Wide Awake in Wonderland

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

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.”


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!




Natural High November 26, 2008

I love eating.

I also love fitting into my clothes.

These two activities are not exactly reciprocal.

Enter running, the pendulum that keeps it all in balance. I enjoy running. I do. There are moments I truly love running. But I’d be lying if I said I woke up every day with a burning desire to run (or workout at all). Certain factors – like sunshine and beaches and weather in the low 70s – do get me fired up to run. However, since I don’t live on the ocean and the weather is perfect for only a few weeks out of 52 in my part of the world, most of the time I’ve got to start my own fire.

How do I do this?

Well, in the spirit of helping you sail through the holidays with nary an extra pound, I will share my #1 tip for getting out there and running six or seven miles every couple days: Just do it.


Okay, I’m kidding. Sort of. There’s one important step you need to take first: Bust out your iPod or portable CD player or even a Walkman – whatever you’ve got – and put together an hour-long mix of songs you really love. They do NOT have to be ‘aerobic’ songs. I made this mistake and downloaded a bunch of techno and rap and electronica and hip hop and even “It’s Raining Men.”  Yes, members of The Weathergirls. If you’re wondering who actually purchased an iTunes download of your only hit in May 2007…it was me.

Anyway, just make sure it’s songs you love. Songs that make you want to sing out loud and get voice lessons or play guitar or be a rock star. Don’t make the mistake I did and create a mix out of nothing but Nelly and The Chemical Brothers (not that there’s anything wrong with that if they’re your favorites).

When you have it compiled, you’re ready. Once you get yourself armed with tunes that make you glad to be alive, head out into the rain and the snow and sleet and hail and just do it.

(and if, for reasons we won’t question or judge, you have no favorite music, leave me a comment and I’d be happy to share some suggestions to get you started!)


Fun with Photoshop November 25, 2008

Filed under: humor,Life — wideawakeinwonderland @ 6:06 pm
Tags: , , , , ,
Matisse himself couldn't have done any better

Me as an oil painting

So last week I got some headshots taken. I didn’t have a specific need for them (it’s probably too late for a career as a Victoria’s Secret model, not to mention the cost of the extensive plastic surgery I would need to qualify!), but the timing was good and the price was right so I figured, why the hell not?

I picked out a few I liked and asked the photographer to play with them (fix them, as it were). What I meant by that was smooth out any imperfections or make me look better than I actually do, but instead I got some very creative adaptations as you can see here!

Me as an etching

Me as an etching

I did get a couple ‘keepers’, at least one of which you’ll see very soon when the blog migrates to a dedicated domain (www.wideawakeinwonderland.com)

Until then, you can feast your eyes upon me as a starlet. When I jokingly complained that he didn’t make me look anything like Charlize Theron, the photographer plopped my face on her body (keeping her chin and hair) as ‘proof’ I look exactly her. How weird is that!?!?


Truth be told, I find this image EXTREMELY alarming!!!


Password protected posts November 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — wideawakeinwonderland @ 4:51 pm

After learning that I scared some people away with my (admittedly) incessant bitching and moaning during the final stages of my former job, I have blocked those posts to prevent future visitors from giving up on my whiney @ss. Let’s just call those the dark days. I see the light now, and there’s really not much good in exhuming the bones.

However, if you insist, the password to all of them is: whiner

Consider yourself warned…


Don’t believe the hype

So I’ve mentioned that I have quite the magazine habit. In Style, Lucky, Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar…I get them all. I look at the pretty pictures, and when I can, I read the articles. Usually they’re about how to style your hair or prevent split ends or achieve a smoky eye in less than two minutes. However, sometime last winter all the fashion magazines started extolling the virtues of expensive juice fasts and liquid detoxes and waxing enraptured about the wonders of a week without actual food.

Almost immediately this got in my head, and hung on like a dog with a bone. The next thing you know, I’ve plunked down a couple hundred in herbs, tinctures, and organic fruits and vegetables – the poor man’s juice fast. The ones I’d read about magazines involved going to a spa where they prepare everything for you or a delivery service where everything was pre-made and brought to your door. Not so much with my budget effort. It was labor intensive food deprivation. Kind of like a concentration camp you set up for yourself.

Anyway, the idea behind a juice cleanse is that it will help your body purge the toxins you build up in your system during the course of your everyday life. Someone had suggested that the fact that my pee smells like coffee after I drink coffee (apologies, as I know that’s TMI) is because my liver wasn’t working up to speed.  This may or may not have any basis in reality, but it got me thinking that maybe my body was crying out for an opportunity to purge itself of all kinds of horribleness? And I started to feel for my poor liver and overstressed kidneys and ravaged colon, and a week of juice seemed like the least I could do.

There are all kinds of cleanses, but for reasons I can’t quite recall, I decided to go with “The Herb Doc” – Dr. Schulze’s American Botanical Pharmacy.  I think this was in large part because I suspected I went to college with and was once quite friendly with his son, but that’s a long story for another day.

