Sunday, September 28, 2008

9/28/08 Spider Dream

I have an irrational fear of spiders. When it's hot at night and a bead of sweat rolls down my neck, I wake up and quickly brush it away, fearing it's a spider crawling on me.

Last night I had a vivid spider dream. For your reading pleasure, you get an account of the dream, an online dream interpretation of spiders from and the ability (if you so choose) to combine the two and determine your own take on the dream. If you know me, this is an extremely rare opportunity where I'll open up and leave myself vulnerable.

The dream began in a public room with a strand of spider web hanging from the ceiling about halfway to the floor. On the bottom was a cocoon beginning to bud. The cocoon began to grow and evolve into individual chambers. Those chambers then turned into eggs, with the assumption that there was a baby spider in each one. (I've read that the logic part of the brain is shut off during dreams. This is an obvious example.)

Next time I check the spider web strand, it had developed into a bigger, more intricate web and the "queen spider" had entered the picture. (Again, logic be damned, the spider in my dream behaved more like a queen ant where there's one mommy for the colony.) The queen was very cartoon-y. It was overly large with almost human-like characteristics. I was unable (out of fear?) to destroy the web or the spider in its initial stages. Due to that, it was beginning to grow out of control.

Towards the end of the dream, I walked across the room. The web had grown to such immense proportions that much of it clung to my body like sticky lint. The queen spider was now in a jar, caring for the cocoon-turned-eggs. The jar, too, was like some sort of protection that people from the outside world were providing for the queen spider. I couldn't quite understand why anyone would protect the spider that way and allow it to live and multiply. The queen, almost tauntingly, began taking its baby-ready eggs and tossing them around the room. One of them was intentionally aimed at me and went straight down the back of my shirt, causing a mini freak out on my part.

Still fearful of the queen spider, I devised a way to kill it without having to touch it. I decided that, if I covered the top of the jar, the spider would suffocate. I carefully placed a magazine over the jar and waited. On the ground was a slug shaped bug wearing the classic red and blue spiderman costume. The slug crawled to the jar and removed the magazine. Again, I put the magazine back on top of the jar. The slug returned again to protect the queen spider.

At this point I resigned and gave up. I also had this feeling of regret that I didn't address the spider problem early on when I could have dealt with it. Dream over.

Now that I've accounted for there dream, here's what DreamMoods says about spiders...

"To see a spider in your dream, indicates that you are feeling like an outsider in some situation. Or that you may want to keep your distance and stay away from an alluring and tempting situation. The spider is also symbolic of feminine power. Alternatively, a spider may refer to a powerful force protecting you against your self-destructive behavior. If you kill a spider, it symbolizes misfortune and general bad luck.

To see a spider spinning a web in your dream, signifies that you will be rewarded for your hard work. You will soon find yourself promoted in your job or recognized for your achievement in a difficult task. Spiders are a symbol of creativity due to the intricate webs they spin. On a negative note, spiders may indicate a feeling of being entangled or trapped in a sticky or clingy relationship. It represents some ensnaring and controlling force. You may feel that someone or some situation is sucking the life right out of you.

To see a spider climbing up a wall in your dream, denotes that your desires will be soon be realized.

To dream that you are bitten by a spider, represents a conflict with your mother or some dominant female figure in your life. The dream may be a metaphor for a devouring mother or the feminine power to possess and entrap. Perhaps you are feeling trapped by some relationship."

Now it's your turn. Go ahead. Analyze away.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

9/27/08 Happy Anniversary, Telescope

Happy 400th Anniversary, Telescope! Thanks to Hans Lipperhey, who first filed for the telescope patent in October, 1608, humankind would eventually grow up and realize that it's not all about me, me, me. Sure it took some longer than others, but our egotistical "We're the center of everything" place in the universe eventually became more clear. And far more humbling.

The following year, Galileo Galilei, making improvements of his own to the telescope, saw four of Jupiters moons (Io, Europa, Casllito, and later Ganymede) and began plotting their orbits. This alone proved that the earth wasn't the center of everything. In that same year, Johannes Kepler published Astronomia Nova, containing ten years of research and observation on the orbit of Mars. One of the biggest findings was that Mars' orbit was not circular, but rather elliptical, leading to one of Kepler's Laws. In honor of these great accomplishments in the year 1609, next year is being celebrated as the International Year of Astronomy.


A very near and dear friend encouraged me to still write, despite my sad attempts to even do this once a week. So, for those of you that enjoy reading this, you have No Longer Neighbor Natalie to thank for my attempt at some sort of writing resurgence.


From the nerdy to the heartfelt to the childish, a new absurd song has toppled "Milkshake" and "Umbrella" as the one to get stuck in my head for days at a time. In what Mike has accurately described as "appalling", "Paper Planes" takes the top spot in this week's top horrendous songs that I still listen to. I think I enjoy the gun shots in the chorus most.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

9/20/08 Do You Pay Taxes?

During 2008, if you paid taxes for the previous year, you probably received a tax rebate check. For most people it was $600. For married couples, it was $1200. 130 million Americans received that check.

This week President Bush wants $700 billion to bailout various financial institutions. In a world where the words million and billion barely get notice, I want to put this into context. If, instead of a bailout, each of the 130 million tax payers that received rebate checks got the money instead, how much would they get? $700,000,000,000 divided by 130,000,000 people.... Equals exactly $5,384.62. You can look at it one of two ways. Either you deserved that money as an additional rebate. Or, more than $5,000 of your hard earned tax money just went to a bunch of irresponsible financial executives.

If you're not bothered by the current economic situation, I have one more little factoid that is personally bothersome. This is geared more towards those of you in my generation who have been in the workforce for perhaps a decade or so. Let's say you followed "sound" investment advice as you began in the workforce, putting away a few percent of your paycheck, preparing for big life events (a mortgage, wedding) and/or retirement. I know a lot of my friends have been doing this. If you began investing at the beginning of the decade (January, 2000), the Dow Jones closed at 11,522. This weekend (some eight years later) the Dow Jones sits at 11,388. It began Friday lower, at 11,027 until news of the government bailouts. So, for those of us that have worked our tails off, hoping for some long term prosperity or perhaps just a day when we can retire, things are not looking so good.


You know what though? Despite the increased financial difficulties of my generation, I'm happy. You want to know why? Because science once again has made life worth living. No, I'm not talking about the LHC (which was online for a few days, then has subsequently been shut down for 2 months). It's much, much more divine that that... Quilted Northern is now offering 3-ply toilet paper, putting the giant Q in Quality Time.