Wednesday, June 27, 2012


At the hotel gift shop in San Antonio, Texas, we found this hilarious tin of “Machismo Manly Mints.”  We thought it was so funny we couldn’t stop laughing and every time we thought about it later, we’d break out into another laughing fit.  “Machismo” has now become our code for “Time to laugh your ass off.”

We immediately bought a dozen tins to take back as gifts to Phil’s friends – or anyone else for that matter, male or female, who we think might benefit from a dose of “Machismo Manliness.”

Then yesterday Phil and I both happened to have appointments with our dentist, Dr. R.  We like him a lot, so Phil grabbed a tin of Machismo Manly Mints to present to him at the end of our treatments.  I went in first and Phil made himself comfortable in the waiting room by spreading out the reading material he had brought with him. 

While Dr. R was working on me, his phone rang.

Rochelle, his dental assistant, puzzled:
“Whose phone is that?”

Dr. R.:
“That’s my phone.”

“You’re kidding. Really? Pocketful of Sunshine is your ringtone?” 

Dr. R.:
“Yeah, I like it. Natasha Bedingfield. Why, what’s wrong with it?”

“Nothing. It’s just… you know… it doesn’t sound very manly.”

Hearing the word “manly” just about made me spit all their instruments out my mouth.  I wanted to yell, “Phil, come! Now! This is the perfect moment to present your Machismo MANLY Mints!!!”

Instead I waited, but as soon as Dr. R. finished with my teeth, I jumped out of the chair and ran into the waiting room to get Phil.  When Phil presented the mints to Dr. R. with great ceremony, we all had a big laugh.  Honestly, how often does anyone use the word “manly”?  So is this a coincidence or is it something we somehow magically manifested?

Phil doing his version of Machismo Manliness

Saturday, June 23, 2012


"Sleeping with Snakes" by Bali painter Yamil
Oil on canvas, 16" x 47"

“What does it mean when you dream about snakes?” I ask Richard Wolf*, a noted dream psychic.  It’s spring 1982 and we’re sitting on the front porch of the spacious house Phil and I occupy in the historic tree-lined Montrose neighborhood of Houston, TX. 

A large, handsome and thoughtful man, Richard comes over once a month from Golden, Colorado to teach imagery work at our Wellness Center, located just around the corner on Audubon Place.  Even though Richard is physically imposing, there’s something ethereal and untouchable about him, as if he lives in deep silence between the worlds and appears in bodily form only when needed and then just for a short while.  When he speaks, his hands form soft circles in the air and his words come out rolling slightly as if they’re being washed.  You have to pay close attention if you want to understand what he says.

“I have recurrent dreams of snakes.” I continue. “Sometimes they slide all over me, hissing and glistening in iridescent hues. They're scary but utterly fascinating. Other times they just slither around blindly on the floor, all muddy brown and wrinkled, and it's impossible to find a spot that's clear where I can step and get away from them. I wake up in a panic.”

A passing car revs up its engine and backfires, startling me.  Richard is undisturbed. 

“Your snakes show you your relationship to power.” he explains. “Your power to mesmerize, to hide, devour, destroy, to bring your deepest darkness up to the light, the power to renew yourself over and over. Find a way to get comfortable with them. ”   

He pauses, then advises: “Eat your snakes.”

What?!  I burst into laughter.  But then, well, why not?  My Chinese horoscope sign is the Snake.  Why not be that mystical ravenous snake, Ouroboros, who devours its own tail, shedding everything, returning time and again, improvising, reinventing each new journey. 

Just ask Phil.  He has learned to shed his skin along with me, letting go of everything: Leave Houston, move to Hawaii.  Leave Hawaii, move to Bali.  Leave Bali, circle back to Hawaii.  Always shedding, stripping bare.  And now?  Again we’re at a crossroads.

Who knows what will happen on December 21, 2012 when we’ll be part of the 800-voice choir to sing the ancient Lemurian tones that have not been heard on Earth for 26,000 years.**  It will be a signal from Earth to the Universe.  Of what?  That we’re ready for change?  That we remember who we are? 

I know for me it will be first of all a signal of gratitude to Richard Wolf and to the multitude of my other teachers, embodied and in spirit, for showing me the immense power of dreaming; for encouraging, even pushing me, to shed old fears; to dream myself awake. 

Lastly, my message will be to my fellow Snake Sisters and Snake Brothers through time and space.  I want you to know that...

I remember
I remember you of old
We have done this before

 Houston Wellness Center Clinical Staff 1988
Richard Wolf (center, 5th from left)
Phil and I (1st and 2nd from left)

* After losing touch with Richard Wolf in 1989, I have tried numerous times to find him, unfortunately without success.  If anyone recognizes him, knows where he is, and how to reach him, please contact me at halfplot at gmail dot com.  It would mean the world to me.

** See Lemurian Choir 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Signs and numbers that mean something to someone, 
but leave me bewildered.

Google has me bewildered.  I got an email saying I needed to update something on my blog before the end of May or else I would not have anymore access to it.  They gave me a link.  The link took me some place with directions to something which for some reason I could not figure out.  Then our computer died.  Mother board fried.  Hmm, was that related?   

