Posts Tagged ‘Dreams’

The Signs They Are a-Changin’

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

As you have likely observed, I have a long history of getting discouraged and then suddenly becoming optimistic again. I’m not sure why this is. It’s my own opinion that I have a quick bounce. Bounce – or at least my definition, for what it’s worth – is the time between emotionally hitting the ground and springing back up. Even with extremely tragic or outrageously unfair circumstances, I tend to bounce within a few hours. This is why, despite my arguable host of mental problems and questionable sanity from time to time, anti-depressants don’t really seem to be a prescription I need. Anti-psychotics on the other hand? Perhaps.

Beach Status Signs

Not this kind of sign.

Nonetheless and as I’ve mentioned, the last few weeks I have felt kind of panicked. In the simplest of terms, it’s a feeling of “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? THIS IS YOUR LIFE!!!” and it’s a really lame and anxiety-causing sensation, especially because there’s no clear answer. On certain terms, I could argue with the Voice of Urgency that I’m doing the best I can – I’m working on a new book (thinking and planning more than writing at the moment, but that will come), I’m living my life, I’m thinking deep thoughts, I have clever ideas at least once a week, I’m mostly in a good mood, I use very few aerosol products anymore, and, by and large, I’m not hurting anybody (as far as I know). On the other hand – and recognizing that the Voice of Urgency comes from my head and, thus, is me in some fashion – I completely agree with it. Somehow, in ways I can’t quite pinpoint, I am wasting time and, by extension, my life.


That hurts.

That more than hurts. That f*cking sucks.

And then enter – stage right – the bounce.

Not this kind either. If this kind is even real. I'm not sure. Somehow I doubt it.

I have long had (and recently had reinforced) the feeling that if I just keep pushing and writing and working that I will eventually hit upon the idea and the plot and the “it”, and then the magical, mystical force that makes stuff turn out happily ever after will kick in and things will go my way forevermore. Just as suddenly, all the work I’ve done up to that point will become useful and relevant, if not sought after. I like this idea. I am buoyed by the hope that I have the talent and the tenacity, all I need is the bright idea and a little bit of star alignment.

This is probably why I was overly excited when my two – count ‘em, not just one but two – fortune cookie fortunes the other day were so optimistic. The first read “Don’t give up. The best is yet to come!” Not too shabby. If fortune cookies were guarantees, this beats the hell out of “You find beauty in ordinary things, do not lose this ability” or “Don’t forget, you are always on our minds.” That second one freaked me out. What? Who? Who’s “our”? A collective hive mind or all of your minds individually? And who are you again? And when you’re thinking about me, do you think good things or wish me well or are you have subtle urges to do me bodily harm? In other words, is this a benign threat of some kind? Seriously, who’s “our”?

I'm trying, I'm trying. The signs are harder to recognize - let alone know - than one might presume.

But not the other night. Those predictions were all good. That night I got two fortuitous predictions: “Don’t give up. The best is yet to come!” and “Your dearest wish will come true within the month!” Sweet.

True, there were only a few days eft in the month, and my dearest wish didn’t quite come to obvious fruition during that time, but maybe the seeds were sown? Or maybe they meant 30 days more than the literal month-end? I’m willing to keep an open mind and a hopeful heart. You never know, I suppose.

Meanwhile, if the fortunes weren’t enough, get this: I found a pearl in an oyster I was eating! I did. A Washington state Sunset Beach oyster grown in the Hood Canal. That has to be some kind of  omen of impending amazing luck, right?


Well, I say so anyway, and in trying to prove it, I came across the following statistics:

  • The odds of finding a pearl in an oyster are 10,000 to 1
  • Odds of getting a hole in one: 5,000 to 1
  • Odds of an American speaking Cherokee: 15,000 to 1
  • Odds of being struck by lightning: 576,000 to 1
  • Odds of being murdered: 18,000 to 1
  • Odds of getting away with murder: 2 to 1
  • Odds of being considered possessed by Satan: 7,000 to 1
  • Odds of being on plane with a drunken pilot: 117 to 1
  • Odds of writing a New York Times best seller: 220 to 1
  • Odds of becoming a pro athlete: 22,000 to 1
  • Odds of finding a four-leaf clover on first try: 10,000 to 1
  • Odds of winning an Academy Award: 11,500 to 1
  • Chance that Earth will experience a catastrophic collision with an asteroid in the next 100 years: 1 in 5,000
  • Chance of dying in such a collision: 1 in 20,000
Change for Homeless sign

I don't think this is real either. If it were, wouldn't they just ask for dollar bills and small bottles of liquor?

