Cloister Commentary, Day 174: Golden DorĂ© Dreams

What’s worse? Hearing me bitch about trying to get an insurance company (the name is Franklin-Madison, and they have left a suspicious web-print) to deliver simple paperwork for an accidental death policy, or hearing about a dream I had last night (which is technically today, but screw it)? I’m betting a dream would be more interesting, right, Rex?

Nicole and I are sitting in some kind of watercraft, bigger than a johnboat, smaller than a yacht. It’s motorized, we’re just off some ocean shore, and many, many other watercraft are on the water, which is gently but firmly rocking. From my vantage point in the back of our boat, the scene looks like a Gustave DorĂ© etching, but in motion, and in monochromatic gold. Suddenly, rain begins to fall, the ocean turns quickly turbulent, and our boat (I can’t see Nicole anywhere, and I’m sure not piloting it) is being “tempest-toss’d”–that compound-adjective immediately popped into my head when I awakened. For some reason, I have brought a notebook with me that’s getting soaked, which is causing me almost as much distress as the possibilities of capsizing or being thrown into another craft. Somehow, through what seemed like a half-hour of chaotic wave-hopping, I stayed port-side, though I was sliding around the deck (it wasn’t a yacht!) and at times was briefly airborne. The water suddenly calmed, and from flat on my back I sprung up–and awake.

It was the most physically intense and rigorous dream I’ve ever had. Perhaps it derived from a deep need within me to be immersed in nature and fully drained: this pandemic is not great for either desire, thought it doesn’t prevent it. I do think the golden vista was related to a character’s scene in The Indian Doctor, where, with her lover, she’s looking out from a Welsh hillside upon a village she thinks is both backwards and beautiful (in reality, it was very obvious CGI); the notebook, my notary public log, which I just used for the first time, yesterday.

Better than a corporate rant? I hope so.

Streaming for Strivers:

Gently rocking waves of percussion and guitar.

Cloister Commentary, Day 173: Extraction

I completed my on-line notary public profile, which can help folks who need me find me. In the process, I studied my seven steps to good notarization and explored Missouri’s new legislation regarding RON: “remote on-line notaries.” I don’t trust much our ledge passes, but this looks decent. Should I or shouldn’t I?

My Stephens College colleague, the legendary art history prof Jim Terry, invited me to judge his annual Punctuation Day Celebration, which of course I accepted. He may feel sorry for me that I don’t have a class, and this in fact will make me smile.

I took a gander at my young friend Benjamin Ruffin’s current rough draft and passed along some feedback. He has sights on being an architect, and he’d be a great one.

A few years back, we paid a guy a very reasonable fee to powerwash the house and stain our deck, and he was fast and skilled. I tried in vain to locate him, so we have need of someone new. Any suggestions?

I have mentioned this in a past entry, but I am reading and loving Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia. It’s a less annoying Catcher in the Rye, very much updated to post-Sexual Revolution (is that capitalized?) social living and transplanted to just-post-punk Eighties London. I bring it up again for people who think everything ever filmed is streaming. Sammy & Rosie Get Laid, for which Kureishi wrote what must be a very similar screenplay, is not streaming. It is not available on DVD; it never made it to DVD. Used VHSes run in the $80-100 range; I tried to Christian a guy down to a decent price for his copy on eBay, but got denied. Word to the wise from a dude that still likes physical media.

I resumed my battle against corporate labyrinths in trying to settle minor affairs in the wake of Dad’s death, this time against an old dragon, AT&T. They had promised to send my mom a paper bill–they did not. They sent her instead a form letter seeming to imply that she had to participate in their AutoPay program (she does not). Also, they owe her $14.99 but that can’t be deducted from her phone bill because it’s from her old internet bill, which is under their auspices. Hammering a way for 70 minutes, I actually wore down a chat agent to do the unthinkable and start sending her a paper bill and cut her a check for the amount, even though I was initially unable to breach Fort Knocks with a passcode I couldn’t remember (I knew all 15 of the other secret digital handshakes). My dad also had paid for an accidental death policy with a company that, after six contacts with them, has not moved to act (for example, mailing me paperwork), though they have acknowledged the policy is in effect. I literally did scream when they, again, did not “call in one to two business days.” These a-holes are terrific at extracting; stingy when it comes to being extracted from. The American Way. Nicole brought me a spearmint candy and I quieted down.

The day ended on a great note, with a classic double-overtime clash between two teams I love, the Raptors and the Celtics, leading to a Game 7 that should be equally classic, and an episode of The Indian Doctor in which an amoral kleptocrat gets his (it’s a fantasy series).

Streaming for Strivers:

I need something catchy, funny, smart, weird, and absurd sometimes, don’t you?