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So there I am, fast asleep, staring down a fire alarm…

November 11, 2013, 12:09 AM

I graduated from high school in 1999.  That means that I have been out of high school for fourteen years.  The question I have is, why am I still having fire drill dreams?  I had one of these on Saturday night, and I don’t get it.

In this dream, I was going to Stuarts Draft High School, which is where I actually went to high school.  Back then, the school had a Simplex system, but the school has since been renovated.  It now has a Notifier system with System Sensor horn/strobes.  The take-home point on this, however, is that the school now contains a horn/strobe in every classroom.  And I am acutely aware of this.  When I was in school, I only shared a classroom with a fire alarm horn once.  That was in kindergarten at Southside Elementary School in Rogers, Arkansas, but the kindergarten room was the size of a basketball court with a really high ceiling.  At Grimes Elementary in Rogers, and Stuarts Draft Middle School and Stuarts Draft High School in Virginia, I never shared a classroom with a fire alarm horn except for in shop classes (where I never had a fire drill) and Phys. Ed, where we did have the occasional fire drill.  However, in middle school, two Edwards horns in a big gym weren’t very loud, but four Simplex 4040 horns in the gym in high school were extremely loud.  But outside from those situations, there were no horns in the rooms where I had class (the horns were out in the hallway).

In this dream, I was sitting in a modern-looking classroom on the first day of school at Stuarts Draft High School.  And across the room from me was this:

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Categories: Dreams, Fire drills, School

Okay, explain this dream…

February 28, 2013, 10:33 PM

Okay, this is a weird one.  Now you know I’ve discussed some odd dreams in this space in the past, like the surgery dream, the derailment dream, the Power Rangers dream, the countless Walmart dreams, CFW dreams, fire alarm dreams, etc.  But this one from a few weeks ago is hard to explain.  But here goes.

In this dream, I was at the building where I work in DC, and I was in the office doing work.  And outside, at least according to the dream, there was a volcano erupting.  Yes, a volcano.  In the DC area.  I know.  That said, this volcano was one of those explosive types of volcanoes, putting out tons of volcanic ash, but no lava, much like the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius that buried Pompeii.  In fact, in the dream, I even recalled that this was just like Pompeii.  Volcanic ash was falling all over, and the entire city was going to be buried, just like in Pompeii.  And we were all apparently doomed due to falling ash and poisonous volcanic gases.  It didn’t matter in the dream that Pompeii was only buried under nine feet of ash and my office is on the third floor, at least twenty-some feet above street level.  We were all doomed, and our building was going to get buried.  Completely.

With me so far?  Basically: big volcano erupts in DC area, ash falling all over the place, we’re all going to die.

The thing that got me in this dream was actually my own reaction.  Of course, I’ve noticed that in dreams, I seem to often “have a copy of the script” and know many details that are taken as indisputable fact within the dream’s fictional universe as things play out.  Thus how I knew volcano, ash, and pending death.  The only thing I saw in the dream was the inside of my office building.  Which had orange-red walls in my dream.  (Go figure.  The real office has mostly eggshell walls.)  But as my coworkers were panicking due to our impending burial by volcano, my reaction was indifference to our fate, because I had stuff that I had to take care of.  Yes, I was doing work as we were about to be buried under ash, decay completely, and then become plaster casts when we were rediscovered a thousand and some years later.  And yes, the idea of plaster casts of our final positions like happened in Pompeii came up in the dream.  I know.

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Categories: Dreams, Fire drills

Talk about a really scary dream…

January 30, 2012, 10:55 PM

Sometimes the scariest dreams that one has are the ones where one is drifting in and out of sleep in the early morning as the alarm clock blasts me out of my slumber periodically. The way I have things set, I have two alarm clocks. First, I have a conventional alarm clock next to the bed. Then across the room, I have an old cell phone with an alarm that’s set for a little while later that goes off for about a minute or so every five minutes that I have to actually get up to reset. Its repeated blasts are great for getting me up in the mornings.

So this morning, the cell phone alarm is doing its thing, and I’m drifting in and out of sleep. Between two of the alarms, I had a very short but terrifying dream. Ever heard of anesthesia awareness? This dream centered on that.

In this dream, I’m about to undergo a surgical procedure of some sort. Doesn’t matter what the procedure was, because it wasn’t made explicit in the dream. But it was enough to require general anesthesia. So in this dream, I’m there, and they administer the anesthesia. Everything goes black, and I am completely paralyzed, i.e. I can’t move anything or open my eyes. But my mind was still fully alert, and they were about to operate on me! I was terrified. I tried to shout, “I’M STILL HERE!” in an attempt to get the doctors’ attention, but because I was completely paralyzed by the anesthesia, I couldn’t do anything. I was helpless. I didn’t know what to do, because I couldn’t do anything. After what felt like a few minutes of that horrible feeling, knowing that extended, excruciating pain was imminent, I felt myself become able to move again… and woke up.

