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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

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!

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Dream Journal

The Old Hostel, a New Boat

Early in the morning I have two thematically-linked dreams that I think I’ll remember — but they’re missing now, overwritten. They were from first light perhaps 6AM (when I put on my eye mask that helps provide darkness. They feel like fruit which has been torn from the branch and had the scars crust over.


A visit the the Financial District of our town with it’s smooth asphalt roads for fancy expensive electric cars. I don’t go here often but my wife and I met here, at the old hostel. Strange to visit now. It hasn’t changed, really, but I have. Though it does have a different name — “Desert Inn ” — but the vibe of everyone there is so startlingly familiar. There’s such a strong nostalgic pain as I look over the young people socializing around the pool and courtyard. The same types of people; the kind of person I was once, in my early twenties. It’s the openness and energy, a kind of power without knowing you have power. I notice my old mentor Chicken John leaning against a wall nearby the entrance, waiting on some of his boat crew.

I haven’t seen his new boat, a big sailing ship he’s been aggressively working on for months (if social media is to be believed). I follow him onto the tall ship. This has been his new project since after we separated. He likes to keep busy. Though feigning for a moment to treat with respect, he quickly finds an excuse to demand something from his crew of lackeys — the kind of person I used to be — and leaves me as if I’m not there. The status quo. Fine for me, as I go about investigating the more interesting nooks and crannies. I end up on the lower deck of the white-painted hull, and then in an outer room that could be a sunlit dining hall with a roof of gauzy plastic sheeting. I realize the ship isn’t on water, or even docked, but set into the center of a grassy disused common. I recognized his cleverness, managing to convince some functionaries to have it permanently parked as if it were the town’s, when it’s really his private property. It looks like just any other strange vintage ship turned into a building, if you can believe it.

I head away and find a jumble of rocks artfully rolled up against what acts like a gate at the end of the common. Mossy and landscaped, I jump from tip to tip on each rock’s point… upon recollection, not unlike how I visited Point Emery in the East Bay for sunset yesterday. Although in the dream, I also do this on a bicycle.

There’s an extended sequence where I care for Chris Farley (or a very Farley-like figure). He’s a great guy but a terrible mess of a life, drugs but also personal choices, and it’s an intense job. I do this perhaps twice. I realize I won’t know how to relate this to someone who’s not done something similar. Here, writing now, I suppose I really don’t. Seemed important to remember at the time.

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Dream Journal

Mayan Motif, Feelings of Early Winter

A racing game set on a semi-oval course laid out in an office store. Speeding above the aisles, like a trainset hung from the ceiling of a dentist’s office. Tall narrow windows flood in color like a sunset. The brown tones and amber light give it a nostalgic mid-century aura.

I descend from the track after I am intrigued to notice a seated Drew Carey. I thank him for his show I enjoyed as a teenager, and he mentions another Drew Carey Show actor — I’m embarrassed I can’t continue the conversation, as I don’t know if that’s the blond or the brunet guy, as I don’t remember their names.

I take it upon myself to advance the next part of the game, headed up to a sunny Mayan temple level on the outdoor mezzanine. There, power-ups transform the player/POV character into a multi-legged mythical beast, a praying mantis centaur that rampages across the chessboard-like lawn outside the gates. Mayan revival architecture is a motif running through all these dreams.

My household spends a long time trying to leave our house to start a weeks-long cross-country journey. It’s winter and we’re packing a boxy car, maybe an SUV. We eventually get out the door, but by then it’s so late that we have to turn back — there’s not enough time to reach a safe stopping point. So we leave the house the next day, too.

Back in an office workplace, an unexpected meeting is called at the of end of day. It’s an unusually chummy workplace, and as part of the culture I snuggle my coworkers in a big dumpster/dent in the white floor. At first I’m warmly pressed against a girl I like, but a shuffle later I’m left with either a single other guy or no one. It’s simply the flip side of this arrangement, so I kill time standing near a fence and fiddling with a drawer.

