I think I know what Karl Jung would say.

I sleep a lot and I dream a lot.  The other day I got my second Shingles shot, and this time I had a reaction.  Not only was my arm really sore, I developed a low grade temperature. I was toally wiped out. As usual, though, I didn’t fall asleep until 2:30 am.  And I had one of those dreams from which I just don’t want to wake up.  This is how it went:

I am at some some sort of State Fair kind of place, and it’s time for me to go home. As I leave, I pick up a small bunch of flowers and stick them in my pants pocket. My pants have lots of pockets. I plan to give the flowers to the man I recently met. My other pockets have money in them, both coins and paper.

I have to get on a bus to get back home. Crowds are crowding into the waiting buses, but I am having a hard time finding the bus I am supposed to get on. I am looking for a bus that will take me to Albany NY, where I used to live. I keep asking people what bus I should get on and I keep getting different answers. I finally get on a bus that is very crowded. I keep asking if this is the bus I should be on and saying where I want to go. Everyone seems to be planning to get off at different places. It is hot and crowded and noisy. I feel I am not being helped because I am an old lady. So I start doing a Mrs. Maisel act – shouting funny things at various people and using “fuck” a lot, like Mrs. Maisel. People start paying attention to me and laughing and relaxing. At the same time, I keep trying to call my ex-husband to tell him I will be late, but my phone isn’t working. So I ask if there’s anyone who can help me figure out what I did to screw up my phone. A black “homie” guy says he can help me, so I give him my phone. It becomes obvious that he is not going to do anything or give it back. So I kiss him on the lips and lick his cheek, and his other homies laugh and tell him to give me back my phone, so he does.

As I do my schtick, I say I am 85 five years old and make a big deal out of it because I don’t look that old. One girl on the bus asks if she could see my driver’s license, so I give it to her and she lets everyone know that I am only 82 years old. She says she is a college reporter and she would like to do a story on me after we all get home. I say OK.

Little by little people keep leaving the bus, until there are only a few of us left who will be going in my direction. We get off the bus at a road that has appeared in my dreams before. I realize that I have to cross that road to catch the bus going the other way. I also realize that the flowers I had stuffed into my pocket were all dried up and crumbing, so I throw them away.

Finally the bus comes and some of us get on. When I go to pay the $1 fair, I keep trying to fish out the quarters I have in my pocket, and at the same time, the paper money keeps falling out. The guy behind me helps me fish out the quarters and hands me the money that had fallen out. As the bus continues on, I see a roadside store that I had been to in another of my dreams. The landscapes I am seeing go by are ones familiar to me from past dreams.

Then I am at my apartment and I am excited because I am about to see the man I got the flowers for. My deceased cat, Calli, is waiting for me but she has become feral, and won’t go inside. So I put cat food and water out for her outside the patio door. The man lives in an apartment across a park from mine, so I go to him.

We kiss and he holds me and I feel wonderful. He laughs when I tell him about my adventure.

Each time I get up, I return to the dream. There were more interactions with others on the bus, but can’t remember the specifics. I wake up hot and sweaty because I had turned the heat on at one point when I got up to go to the bathroom. I have been in bed for 12 hours, from 2:30 am to 2:30 pm.  I could have gone back to my sleeping and dreaming, but I figured 12 hours in bed was more than enough.  Maybe I can find my way back there  tonight.


Dear Diary: Bring Back the Yippies

In 1967, I was married and had a five year old. While others were in Washington protesting the Vietnam War, the most I could do was make a peace banner and hang if off a branch on the tree half-way up our driveway.

The Yippies, officially

What I would have love to have done is political street theater, like the Yippies, who became famous when they banded together in the mid-sixties to “Stick it to the Man”. At the 1968 DNC convention they organized an absurdist counter-convention — including nominating a pig for president. They named themselves the Youth International Party to give themselves a sense of legitimacy.