So there you have it: I am almost as likely to win an Academy Award or could be considered possessed by Satan one and a half times before I’d find a matching, misshapen pearl in another oyster, and I’d have better luck hitting TWO holes in one as the same occurring. Thus, I rest my case. I think the math makes it plain: this is a harbinger of imminent good fortune if ever there was.

So bring it on, lucky stars: unload a giant truck of the best and make my dearest dreams come true.

I’m ready already.

Share This Post

What Dreams May Come

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

I was once on a flight from Tokyo to Seattle that left at 7am and got in at 6am THE SAME DAY (gotta love the International Dateline, that mayhem-causing minx) and spent the entire duration in pre-sunrise dawn. It seemed like everyone else on the  plane – some 300-odd people – was asleep. But not me.

What Dreams May Come heads

There are a shocking number of people who have done original paintings based on "What Dreams May Come." Odd.

Oh freaking no.

I sat there with a drunken chain-drinking-six-Coors Lights stranger asleep on my right shoulder and my now-ex crashed out on my left, while I was engrossed in a series of heart-wrenching and emotionally overwhelming flicks appearing on the giant screen before me: What Dreams May Come, One True Thing, and Stepmom.

In short, I bawled my goddamned eyes out for ten hours while simultaneously flipping out over the surreal reality that I was in a small metallic vehicle with 300-odd people who were all asleep while suspended in the air and what kind of magic makes this tin can fly anyway????

I’m kind of like the non-native primitive cast member in The Gods Must Be Crazy. I’m easily mystified. And seriously though, the gods must be crazy.

Shooting stars by lake

Thanks, as always, to the supernatural powers of the internet for instantly providing images a lot like my dreams.

So anyway, I guess that was a feeble attempt at explaining the title – or more likely, just some free association about the title – but either way you’re going to have to hear about one of my dreams again: last night I dreamt that I was living in a simple wooden house with several other people. We shared a large bedroom, but my stuff – some clothes and my laptop – occupied one corner. One morning I was sitting downstairs in the kitchen and found myself musing about how nice the fire felt…until I realized the fire was under the house and had burned up through a giant hole now in the floor. Before we could really react, the fire had spread and melted the roof trusses, which caused the house to fold in on itself. It was distressing, but it seemed that we could still live there while repairs were done.

In the dream, the house was in Bermuda, but from all appearances it was actually in Scandinavia or the North Pole – all shades of blue and snow-capped peaks and shooting stars. I was walking one night and turned back and the landscape – and mountains in the distance – were all different shades of cobalt and midnight and sapphire and azure, and above us were hundreds of shooting stars, almost like rain, pouring down into the huge lake to my left. It was so spectacular that I was speechless, and tried to take photos to capture the incredible magic of the moment.

Shooting stars moon lake wolf

Minus the wolf this is pretty accurate. And the giant moon reminds me of a different dream but that's neither here nor there.

Back at the house, things had gone from bad to worse. It had split into three sections and the outer two were in the process of falling off. While in the upstairs bedroom, I could see that my laptop was running…and sitting on a desk in a portion of the cabin that was going to collapse soon. I knew I needed to rescue it and salvage any writing on it. I crept onto the fragile surface of the collapsing portion, and grabbed the computer just in time for the entire structure to cave in. Miraculously – probably because it was a dream – the computer and I were just fine.

Renovation plans were still in order for the house, and I was looking forward to things returning to normal. However, I was dismayed when a few minutes later I was watching a man tell police how much he had loved his wife and how saddened he had been at her death…by fire. And then I realized he was talking about me.

