Archive for March, 2013

The Dark Corners of Our Minds

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I don’t know exactly what propels me to write this. I suspect it’s at least partly because of Eddie. Eddie committed suicide a few years back (addressed in its own post here) and I’ve found it surprising how much I still think about him and feel his absence in this world despite the fact that it has no practical effect on my day to day life as I hadn’t spoken to him in many, many years or really had any active friendship for a long time. His website is still up (a little internet sleuthing showed me that it’s paid for through 2015, I believe). And I’m still sad that he got to some place where he felt like that was his only solution.

Now let me get intensely personal. I consider myself a generally positive, well-adjusted guy. Yet I have had many or my own dark periods. Periods when I kind of just didn’t want to live any more. Now, I do think that this is still quite different than wanting to kill myself. I never wanted to actively take action to end my own life. It was more like “You know, if I just don’t wake up tomorrow, if the universe wants to take me in the night, I’m good with that.” I’ve had random trains of thought about how I could just “disappear” or if one were to end their own life, how it could be done so that you just disappeared and no one ever knew what happened to you. We’ve all had dark times. We all have dark corners of our minds, but for many, they don’t want to admit that, even to themselves probably, much less to the world. It’s scary and people don’t want to feel freakish or worse yet, have others judge them as somehow deficient.

Now this is probably the most important part of this post. Why do I write this? It’s not a cry for help, or attention or for everyone to tell me how much I’m loved and would be missed or anything like that. I’m good, really, and I know all that thanks to all my wonderful, loving friends and family. I write this because if anyone reads it and has ever had anything even remotely resembling feelings like this…

You are not alone. You are not broken, or deficient, or crazy or a freak. You are human. People are scared to talk about darkness, especially inside themselves so you may feel alone or like no one could possibly know or understand. I am not a mental health care professional. I don’t really know what to say other than that. But much like Eddie, we all probably have a much farther reaching and profound effect in this world than we will ever know.

Dream Theatre #8

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I’m finding documenting my dreams to be an interesting procedure. So many times I feel it’s kind of like trying to translate something from another language that doesn’t really have a direct translation. So much about dreams is hard to explain in real world terms. The internal dream logic that makes no sense out here, or the feelings or atmosphere.

In last night’s dream I encountered a person named Katie. This was no one real, but a fictitious dream persona who, in the dream, was someone I had met in England when I was still married and we were back there visiting my ex-wife, Jess’s family and friends. Katie was the roommate of one of Jess’s friends who we were visiting. I think Jess knew her in passing as well. When we had visited, she had hung out with us all as well and we had all got to know each other over the course of the evening.

Now cut to the present. I can’t remember if I was in England or if she was over here to begin with, but we had reunited to hang out and over the course of our evening, she had revealed that she had always found me really attractive and was very taken with me. The feeling now was mutual so there was smooching and holding her in my arms and general nice cuddliness. At one point she actually told me she loved me which surprised me, being that we really barely knew each other and I, in fact, told her that while I was definitely drawn to her, I didn’t really know her well enough to know or say that I loved her but it was all good and warm and fuzzy and happy (I’m pretty sure that part comes from the fact that I’m doing a scene from Manhattan for a UT class where there is a similar, though not identical exchange).

Then the dream cut to the next day. I was now at work (fictitious dream work, nothing from the real world) and someone had died suddenly. There was a funeral to take place that day and we were all preparing for it. There was a line of people in the hallway because for some reason, everyone going to the funeral had to meet here at the place I worked to fill out some paperwork or something. I knew Katie would be going to the funeral as well and now I was all nervous about seeing her. I didn’t know how to play it. I really wanted to see her but for some reason wasn’t sure how cool to play it. Like maybe she would be all cool and act like nothing had happened, or would be disinterested now. At one point I saw her in the line but pretended like I hadn’t seen her as I didn’t want to put her in a weird place or make her feel pressured so I figured I would give her the opportunity to approach me if she wanted.

I was wearing this really flashy, sparkly shirt that I have and thought that it probably wasn’t really appropriate for the funeral. Luckily I had another shirt that I changed into right there in the lobby. Then I noticed that the sleeve of my sparkly shirt had come all undone and the bottom half just sort of fell off leaving stringy strands dangling (much like the stage effect in the production of Spamalot I saw last night when the Black Knight’s arm got cut off and there were red strings hanging down, thus leading me to believe that’s the source for this particular dream ingredient). I was really bummed in dream, as I really loved this shirt.

I think it was around this point that I kind of half woke up and felt some sense of sadness that Katie wasn’t real. It took me a while to really wake up enough to discern what was real and what was dream and that I was feeling this sadness and why. I then went back to sleep and did some major catching up, sleeping almost 12 hours. I feel like there’s a tiny kernel of sadness that I will carry for the rest of the day from my whirlwind dream romance.

Dream Theatre #7

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In last night’s episode, I was hanging out with Kevin Smith (the writer/director) at his house. It wasn’t his real house but my own dream version of his house which was kind of in the woods and elevated. He was telling me about this time when, just being goofy, he started climbing this tree. Then after climbing a bit he suddenly looked down and saw how high he’d climbed and became paralyzed with fear and didn’t think he’d be able to get back down. Luckily he did.

