The Strangest Dream (in a while)

Last night, I had the strangest dream. I got a call to sell a house for these guys. So I go to the house, and in the dream the house looks like it is in a Washington, DC neighborhood. And it’s perched on this hill, and it’s just a ramshackle but big piece of shit. And I stick my head in through the door, and it’s like I’m between two floors and the ceiling is really low and old, exposed wood with that musty, dank smell.

So, I go up these rickety stairs, and I start talking to these three guys who seem like redneck assholes, but not so much redneck as just common criminal element. And this one guy starts giving me shit about how I can’t sell the house, because it can’t be sold. And how stupid I am because I don’t know why it can’t be sold, and on and on and on.

So I leave the house feeling really down. And I wander back to my car, which in my dream was the yellow chevy cavalier 2 door that I inherited from my brother in high school. And I can’t find it. I walk up and down, I climb hills, and it’s just gone. And then I see Spot, who I had left in the car with Fred, walking around. So I get Spot, and then I manage to find Fred about a block away.

And I’m having this totally freaky feeling, that my car has been stolen. And I’m stranded with two dogs, away from home. And I don’t have a cell phone, and I don’t have any change in my pockets to call anyone. And then it dawns on me, the assholes in the house were never going to sell the house. The reason I couldn’t sell it was because it was never for sale. I’m convinced they invited me over to steal my car.

So we walk to a safeway, and call the cops. And go through this whole big story, and they give us a ride home (the dogs and I).

Next scene: I decide, with the help of Brian and our Upstairs Neighbor (UN), to catch them at their game. So we schedule another meeting, or something, it’s a little fuzzy. But anyway, we end up on scaffolding across from their house, and UN plays this little old lady who wants to buy their house, and writes them this big check.

And they run away with the money and she doesn’t get the house. But we have witnesses and everything so we go back and confront them with the police (or something, again a little fuzzy). But it turns out they get super crazy mad and start chasing us across town trying to kill us. And they have all these little cretins on mopeds that are also trying to chase us down and get us. And we end up running and running and we end up running through a mall. And it hits me, we have to come up with totally new costumes to trick them.

So we run into Bannana Republic, and back into the store rooms, and tell the clerk lady that UN needs to look like someone totally different. And a few minutes later she comes out looking like a russian woman in black fur, with a beautiful black horse, a big furry hat, the whole freaking nine yards. So UN escapes from the back while Brian and I go back onto the retail floor to distract the creeps and the people on mopeds.

And it works, because UN gets a head start, and by the time they realize she is off on her horse, she has too big a head start for them to catch up.

And then it seems like Brian and I played these strange decorating games to try and make ourselves unrecognizable and get out of the mall. I remember being in a Christmas store, and some other places, but it’s all kind of fuzzy. And then I wake up.

Like I said, what a strange dream!

Upgrading

So today I finally got around to upgrading MT for 2.11 to 2.51. At least I think I did. It seems to be running again, although I spent a good 3 hours getting it going. It was, oddly, my fault. Well, actually it was FTP voyager’s fault. It’s default transfer mode was binary, when in reality most stuff needed to be uploaded in ascii. So, I got to upload everything at least twice, if not more…

But that was a little bit of panic there for a while. I was worried sick that I’d lost the ability to type to myself on the internet. And wouldn’t that be, um, a loss?

Funny thing about adoptions, I started this site to document our journey through open adoption. But the process seems to have these huge gaps where the only thing you do is, well, wait. and wait. and wait. and wait. I’m surprised I’m not more frustrated by it, as I’m not the type of person that can wait for anything. I’m sorry, but if you’ve got one toilet and we both need to pee, I’ll be using your sink. I don’t wait well.

Not waiting well tends to doom my efforts at:
Yoga
Self Improvement (unless it offers immediate results)
driving calmly
baking (although I can usually be pretty patient when cooking)
waiting

Christmas with the Folks

It was a great Christmas! Lots of fun stuff under the tree, good times with the family, and an amazing Christmas dinner. The menu:
Potato Leek Soup
Cloverleaf breadrolls (from scratch)
Butter Lettuce salad
Persimmon Chutney
Roast Beef
Sweet Potatoes with Apricot Glaze
Asparagus with Prosciutto and Parmesan
Pumpkin Buckle

YUM!!!!

Wow… we are more alike than different

Last night I had small group ministries with my church. The idea is that we come together twice a month for two hours, and discuss a topic that has been mutually agreed upon by the group.

Read this for a better overview of what SGM is and isn’t.

Anyway, here’s the thing. I’m usually not that psyched to go. My group meets within walking distance of my house from 7-9pm on Mondays. By the end of the day, I’m always up for doing something else. But I usually drag myself there. Last night I had to drag myself there, as I was leading the discussion – around the topic of traditions.

