capriuni: "Random" in mixed fonts, with "Stuff" in French Script on a red label obscurring a common obscenity. (random)
(But I really like this icon).

1) The dream I had this morning / through the night (it was one of the ones where I'm not sure whether each cycle through REM sleep were separate dreams, or just continuing "chapters" in one long dream) included (In order of descending complexity, incomplete):

Cut for those who don't care about dream rambles. )

  • My favorite part of the dream was that it had this musical number (yes, even dream riffs on the choreograhy) as a background theme throughout the whole thing (or nearly) which is now an earworm in my head (not that I mind):

2) Last night, I watched this video, which was posted back in January to mark the tenth anniversary of the probe Huygens landing on Saturn's moon Titan. I don't have any working earphones/speakers at the moment, so if the narration and/or background music is cringe-worthy, I apologize. But I was captivated without any sound at all; you can always mute. My favorite part is at the very beginning, where you see the Earth and Moon from Huygens' p.o.v., showing just how small the Earth is, how small the moon is, and how far away the moon really is. That's what it looks like "to scale;" good to remember:

3) Last evening, while I was having dinner, I watched a grey squirrel outside my kitchen window dig up (what I think was) an acorn and eat it -- hooray for springtime cliches (and dining companions)! BTW, squirrels don't bury their acorns because they're afraid of thieves. It's just that (contrary to Beatrix Potter illustrations) they do not have tiny kitchens with tiny stoves and tiny pots. Acorns fresh off the tree have too much tannin to be edible, but autumn rains, winter snows and spring thaws all work to leach the tannin out. This is how humans do it. The squirrel way takes longer, but seems so much much easier, I'd try that method, first, frankly.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Many years ago, I took an interest in the practice of lucid dreaming, and for a while, I used the practice on a fairly regular basis. ...I don't do it actively so much, anymore, but it's still a tool I keep in my box, and my dreams are at least partly lucid several nights a week...

Anyway --

One of the best and simplest exercises I came across for training my brain to dream lucidly was this:

1) Double check that you are awake several times a day, and once you notice you that you are, tell yourself: "This is what being awake feels like. The next time I'm asleep, I'll be sure to notice the difference."

2) And the way you double check is to read something, anything -- might even be a single word -- look away for a moment, and then, look back. If the word remains the same, you're awake. But if it has changed, then you're dreaming.

I really like this method because it's subtle (no one else need know you're doing it), painless (none of that pinching yourself nonsense), and easy to do often, especially in our era (practically everything, these days, has words printed on them -- a brand name, if nothing else).

And now (finally!), I come to my point: When reading does come up in my dreams (as in the waking world, it's surprisingly often) I've noticed that the words tend to change by shifting into either a paraphrase of what they were before, or they change to express the next "logical" idea my mind comes up with (for example, the first time I read a sentence, it might be: "The castle stood high on the cliff," and when I 'reread' it, it will have changed to: "Be careful of falling rocks.").

But this morning, I dreamt that I was being asked to write my email address -- basically, an abstract thing which stands alone... There is no "paraphrase" of it, and no idea that can come after it. My subconscious got around that problem by having me write it out in marker on flimsy plastic wrap, so that the material broke apart, and the letters smudged into the shape of other letters.

If I may say so: I think my subconscious is pretty clever! ;-)
capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)
I've observed that dreams, which seem, upon waking, that they would make fantastic stories, rarely, if ever, do.

After two days of trying, I've come to a similar conclusion regarding poems...


I think the metaphors in dreams are just so personal to the dreamer that trying to convey their impact to someone else just makes them collapse under their own weight.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Flights of Fancy)
Last Night,* I managed to get into bed after only my third attempt, in seven minutes. This is a vast improvement over trends of the last week. I also fell asleep quickly with little anxiety.


Just before my radio alarm was set to go off, I had a long, detailed, and increasingly vivid dream about having insomnia, and the stress and demands that places on the people around me.

... ... ...

BRAIN!!1!!11! I am facepalming at you SO HARD, right now.

*NB: "Night," in my personal parlance, translates to: "The end of the waking cycle, and start of the dreaming cycle," or: "The period between the end of one waking cycle and the start of the next." These definitions remain true, regardless of the time recorded on a local clock, or the date on a local calender.
capriuni: "Random" in mixed fonts, with "Stuff" in French Script on a red label obscurring a common obscenity. (random)
(I've come back to edit the bullet point about Chuck -- rereading it, I realized I had so many thoughts, I left key bits out of a key sentence)

  • Okay, so I cut my own hair, Friday night, and was tweaking it through the weekend... which meant I was spending more time than usual looking closely at my face in the mirror. And I noticed something.

    You know that the our faces are naturally asymmetrical, right? And that the right side of the brain controls the left side of the face? Here's a Web page that talks about that: Face assymmetry.

