Posts Tagged ‘deja vu


PS2 The Sims, Ahead of Its Time


I’m having another one of my nauseating deja vu moments as I indulge myself in some Sims therapy, taking a break from my recent obsessive, stress-injected attempt at online/offline gaming with the grown-up version of Highlights Magazine’s hidden object hunts.

If you feel like reading a short novel and riding my train of thought, enjoy. If your a fellow The Sims fan, all the better. Come on; it will be like reading comments under a YouTube video.

Long ago, in a workplace far away, I met a guy who let me borrow his PS2 and The Sims 2 game. I was quickly enamored with the liberty to design households, not cities or theme parks like the “old” Sims games (which I found a bit tedious and boring, more like work just to watch ants at play). I created a few fun households and slowly figured out how most things worked with the help of certain Cheat Gnome codes. Without the gnome, I was quickly growing frustrated with lack of money, people losing interest in each other and dying from all sorts of unexpected accidents, often fire (because you could only put so much in a house and need to teach people how to use appliances). After failing to complete the “get a life” story mode and earning a few jars in my house, I was ready to look for fun elsewhere. When I returned the game, my coworker said I could keep the memory card, just in case I got my own PS2 and The Sims 2 game. Well, since then, I have misplaced that memory card (because nearly 10 years went by without me acquiring a PS2); but my interest in and memories of that old Sims game sticks with me.

Now, present day, I recently took the plunge and bought myself a PS2 and a Sims game. Well, first, I bought a Sims game for the Wii which kept me busy for a few weeks; it didn’t have all the “bells and whistles of the one I remembered. And, sadly, the Wii graphics could not render bodies smoothly; arms and legs are a bit square and jagged. Still, it’s a fun retreat to an…well, island retreat. And, with a cheat gnome, you can go to town on setting up your own Gilligan’s Island.

As for the PS2, I had some troubles, at first, which delayed my purchase of games. And, while I had hoped to find a copy of The Sims 2 or some even better version, I stumbled upon a copy of The Sims (the first) and couldn’t pass it up…while the salesperson just threw me a look, as if to say, “Really? That old retard? You really want to spend your money on manly sex dolls and transvestite women of color?” I say this because that is sort of what you get in The Sims (the first). The creators were not very skilled with making feminine women…nor giving a decent variety of hair styles and clothes that don’t look like globs of paint…or kid options, in general; though there are some really bizarre dress-up things you can do with the kids which should be available to the adults!

Getting started with The Sims, I was just about as frustrated as I was with The Sims 2; except in the second game, I was able to “woohoo” and marry a number of couples, forming a sort of fantasy harem, with relative ease. And, I definitely had more fun playing dress-up and interior decorator. The first The Sims (not to be confused with the likes of Sim City or the very early flight simulation games) didn’t seem to have a “woohoo” option. Nor did I see the ease of forming relationships. There was no benefit to having a fish tank (except one lousy point for this or that and the fun appearance it has) or most objects which mainly raised the blood pressure of the household fire meter. [In The Sims 2, the fish tank provides fun AND food you can cook, oddly. And, a couch can provide fun items and money. In the first The Sims, you’re lucky if you get a phone call that informs you of some strange cash prize like a Community Chest card in Monopoly.] You really need space and lighting to see into rooms and allow dumb people to move without colliding, so they don’t forget what they are doing and get into trouble. But, this takes money and causes other risks.

So…why bother with The Sims (the first)? Well, once I looked online for cheat codes and discovered, sadly, there was no gnome, I was considering tossing the game…..and then I noticed codes for freebies and a “fish eye” mode. Well, it was better than nothing. And, for the most part, Fish Eye (1st person) mode is fairly fun. You get to see people’s faces…at times, which is fun when you kiss someone or give them back rubs. You can enjoy yourself in a bathtub or shower. You can walk around the houses like you’re playing Duke Nukem. The only downside is not being able to look at the people around you (not just directly in front of you)–for example, when you’re dining with guests–seeing the baby in your arms, etc. There was so much effort to block nudity and the like that certain views were impossible.

