Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Anxiety Dream. Again.

The Anxiety Dream, Again.
Current mood: adored
Category: Dreams and the Supernatural

Not again. Yes, again!

For those just joining us, the Anxiety Dream has now taken place in the following venues, though the basic premise is always the same: my childhood home in Harwood Heights, Knox College, my first apartment in Chicago after I got married, and now....St. Paul.

In last night’s installment, my band was rehearsing in the basement of the church (not unheard of), and then it was time to play in the sanctuary upstairs. And for whatever reason, my entire family was coming to see the service that night. Somehow or another, however, once I got up to the sanctuary to join the band, I saw that neither I nor any of my bandmates had brought my drum kit up. And that instead of our contemporary praise set list, they had abruptly deicded instead to play all singer/songwriter lite hits from the 70’s. While I was freaking out, my drum kit was finally brought upstairs. BUT! Someone had bent all of my cymbals in half. "How in hell am I supposed to play THESE?" I asked, followed by, "Am I on THIS song, or THAT song?" and the musicians wouldn’t tell me.

Since this is spring break, I didn’t awaken to the irritating but welcome sound of my alarm today. Instead, I had the pleasure of hearing Luke downstairs, yelling at the top of his lungs, "Mommy!!!! COCK-A-DOODLE-DO!"

Monday, March 24, 2008

Poor Pat Boone.

Poor Pat Boone.
Current mood: annoyed
Category: Dreams and the Supernatural

Last night, I was far off in dreamland when I awakened myself sitting upright in my bed, and saying aloud, like honestly, in a loud voice, "I’m so fucking tired of Pat Boone!"

As if that wasn’t strange enough, when I went back to sleep, I was still dreaming about Pat Boone, and I sent my friend Amy T. to dispose of him. How Ames was supposed to accomplish this, I’m not sure. I doubt I cared.

Craig reminded me this afternoon that our moms were talking about Pat Boone after Easter dinner, and while I wasn’t directly involved in the conversation, I must have overheard something. Specifically, Craig overheard his mom tell my mom, "Shake the hand that once shook the hand of Pat Boone." Evidently, this was enough in my subconscious to throw me directly over the proverbial Pat Boone ledge.
In other innocuous anecdotes, Craig had the following exchange with Luke over the weekend.

Craig (at night, up to his neck in Luke’s incessant blabber): "Luke, please stop it. You’re being irritating."

Luke: "Dad, I’m not being irritating. I’m being a nuisance."


Thursday, March 20, 2008

What's A Jewtheran To Do?

What’s a Jewtheran to do?
Current mood: confused
Category: Religion and Philosophy

This doesn’t happen often, but since Easter is so early this year, the colliding trains of Good Friday and Purim are in place for a big ol’ religious smackdown.

Good Friday is the most solemn and reflective of the Christian holy days, ya know, with all that Jesus dying on the cross, pre-crucifixion torture, temple curtains tearing in half jazz, the earth turning dark and Christians repentently exiting their houses of worship in silence and sadness, even though we sort of know how the story ultimately plays out 3 days later, with glorious jubilation. So Good Friday is really more just observation than "I wonder if He’ll stay THIS year." Come on, it’s Jesus!

Easter Sunday soon arrives and we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection in church by replacing the black altar paraments with regenerative white, and the "Allelujah’s" are once again allowed to be uttered in the sanctuary. "He is Risen, indeed!" Yay, Jesus! Secularly, we celebrate with the return of tacky pastel colors and obnoxious hats to our wardrobes and a proliferation of candy and dye-colored hard boiled eggs with green yolks in our baskets. Most people traditionally then consume ham, though that pig don’t fly in our Jewtheran family, where we have beef brisket.

Landing on the same day this spring is Purim, one of the more festive Jewish holy days. Exuberance IN the synagogue is not only acceptable but encouraged! Oy!
From Wikipedia, for those not in the know.....

The holiday of Purim has been held in high esteem by Judaism at all times; some have held that when all the prophetical and hagiographical works are forgotten, the Book of Esther will still be remembered, and, accordingly, the Feast of Purim will continue to be observed (Jerusalem Talmud, Megillah 1/5a; Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Megilla).

Like Chanukkah, Purim has more of a national than a religious character, and its status as a holiday is on a lesser level than those days ordained holy by the Torah. Accordingly, business transactions and even manual labor are allowed on Purim, though in certain places restrictions have been imposed on work (Shulkhan Arukh, Orach Chayim, 696). A special prayer ("Al ha-Nissim"—"For the Miracles") is inserted into the Amidah during evening, morning and afternoon prayers, as well as is included in the Birkat Hamazon ("Grace after Meals.")

The four main mitzvot of the day are:

  1. Listening to the public reading, usually in synagogue, of the Book of Esther in the evening and again in the following morning (k’riat megilla)
  2. Sending food gifts to friends (mishloach manot)
  3. Giving charity to the poor (matanot la’evyonim)
  4. Eating a festive meal (se..udah)
There you have it. Did I mention the chief traditional Purim beverage to be consumed is wine? Well, we can scrtch that. My goodness, they even give out these, eerily resembling Easter baskets, i.e. the above photo.

So the question I solemly reflect on Christ’s death and pray for the forgiveness of my sins or sneak away to the synagogue to dance in the aisles and stuff my face? A vexing conundrum for any Lutheran Jew, for sure.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Back to Knox. Another Study in Dream Anxiety.

Back To Knox. Another Study in Dream Anxiety.
Current mood: nervous
Category: Dreams and the Supernatural

These sober dreams are something else, man!

