The Dream Cafe

There is a surrealistic painting seen on t-shirts and mugs and posters from the late 80’s which shows a group of famous characters seated at a diner counter enjoying the lazy afternoon of a California day. James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley,  and a varied mix of other characters populate ths cafe, hanging out as if it wee heaven’s waiting room. Some versions have all rock stars, another, movie stars; but  you realize it’s a place in the artist’s imagaination where most everyone would like to drop in.

This is what a dream is to me, a surrealistic cafe where I never know whom I’ll run into, what I’ll say, or what profound lesson they may offer me. Surrealism itself comes from dreams; the disjointed stories, the many rooms within a scene, the odd characters, the fantastic abilities and the bending of time are all highlights of the art of surrealism which was initially inspired by the unreal quality of dreams.

Not all dreams have these fantastic characters from history or movies, most are populated by the people we live with, work with, know, love, hate, avoid or are drawn to; but when these fantasy figures do prevail in  a dream, a very special attention should be paid to them.

When I was writing screenplays and deeply involved in movies, I used to dream of Robert Redford. I wanted to attend Sundance, learn film, write, direct, etc. from the Sundance Kid himself. In a dream, I was following him on a paper route in my childhood neighborhood and he’d turned to me, after 3 or 4 earlier encounters, and said to me, “just deliver the paper.” He meant, write the script, put it in print, and solicit it to as many customers as you can, again and again and again. I believe this was also telling me to stop my childish approach of staying close to my home, not venturing out,  settling for the small change of everyday news. I never dreamt of him after that. His message was plain and blunt, “deliver the paper.”

I have had encounters with people that were so vivid and real that I almost felt I could call them that morning to discuss the scene we’d just shared. I’ve gotten workout moves from Arnold, music inspiration from Townshend, writing advice from Kerouac, and sexual encounters with Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Simpson and other starlets I’ve admired. Throughout the years I’ve had many famous meetings, from President Clinton to Madonna, who flashed me her pink panties as I ushered her out of a limo, telling me  I “was in the pink,” of a particular issue at that time in my life.This is just one of the many reasons I watch my dreams every night – pure entertainment that often leaves a lasting impression, and more often than not, a lesson.

As much as I’ve worked on directing or “incubating” dreams to get specific answers to current issues, I’d never felt I got a direct response by asking specific questions, but rather, got specific answers to issues I hadn’t realized were dominant. I’ve learned that no matter how odd the answer seems, or how obtuse, it really is the answer you’re looking for, you just have to figure out the symbolism and associations as they apply to your own life.

110 Dreams in 99 Days

110 dreams in 99 days





SCHOPENHAUER, IN HIS SPLENDID ESSAY CALLED ” an apparent intention in the fate of an individual,” POINTS OUT THAT WHEN YOU REACH AN ADVANCED AGE AND LOOK BACK OVER YOUR LIFETIME, IT CAN SEEM TO HAVE HAD A CONSISTENT ORDER AND PLAN, AS THOUGH COMPOSED BY SOME NOVELIST.  Events that when they occurred had seemed accidental and of little moment turn out to have been indispensable factors in the compositon of a consistent plot.  so who composed that plot?  Schopenhauer suggests that just as your dreams are composed by an aspect of yourself of which your consciousness is unaware, so, too, your whole life is composed by the will within you.  And just as people whom you will have met APPARENTLY by mere chance became leading agents in the structuring of your life, so, too, will you have served unknowingly as an agent, giving meaning to the lives of others.  The whole thing gears together like one big symphony, with EVERYTHING unconsciously structuring everything else.  And schopenhauer concludes that it is as though our lives were the features of the one great dream of a single dreamer in which all the dream characters dream, too,  so that EVERYTHING links to everything else, moved by the one will to life which is the universal will in nature.

joseph campbell-the power of myth


Of course you can never make anything that will last forever.  That’s one of the unfair rules in the game of life.  But this week you will most likely start work on an opus that will ultimately last for a long, long time.  Choose your masterpiece wisely, O Creator.  Try to be motivated not by greed or the desire to make an impression, but by a yearning to give God Pleasure.  I predict that when the first human settlements are built on the moon some years hence, you’ll still be nourished by – or stuck with – the fruits of the seeds you plant now.