I suppose the awareness that you’re no longer part of the dream because you’re dead is enough to wake a person up, and so I did.

The end.

Share This Post

Paging Dr. Freud

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

This is an actual dream I had last night.

It’s probably a better peek into my life than any boring stories about what I’ve been up to  lately. (i.e. not much)

30 MPH

I can't drive 55...or 30.

I was driving way too fast – say 90 when the speed limit was 30 – and having trouble controlling the car. All around me people were having accidents and fender benders. Suddenly, I had to stop, and I had to push on the brakes with all my might to make them work. They stopped in time, but I watched as other people crashed into each other all around me.

Meanwhile, I would relase pressure on the brakes on my car, which then caused me to bump into the car in front of me again and again. Fortunately, they didn’t seem to mind.

Soon thereafter, I reached my destination and was suprised to find myself at an old mall. Even more strange, it was a mall from my youth and it was unchanged. I walked inside, and to the right was my childhood pediatrician’s office. The reception-area was in a sunken living room kind of space and covered in brown wood paneling. There was an African American lady by the desk, and she called out to me by name.

“Vanessa! Vanessa! There’s something I’d like you to know!”

“What’s that?”

“If you ever get a chance, you probably don’t want to see the BeeGees. With so many of the original Gibb brothers being dead, it’s not a very good show.”


Blamin' It All On the Nights on Broadway...

I thanked her, and as I walked away, I suddenly wondered how in the hell that woman knew my name.

I walked out into the mall area and was shocked by how much it resembled the Harrisburg Mall of my childhood. Then, from the right, a group of women ran up to me, again, calling me by name. A couple of them I immediately recognized, and I was stunned to see them there.  One of them was definitely Lily Tomlin.

They brought me into a room that reminded me of a school nurses’ office and sat me down. Then, one of them began to explain that due to recent decisions in my life in the last few months, plans had changed. In some ways, my life would stay exactly the same as it was. On the other hand, I was going to have a son, and I was going to name him something that reminded me of a sandwich but which I have hence forgotten (Croque Monsier? Po Boy? Grinder? Pastrami on Rye? Grilled Cheese? Hero? Ruben? One can only guess…)


Share This Post

All edit and no play make Vanessa go crazy

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

I’m losing it.

I’m starting to think that I am the caretaker. I’ve always been the caretaker. Grady ought to know. He’s always been here.

Okay. Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration.

Early in the day. Not happy, but not yet crazy.

Early in the day. Not happy, but not yet crazy.

I’m tired, and I’m sick of editing, but I can see now that it is soooo necessary (seriously. The delete key is wearing out in some instances) and thus (hopefully) worth it.

In other words, now I know why I was avoiding this: It’s hard friggin’ work, and not particularly fun.

Meanwhile, since it feels like pretty much all I do is read my own writing and tweak and hone and re-craft every paragraph, sentence, word, and syllable, my brain has decided to use the much-needed downtime otherwise known as ‘sleep’ to torture me with wacko dreams.

Maybe it’s trying to entertain me or something?

I may have told you this already, but I actually had this idea to start a blog where I recorded my dreams so that other like-minded dorks could come and comment or do the same, and I even bought the domain name…but then I remembered I’m too dumb to figure out how to host that blog on the same server this one is on (even though my service contract clearly states I can host up to ten. They just don’t tell me how.) So, seeing as I’m clueless, I suppose you’re just going to have to put up with my dreams here.

And if you don’t like that, then too bad.

I’ve been editing all day, and I’m in no mood for your guff. I eat three of you for breakfast. So put a sock in it…and enjoy!

I call this one “A lot of stuff flying overhead, and none of it is good.”

So I was in this really nice, large, modern house, and it had a section that was like a high-end atrium. The entire wall was windows, as well as a significant portion of the ceiling, and it was attached to the main part of the house. I was standing between the kitchen and the atrium area when a hawk came flying down the stairs and toward the windows.

There were some other people there and we were all kind of alarmed by this, and I ended up running to one of the wall windows and cranking the top of it open so that the bird could wriggle out. It made it outside, and I quickly closed the window back up.