Their colorful protest methods were tailor made for the television cameras .For example, once they poured into the vast main concourse of Manhattan’s Grand Central Station 3,000 strong, wearing their customary capes, gowns, feathers and beads. They tossed hot cross buns and firecrackers, and floated balloons up toward the celestial blue ceiling. They hummed the cosmic “Ommm,” snake-danced to the tune of Have a Marijuana, and proudly unfurled a huge banner emblazoned with a lazy “Y.”

While Yippies were a radical bunch, their basic philosophy paralleled the movements today to establish equality in all areas of American life:  We want everyone to control their own life and to care for one another … We cannot tolerate attitudes, institutions, and machines whose purpose is the destruction of life, the accumulation of profit.

The Yippies used mockery, ridicule and silliness to call attention to the wrongs of our society. Imagine how our current president would be affected by this kind of outrageous public contempt. What if a new generation of Yippies performed an exorcism on the White House, the way they did it on the Pentagon in 1967 at the “Be-in” protest against the Vietnam War.

This is how it went back then:

The initial conception of the protest had been to occupy the Capitol, but that might have sent the wrong signal to the public, suggesting that the marchers wanted to shut down the democratic process and thus were offering only more political negativity.

So, instead, they came up with the idea of an exorcism that would levitate the Pentagon 300 feet. Since the five-sided pentagram was symbol of the occult, representing evil forces at work in the world, the Pentagon was a natural symbol of the evil war and itwould serve as a far more resonant target than the Capital..  Time magazine later reported the intention of the proposed ritual would turn the Pentagon “orange and vibrate until all evil emissions had fled” and the war would come to an immediate end.

On the makeshift altar before the Pentagon, a number of competing rituals began simultaneously to unfold. Ed Sanders, of the rock band the Fugs, delivered an impromptu, sexually suggestive invocation punctuated with repeated calls of “Out, demons, out!” Allen Ginsberg declaimed mantras for the cause.

Two hundred pounds of flowers were trucked in and distributed to the crowd. When military police and marshals confronted the protesters, images of gun barrels blooming with daisies became the iconic photographs of the day.

As we approach November, I can’t help wishing there were a new version of the Yippies to dramatize the absurdities of our current Cheeto-in-Charge. I’m not suggesting that they disrupt the convention; rather I’m suggesting that for the two months before elections, a swarm of costumed political pranksters organize “guerilla theater” events to draw the attention of the public and the media to (my words) drive tRump even more crazy.

If he is even the least bit superstitious, I’m sure that anything smacking of magic and mystery will fuel his paranoia and insecurities. So how about an exorcism on the White House to rid it of negative energies — racism, bigotry, misogyny, elitism, etc. etc.

While there are no more Yippies, perhaps a gathering of witches:

ON MIDNIGHT LAST Friday, all over the United States, an alliance of magical practitioners called the Magic Resistance gathered Tarot cards, feathers, orange and white candles, pins, water, salt, matches, ashtrays, and unflattering photos of President Trump. The objects are prerequisites for a binding spell, an incantation typically used to keep someone from harming themselves or others, like a magical straitjacket.

..Magic (and particularly witchcraft) has been a form of protest for decades, probably centuries, but protest magic has burst into the media and broader public consciousness only twice in recent memory: during the 1960s and now, during Trump’s presidency. In the ‘60s there were the yippies, but also the Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell—W.I.T.C.H.—a pointy-hatted wing of the women’s liberation movement.


In 2016, the anonymous W.I.T.C.H. movement was resurrected by a group in Portland, Oregon, inspired by the injustice they see in the world around them, and in their own backyards ….. Sometimes they hand out tarot cards at events, edited to include a message such as “A vote for the health-care bill will mean DEATH for millions of Americans” on the death card. On their YouTube channel, they posted a video of one of the rituals they performed before a protest: the “binding” of Donald Trump.

The exorcism of the White House can be done virtually on a specific night over Zoom or some other platform. With enough chatter about it over social media before hand, perhaps the mainstream media might also cover it. The point would be to make our Hitler-Wannabe nervous and insecure as he is surrounded by the notion that mysterious enemy forces, over which he has no control, gave gathered to erode his power and his sanity. What great fun to add some fun to ensuring that he loses the election.

