jaws tooth dreams

Source: Miranda Cosgrove Art
Many months ago, I used to have a bizarre recurring dream about sharks. I'd be swimming with them and pretty nervous about it, but they ignored me and we all just swam together. There was that one. And the other one was that I'd be swimming--sometimes alone, sometimes with the sharks--but I'd know underneath me was a really BIG shark, like a JAWS kind of shark, and it was there and any moment it could just....swim up, from the depths, and chomp me. There was that one. That one usually woke me up. (Amy fact: my two greatest death fears are dying in a fiery plane crash and getting eaten by JAWS. People tell me these are THE two most unlikely causes of death, on a probability/statistical level. Most people die of heart attacks or cancer or falling down stairs. But I don't know...I contend I'm going to die in a fiery plane wreck--it will catch on fire, crash into the ocean. Which I will survive...until JAWS shows up to eat me.)

Last night, I dreamt I was in Texas. My mom (hi mom!) was there, reading a Bible in the bushes (seems like something you'd do in Texas, yes?). And there was a Rabbi. I don't know why but there was a Rabbi. Watching my mom read a Bible in the bushes. In Texas. But also, my teeth were falling out. Not many of them, just two--one on the bottom, one on top. And I pulled them out, like kids do when their teeth come out. I wasn't upset about it at first, because I figured they'd grow back. Until right before I woke up, when I was standing (in Texas, with my mom and a Rabbi and a Bible in the bushes) with one of my incisors in my fingers, studying the bloody roots on it and realized: oh god, this is a GROWN UP tooth; those don't grow back! And then I woke up. And now my mouth feels weird.

So I did what I did with the shark dreams and everything else that interests me intensely and/or freaks me out: I went spelunking online (I personally like to start with Google, but I hear there are other mouths of caves to start in). Here's what I found:

First, the sharks (just in case you, too, ever have recurring shark dreams):

Sharks represent anger/hostility. If they show up in your dreams, you're in a long, difficult emotional period. You might be struggling with asserting your independence or individuality somewhere, particularly in a relationship. (Sounds about right, for me, given the time period I was having those shark-y dreams.) That, or you know a greedy, unscrupulous person who gets what she or he wants with little regard to the feelings of others...or YOU. YOU are greedy and unscrupulous, getting your needs met without regard for others. And if this is true, I hope JAWS finds you and eats you this summer.

Next, the teeth (and Texas and my mom and the rabbi and bushes):

The Chinese think falling out teeth dreams mean you're a liar. I am, but only to myself. To other people, I am horrible at this. I find telling the truth just makes life less complicated...and also my fuzzy brain can't remember a lot of different stories or who I told them to. So, sorry China, you're wrong.

And Greek and Latin American people think falling out teeth mean someone's dying. Hmm. Maybe? Maybe this is true for me right now...but only in sort of a very thematic sense, not literally.

Freud and his penis cigar.
Source: Ham & High 
But mostly, teeth falling out dreams mean transition. Sigmund Freud thought dreaming about losing your teeth meant you had sexual repression. But then, Sigmund Freud thought everything was about sexual repression. Also, Sigmund Freud liked to smoke really big, long, phallic-shaped cigars. Just FYI.

Other dream psychoanalyzers say tooth loss dreaming happens during major life changes: they represent insecurity or vulnerability...changing jobs, ending/beginning relationships, moving, or just breaking bad habits. Abrupt or gradual changes. Also, for women, it could mean you're in menopause. I'm not in menopause, but if this means I AM going into menopause, then I hope the hot flashes hold off til winter when they'll be more useful.

But they could also represent an inability to make a decision, or you're making too many costly compromises about something, you're worried about your image (to self or others), or (if you like to smoke phallic-shaped cigars and speak with a German accent), you need a few good orgasms. Or you're a man who's worried about his pee pee. (Dr. Freud had some issues, no?)

At any rate, my dreams are turning weird. I know it's because of where I'm at right now. But tomorrow night, if I dream about swimming with a Rabbi and my mom while she's reading the Bible and my teeth are falling out right before JAWS chomps us to bloody bits, I'm going to have a serious chat with my bizarre brain. (Or turn it into an Academy-award winning screenplay or Pulitzer-nominated novel.)

My 70s actor crush Roy Scheider feeds toothy JAWS (and my dreams!)


summer song hunting.

Someone I know from Twitter posted this. It spoke to me, so
now it's speaking to you.

It's been brought to my attention my Spotify link doesn't work for everyone. Well, crap. Spotify isn't for everyone, that's for sure. So, if you are very very interested, here are some good tunes I think you need to download into your own player of whatever kind you have. Let's sync up! And listen to nice music. All Summer long.

(those two songs go together; you HAVE to listen to them...together)
(if this & Margaritaville doesn't sound like summer, I don't know what does)
(from LOVE THE HARD WAY, a good movie by the way)
(live! at Chastain Park in Atlanta, GA!)
(one by Billy Stewart and one by the great, incomparable Billie Holiday)
(there's an amazingly funk-tastic Harry Potter version of this for you Potterheads, but I don't know if it's on any downloadable places.)

I have others, but that's a sample. And you know what I've left off? My beloved Barry Manilow. Here--go add this and this to your summer songs list; I will. 

So I've been apartment hunting. It is daunting, looking at and for apartments. The first one I was super jazzed about--washer/dryer included?! Hells yeah! But then I walked into the actual apartment and--it was very nice and very clean. Lovely wooded view, nice big deck. But the rooms are teeny tiny. I am not used to teeny tiny. 

The problem with apartments is this: you can get a lot of square space footage. But you're going to have to pay. They gave teachers a big raise for next year (it's about time--I've had my pay frozen at 2008 levels since, oh...2008), so I have some more wiggle room, financially, but I will still need to be able to eat and buy gas for driving to work. ...and travel to Spain for flamenco and Italy for wine. And I can't do those things if I'm apartment poor. So I've been spending some reflective time asking myself things like: what can I live with? What can I live without? Can I live with a teeny tiny bedroom that I'm squeezed into, less closet space? But super nice big deck? There's a give-take aspect to this I didn't consider, is what I'm trying to communicate. I knew living in an apartment would be down-sizing, which I wanted; I just didn't really grasp what down-sizing would actually look and feel like.

