I had a frankly AMAZING dream last night that it took me until now to remember, but oh my god, wow, now that I do.

Picture SAM STARBUCK: BANK ROBBER fleeing to the safety of the countryside with his ill-gotten gains, finding a large party-style cabin in the woods to hide out in. I had just settled into a random second-floor bedroom when tons of people started arriving, with all kinds of luggage and equipment and stuff, and nobody really paid any attention to me so I hung out to see what was going on. It turned out to be a VIDDER CONFERENCE, but like, a super-exclusive "I'm famous on YouTube"-only kind of vidder conference.

And apparently in my mind, the vast majority of YouTube celebrities do one of two things: GoPro footage of themselves doing rad tricks/night racing on mountain bikes, or cooking shows.

So I spent basically my entire night of sleep drifting back and forth between the Chef's Hutch, where people were doing nonstop cooking shows, and the track on the other side of the clearing, where cyclists were doing all kinds of stunts. In the middle was a vendors' area, which sold only two things: spatulas and Adventure Time merchandise.

It was frankly kind of awesome. I got to see some great food being made. And because I'd been there when everyone showed up, everyone just assumed I was a famous vidder myself and kept asking me to do bike tricks or like, fry a chicken. (I declined.)

You know your subconscious is having issues when the least interesting part of the dream is that you robbed a bank and are hiding out in the forest.
TODAY WAS A BUSY DAY. Aside from the hilarious drama I'm about to chronicle below, I had a full day of work and then ran home to take the JEOPARDY ENTRANCE EXAM. Fifty questions, fifteen seconds to answer each, and I probably got 45 right. Took me eight minutes. :D

Apparently if I a) passed the test and b) get randomly selected from the applicant pool, I have the chance to audition for a spot, which they will contact me about "sometime in the coming year". They do a PERSONALITY INTERVIEW. I may be doomed.

Also, there's this wacky memory dream I had... )
Last night I dreamed I was preparing briefing biographies, which is what I do at work sometimes. Basically, there's a wealthy donor (or could-be donor) attending an event, and it's our job to look that donor up, prepare a half-page biography, and send it off to the fundraiser, who will take ten to thirty of these bios, read them over, and go into the event prepared.

Except I was preparing briefing biographies on CANON.

Briefing Biography: Steven Rogers. Tony Stark. Peter Burke. Neal Caffrey. Sherlock Holmes. )

Fandom: less impressive on paper.

And then I woke up from this dream and had one important thought: What the hell event is it that Sherlock Holmes, Neal Caffrey, Peter Burke, Tony Stark, and Steve Rogers are all attending?

That poor fundraiser.
I have been having bizarro dreams, you guys.

I mean, people have weird dreams when they take naps, right? That's like a thing. And I've been napping a lot, which admittedly kind of screwed up my body clock, but I'm moving past it. I just keep having these dreams that are all vaguely similar, and involve two out of these three elements (but always two and only ever two):

1. Having to leave somewhere or move from somewhere hastily, and thus having to select what is most useful/vital from my belongings;
2. Having possibly lost something or left something behind somewhere of great value, but being unable to ascertain whether or not I actually did;
3. Having to rescue between two and forty small children who are not good at following orders.

And they're not nightmares, I'm not afraid or particularly stressed in the dream, but I wake up feeling like I've been beaten with sticks.

WHAT GIVES, SUBCONSCIOUS. It's not like I've experienced a loss recently or I'm thinking of moving or something is frustrating me. I mean, things are always frustrating me, but nothing over and above.

Nobody give me anything valuable! Apparently I might lose it.
OH MAN MY TRIPPED OUT DREAMS.

I can't even go into some of it because you will worry for my mental state, but okay, so one of our coworkers has a new baby? And the little guy is a SUPER TINY PREEMIE. He's totally healthy and went home this week, he's just really little. I cannot get over how his entire torso is the size of an adult's palm.

And I like kids, I'm not un-fond of babies, I might have some myself some day, though I'm not like gung-ho for it or anything. But I had this dream that the baby was actually mine, and I was being forced to carry it and support its TINY TINY HEAD while running some kind of makeshift obstacle course on a train.

Dear Coworker, your baby is cool and all but I don't actually want it to be mine. Love, Sam.

Also at some point I think we ascertained the baby was capable of time travel.

I don't even know.
I seem to be talking about my dreams a lot more lately, I think maybe because I'm remembering them more. I dunno, I go through cycles with regards to dreams.