These are the sites I used for background information:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_IntFor ernational_Party



It’s obviously in the genes.

We are a family that has always valued and encouraged creativity.

My late once husband was a gifted playwright and director. I continue to write and publish poetry. (I just had two accepted for publication by the Orchard Street Press.) Our daughter is a published novelist who has branched out into designing publications as well. Our son, who was recently diagnosed as autistic, is a talented writer and photographer; he uses social media as his venue.


This is a film that my late once husband shot with an 8mm camera. B!X was recently contacted by someone who is working on a Netflix documentary on “The Toys That Made Us” to ask about using some clips, but that didn’t happen.

Since we all latched onto the original Star Trek television series with great enthusiasm, it’s not surprising that b!X’s bedroom walls became the Star Trek bridge (drawn with magic marker); a blue-painted foam board and a picture of the universe became the view screen.

There really weren’t any cosplay outfits available yet, so I painted the Star Trek logo on 4-year old b!X’s shirt (we called him “Kit” back then) so that he could play Captain Kirk, armed with laser gun and tricorder. The special effects are totally primitive, but the kids had fun making it and watching it.

As my kids were growing up, I would take a day off from work and let them play hooky from school every time a new Star Trek movie came out so that we could all go to the first showing. That tradition continues with my grandson, as we all go together to see all of the Star Wars, Avengers, and just about every sci-fi/fantasy movie that comes out.

My grandson has inherited those genes big time, and he and his mom are participating in Mastermind Adventures “Camp Half-Blood.” Melissa is Artemis and Lex is some character from Star Wars. They will both be in costume.

I’m the only one who has not been very creatively inspired lately; this is the first post I’ve written in a while. And I did create a little mini “Gnome Garden” in a spot near the driveway.

Little by little, I’ll get my groove back.

adventures in living in a home/school

Most people have a general idea of what home schooling is. What they don’t realize that there are infinite variations of how to go about teaching your kids at home.

My 12 year old grandson is home schooled and has always been. I live with him and his family, and so I am usually right in the middle of it all. My daughter is the facilitator — and that’s what she is, more than a traditional “teacher,” (although sometimes she does play that role). She has chosen not to work at an outside job, so home schooling has become her passion, and she is involved in the regional home schooling community.

Learning here is part of living, and most of the time my grandson learns all of the basic skills, as well as research, communication, ethics, history, civic responsibility etc. etc. as part of some interdisciplinary project in which he becomes involved because he has expressed an interest in it.

The computer is right next to the dining table, and when some question comes up in conversation at a meal, he can turn around and research the answer. He has become very proficient at using the computer to further his learning, either by using actual programs that my daughter has downloaded or by researching and creating his own base of information.

Television also plays a big part in his learning. From Mythbusters to Pawn Stars to documentaries on the History and National Geographic channels, he absorbs information like a sponge.

As an involved observer, there is so much I can write about the processes and the products of home schooling. But what prompts me today is his latest project: pygmy goats and can we have them here as pets.

This interdisciplinary project has just begun and will last until spring, when we will make a decision whether or not we can and will actually get a goat or two. Or three.

In the meanwhile, he has been emailing back and forth with the local zoning office and reading online abut the care and use of goats and how they might be used as a source of income (weeding vacant lots in place of having them mowed). He has ordered a book about the care and feeding of pygmy goats. Over the next several months, there will be visits to places that sell pygmy goats and conversations with the folks who raise them. There will be exercises in figuring out how much land they would need and how to provide for their shelter. These exercises will include a lot of math for measuring as well as for finances.

My role as “grandmother-in-residence” is to listen, encourage, ask questions, and share in the excitement of discovery and adventure. Not at all a bad way to spend part of my retirement time and energy. And, actually, pygmy goats, as their popularity on youtube has proven, are fun to have around. I wouldn’t mind that at all.