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Categories: Dreams

A day of railfanning, and then a somewhat disturbing dream…

February 23, 2009, 8:44 PM

First of all, hello! I can’t believe it’s been a week since last I wrote a Journal entry. I guess I haven’t had much to say lately. But now I do.

And by that, let me tell you about the fun I had on Saturday! Matthew Tilley and I got together and hit the Metro, doing a railfan trip on the Blue, Orange, and Yellow Lines. The trip served two purposes. First of all, I really enjoy Matthew’s company, as we always have fun when we get together, and this was no exception. Secondly, I bought a new Canon PowerShot SX10 IS camera in the past week, and so this was also acceptance testing for the camera, as I ran it through all of its paces in the many varied lighting conditions that Metro offers.

Now if you’re wondering about why I got another new digital camera within a year of getting Duckie and the Kodak, and since neither of those cameras have broken down (trust me, I’d tell you), let me explain. When it comes to the Kodak and me, it’s not working out. Basically, the Kodak is a little too automated for my needs, and goes from fully automated to fully manual with very little in between. Big Mavica gave a lot of in-between options for shooting, and I had gotten accustomed to having those, and missed them terribly. So the Kodak will be going on eBay soon. I figure, while it didn’t work out with me, it will almost definitely be perfect for someone else, and so let’s see if I can recover some of my investment in it. Plus I can provide sample images taken with the exact camera being offered for sale, so we’ll see what happens.

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Categories: Dreams, Matthew, WMATA

“It’s morphin time”?

November 11, 2008, 9:24 AM

Okay, try to explain where this dream came from. I dreamed last night that I became a Power Ranger. Yes, a Power Ranger. It was kind of a cross between in-universe and real life, making it pretty weird.

Presumably, we were a new team of Power Rangers. I found this box that looked like a briefcase, that contained these various items. I instinctively knew how to put some of the pieces together, to make a four-segment stick about a foot long. I then shouted, “It’s morphin’ time!” and held it out in front of me, vertically, with both hands. This electronic stick took a few seconds to light up in four different colors, bottom to top, becoming very warm in the process – almost too hot to touch near the top. And then at the end of it all, I became the Yellow Ranger.

The Yellow Ranger costume I ended up morphing into looked very similar to the suits from Power Rangers in Space. It was primarily yellow, and it had the five-color bar across the chest. But unlike the show, since I was a guy, the costume had no skirt (the Yellow Ranger for “In Space” was a female). I was a male Yellow Ranger, following in the footsteps of Tideus the Alien Ranger, I suppose. But there I was – I was the Yellow Ranger, and was as surprised as anyone to be the Yellow Ranger.

So I figured two things. First of all, I must be playing the Yellow Ranger on Power Rangers now. Secondly, those items in the case were morphers. I also briefly pondered why my ranger costume was of the “In Space” style, and how saying, “It’s morphin time!” to morph was so 1990s.

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Categories: Dreams, Power Rangers

A whole bunch of peanut butter-related topics…

February 19, 2007, 5:41 PM

First of all, I saw this cartoon on the editorial page of today’s edition of The News Virginian. Considering that I’ve spent much of the last five days dealing with peanut butter returns at work, I found this cartoon quite hilarious:

Peter Pan cartoon
Image: Cagle Cartoons

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Also, do you ever have this?

January 20, 2007, 12:37 AM

Some nights when you don’t get enough sleep, getting up can be a whole lot of fun. This is what happened this morning. The real alarm clock goes off. Snooze bar gets whacked, and I get a few more minutes of shuteye. Repeat a few times. Thirty minutes past the first blast of the alarm clock, my cell phone alarm goes off.

This, by the way, is deliberate. My real alarm clock is within arm’s reach. Then my cell phone is on my desk, and therefore out of reach from the bed. Thus to kill all the alarms, I have to be fully alert.

So I tried to drown out the cell phone. Then my regular alarm goes off again. Snoozed. The cell phone also automatically snoozed, thereby going silent. I then start negotiating with myself. Seriously. I look at the time in big numbers on my alarm clock, and I think about how much wiggle room I have time-wise, and whether I can still catch a few more winks. I make my determination, and then either snooze or get up. So we look, and it’s like this: DEE DEE DEE DEE DEE *whack*.

Then of course actually getting completely up on those kinds of mornings requires a can or two of Coke Zero. Once we clear that, I’m usually good for the day, though. I just find it amazing that I found myself negotiating with myself over about fifteen minutes of sleep…

Categories: Amusing, Dreams, Myself

Saturday night, I had an interesting dream…

January 8, 2007, 10:56 AM

It’s not often that I’ll dream about Greta, our dachshund. Greta usually doesn’t factor into my dreams. I’ve had more dreams about fire drills in school than about Greta, if that tells you anything. I’ve also had more dreams about protests than about Greta.

