Monday, September 18, 2017

Photo/review SHE- MOON rehearsal. Performed 9/24 @THE MUSE, burlesque, aerialists, performance celebration of woman as goddess,

Advance review
A Show About Butts
Artists in Residence at The Muse Brooklyn
September 24th 7:00pm

Many women struggle with being authentic. How they are perceived, defined and expected to act can conflict with their real desire and experience. She-Moon celebrates female essences-- what’s hidden, taboo, ecstatic and ridiculous. And what cannot be ignored, your butt. In Matthew Phillips’ gymnastic piece, which may be the evening’s most outrageous, it’s the focus that lets him soar lyrical and crash to Earth. In Victoria Myrthil’s Goddess of Light, it seems a fun rhythmic part of a celestial plan.
At the dress rehearsal I saw, all were extraordinary in ways you could not anticipate. The aerialists were fascinating. Torrie Rose (Moon) was impossibly fluid in lovely movements that seemed to follow her own inclination. Ariel Iasevoli was charismatic as The Dark Side of the Moon. She brought an intensity to her chain dance that both riveted attention and kept you at a distance.
Emma Miller’s Clown Goddess went for obvious and satirical pokes at how we look at butts and their plasticity on our bodies, not to mention the sounds they make. Then there’s Sara Minisquero’s Goddess of Self Love, who evokes a kind of everywoman’s reactions to both stuffing a butt too big in clothes and the reverse. She takes it all off, in a well fought liberation of her female form.

SHE-MOON owes a lot to the musicians. Carissa Matsushima, Music Director, MAUDE GUN – Molly Murphy, Jenni Messner, April Centrone and Andrew Lasky. There is also a passionate song by Maddy Campbell, director of SHE-MOON (Blood Moon Goddess), who brings this inspired performance together.
The National Theatre of MatMadia presents:
a show about butts
Artists in Residence at The Muse Brooklyn
September 24th at 7pm
Tickets: $20 at door/$15 presale
The Muse Brooklyn, 350 Moffat Street, Brooklyn
The National Theatre of MatMadia is proud to present SHE MOON: A Show About Butts at The Muse Brooklyn. SHE MOON, an ensemble creation, is directed by Maddy Campbell.

SHE MOON offers all forward-thinkers to look behind – well- at the behind! This lively performance-art piece celebrates the Femme – and Feminine – Dariaire. If you are female or identify as(s) one.

SHE MOON incorporates aerial, dance, storytelling, music and magic, and rocks out with the punk band, MAUDE GUN with Carissa Matsushima. The cheeky ensemble company shares their parable and stories with the audience and to the Moon … because she always listens.
Doors open at 7:00 p.m. with a Moon Market and Goddess Party at the newly renovated Muse outdoor space. In the hour-long crack-of-time prior to the performance, aerialists entertain and free champagne flows. The Moon Market is full of artists and artisans including baked goods, spiritual services, tarot readings, art and much more. Moon Goddesses will be waiting to bless you with bubbly to the music by Carissa Matsushima. Discounts at the door for those dressed as Moon Goddesses. SheMoon supports local LGBTQ- and People-of-Color-owned businesses.
Bottomline: Using the parable of A Woman’s Ass, we will to celebrate women’s bodies through stories of oppression, repression, joy and sorrow.
MADDY CAMPBELL (Director, Butt Nymph, Goddess of The Blood Moon) is a classically trained, experimental actor, singer, playwright based in NYC. Recent credits includes starring in a show she wrote at The New York Fringe Festival, The Coward and The Induction of Lady M(Greenpoint Gallery)..
MATTHEW PHILLIPS (Butt Nymph, Butt Plug Goddess) is a director/ interdisciplinary performer based in Brooklyn. Recent credits include The Coward at Fringe NYC and Facets, an interactive Lecoq gallery show directed by Sophie Ameiva. His drag persona Laurel Fixation performs regularly at the House of Yes, Bizarre Bushwick, and the Brooklyn Muse.
SARA MINISQUERO (Butt Nymph, Goddess of Self Love)is a Burlesque Perfomerer known as Bona Sara. She is also an actress, stage manager, dramaturg and producer. Credits include Step 1 Theatre Project, Bizarre Bushwick (Stage Management), and White Rabbit Productions.
VICTORIA MYRTHIL (Butt Nymph, Goddess of Light)is a native Brooklyn artist. As an actor her talents vacillate between stage and screen working on various genres ranging from comedy to comedia and drama to experimental.  Victoria has toured internationally with Trey Anthony Studios in the stage production of Da’ Kink in My Hair and can be seen in various on screen projects.
EMMA MILLER (Butt Nymph, Goddess of Shit) is a New York based actor experienced in new and devised work. Recent credits include creator and clown in CT Feels Funny at Lady Fest at The Tank (2017), Violet Hunter in Red Monkey Theater Group's Sherlock Holmes: Adventure of the Copper Beeches at Lyndhurst Mansion, Vera Claythorne in And Then There Were None, and co-creator and actor in original sketch comedy show Singin’ and Talkin’ with Christopher Walken.
ARIEL IASEVOLI (The Dark Side of the Moon) is an aerialist, creative visionary, and movement specialist.  The native New Yorker has performed and practiced Pole since 2007.
TORRIE ROSE (The Moon) Is an aerialist and fire spinner. Torrie fuses technique with artistry to create a well rounded performance. Specializing in lyra, her flexibility and flow meld seamlessly. Based in New York, Torrie trains primarily at the Muse Brooklyn. Her performances range from cabaret style to nightlife events to burlesque. Torrie traveled with King Cole Circus during the summer of 2016 as an Aerial Showgirl. She excels at creature portrayal, fully embodying any character she is given.  In more traditional roles, Torrie demonstrates beautiful lines, as well as excellent flexibility and a captivating presence.   
CARISSA MATSUSHIMA (Music Director) is a multi- passionate performing artist who just released a single with her band Carissa & The Voodoo Lilies, available on Spotify, iTunes etc. When she's not performing with the band, she is a manager at Daya Yoga Studio, dances with Leah Moriarty in her company Beat Piece, and co-hosts a jam session called The Healing. Other NYC based companies she has worked with are David Gordon's Pick Up Company, Ni'Ja Whitson's The NWA Project, The Dance Cartel, Built4Collapse, and The Nettles. She has performed music at Rockwood Music Hall, Caffe Vivaldi, Maxwell's Tavern, Roulette, and The Way Station.
KATE SONELL (Developer, Assistant Director) is a queer NYC based theatre artist. Kate’s work ranges from ASM with PUFFS at New World Stages to Props Master at National Theatre of Matmadia’s The Coward: A Madcap Fairytale at the 2016 NYC  Fringe Festival to Developer and Performer in Free the Arts Festival, currently in it’s inaugural year.
MAUDE GUN (Band) two chicks in brooklyn who love ornate storytelling mash together acoustic folk and post-punk to bring you irreverent song-cycles like CLAUDIA, THE WORD. the harmonies are electrifying, the word-play is gratuitous; the characters are wry and the sound-paintings are effing mythical. the chicks, molly (aka DIESEL) and jenni (aka ANGELFACE), cut through some heavy Imposter Syndrome and Perfectionism by crafting detailed imagined worlds.  
THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF MATMADIA The National Theatre of MatMadia, co-founded by Maddy Campbell and Matt Phillips, is a collective of Brooklyn based artists focused on putting fun, absurd and monstrous ideas on stage. With a base in clowning and bouffan combined with classically trained actors, we delve head first into extreme physical acting, fire performance and drag. Our stories use 'the mystique' to explore themes about mental illness, ‘fucking with gender’ and the psychedelic. Known to ‘not pull any punches’ our work is violent, messy and monstrous.
Image by: Stevie Rayder
Support NY Independent Theater and Film!