Anyway, and perhaps not surprisingly, I decided to do the liver cleanse, which took five days. They recommended doing it from Monday through Friday so that you were less likely to goof it up while at home or with friends over the weekend. Although probably sound advice, I was working from home at the time, and this turned out to be the longest five days of my life.

Right out of the gates, Dr. Schulze hits you over the head with what will be regarded until the day you die as, “The worst thing I ever drank.” It’s been almost a year, and I still regurgitate a little bit when I think about it. It’s called the Liver and Gallbladder flush, and you have a big foamy glass of the nastiness every morning. For the curious, I offer the recipe:

  • 8 ounces of fresh apple and/or grape juice
  • 8 ounces of Distilled Water
  • 1-5 clove(s) of garlic (start with one and increase daily)
  • 1-5 tablespoon(s) of organic virgin cold-pressed olive oil (start with one and increase daily )
  • 1 small piece of fresh Ginger Root (about 1 inch long)

It’s bad. Baaad. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

There’s something about the combination of juice, raw garlic, and loads of oil that is so very, very wrong. I honestly think the ginger is in there to keep you from throwing up.

Anyway, if that weren’t horrible enough, fifteen minutes after you choke down this vile mixture, it’s time for your two dropperfuls of ‘Liver/Gallbladder Anti-Parasite tonic’. This I would put into grape juice to mask the flavor. It didn’t work.  I’ve never drank poison, but I think I now know what it would taste like.

From there, you just juice it up. For breakfast you have fruit juice, and for lunch it’s diluted fresh raw vegetable juices,  potassium broth (basically a boiled up drink made of stuff you would normally put into a compost bin) , and herb teas. For dinner, it’s back to fruit juice, and the sad lonely feeling that your vital organs are shriveling up.

Now in all fairness, I will admit that by Thursday I felt pretty freaking good. Kind of invigorated and energized, although maybe that was just an adrenaline rush caused by my body’s fear that I might starve to death? Regardless, in the strangest way, when Friday came around I almost wanted to keep going. Not with the gag-reflex invoking garlic oil drink, but with the juices and the teas and the ascetic lifestyle. It didn’t hurt that I’d lost a couple pounds in the process.

With Thanksgiving just days away, I can’t help but thinking about maintaining my girlish figure while knee-deep in food…and the detox came to mind. Nonetheless, although I still have enough tinctures and herbs and tea mixes left to repeat the detox this winter, I think I’ll just try to take it easy around the Christmas cookies, put down the glass of eggnog, and run a few extra miles each week. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll pig out and overindulge…just not so much so that the only way to recover involves drinking the liquified contents of a compost bin.  Salud!


Cause célèbre November 22, 2008

Me and Dozer over the weekend

Me and Dozer over the weekend

It’s official.

My dog, Dozer, is a celebrity, a sensation, and a canine rock star. I doubt Bono would’ve caused a bigger fuss than the Big Doh elicited today. Quite frankly, speaking as a regular non-famous and non-famous looking human being, I’ve never seen anything like this. Ever.

A million years ago I knew Weird Al Yankovic and we once went to get some ice cream before one of his shows. A few people came up and asked for his autograph, but (and no offense, Al), it was nothing like the response to my dog.

You walk him down busy city streets and people stop in their tracks, drop to their knees, and start kissing him. Actually, I find this extremely brave considering the number one rule of strange dogs (particularly huge strange dogs) is don’t invade their space unless you know it’s safe. Luckily for the crazed dog lovers stroking him, embracing him, and even sticking their lips millimeters from his mouth on every block, it’s safe.


Last night, a group of Japanese tourists ran out into traffic, their eyes shining as they frantically dug out their cameras. This is a testament to his northern beauty, a furry siren song, as these folks were risking death or at a least a head-on collision with a bus in order to meet Dozer and have their pictures taken with him. I’m starting to think if this writing career idea doesn’t pan out, maybe I’ll just set up on the corners of popular tourist attractions like Times Square, Las Vegas Boulevard, or the Embarcadero and charge $1.00 per hug? $3.00 for photos.

Either that or take him to Hollywood and get this pretty boy an agent. I foresee a bright future selling Eukanuba or Kibbles and Bits and Bits (with more Bits!).
It worked for Benji, and he wasn’t even all that cute.

The look on his face in this picture makes me laugh

The look on his face in this picture makes me laugh


Catastrophe in real time: Canine road trip November 21, 2008

Sleeping in the car

Sleeping in the car

So after three weeks at home, it was time to get back out there and do some traveling. However, poor Dozer (my soft hearted Alaskan Malamute) suffers from residual mental duress caused by losing his sister and then me in a week’s time back in July. Whenever he’s given a bone or a toy since Pixie passed, he roams around with it crying and crying and crying. It distresses the hell out of me. So effectively both of us suffer.
Anyway, when an opportunity to go on a little journey arose, it didn’t seem right to leave Doh behind. So I decided to drive and take him with me. On paper (or screen), this might actually sound like a good idea.

However, truth be told, Dozer has led a pretty sheltered life, and it doesn’t take much to move his cheese. In fact, throw a coat over the back of a chair, and he’s liable to be spooked for half the day.

