A Misplaced Hacienda

Cast of characters:

  • Virginia – The best (and my former) stylist in Chicago.  She’s one year and one day younger than me, and sometimes, we have the same peachy-colored hair.
  • Me

Historical context:

  • I’ve been to several countries in Eastern Europe, but never really to the countryside.
  • Once again, I love Mexico.
  • No other real context.

The dream:

I had this dream a few nights ago.  It was a weird one.  I was standing in a decrepit shack in the middle of nowhere.  The shack was made of long-faded gray wood, and the shutters were hanging by a thread.  I stood out on the rotten front porch, looking over a beautiful green field of long grass towards a “hacienda” about a half mile away to my West.  I was somewhere in Eastern Europe.  I left the shack and started walking down a dusty road that cut through the green field to the South.  It was a bright and sunny day with a blue sky.  I walked towards the hacienda in complete silence, and the grass was swaying in the breeze.  When I arrived at the hacienda, which was really an old adobe-style Mexican house, I entered the courtyard from the South.  The house surrounded the courtyard on the West, North, and East sides.  The rooms of the house were open to the courtyard… the walls were a deep cream, and the roof was made of terra cotta tiles.  You had to climb 2-3 steps to enter the house from any direction.  I entered the North side of the house and stood in the empty entryway.  I was really confused.  Then all of a sudden I was in the East side of the house, and I realized that I was in a Mexican restaurant.  There were 3 tables with 2 chairs each in this room, and the walls were a dark peach color.  All of a sudden, Virginia walked into the room and put a bowl full of salsa on one of the tables.  I was so relieved to see her.  Her hair was tied up in a kerchief, and she was wearing a white apron… she was the waitress.  Now, I was in Mexico, not Eastern Europe.  The steps from this room down to the courtyard were old and crumbling concrete, and each stair was covered with plywood so that you wouldn’t fall through the stairs.  I started to slither down the stairs like a snake, disrupting the plywood as I made my way down to the courtyard.  Virginia told me to be careful.  Then I stood up, and started walking down the dusty road, through the green field, and back to the little gray shack.  I walked in complete silence, as the grass swayed in the breeze.  The sky was black with an impending storm.

The end.

BONUS:  Here’s a little snippet of another dream I had that night.  I was walking from my loft in Chicago to the California Blue Line stop, which is the El stop closest to my loft.  I stopped in front of the little Mexican grocery right in front of the stop, and looked down at my purse.  It was this cream colored purse from H&M that I bought when I was about 23 and that I haven’t seen in at least 10 years.  The zipper had split.  I kept zipping it back and forth, hoping that I could get the teeth of the zipper to start gripping each other again.  I just stared at my purse as I kept trying to zip it back and forth, back and forth, with no luck.

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A Day in Guadalajara

Cast of characters:

  • Cardinal Jessica – One of my BFFs who I met about 12 years ago. She was the door girl at the best bar in the world, the Cardinal Bar, in Madison, WI, where I spent a large portion of my time in the mid-2000s. We both then moved to Chicago. She now lives in Minneapolis.
  • Nacho – The definition of pure awesomeness.  My girls and I met Nacho and his friends in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, while on vacation in 2013.  He’s one of the nicest people on the planet, and he lives in Guadalajara.  We’re friends to this day, and he helps me practice my Spanish and keeps me laughing. 🙂
  • Nacho’s “friends” (not any that I met)
  • Me

Historical context:

  • I still use CDs in my car’s CD changer (I’m old school).  I have several deep house compilations from DJs at the Cardinal Bar from way back in the day.
  • I like the Green Bay Packers.
  • I love Mexico, but have never been to Guadalajara.
  • I was with Cardinal Jessica when we met Nacho.
  • Nacho drove us around Playa with his friends in a white SUV while on vacation.
  • Cardinal Jessica and I (and our other girls!) are going back to Playa next month.