Alas, without the ability to quickly fill “motives,” the game seemed a chore…and has become a chore, particularly in “chapter five,” when it seems you are forced to raise two kids. And, that’s one rather funny and strange part. It’s almost like a Greek myth. My newly married wife didn’t even have sex with me to conceive. She just took a very sensual bath, and–poof!–flower petals rain down as a cradle is born nearby. And, we clap before the kid starts wailing and draining every battery until no parent wants to attend him/her, and the game warns you of child services coming to take the child away. I was genuinely tense reading that; I was/am taking virtul child-raising seriously. There’s no option to toss or punt the kid when he becomes intolerable and no cheat code to make them happy. It’s buck up or game over. And, I didn’t want to get through four chapters of this story just to get a grim ending and be denied completion. [Just to add a note, the second kid was born when, shortly after the first sprang from infant into a fully intellectual and talented child, as mysteriously as the way she was born, when the mother (not the strange non-customize-able Mom figure, just to be clear) went to make breakfast. Having read about how Hera birthed Hephaestus, that was all that came to mind. This woman had no sex and was birthing kids from the water and food. Amazing and amusing.

When the first kid was forced into the “life” of my Sims protagonist, I had a powerful flashback or deja vu moment. I had read about this game. I had studied so many aspects. I knew what was limited and what was unique. Didn’t I? Or, am I imagining it? Am I suffering some sort of insanity from too much solitude? When did I read up on this game? When did I write about it before? I knew you were not supposed to keep the wife happy in chapter five; you’re supposed to let her be miserable so you can get two promotions, which require a fair amount of socializing if you pick the Musician career path (which I did because there’s no other Artist path, not even a cook as you could be in the Castaway game). If she is too happy, the kid seems to come with ease…and the kid sure did! I just wanted to make my wife happy.

I…forgot? what I had read…but then remembered. Weird. I remembered and am remembering all that I supposedly read too late. If I had ready internet access to all that is The Sims, I might have caught myself in time. Instead, I am forced to save a single file prematurely just to save me from repeating a thousand steps in a day; and this leaves me with getting out of some jams which cost goals and time…and that takes the fun away.

Now, if you’ve stuck with me this far, you might be saying, “Wait. The title of this post says something about the game being ahead of its time. What did you mean by that?” I’m getting to that. I just get carried away, now and then.

This is another freaky part, aside from all the freakish faces I’ve encountered in the game and being forced to get into a hot tub with some unappealing stranger just to wake from a dream and get screeced at by an equally unappealing mother figure. When I went to design a woman, the first design that appears looks INCREDIBLY close to the beloved Taylor Alison Swift, the sweet-sounding songstress I’ve come to adore. No fooling; check it out for yourself. You just start designing a family and switch Male to Female; and–bam–there she is standing before you. Except, the eyes may be a bit green; there seems to be a Sims standard for starting with green eyes. But, you can fix that. Still, the woman sure looks like Tay…and kinda sounds like Tay. But…..this game was made in 2002. In 2002, Tay was a mere 13, her cosmic number. And, throwing another freaky wrench at you readers, there’s a clothing option that features a T-shirt with the number 13 on it. Why that number of all numbers? I’ve seen plenty of sporty shirts in games with numbers like 5, 7 and 21. And, in a game like this, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 69. But, 13? Why 13? Was that the number of the day the game was released? How…convenient. Convenient like the instrument choices the game provides, including a RED (Tay favored color) electric guitar and a piano approved by Arianna Grande…er, Arianna Chimeway. Hmm…but the name on the piano was close to Grande…another intriguing detail. So, now you see what I meant by the game being ahead of its time. These bizarre inclusions and my sickening bouts with deja vu have supplied ample time-traveling madness.

How is this possible? How is it a game from 2002 can be a Tay Swift simulator? I didn’t see more than a glimpse of her until 2008. When I start the Castaway game, the first female figure option is usually a dark-haired woman who looks like a cruise director. From what I recall of The Sims 2, that also presented me with a dark-haired woman as a starting step, though both The Sims 2 and Castaway have a “randomizing” feature. The Sims (the first) seems set on presenting you with a Ken doll and Taylor Swift. Bizarre. Almost as bizarre as the feeling I am having even now, that I have written all of this before and am just repeating myself.

