Sunday, September 30, 2012

the young man's not a fraud

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

An Adam Sandler movie. Adam Sandler played some guy who befriended a young man. It may even have seemed like Sandler was going to marry this young man. But the young man somehow turned out to be a "fraud," and he'd vanished from Sandler's life. Sandler was bitter and sad. A young woman who may have been Sandler's main or real love interest through the film may have explained to Sandler how she'd warned him about this young man.

I was now at some scene near the middle of the movie. Sandler and the young man were out on a dock over a lake. The young man seemed to be really shy and sensitive. Apparently Sandler had done something aggressive or loud to upset the young man. The young man may have been so upset that he had been perched on a roof, reluctant to come down. But slowly the young man felt good enough to come back down from the roof.

Sandler had made a huge plate of nachos (with something like chili sauce on them?). Sandler and the young man sat down on the dock with the huge plate of nachos between them. There was a little conversation, mostly carried on by Sandler: the young man was too quiet to carry on much of a conversation. But from the conversation, it became apparent to me, even though I think it was plain throughout the whole movie, that the young man had a little daughter.

Sandler was doing his best not to act aggressive and frighten away the young man. But it seemed to be wearing on him. And he seemed to resent the young man because of it. He felt like the young man required him to act better than he was, like the young man was some kind of better person, and therefore to be resented, simply because of his sensitivities to crude actions.

Sandler then mentioned some kind of punk rock festival. Sandler thought that was a somewhat artsy thing. And Sandler thought the young man liked artsy things. So Sandler figured that the punk rock festival might be a good way to get the young man to like Sandler again.

The punk rock festival was taking place in some Main Street like area in a small town. The first act the movie showed was of a woman-fronted punk band that was playing on a rooftop. The woman wore a white sweater and had short, auburn hair. She played guitar and sang. She sang a heavy, thrashy, but not quite punky, song.

It suddenly became clear that this girl was the young man's old lover. The young man was going to meet up with his old lover. It would be plain to both of them that they were still in love with each other. When the girl's band left town, the young man would go with the band, leaving Sandler alone.

I realized now that the young man hadn't left Sandler because the young man was a fraud. He left Sandler because he and Sandler weren't emotionally compatible and because he and the girl were still in love with each other. I wanted somehow to explain this whole thing to Sandler so that Sandler wouldn't be so sad and bitter toward the young man.


UPDATE: Added drawing, September 30, 2012, 7:30 AM, Mountain Standard Time.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

housewarming pop culture; seductive girlfight; karaoke 1; empty luxury; karaoke 2

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

I had come back home to "my apartment." I may only recently have moved into this place. I walked into the living room to discover that my old best friend R had sent me a huge package. The package was a housewarming present.

I opened the package. It was full of stuff. The most prominent thing in the package was a box of shoes. I'd needed some new casual shoes, as the soles of my current ones were getting thin. Somehow R knew this and sent me shoes.

The rest of the box was full of pop culture items: mostly music CDs and movie posters. Two of the movie posters were enormous and rolled up together. The front movie poster was for a new Tim Burton claymation movie. The poster was "in French" (it really wasn't French) and gave the title of the movie as Formulation. A clay man and woman stood at the top of the hill in the circle of the sun or moon and under an orange sky. The man wore a leather and buckles kind of outfit.

I thought this movie poster matched my style, but I couldn't figure out why. I looked up at my walls. There were two life-sized cutouts pasted up to my wall. One was of Brandon Lee in The Crow. The other was another leather and buckles kind of guy, maybe Edward Scissorhands.

I looked back down to the package. I pulled out the soundtrack for the Sophia Coppola movie Marie Antoinette. As I flipped the CD case around in my hands I could either hear R speak or else see a post-it note from R. Basically I perceived some apology for the Marie Antoinette soundtrack -- as if some of the songs were so weird that R thought they might not be my style, even though he personally was really excited about the soundtrack and wanted to share it with me.

Dream #2

I was in the backseat of a car, driving along a wide, park-like road in some suburban area, probably in a wealthy part of town. There were probably three other guys in the car, all businessmen. The guy driving the car was TM, a former co-worker of mine. But in the dream I didn't know TM. He and the other guys in the car were guys who worked for a company I was trying to get a job with.

I'd just interviewed with the company, and now we were all headed away from the company -- like it was the end of the day and the guys had all decided they'd drop me off at home. I suddenly remembered that as I'd passed TM's office, I saw a picture of another of my old co-workers, TI, on TM's desk. I realized that TI had called TM to put in a good word for me.

I asked TM, "Hey, have you spoken with TI lately?" TM didn't seem to know who TI was. I thought that was kind of weird and annoying. I told TM, "Well TI told me he was going to call you and put in a good word for me. And you must know who he is, even if he didn't call you yet. You have a huge picture of him right on the top of your desk."

TM now seemed ashamed. He squinted, as if he were now trying really hard to remember who TI was. He finally may have come to the conclusion that he did, in fact, know who TI was. I felt really bad at this point. Here I was, trying to get a job from TM. And instead, I was sitting here, making him feel really bad about himself.

We stopped the car for some reason out on some wide road in front of some large, brick apartment complexes. A group of little girls was playing some tag-like game in the road. TM sat there and watched the little girls. He may have made some remark to me about the simplicity and kindness of children.

One of the little girls then shouted out to TM, "Hey? Why are you looking at us? Are you trying to do something funny with us?"

TM tried to assure the girls he was just watching them play because he liked to remember the innocence of childhood. But the girl said, "Well, don't you dare try to touch me! Because if you do, I'll call the police!"

TM may have gotten made at this point. He may have shown his anger and frustration in some vocal or phsyical way while remaining separate from the girls. The girls may have been reacting in a nasty way toward TM as well, although it may have seemed to me they were just trying to coax him to get closer to them.

But in the middle of all this, a tall, strong girl shouted and broke up the rest of the crowd of girls. She bent over and touched her hands to the ground. This quieted all the girls down. The girl then stood up and told TM that anything he wanted to try against the girls he could try against her. She was tough and confident and felt like she could counter any assault TM would attempt.

TM still remained separate from the girls. But the tough girl finally taunted TM to the point where, in a rage, he flew at the girl. He made some weird kind of movement toward the girl -- something like slapping her chest, then grabbing one of her own hands, or the hand of another girl, and making that hand slap the tough girl in the face.

This incited a big, fight-like game among all the girls and TM. I understood that the girls weren't really trying to fight TM. They were actually trying to confuse him into letting them seduce him. But now I saw that one girl, who was deciding to be nice and take TM under her wing, had grabbed TM's hand. She was walking TM through the crowd of frenzied girls. The girls all now seemed unaware of TM. They seemed to be fighting or playing violently with each other.

Dream #3

I was at some sort of karaoke event. I was in a huge room filled with long, school cafeteria-style folding tables. There were rows and rows of these tables, all with white tops and benches. At the far end of the room was the actual karaoke performance area. I couldn't see the performance area very well, if at all. But I could see the karaoke DJ sitting down at the front bench and working something out on a piece of paper.

The tables weren't full, but the space was so big that it felt like there were a lot of people here anyway. Not a lot of people were going up to perform. A lot of the time, a song would play in between people who were actually performing, just because people weren't putting song requests in fast enough to keep the karaoke performances constant.

I hadn't thought I'd do any karaoke. But now it was getting so frustrating to hear regular songs instead of karaoke songs that I decided I would sing a couple songs. I thought I'd sing one song in English and one in Japanese. I looked through the book of songs without finding anything I really wanted to sing. Then I realized that it actually cost money to sing: something like $1 per song. I didn't have any money. I'd have to go back to my house to grab some money.

I stood up and walked out of the karaoke space and out onto a wide, grassy field. It was a cool, grey day. I now knew I was at a fair of some kind. Bordering the large, grassy field were booths and little structures set up as exhibits for the fair. The karaoke section was only a part of it. I think the rest of my family was here as well.

My brother came running up behind me. He looked a little bit fat, like he'd gained about twenty pounds since the last time I'd seen him. He asked me where I was going. I told him I was heading home to grab some money. He said he was heading home for a second, too, so he could give me a ride if I wanted. I told him that sounded good.

My brother asked me if I'd ever heard of a coffee called "uite" or "uita" (pronounced "you-ee-tay" or "you-ee-tah"). He said it was a new trend among coffee drinkers. It was based on a very old, native style of coffee. He said it had a rich, bitter flavor with "glass undertones."

For a moment I wondered what "glass undertones" could possibly come from. Then I realized that in the making of the uite coffee -- I had the image of grass and dirt in my mind's eye -- the actual melting (???) process created a material that was potable, but which had chemical similarities to glass. So the coffee actually did have a glass-like taste.

I told my brother, "Yeah, now that you mention it, I think I have heard of uite coffee. But I've never tried it before."

Dream #4

I stood out on a street corner in a city like New York. Looking across the street, I saw a big, stone-like, but also barn-like, all-white building. The second floor of the building, I could see, was a shop that sold old vinyl records. From what I could see through the small windows, the shop looked, big, clean, well-lit, and full of people. But what interested me more was the floor above the record shop, which looked like an empty apartment.

I was suddenly now in the apartment. The apartment was huge and completely empty. The floors and walls were in pristine condition. I started out at the back end of the apartment and walked toward the front. At the front there was a stairway leading up one level. I walked up the stairway and found myself in an area just as huge, empty, and pristine as the area below.

I had a bunch of clothes and towels with me. I decided to hang some of this stuff up in a closet at the back end of the upper level. I knew this was allowed. Anybody could store their stuff in this place. I had a few more items of clothing with me. I wanted to store them as well. But I didn't know where.