Also, you know what else I learned about apartment hunting? Be careful where you go hunting. Here's a tip, renter kids: if you get the application back, and they demand proof that your salary is 3x what the rent is...and the way they want you to prove this is handing over not just 3 months' of pay stubs, but also: a 1099 income tax form, 2 years' of prior income taxes, faxed verification of employment from your company, 3 months of bank statements showing deposit amounts, 2 valid forms of ID one of which should be a Social Security card, valid rental history from previous homes, AND they want you to fill out a criminal background check (I'm actually NOT making this up--I just copied, verbatim, from the paper in front of me)? Run!! RUN!!! Fly like the wind

Besides the fact just thinking about trying to gather all of those items exhausts the sheer crap out of me, I absolutely don't care HOW nice it looks (this place looked super nice--seriously super nice, I really wanted to give them the deposit/application fee right then and there). NO. Run, run, run as fast as you can. So glad I took all of that back home with me and looked through it before I committed. I'm not living anywhere that people need to provide proof they aren't crackheads, because the apartment complex's desire to have proof the renters aren't crackheads immediately tells me they've rented to a lot of crackheads in the past. Nope. Nein. Nyet. No.

At any rate. I could also be just having a lot of emotions about it, which is why I'm sad in my heart. The grey, low barometric pressure day outside isn't helping. But mostly: my heart is just very very sad. This is simply not working, my marriage. But it's causing me to leave my lovely house. My quiet (when Miss M is gone or asleep), peaceful, lovely house. That I've lived in for almost 14 years, minus a 7 month separation stint back in 2007. More than that, this is the only home Miss M has ever known. And I'm taking her out of it to put her in a teeny tiny home. And right now she deeply misses her daddy (he's on a fishing trip), and she is quietly stealing my phone to leave him "I miss you SO much!" voice mails or texts that make my heart break, because I am aware (as she isn't) what's about to happen. This is going to be very hard for her. 

So I've been asking myself a lot of "Can I live with...?" and "Could I do without...?" questions, but also presenting a lot of scenarios to myself. Scenarios like: well, what if we HAD to down size to a teeny tiny place anyway, due to forces beyond my control? What if something very horrible happened to either me or C? This happens to many children--a mommy or a daddy is gone, forever; Miss M would be okay eventually, right? Divorce and separation are equal to death, but so much easier because the other parent is still around--we will live right around the corner, there will be equal, shared custody, Miss M will see her daddy all the time, whenever she wants. Some children in the world are spending 3/4 of their childhoods in bomb shelters, or running from crazed terrorists with machetes. My child is loved beyond words...she just has to be loved in two different homes now.

I think because it helps to remind myself that (a) other people go through this, and (b) sometimes stuff happens that you can't control and then you have no say so over what you have to do, you just...DO it. So when you're in a situation that is bad, but is also contained by factors within your control, you will survive it. You will be okay. We will be okay.

Because human beings are surivors; we've been doing it since the dawn of time, under far worse conditions. I'm reminding myself of my great fortune in being able to take my time in my decision-making, that I am separating from a really very GOOD human being who is mature and loving, that I have two college degrees and a wealth of life experience to fall back on, that I am surrounded by friends and family who are wrapping me in love and care. Not everyone has this. And this is a blessing. 

So. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to put in some ear buds and head to my favorite nature trail. I'm going to take a long hike through the woods on this dreary, grey day. Because Nature is good for that. And grey, dreary days are better when surrounded by chipmunks and squirrels and quiet spiders spinning webs in between green leaves of trees. Mother Nature is soul balm. 

Here's another tune you can add to your summer listening list.

My sweet friend Patresa Hartman is on Youtube & Spotify too. Go 
download her amazing songs. They're good for summer nights.


happy sad wtf.

My summer has begun. I wish I could say I was super stoked--I was, actually, for about a day. It's always a good feeling, packing up a classroom for the summer, turning in keys, and getting in the car and driving off: See ya wouldn't want to be ya!

But I have to go back there in 8 weeks, and my heart's just not in it anymore. Somebody's going to come here and read that and get all judge-y and go, "Ew. Well, I wouldn't want MY kid in your class, Amy. You sound like a waste of taxpayer money." And that's fair--maybe they'd be right. Or maybe. Maybe! That person's kid could be put in Ms. X's class, the one who swallows all Their data shit talk and that's all those kids do all day--data data data: close reading, vocabulary drills, proof of evidence, word problems that make NO sense, worrying about where they are on their growth data graphs. No storytelling. No human connections. No age-appropriate real world problem solving. No free play recess. No Art! Just grades, data, prove your statements, and other developmentally inappropriate things for people still at the concrete thinker stage. Oh, they pass the tests all right, and LOOK smart...on paper. But then their shoelaces get untied and they stand around waiting for someone to tell them what to do, because they've never encountered this problem before: how do I fix this? What's the formula? And how many paragraphs in my proof essay will you be looking for, so I can get an A? And what will the key vocabulary be, so I can get an A+?

THAT'S the kind of world we're building, America. And I could whine further about this, but I don't want to. Because no data talk for 8 more weeks.

So for now, let's talk about one happy thing, one sad, and a WTF. Since it's my blog, I'm going to pick to start with the WTF thing.

1. WTF?! -- Seriously, America. Are you taking note of what's going on around you, what everybody else is doing these days? Ireland--IRELAND--you know the country that has the Catholics vs. the Protestants and the place they blow each other up over whose dogma is the best and stuff? Yeah, that place: Ireland just freaking legalized gay marriage. In fact, all of Europe is just one big rainbow party now, practically, and the USA-ers aren't invited. I'm not kidding--they're playing BeeGees music and dancing wildly in the streets, and we're stuck here in America with Big Data bitching about how much better the Chinese score on tests than us (conveniently leaving out the fact we test EVERYONE in America; the Chinese test, like, 23% of their student population). And we're stuck with all the far right wing Christians. Which is only slightly less terrifying than the extremist Buddhists (did you know? There are extremist Buddhists in the world, and they will kill you dead if they don't like your religion...I'm pretty sure that is NOT what Buddha told you to do, extremist Buddhists). 

