two dreams

May. 26th, 2016 03:22 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I had a couple weird dreams last night, which I made a point of remembering after I woke up because I wanted to share them.

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1. The first dream was sort of a sci-fi action thriller thing, in which a group of people had the ability to 'abstract' themselves one layer away from normal reality, and then perform the same trick a second time (second-level abstraction), but while it was technically possible to keep going indefinitely, in practice if you went to a third-level abstraction, about half the time what came back (if anything came back at all) was not quite you.

Abstracted people, as viewed from normal reality, were invisible except when they were in motion, at which point they appeared sort of like a silvery column of heat distortion. The people who could abstract (which I think relied on gadgets) were on some kind of heist mission related to maybe overthrowing a dystopia of some sort, and were being chased by agents who could either not abstract at all or could only perform first-level abstractions, BUT they had guns whose bullets could, upon touching the after-image an abstracted person left in the lower reality level, explode in such a way as to send shockwaves through higher levels of abstraction and hopefully knock abstracted people back into normal reality where they'd either be arrested or shot for real.

Being abstracted was visually weird to experience, because it literally was abstraction -- the world went from three-dimensional reality to first being kind of flat color and drawn with heavy linework, and on a second-level abstraction, you started to get light shining through stained-glass color blocks and vaguely cubist distortion effects. Third-level abstractions got really trippy, and that's where the mental effects started to kick in because abstraction didn't erase the world around you, just your perception of it and its ability to interact with you, and in third-level abstractions you could, like, walk through walls if you wanted, or ignore gravity, and sort of see time-currents or something? And your mental processes went all weird, and I guess a bunch of people just didn't want to go back, and some who did couldn't readjust because brain chemistry is delicate, you know?

I might try to work that idea into a proper story someday.

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2. The second dream involved me trying to make a baby shower gift for some friends (who are not remotely romantically involved in real life, let alone expecting a child) and I settled on a knit wool hat of many colors which I was going to make via an automatic knitting machine. It was in my public library, over near the paperback fiction shelves, and what you did was enter a pattern into a computer and the machine would produce your design in whatever colors and fibers you wanted. It manufactured your chosen kind of yarn out of a pile of raw synthetic fibers, so I guess it was a bit like specialized 3D printing?

Anyway, I was sitting there trying to translate a set of knitting instructions into a sort of grid pattern, and all around me other people were entering their own programs... one of which was an actual baby. Literally, these two women programmed the machine (in the public library!) to knit a living child out of a pile of synthetic fibers. And it worked. They picked the crying baby up out of the basket of finished products, put on a diaper and a onesie, and took the kid off to get a birth certificate or whatever.

And nobody blinked twice.

I decided to make my friends' kid a blanket as well as the hat, because I felt slightly upstaged after that.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I had the weirdest dream last night.

I think it's because of my NFE signup, in which I said, among other things, that I would prefer not to write any Pevensie/Caspian ships (because none of them make any sense to me) and also requested a story about Polly and Digory post-MN, and somehow this all got tangled up with the Problem of Susan and turned into a massive THING where Polly and Digory accidentally left one of their Ring sets in Narnia and Disney!Caspian found them and used them to travel secretly to England where he got involved with the Malfoys (??? idk, what even) and kept kidnapping Susan into creepy stalker pseudo-romantic dinners at expensive exotic hotels and then getting Lucius Malfoy to Obliviate her so she couldn't tell her family what was going on, but while she didn't consciously remember anything she SUBCONSCIOUSLY began to associate Narnia with el creepo stalker probably-gonna-rape-her-eventually!Caspian and THAT'S why she turned away.

I don't know how the hell this fit into the timeline, since it would have to happen simultaneously before and after SC, nor do I know how it would have resolved because my alarm went off and I woke up just as Caspian was climbing the steps of a really blinged-out glass pyramid to consult with some ~mysterious evil power~ about Susan's continued resistance to his ~charms~ and what to do about the growing restlessness among his people who were kind of pissed off at the way he kept raising taxes to pay for those expensive hotels and stuff.