So now it's May 29.  New computer, new learning curve.  Tried finding that email again.  No success.  Am leaving for a week (see Lemurian Choir below).  Running out of time to fiddle with this Google thing.  So, here's a heads up: if I can not get access to my blog when I get back... so be it.  Thank you all for reading and commenting.  You've been wonderful friends and followers.  

You know, of course, that nothing will stop me from starting a new blog.  In fact, it may be a good thing.  It may be a sign to start posting my stories on "Food Sex & God."  Thank you Xavier for that title.  And thank you Mark Travis for asking "What would you write about if you had no fear?"  If I do find the courage to post my FSG stories, I will let you know the address. 
Meanwhile, Phil and I will be learning to sing the 24 ancient pineal tones so we can be part of the great Lemurian Choir event on December 21, 2012 on Maui. 

A hui ho!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Went to Foster Botanical Garden to smell the Corpse Flower from Sumatra, but alas… at ten years of age, it is still considered an immature plant and only opened fully the day before, and only for one day.  They had about a thousand people line up to see and smell it yesterday.  My visit today was a day late.  It had closed up and did not smell bad at all.  I’ll have to wait another three to five years before it will flower again.  At least I saw one up close.  Here’s some info on it:

The Corpse Flower

Amorphophallus titanum, which is said to be the biggest, smelliest flower in the world, looks like something that could eat a human being. When it blooms it can reach over nine feet in height and smells like a mixture of rotting flesh and excrement. The pungent odor attracts bees which are trapped in the flower until they are covered with pollen. Then they are released to fertilize other plants.

A blooming Amorphophallus titanum's "flower" (actually it is technically a leaf or spathe) can be three feet across. It is notoriously difficult to get a titanum to bloom outside of its native Indonesia, and botanical gardens around the world often try for decades without success. Bloomings of the Amorphophallus titanum have happened only about a dozen times in the United States since the first success at the New York Botanical Gardens in 1937.

When the plant does bloom it moves quickly. It can grow as fast as 4 inches per day. The period when the "flower" is open lasts only about two days.

Although the Amorphophallus titanum looks a lot like you would imagine a man-eating plant to look like, and it even smells like somebody is dead inside, it is not carnivorous.

 Dwarfed by a kapok tree

Friday, May 11, 2012


Rembrandt, Self Portrait
In my dream I'm hosting a party for artists and other friends when a well-known woman artist approaches.
In my waking life, this woman once tried to discredit me, but ultimately failed.  I haven't seen her since.  Now she is in my dream.   
I welcome her.  
She ignores me and starts recruiting people to run for office of the Honolulu Pen Women. 
I tell her, “It’s done already. Sabra is president.” 
She stops in her tracks.  She turns her back to me and walks off. 
Oh no.  Not so fast.  I grab her by the arm.  She stops.  
“I’ve got to know something,” I say as I face her up close. “What about that thing in the past?” 
She stares at a spot below my left eye. 
“Your left eye is good,” she says, “and there’s a beautiful spot right below it.” 
I wake up puzzled.  What's that about?

Later when I check my emails, I run across a reference to Rembrandt lighting:

"When a portrait is lit by just one light source from a 45° angle to the model, one side of the face will be lit up and the other side will be part light, part shadow.  A reflection screen can be used to lighten up the shadows.  When a small triangle of light appears under the eye that is on the shadow side of the face, it is called the Rembrandt Triangle.  It's what makes his paintings so compelling."

 Rembrandt, Self Portrait

Still don’t know what to make of my dream, but the connection to Rembrandt is fascinating.   So for fun I checked some photos of myself and found one that sorta-kinda shows a Rembrandt Triangle under my left eye.  

The original photo was by my childhood friend and noted Dutch body painter Ferry Zeeman
My apologies to Ferry for changing the photo by increasing the contrast to make the triangle pop.
Now I'll be looking for Rembrandt Triangles in every picture.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


After having my hair cut by Stuart at Hairspray Salon on Koko Head in Kaimuki, I usually walk over to the vegetable stand on 12th Avenue between Waialae and Harding (parking stall for Kaimuki Taxi) to pick up what looks good or what I might happen to need at the moment. 

Invariably I find myself taking a quick peek at Tam’s Shoe Repair Shop.  Not that anything ever changes inside.  Heaven forbid.  The same archeology of cardboard boxes, plastic bags, suitcases (What is it with suitcases at a shoe repair shop?)…  

The narrow (and narrowing) path between counter and storage rack… 
The constant fluorescent light fixture beating its rays over the same jumble of shoes year after year… 

In the window the same lone brown shoe lies on its side forever.  Old dust…


But wait, there is something new.  I missed it at first.  Go back outside and check out the window again.  A new green poster brightly announces a 50’s 60’s 70’s Oldies Bash Sock Hop 2012 at Pacific Beach Hotel!  How could I have missed it? 


Other than that one item, though, nothing has changed.  So I must be checking for my own peace of mind, making sure it’s all still there.  

 One day it’s going to go “poof!” and be gone forever.