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Jul. 11th, 2017 @ 12:30 am "I Love Lucy" Dream
I had a dream that I was watching an "I Love Lucy" marathon. And you know how most of the series took place in the apartment that they lived in, but there were those later episodes that you don't see re-runs of as often that took place with them living out on a farm? Well in my dream, there were episodes that took place even later than that, as if they had brought the series back years later. Lucy was older and Little Ricky was a boy in his mid teens. Also present was a girl just a little younger than Little Ricky, and referred to as being his cousin. She was clearly one of the main characters, but she never had any speaking lines, as if she was mute - however this was never mentioned outright.

Ricky Ricardo was missing entirely - a fact that the show seemed to go out of its way to not focus on or even mention in dialogue, but always seemed to hover close enough to make it rather an elephant in the room. Also gone was any stability that he had brought to Lucy's life. The show didn't take place on any specific set, but rather was about the three of them traveling from place to place in one of those old car-style ambulances - never to cities, but always to abandoned farmhouses and the like, located on the fringes of a society that seemed to have entered a second great depression. Together they took up odd jobs assisting others with funerals and burials and similar tasks for meager pay. The series was filled with long shots of them riding together silent in the car as the scenery passed by in the background. These episodes had a definite "Grapes of Wrath" vibe about them.

At the end of the dream was an episode that had taken place earlier in this run of the series where the three of them had stopped at the same abandoned farm house as two men - one older and one younger (an age difference enough for them to have been father and son, but it was implied that they were not) - who were also traveling around and doing odd jobs related to the deaths of others. The older man was a priest, and the episode started off with a general feel that it would be a good thing for the two groups to travel together, as their skill-sets were synergistic. But as they set up camp together in that abandoned farmhouse and night began to fall, it became apparent that there was something unsavory about these two men.

The episode was primarily focused on the younger of the two men and his interactions with Little Ricky and his cousin. He had candy that he was giving freely to Ricky, but was taunting the cousin with, refusing to give it to her unless she performed various odd and degrading acts - crawling around in the dirt on her hands and knees, for example. When Ricky confronted him about it, he insisted that it all in fun, and besides, she was only a girl. Ricky stood firm and insisted "She's my cousin. What does her being a girl have to do with anything?" But the younger of the two men brushed off the comment insisting that clearly Ricky was too young to understand.

At this, Little Ricky took his cousin by the hand and marched into the house to find Lucy. She and the older man were sitting together on the dusty and threadbare furniture, too close to one another - and it was clear that Lucy was not at all comfortable with it. The man looked startled at the interruption, but Lucy was clearly relieved - though what exactly had been going on before Ricky entered the room, the show had chosen to leave unsaid. There was a moment of awkward silence as Ricky and his mother looked one another in the eye, and then simultaneously announced "We're leaving."

And then, over the protests of the two men, the three of them got into the old ambulance and drove away into the night.
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May. 2nd, 2017 @ 02:20 am An idea for a comic
PANEL ONE - a man and a woman in an office setting are speaking.

Man: I just met the new H. R. guy. I don't know how to say it, but he looks... weird? SUPER Weird.

Woman: You can't say things like that. I think he's Samoan. Saying that he looks weird is being racist.

PANEL TWO - Continuation of the man and the woman talking.

Man: I... don't think he's Samoan.

PANEL THREE - There's a stereotypical desk with various desk toys and a name plate with "H. R." engraved into it. Behind this desk sits H. R. Puffinstuff wearing a business suit.
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Jan. 17th, 2017 @ 06:01 am Analogies

Man: Analogies are like people - none of them are perfect.
Old Woman: Jesus was perfect!
Man: You're wrong - Jesus is a fictionalized interpretation of a historical figure who was just as flawed as the rest of us, lady. NOBODY is perfect, and your argument is invalid.
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Jan. 15th, 2017 @ 05:42 am Kerosene Heater Dream
I had a dream earlier tonight - in the dream, I woke up to realize that my feet were caught in the wire cage around a kerosene heater. I could feel the flesh on the soles of my feet burning. but I realized that if I just yanked them free, I would likely tip over the heater and the whole apartment building would catch on fire as a result. So I tried to carefully get them lose without making any sudden movements, but it was hard because the pain was excruciating.

I woke up from the extreme pain before I was able to get them free. In the waking world my feet were fine. The pain had all been imaginary.

It was refreshing to be woken up from a nightmare that didn't involve politics or politicians.
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Jan. 9th, 2017 @ 03:54 am Nightmare
I had one of those dreams the other night that start with you thinking that you've just woken up, but you really haven't.

I laid there in bed, not yet wanting to move, and hoping that I might drift back into slumber when I heard a noise - a shuffled step across my carpet. At that moment I knew that there was someone else in the room with me. I froze, trying not to change my breathing, trying not to move or do anything that might alert the person to my sudden awakedness*. I tried to angle my head to see who the person was...

I remember the rest of the dream from two alternating perspectives: my own point of view, and from a third person perspective, almost looking down on the room - as if someone had installed a security camera in the North-West corner by my ceiling, tucked out of the way. My bedroom was well lit (which it never is - I work third shift, so I keep a blanket thumb-tacked in place over the window, but this is a dream, so we'll roll with it) and had almost a rosy glow to it as if the sun were just rising or setting. The air felt warm and dry (as a child I had an attic bedroom and the insulation up there wasn't super great. I remember how the air tasted on warm summer days, as if the warmed wood under the shingles was contributing not to the air's scent, but to its flavor. This was the same).