*hands*

My brain, gentle readers. It is a strange place.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Fandoms: Bleach and Merlin (BBC version)

Conceit: The reason Excalibur destroys the undead? It's actually a zanpakuto.

Source: So yeah, this was a crazy dream I had last night. I don't remember much about it except that zanpakutos were a known phenomenon among the living, but were suspect in Camelot for being too close to magic, so people who had them generally hid the fact and Arthur didn't realize his sword was special because nobody had ever told him about zanpakutos for fear of pissing off Uther.

Also Gwen killed Nnoitra, either with a sword or something like Orihime's powers, because Gwen is awesome and women beating Nnoitra never gets old.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I keep finding things wrong with my Ouroboros Mix fic. Like, yesterday I finished the scene I'd realized I needed to insert -- yay! -- and then this morning in the shower I realized the reason I keep being unhappy with the other scene I've been rewriting over and over is that it is the wrong scene. It's working completely against the emotional and thematic arc of the story, which is probably why it has grown longer and longer and longer and still never felt quite right.

So I will be ripping that out and redoing it yet again. Argh.

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In other news, last night I had a dream about two lesbian scholars/augurs/religious teachers who basically invented the germ theory of disease and a bunch of basic epidemiology on Firsthome, back a thousand years or so before Ekanu's day. It was the sort of dream where you wake up and think, "Okay, I have two main incidents and they both make reasonable narrative sense, but how the hell do I connect them into a single story because there are several years between them and... oh, right, flashbacks, duh."

Their names are Hesotha and Ujamulala, and they are from the same geographic region as Ayutha the carter from Clockwork. I should write an outline of their story before I forget the details. :-)

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And now, laundry!
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
On Friday night I had the weirdest anxiety dream -- mostly because it was a perfectly normal anxiety dream and I never have those.

I dreamed I was staffing the counter at the smoke shop all alone... )

...

Occasionally I am very grateful that I am a semi-lucid dreamer -- not often to the point that I can control events in detail, but almost always to the point that I am aware that my dreams are dreams, not reality.

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FYI, I am pretty sure the proximate cause of the dream was a series of extremely frustrating phone calls I had with Mr. Speakerphone (our owner) on Friday. He is absurdly paranoid -- for example, the reason we don't have penny jars by the registers is that he's afraid clerks would use the resulting stray pennies and nickels to keep track of the money we'd immediately start embezzling from him. Yeah, I know. He also once tried to get the employees at our Elmira store to list the make, model, year, and license plate numbers of any cars that might pick them up, plus the names and phone numbers of the car owners, so he could make sure that... they weren't stealing magazines and using getaway cars to carry the loot??? I don't even know. Also I think it is probably illegal to require employees to provide that kind of information, which is perhaps why that never went much of anywhere.

(The other reason it went nowhere is that PM, our manager, put her foot down. She spends most of her conversations with Mr. Speakerphone putting her foot down, because he knows nothing about retail. Our two shops are a really tiny and ancillary part of his business, which frankly I'm grateful for because it means PM is my de facto boss -- and unlike Mr. Speakerphone, she's both sane and awesome.)

Anyway, our Friday conversations basically boiled down to Mr. Speakerphone saying, "But such-and-such could be evidence of someone stealing, right?" and me saying either, "No, the explanation is obviously thus-and-so (dumbass)," or sometimes, "Well, maybe technically, but it's much more likely caused by simple human error. Sometimes we write things down wrong and have to fix them; that's just how the world works." He has a fundamental inability to grasp the concept of harmless errors and immediately assumes anything less than perfect must mean people are stealing from him.

I really think he needs psychiatric help.
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
Even when I'm not sick enough to justify staying home from work, being sick still sucks. Especially when I run out of NyQuil. :-(

Fortunately I have Saturday off so I can get to the grocery store for medicine and juice, but unfortunately I signed up to help at my church's service auction a while ago and I'm on the cleanup crew, so I can't just sleep the evening away. *sigh*

I am up now because I slept about six hours from 8pm to 2am and woke after a rather upsetting frustration dream -- I was at some church function in an unfamiliar, huge, and overly elaborate building and the woman in charge of some committee decided that it would be marvelous fun to play hunt-and-chase and designated me as the target for her committee members without so much as asking me, and nothing I said would make them realize I hadn't agreed to participate (remember, this was a dream! UUs don't act like that in real life! ...which is probably a good two-thirds of why it upset me so much, come to think of it) -- and needed a break before going back to bed.