Submitted for your approval; a man of considerable age and fair wisdom has a very strange experience, an encounter with a virtual and highly desired lover, for what may be the second time in The Sims Zone………..


The Shirley Zone…Submitted for Your Discussion


Yesterday, I posted my “love letter” to Shirley MacLaine.  And, as I wrote it a few days ago, I found myself saying…I’ve done this before (again).  As I edited one bit just yesterday, I could predict a comment I would receive.

Then, last night, I watched Terms of Endearment for what I thought was the first time.  [I can’t recall ever seeing the film.  I just remember the award shows for that year when the cast was on stage.]  And, I heard this little voice saying…”Wanna watch it with us?”  Then my own little voice said, “No.  I don’t want to spoil my view of Shirley from her earlier work.”  And, then the first voice said, “Oooh.  I didn’t know you had an interest in her earlier work.  What is this fascination you have with her?”

And, though I heard these voices as the movie started, I sat through it, anyway. It wasn’t the worst thing she could have done.  But, for a character named Aurora, she looked anything but colorful.  It was a very raw, emotional and modern slice of problematic life.  She was at a pivotal moment in her real life and apparently working it out in this film.  I think age was getting to her; thus she aged herself a bit…or felt a need to “act her age.”  I suspect at this time or soon after she stopped joking around as much and took a new look at herself…or felt “desperate” to try some new things while still holding tight to the reins of selective control.

I gotta say…the movie makes me like John Lithgow and Danny DeVito less. Strangely, the film gave Jeff Daniels depth and didn’t make him appear so terrible to me for what he did.  What was more upsetting was Debra Winger not confessing her secret before the end.  Yet, I think, she did what she did to lessen the pain of what was to come.  But, what if what she suffered would have passed her by had she confessed to her hubby?

As for Jack…you know Jack…he is pretty much the same guy I like/dislike from his other films.  There is one scene in which Shirley invites his astronaut character into her bedroom to “see a painting.”  And, when he enters the house, he just looks so grubby and shady like a thief in the night without the cat burglar costume/skills.  His best moment–the lucky bastard–was groping Shirley at the beach.  I wanted her to rip his arm off! 😛

Getting back to Danny…who is he supposed to be??  He just pops up in a few scenes, not saying much but taking an interest in Shirley’s character.  Is he an old ogling friend?  A husband of a female friend?  It just irked me seeing him pop up.

Looking at the theatrical trailer, it was one of those lousy versions that shows a near-complete synopsis of the story, leaving out the tragedy at the end.  A hard sell.

Seeing Debra Winger yell at her kids reminded me of my family, one member in particular.  And, as I confronted that member today, she shared a shocking little moment she had yesterday which made her think of me.  The two ripples collided, leaving an unsettling feeling running through me to this moment…

I did not have an easy time getting to bed and now know I probably should not have watched that movie.  Yet, a tiny part of me thinks it was like a rock in the sea on a sailing voyage.  I could have avoided it if I listened to word of mouth.  But, I faced it and steered around it best I could.  How it will impact my voyage is yet to be seen….

Perhaps, in the Shirley Zone.


The Little Deja Vu Bell Tolls, Again and Again


In the past few weeks…maybe two months?…I have been hearing the little deja vu bell, again.

I have been whipping up several designs for book covers and other projects with silhouettes.  And, certain ones just hit a certain note in my head, telling me I’ve made these before.  I can go so far into these thoughts that I hear and see a sibling talking to me about the files on my computer.  I am almost always in a position where I should be clearing space because the hard drive is too full.

So, I am thinking…are all these thoughts warning me of the near future?  Is it possible I am reliving a past version/lap of this life with better awareness of what’s ahead?  [I say this regardless of any previous mention.]

But, as I sit here now, going through some scrolls of blog posts, I find myself thinking about a particularly Halloween-y image I made yesterday and how vividly I can see my sister and I looking at it, wondering what good it will do.