    ...Anyway: after looking at my reflection for the umpteenth time Saturday night, I noticed that my left eyebrow is markedly arched, and my right eyebrow is flatter and tending toward furrowed-ness. It's as if the analytical side of my brain is looking at the world and saying: "Grr! Eedjits!" And the creative side of my brain is looking at the world and saying: "Oh, Really?!"

    It struck me as highly lollerous. And yes, I LOL'ed.

  • I had a meta dream, this morning. I dreamt that I had a weird dream, and I ended up explaining my weird dream to people in my dream, and explaining how I thought my weird dream was giving suggestions for what we should do next (also, one of the characters in my dream was. Oh, and for some strange reason, Danny Rebus (from the new version of The Electric Company) was one of the people I was working with... (Here's His page on the Electric Company Website).

  • My cat Amanda is being particularly talkative today: walking around the house loudly declaring ...something... to the world at large like a Shakespearean actor doing a soliloquy.

  • (I almost put this one in things making me happy list from May 31, because I like it when the lightbulb clicks on about something. That 'aha!' moment feels good. ... Except this time, that light also illuminated something unpleasant. So I left it out. And I'm sticking it with "random" instead)

    I recently realized something about why I find Chuck so entertaining to watch, and while I will probably miss it when it's gone: For what's not in it: Disability.

    Now, I was actually surprised when this notion clarified in my mind (as if floating slowing from the murky depths of a silty pond, until it bobs up on the surface, all shiny like). Normally, I despise the erasure of "my kind of people" from the world, but the lack of disabled people from even the background crowd scenes means that in the entire four season run of the show (So far, I hope this post doesn't jinx this) means I could sit back, relax, and not worry that I'd have to watch any of the following plot points:

    1. That someone is going to "fake" a disability, in order to avoid suspicion or notice (which means, in real life, that people with disabilities are always under suspicion).

    2. That possible disability is used as a threat for a fate worse than death.

    3. That bitterness over having a disability is regarded as a reasonable motivation for wanting to hurt others or seek revenge (in an: "Oh, well. Of course that makes sense," sort of way).

    4. That shame over becoming disabled is likewise seen as reasonable excuse for not asking for help, even when going on as if nothing has changed actually results in the death of innocent people.

    5. That averting a feared disability, is portrayed as the happiest of happy endings, especially if the person who escaped this terrible fate is pretty. ... as long as you're "Beautiful" and "Whole," your life will be nothing but sunshine and lollipops for ever after.

    The fact that I do have to brace myself against those story lines in every other hour-long drama (and a few sitcoms) on television in the last (unspecified number of years) or so, is very, very depressing.

  • Thanks to [personal profile] trouble for pointing me to a transcript of Jay Smooth's video that I posted, last night:

    How to Tell People They Sound Racist )

    One reason why this is making me especially squeeful right now is that I'd just finished reading the bit in Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (Appiah, 2006), where the author makes the point that sharing someone's values isn't really important, and what we should be worrying about instead is agreeing on proper actions.

    Philosophical convergence for the win!
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Most recent dream image (that I remember): Watching a royal parade (for some celebration or other) from a high point -- either a balcony or maybe watching TV footage shot from helicoptor or blimp. Any-way... the nifty thing was that all the marchers' uniforms were all in slightly different shades of reds, browns, and baiges, so that when viewed from above, the viewer could see faces of animals (horses and cows, mostly). But there was an "except": Except they were marching in formation, in clusters, so you didn't actually see the entire face -- just enough to understand what it was you were looking at: One mini cluster of marchers would be the left ear, for example, another would be the right eye, a third group would be the muzzle, etc., all perfectly spaced in relation to each other.

Um. I'm not sure that's clear. But the neat thing about the parade was that the whole point was to play the puzzle game: "Hey! I get it! It's a cow!" or "Wow, that one of the best horses I seen!" and so on.

I think this would be great for a parade in waking life.

Someone get on that. 'Kay?
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Fishnorfowl)
I am about to toddle off to bed for another sleep cycle.^

Durning the last two sleep cycles, I've awoken from dreams about some vague, abiguously evil people or person infiltrating Christmas festivities. I forget specific details, but it might have shifted between poisoning the punch, or infecting one of the children* with fever.

There may also have been a small, sentient, yellow bird trying to navigate through storm clouds textured like cotton wool, and the dark mottled grey of laundry lint....

Ever since I last woke I've been musing over the irony that, nearly a month after it's old news for the people around me, my brain has suddenly been filled with images of red velvet bunting, and holly-strewn mantlepieces, and glistening bowls of steaming wassail.

Yeah, Like Neitherfishnor, up there, I'm pretty much thinking [?!] about it all, too.

^You can see, by looking at the timestamp on the post, why I've given up on the notion of "last night, I dreamt..." or "This morning, I dreamt..."

*My dreams are always crowded with characters that have no discernable connection with anyone I actually know from waking life. Aren't yours?

