left biblioblography: STRANGE XMAS STORIES

Thursday, December 28, 2006

STRANGE XMAS STORIES

Since my DINING WITH ALIENS post seemed to garner a huge degree of popularity, I will share with the rest of my faithful readers (all ten of 'em, heh) some other personal stories.

This Xmas was semi-uneventful. Nobody really shrieked at one another. My brother-in-law (herein referred to as my BIL) still feels obliged to debate/discuss/pontificate about the possibility of possessing a soul, and my (little) sister felt obliged to share her proof of an afterlife.

It's difficult at best to have a debate with him, as I've noted before, he tends to get more than a little sloshed at our family functions. At one juncture, he tried to do the old shift-the-burden-of-proof nonsense on me, to paraphrase, "You have to be able to prove that gawd doesn't exist." This is what I told him:
"I'm NOT going to disprove something you can't prove exists." (Yeesh, why can't people see the essential logical disconnect in a statement like that?).

Little sis told an interesting story (problem is, she told it SEVERAL times, as if my short-term memory's shot: that bugs me, it does. Maybe it's because of my BIL - he tends to go on tangents, while all the while she's nagging him to listen to her. We call them Mr. and Mrs. Constanza on occasion).

A little back story, for the folks who don't know:
About nineteen years ago, little sis (herein referred to as LS) got pregnant. My folks were in a bit of a funk about that, seeing as BIL and LS were cohabiting but unmarried. The night BIL proposed (in front of the whole family sans me), is the night that my father passed on (in his sleep).

That established, fast forward to the present:
The story as I heard it, was that LS, right after she got home from the hospital, claims that she actually saw a vision of my deceased father bending over my niece's crib.

A view words about the recipient of said vision are in order.
She's not a church-goer. Her knowledge of the bible is about below average for the cafe Christian. She's not one of those folks that sees hidden divine mysteries in the falling of a leaf or a shooting star. She's made efforts in the past to squelch any and all discussion about religion. She'd rather blather endlessly about some minor confrontation she had at the grocery store than engage in philosophical debate. I doubt she's seen the inside of a church outside of family funerals or my niece's baptism (and therein lies a tale, for another day).

The old saying is this: "Small minds discuss people, mediocre minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas." Sadly, she falls in the first category.

I made the effort to explain this phenomenon, but I was hesitant: she said something that touches the Great Debate - "That was my moment, and I don't want anyone to take it away."

So I asked her, if my niece's birth had an association with my dad's death. Of course it did. I then explained (the short version: she's a good heart, but not very intellectual), that familiarity is an association with neural pathways. Emotions elicit chemical responses, forming neural pathways via the hypothalamus, etc. Pretty much a "Yessss...?" response. I of course laid out the disclaimer that I am neither biologist nor psychologist (truth is, I was a little buzzed meself). I could've gone on about the bicameral mind, temporal lobe epilepsy, and a little research (the next day) has shown me that postpartnum depression can prompt a psychotic episode (varying between minor to major), but I am loathe to broach it on that level, as most people bridle when you try telling them they had a mental breakdown of some sort. ("What?!? My epiphany was because I was NUTS!?!?! [expletive deleted] YOU!")

And the truth is, occasionally (approximately twice a year) I have odd dreams, where my deceased father shows up, and some back story (in the dream itself) is that he didn't really die, he just went elsewhere for said amount of years - it's all strange, strange, strange.

Any thoughtful input, analysis, or criticism is welcomed on this one.

Now for a bit of humor.

Some years ago, my (older) sis had a boyfriend, who I referred to as a bro-in-law (he's now since gone - a more recent xmas incident was the catalyst for their splitting up). Older sis is a major league prude. So I gave him an utterly wild gift. Prior to opening it, I told him: "Remember: you always have options."

When he opened it, he turned a deep crimson, blushing. Normally, he was unflappable.

It was an inflatable love-doll. Not just any model, though: it was the 'perfect date'. Inflated, it stood at waist heighth (guess where the mouth was?), with a flat surface on the head to rest your drink on.

