I Had a Dream

Last night, I had the strangest dream. I’m going to break it down here. From what I remember, some stuff was happening and I was out on the town drinking with some friends. However, they weren’t my actual friends, except Elena. Lane was there, she was driving….until she got drunk. Along with our other friends. One of these friends was the actor Wood Harris, which is odd, because if I was going to imagine myself drinking with an actor…well I can think of a few (*cough* Christian Kane) I’d pick before him. But he was there. As was another male actor. Unfortunately, my brain is not accessing that information at the moment, so I can’t tell you who it was.

Okay, so the four of us, me, Lane, Wood, and guy I can’t remember, are out on the town. They decide to get Elena drunk. It works. Now I have to drive. This is fine. Except, apparently it was my birthday. After the bar closed, I decided we were detouring to Dairy Queen. I’m fairly certain there are no 24 hour DQs in the world, but whatever, we went to the drive through at DQ at 2am. In the dream, I was suddenly holding a Dilly Bar in my right hand. Meanwhile, my three drunk compatriots started getting rowdy in the backseat. They were yelling and swearing and cursing and causing a general ruckus. I was trying to calm them down, but it wasn’t working. I couldn’t even hear the guy who was trying to take my order. There were cars in line behind us and they were honking because it was taking so long for us to order, because i couldn’t hear. Then I noticed the Dilly Bar was gone and I was just holding the stick in my hand. I was staring down at my hand, holding that stick, while apologizing profusely to the poor kid who worked at Dairy Queen. I kept trying to order, but the drunks wouldn’t let me. Finally, I heard the DQ guy say that we were just too out of control and he was refusing to serve us. Yep, I got kicked out of Dairy Queen in my own dream.

Well, at that, the rabble rousers in the back seat went ballistic. Wood Harris jumped out of the car and put his face right up to the speaker and was cursing at DQ guy and telling him that it was my birthday and how can he not give me ice cream. And I felt ashamed. We were the ones in the wrong. Well, not me, but the crazies I was carting around. So I got out of the car, still holding the Dilly Bar stick in my hand and I starting hollering at Wood and finally, I got him to shut up and get back in the car. I ordered silence from the back seat, and, for once, they listened. Actually, Lane started giggling, but they were mostly quiet.

As I stared at the stick in my hand, it suddenly seemed like the most important thing in the world for me to throw it away. Like the fact of throwing it away would make up for the bad behavior. None of this makes any sense, but in the dream it became imperative for me to throw that away. I drove forward through the line and up to the window where I apologized to the DQ boy and gave him a $20 and asked him to buy ice cream for the people behind us as an apology for this whole event.

And just like that, I was awake. I know, you’re thinking, “okay, it was a slightly humorous and a little odd, but why would this warrant sharing on the blog?” Was I close? I bet at least a couple of you were thinking that.

Here’s why.

I jerked out of that dream and I was awake. Dreams rarely wake me, but this one did. In those few moments between sleep and full wakefulness, I was disoriented to find myself suddenly sitting up on the edge of my bed. My instinct was that I had to use the bathroom, that’s usually the only thing that wakes me in the middle of the night, but then full wakefulness hit. I canted my head to the right and saw on the clock it was 2:47am. I was sitting up, on the edge of the bed and I realized that I did not have to use the bathroom. So, what woke me? It was then I realized my right hand was curled up as though I was holding something. I was not. But I had this feeling….

And the dream came crashing back. Evidently, the feeling in the dream that if I just threw away the stick, I could right those wrongs, it stuck with me. It was so strong and powerful that it woke me up with the feeling I needed to get out of bed to throw away something that existed only in my dreams. The whole thing was so bizarre, there was no connection from my life to that dream, but there was such power that it carried me between both realms. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. I wish I knew what it meant or why that occurred, but all I can say was I sat for a few minutes, just breathing and thinking about the dream and then I opened my right hand and let it go.

I curled back up in my bed and drifted back into slumber for the remainder of the night.

Green Bay and Door County

As previously mentioned…road trip to GB. In truth, I was not impressed with GB. The city was kind of lame. Not much nightlife, few tourist attractions, just kind of boring. After the Jake Owen concert, we wanted to grab some food and some beer. We were out at just before 11pm and, seriously, everything was closed. We did find this awesome sign….
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And eventually found a place open to midnight. We were the ONLY customers. We ate and got the hell out so the guy could close up and go home. It was fairly lame.

