Friday, December 29, 2006

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and all that jazz

For the last two weeks, I've been sick. It's really taken the wind out of my holiday sails, which annoys me because I enjoy the thrill of the holidays. Finding the perfect gift...surprising people...trimming the tree and decking the halls.

This year, that has all been cut slightly short. So let me simply say....

Merry Christmas!
Happy Hanukkah!
Happy Kwanzaa!
Festive Festivus!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Recurring Dreams

I have a handful of dreams that keep coming back...the courtroom, the sunscreen....and now, add the trip to Prague. It's not a BAD dream, just confusing. Now that it's started returning to my nocturnal naps, I thought I'd vent a bit and get it out there. And Farrago, if his sounds familiar, it's because this is the narration I sent you the first time I had it nearly a year ago. Each time, I get no new detail, but none fades either. It's bizarre to me.

In my dream, I was in Prague for work. This is odd because I've never been to Prague, nor have I studied it to know anything about it. When my flight got delayed. I agreed to take a bump to the next day, because I could visit the city on my own...I walk out of the airport and I'm in the middle of a city that looks, sounds, and smells like London, but I know in my dream that it's still Prague. So I start walking.

I visited museums, I walked by the river, I ate lunch, and then I remembered my friend Ed. Ed works for a university, but in my dream he worked for an investment firm, and for some reason I knew exactly which building was his. I walked to it and got on the elevator, hitting the button for the top floor (again, I somehow just knew it). The elevator was small - only held about 8-10 at a time, and was mirrored. This kind of detail never survives in my mind after a dream, even after I've had it a few times. Anyway, back to the story - I had plenty of time to examine those mirrors because I never made it to the top floor. Everytime someone got on, the elevator would go to their floor next, but never to mine. So I rode the elevator....up to 5 , down to 1, up to 3, up to 4, up to 8, down to 4 down to 1...but never to 9, where I needed to go.

On one of the rides, a little red-haired girl got on the elevator. I say girl, but she was my age or so...just looked younger. She had short curly hair cut to her chin that was frizzing out everywhere, with dangle earrings sticking out from under the hair, and wore a denim jacket over a purple shirt, black pants and shoes. She started talking to me, and we struck up a conversation as we rode this elevator. She asked where I was from, what I was doing in town, et cetera.

"You know this elevator will never go to the ninth floor. It's just not programmed that way. You need to take the stairs if you want to get there," she said.

I looked at my watch. It was 3 minutes till 6, and Ed got off work at 6pm. "There's no way I'll make it and I don't know how else to get in touch with him," I said.

"Well, you're welcome to come and hang with us at my place," she offered. So we got off the elevator the next time it hit the ground floor, and started walking toward the underground. We took the train and got off at Dalrymple Place (I have no idea what that is, but I remember the name. It has no meaning in my life....except another piece of insane detail!) and came up on the corner of something that looked like a quaint town square. The buildings were old and crumbling, no neon signs or updated store fronts, all stacked one right next to each other and they bordered a "town square" of sorts, except the square wasn't was a grassy field that covered the train exchange below.

The girl whose name I never caught despite all my details in the dream told me to stop gawking and grabbed my hand to pull me directly across the grassy field on a diagonal. We ran all the way and stopped facing a row of storefronts...

"This one's my house. C'mon in" It was a pub. One large room where crowds of people packed tables in the front, but as we moved to the back, we passed a kitchen and then the decor changed to a more modern home kind of thing. Another woman was already there. The girl from the elevator offered me a drink. I asked what the local specialty was, and she pulled out a six pack of a grape cooler. "Best thing out of Prague in years," she said. The bottles were small - about the size of an aluminum can. I can still see the design on the bottles - purple label with gold filigree, written in Czech so I don't quite know what the name was. She popped the top and offered me one - it tasted like Grape Nehi. The three of us finished the six pack, then her friend left without having too much to say.

Elevator Girl said, "Lets get out of here - it gets kinda loud at night and you didn't come here to watch men smoke cigars" so we went on a tour of her part of town. The buildings were pretty at night, lit to accentuate the stonework and the gables. She pointed out all sorts of architecture and historical places - the kind of tour you'd never get from the guidebook. We stopped on a bridge over a stream and talked to some of her friends, then they went on and she decided to stay. I thanked her for the tour, and she started talking. Philosophizing is more the term...I don't recall it all but she ended with...

"Sometimes it takes going places you've never been before to see your own life in a different light."

And with that she kissed me. I was surprised, but I let her, and when we were done, she said, "Thank you - I've always wanted to kiss an American redhead. Too bad you can't stay - I think we'd have great fun"

We started walking back to her house like nothing had happened. We walked into the pub again, and that's when I woke up.

Strange. And it keeps coming back.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy Holiday Shopping

A random couple of musings tonight, cause I don't have the brain power to cobble together anything coherent!

1) What on earth is wrong with me this year? I know I've been sick, but still! I usually enjoy the hunt that is Christmas shopping. The thought that goes into finding just the right gift....the surgical strike of going to the store, getting it, and getting out while the other crazies browse and ponder and call home to question every little decision.... This year, not so much. I find myself wandering aisles of tried and true retail friends, looking for the perfect gift to bonk me on the head. When really, my head just isn't in the game.

2) Went out dancing the other night. Very little is quite as disturbing as hearing a 60+ year old man dancing with you mis-sing the lyrics of "I'll take you there" by the Staple Singers as "I'll take you to bed"...

3) And little is as comforting as knowing you belong with someone. Even in as small a way as a dance. I took the floor with a very good dancer I know, and three steps into the dance, he dips me all the way to the floor. A move that soon, before partners are in sync...that's silly, and can even be dangerous, depending on who your partner is. But this man is strong and good. When I was on my feet again I laughed and said, "Wow, wasn't that a little soon?" He simply said, "Not with you. You always follow me....and I always catch you. Regardless. You get me. So no, not too soon." It's nice to belong somewhere, even for a split second.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

iTunes Shuffle

Sitting here this morning, paying bills and what not, trying to surf for Christmas presents, and I thought I'd post my last 12 songs on iTunes....I'm trying not to be too heavy here, I've not done that in a while and it's beenan interesting mix!

Desire - U2
Heart of the matter - Don Henley
Civil War - Guns 'N' Roses
Wicked Little High - Bird York
Queen of Hearts - Juice Newton
One Mint Julep - Ray Charles
I'm Not the Man - 10,000 Maniacs
Ring of Fire (Wanna Be Sedated) - Cigar Store Indians
Backwards - Rascal Flatts
Soul of a Man - Susan Tedeschi
At This Moment - Billy Vera and the Beaters
True Religion - The Duhks

Anything in there ya like?