Jesus God. Seriously?! Practically everybody else on the planet is embracing one another and accepting all their differences...you right wing American Christian guys are spending the first part of your summer defending child molesters and bitching about gay people sex. THIS is why we can't have nice things, America. This is exactly why. We have too many bitchers, not enough problem solvers. See what I said above about why public education has broken my heart.

2. Sad --tomorrow, I start my apartment hunt. I kind of know where I want to live. I have 3-4 in mind, but I've decided on one or two--depending on whether or not the actual apartments match the pictures they posted online. I'm a tad overwhelmed by this. Not the apartment search part, just the process of...overall extraction. It's scary and very sad. I spent most of yesterday afternoon in tears about it. I'm deeply worried about Miss M, the most. And I feel as if I've been drifting for such a long while, just drifting through my life so I don't have to think too hard about the painful things. And now I'm about to get woken up by a really loud bullhorn. All I really want to do is sit by the pool all day and pretend it's not happening, but if I do that then the pattern continues. And I am very, very serious about breaking painful, bad patterns these days.

Because I think once I break one pattern, I'm hoping there'll be a domino effect and it'll all come crashing down. And then I shall rebuild. Like a Phoenix.

3. Happy -- Movies and Music. I have been watching a lot (no, seriously, A LOT) of movies lately. I have a list of magnificent tales I think you should see (if you've already seen them, then...just pretend you haven't and that I'm breathtakingly splendid for recommending these):

*The Notebook (I've avoided this movie for years and years, thinking: too sappy, too...too. And then I saw it, and OMG. There were not enough kleenex in the world--I mean, he tells her the story, every day, so she'll always remember. Because she can't. Please watch it. You'll understand.) 

*The Book Thief (if you like writing and reading, this is for you. And also: Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. Enough said.) (You'll need a lot of kleenex too, by the way.)

*Fiddler on the Roof (when I was little, I used to re-enact musicals in my bedroom: The Wizard of Oz, Funny Girl, West Side Story, Annie...but I never knew about Fiddler on the Roof until just recently. Oh my god, had I known, as a 9 year old...my entire childhood was robbed, mom and dad. ROBBED.)

*2010: The Year We Make Contact (Roy Scheider--what a dish. Where are the Roy Scheiders today in acting? Also, this movie is a Sci-Fi movie, but it's also got humanity to it. And supernatural elements. I think, ultimately, it's about peace and love. And that is putting it in the top 10 on my Good Movies list.)

I have others, but those are the four I think you should start with.

Last year at this time I made a big ol' list of songs that were going to get me through my summer. This year, I'm just going to share my Spotify list with you. Here it is:

And I have a ton of books to read this summer, too many to list here. I'm going to be re-reading EAT PRAY LOVE, I know that. (Want to come discuss it with me here?)

Free spirit, George Eliot. Or you could have just said: Summer is a great time to be
the free spirit you always might have been.


baby dickhead.

Kurt Vonnegut, you were smart. And kind.
I had a troll/mean person experience the other day. I'm not going to tell you where to find it (go digging--you will), but it's on a social media account. I made a joke--and I will admit to you: I'm (painfully) aware my humor is of the extremely irreverent variety, completely ironic, totally self-deprecating, and (to a certain level) very caustic...I probably spent a bit too much time absorbing Monty Python movies and Black Adder reruns in high school. And I am (painfully) aware that sometimes I crack jokes that make me laugh and LAUGH, while everyone around me goes: Huh? I am aware of these things. Know that going into this story, that I am (painfully) aware: so I made a joke the other day, and it was sort of at America's expense, because seriously, Internet, we Americans are ridiculous. Are we not? Since 1776. Can we all agree that Americans are fairly ridiculous? With our ginormous food portions, our gas guzzling cars, our obsession with firearms, and Rush Limbaugh in general? Totally. Ridiculous. 

But I forget sometimes, on the Internet, that not everyone understands or appreciates the ridiculous. And I forget sometimes, on the Internet, that some people don't agree with me that some things are ridiculous. And this can create havoc. I forget that not everyone is from America and familiar with our eccentricities. Sometimes that gets me into hot water with non-Americans. I forget that not all Americans are practically card-carrying Commie pinkos such as myself. And sometimes that gets me into hot water with Americans.

I also forget that, in America, we have this gargantuan problem with understanding irony and self-deprecation. And along with that, I forget that some human beings, no matter where they are from, simply don't think stuff is funny. Or the stuff they find funny (cross eyes and puppet shadows) is not what I find funny (colorful jokes about sex and poop). And if that's not enough, I forget some people are just way too sensitive and constantly on the lookout to fight whenever their sensitivities are offended which for some of them seems to be, like, every 29 seconds. Even when they can clearly see they're interacting wtih a ridiculous, silly person from Atlanta, Georgia who meant no harm.

So I got attacked. I was told I was embarrassing. Well, no shit, Sherlock. Why yes, goddamnit I am! But the context around being told how embarrassing I was just made me so sad for the person, because (ironically) I could tell she didn't get the joke at all. I don't think she'd been exposed to any of what the joke was about, and her lack of exposure and education was embarrassing...and so. In the end, I was embarrassed for her. 

So what do you do in situations like that? Do you call someone who's probably having a really hard life out on their rude behavior? Because I went to her account and looked through her life, out of schadenfreude-like curiosity...but also because I'm a researcher, you know. That's what I do--if you're going to leave a nasty comment to me AND a link for me to click? Be assured I'm clicking that link. I want to--HAVE to--know: Why? (But I also click links when you're nice to me, because: Why?)

Her life looked so happy. She has friends, and family who dearly love her. She loved food and parties and color and wine. This would be a person I might like, were we to actually meet and interact. But I could also see she's put on tremendous amounts of weight over the years. And as someone who constantly battles my love of fudge vs. my hatred of working out, I know how difficult this is to fight. But it made me wonder if maybe she's just generally unhappy about herself, and I wondered that because of a comment she left about her younger, thinner self under one of her pictures. (I have a degree in Armchair Psychiatry.)

