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not a dream

June 4, 2012

Hey! Just want to let you all know that I’m still here, and still dreaming, and still doing things. I just haven’t written in the blog for a while. I didn’t forget about it, and I didn’t forget about you!

Anyway, here’s a regular old blog post (read: journal entry) for your reading pleasure. For the purposes of this post, I’ll just play a game called “Good Day/Bad Day.” My sister introduced the family to this game a few years ago. The idea is simple. Everyone sits around the dinner table and each person is proposed with the same question: “So, _______. Good day? Bad day?” The rules are simple. You must give one instance of a way your day was a good day, and one instance of your day that was less than desirable (i.e. bad). You must give both.

With that said, on to good day/bad day!

Good day:

I finally went back to step class this morning! It has been four weeks since I was there last. When Pete said the other day, “Um, if you don’t want to go to the gym anymore maybe we can cancel your Y membership…” I realized that it was time to get myself in gear again. I was feeling great! I want it again. So, anyway, yup, that was a good day thing. Also good: I went grocery shopping and bought myself raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries! Yum!

Bad day:

Dreary outside again. And late day at work tonight. Not looking forward to the dark, drizzly ride home.

 

strummin’ on the ol’ leather strap

March 27, 2012

I’ve already been awake long enough that some memories of last night’s dream are pretty hazy, but I felt that this one was worth putting in.

I’m at my father’s 50th birthday celebration, hanging out with my cousins and chatting with friends and relatives. One cousin approaches me and asks me to join her in some song in honor of my dad. I think that’s a great idea, because — SURPRISE! — I am an awesome bassist. And I play an upright bass that has only one string. That string is a leather strap, kind of an old dingy belt. I pull the strap tight to make sure the sound is right. I have the bass in one hand and the bow in the other. The bow’s string is also a leather strap, so what I’m doing is really just rubbing two leather belts against each other. Magically, they produce this deep, fantastic sound. I’m feeling pretty good about myself and about the song.

At some point, an old roommate from college approaches me and asks me if I’d like to join her band in Colorado in like, five minutes. I am nervous about letting such a great opportunity slip out of my hands, so I agree, but then remember I’m at a birthday party and isn’t that rude? I try going to the bathroom to think it over but the bathroom doesn’t have any walls. It’s just a big open tiled space with a toilet, a shower head (no stall or walls for the shower), and a very large commercial sink on the wall. There are new orange towels soaking in it. An old lady comes by while I’m peeing and turns on the shower, drenching me and everything else that was hanging near the shower (some dry towels).

I get annoyed and run out of the bathroom to the backyard, where I see a half-inflated blimp, with the former roommate standing by it, waiting for it to fully inflate so we can all get in it to go to Colorado. As it fills up, my mind keeps shooting from one possibility to the next, and I still can’t make up my mind about whether I want to go. But, since I told her I would, I feel like I’m duty bound to go, even if I half don’t want to. We get into the balloony part and just as we’re about to take off, I break down. I cry. I can’t go to Colorado! I’m scared and I’ll miss my family! The former roommate is pissed–why didn’t I just tell her that in the first place so that she didn’t make plans? I try to explain to her how awful I feel about the entire situation. I hate feeling confused. I hate feeling beholden. I hate having doubts. I hate not being able to make up my mind. I hate going back on a decision. I hate that I’m a poor planner. I hate that I can’t ever just take a leap.  I hate that I couldn’t tell her sooner. I hate disappointing people. I hate being scared of every possible situation that could arise in life!

And she was annoyed and went to Colorado without me. I went back to my family and was mostly happy, but still had some doubts. And then I woke up.

…and anyway, that’s pretty much how I feel about my decision-making skills in a nutshell. So, I’d say this dream is a pretty accurate reflection of how I feel about life when it comes down to making choices.

detective brain

March 7, 2012

Last night’s dreams were SO VIVID. They were the most real-feeling dreams I’ve had in a long while. Work has been going great, I’m finally getting into the swing of balancing hobbies/work/hanging out/doing other things, and it’s really nice. I feel like life is settling in to a neat and tidy routine that leaves room for spontaneity, and that’s a good feeling. Anyway…on to the dreams! 

 

I am at a cheerleading competition. It appears that there are many levels here: elementary, middle school, high school, and even CYO teams. The gym is very bright, and the blue mat in the middle is enormous. I am wearing a uniform, but I’m not on any team. Sitting with the mothers and grandmothers and all the other fans, I cheer loudly when a team I know gets up to the mat. I am sitting next to someone who seems to be in the same boat as I am: she’s wearing an old cheerleading skirt with a souvenir tee-shirt from a competition past. She cheers for different teams, but we occasionally nod at each other when we notice an impressive move or when someone nearly falls. 

