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Dream Journal

Inside the Rock, Aboard Airship, On the Holodeck

In a volcanic hot springs zone, there is a hollowed-out rock that is special access handled by the Finnish Prime Minister. I’m inside on what I realize is a very exclusive visit. It’s very orderly inside, typical high-class Scandinavian clean-line interior with many alcoves for different purposes. It’s delightfully homey, warm. Wish I could come and stay here sometime.

A different setting, though I didn’t leave. I’m flying on a Victorian-era airship, same elegant styling as the Titanic (but nothing to do with sinking). There are many spindly metal catwalks providing grand outdoor views, though I concentrate on getting where I want to go without dallying in the more tourist parts of the craft. There was a special metal sauna-type place that was important — that I had to get back to, or go to an event in, or work at perhaps. But it recurred. Maybe it was the transposed location of the Finnish rock cavity from before.

On the ship, at some point my friend and I are parting. I consciously give him a very long hug, trying to imbue it with meaning by summoning my feelings and putting them in to the hug. While the hug lasts a long time it’s weird difficult to bring forth the imagery of how I feel, making the duration seem somehow awkward — almost a feeling of “am I doing it? how about now? now?” Upon reflection, I’d guess this eyes-closed dream was a lull in my sleep cycle.

Attending a solo musical performance in an oddly-shaped locker room. Still on the airship, though you wouldn’t really know it except for the persistent sensation of eye-level clouds stretching in the distance, whenever you look beyond the edge of a walkway. Someone I knew a long time ago as a kid is here, Dayle Zimmer. I don’t know why I might be remembering her.

Testing out a Mohawk in the mirror using just my already fully-grown hair (patting it down into a shape). Looks surprisingly good! The amount leftover on the sides makes it tempting to do more, but then it wouldn’t be a Mohawk. When my hair comes loose, I’m already teetering on the edge of wild madman hair.


Pulling out into a different context, breaking the narrative, I watch as it’s revealed that Captain Kirk is fixing a holodeck panel. It’s quite dissembled and he’s been at it awhile, you can tell. The holodeck is memorably red, white, and chroma-key green, and the reflections off many surfaces give it a confusing surreal perception.

Can’t help myself breaking out giggling because someone said this holodeck would be too big in this new movie… and it totally is.

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Dream Journal

Presidential Escort, Bow Break, Ukraine to USA

The President of Turkmenistan hosts me himself for a bit of an athletic tour. He takes me on the continually-upgraded Walk of Health — here taking the form of a paved white path of several switchbacks up a scenic steep hill. In his matching white shorts and running trainers, he discusses health benefits. He notices, after one of the sharp curves, that I have been issued the old shoes which he insists are no longer the standard, and will set me up with the upgraded shoes they now provide their government workers and a towel. I speak with a frumpy officiant at a white marble desk (naturally) who goes about doing just that. I hope I might speak with her more plainly, to actually get context for what things are like in the country. Perhaps that’s because I’m some kind of reporter or distinguished guest, and the kind of person the success show is intended for. Interacting with the President is a very strange experience, but not unimpressive. And I do get the new shoes, formed of white mesh and white foam.


Aboard a large vessel docked in port, I move deeper inside, closer to the bow, closer to a view of the sea. Along the way I’m dropping pennies from a bag. When I’ve finally reached the open balcony at the front of the vessel I toss a final quarter into ocean near the ship. It’s an interesting gesture, one of willful letting go and freedom, but I also know I felt lucid doing it — that it, I knew the material didn’t matter as I was dreaming. Someone has followed me onto the bare metal balcony, a middle school crush and high school friend, Alexx S. I find myself gazing into her face, and understanding that this person is someone else — perhaps not someone who no longer exists, or someone that I no longer know (we lost touch decades ago) but that I’m keeping alive the memory of who she was when I was someone else, too. She is the echo of me, who I was when I was attracted to her. Later, in remembering this dream, I even think of her name as someone else, some even earlier crush perhaps. As we stand on the bow in the brisk seaside breeze, I reflect on how in San Francisco the ocean makes the weather never too hot (like in Los Angeles), but instead sometimes it makes it too cold. That’s the bargain, one I’d still choose.

She and I watch a large shipping vessel coming into port at unusual speed. I almost don’t believe what I’m seeing. It fails to veer and plows into the front of our ship, not far back from where we stand, with tremendous noise and chaos. Immediately before it struck, I remember thinking that I almost have enough time to record it — but of course I didn’t have enough time.


Walking across war-torn Ukraine. Part fact-finding, part direct-support mission that I’ve taken on by myself. The road is long and curved, the sky forever cast in dark grit. I peer into the ground floor of a residence hall of a university. I see only food aid in the grimy kitchen and a few grateful young people skittering to and from their rooms. Somehow I walk quickly enough that I’m halfway across USA. Looking down the slope of a steep levee, an old guy with long hair, beard, and glasses notices me and gives me a nod. I’m amazed he recognized me from long ago and at such distance, but I can’t place where we know each other. Reminds me of Tom Hanks, or one of the old men who garden in my neighborhood.

