When my mother was here, we went to Costco and got a TV for the living room as well as as many packets of organic chicken as I could stuff into my freezer. For what seems like the last 10 years, I've only gone to Costco when I was in Texas in order to get Melatonin, Ibuprofen, Vitamin E, Strivectin and various products from Oil of Olay. I knew from all those trips that there were copious amounts of shit at Costco. I just didn't know they had good shit. Now that I now there's good shit, I'll probably get a membership of my own to use quarterly at the urban Costco on East 116th Street. There are car service drivers on hand in the parking garage to take you home for a flat fee.
Last week, I went home with a flat screen in Mother's Subaru, and commenced watching Once Upon A Time. Velvet showed me the pilot episode before I went to Texas while we were having dinner. We've been watching Arrested Development with dinner sometimes using his Netfix account on my computer, which has a screen fancy enough to be the only TV in the house. It's just that I prefer watching movies and other longer shows from the sofa instead of a dining chair or desk chair - which is why I broke down and got a TV for the living room in the first place. We've had a TV this whole time, it's just been in Velvet's room because he needs it for Xbox Live.
For the record, Velvet and I have conversations at dinner, too, but we've always liked to watch TV together. When he was in fifth grade or so and my former friend Rhet lamented that half the world today doesn't realize there were movies prior to Star Wars, I instituted a Classics program, also using Netflix. Lion in Winter may not have been the best place to start since young Velvet ran from the room in tears, shouting "How could you make me watch such a horrible woman?!" Years later, I realized that he may have been equating his mother with Eleanor of Aquitaine which is understandable given the nature of my marriage to Buzz Kill. I showed him John Water's Serial Mom as an example of black comedy about the same time. It proved much less problematic, although the language in the first scene is certainly not how you'd like your children to hear you talk.
But back to Once Upon A Time, I like it because it takes the typical notion of fairytale princesses and turns them into kick-ass, proactive, smart, strong women. During the first season, the main theme was how everyone has the power to change his/her life. We're not defined by our pasts or how others perceive us. The whole set up appeals to me because of my own personal interest in the intersection of real life and fairytale through a lens of archetypes. The characters on Once well-rounded for TV. Everyone is a mixture of strengths and frailty, and they call each other on their bullshit in a way that facilitates character development - not only in a literary sense but also in a real life sense where we reflect on our behaviors and feelings, see where there's work to be done - do it and evolve. So they're developing strength of character over the course of the season.
I've been looking at my own character for years, chronicling its development here on the internet - and I've been trying to shape Velvet's character for years. That's my work. For recreation, I've been examining the characters of men who qualified, to some degree, as Romantic Interests. Woody says that when I get in a relationship, I've embarked on some sort of ethnographic study and uses the example of the Preacher from the Mountains to illustrate how I was much more interested in seeing a preacher's look at spirituality and in The Church as an institutional road block to human progress than I ever was in the man himself. Rhet used to say that my boyfriends were essentially dildos with a Rubrics Cube attached. Once I solved the puzzle, I got a new cube.
This tendency to make sense of the world through a romantic (read sexual) lens might have something to do with having a Beaver as my totem. I learned my totem is a Beaver back in 2006, the summer I got thrown off a horse, got divorced, got involved with The Narcissist and got my DNA activated when I visited Granny the Ho in Lake Tahoe. My cousin had recently had her DNA activated by a woman named Davis. You could say she was a healer, a shaman or a witch - but she was also my cousin's friend and an amazing masseuse. Apparently, it's fairly common for one family member's DNA activation to trigger a response in another family member. Could be that's why I felt compelled to jump on a plane and get myself to Tahoe.
