Shillings in Senegal

Cast of characters:

  • Female Senegalese shopkeeper
  • Me

Historical context:

  • Constantly dreaming of Africa these days.  I’ve never been to Senegal or Burkina Faso… or Burundi.  Though I’ve been close to Burundi.
  • I have a relatively good sense of African geography.
  • I used Shillings in Austria in 1999.  Maybe elsewhere, too?  Britain?
  • Otherwise, no real context.

Saturday night’s dream:

I was in the middle of nowhere in Africa.  Geographically speaking, I was in Burkina Faso in western Africa.  However, in my dream, I was in “Senegal.”  I was out in the middle of the desert, and I wandered into a free-standing store made of stucco.  It was painted on the outside in bright aqua.  The inside was painted a dull light blue, and it was brightly lit in fluorescent lighting.  The woman standing at the counter was in her 50s or 60s and was wearing a red kerchief on her head.  She was wearing a light blue dress with cream-colored ruffles around the scoop neckline.  I don’t remember what I wanted to buy, but I put it on the counter to pay and offered her some Senegalese money.  She said that that wouldn’t work and that she needed Shillings from Burkina Faso.  But in my dream, “Burkina Faso” was actually Burundi, geographically speaking.  I begged her to take my Senegalese money, and she kept telling me she could only accept Shillings from Burkina Faso.  I was stuck; I wanted and needed my goods, but couldn’t pay for them.  I had to get going, but there was nothing I could do.  The woman was friendly, but she couldn’t help me.


Oh, hell no!

Cast of characters:

  • Ticket guy on a boat
  • Unknown “friends”
  • Me

Historical context:

  • We drove all of my worldly possessions from Chicago to DC in a white Penske truck in January… towed my car, too!
  • I seem to only dream of Africa these days.
  • I am more petrified of dying in a sinking boat than of anything else on Earth.  I get paralyzing anxiety when in a boat under the water level.  I first realized this phobia when I was 6 years old.  My family and I were visiting my grandparents in Houston, and we visited the Battleship Texas.  I loved the visit and had fun running around on deck playing with the guns and such.  Then we toured the inside.  When we went downstairs to the boiler room (under the water level), I started screaming bloody murder.  My mom took me back to the deck, and I have been afraid to be under the water level in a boat ever since.
  • 11 is my lucky number. 🙂

Friday night’s dream:

So this was a tiniest flash of a scene: I was filling up my white Penske truck.  I then watched myself driving my truck across West Africa from the sky.  I could see my white Penske truck driving across the map of Africa from Northwest to Southeast.

Then I was in a gray metal boat, similar to a battleship of some sort.  I don’t know where I was, other than in a boat.  I walked down a thin flight a stairs into a room with a card table.  A few of my friends were milling around the room.  I sat down at the table in a folding chair.  The table had a maroon vinyl top with a few tears in it.  There was a guy with a buzz cut sitting across the table from me.  I don’t remember what he looked like, but he was probably about 40.  He gave me a square piece of paper, which turned out to be my cabin ticket.  I was going to be traveling on the boat.  I realized that my cabin was going to be under the water level and thought, “Oh, hell no!”  I told him that that wasn’t going to work and that he had to find another solution.  He said that there was nothing he could do and that I had to deal with it.  When I looked at the ticket again, I realized that it had a big “11” written on it in black marker.  So my cabin number was 11.  All of a sudden, everything was fine, because 11 was my lucky number.

Lamborghinis in Rwanda

Cast of characters:

  • Jessica F. – Longtime friend and former roommate in Madison, WI.
  • Random men in suits.
  • Me

Historical context:

  • I visited Rwanda in October 2012.
  • I would never park somewhere where I might get a ticket.
  • I have no particular affinity towards Lamborghinis.

