Tag Archives: dreams

Enter The Plankton


If I’m lucky!

Spoiler alert: I’m not exactly the world’s greatest conversationalist.

For the curious, the opening line above is an example of my patented Start-By-Telling-Them-How-You-Suck approach to writing. You can buy a pamphlet describing the technique – and much, much more – for only three easy payments of $19.99. -Ed.

As the holidays cascade down upon us like a perfect storm, I’m already anticipating how I’ll surf that wave and/or navigate the complex maze-like quagmire of quicksand in quixotic fashion.

The holidays means lots of group settings of social interactions. Historically I do not fare well in these and opt instead to spend my time studying in minute detail the nearest potted plant. I’m bringing my magnifying glass just in case.

Since I remain ever hopeful, however, I’ve been role-playing various stratagems in my mind that might increase my odds of getting the occasional word in edgewise. Or I could give up in advance and just play the lotto.

A normal conversation consists of the following:

Person A: Me.

Person B: No, me!

Person C: Bloody hell to both of you. Me, me, me!

Person D: Did I ever tell you about me?

Person E: Did you say something?

Person F: … Apple’s tri-tone sound …

Person A: Ahem. You weren’t listening. I say again …

Every once in a while as the conversation morphs dynamically through these shifting realities, I may actually have something interesting to add. I hate it when that happens.

Person A: Yeah, there are a lot of elephants in Thailand

…. 20 minutes and 420 topics later I finally awkwardly interrupt and take my dream shot …

Me: An elephant sat on my head once.

Everyone: What the fuck are you talking about?!

Yeah. About that potted plant.I’ve heard that one thing that helps make you seem interesting is to ask questions about the other person. Especially if you can appear thoughtful and fake sincerity in the process. If successful, your only job is to tlean back, stay silent, let their mouth do all of the work, and celebrate a job well done.

I’m looking forward to trying this out. To that end I have prepared some questions in advance.

My only worry is that the conversation will run through a googolplex of permutations before I get my first chance to speak. That would be bad and could go down like this:

Person A: So, can you tell us what’s new with your son?

Me: Eeeeiiiiii!

swift kick to the nards …

Me: I was gonna ask that question!!

Person B: Someone dial up the whambulance!

Lastly, sometimes the floor is occasionally dished my way. If and when that happens I should be ready. Usually this is a provactive attempt to surprise me so much as to induce heart attack. Assuming I survive long enough, I usually succumb to the intense pressure. The stress of filling that space is simply too high. I usually stammer out something like, “Goo goo gah gah.” Then everyone shrugs, wonders why the hell they bothered to give me a chance, and resumes talking about the fractal shapes of their bunions.

Also, something about the spirit of the season and it’s better give than receive but I can’t remember any of that crap right now. I’ve been much too busy with the pre-conversation planning.

I just hope I’m not over-thinking it. Perhaps I should limit my dreams to the Ribbon of Participation.

What Screams May Come

bullet-in-the-headI chose not to watch the beheading videos. For two reasons, mainly. First, I have quite the imagination so I didn’t really feel it was necessary. And, secondly, they put the videos online which assumes they wanted them to be seen. By not watching I was actively thwarting their will. That felt pretty damn good.

Even so, it was hard to avoid still images taken from the videos. They were on the evening news. They were on Google. They were showing inline on Twitter.

I heard they did a study and 95% of respondents had heard about the beheadings. They said this was higher than any news event in the last five years. Wow. It’s hard to imagine in this day and age that 5% of us were still, somehow, blissfully unaware. Is 5% about the same amount who live out in the woods and off the grid? I’d like to meet these people. Send me their Twitter usernames.

Usually I try mindfully not to let the conscious world intrude upon my mind. Even so, sometimes the dreams come. What is the genesis of dreams? Who knows? I haven’t been able to find any rhyme or reason to it.

Some people will tell you that dreams have meaning. In one theory they say that everything in the dream represents some facet of yourself. Poppycock! I believe dreams are a random white noise of the mind.
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Do you need change?

changeIt had been an enjoyable meal. At least until it all went sideways.

