Dream Guidance Needed

On CBC Radio 1 this morning, Melissa  Auf der Maur told Q‘s Jian Ghomeshi that she is guided by her dreams. That brought to mind a dream I had earlier this week.

A bunch of elephants came to visit. Even though they were full-sized elephants, they managed to fit into my house just fine. (Oh thank you dreamscape, for your unabashed warping of all our dimensions!) The elephants were in a good mood and were pretty well behaved. The baby elephants were adorable. Nothing more than a pleasant day at home with the elephants until their friend the hippopotamus showed up.

He wasn’t very big as hippopotamuses go (a bit taller than waist-high on me). He was also in a pretty good mood, but man did he stink! He was covered in a thin layer – just a sheen, really – of some really rancid slime. Oh wow, I’m almost losing my lunch right now just thinking about it.

I really wanted to show the hippo the door, but I didn’t want to offend him, or his friend the elephants. Then I woke up.

So how about it, Mel? Got any guidance for me on that one? Or what about the one where the Komodo Dragon was sniffing my crotch?

Some Recent Dreams

I know, I know, talking about one’s dreams is self-indulgent narcissism, but it’s a tradition at the blork blog. As such, here are brief descriptions of a few recent dreams.

Barack Like Me

I was Barack Obama. I don’t mean I was Barack Obama, I mean I was inside the head of Barack Obama. As in, had I looked into a mirror, I would have seen Barack Obama looking back.

And yes, I was the President of the United States. And how did I wield this magnificent power? I walked out of a darkened board room (very 24), and before the Secret Service guys could get stop me I barged through the security gate (going the other way) and walked over to a vending machine in the public area of whatever building I was in. I bought a bottle of water, waved at some goggle-eyed bystanders, and went back through security and into my meeting.

Bang!

I was designing a rifle that shot bullets that looked like the swirly onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow. The cutaway drawing of the design is quite vivid in my memory. It makes absolutely no sense in the waking world, but in my dream it was a revolutionary concept.

Boom!

We got nuked. Not microwaved; nuked. I don’t remember the details, but there was a sense of urgency in the air, and then a flash in the sky and ka-boom, an enormous mushroom cloud rising up into the atmosphere about ten miles away. What I remember thinking was “Hey. I’m still alive.”

Dreams of Yore

Before I created this blog, I was in the habit of writing a lot of scattered and disconnected bits all over the various computers I used. Things like “notes to self,” lists of goals, and journals of lessons learned.

Unfortunately, I never really found a good way to keep that stuff organized, plus I didn’t do it with any kind of regularity. At some point I migrated it my current desktop computer, but it’s spread around various directores, in text files, Word files, and note-taking applications. Now and then I poke around and find interesting things, such as the following observation I made in 1996 after dealing with a number of different colleagues who were Hell-bent on letting policies and procedures define how they did everything:

When I think of M___’s and B___’s need to have all procedures mapped out and to do everything by formula, I can’t help but see it as compensation for a lack of talent.

Nice. Sadly, I still encounter that phenomenon on a pretty regular basis, but I had forgotten that particular analysis; or at least that articulation of the analysis.

On a lighter note, I also recently uncovered a few notes I made about my dreams. Wait, don’t run away yet; they’re very brief! What struck me was not only that my dreams back then were particularly nutty, but that I rarely have such dreams now. Too bad. I miss them.

Here are a few samples:

October 1995

There is a very aggressive wasp buzzing around in the room.  I keep swatting at it, and when I hit it, I distinctly and memorably feel its weight against the palm of my hand.  I realize that it is a particularly large wasp with the head of a human.  The head is that of a Japanese doctor.  He wears glasses, but cannot speak.  He produces tiny sheets of waxy transparent paper and writes small messages on them.  It turns out he was in love with J___ (my then-girlfriend).  I am afraid to tell the wasp that J___ and I are involved, because doing so might initiate some kind of attack.

August 1996

I am in hiding, being sheltered by an Indian family.  They insisted I change clothes and give me a pair of pink sweat pants.

January 1998

(Not long after seeing “Alien Resurrection.”) Sigourney Weaver is tied up (very elegantly) in my bed.  She is naked and covered in clear slime.  All of my senses (touch, smell, etc.) are very vivid.  I start licking the slime, and then I realize that she doesn’t actually want to be tied up.  I untie her and she punches me in the head.

March 1998

S___ (colleague at work) is dead and about to be buried. I am observing from a distance, and I see that his coffin is being carried by six small people, including B___ (one of the aforementioned by-the-formula talentless people). I am concerned that they will drop the coffin, as S___ is a very big guy.  Sure enough, B___ fumbles and the coffin falls through a doorway, busting open just before it goes out of sight.

Most Retarded Dream Ever

I‘ve been having the most bizarre dreams lately, but I’ve not written about them because writing about your dreams is a bit like describing your bowel movements; endlessly fascinating to yourself but of little interest to others. But this one is short, and so over the top that I can’t resist telling.

In the dream, I’m working on a computer, using a Photoshop-like image editor, and I’m trying to adjust the contrast in a photograph. The interface for the software consists of a single scab on the middle toe of the left foot of Carlo Rota, the actor who plays Yasir Hamoudi in Little Mosque on the Prairie, and Morris on 24.

Carlo RotaYou read that right. Rota is in bed, in his pyjamas, with his foot sticking out. I have to wiggle the scab on his toe to get the computer to respond. His feet, by the way, are blistered and swollen, as if he’s just come off a 100 mile march, and they don’t smell so great either. He’s rather annoyed at this inconvenience, but nowhere near as annoyed as yours truly.

I finally throw up my hands and yell “what kind of an idiot designs an interface like this?” Rota just shrugs. Then, to my relief, I wake up.

Incidentally, the last thing I read before falling asleep last night was a section of Neal Stephenson’s 1999 article “In the Beginning was the Command Line,” in which he describes the philosophical differences between Apple and Microsoft as they were developing their respective operating systems.