Poster with Maude Gun.jpg

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Alice Waters COMING TO MY SENSES: the making of a counter culture cook is a feast--politics, pleasures and food

 Around 1973 or 74, my boyfriend and I wandered into a funky restaurant in Berkeley. I remember a hand-lettered sign, Chez Panisse, and a casual open space with arty touches. It had one choice on the menu but it was French.  I don't remember what we ate, only that it was tasty. There was a woman, who asked us how we liked the food, who said it came from her garden. It was a wait for food but we came back for the freshness, the food and her attitude, as though it was all a lark.

Fast forward to 2017, where you have to look no further than Whole Foods to realize how Alice Waters changed the way we buy, cook and eat food. In her new autobiography, COMING TO MY SENSES: The Making of a Counterculture cook (Clarkson Potter/Penguin Random, Sept), Waters explains how her early life and the 1960s counterculture were essential ingredients to her evolution. At 27, Waters, a home cook without formal chef training, opened a restaurant based on a love of French cooking and an instinctual delight in nature, food and life.

How  Waters "came to her senses" is a bit ironic, since she says just following her senses led her to her life's path. Born in 1944, growing up in the 1950s in Chatham, New Jersey, she was an unlikely candidate for the counterculture.  Hers was a traditional family that was happy. Her mother worked in the home raising four daughters, while her father, an HR psychologist, worked for companies managing workers. Though money was always tight, Waters  recalls her mother's concern for health. They always had  gardens and meals were often planned around what they grew. Creativity was part of it. Once she won a contest with a bonnet her mother devised from vegetables. Waters also talks about peach ice cream  made from scratch and never frozen.

Following her senses in high school meant Waters puzzling out sexual attraction, drinking being wild but also, as was expected doing well enough to go to college. When her father took a job in Los Angeles her senior year, her focus changed. In a  more  academic school, she aspired to learn from smart people and become one. That desire led her seek out the company of interesting people and feed them, all her life. But in the 60's, when she eventually landed in U.C. Berkeley, she was shocked by the exciting and demanding intellectual environment.

The Free Speech Movement was one of a range of political groups that sprang up, spurred by the many young men, who did not want to be drafted to die in a war considered unjust. Disillusioned with the aims and profits of the "military industrial complex," students faced the lottery, where a low number meant certainty of being sent to Vietnam on graduation or before, if grades fell, or you could no longer afford to continue. The movements were fanned by the nightly sight of body bags piled up with no end in sight. American culture's verities no longer held.

In a U.S., where assassination had killed a President JFK, RFK, his attorney General, King, a major Civil Rights figure, and possession of political material meant jail, paranoia was rampant among young people. The counterculture developed as a response, seeking new values and groups, such as Vietnam Veterans Against the War, were part of a mass movement for workable change. African Americans fought for Civil Rights. Women sought equality in education and jobs. With the advent of the pill, they had the option  to pursue an independent life unlike their mother. Economic and personal autonomy for Waters meant she could follow her life, as she wanted. But first on the agenda for the counterculture was to end the war.

For Waters, who joined the Free Speech Movement with the support of her mainstream family, it also became about feeding people. She started cooking at home for  friends and soon for large groups. Alice Waters grew up on fresh food, as well as 50s standards and liked whatever tasted good., white bread, hot dogs, chile con carne. Life in Berkeley represented freedom from the conformity of growing up in the 1950s. In an era before "branding" she simply sought a better way to eat. What exactly did she bring to the table?

She answers this question in a serial fashion, over the years, finely attuned to her physical surroundings, people and and a sense of what was essential for pleasure and happiness for herself and those who joined her journey.  She traveled to Europe with friends and learned about life and cuisines. In France she saw ancient texts about the care and uses of plants and came to appreciate both the respect for nature and slow cooking.

As the counterculture waned for Waters and she couldn't afford to feed all that dropped by, she thought about opening a restaurant. She wrote a column about food and recipes for a paper and was celebrated in Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant," which eventually became a reality. In COMING TO MY SENSES she describes her rite of passage at the 4 Seasons, where she and Prudhomme were selected as 2 of 4 young chefs being honored and how ill prepared she was for large commercial volume. And his act of friendship that saved the day. She talks of cooking for filmakers, musicians, writers, many famous, as part of her admiration for smart people with interesting ideas. In this book she shares a life of passions for friends, lovers, garlic, and beauty--wherever it happens. The world made it's pilgrimage to Chez Panisse. She speculates, why..

"A lot of why Chez Panisse succeeded as because it didn't feel like just another restaurant. We were a family--or at leas an eccentric tight-knit tribe. None of us had ever been trained as cooks or gone to cooking school. As James Beard said later, "It's like you're eating in somebody;s home." I wanted it to feel that way."

The aesthetics of food preparation, cooking and eating in our time is as much an aspiration as a lifestyle. When Michelle Obama gardened at the White House, as an example to school children of how to eat well, she reflected Alice's family gardes. This book is life as a feast--politics, pleasures, food-- and a woman who enjoyed it all


Monday, September 11, 2017

THANKS DIXON PLACE for hosting Unimaginable Worlds! 10/5. Love between professionals on Unimaginable Real Estate (Paradise Gardens) & A Mermaid meets Imitators on Coney Island (Tales of the Mer Family Onyx)

THANKS to @DixonPlace lounge for hosting UNIMAGINABLE WORLDS last night! 10/5

60 minutes of pleasure and perhaps terror, as we encounter feasible lives you can't imagine. Excerpts from new editions published by Pelekinesis.

Love between NYC professionals on Unimaginable real estate (Paradise Gardens). A mermaid meets imitators in Coney Island (Tales from the Mer Family Onyx)

Unimaginable--Seas we know that are unimaginable.

A pier that seems familiar, we know this place, except it's Unimaginable.

