Yikes, it’s New Year’s Eve and I’ve neglected you all for months and I should probably be writing something profound about the new year (or something snarky about resolutions). Instead, I’m posting a draft that’s been hanging around since last New Year’s Eve.

I’ve been a little disorganized this year.

Last year, we drove to Florida and spent a few weeks with my mom for the holidays. The night before we set out on our journey, I had a nightmare.

A terrible, crazy nightmare.

A wake-up-drenched-in-sweat nightmare.

Here’s what I remember: Husband and I were driving on I-4 in Orlando, near Gatorland. There was a huge traffic jam and we weren’t going anywhere.

Suddenly, Harrison Ford sprinted by the car. We leaped out of the car and ran after him to help. It was the (dream) logical thing to do.

Ford was being pursued by Florida Governor Rick Scott, who was in the process of shedding his human skin and turning into a giant Chupacabra-like monster.

Now, in real life, I’d recently presented a conference paper on archaeology in feature films. Gatorland was on my mind because it was used as a location for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Also, because it’s awesome.

Clarification: Gatorland is awesome. Temple of Doom was kind of a stupid yet lovable mess of a movie. The racism, however, not lovable.

I went back to sleep after my heart-rate returned to normal and didn’t give the dream a second thought in the morning.

Until I got a text from JunglePete.

JunglePete was a bit disturbed about the dream he had that he was stuck in traffic on I4 and Rick Scott turned into a Chupacabra.

I have no explanation for this shared brainwave. We’ll be visiting him again in a few days so I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

One year later….

We never did figure this out. The only logical explanation is that the Governor is a Chupacabra.

image: meanlouise


image: meanlouise

I know, I know – my photoshop skills leave much to be desired.

{update January 30, 2015} This post apparently went into the draft file even though I really meant to publish it. Then my blog had some sort of wordpress meltdown. I guess I’m just going to have to get my act back together and quite neglecting you all!

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.

Blue!
[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.

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[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.

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[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.

This morning I got out of bed, talked to Dr. Birdcage on the phone, drank a cup of coffee, and then went back to bed.

I dreamt that I woke up and walked into my living room and George was sitting there checking his email. This didn’t seem weird in the dream. Tracy, Roger, Rania and a few other people (can’t remember who) were doing something in the kitchen, though I have no idea what. There was a lot of whispering. Before I could investigate, George told me “we” were done converting the new office and showed me that my basement had become this very swank artomatic office with a big worktable in the middle. There were 4 chimpanzees wearing artomatic t-shirts and khaki shorts. They were intently scrapbooking.

Then I looked out the window and there was a fullsize trampoline in the back yard and Patrick was jumping up and down on it while intoning, “You’re gonna get hurt.”

Then I woke up and decided to drink more coffee and never sleep again. Ever.

(I blame some of this on Pepe the Mailorder Monkey)

Back in August, I had an incredibly weird dream. I wrote a draft post about it (which appears below), filed it, and forgot it. Until I read this:

Starting at 11 a.m., hundreds of dogs are expected to descend on Downtown Oak Park for the attempt to break the Guinness World Record of 178 canine couples wed in a mass ceremony. All couples will exchange “bow vows” at 1 p.m., with Oak Park Village President David Pope serving as officiant.

The event mentioned above made the news because they’ve invited the Obamas to attend and adopt a puppy, I was not randomly surfing around looking for dog weddings. Maybe I should have been.

I’m too tired to clean up this draft so it may seem odd because I wrote it August 11, 2008 and always intended to revise it so it would make more sense, but never did.

Last year, in a flickr and/or artomatic marriage made in heaven, Dr. Birdcage married Phil. The ceremony was performed by Pat, as written by me.

I mention this because the memory of this event must have been the genesis for the dream I had last night. I have no other explanation. It seemed so real, I was actually concerned that it had actually happened. The look on Husband’s face when I asked him if he knew anything about a massive artomatic dog wedding assured me it was only a dream.