But I did have a dream about Greta on Saturday night. In this dream, we had two dogs – Greta, and another, larger dog. In the dream, the dog looked like a Labrador Retriever, which is a bit bigger than Greta, a dachshund. Greta is twelve years old, and this unnamed new dog was definitely a lot younger than Greta. And despite the other dog’s larger stature, guess who was pushing who around. That’s right, Greta was showing the other dog who was boss.

I was like, go, Greta! in seeing this in the dream, because when we go on walks, Greta’s definitely the one getting her butt sniffed when we encounter other people’s dogs. So it was nice to see Greta basically taking charge, even if it was only a dream. In real life, Greta’s like those people who talk big and have nothing to back it up. The neighbors’ dogs know when Greta’s outside, because she always has a few words for them. And based on what I’ve heard Greta saying to those other dogs, I’d say that her mother would be embarrassed. Greta barks like a sailor, you see. But she’s got that fence to keep the other dogs out, so Greta can say whatever she wants and who’s going to stop her? Well, Mom, maybe.

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Categories: Dreams, Greta

I had what I’d best describe as a “clearinghouse” dream

January 14, 2006, 8:33 PM

Ever have one of those dreams that seems to lump every dream scenario possible into one dream? I had one of those last night. Let me explain.

In this dream, I was in the DC area with Mom, Sis, and Chris Lysy (Sis’s boyfriend). They were with me to see a play. I was there for a protest. And I’m not talking about a small protest like the one that became Confirmation Demonstration. I’m talking about a big protest – one that would have a Black Bloc. And so I’d brought the backpack with me, with my Black Bloc stuff inside.

So I said goodbye to the three of them at Rosslyn, and headed back down into the Metro to go to the protest. I made a realization – I didn’t have something with me that I would need for the protest. I debated going back to Vienna to get it, but decided that I would just make do without it. Then I realized I didn’t have something else. Vienna? No. I’ll make do. This kept mounting. Then a Blue Line train came on the outbound tracks. It was an Alstom 6000-series train! By the way, in real life, these are not yet in revenue service, and are currently undergoing acceptance testing. And I missed it. The railfan in me was cursing the missed opportunity. I wanted to ride an Alstom. Things were not going very well, as I turned out to be missing a LOT of stuff that I’d need for the protest, and had a dilemma – do I go back to Vienna to get the stuff and miss a good chunk of the protest, or make do as well as I could. Decisions, decisions, decisions…

And then I woke up.

What a dream. This combined protests, that DC trip I took with Mom and Sis, and my love of trains all in one big dream, and also had a few “oh, crap” situations in there. All I have to say is what a dream. Especially since I’m usually quite well-prepared for protests and DC trips in general. Only time I’ve forgotten something for a protest was on J20 when I forgot the literature (the printouts from the Web that gave information about what was going on), and for that, I realized I’d forgotten it while I was still very close to the house, and turned around and got it. Time lost: ten minutes.

Categories: Dreams

I’ll bet you had no idea that the Blue Line ran to Staunton…

October 23, 2005, 6:59 PM

Yes – in this very strange dream that I had, Metro runs to Staunton, near where I live. Specifically, Staunton Mall. And specifically, the Blue Line.

In this dream, Mom and I were at Staunton Mall at night. We were out shopping, and I discovered that there was a Metro station at Staunton Mall. It was an elevated station, with side platforms similar to Eisenhower Avenue or West Hyattsville. So while Mom was telling me to hurry up and such, I went up and visited the station. Somehow, in this dream though, I wasn’t on the platform. I was in the trackbed. There were no “third rails” in the trackbed, for some reason. Go figure. After I’d crossed from one track to the other, Mom shouted to me that I was in the tracks and what if a train was coming. That’s when I decided to climb up onto the platform opposite where I originally was (which I was now standing next to). Then I noticed something to my right:

Train similar to the one in my dream

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Categories: Dreams, WMATA

I always wonder what makes people from the past appear…

April 25, 2005, 9:01 AM

First of all, I have survived seven consecutive days of Wally World and made it to a day off – that is an accomplishment!

And after those seven days, after going to bed last night, you know who appeared in my dream? Mecca Marsh, whom, you may recall, was my hall director all three years in Potomac. And in this case, the situation was amicable, unlike the last time Mecca appeared in my dream. This time, it was a chance encounter in a shopping mall, and it was a meet-and-catch-up affair. And a quick one, as both of us were in a hurry in this dream. All in all, very strange. Though it has been two years since Mecca and I last saw each other (and hasn’t it been pleasant?), so catching up would be in order if we ever ran into each other.

Still, weird. How this dream got formed, I shall never know.

Categories: Dreams

I told some coworkers about a dream I had, and I had another one!