(PARADISE GARDENS recommended by SPD (Small Press Distributors) Dixon Place presents:

What are you doing Thursday, October 5th? UNIMAGINABLE WORLDS is in Dixon Place Lounge, 7:30 to 8:30. Free admission.
Imagine the unimaginable. You are living in an authoritarian business paradise but don't know it. Or you know real life is nothing like what is presented to people. You are part of the resistance but need your cover. Yet you are in love. That is the situation between Janet McCarthy, claims adjustor at Rudimental Life Co,, and Michael Thorpe, proprietor of a Greenwich Village store specializing in ethnic artifacts. When is romance key to human survival?
For answers to this dilemma, in the tradition of Philip K. Dick's paranoid fiction come visit Paradise Gardens.
Ever wonder how our planet might fare if Gods rule? Neptune manages the weather, the seas, but his daughter dabbles in humans. For the lighter side of planetary turmoil, there's Tales of the Mer Family Onyx.
UNIMAGINABLE WORLDS--corporate business estates and mermaid seas--works by Susan I. Weinstein enacted in spoken words by author and performer Sara Minisquero with visuals and music by Diana Rivera

Dixon Place lounge
161 Chrystie St.
New York, NY 10002
7:30 to 8:30
Free admission

Here is a podcast interview on The Book Guys with Susan I. Weinstein about Paradise Gardens.

Fiction Bookshelf
Midwest Book Review

Synopsis: Something that could easily have been ripped from today's newspaper headlines in this our second Golden Age of Robber Barron capitalism as evidence by President Donald Trump turning his administration over to corporate executives and millionaires, and appointing to be heads of various governmental agencies men and women hostile to them in line with Steve Bannon's aspiration to 'deconstruct' the government."Paradise Gardens" by Susan I. Weinstein is a truly Orwellian novel of speculative fiction that is set in an all too believable near future world, where the Federal government has dissolved amid ecological breakdown.

"Paradise Gardens" becomes the home of the United Business Estates (U.B.E). Capitalism has devolved into the corporate feudalism of the U.B.E., where employees are conceived as Superior or Average to fit the needs of business. It is a vision at once strange and familiar. The recognition it brings is a dark pleasure.

Critique: Part of the attraction of "Paradise Gardens" is that it is all too believable given the political climate today where corporate money clearly dominates all three branches of the federal government (even to the point of running well funded television commercials promoting the appointment of a member of the United States Supreme Court), and the top 1% of the population control 80% of the country's wealth. Deftly written, "Paradise Gardens" follows in literary tradition of dystopian novels and his very highly recommended for both community and academic library Literary Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Paradise Gardens" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.95).

Whether male or female, virtuous or amoral, mythical Mer creatures often reflect humankind’s feelings about nature—familiar and alien. Tales of the Mer Family explores the worlds of Mer, through the magical household of Neptune and Glendora, stewards of the sea. Like L Frank Baum’s Oz Books and E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It, this “family book” is for mixed age groups of children and adults. Among the Onyx clan are toddler Ruby, tween boy-girl-tweens, teen beauties and Pinky, a mini-mermaid. When Neptune challenges his children, they discover their limits in forbidden caves, worlds out of time, and at The Coney Island Mermaid Parade, where an Earth boy’s dream comes true.

New Editions By Susan I. Weinstein
These New Editions are not reprints. All these books have been rewritten with Prologues, Readers' Guides, Forewords. In addition, Paradise Gardens and Tales of the Mer family Onyx are illustrated. These definitive versions are the best I could make them. Why they have new ISBNS, so thanks for your interest.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

New tip-Artificial light color and your sleep, Irish Times looks at REST IS THE NEW SPORT

Artificial light color and your sleep--From REST IS THE NEW SPORT.
We all know artificial light affects sleep but did you know the color is even more important than the intensity of the light? A few other facts from this very interesting thorough book.
*White-blue light stops the secretion of your sleep hormone metatonin. It makes you active and clear-headed. It stimulates you, so it's ideal for feeling fit during the day."
*Yellow-blue light also supresses melatonin production.
*Red light spurs the production of metatonin. It's wam, cozy and relaxing.
(Book available U.S. and U.K. 11/21)

CAN PHYSICAL EXERCISE DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH? Physical exercise can result in injuries, often due to lack of preparation and knowledge of both the body and training. Consider the importance of a warmup, stretching, proper hydration, recovery, diet, as well as importance of dietary supplemens, good running shoes, technique. The more intensely you exercise, the more you risk discomfort or injury, from tendonitis to joint wear and tear caused by dehydration. If uou're addicted to exercise, you may find it hard to rest until an injury is completely healed. Overdoing it is the norm for hard-core exercisers.

Professional athletes can count on a team of specialists, including kinetic therapists, personal trainers, mental coaches and dieticians. They get the necessary support, which helps to keep their risk of injury low as possible. They also prepare for their physical performance with a well-thought-out training schedule. That's the difference between professional and amateur sports. I can't overstate the value of a good training program. So many of us just do whatever, without giving much thought to the extreme performance and conditions we expose our body to. We work out without a proper schedule and we ignore the need for rest and recovery.

Health tip 
A lack of physical recovery can lead to different types of fatigue. Do you know the 4 types?
Physical fatigue (You go into overdrive)
hormonal fatigue (from prolonged stress)
mental fatigue (too much traffic in your head,
metabolic fatigue (reoccuring illness often after a time of stress)
Jef Geys shows how to assess which one(s) you may have and offers plans for recovery.

Do you know the 3 phases of stress--From Burn-in to Burn-out? Since burnout is the last stage--the stage of complete exhaustion--it's important to detect burn-in on time. We aren't talking one night on the town. It develops over months, even years. Why screening fatigue is essential.

Advance, Foreword Reviews Health & Fitness
Rest is the New Sport
Jef Geys
PrimeFit (Aug 8, 2017) Softcover $16.99 (176pp) 978-908273100-2
Do you go to bed tired and wake up tired in the morning? Do you have difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, an elevated heart rate, palpitations, burnout? Jef Geys, an exercise physiotherapist and osteopath with fifteen years of research and experience working with special forces in Belgium’s military, writes that these symptoms, and many others not usually associated with fatigue, are signs that your body is not recuperating from the stress caused by time pressures, daily responsibilities, and physical exertion.
Geys writes that while stress itself isn’t necessarily unhealthy—our bodies are programmed to respond to sudden, temporary threats followed by a recovery period—living in a state of perpetual “overdrive” puts our health at risk. “A charging lion is an acute but temporary threat,” he writes. “The problem is that our present-day challenges last longer, they pile up, and flight is not an option.”
His research into the body’s need for recovery after exertion revealed that seven out of every ten people are too fatigued to engage in a physical training program without risk of injury and eventual illness. These days, even our supposed “downtime,” filled with the errands and chores left undone during the hectic work week and topped off with a workout, has become stressful. This causes the body to forget how to switch into its recovery phase, and we’re left “running on fumes.”
Geys identifies the four types of fatigue—physical, hormonal, mental, and metabolic—teaches how to identify which of them we are experiencing, and gives specific recovery training plans and nutritional guidelines for each.
“The trick,” he says, “is not to reduce your stress stimuli, but to increase your capacity. You do that by properly recovering from your exertions.”
KRISTINE MORRIS (November/December 2017)

"A person with normal fatigue feels tired, a person with abormal fatigue," feels sick. This book by my good friend Jef Geys deals with preventing and addressing unspecified fatigue."