Hobbes makes him happy.

Today is his tenth birthday, and he’s a big Calvin and Hobbes fan. A few days ago, we found a pattern for making a Hobbes, and so I ran out to Joann’s, bought the fabric and stuffing, and launched myself into a marathon sewing project.

He would check on me periodically to see how it was coming — if it would be ready for his birthday.

Now, here is a kid obsessed with law enforcement officials, fire fighters, SWAT teams, and military and construction vehicles. (It’s a “boy thing,” he tells me.)

But he put that all aside, insisting that he help sew on Hobbes’ stripes. And so, for two hours, my grandson and I sat and sewed together. At first I threaded the needle and made the knot at the end of the thread for him. By the time he finished sewing the stripes onto the tail, he had figured out how to do those things himself.

Hobbes was finished in time and was a major guest at the birthday party’s “Sundae-Inator” station that he and his mom had built to reflect the “Phineas and Ferb” party theme.

I’m not sure what I thought that my life would be like at this point. I doubt if I ever saw myself having a great time sitting with my grandson while we collaborated on sewing a stuffed tiger.

“attention must be paid to such a person”

This title is a quote from Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” and it’s sticking in my mind after finishing a book I just couldn’t wait to finish and wish I could have memorized — Jennifer Stuller’s Inkstained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology.

Since I discovered Wonder Woman at about age 7 (1947) I have devoured all kinds of media that featured kick-ass females, and Stuller’s book brought me up to date on some of the ones who showed up over the past 20 years (when I slipped up a little on following my scholarly avocation.) Well, I didn’t slip up completely because I do know about many of those females to which she refers, from Aeon Flux to Zoe Washburn.

So here’s the challenge I would love to put out there to current fantasy/sci fi writers: create a female superhero who is older than 60 and still has powers she can and does use. (But don’t make her into a Granny Weatherwax.) Attention should be paid to such a person. IMHO. And no LOL.

Speaking of people who should be paid attention to, how come someone as social-media savvy, widely-well-read, prolifically articulate, comfortably creative, and energetically willing as The One True Bix can’t find a job??!!


Attention should be paid to such a person. Certainly, a living wage should be paid to such a person.

And I’m not just saying that because I’m his mother. Really.


P.S. Someone should create an older female “superhero” — maybe one whose power is like that of the old “The Shadow” (“cloud men’s minds” to be able to outwit villains) and make a movie with Nichelle Nicholls as the star. She could be the mother of an existing younger female superhero. Great role model for mother-mentoring-daughter. And great counterpoint to current overly sexy female superheroes created by male fantasies. (Maybe her name could be Chhaya, which is the Hindu word for “shadow.”) Just sayin’.

an appeal to the financial backers of Chump Trump

Donald Trump is an embarrassment to your support of his television program. I am boycotting any program and product tied in any way to that egomaniacal racist. Do us all a favor and DUMP TRUMP. He is a national disgrace and we will make him a financial liability.

I have sent the above note to the following who provide support to Donal Trump:
Jeremy.Gaines@nbcuni.com, Rebecca.Marks@nbcuni.com, Lauren.Kapp@nbcuni.com, Kathy.Kelly-Brown@nbcuni.com, ataylor@erac.com

And I went to the sites listed below and filled out their forms with the same message.




Please feel free to do the same.

The Real Wonder Woman
vs David E. Kelley

If you’re not a member of the fandom community, you probably don’t know about the growing criticism of NBC for choosing David E. Kelley to write the script for a new series about Wonder Woman. (Just Google “Wonder Woman David E. Kelley” and you’ll find out more than you really want to know).

As a more than half-century fan of Wonder Woman, and as a shorter term fan of Kelley’s previous tv scripts, there’s something I want to say.

It’s a matter of “awe.”

Kelley’s female characters, such as Allie McBeal, have been criticized for being anti-feminist. I maintain that those characters are not meant to be “archetypes” or “heroes.” Neither inspiration nor role models, rather they emerge from some small portion of female idiosyncrasies with which many of us identify and also recognize as not necessarily the best of what we are. Actually, his male characters develop the same way, portrayed as flawed and human in ways that make us smile with poignant understanding.

