29 Comments

I typed a very long comment and it disappeared. Long story short...

Good dream. A gorilla would be a good friend to have.

Yes I dream. Houses with unexplored rooms and a lion dream. I also buy into the simulation theory of Scott Adams/Elon Musk.

I prefer Garfunkel. Simon and Edie Brickell, ick....

Right now mostly brain candy we can binge. Work is somewhat stressful so zom out shows are good. But the cramming in of woke stuff is getting tedious.

NSFW is enjoyable. Somewhat Sedaris like. I like dark humor.

I'm ashamed of how little I read day to day. I used to read a lot. Still can when i prioritize it.

Expand full comment
author

Sorry the longer comment disappeared. Must've been a glitch in the simulation. Thank you for picking up NSFW! I really appreciate that. If you're so inclined, leaving a quick review on Amazon really helps. And yes, Garfunkel's contributions to S&G are underrated.

Expand full comment

1. Believe it or not, I'd file it under happy. Tasting an unpredictable, distinct flavor of happiness is a nice moment.

2. I tend to alternate between lucid dreaming and *wild* nightmares. Maybe I'll dip my toe into horror at some point. I'll make people laugh harder than usual.

3. I'm into it, but I tend to be fond of a good shaggy dog story. Or at least watching popular reactions to a shaggy dog story. It might not be a great personality trait.

4. I'm finishing NSFW once I'm out from my pile of student assignments. They're a good bunch.

5. Mostly punching. I'm dipping my toes back into Ip Man, which is the most fun propaganda film without Ivan Drago.

Expand full comment
author

Sometimes I wish I had wild nightmares. My dreams are lucid and often times odd, but my dreams are short on nightmares, and I worry that puts me out of step with my peers. Then again, there are plenty of nightmares in reality, so maybe I just need to open my eyes.

Since you mentioned shaggy dog stories and since you're actually teach writing, I'm curious if you've come across any good academic works on shaggy dog stories. I love them, which shouldn't be a surprise. But I'm often annoyed when I see people use that term as a put down. I get it, a shaggy dog story ain't Shakespeare, but shaggy dog stories have their place (I think Bill even wrote a few for his comedic characters). Anyway, I'd love to know more about shaggy dog stories. Can you point me in the right direct, professor? (Please note, my tuition check is not in the mail. I was gonna Venmo it, but Venmo doesn't do transaction that large, so I'm just auditing).

Expand full comment
May 10, 2023Liked by Michael Estrin

Christina’s dream wasn’t good or bad. It’s just life, man. Some of us are gorillas grateful to be alive, and some of us are dead butterflies getting pulled out of a nose.

Expand full comment
author

Gorillas one day, butterflies the next.

Expand full comment

1. Christina's dream: I'm told (by someone far more knowledgeable about dream analysis than me) that Christina *IS* the zoologist, the silverback, AND the butterfly. Is Christina attempting to "do the right thing" in life, but has realized that "the right thing" for one group contributes to the death (literal or figurative) of another? (The media/tech exec both helps and kills?) ((No offense, Christina. I have lots of flaws too.))

2. I'll share my dream about finding a hidden room in my house at another time. The dream (I should say the analysis of it) changed my life. I think, made me a better person.

3. Me and Julio: A couple of decades ago, a intellectually challenged woman befriended me after we literally ran into each other while attempting to catch the same bus. Within the year, she invited me to her first of many birthday parties, where I met many of her long-time friends and supporters.

I put a great deal of thought into what to give my intellectually challenged friend for her birthday and decided to make her a "mixed tape" (on CD; that's what she could use). Simon's "Me and Julio..." was one in an eclectic mix for an eclectic personality.

My friend, and her friends are significantly older than me. When Julio was released, I was 5 and they were in their teen years. I have always loved the song, but never asked anyone of their age bracket what was going on in the schoolyard. We had a hilarious discussion and the consensus (theirs, not mine) was, one of two things happened in the school yard: a homosexual act or the smoking of doobies.

4. Just finished Anthony Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land. Loved it and need to sit with it for a few days to fully think though the heartwarming and hopeful story.

5. Watching: The Wire reruns. All of them. I'd forgotten how timeless their lessons are.

Apologies for typos, poor grammar, and misspellings.

Expand full comment

Re #1: Yes! That's the Jungian model for dream interpretation, and (incorporating #2) when you take on each character in a dream as a part of yourself you open up whole new rooms of understanding about yourself and the world :)

Expand full comment
author

Thank you for every word of this epic comment, Stella! I agree with your friends about the song. I'm 45, so it came out before my time. But when I first heard it, I thought that what happened at the school yard was a little about drugs and little bit about a sex act that, at the time at least, would've been considered illegal. That was the vibe I got, anyway. And I guess it was a legit vibe because your friends got the same vibe too.

Expand full comment

I'm with Christina, it was a Good Dream. That's because i believe all dreams come to us for health and healing. Thanks for sharing.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you for reading, Tzivia!

Expand full comment

NWFW is in my Kindle and ready for the next read! Right after I finish this book on the zombie apocalypse. Zombie survival is my guilty pleasure, so much so that I usually hide that information. I'll tell people porn is no biggie but I'll hide the zombie survival. WTF? That and the "Inner Game of Tennis," not because I play tennis but because it's a great book on mental states and performance. But NSFW is next! If I had a dime for every shit toga, hoping for the same effect. I don't remember dreams but I've come to realize the reason is probably because I struggle with good sleep. Yellowjackets, watching Yellowjackets. WHAT THE HELL, who things of this stuff? Thankfully they do.