I may have found myself back outside the building, across the street, looking up at the record store. I may then have been inside the record store. But even though the record store seemed really beautiful, cheerful, and busy, it didn't interest me.

I walked out of the store. I was in the stairwell of the building. I wondered, walking up the stairwell to get to the apartment, what it must be like to live above a record store. I wondered if it was loud. I had the idea that it didn't have to be too loud. But I wondered whether, if I lived above the store, the owners of the store would turn their in-store music up extra loud just to annoy me -- because they didn't like me personally.

I got back into the apartment and realized I couldn't live here anyway. It would be too expensive. And besides, I didn't think it was for sale. I knew the place was open to anybody who wanted to store their clothes here. And people could even hang out here during the day, if they wanted to. But nobody was really allowed to live here.

Walking around in the space, I marveled at the fact that I hadn't known about it before. It was so huge and so quiet, such a great place to just come and relax. It would, really, be a great place to live, as well. The only problem with it, I thought, was that it was built so that the whole, huge space consisted of two or three large segments, more like two or three enormous living rooms, rather than any actual bedrooms.

But now, looking right and back over my shoulder, I began to realize that there were side rooms. For some reason I couldn't quite make myself go into these rooms. But one of the rooms I stopped in front of seemed to be bedroom sized. It seemed like the room was separated from me by a smaller room, something like a walk-in closet.

I had my other clothes in my hand, still trying to decide whether I wanted to take them up to the closet to hang them up. I knew that even though nobody else was using this space, the space was open to anybody. And these clothes were my really good clothes. I didn't want to hang them up with the rest of the clothes, only to find out later on that someone had gotten into the clothes and messed them all up because they didn't like me. Now I even became a bit paranoid about the other clothes that I'd already hung up. They weren't my best clothes. But, still, I didn't want people messing them up.

Dream #5

I was in a "restaurant" that seemed more like some kind of casino -- or, more like a casino space with slot machines that looked and played more like 8-bit video games than slot machines. I was seated at a "booth" with an older woman, maybe one of my grandmothers. I was trying to tell my grandma about this place, trying, in some way to justify its existence. But I felt like my arguments were all kind of naive and lame.

I then realized that this place also held a karaoke area. I had actually been in the karaoke area some time ago. I had been planning to head back to the karaoke area after I'd taken care of something. But I'd forgotten to go back to the karaoke area.

So I stood up and told my grandma that I had to go back to the karaoke area. I tried again to justify the existence of the karaoke area to my grandma. But I knew all my arguments for sounded lame.

I was now walking outside, as if one had to go outside the building to go from one section in the building to another section. I walked along a ridge a bit separated from and elevated with the building, so I got a good view of the overall building. The building was interesting. It was mostly made of glass, and it was configured of a few different shapes: a cylinder and a couple of curvy, not-quite-cubes. Looking inside, one could see how much the entire space looked like some kind of children's playplace than an adult casino.

A car now drove up behind me. One of my old bosses got out of the car and walked up to me. He asked me if he could give me a ride home. I wasn't going home, but I also really didn't want a ride from my old boss at all. So I told my old boss, "No, I'm not going home yet. In fact, I'm heading back into the building right now to sing some karaoke."

My old boss said, "Well, let me drive you somewhere. You know, they have karaoke up the street, as well. Up at that place..." My old boss pointed up the road and slung his finger off toward the right, indicating a road going up a small slope.

I told my old boss, "No. I don't want to do karaoke there. I want to do karaoke here, at this place." Eventually my old boss relented, got back in his car, and drove away. But, walking back toward the building, I was feeling really stressed out. I didn't think I should always have to make such a big argument with people for wanting to do my own thing. But it seemed as if I always had to.

I may have been back in the karaoke area for a little while. The karaoke area may have looked a lot like the karaoke area from dream #3. The one difference between the areas, though, may have been that here, people could write "criticism cards." After each person performed, you could give a criticism of the performance. This criticism would be posted, most likely by the next morning, on either the person's email or Facebook. I thought I'd definitely write criticisms, but only positive ones, like, "good job!" or "you really had a lot of energy!"

Friday, September 28, 2012

can't have babies; can't have relationship; can't wear diapers

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

A movie starring Will Ferrell. The basic idea was that Will Ferrell and his really beautiful wife kept having babies, and that it was now getting to the point where they couldn't afford to have any more. So the couple was trying to do things to make it so they could either stop having sex or stop having babies every time they had sex.

There was a kind of flashback montage that showed various times where the wife was in bed, waiting for Will Ferrell to get out of the bathroom. Each time Will Ferrell would come out of the bathroom doing something wacky or charming, and it was pretty obvious that Will Ferrell and his wife would then have sex and that the wife would get pregnant. I may have seen a lot of this montage from the wife's point of view.

But in the last little scene of the montage, when Will Ferrell came out of the bathroom acting all wacky and charming, the wife said, "Okay, let's get out of bed. Let's go into the living room and paint portraits of each other."

Will Ferrell repeated, "Paint portraits of each other," very seriously and quickly, like a chastised child. He understood that the wife was doing this to get the couple's minds off of sex. But it was pretty obvious that the couple would get aroused by each other again while they were painting each other and that they would have sex and get pregnant again.

Dream #2

There were either three or four people in a loft-like space, sitting on a couple of couches. A more mature man and woman sat on one couch. A younger man, and possibly a younger woman, sat on the other couch. All three or four of the people were colleagues working for the same company.

The older man told the younger man (and woman?) that the older man and woman knew about the romantic relationship between the younger man and woman. The older man said that the younger couple had to stop seeing each other, that relationships at work were not accepted or considered professional.

The younger man didn't really have any intention of breaking off his relationship with the younger woman. He told the older man, "Yeah, we'll go ahead and stop seeing each other. But I know of an older man and woman within the company who are doing the same thing as we are."

The older man understood that this meant him and the older woman. The were, in fact, having a relationship. So if the younger man and woman were supposed to get in trouble for their relationship, then the older man and woman should get in trouble for their relationship, too.

The older man, knowing that he was caught, but still not wanting to admit it, gave the older woman a strange sign to indicate that they should stop harassing the younger couple about their relationship for the time being. The man hunched over, almost down to his knees, then lifted his left hand behind his back and bent his index finger up and down in a "come here" gesture. While the man did this, an image of a transparent newspaper -- like a newspaper made out of a sheet of glass -- rose up behind him. Behind the image of the newspaper, a man could be seen walking around.

Dream #3

I was in a department store. I had walked away from the men's clothing section. But there were some shirts I  had been interested in. So I went back. But as I returned to the section, a big, black man was kneeling down in front of a wall-rack of shirts, completely blocking the aisle between the wall-rack and a standalone rack, the only aisle of entrance into the clothing section.

I asked the man to excuse me, but I couldn't control my motions very well, so I kept walking, bumping into the man a little bit. As I bumped into the man, I apologized and patted him on the arm and back. The man wore a pale blue polo shirt of soft thread in a roughly woven pattern. I liked the shirt a lot. I may have thought at that point that I was attracted to the man, or that I was giving him a false indication that I was attracted to him. I got embarrassed and tried to avoid any more interaction with the man.

But while I was looking at shirts (shirts that were way too huge for me) a couple of racks over from the man, the man turned to me and asked for my help. He was trying to get a shirt just like the shirt worn by some basketball player. But he couldn't remember the name of the basketball player. All he could remember about the player was that he was, even by basketball standards, huge, and that he probably played for the L.A. Lakers.

I tried to figure who that person could be. I had a deck of basketball cards in the left pocket of my jeans. So I pulled them out. I shuffled through the cards. There was one really huge player, with a huge, 1970s-style afro. But he played for a team called the Golden State Suns.

I found a couple of cards with basketball players from the L.A. Lakers. I pointed them out to the man. The first guy was not, I knew, the guy the man was referring to. But he was 6'9", which seemed to me to be pretty huge, as if this player would be one of the biggest people in the NBA. The second guy may actually have been the one the man had been looking for. In fact, I was pretty sure he was, and I was excited to have found him. But he was only 6'8" tall, a whole inch shorter than the first guy. It didn't make sense to me.

Suddenly, where the wall rack had been, there was a front yard for a suburban house. The yard was elevated, so that "ground level" for the yard started at about my shoulder. The yard was bounded by a chain-link fence.

A little chihuahua ran up to the fence and began barking furiously. It scared me and annoyed me a whole lot. There may have been another chihuahua in the yard that was less active than the first chihuahua. Even that chihuahua may have been annoyed by the first chihuahua. Something about the first chihuahua's face really disgusted me, like the nose and a patch of flesh around the nose was mottled or swollen or slimy.

I tried to ignore the chihuahua and continue helping the man. I managed to do so, even over the dog's barking. But then the dog started acting annoying in a different way. It was jealous of the attention I was giving the man. So now it acted all sad and whiny. It was poking its muzzle as far through the fence as it could, hoping that I would pet it or hold out my hand so it could lick my hand. But I was afraid that if I got close to the dog at all, it would bite me.

The whole area had now widened out into an outdoor space something like a rooftop on a big building. There were a couple of tiers on the rooftop. The tiers kind of served as bench-like ledges or stage-like platforms.

I sat at the edge of one of these tiers. I was talking with a young woman, maybe in her mid-twenties. The young woman was practicing to become a psychiatrist. But she may also have been involved in theater in some way. She was thin and pretty, with short, brown-blonde hair.

