Monday, May 7, 2012

See You In My Dreams

I have always had a very interesting and active dream life. I always remember my dreams and when I've had trouble sleeping over the years it's even more frustrating than just being tired, it means that I'm not dreaming!

Years ago there was an episode of the TV show, Ally McBeal that I really enjoyed and remember quite well. It was about a former teacher of Ally's, a single, older woman who was in the hospital close to death. She hired Ally to represent her because she wanted to be put into a coma so that she could spend time and say goodbye to her family, for in her dreams she was married, had children and grandchildren and lead a full and happy life. The hospital required her to have a court order because, needless to say, her request was quite out of the ordinary. Ally was quite surprised to hear about this lifelong "dream" family and initially didn't understand or want to help, but as her teacher told her of her dream life, she finally understood and, ultimately, was successful in getting the woman what she wanted.

I completely related to that story because of the variety of dreams I've had my entire life. While I don't have a "dream" family, I have several former friends and loves who have frequently visited with me in my dreams over many years.

The first is Dick Godwin who I have not seen since August, 1990. When we met at Sonitrol on 4/14/78 it was love at first sight for me. While he didn't feel the same, we did have a relationship that lasted over many years and we had a great deal of fun together. We investigated and researched many things, dreams being among them. We learned over the years how to remember our dreams; how to manipulate them to go in the direction we wanted; how to be aware of our surroundings while sleeping and dreaming; and how to continue a dream that we had the night before. We read lots of books and studied what the meanings of our dreams were. So it's not surprising that he is the one to visit me more than anyone. It's kind of nice because it has seemed like a way to keep in touch without actually having to. He's married with a couple of kids and there's no room in his life for me, which is fine - but it's nice to have him check in with me and let me know how he's doing.

Next is Bob Stevens, a co-worker from Sonitrol who moved back to his home town of Shingle House, PA about 10 years ago. He and I were/are great friends. We worked and hung out together for many, many years. He's 9 years older than I and gay. I was his first friend when he moved here from PA back in the late 70's. His family never felt comfortable with who he was and he didn't feel comfortable living as a gay man in a little town so he moved here and we met. We were often mistaken for a couple when out; whether it was dinner at a restaurant or shopping for furniture. We always had a good laugh about that because, in reality, we were checking out the same guys! Anyway, once his father got ill and then died, Bob was able to make amends with his family and he moved home. We kept in touch for awhile, but then he moved and I haven't been able to track him down since and I have looked!! He may be dead, as he was a chain smoker and an alcoholic, which may be why I can't find him. I do miss him very much, so when he visits me in my dreams it's wonderful, though I miss him even more.

The next is Mike Harrington, another Sonitrol co-worker. Mike and I sort of thought we would get-together  once he got rid of his demons, but we never did. He died in a car crash in 2006 so that aint' gonna happen!

It's kinda funny, because when I wake up from the dreams where these friends visit, I truly feel like it was a real visit.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Oil Company Profit: Billions of Dollars

Earlier today (or really, yesterday) the US Senate voted to let the oil companies continue getting 4 billion dollars a year of tax breaks (subsidies!) which was the bill to eliminate unnecessary tax subsidies and promote renewable energy and energy conservation.

It didn't seem to matter to them that the top 5 domestic oil companies have made 32 billion dollars in profit this year. That's in addition to the $130 billion dollars in profit from last year. The heads of the top 5 domestic oil companies testified under oath a few years ago that they do not want, need or ask for these tax breaks, but some of their pals in Congress want to continue with them anyway.

There were 47 senators who voted to end the tax subsidies. They received $5,873,600 in campaign contributions from big oil. There were 51 senators who voted to continue with the tax subsidies. They received a whopping $23,582,500 in campaign contributions. Hmm, what does this tell us?

Here's the link to see how your senator voted:

The 5 top US oil companies control 56.3% of the domestic oil refinery capacity. A barrel of oil is 42 US gallons. It costs the oil companies $2 per barrel to get oil out of the ground in the traditional way (derrick.) It costs them $35 per barrell to get oil out of the ground where they have to go through deep water. So the price of oil that is above $45 per barrel is pure profit.

The current price of a US barrel of oil as of 2:31 am on 3/30/12 is $103.52.

You do the math!