BTW, "Dreamt" is the only word in the English language with the "mt" consonant blend. ...At least, I read that, somewhere.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
1) Remember that vid I posted, of the guy who did a cover of "I don't want to live on the moon," from Sesame Street? He also composes his own work; he posted this, a couple of nights ago:

C) I made yet another post to Treasures of the Heart: Peace on Earth....

There's now one post up for each of the main, interrelated, topics I intended to focus on: a) the storytelling process, b) actual tales (especially versions people may not know already), and c) etymology, and deconstructing dictionary definitions. All I have to do is Lather, Rinse, Repeat. Hope I don't burn myself out in the first month, and then run out of things to say the rest of the year.

But that's why I started this thing (partly): to remind myself of all the different stories I do know, and to tell them before I forget, or lose the oportunity. And I shouldn't be surprised that December would be a story-heavy month -- the whole culture (at least in the northern hemisphere) is geared up to storytelling at this time of year.

II) Had a dream, last Saturday, and there was one scene that I am keeping hold of, for the next time I get hit with: "But do you ever walk in your dreams?"

No. This is what I dream about:

I had an appointment to get to. It was some sort of officially mandated thing -- psych. eval., or something. Only the medical center, wherever, looked like a posh restaurant/nightclub, and I had to drive my wheelchair up a long, circling, ramp that went aound the lobby (where patrons are enjoying cocktails), up to the office my meeting was in, on a second floor level.

Everything looks fine and dandy, until I'm half way up the ramp. Then it stops, in a sheer drop, about half-way up. There's a gap of about five or six feet, and then, a flight of steps leading to the second half. And while I'm stuck there, thinking: "WTF?" the medical center's receptionist comes down to berate me, telling me to hurry up, or I'll be penalized for being late to the meeting. I try to explain that I'm doing my best, but I can't get across. And she snaps back: "Well, what more do you want? We provided you with a ramp!"

Gotta hand it my amygdala: it sure knows how to bring the figurative snark to the party.

b) Saw a nifty documentary on PBS the other night, on the latest generation of scientists and artists working in oragami. And the idea occurred to me that someone could probably make a full-sized artificial Christmas/Yule tree using nothing but the pages of all the catalogs that come in the mail between October and December. At wouldn't that be the perfect Meta-cultural statement, FTW?
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2009

The Preamble, especially for the (temporarily) able-bodied who may be reading this:

Different disabilities are different, even though Society-at-Large lumps them all together under a single label. I have cerebral palsy; here is an explaination of what that means.

My life experiences and troubles are as different from those of someone who is Deaf (or blind), or with spinal chord injury, or chronic pain, or [...] as they are from someone who has been able-bodied all of his or her life. But, for all our differences, we do have one thing in common: Society-at-Large lumps us together into one club that none of us chose to join, and looks upon us with the same pitying and othering attitudes.

So, on days like this, we band together with more-or-less unified voices and say: "Ahem. Stop it."

The Body of this Post:

Back in the day, when I was in college and grad school (and therefore, had much more random contact with General Public people than I do now), I'd often hear these each of these two questions:

"Do you ever walk in your dreams?" and

"You write wonderful stories... But why haven't you written about someone like you, yet?"

I'd get lots of other questions, too, like: "Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? He could make you walk!" or: "Do you have a license to drive that thing? ha, ha!"* But I'm putting these two particular questions in the same basket, because they both relate to the tricky issue of self image, and I can answer both questions with a single example.

In answer to the dream question (which, by the way, is only a slightly more polite version of "Don't you wish you could walk?"**):

No, I don't ever walk in my dreams, at least, not that I ever remember. The dreams that are powerful enough to stick in our memories are about difficult issues we're working through. If the issue I need to work out involves "Getting from Point A to Point B," my dreaming brain is going to weave a metaphor from all the experiences I've faced getting from Point A to Point B in my ordinary waking life and magnify them to the Nth degree. These dreams have a lot of treacherous, hard, and slipperly floors, narrow doorways, impossible-to-find elevators, and stairways that make no sense. One dream I had a couple of years ago ended with me telling the mayor: "I don't care if you think I'm 'an inspiration!' I don't want your key to the city -- I want you to put in some god-damned curb cuts!"

If getting from Point A to Point B is not the issue, my brain just skips over the in-between parts, and cuts from scene to scene like a movie.

The title of this post comes from a dream, from one I had way back in my late teens or early twenties, and it's also one I tried (and failed) to write into a song:

I was the guest of honor at some sort of party, at a meeting house where my mother often volunteered. I was running late, and feeling pressured because I knew the guests were all there waiting for me. The door into this meeting house (in real life, mind you) was narrow, up a single steep step, and the floor just inside the threshold was worn, uneven, painted wood that was slippery when there was even a molecule of water. Now, in my dream, I had to get through this door on my crutches (and when you're walking up steps on crutches, in waking life or dreams, the laws of geometry and ergonomics make it impossible to put the tip of the crutch in a full upright position, thereby making the "non-skid" tip virtually useless).

