Dream Journal

Festive Solitude & the Razor Tree

Standing around in crowd of men, or more likely boys. It feels normal in this space, a mall, or a cafeteria, some other large enclosed space where access in controlled. My mind and personality is as I am now, but perhaps in a younger version of my body. At the other end from where I stand, some boy expresses interest how, since it some festive time, drugs might be procured. Not long after that someone shows up and begins negotiations — I, instead of being curious how it’s done here, straightforwardly leave through the rows of aisles. I think I pass right out the front door, in fact.

Nothing better to do, I settle in near a stage where Christmas songs are sang with a twist. Perhaps the lyrics are altered, or maybe the performer is a kid in a VR cartoon owl projection. There’s much going on today so it’s about as solitary as I’m likely to find. There are chairs set up facing the stage but I prefer to sit on the ground and be with my own self.

Later, I’m pointedly following Plarvolia, a girl who rejected me IRL. I have a sense that I’m bugging her so she might consider what she did and perhaps one day even apologize. She’s ahead of me at a theater box office, where she buys the last two tickets (tickets can only be bought in pairs here). Despite the perfect opportunity to ditch me, she makes a show of leaving the other ticket on a ledge for me.

I find myself in possession of a strange gift. There is a tree which always grows back from its stump long, spindly tendrils, razor-sharp thorns all along them, like vicious squid tentacles. I see it growing on what might be a Greek/California seaside, which also abuts a prim English waterway. It hides another terror, which is that it keeps within itself every disease there is. A terrifying thing to exist, much less to have. But I only admire its strangeness.

Dream Journal

Family Schemes, Good Date/Bad Date

My extended family has been sending me on a series of themed errands all day. Eventually, I arrive in a private back room to find them in a circle talking intensely and in a suspiciously evasive way. My Aunt Carol (my mom’s brother’s wife), by way of informing me and bringing me into the conversation, tells me this involves an elderly uncle with the last name Kilit. She quizzes me, expecting me to know it was her maiden name — he’s her brother. He’s unexpectedly fighting the stipulations of an inheritance, which somehow threatens money for the whole family. The whole thing seems purposefully overcomplicated.

I take leave of my family and wander into an adjacent closed restaurant. The bar is riveted metal, the lighting dimmed, a liminal space. I find I get along well with several staff who are there preparing for evening diners. I feel comfortable among the relative poverty of the employees who sleep in hammocks slung in backrooms.

Moving onward, I go on a date with a girl walking together down the street. While she’s behind me and I can’t see her she lifts me into the air — surprising me with her ability to take me flying. We survey the countryside. I observe a timelapse of how plots of land are drawn, then grouped together, such that there’s always a house. Some houses grow as grand mansions while others remain farmsteads. It depends on the land, and less on who lived there.

On my second date with the girl I’m kept waiting in her room for some time. She wasting my time (and hers, in my opinion) railing a less attractive dude just because he’s newer. Many random visitors drop by. One pops in and says “is that what I think it is”, gesturing toward the closet. Turns out he’s here to acquire heroin. I nope outta there ASAP.

Dream Journal

Not That Crush

I’m sitting in the middle front seat of a car, my former crush about to drive. I use the seatbelt of the passenger seat to strap down a glass quart jar full of salty saline, quite content with the result (the jar is possibly related to some nice homemade drug that the group of us were working on and enjoying earlier). The girl gets weird about it and I gesture upwards to large round pods hanging from a nearby tree, which she picked today along with the rest us — for just this purpose. I ask her rhetorically what she thought we were going to do with them.

While we converse the car starts subtly, unnervingly rolling backwards. Suddenly it’s over the edge of a cliff,! We’re in full freefall watching the cliff recede! After several seconds of watching the overhead gap of pine boughs grow smaller and smaller, I realize there’s no bottom — we can just fall backwards forever. The view of the gap overhead will recede infinitely, and we can simply enjoy the sensation of falling. Essentially it’s just a ride, a fun ride.

Dining in a white hexagonal room separated from the main building with Mickey. Sleeping in an armchair in the common area of a house rental. There I remember a dream I supposedly had earlier, about my college girlfriend transforming, disguising herself as this wizard girl I know… Plarvolia.

