short, sweet, and a little creepy
The perfect newsletter, my friends!
So here’s a little late-creepy-season story for you. It has a heartwarming component, but it is, make no mistake, pretty creepy.
A couple weeks ago, I was fast asleep and enjoying a dream about Mary Poppins characters flying in formation around my patio.
Then I start to hear Grant saying, “Hey, Angela, wake up, wake up, I have something so funny to tell you.”
So I begin to pull myself out of my dream state and into waking life. This is a real thing that I do and have lifelong practice at doing that because I occasionally get sleep paralysis, and I always need to will myself to wake myself up so I can move again.
Once I’m awake, I say, out loud to our silent bedroom, “Okay, what is it?”
Grant, next to me, immediately starts mumbling in response. I catch the words “bowling ball” and “song” and “funny.”
I am more awake now. I say, “Wait, what? What are you telling me?”
There’s a bit of a pause. I can tell Grant is confused.
What? What’s happening?
You wanted to tell me something funny?
You just said something about a bowling ball and a song?
Um, I’m not sure why I was telling you that. I think I was dreaming, sorry. It seemed really funny for some reason.
But now I’m confused. He woke me up!
OR DID HE?!
Slowly, we piece together that what has happened, in real life, is that:
Grant had a funny dream about a singing bowling ball (or a funny song about a bowling ball)
SIMULTANEOUSLY, I had a dream wherein Grant was in bed next to me saying, “Hey wake up, I have something funny to tell you.”
Soooo not for nothing y’all but PSYCHIC DREAM LINK. ASTRAL PLANE SOUL JOURNEY HIGH-FIVE!
n.b. Grant decidedly doesn’t believe in that sort of thing, whereas I’m more in the “there are infinitely many things about the world that I do not understand, such as mirror neurons and Below Deck” camp, but we both had to admit it was a very weird way to wake up.
AND NOW FOR A BONKERS PICTURE OF A RAINBOW FROM YESTERDAY
I was driving home yesterday and clocked that there was a lot of super pretty light breaking through from one solitary point in the clouds, after a long period, several days at least, of rain upon rain upon rain. I got home and saw this dramatic situation starting to unfold outside our windows, and without shedding my coat or even my purse, I ran outside to start cooing over it and filming what cannot really be filmed.
As you can tell, this perfect rainbow was too big for me to capture in one frame, but it was your classic, unbelievable double-rainbow-all-the-way-across-all-the-WAY situation. (That happy video is REALLY worth a revisit if you haven’t watched it lately, btw. And for more on how the internet used to be a lot more awesome when we all simultaneously obsessed over the same weird things, there’s this.)
For those of you who don’t live in Vancouver and didn’t see this in real life, just remember that at least your towns probably occasionally get doses of sunlight in winter! And for those who do live in Vancouver, it’s worth remembering: Our payoff for putting up with the endless rain is that sometimes the rain breaks and it randomly does THIS.
What’s that? You won’t believe me unless you get to see the left half of the rainbow? Tsk. All right. For the sake of journalistic integrity, then:
Shared pictures of the rainbows on one of my WhatsApp groups today have led to Vancouver-Narnia comparisons, which has allowed me to unsheath my deeply felt and previously uncharted opinion that the only true villain in the Narnia series is that creepy, child-hating sex predator, Uncle Andrew. Everyone else was just a victim of their traumatic circumstances, but Uncle Andrew was a redemptionless goon. I have a lot of strong feelings about this, apparently, particularly for someone who has never voiced an opinion about Narnia villains before. Anyway, WHOMST WILL FIGHT ME AND MY EXTREMELY CORRECT OPINION ABOUT THE 71-YEAR-OLD FANTASY SERIES
PEOPLE: THEY’RE DIFFERENT!
Are we noticing that the people in our lives whom we’re beginning to reconnect with for the first time since March 2020 all seem a little different than we remember? This is a strange byproduct of this time. None of our Selves are ever frozen in amber, obviously, but we often see each other more often and change alongside each other, in tandem, like seaweed.