While I was struggling thus, self-conscious, and trying not to fall with a full audience, someone in the crowd saw me and said:

"Oh, look! It's Peter Pan!"

And I shouted back: "That's right! I can't walk. But I can fly!"

And for years, I kept the thought in the back of my mind that I would turn that line into a bumper sticker for my chair, or a sweatshirt slogan, or somesuch.

As for the second question, first off: "Why haven't you written a character like you, yet?" is, for all the questioner's good intentions, insulting and hurtful, because it implies that a character can only be 'like me' if she or he is also in a wheelchair, even if I'd given that character my goofy laugh, or irrational fear of earwigs simultaneous love of spiders, or my loathing of moralizing kids' cartoons. It's especially hurtful because the question often comes from people who've known me a relatively long time, and have read several of my stories, so I'd hope they'd see more of me than just the chair I use.

Second, it's damned hard to write well about disability, and still write sometthing clear that actually says what you want it to say.

For an example:

Back in the spring of 2002, I got it into my head to try writing a song, and I thought I could use that old dream's "Peter Pan" lines as a refrain, and make it a protest song against disablism.

But... As soon as I tried to put that song to paper, I realized that "Peter Pan" made the song say exactly the opposite of what I want to say. I equate Peter Pan's ability to fly with the ability to experience joy (also, in my dream, I was trying to get to a celebration). But Peter Pan is also the "Boy Who Never Grew Up," and a symbol for perpetual childhood. And Society-at-Large already has the infuriating habit of infantalizing the disabled (do you know what it's like to be forty-something, and have complete strangers chase you down to give you a lollipop? -- I've never liked lollipops, even when I was five).***

I started out trying to write an autobiographical story-song about my experience with disability, but I ran up against the fact that to do so also meant reducing my experience to a metaphor. And people with disabilities already spend their lives being treated as metaphors for the able-bodied, rather than real, three-dimensional people in their own right.

It wasn't until this past August that I finally figured out how to make that point in a song:

Well, I won't be your metaphor
for grace (or lack of grace),
'cause I am simply human
in this complex human race.

It only took seven years, three months, and change since my first attempt (The full song can be found here: Simply Human). It will take a bit more work to figure out how to write a fictional disabled protagonist.

*Here's a tip: if you ever find yourself contemplating saying either of these things out loud to a person in a wheelchair, stop yourself. You'll greatly reduce the risk of that person dismissing you as a shmuck.

**Here's another tip: If you're wondering why that's an impolite question, try substituting "...could walk?" with: "...were a man?" or "...weren't so short?" or "...were white?" and listen to the way it sounds.

***This is the song that came out: Magic is just for children (Peter Pan still showed up, but in a very different way). It's not a very good song, really, as in being something that's actually singable, but it's a first attmept, so...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Flights of Fancy)
So, anyway, I've discovered something about myself: I can function with relatively little actual deep sleep, if I'm allowed a long, extended, time devoted to a state of half-dreaming/half-waking. I can get by with as little as five hours full sleep, as long as I have that "buffer zone" to drift in and out of dreaming, gradually leaving one realm, and thinking on it as I enter the next. Eight hours of full sleep are better than five, but not if that means I have to get up right away and hurry about (and thereby forget my dreams). Rushing into wakefulness, even after the "recommended eight hours," tends to give me a migraine.

Since I was planning to leave the house this morning at 11:00a to go to the library. So I set my radio to turn on at 7:00a, knowing that I could drift in and out of sleep quite comfortably with NPR's reporters' voices in my ear (and my radio "auto alarm" turns itself off in an 1hr, 59mins, which gives me two hours for breakfast and dressing).

Cue 7a, and the strange dream:

I dreamt that while I was listening to NPR's Morning Edition with my left ear, I was hearing an an entirely different radio show in my right ear -- inside the ear, like "ringing in the ear," but with actual voices (only, in my dream, I was calling my left "right" and my right "left").

The "phantom radio show" was the antithesis of NPR: one of those Goofy FM radio "Morning shows" with sophomoric sound effects, fart jokes, recorded laugh tracks and a sarcastic disk jockey. And get this: the disk jockey was Satan, and the radio broadcast was originating in Hell. In my dream, I knew that the Goofy FM Show was not real, and probably just the result of a pinched nerve, or something. But I was still annoyed by it, because I was trying to listen to NPR, and I was trying to figure out how to shut it up.

So anyway, as I was dealing with this annoyance, I was sitting at a bar-like table (a long board on brackets in a wall) in a sort of gardening shed/workshoppy place, with flowerpots and gardening shed tools spread out on the table around me (along with the transistor radio on which NPR was playing, and bright sunlight shinging through cracks in the boards. And I was having breakfast.

So who should come up and sit down to have breakfast with me but the voice artist, Fred Newman;* he doesn't doesn't do any sound effects or anything, but I complain to him about the phantom radio show.

