Friday Fives – 2014 year in review

What is your best memory of the year?

Spending 12 hours in the Incheon Airport in Seoul, South Korea. It is officially one of the coolest places on earth. I am not saying its one of the greatest airports. It’s more than that… it is its own destination. On our itinerary home from Thailand, I saw we had a 12 hour lay over. We were DREADING it. I just wanna go home, you know?

This airport changed the game. It’s like a super mall, but with culture. There were two plays happening while we were there, three separate concerts, and two fully costumed historic parades… in the airport. Plus, they had lounging chairs, beds, and massage chairs… all free to use. It had 5g wifi, free of course. The security staff were nice. They weren’t dicks and bullies like the TSA. They don’t give a shit about your shoes or belts or liquids, either.

On top of all this, we heard about a free tour around Seoul. Well, we have 12 hours to kill… so why not? Well, they picked us up at the airport in these brand new beautiful Greyhound type buses and took us around to a bunch of monuments and shrines and stuff. All free, and all taken care of for us. Our brains were moosh after 14 hours in one chair. Our guide took care of us. He entertained us, told us what we were seeing. Made sure we all got on and off the bus, and that no one got left behind. On top of that, he gave us all his cell number in case we did get left behind.

I can only imagine it was subsidized by the govt as a commercial for tourists to show them how wonderful South Korea was. Well, it worked. We totally want to go to a full vacation to Seoul now.

What is your worst memory of the year?

Hour 12 of the 14 hour flight. I did plenty of stretching and walking around and all that… but I started getting stir crazy. Or, cabin fever. I dunno, but I started getting ouchie and angry. I really, really, really wanted off that plane. I remember thinking “well, I am sure Thailand and Cambodia will be swell. However, I don’t EVER want to do this again.” Of course, once I got to Bangkok we were instantly smitten and forgot all about the plane ride.

I understand this is a first world problem to have.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Landing a great job with a great company and also managing to still travel across the earth to Asia for two weeks while gainfully unemployed. Oh, and I got laid off from my job and company of 17 years. It’s all good, though. It turned out to be a blessing. Nay… a blissing. ®

What happened this year that you didn’t see coming?

Getting laid off after 17 years. Absolutely blindsided me. It ended up working out wonderfully, though. The company was very generous to me in our break up, so there is zero hard feelings. Plus, I got summer off to work around the ranch. I got a ton of crap done around the ranch, and lost 25 pounds in the process. Also, I scored a new job, which is super cool. That was weird. I haven’t interviewed properly since I was in my 20s.

What’s next?

Well… this is. Maybe get paid to do this. That would be cool. Not even quit my job type of money, but an unnecessary addition to my guitar collection type money.

in closing, do you see that mandala up there?  Those are Buddhist monks creating a prayer mandala thingy.  It is a beautiful and sacred thing, as you can see.  If you remember the rules of Buddhism, though, it is not to get attached to ANYTHING.  Know what that means?  The second these guys are done… they destroy it. To me, on every level, this is what Buddhism is about.  These mandala creations are the perfect microcosm of the whole deal. Thoughtfulness, mindfulness… all that yummy eight fold path stuff.  Much better than the Thai royalty and their very un-Buddha like Buddha collections.  This stuff means a lot to me, and it’s why every single week for ten years I have topped these stories and entries with a mandala.  For further study, head for Jung.  He did some FUCKING AMAZING work with mandalas and the  ‘collective unconscious’

Here, let’s let them describe it themselves.  Pretty sure they don’t use the term ‘thingy’.


The Sand Mandala
Mandalas constructed from sand are unique to Tibetan Buddhism and are believed to effect purification and healing. Typically, a great teacher chooses the specific mandala to be created. Monks then begin construction of the sand mandala by consecrating the site with sacred chants and music. Next, they make a detailed drawing from memory. Over a number of days, they fill in the design with millions of grains of colored sand. At its completion, the mandala is consecrated. The monks then enact the impermanent nature of existence by sweeping up the colored grains and dispersing them in flowing water.


Friday Fives > dreams

*** before we get into dreamy yumminess, a word about Haiti and the Red Cross.  If you seek to find a way to help out, send money.  Plain and simple.  Don’t send shoes or donate blood.  We (the Red Cross) need cash.  We are sanctioned by the Federal Govt.  Which means, if you go through the Fed to help, they will send you to us.  We have two call centers staffed full time right now.  One of those is here in Denver.  In fact, if you call in, you may just get me on the other line.  if you could call this number 1.800.Red.Cross with a credit card number, that would be awesome.

