Friday, February 10, 2012


It's time for another guest dream!

This is the only remembered fragment of a longer, forgotten dream from Kaye.  It's been floating to the surface of her subconscious for something like 7 years.  She says:

"I had a dream that I had a piece of paper that had been erased. I could still make out what was written on it though, and it was a poem that said:

I found a boot inside of a boot
Hands are meaningless
Kodak is in my hands
My hands are free now."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Nature of Reality

From Jenny:

"I'm standing in the kitchen of my apartment with my friend Xander; and we're smoking. When I exhale, I look around and everything that was in the room, including Xander, is gone. I say, out loud, ""Where did everything go?"" And I hear Xander say, even though she's nowhere in sight, ""What are you talking about? Everything is the same."" Either before or after I say, ""I think I'm hallucinating,"" she appears as a black cat on the kitchen counter, and cat-Xander says, ""I think you are too."" So I decide to explore, and I enter another room where circus music starts to play when I put my hand up in the air. There's a small clown doll sort of slumped over on the floor, facing away from me, and as I get closer to it, it starts to animate and get up, which terrifies every bit of me. When I say, ""No way! That's not happening!"" and I put my hand down, the clown doll disappears.

And that's how I learned the nature of reality. "

Let's Do This.

Alright, we're back in business.  A little update to the ol' graphics drivers and everything's good to go.

The post I'm about to put up is the first one generated by reader submission.  Some quick thoughts on working with other people's dreams:

  1. It's really fun.  Kind of like when I write down my own dream in a sleepy stupor and don't remember a thing about it when I read it later.
  2. There's a little bit of anxiety involved.  I'm obviously not likely to make a scene that looks even remotely like what the dreamer saw.  The best I can do is make it entertaining as a standalone. Which leads to...
  3. The casual reader is likely to get more immediate pleasure than the dreamer.  They don't have any expectations, so they won't be disappointed by things like lack of accuracy, since they have no way to judge. And so...
  4. I've decided to amplify the distance between the dreamer's original experience and my interpretation.  I kind of feel like acting as though there's going to be likeness will make everyone sad, where outlandish difference will make for happy.  In this first one, for example, I know what the dreamer and her friend actually look like, and  I'll tell you it's not like the characters I chose to represent them.  For some reason it makes me laugh every time. I hope it does the same for them.
  5. Choosing what scene to depict is hard when it's someone else's.  I feel like there was probably a much more visual memory of the clown at the end, maybe, but I a) didn't want to have back to back clown dreams and b) liked the technical challenge of making smoke and a disappearing kitchen.
Anyway, I'm pleased as punch to have things back in operation.  Hopefully I'll be able to get back into the swing of a post a week or so.  Yay!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Saddest Vacation

I was hoping I could just resolve the software issues I've been having and post the dream requests I was working on like nothing ever, happened, but that appears to be impossible.

Giant Marshmallow Pillow is now officially on hiatus until I have some time to fix stuff.

Sad face,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Diver Down!

You'll recognize the boat in this dream as the same one that got eaten by a shark.
 It was actually her sister vessel, the Island Holiday in this one, but damned if I can find a picture of the Holiday.  
Anyway, I had a lot of these boat dreams when I was a kid because I had family on Peaks Island.
A couple of decades later, I went to work for Casco Bay Lines, the ferry service that goes there and had more boat dreams.  This one happened just after I took the job and learned about a service called Diver Down Underwater Services.  They're a dive team that we have in on a regular basis to clean out the propellers on the boats, which catch buoy lines and debris all the time.  Without further ado:

I'm standing on the bow of the Island Holiday, which is amphibious.  We drive down Commercial Street, splash into a slip and head out toward Peaks.  The captain of the boat is my friend Hannah.

All of a sudden, I realize that the boat is slowly going underwater.  It's not sinking, though, it's apparent that Hannah is making a controlled dive.  When the boat is completely submerged, I find myself swimming.