Then, I get angry. I suddenly realize that all these teams are doing are sideline cheers and not much else.  There is little skill involved, and everybody knows the same cheers. I note that two teams are doing the same cheer with the same moves, and that it lasts only one round of chanting. They’ve barely gotten out of their seats in the bleachers! For some reason, this enrages me. I start yelling negative things. I’m pretty sure I actually start boo-ing when girls  only manage one measly cheer. I feel angry and jealous. I’m not a cheerleader anymore, but I know bad cheering when I see it. A young woman–a judge for the competition–approaches me from the other side of the mat. It’s an old trainer of mine, a girl who taught me many of the basics I know about cheerleading. When she helped with my teams I was young, maybe 11 years old, and I thought of her as a cheerleading goddess (she was just a high school kid who volunteered for the Pop Warner and CYO coaches). She had a huge smile, she was very thin, and she had lots of those things that “older girls” seem to have: a boyfriend, a boombox, CD’s of bands I’d never heard of, midriff-baring clothes (it was the 90s!), a bra. At any rate, for much of my childhood I looked up to her, and now, here she is in my dream, letting me know that it’s my turn to go on! I thought she was going to yell at me for yelling, but she seems to confirm that those sideline cheers were just a preliminary round, not the real deal. The real competition is about to begin, and I should be joining my former team.

I can’t believe this. I haven’t practiced, I came here alone, but somehow my team knows they need me. The thing is…I kind of suck. I haven’t practiced! I don’t know the moves! It’s my time to shine and I mess it all up. They (this is the Alvirne Varsity squad, now) seem to recognize that there is no way I could know the moves to the dances and cheers, since I haven’t been to a single practice, but as I clumsily try to follow the person in front of me, I feel their angry gazes melting my skin. Someone has given me a second chance at cheerleading, and I have to leave the mat about 20 seconds into the routine because they are all doing back-handspring back-tucks, and all I can do is a cartwheel. I run off the mat, finally recognizing that my glory days are over–I should have just stayed in the bleachers.

DREAM SHIFT

A man and I approach the home of an elderly woman. When she answers the door, it is immediately evident why we are there. She is the woman who has murdered countless people, and we are there to apprehend (or kill) her. Her build is slight; she has very short gray hair and a kind expression is nestled into her wrinkles. She wears a pastel Grandma sweatshirt, with some cutesy phrase about grandchildren embroidered on it. She shuffles slowly around the small house, making us tea and bringing us cookies as my partner and I (we are on the police force, I think?) share knowing glances across a glass dining room table. 

The table has a kind of display shelf beneath the glass top, and as the old woman sits and talks with us over tea and cookies, my eyes meet my partner’s, and together we glance slowly and (we hope!) inconspicuously to a shining object on display below the table: a giant gleaming knife–just the kind that might be used for murder. I get excited thinking that we finally have our perp, when suddenly the old woman smiles a knowing–and menacing–smile. In one swift move she makes it clear that she has seen our gazes fall to the weapon and, tilting the table top up, knocking sharply into my friends chin and neck, she grabs the knife and then lunges at him, blood instantly pooling everywhere. I leap to my feet before she has a chance to knock the table over onto me, and for a few long moments she and I are fighting hand-to-hand. I work to wrestle the knife out of her bony, arthritic clutch.

A minute or two goes by and I see a figure pass into the living room out of the corner of my eye. I allow myself to quickly look in that direction and see it is hired help. The cleaning woman has arrived with her young daughter, who is probably 4 years old. The daughter is clearly terrified of the battle she is witnessing, standing wide-eyed in the corner, clutching a stuffed animal. My hand softens as I think about the girl, and the old woman takes advantage of my weakness, freeing her hand and jabbing at the hot air in front of my nose. She misses, but it’s close. 

The cleaning woman decides that she will help me, and not the old woman, and quickly scurries over to help me up before the old woman can attack again. With the power of two, it’s much easier to pin the old woman to the wall and grab the knife. For some reason, though, I need to take it further. Instead of handcuffing her and bringing her to jail, I go Hannibal Lecter on this old lady and cut off the top of her skull, leaving her brain exposed. I take her to the bathroom, take a small piece from the front of her brain, and flush it down the toilet. I take the child and the maid with me,  leaving the old lady behind, her lilac-colored brain pulsing with childlike confusion. I get the feeling, though, as I exit the house, that I will have to come back. That this won’t be the end. That the old woman will kill again.