Dr. Chris Mertens, foreword to REST IS THE NEW SPORT

I  don't know about you but I have always been less than an enthusiast for sports and physical exercise. I acknowledge the health benefits and currently lap swim but much prefer mental exercise so I found the title of this book intriguing. The story behind it is all the better because it's true.

When Jef Geys was a competitive cyclist, he believed that the more you train the better you are, until he faced exhaustion so complete he was forced to rest.  After an extended time without training, he entered a competition and won a race. His belief changed to the question, How little should I train to be in top shape; and a new quest—to understand how to achieve maximal health, not for professional athletes but anyone undergoing the stress of modern life.

REST IS THE NEW SPORT, a bestseller in Europe, (PrimeFit Nov.), will soon be available in the first English language edition. Geys has a refreshingly scientific approach. He looks at stress and its relationship to fatigue, identifying types—mental, hormonal, physical, metabolic--and ways to prevent it, recover and create balance.  Because reducing stress is not as important as expanding the capacity to adapt and recover, “silver bullets,” like diet, exercise, meditation that only treat symptoms, are less effective than identifying the underlying problem.

That was a surprise, what I thought were solutions are just bandaids. This book allows any reader to assess both his condition AND his goals. Why is this important? Many personal trainers begin with a person's goals, not assessing their actual condition, though "getting in shape" has different risks for an individual who's not a lifelong athlete. I once tried lifting weights and, while enthusiastically performing the expected "beginner"repetitions, suffered a back injury. Then there was the knee injury on the Versa Climber that led to surgery. With a real assessment, I might have learned to curb my enthusiasm. 

Like many urban dwellers, I suffer mental fatigue and try to treat it with physical fatigue to little avail. I found it interesting to understand the physical processes in fatigue and how they affect the body’s major systems. Every chapter shows basic principles, such as Geys’ Daily Nutrition program for everyone, which shows individuals how to eat by type of fatigue and stress level.  In the process, questions such as how people can relax when mentally fatigued and when exercise may be detrimental, are answered.

This very thorough book enables readers to evaluate their conditions, consider the underlying reasons and solutions to preventing fatigue, and ultimately target their optimal health. Holistic is an often misunderstood term, yet in this clear and factual book, Jef Geys gives real substance to the idea of balancing, mind, body and spirit.  It is a new classic. 

Jef Geys, sports physiotherapist, osteopath, and former cyclist, starts with the premise that the body must first be in balance and good condition before effort. A native of Flanders, Belgium, he has successfully treated Olympic athletes, and regular people concerned with maximal health. 

A short interview with Jef Geys

Q. How did your experience as a competitive cyclist change your belief that "the more you train, the better you are at it?"
A. At 20 years old, once in a while I would win a race but I was without a doubt the champion of training. I could train longer and harder than anyone. But when overtraining syndrome hit me, I was forced to stop completely for the first time in my life. I was training within the limits of human capacity and I would never get sick, yet my body didn’t let me continue. I was extremely confused because I was one of those rare people who actually follow doctor’s advice, almost obsessively, so something couldn’t be right. I had no virus or infection.

Q.  What happened when you entered a competition after enforced rest and no training?
A. Two weeks after absolute rest, I was given the green light to test myself and “slowly” begin training. I was simply going to start with the same routine, after all what had happened to me was clearly something unrelated to my physical condition (or so I thought). I had always felt great training. Following my usually impulsive nature, I inscribed myself in the next race, just to see if I was still in shape, not expecting much. As I started the race I felt very strong and wondered when the rush of energy would wear off.  To my own amazement, it didn’t and I found myself winning the race effortlessly.

Q.  Is that how your question became "How little should I train to be in top shape?"
A. I didn’t win too many races or become a legend of cycling, but this was the moment I realized there was a strong relationship between rest and performance. Somehow that was being undermined. I experimented for the rest of my cycling career with rest and performance with surprising results.

Q.  What are signs of fatigue and when should a person pay attention to them?
A. Most people have a routine (average sleeping time, waking up at a certain time, showering, breakfast, work, leaving work) Within this “usual” routine a person expects a certain daily performance. If this changes for no apparent reason (prolonged sleeping schedule changes, sickness, new babies at home) and they wake up feeling tired and it takes  longer to feel  rested; if  they experience brain fog, muscle pain, they should take note of the changes. This fatigue is abnormal and they may want to seek medical opinion to check what's wrong.

Q.  What is fatigue, when is it normal or not?
Fatigue is a feeling of weakness. When we speak about physical fatigue, we experience our muscles not responding, a lack of energy. When we speak about mental fatigue, it's difficult to focus. There can be brain fog, irritation, lack of initiative. Fatigue is a nonspecific symptom, meaning it can be caused by many different factors. If you’re sick, then feeling tired is undoubtedly normal. But if you’re in good health and one day your usual morning walk to work leaves you panting, catching your breath and dizzy; we are talking about something abnormal.

Q.  Can trainers create a personal fitness plan based on a type of fatigue and its severity?
A. No. In my experience, a trainer starts assuming the body is in balance. They can be aware of the fatigue or impact of the training on the body, but most of them assume generalizations such as: after high intensity training your muscles need between 48-72hs of recovery. Most trainers are not aware of the general population with no sports past, so even if the results/performance that they get from them may be the same as someone with an athletic past, the biological cost is probably much higher. For a trainer to achieve this, they should understand the impact of their schedule, family situation and be able to monitor to assess the readiness (best moment of the day to train maintaining risk of low injury while getting the highest performance).

Q.  What is the relationship between stress and fatigue?
A. Inadequate stress management may lead to fatigue. Stress is not itself the problem, stress is necessary. For example in situations of extreme danger like a terrorist attack or a natural disaster we are able to perform extraordinary feats, like the mother who lifted a Jeep with her bare hands to free her baby. This reaction is normal, the problem today is that we get stressed by insignificant things, for example a long queue at the supermarket, the battery of your smartphone died too early, a traffic jam. When we don’t have enough time to recover from so much stressful stimuli, it results in fatigue. The impact of these small stressors accumulate and sleep is not enough anymore to regain balance.