...I drift in and out of sleep, and the dream switches to several new scenes. A key one is this (it may have been the last one before I was fully awake):

I'm riding in the front seat of Fred's car (he's driving me around to do errands), and NPR is playing on the car radio (and 'Satan' is still ranting in my ear). We pull into a store parking lot, and as I get ready to get out of the car, I notice that there's a small woman standing there, staring at me (us), and I think: "Oh, Great! Another Pity Junkie!"** and, at first I decide to try and ignore her. Then, I realize she's trying to ask me something, to ask my advice about something. But she doesn't have a very strong voice, and I can't hear her over the two radio shows going simultaneously. I can't turn off the show inside my ear, so I try to at least turn off the car radio.

...And, all of a sudden the inside of the car becomes cluttered with brand new tubes of lipstick: reds, maroons and purples, mostly. And glitter lipstick, at that. And the tubes of lipstick get in my way, and I can't reach (or even find) the radio control buttons.


Um, yeah. I get that Satan's Morning Radio Madness was my dream!brain's way of playing with what I was actually hearing from the outside world. I get that the tiny woman who can't make herself heard is probably an expression of my own frustration at being "stuck" right now. And Fred Newman as a Guide/Aide figure kinda makes sense, as his whole career has been about using his voice, (and he has a song on Between the Lions called "Get your mouth moving")...

But glitter lipstick?! Really?! WTF, Subconscious?

*(Here's 14 seconds of an audio-visual aid from YouTube, in case you have no idea who Fred Newman is).

**"Pity Junkie" is a term that [ profile] haddayr posted in [ profile] gimp_vent, last night, to refer to those who seem to throw themselves in the pity puddle for a good wallow every time they see someone else with something "wrong" with them.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
  • So, since it had been quiet for over a week, I went ahead and made that post about Geordi La Forge in [ profile] starbase_idic. I was originally going to post about how invisible his disability was, in terms of relevance, and how this is an extension of the Christain trope: "When the Kingdom of God is on Earth, the lame shall walk, the blind shall see, the deaf shall hear, and the lepers shall be made whole," especially since, in the Trek universe, the Future is Closer to Paradise than we are.

    Then, I read his "Official Bio Page" on, and realized that the invisible blindness was only the tip of the Iceberg of Fail, regarding Geordi La Forge. So the post kind of went in a different direction.

    1. Had a weird dream this morning (when does anyone have a perfectly logical dream, anyway?), right before I woke up. In the dream, I came to consciousness in a hospital ward and the doctor congratulated me because I'd just given birth to a beautiful baby daughter, and that she was in another room, down the hall with the nurse/aide/wetnurse who was helping to take care of her, because I was not lactating. Then followed the usual wandering-down-the-maze-of-identical-corridors and getting lost as I tried to find my daughter.

      Meanwhile, I was really confused, because I couldn't remember ever actually having sex in the last nine months (much less with whom), so how the hell did I get pregnant? When I finally found the room with my baby and my aide (who was, naturally [/sarcasm], a tall, willowy, athletic blonde), I discovered that the baby was at least already three months old, so maybe the reason I had absolutely no memory of the father was because my daughter had been in the womb longer than nine months, and my memory doesn't go back that far. So I studied the palms of my daughter's hands, to see if she'd inherited any line patterns different from mine that might remind me who the father was, so I could try to contact him.

      • I've given up trying to write a Christmas novel for my New Year's resolution, by the way. My heart and my ethics are no longer in it, since the author is now an atheist by virtue of disbelief, and at least one person on the gift list is an atheist by virtue of Hating God with a Passion. So Santa Claus story just seems to be made of wrong, somehow. I've not given up entirely on the idea of writing a book as a gift for the family, though. But I'm still flailing about trying to think of a substitute idea.

        1. Instead of getting the exciting finale (Episode Six) of Seeds of Doom, last night, my PBS station aired Episode Five again. I hope we get episode six next week.

    • There are random moments when I want to write an LJ post gushing and squeeing about how The Winter's Tale is one of Shakespeare's Greatest Plays, and how horrid it is that so many literary critics pan it as one of his worst. But then, I'm stuck because hardly anyone knows the play (because it's been panned by "experts," so it doesn't get taught or performed very often). So I get stuck wondering how much I can gush or squee without Spoilering it to High Heav'n. So it keeps rattling around in my head, and I never post it.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Sometimes, in the morning, as I'm drifting awake, I turn on the radio to listen to NPR and get another voice or two inside my head. Sometimes, that helps me wake up completely. Sometimes, that helps me drift back into dreams.

Yesterday morning, I felt pretty certain that I'd heard a piece on doodling, and how your teachers were wrong: it's notdistracting, but helps you focus.

But then, as I was going to bed, last night, I began to wonder if I'd actually heard the report, or only dreamt I was listening to the radio. I was leaning toward the latter, since: a) I hadn't set my radio alarm until 10:30 (a good hour and a half after such a report would've been over), b) I had absolutely no memory of turning on the radio before the alarm went off, and c) the "report" had "accompanying video" to illustrate its points. But if it were a dream, it would certainly have gone into the record books as one of my most vivid and detailed, ever.