The woman reminded me of my having spoken with her before in some kind of therapy session and telling her that I had a fetish where I liked to wear Pampers Baby Dry diapers. I vaguely remembered the session -- as if it had been part of a dream I'd had but forgotten. The woman told me she had spoken with some of the more senior psychiatrists, and that they all agreed that my wearing baby diapers was something that should be considered illicit or unacceptable. She told me I should stop doing it altogether.

I told the woman I had no intention of stopping wearing diapers, and that there was nothing illegal or illicit about it. I was afraid that the woman could find some way of hurting me, getting me in trouble for my fetish. But I wasn't going to stop just because I was afraid. I could tell the woman was angry and disgusted with me. I looked off to my left. There was a group of men and women playing some kind of silly game. I thought it might be fun to join them.


UPDATE: Added illustration to dream #3, September 28, 2012, 7:25 AM, Mountain Standard Time.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

time travel to the water park; gigantic coca-cola glasses; jules-port verne

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

I was at a water slide amusement park with my mother. We received a phone call from my sister. My sister said she was ready to come to the water park as well. So we left the park and went to meet with my sister.

I was in a house at night. The house had a lot of long hallways. We were now going to head to the water park. But our grandfather was sitting either in the living room, which may have been pitch black, or in some other pitch black room. My sister said we had to avoid my grandpa. He was assuming my sister was staying at home. He'd get really mad if he found out my sister was going to the water park.

We walked outside. It was dark, but a lot of snow was falling, and with the orange streetlamps and falling snow, the sky and air looked purple. I was walking out to the car. There were actually three or four cars in the driveway. My grandpa was standing out by the cars. Somehow my sister had managed to avoid my grandpa's view.

We were now driving through the snow. It was maybe late afternoon, and the sky was a dim grey. I told my sister I didn't know if we'd be able to go back to the water park today. It didn't make sense to me that the park would be open if it was snowing like this. But my sister said it didn't matter and that we would be fine.

I didn't believe my sister. But as we continued driving, all the snow disappeared. It was still cloudy outside, but I could tell that it had become a lot warmer. But something else had changed: it was like we had traveled back in time twenty years, to the early 1990s.

I got excited about this and told my sister, "What the heck? We crossed a street, and now we're back in the 1990s!" My sister didn't quite see how I could tell this had happened. I pointed out how all the cars looked a lot different from the cars of 2012. We were in my sister's van. I told my sister, "Everybody must be looking at our car and saying to themselves, 'Wow, that's some kind of Prius.'"

We drove up a road past the water park and toward a Sea World aquarium. The parking lot for the water park was closer to the Sea World than to the water park. My sister was worried that we weren't going to find a good parking space.

As my sister expressed her worries, I saw Shamu, the killer whale mascot of Sea World, jump upward at least 10 meters. I was really excited and I pointed out the sight to my sister. Then another killer whale jumped around in its tank, though not much above the level of the water. I also looked up into the air to see some person atop a pole like a mast on a sailing ship.

Regarding my sister's worries that we wouldn't find a parking space, I said that, at this time of day, toward 3 PM, a lot of people were already getting ready to leave the water park. Plus the weather wasn't so great (it seemed to be getting cold again). So a lot of people were probably leaving on that account, too.

We had parked, and we were now walking toward the water park. We were walking along a sidewalk that seemed to be going along a botanical gardens rather than a water park. As we walked, my mom called us up. She may have been trying to figure out where we were, as if she were coming in her own vehicle to meet us.

It now seemed like my sister and I were walking with a whole lot of baggage and garbage, like we were walking, but we were still inside a vehicle, but the vehicle was just crammed with garbage. We also seemed to have a bunch of stuff like folding chairs with us.

Now my mom was with me and my sister. For some reason my mom had taken my phone and was looking at all my photos. She had found some video I'd accidentally taken on the phone while my sister and I had been walking toward the water park.

In the video, my sister and I were talking about my mom, mainly about the logistics for meeting her. There was nothing offensive about the things we were saying, but my mom still took offense. I got mad at my mom and asked for my phone back. This seemed to offend my mom as well. I was getting really frustrated.

Dream #2

Some party had just ended. I was walking back and forth between a living room and a kitchen. Neither the kitchen nor the living room seemed quite normal -- like they were really big, but unfinished. They almost had the feeling of a convention center.

My mom was in the kitchen, talking with one of her best friends. She was talking about some way in which she'd been competitive with me and won. It made me feel a little bit defeated. I thought to myself that when it came to my relationship with my mom, there was really just no way I could win. There was some girl I was interested in romantically. But I felt that because I could never win against my mother, it would be no use starting up a relationship with the girl I liked.

I had walked back out into the living room. But now I was coming back into the kitchen. The refrigerator door was open. I was thinking about grabbing some food for a meal, maybe dinner. But now the kitchen was outdoors, out on a street like a street in a downtown area. Just down the street from us, a parade was finishing up. The parade was probably in celebration of the same event for which the party had been celebrated.

One float in the parade, maybe the final float, was two gigantic glasses of Coca-Cola. The glasses were maybe 5 meters tall, and full of real Coke and huge ice cubes. I had been thirsty and I'd been trying to decide what I'd like to drink. Now I thought I might like a Coke -- but not from the huge glasses, of course!, I told myself. I went to the refrigerator and found a couple of cans of Coke. I grabbed a can.

Dream #3

I was out in a vacant lot in some downtown area. There were two women and a man out in the vacant lot with me. The women and man were young professionals. We all headed toward a fence at the front of the vacant lot and then over to the right, where the fence opened to let us out.

All this time, I was looking at a thin paperback novel. The novel had pulpy cover art. The cover art and yellowed pages, with a turquoise edging, made the paperback look like it was from the 1950s or 1960s. The novel was something like -- though possibly not exactly -- Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days.

I got the idea that this story was about a scientist who had been funded for taking a trip around the world. During his trip, the scientist actually used his own inventions as means of travel. But at one point in the trip, one of the scientist's invented vehicles broke down.

I saw a line-drawing illustration of this scene. The scientist had flowing, dramatic hair and a thick, flowing mustache. He was very muscular. He seemed to be waist- or chest-deep in water. I read the caption for this illustration -- which may have been in the book or on the back cover of the book, as a kind of teaser for the book itself. The caption said that the scientist had the fortitude to continue on despite his struggles, and that he was funding the repair of his vehicle out of his own "laboratory funds."

As the four of us reached the opening in the fence and hairpinned our way around it, I looked at the cover of the book. The cover gave Verne's name as Jules-Port Verne. I felt a sense of relief at this. I remembered that for the longest time, I always knew Verne as J.P. Verne, without knowing Verne's full name. I'd always had a vague feeling that the J stood for Jules. But I'd never known that the P stood for Port. I also hadn't wanted to admit the shortcoming in my knowledge to the three other people I was with. I thought they'd probably know Verne's full name right off the bat and think of me as a fool for not knowing Verne's full name.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

amusement park waiting room; interview and stationery shop

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

I was in some room like a conference room in what looked like a hotel or convention center but was supposed to be some kind of fun center, like an indoor amusement park. I had been with a small group of people, probably mostly children, led by an older, balding man. But the others had left. The man had told me to wait for him here while he checked on something. He told me he'd be back.

A younger man was now in the room with me. He was kind of getting impatient. But I told the young man that we'd been told to wait, so it was best for us to wait. But then I thought things over. It actually had been a long time since the older man had left me here. I thought maybe I actually should try to find him and see what was going on.

I walked up a floor and onto some balcony-like area overlooking an atrium within the building. There were a lot of people around, all running around and having fun, like they were at an amusement park, even though I couldn't see any amusement park rides.

I saw the man at the end of the walkway with a group of kids. The man saw me and broke off from the group to meet with me. The man said that he was just on his way back to me to tell me that it would be a long time before we would be able to get into the place, and that maybe we were just going to go home.

I wondered about this. It seemed like we were already inside the amusement park. Maybe the man was talking about some special part of the amusement park. But I didn't need to go to some special part. I was happy just riding the regular rides.

The man then told me about some new form of technology the amusement park people were trying to get him, and maybe all of us, to use. He pointed it out to me on some little table to my right. It was like headphones, but it may also have had something to do with an iPod, or maybe even something to do with virtual reality.

Dream #2

I was in a lobby area, waiting for a job interview. I was wearing a business suit. There were a number of young men and women in the lobby with me, all dressed nicely. I was sitting in a chair at the back corner of the lobby area.

The lobby area was wide and airy, with dark brown brick walls and grey-brown carpets. It opened out to a ramp-like hallway leading down, on the left side, to the front entrance to the building, and up, on the right side, to the business offices.

I kept looking down and to my left, like I was waiting to see someone I knew, probably someone altogether unrelated to the interview process. But the young men and women around me were watching me looking for the other person. They all thought I was doing something specifically geared toward impressing the interviewers. So they were all jealous of me and angry at me.

I tried to mellow down these emotions in people by showing how kind I could be to everybody around me. Another interviewee came into the lobby. I stood up and gave that person my seat. Another seat opened up, so I sat there.

Then another person came into the lobby. There was suddenly a desk in the lobby area, so I stood up to let the person have my seat, and I sat down on the desktop. Then for some reason I decided to sit underneath the desk.

I had a big, fat book with me. I tried to start reading it, to get my mind off of all my emotions. But I dropped the book. When I picked it up, the book was bent out of shape a little. I realized how fat the book was, the binding crammed full of old, thin, yellowed pages.