The dream:

Last night’s dream started with Cardinal Jessica and I in Chicago, flying to Guadalajara for the day.  We arrived at the airport in Guadalajara, and Nacho and his friends picked us up in a shiny new white Suburban.  Nacho was wearing a Green Bay Packers sweatshirt… it was green with yellow writing and a yellow collar.  Nacho’s friend was really tall and big, and he was also wearing a green Packers sweatshirt, along with a green, satin Packers coat.  There were a bunch of other nondescript friends around.  I remember looking to the left and seeing a large US-style water tower.  Jessica and I got into the back of the Suburban… Jess on the right and I on the left.  Nacho got into the passenger seat, and his big friend got into the driver’s seat.  The other friends all piled into the middle seats.  There were probably 8 of us total in the Suburban.  We told them that we had to return to the airport for a 5:30pm flight back to Chicago in order to catch our flight down to Playa del Carmen.  Nacho and his friend said that they would have us back to the airport at 5:00pm, which would give us plenty of time to check in.  Jessica and I said we’d probably need more time than that.  Once we were all in the Suburban, we just started driving all around Guadalajara, which was actually more of a village than a city.  The colors outside were very bright greens and yellows and rich browns.  All of a sudden, I had a CD case in my hands, full of all of my old deep house compilations from the Cardinal Bar.  I pulled one out and handed it up for Nacho to throw into the CD changer in the Suburban.  Then I handed up another and another.  We just listened to my CDs as we drove around.  It came time for the boys to drop us off at the airport.  We got out of the Suburban and said our thank yous and goodbyes to them.  Then Jessica and I entered the airport, and the boys drove off.  Then I realized that I had left my precious CDs in the CD changer.  Oh man!

The end.

Tent Hopping and a Honduran Gangster

Cast of characters:

  • Me
  • A Honduran gangster

Historical context:

  • I don’t like sleeping in tents.  It’s just kind of gross.  All I can think of is condensation on the bottom side of my sleeping bag and the smell of stale Doritos.  I’d be more apt to sleep in a tent if it was cold outside.
  • I don’t own a tent.
  • When I was 11, I bought my very first Panasonic boom box for $88.  It had a double tape deck!  It still exists and is swimming around my parents’ house somewhere…
  • I don’t know any Hondurans that I can think of, and I have never been to Honduras.

The dream:

This dream was weird, and I’ll do my best to try to describe it.  I was sitting on a large grassy hill facing north.  The hill was absolutely expansive, and I was sitting high over a lake so large that it was more like a sea.  The grass was yellow green, and there were dark green forests far away to the east and west.  The lake was slate gray.  There were a few people around… kids playing, adults at picnic tables.  It seemed that we were in a park of some sort, and it was absolutely silent.  Suddenly, I was sitting inside a royal blue, 4-person tent far to the east near the forest.  It was my tent, and I had dirty clothes sprawled upon the floor of the tent.  My black boom box was along the back wall.  I was sitting among the dirty clothes, when I realized that I wanted to move the tent further west towards the center of the park and along the major road that ran along the south side of the park.  My tent was magically meant to move on its own, with me inside, but all of the dirty clothes weighed it down too much, so my magic tent was having a hard time moving.  It just shuddered when it tried to move.  So I picked up the dirty clothes and put them in a mesh laundry bag.  So now, there was a laundry bag full of dirty clothes, my boom box, and me in the tent.  With this arrangement, with the clothes placed in a laundry bag, the tent was able to move on its own.  We slid across the grass until we were in the center of the park, about 10 feet from the busy road at the southern end.  I unzipped the door of the tent to look out over the traffic.  My line of vision was at about the same level as a big, gray, steel guard rail, but I could see the cars whizzing by in both directions.  I could hear the loud traffic.

Flash to a vision on a black and white TV of a Honduran gangster.  It was his mugshot, and we was wearing a black shirt with white writing.  He was short and round, and he had a round head with black hair about an inch long.  There was news commentary in the background about the gangster wanting to shave his head.  His dad didn’t want him to shave his head.  Flash to the Honduran gangster’s knuckles being  directly in front of my face in real life.  He showed me both sets of knuckles, across which “True Bloods” was tattooed in black ink.  That was the name of his gang.

The end.

The Bust of Aaron Rodgers

Cast of characters:

  • Torgeir and Roar, Norwegian brothers on the Netflix series “Lilyhammer”
  • Laurence – A former French co-worker in Chicago; my age-ish, and great!

Historical context:

  • I have been binge watching Lilyhammer the past week.  Funny show… you should check it out!
  • GO PACKERS!
  • Love me some rice!
  • Yellow is my favorite color.