So I couldn't do it. Privately, to friends, I called her all kinds of filthy names, and I've squashed her like a bug a million times, to vent my spleen. But publicly, I blessed her, and sent her love. Because that's just what I do. Kill with kindness. Go ahead--try to be mean to me. I will kill you. With kindness. (In my head, though, I'll actually be killing you. Literally. With like knives and shit.)

This is the peril of the Internet, Internet. You are such a useful tool. Until the pedophiles, pornographers, and humorless asswipes all boot up their devices and log online. What up with that? Can we get some filters for it? Who's in charge of the 'net these days?

Anywho. I keep going back to re-read the whole thing, hoping (just HOPING) she'll come back and respond with a butthead comment so I can have a real reason to take her down and then block her. But she never has--total hit and run asshole commenter. A keyboard cowgirl; didn't even have the courage of her convictions. And so last night when I read and reread her judgmental, weird comment, I used it to make my skin thicker--I printed it off and rubbed it all over my naked body to create calluses. (I'm joking--I didn't really do that.)

Mostly, though, I really feel like, if you get dickhead comments on the Internet, (a) you're doing SOMETHING right, and (b) it's a sign you've arrived. So if you'd like to leave me a dickhead comment down below, feel free! I will print it off and rub it all over my naked body later tonight, and send you blessings for helping grow my exoskeletal armor.


social media + storytelling connections.

Exactly, John Steinbeck. Exactly.
Let's talk about storytelling, social media, and connections. (And at the end, I have a Big and Important Announcement.) 

First, storytelling (as it relates to social media). I think I've been pretty vocal here about the effect I think social media is having on us as a society, both culturally and linguistically. But also artistically. We aren't relating to each other as well, and worse we're beginning 2 write words as numbers or syllables of words, which I really h8. In 1976, as a Kindergartner, this would have confused the holy crap out of me; I submit my final evaluations, later on, in Algebras I and II, along with scary ass Trigonometry as hard evidence. 

I worry about how much time I spend on it. I'll be honest: I think I'm on Twitter and Facebook way too much. I'm also on Pinterest and Instagram, but not as much because I don't get to interface with other users there like I do on Twitter and Facebook. (Narcissism, Ego. I'm saying this out loud to you: Twitter and Facebook are all about narcissism and ego...so is Instagram, but you have to know how to use it properly and I still don't have a clue how to do that.) I'm also on LinkedIn, but nobody wants to hire me, so I'm bored there already. And I'm on Google+ but...have you been there? I feel like I'm standing in an abandoned warehouse.

I'm worried about how much I'm on my phone or my laptop as opposed to, say, riding bikes with Miss M or gazing up into the night sky, pondering stars. I look around me and see other people doing this as well. I find it worrying, and yet, this is how the 21st century just seems to be turning out. And if you aren't doing 21st century things, you get left behind.

However! I see that social media really does has great intrinsic value in getting the word out, whatever your word may be. One of the reasons I started actively tweeting about a year ago was to build an audience for my writing (and to win friends and influence others, but none of that has happened at all...oh, wait, no! Except for the friends part. I am WAY up in my friends data....cause I'm a sweetheart). It's been slow going--mostly because I'm crap at Twitter and muck it up a lot. And also I'm worried about bugging people too much--famous and not famous. 

But live tweeting (or, actually, just hitting the star button a lot since I had no clue and everybody was going too too fast for me) DIG (on USA!) was an eye opener for me. I saw what a community Social Media can build. I met some new friends. I made some important connections. Jason Isaacs sat back and admired my geeky researcher issues. It taught me a lot. 

One thing it taught me was that this is how making Art will most likely work for now. If you are an actor, a writer, a director, a producer, a poet, a painter, a journalist, a musician, a storyteller of any kind? You HAVE to be on Twitter. You HAVE to tweet and interact with people consuming and potentially consuming your product, your Art. And also on Facebook to some extent, but what I see is most people heading toward Twitter. I think because it's short and it's quick, and also because a lot of famous and influential people are on it and people (cough ME cough) like to be able to announce to their friends: "Brad Pitt favorited my weird tweet yesterday!" (Brad Pitt isn't on Twitter.) (But he SHOULD be.) 

Millions and billions of people from all over the planet are on it. If you want people to see you, to be exposed to your story, you HAVE to do it. Well, wait. No. You don't HAVE to do anything...I'm not trying to be the boss of you. But if you don't do it, your story won't reach the mass number of people it could potentially. (But then, on the flip side, can I also just say that sometimes just regular word of mouth works, too? In my neighborhood, people leave books in Miniature Libraries people have placed in their yards; I still ask friends for good movie/tv show/book recommendations. To their faces. In person. Offline. It's a thing humans can still do.)

For television storytelling, because of the way it's gone--which is that nobody really has time to sit back and watch shows AS they're airing (the exception being you're a fan and a geek and so you make the time)--it's absolutely essential you have as many people involved with the show tweeting. And the more interactive, the better. Right now I'm watching a show on NBC called American Odyssey fight for renewal, and the reason it's in a fight and has a chance is because dedicated fans are fighting for it. And the reason they're dedicated is because they feel seen and heard by the storytellers making the show. Therein lies the power of social media. The artist in me wants to cry out, "But cannot Art just be ART?!" (Because I'm dramatic.) But the social media addict is going, "Yeah, man. This is how it WORKS." (Because I'm a complete dichotomy.)

In addition, it's a nice way to connect with your favorite storytellers in general. The other day, I watched STOCKHOLM, PENNSYLVANIA, which was written and directed by Nikole Beckwith (you MUST see this if you can--it is amazing; unexpectedly unsettling but also beautifully sad and thoughtful). I sent Nikole a tweet and told her how wonderful her story is. And she responded to me--so sweet and kind. I will love her forever now. 