I started imagining what the interviewer might say when he saw what book I was reading. I knew the book was by Sir Walter Scott. The book may have been Rob Roy. I could only see a few hazy details of the plot, but I thought I'd be able to speak about some of the themes of the book, if need be. I felt assured that the interviewer would be pleased with my knowledge of the book, even though if I were actually called to discuss concrete details of the book, I would disappoint horribly.

I was now in a living room, standing before a stereo set, listening to a punk rock album, maybe by the Sex Pistols. I was then in a car, riding through the desert with two or three other guys, and hearing -- maybe in my head, maybe on the car's stereo -- the same Sex Pistols song.

As the song ended, some DJ began speaking about the song, as well as the legendary album (not Never Mind the Bollocks) that the song was on. I now saw a record spinning. The label on the record was red, with two overlapping white ellipse. Where the label was red, there were white block letters; where white, there were red block letters. The letters gave the band name and the record label's name.

As the DJ continued talking, maybe about some more mainstream 1970s pop music group, maybe a Soul or R&B group, my view faded to me and a woman walking down some thoroughfare of shop booths on a sunny day.

The woman, perhaps inspired by what the DJ had said about the 1970s group -- even though I'm not sure she'd actually heard the DJ speaking -- suddenly felt there was something she absolutely needed to get from one of these shops. But I'm not sure if she could remember exactly what the thing was.

We found a display of shoes out in front of one shop to our right. The woman made a beeline toward one of the pairs of shoes: high-heels done in some kind of wicker-basket or weaving style, with wooden heels the same color as the plasticky, "woven" material of the tops. The shoes may have cost $10.

I told the woman that she should get the shoes. Then I picked up the shoes and began concentrating on them myself. Suddenly I realized that the woman was gone. I realized she may even have told me that the shoes weren't what she wanted, but that she'd seen what she was pretty sure she wanted in some other shop nearby.

I walked to a shop to the right of the shoe shop. The front of the shop looked run-down and featureless, like it didn't sell anything worthwhile. But I knew, somehow, that the shop was a stationery shop, and that it had actually been redesigned and filled with a lot of really beautiful stationery. I was pretty sure this was where the woman was.

I walked through some kind of curtains that came from the ceiling down to about my chest. Just beyond the curtains was a small, Japanese woman wearing a navy blue polo shirt and khaki slacks. She told me in kind of broken English that the store was a very good, very beautiful store, even though the storefront still looked a bit messy.

The storefront, even behind the curtain, did look messy, like everything was still under construction. But I could already see inside the store, where there was a lot of really beautiful stationery in all different colors. I felt like the woman didn't need to apologize so politely for the store. I could already see how beautiful it was.

I stepped inside the store. It was enormous! And it was all filled with shelves, walls, and display tables of beautiful, beautifully colored, paper! I just wanted to explore all of the beautiful things here. The store woman was still at my side, willing to act as my guide through the store.

But now I saw my female friend. I pointed out my friend to the woman and said I had to go meet her. But, for some reason, I found myself really uncertain about going up to my friend and reuniting with her. I felt like I wasn't quite sure she was really there.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

rock star drug habits; college outskirts; better man?; the time traveling ski-mobile mechanic

Good morning everybody.

Dream #1

I was either a part of a rock band, or else I was focused on a young man who was a lot like me and was a part of a rock band. The rock band had probably taken part in some big festival. Their set was now over. They were relaxing at the corner of an extremely long couch in some large, dim room. There were a lot of other acts on the couch, relaxing, while, probably, in the distance, another band was playing.

One of the members of this rock band (maybe I/my counterpart) was complaining about how tired he was. Another male member may have suggested that if the member was tired, he should try taking some drugs. But a female band member, probably the leader of the whole band, said that nobody in the band was going to take drugs. I/my counterpart was relieved to hear that. I/my counterpart felt that if I/he took drugs, I/he would easily become addicted to them.

Another band sitting a ways down on the couch, not having heard the first band's discussion, was also having a discussion on drugs. A guy who looked a lot like Dee Snider was justifying the use of drugs, especially drugs that give a person energy. The guy scratched the back of his head and said that he himself was hoping he could score some drugs very soon.

Another band sitting at the same position as the first band now also discussed drug use. This band was supposed to be an actual band, though I can't remember who -- I keep thinking They Might Be Giants, but I don't think that's right. All the band members had huge, heavy beards. They all disagreed heavily with drug usage, especially the band leader, who spoke about drugs in the same tone of voice one might use while speaking about a really annoying person at work or school.

Dream #2

Something about walking around dusty mountain paths near a college campus. But I can't remember what. I may have just started school or come back after summer break. There were other people out there. We were all separate from each other, but we had all been discussing something before, and we were all thinking of it now. There may have been an element of being in a national park as well.

Dream #3

I was on the subway, sitting in a seat perpendicular to the walls of the car and next to a window. One of my old friends from college sat in the seat facing mine. She was talking on the phone with her boyfriend. I could tell, just from the conversation and possibly from hearing a little of the man's voice, that the girl's boyfriend was a scrawny, kind of weaselly guy -- sort of like me, except more exaggerated. I could also tell that the boy was a lot younger than my friend, from the way my friend was speaking to the boy.

I suddenly had the feeling that I'd be a better boyfriend for my friend than the weaselly boy would be. After all, the boy and I were a lot alike. But I had the advantage of not being so exaggeratedly weaselly as he was.

My friend hung up the phone on the boy. I made it clear somehow that my friend could complain to me about the boy. As she did, I got down on my knees in front of my friend. I nudged my head up under her left arm, like I was trying to snuggle with her like a small dog would.

I began asking the woman some questions, the answers to which I expected to be negative, since they were about the boy. I figured I'd then respond to those answers with statements about positive traits in myself. One of the first questions I asked may have been about the boy's age. I thought it was a positive that I was closer in age to my friend than the boy was.

Dream #4

I was out on the ski slopes with a female friend, whom I don't really recognize now. We were boyfriend and girlfriend. But we were also like partners, at least for the day, in some kind of daredevil skiing activity, like ski jumping.

We made some huge, dangerous jump and landed. But when we landed we ended up near the girl's parents, and maybe a couple other of the girl's family members. The parents were well-to-do and a little conservative. They seemed shocked that I'd ask their daughter to do such a thing as daredevil ski jumping with me. We'd landed safely, and they were relieved by that. But I could see, especially in the father's face, that they were afraid one of the next jumps would be far less successful.

I was skiing away from the family. I thought the girl was coming after me. But suddenly her skis broke right in half. She fell over onto her back. I turned around and tried to get back up to her. But she'd managed to stand back up and ski, or walk, back down toward me.

But just as we were reaching, the scene somehow changed. Now I had been a really strange kind of ski jumper. It was like I had been using a ski-mobile for ski jumping. But I hadn't just been jumping off of a ski ramp. I had actually been jumping through time. Part of the ski-mobile jumping course had been traveling to a different time, moving through an adventurous course in that different time, and then traveling back to the present to finish the course.

The woman had also been involved in this time travel ski-mobile competition. But while she had been traveling in time, her ski-mobile had come apart. I don't think she knew this, because I think she had been translated back into the present time as soon as her ski-mobile had started to fail.

I was now, back in the present, meeting up with the woman. The woman may have been on another ski-mobile. I sped along. She caught up to me and jumped onto my ski-mobile. I think she had been planning to make some kind of vehicle transfer with me -- as if my ski-mobile somehow held her ski-mobile as well, and that, as soon as she jumped off her present vehicle, her ski-mobile would unmerge from my ski-mobile, so that she could ride it.

But the only thing that appeared from the woman's ski-mobile was a set of pink handlebars and some mangled part of the machinery below the handlebars -- which kind of looked like machinery off of a motorcycle rather than a ski-mobile.

I explained to the woman that her ski-mobile had been completely destroyed in the other time period. She seemed to understand this. I believe that we were now heading toward a mechanic, who could possibly fix the woman's ski-mobile. The mechanic's shop, so to speak, was a large tent made out of olive drab canvas that stood alone in a white valley of snow.

I lifted up a flap of canvas and walked into the tent. But I was surprised to see that the tent had largely been abandoned. There were only a few "personal" items left: a couple random items and a wall-like divider that made the one room of the tent into two rooms (I'm not sure why I counted this as a personal item). The mechanic had completely cleared his shop and left.

Two of my male friends, whom I don't recognize now, were now in the tent with me. Either they explained to me or I explained to them that this mechanic had been a fraud and a fake. We were all part of some group that may have been military, but at least had some kind of military aspect about it.

The mechanic had come from the outside and had claimed he had had experience with groups like ours, so that he could help us. And we had come to trust in him and depend on his help. But then, while I was away, he had admitted that all this time he had been a fraud. He had now disappeared. But before he left, he wrote his name on the divider wall -- something like George Van Dem or George Van Der.

I think the two men and I may have been planning to use the man's name as a starting point for locating the man. I think I wanted to locate the mechanic because I thought that only he could fix the broken ski-mobile. But I think the two men and I together wanted to locate the mechanic because we wanted to "get back" at him for having been a fraud and having left us.


UPDATE: Added drawing to dream #4, September 24, 2012, 5:31 AM, Mountain Standard Time.

Friday, September 21, 2012

nuclear war; a violent gay orgy

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

It was a hot, sunny day. I was standing out on a steep hillside that overlooked a town. Suddenly, in the distance, I noticed a mushroom cloud. It was an unmistakable sight: a nuclear bomb had been dropped and detonated.

