Category Archives: Dreams

I guess I’m REALLY feeling older…

Al Thomas

Last night was Al Thomas’ Birthday Party over at the Folly, the wonderful timber frame performance area he built some years ago on Bradley Sanders’ property, surrounded by talking areas and wood benches and what’s left of Al’s giant trebuchet (which he says he’s going to put back together one of these days.)

Al turned 60 this week, which makes him 5 years younger than me and a person with so much more energy and personality, able to carry on discussions with anyone and loved by everyone, that I am totally jealous.

Elly and Bud were also at the party with me ( Bud stayed there till 1:00 AM… 1:00 AM!… when his mother picked him up and the party was still going on.) We got there around quarter past five and after 2 1/2 hours I was exhausted, so I talked Elly into going home (she was going to a 10PM showing of “Paris Texas” at the Opera House with her friend Joan anyway), where I went to bed (I had been up since 4:30 in the morning and could barely keep awake.

The music was great, the food was terrific and beer and wine flowed freely. By the time I left there were easily 100 people there… from folks my age and older to the youngest of children running around and speeding through crowds on bikes… and Elly said when she picked up Bud cars will still arriving as others were leaving. How folks close to my age can keep going so far into the night is more than I can understand.

My son says I’m not “social” and that’s probably true (Elly agrees), but I think part of it is that I can never think of things to talk about unless someone else and I are involved in the same project, and I can’t remember most names… even of people I’ve met only a day or so ago. I am so embarrassed about my inability to remember names and how it makes it hard for me to introduce people to my wife and son or others, that I avoid doing it… or I do “one way” introductions, hoping the person whose name I can’t remember coughs it up when saying “nice to meet you.”

As I get older, I’m losing my memory of other things, too… events, movies I’ve seen, etc. … and my energy level is dropping like a bag of stones from a bridge. I’m having more and more trouble losing weight as I get more and more sedentary. I only sleep in 90 minute chunks, so I’m up and down all night. If it were not for this blog, my podcast, and co-hosting for John Case on the Friday morning radio show, I would probably be in a coma.

I can’t figure out who I am at this point in life. Perhaps working on the Carnival project for August at the Folly will help me see who I am (and someday I’d like to direct some theatre again… there are so many pieces I want to do and no one, so far, interested in having me do them.

At least it is Sunday and I can nap the afternoon away.

Anyhow… Happy Birthday, Al. You are one of the people whose names I CAN remember and who I really enjoy talking with.

Stephen Colbert Addresses Northwestern

American comedian and television show host Ste...

Stephen Colbert

Today was the 153d Commencement at my Alma Mater (class of 1968), Northwestern University. Stephen Colbert, of all people (NU class of 1986), was the Commencement Speaker.

Go HERE and listen to his very funny address.

…and congratulations to graduates everywhere.



James Joyce by Brian Whelan

James Joyce by Brian Whelan

… and celebrated on June 16 by those who remember and reread the greatest (to some) of Joyce’s novels, Ulysses, and Leopold Bloom‘s excursion around the Dublin of 1904. Oh the sites visited that day, from #7 Eccles Street to the Byrne Pub to Martello tower… and then culminating in the brothels of Nighttown… and the thoughts and actions of all (the thoughts of Molly Bloom outstanding in the pile) on that June day so long ago.

The first celebration, indeed the invention, of Bloomsday was a pubcrawl in 1954 in Dublin with writers and poets assuming the identities of Joyce’s characters. It is now an event around the world and especially in the locales that Joyce lived and wrote…Trieste, Genoa… and farther places like Seattle and New York, Australia and South America, Budapest and beyond. Those may start with Buck Mulligan shaving in the tower, or the funeral procession that Bloom begins to Poor Paddy Dignam‘s wake… most end in a pint or two (or many more) of Guinness.

And now, we  remember Joyce and participate in oral readings of Ulysses and  share frivolity with those worldwide who got out of bed, or those who combed their bookshelves, or those who forgot …

A quote for this morning… from my favorite Atheist Commentator

Ken Ham is currently hawking his new book, Already Compromised, in which he whines about the way universities — even many bible colleges — don’t take the Old Testament absolutely literally. This leads, of course, to students actually examining evidence and arguments outside the Bible, which inevitably leads to…atheism.”

– P J Myers in Pharyngula

Here’s one of Ken Ham’s dribblets:

In Genesis 6:19-20, the Bible says that two of every sort of land vertebrate (seven of the “clean” animals) were brought by God to the Ark. Therefore, dinosaurs (land vertebrates) were represented on the Ark.

Gee… where did they go?

… and a quote for the evening from Stephen Hawking:

“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

It is a strong statement, and one I agree with.

I haven’t directed any theatre pieces since February of 2009…

… and I’m starting to get very depressed about it. I’m worried that I’ll lose my perspective and be unable to pull off the kinds of productions that I’ve done for  close to 45 years.

I offered ideas to two different community theatres last fall, but neither responded with an opportunity. Maybe it’s me… I wish I knew, then I could fix it.