Dream #1 – Wednesday May 6, 1998


I take my brother-in-law S. and a friend to this special lake.  it reminds me of one of the Metroparks,first it seems older, like Stony Creek and the way it’s laid out with numerous small picnic areas and beaches.

The setup for this dream comes from a very comfortable time in my life.  I’m not young though it’s no place I’ve ever been,  At or old, but I haven’t really been to any Metropark in at least 10 years. Stony Creek was a way of life for a solid 10-11 years of my life.  I lived for the beach. 



Think back to the first inspirations you’d had to make you want to lift weights, body build, or compete in sports. What are your earliest memories? It could have been seeing Arnold on Wide World of Sports as he went from a huge muscular phenomenon to an absolute freak as the muscles flexed and his body became statuesque. It could have been your father or brother or neighbor or seeing professional athletes up close at your first real sporting event.

It could have been the “Feats of Strength” freak at the carnival sideshow, or a movie clip from one of the “Beach Blanket” movies. It could have even been Jack Lalane with his chair “breathing in, breathing out…” as he brought fitness to the living rooms of women  all over the country in the ’60’s.


There are two distinct things that stand out from my memory that helped to shape my life as a bodybuilder.

I must have been 5 or 6 years old. A guy from down the street, Wally, who came around infrequently, came walking from the end of the block in skinny, rolled up jeans, white Converse tennis shoes, and a white t-shirt that fit him like paint. He was smart, articulate, and kind with a joking demeanor. His shoulders hid the sun, his arms contoured and veiny, lean as a hunting dog, stuck from his shirtsleeves like deli salamis. His black Elvis “waterfall” hung over one eye and it took all of us to get the courage  to ask him our request. The reputation was that he could lift a car off the ground by the bumper.



Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening it deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.

What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!

Each of us has such a bank. It’s name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.

There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow.” You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success!

The clock is running. Make the most of today.


The memory is so good it remembers even the things you choose to ignore.  It records the first smile your mother gave, your first kiss on a first date, bruises, grades, kindnesses, hurts and escapades; every nuance of emotion from gripping fear to jumping joy.  The more you choose to remember, the deeper imbedded it becomes.

So soak up life.  Sponge it up with all the gusto of the first home-cooked meal in a month.  Eat foods so alive they burst and pop and explode inside your mouth, like meatballs made of Poprocks, like sour or hot or luscious spaghetti sauce, enough to elicit drool.

Ride your bike with abandon and speed until it feels like the wheels are wobbling off. Run with arms and legs churning as if a dog were nipping at your jeans. Then lay to look at the clouds and the sun, long enough for the whole panorama to transform as far as you can see. Drink it in like you did the coldest drink on the hottest day. Attach your imagination to it, until that scene changes and you become it; lose yourself in the wonders you’ve found.

Listen in silence to the world the ears offer.  Separate the nuances of sound until the noise becomes one, then returns back to nothing.




Keynote Speech to the Candidates for the Balanced Man Scholarship; presented by the

Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity at Lawrence Tech 2013


Many of you are students of Architecture. When constructing a skyscraper, you must dig a deep foundation in order to reach the greatest heights. The deeper the foundation, the higher the structure. Let your educational roots be set deep in this base of knowledge, so your mind may soar to its optimum expression.

As freshmen, you have 3 primary areas of growth ahead of you:

  1. Scholarship
  2. Involvement
  3. Relationships


You are now in the farm club. You made it to college. You are on a new team. Your talents and abilities brought you this far. They will sustain you. This opportunity is a test to see what you’re really made of. Let it prepare you for the big leagues of life. In order to be a superstar of scholarship, you must use:

  • intelligence
  • common sense
  • available information
  • intellectual property

Intelligence got you here. Your proven methods of study, application, understanding and research, got you here. The better you utilize the new assets available to you, the professors, subject matter experts, peers and knowledge base, the more you will exploit your own resources and the greater your intelligence will grow.

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