The dream:

This dream was super short and sweet.  I was standing in the parking lot of Lambeau Field, home of the Packers, in Green Bay, Wisconsin (OK, technically in Ashwaubenon).  The parking lot was snowy, but it had been plowed, and it was sunny outside.  Torgeir and Roar were with me, and we were the only ones in the parking lot.  Torgeir was wearing a green sweatshirt with “Green Bay Packers” written in yellow pacman-esque letters.  He was wearing an open winter jacket over the top.  I know that Roar was there, but I don’t remember what he was wearing.  We were in the parking lot, because Torgeir and Roar had entered a competition that was about to start in the parking lot.  What type of competition, you ask?  Well, it was a competition to build a statue (or a bust, rather – mid-chest and up) of Aaron Rodgers using nothing more than sticky rice and soy sauce.  All of a sudden, Laurence was there, wearing my favorite yellow sundress.  Then, suddenly, she wasn’t wearing the sundress anymore, but instead was bundled up in outdoor winter clothes.  She was there to supervise their Aaron-Rodgers bust building.

The end.

Return to Rochester

Cast of characters:

  • Molly – A current co-worker in DC.
  • Molly’s “mom”

Historical context:

  • I was a Program Director at Camp Lucerne in central Wisconsin the summer after my freshman year of college.
  • Molly sometimes accompanies me on my drives home to the Midwest over the holidays.  I drop her off in Toledo so she can head home to Detroit.
  • I dropped my valet key in between my center console and my car seat last week when dropping my car off at the garage next to work.  When I got home, I spent about 15 minutes looking for the key with a flashlight.  The next day, I spent about 30 more minutes looking for the key.  I haven’t found it yet, and it’s driving me nuts.
  • I have zero connection to Rochester, New York.
  • You all may use Kayak, but I still default to Expedia when looking for airfare. 😉

The dream:

Sorry, Guys.  It’s been a long time since I posted last.  I need to get this back on my radar.  Truth be told, it’s been a hectic few months, and I don’t think I’ve been getting the same quality of sleep as I’m used to.  Thus, I really haven’t been dreaming too much lately.  But I had a dream a couple nights ago, so let’s get back to business…

So this dream was full of anxiety, once again.  But it did have a bit of humor rolled into it at the end. 🙂

My dream started at Camp Lucerne, which was located in a forest outside of Rochester, New York.  In my dream, I was my current self at my current age, and I was staying at a cabin at the camp.  The cabin was made of slate gray wood with a flat roof and located in a grove of tall old oak trees.  The bark of the oak trees was gray, and the leaves were the yellow-green of early spring.  The ground – coated with old leaves, sticks, and dirt – was gray.  I walked into the cabin, bundled up in gray and black winter clothes, and looked across the several gray cots and dusty dressers.  I grabbed my favorite cognac-colored handbag (you know the one!) off a gray coffee table in the center of the room, and walked out the door.  I was leaving to drive home to Detroit with Molly.

All of a sudden, we were at Molly’s house in suburban Detroit.  I’ve never been there, so I don’t know what it really looks like.  But in my dream, it had 1970s wood paneling on the walls (it was gray), and all of the things in the house were muted… grays, tans, etc.  All of a sudden, I realized that I had left my keys in the cabin at Camp Lucerne outside of Rochester (forget the fact that I must have used my keys to drive to Detroit).  I usually dream that I lose my purse, but this time, I left my keys behind.  I started freaking out and knew that I had to fly back to Rochester to get my keys so that I could drive from Detroit back to Rochester.  Yeah, confusing.  Molly let me borrow a laptop in her Dad’s office, and I started to look at flights from Detroit to Rochester on Expedia.  All of a sudden, I was sitting at a desk in Molly’s parents’ kitchen, looking up flights on a desk top computer.  I started to cry.  Then Molly’s mom came over to me, and she was a short and round Latina mom, wearing a royal blue sweater and gray tinted glasses with a beaded glasses chain around her neck.  (I’ve met Molly’s mom, and she is neither short nor round nor Latina.)  She gave me a big hug, patted me on the back, and told me it would be OK.  I was so happy to hug her, because she made me feel better. 🙂

The end.

A Snake in My Pants

Cast of characters:

  • Amy P. – I met Amy my freshman year of college at the UW-Madison in 1996.  I lived with her for two years during college, and she’s been one of my best friends ever since.  She currently lives in Madison.  Miss her!
  • Random dude driving a brown VW Rabbit
  • Lil BUB – Celebrity cat… awesome!
  • Copperhead snake

Historical context:

  • I am absolutely petrified of snakes.
  • I love Lil BUB!
  • My dad drove a brown VW Rabbit when I was very little in the early 1980s.  I saw one driving down East Wash when I was in Madison last week… hadn’t seen one in a good 30 years.
  • I was in Spain in June.
  • I’m not particularly fond of khakis.

The dream:

This was surely an anxiety-ridden dream, verging on a nightmare.  I woke up in a panic.