Then we talked about how the studio that produces Jeopardy had just moved into their new huge facilities built out in a desert as two adjoined complexes. We then talked about Alex Trebek getting to work in a transport pod that traveled on rails directly between his house and the studio. I can’t remember if we were wondering if that’s how he got there, or if we thought that’s how he should get there. We then theorized that he probably just had a limo that picked him up every morning.

Indiana Jones and the Egyptian Swamp Ass

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After getting myself a new improved Indiana Jones Jacket recently, it made me think: He wears this thing in the jungles of South America and the deserts of Egypt? Now, true, it was made of a very light leather (much lighter than you would think), but it’s still a dark leather jacket.

The caption at the opening simply says “South America 1936”. The Amazon basin has an average year round temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6 Celcius) with 90% humidity making for a heat index of 86F (30C) though the largest region (the Brazilian region) averages from 80F to 90F (26.6-32.2C) and again, the humidity will make it feel much warmer. Now true, the night time can be cool, again made to feel cooler by the humidity, but if he’s going on a trek after a fertility idol during the day, I would think he’d leave the jacket.

The Egypt scenes are a bit more plausible because when we see him walking around during the day, he does not have his jacket. The first time we see him wear it in Egypt is at night when he goes after the ark. Then he gets trapped in the Well of Souls by Belloq, and by the time he escapes it’s day again (which doesn’t seem to add up to me either, not to mention that he “escapes” by pushing out a loose stone that exits right next to an airfield the Nazis are using and yet they never checked what was in there…), and from there gets on a horse and goes after the truck with the ark on it. So I can buy that the desert gets cool at night and he wasn’t planning on wearing it during the day but then got stuck with through circumstance but even then he could have left it with Sallah and Marion before running off after the ark. That thing had to be hot in the Egyptian sun.

Lastly, I don’t know what kind of garment cleaning procedures they had in 1936, but that thing had to be pretty rank. I know how bad it can be just to be in the car with myself after an outdoor band gig, much less gallivanting around the Egyptian sun in wool pants, a long sleeve cotton shirt, Leather shoes, felt fedora and a lambskin leather jacket. I think the scene on the submarine where Marion is helping him undress and lay down in bed would have been more like, “Here, let’s get you…OH, GOD, JONES! You REEK! Do they have a shower on this sub? I mean, I’m all for sexy time but how about we begin in the shower?”

Dream Theatre #6

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I thought I’d beat the “spring forward” lag by going to bed really early last night. Then I woke up at about midnight and couldn’t get back to sleep for a couple of hours, but by that point I had already had the following dream.

I came home to find Larry (one of my closest friends, creative partners and former roommate, now living in California) and Breanne (awesome person who I wish was closer friends with) lounging on my bed catching up. It was nothing romantic or anything, just the vibe of two really close friends hanging out and catching up (they never met in real life, as far as I remember). Why they were hanging out on my bed in my room is one of those mysteries that can only be answered with “It made sense and was normal in dream logic.” I was very happy to find them there as, in the dream, we had all been very close but I guess hadn’t hung out in a while or something. There was definitely a reminiscing kind of vibe. We all talked about how the period of time when we had all met had been so important and defining in our lives.

Breanne and I then reminisced about this personality test we’d had to take early on in our friendship and how we thought we’d have a lot of it in common but that I had thought that we would differ on the “Religious History” section. She hadn’t thought so and when we got the test back our scores were very close (167 and 160) and apparently I had made some joking comment back then about owing her 10 million dollars if I was wrong. I joked that I was working on becoming rich and famous so I could pay my debt.

Confessions of a Shirtless Yoga Dude

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I started doing hot yoga at Sunstone Yoga a couple of years ago. I bought a a bunch of shorts and tank tops made for working out, made of “Duo-dry” material to wick the sweat away, I guess. Of course in hot yoga you end up completely drenched so there no amount of wicking in the world that can help you. Over the years there were maybe a few times when I just felt so hot or uncomfortable that I removed my shirt. Now, there are lots of guys who don’t wear shirts in class. Seems pretty common, but I always preferred to wear one, both out of consideration for the rest of the class who might catch a glimpse of my hairy and flabbier-than-I-would-like torso being contorted and compressed, despite their best efforts to just concentrate on their own practice, and because my own insecure body image issues.

However, a few weeks ago I had a turning point. I showed up to class and realized I’d accidentally grabbed 2 pairs of shorts instead of shorts and a shirt so my choices were to either just skip class and go home or do class shirtless. I found that not only was I much more comfortable but that I could concentrate on my practice much better as I wasn’t being distracted by a sopping wet, bunching up shirt. At that moment, I decided to try life as a shirtless yoga dude. Since then, I have definitely confirmed my experience and accepted my new role. It’s also been a good mental exercise on not caring what other people think (about my body or my choice to go shirtless) and to do what’s best for my own yoga practice and experience.

I still try to position myself in the back right corner though, out of consideration for my other yogis.

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