Last night’s dream:

It was a bright and sunny day in Rwanda.  I was not in any particular city; just in a big bustling city in Rwanda.  I was standing on a frontage road/street that ran alongside a main road.  There were men everywhere dressed in conservative, drab suits, walking here and there at a quick pace.  The curbs were crumbling.  The stores were accurate… open-front stores with the goods set out on display on the sidewalks.  There was a big box of black shoes in front of one store.  All of a sudden I was in a car, driving up and down the frontage road, looking for a place to park.  I couldn’t find a legal place to park anywhere.  When I’d get to a T in the road, I’d turn around in a parking lot and go back to the other end of the street.  Back and forth, back and forth.  I finally called Jessica F. on my cell phone while I was driving.  I told her that I couldn’t find a place to park.  She told me to come back to the East end of the street, and when I got there, I could see that she had a place to park in a parking lot.  She was with four guys in suits in a maroon Lamborghini.  The Lamborghini was actually an old, 1980s, dull-looking, 4-door sedan, but in my dream, it was a Lamborghini.  I couldn’t believe that Jessica was in a Lamborghini!  Though the parking lot was empty except for the Lamborghini, I couldn’t park there for some reason.

Too Close for Comfort

Cast of characters:

  • Actress Amy Jo Johnson as my random college roommate.
  • Actress Amy Jo Johnson’s random college boyfriend.
  • Me

Historical context:

  • I went to college in Madison, WI.
  • One of my favorite people in the world lives on Gorham St. in Madison near James Madison Park.
  • Last night, I was trying to watch this Canadian drama called Flashpoint on Ion Television, and I just couldn’t get into the show.  Yet there was this actress on the show that I knew I had seen before.  I googled, “Flashpoint actress,” and learned that she was Amy Jo Johnson, who played Julie on Felicity.  I watched Felicity religiously with my roommate, DeAnna, in college.  Incidentally, she was also the pink Power Ranger.
  • Garden/basement apartments scare me, and I have sworn that I’ll never live in one.  I’m too afraid of robbers and mold.
  • The main wall in my loft in Chicago is deep red.

Last night’s dream:

I was in my college apartment on Gorham St. across from James Madison Park in Madison, WI.  This wasn’t a real place… clearly something that my mind dreamt up.  It was a garden apartment.  The door faced the West, and upon opening it, I had to take about 5 steps down into the room.  It was only a bedroom; no bathroom, kitchen, or living space.  The bed was on the East wall, directly in front of the door.  The closet was on the left or North wall.  The South side of the room was dark, and I couldn’t see what was there.  The room was dimly lit, and everything was dark red or magenta.  The walls were painted a deep red, there were dark reddish-magenta curtains covering one window to the left of the bed near the ceiling.  A little bit of sunlight was coming through the curtains.  There were also dark reddish-magenta curtains covering the closet, which was really messy and had clothes falling out of it.  The 1980s comforter on the bed was brick-red satin.  There was clutter all over the floor.  I walked into my apartment, walked down the stairs, and then laid on the right side of the bed.  After a few minutes, Amy Jo Johnson walked in the door.  She wasn’t an actress in my dream, just my brunette roommate.  She walked down the stairs and laid on the left side of the bed.  It occurred to me that we had no money, and that’s why we had to live in a garden apartment with no kitchen or bathroom and only one bed.  It sucked.  We both fell asleep.  When I woke up, Amy Jo Johnson’s dark-brown-haired boyfriend was sleeping in the middle of the bed.  Don’t get excited, Guys… nothing happened.  It was normal that he was there, so I went back to sleep.  The end!

Shoes in a Food Court


Since my dream last night was not very substantial, I thought I’d take this opportunity to publish my very first GUEST DREAM POST!  Yes, there are others who’d like to share.  This dream comes via my awesome second-cousin-by-marriage, Nancy, who lives in Madison, WI.  When she texted her dream to me last week, it made me laugh out loud on the Metro on my way to work.  I wasn’t laughing at the dead kitten part… just at the absurdity of the dream as a whole, especially the end.  Plus, you just have to know Nancy.  She cracks me up. 🙂

Nancy’s dream last week, in her words:

“Was still living in my childhood home, but apparently staying down the street with Wrigley, our dog.  We are staying in a brick house I always wanted to see the inside of, but had never been in.  I went out the front door to walk up to my real house and I could hear a cat meowing…there was one in the basement window of the neighbor’s house.  Since there was no glass in the window (???) I called to the cat and it came towards me and then stopped and licked its dead kitten that was lying in some snow.  It had a collar on and I suspected the neighbors were keeping it against its will.  I had to lay down in the snow to read the number on the collar.  Since they were really tiny I HAD TO PUT MY GLASSES ON!  Now Wrigley gets out the front door that I had left open and trots off up the street.  I am frantic that she will cross the street.  Cut to me in a food court winding my way through the tables and trying not to trip over all the shoes littering the floor.  BAM!”