I just tried, in all earnest, to spell it "psychles". Wow. Best portmanteau ever.

Anyway, there was this ghost in some apartment building and he kept telling me to go clean out some old storage closets in the upper floor -- storage closets I guess I was familiar with, because they had stuff I thought I or my family had owned. Anyway, he and I both agreed that my family had once owned a Degas (seriously, a Degas?) called The Teaching Of The Lesson, which had some kind of important philosophical treatise written on the back. Eventually some other guy in the building was allowed to join me though he didn't get to help; he sat in the room and talked to the ghost.

If you've never sifted through the junk of former generations in a dream, it's not all that interesting. Though I did find a really cool pill box in the shape of a siamese cat. I did not, unfortunately, find the painting -- just documentation of it, which I already knew was there.

Again, I can cherrypick the elements that went into it -- between Carnivale's ghostly baggage trailer and well, all of White Collar, the "important painting hidden in a stash of family memories" thing isn't hard to explain. Still, I get weirded out whenever my dreams are so narrative, and involve arcane history.
I had this dream about watching the Bay Bridge collapse last night.

Cut for rambly rambly about dreams. )
I went to bed early in the hopes of this day being over sooner and just had a dream that my company was asked to play host to the first official alien ambassadors to Earth.

Except they looked like goldfish, so someone had just tossed their spaceships (read: plastic bags full of water) in a corner, and I -- outraged -- had to take them carefully with me as [livejournal.com profile] bluejeans07 and I (HI JEAN) went shopping for an appropriate fishtank. Which I informed my peers in no uncertain terms I would be keeping at my desk because none of them were competent to recognise alien ambassadors when they saw them.

Maybe I need a pet. Or to get out more.

I'm going back to bed.
This is utterly ridiculous.

The last three nights I've been trying to get to bed early because I desperately need sleep. So I've gone to bed around 10:30 every night.

Tuesday night: woke up at 3am from a screaming nightmare. Wednesday night: woke up at 2am from a screaming nightmare. And here it is, Thursday night, I'm awake at ten to one in the morning after a screaming nightmare.

It's not like they've all been deep psychological dreams either. Tuesday night it was a serial killer with some kind of magic gun, I don't even know. Admittedly last night it was about my brother, which, don't even get me started. Tonight's was a bizarre mashup of horror films involving an apocalyptic pandemic, which I survived, only to become trapped in a high-rise gothic building of some kind with a bunch of other survivors and a shit ton of terrifying ghosts. (Also a very cool swimming pool.)

Now, I know a common cause of nightmares is "being too warm while asleep" so each night I've been taking one of the HEAP of blankets off the bed. But I'm down to one blanket and I can't go back to bed without at least one blanket to hide under because there are ghosts, okay?

Incidentally, haven't we as a species sort of fucked ourselves with the concept of ghosts? An essentially all-powerful, usually angry, oft-vengeful being that can go anywhere? Could our distant barely-out-of-the-trees ancestors have invented something more terrifying if they were trying?

Okay, I'm going back to bed. God damned ghosts.
I have conquered Trader Joe's groceries, and brought home tandoori naan, garlic aioli mustard, maple syrup, and brie. Well, I had to keep my mustard collection up to date, and I use a lot of maple syrup.

I've been thinking all day about this dream I had last night, though I haven't had a whole lot of time to write it down in a way that makes sense. Dreams normally don't, but I usually try to force them into some kind of narrative anyway.

Birds are often framed as companions of Death or as psychopomps, creatures that escort the souls of the dead to [insert your version of afterlife here]. Stephen King made use of them in The Darker Half, which was a pretty influential book on me as a teenager; in January I edited a story in part about birds and death for Hold Something. So I'm aware that my subconscious was messing around with a more archetypal symbolism than is usually common for me.

The idea of the dream was that I couldn't see Death, but I could see the birds that were sent on ahead of Death, and it was my job to catch them and make sure nobody bothered them before setting them free with the soul they'd been sent to collect. The upside of being the bird-catcher was that I got to say something to the dying person before they died, which sounds creepy on paper but was pretty nice in the dream. They were quite lovely birds, too, and I have a vivid image of holding what on research appears to have been a Brown Thrasher, actually feeling its heartbeat against my fingers.

Anyway, it was quite an interesting dream and sort of pleasant, really, even if it was basically about me meeting* a lot of people who were going to die. So there's that.