But that’s not what Wonder Woman was ever meant to be. Wonder Woman was never meant to be fully human. As I blogged once before and quoted from here:

From her inception, Wonder Woman was not out to just stop criminals, but to reform them. On a small island off Paradise Island was Transformation Island, a rehabilitation complex created by the Amazons to house and reform criminals.

Armed with her bulletproof bracelets, magic lasso, and her amazonian training, Princess Diana was the archetype of the perfect woman from the mind of her creator, William Moulton Marston. She was beautiful, intelligent, strong, but still possessed a soft side. At that time, her powers came from ‘Amazon Concentration,’ not as a gift from the gods.

Wonder Woman’s magic lasso was supposedly forged from the Magic Girdle of Aphrodite, which Queen Hippolyta (Wonder Woman’s) mother was bequeathed by the Goddess. Hephastateus borrowed the belt, removed links from it, and that is where the magic lasso came from. It was unbreakable, infinitely stretchable, and could make all who are encircled in it tell the truth.

That was the Wonder Woman who inspired me as a 7-year old who felt that she never did fit into her family of origin, the pre-teener and teenager who yearned for a role as an adult that didn’t fit into the 50s mentality.

While Allie McBeal made us smile because we see part of ourselves in her antics, Wonder Woman makes us dream about what we might still become. Male or female, we need awesome and inspiring mythologies to propel us out of the ordinary and problematic parts of ourselves that characters like Allie so touchingly reflect.

Kelley’s “Harry’s Law” starring Kathy Bates is my new favorite show (even though the part was originally written for a male.) But Harriet is not an archetype either. She’s a very specific kind of individual with very human personality traits. We might find her inspiring, but not really “awesome.”

We females need Wonder Woman as the awesome myth she originally was intended to be — connected to other mythic females on Paradise Island more than she is to the mundane human world in which she has to find a place. Her struggle is to fulfill her destiny while still finding a way to make and enjoy her place in the everyday world.

Because isn’t that what so many of us still feel is our psychological destiny — to feel the power of our mythic history and to use that power to make the world a better place for others and for ourselves?

Maybe David E. Kelley can write Wonder Woman the way she deserves to be written. Maybe. But I can’t help feeling that Joss Whedon (who understood why we were awed by his Buffy) would have been a much better choice.

Please, Mr. Kelley, don’t dilute the awesomeness of Wonder Woman. She doesn’t deserve it. And neither do we.

learning vs achievement
and the happiness factor

1. The act of accomplishing or finishing.
2. Something accomplished successfully, especially by means of exertion, skill, practice, or perseverance

1. The act, process, or experience of gaining knowledge or skill.
2. Knowledge or skill gained through schooling or study.

Learning and achievement are not at all the same thing, although one can lead to the other. In focusing on the goal of achievement and not the process of learning, education reformers are putting the cart before the horse. You can’t have high achievement without engaged learning. Yet, I see little attention being paid to changing and improving the way that learning (and, therefore, teaching) is put into process in schools.

A focus on the goals of competition and achievement, while great for trying to encourage success and ensure statistical accountability, is stressful and not very enjoyable for the learners themselves, as the people of China are discovering.

One obstacle to happiness in China, Peng said, is the intense culture of competition: “When you have that many people all fighting to achieve the same narrowly defined goals, it becomes a zero-sum game,” he said. “That’s why we need to change the paradigm of what success means and come together for the greater good of Chinese society,” Peng added. “That’s why we need to talk about the science of happiness.”

People seem to be happiest when they are involved in the process doing something that they enjoy doing.


a : a state of well-being and contentment : joy b : a pleasurable or satisfying experience

Most Americans interested in educational reform, including President Obama in his State of the Union address (who looks to China as an example of successful education), focus on raising achievement levels — not a bad ultimate goal. But what no one is grappling with is how to make the process of learning (which is the process one needs to go through before one can demonstrate a high level of achievement) something that students will enjoy (and, therefore, happily and willingly engage in).

