Tag Archives: dreams

Wanted: Eligible Greek Bachelor with Large Extended Family in Astoria

imageTonight, I ate Greek food at a restaurant in Astoria and realized I have it all wrong. My dreams of being an actor, comedian and talk show host all crumbled into dust as I wolfed down lamb and potatoes and watched burly Greek men taking orders. I don’t want a life in the entertainment industry at all.

What I really want is to marry into an extended Greek family and help manage a neighborhood restaurant while raising a family of six boys and a goldfish.

Stavros and I would meet at the restaurant one day. I’d be biting into a flaky pastry dessert and he’d come over to ask how the food was and then our eyes would meet and we’d be married within the month.

We’d move into a building the family owned down the block from his parents house. After leaving the restaurant, Stavros and I would go by their house to say hi and end up spending an hour chatting with them on their front porch stoop, the neighbors joining in the conversation as they got back from work.

We’d have children and watch them grow up and play sports on the street and get involved in the local chapter of the Greek American Organization. They’d get boyfriends and girlfriends (except for Melina) and go to high school and get into college (except for Spiros and Lars – they would be taking over the restaurant) and as the years pass we would watch the neighborhood change and remark on it with his parents on the stoop of their front porch.

Business at the restaurant would wax and wane and the menu rarely change. We’d keep up with the regulars as great tragedies and joys happened in their lives and we’d go to countless weddings and funerals and get togethers and Greek Orthodox celebrations.

Stavros would have a hairy barrel chest and a strong nose. I’d look very not Greek but do my best to keep up with everyone, and on Sunday evenings when we didn’t have to work we’d walk down the main street in Astoria and say hi to our friends, enemies, nuisances, grandchildren, children and everyone in between.

It would be a different, less glamrous life, but it would be rich.

And that’s why I need to be careful about making big life decisions on a whim and too soon before or after a meal. Things can get carried away.

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Feels like San Francisco to Me

Photo credit: torbakhopper, flickr

Photo credit: torbakhopper, flickr

I want to talk about Tuesday, when I was walking to a party. It was a nice night, a clear one with a couple of stars poking through. The deep blue black of the night here always reminds me of frosting for some reason, like I could dip my finger into it and taste it.

So it was a frosting color sky and I was walking somewhere in the Upper or Lower Haight, where the houses are so beautiful they make you want to barf and I was walking with my layers on – at least two or three for posterity, and I was strapped into my backpack – as one needs to be because otherwise there’s no guarantee your backpack couldn’t just fall right off – and I was wearing my tennies because those are my street shoes and play shoes and everything was normal.

Maybe I took a deep breath, or maybe I looked across the street and saw a cool tree or maybe the ghost of ET possessed my body for a second and imparted the secrets of the universe to me. I don’t know what happened exactly but all of the sudden, it hit me. I felt like I was in San Francisco.

So many times throughout the day/week/year/millisecond, I’m reminded of different times and places. That breeze makes me feel like Boston. These houses seem like they’re from LA. This hamburger reminds me of that one hamburger I had that one time that was really good in Chicago at that one place.

But this moment was the first time I’d related a certain temperature, sky, and house set-up back to San Francisco itself as opposed to somewhere else. It was cool.

It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside like somehow I know this place and its frosting sky and they know me too and I could wrap myself up in that sky like a big blanket and go to sleep on Ocean Beach and then watch the city get lit up from the other side in the morning since we’re on the West Coast in case you forgot. And I can mix metaphors like I don’t even care. Frosting, blanket, fishnet stockings – who cares what you call the sky? Not San Francisco.

And as I’m writing this, I’m realizing that maybe what I really wanted to talk about is how I want to be an astronaut and go into space and taste the sky. Is it frosting? If so, what kind – is it like a cream cheese, or a royal, or a ganache? And what’s under the frosting? Are black holes really some kind of molten chocolate pit, because that sounds pretty awesome especially with the possibility of time travel thrown in there.

But no matter where I end up, be it in an infinite spiral of swirling buttercream or wandering somewhere in Upper or Lower Haight, I know I’ll have that feeling of San Francisco sitting on the shelf of my mind in its mason jar, ready to be whipped out when it’s time to reminisce in the next city.

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The Adventures of Dreamily

Arabic dreams are the most frightful of all

Late at night when I’m a-slumber, Dreamily traipses through the land of nod and discovers many strange and wonderful things and writes them all down in her little notebook. But when I awake, Dreamily has already left long ago with her little notebook and I never can know exactly what she saw.

That’s why I had to start following her on twitter, because she’s a fairly diligent tweeter/instagramer, and man this stuff she sees is weird. Last night, at 1:30 am she tweeted that she saw a full-grown man wearing a Winnie-the-Pooh costume eating pie with his hands on a deserted playground and that she wept but then he turned into a huge baby the size of king kong who wanted her to pick it up so she screamed and ran away.

And then at 3:03am she tweeted a picture of a swamp full of dragon flies with human faces that had gotten stuck from watching the television too close.

At 5:34, she was prowling around someone’s house in Kansas on the night a storm was brewing and a little boy was sitting alone in the kitchen next to the stove with a kettle on it. A door was squeaking somewhere.