Some days, it makes me want to cry or scream in a mad fit.  What is this I am experiencing?  And, what good will it do me?  [Or, what harm could it do?]  Some days I heed the warnings.  And, others, I question my sanity.


Psychic Log 12-19-2014, A Repeating Artwork/Image

Psychic Log 12-19-2014

I needed to draw up a quick sketch of a giant monster to grasp the dimensions I needed for a scene in my latest book. The drawing came together rather quickly and effortlessly (as did the domain of the monster which struck a few familiar bells as I wrote in the details). Then, upon completion, I felt that all too familiar queasiness ripple through me not just once but twice. I had drawn this image at least twice before this night. I recalled speaking with a young coworker about it and seeing his usual blank/confusing reaction (as if he didn’t hear what I said/couldn’t see the picture). But, I can see him clear as day in my mind and hear myself explaining this to him.

This has to be something other than a psychic prediction because I no longer work with this guy. So, what am I seeing/experiencing? [As for the second time I drew this image, my recollection is much less clear. I simply recall saying to the young coworker that I had drawn this same image once before.]


Dragon Inn Theater and Dragon Tattoo, Too–My Recent DVD Views Review

Among the lot from my most recent stop to rent DVDs, I just finished watching “G.I. Joe:  Retaliation”, “Goodbye, Dragon Inn” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (the original Swedish version).  Here are my thoughts:

G.I. Joe:  Retaliation

Synopsis:  The Joe team gets ambushed after locking away Cobra Commander and Destro, and the remaining members of both teams duke it out over a nuclear weapons scare.  New faces abound with some new nifty technology tricks (namely Firefly’s homing explosives which look like…wait for it…fireflies).

The gritty combat action and Cobra plots were better than in the first film.  [However, the fight scenes with Snake Eyes were not any better.]  Though relieved not to see so much goofy computer animation, cinematography didn’t impress me as much this time.  I still don’t quite understand the need to wipe out the G.I. Joe team, change CC and oust Destro (supposedly the original cast who apparently did not care to do another film in the series?).  But then, film makers did the same thing with Mortal Kombat, and we all know how that went.  No third movie was made.

Bruce Willis (Joe) was amusing.  Adrianne P. (Lady Jaye) and Elodie Y. (Jinx) were beautiful.  And, Firefly was brilliant (aside from the corny boat chase near the end).  But, considering the cast changes and the sad end? to Zartan, the poo quickly piled up on this one.  I can only hope–if there is a third movie–it’s a major improvement with some of the original cast.  [I’m looking at you, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (the original CC) and Sienna Miller (a great Baroness minus the earrings).]

TGI a rental.

Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Synopsis:  In case you’re completely clueless (as I was until I stumbled upon it), this looks like an independent/film festival (small screen) film about a small movie theater running a martial arts film on its closing night (before demolition or reconstruction due to its crumbling condition and lack of staff).  Only a limping female ticket clerk and a young male projectionist (who doesn’t appear until the last third of the 80 minute movie) manage the theater.  A tourist escapes the rain outside and discovers an assortment of fellow wanderers who seem less interested in the movie and lost in themselves.  In the end, there is a hint of unfulfilled romance and a fitting song.

I get the feeling the creator/s of this film wanted to capture a favorite theater the way they experienced it before the place was shut down and took advantage of permitted access to film the various corridors and mysterious storage areas (which are never explained).  I did a similar take on the closing of a place I previously worked.  My camera wasn’t of the same quality, but my footage amounted to as much without the cast of characters supplied quietly into this film.  And, when I composed a montage/music video with my footage, I did some editing to make it more interesting.  This, on the other hand, is more like raw footage on quality film and a virtual movie theater experience.  You can sit behind someone for a few minutes and see what that feels like.  And, the moments are quite random (without much continuity).

There is very little dialogue.  In fact, the majority of talk is handled by the film within the film which provides subtitles.  And, while the camera shots and angles are decent, there are long, lagging clips that could easily put some to sleep.  This is beyond a “sleeper” yet it inspired me to write something and think about working with the crew to re-create the film with more content.  It’s a good concept.  But, unless my DVD player was missing some special features, the overall product was significantly lacking.