Friday morning, we got up and Elena and I headed out to Lambeau Field. It’s iconic. One of those things. Neither of us are huge football fans, but it seemed like something you should see. So off we went. Kind of a long story about bad signage, security who don’t know anything, and Lane and I ended up hopping fences and breaking in to Lambeau. Okay, we didn’t really break in, but it felt like it.
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Once we got inside and into the line, it was cool. We were going to do the tour then meet up with Nance and Ryan for lunch. Then when we got up there….turns out the tours were FULL. The next free tour was 3.5 hours away. No way. I mean, it would have been fine, but I am not waiting that long to tour a football stadium. Unless Tom Brady is giving the tour, but I doubted that was the case. So instead, we walked around and took pictures of ourselves AT the stadium. It was fine. I’ve been there, I’ve seen it, that’s good enough, right? (Probably for everyone in the world except my Aunt Kate, right Sara?)

See? I was there.

We regrouped and decided that GB was lame enough we were going to drive up to Door County. We headed north and ended up in Sturgeon Bay. We had a nice lunch and then walked all over the cute little town, ducking into different shops and just hanging out. The town was so cute. Bought a few nice gifts…then we found a wine and olive oil shop. Um, awesome? Oh yes. They had free samples of everything. Olive oil. Cheese. Snacks. Wine. You could sample any of their wines, for free. Then they had a distillery sampler. I did this. For $5 you got to sample three distilled alcohols and you got a free shot glass. Seemed more than worth it to me. I tried cherry brandy, single malt whiskey, and cherry/orange bitters. Then I mixed the bitters with the whiskey for a down and dirty manhattan. It was good. Potent. After slugging those shots, I think I was a little tipsy. Good thing I wasn’t driving.

Sturgeon Bay is proud of its heritage and there were fish (presumably sturgeon) sculptures all over this town. Finally I decided we had to have a pic of at least one, so here is Nancy and the sturgeon.

No one really had a plan, so I said, we couldn’t come all the was to GB without, you know, actually seeing Green Bay, and since Door County is an isthmus that sits between the bay and Lake Michigan, I said we should see both.

First stop….Lake Michigan.
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Of course since it is the end of July, it should be cloudy and about 68 degrees….yeah, it was cold. We were all in jackets. Crazy weather. But it was still amazing. Beautiful.

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I wanted a nice picture of all of us. Luckily Ryan has crazy long arms, so he did a nice selfie with the camera.
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On the shores of Lake Michigan.

And then Nancy grabbed my camera and took this.
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Wow! I love this so much. My new favorite photo of us.

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My toes in Lake Michigan. That one’s for Kelly.

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Please note the choppy water and crashing waves. I was wearing knee length capris, but the waves were crashing so hard it was splashing up to my thighs. I was wet by the time we left the beach.

Next stop….Green Bay.
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It was just about sunset, so we got there just in time. Note how calm the water is. The bay is protected, so the water was super calm, even though we were only about 10 miles from the Lake on the other side. Weather was the same, but the water was very different.

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These photos were taken in Egg Harbor. At the Egg Harbor Marina. Do you see those big rocks? Well, they were perfect for climbing and seeing the bay, but they also housed giant nests of oversized SPIDERS. Freaked me the fuck out. No kidding. I almost had a meltdown. Surrounded by thousands of giant spiders. Not cool. I was not enjoying this at all.

Elena finally found me a spot that was spider free. So she said. I’m guessing it wasn’t, but she said it was and I chose to believe her. There was no beach so you had to climb down the rocks to get to the water and I wanted to dip my toes into the bay.
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Notice my hand resting on the rock? I’m barely bending. Those rocks were HUGE. It was an effort to climb up and down them to get to the water, but I’ve officially dipped my toes in Green Bay, so I’m happy. And no spiders came near me.

Then, as we’re walking back, Ryan kicks a spider web. On purpose, “just to see what would happen”. Freaking boys. Of course the spiders freak out and start running madly all over the place. AT ME. I was screaming and running. Not cool, Ryan. Elena finally had to tell him to knock it off, because I was not enjoying this trip to spiderville.

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Our group shot in front of the bay.

Before we left, a woman was fishing and caught a little fish. She said what kind but I can’t remember. She told us she was going to feed it to the gulls.
So she tosses this fish on the sidewalk. This giant seagull lands and the poor fish is flopping desperately, then:

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He picked him up…and swallowed him whole. It was crazy. Impressive, even. Circle of life, I guess.
Here’s the victor, digesting his meal.
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We left spiderville and drove the hour and a halfish back to GB. At some point, I forced everyone to stop at an historical marker. I love these things. I always stop on road trips to see things you never expect. We stopped at a cool cemetery and learned that Door County has a strong Belgian population, but that was not as cool as this.