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Dream Journal

No Rules Govern the Instant

Generational epic on an ocean liner evading a single alien xenomorph. Stories piled on, variations on a theme, successive generations remixed between earlier characters.

On the last day of the long ship journey, about to pull into port, I share a very specific old sailor’s tale I learned. There’s a brief moment when the ship has come to rest at the dock, yet before the rope is tied fast to a mooring. You can do anything in that moment, the situation is a technical gap in maritime law. No rules officially govern that instant. One of my companions asks if that means someone could murder you and get away with it… I presented this as a fun curiosity so this isn’t the reaction I was hoping for.


Giving a presentation over a projector to an audience with a front row that includes my wife, her boyfriend, and his wife. Part of it involves signing up for new internet (or mobile) service. One reason for that is the signup sequence which has a classy pixel art retro vibe. It unexpectedly reminds me of something my former crush would really like. I get a bit sad when I remember we don’t speak anymore.

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Dream Journal

Rancho Chalupa x3, QOs

My wife gives specific but confusing food request for Rancho Chalupa x3, QOs, no ranchito. QOs is her weird abbreviation for queso.

This dream is from earlier in the night and I was pleased I could remember it when I woke up, but there was so much more story originally of course. It seemed an important anchor at the time and it’s a weird title, so I kept it.


I’m building an antenna in flat land not far from the Arctic using an incredibly tall tube. It’s powered with metal that bounces at bottom. Through careful observation I’m concerned that that the bounce is inconsistent, the first bounce loses too much energy and is similar to a pendulum winding down; I think I have to re-engineer it or detection will fail. The tower is possibly part of a covert CIA network, but I don’t know who I’m building it for. The device is named after Queen Elizabeth, in the same tradition as someone might name something after Queen Victoria a century ago.

Takling with my dad about the sequence of events in 2014, why I don’t go public; how there’s no chance of correction or revenge. Playing with a string that serves as a graph line that’s joins two discrete sections of paper which effectively shows how unrelated the before and after time periods are.

My wife and I walk from offramp to offramp in snow country looking for a place to hitchhike. One after the other has nothing, no services not even a place to wait. We crest a last berm and there is a well-stocked service station that even has a bus terminal. But immediately as we see this the bus leaves and we must wait for the next one.

Swimming along a rock wall to find a pickup spot, we spot the islands of Malta sheltered in the distance of a bay. Like a cluster of glittering pirate isles, with a gloriously restored sailing ship slowly blowing our way. I warn my wife as we approach what appears to be a waterfall at the edge of the seawall. But if there were a waterfall then the ship wouldn’t be heading this way would it?

Peeking over the wall, perhaps it is a waterfall, but not like you’d think. Mist rises in bright golden afternoon light and beyond, stretching into distant canyons, are arrayed the houses of mainland Europe (reminiscent of an afternoon in the ritzy canyons of the Hollywood hills).

There’s a cool rectangular structure down near a flat beach. It’s enameled metal almost like a café made of refrigerator material. A local film shoot about to happen, and a teenage girl in a bikini standing outside is asking whether the zip code will change here. She’s referencing the ’90s TV show 90210, it would seem, which would make this Beverly Hills. I answer that no one much remembers that show anyway.

Supposedly now on the island of Malta, but with some offshore banking and casino facets like Monaco. One popular meeting room I’m recommended sounds loud and crowded from the outside, more like a nightclub. When I peek inside it just looks like a long, poorly-lit tile-floored hall filled with vacationing older Russians — the audience uncomfortably far from a karaoke stage at the far end of the room. I go downstairs as according to the map there’s a secondary club directly underneath. I notice an unpleasant acquaintance, David Kaye, sitting on a bench nearby and fat as Baron Harkonnen. As it happens, the second club is currently hosting an exercise class where they fly in the air.

There’s a large casino here in Malta. I consider how there’s a rule that never will a more lenient jurisdiction be far away from centers of wealth — by design (the CIA again, perhaps). I go to the counter and explain, explicitly, that I’m exchanging money for chips then those chips back to money, to test if the place is scammy or honest. I hand over the grand sum of $9, receiving back a sheaf of white on black paperwork. Each is printed with a tiny cash value, cents each, and a redeemable (slightly higher) value at a pizza chain. I look incredulously at the guy, as if to say “I just told you I was checking for honesty, are you really going to make me ask for my cash back?” Yet I wonder if I won’t immediately be escorted by security who are close by.

The casino counter becomes an SNL broadcast of Weekend Update with Colin Jost and Michael Che. A line is missing from a cue card and it is fumbling lane skipped. The next host goes into a long poetry recitation, which now acts context. The other host then (unusually) interrupts to try to salvage what’s left of the bit. This proves to be a joke in itself.

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Dream Journal

Departure Prep, Rejected Arrival, Fabulous? Absolutely

Prepping for a departure to another year of an event I attended previously (which my wife organized), Reverie. My friend Reecy is there, near a craft booth like at one of the many craft fairs I’ve been to. Her pose is perhaps like in a photo from the year past.