So here’s the dream. I repeat: This did not actually happen, nor is it a planned event for next year’s Artomatic.

The dream took place at Artomatic, presumably the 2009 event, although we were still in the 2008 building. It was a dream, let’s just work with it. Pat and I built a little wedding chapel at Artomatic as our installation and, as Pat and I can both legally perform weddings, we were marrying people on Friday and Saturday nights. To each other, not to ourselves, of course. It was quite nice. People would invite their friends, we had a special Roger-built bar-cart for the receptions. We had sunflowers. Some people brought their own flowers.

Somewhere along the way, we decided to perform a ceremony so Ellyn could marry Emo, her dachshund. To the best of my knowledge, Ellyn has never, in real life, expressed any desire to marry her dog. I can’t explain why I would think she wanted to in this dream, but remember, it was a dream. We agreed to perform a wedding for Ellyn and Emo, and the next thing we knew more people wanted to marry their dogs.

For some reason, we decided to find a country that would agree to issue legal marriage licenses for people and their dogs. We found one, an island that saw good publicity and cash flow when it flashed before their eyes, and the process was simple. The marriage was non-exclusive, meaning you could also be married to a human and/or the rest of your pack. The marriage was only recognized on the island of St. Maarten. Presumably only the French side. I say that not because I think the French marry their dogs, but because that’s where Tracy was when I had the dream. And in the dream, she had stayed there to be our registrar of licenses. Somehow, we still managed to have Pho together every Sunday, distance never makes much sense in dreams, does it?

As an aside, you cannot actually marry your dog in St. Maarten and they have actual matrimony rules, which my subconscious decided to make a mockery of for no real reason. I blame Tracy.

Back to the dream…Next thing you know, we have a stage set-up in a huge field and we have thousands of people there to marry their dogs. There were of protesters, courtesy of the Rick Santorum website. Yes, Rick Santorum appeared to me in a dream. That, frankly, troubles me more than any other detail.

I could describe what everyone was wearing and what the band played and all those other oddly specific yet utterly mundane details, but it would be boring. Just picture a big field full of dogs and people, lots of camera crews, and, as proof this was a dream, hundreds of cheerful and enthusiastic volunteers. Also, a large cake shaped like a fire hydrant, which was instantly recognized to have been a very poor plan.

When we kicked off the ceremony, I made a stern speech about how people need to keep their dogs on a leash or they’d be escorted off the field. It went on a bit about this being for the safety of their own dog as much as others. I believe the military was supplying security. Also, for some reason that made sense at the time, nuns.

I made a joke about CNN being there and said that I’d originally planned to tell a joke about Wolf Blitzer and his cat, but had been informed this was now a family event and that I shouldn’t tell it. People could see me afterwards if they wanted to hear it. Even in my sleep, I have animosity for the Blitzer. I wish I could remember the joke, apparently it was as hilarious as it was obscene. Does Wolf have a cat?

We had the ceremony, and each person had a “Best Friend Best Friend” who recited the dog-vows. Pat recited the human vows. I recited the dog vows, which actually went: “Woof. Woof woof woof, woof…” etc. And the Best Friend Best Friends repeated the vows, “Woof. Woof woof.”

Like I said, I woke up deeply, deeply disturbed.

NASCAR star Jeremy Mayfield and his wife, Shana, stopped by our house the other night. They had the cutest little pug puppy with them, and they wanted us to think about adopting him.

The puppy was all black. They chose that one for us because Jeremy was concerned about the amount they shed and the texture of their hair – it apparently finds a way to stick to everything and sort of weave itself in – and he knew we wear a lot of black so this seemed like a good choice to him. It seemed like a good choice to me, too. He was the sweetest puppy and I fell in love.

Then Jeremy told me a lot about pugs and the great work of the Pug Rescue of North Carolina. Then we all had tea. It was truly one of the strangest dreams I’ve had in a long, long time.

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