Definitely a late night rental you watch with that special someone when you can’t get to the theater and want to drift asleep together.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009 Swedish original film)

Synopsis:  A reporter loses his job and gets a minor prison sentence after digging up dirt on a corrupt wealthy businessman.  In his hiatus from work, he is hired by another wealthy man to solve the mystery of his missing “daughter” (Harriet)…but not solve the mystery (as Mr. Vanger says).  Meanwhile, a 24 year-old, unorthodox (punk) computer hacker working for another publication digs into the reporter’s case and ends up working with him (in more ways than one) to resolve Harriet’s disappearance.  Rated R for good reason.

In short, the story is decent–but not very unique–with its share of dramatic cuts and music.  The characters are abundant and fairly interesting…but their development is lacking.  [This may just be another “You need to read the book” thing about another one of these book-to-film projects.]  The key moment that triggered this negative thought is when the reporter and his young hacker assistant decide to have a spontaneous sex scene.  Like other “murder” mysteries I’ve been reading as of late, these sex scenes are the worst kind of surprises completely misplaced (unless you consider the young woman’s actions from a therapist’s point-of-view).  Other than the intimate exchanges, the hacker and reporter DO make a somewhat refreshing team.  But, their lack of depth makes them less valued than the average RPG  video game characters.

Also, the usual suspects–a large enough family seeking money from their elders–are almost glazed over and diminished by a few graphic (though not quite graphic enough for the next letter rating, X) scenes which seem included purely for “realistic” shock value.  Justice is not exactly served.  [Even jail seems…WiFi pleasant?]  And, we are left wondering what the sequels could possibly entail (while I think leaving Harriet missing until the next “chapter” would have been a smarter ending).  [I fast forwarded through most of the violent sex which would have been discomforting to watch in the theater.  And, in my personal opinion, the girl should have stopped when she played the video for the cops to find.]

Is it poor writing if I figure out who the killer within the first few minutes he/she is mentioned?  Or, am I just a great detective/guesser?

I will likewise view the sequels and skim through/over the American version of the first film in time.  But, save the ticket price and rent/borrow these for popcorn thrillers with someone you trust to sit next to you.


The Girl Who Played with Fire (TGWTDT part 2)

Synopsis:  After solving a missing person’s case as a dynamic, intimate and yet distanced personally duo, Lisbeth and Mikael must work together to clear her name from a murder charge tied to her former guardian (who she cannot leave alone after he assaulted her).  The murder leads to ghosts from Lisbeth’s past which drag her friends into the fire before the girl (technically a woman in her twenties) gets some (more) revenge.

The second installment of the story is slightly less disturbing than the first.  In this one, the sex is purely consensual.  Yet, is it necessary?  Not really.  Even if Miriam Wu (Yasmine) is an attractive nude, the nudity is not key to the story.  Thus I think it could be veiled.  The fire comes into play as we learn a bit of Lisbeth’s personal history and uncover some faces from the past who surprisingly reappear.

In the first movie, there was extensive PC hacking and (internet) research as well as active interaction between (main) characters (even if they were far apart).  There was also a large family that briefly appeared as suspects.  The sequel lacks some of the active “enjoyment” of the research/investigation and involves friends of Lisbeth in perils that remind me of a cheesy 80’s martial arts film.  It didn’t really grab me until the last twenty or thirty minutes when Lisbeth’s family came into the picture.  Her friend, the reporter from Millenium, seemed of less significance until the end, too.

In short, you could see this one and skip the first if you want to avoid the most graphic violence/sex (though the DVD Lisbeth makes reappears in every segment/film).  But, you might miss a few small details and introductions.


The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest (TGWTDT part 3)

Synopsis:  Lisbeth’s past leaves her battered in a hospital with her father not far away and looking to rub her out.  Instead, someone from his secret organization kills him and misses a shot at Lisbeth before a major investigation into that organization and the crimes committed with/against Lisbeth unfolds.  Mikael must make some “tough” choices to protect those he values.  And, Lisbeth must decide, once more, how far she will take her thirst for vengeance while clearing her name in court.