OK, so I just laughed again after reading it.

Branded Cupcakes

Cast of characters:

  • Me

Historical context:

  • I like cupcakes.
  • We are in the middle of a major branding initiative at work.

Last night’s dream:

It was only a flash of a dream.  I was standing in a nondescript room with a cake-box full of chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting on the table in front of me.  The room and the table were gray, the box was brown.  The cupcakes were “appropriately branded” with my organization’s logo.  But then I realized that I had an actual branding iron in my hand, and I started to brand the blank cupcakes with the branding iron, which had our logo on it… like how one would brand a steak.  Branding the brand with a branding iron.  Geez.

At least it made my VP of Marketing’s day today after I told her.  😀

Tornadic Activities

Cast of characters:

  • A handful of random clients.
  • Me

Historical context:

  • Reoccurring dream… tornadoes!
  • I work with clients, all day, every day.
  • Sun Prairie is a medium-sized town near my home town of Waterloo, WI.
  • I visited the Institute for Underwater Archaeology in Istanbul, Turkey, for work last year.
  • Hilary was one of my best friends while growing up in Waterloo.
  • I handle operations in both Tanzania and South Africa.
  • I’m still known to write my phone number on a piece of paper for people, rather than having them just enter it into their phones. 🙂
  • I like to ride bikes.

Last night’s dream:

To continue a trend, last night’s dream was anxiety ridden.  Ahhhh… tornadoes.  So I was sitting in Hilary’s house, which was located in Sun Prairie instead of Waterloo.  It wasn’t an accurate depiction of Hilary’s house, though it had some similar features, notably, the two-story tall ceiling and cedar rafters.  Initially, I was sitting among a bunch of my clients.  We were all sitting and waiting for someone to give a presentation.  There was a podium in the southwest corner of the room, against the south and west walls, which had windows from floor to ceiling.  There was a small little woods immediately outside the windows, with the town visible beyond.  The trees were bare, and it was winter, though there was no snow.  The room we were in was one story above ground level.  Suddenly, everyone else in the room had disappeared, except for me and two older women.  We walked over to the podium and looked out the windows to the West.  The trees were now gone, and we looked out towards an open golden field.  The sky was gray, and then, out of nowhere, two whitish-gray tornadoes appeared.  The tornadoes were headed straight for us, but we stayed by the windows.  The tornadoes disappeared, and in their place, this gigantic, silvery blob appeared in the middle of the sky.  The blob was morphing into different shapes, and we wondered what it was.  We thought maybe it was an alien.  It started approaching us at a high rate of speed, and right before it slammed into the windows, we ducked for cover onto the floor.  As soon as the blob slammed into the windows, we realized that it was a big blob of rain, and then it started pouring outside.

All of a sudden, the two women and I were standing in the hallway with the other people from the meeting, taking a break.  The hallway was supposedly right outside the room that we had been sitting in when the big rain blob hit the windows; however, the hall was an accurate depiction of the second-floor hallway at the Institute of Underwater Archaeology in Istanbul.  We were all mingling in the hallway, drinking water from the water cooler out of little Dixie cups.  I was talking to some guy, who had traveled with us to Tanzania and who was now interested in traveling with us to South Africa.  I wrote my phone number on a little piece of paper so that he could call me if he had any questions.  Suddenly he was gone, so I started wandering down the hall to the East, trying to find him.  The hall got darker the farther I walked.  Then the two women appeared before my eyes, and they said that they were running late and had to get home to Waterloo right away.  They didn’t know if the bus would be coming to take them home.  I said that it was no problem and that I could take them home to Waterloo, since I was going back there anyway.  I seemed to be riding home on a bike, but there was plenty of room on the bike for them, if they wanted.

The end.

