Sunday, March 20, 2011

in this dimension

Working down my list of things to do before Gideon and I leave for Prague at the end of this week to meet up with Chris. Very excited to get to go back and share the experience with Gideon. Someday we'll have to take an international trip where Chris isn't working the entire time.

Taxes, done. Gah. I always fret the IRS will audit and deem No Tell Books a "hobby" based on its earnings compared to its expenses. But I have all the receipts and documentation, so I shouldn't worry. I suppose part of myself truly doesn't feel legitimate.

If you're in the DC area, you should consider attending the Mary Karr and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon reading at the Folger Shakespeare Library tomorrow (Monday) at 7:30pm. I'll be giving brief introductions for both poets and leading the Q&A afterward. This month I had two dreams where I was on my way to the reading, but didn't get around to writing the intros.

In this dimension, the intros are written.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

dream database management

Because dreams are serious content and you need to manage that shit.

The problem with handwritten dream recording is searchability. If you record dreams with any regularity, finding a handwritten dream from a couple years earlier can be challenging if you aren't sure of the approximate date. Finding patterns and recurring themes is also difficult and time consuming when having to go through stacks of notebooks.

I keep track of all of my dreams in blogger. That's right, the same thing I use to keep this blog.

Benefits:

1. Record more details -- I can type way faster than I can write. The faster I can record a dream, the more likely I'll retain details.
2. Search engine -- like most people, I forget many of my dream pretty quickly. Like last week I dreamed of planes flying in a horizontal formation. I quickly checked and found out I dreamed of that before.
3. Tags -- One dream can have countless symbols and themes. Tags are helpful for tracking. For instance, once I clicked on my "face" tag -- and in each "face" dream over the course of several months I was able to see a step-by-step transformation. (Seaching-->Decay-->New) I wouldn't have picked up on this if I didn't have the ability to easily group dreams by content.


But wait, you don't want your archenemy to get a Google alert informing him of your dream where you give him a tug job in a vat of pudding, do you? You sure don't!

You want the benefits of the content management database, but not the publishing part. You can share your choice, edited dreams on your regular blog, or FB, over dinner or wherever. For your dream database, you want a safe place where you aren't inhibited from recording your absolute groddy gnarliness.

That's easy enough. You make it so you're the only one who can view your dream database by doing the following:

Basic settings: Select NO for "Add your blog to our listings?" and "Let search engines find your blog?" and "Show Email Post links?"

Site Feed: Select NONE for "Allow Blog Feeds"

Permissions: Select "Only blog authors"

Then log out of blogger and make sure you can't access your dream database before you log back in and start recording.


Some people claim patterns and themes don't appear in their dreams, but they're wrong. They're just not keeping track. People claim lots of things about what their dreams don't do, but they don't have the dream data to back up their dismissals--because they don't keep any data.

And they think their uninformed, unsubstantiated denials somehow make them rational, reasonable people. Because dreams are meaningless and worthless. They know this to be true by the testament of ignorance.

Can't argue with that.

Monday, March 7, 2011

bits

Grace Cavalieri interviews Amy King, Kim Roberts & me at Poets & Artists, Issue #24 (April 2011)

In addition to the No Tell Twitter feed, I now have a personal Twitter account. Separation of press and person.

If you're in DC, on Monday, March 21, 2011, 7:30pm, at the Folger Theatre, I'll be introducing Mary Karr and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon and later moderating a discussion after their readings.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

one day, two plane crashes

At a diner near an airport with a poet and Gideon. It was nighttime. Loud noises came from the sky. I looked out the window and saw a horizontal formation of commercial airplanes, flying very low to the ground and close together. Seemed very dangerous and I wondered if they were running out of gas. Maybe they were trying to land one at a time. A few minutes later the same formation passed overhead again. One plane fell and landed on its belly in a nearby parking lot. It seemed OK at first, then burst into flames. I called 911 and spoke to a dispatcher. I asked if they'd heard about the crash yet. Calmly he said yes, then asked about a problem I had last week with the back of my computer. I must have called 911 for help with that too. I said my problem was fixed and asked again if he was sure they knew about the plane crash. Then I heard the sirens.

* * *

Gideon and I went into an elderly care home to deliver a priority mail package. Inside were three poetry books. The recipient was my mother who apparently now lived there. At first, nobody was in the office and I was unsure where to leave the package. Then a man who worked there pointed to a shelf that said the "Burnside Review." There was a discussion with my aunt and another employee about bookshelves, different styles, painting them dark colors. They didn't like the current bookshelves, they thought they looked upside down. I think they wanted something more traditional. I told them where I got my shelves but recommended that they pay less at get them at Target. Although the bookshelves I had were a lot like the ones they were trying to replace.

Another employee gave Gideon a certificate to commemorate the death of an old woman. He said it was important to keep track of this and to also note his height. Gideon was 4'2 or 50".

My grandfather was there now. We talked about Donnie Darko. I wondered if he would like the movie soundtrack, I thought he might. He asked if I thought he'd like the movie. I told him that he would, but he wouldn't admit to liking it and would stick out his tongue and give it a big thumbs down, like he always did. Secretly he would enjoy it. I explained the movie was about physics and time travel in a pseudo-science way and that he'd have to suspend his disbelief.

Now I was in the movie. It was the middle of the day and I stood in a field. Gretchen Ross stood here too, her face and hair were covered in frost and ice that began to melt, like she had just woken from a cold sleep. Plane and helicopter parts fell from the sky. People ran everywhere for cover. For a moment I stood under a tree, then realized it wouldn't protect me. Part of a helicopter fell, inside was the body of a man and a dog--then another dog that somehow survived jumped out. Two smaller planes with grabby hooks caught two pieces of the falling debris and dropped them safely.

I looked down the dirt road, wondered if the plane engine crashed though Donnie Darko's bedroom yet, killing him and setting time right.