It’s early light in the dawn hours now, and I hear Plarvolia puttering in her room’s closet. Through my narrowed eyes I watch her going about her morning-time business, inspecting scattered evidence from the night before. She draws near to me laying half-asleep in the chair; I close my eyes completely and still clearly perceive her moving about the rooms. Only when she leans over me in the chair (mockingly, I perceive) can I discard my pretense of sleep. At this point some heavily playful flirting happens, near kissing and the like, I’m still undressed partially from sleep. Now I can’t remember the room assignments.

It takes a long time before I remember that I was simply recalling a dream from earlier. On reflection, I don’t think this is Plarvolia — I think she’s still asleep.

Dream Journal

Dream of Ramona Flowers

Having just re-watched “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”, it should come as no surprise that I just dreamt of Ramona Flowers. I almost forgot that’s basically her whole thing for awhile there; skating through people’s dreams on subspace highways running though their heads. What’s maybe a bit unexpected is was my errant though that I would see her in my dreams tonight, and then actually seeing her. I can’t remember much else.

A huge flat wall of an image, a drawing of yellow red and purple swirls. I used an image like this recently in a project to illustrate stage 3 of Salvia divinorum ingestion.

Distinct imagery with eyes closed: fractal patterns, geometric or vine-like motifs, stable impressions of objects and designs, mostly all 2-dimensional. If visual effects are seen with eyes open, these are often vague and fleeting. Comparable to hypnagogic phenomena sometimes experienced at sleep onset. Open or closed eyes, visions are perceived as “eye candy”, not confused with reality.

Sitting round a table. My Homepie friend Mickey is there, and though I call him Mickey it’s been just so long since I’ve seen him. I obliquely mention cocaine in terms of it being “someone’s favorite”, and he brings out some (or at least what appears to be) on a beautiful hand-carved driftwood table.

Searching the garage in my childhood home, cleaning up my dad’s workbench with my mom — but it’s against the adjacent wall, where the books were. A tiny CFL bulbs roll off the table as we work. I’m exhausted and lay down on a couch on my stomach. A classmate of mine from elementary and middle school, Emily McIntosh, uses a tele-robotically-controlled rat to explore while I then rest peacefully on my back.

While hanging and swinging from a bar out the door to the backyard, I have a creative idea for my website: using vector outlines of patterns to fill with dynamic colors customized to the individual posts.

Fragments of dreams:
  • A table on a stage
  • Saving some friends for a demonstration
  • An object rising though the air and into the realm of gods
  • On the far wall, an inscribed poster
  • A StarCraft video game level of criss-crossing lines, where you start out as a character on the edge, and your objective is to lure the enemy into the lines away from safety
  • A broken lamp
  • Ramona Flowers
Dream Journal

Like I’m a Wealthy Australian Emigré

While dining in a Mexican restaurant, I order this grab bag thing off the menu which is basically waitress’ choice. I sit and wait a long time. Eventually I leave my table and spot a bag of candy left absent-mindedly on a stove. Finding the waitress, I ask if she forgot it — to which she answers, no, she already brought it. I show her the thing on the stove, and show her there’s nothing in my shoulder bag. She seems unperturbed and the situation never resolves.

There’s one day while I’m visiting Australia, a day without Lynae, and out of boredom or wistfulness or just ability, I pay to take a helicopter ride twice. You can see this in the photos from that day. It’s a little disappointing to not even be on drugs, not have anything “heightened”. In fact I didn’t even pack a nitrous cracker, haven’t had anything while I’m here. The moment where I’m trying to wake up, I open one eye and I’m honestly surprised to be in San Francisco.

Back in the hypnagogic state and I’m in such a cavalier mood I ask a girl I semi-know to see her tits. She does a teasing dance, pulling her shirt in at the middle, then turns around and pours me a glass of booze from a bottle held in her clenched butt cheeks. Novel experience, that.

Dream Journal

Coastline of Mirror SF

Southeast corner of San Francisco, but mirrored SF. This corner faces the ocean. I’ve never been here and it’s called the Suicide Coast as that’s where they used to send you for rehab if you tried it. In the distance I can see an art museum that’s expanding, the foreground has an abandoned lumber mill and an old church. I’m with Lynae, and we flash-uncover a playground overgrown with vines. There’s an overhanging wooden structure where we talk. Lynae is coming off from drugs and she says she’s going to have a cigarette. I ask her how long her Implanon has been in; since February 2014, she says. There’s two kids I see out a window in the back; I convince one to fall over and play dead. Nearby, there is a lake, which may be a lagoon, and just over the Daly City border they’ve built a golf course. There is an interesting island that looks geologically painted out in the lagoon.