Therein lies the power of social media: I'll watch anything and everything Nikole Beckwith is involved with now. (Actually, I would have anyway, because I think she's gifted and talented...but she's also lovely and nice, and so now I'm in her corner forever.)

Ditto that for novelists, poets, musicians, actors, etc etc and so forth. If you can connect to people who admire one bit of any work you've done, and if you can make them feel heard and appreciated? They will wrap you in gobs of love and light, and when some dickhead comes to you and says: YOUR ART SUCKS (as dickheads on social media are wont to do), these same people will gather up their pitch forks and their angry torches and they will go beat up those dickheads for you. I swear it, I swear it by all that is holy and good. They will. And then they will bring you those dickheads' dead dickhead bodies and lay them on the porch for you to find in the morning, just like cats do to show they love you.

Okay, that's done. Do you want to hear my Very Important and Big Announcement?

I got a writing job!! And I'm suuuuper excited about it. Here's how the power of social media works: I started tweeting (or, you know, trying to keep up) with DIG live tweets by Jason Isaacs back in March. Because of that, I met a new friend who is way, way better at live tweeting than me. We got to know each other pretty well. G thought my DIG research was amazing and brilliant and is delusional that I am talented. 

Then, G connected with a nice lady named Erin from a big Sci-Fi website called Three If By Space (which, if you are a big Sci-Fi fan and don't know about this website--WHAT?! Wake up! Go HERE and be amazed), and let me know they needed writers. And it just so happens I'm interested in a new show coming to the SyFy channel in December called THE EXPANSE, which looks like more good storytelling and amazing acting and also there's a conspiracy theory and you kind people know how much I loved that aspect of DIG...and! AND! there's zero gravity sex in this show. (Do you guys even know about zero gravity sex? Oh, wait until December...you will. Apparently, Isaac Newton may have thought about it some. I know for sure I would have, especially had I been one of the first people in Outer Space. How can you NOT ponder this? Not thinking about this aspect of Outer Space existence is like...like...eating pancakes without syrup. How can people DO that?! No. NO. Pancakes need syrup. Humans need sex. We are NOT arguing about this, it's just how it is, the end.) 

So that's my big announcement: I have a writing job (no pay, but I get to be legit published AND! more important, I get an editor, and god knows I so need one of those). My main writing job will be to write up stuff about SyFy's THE EXPANSE, sort of like I did for DIG (on USA!), but less archaeology and no red cows or Essenes (although I don't know. Maybe...maybe there are Essene-like aliens in Outer Space!). I can do more writing for them once I get the hang of it.

Just. Everybody pray I don't muck up Three if By Space's super nice website. If you go there and you see, like, misplaced vowels and off kilter stuff, that's me. I can't even figure out how to do Twitter cards on this frickin' blog, let alone get a web address without the "blogspot" in it. (I actually do know how to do get rid of the "blogspot" part of this site's address--I just haven't yet. Because procrastination.)


shocked piscean.

Source: Free Will Astrology
I have a friend who's also in the midst of a separation/divorce. She also blogs, and in one of her blogs several weeks ago, she wrote about weighing what she could live with/without now, as a single parent/woman. And so I've been doing sort of the same thing lately. Because it's smart, and also because SHE'S smart and I admire her and her strength.

So I've been looking for apartments, and weighing things like:

*Could I live without a garage? Could I live with having to empty the grocery bags in a thunderstorm? Can I live with having less storage space and also having to scrape ice off a car at 6:45 AM in the winter? (Right now, yes. I can. But check back in with me in a month or so, after a long week of rain or later this winter, after a bizarre Georgia deep freeze.)

*Can I live with having people stomping around above me? Or being worried about people below me getting annoyed by me stomping around above them? Can I live with just a wall separating me and some stranger(s), and maybe hearing that stranger fighting with someone or, oh god, having sex? At 3 AM? (Yes, I could live with that. And I promise if I ever hear a neighbor having sex at 3 AM, I'll write about it here in great detail.)

*Can I live with walking up 3 or 4 flights of stairs? With heavy bags of groceries or other store bought goods? (No. Not 3-4 flights of stairs. But I COULD live with walking up 1 or 2 flights of stairs.)

I've been looking for a washer and dryer, because one thing I know I can't live with is having to haul my dirty laundry down to a public laundromat. Which I think is really, really ironic, since I do nothing BUT haul down my dirty laundry here, on this blog. Therein making it a public laundromat. (You guys are my change machines.)

I've been thinking about which furniture to take, and which to leave. I don't want to leave C in an empty space, but I can't afford a whole new home of furniture. And we have art pieces I adore; which ones do I take, which ones do I leave behind? Can I leave them all behind? (No. And thankfully, a lot of the art pieces I adore are Buddhist in nature, and C has zero interest in religion of any kind.)

I've been weighing WHERE to live:

The artist in me is saying; Atlanta Atlanta Atlanta. It's where all the hipsters live. But could I raise a child in Atlanta? Could I afford to raise a child in Atlanta? (No. Not because I think it's bad for her; I actually think it would be a good thing. But because I can't afford it, and the daily drives would send me over the edge. I-85 in rush hour? Please slowly and methodically just pull my fingernails off instead, okay?) 

Could I go live in my mom's part of Atlanta, like my mom has been begging me to for about 10 years now? (No, I could not. Not because I don't love my mom and can't see the benefits of living close to her; but because I'd rather have my fingernails pulled off slowly and methodically than get on I-985 and then I-85 at 5:45 AM every day. I love you, mom, but NO.) (Also, I could not live in an area where my mom could just show up on my doorstep and start giving me advice on how I'm hanging my curtains; my mother has done this, and it has not ended well for us. Or the curtains.) 

Could I live in Suwanee or Johns Creek, GA which I both totally and completely heart even though they are overflowing with far right Tea Party Conservative Republicans who make me very very nervous? (Yes, I COULD. But I've looked and I'm not sure I can afford to live in either of those towns. They're almost more expensive than Midtown Atlanta. Stupid Tea Party Conservative Republicans!! You're making everything too expensive!! With your dumb trickle down theories.)