Back in our apartment again. Asking our neighbors Dolly and Candida for to-go container (I say “greenbean box”) as they’re rushing out the door. They’re actually former neighbors but in the dream they still live next to us. I peek inside — their apartment is a mirror of ours, having the same long narrow hallway which unfortunately consumes so much space. In the dream it slopes upward and is supported by thin columns, and I’ve decorated ours with hanging art. Since I realize both neighbors are gone I’m tempted to visit the hidden upper levels of the building; I’ve discovered a blocked-off stairway passage in our kitchen, which leads to a forgotten door (technically part of the neighbors place). Even though supposedly we live on the top floor, I’ve previously accessed a roof level where there is a park-like garden and commercial vendors. I’ve been to it in a dream before, and I find myself gazing up at the obfuscated structures wondering if they survived the pandemic.

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Dream Journal

John Waters Stage Show

Reflecting on that time I went to jail for 7 months when I was 19 or 20. As I remember it, the District Attorney needlessly chose to prosecute me for fraud because I received three free college credits. Such a waste… just impulsively interrupting a vulnerable young person’s life at such an important age. I’m remembering it now because in the dream I’m now going back to school later in life. It’s different than it used to be: sometimes I pass classes, sometimes I don’t, but I sense that you just have to accrue the credits over time and not sweat it.

Then again… I recall a different occasion when I was very distraught and held up a LensCrafters at gunpoint. Serving jail for this sort of thing makes more sense, but I no longer have the paperwork. Turns out I can’t even remember what I went to jail for!


A John Waters stage show, hosted by the man himself. He takes a break for the sake of the televised audience and cuts to commercial. But as I’m actually present I get to witness all the wild behind-the-scenes action — performers exploding into rants, random blowjobs on/off stage, many different hijinks. Those of us there in the room are treated to Waters twirling around on stage during a costume change. His look is a stylized foil cutout of a multi-faceted paper doll, framed between two panes of glass, made in the likeness of the musician Prince. I’m very excited for the next portion and want to video-record it for myself. It’ll be a big file as I’m betting it’ll be a long segment, but at this point I’m certain I’ll actually want to watch it again. I try to wedge my phone upright against some bulky theater equipment and hope for the best as the countdown to re-air begins.

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Dream Journal

A Day at our New Home in the Country

A country house just off a main road somewhere small, rural California, where we’ve moved. My wife and I still have a landlord but are overall happy finally settled into the new place.

It’s bright midday and I seal up our younger rats, Pierre & Roscoe, making sure to stretch the three wire cage doors so the locks are tight.

Outside it’s so much quieter than the city. I ponder the neighborhood as I gaze down the dusty street where ours is the corner house. I haven’t fully explored the area yet. Feels like a hot day, summer. I observe a distinction with the city I never thought of before: here, people are spread out enough that you kind of miss them, back in the city it was so packed that you often like people less because there’s already too many of them.

All our old stuff made it there but most things still need arranging. A few items are out on the grassy brown lawn, or under a covered porch with built-in brick planting beds. Our building is old, and has a name on a vertical sign with green letters — something that sounds like a Chinese restaurant. There’s a smaller sign underneath for wayward out-of-towners, clarifying that it’s just an old name, this is a house, and they can find an actual restaurant a couple lanes down.

Back inside, I see Roscoe is out of his cage. I’m sure I locked it securely, and sure enough I see he’s managed to bend several wire metal bars at the side of the cage! I tell my wife and we’re not sure what to do. There’s a square patch of grass on the lawn where the cage would fit, and be blocked off securely, but the ratties might easily get overheated in the sun.

Someone reveals something about my parents I didn’t know (this part is confusing in retrospect as it’s a persona shift, perspective remains continuous, but the backstory isn’t from my l life). When I was first adopted, my parents kept me in this very house. They were inept, and couldn’t keep things up, to the point where they couldn’t keep me either. They only got me back much later, though I was too young to remember any of this.

Inside a few of us (guests and I) are playing around, searching through storage areas in the house. We’re also in part of a lobby for some unnamed organization, a nexus accessible from many locations. There’s a dried mud sculpture, arched and abstract, looking like the letter Π hunkering in the near distance. Old refrigerators containing long-term food stocks hold many curious root vegetables. Some are still viable, and I take one from the drawer with a 3-foot long taproot and swallow it down to the base as a trick.

