Family good; Godzilla bad


 I had a nightmare last night.

In my dream, Godzilla is chasing Buddhist monks through the streets of Tokyo. Behind the city skyline is a mountain chain of books. Between the Godzilla-stomped city and book mountain is a vast expanse of paperwork and red tape. The valley is bustling with a throng of young Asian women collectively tearing through reams of paper and  tangles of ribbon in search of clues to their past. There may have been something about Thetans in there, too.

Did I mention I watched “Religulous” last night before going to bed? Did I mention I attended two author visits/book signings back-to-back? Did I mention that I’m not getting any sleep lately? The fact that I got enough sleep to have a nightmare should make me happy. But I’m thinking my brain is in revolt.


The first book event featured journalist and author Mei-Ling Hopgood, who is on tour promoting “Lucky Girl.”


Hopgood was adopted before the wave of  Chinese adoptions began in the  1990s.  Unlike today’s well-oiled machine that is the China Center for Adoption Affairs, in the early 1970s, China adoptions were handled quite differently. There remained a seed of hope that a birth family and child could trace each other one day. This is no longer the case.
Hopgood’s story is unusual: Her birth family found her. She reunited with them in her early adulthood. “Lucky Girl” tells the story of that reunion and how she balances two sets of parents and siblings, one a half a world away. 
As an adoptive mother of a China-born girl, I have on ongoing interest in adoption outcomes, particularly in cases where a child reunites with a birth parent. It’s nice to hear a happy outcome.

The second event was a Q & A with Brad Warner,  member of the ODFx (Zero Defects) punk rock band (heydey in the early ’80s, play twice a year now), Japanese monster movie marketer, and Zen Buddhist teacher. Warner visited Detroit to promote his new book: “Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate.”
(If the name sounds vaguely familiar, it’s taken from a popular commercial for yogurt.)


I never know what to expect at author visits/book signings. I find my expectations can be pretty high. I’m there because I’m enamored with the author’s work or deeply interested in the subject. Sometimes I end up regretting the questions I ask. Almost always I say something inane to the person when its my turn to get my book signed. During Warner’s talk, I think I learned more about Godzilla movies, the somewhat futile attempt to resurrect Ultraman in the United States, and other monster movie stuff than I did about improving my meditation practice. But that’s OK; I’m still a fan.

I walked away from both events with a head stuffed full of information. So many questions and ideas were pouring out of me onto the pavement I almost tripped. When I got home, I read a “Dora the Explorer” book about archeology to my 3-year-old girl. Then I watched a movie disparaging organized religion. 

Either way, it was a batch of brownies added to a stomach already full of cake and cookies. 

I think my brain threw up.