Could I live where I am right now? Even though I see it gentrifying and worry about getting robbed by teenaged Caucasian meth heads? (Yes. Because I'll just go live in an illegal Hispanic immigrant area any day; they are much nicer people than Tea Party Conservative Republicans anyway.)

I don't know. I've just been walking through my house, considering what to take, mulling over what to leave. Sometimes feeling justified, sometimes feeling guilty, sometimes feeling nostalgic and mournful, many times feeling just very very sad and scared. 

But at the same time I also feel hopeful and free. And relieved and powerful. And certain and creative. 

This is a weird time in life for me: sad, happy, hopeful, scared, excited, worried. My Rob Brezny Pisces horoscope this week (I don't care if you believe in this or not--it's REAL) said this: 

Is there an interesting ally whose path rarely crosses yours? Do you draw inspiration from a like-minded dynamo who is not fully available? Has fate kept you and a friend from getting as close as you would wish? According to my reading of the astrological omens, relationships like these could become more substantial in the coming weeks. The dream of a more robust connection could ripen into an opportunity to actually collaborate. So be alert for the openings, and be prepared to do what's necessary to go deeper.

So in addition to considering what I could/couldn't live with/without, I've also been trying to think: who's my ally, the one whose path rarely crosses mine? Who's not fully available? 

If this is you, would you please consider getting in touch with me? I need help picking out the right bedding.


happy post-mother's day

Just sharing a video Miss M and I made a few weeks ago. What she really wanted to do was shoot a make up tutorial video. On YouTube, what M loves to do most of all is watch the following kinds of videos:

1-Grown ups playing with Barbies and Elsa/Ana FROZEN dolls

2-Something called Seven Super Girls, which I think are kids whose parents have no idea they're filming whole worlds...in the family bathroom.

3-Make up tutorials. By girls who aren't even old enough to have jobs to buy this make up, and so who's giving it to them? And teaching them how to apply it? And helping them film themselves teach other children to apply it? And encouraging these other children to bug their mothers for make up? And throw temper tantrums when told they are too young for make up? And setting  up situations where children end up sneaking into their mother's make up and applying mascara in bizarre and crazy ways, and then attempting to completely deny it even though one entire eye is completely black with mascara because they don't have a frickin' clue what they're doing?

Number 1 is weird, Number 2 has me keeping an eye on all my own camera devices, but Number 3 is the vexation of my life right now. Also, monitoring her YouTube videos does keep me on my toes--I keep meaning to see if there's a way to filter that entire website. But I need to be able to toggle between Child Lock and Adult Free-For-All.

At any rate, here was my compromise--no make up or make up tutorials allowed, but we can shoot a video together, how's that. And since yesterday was Mother's Day, here you go--The Amy and Melissa Show:

And also I'd like to share this, the "Mother's Day Proclamation," because apparently (who knew?? Not THIS mother) Mother's Day was started as a call to unite women against war. You may not be a mother (or a father, for that matter) to a human child...maybe your child(ren) are pets. Or plants. Or you're someone's kick ass aunt or uncle. Or just the really cool neighbor next door with a lot (I mean a LOT) of patience for children (because children, notoriously, have NO boundaries or a sense of: Enough is ENOUGH). But we are all in this together, and we all need to protect one another. This is a hard rock to live on. Here you go, Mothers and Not-Mothers:

“Mother’s Day Proclamation”
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

- Julia Ward Howe
Julia Ward Howe (27 May 1819 – 17 Oct 1910) was a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, and poet most famous as the author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Her “Mother’s Day Proclamation” was one of the early calls to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States. Written in 1870, it was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War.
The Proclamation was tied to Howe’s feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level. Today, the proclamation is included in the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition.


DIG (on USA!) thoughts: ep 10 (ten, rhymes with end...sorta)

Imagine me and you, I do;
I think about you day and night, it's only right...
So happy together!
Oh, Internet. It's 11 PM on Saturday night as I start typing this, and I don't know how to really express the depth of sadness I feel about what I am doing. What am I doing, you ask? I am writing The last DIG (on USA!) review. My last thoughts and reactions. There are no more episodes to watch now. Thursday evening, May 14, will be cold and lifeless. No Jason Isaacs tweets. Ori Pfeffer will not retweet me or give me too much information I expressly said not to. Nothing to scream at my TV about. No WTF is going ON?! moments. 

It has concluded. The mystery solved, the last twitching body laid to rest. 

It's okay. I'll be okay! Don't cry for me, Argentina! Or Israel. Or Croatia or Norway! I will be okay. (Because USA Network, until they say Yay or Nay definitively, will be receiving occasional, overly familiar, harassing tweets from me about green lighting a 2nd Season for DIG...and they can just go ahead and ask Jason Isaacs all about what it's like to get my occasional, overly familiar, harassing tweets. He knows all about these, because he gets them from me about every 3rd-4th time he tweets.)

Alright, diggers/digglers/diggees, let's just rip the band aid off. Let's talk about the last episode. 

Here's the mystery, solved (and if you haven't watched it yet, or even seen the series at all: (A) Why are you here? We are NOT friends...and (B) look away!! Look away now!!! I'm about to tell you THE WHOLE THING.):

In real life, Emma/Rebecca is a beautiful songwriter/singer/actress
named Alison, whose songs my daughter & I both love
*Emma was The Villain. The primary Antagonist. It was her, or rather, Rebbeca Donaldson aka Emma Wilson. THE WHOLE TIME. Someone mysteriously put the lost Donaldson murder/suicide investigation file Golan was trying to get from the grizzly old detective in the Negev Desert on Peter's desk and THAT'S how he figured out who Rebecca was (and thank you! whoever put that file there, because I spent about 3 hours last Thursday wondering: WHO THE HELL IS REBECCA???)

And she fell in love with Peter in the process of orchestrating the biggest antiquities/revenge heist of all time. She was in cahoots with greedy Margrove but not really--she just wanted to use him to avenge her father's death which Margrove caused by betraying his colleague, who just so happened to be Emma/Rebecca's dad. She lost her whole family because of Margrove's greed. And so, like a spider, she wove a web and trapped him, mated with him, and then ate him. And Margrove, who I was certain was a goner after, like, episode 3, ended up being the last of the dead guys, making it (almost) to the end. 