I have a list an arm long of shows I want to direct before I give up the ghost:

The Fantasticks, Occupant (Edward Albee), I Can Get It For You Wholesale (a musical that is never done anymore), my friend Charlie Leipart’s musical Thorstein Veblen‘s Theory of the Leisure Class (I’ve wanted to do this one for years and I’ve kept in touch with Charlie Hoping it will come off someday. It was done last year in California under a new title. A while ago, while I was living in Laurel, Md., I came very close to doing it), Ionesco‘s Rhinoceros (another one of my old favorites and one that you don’t see much.)

That’s only some of them.

Anybody in the Eastern Panhandle region looking for a well-reviewed and experienced director?

And now a quote for the end of the day… probably the end of the World.

Politicus has given us a message from Pat Robertson today:

Bless You All

And I believe that the anointing of the Lord has been here to fulfill the desire of those early settlers, to take the gospel from America throughout the world, and that’s what we’ve been here to do. But let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, it doesn’t take a great scholar to tell you the United States has lost its moorings.

When you think that courts have denied children the right to pray in schools, that there’s a vendetta against religious belief, that now homosexuality has been made a constitutional right, that abortion has been made a constitutional right, the courts and judges have trampled on the early origins of our nation, they have distorted the meaning of the First Amendment. It’s all been done, and we’ve let it happen.

But I was reading today about a place called Sodom and Gomorrah, and a man named Abraham stood before God, and he says, “God, there’re righteous people in that city, would you kill them along with the wicked, must not the judge of all the earth do right?” And God finally promised, “If I can find ten righteous in that city, I will spare it,” just ten. Well the time came he could only find six, so they destroyed Sodom and Gomorra. But there’re many righteous here in America, and we need to band together and pray that God Almighty will spare this great land and reestablish in our hearts the vision of the pioneers.

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments t...

Constitution and first 10 Amendments. Not a word here that Pat Robertson Claims.

So what is the real meaning of the 1st Amendment? I always thought it was Freedom of Speech… so I guess we have to let Robertson say whatever he wants. I just don’t think he’s learned the same American History as the rest of us.

Then again, this is the same Pat Robertson who blamed the 2010 Haitian Earthquake on those Islanders having a pact with the Devil.

And a Last Quote for the Evening…

The Donald

“I pray that man runs for President.”

– Jon Stewart

I do, too.

Western Spaghetti

It’s been a long time since I showed one of the great animations by PES. This is one of my favorites:

I needed this… the government is making me depressed and this lets me know that the real world is in our minds.

I’m Packaging 300 of my Web Poppers which I will make available next week…

Several of my readers have asked me where I get the little 72 x 72 pixel images I put in some of my posts…especially the ones I use to describe events in my own life. I call these little guys Web Poppers and they are all quality JPEG images that are easily placed onto blog posts (in WordPress I just use the “add an image” button at Upload/Insert).

For 25 years I have been developing picture fonts (many of you have purchased one or more of the monthly promotions over in the next column that I use to fund this blog) and have built up thousands of images over the years. Some are abstract decorations, some are food oriented, many are people doing activities…and more. As I have perfected some of these and converted them to small JPEGs, I have been finding all kinds of ways to use them (such as I am doing on this post.)

Next week I will be releasing a CD with 300 of the best of these images, the ones I use the most, which I will be selling for $39.95, which includes shipping and sales tax. There are no limitations on how you may use them… I would hope, however, that you don’t sell them to someone else, but send them your friends to me. The funds I receive from this offer will help keep Under The LobsterScope going into the future.

Look for the release ad next week.

– Bill

Do you know who is responsible for the Japan Earthquake and Sunami? Apparently it’s God.

This young woman’s prayer group seems to have prayed for God to show atheists their evil ways and He started with shaking up Japan:

How do people even conceive of this rot?

Getting ready for an eight hour EEG…

The neurologist has scheduled me to come in Sunday morning to take the 8-hour EEG to see if they can find out if there is anything unexpected that caused my seizure last week. I’ve felt like another one is coming ever since it happened…at least I haven’t felt quite right. If this is me getting to the end of my game I’d at least like to know it…know what’s causing it.

Eight hours! that seems like an awfully long time. Plus, I’m supposed to be sleep deprived before I take it (which, given the way I don’t sleep anyway shouldn’t be a problem.) Of course, the seizure could have been caused by extremely low blood sugar which, with my diabetic condition, can happen.

I’ve just got to make it a little longer than three more months to reach age 65, something my father never did. That’s my short-term goal. Not sure what I’m going to do after that. Full Circle Theater announced it’s 2012 season and there’s nothing there for me to direct. I’d like to direct something somewhere while I still have my creativity intact. I’ve still got the radio show on Friday mornings. And I’m working seriously on starting my podcast(s)…that I can do from home. Other than that there’s not much left in my bag.

8 Hours! Whew!

Look at it as an Adventure…

I’m not supposed to drive… I’ve had still more medications added to the mountain of pills and ocean of shots that I take already…I have this weird feeling all day that I can’t explain that another seizure is coming…and I can’t seem to develop any kind of regular sleeping schedule. I guess I have to look on life right now as an Adventure.