(N.B. I do not know anything about seaweed, it was just the first thing I thought of when I tried to think of an organism out there that probably faultlessly coregulates with others of its phyllum anyway included on my 2021 bucket list is decidedly not “become more of an expert on free-floating marine plants,” so I’m just going to leave this metaphor recklessly in place and trust that if anyone tries to correct me on my “all of humanity is kelp” impulse, I can probably outrun them or at the very least redirect them toward extremely cute photos of my dog.)
I can feel my own Self to have radically altered since the start of the pandemic, and I can assume everyone else has been on a similar journey of introversion and reinvention, but this shows up most obviously when I reconnect with acquaintances.
And what I’m noticing is a general seriousness. Almost an awkwardness. This is across the board, across many different personality types, genders, ages, dispositions. But if I dig, I don’t think it is really awkwardness. I think there is simply less flippancy. There’s a universal disinclination to showboat or waste time, and consequently, there are more pauses where we might have previously rushed in to fill conversational gaps up with nonsense. So there is less frou-frou, less fluff, less chipper cheeriness. Is this uncomfortable? Because there is also a quietude, and a reticence, and a thoughtfulness. It is neither all bad nor all good.
And who knows. This might have more to do with a wavelength shift inside me and the kinds of frequencies I’m tuning into now, or it might really be a more general sea change. (THANK YOU, THE SEA CHANGE PUN WAS NOT INTENTIONAL BUT I AM GLAD I’M STICKING WITH MY IDEA ABOUT COMPARING HUMANITY TO SEAWEED, THANK YOU AGAIN.)
I’d be curious to know your experiences. To me, it feels like the trauma of the time, the marks it’s left on all of us, are just beginning to show themselves now, for worse, yes, but maybe also for better.
LINKS FOR YOUR LIFE
WHO DID THIS. (okay it’s the person who owns that YouTube account, but still: WHO DID THIS)
Here’s a very good thing about Paul Simon, greatest living songwriter. (hat tip to Nat)
Find your chronotype and learn when to do shit in your day.
I 100,000% loved learning about the Harriets of the world. (hat tip to Allison)
A follow up on the Bad Art Friend. (Hat tip to Kate)
The Indicator Light from Jeff Warren at Calm is one of the best meditations I’ve ever listened to.
A true 2021 story if ever I saw one: The Crypto-Trading Hamster, Mr. Goxx.
For my fellow Bake-Off fans, here’s an old Tumblr account featuring Mary Berry biting into things.
A gorgeous map of major world languages (hat tip to Amandine)
On burnout, something many of us are probably struggling with, this epic line: Limitless choice debilitates far more than it liberates.
If you enjoy magical ephemera, you should check out this Ricky Jay story on his massive collection, which is, visually, very yummy. It’s no double rainbow, but it’s close.
I was reminded this morning during one of my entrepreneurship mentoring sessions of Juicero, the hilarious startup from back in 2017 that raised a bunch of money for a machine that squeezed bags of juice into a glass more slowly than you could if you cut the back open and squeezed them with your own hands. Juicero was basically the Fyre Festival of smoothie making. I found this article, which makes the point that some tech innovations are just foxy, slick rebrands of things women have already invented, like Soylent vs. Slim Fast. Back in the late 90s, when I was a baby vegetarian waiting tables at a mall-based casual eatery called Ruby Tuesday, I used to subsist almost entirely on Slim Fast and spinach artichoke dip. Shout out to Slim Fast for keeping me going through all those double shifts and late nights.
re. Juicero, I surprised myself by watching this entire 40-minute physical teardown of a Juicero machine by an engineer who seems to know EVERYTHING about manufacturing. (Surprising since I know almost nothing about that stuff.) Long story short, it was absurdly over-engineered, as though they were trying to make the thing as expensive as possible. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Cp-BGQfpHQ
Also I used to sneak my mom's Slim Fast shakes. They were CHOCOLATE SHAKES, of course I did!