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That’s right, we literally drove halfway to Santa’s house. Take that. Incredibly awesome if you ask me. I wished it weren’t cloudy so we might have seen the North Star at a 45º angle, but alas, that’s what happens when you’re just rolling with it.

When we got back, we rapid-changed and ended up cabbing all over town, in order to end up at a karaoke bar walking distance from the hotel. Whoops.

But karaoke was the point. Elena had it on her bucket list. Somewhere in the mess of my photos, there is a video of her singing but I am not uploading it for many reasons (I can’t find it, it’s long, I need to upload it on YouTube first, I don’t have her permission) take your pick. But if you want to see it, just ask, it is on my phone.

I also got Nancy to sing, she and I did a duet of Wrong Song by Rayna James and Juliette Barnes (from the TV series Nashville). I was Rayna (the amazing Connie Britton, who I might actually like to be) and it was fun. She almost chickened out, but she had to go up. I couldn’t sing both parts. I physically dragged her on the stage. There is also a video of that somewhere. Ask Lane. And I was wearing a dress. True story.

Mostly we just drank, hung out with the locals, and made fun of Jesus. Oh, did I forget to mention that Jesus was there? A young, dark haired man, was at the bar, wearing a caftan and birkenstocks. Couldn’t have looked more like Christ…well, unless he had a beard. Maybe it’s true and he’s come back. Not sure why he’d choose karaoke at Mikey’s bar in Green Bay, WI, but who am I to judge our Lord and Savior? Which is exactly why, at the end of the night, when we were about to walk back to the hotel, when he came outside and asked me to dance, I accepted. (No one thought to take a picture, but this happened). Somehow we drifted into the road. And that is the story of how I danced in the street with Jesus Christ. Because one day I want to get into Heaven and I figure St. Peter will appreciate this story.

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Elena grabbed this gem just before we were leaving, mere minutes before my dance with Christ. (That gets funnier every time I say it).

The next day it was up and at ’em as we headed for home. We had long since planned the long route home, in order to detour past the Mouse House Cheese House. My stories about this place are always at the end of super long blogs, but oh well. That link will take you to my last visit there. This visit was similar and no less awesome. That may well be my favorite place in all Wisconsin. The food, the cheese, the fudge, the cheese. It’s heaven in Windsor, WI.

That’s a lot of religious references in this decidedly secular trip. All in all, it was a fun couple of days and good to go away.

I first started writing this post about a month ago (Ha! Exactly one month ago, August 18 is when I started this draft), and hope I didn’t forget anything essential. My life has gone a bit sideways since then, but that makes it all the more important to get this published. When I look back on the summer of 2014, I will probably think of my mom and her illness. But I don’t want to forget Elena turning 35 and our fun getaway to Green Bay.

And dancing with the Son of God.

Just Say Hello

I have posts for Green Bay coming, but I need to upload all the photo and video. I know, but reading in the sunshine has just seemed more important. However, to whet your appetite for this exciting weekend adventure, I will share a small story.

So we are in Green Bay for about 20 min, all checked into the hotel. Elena and I are just chilling in our room, before getting ready to head out to the concert. The room phone rings. I assume it is Nancy or Ryan, Lane’s sister and brother-in-law, who are traveling with us. Because I am a funny girl, I answer the phone, using my sexiest voice, I say, “hello, you have reached 1-800-PhoneSex, how can I help you”? Whomever was on the other end suddenly hung up without saying a word. And Lane is freaking out, saying how that had better Nance and Ryan.

I’m laughing, because it seemed funny. A few seconds later, the phone rang again. This time as I reached to picked it up, Elena yelled “Just say HELLO!” So I did. And a guy said “Hello, this is the front desk calling. We know you just checked in and we wanted to make sure everything is alright with the room.”

Oh.

God.

I felt like a complete idiot. I pretended to be a phone sex operator for the front desk of the hotel.

So I tell him everything is fine with the room, then I covered the receiver and said to Lane, “um, it’s the front desk.” And SHE looked embarrassed. Fair enough. After all, it was in her name, they had no idea who *I* was.

Then there was a brief pause on the phone and the guy started….laughing. He was laughing, I figured he must know it was me the whole time. It was so embarrassing, but what can you do? So I laughed and said, “so, did you enjoy that?”

And he hung up.

I was kind of astounded, because that is piss poor customer service, but then, I suppose laughing AT one of your guests is pretty bad, too, so he probably took the easiest route. And it’s not like I’d complain, because who wants to explain that?

