Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Cheapest Flight to Japan Ever

Jon took me on an Ann Arbor, birthday extravaganza. Albeit a week late, (not his fault), but just the best day none-the-less. For as long as I can remember, well, for about four and a half years now, I've wanted to peruse Main Street shops and galleries at a leisurely pace, sip on a local latte', and plop myself down to read at Crazy Wisdom, sans whining child. It didn't happen, did not even remotely happen, until now. I'd realized that I rarely ever see Jon during a daylight hour without Noah. Like never ever. It was time, so a trip to A2 is what I requested for my birthday.
*(Ok, the wedding weekend in Pittsburgh does not count as daylight hours. Not really.)

So, after dropping Noah off at camp, we headed to Ann Arbor. But not before an hour's worth of pointless marital bickering, and work emails. We finally made it, Um, but not before missing the exit and then taking a wrong turn, and having to back track for a LONG way.
We get there, window shop, blah blah blah, it was nice. Jon wouldn't let me buy a pink Obama t-shirt for Noah, because it was pink, but I'm secretly going to go back.
I was antsy and really wanting to stop in at my most, most most very most favorite store in town; Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tea Room
,which is, according to them is: "a bookstore about consciousness", which I would say is about right. You can find anything and everything on esoteric subject matter, I step in those doors and my brain sings. It's like going to Disney World, but for me! Of course I was too stingy to drop clams on any books that day, and instead decided to start with a reading wish list and consult with our local library. Thank you library. So, in no particular order, here are the books that I am currently drooling over:

Beats at Naropa
A Witch's Travel Guide to Astral Realms
The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart
Mindfield: How Brain Science is Changing Our World
The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey

The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology

The God Question: What Famous Thinkers from Plato to Dawkins Have Said About the Divine

The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why
The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul
The Outcast: A Novel
Afterbirth; Stories You Won't Read in a Parenting Magazine
You or Someone Like You
(I've actually been wanting to read this book for a month, it's always checked out)

After much time spent pouring over books, and the purchase of a "Free Tibet" pin, and an "All Mothers are Working Mothers" bumpersticker for Jen, we decided to find some lunch. There were big plans for something new, like Shalimar or Seva , but after I received an email to my phone about H1N1 being at Noah's day camp, I headed for comfort food. Enter of course Zingerman's. I mean of course, right? Everything, EVERYTHING that Zingerman's produces is spot on delicious. Never have I seen a company that is so consistent in quality and detail. The visuals, the verbiage, the service, the community involvement and the product. A nice woman in the olive oil and vinegar department gave us a private tasting. Now I know the difference in taste between a six and sixteen year aged balsamic! We drank it right off tiny spoons. Yum!

For lunch Jon and I split a delicious, amazing salad. I can't remember the exact name, but it was spinach leaves with Mandarin oranges, cashews and red pepper flakes. The salad was dressed in a delicious sesame-soy sauce-ish concoction. So good!
Jon chosen had "The Extra Special" and I had a "#55 Gemini Rock the House". Not so sure that the #55 is on Weight Watchers.....

We ate, became completely stuffed and then walked over to Kerrytown for a few. I wanted to stop at a really great store for dresses; V2V. I also could not pass Elephant Ears without going in. They have a whimsical assortment of children's clothing, and some especially cute ones for boys!
I even got to check out the Petunia Pickle Bottom Cake line, which only fueled my fire for one of their Society Satchels as a backpack/purse to carry my camera around in. You see, it can be a respectable, nice looking purse or a backpack. Exactly what I need! I'll take one in Chocolate Cherry Cake or Mocha Berry Cream Cake please! I'm holding out for a good deal on ebay or Craig's List.

After a while, we realized the the day had flown by and it was time to head home. One of us, (Ahem!), yes, one of us suggested that we grab a coffee and maybe a teeny tiny piece of some kind of Zingerman's desert to go. You know, to keep up our strength on the LONG ride home. And that is why I couldn't decide between the Over the Moon Pie and a slice of Summer Fling, coconut and Lime coffee cake. And well, because the coffee cake is seasonal, and won't be back until next summer, we, (Ahem!), just had to take home one of each. And by take home, I mean eaten within five minutes of getting in the car.
*(OMG! Did I just read that correctly? TWENTY SIX grams of fat!? Sh*t. I mean Shoot!)
Ands that's when all the buttons on my clothes popped off and I exploded.