 

And now, as I read this back, here’s my one attempt at interpretation: I think my fear of aging has finally manifested itself.

a dream and some complaints

March 3, 2012

Ugh, I wish I could stop that whole “friendship lost and found” theme that tends to run through my dreams ever since a certain falling out last summer (not mine). It happened again last night, where a bunch of the old gang are at this person’s house swimming in their pool without them. We’re all having a great time, and decide to order pizza to keep the party going, even though the kid is not there at the house. Basically, we’re having a great time without him. But then, as we begin to dig into the pizza, he steps up behind me. I’m surprised, and start fumbling around with my food and bumbling my words. They come out kind of slurry and mumbled, something along the lines of, “Oh, er, you can…pizza…have? We got you some? Pool, er…sorry…hi?”Because I am NERVOUS. He sits down next to me, enjoys a slice of pizza, and laughs. Everything is back to normal.

 

Ugh. Hate it. These dreams are disturbing, in their own way. Mostly because I would love it if things would go back to normal? But only if normal means we can all live in peace with each other and how we are, rather than trying to change people to fit the mold of what you think a friend should be.

 

Anyway, here are my other complaints at the moment: yesterday my hand starting hurting bad! Try making an “L” with your pointer finger and thumb. Now, while it’s in the “L,” bend your thumb and draw it back. This movement (surprisingly common when doing dishes, holding babies, etc.) is rather painful along the base and web of my thumb. It’s not painful to type, but it is also painful to do some other squeezing and stretching-type motions. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Go away, pain. I wonder if I did something stupid at the gym.

diapers, tomatoes, and bathrobes (oh, my!)

February 10, 2012

After another hilarious episode of 30 Rock last night I started feeling really worn out. We’re putting on a puppet show at work for an upcoming town festival and it’s very physical! Add that to the fact that I went to the gym last night, and I was pretty exhausted by the time 9:30 rolled around. Pete convinced me to go to bed, so I did. What I got was ten hours of glorious sleep, and about 5 or 6 dreams. Unfortunately, now I can only remember about 3 of them, and more unfortunate still, I can only remember quick bits of each one. 

 

The first: I’m at an outdoor farmer’s market, hanging around this one vegetable stand. Even though the rest of the market people just have carts and tables, this is a very large vegetable stand with a roof. Imagine a detached garage with two of the walls missing. Water pipes were attached to the ceiling with little sprays that came down over the vegetables, providing a nice mist every once in a while. It was not unlike being in the produce department at the grocery store. Well, somehow or other I got roped into working at this stand, and all I remember is that I turned the misting sprays off at one point, causing all the tomatoes to immediately shrivel up. When I turned them back on, everything got better again. The owner came over to yell at me, and told me to stop playing with the nozzle. If I could just leave the vegetables alone they would thrive.

The second: My cousin had a baby a month or two ago (in real life AND in the dream), and I dreamed I was changing her diaper (the baby’s, not the cousin’s). It was an old-timey cloth diaper that got folded into a triangle then pinned on the sides. When I was taking the dirty one off, I went to scrape it into the toilet but my cousin stopped me. “Just put it in the freezer,” she said. “That’ll make the poop freeze and then you can just pop it off.” So, I put the dirty diaper in the freezer and outfitted the baby with a fresh diaper while I waited for the poop to freeze.

The third: Sexy dream! I won’t say much except that it involved a thigh-length terry cloth bathrobe and an elderly observer.

breastfeeder

February 7, 2012

I think last night’s dream was a mixture of the a Law and Order: SVU episode I saw last night and my own anxiety about breastfeeding (although, my anxiety basically stems from the fear of painful, cracked nipples, and is not directed toward other people).

 

I am in a store. Or maybe a library. It’s a public space with a lot of people, and I work there. Envision a Blockbuster video rental store. There are people milling about, looking through aisles, and there are some cashiers who work behind a very tall desk. I am wandering around the store, talking to customers and putting things away. I notice two people with two children, and immediately recognize them as my own parents (they are not my real, waking-life parents). The children they are with are older–say, 9 and 11 or so–and the younger one keeps tugging at the mother’s shirt. After she finishes talking to me, the mother slips out of all of her clothes and lies down in a corner with her fully-clothed 9-year-old to nurse her. The 11-year-old brother keeps a lookout to make sure nothing bad happens to them. The dad (played by John Boy Walton, who was on SVU last night as a murderer with syphilis) strips down, too, and sits with his legs crossed facing the wall, with his back touching the mother. Skin-to-skin contact is exceedingly important in breastfeeding, they tell me, and he is giving the mother moral support by being naked with her. I am astonished. I haven’t seen these people (supposedly my parents) in years, and here they are, naked and breastfeeding their 4th grader in public.

At first I don’t know what to do. Obviously, people see them and go to the cash register to complain. I’m torn because they are my parents, but I fully recognize their behavior is weird and inappropriate for the store.  I try to reason with them but the dad grows angry quickly, blaming society and people like me for all the problems in the world. They are just trying to feed their child the way nature intended! I retaliate and yell back about how they never did that with me, and my “dad” replied, “I know, and I regret it every day. That’s where we went wrong.” My mother, silent and naked all this time, looks up from her position on the floor and nods.