It was from the third person perspective that I was able to see the figure of Donald J. Trump** standing at one of my book shelves (my bed room has three, most of which contain as many odd items and piles of lose papers as they do books). He wore his familiar neck tie, tied so long that it hangs down to his crotch, and his wide cuffed pants that make his shoes look comically small (I read an article at one point about his style of dress, and since then I've been unable to ignore the elements that this article had pointed out). Mr. Trump was going through the items on my shelves, never getting them out of order, but just handling them, looking them over, and returning them to what had roughly been their place.

But then he stopped - abruptly. I was sure that he had realized that I was awake, so I closed my eyes and tried my best to feign a state of unconsciousness. He crept over to me, that same familiar shuffle of shoes on carpet, and knelt down next to me, his face inches from mine. Though my eyes were closed, I could see him there, taking up the whole of my field of vision as he examined me. And then - and this was the part that still makes me shiver just remembering it - he smelled me. It was like a cat, always wanting to smell your fingers before they allow you to pet them. He sniffed at me two or three times, and then, convinced, returned to my book shelves.

I watched him from the third person perspective, touching and handling my possessions. The spines of my books, previously flush with one another, were being left uneven and messy. Piles of papers would end up lop-sided and disheveled. Every thing he touched, I could FEEL his finger prints left behind, as if I was the item in question, and seeing the way he handled them left me feeling dirty and sticky and in need of a shower.

He returned twice more to my bedside to look me over, to sniff at me. And on his third visit, his closeness made me sneeze. There was a moment where we stared at each other in silence, and then he opened his mouth and screamed. Looking back at the dream, I recognize the sound that he made as "The most angry yell in history" from Anthony Scodary and Nico Benitez's "How to kill a Mocking Bird***", but in the dream I just remember being terrified. I screamed as well, and it was my own scream that woke me up.

* I chose "awakedness" over "wakefulness" here (even though I'm not convinced that it's an actual word) because it sounds similar to "nakedness", and I like the sense of vulnerability that that conveys.

** I have been having a series of bad dreams since roughly mid-December featuring our nation's president elect. I want them to stop.

*** https://youtu.be/fo45o69HaKI?t=228
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Aug. 7th, 2016 @ 07:49 am Being a human is weird
Being a human is weird, but a lot of that weirdness is a result of social rules that other humans came up with well before I was born. I wish I lived in a society that could opt to discard social rules that it's grown out of, much in the same way that a lizard is able to shed its skin. But unfortunately *part* of being human is having those social rules ingrained into your being during your formative years - No matter how much you try to reject them, they'll always be there, lurking in the darkness.

The only solution to fixing this situation is for each of us to work to recognize the parts of society that have been ingrained into us while we were growing up that run counter to the society that we hope humanity will some day achieve, and then do everything within our power to ensure that those parts of our being do not become ingrained in our children as well. ...And then to hope with all our hearts that other humans have recognized the same failings of our current society, and are also working to ensure that those bits do not end up ingrained in *their own* children.

This is a high hope. It is unreasonable to expect that we will all have the enlightenment necessary to work toward this end, and even more unreasonable still to believe that even if all of us did, we would all recognize the same facets of ourselves as being toxic to the future society we hope our children's children will some day live in.

...But another part of being human - a part that I do not think our race will ever be able to discard - is fostering hopes that are beyond the unreasonable, and striving for them regardless.
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Jun. 30th, 2016 @ 05:19 am Regarding Taxes
Dear people who complain about taxes,

Every pay stub I recieve explains how 28.72% of the money that I earned was redirected - before it even got to me - to various federal, state, and local agencies and funds. And I'm glad that it does.

That money pays for the infrastructure that allows us to have a national healthcare system where new technologies and procedures are shared and improved upon. That money provides for the roads and bridges that I use every day to get from place to place. That money allows our military to continue developing technologies that improve everyone's lives, such as the GPS system.

I'm not going to say that every penny of that money goes toward things that I agree with, but a LOT of it does, and I'm excited to know that my efforts have contributed to the cool and useful things that that money helps provide.
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Jun. 26th, 2016 @ 06:31 am A Monologue
"We are all saviors. For who among us has not found themselves nailed to a cross of someone else's sin? And who among us has not died, at least a little on the inside, so that someone else might find forgiveness? So go on, pray to Jesus - yes! But do not forget to pray also to your brothers and sisters. Do not forget to pray also to those who came before us and those who will come after. And most importantly, do not forget to pray to yourself - for who among us is more likely to work toward ensuring that your prayers are answered?"
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Jun. 4th, 2016 @ 10:30 am Baby Sitter's Club Dream
I had a dream that I acquired a set of all the books in the "Baby Sitter's Club" series. I didn't really want them, but they were super cheap. I had never read any of them, so I picked up one of the books from the middle of the series and started reading, just to get a better idea of what kind of things they were about.

The entire plot seemed to revolve around Princess Leah and Kosmo Kramer, now divorced, trying to get along amicably for the sake of their two jedi children.

And I kept pointing this out to people and asking them how it was possible for the book to be about this without the publisher getting sued for copyright infringement, but everyone I talked to just kind of waved it off with an explanation that the entire series was just full of stuff like that and it was perfectly normal, and that maybe if I had read them as a kid I would understand.
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May. 24th, 2016 @ 12:47 am That's one heck of a nurse...
Austin: Do you trust Phil Collins?
John: Um... I guess?
John: He did call out that dude for not saving that other dude from drowning.
Austin: He told us that his generation would put things right and that they're not just making promises that they'll never keep.
John: Phil's full of fucking shit and I'll never trust him again.
John: He can just go back to the land of confusion.
Austin: Okay. Good. That's what I thought.
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