Had another birding dream, where I see tons and tons of birds and frantically try to identify them all. (Generally there's a lot going on in and around it--in this case I was a shapechanging member of the X-men named "Iron Man"* framed for burglary who eventually saved the day by turning into a large plastic sheet and foiling a great white shark attack. Don't ask me to explain how THAT worked. Meanwhile, birds.) The only one I recall clearly was a gull-like bird called a "sea mare" and an absurdly tiny blue bird called a "lapis bunting." (Well, there are lazuli buntings, so it's easy to see how I got there...)
Then I wandered for awhile through the canyons of Arizona and wound up at a strange little field with pools of water in it. A strange bird, somewhere between a great-horned owl and an indri lemur, watched me from a tree trunk, while three foxes wearing black headdresses trotted across the field. "Do you see that too?" I asked James, who was there. "Yeah," he said.
Then the dream went off into the nonsensical horror that one might expect from playing Rule of Rose before bed. Hmm. Wary as I am of all dream interpretation, there's a couple of recurring dreams that I have that I think have some significance--I dream about shopping for fish when I'm worried about money (don't ask me why...) and there's the teeth-falling-out anxiety dream, and I have the usual run of con anxiety dreams before every convention. I have the seeing-strange-birds dream often enough that it's obviously some kind of mental trope. Mind you, I don't know what it might signify--anticipation? longing? Get-up-off-your-lazy-ass-and-go-birding-damnit?
*I did not, so far as I know, have a drill for a penis, but the dream was admittedly rather vague on that point.
So last night, I laid on the couch, cat sleeping across my thighs, controller in hand, hot cider at my elbow, and played video games.
And it occurred to me that if I had everything I desired in life--love and money--I would still probably be laid out on the couch, cat asleep on my thighs, hot cider at my elbow, playing video games. Because that's my idea of a good quiet evening at home. (Now, I grant you, in my hypothetical perfect world, it would have been followed by a footrub and wild sex, but the principle holds.)
There are ways that my life could be better. I could have enough money that I wouldn't worry about money, and perhaps could have my own house. My dinner could have been something rather better than reheated chili-cheese dip and nachos. A handsome, amusing man could find me fascinating and look forward to my presence and wish to do extremely naughty things to me. These would all be improvements.
But I'd make the same art, and sleep the same number of hours, and the same cat would still stand on my head early in the morning demanding food, and my idea of a quiet evening of pleasure would be the same. When I staggered out of bed and make a cup of tea, it'd still taste the same, and when I plop down and check my e-mail, I'd hit the same buttons and visit the same websites and blog the same small amusements for--hopefully--the same cadre of readers. The same birds would visit my feeder, the same weather would drive me to wear the same nifty wool trenchcoat, and no matter how much money I got, I'd probably drive the same sort of car (although I might get a truck one of these days, because I keep finding myself in situations where damnit, I really need a truck! On the downside, I'd have to learn to park it. Ugh.)
In short, the difference between my life as it is now and my ideal life is really rather small. And that's not a bad thing at all.
I am content.
Now, if I could just figure out how to beat that stupid boss with these maddening controls without waking up the cat...
Ben has lost a quarter of a pound! Yaaay! The vet and I rejoiceth! Now just a pound and three-quarters to go...
Poor Ben. Most cats punish you emotionally after a trip to the vet. Ben, however, has been in so many shelters (I suspect) and spent so long at them (I know!) that he's just so glad you didn't LEAVE him there that he's a snugglebug for the rest of the day. This always leaves me torn between vast affection--"Who's my big Ben? Who's my big tabby boy? D'awww!"--and righteous wrath for whoever left him in this state. Whatever idiot dumped Ben, I hope they get a ninja infestation in the ceiling. Jerks.
I've been thinking that a good way to get out of the house regularly--since I don't want to start a part time job--would be to volunteer somewhere a day a week. I'd like to work with animals. I also don't DARE work with domestic animals, because I'd be bringing them home. Can anybody recommend some good local wildlife rehab places that need enthusiastic (and patient) amateurs, or would I be better served just cold-calling the local listings?
A buddy of mine came over and fixed my faucet. Thank god. The dripping was about to drive me over the brink. The problem was basically one of total decrepitude--the faucet was original to the apartment--but a quick trip to Home Depot and another cheapass faucet later, my dripping woes have ended.
Also, I sort of understand how a faucet is attached now. Not enough to risk installing one myself without at least an internet how-to guide, but enough that I'd probably be willing to tackle it solo with said guide, assuming I had someone I could call for help when the kitchen was under three feet of water and the cat was clinging to my scalp for safety.
Hmm. Silver leaf in sheets acts differently than leaf in flake form, and the end result is a bit different, although my vocabulary would be hard pressed to explain adequately. Strangely enough, the silver leaf--or at least this particular cheapass imitation leaf, since I'm not laying out forty bucks for real precious metals--adheres to the fingers much more brutally than the cheapass imitation gold. My fingertips are now a tarnished silver-gilt, despite a good deal of scrubbing. Oh, well. It'll wear off in a bit.
I finished the leafing, set it down, gazed at the chicken, and thought "...Christ, I want gummi worms."
So, I must now go buy gummi worms. And a new toothbrush, because I needed something to scrub the stray bits of silver leaf at the edges, and my toothbrush was the only thing in the house that would work. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices in the name of art.