Monday, April 05, 2010

Jesus Loves You But I’m His Favorite

It’s been a month, so I know all four of you want to hear about lucid dreaming! I will oblige.

In mid-March, after many days of getting to bed too late, I was finally able to retire at my preferred bedtime of 8:20 p.m. for a few days in a row, and somewhere along in there, I had by far the longest (non-lucid) dream I’ve ever recalled. It was exceptionally vivid, and took more than three word-processed pages to describe. It started outside my old apartment building and ended with a low-altitude plane ride.

I think the vividness was due to an increased focus on seeing things during the day, announcing to myself in words what I’m seeing, and sometimes asking myself, “What else do I notice?”

I’ve started repeating the affirmation “Tonight I will realize I’m dreaming” as I fall asleep, and when I’m awake during the night after five hours of sleep or so (i.e., somewhere near a REM cycle), I practice WILD, mentally counting my breaths from one to ten and saying “I’m dreaming” with each out breath.

So far I haven’t proceeded consciously into the dream state, but I think it’s been fruitful to focus on dreaming while falling asleep. The night after that extra-long dream, and after a bit of a lucid dream dry spell, I had by far the longest lucid dream I’ve ever had. It was my 14th lucid dream, and it lasted for a good ten minutes or so.

I also ended up having a record number of lucid dreams in March: four!

My Now & Zen clock died again—this was a replacement for the original one—and, amazingly, the folks at Now & Zen sent me a third, but I can see the writing on the wall and obtained a Sony “Dream Clock,” which is a great device. I experimented with waking up to a Gyuto Monks CD, which is a reasonably peaceful way to wake up, but, unlike my beloved chiming clock, doesn’t allow empty space in which to finish up a final dream or recall additional dreams.

Unless you have a CD that has a lot of empty space in it! I’m planning to record my own CD of chimes a la the Now & Zen clock, or, my mother suggested, I could simply record the Now & Zen clock doing its thing. I tested this using the first microphone that came to hand, and I think it’s going to work pretty well, though maybe I can use a nicer microphone I have for the trumpet, which will probably sound even better.

Early in March, Carol Joy took me to see the Cartier exhibit at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, where I had managed never to step foot in nearly 30 years in San Francisco. It is a lovely spot, and I enjoyed the exhibit. Afterwards, we went to Marnee Thai on Irving St. for a most delicious dinner. I had to call Lisa and David in Seattle for the exact location first.

A mere two days later, Lisa was in town for a business trip and we had dinner at Herbivore on Valencia, a conversational and culinary treat. It was a rainy evening, so it was very nice of Lisa to slog over to the Mission.

One Friday evening in the middle of March, I saw The Private Lives of Pippa Lee on DVD. I love Robin Wright Penn and will see anything she’s in, though it stretched credulity that Blake Lively—what a pretty girl!—grew up to be Robin Wright Penn. (Not that Robin Wright Penn isn't prettyand, for that matter, not that it matters whether people are pretty or notbut they just don't look much alike.) I guess Blake Lively is in Gossip Girl. I briefly considered seeing an episode or two, but probably never will.

My beloved visitee, B., who “graduated” from hospice in November or December, has again officially been classified as a terminal patient at the assisted care facility where she has been living, not where I was visiting her before. She probably doesn’t even know of the change of classification. In mid-March, I went to see her, which entailed several blocks of cycling north from the Panhandle on Masonic Ave., of which once was enough. For subsequent visits, I found another route.

After that first visit, I tried the second location of Marnee Thai, on 7th Avenue. The ambience is not as nice and I thought the food was not quite as good, either, but if you can’t make it as far as 23rd Ave., it’s a fine place for lunch.

There is a new location of Osha, another Thai restaurant, at Third and Folsom, and I think it’s the best one. The prices and menu are the same as at the others, and it’s not deafeningly loud, like the one on Second St., nor crowded and with uncomfortable seats, like the one on Valencia St.

In March, I visited Carol Joy in Novato (in a City CarShare car) for a fantastic day of overeating, movie going and card playing. We had lunch at Toast, saw Mother in Mill Valley, followed by The Ghost Writer at the same theater, and had dinner at Vasco, the Italian restaurant at the corner of Throckmorton and Bernard.

I had intended not to see Roman Polanski’s film because of his long-ago sexual assault of a teenaged girl, regarding which he has never seemed a bit remorseful. It’s OK with me if he doesn’t go to jail and if he lives and enjoys his life, but I hadn’t meant to hand him any money, so I was chagrined when the credits rolled and I realized this was his film. It was pretty good, though it had some implausible plot moves, and left a major question or two unanswered. It’s extremely gloomy looking.

Mother, on the other hand, was unequivocally excellent. It’s a South Korean film about a woman whose developmentally disabled son is accused of murder.

The title of this post is what I saw on a bumper sticker not long ago.
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