Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What a Day for a Daydream

Shattered dreamsDid everyone survive the Big Snow? It looks like Nutwood got about a foot; the drifting wasn’t too bad because there are so many trees here. In areas that are wide open, though, the drifting was nasty. It was a legitimate blizzard, with 40+ mph winds. Chicago got hit really hard, and it was so surreal to see pictures of a closed Lake Shore Drive with hundreds of abandoned cars surrounded by snowdrifts! Areas further south got nailed with ice, which is a horrible and dangerous mess. I hope this evening finds you all safe and warm!

I finally got up enough guts to start to tackle the guitar my sister got me for Christmas. Keep in mind that I know nothing about how to play. The extent of my knowledge is that you hold down on certain strings in certain areas to make certain sounds. I started looking at a couple of website tutorials, and at first I was just completely lost. But I kept reading and trying to figure things out, and I made some pretty good progress. I learned the strings, I learned how to tune the guitar, I learned how to do scales, and I kind of learned to do a couple of chords. I say “kind of” because I’m not very good at it. I find it hard to contort my left hand properly in order to press the strings. But I’m going to keep working at it. I’ve also found that what I’d always heard is true: it is PURE HELL on your fingertips! Ouch!

It made me think about dreams, aspirations, hopes, all that kind of stuff. Why? Like anyone who was and is really into music, I always had that daydream of wanting to play, and the ultimate fantasy...being a freakin’ rock star, baby! I think everyone daydreams like that. At worst, it’s a pleasant diversion. At best, it can be an impetus to work at it and can motivate us to make a change. Either way, and no matter what sort of fame you secretly want to pursue, it’s harmless.

However, most of us have also known that person who enjoys their dreams more than working on their reality. When do dreams become harmful? I’ve always joked about my dreams of being in a band by saying, “I’d love to do that...but I have no talent!” I suppose I’m being a little too harsh on myself, but it’s really kind of true. I can play the piano, but I’m firmly rooted in reality and know that I’m far from a concert pianist. I love to sing along with songs on the radio, or sing in Rock Band, but I know that I don’t have Janis Joplin-caliber pipes. I’m not going to turn into Keef on guitar, but I’m having fun just trying to learn.

Shattered dreams2I never had any grandiose schemes to make a million bucks. My schemes were more mundane: get my degree, get a job, buy a know. Reality. It’s always annoying to talk to those people who are constantly coming up with their next big thing. A plan that is going to reap bountiful financial rewards. A plan that is going to somehow fulfill them and make them more worthy/attractive/famous or whatever it is they’re seeking. They talk constantly about what they want to do, tout their plans as just around the corner...but somehow it never seems to work out. They say they don’t have the money, or they say life intervened, or they say that others are keeping them from doing it. Whatever. What it all comes down to is that they don’t have the fortitude—the BALLS, if you will—to follow through. Or they were just voicing their fantasies, delusional ideas that had no basis in reality. Scheme after scheme never comes to fruition, and it’s all just laughable. I’m reminded of Michael Keaton in “Night Shift,” dictating into his little recorder to feed mayonnaise to live tuna, thus eliminating the necessity for mixing after it’s been canned. Or his idea to eliminate garbage: “Edible paper!” He was an idea man. “Note to self!”

It’s great to have dreams and ideas. Ideas are what drive inventions. Having dreams motivates us to work towards them, drives us to achieve, prods us to get busy and get to it. An unexpected gift from my sister prompted me to do something that I’d always wanted to do; I have no illusions about my spectacular lack of talent, but it’s so much fun to be trying it. This is not my next career—it’s just something I’m doing for me, and I’m enjoying it. I have no unrealistic dreams about it, so those dreams aren’t shattered (shadoobee) by my lack of ability. Those who constantly go on about their next big thing, the next crowning jewel in their amazing life, especially when it’s rooted in delusion about their own abilities, are just talking out of their ass. What’s the next big plan? What is your tuna fish and mayonnaise moment? I won’t hold my breath. Bated or otherwise.


  1. Hmm... I used to repeat the phrase 'from humble beginnings, empires are born', to folks when they would ask me what I wanted to do with my life. Often, I'd would be looked at as if I had sprouted an extra head. I have felt that people who were close to me inevitably would box me and my dreams in.

    Hindsight says I should have been more ferverent in my pursuit of myself and I accept that rap on my knuckles. But I don't think it is ever cool to be dismissive of anyone and their dreams. Whether or not they pursue them is not for me to gauge. I listen and cheer their delusions... because like a Sports Center highlight, it could happen so you better watch!

  2. Without our dreams, what would life be? I learned to play the guitar when I was 14. I never became really good at it but I did a pretty good Joan Baez imitation. You'll get it, just keep practicing and dreaming. I can see you as a cool rocker chick.

  3. I think it's good to have dreams, to aspire to something ... always reach. But it's not worth anything unless you put a solid plan behind it ... make a real effort.

  4. All dreams are good except when they have a "Boogy Man". LOL

    I believe everyone should follow their dreams.

  5. I think my "dreams" have devolved into "fantasies" at this stage of life.

  6. Dreams are important, and mine it to retire early.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?