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Dream Journal

Billionaire’s Birthday

I am specially invited to the over-the-top birthday party of a billionaire — already in progress. Individual areas of a landscaped hillside are dedicated to showing off his different interests. Part of a cohort of other guests, I experience a sequence of fully-themed gardens and rooms. One building contains a pool where the water level rises and falls, revealing more amusements. I point out in another that a sword, casually mounted on the wall, was one of the most expensive ever made for a TV show.

Yet I remember, when I was young, I used to walk a trail through the dry grass nearby. Maybe it was a former family home. It all looks so different now, it’s hard to believe.

Eventually we catch up with the billionaire birthday boy. His manner is underdramatic, overly familiar in an unsettling way. Maybe I do know him from somewhere before — the sale of the family home perhaps? — because he seems to act like he knows me. It slowly dawns on me and the other guests, though. The glittery bombastic showcase was essentially a distraction. This place is a trap; once at the bottom of the luxurious hill one must serve one’s betters in order to escape. I become a butler, or something like it.


I have become a lone warrior on a long-term mission. Lately I’ve been hunting in the corridors of a building which feels like an attic bunker, with inadequate lighting and unfinished wood construction. By piecing together and following old training instructions I locate and make entry into a small interior room. I’m led to believe I can recharge there (the resource is perhaps a powerpack, perhaps water or food, etc).

But waiting in the room is an adversary: a deceptively-presented large fat older woman with wispy greying ginger hair and bulging yellow low-class outfit. She attempts to poison me with urine in a cup. We engage in a heated struggle and are equally matched. Other characters appear also, led to the same room in the same way. One is like King Mob from The Invisibles comic series. All are formidable. These six fighters crossing paths in a small room reach a grueling stalemate and eventually, I’m forced to search for further options.

Upon consideration, such a confluence of skilled warriors seems not likely coincidence. I notice a soft-spoken Latina girl who’s gone overlooked until now — cowering, or perhaps simply willing herself to go unnoticed. Her name is Garan. I get her to sign her name, and share whatever advice comes to her mind with the exhausted group. It fits in like a puzzle piece, a tangram that somehow finishes a set. We are released from combat and from that room, all of us. There then remains though, among we six formidable folk, the strange knowledge that this shy young woman, with her reserved manners and heartfelt words, is akin to us somehow… for all our quite considerable collective violence.


I’m still serving the same billionaire. I’ve been doing it so long, while working off my debt, that I’ve been endowed superpowers — temporarily for the duration, at least. Today I happen to be in a cheap portable building waiting on a job, idly examining a small lizard wrapped around my right index finger. Powerful critter; my digit circulation gets cut off. I infer when I awake later that this means I was left-handed in the dream — an odd detail.

After that I inspect a performance stage below a tent. The backboard features quotes which Mr. Billionaire liked, which given any amount of self-awareness are monumentally ill-advised and cringe. Much like the man himself. I still recognize him for what he is, even though by now I’m supremely skilled at my job for him. Not that I’m any happier with being tricked into the work in the first place.

There’s an issue I have to deal with. As more people filter in for the performance, I need to lure a giant monitor lizard (a komodo dragon) away and out. This is an energetic, determined beast, always focused on something. Even with powers of flight this is a challenge as I can only go so high up. While I can get it outside, and can reliably distract it away from other people, it manages to climb a tall Christmas tree growing among the dry grass field. I’m finally able to shepherd it outside a containment boundary. I am granted, or perhaps simply remember, that I can utilize a very useful power — invisibility.

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Dream Journal

Skilled Work in a Work Tent

A long day of work in an enclosed tent area, where I’m left in charge after. A couple that had been working on a car were idly painting a chair purple. The work is patchy, only grazing the surface of the woven fabric, the threads giving a textured grid appearance. Given my broader skillsket I’m able to more easily imbue the upholstery with an even saturation of dark rich dye, which comes to a nice burgundy — while I’m completing other projects after others have gone home, mind you. I hope the couple appreciates my job, but it occurs to me that I’ve completely overpainted their work.