“It was after you went away that we realized we needed to change the way we parent. We didn’t want them growing up like you.”

I know I should probably be really hurt and sad, but I’m just really pissed off now, because I’m pretty sure I’m FINE. So, I tell them that in so many words. They cry some more, put on their clothes, and leave. I’m happy to see them go.

DREAM SHIFT!

I’m at my friend Lisa’s birthday party when I notice something is strange about her ears. They look all red and swollen. I ask her what the problem might be, and she told me about her rare and serious condition in which any contact with cold weather makes her body parts fall off. She had to have her ears reattached the other day because of it. I’m shocked! All our lives she’d been going out in cold weather–why now? She was just as surprised, and stated calmly that there was only a 9% survival rate. Eventually, she tells me, all her body parts would crumble, leaving her dead.

I realize then that the birthday party is really a funeral for the living. It is her way of saying goodbye to all her friends. I ask her, “Why don’t you just move to someplace tropical so that you’ll never be cold?” Apparently this hadn’t dawned on her, any of her friends, or her parents. “I guess…it just seems so hard.”

“Well, it seems better than dying! With the added bonus of warm weather being a requirement. You’d have a prescription to be in the sunshine for the rest of your life. Sounds kind of great to me.”

She sighs. It seems like she kind of likes having an incurable illness. So, I give up and decide to just enjoy the party.

 

 

FIN.

baby fever

January 26, 2012

I guess it’s just the season of life, but suddenly, everyone has a baby. And soon, some people will have more than one baby (will have “children,” if you will). It seems to be on everbody’s mind. Obviously, it is on mine, because I had a dream about yet another person telling me about her pregnancy last night.

 

In the dream, I walk into Brady and Emily’s apartment (which has a spiral staircase in the dream). Only Brady is there, arranging a big bouquet of yellow roses and baby’s breath. He is really smiley and animated, and keeps looking towards the staircase excitedly. He talks to me about everything, about  his mom, about how great life is, and I begin to wonder what has gotten into him.

The flowers all arranged, Emily comes trotting down the stairs, grinning like crazy.

“Um, we have some news, friend,” she sings to me. Brady comes right up behind her and hugs her.

“In 10-13 weeks we’re having a baby boy!” she exclaims with delight, jumping up and down and generally being more excited than I have ever seen her.

I squeal because I’m so happy for them, and start crying out of sheer joy. I tell them through my happy tears how they will be the best parents ever, that this is such a wonderful blessing, and that their baby is going to be so fun. We are all hugging and crying. I know that this is what she really and truly wants, and I can’t help but feel elated that she is making her life work in the way she has always wanted. I ask what they plan on naming him.

“Nicholas,” they say in unison.

“Wow, what a good, strong name,” I say (I don’t have anything against Nicholas, but I actually don’t really love it). But in the dream I really, really mean it.

They convince me to go to their college chapel with them for a special service aimed at pregnant mothers. Once we get onto campus I see this giant brick building at the bottom of a hill. Of course, that’s where we’re heading. We walk inside and everybody is there: Pete, Lyndsay and Dan, pretty much everyone I’ve ever met (including my boss from my old job). I sit next to someone who I don’t know very well, and Brady and Emily head up to sit in the front. I start gabbing with this person, and pretty soon the church transforms into a restaurant.

The manager pops his head around the doorway by the front of the church and yells and me for not doing my job. I get scared: what am I even supposed to be doing? The girl I’m sitting next to informs me that I’m supposed to be  cooking for a wedding. I don’t want to cook, though, so I take off from the church and head into an old barn, where Lyndsay is planning Kirsten’s wedding. I’m apparently late for the meeting, in which they are discussing what we should do about lighting options. I suggest candles and Lyndsay agrees: candles on everything! The caretaker of the building is nervous about all those candles in an old barn, but can’t disagree that it will be magical (if the building doesn’t burn down in the process of lighting them all). Then, in that moment, the candles all appear, and are all lit, and they really are beautiful. There are pillar candles everywhere: in candle holders, sitting on windowsills, on chandeliers, in beautiful lanterns. It seems like the wedding is about to begin when I run out of the building to go find…something. I’m still not sure what it is, because at that moment, I hear the unmistakable crunch of a chip bag (Pete making himself lunch this morning) and wake up.

 

OH! And about my new job! I got it. And I love it. It almost feels like cheating to go into work every day and make bulletin boards, update calendars, plan American Girl programs, and discuss how to make the best Valentines. But, it’s not. That’s really my real life and I’m so, so thankful. I work in the Children’s Department at a public library, and my days fly by. Come visit with all your babies!