...

I came down with this cold on election night and have been trying to keep it from crossing the border between pain-in-the-neck to knock-you-flat ever since. It is a delicately balanced struggle. :-/

And on that note, I think I will attempt to get some more sleep.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Homestuck is now invading my dreams.

For example, a couple weeks ago I had a dream that resulted in a Dave<>Aradia fic that I am noodling around with. The rough draft is currently 3,500 words or so. It went very fast at first, but now I've hit the stage where I need to bash it heavily around the edges so it runs on story logic instead of dream logic.

And last night, I dreamed that trolls and humans had both colonized a marginal sort of planet and then the new colonies got abandoned in the muddle of a vast interstellar interspecies war. The world they were on contained a lot of vicious psychic monsters, and the two species took different approaches to dealing with them. The humans used genetic engineering to give some people specialized powers that mimicked the native animals' abilities. The trolls, who already had some psychic powers, instead of took advantage of a quirk of the hemospectrum.

cut because you probably don't want to read my weird dreams )

Also Nicolas Cage drove a speedboat along some canals, but I don't think that was relevant to the main plot thread. *wry*

...

And now to bed. After I take another Benadryl. *blows nose, curses early spring*
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
Incidentally, I am not dead. I've just been overdosing on the endless backlog of fic on old Homestuck kink meme posts. I have also been sleeping unrestfully -- I keep having bad dreams that wake me at odd hours -- but I don't think that's related to the reading.

...

I don't tend to have nightmares. One or two a year is my standard rate. When I say I have bad dreams, I almost always mean frustration dreams.

For example, last night I dreamed I was spending an afternoon with my mother and I suddenly realized that she was going to be taken through a portal to Narnia where she would inevitably be killed. (It's a dream; roll with it.) So I had to stop her from walking through specific doorways or up specific staircases, but she kept being all, "But I need to refill my coffee and there's coffee in there/up there/around that corner!" and I would be all, "No! You can't go there, let's go somewhere else!" and wake up all wound up and tense and deeply annoyed at the general perversity of the universe. Not a nightmare, but intensely frustrating, especially since it looped in variations all night long. One time we'd be in a slightly run-down mansion, another time we'd be out shopping on a city street, another time we'd be in a mall, another time we'd be in my old hometown church, etcetera ad infinitum.

I hate frustration dreams much more than I hate nightmares. Nighmares are at least interesting, and also generally one-off experiences. Frustration dreams are existential futility over and over and freaking OVER until I want to scream, and every time I fall back to sleep they just reset and play again from the top.
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
I've been thinking about 9/11, since it has been inescapable at work. (The smoke shop is as much a magazine-and-newspaper shop as it is a tobacco shop, you see, and 9/11 is on all the covers.)

I did not know anything was wrong until about 1pm that day. I'd gotten up for a four-hour chemistry lab that ran from 8am to noon, after which I went straight to a German literature seminar that started at 11:40am -- you will note that those times overlap. I had to get special permission from my German professor to do that, and the rule was that on chem lab days, I would sneak in as quietly as possible and sit down and join the discussion. Which is what I did.

So it wasn't until after class, when the professor was talking to a student whose family lived in NYC, that I had any idea something had happened. Even when I got the impression that something was wrong in the city, I was thinking, "Flood? Hurricane? Catastrophic blackout?" because terrorists crashing airplanes into the twin towers was not remotely in my list of things that might happen in real life.

It didn't seem real for a long time. I am still not sure it seems real. I know those events happened, but huge, world-changing events rarely stick as deeply as smaller things that hit closer to home. I remember my grandparents' deaths much more strongly and immediately, for example. I process things best as they affect me, not as they affect the world. I need to make things personal to grasp them. I think this is a common human reaction.

...

