Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dreams: What the Crap?

I had some very strange dreams last night. The first one was of me, laying in bed. Yes, this was the dream. It was a Queen-sized bed with a dark green cover and even darker green shiny pillows. The sheets appeared to be black. I have never seen a bed as such in my waking life. The room in which it and I were in was like an old Victorian bed room, with a large dresser with a big imposing mirror over it, and a ridiculously cushiony chair in the corner. There may have been a large window, but not even starlight or moonlight shown through it so it was hard to tell if it was just a surface or a window to just pure black. The only light in the room seemed to come from the shiny pillows, the mirror, reflecting light that wasn't really there. I was still able to see fairly well, as if looking through blue or black colored lenses, wearing sunglasses indoors.

In my dream, I was trying to fall asleep. I do not recall having trouble falling asleep as I had tried to go to bed that night. But here in dream land, I was having trouble falling asleep. Just as I started to get drowsy and lose the ability to move, my rapidly failing vision saw a large arachnid/insect, approximately the size of my chest, lurking to the right of my foot at the end of the bed. Despite this obvious stimulus that should have either woken me up in my dream or in real life, I was helplessly paralyzed and continue to fall asleep despite my desperate urgings. I lost consciousness in my dream just as I felt the wait of one of it's long slender legs walk across my legs, towards my body.

In my dream within a dream, I was still laying in the dark green bed but there was no room. There was a swirling spectrum of yellow, dark red, and black, with with flashes of all white. I got the sick feeling of falling, quickly supplemented and ultimately squelched by a feeling of adrenaline and excitement. I had to cling to the mattress as the bed tilted 60, 75 degrees in one direction and the next. It tilted sideways, forward backward, and I had the feeling of moving rapidly forward, as wind blew in my face. It was like being on an invisible rollercoaster... And then it went faster, and I had to focus all my energy on holding on. It soon seemed as if the ride was designed for me to fall, to not be able to hang on. Fear began creeping in me as the bed began taking steeper turns, and sharper rises and falls.

Suddenly, it slowed and tilted back upright. I surfaced from unconsiousness in my dream (still asleep in real life) back into the Victorian room, still on the green bed. Where the giant spider creature had been at the foot of the bed there was now a bunch of dragonflies. A large dark green (darker than the bed cover, about the same shade as the pillows) dragonfly with a metallic sheen to its body was standing on the bed. Above it, a smaller pinkish purple dragon fly was resting on it's back, as if they were mating. On each of the pinkish purple dragon fly's wings, a small light green dragon fly rested, and on the the right wing of the little green dragon fly resting on the right wing of the pinkish purple dragonfly (stick with me here), rested a smaller black drgonfly.

I attempted to shoo them away, as their extreme size (the large one on the bed was about the size of my torso) made me nervous. The mass of them flew up, holding their formation, and sort of hovered in a small circle like a shooed house fly in slow motion, before settling slowly back in about the same spot at the foot of the bed, landing like a helicopter ever so gently. They then began scurrying towards me (I know that in real life dragonflies can't walk but this is a dream, remember). Once again I panicked and began swatting at it much like I did the arachnid creature, and once again I began rapidly losing consciousness in my dream.

In my second dream within a dream, I was still on the bed, but this time the world around it was an endless stretch of purple and black, smattered in unmoving patterns like frozen smoke. The bed seemed to be either moving very rapidly forward or it was very windy, with alternating direction with the tilt of the bed. This time I dug in right away and latched on. After similar movements as last time, the bed actually turned upside down. I fell off and woke up in my dream. But when I woke up in my dream, I was a couple of feet above the bed and landed on it, giving the impression that I fell off of the bed in my dream within a dream and onto my bed in the dream. The dragon fly formation was now on the dresser by the mirror on the other side of the room, looking at their reflection in the mirror. For some reason, I grew really fearful within my dream at this point.

Then I woke up. Weird huh? Any thoughts?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Mysterious Chemical Qualities of Peach Rings

For the sake of the kittens, I will try and post on a (more) regular basis.

I was going to one of the campus snack shops to get my near-daily serving of Cherry Coke, when a small gummy "O" caught my attention. Tucked on the bottom shelf was a bag of "Peach Rings", that gummy sweet candy of yester year.

Impulse shopping took over, and I purchased a bag. It probably contained fifty or more of the peach rings. The funny thing about peach rings is that one can only eat about four or five before the delicious little rings totally fulfill one's craving. If one continues to eat them, their stomach begins to twitch. I declare it a scientific impossibility to eat an entire bag of the things in one sitting. If there was an eating contest of them, the winner would have a grand total of "seven", at most.

Don't get me wrong, those first three or four are DELICIOUS. The main ingredients in order of concentration are 1. Corn Syrup 2. Sugar, and 3. "May contain fruit juice". Seriously. But that same fascinating and rubbery texture, with the grit of granulated sugar on its surface that one savors between their tongue and the roof of their mouth soon begins to form into a sticky wet lump in the stomach. It apparently then grows two arms and fists, and begins to pummel it's captor's stomach wall like a boxing bag.