* Briefly.
I went to bed at 11 o'clock tonight. I don't often have nightmares, especially ones that aren't visibly about the places where my psyche's a bit tender, and I never have dreams I jumpstart awake from. I was dreaming about being at our places in Texas, and about being attacked by a crocodile.

A CROCODILE. I KNOW, RIGHT?

But it was just small enough that it had got its teeth into my left hand and was thrashing around, ripping my hand up. Like, really going to town on it. I couldn't feel a lot of pain but I did feel some -- I suspect I was sleeping on my hand or something -- and I was lying there on our front drive screaming at the police, who kept circling the block past our street but didn't see me. In the defence of the police in my head, our street is very hard to find. I get lost in our neighbourhood all the time.

Finally the thing pulled my hand off -- I want you to think about the amount of typing I do, and then re-read the phrase pulled my hand off -- and I jumped awake. I'm pretty sure I swore a lot.

So, I'm sitting here on my bed, staring at my hand where I can still feel teeth digging in, for about five minutes, taking a break before I go back to sleep. And the phone rings. Remember my phone? The one that, when it rings, is the Daleks screaming TARDIS in four part harmony? It's loud and startling on purpose, so I'll hear it.

And I answer, because nobody's calling me at half past midnight on Sunday unless something's very wrong, and that much adrenaline makes you blind to little social reminders like "check caller ID".

And it is my brother. Calling me. At half past midnight on a Sunday night. To ask me for money.

Now, the initial thing to say is, it's good that he's done this before and already knows I hate and repudiate him, because it comes as no surprise when I tell him to rot and die and then hang up (usually he has his wife call me back and leave a message about how I'm going to hell). This is a ritual; it happens every six months or so. Normally he calls when it's a decent hour in Chicago. Maybe he did the math wrong this time.

Anyway. Aside from all that, I know there's a bit of the witch in my mum and events like tonight make me perpetually wonder if there's a bit of the witch in me.

I could do with more useful premonitions, mind you.

Back to bed for me. Thank you, internet, for filling my brief need for a therapist and/or spiritual advisor.
For the last two hours, all I have dreamed about is finding things belonging to other people and losing things that I needed in order to get those things belonging to other people back to them. Seriously, it's exhausting. I spent like ten minutes crossing and re-crossing a street that doesn't even exist in Chicago because I couldn't figure out which direction of bus I needed to take.

So here's the deal: If you've lost something in the dreamtime, I have probably found it. (Dove, your keys, Lifty, your PDA, I could go on.) If this keeps happening, I'm going to leave it all with the dude in the comic book shop. Just...go find him, he'll have your shit, okay?
Okay, in my head there are a couple of places that I have dreamed about so many times I forget they aren't real. This is a long description for a stupid ending, but you might find the description itself amusing.

Chicago's favourite funhouse! )
I just woke up from a dream in which I spent epic amounts of time trying to read an article while being constantly interrupted. I don't even know why I wanted to read the article so badly; it was an article on Amy Winehouse. And it's not like it would have been accurate anyway, since the things I know about Amy Winehouse are as follows:

1. They tried to make her go to rehab.
2. She said, "No, no, no."

But on the flip side, the day can only go up from here! Especially since I have friends coming in to town AND I have a post to make about Sam's Adventures In Cooking. I didn't injure myself, but I was once again defeated by my own inability to make delicious pastry of any kind.
"And what did you dream about last night, Sam?"

"Three words for you: ROOMBA RESCUE MISSION."

Honestly, herding roombas is the hardest things ever.
Jesus Christ seriously my dreams, man. Last night I was the oldest son of a dynastic farm settlement in South Africa, which sounds interesting except it was a shitload of work to be doing considering I WAS ASLEEP.

Tangentially, here is everything I know about South Africa:

1. What I have read in Cry, The Beloved Country. (Granted, I have read this book cover to cover like, ten or twenty times.)

2. The following conversation which I had with a RANDOM MAN ON THE STREET at grad school:

Him: I like your backpack, what are those patches?
Sam: All the places I've lived or visited. I haven't got my patch from here yet.
Him: South Africa isn't on there.
Sam: No, I've never been there. I want to go, though, someday.
Him: You should. South Africa is amazing. You'll find what you're looking for there.
Sam: *boggles as he walks off*

Which is why "Visit South Africa" is at the top of my desiderata. Shit I should do some research or something...
I'm remembering my dreams more and vividly lately than usual; not sure why but I rather like it.