A. The title was supposed to be a provocation, because at the end of the day many more things than just good rest should be correctly managed to achieve a balanced body. But in this rat race we’re at, too often without choice, we find ourselves in a performance loop where if we need REST we are somehow considered weak, so we devalue our sleep. Sleep is the most accessible, inexpensive medication and yet it has become a luxury, but we spend more and more in medication to treat symptoms that could probably be handled with proper rest in the first place.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Roberta Allen's THE PRINCESS OF HERSELF & Samuel Beckett's old men wearing greatcoats

The old women in Roberta Allen's The Princess of Herself (Pelekinesis September 20th) made me think of  how (Samuel) "Beckett's itinerant greatcoat-wearing old men ramble throughout the pages of his fiction...". (Art of Salvage, Julie Bates). Her observations have a wit dry and ready without compromise to please.

In the title story, the narrator observes the Princess' "broad unlined forehead, the symmetrical features, the sallow skin, the mane of long gray curls falling past her shoulders, her shiny silver "moon" necklaces. Hippy necklaces. Behind her, the empty cafe. The polished wood tables."

In Allen's stories, her older women run from mortality, chasing themselves.The narrator, like Beckett, puzzles out consciousness. She observes, not devoid of sympathy, but wields words like a sharp knife, deftly uncovering what we know and don't imagine.

From a story called Forgotten:

"I remember thinking how young she looked even though she was retired and collecting Social Security. I was surprised a woman at her age would be hooked on Sex and the City, Social Security seemed far in the future then. It wasn't that far.

If I asked, would she remember making that remark?
Who can tell what will be remembered?
Is it true that with each telling, our memories change?
Without electronic devices, who can prove what anyone has said?
Even when we hear the same words, those words say something different to each of us.
What something means can change from one moment to the next.

What does it mean to remember four baby robins dead in the nest under the eaves of my cottage? Would I remember the baby birds and their mother who never returned if the friend who found them did not often remind me?

How many memories are fabrications?
Having said that, can I be certain anything I say is true?"
Was Katherine the loner I remembered?
Until her comment about Sex and the City, I thought she was fiercely independent.
She spent her time protesting for peace and driving as far as Vermont just to tango."

No softening with sentiment for this narrator, especially not for herself. It's almost as if she succumbs at peril of her sanity. Yet it's little risk with her sense of humor. And it's this that lets her live and move forward, staking out new territory.  I thought of Beckett's play Happy Days, when I read Hot. Both have a self-mocking and darkly celebratory feeling.

"He wants me to look hot. So I look hot. As hot as a sixty-year-old woman can look on Halloween without a bra. I'm jiggling under a shiny black teddy, trimmed with lace. Until I tried on the teddy in a thrift shop, I felt like those old women with long pancake breasts in ethnographic films, sitting in grass huts, kneading something dough-like.

In my short butt-hugging, stomach crunching black skirt-another thrift store bargain-I feel squirmy, wormlike, narrow enough to inch through tight spaces like the thought, 'Why am I doing this?' which sneaks through my self-admiration."

It's a trope of women's fiction, the aging woman who laments her "invisibility" as she walks streets without the illumination of the "male gaze."  In Allen's stories, while her astringent female voice is a welcome novelty, what's illuminated is the human experience of aging--for men and women.  In a timeless universe, I can imagine Allen and Beckett having a drink, saying nothing as they observe a world with and without people.


Language has been the focus of Roberta Allen's literary/innovative fiction and the inspiration for most of her conceptual art for many years. Her conceptual art, exhibited internationally, is in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as in many other public and private collections. A Tennessee Williams Fellow in Fiction and Yaddo Fellow, she is a short story writer, novelist and memoirist, with nine published books. She has taught at Columbia University, and for eighteen years at The New School. More information at

Monday, June 26, 2017

In the 3000s humankind will have contact w/alien life. Are we ready? CONFESSIONS Vol 1 of E.T. Marshall's New Mythology for the 3rd Millenium shows a 1st unexpected contact

Are we living in a computer simulation? Elon Musk

thinks so. Here's E.T. Marshall's look, as his hero becomes

conscious of alien technology.


We were sitting on beach chairs facing the Pacific Ocean.

There were many clouds in the sky but no sign of rain, and it

had all the makings of a beautiful sunset. I watched the bright reds,

reflected on the clouds above the glow, softly and slowly transform into

a deep purple. A dozen squawking seagulls were flying overhead; sandpipers

were darting in and out of the surf line. I took my shoes and socks off and

rubbed my feet in the warm sand. I thought how easily my mind could

be fooled. One minute in space and the next at Venice Beach. As I looked

around, it sounded and felt so real. I could hear the waves breaking gently on

the beach, the tender wind moving through the palm trees behind me.

Vlad refilled my wine glass. “But Vlad, where are the people?” I asked.

“Venice Beach at this time of day is full of people.” CLICK

As if a thunderclap blasted behind my head, my body uncontrollably jumped

back into the beach chair. In an instant, sound of hundreds of people surrounded

me, as if someone had turned on the speakers of a stereo system. All the people

were moving as if they had always been there. I looked around from my beach

chair at the sidewalk behind me and saw dozens walking, a few roller skaters

gliding between them, and of course, cyclists. There were children playing in

the sand on the beach, people eating pizza and hot dogs, and lovers sitting

on blankets looking dreamily in each other's eyes, arms wrapped around

each other’s shoulders. Then I noticed the smells of those hot dogs, and

somewhere down the beach, someone was barbecuing pork ribs and

hamburgers, and everywhere there was the smell of suntan lotion.

I inhaled deeply, trying to see if this was real or not. I put my hand in

the warm sand, rubbed the fine grains between my fingers, and sniffed it.

The simulation was outstanding, and the thought shook me. What if we went

back to Van Nuys, and it’s actually a simulation? I believed I wouldn’t know

the difference now that I could feel the sand on my fingers. But Vlad did promise

to take me back at my request, and I did believe him. After all, he was the

man who cured Ann. I trusted him then, I had faith in him, so why should

that change now? I questioned my own judgment and reality. I admitted to

myself that I was afraid.

The best way to find laser flashes from another civilization is to always look everywhere.…/laser-seti-first-ever-all-sky-a…

S.E.T.I.'s campaign is to enable humankind to make contact with other intelligent life. 
Confessions shows what happen when contact is made and the alien is already living on Earth, and a historic friendship with a human begins.

Will humankind be ready? Joseph Campbell called for a new mythology. “We live in the stories we tell ourselves. In a secular, scientific rational culture lacking any convincing spiritual leadership, superhero stories speak loudly and boldly to our greatest fears, deepest longings, and highest aspirations. They’re not afraid to be hopeful, not embarrassed to be optimistic, and utterly fearless in the dark. They’re about as far from social realism as you can get, but the best superhero stories deal directly with mythic elements of human experience that we can all relate to, in ways that are imaginative, profound, funny, and provocative. They exist to solve problems of all kinds and can always be counted on to find a way to save the day. At their best, they help us confront and resolve even the deepest existential crises. We should listen to what they have to tell us.”