There’s a moody infotainment style-ride in this complex where we’re prepping; feels like something from the video game “Control” set in a blue atmosphere. I do a run in the water feature circling a dark rocky island, spotting three out-of-place witticisms inscribed on the tank floor — which I realize must be Easter Eggs I can now post on the game/ride’s subreddit. During some seasons I know this watercourse is drained so I wonder why they haven’t been posted before, as they’re specific and easily searchable. Still floating around the ride circuit I try to remember the other things I want to take to the Reverie event this year, particularly my phone’s waterproof case. How can I use my Bluetooth earbuds in the water though? (note: lately I’ve been using my Bluetooth earbuds more often.)

Later a friend’s non-binary kid, Charlie, appears at the edge of a tiled area behind where we’ve been prepping to depart, dimly-lit in preparation for leaving. They ask me timidly to use one of the two bathrooms. I respond “sure!” then offer them a chocolate from a tin I’m carrying, which they awkwardly accept. A nosy woman soon attempts to chastise me for this, saying “it’s hard enough for a kid working on their gender identity to ask for anything related to public bathroom use… they certainly shouldn’t also be offered candy by strange men”. In fact I’ve known Charlie since they were a baby, but I try to good-naturedly engage her opinion without seeming outright skeptical or dismissive. But the few listeners nearby make it known they find this woman’s remark ludicrous.


I read of  an account of an Australian Aboriginal reservation turning away a shipload of refugee Americans. The ship’s crew goes to the trouble of digging out a blockage in the channel leading to the reservation called Rhode Island Sandbank. The aboriginal leadership announces they’ve changed their minds at the last minute, a loss to all sides — the refugees needing a new home, the country of Australia which would benefit from their presence, the mother countries America and Britain which suffer brain drain too. Though after learning of it, I can’t be entirely sure if it’s true to the history or if it’s a biased, racially-motivated screed.


“Fabulous? Absolutely” is an American TV movie recut from the British show Absolutely Fabulous. This version has an older pair of main characters Eddy and Pats. Typical of National Geographic vs. BBC Attenborough documentary. Predictably disappointing but still novel in that strange way that foreign perspectives are.

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Dream Journal

Private Property: Several Absurd Scenarios

In the hinterlands far out in Nevada, rich citizens build a pair of eccentric mansions right next to each other. These private residences resemble city apartment blocks in their scale, shape, and modernist aesthetic. Yet a lone high-end car is usually all that can be seen on the miles-long public access road that links out to them (essentially just a private drive), crossing a sandy ridge which obscures them from eyeline. The buildings belong to a pair of relatives who still don’t often see each other, a father & son or perhaps an uncle and nephew, yet though the twin properties are huge the structures are built in a small corner practically touching, with the absurd addition of a tall wall between them blocking a direct view.


Zooming in on a map of islands in the Pacific, and it appears that one has been completely bought and taken over, now labelled “twitter.com”. I realize the islands are a bit further north than I though, and the the round bad in the middle of the grayscale topological map is the Hawaiian island of Molokai.


Participating in a reenactment of the Titanic sinking, I remember the 1997 movie and position myself near the middle. When the ship keels into the air, I hope to survive the split by minimizing the distance I drop. I do, but things have gone a bit differently and it’s the forward half that stays afloat. Long enough, as it happens, that its momentum carries it within swimming distance of the shore of a small private island (owned by the musician Sting, in fact). The ship effectively pulls aside it. I spot a few Mexican dudes hanging out playing cards, listening to ranchero music. It’s oddly domestic enough that even on our sinking vessel we passengers hesitate to jump in the water and interrupt their day.

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Dream Journal

Scraps of Dream

An old-timey cruise ship, looks like the Titanic, tilt-y coming out of port.

A thin cliffside gorge, zig-zagging along back-and-forth paths.

A bomb in old ceramic dish, beeping much too loud.

My old crush’s birthday. That’s all.

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Dream Journal

Adventure with a Girl from Melbourne

A large model of gray naval ship, as long as two men. I’m escorting it by swimming beside it, against a kind of curb, within a twilight concrete jungle. My companion demonstrates how the bow of the ship, even in gentle water on our floating wooden slat platform, vibrates so profoundly that it’s genuinely unsafe and unusable — why it’s being retired.


I’m revisiting Melbourne, Australia and meet a girl. She wears a dark-haired ponytail and is strange and energetic, youthfully careless but with an edge of urbane worldliness. We have an adventure preforming the mundane task of buying subway fare, semi-drunkenly carousing in a grotty, rowdy corner shop. We end up asleep near a rocky beach somewhere down the subway line. She’d neglected to tell me I had to clock out from the ride (of which I remember nothing) and I’m worried that, on account of it being so long after, all my credit is now expended. She languidly reassures me, no, the maximum is one day… I take it we’ve been on the beach at least overnight.

Later, I’m staying again at the last hostel I stayed when I was there. I remember thinking that I should have chosen The Friendlies, which was my favorite. This one has tall sunny glass walls in the guest lobby, and quite a drinking culture. Reminiscent of the Gold Coast in Queensland, or Florida. A Scottish guy, or maybe just someone doing a raucous impression of one, proves his drunkenness by head-butting a glass table. Not content with simply cracking it, he continues head-butting until the entire countertop of the hostel is smashed. Guy is now quite covered in blood and his friends take him away.