Then, as I was having my coffee, today, I remembered that has a search function, where you can pull up recent reports that you've heard, so I thought I'd try it, even though I was more than half certain the search would come up empty.


Bored? Try Doodling to Keep the Brain on Task

There! Enjoy!
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Flights of Fancy)
I can't remember the last time I went to bed before midnight and actually slept deep enough for REM sleep, so all my dreams are, technically, morning dreams.

But this one was a proper morning dream-- meaning it floated through my brain as I was drifting toward wakefullness, and vaguely aware of growing light in my room (witness a scene in dream, wake up, realize I'm in my own bed, decide to go back to the dream, see next scene, vaguely connected to the last. Repeat):

Don't remember much of it, except that it was a Doctor Who story, with Troughton!Doctor as pilot, and Ian and Barbara as crew (can't remember if Susan was there, or not... she might have been). The console room was wood... like the secondary console room in Tom!Doctor's Whatchamacallit ep.

The story involved an old leather-bound book, with deteriorating pages. And there were ghosts ... I think (maybe?) the ghosts were using the book, or maybe the story told in the book, as a portal into this world.

The crew (Which I may or may not have been a member of... one of those dreams where I'm in limbo between witnessing and participating) had to decipher the story to figure out who the ghosts were, why they were coming here, and how to send them back. But key parts of the story were on pages that were missing, or bits of pages that had been torn or burned away.

Mostly, I think it was a color theme thing, as the brown leather and burnt paper of the book were the same color tones as the wood in the console room...

If I tried to write it straight from my brain into a story, it would be completely unreadable. But maybe that crew combination, and/or ghost-story-with-book could evolve into a plot bunny for someone?

Just a thought.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
[ profile] angevin2 posted this poem the other day, and ever since, I've had this song as an earworm, in my head:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school )

Just for the record, this is not helping in my efforts to write a new Yule/solstice carol (not, at least, since I've decided to go in a different direction from "Grandma got run over by a reindeer").

(I'm listening to the classic music radio station, now, to try and flush the damned thing out)

On the upside, regarding the carol, I came across a tidbit (In Wikipedia, so I'm not sure how reliable that is), that on the night of the winter solstice, the three stars in Orion's belt point to the brightest star in the eastern sky (Sirius), and that star marks the point where the sun will rise the following morning. I think that's pretty cool (especially since the four stars are bright enough that you can see them even when there's a fair amount of light polution), and may form the central image of my song, if I can figure out how to write it. I'm thinking of using the sonnet as the basic form for it, though. "Shakespearean" sonnets are relatively easy to turn into songs, once you've got them written (but ymmv, natch).

Ever since I read the news of Odetta's death, the random thought keeps popping into my head that Dad will be so sad to learn about it, before I remember that no, he won't, because he's dead, too. ... ... ... *sigh*

This bit turned out longer than I expected: nightmare with an early cameo by Eccleston!Doctor and Daleks, and getting lost in corridors, but was really all about regets over my past mistakes, and paralysing fear of the future, oh joy! )

It was kind of hard to tell if the dream was in color or black and white, because the weather was so grey, and the walls in the office building were painted in blah, institutional colors.

One of the first thoughts I had, after that dream was: "I've heard that when all the movies and early tv were in black and white, people reported dreaming in black and white, but now that tv and movies are in color, people report dreaming in color... How did people dream a thousand years ago, before movies or tv were even invented?"

I bet it was in color.

Speaking of phones, I bought myself a new landline phone, because the answering machine part of my old one is dead, so I can't get messages or leave an outgoing message saying I'll call back.

In the owner's manual, it makes a big deal, with all sorts of "Important!" and "Make sure you read this and do this absolutely first!" instructions telling me to thread the power cord (and phone jack cord) through the guiding slot at the back of the phone. I tried. The damned slot is too skinny! The power cord won't fit into it! And the slot is in hard plastic with absolutely no give or wiggliblity.


Maybe if I were a factory robot, with tiny little pincers for fingers, and a brain that works on the scale of nanometers, I could undo the twists in the wire at just the precise angle to make it slide in easily.

But I am a mere human, with fat, clumsy, flesh fingers.


"Come all ye faithful!" just finished on the radio. Now, there's a carol I don't recognise, but it sounds nice. I like the classical station this time of year.

[ profile] originalchagall is a new LJ'er this week. She friended me, and she speaks English (With that username, I thought she might be another Russian speaker/writer)! Based on her interest list, I'm guessing she friended me because we both have an interest in music, though her interest and knowledge in that area goes much deeper than mine.

*waves hi*

I could use some cheering up.

Know any good jokes?
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
The United States Census Bureau came out with a report, August 14th, that said that by 2042, Whites will no longer be in the "majority." Here's a link from National Public Radio that connects to the AP article.

