Good morning and greetings, row, row, row your boats fans. I don’t know about you, but I’m a wild dreamer. Now it’s perfectly understandable to dream about former classmates from high school. Then again, when you’re forty years removed from those wonder years and still dreaming about the lovely Denise Cinquino, you have to wonder what’s going on in the mind during the midnight hour. Thanks to Gary Wright, I never know what’s going to happen when I close my eyes and climb aboard that Dream Weaver train.
Over the years during my dream hours, I’ve partied with celebrities a plenty. David Letterman, Jim Carrey, Mel Brooks, Howard Stern, Charo-I’ve spent quality sleep time with all of these people over the last few decades. These dreams are very enjoyable, as compared to my reoccurring nightmares of not being able to find my car, not being able to see clearly where I’m driving, or NOT HAVING GONE TO CLASS SO THAT I’M NOT PREPARED TO TAKE THE EXAM.
If I’ve had this dream once, I’ve had it fifty times. It’s exam time, I haven’t been attending, and now I have to face the music. I love waking up to that feeling There are reasons why I dream this dream, but delving deeper into this issue would force me to confront things that not even Dr. Livingston would want to explore. It’s unresolved city.
Just last night, I had a wild and wacky dream, like when Seinfeld dreamt that the hamburger was eating him. I was being asked to take over as ruler of a small African country (seriously) because of the crops I raised. Unbelievable! What’s happening is that consciously, my life is fairly routine, but once I close my eyes my subconscious is having a party. I’m just lucky to be on the guest list.
So what is it about dreams? Here’s the story. In the first hour and a half after hitting the pillow, we’re go through deepening stages, going from light sleep to deep sleep, the kind I got during upper level math classes. When we enter REM or rapid eye movement sleep, your breathing, heart rate and shirt size becomes irregular. It is your deepest sleep. Your eyes move quickly and your brain activity rises towards the same level as when you’re awake, unless you’re a member of the Tea Party, and then there is no brain activity at all, day or night.
This is when our dreams are most vivid, when we go on these subconscious adventures that in many cases could never be scripted. We try to take away the worries of today and leave our troubles behind. In my case, that’s only the beginning. We go through this sleep cycle three to five times a night. I never worry when my head hits the pillow, because I know the Dream Weaver will help me reach the morning light.
Now here’s something that my Thai boxing instructor finds fascinating. During REM sleep, the rest of the body becomes paralyzed, like when I was reciting my wedding vows. According to Dr. William Kohler, the medical director of the Florida Sleep Institute, this is ”nature’s way of making sure you don’t act out your dreams, whether it’s repeatedly kicking your spouse or jumping off the bed and hurting yourself.” It’s nature’s way of telling you something’s wrong when if you’re about to swan dive off the bed at 2 am.”
Four out of five researchers that chew sugarless gum estimate that most people have more than 100,000 dreams in a lifetime. In an eight hour stretch, we spend two hours dreaming, while I spend the other six trying to locate my car keys. Dreams are a way of cleansing the mind, a kind of draino of the braino. We dream in order for a specific part of the brain, the medula fun zone, to sort through memories and events, trying to figure out which ones to keep and which ones to let go. In my case, I keep a rolodex of high school memories on active alert. Just ask Denise.
So why is it that we have wild and crazy dreams that come right out of a Fellini movie or Hayley Mills in “The Parent Trap?” It’s because, according to Dr. Kohler, “when we’re sleeping, the controls of our conscious mind are turned off.” So that explains me and Eleanor Roosevelt. As the brain sorts through different experiences and memories, it puts them together in strange and interesting ways. Thus my night with the Pointer Sisters.
Now I’ve saved the best for last. No, I’m not talking about those wonderful dream moments where I’m falling, being chased, about to be robbed or worse yet, forced to watch reality TV. No, I’m referring to appearing naked in my dreams. This is reoccurring dream 102. I’m somewhere, either at a poetry class, bowling alley, or my parent’s wedding and I’m buck naked, just wearing a smile.
Dream researchers say this is a very common theme, as nudity can symbolize a variety of things, including feelings of vulnerability, being caught off guard, or just flying free and not wearing any pants. Actually, in my naked dreams, no one else seems to notice. I certainly don’t mind the guys not taking a look but I’m a little hurt that the women aren’t glancing over to sneak a peek.
So for our final summer island photo adventure, we once again journey to the Garden Isle of Kauai. We start out with the sun making a morning appearance on the horizon in Poipu Beach, before heading to the north shore and the tarot fields, with the backdrop of the mountains above Hanalei. Next we view an island bird before checking out this green sea turtle, who hung out with his buddies all day in cove right off shore and loved the second season of “Louie” on FX. Photo credit for shot number two goes to my brother Brad, who still claims he saw a Miami Dolphin while snorkeling on the north coast.
We then take a look at a sampling of shells I collected at the absolutely gorgeous Tunnels Beach. We finish up with something special, a rarely photographed yours truly with his lovely daughter Aimee at the St. Regis Princeville Resort, which overlooks beautiful Hanalei Bay. As you can see from this photo, that is one dynamite view from the patio and not a bad shot of my blonde teen angel.
On to the late night. “President Obama described himself as an eternal optimist. He then explained that he’s the kind of person that sees the country as ‘half employed.’ Tim Pawlenty endorsed Mitt Romney, calling him a ‘bedrock conservative.’ When he heard this, John McCain said, ‘I grew up in Bedrock, and I don’t remember seeing him.’ “Rick Perry said he understands healthcare because his wife is a nurse. He also says he understands terrorism because he watched all the seasons of ’24.’ In high school, voted most likely to execute 200 people.” –Conan O’Brien
“President Obama said ‘No single individual built America on their own.’ When she heard that, Sarah Palin was like, ‘Hello? Paul Bunyan?’ “House Speaker John Boehner said that President Obama’s jobs plan merits consideration. Then he was like, ‘In fact, I’ll do it right now. OK, I hate it.’ “The government is about to release a report on what went wrong during the BP oil spill. Or as fish put it, ‘Hey, no rush.’” –Jimmy Fallon
“The candidates at the Republican debate looked like a board of directors that was lying about poisoning a river. “I tried to TiVo the debate and my TiVo fell asleep.” –David Letterman “Rick Perry and Mitt Romney squared off at the Republican debate. The only thing they agreed on was ‘shampoo, rinse, and repeat.’” –Jay Leno “Tonight was President Obama’s jobs speech and the NFL season opener. Which explains why Biden got confused and dumped Gatorade on President Obama.” –Jimmy Fallon
“The virus in the movie ‘Contagion’ is based on the bird flu which came out of nowhere back in 2008. Everyone thought it was going to change the way we live and it just faded away. Wait a minute, I’m talking about President Obama.” –Craig Ferguson President Obama wants to get Americans back to what we do best. He wants teachers teaching, police policing, firemen fighting fires, and the rest of us checking Facebook. Taco Bell is product testing a new taco with a shell made of a giant Dorito. Michelle Obama spent the morning watering the White House garden with her tears.” –Jimmy Kimmel
So that’s our final blast for the summer of 2011. Take a moment to feel grateful for all you have, because lots of folks out there are suffering. We’ll catch you breaking bats with a cut fastball. Aloha, mahalo and later, Mariano Rivera fans.