If I thought forty two years ago when I left Northwestern with my MA and set off into the world to start what became one of at least 10 careers that I would be here in West Virginia like this in 2011 with no sense of where I’m going (except down), I might have reconsidered the whole thing and just stayed in Chicago and pursued the Scenic Artists exam there where I was a ringer. It might not have been a better start, but it probably would have been much easier.

But I’m stuck here with what I have and will try to make something out of it. Looking into Podcasting as a regular thing is becoming very attractive.

What? I’m not a Gemini any more?

Gemini Symbol

Gemini... the Twins

I was born on May 24 and for the entirety of my near 65 years on this Earth I have known that my Zodiacal Sign was Gemini (The Twins.) Now the Minnesota Planetarium Society’s Parke Kunkle claims that, due to a celestial accident in the Zodiac Chart made possible by millenia of small shifts in the planets annual Solar Rotation, the signs we all cast our futures by must be changed.

The new list:

Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16.
Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11.
Pisces: March 11-April 18.
Aries: April 18-May 13.
Taurus: May 13-June 21.
Gemini: June 21-July 20.
Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10.
Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16.
Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30.
Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 23.
Scorpio: Nov. 23-29.
Ophiuchus*: Nov. 29-Dec. 17.
Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20.

(* Discarded by the Babylonians because they wanted 12 signs per year.)

So I am now a Taurus?


What if I want to remain a Gemini (think of all the symbolic tie clips and cufflinks that need to be changed worldwide… not to mention the framed fabric creation my late Grandmother made that hangs on my wall.) At least my wife gets to remain a Sagittarius (her fabric creation by my Grandmother can survive intact.)

And who the hell is Ophiuchus (the Serpent Bearer)?

Anne Francis is Dead at 80

Actress Anne Francis passed away today at the age of 80 due to complications of pancreatic cancer. Francis, of Ossining, New York, passed away at a retirement home in Santa Barbra, California, where she had resided for several years.

Just this past week I had been watching a Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy channel… and one of the best pieces was one starring Anne Francis. She had done over 30 motion pictures … probably best remembered for acting in the 1956 classic science fiction film ‘Forbidden Planet.’ She was also a Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee for her role as a female detective in the 60’s TV seriesHoney West.’

She had been fighting cancer since 2007. She left her last official message on her web page in 2009:

“Dear Friends, Due to health issues, I’m unable to process my fan mail in a timely manner. For this reason, I am temporarily disabling the collectibles page. For those of you who’ve previously sent me fan mail and autograph requests, I’ll try to process them when I am able to do so. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Sincerely, Anne.”

And for New Year’s Eve, some Bob and Ray:

Happy New Year from Under The LobsterScope.

6:30 AM and I Woke Up in the Middle of a Nightmare…

It was one of those dreams that is too real and that I had trouble shaking off when I woke up.

I was getting ready to go to my appointment with Dr. Kahn (which I actually do have this morning at 9:00) and I got involved in some discussion with a lot of people in my house… a great big house somewhere… not our small townhouse in Shepherdstown) and then I left to go to the appointment. But I forgot my coat, so I had to go back in the house and go through room after room to find it, which I finally did on a bedroom…not MY bedroom…floor. So I left again and got almost to where I was going and remembered that I had forgotten to take my meds, in this case my diabetes pills (for some reason I didn’t even think of the insulin shots), so I went all the way back to the house.

But I couldn’t find them. I went through room after room, looked into drawers, looked on top of cabinets, asked everyone if they had seen them. No one had. I started to go absolutely crazy. Without the pills my blood sugar would rise astronomically and then I would die. As I looked all over this house, which was full of people who I wasn’t recognizing, although they were all people from my past, my old friend Harold Kepnes was coming up the stairs and joking at me. I was so upset… I couldn’t take a joke and called Harold some awful names and he started to leave. Then I realized I had hurt the feelings of a friend and chased after him and got him to help me look for the pills.

Meanwhile, my mouth was drying out and I was starting to be incomprehensible… I remember running into Harold’s mother and pushing her out of the way so I could search for the pills… and I was getting hysterical.

Then my dog, Nestle, started licking me, and I was in my reclining chair and Morning Joe was on television and, somewhere between sleeping and waking, I realized I was in my real living room and had been dreaming. It took me a couple of minutes to shake off the dream and meanwhile our other dog, Byron, came downstairs and, of course, both dogs wanted to eat and I looked at my cell phone at my side to see the time… 6:30. I had been sleeping in my chair ( I came downstairs at around 4:00 AM when I couldn’t sleep in bed and settled into a CSpan replay of a Climate Change conference in the House of Representatives, when I must have fallen asleep and started dreaming.)

I fed the dogs and then took my morning blood reading… 265!… much much too high. And now, fully awake, I realized it must have been the high blood sugar that was giving me a warning nightmare.

Now, after pills and Insulin, I’m having a cup of coffee and waiting for my blood sugar to go down so I can go to my appointment at the Doctor’s.

I don’t want to go through this one again. Oh, and sorry Harold. Didn’t mean to get you involved.