Once I’m there, though, a strange thing happens. I’m sitting around this table with these people that are totally different from me. Some are a lot older, some have kids, some have been divorced, we’ve got pagans, workaholics, women, straight people, buddhists, the entire spectrum (okay, we are all caucasian… that’s kind of a bummer, but anyway). And if I just sit there and look at the surfaces, I get this I’m-annoyed-this-is-a-waste-of-my-time feeling. When I stop and listen, though, and actually here what the other people are saying…

… it’s the funniest thing. The things that come out of their mouths are things that could come out my mouth. When we actually stop, and intentionally take time to listen to others… it’s amazing how human we become.

For me it stops being about winning and accomplishment and fear that other people have all the inside knowledge, and that I’m left out in the cold not knowing some great secret that the rest of the world knows about how to be happy and successful.

It becomes about realizing that we all have dreams, and hopes, and painful experiences. And dreams don’t have to be grand plans or mighty ambitions. In fact, the most touching stories are the most common ones – the ones where the voice in my head says, “yeah, I remember feeling like that.”

Pressure

Who knew it was so easy to find Billy Joel lyrics?

You have to learn to pace yourself
Pressure

You’re just like everybody else
Pressure

You’ve only had to run so far
So good
But you will come to a place
Where the only thing you feel
Are loaded guns in your face
And you’ll have to deal with
Pressure

You used to call me paranoid
Pressure

But even you can not avoid
Pressure

You turned the tap dance into your crusade
Now here you are with your faith
And your Peter Pan advice
You have no scars on your face
And you cannot handle pressure
All grown up and no place to go
Psych 1, Psych 2
What do you know?
All your life is Channel 13
Sesame Street
What does it mean?
Pressure
Pressure

Don’t ask for help
You’re all alone
Pressure

You’ll have to answer
To your own
Pressure

I’m sure you’ll have some cosmic rationale
But here you are in the ninth
Two men out and three men on
Nowhere to look but inside
Where we all respond to
Pressure
Pressure

All your life is Time Magazine
I read it too
What does it mean?
Pressure

I’m sure you’ll have some cosmic rationale
But here you are with your faith
And your Peter Pan advice
You have no scars on your face
And you cannot handle pressure
Pressure, pressure

One, two, three, four
Pressure

See ya 2002

What a year. We/I:
- signed up with an adoption agency.
- had a homestudy
- gave up caffiene!
- applied to law school
- hired a career counselor
- left Apple (for the 2nd time!)
- bought a house
- started a new career as a real estate agent
- evicted the guy in our basement who had no lease
- had a psycho (IMHO) birthmom and her 2 kids live with us
- had a birthmom lie to us and use us
- joined a church
- started a weblog

I dunno, it seems kind of like, well, a lot. And it’s funny. I wanted most of these things to happen. But I had no idea they would all be so intense. So powerful. I had this hope, this feeling that I was going to be in control of 2002. But, funny thing, I wasn’t, I’m not, and I probably never will be.

And best of all, having made it through 2002, I’m so psyched for the next year. The next few weeks are hopefully going to be pretty quiet. The parents visiting for Christmas, a visit to Brian’s family up in Sacramento, new year’s eve with friends on their boat. I hope it’s nice, quiet, and relaxed.

Therapy Vs. Weblog

Let’s see… in therapy you pay someone to listen to your problems and succcesses (and the obligatory stories about your mother). In return, they are supposed to listen and be non-judgemental and give you honest advice and at the end of each session, they take a nice hefty chunk of your cash.

In a weblog… you don’t have to pay anyone to listen to your problems. They read for free! And they always have their obligatory stories about their families of origin to share… and then you can compare.

I mean, when is the last time your therapist said, “Ok, your childhood sounds pretty dysfunctional, but let me tell you about this Christmas at my house when my Uncle Sam got shitfaced, slept with my father, and then caught my mother making out under the mistletoe with her sweet young cousin, Charlene.” There just doesn’t seem to be that give and take in therapy.

And as for honest… what can be more honest than the insights of strangers who know nothing about your baggage?

So far, no one has demanded payment for reading my rants. So far, so good.

But most of all, I can rant (um, I mean, write) anytime on a weblog. No need to save up all my angst for Thursday’s at 1pm. Feeling angry at 2am on a Saturday? Get it out! Joyed, thrilled, elated at 1pm on a Monday? Share it with us!

and on an entirely different note…
Yesterday I spent all day baking. Baking breads. Making fudge. Making peanut brittle. Plus I made chicken soup from scratch because Brian wasn’t feeling at all well, and I felt kind of bad about our little wake-up spat. (Brian: I want to go the emergency room. Matt: Your throat hurts, you aren’t going to the emergency room, take some Nyquil.)

Baking and cooking are like a totally different kind of release. You have all of these raw, random ingredients that by themselves aren’t that interesting. But you toss em together, cook em up, and voila, you have something totally different and amazing that tastes way better than the stuff at the store.

And, it’s my little statement against rampant materialism at Christmas. Hey – that doesn’t mean I don’t love to tear open those boxes from the BR, but I’m just a cheap bastard this year!