Wide Awake in Wonderland

We’re only dancing on this earth for a short while

http://www.wideawakeinwonderland.com December 6, 2008

Yep. It’s official. There’s a new blog post, but you can only find it on my all new website:

www.wideawakeinwonderland.com

Effective very soon, this space will be just a skeleton of what it once was. But all the old posts and happy memories will live forever on the new blog site. (let’s note it again, shall we? http://www.wideawakeinwonderland.com)

So please, update your favorites file and your RSS feed (and if you don’t know what that is, it’s the link on the bottom of the new site that will allow you to receive this blog automatically whenever I write it. It’s like I’m spamming you, but you asked me to. Cool, no?)

So don’t delay, and I’ll see you on the other side!

http://www.wideawakeinwonderland.com

 

Special special needs December 4, 2008

handicappedI was musing to myself that it would be nice to have a little income stream during this intermediary period. Rest assured, I have some (I think) good ideas in me noggin, and I’m getting some irons in the fire, so things should start to shape up and some cash rolling in by spring. However, seeing as I left my job rather than wait to be laid off (which I now very much wonder if I might have been. I don’t know how much demand there would’ve been for our boutique banking consulting services), I’m not eligible for unemployment.


Then it occurred me to me: I’ve been paying into the system for a good, long time. Maybe a little disability wouldn’t be too much to ask for? Admittedly (and happily), I’m healthy and (I think) mentally stable, but I do have a few unique flaws that I believe should be taken into consideration by the fine folks at the disability claims area:

Stove Dyslexia – This is the kind of thing that destroys families. I cannot turn on the burner I intended to turn on, and it is not my fault. This disorder has caused me considerable pain and trauma: Meals have been late, caffeine fixes unnecessarily delayed, several dish towels have burn marks on them, and I have even suffered the unspeakable – yes, I have lost arm hair. The smell torments my dreams to this day.


Irritable Howl Syndrome (IHS) – my dog has innovated this horrific banshee scream cum wolf howl noise that he’s very proud of. He will go out onto the back porch and let out this blood curdling sound until I go and drag him inside by the the collar. Nine times out of ten, he runs downstairs, goes out his dog door, and resumes again within two minutes. It drives me crazy, and if crazy isn’t grounds for disability payments, I don’t know what is.


Verification Word Blindness – For some reason Yahoo thinks I’m a spammer, and it constantly makes me type in the secret word it generates to confirm I’m a real human being. And I can never get the word right. Never. I have been known to try and fail five, six, seven times…until I finally have to call someone else in to help me. This is as embarrassing as it is emotionally crippling, and leads me to fear I may be a robot or android and no one has let me in on this yet.


Obsessive Compulsive Spellcheck Disorder (OCSD) – Yes, I am the obnoxious friend who notices you wrote ‘too’ when you meant ‘to’ or that you used the wrong their/they’re/there or that you’re a bit, shall we say, apostrophe ‘s’ happy. Also, the rumors are true: The dish is broken, not broke and irregardless is illogical, and thus not actually a word.


Curlyhairophobia – I have naturally curly hair, but I am not a fan. At all. And I have invested hundreds if not thousands of dollars into lotions and potions and straighteners and other accoutrement to fight my Irish genes. Possibly also related (to the genes more than the hair), I’ve also been known to go a little berserk if I get caught in the rain in my recently straightened hair. Okay, not a little beserk. A lot beserk. This no doubt speaks to some kind of rage disorder worthy of a little income.


Chronic Fashionista Syndrome – I’m obsessed with clothes. I’m driven to read each and every page of Elle, Lucky, In Style, Latina, Essence, or whatever you’ve got in search of tips, tricks, and the latest styles. This in turn manifests as an insatiable need for new stuff, adorable stuff, sexy stuff, any stuff…so long as it’s more stuff. This disorder speaks to my inner sadness and unquenchable emptiness, as well as a desire to look cute.