The news itself doesn't bother me, but the fact that the tone of the AP article treats this simple fact as a "problem" does bother me.

Plus, let's look at the actual predictions guesstimates the bureau put in their report:

By 2042:

Whites will make up 46%

Non-white Hispanics (i.e. the brown-skinned ones who have American Aboriginal genes, not those nice European ones) will make up 30%

Blacks will make up 15%

And Asians will make up 5%

...I dunno. But it still looks to me like European Americans will still have a controlling stake in the culture, unless you're one of the people who divide the world into Whites and Everybody Else.

It's just like I said to that redneck war vet, in my dream, back in April: "You will always have your human rights defended, it's just that always being in The Majority is not one of those rights."

Geez. Of all the dreams to get all deja vu on...

Why couldn't it be the one where I'm in London with my f'list, and we're all running around getting ready for a massive party/wedding anniversary blowout, in tuxes and ball gowns, buying presents and cake?
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Flights of Fancy)
I dreamt an original opera this yesterday morning, before I woke up. It was some adventure plot, with questing soldiers and talking animals (I think), and it was in my subconsciousness's version of French-Italian pidgen, with simultaneous Signing in American-Italian-Sign Language pidgen.

Sometimes, I was in the audience, and sometimes I was in the stage crew...



I think it might have been triggered by my watching the finale of Daughter of the Regiment on PBS, the evening before...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Flights of Fancy)
Dreamt, this morning, of an "Ancient Chess game" that anthropologists discovered, and someone had made a beautiful replica of, with carved and polished wooden pieces.

This was an early varient, on a circular board, with three (concentric) rows of pieces on each side, instead of two, and extra pieces that had not survived into modern times. No descriptions of the game, or references to gameplay could be found in any literary record. The only clue the experts could find to how the game worked were in ornately carved wooden torque-like ornaments, found in royal graves, buried with the bodies, that suggested the design of the game was based on the curve of an archer's bow, with the forward movement of play representing the arrow, ready to be shot. Other than that, it was left to the players to try and figure out how to move across the board, since all the lines between the squares converged in the center.

Oh, and Charlie Eppes, the starring character from Numb3rs was there, watching over our shoulders, and giving his suggestions. Mostly, he was as clueless as the rest of us.

...I guess my brain had to supply its own Geek!crush satisfaction, since I was watching Into the Woods on Friday, instead.

God, I love me a curly-headed baby...

Oh, and I finally read the "Director's notes" from the program to the play, yesterday (the lighting in the theater was too dim to do it on Friday night, before the performance), where he at least admits to adding the "it's all a dream" framework, for the play to make sense. I may do a Recovering English Major critique of his interpretation, later, if I have the energy for it.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Flights of Fancy)
  1. Was interrupted several times by the male pileated woodpecker doing his personal advertising on my chimney cap. He's still at it. I wonder what has pulled his chain, after many days of silence.

  2. Started with a home invasion, with me watching the person (a young woman) doing it, and knowing what she was up to, but not knowing her, or her motivation. She came into the room, which was almost (but not quite) like the living room/library of my old home. She was looking to steal some specific document from a desk drawer, but to make it look like a random robbery, began pulling books off the shelves, and dumping them on the floor, and also throwing furniture around and breaking it up a bit.

  3. Without having a clear, lucid dreaming "Aha!" moment, I still ended up using a lucid dreaming tactic of confronting her directly, and engaging her in conversation, trying to find out more about her and what her motives were, without letting her know that I knew she was out to steal a document. This led to questions like when her birthday was, and how she knew mutual friends of ours, etc.

  4. This confrontation, by the way, took place in the bathroom; and while we were talking, it was unclear if there was something she was looking for there, or if she were just cleaning up, but there was a small potted plant (mint, I beleive, or thyme) in a seedling pot, on a high shelf above the lights above the mirror. She was about to throw it away, and I asked her not to, so she handed it to me, and I realized, although it had been neglected for years, that it was still alive and had healthy roots, and I contemplated repotting it.

  5. This scene segueed, as dreams do, to a university student union lobby (I think because the young woman was a college student, or the mutual friends between us were college students, or both). There was a "Spoof Public Service Announcement" contest going on, with the prize slated to go to the funniest one*, and the different announcements were being played over the Student Union's sound system, for all to hear.

  6. I was looking at one of the student booths (stocked with carnival-like plush animals) while listening to the announcements. And a Vietnam-vet-like man in a wheelchair came up behind me, and started complaining about said announcements, that those damned minorities were trying to take away his rights (I think one of the PSAs was in favor of Jewish anti-defamation), and they should just stay in their places. I answered that he will always have his human rights defended, it's just that actually being in the majority is not one of them. I then wheeled my own chair out of the way so he could go past me into the booth.

  7. For some reason, after he passed me (maybe he shot me a dirty look, or muttered something, or both), I deliberately picked a fight with him, and said, very clearly: "God. Damn. You." He turns around, and we get into a wheelchair rumble, backing up and racing toward each other like two mountain sheep rams butting heads.