6:49 found her interviewing for a job she was completely unqualified for at a techie startup where no one realizes they all have horrible body odor and then suddenly she finds that she’s the stinky one and is mortified but can’t remember which person is her interviewer to ask to leave and go take a shower.

After reading her twitter feed, I usually decide it’s for the best that I don’t remember everything Dreamily sees or does. At least I’m not missing out on any magical feasts.

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The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

I want a magical forest filled with unicorns

I’ve taken naps at night for as long as I can remember—really hearty ones that last anywhere from six to eight hours. I don’t know much about what goes on during these night naps, but apparently I just lie motionless. The doors to my auditory, olfactory, and oral sensory headquarters are shut and padlocked and my capabilities at controlling drool levels are severely reduced.

If that’s not weird enough, I don’t even remember most of what I do for these periods of time. I’m pretty sure I just lie still, but I could also get up and squirt cheese whizz at the dog. Who knows? I have no control over my body during these dark gaps in my consciousness. It’s quite terrifying.

After waking up from one of these naps, however, sometimes I can kind of remember stuff from the great beyond I just sailed through. Most of it is dark nothingness with wisps of things I’ll never quite remember. Sometimes I think of ham inexplicably. Yet on the rare occasion, I remember a dream and catch a glimpse into the journey my mind sneakily made behind my back.

Dreaming, to put it simply, is amazing. There are endless possibilities of a sleeping mind roaming through territories ungoverned by reality’s mundane laws. The dreams don’t even need to involve hardware or flooring materials. That’s the beauty of dreaming: it’s limitless and free.

This is why I regret almost every single dream I remember. My dreams, far from being fantastic, are disgustingly boring and feel more like a poorly written office memo. Invariably I’m doing the exact same things I do in real life except for sometimes it feels “weird.”  My brain, as a dream-maker, sucks big time. Why can’t it create cooler things for me? Why am I not soaring to a floating feast where I sit in a barrel of spaghetti while eating ribs with Conan O’Brien? Why can’t I zap period clothing into existence and have the sickest privately owned collection of bonnets? Why am I not in the trenches with my best talking animal friends while we defend ourselves against an evil giantess that looks like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz?

They always say something is “the stuff dreams are made of” like it’s a good thing, but this clearly doesn’t apply to all dreams. Mine seem to be made out of dust covered toilet paper rolls, empty ball point pens, generic brand Cheerios called something like Happy-Oh-Nos and the stuff people give away for free on Craig’s List.

I would rather not even remember my dreams if it only means being depressed at my pathetically low dreaming horizon. I mean, I would like to see results from the 6-8 hours a night I put into these naps. All I want to do is wake up and not want to drop acid in order to make my dream life more interesting. Is that too much to ask?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that not all dreams are made of the same stuff, so if you’re buying some you better give the label a good look.

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The Job I Want

What I would wear as a professional square dancer, sans backpack

I just finished the book my mom had forced me upon me in an attempt to help mold my ethereal career path. It was a book called Quitter, in which Jon Acuff outlines the process of chasing, catching, and devouring your dream career. Aside from the fact that the book was casually written and could have used a good edit—this coming from a girl who is the published author of nothing—I found its advice helpful.

I am certain, however, that much like Plato in The Republic, Jon Acuff was advocating the opposite of what he stated directly. He encouraged people to be smart, evaluate risks, and continue working hard at one’s day job, all of which I interpreted as, “Follow your impulses, throw caution to the wind, and treat your co-workers like crap and your current job like the joke it is*.”

That brings me to my next point: skinny jeans.

I was astonished when I finished the book and found that Acuff had not addressed wardrobe renewal. Since wardrobe is the most important part of a career and because of “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have*,” I decided to update my wardrobe to match my dream of moving to San Francisco and being an indigent writer.

In a bold first move, I purchased a pair of dark skinny jeans. This inaugural pair of denim marks my transition from the oh-so-square world of boot leg and flare jeans to the hip, edgy, sub-world of skinny pants wearers. For years I have resisted this trend, and finally I realized that it was obstinacy in the denim department that was holding back my writing career.

As I wear these skinny jeans and they slowly age, fading, fuzzing, and developing holes in various places, I will not be able to replace them because I will be poor. These might very well be the only pair of skinny jeans that I will be able to afford for the next 5-7 years. However, the ragged appearance will only add to my credibility as an author and therefore this is a great investment.

In addition to the skinny jeans, I should also make improvements in other areas such as hair symmetry. My hair style is currently symmetrical, or rather, boring as all hell. Since hair-dos are the cherries on clothing sundaes, I will need to edge it up by going asymmetrical and highlighting its asymmetry with neon. This will, of course, be accompanied by a nose ring instead of a nose stud. I’ll know I’ve hit the mark when I get at least one or two blatant gasps out of my grandparents.

Final touches will include tattoos I can’t afford and a tube top, though I’m not sure if indigent writers wear those or not. More research is necessary. I also can’t decide if smoke-stained teeth are mandatory or merely a plus, but I’ll be sure to learn more after my initial visit to the West Coast in a few weeks.

Thanks for the career book, Mom! Can’t wait to go shopping! Can I borrow some money?

*Joke semi-borrowed from Parks and Recreation, a wonderful show

*Just to be clear, he doesn’t recommend those things, and the book  is actually good.

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