Little Blonde Me’s

Cast of characters:

  • Becky – One of my best friends from study abroad in Bonn, Germany, in 1999.  Lives in Huddersfield, England.
  • Two little blonde boys.
  • Me

Historical context:

  • There’s a picture of me at maybe around 2.5 years old, that was taken at Sears’ or JC Penney’s photo studio in the early ’80s.  I was wearing a plaid and white outfit of some sort and holding a fake red rose.  I had bright, strawberry blonde hair and a big ol’ grin.  This is how I always see myself as a toddler.
  • My great-grandfather’s name was Leo, and I love the name.
  • No significant context for the name Elliott.
  • I want kids.  Don’t have any yet.
  • Becky has two little sons.
  • I have been to my friend Ryan and Amy’s house in Madison, WI, once, maybe twice.  I remember the island in their kitchen.
  • I’ve never been to Becky’s house in Huddersfield.

Post killer-catfish dream a few nights ago:

OK, so I forgot to tell you!  I had another dream after my killer-catfish dream that I wrote about a couple posts ago…

I was sitting on a stool and leaning on the island in Becky’s kitchen in Huddersfield.  The kitchen was actually Ryan and Amy’s kitchen, but in Becky’s house.  The kitchen cabinets were made of oak, and the kitchen was warmly lit.  It was dark outside.  Becky was standing on the other side of the island and digging in the refrigerator.  We were talking casually, when two little blonde boys ran up to me.  I picked them both up and put them on my lap.  They were my sons, and they looked just like me when I was little… strawberry blonde hair, fair skin, and big blue eyes.  Elliott was three, and Leo was two.  I gave them kisses and loved them so much at that moment.  As they sat on my lap, I continued talking to Becky.  And then an uneasy feeling started passing through me.  I said to Becky, “Becky, I don’t remember getting married.”  She gave me a strange look, and then tried to change the subject.  Then I said, “I don’t remember having these children.”  Becky looked at me, looking sad.  Then it clicked; these weren’t my sons, they were Becky’s.  I was so sad.

Boo.  All stress dreams this week.

Tanzania Calling

Cast of characters:

  • Jessica S. – A current coworker.
  • Albert – My head guide while on safari in Tanzania last year.
  • Mom

Historical context:

  • I went to Tanzania on safari for the first and only time in October 2012.
  • I borrowed a really nice work camera for the safari, and the battery melted inside the camera, so that I couldn’t recharge it.  I was devastated that I couldn’t use the good camera for the entire safari, but thankfully, I had a little point-and-shoot back up.
  • I have seen the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti and have been to the Mara River, but I was not fortunate to have seen the wildebeest crossing the croc-infested Mara.  We waited… it didn’t happen.
  • On Wednesday night, I saw a Nature documentary on PBS showing the wildebeest crossing the Mara, and crocodiles having a feast!
  • Seeing this documentary made me long to return to Tanzania and reach out to Albert to say, “hello.”
  • I just put together my 2014 budget at work and made it a priority to outfit all of my guides in the field with new branded t-shirts.
  • I’m not sure that Mom ever wants to go on a safari.  I know that Dad does…
  • Jessica S. is a sweet coworker who really has nothing to do with operating my Africa trips.
  • I was at a fabulous hookah lounge in Georgetown Friday night, where there was just one tiny bathroom with nothing but toilet paper with which to dry your hands.
  • In 2001, I squatted in an apartment in Amsterdam for about two weeks with my friend, Mara, her host brother, and his friend.  We had to step up into the bathroom, and I remember the bathroom being green.

Last night’s dream:

I have really been missing Africa, a sentiment that was manifested in last night’s dream.

I was in a modest, but colorful, apartment, somewhere in Africa.  It was dark outside, and the curtains were open.  Jessica S. was sitting on the couch, reading a book by lamplight.  I then realized that it was her apartment.  I asked where the bathroom was, and Jessica pointed to a little room around the corner in the hallway.  I opened the door and took a step up into the bathroom.  It was a dirty little bathroom with mint green paint on the walls, lit by one bare light bulb above the small mirror above the sink.   The sink was straight ahead of the door, and the toilet was to my right.  After washing my hands, I wiped them off with toilet paper from an almost-empty roll.  When I walked out of the bathroom, I saw Albert standing in another dark room to my left, and Jessica was still in the lit room to my right.  He had the face of Albert, but he was shorter and had a big belly (in reality, Albert is tall and lean).  He was wearing a properly branded, white t-shirt and khaki pants.  I told him that I missed him.