I was walking through a small village in Spain with Amy.  We were walking over cobblestones, all the buildings were made of tan-colored stone, and it was a bright, sunny, blue-sky day.  While we were walking, a random guy drove up in an early 1980’s brown VW Rabbit.  He opened the passenger door and offered us a ride.  We seemed to know him and decided to go with him.  There were bench seats covered in white vinyl in both the front and back of the car.  It was a four-door, and Amy got into the back seat, while I got into the front passenger seat.  After closing the door, I looked down at my khaki shorts, and a copperhead snake slithered up from the right side of the seat, over my hip, and onto my lap.  I started screaming, but I couldn’t move to get it off of me.  He was angry and baring his fangs and kept lunging at my right thigh to bite me.  But he couldn’t bite me through my shorts.  I knew that, if my shorts were only an inch shorter, he would be sinking his fangs into my thigh each time.  Each time he lunged at my leg to bite me, he shot venom onto my bare knee.  I had a ton of venom running from my knee down my shin.  He just kept lunging and lunging while I was screaming… I’m not sure if Amy and the guy were even still in the car at that point.  All of a sudden, the snake stopped trying to bite me and slithered down my thigh, over my knee, down my shin, onto the floor, and through a hole under the dash and into the engine.  He was about 4-6 feet long.  Once he made his way entirely through the hole and into the engine, I felt some relief.

Suddenly, I was standing outside the car in the same village, but now in the town square, standing on wide tan-colored paving stones.  It was still bright and sunny, and I was still surrounded by tan, stone buildings.  I was now wearing khaki pants instead of shorts.  I looked down to my feet, and all of a sudden the snake started slithering out of my bottom, right pant leg and onto the ground.  The snake was in my pants!  I was so disgusted and freaked out.  I started screaming and jumping around trying to get him out of my pants.  He slowly slithered all the way out of my pants.  Once he was fully on the ground, he coiled up, and I knew that we was going to shortly lunge at me to kill me.  I looked all around me to see what I could do.  To my left, Amy and the guy were now standing outside the car watching me.  Behind me, I saw a church about 100 yards away.  I knew that, if I could get into the front door of the church, I could close the door and escape the snake.  I turned around and started to run full speed toward the church.  The snake immediately started slithering after me, gaining speed every second.  I ran for what seemed like forever, when I realized that Lil BUB was running behind me, also trying to escape the snake.  She was running as fast as her tiny legs could take her, but I was afraid the snake was going to get her.  I screamed, “Come on, BUB… BUB, come on!!!”  I kept trying to get her to run faster.  I finally made it into the church and started to close the huge wooden door behind me.  I peeked out and saw that BUB was only about 10 feet in front of the snake.  She finally ran in the door, and I slammed it shut behind her.  The snake lunged at the door to get us but slammed right into the closed church door instead.  BUB and I survived!

The end.

An Inexplicable Series of Dreams…

Cast of characters:

  • Dad
  • A young, 1970s-version of my grama (mom’s mom).  It was my grama as she looked in my parents’ 1973 wedding photos.
  • Jan and Harry – Two clients with whom I traveled to Bhutan in October 2013.
  • A gigantic cast of randoms.

Historical context:

  • I have been on a hot air balloon ride in Turkey.  I did not crash.
  • I like banana pancakes; berry ones, not as much.
  • I’ve read the Hunger Games series.
  • Nothin’ else!

The dream:

This dream consisted of six, separate, unrelated scenes.  It was a bad dream.  The whole thing was very quiet with an overwhelming sense of foreboding.  When I think of all of these scenes, and how they quickly flashed from one to the other, I do think I’m probably a little bit insane…

Scene 1:  I was sitting in a dingy, gray, cement room in the middle of the desert in Mexico.  The room was probably only 12 ft x 12 ft.  There was a long, skinny window about 5 feet off the ground along the North side of the room.  The sunlight coming through the window was the only light in the room.  There were cobwebs and dust covering the window and the walls.  There was a round, wood table in the middle of the room.  I was sitting at the table with three other people, playing poker.  I don’t know if they were men or women.  I was about to lay down my cards and win the game.  But I had cheated.  I don’t know how I cheated, but I had cheated.  And the others knew I had cheated.  But I was going to lay down my hand anyway and “throw the match.”  As soon as I laid down my hand, I knew that war would break out around the world, and the world would end.  I laid down my hand.