Danny Glover is there among us, and soon after I’m beside him at a stone sink (I can think of no connection I have with Danny Glover, his presence is puzzling upon consideration). When I pull the long root out of my throat, the thin length ending in a tangled clump, I realize that it could still be planted in the dirt outside. Whether it’s the worse for wear being in contact with my stomach acid for an extended time, I simply won’t know until I bury it in a garden bed.

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Dream Journal

Interesting TV! Twin or Doppelganger?

We have a few aquariums, arranged in an L shape, and I’m taking care them. The small one (the oldest) is packed with fish and plants, like one currently in our actual kitchen. The other two are big ones savaged from the streets of Chinatown (maybe 55 gallons each) but hold only a single beloved fish each. As I go about their maintenance, I realize we’ve had them a while and at this point they’re probably underutilized. The personable pufferfish living there gets scritches as I consider what company to get him.

A few potted plants have been on automatic watering for a while, and I decide to check on them. At the base of a stem rests a big moss ball that’s somehow been watered only on top and bottom. I take care to soak the entire thing, knowing that I’m still in time to rescue the almost dirt-brown middle.

On TV, I randomly discover that SNL now has a department making short Public Service Announcements for kids. Tough subject matter, too; the one I catch is on understanding and dealing with horrible traumas from the news like genocide and death. There’s one shot in particular that really sticks out for being so well done: small plastic toy horses filmed from below in black and white. Inexpensive to make, as I also appreciate.

Idly watching a show starring Jon Hamm (as a Don Draper character) who has a twin he didn’t know about. There’s some discussion over whether the twin is a doppelganger. Intrigued, I rewind to before he found out. Karen Gillan is filling a role similar to Peggy on Mad Men, serving also as a judge/mediator. There’s such a strangely amusing dragged-out scene where Don is standing in front of a mirror where his twin is visible, but he keeps looking downward or elsewhere in the room. The tension and entire situation are so oddly surreal, and I watch having no idea if I rewound even close to the pivotal reveal.

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Dream Journal

Save the Pancakes! A Kenny Rogers Motorcycle Adventure

Riding my motorcycle in order to return to the last place I left it. I must ride without a helmet, but it seems like every time I think about this I tend to speed up and ride more dangerously without intending to. Sometimes, as happens when I’m taking one freeway exit, even hanging on by only the handlebars with the rush of acceleration — only remembering then that I’m without a helmet.

A bit later, in the course of getting back to the motorcycle, I have to take a shortcut through a grotty block-wide mental treatment complex. I overhear a few orderlies talking about being starstruck when Kenny Rogers used to walk through the neighborhood. Soon I’m noticed by them and pretend to ask directions. I lumber away toward my purported room, taking a detour around the corner to switch outfits. I sneak out a low window dressed in impeccable Kenny Rogers attire and amble outside, right by the admiring (though foolhardy) group of orderlies.


My wife reveals the first thing my dad ever said to her, supposedly: “Save the pancakes!” No further explanations.

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Dream Journal

A Cozy Compound in the Woods, and Famous Guests

Lazing around in some open vacation courtyard, an asymmetric rhomboid. Tired, I order Carl’s Jr., instead of pizza which my wife later reminds me she asked me to. I switch on the Weather Channel for light background noise… but apparently now it has ads?

I catch sight of a man I know, his balls exposed, but it’s just another fashion choice somehow. For a moment it strikes me how oddly it’s much less obscene than showing just a dick or the whole package, but I’m surprised to admit, it totally is.

I find myself idly wondering: when do surgeons learn how to bring someone back from the dead? Is there a day where they talk about the rules, the records, joke about being necromancers? Strange job.

I’m soon walking around a swimming pool while my friends and I are all skinny dipping, but then it seems a new group of grungy beer-drinking hipsters has showed up to the compound/courtyard — private party over. My wife and I start packing clothes and arguing about how long it will take, how much exactly we still have to pack.

Take a break briefly to shop at a grocery store, but I’m sad from the arguing and the mis-ordering and the leaving. On the ground I find a strangely-shaped oblong orange fruit (mango? squash?). I discover among the produce its other half, the banality of the explanation causing me to sigh and set it back on the ground instead.

