Saturday, January 01, 2011

Gosh, hadn't it got a bit dusty in here? It needed a great deal of smarting up to look presentable. I hope it's worked. Now, to generate a bit of content.




Nah, it's not coming now, and besides, it's a holiday. And I've got a shiny new DVD of the first series of Being Human to watch. That ought to bring forth some think-itude.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More Dreams

I've been suffering from insomnia again, and more or less on form, caved in and took some sleeping pills last night. I'm always a little loathe to do this, because while they do help me fall asleep, they also ensure that getting us is a right pain, and that instead of sleeping through the night, I wake up four or five times only to descend into a light sleep or pointlessly vivid dreams that usually wake me up anyway.

Which happened last night. One was rather gruesome, but an interest riff on a common dream, and the other was... odd. Even by my standards.

The first began with me renting a tuxedo for my prom. With my mother. We had had actually picked out the tux, and were selecting a matching waistcoat. Yes. I know. You don't wear waistcoats with tuxedos. I pointed that out in the dream, but I wound up picking a sort of brown and tan check brocade thing that resembled some towels from a Radisson hotel in Lisle, IL.

After that, we were walking down the street, when someone being chased by the police jumped through a plate glass window. Then that person was me. I had glass sticking out of me all over. But not like if you had gone through a window. There were pieces stacked together like pages in a book. I remember other people around me freaking out, but I was calmly trying to decide whether to pick them out or leave them in. I was thinking "it's probably like a stab wound. If you take them out the blood will pool and the bleeding will get worse." So I started picking them out. I think there were some in my nose I plucked out, but I began to not be able to breathe, and remember thinking "Ahhh. I'm suffocating. This is more relaxed than I thought it'd be."

Then I woke up. (This is the riff dream; every once in a while I dream I'm vomiting glass shards, so this is similar to that.)

The other dream I had is that I was walking through Astoria. I was walking down Ditmars Blvd towards my old house. As I turned onto 46th St, I saw someone I knew walking a basset hound, and turned away, thinking "How did I manage to time it out this badly?" I walked back down Ditmars and passed a Greek Orthodox that isn't there. I ducked in, and people were congregating in just before a service. There was a weird balcony of sort, of chair balances on a series of ropes that ran across the nave, and there was a sort of red silk rood-screen dividing the choir. You had to climb up the screen to get to the chairs. I did so, and a big Greek guy informed me that the screen was a Disco screen. I didn't argue. I think I got up and left before the service started, because I remember talking to a kid in a newsie get-up on stairs that ran the length of the outside, before a wrought iron fence.

That's it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Inappropriate Work Anecdote

So there's this engaged couple where I work. I don't much mind the girl -- about the only way she ever really impacts my consciousness is that I start humming the first song on the New Pornographer's first album when she walks by -- but the guy, for some reason*, I just particularly loathe.

Until I noticed that the girl has a Twilight calendar (well, she would, wouldn't she?) on her wall with shirtless a Jacob on it**. Her fiance is the least Jacob-like person you could imagine, all pale and scrawny and Phish-listen-y. All of which, if you're me, conjures up an amusing image of the girl fantasizing about getting it hard from a wolf-boy while Weasel-boy ruts away single-A style.

Yeah, it's all a bit Artaud meets Sartre meets Genet, but it keeps a smirk on my face during the work week. And I'm preeety sure the grotty little oik totally deserves it.

*All right, he's a jerk and bears an uncanny resemblance to a weasel. Anybody who can get off looking at that probably pre-supposes the rest of this post.

**Not that I object or anything. It's arguably the seco... third... fourth best thing at work right now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dreams, Odd

I've decided I need to keep better track of my dreams. Up till now, it's been a sort of half-assed, I-really-should-do-this type intention, but I had a dream odd enough last night to warrant some attention. My dreams are always pretty vivid, and this was no exception, but this one was rife with meanings I can't help but think will be more apparent upon reflection.

It's also worth mentioning that this was a dream that seemed very long-lasting but no doubt wasn't, and that it occurred in that period after dawn but before time to wake up.

I was traveling with a certain person (doesn't matter who, at least not to you) on a bus going down a dirt road. The road itself was grey and sandy, with low-lying scrub on either side. It wasn't like anything I'd seen before, but it had elements of I-10 and I-20 in east Texas and a ride I took on a bus through the Yucatan in Mexico.

We were at the back of the bus, and I was thrilled to be on a bus on an unpaved road, though I have no idea why. The bus was open to the air in the back, and the over-all effect was rather like being in the back of a Jeep with its top off, or maybe the back of a open-air cattle hauler. I had my iPod with me and was planning on watching something on it.

The next part of the dream was at something like a rest stop or a bus station. My grandmother (who died a little less than a year ago) was there, and I was quite excited and a little nervous to introduce her to the guy I was with. I remember giving her a hug and her saying something, but I don't recall what.

My next recollection is that we're driving down another unpaved lane. I don't know why but I think it was in Texas. My mother is now present amongst the other people, and she tells me we've just passed a sign that says "The elevation will be 7 feet in 7 miles." I am very disappointed that I was unable to take a picture of this sign with the camera I got for Christmas this year.

Before very much longer has passed, we go by a most unusual place. My first impression is that it's a pit mine or quarry -- there's a big hole and it feels like the afternoon sun is putting much of it in shadow. There's a lot of pinks and salmons and oranges and ochres, and later thought makes me think of Escalante National Park, if only in color range. But in the middle, there's a high mountain jutting up, catching the sun. After the fact -- as in, immediately after, when I awoke, but not in the actual moment -- for some reason, I thought of Mount Doom from the Lord of the Ring films. At that moment, a quarry charge went off, removing a substantial hunk of the side of the mountain. We watched the side of the mountain explode and then watched as the rubble rained around us, and hit the roof of the bus in small(ish) rocks. The only thing I've ever seen the like, I think, was in The Hand of Fear, and it was not very similar to that.