Cash deficit disorder (CDD) – See Above.

Syphilis – I’m just kidding. I don’t have syphilis. And I hope not to. So if you have it, stop looking at me and stay on your side of the bar. That is unless it’s grounds for a monthly stipend. Then I might consider actually allowing my bare ass to touch the rim of a gas station toilet seat and seeing what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.


I’m certain by now you agree. I am more than deserving of a cash influx…stat.

 

Construction Zone December 2, 2008

Today has been one of major frustration, mostly around the migration of this blog to its new (hopefully beautiful and perfect, but thus far not so much) web site and due to the fact that I’m packing for a two-week trip to the east coast. I am a super neurotic packer. As a result of far too many business trips where I found myself with too short of pants and too high of heels or too much pink or inadvertent belly shirts or excess cleavage or one of a hundred outfit mishaps, I am now compelled to try every combination on before packing it. And that, my friends, is some time consuming behavior.

Nonetheless, never one to leave you high and dry, allow me to pass on a holiday tip sent to me in my e-mail. For those of you that give gift cards (and PLEASE give me gift cards. At least there’s a bat’s chance in hell that I could use it for something I might actually want or need), you may want to rethink it in a few circumstances.

Apparently, some businesses that will be going into bankruptcy or closing local locations in 2009 are still selling gift cards. There is no law preventing them from doing this. On the contrary, it is referred to as ‘Bankruptcy Planning’.


Below is a partial list of stores that you need to be cautious about.

  • Circuit City (filed Chapter 11)
  • Ann Taylor- 117 stores nationwide closing
  • Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug ,and Catherine’s to close 150 stores nationwide – (I find this amazing because I have a couple plus-size friends and they tell me Catherine’s is pretty much the ONLY place they can buy clothes. Where will these women shop now!?!?)
  • Eddie Bauer to close stores 27 stores and more after January
  • Cache will close all stores - (I’ve never been in a Cache, but through the store window everything always looked so tacky that this does not surprise me)
  • Talbots closing down specialty stores
  • J. Jill closing all stores (owned by Talbots)
  • Pacific Sunwear (also owned by Talbots)
  • GAP closing 85 stores (GAP was getting a little omnipresent, anyway)
  • Footlocker closing 140 stores more to close after January
  • Wickes Furniture closing down
  • Levitz closing down remaining stores
  • Bombay closing remaining stores
  • Zales closing down 82 stores and 105 after January
  • Whitehall closing all stores
  • Piercing Pagoda closing all stores – (Dammit! My master plan to give everyone on my Christmas list Piercing Pagoda gift cards has now been shot to sh*t)
  • Disney closing 98 stores and will close more after January.
  • Home Depot closing 15 stores
  • Macys to close 9 stores after January
  • Linens and Things closing all stores (This is true. If you need knives or a whisk or a new toaster, get in the car immediately and go to your nearest Linens and Things. It’s a serious “Everything must go!” fire sale price slash extravaganza in there)
  • Movie Galley Closing all stores
  • Pep Boys Closing 33 stores (Can you imagine a crappier Christmas gift than a Pep Boys gift card? “Thanks, Grandma. Manny, Moe, and Jack… How’d you know?”)
  • Sprint/Nextel closing 133 stores
  • JC Penney closing a number of stores after January
  • Ethan Allen closing down 12 stores.
  • Wilson Leather closing down all stores
  • Sharper Image closing down all stores (Their website implies something really cool will be happening – http:www.sharperimage.com – since when does ‘something big’ = bankruptcy?)
  • K B Toys closing 356 stores
  • Loews to close down some stores
  • Dillard’s to close some stores

Happy shopping!

 

Global Gloom and other encouraging word combinations December 1, 2008

2356411353_74c4a3912fSo I have these moments where I come up with a thought that makes me think I may be really smart. Crazy smart. Einstein smart. And then I hear a cricket chirping and forget what I was thinking about.