I’d almost give the same advice for the third film that I gave for the second if not for the key details about Lisbeth’s father and family in that previous sequel.  The last quarter of that film sets us up for this film.  [The part played by Lisbeth’s friends in part two seems to have no impact whatsoever on this third chapter.]  And, here we have a hospital scene that turns into a lengthy court trial injected with Mikael action until Lisbeth is free to do as she pleases in the final minutes.  As with the first film, the “rap up” disappoints me a bit.  This sequel was meatier (had more content/research) than the last but wasn’t much more entertaining.  At least, it was void of sexual abuse/content (aside from the brief reappearance of the rape DVD) and thus could have dropped the R rating if not for a few other odd bits of violence (one of which was a bit silly/unbelievable near the end).

As a whole, the trilogy feels more “episodic” and could be seen on TV as part of a larger series.  It’s refreshing to see such different characters working together with modern technology.  But, the “cases” needing resolution were nothing new, and the R-rated tidbits were pointless other than to justify Lisbeth’s abuse and sexual nature/comfort.  I’d be tempted to work with someone (since the author is technically deceased) on sequels/further adventures of Lisbeth/Mikael.  But, before I judge too much, I am going to suggest reading the books (which I have not yet) to compare stories.  As I said with my review of the first film, these movies might just be “cliff notes” of a more detailed story we should be reading first.


The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Synopsis:  Steve Carell plays a troubled, aging magician who was once a bullied boy before he became an outdated spectacle of an ever-changing craft.  He works with his long-time friend Anton (Steve Buscemi) and female assistant Jane (the lovely Olivia Wilde) who replaces countless other blonde bimbos the inconsiderate and highly waxed magician hires (and sleeps with).  And, he repeatedly clashes with a self-torture artist named Steve Gray (played by Jim Carrey).  The late James Gandolfini plays a hotel “big cheese” who seems to hold the fate of these magicians in his wealthy hands.  Down on his luck, Burt must remember why he became a magician with the help of his mentor Rance (Alan Arkin) and the reappearing Jane (Wilde) before he loses his friend (Buscemi) forever.  Meanwhile, Steve Gray (Carrey) attempts to humiliate Burt at every turn as he seeks the hotel magician throne.

Carell is a lucky man to work so closely with such lovely women (considering he’s married).  As he did with Anne Hathaway in “Get Smart”, he has some amusing intimacy with Jane (Wilde) which could have gone far worse (raunchy) than it did.  My guess is Olivia took this job to expand her unusual range of characters/roles.

In short, I laughed sufficiently and would have enjoyed this in a theater with the right company.  There are a few disturbing moments (including the ending which has that “so wrong” feeling though it strikes me as still slightly funny) and cheesy tidbits which get washed over by the sheer unsettling demeanor of Carell in character (who has never looked scarier).  Wonderstone rivals Carell’s Evan character from “Bruce Almighty” who was a stiff jerk of a news anchor, climbing the corporate ladder while stealing Bruce’s (Carrey’s) thunder.


Cloud Atlas

Synopsis:  A number of famous (and some not so famous) faces question the possibility of deja vu as they cross paths in past, present and futuristic lives which repeatedly test love and truth.  In each time period featured, two characters (not always who you’d expect) are soul mates, at least one person helps the soul mates and another one or more create obstacles for those soul mates to conquer.  Each loving pair tries to achieve some grand revelation of truth to satisfy their souls against all odds.  And, each achieves some measure of success as well as hardship/failure.  Throughout the series of lives and events, a piece of music–written (as we see it) by a young bisexual man–acts like a cosmic string that binds these people together.

It’s a bit difficult to grasp from the start.  The worst aspect might be how the time periods shift so often and at random.  You just about figure out what’s happening in one place and get jetted off to another with the same actors in different roles.  Certain time periods have languages that require some thought to process (particularly the far future time period).  But, after the first thirty minutes or so, you (hopefully) start to see where events are going and how these lives connect and intersect.  One connection I found particularly interesting involves Jim Broadbent playing the naive “victim” chasing an old flame in one story while playing the cunning “thief”/”villain” in another.  In the latter, we find the young pianist who writes the “Cloud Atlas Sextet” and becomes Broadbent’s victim, and, in the former, the same young man plays the wife of Broadbent’s (character’s) brother who (spoiler) foolishly slept with the other brother.  If you made sense of that much, you’re off to a good start.