I dive underwater to see what's going on and see the boat doing a slalom through the buoy lines which have been tied too short so the buoys are beneath the surface. Hannah didn't want to gum up the wheel hitting all the buoys, so she's navigating around them underwater.  I realize that she's going to come up near Peaks, so I swim over and position myself above the bow.

When she resurfaces, the boat scoops me back up.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Killer Clown

It occurs to me that there are a dwindling number of people in the world who know exactly what I mean when I say that color photographic negatives are slightly terrifying.  My first camera as a kid was a little blue Fisher Price number that took 110 mm film.  All family photos were 35 mm film photos and the negatives often got loose from the little envelopes and you'd have to hold them up to the light to figure out which set they went with.  The colors were all reversed, making usually normal-looking people all green and yellow and blue and generally alien and, yes, terrifying.

This nightmare is another one from the way back machine of my early childhood, probably age 5 or so.  Again, not much happens, but it's vivid and fills me with dread:

I'm supposed to take a vitamin but I know that the vitamin bottle is actually a kind of horrific genie's bottle.

The cap flies off and a photo-negative ghost of Ronald McDonald flies out.

I hide under the coffee table, as he seems unable to penetrate that fortress, but he continues to taunt and menace me and I start to wonder if I'll ever be able to come out.  He assures me that my mom has no idea he's there and she's going to make me come out and he'll be waiting.

For the record, I am not generally phobic about clowns and though I'm vegan now and was never really gung ho about fast food, neither did I have any particular aversion.  This feels like it has the potential to be the kind of thing where some little guy (me) uses a proprietary image (Ronnie McD) in a really silly, non-commercial way and then lawyers with too much time on their hands get all cease and desist-y.  I hope not. I like this one.  No live link for the golden arches just in case.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Lobby of the Hotel of Death

There are certain modes of thinking that are par for the course in dreams:  Often a location looks nothing like the real life space it represents.  Often you find yourself represented by a person who is decidedly not you.  Often you find yourself seeing that not-you you from outside.  It's all dream logic, things you're given to understand just because. No explanation necessary.

Almost always when you are about to die in a dream you wake up. Or, failing that, you wake up at the moment in which you die. 

In this dream I'm visiting my friend Jay, who's staying for some reason at the Holiday Inn (oh, also, things that are inherently question-worthy in waking life, like, "Hey, why was Jay staying at the Holiday Inn?" are utterly logical and unremarkable in dream space).  It's the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, a hotel whose rooms I've never graced, with the exception of the ballroom during the Chocolate Lovers' Fling.

We look out the window toward South Portland, across the Fore River.  There's a detonation that I understand is nuclear. I watch the heat-wave-style ripple cross the river and toss up everything in its path as it makes it way toward the very room I'm standing in.

And I think, "When it hits us, we will die.  How strange that we will be dead and there's nothing to be done about it."  My stance on this is extremely clinical and scientifically curious.  There's no use in panicking, it's not as though we can escape the impending doom.  I am completely ambivalent about the whole thing, although I recognize intellectually that I should, as a human, feel something about the obvious, looming fact of my own death.  But I don't. So I watch it come.

When it hits the wall in front of me, it hits with a cliched blinding flash of white.  It's one of those rare occasions where I'm aware in the dream that I'm dreaming.  I expect to wake up at the moment of death, so I'm surprised to find that I don't.

Instead, I find myself alone in the hotel room, and furthermore, according to my dream intuition, alone in the world, Twilight Zone style.  I take a moment to think, "Well, and this is being dead." Then I wake up.

*Thanks to Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips for staying at the Holiday Inn by the Bay during his recent visit and posting the view from his window there on his blog.  It's virtually identical to the view I dreamt. (Hopefully he's the sort of fella that won't mind me borrowing his photo for this purpose...I mean, the serendipity of him taking it and me happening to see it a couple of months ago and it being exactly the image I was thinking of...he seems the sort to appreciate how glorious that is.)