*The Order of Moriah? That was Ruth Riddell and Tad Billingham, and they got theirs. (Tad choked to death on some nuts...as he WENT nuts at the same time. No, seriously--he was eating nuts while talking nutty. Dearest, amazing DIG writers: I. LOVED. THIS. SO. MUCH.)

*Josh was a twin, and Fay was their mother. That means Fay killed one of her own children back in episode 1. 'Cause that's what crazy people do, y'all! Kill their kids. Google it--it's in the news all the time. 

*Josh turned out to be the very psycho Tad B. (who I THINK maybe was his dad?!?) was. (Parenting rule #1: model the behavior you want to see in your children.) And Josh turned on Tad, because Josh was taught that he's God's right hand boy/high priest, and so you know: he thinks he really is. Turns out, raising kids to believe they are God's gift to the world gives them an Entitlement Complex. (This is also called Extreme Spoiling, and I actually watched it happen, live, at my local supermarket about 2 weeks ago.)

So basically, evil Rabbi Lev and the Order of Moriah wanted to blow up Dome of the Rock. Rabbi Lev so he could rebuild the Temple and welcome the Messiah; Tad so he could start the Rapture and bring four horsemen down to scourge the Earth and bring the Messiah (and then Tad and Lev would get into a big fist fight about whether that was the First or Second Messiah). 

To do that, they brought in thousands of pounds of explosives disguised as books written by Tad Billingham. Then they rigged them all up to a dam that, when exploded, would flood the underground tunnels beneath Jerusalem and when the water made its way to the Temple Mount, BAM! Good-bye, Dome of the Rock; hello a lot of angry religious guys starting World War 3.

*Ruth's goin' to federal prison! Where she'll teach women to scare the shit out of people just by looking pointedly at them. (I think she should have gotten blown up in the damn dam, or had her throat slit by Lynn with the sharp letter opener, but that's just me. Because Armageddon Protocol.)

But now for the happy endings:

Blood. Red blood. Blood moons. Sacrificial blood.
*Lynn's still in Israel! She's running the FBI's Jerusalem bureau. Hopefully the rest of her time there doesn't involve any more blood. I think Anne Heche spent about half the show covered in blood, someone else's or her own. And no more climbing chain link fences, Lynn! You'll break your 5th metatarsal. And only sleep with employees who aren't being used as pawns in a chess game of revenge! But I do bow to your toughness, Lynn. You are a strong woman, and the next time I fight crime, I want YOU to be my partner.

*Peter made it! And he SAVED THE WORLD! And he's letting go of his past--he finally took off his wedding ring, and (I didn't see this but I BET) he deleted his ex-wife's phone number finally and he's going to see a plastic surgeon about that scar. He took Vicky's picture out of the drawer, and Lynn's going to send him far, far away (can it be to Atlanta, Georgia, Lynn? We have lots and lots of religious crazies for Peter to fight here, too). 

*Shem made it out alive! He's still out there somewhere, loving on Nature and saying prayers at strange moments while wearing white. He's counseling lost, fucked up people with gentle words of ancient wisdom. He's eating vegetables for dinner and dancing naked under the moon, and he's taking long, candlelit mikvehs. (I love the thought of a Shem out there in the world doing this, being a guardian of the Light for our spot in the Milky Way.)

*And Avram. Dear, sweet Avram. Thank God he made it off the DIG writers' pages alive; he's out there still. And so is Red (I'm going to talk about them in a few more paragraphs, because if I do it now, this will make me cry like I did when I rewatched it this afternoon and I need to get through the rest of what I want to say in my write up).

Basically, what I'm saying is: this show was, in the end, about water and a cow. 

....Did you know? Water has a very mystical meaning: it's used in purification rituals, to cleanse us. We are 50-65% water; without it we will die. And our planet will as well. Every bit of water we have on Earth today has been here since our planet was born; the water you bathe and shower in? Here since the dinosaurs. The water you wash your car with? Here before life began. All life began on Earth in water. Take care of it; it is precious. (Don't use it for nefarious purposes, either.)

I think it's really interesting that the DIG writers used water as a catalyst to either destroy or save in the end. (The dam's water was all diverted into an old archaeological bit of Jerusalem history: Warren's Shaft. Archaeologists who've studied it think it was first developed by the Canaanites; it is an ancient tunnel most likely used by ancient Jerusalemites as a water supply system. And it saved (in DIG) the world by diverting the exploded dam water away from the Temple Mount. Good job, ancient Canaanites!) In the beginning, I wrote about how I thought numbers mattered, that God was in the numbers. At the end, it turns out God was actually in the water.

And also I felt DIG was about darkness and light. Sons of Darkness, Sons of Light. An eternal, internal War of Soul. Maybe that's what Armageddon/Gog and Magog/the End of Days will boil down to: we'll all be fighting ourselves, inwardly...and only one of us will win. Let's all hope our Sons of Light come out on top. (Peter's did...he was tempted, at the end, by the Whore of Babylon, to come away with her and enjoy her spoils. Except Rebecca/Emma didn't realize she was dealing with a Son of Light. And so, in that way, Peter really was a Messiah. Of sorts.)

But mostly? DIG was about a cow. Not the cow herself so much, but Avram's devotion to her well-being--because DIG was about honor and loyalty and faith and loss and most important? Taking care of one another--Red saved Avram and Avram saved Red. Take care of each other, good people of Earth. Treat each other with kindness and care. Our animal friends, too.