I’m not me… I’m ditching school as someone else, when I get a vision meant for Aislinn. It’s a blue LED candle floating slowly away while the rest of the world fades. I buy Ais lunch but end up eating it myself and putting it in a trash an as me and someone ride away on a carriage.

I’m in my room in the front of the house in Cathedral City. I lean out the window and knock on the front door as a joke, to get one of my parents to answer it when no one is around.

I’m in music class and I’m told there’s a percussion instrument I’ve never played, something like a bell set called a Xenia.


Gluttony and Chastity (in the Brain)

'Firefox Browser Tabs Contest' on FlickrHow many tabs do you have open? No, go check now.

How many of those are things that you’re going to read? Blogs, Wikipedia articles, things linked from friends, searches for places or people or events you heard about somewhere, information of every thinkable sort. There’s a lot of it to be had. When tabbed web browsing was first introduced in the MultiZilla extension for Mozilla browsers in April of 2001, the 21st-century web browser—both the program and the person using it—came of age. A web program that can only view a single website in a single window at a time is ideal for modem connections, who can’t handle much else. Well, tabbed browsing evolved for everyone with something better. Even Microsoft eventually figured that one out (right now we’re all glaring at you, IE7 users). I blame the epidemic of neglected tabs and… well, neglected tasks in this country on these developments. There’s now too much information out there for us to handle with ease. In the interests of full disclosure, I am very familiar with this tab/information overload. I suppose that’s why LifeHacker evolved.

Recently I stopped doing some of these things. Well, I stopped doing them for isolated 30-60 minute periods during my day. There’s a thing I discovered called I-Doser that I started experimenting with, and it’s a stimulating break from much of the stimulation. It’s based on binaural beats that are designed to affect the mind, so that you’re on drugs. Pretty much. You know, drugs? I’ve had some experience in the past working with binaural beats, starting with CoolEdit in 1998 and then Brainwave Generator in 2003. For those who don’t care about those last two factoids, they weren’t for you… they were to prove my cred to those in the know. To those not in the know, allow me to explain why this whole thing isn’t as stupid as it sounds.

It’s based on our lovely hominid brain structure. Two sides of the brain, each synced with the other; two sides receiving signals from the different sides of the body. They sync up with each other at regular intervals, depending on what state you’re in and how active your brain is. Solving math problems is Beta, pretty high at maybe 30-40 cycles/second. Normal operation might be between 15&20 Hertz. A light siesta would be Alpha about 11-8 Hz, and then—my favorite—Theta, where dreams and daydreams happen, ideally about 6-3.5 Hz, where the world slows down and external awareness nearly drops away. Then of course there’s Gamma, where external awareness does drop away and people like me tend to snore. It happens. The odd thing is that at any given time we have an eternally variable state, where all four co-exist. The brain’s internal communication is itself communicating on different levels. Weird that such a thing needs to be, no?

But back to the drugs, anyways. The idea behind brainwaves is simple and that is that if you can stimulate only one side of the brain (by stimulating one side of the body—like one ear, one eye) and signal the left and right at a specific pulse, eventually the brain can sync up and replicate the pulse. 6Hz dreamstate? Voilà, an enchanting 6Hz pattern. I-Doser takes this notion up a conceptual notch and presumes “well, if you could read a brain and see what kind of state it’s in, and then replicate that, couldn’t you essentially copy that state/mood/outlook/disposition from one brain to another? Well, let’s try it! And then sort-of maybe market it to teenagers as a substitute for recreational drugs.”

That last little bit is my own personal “disposition” on account of what I think of some of the descriptions on their webstore. Sure, I tried Peyote. I liked it. I maybe got some pleasant visuals and felt a bit out of it for the next hour, but possibly nothing that couldn’t be accomplished by a dose of lying quietly awake but with eyes closed, thinking intently of what kind of experience I was having. Who’s to say? Ultimately, that’s the reason this sort of thing is legal (and is going to stay legal, for the foreseeable future), is that the brain has a choice. You aren’t hypnotized, although it’s a little like it… one cannot make a hypnotized person do anything they have a moral objection to, nor to put themselves in bodily harm. Once something, like, say, Cocaine is inside you, your body pretty much has to deal with it till it’s processed. If I wanted to, I could take off the headphones any time. Or the browser too. Really.

Sometimes I just don’t want to.

photo credit to Inju, casamanita and Drunken Monkey on Flickr