Now here's the part where I get all metaphysical and new-agey on you! So my plan is to try to find all of the books on my book list at the library. Well, I figured that between all of the libraries in my local consortium, I'd be able to get my hands on them, that is except for one:
A Witch's Travel Guide to Astral Realms. Yeah, maybe not. Unless you are a Wiccan librarian, which would seriously be AWESOME, I didn't think many would spend the cash on a book for the collection that would send half the patrons running and screaming for the hills.

No worries I say! It dawned on me that Astral travel, it's either some kind of talent that you have, or you don't. Kind of like the ability to curl your tongue, or pop your eyeballs out and put them back in. I don't reeeally need a book to teach me how to teleport myself, do I?
In fact, I already have traveled the astral skies! "Come on" you say, how can that be possible? "Look", I say, it is scientifically proven that subatomic particals are non-stable. They are constantly blinking in and out of existence.
Where do they go? To a second location before returning? And what about alternate realities? They could be real. My motto is "Never say never until you really think it's a never.".

Ok, so maybe I've never traveled astrally, but I have a story that's almost convincing , and truthfully, who knows, maybe I did.
So one of my best friends, after Jon of course, is my friend Masa. We've known each over a decade now, meeting early on in college. Masa and I had so much fun laughing together, but more than that, I kind of felt like a surrogate mother to him. He came to great, big Michigan State as a little guy, who barely spoke the language and didn't look a day over sixteen. The first week we met, I caught him in the cafeteria putting lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese and ketchup on his hot dog and bun. Which of course has nothing to do with anything except for the fact that he was genius enough to invent the Hot Durger. Anyway, I, being two and a half years older, which at twenty = old, and knowing the ropes already, felt it was my duty to "protect" him. So, I did.
After a five year stint in the states, Masa went home to Tokyo, but I never stopped slightly worrying about him here and there. He's now a "salary man", and you know what that means, working insanely long hours, six days a week, getting no sleep, eating salty bowls of ramen and drinking perhaps, some beer. Can't be safe.

So several years ago, when Masa was not yet a salary man, and merely a kid fresh out of college and working a part time at something or other, I had a dream. It was a very very real dream. The kind that is different in the way that unlike other dreams, this one was so clear, so lived in HD, that you wake up and remember each millisecond with perfect clarity. This was a super random dream where I dreamt about Masa out of the blue. No reason, he just happened to pop up. In my dream I suddenly found myself in a men's suit store, with Masa. I just stood there, silently watching him buy a suit, a nice blue one, with thin, gray pin stripes. He looked happy and healthy and then just as suddenly as I popped in, WHOOSH! I popped back out of the dream and woke up.
It left me with quite an odd feeling. Was that real I thought? What in the world was that strange dream? Usually I dream of my family, or friends I saw that day, or animals or the grocery story. Never boring things like men's clothing stores, and certainly not of Masa too often . So, I decided to give Masa a buzz, just to say "hi". "Masa" I said, "What are you doing?" . And now, I KID YOU NOT, he said "I just bought a suit, I want to get a nice job." And then,I slowly said..."uh...what kind of suit...?!". OMG! Then Masa said : "A blue one with gray pin stripes.". And you can imagine the rest. OMG! Right!? The oddest thing was that Masa wasn't too surprised, as the Japanese believe in many things magic and mystical and unseen, etc.
Proof? Maybe. Slightly intriguing possibilty, definitely.

Just this spring, once again, I had a very short, very real "dream" that gave me a strong and forboding feeling that something was just not right. I was sitting on a train next to Masa all of the sudden. Just sitting there perfectly quiet like "No face" in "Spirited Away". Masa looked exhausted as he rode home with his headphones on. And again, just as suddenly...POOF!

I woke up, back home in Michigan. I sensed that something was terribly wrong and
a call was made to Japan. Unfortunatley there was no answer, so some more calls and emails followed over the next week. I started to worry more and more until I finally heard back about ten days later. It had turned out that Masa had been to the doctor a week or so earlier with numbness in his jaw, when it was found that he had a benign tumor! He went into the hospital right away for surgery and was released after some time. All of this completely unknown to me. My dream happened the day he saw the doctor! It just seems all kind of odd, no?

So, if indeed I was an astral traveler those two time, how awesomely cool is that!? Without a doubt, the cheapest flight to Japan ever.

1 comment :

JAB said...

Ooh I like your dream story. I love those kind of dreams! Good reading list too, if I can get my hands on them at Kinokuniya......

I think people can learn to astral travel if you're really interested. Kind of like you can train your brain to be more psychic or learn to see auras. It takes a lot of practice and you got to be in it to win it. Not sure how much meditation-type time you get with a toddler around though!

Muah