But I hadn't seen the flash or heard any explosion. I just saw the mushroom cloud. The cloud wasn't getting bigger, and it didn't seem as if the radioactivity were moving any closer to my location.

A female friend stood just to my left and slightly behind me. I may have thought to ask her why the radioactivity wasn't coming toward us. But I got the idea that the bomb was far enough away that the radioactivity had already reached its limit of affect. So we were safe.

But now my friend told me to start marching down the hill to pick up a weapon. I started marching down some path. There was a whole line of other people marching down the path. As we passed along some tall building, we picked up weapons that lay on the ground. The weapons were about five feet long and were shaped like crayons. These were actually nuclear weapons, which we were going to go somewhere and fire.

Dream #2

I was part of some group of people involved in a pirate-like or sailor-like mission, although the mission may have occurred in outer space. We were in a time of scarcity. The world or universe was relatively lawless, though groups of people -- such as these pirates -- did tend to live more or less according to agreed upon codes of honor.

My group was sitting in a bunch of booth seats at some large, dim bar. I saw the group from a high angle, as if I were a camera in the ceiling. Everybody in the group wore t-shirts and dark jeans. The leader of the group was a tall, thin, kind of pale-skinned guy with short, black hair and a little bit of stubble.

The leader had hired a second group of people to take care of some work we'd been doing. But now the leader couldn't afford to pay the group at the promised time. Because of this, the second group would, by all rights, kill the leader.

But, to get around this fate, the leader told us, he had come up with a plan. He would let himself look like he was being taken captive by another important member of our group. He would let himself be "captive" for a few days, while the payment to the second group came in. And when the payment came in, the leader would free himself and pay the second group.

Now we were in a smaller upstairs portion of the bar, meeting with the second group. Our leader was speaking calmly with the second group, when suddenly a tall, muscular man with long, blonde hair came in and grabbed our leader.

The blonde man was preparing to bind the leader's arms around the back of a chair. But as he was doing so, he gave some speech. The blonde man's speech made me realize that part of this whole act was real. The reality of the speech, I realized, was, in fact, what gave the whole scenario its justification. If it had just been an act, the second group wouldn't have believed it.

The blonde man's speech was mostly about how he himself had not received payment from our leader. But, during the speech, which was impromptu, the blonde man slipped and mentioned some "papers." He didn't seem to notice his mistake. But our leader did. The leader cried, "Hold on a minute! Now I see what's going on! You're at fault for all of this! You and I have never dealt with any papers!"

It became clear to me that the reason our leader didn't have the money to pay the second group was at least partly because the blonde man had done something to divert funds our leader should have received to himself.

The leader never worked with anybody by using papers or contracts. I knew this. Everything the leader did was verbal. But the blonde man had just mentioned paper. This meant he had been working with someone else. And this other person probably helped him steal the leader's money.

The leader realized that if he defeated the blonde man, he could probably pay the second group right away. So instead of letting the blonde man bind him to the chair he wrestled his way out of the bonds and began to fight the blonde man.

But this action angered the second group, who were now worried they weren't going to get paid. The second group, or maybe part of my own group, may also have had sympathies with the blonde man. So everybody jumped into the fight: some on the side of my group, some on the side of the second group, and some on the side of the blonde man.

But as well as fighting, some of the guys started having sex with each other. There were guys laying on the floor, crouching on all fours on the floor, even sitting in chairs (somehow), while being penetrated anally by other guys.

I was sitting on a couch, right about where the leader had originally been sitting (except that he'd been sitting in a chair and behind a table!). I was watching a whole row of guys sitting in chairs being penetrated by kneeling or standing guys behind them. But the fighting was still going on, and some of these guys being penetrated were killed -- stabbed in the back -- just as they approached orgasm.

I now looked around and saw that a lot of the guys who were involved in the gay orgy rather than in the fighting were being picked off, one by one, as easy targets, often right as they were approaching orgasm.

Eventually the fighting died down. Everything was calm. But dead and injured people were still laying around on the floor. This area now looked like a living room. There was even an entertainment center with a TV on it across the room from the couch.

I was looking around the room, trying to find the leader. But the whole sight of all the dead and injured was too confusing. I couldn't figure out who was who. I couldn't make out whether the leader was among the dead or injured.

Now a female friend standing to my right and a little bit behind me asked me if I was ready to go home. My friend said she'd drive me home -- as if all this time we'd just been at some college party. My friend mentioned that in her car she had a bunch of CDs that I'd probably like, including some bands from the 1960s like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.

I stood up and walked toward the entertainment center, thinking about how I'd like to listen to a particular rare Beatles album that I seldom got a chance to listen to. But before I could suggest that album, my friend said that since it was such a short drive to my house, we'd listen to some other album. I didn't really care for this other album, but I knew I didn't have much say in the matter.

I now saw a small staircase leading down to a back area, a warehouse-like area, like in the back of a store. I may have seen the body of a man with a blue t-shirt on the steps. I suddenly thought that maybe our leader could have escaped through this back exit.

But my friend called me to leave again. I now got the feeling that my leader was dead. I had the feeling that the second group had been too angered over not receiving its payment right away, and that it had taken the confusion of the fight/orgy to kill our leader.

My friend was taking me home as a distraction. The way she was acting -- like this had all been just a college party -- was also a distraction. Everybody thought I had the mindset of a little kid. They thought that if I knew right away that our leader was dead, I'd go into terrible emotional shock. So they were all acting like nothing had really happened, and like I was just being taken home after a party. They would wait at least until the morning, I knew, to tell me about or leader.


UPDATE: Added illustration to dream #2, September 21, 2012, 9:55 AM, Mountain Standard Time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

screwed; hantavirus; statue of trickery

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

I may have started out in an office. But eventually I was on the phone as I sat in a dim bedroom. Both in the office and on the phone, I was speaking with one of my old co-workers, KB. KB was now the head of some employment agency I was working with.

I had been out on a job. But KB now told me I couldn't go back. KB told me this was because some form I'd filled out had shown some bad information about me. I think it was possible for me to get around whatever bad information had been proven. But the management at the company wasn't around. So I'd have to wait until KB could get back in touch with the management, to talk with them about getting around the bad information.

I had a feeling this wasn't all true. I had a feeling that I'd somehow angered KB and that now she was trying to find a way to get back at me. KB was trying to keep me from this job. I thought that the management team may actually have been around, but that KB had just decided not to talk to them about me.

I got angry. I kept my emotions under control, but I did make a comment implying that I was angry and that I thought KB was giving me the runaround. As I spoke, I was driving a screw through a sheet of paper and into a brick-sized block of wood.

Dream #2

I was in a bedroom with a woman who was about my mom's age and size. The woman may have been one of my mom's old best friends. The woman half-lay on a bed. I sat down on the bed. We had been speaking about the hantavirus. For some reason, we were making jokes about how the virus had come from the "upscale" cabins at Yosemite.

Dream #3

I was either in or watching a movie. Either I or the main character was in love with a girl. But there were a number of men who were dead set against letting any woman into the character's life. These men were all from the internet, like they'd been internet figures, but they'd found their way off of the internet, through fiber optic cables, and into real life.

There were three men, I believe. One man was a definite leader. All the men were criminals. They may have been internet figures all their lives, or they may have, at some point, been relegated to the internet for their crimes. But now they had broken out of the internet and were ready to keep the main character from finding love in his life.

There were two scenes, both of which seemed to occur in adjacent rooms in some huge building, kind of like the Rose Main Reading Room of the NYPL. I can't remember the first scene very well. But I think I saw the main character very much in the third person during this scene.

In the second scene, I probably saw through the main character's eyes. I was getting in line for something. There was a long belt-rope line-maze leading to somewhere. I knew that somewhere along the line, I would meet the girl I was interested in. I was looking forward to meeting the woman and proving to the men trying to stop me that I wasn't afraid of them.

But now I got a phone call. The call was either from or on behalf of my mom. My mom was having serious health troubles. I needed to go see her right away. My mom may also have been angry with me, and that made me feel like I needed to get to her even sooner.

I turned around and headed out of the line and out of the room, probably into the room of the first scene. In that room the men who were against me stood around some sculpture that looked like a small model of the Statue of Liberty, except in a mottled fashion, kind of like a sculpture by Rodin.

The three men laughed at me. I now understood that the phone call had been a fake. My mom really wasn't in trouble. I was just being called so I'd step out of line and lose my chance at seeing the girl.

I was torn. I felt like I couldn't let myself believe the feelings I was getting from these men, that the phone call had been a fake. I still believed that my mom was in trouble. So I felt like I still needed to go see her. But I also couldn't let the men fake me into stepping out of line and seeing the woman. So I felt like I needed to get back in line. But I also felt like I'd already missed my chance at seeing the woman. Now that I'd stepped out of line, the woman would miss me and leave.

So I was frozen. I didn't know what to do or where to go. Of course, I didn't want to show this feeling to the men, either. The leader slapped two traffic-cone-orange squares onto the chest of the Rodinesque Statue of Liberty. The squares had backs that kind of looked like defibrillator pads.


UPDATE: Added drawing to dream #3, September 20, 2012, 8:13 AM, Mountain Standard Time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

kraft foods on efficiency at nasa

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

I was in some big building like a convention center. I had been part of an event that had just finished. During that event, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden had been speaking with me, possibly about an event that would follow the event of which I had been a part.

But now that Bolden's event was about to begin, I had an idea for it. The idea involved questionnaire sheets that were already made for use at the event. But something about them was not being used -- maybe something that could contribute to on-the-spot additions to presentations.