Confessions of an Alien: Vol 1 of Mythology for The Third Millenium by E.T. Marshall was inspired by Campbell's call . E.T.Marshall explains:

Psychologist Carl Jung believed that our society's mythology was a reflection of its goals, fears and dreams. This work has many references to film because film reflects our society's myths and as such, is an example of a simulation of reality that the audience accepts for ninety minutes in place of its own. Indian mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik thinks that unlike fantasy that is nobody's truth, and history that seeks to be everybody's truth, mythology is somebody's truth. In this case, that somebody's truth is mine. As a philosopher, I have asked those questions, studied the great cultural and religious mythologies, and have mourned that those differing mythologies have caused harm.

I challenge no existing mythology. For decades I have been an active practitioner of lucid dreaming and have been given a vision of a new mythology in that dream state. Because this is a mythology, it is meant to be believed, at least during the reading. I encourage you to read this work with a full suspension of disbelief. I have purposefully made this work a short read. I hope you may find it so, and even come back for a slower second look. It is my hope that as a bell rings when struck, some of the chapters will resonate with you.

Susan W  Here some Campbell quotes, to keep in mind.

"It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward, in counteraction to those constant human fantasies that tend to tie it back. In fact, it may well be that the very high incidence of neuroticism among ourselves follows from the decline among us of such effective spiritual aid. We remain fixated to the unexercised images of our infancy, and hence disinclined to the necessary passages of our adulthood ."

“We live in the stories we tell ourselves. In a secular, scientific rational culture lacking any convincing spiritual leadership, superhero stories speak loudly and boldly to our greatest fears, deepest longings, and highest aspirations. They’re not afraid to be hopeful, not embarrassed to be optimistic, and utterly fearless in the dark. They’re about as far from social realism as you can get, but the best superhero stories deal directly with mythic elements of human experience that we can all relate to, in ways that are imaginative, profound, funny, and provocative. They exist to solve problems of all kinds and can always be counted on to find a way to save the day. At their best, they help us confront and resolve even the deepest existential crises. We should listen to what they have to tell us.” 

Have you ever wanted to go "off planet?" Here is what your experience might be like with an Alien living on Earth, who's a friend--showing you his technology. Excerpt: E.T. Marshall's CONFESSIONS OF AN ALIEN: A Mythology for the Third Milennium Book 1. Red Coaster Press.

Some years ago, Harold Pebbles introduced me to one of his Philadelphia classmates. Rita Goldblatt and I found that we had a mutual interest in dream interpretation. Rita introduced me to the Nova Dreamer. It looks like a sleeping mask that covers your eyes. Batteries operate small sensors that detect rapid eye movements, REM, that indicate a dream state. The machine can be programmed to have its sound and lights activate when a REM state is detected. The sleeper is gently awakened, to be lucidly aware of his dream state. This machine helped me remember my dreams, which, after I had fully awakened, I wrote down on a legal tablet kept on my nightstand. The machine later facilitated my ability to create my own dreams and to be an active participant. Rita took a great interest in my dreams and their meaning over the years.

I related this to Vlad, who listened keenly. “Then you know,” he said, “when you are in a dream state, it is often difficult to know that you are dreaming and not actually experiencing the real world. That is what I want you to do, before you go to sleep, simply say aloud that you would like me to come visit you in your lucid dream and show you the alien world I live in. At any time, you can ask me to awaken you, bring you back, and that you want to vividly remember your entire dream after you awaken. What do you have to lose, Donald— a good night’s sleep?” I decided to give up my efforts to get Vlad off his alien theme and go with the flow. “It seems harmless enough. Are you going to hypnotize me or give me some suggestions on what to dream about?”
“No, none of that.”
“Well, Dr. Comsky, I am comfortable right here in this lounge chair. What if I just leaned back, put my feet up and dozed off right here?”
“That would be fine, just say the things I've asked you to and off you go,” Vlad said reassuringly.

I thought this might be something good, or at least new. There was not a thought in my head that Vladimir would do anything to injure me, nothing to even upset me. I believed that he would have some sort of suggestive power to influence my dream state. I was definitely up for something new. I felt a little sporty, as if I were a trout being pulled in on a very light line. Whatever was on the other side of the line, I decided to allow myself to be reeled in. I leaned back in the chair, kicked off my shoes, loosened my belt buckle two notches and unbuttoned my top shirt button.” I murmured, “I want Vlad to visit me in my lucid dreaming state. I want him to bring me back at my request. I want to remember this lucid dream vividly when I awaken.” I added as a joke, “I want him to show me his planet.”
With that I closed my eyes, let out a sigh and repeated my last words silently, and could not help thinking of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz saying, “I want to go home” and clicking the heels of her red magical shoes. CLICK

When I opened my eyes Vlad was still seated in the chair next to me. “What happened?” I murmured. “I don't remember a thing.” “Oh ye of little faith.” He smiled as he said this; I looked around the room. The walls were disappearing. It was dark out and the sky was full of stars.
I felt a chill and started to shake a little. Then, as if someone had once more pushed a button on a remote control and changed channels, the stars in the sky were different, and there was no ground below us. We were still in our chairs and the chairs were still on the floor, but that's all there was. I was wondering how we could breathe, but I remembered this is a dream and I am letting Vlad control it. Mercifully, the wine and cheese were still between us. I popped a large black olive in my mouth. So far, the dream was damned good. Looking at the black sky around me and the pinpoints of the stars that were both above and below, I felt like I was in a planetarium.

I sat up from my reclining position and asked, “Why did you bring me here?” “I thought you might like to see another planet,” he said, pointing his thumb behind him, as a hitchhiker would. I turned to look, and the chairs and floor, or what was left of it, swiveled around so that we were gazing down on the top of an enormous blue-and-white sphere. The view reminded me of Earth as seen from the space station. Slowly the view changed so that I was looking straight at the planet and no longer down on it. Like my experience on the roller coaster, this made me feel as if any moment I would fall out of my seat and down to my death on the planet’s surface. I could see large landmasses and oceans, but knew that this planet was considerably larger than Earth and had entirely different-shaped continents.

I finally said, “It’s awesome.” “Yes, I thought you'd like it. Its name is Paucri. Can you see it clearly? And do the stars look like pinpoints? And does my voice sound natural?” “Yes, of course, why?” I asked. “You know this is a simulation. It is not real. But does it seem real to you?” “Indeed it does.” Except for the disappearing walls, it seemed totally real. I sat there for a while trying to take it all in: Paucri, the stars, my alien friend and the non-reality of this reality. I thought of a chimpanzee looking at a television set. I thought of an alien looking at a chimpanzee. I thought of an alien looking at me. I don't know if it was the height, the new experience, or the chimpanzee, but I felt strange and uncomfortable.