Flash to me being in a safari vehicle with Mom.  We were in the middle of the Serengeti on the banks of the Mara, surrounded by wildebeest.  We could see the hungry crocodiles in the river, just waiting for the wildebeest to cross the river.  I was fumbling with my camera and couldn’t get it to work.  Mom didn’t care about taking pictures.  All of a sudden, the first wildebeest jumped into the Mara, and then thousands followed him in.  We wondered if we’d see a croc kill a wildebeest, and just then, a croc jumped out and bit a wildebeest on his snout, dragging him underwater.  I couldn’t get my camera to work, but it turns out that I had accidentally shot a slow-motion video of the kill in hot-pink technicolor.

The end.

Mexico’s Killer Catfish

Cast of Characters:

  • Jess J. – BFF in Madison, WI.  We’ve probably traveled to 20 countries together, no joke.
  • Cardinal Jessica – One of my BFFs who I met about 10 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, where we became great friends.  She now lives in Minneapolis.  We have traveled together to five countries… and counting!
  • Jackie – A current co-worker… the “dark-haired ginger.”
  • Sarah M. – A current co-worker.

Historical Context:

  • Jess J. and I traveled together most recently to St. Maarten last year.
  • Cardinal Jessica and I traveled together most recently to Mexico earlier this year.
  • I love Mexico!
  • I used to go fishing for catfish with my dad in rural Wisconsin.  I haven’t eaten or touched a catfish in probably 25 years.
  • We have a lot of meetings at work, and Jackie always seems to be the one taking the notes.
  • Sarah is in charge of our loyalty program at work.

Wednesday night’s dream:

There were three separate parts to this dream.  The dream started in a hotel room in Mexico, though it was a pretty accurate spacial depiction of my last room in St. Maarten.  I was standing there alone, in anticipation of Jess J. arriving.  It was very dark, and I had all of the curtains closed (in real life, I never close the curtains wherever I am at any time of day).  I knew she wasn’t going to like the room.  I went outside to the beach.  It was cold, windy, and gray outside.  I was overlooking a gray, choppy ocean, and there were sticks and seaweed littering the shore.  The beach was empty and the air absolutely silent, though there were waves crashing ashore.  I knew that Jess wasn’t going to like the beach either.  I went back into the room, and Jess was there.  She said that she was fine, but that she wasn’t going to leave the room.

Flash to me standing in a different hotel room in Mexico.  I opened the safe and took out my credit card statement.  I saw that there was a charge on my visa for another hotel room in a Mexican beach town farther south than where I was staying.  I looked towards one of the beds, and Cardinal Jessica was there packing.  I asked her about the charge, and she said that the charge was for the place she was going to stay later that night.  I asked her to please put that room on her own credit card, and I reached into the safe to pull out my phone.  I told her that I’d be happy to call the hotel for her since it only cost me $0.50 per minute in Mexico.

Flash to me laying on a lounge chair in my bikini in the middle of our Traveler conference room at work.  It was our real conference room at work, but it was located in a hotel in Mexico.  Jackie was standing at the white board with a blue dry erase marker.  Sarah M. was sitting across the table from me to my right.  We were meeting to discuss whether or not to make one of our clients a member of our loyalty program.  We were brainstorming pros and cons.  All of a sudden there was a slimy, wet catfish lying on my stomach.  I was grossed out and didn’t know why there was a catfish there.  It was squirming around.  All of a sudden, the catfish was soft and velvety, and I started to pet it.  It inched its way up to my chest, and then out of nowhere, it lunged towards my neck and locked onto it, sucking harder and harder, trying to swallow my neck.  I grabbed it with both hands, trying to pull it off, while screaming to Jackie for help, over and over again.  She said that she couldn’t help and that we had to get back to business.  I just kept screaming and eventually started to suffocate.  I woke up from my dream choking.  How pleasant.