The waitress approached our table, looked me directly in the eye and said, “Do you need change?”

Wait. What? You don’t even know me! How dare you?

I had to admit, though. She was right. I did need change. A lot of it. I decided to start with a slice of New York cheesecake (is there any other kind?) drizzled with strawberry syrup.

Luckily 2014 was right around the corner and I’d soon have the opportunity to issue false platitudes and reassuring justifications to myself and pretend that I’d try to improve.

Since she was there, I decided to ask her for her assessment and she gave me the following list.
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Apple Bamboo

iphone-jerkWe recently hosted a quasi-invited guest. (She sort of invited herself. It was a Thanksgiving kind of thing.) We took this person downtown for shopping, out to dinner and put her up for the night. But this guest wasn’t alone. She was possessed of an uninvited interloper. It was an iPhone.

Introducing the “bamboo” sound.


The sound was a lot like that coffee commercial jingle only a lot more woody, with a strong, robust finish. It was like Juan Valdez had chugged too much tequila and was getting jiggy on the marimbas.


That sound haunts me. It chases me in my dreams, where it is the size of the Death Star and I’m running but making no progress. “The rebel base will be in range in 15 minutes.” Only, in this dream, there was no Luke Skywalker to eject a torpedo pulse into a tiny little hole and save the day. The floating space-suited black helmet dudes fired that sucker and blew me and my planet up. And guess what? The sound the Death Star beam made? It was the iPhone bamboo.
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Taker Ponderosa

Source: Kaibab National Forest (Flickr)

People have differing experiences. I’m able to peer far enough past my crumbling walls of self to get that. Most can’t. As much as I would love to live on a planet populated with seven billion copies of myself, I have to be realistic and admit that’s probably not gonna happen.

I think an example is in order.

Some people, or so I’ve heard, are born, raised and live their entire lives in the same house.

“Yep. I’ve lived here my whole life. I’m 86 years old and I’ve never lived anywhere else. Same house, same town. Same, same, same. And it didn’t affect me, either. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to get back to licking the walls. It’s all original paint, baby.”

As a different person, I find the idea of staying in one place to be completely astounding. Unimaginable.

Unfortunately, records of my birth and previous residences were lost in the great fire at the Library of Alexandria, so no one knows my true age or how many times I’ve moved. But it is estimated to be at least one move for every year of my life. And I’m a person who absolutely abhors moving. That explains why it has happened to me so many times.

I just tried a mental exercise in counting. I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of cities where I’ve lived. And I’ve spent time in at least four different states. (I’m talking United States, not altered.)

So, yeah, I did have this dream of picking a spot, putting down some roots, and refusing to move until the day I died. A guru can dream, can’t he?

And I had even picked out the perfect place for it, too. The Taker Ponderosa.
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Guru Comic: Freshly Depressed

The Guru says: Never achieve your dreams because, after that, you’ve got nothing left.

Just a quick blurb, innit? (via Ashley Thinks…)

Ashley Thinks was one of the first blogs I ever added to my blogroll. It was quite an ingenious move, if I do say so myself.

Alas, WordPress didn’t document the date her blog was added, but I’m clever enough to find another way. I went to my WordPress dashboard and looked at my Links. Once there, I did a mouseover on the entries in my blogroll. Each entry has an “id” value embedded in the URL. These “id” values are created in order. Thus, I was able to determine that the Ashley Thinks… blog counts among the first ten blogs I ever added. That’s some history there! Even back then I could spot real talent.

I have to admit, I have a soft spot for people who think. So the point of this post, quite frankly, is to rip the universe a new one because not enough people seem to know about her blog. Hopefully, now, something I’ve helped to rectify.

Y’all can thank me later.

I found this quote somewhere along my internet travels and I got to thinking more about what it was saying. I don’t know if I can fully agree, although it makes sense to an extent, I have to wonder if saying no to ‘sub par’ opportunity is always the right answer. Yes, don’t settle, don’t compromise your dreams and do strive for what you love not just what will do, but saying no to opportunities that aren’t exactly what you are looking for isn’t … Read More

via Ashley Thinks…