I doubt a completed Underdog coloring book actually counts as a PhD comprehensive exam

The photos in this post are from previous trips to San Francisco. I haven’t yet figured out how to photograph dreams, but wouldn’t that be interesting?

You know those extremely detailed yet generally mundane dreams that stick with you even after you wake up? I had one of those last week after watching several episodes of one of my favorite childhood cartoons, Underdog.

[embedded video: Underdog Opening]

In the dream, I boarded an Amtrak train at the Alexandria, Virginia station. When the train reached Chicago I woke up (in the dream) and changed trains. Then, I spent 2 days en route to California.

The trip was lovely.

I spent a lot of the time coloring a 1000 page Underdog coloring book, which my advisor had suggested I complete so that I could later turn it into the Anthropology department in lieu of a PhD comprehensive exam in bioarchaeology. My dream advisor wasn’t anyone I know, but she kept telling me we’d have to check with Roger Cutler after I completed the coloring book, so I’m not even sure where this PhD program was located.

When I got to San Francisco, I spent two days visiting Steve and Laura Ray.

Blue the Catahoola and I spent some quality time in Golden Gate Park, menacing the gophers.

[embedded photo: Blue in Golden Gate Park, 2008 taken by MeanLouise]

Laura and Blue had a meeting to attend at the California Academy of Sciences, so we parted ways. Dogs love meetings, apparently, at least in dreams.

[embedded photo: California Academy of Sciences taken by MeanLouise]

It was convenient, though, because next I was meeting up with Shauna Lawhorne, who had been sitting on the roof of the California Academy of Sciences, waiting for me. In the dream, I think her office was actually up there.

Shauna and I walked around to Strawberry Hill on Stow Island, which is my favorite place to drink coffee in the park in the morning (when I’m actually in San Francisco and awake). In the dream, we walked to the top of the waterfall.

[embedded video: Golden Gate Park taken by MeanLouise]

Then we drank cappuccinos made by a wee little man who lived in a cave at the top of the waterfall.

[embedded photo: Golden Gate Park taken by MeanLouise]

Then we used our empty mugs to hold items we collected to use while making reliquaries. I can’t recall what any of the items were, I don’t think I could see them clearly even in the dream, but I was confident Novie Trump would approve of them. This was very important in the dream. They were little carved objects of some sort – I hope we weren’t looting!

I boarded another train and went to Seattle, where I visited another friend, filmmaker BJ Bullert, who was living on her boat. The boat was dry docked in her front yard, but for some reason this made perfect sense to everyone except me.

Then, I took a train back to Chicago, switched trains, and got most of the way home before encountering a lengthy delay in Philadelphia.

At long last, I arrived home.

I got a lot of knitting done on my trip, which took exactly 10 days. More knitting than I could ever actually get done in 10 days, and more than I’ve probably gotten done in the last 10 months thanks to that pesky elbow injury. That knitting part didn’t actually make any sense, even in the dream, since I spent all my time on the train coloring and don’t recall doing any actual knitting. Yet at the start of my trip I had a bag of yarn and patterns, and at the end, finished items. Maybe I had some house elves with me?

I woke up and thought it weird that it was still so dark out because I’d been asleep forever and it surely must be time to get out of bed. You can imagine my surprise when I looked at the clock and saw that it was 12:59 and thus I’d been asleep for less than an hour.

I know where pretty much all of the pieces came from but I was still unsettled by how strangely detailed the dream was and how my brain juxtaposed so many surreal elements to make this narratively coherent dream.

Actually, I can’t really explain the little man who lived under the waterfall who served us coffee, I think that was just wishful thinking.

What I am thinking is maybe I should take the train to San Francisco in November to attend the American Anthropological Association annual meeting. I know from actual past experience that the train is a terrible place to try to get any writing done, but I understand from my dream that you can get a lot of coloring done.

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  • Blue Daddy

    Totally marvy.