Moreover, and in light of some previous trips that ended with unexpected and unfortunate violent explosions out of both ends, I decided to see what gems the internet had to offer. I found a couple sites offering up road trip tips, and below you can find the condensed highlights:

A Month Before

Ummmm? What? A MONTH before? Oops.

  • Create the expectation. Even if your animal is accustomed to riding in a car to the vet or groomer, take her on some short trips to other destinations. Walk her around some new places, and let her sniff and explore at her leisure. New smells and new places are highlights in a critter’s life — almost as good as treats! These little warm-up road trips can create the expectation in your pet’s mind that a car trip will be fun — not just a ride with a rabies shot at the end.

  • Ask and ye shall receive (another picture of the beautiful boy)

    Ask and ye shall receive (another picture of the beautiful boy)

Hopefully he’s picked up some of my optimistic attitude and presumed a car trip would be fun, because there was no expectation setting beforehand. Oops #2

  • Get a first aid kit for your dog. It comes in very handy if you need to remove any ticks. The kits are usually available at a pet store, a veterinary office or on the Internet.

Oops #3. Hopefully we don’t need one these cause we don’t have one!

  • If you do not already have a dog harness for riding the car, consider purchasing one for your dog’s safety. They are usually sold at pet stores or on the Internet.

Ditto. Oops #4.

Several Days Before (hopefully morning of’ is good enough)

  • Make sure you have enough dog food for the duration of the trip. CHECK

  • If your dog is on any medication, remember to bring it along. CHECK

Road Trip Day

  • Remember to pack all of your dog’s necessities: food, water, dog dishes, leash, snacks and goodies, several favorite toys, brush, towels for dirty paws, plastic bags for cleaning up after your dog, doggie first aid kit, possibly dog booties if you are venturing to an especially cold or hot region, and bring any medicine your dog might be taking. CHECK

  • Before you head out, put on that doggie seat belt harness. Hard to do when you don’t own one. Oops #5.

  • Bring a current color photograph of your pet. If something happens you can easily show other people what your errant buddy looks like. If need be, you can easily make copies of the photo to assist in the search process. Hmmmm… Under the law of attraction this seems like a bad idea. I could get my hands on a picture if I had to. But I won’t have to.

  • Some hotels are so pet-friendly that they have treats waiting when you check in. We recommend that you not give these treats to your critters, having found from experience that it is much better for them to eat as consistent a diet as possible when they are on the road.

And in conclusion, oops #6. I’ve let him eat everything offered by friendly humans. Hopefully this does result in an explosive outcome that I have to clean!

Although I managed to mess up most of the tips, we made it here in one piece, and without much ado. By and large, I listened to motivational Tony Robbins CDs loaned to me by a friend, and Dozer slept with his face smashed up against the back window.

Meanwhile, we’re learning some new things about each other. Like that I can’t sleep through the sound of a dog whining. And that there is pretty much nothing more gross than walking around carrying a steaming bag of poop. And that he has some separation anxiety if left alone in strange places, that manifests as loud crying and howling and a concerted effort to beat down the door until I return. In hindsight, I wish I had some doggie downers or a tranquilizer gun, but I’ll make a note of that tip for next time.

Caspar the Friendly Ghost

Casper the Friendly Ghost

On the other hand, the more things change the more they stay the same: Doh remains consistent in his easily spooked and high strung ways. Walking down the street we passed a Washington Mutual branch with a large stuffed toy horse visible through the window (presumably some kind of a Christmas decoration and nice to see the government bailout funds are going to such good  use) and he went into complete and total shock and alarm. “It’s stuffed,” I told him. “It’s not real,” I continued, not at all concerned that talking aloud to a dog might be perceived as sad or even crazy by those passing by. Alas, it was for naught and he remained riveted on the vision of this giant white faux fur creature attempting to determine whether it was friend or foe and sizing up how to get inside the branch to fight it.

***sigh*** Reasoning with Dozer is like talking to a dog.


Sleep habits of the disenchanted November 20, 2008

So when I first got home from Turkey, I was widly jet-lagged and fighting to stay awake at 2pm.

Now the pendulum has swung dramatically the other way. I’m going to bed at 2am and rising at the equivalent of 7pm Istanbul time. What a difference three weeks makes.

Stepping back and looking at the situation objectively, I think I’m suffering the effects of no job, no schedule, and no real responsibilities. It’s fun for a few weeks, but there’s a nagging voice in the back of my head that would like to see me get my @ss in gear and develop a plan for managing my time.

Part of the problem is that I can dick around like nobody’s business. If there were a “who can waste the most time surfing the internet” competition, I could very possibly take home of the gold. Ditto for channel surfing, magazine flipping through, phone chatting, book skimming, and dog tug of warring. Alas, this is not how best selling novels are created (at least I doubt it), so starting next week I am developing a time management schedule and sticking to it! And calling all the people I need to call! And writing back to all the people I need to write! And commencing my plan for world domination!

To quote the famous time management expert Alan Lakein, “Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.”   Amen to that.