Needless to say, all the menfolk thought it hilarious. The womanfolk were...not amused. Older sis shrieked "That's completely inappropriate!", and the pictures in the xmas album have a number of shocked looks. My two BILs blew it up and had a field day (in a manner of speaking).

My nephew (he was about 6 or 7 then) began to play with it however. So I had to go hide the damn thing.

No word of a lie, squire. I have photographic documentation of the event (available upon request).

See? I was quite irreverent BEFORE I 'converted' to atheism.

Hmmmm...

Till the next post, then.

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15 comments:

BB-Idaho said...

About one christmas get-together a year seems like one too many!

Mesoforte said...

as if my short-term memory's shot

I'm not going to make an old joke, but I'll let you think I did by writing this. ^_^

And the truth is, occasionally (approximately twice a year) I have odd dreams, where my deceased father shows up, and some back story (in the dream itself) is that he didn't really die, he just went elsewhere for said amount of years - it's all strange, strange, strange.

I actually heard something similiar to this at a presentation by a sociologist at my college. Something about his mother who was getting on in years and had a stroke experienced this 'world' between times that her son visited her. I don't remember enough though.

That was a funny gag present BTW.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BB-Idaho:
About one christmas get-together a year seems like one too many!
You just said a mouthful, my friend.

MF:
I'm not going to make an old joke, but I'll let you think I did by writing this. ^_^
Ooookkkaayyy...
I actually heard something similiar to this at a presentation by a sociologist at my college. Something about his mother who was getting on in years and had a stroke experienced this 'world' between times that her son visited her. I don't remember enough though.
That sounds like an NDE (near death experience).
That was a funny gag present BTW.
It's even more hysterical in the flesh, lemmee tell ya.

Bacon Eating Atheist Jew said...

My father died 5 years ago, and up until recently a couple of times a year, I had a recurring dream that he did not die....something to the affect that he was clinically dead but came out of it....though he was on the verge of dying again in the dream...weird stuff. Now sometimes I dream that I'm back living at home with my siblings and my father is alive an well in it....my age isn't really a factor, I think I have the mind of a teenager in the dream but the experience of a 45 year old.

vjack said...

Thanks for the template tip. I am going to have to check that out. I'm still not convinced it is worth the effort to change, but I might give it a shot if I get bored enough.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BEAJ:
Hey, that's a very similar format in mine, as well. There IS an element of youth (I think: or maybe I'm just being suggestible?) involved. I, for instance, snatch glimpses of our old house in pleasanton, or their old house in Oregon.

vjack:
I'm still not convinced it is worth the effort to change, but I might give it a shot if I get bored enough.
Well, it has some big pluses. Drag 'n drop template, for 1. You still need to copy 'n paste some hacks into the HTML, but look how quick I got this thing going.
The workaround for the problem I had prior (posting comments from old to new blogger) is that you log in 1st, & the issue goes away.
What I did was create a test blog, converted it (if you create 1 now, it'll be in new), & fiddled around. You can build it up at your leisure, & then, when it's purty enuff, you update your central blog, & then copy 'n paste the HTML into it.

karen said...

I dream about both my dead parents a lot. They're always alive in the dream, and my age varies from current to teenage. I dream more about my mother, because I had more issues with her--I think. The house I grew up in is featured quite a bit. In fact, it's almost always a part of the dream if they are in it.

There was one time shortly after my dad died when I was almost convinced I felt him behind me, putting his hand on my shoulder in a time of stress. I don't recall enough about it to really discuss it. It's not something he would have done in life. I think it was just wishful thinking and emotion on my part.

I love your gag gift!
I think I told you my friend gave me a blow up doll for Solstice. He was not anatomically correct, so she supplied him with a tool belt filled with a dildo and various accessories. I thought it was hilarious! I've named him Armando, and he sits in the corner of my family room to greet people.

The new format is pretty. Will have to get used to the parchment color; I think of your blog as the green one!

