Tag Archives: dream

I gave birth to the whole universe

I decided to make up a bedtime story last night, choose-your-own adventure style.

Me: “Once upon a time, there was a boy named… Antonio or Declan?”

Declan: “Declan!”

Me: “This boy Declan grew up to become a… paleontologist or astronaut? Which should he be?”

Declan: “A paleontologist goes around looking for dinosaur bones and putting them back together to make, like, T-Rex.”

Me: “True. So is that what you’d like to be? Or an astronaut?”

Declan: “I don’t want to be those. I want to be something I want to be.”

Me: “Like what?”

Declan: “Space.”

Me: “Space? Like… all of space? The universe?”

Declan: “Yes. Space.”

Me: “Uh… okay… Once upon a time there was a little boy named Declan who was actually all of space. He was as big as everything and expanded a lot while stars and galaxies and planets formed inside of him. He watched the Earth as it started to form, and people started to evolve…”

Declan: “I couldn’t do that. Everybody knows that space doesn’t have eyes. It can’t watch anything. It just is. It’s everywhere.”

Me: “Uh… okay. One day he yawned, and 14 stars and 732 planets were sucked into his mouth.”

Declan: “No. Only a black hole could do that.”

Me: “Well if you were all of space and you yawned, wouldn’t that be like a really big black hole?”

Declan: “Maybe. But space doesn’t have a mouth. It doesn’t have any kind of face.”

Me: “Well what would you do if you were space, then?”

Declan: “Nothing. Just be.”

Me: “Okay. Where would those stars and planets go if you yawned? What would space’s stomach be like?”

Declan: “Maybe nowhere. Maybe another dimension. They would be spaghettified. We just don’t know where they would go.”

Me: “Okay. So maybe they would go into space’s stomach! So… Declan, who was all of space was just hanging out, just being everywhere and expanding while the stars formed…”

Declan: “And the stars made people.”

Me: “Okay. The stars made people on Earth…”

Declan: “Now say that mommy and daddy and Declan were born on Earth.”

Me: “Mommy and daddy, who lived on Earth, decided to have a baby, and Declan, who was actually all of space…? Was born?”

Declan: “That’s right.”

Me: “Okay, so, mommy and daddy had a baby who was actually all of space, but they didn’t know that, and he tried to tell them all about the universe.”

Declan: “Babies can’t talk.”

Me: “No, but he tried. He said “ooo” and “da” and “thpppphhh” but they didn’t start to understand until he learned to say words.”

Declan: “Then he taught you about the universe. That’s what you say. You didn’t know about it until I was born. You didn’t even know that after Pluto there was Eris and Ceres until I watched shows and told you.”

Me: “And read books. That’s true. So… Declan came along and learned to talk and started to teach everybody about space and the universe.”

Declan: Nods.

Me: “And then a giant sea lion — bigger than anything, bigger than all of space — that was made out of happiness came along and swallowed the enormous Declan and everything in the universe, including everyone on Earth, became very peaceful and happy because it was very cozy in the sea lion’s stomach.”

Declan: “No!” (Laughing)

Me: “Why not? Sometimes scientists talk about our universe actually being a small part of something even bigger.”

Declan: “Okay.”

Me: “Phew. The end.”

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Thumbelina, Thumbelina, don’t dream about a cow*

I ran for 30 minutes straight for the first time yesterday in yucky pre-rain humidity.

I’ve discovered that once animals realize that you’re not running after them, they find runners fascinating. A pair of deer scared the bejeezus out of me the other day on the trail, but once they had scampered about 25 feet outside the path, they stood there and stared at me. I said “hey dudes” and waved and still they stared. When last I saw them, they were still staring at me. When I run in my urban neighborhood, the squirrels do the exact same thing – they jump into a nearby tree and gawk. They fill their mouths with giant nuts and jump onto a tree and gawk. If Columbus’ squirrels are among those who tweet, at least one of those “stares” was for me today.

I’m kind of amazed that I’ve been able to stick to this Couch to 5k program. I’m not reclaiming any former glory here, or even any former glorious body. I’ve never been remotely a jock – more of a sometimes walker, late-night dancer who attended a lot of summer day camps, one Outward Bound (repelling is fun!) and used to be able to put a basketball through a hoop without hitting the rim. When I was nine, I saw a coach about running on a regional team and he put me through my paces for a day, but the post-run rubdown positively creeped me out and I quit.

For Couch to 5K, I’ve followed the schedule to the letter. This is my approach to most things I try (as long as they seem reasonable to begin with) – I suspend disbelief and put my faith into the idea that all will work out as I’ve been told. Once I’ve done it for a while, or the intended duration, I make my own modifications. In this case, I have been amazed by how well I’ve been able to feel my progress every third run or so. This is my ninth and final week – three days of running for 30 minutes (or 5K). Who knew this was possible? Seriously!

I don’t have a ton of weight loss to show for my efforts, but there has been some and most importantly, I feel entirely different. Like my determination to eat less meat and more local food, it feels like I’m making changes that I have a better shot at sustaining. I just read that sticking with running this long officially makes me a runner, but that I ought to hang here for 2-3 months so my bones and connective tissues have a chance to catch up with my new, stronger muscles. That works for me. I’m not dying to win marathons. I just want to be healthy.

Yesterday I watched Obama’s speech to kids with my son. He was kind of excited that the president would talk to kids until he heard the president mention that he was there to talk to kids in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Having a year of preschool left, and several older friends and cousins makes you painfully aware that you aren’t in Kindergarten yet. As I listened, Declan sat on the floor and flew a plastic policeman through the solar system. Sadly, this policeman died and had to be buried under the letter P. He was later resurrected, so perhaps there is a cult forming around him in an alternate dimension.