I needed to find Bolden again, so I could ask permission to put the idea into action. I may have been standing with some people, possibly my family members, including my mother and brother. I asked permission to leave them.

I was up on some mezzanine or balcony level. I saw Bolden walking toward a door at the end of the mezzanine. I ran toward him. I caught up with him. I believe I called him Mr. Bolden, although I may have called him General Bolden.

I began explaining my idea to Bolden when suddenly my brother ran up. It was like he also had an idea he wanted Bolden to approve. But he was acting really weird. At one point he stood next to Bolden and got down on his knees, crying and making a praying gesture toward me. This was all for show. I'm not sure my brother's idea ever got expressed.

Eventually Bolden asked my brother to calm down. My brother may have walked away. Bolden told me I could do what I wanted, and that the presentation area was just getting prepared right now.

I walked into the presentation area. The room was dark. The only light was coming from a PowerPoint presentation projected up onto a huge screen. The slide projected was plain white with black letters.There were people working on some technical stuff over by the podium, on the right side of the room. Someone was at the podium, testing the microphone. There also seemed to be, right below the screen, a stage-like area where there were a bunch of gifts and food items. The audience was full.

I knew the questionnaire papers were in the podium on the right side of the room. I was on the left side of the room. I needed to get over to the podium. I didn't want to distract anybody in the audience -- as if the show had already begun, even thought it hadn't. So I got down on my stomach and crawled across the room, hoping to avoid everybody's sight.

But as I crawled across the room, the presentation actually began. I knew I'd have a hard time grabbing the questionnaire sheets right in front of everybody. But I decided that I needed to get them, regardless of what was going on in the presentation.

The current speaker was giving a sort of introduction for the main person who would be speaking. This person was actually an executive from Kraft. But I'm not sure who it was. The current speaker then said that someone else would be up soon to give a fuller introduction to the speaker. The current speaker, I knew, expected me to be the person to give the fuller introduction.

I was almost to the podium, which was now empty and waiting for me. I knew everybody was expecting me to speak. I had to stand up and give my introduction. If I couldn't give this introduction, it would prove that I really didn't know anything about the management structure at Kraft, and that I wasn't very smart at all.

I tried to think of the management at Kraft. I knew Kraft's CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, wasn't going to speak. I was pretty sure that Tim McLevish was still the CFO at Kraft. So I figured McLevish must be the one who was going to speak. I tried to think of the things I knew about McLevish.

But now the Kraft executive was already giving his presentation. I was crawling around on the ground and looking up at the screen. The executive was talking about the steps Kraft had taken to improve efficiency. This improvement in efficiency was, I believe, later on going to be translated into a program that might help improve efficiency in space exploration.

The Kraft initiative was very thorough. A lot of key thinkers from around the world were brought in to assess ways to improve efficiency in all personal, business, and technological aspects of the company. A list of people, with their titles and places of work, scrolled up the screen in white lettering over a backdrop of tree-covered mountains in the fall.

I was surprised to see that one of these key thinkers was the psychologist Karen Horney, who was apparently working somewhere in Virginia. Horney had come in to improve the psychological aspects of the company.

The Kraft executive gave himself as an example where his psychological condition needed improving. He said that it had especially needed improvement after he'd been diagnosed with some disease like cancer. The Kraft executive now began speaking about this disease, and how he was still uncertain whether he would leave the company because of it. He was thinking he might not. It seemed like he had battled the disease to a turning point, and that he was now getting better. He may have given a story about a turnaround in company operations and how it directly related to him to prove this point.

My mind now began to wander again to what I might say about Tim McLevish. I began thinking back to 2008 and 2009, trying to consider all the changes that had taken place at Kraft before, during, and since that time period, and to determine what role McLevish played in those changes. But I wasn't coming up with anything at all, other than a kind of broad statement about the company's stock price.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

meeting a girl; tometeas; back for more; fetish, porn, and game boys

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

I was on the subway, sitting on a long bench that ran across the side of the car. I crossed to the other side of the car, where there was a wide open space. A woman was sitting to my right. She had a back pack and maybe some other bags with her. She may have been a little heavy, and her clothes may have looked a little worn out, but she was blonde with tan skin and very attractive.

The woman lay against me, partly as if she were simply resting against me, but partly as if she really wanted to cuddle with me. I enjoyed having her against my side, but I didn't want to admit it. Somehow both of us got into some game of making up an excuse for the woman leaning against me. We were pretending that we were looking for some guy the woman was supposed to be with, and that, in order to find the guy, I had to stretch my body one way and the woman had to stretch her body the other way, so that it would look like we were cuddling with each other.

Through all of this we had gotten to talking with each other. We were really comfortable with each other. Now the woman and I were getting off the train. We walked out onto some huge outdoor plaza that was full of people. I was kind of shy, sure the woman wouldn't like me. So I began walking away quickly. But the woman caught up to me and asked me some random question to get me to slow down.

I slowed down, and we began talking again. We were headed into a building that looks to me now like an airplane hangar with the huge doors wide open. Everybody was headed in there. As we headed in there, the woman asked me what I was doing for a living. I didn't want to admit what I was doing for a living right now, but I also didn't want to mention what I had been doing for a living before, as it didn't seem to matter very much anymore.

We were now walking through a grocery store. We turned left at the front of the store and were heading along the endcaps of aisles that looked like salty snack and party food aisles. The woman began telling me about herself. She said she'd just moved here from some big city (maybe Chicago). In Chicago she'd been involved with some industry, maybe the real estate industry. But now she was cleaning houses for a living.

Listening to the woman, I felt relieved. I realized that my life story was a lot like hers. I felt a lot less shy about sharing my own story.

Dream #2

I was in a car, in the front passenger seat. My mom may have been driving. We passed behind, and then to the right of, a small cargo truck. The back and sides of the truck were decorated with advertisements for a food called "tometeas," I believe. The name sounded like "tomatillas."

These tometeas were actually very small scorpions that were tomato-red. They were supposed to be cooked (I think) and eaten by the handful. They tasted like tomatoes. The tiny scorpions basically looked like flat discs with a small rod coming out of the front or back end and two goopy, purplish eyes, either on the disc or at the end of the rod. There was also a slogan for the tometeas, which I found to be almost preachy.

My mom was having a heated conversation with somebody in the car. As we passed along the right side of the truck, the car pulled into a ditch along the curb of the road. There was a lot of muddy water in the ditch. It splashed up as we drove through it. The rest of the road seemed dusty and desert-like.

Dream #3

I was in some small park in a big city, sitting out by the stone basin of an empty, dry fountain. I had a back pack with me. In the back pack was some kind of secret information or machine. I kept walking away, leaving the back pack unattended, so I could go eat some brownies. I must have walked away to go grab more brownies two or three times.

The last time I came back to the fountain I wondered whether the secret items would still be in the back pack. I figured that the people who wanted the secret items were always following me around. If they'd seen me continually walking away from the items, they'd eventually figure out that this would be the perfect time for them to come grab the items. But I also had a feeling that when I got back to my back pack, the items would still be there.

Dream #4

I was "in" some kind of fetish store. But it wasn't like I was quite there. It was almost like I was intensely feeling a movie I was watching. I heard a narrator describe some other part of the store. People thought this part of the store offered actual sex services, like a covert brothel. But the narrator explained that, even though people did offer a service, it wasn't sex, it wasn't prostitution, and it wasn't illegal. Whatever it was, however, was to be revealed right then and to come as a big surprise.

But I "skipped" to the front door of this store. I now stood outside it, looking across a street that looked very much like a side street along the east side of Manhattan. I stood under an awning, looking toward another awning across the street and down to my left by one or two buildings.

The narrator explained how the next place he was going to was a pornographic video store. I suddenly realized both the store and the place I'd just been inside of. I realized that I'd actually done this trip before. The narrator was making a film about something I myself had considered to be an occasional consumer ritual of my own!

A man and a woman were now walking up from behind me, having just come out of the store. As they did so, a business man in a shirt and tie, but no jacket, slammed directly into the man, knocking him back a foot or so. The man who got slammed into was tall, kind of chubby, wearing a shirt, tie, and tweed blazer. He looked tough but soft. He didn't say anything to the man who'd slammed into him. The man actually seemed a bit drunk.

I turned around and said back to the drunk man, "Hey, man, what in the hell?" But the man didn't listen. He opened the brassed-lined glass doors to the store -- which was now a bar full of people -- and joined a group of his friends who stood right at the front.

I knew better than to mess with the man now that he was with a whole group of friends. So I just turned around and headed toward the porn shop. It seemed like the man and woman were also going there, even though it seemed like they didn't want anybody to notice them going there.

As we walked up the steps to the store (there hadn't been steps before, and there was now no awning), the man and woman changed into an older, father-like man and a younger, son-like man. The store was now an electronics store.

I was with the two men, but I followed behind them at a bit of a distance. They got into the store a few seconds before I did. The store was crowded inside, even though it only seemed to be selling old-looking, used-looking electronics.

There was a circular customer service desk a few meters past the door. Two Indian-looking, middle-aged men wearing dark blue polo shirts were staring at me suspiciously. I knew that because of my brown skin, the men were already convinced I was going to steal something. I just wanted to catch up to the two men I'd come in here with, who were both white, so that I'd have the protection of their company and not feel so watched all the time.

I caught up to the two men. The older man was now tall, fat, and bald, wearing a dress shirt, a tweed blazer, and slacks. The younger man was now just a boy, a blonde, pale-skinned, shaggy-haired teenager wearing a baggy, white t-shirt and blue jeans. The two men were looking into a glass display cases of old devices that were all something like variations on the Nintendo Game Boy.