A while later, Nance and Ryan came to get us to head out for the concert. First thing I said was “have I got a story for you!” They were a bit surprised, as they’d only left us an hour ago, how could I possibly have come up with a story during that time? And I proceed to tell them this entire story, because who doesn’t want to hear how I made a fool of myself?

They were quiet, mostly, during the story, but Nancy looked uncomfortable. During the telling, Elena was piping in how she wanted me to answer the phone normally. It was funny, we were all laughing. I mean, it’s one of those things.

Then, there was a beat, and Ryan said, “yeah, it was me. Both times.”

WHAT?

I mean, I totally thought it was, the first time. And he told me how after I answered the phone that way, he had to hang up because he was laughing so hard. Then he decided to mess with me and called back pretending to be the front desk. He said that after I asked him (as the front desk person) if he enjoyed it, he got to laughing so hard he had to hang up again so as to not give away his game.

I cracked up.

Ryan is not a guy I know well, but after that, I think we’ll be friends for life. I mean, anyone who can pull one over on me, and make me laugh about it?

Well played Ryan, well played.

Agree to Disagree

I don’t think there is anyone in the whole world who is as similar to me as they are different from me. We are alike, we are unalike. Yet, somehow, both these differences and these similarities draw us together, bind us as friends.

Today is the 35th birthday of my best friend, Elena. Lane. Today, we are in her car, driving to Green Bay, to see a country music concert. Jake Owen and The Cadillac Three. Just a couple years ago, she wouldn’t have gone to a country concert (excepting when she went with me to see Christian Kane in 2009–that wasn’t for the concert, that was for me). She didn’t like country music. I did. But now she does and it is another thing to draw us together.

I’ve told the story before, of how I did not like her when we met and how I grew to love her for exactly who she is. It’s just an example. The things that separate us, the things we do not share, that is all I could see of her. But once I got to know her, it was the things that we share, love of books, love of reading, love of fiction, love of Dean Winchester, love of good looking men on television, love of movies, love self analysis, love of intellectual thought, love of cheeseburgers–these are the things that connect us, that thread our lives together, that make us best friends.

But then, we will discuss something and disagree, often, and she doesn’t like to argue and debate. I do. And so she says, “let’s just agree to disagree.” It drives me crazy. I don’t WANT to agree to disagree. I want to disagree and loudly until we’ve reached a point where we can agree or kill each other trying. That’s me. That’s not her.

It’s how we’re different.

It’s how we’re alike.

It’s the things about her that make up who she is, those are the things that I love. It’s that she overpacks and takes things too seriously and thinks I’m funnier than her and depends on me to find her books and never remembers what she’s read and still sighs over Dean Winchester’s perfection and puts up with my obsessive need to talk all the time and likes the culture of drinking but doesn’t really like to drink and is super flexible but wholly stubborn and can crack me up like no one else. These are the things of her. The things that make me so damn happy that she is my best friend.

It’s her birthday. We’re on our way. Jake Owen better rock our respective worlds.

Happy birthday, Lane. Thanks for being such a wonderful friend.

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Thirty Five – Part III

This part was my celebration with Elena. She and I had very special plans. Back when I was in grad school, living by myself in DC, I met this girl who was obsessed with the show Veronica Mars. I had never seen it, but had an excess of time on my hands (I didn’t work while living in DC) so I checked it out. I quickly understood why she liked it so much. It’s a smart and savvy show. Unfortunately, it was cancelled, abruptly after the third season and left wide open with no actual conclusion. They always talked about one day doing a VM movie, but as the years passed….

Well, after a record setting kickstarter campaign, they funded it last year and released it to limited theaters just in time for my birthday this year. Last year, after the campaign, I added VM to my tv dates with Lane and she rushed to complete the series just in time for the movie release.

We had to go to an AMC theater to see it. There is one of those about 2 minutes from her house…Roseville, but I don’t like that theater and it is so expensive. I browsed online to find that the Coon Rapids AMC was offering discount tickets to the show, along with DreamLounger and reserved seating. Um, hallelujah? We bought tickets and I reserved two seats for us.

We decided to go to dinner at this place called Patricks? Billys? I seriously cannot remember the name of it. Anyway, it was in the city of Anoka and we were off on an adventure.

Oh, look at that. Apparently Billy’s. And now I remember thinking we should take a photo of ourselves just so I could remember that. I’m so smart.

And then it was off to Coon Rapids to the theater. And they had those crazy new touch screen pop dispensers. I honestly was stymied by it. I couldn’t figure out how to get pop from that machine. Luckily the girls using the machine next to me were kind enough to teach me. Crazy machines. So high tech. And slightly annoying to pay like $5 for a 16 oz pop that I have to serve myself. Basically paying for the cup.