Aside from the dream I had last night about Jack Harkness really enjoying sitting and having a knit with someone (because he was good at it on Boe! And dismayed to learn the 20th century considered it unmasculine!) I had one of my magic print dreams. I always consider the magic print dreams perfectly normal and assume everyone has them, but maybe I'm totally wrong; not many people I know have serial episodic dreams either.

I've had them since I was at least eight, because I can remember having one right after having read the Narnia books. In them, there's a place in a specific book or newspaper which, if found, can convey vital, mystical information. After reading the Narnia books I had a series of dreams in which if I found the proper advert in the paper (always something to do with art deco Egyptian motifs) I could get into Narnia. Sometimes it's that I see a magazine on a rack in the store that only I can see, or that has a headline only I can see, and the goal of the dream is to get to it and pay for it and get it the hell out of the store. A few times it's been that I know the title of a book and the page number where the magic is, but I have to find it (usually in the Boston Public Library, which has the most insane layout of any library ever).

It's a bit of a heavily-laid metaphor, I realise, reading = wisdom = magic. But it's interesting that, BPL dreams aside, it's almost always disposable print media. The magic is sometimes in an article, often in an ad. Something to do with my love for ephemera, I suppose. Do other people have this kind of dream?

No, I don't know what Jack was knitting. It was a very mild salmon pink, so I can only assume it was something for Ianto.

Talking of Torchwood, [livejournal.com profile] 51stcenturyfox has written an awesome Toshcentric fic about certain moments of truth in her life, not to mention moments of sexayness. I BETA'D IT HARD, and I recc it now to all of you! It's called Three Proverbs, it's set during S1 and S2, and I love everything about it. :D
LOL, I am having my first Writing This Book Is Making Me Crazy moment. It's early days for this! Either it's good and means I'm being challenged, or it's bad because if I'm crazy now how am I going to be by the end of the thing?

Basically I just keep telling myself, no, you can't stop and rewrite the opening again, because if you do that it's all you'll ever do and then you'll get bored and chuck the whole thing. So I keep rolling along, thinking "Wow, that was an inactive choice, must fix in draft" and also wondering why so much of the first chapter is about food. It's not like I've been especially hungry or anything.

Truly bizarre dreams last night, and more memorable than usual; in one of them I had actually joined up Torchwood but was on my day off, and was in fact explaining to Jack Harkness that I was on my day off, when something exploded. The "explosion" turned out to be the sound of the El pulling past my window and getting incorporated into the dream, which is nicely symbolic of something, I'm not sure what.

The other one involved exploring some kind of beach town, which had the most awesome house on the coast, an old-fashioned trawler that had been beached and then half-buried in sand, so that the central housing of the boat stuck up like a little cottage and had been converted to such. It was a very tiny room, but had large glass windows and bookshelves and lots of rugs on the floor.

I love it when my dreams are architecture porn. :D
The only thing worse than a dream in which the internet hates you is a dream in which the internet hates you...with added Satan.

Seriously, that was a week's worth of stress tightly packaged into a few minutes of REM sleep. They announced my address on the news. And not because people wanted to give me flowers! I dunno what I did but you were all seriously pissed.

AND THEN SATAN SHOWED UP.

Though we did have an interesting conversation about fairy tale morality tests, viz, they are no longer functional if the testee has been exposed to fairy tales. If evil is testing you with Mother Goose style scenarios, be honest and loyal and choose virtue and you're pretty much golden.

He was very annoyed when I told him that.

True facts: every few months my quite religious but nondenominationally Christian mother has a dream in which Satan appears to her and she has reaffirm her faith by saying "Jesus Christ is my lord and saviour" to him in order to banish him.

If this starts happening to me on a biannual basis I'm going to be fucking pissed.
HO THERE SUBCONSCIOUS. You can cram six months of trauma into less than two hours of sleep! I call FOUL.

Apparently I have a snapping point (theoretically this didn't exist) and REM state decided to show me precisely what it was. I have never been more glad to wake up because of my own behaviour in a dream. I was pissed off but man, I was a dick.

Bonus fail for side nightmare, not even the main one, that a "helpful" member of the cafe had a friend on my brother's friendslist (not inconcievable) and thought if they published our names and addresses other helpful people could convince us to work this whole crazy "Die in a fire" "NO U" thing out.

(Someday I will write a quasi-RP fic in which I explore precisely what would happen in fandom if two well-known fans turned out to be brothers, hated each other IRL, and brought it to the internet. It actually could be extremely funny if done properly.)

Okay, back to bed.

Seriously, thank god, my stepfather's a good guy and nobody should shout at him like that.

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