If there were a way to replicate, in a classroom, how my homeschooled grandson is learning, more kids would find themselves happy to be engaged in learning, in discovering, in experimenting, in questioning, in hypothesizing — in learning how to enjoy the process of learning and how to apply that learning in meaningful ways.

He is eight-and-a-half years old, and he is not expected to sit doing a task for more than 15 minutes at a time. He rarely does worksheets and learns math and science through a variety of games and projects that involve both. (The internet is overflowing with resources.)

As an example of making learning enjoyable, I quote here from his mom’s recent blogpost about their latest learning adventure. You can read the whole post, with photos, here.

We’ve begun the Age of Exploration! Daring adventures, wrong directions, pirates, new lands! Originally I intended to launch more in depth into the Middle Ages this year. But as we completed the Revolutionary War and pulled out the books/stories/maps for the Middle Ages, it felt — wrong. Our Revolutionary War unit had so much to do and make, and suddenly, what I had next began with reading — not that we didn’t have that before as well, but all of a sudden, the work was different. It felt like — work. So I returned to what I did at the beginning of our year. I looked to the student and dared to ask, “Is this interesting to you? Do you WANT to learn about the middle ages right now?” His tepid reaction pretty much said it all. So I jumped online to look at something that had caught my eye before. The Time Travelers History Studies. The New World Explorers activity pack. Chock full of coloring, cutting, cooking, science, creating — making journals, mapping, lapbooking all while learning about explorers, myths and legends, early navigation, and more.


As a home/school, our home is one big classroom, with world maps hung up in the living room (along with the usual kinds of wall decor). A separate small room holds floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with resource books, science experiments, a variety of learning tools — and, of course a desk. The family computer is in an alcove off the dining room, and he goes there to access Kizui as well as spelling and math learning programs. Every activity offers some kind of engaged and interdisciplinary learning — from a trip to the grocery store or a museum, to a walk in the woods. There’s also plenty of time for creative play as well as just plain running around outside.

It’s not as though no one concerned with education is trying to figure out how to revolutionize the learning process so that kids are happy to go to school. Unfortunately, though, it’s not the people who have the power to enable and make the changes. School administrators and teachers seem to be more concerned with everything about the educational system BUT exploring ways to make learning a more happy and engaging process for students.

But,over at Mind/Shift: How we all learn, for example, there’s a recent piece: Learning Happens Everywhere in the Future School Day that pretty much explains how

Students will be able to choose to engage in their learning through physical interactions with each other and their guides (teachers) while the VL [Virtual Learning] system is always available to experience learning in ways not possible, not affordable, or that are unsafe in the physical world.

The article ends with this (emphases mine):

Over the past decade (since 2010) there has been much debate about online learning and whether physical schools will exist in the future. Most thought leaders have concluded that physical school remains vital to a successful education but their design and layout has changed significantly to support a grade-less organization with experts – teachers as guides, coaches, and mentors – along with their students. As well, the best of home- and un-schooling are fully incorporated. The school campus is a support system and home base for learners and their guides (teachers, parents, community members). But, students are not required to physically be in school on a rigid schedule. They learn at home, on family vacation, and at their physical school. Virtual Learning is seamlessly available to connect students to each other, to their learning guides, to experiential learning, to content, and to other mentors and learners around the world.

“Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man”. Thus goes the Jesuit saying, but of course it is true of all education. What we sow in childhood, we reap in adulthood.

If we want adults who can think, analyze, deduce — who can imagine, create, implement — who seek the truth and use it well — then we need schools, pre-K through high school, that give students of all ages chances to practice learning-as-fun.

How we ensure that all of these students are given access to the actual historical and scientific facts from which they can build their learning experiences has become another worrisome major challenge.

I am a New York State certified teacher, but, these days, I sure am glad that my grandson is being homeschooled.