Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Circle of Words with Friends

No, this is not a post about Words with Friends. I was just trying to think of a clever headline.

In fact, Words with Friends is a sensitive subject for me. My friend Kajone, our web developer at work, kicked my ass multiple times in Words with Friends. And he was as nice as he could be about it. He's like, "Becky you've really got to watch those triple word spots." I'm like, "Kajone, I really can't talk to you about this." 

Because I'm supposed to be the expert in Words. And you're 26.

Once again, I woke up this morning from a series of vivid dreams. I had a very weird dream that an old guy friend from high school was married to a man (he's not), who sort of had the head of my friend Sylvie's Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Nina. It was weird. So I decided to do my homework for a new project I'm starting thanks to another friend from high school.

I'm really excited about this project because it's about writing, something near and dear to my heart. I was reading all the background materials and one of the pieces was an article about Salman Khan who founded the Khan Academy. I think I first heard about Khan Academy from my dad who encouraged me to show the tool to my son as a way to understand concepts in math. It's a pretty amazing story and very inspiring for me. I sat there reading and thought, "Hey I'm finally going to learn something about physics using Khan Academy." 

Then I read that Khan grew up in Metarie, Louisiana outside of New Orleans. Because I went to Tulane in New Orleans, I'm familiar with Metairie and some of the other surrounding cities like Houma, Algiers and Slidell. I mispronounced all of them when I first arrived in New Orleans, but you learn their ways over time. Like Houma is pronounced Ho-ma, not Hu-ma. 

Then I was thinking about another old friend who gave me a copy of Lucinda Williams' album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. One of the songs on that album that she wrote is called Joy. In my humble opinion, this is genius: 

I don't want you anymore
Cause you took my joy
I don't want you anymore
You took my joy

I'm gonna go to Slidell and look for my joy
Go to Slidell and look for my joy
Maybe in Slidell I'll find my joy
Maybe in Slidell I'll find my joy


The contrast of finding joy in small town Slidell, Louisiana strikes me as pretty cool and a sly turn of phrase. Keep writing Lucinda. Keep writing.

This blog is thanks to many friends who keep me thinking, keep me writing and keep kicking my butt in Words with Friends.

NB: Okay this is weird but while researching images for this blog, I realized the Words with Friends logo appears to include a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Check it out.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I Dream Of Dali

Almost every night, I have these vivid, weird dreams that I feel no one else can understand. For example, last night I dreamt Daisy was a puppy again, and she was trying to catch a baby turtle. But I was trying to stop her from catching the baby turtle because it was a baby, and because I thought it would just generally be a bad idea for a dog to eat a turtle.

And then I saw Hashim who is one of the boys from Kolfe Orphanage in Ethiopia. He's the boy who came to stay with us I think two summers ago. My mom would remember. He was grown up and looked stronger and healthier. He also seemed happy, which for a kid like Hashim was something big. The first time I saw Hashim smile was when Daisy the dog jumped up on his bed to wake him. Also when he learned to ride a bike. He smiled then.

There was one other time he smiled. I was taking him to meet Mary Beth, co-founder of Operation Hearts and Home, and the woman who organized the trip for the kids from Addis. We agreed to meet at the SUNY Purchase campus in Westchester. While we were waiting for Mary to arrive, I took Hashim into the student center. There was this super fancy Coke vending machine with a robotic arm that flew around locating your drink selection and dispensing it. He actually laughed out loud.

Maybe I have such strange dreams because my mind tends to wander, even in the daytime, as evidenced by the total tangent I just took on Hashim. 

My mom sent me an article last week about dreaming. It was written by Gina Barreca, a columnist for the Hartford Courant in nearby Hartford, CT, though my mom lives and reads her paper in Savannah, GA. I thought this bit was brilliant:

Men don't want to hear about dreams. When somebody says, "I was playing Barbies with Madeleine Albright and we were either in a circus or a brothel when suddenly I started to cut my hair with manicure scissors and Albright says, 'Shouldn't a priest read you your rights before he hears your confession?' which is what she always says in the dream but this time I answered, 'These are not my walls, but my paintings are on them,'" the natural question is, "What do you think it means?" And a lot of men don't like to analyze things.
Read more here:

Read more here:

It just occurred to me what my dream might mean. I've been thinking of a book about Daisy for over a year now and done almost nothing. The turtle is symbolic of the slow traveler. Maybe Daisy was trying to eat the turtle in me. Because Daisy never dawdles. She goes for what she wants. Like socks. She really loves to destroy socks.