Expand full comment
author

Yay! Glad to hear that NSFW made it to your kindle! Thank you so much! And it's an honor to be in line behind a zombie apocalypse guilty pleasure story. The tennis book you mentioned sounds interesting for the same reason. I do yoga (not sure if you've read any of my yoga stories), and the thing I'm really working on is the mental toughness aspect. The other day I asked my teacher about the warrior pose, specifically why it was called that since I couldn't see any connection to the pose and, you know, warrior fighting stuff. She laughed and told me that it's actually just about putting the body in a physically challenging pose that pushes your mind to deal with self-doubt. That explained why I both hate warrior pose and why I'm drawn to master it. It's the pose I usually quit on, but now that I know the whole thing is really just a mental game, I'm determined to become more determined.

Expand full comment

That is a solid reason why I have done yoga for decades. And why it works vs being determined. You can’t think your way to mental toughness, you have to do things to force IT and practice, widening the toughness threshold

Expand full comment

I have other book recommendations on toughness I can send. Inner game of tennis is about getting out of your own Way and letting the brain do is thing

Expand full comment
author

Please do share your recs!

Expand full comment

I must now admit that I thought I had some recommendations, but I don't! There are several great books by former Navy Seals and such; all say the same thing. From those books and my own experience, I can give you the skinny right here. You do hard things. Fuck, seriously, just do hard things. It all comes down to strengthening your nervous system and your thinking but strengthening the nervous system leads to better thinking, a very circular effort. I'm a big fan of what some call a "misogi," which is doing an incredibly hard thing once a year to the Western world. You have a 50/50 shot of completing, but you don't give up and make sure you don't die. I'm not too fond of it called a misogi because a misogi is a Shinto Buddhist ritual of purification by purging the dirt from your being under a freezing waterfall. In the West, we made it something very hard that is beneficial for you. But I still call it a misogi like everyone else on this side of of the Pacific. I started doing these kinds of things years ago; extremely hard climb up a mountain, public speaking, and my favorite, a 2,000-mile offroad rally from Northern Cali across Nevada and Cali, ending on the Mexican border. No GPS allowed, just you (and your human navigator), your rig and maps, and a compass. Now I do it for fun and vacation, but it was scary the first time, even the second time, I didn't know if I could do it. The point is, by moving into very uncertain areas and pushing as far as you can, you widen your overall toughness ability. Some use cold plunging regularly to do it. When you widen your toughness by doing these things, eventually, your brain sends fewer signals to your consciousness that you are in a hard thing. Thoughts arise from those signals; your brain will employ negative thinking to convince you to stop. That's the skinny of it all. Yoga is a lighter version of this, but it can also be very difficult. Try a week-long yoga retreat where that's all you do instead of once or twice weekly. Another favorite of mine, because I do not like them, is to do a 3-day or 7-day silent Buddhist meditation retreat. The same effect, your mind will crawl, then release. I probably could write a book on all this, but I suffer from the: "Doesn't everyone already know about this, or could you look it up on the internet?" I need to overcome that perception.

Expand full comment

Loved this so much! I’m like your wife: I rarely remember my dreams, but when I do it often involves animals!🦍🐅🐊

Expand full comment
author

That's really interesting! I think there's something primal about animals in dreams. Any particular animals that regularly appear in your dreams?

Expand full comment

Most often it’ll be big felines 🦁🐯🐆 but others can feature too... Saw an alligator fight a bear once 🐊🐻 And I also tried to rescue a fish that was stuck on shore 🐠 dreams are truly alternative universes 🌀

Expand full comment
May 10, 2023Liked by Michael Estrin

Jung said everything in your dream is you. So Christina is the zoologist, AND the gorilla, AND the butterfly AND the tweezers. Just sayin’!

Expand full comment
author

But what if Jung was wrong?

Expand full comment
May 11, 2023Liked by Michael Estrin

That is the craziest question I've ever heard.

Expand full comment
author

Haha. To be clear, I don't think Jung was wrong. But what if? FYI, "But What If We're Wrong" is also the title of an excellent Chuck Klosterman book.

Expand full comment

thanks for heads up on Davidson stuff loved "King of Staten Island" it seems his best comedy originates from riffs on his own life...one particular SNL skit where if i recall right he imagines his future as a washed up comic tuned into that particular angle. Your own real life stuff is great as it comes from same self-deprecating deeply imaginative place. Look forward to enjoying your book.

As for dreams i'm not sure i don't change them somewhat trying to remember later from the totally bizarre scenarios i cant imagine having cooked up. Can only say the more intense they burn the less desire there is to fathom their meaning and more apt i am to be grateful if wary of the HELLHOLE UNIVERSE that LIES WITHIN. Ha.

Expand full comment
author

I think you're really going to dig Bumpkis. It's Pete's most personal work to date, I'd say.

Expand full comment

I'm against zoos but for removing butterflies from gorillas' noses, so good work dream-Christina?

Expand full comment
author

Not a huge zoo fan either, but there's no telling where your dreams will take you, right?

Expand full comment
May 11, 2023Liked by Michael Estrin

Agreed on the Bupkis front--it’s very very (almost surprisingly) good!

Expand full comment