And I think DIG was a good example of how to tell a good Hero's Journey story. Do you know about this? Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, developed the concept--every story in every culture in every language in every corner of the planet even the farthest removed tells mythologies, and they all center around a Hero who must embark upon a Journey. One day, he wakes up and realizes: I have to go on a journey. Sometimes the journey is to rescue a maiden, or slay a dragon, or defeat a giant; it varies depending on the story and the culture. And so the Hero sets out--he leaves everything he knows behind and takes a journey. Along the way, he meets friends who are enemies, enemies who are friends, he has to overcome obstacles, pass tests, he fights battles and is wounded...until finally he reaches a Dark Night of the Soul, in which he must make the decision to either give up and die, or go on. But choosing to go on means the Hero must change, and change will involve doing the hardest thing(s) he can ever possibly imagine doing. But if the Hero does it, in the end he wins and goes back to his village to accolades and adoration. But if the Hero does it, he is changed forever, and Life as he knows it will never be the same again. (Not necessarily a bad thing.)

I think Campbell's The Hero's Journey could be applied to Lynn, Peter, and Avram. They all were woken up one day, realized they had to go on a journey to fight something terrible, and met enemies who were friends and friends who were enemies and suffered through Dark Nights of the Soul along the way. 

Particularly Avram: in the end, he is forever changed; I'm not sure if he lost his faith or just his faith in the people of his faith. But he has left the Orthodox community for the world because of Rabbi Lev's evil, and he will be forever changed now. 

Red is free. Home on the range. The last moments we see of her are a sweet, happy calf surrounded by her "people," running off to enjoy the world...no sacrificial knives or weird kids in breastplates anywhere. And the real Red is also free, along with all the other baby cows who worked the show with her. They are all free, running around in the world right now, and will never ever be a source of food for anyone reading this. They are safe, safe at last.

Since Golan got killed (sob!!) Shem and Peter could save
the world in DIG 2. (Shem will use prayer to catch bad guys, and
Peter will make sarcastic asides.)

Three Stars and a Wish

A wish:

That the final episode had been longer. I realize Jason, Ori, Anne, Alison, etc. would have had to stay in Croatia like 1-2 more weeks eating pizza while missing their loved ones and USA would've had to cough up more cash, but I felt like there needed to be about 30 more minutes, maybe 40; this show felt slightly rushed to wrap it up. A big show to start the story; one big one to finish it. And I wish the Armageddon Protocol stuff had been a bit bigger in scope and nature. More water, more explosions. I mean, Tad and friends were trying to start The End.

3 Stars:

1. Clearly, I am in love with the writers (still! we are STILL on our perpetual honeymoon, DIG writers! Til death do us part). So I thought the writing was superb and stunning, stunningly superb. Throughout. There were a lot of moments I watched and re-watched and went: holy crap, those are amazing storytellers. How does one learn to do that? I would like to just sit and pretend to darn their socks while they work on their stories. So I can learn from them.

2. The final episode had some amazingly awesome writing in it, and words that sat with me most from this episode were from Peter:

"Maybe it should all end. Let everybody wipe each other out in the name of God." (JUST last Friday, I thought the SAME thing, Peter Connelly!)

and what an awesome exit line: when Emma/Rebecca tells Peter she'll see him in Hell, he says, "Not if I see you first." (Oh my god. I am SO using this in the next argument I'm in that person tells me to go to Hell.)

3.There were some loose ends. But this is actually a positive for me, and here's why: I have read things on the Internet from people complaining about these loose ends. There are questions about why certain things happened or didn't happen, or what was the point of that character. Just some things I've seen around town: what was Ridell's motivation? What was Billingham's? How'd the file get put on Peter's desk/who put it there? How'd the Essene know where to go? How'd the bombs get there? How'd Emma/Rebecca even know about Peter? How'd she find out so much about his daughter? 

These questions are why I think the finale needed to be longer...and yet, I'm okay with not having ALL the loose questions answered. You out there reading this may not be, and the questions have been really chapping your buns (my suggestion: stop reading imdb.com's message boards; lunacy lies within). But I am okay with loose ends. And I'm okay with the unanswered questions because I think that's just how Life works--sometimes there's an ending and you can't figure out why somebody did that thing, or didn't do that other thing they were supposed to do. Sometimes you don't get to say good-bye; sometimes there isn't any closure; sometimes you just aren't supposed to know.

I'm also okay with lingering questions about some of the characters because I know about building characters--when I write stories, every single character I put in it has a background and a motivation; I know what these are. Every detail, every motivation doesn't always make it into the story; but I don't build them into my characters for that reason. I build them into my characters to give a story movement and life. Sometimes it's to make a character more real, or to make another character more real. I am totally fine if that's what the DIG writers were doing with this. 

But this freaks some people out--I once took a writing class with a lady who got really annoyed with me because I wouldn't write a complete ending to any of my stories. And I hated reading her stories because they were always ended on such pretty, wrapped up, here-you-go presentations. C'est la vie; to each his own. 

All in all, I hearted DIG tremendously. Its creators, Gideon Raff and Tim Kring, wrote it on spec and I'm not sure necessarily wrote it with the intention it would go on and on. From what I understand, they simply wanted to tell a whole story, for us to watch on our TVs (or iPads or wherever you watch your TV shows now). But the writing was so tremendous, and the acting was so stellar, and it is just human nature to want stellar, tremendous things we are enjoying to continue. Orgasms SHOULD last days and weeks, it is not fair they only last a few seconds. So I think there should be a Season 2, so we can all meet back online and orgasm together, with a new adventure. But if there is NOT a Season 2, then I am happy this story is out there in the ethos now. When my child is old enough, I will share it with her. And she can share it with her child(ren) and so on and so forth, as is the connective nature of storytelling.

It was a wild, roller coaster ride every Thursday night, thank you, DIG writers and cast and crew! But man. I will confess: I have an extremely addictive personality, and so I'm going to have to go to DIG rehab now. But first, you know what I'm going to do this Thursday night? Start over with Episode 1. I have them all in my DVR, and I'm going to start over with Episode 1 this Thursday, and recreate the whole thing!

Also, I'm going to harass Jason Isaacs on Twitter to see if he'll wake up at 3 AM on Thursday (aka Friday for him) in London for the next 10 weeks to re-live tweet them again, for me, personally. 

What is Peter looking at???

(scroll down to solve the mystery)

It's Debbie! Come to avenge Golan!!

And it's Golan! It's his ghost! (Shem brought them both back via prayer)

But I'm a magical thinker. Stop judging me.)