On that note, here is a record of a dream I had on September 25th, 2001, two weeks after 9/11. The text is quoted from the dream journal I was keeping at that time:

I dreamed I was one of three children stuck in a large building with slick white floors. Sometimes it was an office building, but sometimes it was the Snow Queen's palace. I had a very young sister (Vicky, more or less) who carried a stuffed animal with her everywhere, and a brother who was sometimes younger than I was and sometimes older. I was ten to thirteen. When my brother was older, I was closer to ten; when I was older, I was closer to thirteen.

We were running from the Snow Queen (or a nasty government agency), and Vicky slipped on the floor and fell behind. Our brother, whose name I think was Jim, had reached the door, but turned to get Vicky. The Snow Queen was right behind her, but our brother ran, caught Vicky, shoved her across the floor to me, and yelled for us to get out and get help. I didn't want to leave him but he had some weird power that shoved us out the door and locked it behind us. I think he was a telekinetic.

Vicky and I reached safety and fell in with a group of people who were trying to destroy the Snow Queen's city (or this nasty government agency). I was a fire-starter and they wanted me to burn the buildings. I stood in the front of a tank or armored truck, spread my hands, and brought down a building. It collapsed in fire and smoke, spewing dust and rubble for blocks in the heart of the city. We were coated in filth, scraped by falling chunks of steel and concrete. I remember screaming because I was so angry; I hated the Snow Queen (or the government agency) because she had stolen my life and my brother and scarred my sister's soul forever. The building burned, people died, and I was happy. I was insane, burning inside.

I insisted on going into the building where we had been trapped instead of just destroying it from outside. I wanted to look for our brother. But when we went inside, instead of a brother, we found Dad lying on the floor in his blue plaid jacket, slashed and bruised, with his legs and arms broken and his face covered in blood. He was dying, and all I could do was hold him in shock and scream.

Then I woke up.


...

That dream is still more real to me than anything about 9/11 itself. Like I said, the mind is a funny thing.
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
The ambient temperature had not, in fact, cooled enough to forestall frustration dreams.

I dreamed that I was walking home from work, heading north on Tioga St. Every single block, I was interrupted by some person or incident that held me up for anywhere from twenty minutes to a couple hours. Probably this means I kept having random unrelated dreams and then slipping back in a recurring dream of walking home, but the practical effect is that I woke up every twenty minutes to an hour itching with annoyance.

A couple of the interruptions were fairly interesting in their own right, I suppose. Halfway down one block, a random guy in an SUV enlisted me to keep watch over his young children while he ran off to do something vitally important but also (so he assured me) very quick and simple. He lied. I ended up watching a 90-minute animated movie that was clearly a knock-off of Disney's The Little Mermaid, though it took enough weird turns that it was also clearly its own story.

(Roughly speaking, replace Ursula with a talking giant octopus who kept all other octopuses in his thrall somehow or other; replace Ariel with a more practical and less flighty mermaid who had a habit of rescuing lost sea creatures and playing veterinarian; replace Prince Eric with a marine biologist; and have the dramatic climax come when the mermaid's father uses magic to turn the marine biologist into a merman and the baby octopuses the mermaid rescued turn against their overlord. The mermaid does turn human for a while, though, courtesy of a bargain with the evil octopus... and don't ask me why an octopus knows magic. *hands* And I refuse to write that story, no matter how interesting it might be.)

Another block or two further toward home, I was walking past a construction site when I noticed a bunch of boxes and boards blocking off the sidewalk. The gate to the construction site was open, so I started to pick up the obstruction and move it just inside the fence where it wouldn't inconvenience people. I was just finishing when a county sherriff's car pulled up, headlights blazing and siren wailing, and the sherriff jumped out and asked me what I thought I was doing, was I associated with such-and-such criminal group, did I know anything about thus-and-so drug smuggling ring, and put your hands up real fast, missy!

I woke up before I learned how that was going to end.

The other interruptions were mostly stuff like highway-speed traffic on a cross street, giant puddles I had to walk far, far around, and once, I think, a parade. Nothing very exciting or story-oriented.

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Elizabeth Culmer

July 2017

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