Not long after that, there was another, larger explosion on the mountain side that resulted in far larger rubble flying down. This time, the stones were large enough to crush a bus like ours, and watching the falling stones, there was no guarantee my bus would have been spared. I don't know if it would have been: (I think, though I'm not 100% sure), our bus was heading for a cave in a rock face -- a square hole in a sheer cliff -- when there was a sudden lurch, as if we were all falling. This is what woke me up. It was extremely visceral, the sensation of falling.

What makes me wonder is that this is the second time in less than two weeks, I've been woken up by a dream that involves falling off a roadway in a vehicle. Odd.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Score, Sixth Style

Perhaps surprisingly, I don't often dream of Doctor Who. In fact, as far as I know, it's only happened once before: a rather charming affair with me riding around in Bessie with the third Doctor.

But that's it, really. Just a drive. Nothing else.

Until the other night.

I had me a dream with the sixth Doctor* (so, uhhh, no doubt about me dreaming in colour, what?). I'm not sure exactly at what point it started, but by the time I'm cognizant of what's going on, the Doctor and I am on the crest of a hill. A hill, I think, either in Gloucester (which I favour) or in Yorkshire: the bottom of the hill is in a mere, the top is bright green and dry. In the distance, we can see one hell of a storm bewing; the clouds are a violent black and purple curdling against an evening sky. The Doctor says he needs to know more about it, so I take a running leap off the hill. The valleys are full of giant broccoli stalks**: I run off the edge and leap onto one, which bows down with my weight into the valley, where a storm is fearfully raging. I pop back as it catapults up.

Later (in the sort of Strindbergian connexion dreams have), I'm driving along with the Doctor in a Morris Minor. We pull into the parking lot of my parents' church, only to see a future version of the Doctor -- the one from Real Time and after that sports a blue plaid version of his coat -- along with two versions of Peri. One from The Two Doctors and one from The Mysterious Panet. I convince my Doctor to pop off, so as not meet the future Peris, but this is where my dreams runs out.

What does it mean? Beats me, except:

*Ever since I purchashed "Attack of the Cybermen", I've been going through and listening to the commentary on each episode. I'm up to Terror of the Vervoids, ep. 3, so you can see where the Sixth Doctor angle comes from. Although Col makes one hell of a commentary guide -- second only to the vegetable man.

**Oh, this is so totally from watching that episode of The Powerpuff Girls with the Broccoloids they aired this week!

Oh, and can I just praise the sort of fate that makes sure I listen to Big Finish's "Company of Friends" the same week I re-read Shelley's Frankenstein? It's totally a B+ for effort and a C- for concept! I mean, did anyone bother to do research on Percy? Clearly not! The exigencies of writing a drama clearly take it up the ass here! I'd be more praising if the play were just not crippled by lazy writers!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Somehow or other, I managed to read both the beginning of Shelley's Frankenstein and watch the episode of Wild Russia on the Arctic on the same day. (If you don't know, the frame story of Frankenstein takes place on a boat in the far north of Russia, past Arkhangelsk and the White Sea). I rather assumed any dreams I'd remember would have been about endless white landscapes and harsh colds.

They weren't. I had a rather odd one, really. To set it up, I should mention that while my academic writing is all done under my own name, most of the rest is done pseudonymously pseudonomically... under a pen name.

In my dream, I'm walking down a street in the town where I went to college. Except this street doesn't actually exist. It was a side street along the main drag which isn't really there; it was all white stucco and tall wooden doors and milk bottles and weeds, like something in Belsize Park.

Anyway, I'm walking down this street with my friend Jamie, who for reasons that remain unclear, is wearing a medium purple pants suit, rather like Hillary Clinton on an old TV set in need of knob-twiddling. We are on our way to a film opening.

Which is in a little cafe that's all brushed steel and glass-top tables. We settle in somewhere in the middle, just in front of a group of people I knew. I don't know who they are now, but they were all people I recognised then. I *think* they were all people I went to undergrad with, which would at least be appropriate to the setting.

And these people are sitting around reading and tearing into a script I wrote. Ruthlessly. I don't know where they got it, and it's clear they don't know I wrote it, but it makes me hugely uncomfortable, and I spend a good few minutes trying to figure out a) how to communicate my discomfort and b) and to tell them I think it's rather good.

The dream itself peters out about there. It's odd because I throw around a fair amount of scripts to people and -- often being harsh in reading others -- expect people to be just as harsh with mine. I'm thick skinned about it, because it's foolish not to take good advice. But apparently I'm not quite as thick skinned as I imagined, at least subconcsiously.

In any event, the next dream I had involved me losing control of a minivan on a slippery road and crashing into a tree. This was also in Chapel Hill -- I could show the exact spot, down to the tree, on Franklin Street going down onto 15-501 where it happend. Weird little book-end...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Seattle Serenade

A few weeks ago, I was in Seattle. I had to step over to a grocery store, and as I was waiting for the car service to pick me up, one of the employees was out front, playing a ukulele and singing.

I asked him if he knew "This Little Ukulele". He didn't so I offered to teach him, since it's only three chords and two verses. (I bet you didn't know I could play the ukulele...) As I was playing it through, someone stopped in the parking lot, pointed, and went "Ohmigod! It's Stephin Merritt!"

I was flattered for a minute, till I remembered the last picture I saw of Stephin.