Davis was trained to activate DNA by this guy named Derek O'Neill. Everybody knows that all kinds of physical characteristics, like eye color, are in the genetic information that winds up in our bodies on account of DNA. That's where my own knowledge on this subject ends - but what I understood from Davis is that our DNA gives us both our physical and emotional heritage. We can all see the physical characteristics in families - seeing the emotional stuff handed down through the generations isn't so easy. It's kind of like "the sins of the fathers" because let's say something traumatic happened to your grandmother - her attitudes shaped your mother and your mother's attitudes shaped you psychologically. That shit is passed down through generations not only because of the relational stuff. It's in the DNA too. Davis' handout says:
Our human form is composed of 12 physical strands of DNA and 12 corresponding spiritual strands totaling 24 strands. The average person has only 1 strand activated, which accounts for limited brain use in humans. The 22-Strand activation is the key to unlock 22 of our 24 strands of DNA . . . The Codons, which are access points into our etheric blueprint and influence the DNA strands, are opened and infused with light. As the codons take on light, they immediately translate a new light pattern to the master cell of the pineal gland.The punch line is that activating your DNA clears your karma.
After we centered ourselves and my body was properly aligned and breathing, Davis dusted off my aura with a raven's wing. I can't remember what happened next in the process, but eventually she energetically charged her crystal wand and placed it carefully on specific points along the back of my head - the codons.
Even though she always used the same wand, sometimes it felt hot and sometimes it felt cold. When she was activating the fourth codon - I went to an intensely dark place in my spirit. So dark and sad and lonely that she nearly moved on to the fifth codon but she felt me relax and knew I was okay with the dark place. That's when she saw my totem, the beaver, was keeping me safe.
People have different vocabulary words to explain spiritual phenomenon. Some people like the idea of Angels surrounding us who are there to help as soon as we ask. Others think of spirit guides and totems. Kind of depends on your tradition - Native American, Celt, Whatever. Even people who are militant atheists still nurture their spirits by engaging in relaxing, fun activities like gardening, cooking, surfing, et cetera. No matter what vocabulary words we use to describe what's happening to our emotional self, all you're really doing is listening to the still voice inside you. The trick is turning off the chatter of the ego long enough to hear the voice.
The DNA activation was cool for lots of reasons, and Davis followed it up with an outstanding full body massage. That's when she told me that somebody else's secret is trapped exactly where my neck slopes into my left shoulder, which is the shoulder that got fucked up when I got thrown from the horse a few months before I saw Davis. Coincidentally, it's the same shoulder that had the recent arthritis issues that led to the surgery in 2011, which was the second surgery on that shoulder. I've come to the conclusion that my heart chakra was so blocked that my energy takes a detour between the forth and fifth chakras and instead of going out the top of my head like it's supposed to - it blasts out that shoulder so hard the cartilage evaporated.
Since my totem is a beaver, I know that the best way to fix the energetic issue with the shoulder is by aligning my chakras from the inside using methods best described as Tantra. Looking at the boyfriend situation logically, we see that the two men who pissed me off most were The Narcissist and Notta Goodman. As it happens, I was on serious pain medication when I entered into both of those relationships against my better judgment and have to wonder how much influence the narcotics had on my thinking. Both relationships led to an ethnographic study of self particularly with regard to ego reactions in relationships which has been enlightening and liberating. Physically, those relationships were both beneficial in aligning my chakras so that my energy is much more likely to circulate in my body the way it's supposed to instead of fucking up my shoulder.
I still need to address the issue of Somebody Else's Secret because that shoulder remains stiff as hell.
As it happens, I followed my inner voice to Cafe Luxembourg last Friday. I was supposed to meet a friend, but the timing didn't work out. I'd been conducting parent/teacher conferences for two days, so cocktails at Cafe Lux seemed like a good idea whether my friend could meet me or not. While I was sipping one of their signature drinks, Three Naked Ladies, an attractive, British man approached me and almost instantly started massaging that shoulder. Naturally one thing led to another, and I gave him my number. That's how it is when you're guiding spirit is a beaver. He's a banker, so who knows if he'll ever call.
He's 42, though, which I fully believe indicates that I should follow this path leading to younger men. The British Banker is the third fellow in his early 40s I met last week. Since 42 is the answer to the ultimate question about Life, The Universe and Everything according to Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy - I think I'm on to something.
Iconic image from a Cafe Luxembourg postcard