -- I saw it twice in one week, it was THAT good to me. Since then, I'd lost touch with what he'd been doing artistically.

I do tend to mistrust those who attempt to bring a modern sense to a period piece... "Gatsby" is decidedly of the '20s, and decidedly of Fitzgerald. And Luhrmann had a modern soundtrack to this "Gatsby"... But the soundtrack fit in almost seamlessly at Jay Gatsby's decadent parties. Yes, you know it's not "period music," but the "feel," the "mood," is almost exactly right.

And the editing also fit in perfectly. (For example, when the rich characters left their glowing world of West Egg to venture into the more working-class Queens for a night, the Queens World turned to black-and-white, based purely on the characters' perceptions -- a brilliant touch.)

For the first time, after watching Luhrmann's version of "Gatsby," I actually GOT the utter hard-core reality/sadness of what Fitzgerald had been saying... Daisy's (Zelda Fitzgerald's) emotional weakness was horrifying, but honest. Nick Carroway's (Scott Fitzgerald's) breakdown in the face of witnessing this, and his understanding of Jay Gatsby's (Scott Fitzgerald's ID) desires, equally so. The movie made me understand the book and the author more -- that makes it a great movie to me.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Football Season

Joan Crawford has been a constant in my life since 1987.
The Dallas Cowboys have been a constant in my life since the early '70s.
Sunday night's last-minute win against the Giants in their season opener made me extremely happy --- Romo/Garrett happy! :)

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

If I had the money...

...I'd be back in Weehawken. And I do have some money, but not enough to establish myself there again. Back when I moved to NYC in 2007, I trusted myself to Craig's List roomies and the idea that I'd immediately find a job... The 3 roommates I found before getting my own place were all gay and either drink/drunk-addled or nuts. And, aside from one 8-month freelance gig that paid $28 an hour, I never found steady work, enough to pay the expensive rent there.

I was forced back to Austin in 2010, and have since established myself here with a steady job... But I don't particularly want to be here.

I'm definitely not ungrateful for what I have now (a steady job, a decent place), but... this isn't ME. I may be 50, but I'm not dead yet. I'm not quite ready to give up yet.

I want good sandwiches and good pizza and beautiful trees and a beautiful skyline again. I don't want more smoke breaks in parking lots. I don't want my only future to be looking forward to inheriting my mother's house in a subdivision.

That said, this time I'm not leaving any of my furniture or books or CDs behind. A dilemma. (Well, not that much of a dilemma: Get a job lined up up north.)

The Avett Brothers - Open Ended Life


Pack a change of clothes and a pillow for the road
for when you drift off to sleep
Put the sketches and the notes in the box labeled 'burn with furniture'
We will watch the fire burn the whole entire house we built
down to ashes
From the mirror we'll admire how the flame quickly retires
We won't waste a long goodbye on the smoke or foolish lies
that finally passed us
I was taught to keep an open-ended life
And never trap myself in nothing

Let's find something new to talk about
I'm tired of talkin' about myself
I spent my whole life talkin' to convince
everyone that I was something else
And the part that kinda hurts is I think it finally worked
and now I'm leaving
I get the feeling things have changed
But the mystery to me is where and when along the way
Did anyone decide that they believed me
I was taught to keep an open-ended life
And never trap myself in nothing
I was told to keep an open-ended life
To never trap yourself in nothing

When we settle down in another nowhere town
let's tell our neighbors
We won't be here long and we'll be quiet
but don't go askin' any favors
I can't stand the unexpected uninvited visits
from too many strangers
My trust has dwindled down
And I can leave just as abruptly as I came here

I was taught to keep an open-ended life
And never trap myself in nothing
I was taught to keep an open-ended life
To never trap yourself in nothing
I was taught to keep an open-ended life
And never trap myself in nothing