I leave once my tasks in that area of the tent/garage are finished and go up to a white office with a receptionist window. I still need to replicate a car key for an old roadster, and the materials we’re using are a stack of glued-together plastic cards. This is going to be tricky and I don’t know how I can properly delegate it.


As representative for Trump, I take out an orange coat of his and set it out like a scarecrow in the front yard of my childhood home. And then, the singing of the song “Wimoweh” begins. Thus begins the celebration of him finally going to prison.

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Dream Journal

Felix Colgrave different name?

I’m offering to send friends KT and Julian postcards from other countries. But I ask them first if they’re okay with what I see is the fun part: the postcards are never from the country where I send them. So if I’m in Greece, expect a postcard from Thailand or somesuch. Well, I think it’s fun

There’s a sequence with a long zoom shot — or at least I thought it was, but The way it moves seems like that camera must be a drone. There are some great shots where waves crash over the viewing frame, demonstrating waterproofness I assume.

Does the cartoon artist Felix Colgrave have a different name?

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Dream Journal

Missed the Bus; Mother Zerg

On an overnight group bus trip. We crowd into a wood-panelled roadside tchochke store filled with various odd objects. Happening to know the purpose behind many of them, I regale my companions (classmates? friends?) about one item after another. I know at some point that I’m oversharing and being annoying, yet I’m so enjoying being an expert on something — I get carried away with it. I recall this as “acting enlightened” (whatever that means). As a result I miss the group bus when it departs, leaving me stranded after the store closes. I loiter and pace outside in the parking lot, wondering what to do, trying to reason out where I might get a ride. Across a long distance of strip mall emptiness, I make out what might be the bus, my bus, with all my people that left me here. But that could be simply wishful thinking. By the time I could walk all the way over there, they might very well be gone.


I’m part of an alien hive-mind-ish force, zerg-like, bred in great numbers like insects. As one of the exceptional males who survived, today I’m tasked with re-fertilizing the zerg mother. This is regarded as somewhat of an honor for a zerg drone — it’s rare for us to have sex. The actual experience is unpleasant though. The zerg mother stares at me with gazeless eyes, her exaggeratedly big hips meant for storing vast quantities of genetic material to make whatever brood is needed. But I am a brood — could this be my mother? Not that it matters really; we’re all so genetically alike anyway. But since that’s the case, why does it even matter if I contribute my material to future broods? I find myself wondering if I’m allowed to simply stop having sex with the empty-eyed queen. Eventually I do — and nothing bad happens. But what now is my purpose as a drone?

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Dream Journal

Schneider Files

On Rob Schneider’s website, I’m assigned to get three files.

The first is easy enough; I just drag and download it as normal. But the other two appear to be small variations of a single detail in a deep zoom map.

I might have gotten them already… but are they supposed to be audio files? If they are, they’re very brief and — what can I say? — fake-sounding farts, more like furniture-scooting brraap sounds. I expect no less from Rob Schneider.

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Dream Journal

Across Hand Island

Traversing an island shaped like a hand, an island choked in dense jungle and enclosed by steep rocky cliffs and lengthy white-sand beaches, an island which feels isolated on a vast and rarely-traveled ocean. This isn’t the Caribbean or anywhere of the Pacific which I’ve known so well (I’ve never touched any ocean except the Pacific, as I discussed only yesterday — relevant because my wife recently returned from a trip to Florida). I wonder if this unfamiliar hand-shaped dot on a map is somewhere southeast Asian, or even out in the Indian Ocean, somewhere I’ve never dreamt of before. Perhaps I had this impression because my sprightly companion was a Vietnamese woman. I’m glad to have her as the terrain is dense and confusing, and I’ve unthinkingly chosen a needlessly convoluted route. We opt instead for her suggested shortcut through one of the creases between what would be the palm and the ring finger — a piece of human anatomy that I’m sure has a name, but a name which apparently I’ve never learned and so can’t use. It’s hand-shaped, down to the lines.