Here is the official page to the White House, and it says ‘dude, call the Red Cross.’

1. What did you dream about last night?

I don’t remember, in that it is about midnight as I write this.  I know they have been vivid and midly anxious lately.  This is because the vitamin shake I am drinking every morning.  It has always given me super vivid dreams.  I know that sounds silly, but you will learn I am very serious about dreams.  Now, the anxiety part… that isn’t the vitamins.  That is my subconscious.  We are all handling the Jay/Conan split in our own ways.

2. Do you record your dreams in your blog or a journal?

Nope.  Used to for a long time.  I got so good and quick at assessing my dreams that I need not do that anymore.  I figure it out, give myself a quick Jungian talking to, and move on.

3. Do you think dreams are messages our bodies are trying to tell us? If so, are you real big on trying to interpret all the details?

Well, no.  Dreams very often are messages, but not from your body.  Your body is a decaying lump.  This is a relationship with your mind.  That being said, very often dreams are your subconscious actively reaching out to you.  Also, sometimes it is a random misfire of synapses.  An example; let’s say you had a dream you handed in your report late and got fired by the giraffe.  That may be a combination of your companies impending financial doom, and a Toys R Us billboard you passed on the way home.  Do not ignore your dreams, though, ever.  They are generally communicating to you things you are afraid to deal with.

See, that is why Jung worked in mandalas (and why I include a mandala above every Friday Five.  I told you, I am extremely hardcore about dreams.  Also, I did NOT choose the topic.  I rarely do).  Jung had patients wake up and paint mandalas.  Just, put down random images in a circular pattern.  They turn out to be extremely revealing paintings of the subconscious.  For more reading on this, dig Carl Jung’s ‘Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious’.  It is a skeleton key to your own mind, seriously.

4. Do you remember your first nightmare?

Yup, and I have never told anyone ever.  I will tell you now.  This was about when I was in my single digit years.  I dreamt my mom was coming to pick me up at my best buddy Rich Vaules’ house.  It was night, and they lived in a cul de sac.  Somehow, she didn’t see me waiting at the curb, but accidentally picked up a psycho killer a few houses down, who stabbed her to death.  You can seee why I have never told ANYONE.   Not because I thought it would sound dumb, but more likely afraid it was a prophecy.  I am happy to report it was not.  My mom is alive and well, and my favorite person on Earth.

5. Have you ever had a recurring dream? If you did, what was it and what do you think it meant?

I just told you.  Aren’t you listening?  Here is another one, that wasn’t bad.  In college, I was reading Jung and documenting my dreams heavily.  Also, was reading a lot about them.  There are a few schools, by the way, of dream translation:

Freud > your relationship with your parents is fucked up.  No biggie, so is everyone else’s

Jung > you are dreaming about woodcutting because your father’s father was a lumberjack.  It is hardwired into your subconscious.

Edgar Cayce > jesus nut, wants to feed you jesus answers

* tangent alarm

See, you can use the dream interpretation books, but really you should use your own head and experience.  It’s your own brain talking to you.  If you are open to the criticism… you can figure it all out.

Back to my point.  I had a re-occuring dream from childhood that I would climb the two story slide at Hopi Elementary in Phoenix, and I fall.  So, as I got hardcore into dream studies.  So, I worked to have a lucic dream and finally conquer it.  A lucid dream is when you realize, in the middle of the dream, that you are dreaming.  This can be done, and it takes discipline and work.  But wait, there’s more!  Once you realize you are in a dream, you can often then attempt to control it.  This is doing hardcore battle against your subconscious.  Then… I went for the holy moly.  The superbowl of dreamy goodness > flying.   Flying in your dreams is the ultimate validation of your subconscious.  If you are having flying dreams… don’t fuck with anything.  It means you are self aware and content, or super super close.

So, I worked to control my dreams.  I worked to recognize when I would have a slide dream, that it was just a slide dream, and that I could control it.  And… I would control it by flying down of the slide and happily away from the school.  I fought to make that nightmare my bitch.  I got about 75% of the way.  I trained myself to be able to meekly fly/fall safely from the top of the slide, knowing it was only a silly anxiety dream.  Guess what, it worked.   I haven’t had that dream in at least 15 years.

> that old guy up there… that is Carl Jung.  The man who worked under Frued and unlocked the human mind.