I commented on how much I used to love the Game Boy. But as soon as the two men became aware of my presence, they quickly shunned it. They didn't walk away, but they made me feel like they really didn't want to have to acknowledge me at all.

I decided that I would walk away from the men, showing them that I wasn't trying to be obsessed with being in their company. I tried to look for some other glass display case that I could be interested. I figured if the men wanted to acknowledge me sooner or later, they would. But I couldn't find anything else I liked. And I was becoming increasingly worried about the store owners seeing me on my own and thinking I was an easy target for accusations.


UPDATE: Added illustration for dream #1, September 18, 2012, 7:23 AM, Mountain Standard Time.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

karate training; silver and gold left arm; death before marriage?

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

I was outdoors, walking out along a barren plot of land. I was probably heading from one building to another. There were some big, strong men all around. I felt like they were thinking of doing me harm, so I wanted to get through the area as quickly as possible.

But one of the men grabbed my arm to stop me. He spun me around. He was a black man, not much taller than I, but way more muscular. He wore a karate outfit that was light blue. His karate belt was a darker shade of blue. He also wore sunglasses, which may have been tinted blue somehow. He may also have been wearing a broad-brimmed hat.

The man pulled out both of my arms so that they were extended in front of me. He had my hands balled into fists and put the fists next to each other. He then began patting my hands like they were mounds of dough that he was patting out for bread. I couldn't tell whether he was trying to train me or fight me. I thought I'd be ready for his next move, whatever it was. I thought he'd probably try some surprise move to test my reflexes. So I figured I'd be as on guard as I possibly could.

Dream #2

I walked from some other place, where I'd been taking care of something, into an office. I stood before some man who was sitting at a cubicle. I could see beyond the cubicle to some windows outside, where it was dark.

The man took my left arm. He examined it closely (though I feel now that he may also have kissed my hand). He acted surprised and said that my hand looked strange. I looked down. My hand and a good portion of my arm up to my elbow were gold, like they'd been painted with gold paint or drawn on with gold marker. I looked at my arm for a bit longer. I saw how the gold tailed off, in almost fire-like patterns, and how most of the rest of my arm up to my elbow was then silver.

I told the man that was nothing to worry about. I said I'd done something where I'd painted myself gold. But the paint or marker I'd used was more permanent than I'd thought it would be. Nothing bad had happened to my arm. It would just be golden for a while.

Dream #3

A movie with Adam Sandler. It was getting toward the end of the movie. Adam Sandler was about to get married to the love interest of the film. But everything about the wedding ceremony was irreverent. There was something weird looking about the cake. There may also have been an old, scraggly guy near the cake, either eating the cake or eyeing it all the time.

The woman Adam Sandler was getting married to was going to do herself up to look masculine or boyish. She may even have been planning to wear men's clothes instead of a wedding dress.

At the front of the audience there were two gigantic, plastic heads, done in an amusement park-like style, made to look like the heads of two little girls. The two little girls had their mouths open wide and their tongues rolled out of their mouths, touching in the center, so that it was like these little girl heads were giving each other an erotic kiss. Adam Sandler and his bride would walk out of the mouths and meet in the center of the tongues to get married.

Adam Sandler was walking toward the back of the little girl head he'd be walking through. He was accompanied by a whole group of people, with a mother and a father on either side of him. He was dressed as a woman, but not as a bride. He wore a pink sweater and some kind of skirt. He had a shoulder-length, red-brown wig on. He may have been holding a bouquet of flowers. He was giving his standard, shy-ish, high, fast-talking girl act. For some reason I found this really hilarious and laughed a lot.

Suddenly Adam Sandler saw something and became very serious. He began running toward the other head. The view now switched to the walkway leading up to the bride's head. There was a doorway opening to the walkway. Beyond that doorway was a stairwell. A group of nymph-like women dressed in bridesmaids outfits were carrying down two stretchers. One of the stretchers held the bride. I don't know what the other carried: maybe a huge bouquet of flowers.

The bride lay unconscious, in full bridal dress, and surrounded by flowers, on the stretcher. It became clear that she was close to death. It seemed to me that one thread in the plot of this movie had been about the woman being sick and possibly in danger of death. It seemed to me that Adam Sandler and the woman were getting married at just the right moment. I'd even almost forgotten about the woman's illness. But now it seemed to me like the woman would die before she could get married.


UPDATE: Added illustration to dream #3, September 17, 2012, 7:49 PM, Mountain Standard Time.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

support and cover; why we moved; fleurs de mal?

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

I was floating or coasting or driving through an area of buildings, like buildings on a university campus. Surrounding all the buildings was barren soil. It was like the grounds were under construction. Something like restoration or construction may have been going on with the buildings as well, though they seemed to be fully constructed. There were people here and there, probably some guys in hard hats, but also some guys in business suits.

A person then spoke to me about the buildings. Apparently nobody had known, or at least the general public hadn't known, the actual construction of these buildings. The buildings were all made to look like they had been constructed out of certain materials when, really, they weren't.

As we drifted past one group of buildings, there was a construction about the wooden facades of the building, even though I could only see these facades in my mind's eye. As we drifted past a group of buildings and out into an open space, there was a discussion of steel, as if some building was made entirely of steel or had a facade to make it look like it had been built entirely of steel, or as if all buildings should be made entirely of steel.

The person then told me that there were elements of architecture that served as support and elements that served as cover. The elements of support were like steel. The elements of cover were like wood.

Unfortunately, some of these buildings had elements of cover for elements of support and elements of support for elements of cover. But they looked like they were composed in the reverse manner. Other buildings were constructed entirely of only elements of support. That was why everybody was out here right now taking care of these buildings. They were afraid that if they weren't taken care of, they'd fall down altogether.

Dream #2

I was sitting at an old school desk in a living room. The desk had a steep top and was somehow cluttered -- either around its edges or on its top -- with a lot of household items. The desk sat so I was directly facing a wall or two walls, angled awkwardly near some far corner of the room.

Behind me, from a hallway at the other end of the room, I could hear my mother and maternal grandmother speaking with each other. My mom was explaining to my grandma why I'd moved to this place. My mom had moved out here as well at some point in time before I'd moved out here. But once I'd moved out here, it was like we'd both moved out here together. Because of this, my mom had to justify my having moved out here.

After overhearing the discussion, I felt like I had been really stupid or weak or lazy to have moved out here. I realized my mom hadn't thought very highly of my moving out here. In fact, I now became an object of her derision whenever she needed to use me as an excuse for something. She had used me as an excuse for something just now in front of my grandma. So I was feeling pretty bad about myself.

My grandma came up behind me. I was eating some warm chocolate. I dropped a few pieces of it onto the desktop. I was trying to tell my side of the story (can't remember it) to my grandma. I ended by talking about selling certain things.

I stood up and turned around to face my grandma. My grandma told me that my mom had already sold most of the items I'd wanted to sell. My mom had sold the items to my grandma at a really good price, and had made a really good profit.

My grandma and I were standing outside. I only had one item left. It was the same as all the other items, so I thought I could also get a good price for it. But when I handed it to my grandma, she dug into her pockets and handed me five or six quarters. And only four of those quarters, I knew, really counted as the selling price. So I'd only gotten a dollar for this item.

My grandma tried solemnly to tell me this was all she could do, that this was all the item was worth. But I could tell that my grandma was actually laughing to herself about how she'd managed to cheat me. She thought, because of the story my mom had told her, that I'd really deserved to be cheated. She'd thought I'd thought I was really smart. But she'd just proved to herself that I wasn't smart.

Dream #3

I was floating outdoors, past a series of buildings like buildings on a college campus. Passing one building, I passed along a covered porch. At different points along the porch, young women were interviewing with university faculty in order to be accepted into the university. The young women were mostly from foreign countries.

I got to the edge of the covered porch and found myself in the space between two buildings. The ground was slightly sloped downward, and was barren, but dark and moist, soil, strewn slightly with peach-colored gravel. A young woman, pale with short, brown hair, was speaking to a faculty member about how exciting this whole process of application was for her. She felt like college was giving her a new chance at life.

I turned around and floated back in the direction I'd come from. Eventually I just started walking. I kind of giggled inwardly, thinking about the young woman's excitement. For some reason, the woman's achievement didn't seem like a very big deal at all. But I'd never tell the woman that.

I knew the woman had been a high school dropout. She'd led a very tough life, possibly growing up in Russia or an Eastern European country. But now she was getting her life back on track. And it was quite an accomplishment to go from being a life-toughened high school dropout to being accepted into a university such as this one. Suddenly it struck me that the young woman really was justified in her excitement, and that she really should be proud of herself.

I started reflecting, as I stared down at a patch of barren, dark soil, just beyond the edge of a concrete walkway, that maybe what caused me so much trouble at college was the fact that I'd had a bad time in high school. I wondered whether having bypassed high school altogether wouldn't have helped me in college. The lack of bad experiences from one place would lead to good experiences in another, perhaps, I thought.

I turned left and walked up a small slope, heading toward an asphalt path or road that I knew would lead me to the right and back to my family. I imagined having to tell my family members, most likely my mother and brother, to be careful regarding what they said while they were here around DE, an old co-worker and friend of mine, who was also here. I told them that certain things they said might cause DE to react in a flippant manner, which I knew would make my family members extremely agitated, maybe even violent.

In my imagination, I tried to make a reason for why my family members should keep these risky comments to themselves. I said that DE was a very elite person. I tried to explain that he had been a good athlete at a top-level school, and that he thought of himself as being a very top-level person (in waking life, DE is not snobbish like this at all).