Seriously though, I have a line of thinking going, and it seems pretty good. For starters, what better way to get the masses into ‘herd think’ and control their actions than to scare the crap out of them?  All these headlines we’re battered with daily are an excellent case in point:

  • “Economic downtown has folks stashing their cash”
  • “Short selling declines as US stocks scrape new lows”
  • “No 401K worries in the afterlife: More people consider suicide a ‘viable option'”
  • “Stocks fall sharply on consumer spending worries”
  • “Treasurys rally, yields slide, on gloomy economy outlook” (this really is an actual headline – all weird and badly spelled like this. Or maybe that’s good grammar at the school Nick Godt of Fox News attended?)
  • “Miami protesters to new parents, ‘What kind of selfish jerks bring a baby into this horrible world?'”
  • “As unemployment rises, work-at-home scams flourish.”
  • “Manufacturing crash adds to global gloom”

(Okay, I admit it. I made a couple of those up. I like to make sure you’re paying attention.

Meanwhile, to the good folks at The Onion: My rates are steep, but you need me. And you can’t put a price tag on quality like mine. Actually, on second thought, you can, and it’s in the six figures.)

So back to my big idea: A friend loaned me this Tony Robbins CD I listened to last weekend on the way to Seattle. In it, he was talking about how money is always in motion and movement and constant flow. What you put into the bank is given to a business who spends it to create something that someone else buys and it goes on and on like this. That is, unless someone hoards it up and stops the flow and causes the smooth cycle to grind to a halt – otherwise known as a recession.

Wikipedia defines it similarly as, “A recession is a contraction phase of the business cycle, or “a period of reduced economic activity.” The U.S. based National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession more specifically as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP growth, employment (non-farm payrolls), industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.” A sustained recession may become a depression.

So, in short, a recession is when people panic and sell their stocks and put the money under the mattress and don’t buy anything so the people making stuff have no one to sell it to and have to raise prices and close stores and lay people off or otherwise compensate for the lack of income until the whole thing becomes a spiraling self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.  (And imagine that sentence delivered all breathless and urgent, like any good conspiracy theory must be.)

But seriously, think about it. That first headline alone caused me pause and ponder, “Maybe I should take what little money I have and cling to it like a dying man, adrift at sea with only a raft?” All this negative input and fear mongering in the form of ‘news’ is making people panic more. And recess more (so to speak).

Imagine the following thought experiment (proposed by my clearly genius friend Cheryl):  Instead of these kinds of headlines about how it’s all going to hell in a hand basket, what if the only feedback people got was that stocks were set to rally tomorrow, and the U.S. is doing better than it’s ever done, and the world is poised to reach new heights and greater widespread abundance and peace than we ever thought possible by 2010? If people were told to resume buying stocks and buying things and living without fear and moving confidently and happily toward tomorrow and basically acting like they did before being badgered by images of ‘global gloom’, then the wheels start slowing turning again. And then, before you know it, the recession is over.

And when you step back and see how it all works and how this is actually 100% plausible, how totally spooky is that?

One more point for Team “What You Believe Is What Becomes Real.” And I rest my case.

 

Burn before reading November 29, 2008

So I wanted to clarify on the ‘out there’ book I purchased – Mastering Remote Viewing (Remote Viewing, Third Eye & Astral Projection). I will henceforth be referring to it as the worst. book. ever.   In one evening, it has transformed itself from something I was curious and even a little excited about to bad omen. A harbinger of doom. If nothing else,  a dismal start to my new age education.

Yesterday afternoon I had not yet looked at it and was blissfully unaware. I was naive to its lameness. Clueless as to its stupidity. And happily oblivious of the fact that I’d have gotten more enjoyment out of the money if I’d given it away to strangers a dollar at a time. Or set them on fire.