Vlad, sensing my discomfort, asked, “Would you like to go someplace else? Somewhere more familiar to you?” Gratefully I assented, then added, anxious not to give the impression that I didn’t trust him, “What do you have in mind, Vlad?” “Where would you like to be right now if you could pick anywhere on Earth, at any time, and while we are at it, you can pick the weather, too.”

I thought for a few moments of the pleasant times of my life. The movie City of Angels, with its vivid sunset scenes, flashed into my mind. More than once at sunset time I would find myself at a beach— Malibu, Santa Monica, Huntington, Redondo— but it was Venice Beach that called to me now. A place of warm memories of ice cream cones, hot dogs, cotton candy, roller skating and watching the sun go down with the woman I loved.
“How about Venice Beach today an hour before sunset and 80 degrees?” He nodded and somewhere, a button was pushed on a remote control.
CLICK we were sitting on beach chairs facing the Pacific Ocean.

There were many clouds in the sky but no sign of rain, and it had all the makings of a beautiful sunset. I watched the bright reds, reflected on the clouds above the glow, softly and slowly transform into a deep purple. A dozen squawking seagulls were flying overhead; sandpipers were darting in and out of the surf line.
I took my shoes and socks off and rubbed my feet in the warm sand. I thought how easily my mind could be fooled. One minute in space and the next at Venice Beach. As I looked around, it sounded and felt so real. I could hear the waves breaking gently on the beach, the tender wind moving through the palm trees behind me. Vlad refilled my wine glass.
“But Vlad, where are the people?” I asked. “Venice Beach at this time of day is full of people.” CLICK As if a thunderclap blasted behind my head, my body uncontrollably jumped back into the beach chair. In an instant, the sound of hundreds of people surrounded me, as if someone had turned on the speakers of a stereo system. All the people were moving as if they had always been there. I looked around from my beach chair at the sidewalk behind me and saw dozens walking, a few roller skaters gliding between them, and of course, cyclists.
There were children playing in the sand on the beach, people eating pizza and hot dogs, and lovers sitting on blankets looking dreamily in each other's eyes, arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders.
Then I noticed the smells of those hot dogs, and somewhere down the beach, someone was barbecuing pork ribs and hamburgers, and everywhere there was the smell of suntan lotion. I inhaled deeply, trying to see if this was real or not. I put my hand in the warm sand, rubbed the fine grains between my fingers, and sniffed it.
The simulation was outstanding, and the thought shook me. What if we went back to Van Nuys, and it’s actually a simulation? I believed I wouldn’t know the difference now that I could feel the sand on my fingers. But Vlad did promise to take me back at my request, and I did believe him. After all, he was the man who cured Ann. I trusted him then, I had faith in him, so why should that change now? I questioned my own judgment and reality. I admitted to myself that I was afraid.

The adventures Vlad takes Donald on in Confessions are simulations created by alien technology.  How Elon Musk's Neuro-link works is similar. Here's an article that gives an idea of how this might work.

Elon Musk's Neura Link is a step toward the simulation technology in Vlad's world in Confessions of an Alien

Here is a link from SETI about a space entrpreneur, who think aliens are already here, Confessions of an Alien, ET Marshall's book anticipates contact.

"Confessions of an Alien is a compelling narrative that invites us to consider the possibility of extra-terrestrials living on Earth, while at the same time putting forward a mythology for the next 1000 years. Fascinating, entertaining and thought-provoking, this is a good fast read that is definitely worth your time. I can't wait to see what E.T. Marshall has in store for us next in this series." --Curt Kinkead, author of Eureka: The Door to the Stars

Confessions of an Alien is a book about an alien who confides his true identity to a human, a work friend he trusts with his secret, as well as the experience of his technology. The book anticipates an experience that will awaken humankind, says E.T. Marshall, probably in the third millennium, if not before. Even now we are developing technology akin to that on Vlad's planet, new interfaces such as Elon Musk's Neuralink and simulations as familiar as cochlear implants for hearing. The book may be science fiction but it's based on science fact.

Who is Vlad, DARPA's miraculous star surgeon, wonders Donald, a grant writer working with a government-funded program that enables veterans to get new "smart" limbs. And who is that strangely dressed janitor so vigorously pushing a broom, he wonders late one night alone in a LA medical facility.

So begins a mythical relationship between an alien and a gifted "lucid dreamer," in Confessions of an Alien (Red Coaster Press, 1/2017), the first volume of E. T. Marshall's Mythology for the Third Millennium. The meeting is about human and alien perception of reality. And, as the friendship deepens, the alien's simulations profoundly change Donald's experience of life. Few other novels explore  consciousness with this depth,  except perhaps Carlos Castenada's classic novel, The Teachings of Don Juan.

Without dramatic formulas or cliches about human-alien behaviors, Confessions of an Alien is a pragmatic investigation of how humankind may take its place in a changed world of the Third Millennium and  as citizens of the universe. The first volume delineates the challenges humans face in their evolution, as well as technological advancement.. Donald's, curiosity,  good will, fortitude and insight, make him a fine hero in the Joseph Campbell tradition. Yet, while the perceptual experiences he undergoes are heroic, they are grounded in real science and engineering. This visionary book easily melds philosophy, science, and science fiction. It gives a convincing and welcome taste of the future.


An Interview with E. T. Marshall about Mythology for the Third Millennium

Q. Why do you call your series Mythology for the Third Millennium?
A. This mythology was inspired by Joseph Campbell, a prime motivator to write this book. He believed what humanity was looking for in this age of technology was a new mythology. I had a vision, a mythology I believed in, and was driven to write this book and share it.

Q.  How is mythology, as you say, "Somebody's truth?"
A.  In a broad sense, myths are ideas people believe in as truth and cannot be proven. Believing in myths helps people get through life and understand this existence.  Campbell explains what mythology is in a broader sense. My intention, in future books, is to make predictions for this future mythology that may or may not be proven true.

Q.  Is your novel a fiction?
A.   Its characters are fictional, but DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and neural implants are facts. With the exception of the alien, Vlad and his “Buckyball simulation”, the book, and future books are based on existing technology.

Q.  What is lucid dreaming?
A.   Everyone dreams but not everyone remembers their dreams. Lucid dreaming is for people who want to explore dream states. They consciously work to remember dreams. On awakening, many dreamers write down their dreams and, with practice can remember more and more of them. Lucid dreamers in sleep states are conscious in their dreams.  Some can manipulate dreams and cause things to happen in their dream state.

Q.   Did this book come to you in that state?
A.  Yes, much of it did and it did not come in one piece.  Over many months, insights came from my lucid dreams. I wanted to get the material into a form that I could communicate. I wanted my vision on paper and understood and wrote this mythology.