By the end of the speech Dec was meowing like a kitty (if we’re connected on Facebook you may know this already). In fact, every time I have asked him what he thought of the speech since, he has meowed like a kitty. So, while I have found the accusation that Obama is trying to brainwash children into becoming liberal automatons utterly baseless, I now must face the possibility that he might be trying to turn them into cats.

Here are some of my favorite posts on the speech subject, by the way:

The Bad Astronomer hilariously points out how crazy is being mainstreamed.

Corporate Babysitter reminds us how many marketers have unfettered access to our children.

Charlotte-Anne Lucas posted a Wordle of the top 50 words used in the speech.

Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids quells our paranoia once again, with humor.

And Emily wrote the president a note.

Peace out, kitties!

* Declan modified the lyrics Danny Kaye sang in the movie Hans Christian Anderson (which his dad was watching) because he had one of his recurring dreams in which he tries to get out of bed, but some bloviating bovine blows him back. It was a better post title than anything I could come up with, so there it is.

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Dancing in the rings

Sleep was interrupted for a long while in the wee hours of this morning, when Dec woke up weepy.

“I want to dance in Saturn’s rings,” he cried. “I do want to do that. I want to twirl.”

He had little to say beyond this, his mantra. He was only momentarily hysterical about it… mostly just teary, sighing, longing.

“You can,” I kept whispering to him, brushing his forehead. “Just close your eyes and go back there.”

He woke up this morning still thinking about it. Still wishing for it.

“I want to dance in Saturn’s rings,” he told me again, first thing.

“Were you dreaming that you were dancing on Saturn’s rings?” I asked him.

“No mommy. Not on the rings, in Saturn’s rings. All around the chunks of ice.”

“You were floating and twirling through sparkly chunks of ice?”

“I was. I want to.”

Around here, dreams can be strangely, scientifically accurate.

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A really big dream

I went to bed chilled with a fever last night. I took a little Tylenol, drank a lot of juice (I don’t do cold medicine) and crawled under a heap of blankets.

Then I dreamed that I became a cosmic string. I extended from the earth. I saw Heath Ledger on the way. I heard Eric Idle singing The Galaxy Song. I grew longer than the solar system, the Milky Way, past Andromeda and other galaxies. I became the length of the entire universe.

And as all of this was happening, I was thoroughly convinced that I was getting very important information that I had to bring back to share with Earth’s astrophysicists. The things I saw were going to change the world. I can’t remember the last time I had a dream that vivid, or was so thoroughly hoodwinked that everything about it was real.

I certainly never dreamed on this scale before. Thank you again, my son, for making me aware of how much of the universe I had been missing.

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Childhood dreams

Here is a stab at my first blog collaboration, with its topic, “Childhood Dreams,” courtesy of the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas.

This is a tough topic to write about without sputtering into platitudes and cliches, so I’m going to take it literally, and write about a few day and night dreams I had that I can still remember.

Most of my early childhood memories took place in a house on the water in New Jersey, where the backyard, house and front driveway were all bordered by feather-topped bulrushes. My friends and I would taunt each other about seeing the faces of monsters and masked people poking through the tall reeds, sometimes until we actually started to believe that we could see them.

Once, while playing with friends in an ocean cove on a beach in Sea Bright, I stepped in something squishy and awful. Fear of Jellyfish made me jump and swim back to shore without looking back. An hour or two later, two boys I knew had retrieved a small squid from the area. It was partially decapitated – a cephalopod Nearly Headless Nick that they gruesomely stuck inside of a clear sandwich bag and gleefully taunted me with. The sight of it wasn’t nearly as disturbing as the realization that I was likely the squid’s killer. I started to stay out of deep water, believing that a mother squid would soon be after me for revenge.

When fall came and hurricanes flooded my backyard, I lay in my bed and imagined a mother squid, laying in wait in the cul-de-sac behind my house, waiting for the water to rise high enough that she could exact her revenge.

Life soundtrack: Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Symphony Orchestra Selected Hits, Theme From 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Hollywood Symphony Orchestra - Hollywood Symphony Orchestra Selected=

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Interpret this!

Last night I dreamed that I was out at a club with the judges from American Idol, watching a band from Argentina. Everyone was raving about their performance, but particularly the title of their song: “I Am the Pope of Your Embarrassment.”

Then Declan woke me up. I tried to fall back asleep to find out what happened next, but it didn’t work out.

I think this song needs to be written.

Life soundtrack: Dinah Washington, The Complete Dinah Washington On Mercury, Vol.7, “Dream”
Dinah Washington - The Complete Dinah Washington On Mercury, Vol.7 (1961) - Dream

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West Side Story

Features of our neighborhood:

• Mango and papaya are at the front of the produce section in every major grocery store.

Camp Chase. When we bought the house but were still waiting to move in, I had a dream in which people asked me “how’s the new house?” and I said “It’s great, except for all of these ghosts of Confederate soldiers. They make it hard to drive through the neighborhood at night.”

• A 24-hour jelly donut drive-thru.

Westland Mall has hosted at least two child pageants and a gun show since we arrived. This Saturday’s Cinco de Mayo celebration/garage sale may be the city’s most authentic.

•We actually know our state representative, and he has already taught us the secret West side handshake.

• An ice cream stand with over 25 flavors of soft serve (?) !

• The only Mexican/Filipino grocery store in town that I am aware of.

• Discount warehouse cheap liquidation factory outlet clearance everything. On sale now!

Taquieras everywhere. Dan is visiting a tortilla production line this weekend.

Plan B version 127 for our uncertain future: Dang if this side of town doesn’t need a decent bookstore and coffeeshop with WiFi.

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