As I was imagining this explanation I took a look at a small tree to my right. I saw that it was growing strange flowers. The flowers had waxy, thick petals, and they seemed to grow out of a thick, waxy, spiny bud. In fact, I thought. The bud itself originally looked like fruit. Then the "fruit" would split open, revealing this beautiful, but in some ways disturbing, flower.

I brought one of these flowers to my mother, who was standing along a roadside. Off in the distance behind my mom, my brother was kneeling before a small shrub, working away at something, possibly digging in the ground. I showed my mom the flower and tried to explain the tree.

I theorized that the tree I'd seen must have grown two sets of flowers. I'd seen fruit on the tree, and the fruit looked like crabapples. So I knew that the tree must have grown flowers that looked like apple blossoms. This second flower was something else. I thought the flower was beautiful, but I may also have had a feeling that it meant something bad for the tree, or else that it was a kind of predatory flower, like a venus fly trap, that ate small animals that approached the tree. Either way, it felt kind of sinister.

My mom asked me to show the flower to my brother. He'd appreciate the fact that I'd thought of including him in the whole effort of discovering what this flower was about. I agreed, and I felt guilty for not having involved my brother earlier.

But suddenly I began to reflect on things that made me feel even worse about this flower. First of all, the bud-like casing seemed to be like the spiny foliage of some weeds. That didn't seem like a good thing. And second -- I may have thought about this as I looked at the small shrub before which my brother knelt, maybe a shrub version of the tree I'd seen -- the tree had fruit on it even while these flowers were still growing. Was that right? The fruit should come after the flowers, not the flowers after the fruit. I had a bad feeling about what these flowers might possibly do to the growing fruit.

Friday, September 14, 2012

rejecting gay proposition; naked around the house; a day off in africa

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

I was sitting at a cafe. The cafe was very large, with a rustic kind of feel to it. The floors were stone tile. The walls may have been yellow-painted plaster or stucco, with crevices of vanilla white exposed here and there. There were a lot of people all around.

I may have been sitting with a friend. But my friend may have gotten up to get something else from the front counter. I now noticed a man sitting at a table to my right. The man was tall, white, and muscular. He was wearing a business suit. At first I thought the man was going to take a snobby view toward me. But instead he noticed that I was reading an interesting book. He asked me what the book was about.

I started telling the man about the book when two black men walked up to the man's table. They were friends with the man. Each of them made a fist and knocked it (side to side, not front to front) against the man's fist. Both the men were tall and a bit chubby, like they had been muscular in the past, or could be muscular, but were now just losing their tone.

The man finished talking to his friends. By this time I'd kind of gone back to my own thoughts. But now the two men walked over to my table. One of the men was attracted to me. But he was shy. His friend said, "If you think he's cute, you should say something to him."

The man who liked me asked me, "What are you doing tonight?"

I wasn't interested in being with the man. So I told him, "I'm not going to do anything. I just need to go home and relax. I have a lot of stuff to do at home."

I imagined the street outside: a thin, cobblestone street with old, stucco-like buildings on either side, and patches of sunlight falling down to the street here and there. I became so focused on that view that I actually ended up out there. The two men were still behind me.

I turned to the two men and said, "Look, I'm really not interested in you. I'm sorry. I wish you'd leave me alone."

The two men turned and started walking away. I heard the man who didn't like me say something about how what I'd just said could be construed as discrimination and that now he was going to convince the man who liked me that he should sue me for harassment.

I stomped up behind the two men. But then I was staring at some old movie poster on a wooden door. I told the man (who may now have looked like Vinod Khosla?) that if he wanted to talk about discrimination, he could talk about it to my face. I was really angry. I then made some comment that implied that if the man really wanted to argue with me, I'd just kill him.

Dream #2

I was at "my family's house," a big house with a lot of rooms, though it was in terrible shape. I had been sitting in one room, having a talk with my mom and my brother. We may have been going over something like a business plan.

The conversation was now over. I may have had an uneasy feeling about the whole thing. I was probably living with my family. But now that I had this uneasy feeling, I may have been trying to figure out a way to stop living with my family.

But first I needed to take a shower. I went into the bathroom. I took off all my clothes and hung them up on a rack. But I realized I needed a towel. So I went down the hallway (naked???) to go grab one. But a few steps down the hallway, I could hear someone else hurrying into the bathroom. I turned around and hurried back to the bathroom. The person had already turned the shower on. There was a crack in the door. I couldn't see much. But I thought I saw someone getting into the shower.

I was really annoyed. I said out loud, "God! It's like you guys see me doing something, you know I need to do it, and so as soon as you get the chance, you stop me from doing it! God! I'm standing out here naked!"

My mom called from inside the bathroom, "You know, you don't have to be so rude about everything! I wasn't coming in here because I wanted to annoy you! I just thought now would be a good time to clean the bathroom!"

I said, "You knew someone was using the bathroom. How could you not see my clothes hanging up?"

My mom said, "I didn't see any clothes. All I saw were old, used towels that are just sparkling with filth!"

I was too annoyed to carry the conversation any further. I walked into another room. I was convinced I was going to leave this place for good. I was in a huge, but kind of cluttered, bedroom, standing right before a bed. I was trying really hard to come up with a plan of some other place in the world I could go to, where I could at least lead a fulfilling life.

But my thoughts were interrupted by two nurses pushing a naked, fat lady into the room. I suddenly wondered whether I was in an inappropriate room. But the nurses were simply pushing the woman through this room and into an adjacent one.

The woman had apparently suffered from some really bad stroke or something. She couldn't speak, and she could only barely comprehend the things spoken to her. She was being pushed to the room to have her lunch. This was being explained to her. But the woman didn't want her lunch to have a certain ingredient in it. The nurses were doing their best to convince the woman her lunch didn't have that ingredient. The woman wanted something else, too, maybe business papers. The nurses were also trying to explain to the woman that she would have what she wanted.

Dream #3

I was at "my office," standing just outside the square of cubicles that held my cubicle. I had taken the day off from work, but I'd had to come in to get something anyway. In the cubicle area there were two new people who'd started work just today. I knew one of them, a young man who looked like one of my old co-workers, JR. The other person was a very young and pretty woman with chestnut-brown hair and olive skin. She wore a hot pink t-shirt and black sweats.

The man and woman were both writing reports. I made a half-joking comment to the man about writing reports, maybe something to do with the web-based system for writing the reports. The man chuckled. He took the serious part of my statement and ran with it, explaining something he liked about writing reports. I agreed with him.

I saw that the man was making some kind of design on his computer screen. The design looked like a pink background with spray-paint-like squiggles all over it. This inspired me to tell the man that I really liked the artistic side of the report writing process. The man agreed with me.

The woman had gotten my attention somehow. Her desk was just outside the square of cubicles, so she was right by me. She may have had her knees against my torso, like she was sitting curled up in her chair. I was aroused by this. But I was also a little ashamed for being aroused. The girl looked extremely young now, maybe not even in her teens yet. But she was really turning me on.

The young man seemed to notice my attraction to the girl. So he wanted to compete with me for the girl's attention. The girl spoke to us about some photo project she had been involved with. Somehow the project may have involved my aunt and her youngest daughter. Somehow the pictures had improved in quality as time had gone on.

The girl opened up a book of photos. Most of them were "family photos," although they appear to me now to have been photos of young men and women at a high school or college party. There were lots of young faces, illuminated in the dark by flash bulbs.

But the photos changed to photos of people in Africa. And suddenly I was "inside" the photos, though not interacting with them at all. I was standing outside among a group of people. Some people stood. Some people sat in folding chairs. The group was loose and relaxed, sitting out on a concrete curb and even in the middle of a wide dirt road.

Everybody seemed to be dressed in Carnival clothing. The clothing was all yellow, green, and black. The women and men wore smallish, spandex or lycra, underwear-like garments. The women had skirt-like garments over the underwear. The men may have worn more cloth-like garments over their chests, something like a mix between a flag and a toga.

Suddenly there was an earthquake. The tremors were very quick. But they were strong enough to make one or two people fall over. The people who didn't fall laughed at the people who fell. The people who'd fallen stood up, shook themselves off, and laughed as well.

I got the feeling that I was watching a film. I couldn't hear anything, but I could see motion. But I could also feel the atmosphere. I didn't know how this could be. I suddenly got the idea that I was reviewing some new "photo experiment" technology that my cousin had created and tested, and that this series of "photos" had been the subject of my cousin's first test.

But then there was another tremor. Suddenly everybody became very serious. They knew the earthquake was probably mild. But they knew that they'd better get to an earthquake shelter, just to be safe. Almost all of them stood up and calmly, but quickly, walked toward an earthquake shelter.

I was left with only a couple of people, probably the older people of the town. One of them stood up to interact with me -- or, actually, with my cousin. It was like I was not only seeing through my cousin's eyes, but also speaking the words my cousin had spoken while she was down in Africa, testing out this new technology.

The man coming up to interact with the woman had a huge head. His forehead was about three times the size of the rest of his head. His eyes looked wise and gentle. But his mouth was thin and featureless, almost like a cartoon drawing of a shy child's mouth. Nevertheless, this man was considered one of the leaders of the town, and one of the toughest and most violent of the town's men.

I had a feeling he was acting kindly toward my cousin only because he eventually hoped that she would slip up and offend him in some way, so that he could kill her. This made me reflect on how brave my cousin had actually been to get this kind of footage. Not only was she braving earthquakes, she was befriending some extremely violent people.