I soon began trying to give away some of the peach rings to classmates and random passerbys. I had some takers, and that really is the magic of peach rings. One can't hog them all selfishly, they are not designed to be enjoyed or even tolerated by one stomach. It takes a concerted team effort to finish off a load.

But I don't think I will be eating any peach rings for a long time, or their ugly cousin Circus Peanuts either. Ugh.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lobster Love, Lobster Lost

Already a third of the semester has gone by. .. I dug out a list of things to do (I hate lists) I had made at the beginning of the semester. Out of five things, only two were really done and I had done one of them just an hour before. Ok, I have be productive.

On my birthday, we went out to a fairly nice seafood restaurant. I ordered some sort of variety platter, absent of lobster of course. My dear older sister, on the other hand, decided she would like to pick a victim out of the bubbly cell by the door, filled with large lobsters stacked on top of one another in a quite undignified fashion. I began to sputter my protests of devouring such a noble, while tastey, creature, but she cared not.

Oh, if only their rubber bonds were broken, and they were free to clamp with righteous glory on their oppressors' digits. No, the waitress briskly walked to the tank, and began sifting through the armored warrior-poets. "This one?" "How about this fellah?" My eyes glazed over as the horrific meat market scene continued.

Finally one of the smaller specimens was selected, and whisked off to the kitchen to be boiled alive within his shell. I was mocked by my family, as I tried to make them comprehend the attributes that set the American Lobster above other crustaceans, above even some humans.

Before long, the fallen hero's corpse was brought out among other bounty of the sea. He was bright red, as if blushing at his defeat. The plate he lay on in his final rest was set beside me, in front of my elder sister. It's black beady eyes stared at me, a look of shock and disgrace.

The waitress then rendered and tore his body, separating his powerful tale from his torso. Salty water and lobster juice sprayed forth in tiny droplets, spattering across my outraged face. Like a raccoon with a crayfish, my sister was soon nibbling and gnawing on my fallen friend. She offered me some of her meal, which I of course declined...

My father called me about a week later. He had forgotten my birthday -again- but had heard about the lobster incident from my sister and had been reminded of the date. He had called to say happy birthday 5 days late, and mainly to tease me for my love of the lobster. I don't mind teasing, but teasing from 3,000 miles away from a parent who has forgotten your birthday for the nth time, third time consecutively... Kind of hits a chord. If only I had claws for hands.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Welcome to my Midden



Most people are familiar with the the expression, "pack rat." They think of someone who throws little or nothing away, and is somewhat disorganized and sloppy. In short, they think of someone like myself.

Most folk do not realize that there really is a small rodent known as the pack rat. Scientific nomenclature has designated it's genus as Neotoma, and there are several different species that all share the common name (and reputation) of "pack rat."

Pack rats are known to collect sticks, twigs, leaves, and junk such as trash or especially shiny objects, and take them to their holes in cliffs and rocks. Once there, the pack rats tend to ball these all up as bedding, as long with some of their fur. Pack rats are famous bed wetters, perhaps the most famous bed wetters of the animal kingdom. Because they are mainly desert and chapparel dwellers, their urine is very concentrated to avoid losing unnecessary amounts of water. This sticky, disgusting urine congeals on the surface of these balls of debris and treasure. Their treasure is now preserved for the enjoyment of future grandchildren of the thoughtful pack rat. In fact, some middens have been found to be hundreds of years old, and have been useful in past climate reconstruction from the type of plant debris found inside.

My room is like my own personal midden. Without the concentrated urine, of course. There is a mysterious sticky substance on a corner of my desk, though... Anway, I have junk piled in every corner. I have books from almost every course I have taken in college (I refuse to sell them back for 10 % of their worth, I would rather give them a loving home), I have books from library sales, I have books I bought while I was supposed to be shopping for someone else, I have books I was given as gifts and have yet to read, I have books from when my stepfather went to college (for like 10 years part time), I have books I "accidentally" stole from my elementary library when I was seven about aliens. I got a crap-load midden of books to be admired by even the most wealthy of pack rats.

I also have papers. I have kept almost every notebook, binder, and test I have gotten since fourth grade, circa 1994. I don't why I keep them, but yet I don't throw them away. But I don't exactly keep them organized either. They are just piled up in boxes. It's kind of neat to see old essays or art pieces from back when the world seemed so much more orderly and crisp. I also have clothing and beverage containers strewn about.

My walls are littered with old National Geographic posters, artwork from friends and former friends, and the odd nick knack such as the wooden mask I got in Haiti. Just random crap every where, really. I have two globes. Why two? I dont know, one's modern, and the other is a really old antique globe with mishapen continents and "thar bee dragons" type things written in the oceans. I just collect junk.

And then there is the occasional animal hair in the carpet. No, it's not from me. My Poohjah occassionally comes in and watches television or helps me work on a college paper. I think she may get into the books for some light reading, too. So yes, I also have animal fur in my midden. But I don't urinate on my midden. One has to draw the line.

A type of rat native to the part of Idaho where I was born is a rat commonly called the "kangaroo rat." It is not a marsupial, but it does have oversized hind legs and hops and leaps around, instead of scurrying. They are incredibly fast, and I remember chasing them in the desert at night with a flashlight. We had a black dog named Bob who would chase them with us. This was before the Hanta virus scares, so every once in awhile we'd catch a rodent, and look at it, and release it.