Krystalline Apostate said...

karen:
Hey darlin'.
I actually...lifted the template off someone else. Glad you like the new format. Sorry it takes so long to load (I know it impacts you somewhat).
I think I told you my friend gave me a blow up doll for Solstice. He was not anatomically correct, so she supplied him with a tool belt filled with a dildo and various accessories. I thought it was hilarious! I've named him Armando, and he sits in the corner of my family room to greet people.
Ummm...no you didn't. So I'm competing w/an inflatable doll & battery operated massagers, ey? ;)

There was one time shortly after my dad died when I was almost convinced I felt him behind me, putting his hand on my shoulder in a time of stress.

Yeah, night after my dad passed, I was convinced I felt his presence. Neural pathways conflicting w/loss, is my guess.
The interesting thing is, in my wastrel youth, I consumed quite a bit of psychotropics, & yet not once did I ever see an imaginary entity. I saw colors, watched my hand make trails, saw walls inhale & exhale, ceiling stucco twirl around, you name it.
Never once did I see an imaginary being materialize &/or dematerialize. Ever.

karen said...

KA
The first time I pulled up the new format, it took a while, and I thought, OH NO! It's black on brown, I'll never be able to read it! What has he done! Then it blinked ionto the parchment color and I sighed a great sigh of relief. This time it opened and changed to parchment very quickly, so no problemo.



Ummm...no you didn't. So I'm competing w/an inflatable doll & battery operated massagers, ey? ;)
Sorry. Must've been Michael i told in a email then. Thought it was on one of your other blog posts. Don't worry, I'll kick Armando to the curb with the toys for you! ;)

I saw colors, watched my hand make trails, saw walls inhale & exhale, ceiling stucco twirl around, you name it.
I had pot brownies once that made me hallucinate that the floor was swallowing me up during a concert. I kept trying to crawl out of an imagined hole. Somethin' tells me it wasn't pot in those brownies...

The only entity I ever saw was me, during my OBEs. But I'm sure somehow that's just more of the neural pathways' and emotions' workings.

PS: Blogger wouldn't give me any letters to copy for the word verification till I typed "there aren't any" in the box! I hope this isn't a triple post, cos I tried to send it multiple times.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Hey doll: sorry about the confusion. I shoulda emailed you, thought about it, went off on a bunny trail on the web.
Don't worry, I'll kick Armando to the curb with the toys for you! ;)
That's okay: a sharp object'll take care of Armando toot sweet. We can keep the toys. ;)
I had pot brownies once that made me hallucinate that the floor was swallowing me up during a concert. I kept trying to crawl out of an imagined hole. Somethin' tells me it wasn't pot in those brownies...
Gadzooks! How awful. Never came that close to a bad 'trip'.
The only entity I ever saw was me, during my OBEs. But I'm sure somehow that's just more of the neural pathways' and emotions' workings.
Kinda like that discussion earlier at the NGB, hmmm? Interesting.
Blogger wouldn't give me any letters to copy for the word verification till I typed "there aren't any" in the box!
Yeah, if I could export evertything to a better blogging util/site, I would. Blogger's improving, but at a snail's pace.

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

HEY!
I've told ya once, Uncy
and I've told ya twice!
Keep yer gaddammm filthy paws offa my Karen!
And Karen... you tease!
I am SO in a huff right now!

Heehh...
Oh, by the by, the both of ye,
check my blog. I've heard a rumor that there might be a new post.

karen said...

hairless
Oh, THERE you are!
I know, I'm a horrible tease.
But just gimme a chance to follow thru sometime wouldja...
;)


A new post on your blog? Yippee!
I'm headin' over there now!

Krystalline Apostate said...

HMDK:
I've told ya once, Uncy
and I've told ya twice!
Keep yer gaddammm filthy paws offa my Karen!
And Karen... you tease!
I am SO in a huff right now!

Arrr, put up yer dukes, then, matey!

HairlessMonkeyDK said...

"Arrr, put up yer dukes, then, matey!"

Beware!
My dukes are... hazardous!

And the rest o' my two-fisted royalty is pretty damn pain-inflictin' and damage-dealin', too!

Krystalline Apostate said...

HMDK:
And the rest o' my two-fisted royalty is pretty damn pain-inflictin' and damage-dealin', too!
Way-ull, you should be a-goin' after Armando 1st, methinks.