Since it required watching twice to better understand some of what was being said and happening, I’d recommend this as a rental with plenty of brain food (snacks) and, ideally, some company of the opposite sex.



Looking for “Repeaters” Like Me

I am just about at wit’s end with something verging on either intense deja vu or psychic ability and am wondering if anyone else out there is experiencing the same “phenomena”.  Surely, I cannot be the only one.  Can I?

Here’s the story.  For about the past three to five years, I’ve been doing, saying and/or drawing things that suddenly trigger “memories” of another time when I did the same.  From customers/tasks at work…to creative projects/drawings/computer videos I assembled…to words with family.  I hear and see “echoes”.  Sometimes, I hear my family criticizing me.  But, they’re not present when I am doing whatever presently.

Recently, I drew a poster/picture and saw myself at an art show with my father and someone scrutinizing my art…but it wasn’t necessarily my art.  It might have been the other person’s artwork, and my father and I were the ones studying it, saying I could have done that.  But, it’s a very familiar picture.  Except, I don’t know this til I start drawing it.  This happened at least five times while starting “new” pictures.  Each time I thought I was trying something new.  Then, I’d sketch a portion and flash “back” to another place and time.  I can remember being in a tough spot with family coming to clear out the room…and I go through these drawings.  Some are inked.  Some are not.  Just as I see them now.

I write emails, and the moment I send them, I see the response (but there is no response…yet).  I can hear myself discussing my discouragement from the response with my sister.

I’ve asked people before about this with great trepidation of being written off as a loon.  My family isn’t the best source of comfort/counsel.  And, just about anyone else I’ve asked doesn’t know what to say, either.

I asked if I should repeat the action or go a different direction.  One person said to go along with the same action.  And, as I said about drawing, I thought I was trying something new until it felt familiar.  But, the other direction led me to another familiar point.

There are philosophies and videos/stories out there that might touch on this…
Religions that speak of reincarnation…
Scientific theories of parallel universes…
Movies like “Groundhog Day” where the man repeats the same day until he “gets it right”…
And, recently, a book by Kate Atkinson called “Life After Life:  A Novel” depicts a woman reliving a life over and over through war times…

I’ve found a few sources that mention how the universe speaks to us, giving us signals and signs we might not always see.  But, the purpose of this “repeating” has yet to be clear to me.  The only thing I can guess is the universe is trying to tell me I am going down the wrong path.  But, if that’s true, then every “direction” I’ve picked thus far is wrong.  I’m not doing what I should be.

Well, that’s fine.  But, must everything I do with my time feel wrong?  Can’t I feel good about SOMETHING?  Because, so far, I don’t really feel good about anything.  Nothing present, anyway.  I don’t feel in control.  I don’t feel stable.  I don’t care what people say about the need to be or appear confident.  I won’t fake what I lack.  Confidence comes with success.  I feel short on successes.

I can remember childhood moments that felt good.  But, much of that period of my life is a blur, too, blanking out bits about family pushing me aside to chat with each other, leaving me to keep myself busy doing things I’d find senseless or boring now.

I hate to waste.  I hate to waste time.  I hate to waste paper and cling to art supplies, hoping whatever they are used for is something great and appreciated.  I don’t like hearing people say they’re “killing” time.  I don’t like expending time and/or energy on people who won’t work with or listen to me and respond fairly.  I don’t like making mistakes.  Period.

I realize my life has been a bit…different…from the “norm”.  And, I won’t likely go into many details about my past or present.  But, perhaps this is a symptom of being “sheltered” a bit…of being solitary so long that my mind has developed this way.  And, no, I don’t think it’s “crazy” of me.  I take this seriously.

So, do you, dear reader, experience or know someone who experiences these “echoes”?  I’d like to know your story/viewpoint.