Q.  Who is Vlad and how did Donald meet him?
A.   The book is written from Don's point of view. It is about Donald's frame of mind, how he reacted to the simulation, his own experience and having his world disappear around him. Don was at the nexus between medical professors and DARPA, when Vlad met him. Vlad was a surgeon contributing his skill for a DARPA project to help veterans with damaged limbs. This first book is entirely about their meeting and alien contact.  Donald, a lucid dreamer, was amenable to working with Vlad and open to the idea of alien simulations

Q. What was Donald's first lucid dream with Vlad like? Why was he scared?
A.  He was scared because he was with Vlad, an alien. What Vlad does seems like a lucid dream but it's a simulation with alien technology and it is fully immersive. With Donald's permission, he put him in a simulation more clear and vivid than a lucid dream. Don was in awe, when the room disappeared and he was off planet. Donald also knew he was not in reality.  In another instance, he put him in a scene from the past, so Donald could see the capabilities of the simulation. But it felt awful, like being restrained in Pilgrim stocks. Vlad didn't know exactly how it would affect him. It is important that he always asks for Donald’s permission.

Q.  Why would an alien be so altruistic as to go into the barrio to help drug addicts and take an interest in relieving Parkinson's symptoms in a stranger, Don's friend Ann?
A.  Donald does not completely know the alien's motivations. However, Vlad wants to show he's capable of doing good things. He has knowledge as a medical doctor and surgeon and wants to appear altruistic.

Q. Does the operation, where Vlad uses a microchip to ease tremors of Parkinson's, exist?
A.  Yes. A long time friend with Parkinson's disease went through this operation and it made a huge difference. People can have these procedures in our world now.

Q. Why did the alien suggest this story be told?  What is the Nova Dreamer?
A. Don was already a lucid dreamer. He has the ability to induce a dream-like state and change his perception of reality. It was less difficult for him to accept the alien's simulation and to return to the waking world with few bad side effects. The Nova Dreamer described in the book helps a person to not just wake up and write down dreams, but to participate in their creation. It is a real product, although it is no longer manufactured.  A face mask covers your eyes. There's a minicomputer that senses the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and flashes lights when you are in a dream state. The Nova acts like a crutch. It lets you know when you are in a REM dreaming state.

Q.  Is it possible for one person to come into another's  lucid dream?
A.  Debatable. Whether one person's dream can affect another's dream world and assume actual contact. Lucid dreaming trains a person to enter that state on command. It's scientifically verifiable. Vlad's simulation was two people speaking to each other but it was produced by technology. For Don, lucid dreaming comes from within his mind. But the practice explains why he has the mental structure to accept the alien simulation.  Hopefully, we accept that reality in the novel.

Q.  Explain the Rio scale?
A. The Rio scale is from a book about SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). Scientists agreed on what this scale, like the Richter, would measure.  The Rio scale gives the scientific community a predetermined way of dealing with alien contact. It marks the degree of contact and how real it is and how people would react at certain levels of alien contact. Vlad didn't want to disrupt what was going on in the world. He knew if people knew about him, they might feel less safe and panic, as in the government's concern in the David Bowie movie “ The Man Who Fell to Earth”. So he revealed himself as an alien to one person, Donald

Q.  Explain the purpose of a "You are not dreaming card" and whether it worked for Donald.
A. The card is part of some practitioner's lucid dreaming technique. If a person wants to know if they are in a dream or in a waking state, the dreamer can pull out the card and try to read it. For some reason, people can't read in a lucid dream. The card does not work in Vlad's alien simulation. There, you can always read the card.

Q.  Isn't a simulation a different experience than imaginative thought?
A.  The alien simulation is more vivid and real. Don experienced total immersion in a simulation of Venice beach. When he asked Vlad, "Where are the people?" they suddenly appeared. Disneyland showed what could be done with a simulation. It was the real world but technology was used within it. Don could understand other languages. A simulation could have partial effects, such as altering the taste of food. Don experienced Vlad's breakfast, as the best he ever had.

Q. Does your alien's technology already exist? 
A. Partially. There are now cochlear implants for hearing that use brain implant technology. It's being developed by DARPA and Musk's Neuralink. Simulation is being developed here and now.

Q. Explain the "Bucky Ball" interface of human technology with alien?
A.  That is the essence of Vlad's technology. Bucky Ball is a reference to a small object, a structural particle, which exists in sub-nano technology with a specific function. It sits at the synapse between neural connections in the cells. The Alien's technology is very small. It functions two ways. First it reads, transmits and records all electrical signals in synapses. Second, it can put its own signal, electrical impulses, into a synapse. In current medical technology, we can read and record what's in a synapse and also input a signal to the body to make muscles contract. But our technology is very big. It exists but not on a nano level.

Q. How did this work for language simulation in Disneyland?
A.  The Bucky Balls transmit the synaptic electrical signals from Don's auditory neurons to an enormous alien computer which translates language.  The Bucky Balls then receive the translated signal from the computer in English which is transmitted back to the Bucky ball in Don's auditory synapse which Don's brain interprets as English. That was easy.

Q. Donald did not know why Vlad wanted to have a relationship with another species, his agenda. Why did he not pursue that?
A. Don's in awe of the simulation and trying to digest it. In this book, he is also just observing this amazing Alien, an unexpected opportunity. For instance, Vlad takes him to the Academy of Magical Arts to expose him to another part of his life on Earth. Don is amused to see Vlad play the magician and the stymied members unable to figure out his magical technique. Don is pursuing the question of an alien agenda, but slowly.

Q  Do you see a new type of dreaming, one brought about by mechanical means, as a potential future? 
A. As a physicist said, "If it is physically possible, it will happen." It's very possible in the next years and a simulation is being developed by DARPA and Neuralink. 

Q.  The poem Ann reads to Vlad almost makes him a divinity on earth to save mankind. It's got a messianic tone. Do you think superior or advanced life forms can help humankind ?
A.  Vlad has no ill will toward anyone. He likes to do good things, like heal the homeless man, living in an alley under cardboard boxes. That intention is part of the mythological nature of the book. Can mankind be saved by advanced forms of life?  Vlad is trying.

Q. The book is astonishing. And no one in it is obsessed with making a fortune from technology. That is advanced. What is your thought about how such technology could further advance humankind?
A. Elon Musk's Neuralink project is magic happening here and now. Whether it's an advancement for humankind depends on how it's used. This book was written two years before the Neuralink project was announced. Advance depends on whether people change in positive ways and how they use technology. It is a dangerous technology.

Q. What do you see for the next book of the series?
A. I was dumbfounded when Neuralink was announced just months after my book came out. I feel I don't need to write the next seven books to explain simulation technology. I can next focus on Vlad's  time travel technology. Using contemporary physics and alien technology it's plausible.

To purchase Confessions

For more info:

 E.T. Marshall, philosopher, scientist and lucid dreamer, was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from C.C.N.Y.  and later earned a M.S. in engineering from U.S.C. Currently, he lives in the Redwood Forest of Northern California.