Even weirder, a focal character in today’s early morning dream, my old suitemate appeared, and then I awakened this morning to a friend request from her here on myspace! Spooky!

My dreams as of late have all, in different ways, centered around anxiety and me not knowing where to go when, things breaking down, me being confused and a general sense of building chaos out of which I fail to find resolution before the dream ends. They all stem from my pattern of taking small life problems and balling them into one catastrophe which I question the capability to solve. This is a life-skill-issue I’m presently working on, but an integral part of my spiral into alcohol addiction (that blog’s not done yet) and eventual treatment (three weeks sober today, yo). The night prior was a similarly clusterfucked menagerie of mounting problems and confusing messages, though it didn’t take place at college.

This dream found me back at Knox, my alma mater, in Galesburg, IL. I was a senior, though I thought I’d already graduated, and I was a mother, though my son kept appearing and disappearing as a character in the the point where I wasn’t sure afterwards if he was there or not, or home with Craig, or what.

In reality, I’d lived 3 out of 4 years in a dorm building called Williston Hall, a small, indie-vibed little building that housed a lot of punkers, artists, dorks and non-Greek types. Many of us had our own rooms, thanks to a lax policy on roommating that hinged on placing students recently returning from study abroad after the previous spring’s housing selection boom, or (occasionally forged) doctors’ notes that would plead to the Director of Housing that said student required a single as opposed to a double room because of things like excessive cleaning OCD’s, mental illness, allergies, blah blah, thereby rendering the student incapable of tolerating a roommate.

My actual senior year, such was the case. Lorri and I had a 3-bedroom suite (sharing one bathroom) on the top floor of Williston, on the front corner of the building. Our other suitemate was in London her first term, and I had a master key to all the rooms (a whole separate story) so we used the spare bedroom to house my parakeet, Sparky, when he’d be too noisy and wake me up too early in the morning). That dorm room was the bomb. I’d duct-taped two single bed frames together for a big-ol’ bed, and my view on the corner of the building allowed me nothing but surrounding sunshine. My room was decorated in nothing but Beatles and Eric Clapton posters and pictures of family and friends, while Lorri’s room had a uniquely Asian vibe, fresh from her studies in Indonesia.

But back to the dream.

I was 35, had to suddenly finish another term at school, and move back into Williston, which in the 13 years since my graduation, had endured a housing regeneration and two newly constructed buildings were now to the left and right of it. It had been, however, set up with 2 cable-ready mounted LCD TV’s and central air. But I was given a roommate, some East Indian chick, who’d stayed there the whole summer prior, and had infiltrated every inch of the dorm room with her stuff, thus there was no room for any of my stuff, like my son, for example.

She had this enormous dark cherry wood bedroom set and armoire, and shelving all over, and a floor-to-ceiling refrigerator. Her clothes and CD’s took up every last inch of the room, and I felt my anxiety increase. My mom and brother had helped move a Williston cot bed into my room, and get some of my boxes of belongings out of the dorm basement storage, but I had nowhere to put them. I’d forgotten to bring basics like sheets and blankets, and towels, and had only half of my CD collection. I remember makeshift making the bed with my scrubs from the hospital that I usually wear as pajamas. I didn’t know where Luke was supposed to bunk, or where Craig was.

From the basement, my brother brought up two parakeets in a humongous cage that shockingly lived through an entire summer of me not being at Knox and not feeding them. (They looked just like the one yellow and one blue parakeets I currently have.) Their cage was filthy, and needed a good vacuuming, and they kept escaping and flying all over the room. Then appeared the other roommate’s cat, which activated my memory of having a single room because of my allergies to begin with.

I ventured upstairs to find Lorri and her husband Cory, who got to room together along with their two young children, in what looked like a really comfy dorm set up, to borrow one of their three mini-fridges, since my Indian roommate had filled the entire big one with her own food and drink. "How come you guys got to room together and I got stuck with HER? There’s no room for any of my stuff!" I pleaded.

Lorri suggested I calm down by going for a walk to the mailboxes in the basement of Seymour Hall in order to get our schedules for the term out of our mailboxes. Lorri, of course, already had her schedule memorized, but I, naturally, had no idea which classes I’d even registered for when I got to campus. Hell, not even knowing why I had to complete another term was bad enough. "But Lorri," I said, "I don’t have a key yet to my room or the building, how will I get back in?" "They’ll issue you a new key tomorrow. Don’t worry about it." Ok.

By then, it was time for lunch. I was miffed that the only lunch choices left in the cafeteria by the time we got there were muffins and baked goods, but I made due. After clearing my tray and starting to walk out, I noticed someone had left their wallet on a podium in the cafeteria. Turned out to be Al Franken’s wallet, which I only noticed after seeing his registration card for a 1985 Oldsmobile. He was a visiting professor, I think, and I then spent significant time seeking him out to return his wallet and go back to Williston Hall.

By the time I got back to the dorm, it’d started to rain, and I desperately wanted a cigarette, but my Indian roommate didn’t want me to smoke up her overly-furnished room, and I walked to the convenience store down the street to buy a lighter, all the time hoping the new LCD TV would pick up WGN on cable so I could watch the Chicago news. Along the walk, I made a mental note of more of the necessary items from home I’d forgotten to pack--my backpack, for example.

Still, the alarm sounded at 7:30 am and mercifully bounced me back to my cozy bed in my cozy apartment, minus the excessive furniture of an unwelcome roommate.