  8. Somehow, a receptionist sitting at her desk in a wheeled desk chair ended up between us, and got knocked out of her chair and onto the floor when my opponant rammed her desk. I went forward to appologize, as I felt responsible that a fight that I'd deliberately started was injuring a bystander. She told me not to worry about it, as this sort of thing always happens to her (I wonder what poor facet of my subconscious she represented...). Then, somehow, in a way I still can't figure out, the next I saw her she was in a yellow, inflatable submarine/bubble getting tossed around on the ocean, in a rather sloshy way.

  9. Maybe my brain would have come up with some sort of narrative explaination for that, given time, except that that pileated male started hammering again, and when I glanced at the clock, I realized it was late enough that I had better get up, anyway.

I'm not sure what, if any, deep, spiritual clue my subconscious was trying to drive home to me. But I like the point that being numbered among the socially priviledged is not one of our inalienable rights. And if ever I get into a discussion with a Rush Limbaugh supporter, I may just bring that up...

*"[S]he hath often dreamed of unhappiness and waked herself with laughing;" for some reason, my subconscious tends to think that no dream is complete without a punchline in there, somewhere.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Flights of Fancy)
I wrote in this reply to that thread about how I may use a single image from a dream in my waking life, in order to let my subconscious know that I want to file my dreams in my long term memory.

The image from my dream night before last, that's the clearest, is putting pink and white dried flowers into a black mourning wreath, to hang above the door where someone died (and how my other relatives were complaining that pink and white are not appropriate colors -- far too jolly).

You know, now that I think about, I think black, white, and pink make a very pretty color combination, and I now want a black straw hat, with a wide brim, and that I want to decorate the hat band with pink and white dried flowers (or silk -- yeah, silk would be more durable).


I think that's a dream mnemonic I would happily wear in public.

Maybe my next "day out" will be to Michael's Crafts...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Flights of Fancy)
Longish preamble on new science done around dreams )

The night before last (actually, it was well into the morning, since I was suffering from insomnia), as I was drifting off to sleep, I was having auditory hallucinations in my right ear, only. It wasn't like my usual, imagined voices, as when I'm daydreaming about fictional characters, and what they say to each other: I was physically hearing the voices in my right ear, and they were loud enough to drown out the radio I was trying to listen to with my left ear. FWIW, I was hearing a crowd -- like there was a party going on, and people were laughing and talking loudly to be heard over each other, and there might have been some spirited discussion (or three) going on, but I didn't recognize any particular voice as that of someone I knew, or make out what the general subject(s) of conversation might have been. It was a bit disconcerting, but it didn't particularly scare me, or anything, because I knew it wasn't real. And there weren't any fights or threats of violence, or anything; a good time was being had by all (And I was definitely awake, I've done enough lucid dreaming exercises to recognize that difference).

...But I guess now, I know where my story ideas come from: there's a crowded convention hall in the back left corner of my brain, three doors down, next to the snack bar.

When I finally did slip into real dreaming, we were in a spaceship that was also a suburban house, with paisley-patterned wall-paper and lace curtains on the windows, and we had a portable rocket engine, that, while cumbersome, could be carried from place to place as long as you had 4 to 6 strapping people to manuever it. We would steer by pointing it out the different windows of the house. And it somehow pulled us in that direction, rather than pushing us away from it...

And here's where the fear and that active limbic system comes in:

We had to make an emergency landing on the surface of a mostly volcanic planet-- what land masses there were were floating on the surface of flowing lava, and then, I spied what looked to be like a flat, grey, surface of granite, rising out of a lake. Just as I'm about to land on that stone, however, it turns out to be a shark who lunges up and tries to take a bite out of our ship... And then, I wake up for a second, before drifting back to sleep.

And here's where my limbic system shows its sense of humor: one of my crew members meets up with a little alien creature that's shaped just like a human hand: it's little legs are where the wrist would be, the face is in the "palm," and it has five appendages growing out of the top of its head, that are exactly like our five fingers. And it played a bamboo-like flute instrument on its "pinky." And it was rather friendly and nice.

I had another dream, this morning, that had sad/scary bits (revolving the death of an uncle that changed from something that happened decades ago to something that just happened recently), that somehow involved an epic battle between a dragon king and an ice queen, and ghosts and spirits living deep in the earth, and hauntings, and such, and it was all some tangled up with family politics and inheritance, and there was a black mourning wreath we were making, to hang over the door of the house, and I was defending my decision to decorate the wreath with pink and white dried flowers...

Frankly, If it's pretty much a given that 70% of our dreams are destined to be sad/bad, I vastly prefer those that at least show some imagination, and have me confronting dragon kings and alien lava sharks to those that simply leave me dealing with a lack of elevators, and doorways that are too narrow, you know?

And now, the poll:
[Poll #1175467]


capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)

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