And here we are in front of the theater marquee. It’s harder to read than I thought it would be.

Then in our dream loungers.

Yes, we’re pretending to sleep…and yes, she is peeking.

And the movie.

Sigh.

It was awesome. Can’t recall the last time I had so much fun at a movie. Knowing every person in there was a fan of the show…we all loved it already. It was a little like seeing a movie with all your friends…everyone in there. We were talking and chatting with strangers. Cheering for the movie to begin. Applauding when it was over. Crazy. And fun.

Elena and I (and many others) actually GASPED loudly when Logan first appeared on screen. It was priceless. A wonderful way to celebrate my birthday.

And then when we got back to her house, I got loads of gifts. A beautiful necklace that she MADE for me. This was weird, because as I was driving to her house that day, I was planning my outfit for my actual birthday and worrying because I didn’t think I had the right necklace for it. Then she gave me one…and it was perfect. And she had no idea what I was wearing. She’s a little psychic like that. She did the exact same thing a few years ago…got me the perfect necklace for a birthday outfit. How does she always know?

She also got me a wall hanging for my entry way that is so incredibly perfect I couldn’t have picked better myself. And beautiful decorative plates that still need a home, I’m working on that. And black lentils…which was just funny. But the best was she filled the bottoms of the gift bags with candy. I never thought of that, but what a great way to make a gift extra special.

It was a terrific and memorable way to continue ringing in my birthday.

 

Do Not Spoil My Joy

I’m doing this because Elena asked me to.

I wrote her a story, which I will not tell here, because it is long. To summarize, I used my innate powers to will a song to play on my iPhone. True story.

She said that my magic finally kicked in at 34. I’m all “cool”. (Because I’m very casual about magic).

Then I said that maybe Dean Winchester will come and try to kill me now. Dean Winchester, for those not in the know, is the main character on Supernatural, my favorite television show. He, along with his brother Sam, hunt supernatural beings that are evil and the kill them.

Elena said Dean would not try to kill me.

My response was:

I WANT Dean to try to kill me. It’d be all dramatic. And I’d outsmart him. But only for a minute, because he’s freaking smart, and then he’d come after me again, but then I’d convince him that I’m good and would never use my magic for evil. And he’d still want to kill me. But them Sam would show up and actually almost kill me. But Dean would SAVE me, because he knows I’m not evil. And they’d have a heart to heart about it, right there in my living room. I’d get to watch.

Dean would do the single tear. Sam would stand there, looking awkward, but then he’d turn on the puppy dog eyes and he and Dean would hug. Then they’d decide to let me live. THEN, they’d start calling me for help. Like if they can’f figure out a spell or they’re just stumped. They’d call me, because they know I’m good AND powerful and I’d be their new ally.

 It’ll be great. And SPN S9 will be all about them hunting with their magic friend Olivia.

 Do not spoil my joy.

And she laughed, and told me to write this on my blog to allow others to share the wonder and the crazy that is my brain. I figured “why not”.

Because, it’s not like anyone will dare make fun of me.

I’m magic.

I could kill you with my mind.

But then Dean would actually kill me. So that would be bad. Fine. I won’t hurt people. But that won’t stop me from giving you a flat tire and making you late for work and then getting a cracked windshield and then burning your dinner and then getting a zit on the day of the big presentation and then dropping a pencil and bending over to retreive it, only to have your pants split down the middle.

I will not hurt anyone, but I will be the biggest pest alive, if you’re mean to me.

So be nice.

And for Heaven’s sake, do not spoil my joy. I’m magic now.

Lent Letter #25

Dear Lane,

You get to be the day before my birthday. Why? Because. That’s why. Arbitrary (that’s my new thigh tattoo!).

I know you’ve laughed already while reading this. One of my favorite things about you, aside from how much you make me laugh, is how funny you find me. Then, it hit me. That’s our language. Laughter is our language.

Since we first became friends, we crack each other up like no one else. We laugh and laugh and laugh. Then, in a blink, we turn serious and talk. I don’t talk to anyone the way I talk to you. Because you get it. You understand. You are usually experiencing the same thing or have experienced it or are about to experience it.

You get it. You get me.

Then we laugh some more.

I was going to write this whole long thing, a sappy tribute, but I’ve done that before. And then it occurred to me. With us, it’s three simple things.

Understanding

Acceptance

Laughter

That’s all we need to get by. (Well, and Dean. And Christian. And AOL. And Deacon. And others yet to be discovered).

Thanks for being part of my life,

Liv

 

(to see why I am doing this, read here)