I turned around to marvel at what had just happened with the other people, when there was a terrible racket. I looked up and at least a dozen huge birds of different varieties were banging on the ceiling glass. There was another hawk – a huge one this time – and something that looked like a vulture, as well as a pelican and god knows what else, all banging on and swooping toward the glass.

It startled me, and I ran from the room. Then, just as quickly as they arrived, the birds flew away. I went to my computer and Googled a few inquiries like “Hawks in house” and “Why hawks in house” and “House swarmed with birds.” I found some stuff about birds getting in the house, and also a bunch of links to the military and different operations and things like that. I ignored those.

A few minutes later, there was a loud roar, and I looked out the overhead windows to see hundreds of planes flying together and in an extremely close formation and quite low. It looked like they were only a few hundred feet over the house.

When's the last time you saw a gold-plated TIE fighter overhead? That's what I thought.

When's the last time you saw a gold-plated TIE fighter overhead? That's what I thought.

In addition to your standard fighter planes and some larger jets, there were six or seven stealth bombers and at least a dozen gold-colored  Star Wars starfighters (I know, stupid right?).

It was completely crazy, and I yelled for everyone to come and see this. The planes just kept coming and coming and I got my camera and took several pictures, particularly of the starfighters.

A little while later, we all went to bed. I don’t know how long I’d been asleep when there was a disturbance in the hall. I came out into the hallway and seven or eight military officers were standing there. Two men came and cornered me into a hall bathroom and pulled out a weird gadget that they placed over my eyes.

When they turned it on, I could see all this bizarre and haphazard stuff like military plans and charts and all sorts of haphazard words, and then behind that was a scene of a man walking down the suburban street with lots of green grassy yards. Across the bottom of the screen was a bar that had started out orange and was getting redder and redder.

I realized I needed to calm down, and forced myself to open my eyes wider, relax, and breathe deeply. Slowly, the bar descended back to yellow and then became greener and greener. One of the men said something about “You did that just in time.”

It suddenly occurred to me that failing that test would be a bad thing. At the same time I realized I wasn’t wearing any pants…or underwear, just a tank top. I was slightly horrified and excused myself, and they allowed me to run and grab some shorts.

When I came back out, they led me to the couch where they were questioning all of us. I kept turning to the other people and whispering, “Did you do something? Why is this happening!?”

Although I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong (intentionally), I had an instinct that the Google searches I had done had somehow triggered all those planes. I asked one of the military men if that had been them flying overhead, and he said it had. I could only figure it had something to do with the word ‘hawk.’

They quizzed us for a while, and then took every electronic device we had – including my cell phone, camera (there went my gold TIE fighter shots. Darn it!), and my computer. I was pretty stressed about that, especially when they headed out the door with all of it and informed me it could be months before I got any of it back.

On the upside…no more editing!!!  ;)

Thoughts? Insights? Alarm and concern for my mental health?

In conclusion, and in unrelated news, I think I might be Facebook friends with a Catholic priest.

After six or seven grueling hours..

After six or seven grueling hours..

He’s actually an old childhood friend and my first big crush (in second grade at Catholic school. I was ready to maim anyone on the playground who even thought about holding his hand or any such thing. He was the best drawer in the class – besides me – AND he had a newborn baby sister. That’s attractive stuff. What can I say?)

Anyway, every day he posts status updates like the following (copy/pasted):

Jesus, You’ve captured my heart, and Im not letting go

Jesus, help me to take a stand against temptation

Jesus, pour out your mercy over our hearts

Jesus, there is freedom in your name

Today – without thinking it through – my status update (via Twitter) was:

Saw this headline: “KoRn Guitarist Gets Jesus Tattoo To Stop Himself From Masturbating.” Good luck, pal. My Moses tattoo did not work at all.

I figure it’s a matter of hours before I’m ‘unfriended.’

Share This Post

Quest for wifi

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Greetings from outside The Coffee Bean, the world’s only coffee shop without wifi. Of course.


