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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

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

Anagram Code of Chili Peppers

I’m being sent to Europe for work, possibly Berlin. I have quite limited time to prepare though. My wife is naturally urging me not to mess it up.

One night while walking back with someone to our accommodation, I glance over a wooden fence into a well-known local eatery serving foreign cuisine (perhaps Chinese or Indian). I take my companion on a shortcut through the restaurant’s courtyard, past the darkened dining room of a counter-service place, before entering through an open archway into a different restaurant with whitewashed walls. I comment that it feels strange not only to have two separate restaurants open to each other, but that they keep the gate open like that for people to pass. A local institution indeed.

My companion and I choose to sneak past a brightly-lit kitchen of our hostel, filled with typical twentysomething Asian hostel folk.


I’m digging a furrow using graph paper as a guide. Typical luck, it’s neither perfectly straight nor exactly grid-like. But it’d only matter if you were doing a long section — and I am doing a long section. I have some kind of a square tool, possibly a brick, and I’m digging the last row between the completed rows of 1, 2, and 4. However, the paper is stuck together with plastic tape, distasteful to put in the ground. I request paper washi tape to replace it myself despite the laboriousness. I have an odd sensation that burying plastic might one of the most enduring things I could do.


The Red Hot Chili Peppers (yes, the band from the 90s) left behind some code for me that was designed to make the program fail if provided the name of a pet rat that has already died. This was discovered when the code failed due to a rat named ANAGRAM — very odd.

To explain: my wife and I were recently trying to name our new rats with an anagram maker I made. We abandoned the idea as too frustrating (never enough R’s or U’s or L’s or T’s). Turns out it’s actually simpler to find more letters for a message board.

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Dream Journal

Spelunk into Demo Space

Wandering at the terminus of a rainy street, the edge of a neighborhood I don’t visit often anymore. Looking to see a movie there, unusual for me at this hour. There’s a premiere or re-release of some culturally important film (y’know, Jurassic Park just had it’s 30th). I’m leaning toward choosing the chain cinema, nestled in a dark alley with its line of pinpoint bulbs glaring in the night. I don’t want to choose the wrong place for the sake of the kids around here — this movie seems to be having a moment in youth culture. I want to avoid disappointing them, and also avoid getting shivved.

A naked pet rat (one I can’t recognize in retrospect) the next in our lineage after Xolito. A chubby cute older little bugger, with a port wine stain on the side of his stomach. Went by the cute name of Spool.

Old Man So-and-So has a horse pasture next to the town river. Flat little idyllic island, it was. The old farmer has worked skillfully to get the flowing nearby water still enough, but it happens that there’s a certain stillness that horses find provocative. They’ll horses try to flatten it with their hooves and jump in, maybe thinking it’s a puddle. This time the horses swim to a rocky outcrop with waves cresting just over it.

Falling into an elaborate funeral structure (I think of it like a palace tomb) that is accessible by falling through from a graveyard. Reminds me of a creepy spelunking cave I heard about in Australia called The Shaft — where divers are easily disoriented. Come to think of it, it’s also located in some farmer’s horse paddock. But this strangely expansive and elaborate artificial cavern is a demonstration space left by the developers. Developers of whatever video game is the reality I’m inside. I remember a long curved Wall with unique frames, each of which holds a preserved doll that was once alive. Inside a cubic hollow I observe renderings of 3D shapes which change their shading logic as a move my viewpoint side-to-side. I seem to remember a redwood Grand Hall that I step outside, looking up through openings at its immense spiral stairway.


Harder to finish these as there wasn’t as strong a story as some dreams from past week. But focusing on them as I go to bed brought strange feelings of familiarity, other dreams I know I’ve written but that weren’t “finished” with publication. Those are harder to search through.

There was one, where I may have been living in a trailer somewhere tropical, behind a picket fence, defending my home and community…

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Dream Journal

Stunts on the Moon, Bear Spoons

Residence on the moon. Recounting the time I trained my rat, Stimp, to go where I directed. That’s how he became the first animal to visit the south and north poles of the Moon. I’m recounting this to some kind of ruling council that meets in a small chamber — one that is entirely a hot tub. Stimp is there with me as I tell the story, seeking permission to do some new stunt.

Down the street, outside an old timey Hollywood theater, I have a new (video game-like) ability to deploy holo-screens. But when I press the button to activate it, nothing happens and I see my inventory of 91 film cans get stuck glitching and drop down to zero. I have to explain what happened to the council, there was some sort of malfunction and I really want to get them back.

A bear wanders into my house. Normally this could be alarming, but the bear snuggles up to our “puppy pile” of pets and humans. The bear lays on the outside, becoming the biggest spoon in our line of snuggled spoons.