The book is outrageously, hilariously bad. Cringe-worthy, really. To prove my point, I share with you an excerpt from the chapter “Remove Viewing Truth Stories.” It lists eleven true tales of Sapphire’s remarkable remote viewing skills. (BTW, I am not editing this or punctuating all wrong or dropping words out to make it sound worse. This is literally what was published. And it’s hardly the worst of it, I just don’t have the time to type the whole lame thing up. This nugget happens to represent a random page I opened to:)

“Late Princess Diana sent me a remote viewing (Who is one of queens now – in Kingdom of the gods.)

She sent me a remote viewing that she complained, that the coffin she was buried had symbols on the top of coffin; which was the wrong symbol of her title.

It is like: 4 pictures combined into one. And one of the picture is a lion. And the main color of the 4 pictures were yellow.

I think she is not happy, how she was buried with the human body on earth.

I only saw her funeral in the TV, so there is no way I could see the top of her coffin. And later she sent me another Remote Viewing; that there was a horse that his eyes are very strange – like popping out.

So, I fixed the horse’s eyes. I bet she loves this horse.”

WTF!?

What the hell is this?

Did a first grader write this!? A special ed first grader!?

Princess Diana, wherever you are, I would like to offer my personal apologies. It seems criminal to include you in this stupidity.

Meanwhile, who are the 26 lunatics who all gave this book a five star review on Amazon!? I would like to meet each and every one of you and bitch slap all of your faces. John Simmon, Richard Adams, Chris Ellis, Alex Abingdon – I’m talking to you.

However, now that I comb through the reviews trying to fathom what possessed 26 people to rave about this crap fest, it occurs to me that perhaps Sapphire wrote them all himself/herself? Certainly the grammar is equally bad in many if not all of the reviews. One review goes on about how it’s not bad grammar. Seriously, check this out (and Maxxy, you may want to brace yourself at this is aimed squarely at your patch of the universe):  “I bought tons of paranormal books, none of the books as easy read as this author’s books. If you are well read enough, you should be able to notice…the British and American, they write differently in term of grammar style. When you get on the British air, you will find the flight magazine has tons of grammar mistakes (by American standard), but when the British reading American airline magazines, they accused us… “American does not know how to write,” it is the same thing. This book as far as I am concern, there are no grammar mistakes, it depends on which country you come from. If you really care about the grammar, you should get a grammar book, not this book.”

Chris Ellis of Chicago, Illinois sounds an AWFUL LOT like Sapphire, if you ask me!!!

Most significantly, who is the crackpot selling the same book for $210 on Amazon!? Are you high? Are you kidding me? And if you get a buyer, would you send them my way? I have a story I wrote when I was seven about the Easter Bunny I’d like to sell them…

To add insult to injury, I purchased the book from an Amazon reseller with a shady return policy. It sounds like they’ll only take it back if it’s damaged. I hate to lie, but the poor book may just have to have an unfortunate accident. If there is any justice in the universe, they’ll take this manure back without forcing me to hurt it.

In conclusion, I offer up the following message to Sapphire, who throughout the awful book proclaims him/herself to be a god. (A god with a second-grade education, but who am I to judge?) And Sapphire doesn’t beat around the bush about his/her god status. S/he clearly states, “Being a god, I will get remote viewings sent by other gods or angels or beings prayed to my tile and I would be able to see what is happening to them. For example, I would get images sent by Jesus that he would get me updated by some news.”

Do you think Jesus was praying to Sapphire’s ’tile’ or ‘title’? Or are those words interchangeable in England? And who knew Jesus prayed to pagan gods? I think it’s safe to say this comes as news to all of us.

So Sapphire, if you’re out there and you’re a god, then it follows that you are omnipotent and know I’m really pissed off about your book, and all the fake Amazon reviews, and I would like my money back without a big hassle. So please come and astral travel or visit me as a ghost or whatever it takes to right this wrong and restore my faith in humankind.  And in pagan gods.  And please put $20 under my pillow like any good Tooth Fairy while you’re at it. Muchas gracias.