What I like about kangaroo rats is how they tenaciously survive in such a tough environment. One can not count on rain at any particular time. But this doesn't concern the kangaroo rat. There is plenty of desert shrubbery and what not around, and the kangaroo rat only needs seeds. It has the ability to convert the dry seeds it feeds on into water internally. The kangaroo rat is always thirsty and yet never thirsty, interestingly enough. Kangaroo rats never sweat, even when they are nervous. They never pant either, as they always keep their cool.

And get this. Kangaroo rats only use their rear feet and tails for rapid locomotion. Sure, you might say that you only use your rear feet for locomotion. But then you don't have a tail to back you up if you trip now, do you?

Yes, the kangaroo rat is a cool customer in his hot and desolate domain. Though I admire the kangaroo rat, I can not relate to them easily. I have much more in common with the pack rat.

Friday, August 25, 2006

!

I almost decided to abandon my blog, but I have come crawling back. For some reason I feel very different now than I did even a week ago about many elements of life. I did coincidently have a birthday in that time, but we all know how silly and arbitrary such measurements are to human development beyond the age of seventeen or there abouts.

Perhaps it has to do with me having a new job for the first time in four and a half years, or because I started graduate school. Yes, I did end up graduating, with honors too. Joke's on them, eh?

It's just funny how life comes to you in thresholds and watersheds when one would logically assume that it is a steady progression. That just hasn't ever been my experience.

In any case, I think I will begin to post again. Not really sure what kind of posts, but we shall see, won't we? I am just pensive as of late.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Part 2

I waited in the exam room, sitting on a small folding chair. The nurse from earlier came in. She asked me to sit in the seat next to the exam table/sacrificial altar. I was to have some blood pulled from my flesh.
It's strange, for the last 4 years I have drawn blood on animals literally over one thousand times. I have no problem at all on that side of the needle. And yet when I know I am getting a shot or getting blood pulled, I begin sweating and get chilled. My skin even gets all bumpy.
I mentioned all this to the nurse, who began chatting nonstop about her dogs. After she had left the room for the doctor to come in, she even came back and showed me a picture. She, a registered nurse, then began asking me for advice on her dog's skin problems. I began to worry about the medical care I was receiving.
Well, to condense, the doctor said I was in excellent health, but to let him know if my right hip (I have 3 pins in there but they don't slow me down) kept hurting (well ok, they don't slow me down but they do hurt) and commented that my eating patterns could cause me to gain weight when my metabolism slowed down. Apparently the vast quantity of food I currently consume is fine now, but in the next few years it won't be. I also pointed out that I exercise almost every day, play recreational sports, and occasionally fast. I may not be a chiseled Statue, but I am still in good shape.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I Only Have 70 Years to Live: Episode 1

The last time I went to a human doctor, I was a strapping young lad. I had to have a physical to play on the soccer team, especially since I had recently had my right femural head re-attached with 3 pins through my hip. That was five years ago.

Apparently I had to go, as I was four and a half years past due. So no eating or drinking after midnight, and I had to be there by 8:45. Of course, I wish I would have known about the eating drinking ban before 12:15 when I checked the answering machine, but that's life.

When I was taken back, the first thing the nurse did was weigh me. I stepped on to the primitive balancing scale, my large feet hanging off the back end. "No cheating now!" the nurse said, and pushed my forward so that my toes hung off the front end. I have no idea why she thought I would try and cheat. I am not a very large fellow. By no means as large as she was. She started off the slider at 250 lb.s. She was beginning to make me feel self-conscious of weight I didn't have. Eventually she realized my obvious lack of girth and slid the metal piece til it balanced at 171 lb.s. I slid my feet off of the tiny wobbling platform and back onto terra firma. "Ok, go down that right hallway, and in the second door on your left. Use the cup in there and leave me a sample in the cabinet in there." Oh. It's like that, huh?

I was not expecting this. I thought I'd get a little hammer taken to each knee, get asked if anything hurt, and get kicked out to the curb in favor of patients with more financially lucrative chronic ailments. I opened the door and peered inside. As I looked at the relatively normal bathroom, except for the small clear plastic cups filled with urine lining the back wall, I found the posters on the wall rather interesting. I even considered stealing an instructional poster explaining to each gender how best to leave a sample in the cup. This included such advanced maneuvers as midstream-catching, and helpful pointers for uncircumcised men (you know who you are). Helpful yet slightly disturbing illustrations highlighted the more action-packed steps. It'd be a great conversation starter at parties. I prefer to adlib my own sample-gathering techniques, and prepared to get to work.... Ooh, one problem. I didn't have to go. Like, at all. After all, I hadn't drank anything since maybe 9 or 10 the night before. I jealously glared at the two-row deep line of half-golden full cups mocking me against the wall. After a few moments of mentally viewing cascading waterfalls and raging mountain rivers, inspiration struck. I'll spare further details...

Emerging from the room triumphant, I walked down the hall to the exam room... TO BE CONTINUED....