March 21, 2005, 6:11 AM

I told two coworkers at Wal-Mart who had also worked with me at CFW/Telegate (though only one was from the Telegate era) about the dream that I had that I told you about in my March 5 Journal entry entitled “Six days in the house thus far…” And after telling them about the dream, now last night I had another weird Telegate dream! And this one is a real doozie.

I don’t know if this dream satisfies some internal urge for getting revenge on Telegate for closing our call center and costing us all a job or something, but this was a weird one.

In this dream, a number of us were working for Telegate. Then we found out that our call center was closing. This was due to the company mismanaging all sorts of whatever. And in this dream, the “company” was basically one man who owned the place and was also our boss. And the whole focus of the dream was that if we were going down due to the closure of the center, that we were taking him down with us. Since in this dream, you see, this man was not exactly without sin. He was raising large amounts of strange, genetically modified, mutant rodents in his office. Now notwithstanding any legal or ethical standards in the real world, in my dream, this practice was highly illegal, and we knew it was and were going to report the guy, as well as on the way he mismanaged the call center (it was never revealed how it was mismanaged in the dream, but it cost us our jobs, and it was also criminal, whatever it was). After taking our last calls, a number of us stormed the guy’s office for something or other. But we confronted him, basically to the extent of either getting the center back up and running or he was going down. The man showed us out of the building via the employee entrance. We went right back in via the main entrance, saying it wasn’t going to be so easy to get rid of us.

And then I woke up. Always when we get to the good part, too. And when that happens, it’s like poof. The dream is gone. And I even tried to go back to sleep so I could pick up again where I left off in a naïve attempt to return to the dream.

Strange dream, indeed. That’s two Telegate-related dreams in one month. One hopeful, and the other one vengeful. Weird.

Categories: CFW, Dreams

Six days in the house thus far…

March 5, 2005, 6:34 PM

Yes, this is day #6… Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and now Saturday. I have been at home recovering from this procedure. And according to Mom, it’s slowly but surely healing up. I have to ask, because the wound is not somewhere that I can see myself.

Meanwhile, it’s Spring Break at Virginia Tech, and my sister is in Europe! Her boyfriend Chris is doing a study abroad program this semester, and so Sis is going to visit him. Of course, the trip nearly didn’t happen, as there was a small snafu with the passport, as we didn’t realize that since she was under a certain age that it expired sooner than the rest of ours did. But with some scrambling, a phone call to the office of our Congressman, Bob Goodlatte, and an unexpected trip to Washington DC (vs. just Dulles Airport, where the flight was), my father managed to get the whole situation straightened out, and she’s over in Europe now. So I hope she has fun.

Meanwhile, the TV is showing nothing but wall-to-wall Martha Stewart. My exact thought is, who cares? She just happens to be a celebrity that went to jail, instead of someone less-known.

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What a horrible dream…

May 16, 2004, 3:16 AM

This was quite a dream last night. For what seemed like ages, in my dream, I was constantly telling people to go to the registers, because the Service Desk was CLOSED for the night, and that I had no register in which to give refunds from, and that money transfers would not be available until the Service Desk opened. No telling why I was there in this dream (especially since I even acknowledged in the dream that I was in my bedroom at home), and for the customers to please GO AWAY!

I think this dream came from two things. One, yesterday was day six of an eight-day stretch without a day off. Secondly, yesterday was the day from hell at times, with it being Saturday, plus a number of people (one in particular) with a few screws loose.

And now I work the 7-4 at the Service Desk today. Hopefully today will make up for yesterday, plus I hope it makes up for that dream I had…

Categories: Dreams, Walmart

April 1!

April 1, 2004, 11:57 PM

Wow… I haven’t written to you all since Tuesday morning.

Anyway, I have to say that I was successful in my eradication of the virus on Sis’s computer, which was W32.Pinfi. With over 3,000 instances of it, someone really did a number on that machine. But we got it all cleaned up, and she’s back online. Thank goodness. As it is, I was working on her computer until 1:00 AM, and didn’t get home until almost 4:00. That was a LONG day.

And I found out that we missed something on Becky’s computer, which I fixed on Monday night in Harrisonburg, as the W32.Welchia.B virus reappeared. Seems we missed something. So we’re going to make another trip up to fix that. And meanwhile, I’m going to do a little research to find out why the blasted thing came back.

Meanwhile, pouring the candy from a broken bag of chocolates into the trash reminded me of an oft-repeated dream I’ve had. From time to time, I have dreams that I’m at work. Now in these dreams, I know I’m clocked out, because I don’t have to go into work for a while. So with that, I then think, “I’m working off the clock, how did I get into this?” and “I’m working off the clock! I’m going to be in so much trouble!” Etc. The dreams tend to revolve around the fact that I’m working at the Service Desk, and doing so off the clock, and how did I get into this.

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