My mother dropped me off here for a few hours while she gets her hair done, so I could use their (non-existent, but free!) wifi. However, I have found a weak and moody signal coming from The Bon Bon Hair Salon next door, and with any luck the fates will smile on me, and I will be able to share my continued tale of woe with you.


This is obviously not my mother, but this is kind of like what her hair looked like when she drove up.

This is obviously not my mother, but this is kind of like what her hair looked like when she drove up.

So, my mother just came screeching up in her car with foils in her hair, because she found a place with wifi. I explained that – thanks to Bon Bon– I was just fine. As she drove back, she was yelling out her window, “Don’t put this in the blog! I don’t want to read about this in some book someday!”




But the thing of it is, she doesn’t read the blog, so I figure no harm, no foul. If it will even mildly entertain you, it’s going in the blog. Moreover, as I’m sure you will agree, it was very nice of her to come mid-hair coloring session to try to help me out like that. As you know, I generally leave my friends and family out of the blog because I don’t want to offend them or reveal things that embarrass them and mostly because they don’t really have a way to state their own side.


However, when they start dying off? Look out. There will be some hard-core tell-all memoirs hitting your closest book stand. Augusten Burroughs ain’t got nothing on the yarns I’ll be spinning.


Meanwhile, I have pretty much no amusing stories to share with you, so let me tell you about this crazy scary dream I had last night (which somehow I ended up telling like a comedy when I was telling my mother. I don’t know why this happens. I can apparently never be serious).


Any amateur dream interpreters out there? Feel free to have at it:


Okay, so in real life I watch this show “Big Love” on HBO about this family living in plural marriage in SLC, Utah. It’s really well done and fascinating, and I guess that information was somehow in there with the other items tossed into my dream salad? Thus, in the dream I was one of many wives, and I had twins who were about 8 months old, and we all lived in this huge old house together. I put the twins down to nap, and was upstairs in my room when I became aware that this evil force was in my room. It scared me, and I went to leave the room, but it somehow made it such that I couldn’t reach out for the doorknob. I felt like I was arm-wrestling someone.


So I went to this old armoire in the room and opened it, and the entity (as it will henceforth be called as I tell you this story) had made this vacuum cleaner sitting inside the wardrobe start smoking. I threw a glass of water on it, and started screaming and screaming for someone to come help me because I couldn’t get out of the room.


Eventually this older man came in the room, and I recognized him as a leader of a different polygamist group (not the one we belonged to), and I wondered what he was doing in our house. However, I was so freaked out by the entity, I didn’t care. So I told him what had happened, and he looked around and everything seemed normal. Regardless, he appeared to be very shook up, and the next thing I knew, he had run out of the house and was getting in his car and driving away. I watched him leave through the window.


I should mention that I wasn’t ‘me.’ I was younger and looked different and had the twins that I already mentioned. So anyway, I was still in the bedroom, and the entity started slamming the doors of the wardrobe, and there was this intense feeling of pressure in my body, and I started to think I should get out of there. It was like the entity was trying to take over or possess me or something, and it was everything I could do to fight it off. I kept screaming at it to leave and leave me alone, but it seemed like it kept getting stronger.


I called a friend and told her I would be coming over and bringing the children, and she started fretting about how small her room was, but I figured if I could get out of there, I’d go there regardless.


I managed to get out into the hall, and there was another room adjacent to mine. It was a bathroom with a clawfoot tub, but also all my clothes were in there. I went in to grab some things, and somehow the vacuum cleaner (the one from the closet in the other room) was sitting in the middle of the room, and it turned on – unplugged – and came toward me and sparks were flying out of it and it was smoking. I briefly considered throwing water on it again, but decided to slam the door and run out of the room and just leave.


Then I heard this awful banging I presumed the vacuum cleaner was banging up against the door to get out, but it turns out in real life the door to my room was banging in the wind, and I woke up.


And there you have it. A little glimpse into my twisted subconscious.


With any luck, something funny will happen in the next twenty-four hours, and I’ll have some good tales to tell when we reconvene tomorrow for the next installment. Or if not, I’ll just have to see what kind of wacky trouble the people of the world are getting themselves into now…

Share This Post