Scene 2:  I was in a dark tent, sitting in the blackness.  The wind was howling outside, and it was freezing in my pitch-black tent.  I opened the zipper of the door and looked out.  All of a sudden I had a view of my little black tent from hundreds of feet above.  It was daytime, and my tent was high in the mountains, pitched in snow.  All there was to see for miles was snow and rocky outcrops of mountain.  Snow was whipping around my little tent, and the sky was gray.  There was nothing but snow and rock for hundreds of miles.  I realized that my Dad was out walking in the snow and was lost.  I got very worried.  I then had a view of him trudging through the snow.  He was wearing animal skins and furry boots.  Suddenly I was back in the tent, and he opened the door and came in.  He was drenched.  He said he’d been walking in a circle for 12 miles, just like he did every day.

Scene 3:  I was in a hot air ballon with Jan and Harry.  We were in a small basket by ourselves with no pilot.  The sky was gray, and it was very windy.  Our balloon was rainbow colored.  We were flying to the west, completely out of control.  Our balloon was being torn up by the wind.  We knew we were going to crash and just hoped we would survive.  Our basket skimmed a large oak tree, and part of the balloon fabric was torn by the tree branches.  We then flew only another couple hundred yards and skidded to a landing in a rock-solid field of dried and cracked mud.  We were thrown onto the ground, but we survived.  We realized that, before we hit the tree, we had flown over a decrepit little village.  We started to walk back to the village for help, and as we approached, we could see people peeking out of their windows with deep suspicion.  The roads of the village were dirt, and the homes were shacks, at best.  The whole village was falling apart.  The villagers started to come out of their homes and descend upon us.  The old women wore white kerchiefs on their heads, and the men wore cabbie hats and smoked pipes.  The entire village, including the clothes of the people, was gray and brown.  We were in a village in Eastern Europe.  The people were all old and had no color in their skin.  As they started to circle around us, we knew there were going to kill us.

Scene 4:  I was sitting in a long, white breakfast room at someone’s house in Europe.  There was a long plank table on the west side of the room with long benches along each side.  My grama and some others were sitting on the bench closest to the wall, and I was sitting on the opposite side with some others.  There were no lights on in the room, but plenty of sunlight was flooding into the room from a large window on the south side of the room.  I looked down onto a plate of very flat pancakes.  There was some sort of berry compote on top.  My vision then moved around the table from plate to plate, with a birds eye view of all the pancakes.  All were flat with berry compote, and all were on terra cotta plates.  Then I was back in my seat and looking diagonally across the table at Grama.  She was the 1970s version of my grama… big dark brown beehive, royal blue lace dress.  Grama had a big fluffy pancake on her plate, and it started to grow.  The more she poked it with her fork, the more it grew.  It grew until it was about a foot tall and two feet wide.  We all looked on in wonder.  It was going to explode.

Scene 5:  This one was the worst.  I was standing in the middle of a grassy field.  The grass was about a foot tall… half of it was tan and dead, the other half was barely green and still alive.  I was standing with someone’s brother, and there was blonde girl (maybe early 20s) about 30 yards away from us.  The sky was gray and the day was calm.  We were dressed in mesh armor from the middle ages.  All of our armor was silver, and we all had on maroon felt shoes.  I was standing facing the girl, who was trying to kill someone’s brother who was standing behind me.  My only mission in life was to protect the brother.  It was a stand off for what seemed like hours.  The girl and I just stood and stared at each other, as a bit of wind tousled our hair every now and then.  The brother just stood behind me.  After what seemed like forever, I thought I could better protect him if I turned around and hugged him.  I hugged him so tightly.  He was about my height with light brown hair.  This is the first time I ever saw him.   I hugged him and hugged him and hugged him.  Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the girl lift her hand, and in one quick motion, she threw some sort of weapon at him and it sunk deep into his neck.  The weapon was made of shiny lead and was about 6 inches long.  It had a long handle with what was like a spur at the end.  It was the spur that stuck into his neck and killed him almost immediately.  I had failed at protecting him, and we both sunk to the ground.  I held his bloody head in my lap as I screamed and screamed and screamed.  I just sat in the long grass with the dead brother wailing for a lifetime.  I’ve never felt so sad in a dream.

Scene 6:  I was standing in a dark room, alone, with only the faintest brown light.  All of these scenes had been manipulated by some supreme power.  This was the Hunger Games.

The end.

PS – I had the aforementioned sequence of dreams three nights ago.  This morning, I woke up from a dream thinking, “I am a mall rat.”  That’s all I remember. ???