 

Faith is like electricity. You can’t see it, but you can see the light. November 28, 2008

So I’ve just started reading the book, “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.” A few unrelated people mentioned it, and the ideas got stuck in my head. Before I knew it, I was on Amazon putting it into the shopping cart. I’ve only gotten through the first couple chapters, but already it’s quite clear that the author is a major advocate of an idea she calls “morning pages.”

Get up each morning – every morning – and write three pages in your own handwriting. They can be about anything so long as it’s three pages. And if you have nothing to say, you can write “I have nothing to say” over and over until you fill three pages.

That’s a little bit how I feel today.

I have nothing to say.

I have nothing to say.

I have nothing to say.

On the other hand, I haven’t started my morning pages process yet, so (in theory) starting tomorrow I will blow your little mind with the intensely creative and amazing things I will have to share. Allegedly.

I also must warn you that I am (for reasons unknown) entering into yet another ‘out there’ period of my life. I have been ‘out there’ more than once,  but I always seem to gravitate back to the (boring and predictable, but non-strange and thus strangely comforting) middle. The norm. However, the mere fact that I felt compelled to purchase “Mastering Remote Viewing – Remote Viewing, Third Eye, & Astral Projection” should serve as fair warning that my interests are once again moving toward the fringe.

I have a real love/hate relationship with the fringe. I love the idea that there’s magic in the world and so many things that we cannot easily perceive or sense or know, but that can be accessed if only we knew how. I love the idea that we’re all here with a purpose and to some extent the meaning of our lives is to discover and uncover our gifts in order to share them with the world.

At the same time, I hate that I have no proof. Nor does anyone else. I can’t see it or touch it or validate it beyond a shadow of a doubt. To believe in ‘the other’ (any other, really. Including that widely accepted by milliions) requires faith. And faith requires courage.

That stated, I am nothing if not a courageous soul. So I think in the end my curiosity will win out. I may never gain infallible proof, and I may end up believing in things that other people regard as kooky or even nuts, but a little mystery keeps it interesting. And if it turns out that there really is a whole magical world out there? What a wonderful ride that would be…

 

Into the Woods November 27, 2008

Filed under: Adventure,food,humor,Life,Travel — wideawakeinwonderland @ 11:30 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

(Do you remember this musical? I never actually saw it, but I had the soundtrack so I kind of feel like I saw it. Although I didn’t. And now the song is in my head.)

Canoeing across the lake

Canoeing across the lake

Anywho, some friends have an annual Thanksgiving party up at a lakeside resort. They rent a huge cabin and anywhere from 20 to 30 people come and hang and stand around by the bonfire and eat way too much. I’m headed there in a few hours for tonight’s breaking in period. It’s almost like a fast to prepare for the binging ahead, as tonight’s meal is soup (although no one may be able to keep me out of the appetizers I prepared. I’m ready to feast!) Our Thanksgiving meal is a day late, so at least I’ll still be able to button my pants until some time tomorrow afternoon.

I’m looking forward to playing some games, eating some good food, and hopefully catching up on some reading and writing. With any luck, I may even make a few bucks. Last year I was offered $200 to strip nude and jump into the lake. I didn’t do it.

The bonfire (a.k.a. The Man Fire)

The bonfire (a.k.a. The Man Fire)

This year, I’m unemployed, and headed on a two week trip to the east coast next week. I’m thinking if I can get a pool going and get the pot up to $300 or more, they may just have a deal. Presuming I can find a wifi or internet connection of some kind, I’ll keep you posted as to my fund raising efforts.

Otherwise, I hate to cut this short, but with the burden of a todo list as long as my arm to address before I can hit the road, I must bid you adieu. In the meantime, you can enjoy some pictures from last year’s events. Happy Thanksgiving (or Happy Thursday depending upon where you live and what holidays you observe)! Bon appetit!

Cheers!

Cheers!

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.