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Dream Journal

For Me, No Prayers for Grandma

Checking in on my wife’s grandmother, who is recovering in a Russian healthcare facility. They are keeping her directly under a whitewashed stairway, behind the admin desk. I suppose that might help with staying flat and one’s back stationary. I don’t get a chance to talk with her though.

People begin arriving to pray for her, filling up the booths made available for the public. I left my stuff in one of those booths, and go to find it. I make to leave as soon as I can. because I can actually help… instead of just pray.


My wife’s tarot has been re-created in miniature in a little metal box. Later today I’d consider making a version like this, perhaps sized for a dollhouse.


The starship Enterprise D is engaged in battle. It’s saucer section is stacked with rainbow tops, like those plastic donut toys kids are supposed to put in color order. They engage in a forward spin, a distraction from the real maneuver — which works surprisingly well

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Dream Journal

Martin is a Good Boy

Pine needles in a glass box, a terrarium actually, marinating in some kind of food juice pickling solution to make them tasty. Being cleaned, as part of job training for some 22-year-old Latino kid with a bald head (and a bad attitude). Not that I blame him when this is the only productive thing your society allows you to do.

Examining the phenomenon of the BART station spreading out into neighborhood; discussing the perspective of the wealthy (and perhaps parasitic) suburbs. I think I was talking with was my old neighbor friend Richard H. As we walked down the sidewalk on 24th. Their unquestioned attitude is treating the lower classes who take public transit like an infection which spreads. Trying to establish local lore about where the “poor part” starts, supposedly the consensus is an alley halfway through the block — “Inception” or “Industrial” alley.

Asking Perplexity.ai about an empty cage on a ceramic counter, countertops like the work surfaces in a science classroom. This rat cage is almost the same size and shape as the marinating box from before. Could be the same box, for all I know.

Something triggers me to say “Martin is a good boy”. I still miss my pet rat Martin-Martin. He *was* a good boy.

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Dream Journal

Needs a Pirate Font

So I’m only messing around here. Just now added the ability to choose fonts in my Dreamkeeper, the app I made to write my dreams in every morning.

Oh wait! Sorry. Not every morning. I was pretty good there for a bit, had a 5-day streak. It always tapers off though. This morning, despite efforts, I couldn’t remember a single one. And I never should feel bad about this, should I? Cuz they’re my silly dreams… and after all why would it matter. The feeling of “sad” is just a balancing feeling (a counterweight, a reaction, a shadow) trying to tip me to do the thing I like doing in the first place.

So the thinking in my head goes: well, maybe if you had a pirate font, you would’ve written that silly pirate dream the other day! This is a sensible and good thought. The dream was pretty nice in it’s weird way… kind of a sad memory hole way, admittedly (which is ironic given that you didn’t write it down…)


The dream was all about a group of pirate people who are pretending to forget a person — and that even when done perfectly, there’s always that strange feeling, the feeling that you’ve forgotten something. The feeling that you *know* what you’ve forgotten. That you can remember that person, in intimate detail. But you’re pretending you can’t, so you don’t. Really you’re not pretending to forget, you’re pretending that other people have forgotten. Both just playing a game of memory chicken. And in my dream, the captain who loved the captain was almost confused by this. He remembered. He knew he remembered.

I wish they hadn’t canceled the gay pirate show…

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Dream Journal

The White Stoat

Sylvester Stallone has been working with my wife at a gallery show. I’m sitting across the way, splayed on the floor looking not unlike a hobo. Sly, out of the goodness of his heart, brings me chocolate chips. I’m genuinely thankful and tell him how he’s my favorite, 1984 was the best year, etc. (If I’m perfectly honest, I’d bet this is referencing a story about when someone was a kid and they met Joe Pesci in an airport. He goes “Who’s your favorite actor?” Kid says, “You of course!” Pesci say’s “That’s the right answer, kid”, and hands him a crisp $100 bill.)