While visiting my high school creative writing teacher Ms. Fitz’ classroom, I perch on the edge of a blackboard. But Lauren joins me, and us both sitting on it causes it to crash off the wall. Taking responsibility, I construct a replacement of a homemade paper version covered in art selections. The piece on the back, which I think clever (and which won’t normally be seen), is of a hand-drawn skeleton: an oblique downward view of the spine, scapula, and pelvic ridge. This is apparently a too-creative stretch for Lauren, who pans it and has me explain what she’s looking at.

On a creaky wooden staircase out the back, becoming woods, I encounter a weird deer with moss growing over the side of one eye. It’s friendly — almost spirit-guide friendly — so I go to get it carrots. I bring out an ice chest with two bags. As I re-emerge outside I gaze down the neighborhood hill, a single puff of steam popping out the rustic chimney of a tall squarish cabin house down the hill. The morning silence and fog is impressive, encompassing. I have a brief chat with a random neighbor guy and tell him what I’m doing. He asks for one of the bags. A bit selfish, but I offer to give him as much as will fit in his hands. A few animals immediately show up, at least one anteater (which I don’t think eat carrots, “but oh well” I say as I offer some) and a deer with teeth that look like it should definitely be carnivorous. I hand-feed that angular animal with great caution, but it seems not so much dangerous as derpy.

Up in our personal quarters, the musician Amanda Palmer is visiting. Hanging out with friends and band-mates, mostly naked. She’s very easy to host, quite self-possessed. and independent. Hangs out with her crew and chats/chills, taking breaks to talk with me or other family.

Meanwhile my wife tells me Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) a.k.a Kevin Pill is staying in another room in the complex. I want to thank him for his recent funny tweet and say how glad I am to have him, but I peek in and he’s doing some private conference. I don’t mind, but it could’ve been a sex thing? Masturbating? I don’t know.

I ask Amanda Palmer if they’d like to meet. I’m like “oh wait you already know each other”, and we together recall a time where they got into a debate and she surprised him with a detailed rebuttal, concluding at his shock “that’s right, I went to formal school too”. Listening to her voice is mesmerizing… deep and gravelly and calming. I remember that I should be recording it, and regret not doing so already.

A group of jock-ish “Lost Boys”-looking kids fly onto the room’s balcony. I block the view of my naked celebrity guests while he asks some random probing question, hoping to see them. Gauging my guests’ reaction, I deflect and gently let them down with whatever it is they wanted to ask. Part of being a good host, I guess.


Writing this all down, I realize we never finally departed to courtyard complex after all.

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Dream Journal

Keanu’s Midnight Movie Favor

On the top floor of an abandoned school, the walkways are completely inundated with trash. You can see even more of it layering the ground in hills from this high vantage, and this is enough of a novelty that people visit and it becomes an attraction. The waist-high concrete walls of the round corner balcony have been given elaborate murals, inspirational remnants from it’s time as a (elementary?) school. There’s a post-apocalyptic teen movie vibe.

I’m approached by a middle-age bearded guy asking me to do him a personal favor. Surprised, I realize it’s Keanu Reeves. I manage to do the favor, which involves closing the doors to (his?) movie theater near the mural, at the start of the Rocky Horror midnight showing. Makes sense, as I can imagine what the reaction of a packed midnight movie would be to spotting Keanu at the door. He thanks me and gives me some sort of token.

Similar to how right now, during quarantine, one doesn’t make outings as much, in this dream only cashless order-online places are open. I visit two such stores near the far end of a long mall, somewhere I feel I’ve dreamed of before — although I didn’t even think of it as a mall this time. The stores are clean and novel, merchandise displayed on floor-to-ceiling shelves, but for the moment they mostly only have shampoos and other bath stuff in stock. I remember there’s an Amazon store somewhere in the center, and make my way there while carrying a rolling barstool on my back. I lean on this occasionally during on the walk there, and no one seems to mind although I sometimes reckon I’m too young for it.


Skip ahead and I’m with a redheaded friend, headed somewhere together through twisty, rugged dirt paths. We pass a group of women talking about a place called the Fergiles, a group of islands I deduce. I walk ahead a little ways while she remains behind in a small hollow. My sibling Patrick is now with me, and we notice the end of a log has had its end made into a fairy cottage, a gnome home, in the shape of an Ewok’s face. I start to open it but he warns that if it’s anything like the others he’s seen, it probably has a lizard hiding in it (a Betta lizard? like a Betta fish).