After Satllone is outside I walk over to my wife and chat. Somehow the topic comes up: I share my opinion that the MidJourney prompt she used for the show is problematically basic. She might not have realized it, but the source prompts have been collected on the gallery’s server are public. So hers something being something like “blue Elmo Sunday morning” next to the many elaborate and tricky prompts used by the other artists in the show gives a bad impression. I know she worked harder than that. To make my point I give her the analogy: “An expert can do what a novice can do. But the novice can’t do what the expert can”.

An acquaintance, Andi, is working nearby also, wearing a mechanic’s suit onesie. I chat with her too and express how I feel like her outfit is great, but if the name tag said “Becky” that’d be perfect. Still working, she reveals her large back tattoo that says “Cantram Parts”, a family business that’s been around 100 years. Guess she’ll have some job security — probably not gonna fire her walking around with one of those on her. Maybe it’ll even put her in charge one day.

There’s a website we look at as a group, described as “a kind of Akira.com website”. There’s a clever columnar interface, you simply slide a full column over and there’s an entirely different dating selection to explore. I note that the men are blue-themed and the women red-themed. Yellow… I didn’t get to yellow.

There’s ruckus outside. The quality of light indicates either a quiet evening or (unusually for me) an early morning. Leaning out a window I observe what seems like the local army base having a local defense drill. As I gawk from above, a gangly, almost gigantic recruit performs a side-stomping maneuver — straight through the trunk of a young tree in the green sidewalk margin adjacent the residence I’m in. Must have been trained on it. Or… oh, this IS the training. Only last night I walked by that very tree with a group, playfully jumping and swatting a dangling branch. There ought to be a different policy for base defense drills, I think, at least when it’s civilian property. I’m not grumpy about it though, just resigned. I say not a word to the recruits; nothing I could say. Military people are extra “just doing their job”, which feels like an understatement when it’s actually even “following direct orders”. But soon, I am able to holler out and warn them about the elephant that’s appeared from around a nearby corner, and is approaching them from behind. They take it in good humor. There is really an elephant though — a little pink baby with goofy eyes and ears that looks like it can’t even see anyone.

I can overhear the spirited conversation of a couple from where I sit in the backseat of a car. The woman has a pronounced English accent. I lean my head out, inserting myself into their conversation, and make an opportunistic joke related to what the boyfriend just said. Something about never trusting them? The English I mean. Because we’re Americans, you see. It’s a cheap joke and a few hundred years out of date but I knew it’d get a laugh. Later, driving along in the car, the conversation picks up on my joke. I realize that since it’s 2024 now, 1776 to 2024 would mean it’s 300 years of America! Wait, that’s not right… 250! That’s even worse from a cultural perspective. The media will most certainly be deluging us with the phrase “a quarter millennium of America” as often as they can. (I know the math is wrong here — this is a dream in case you’d forgotten.)

I’m taken around with a special kid, someone folks seem to think I have an unexplained connection with. Maybe I just have a similar vibe. Maybe my personality at that age was similar to whatever unusual thing this kid’s got going on. I attend his visit to a therapist’s office. It’s ringed halfway round with stone benches and has a peaceful zen garden feel, and they keep the office lights off. I spot a stuffed white stoat. It seems obviously symbolic, a canny and subdued symbolism — as if I’m not expected to know it. I carry over an indented tray, like a cupcake pan, randomly loaded with a personal rock collection in its rows of concavities. I perform the offering gesture to the special kid with exaggerated kindness and good humor. I don’t know why I’m being put together with this kid, but at least we’re enjoying each other.

Rats are easy to lose. For instance, apparently I just lost Bertie when I set down a tray a moment ago… fuck!