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.


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.

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.

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. ???


Plane Crash in Texas

Cast of characters:

  • Mom
  • Dad

Historical context:

  • Reoccurring dream:  I dream about plane crashes and have for about 18 years.  No fun.
  • The Malaysian Airlines crash a few months ago terrifies me.  It’s hard to believe that, in this day and age, a 777 with a couple hundred people onboard can disappear into thin air.
  • I traveled with my parents to Europe last week and flew on the same plane with them from Paris to Barcelona.  We were not in the back row.
  • I have no particular ties to Texas.

My last dream post was almost 6 months ago.  After my surgery, I had an impossible time trying to sleep for a few months.  And since then, I really haven’t been dreaming.  This weekend, my dreams came back!  I’ve had three that I remember the past few days, and this is the first one.

This was a plane crash dream.  I’ve had them for years, and generally, they follow the same pattern.  It used to be that I was at the airport, knowing that the plane I was about to get on was going to crash.  But someone always forced me to get on the plane anyway.  Once in flight, the plane would start plummeting to the ground, and then I’d wake right up right before it crashed.

These days, my plane crash dreams consist of me being desperately late to the airport.  Sometimes I make my flight in the nick of time; other times, I miss my flight and have to fly the next day.  Once in flight, the plane starts to lose altitude quickly.  The plane flies low above the ground for a long time before finally hitting the ground, sometimes crashing violently, and sometimes landing with damage to the plane.

The dream:

In this dream I was with my parents, and we were late for our flight.  Flash to being on the plane with them, in the middle section of a jumbo jet in the back row of seats.  It was night outside, and the lighting in the plane nearly nonexistent.  There was a reddish-brown glow inside, and it was quiet.  People were moving around in silence.  Flight attendants were serving meals.  Mom was sitting between Dad and me; Dad to her left, me to her right.  All of a sudden, Mom grabbed her head, saying that she had a horrible headache.  She said the plane was going to crash.

Suddenly, I was in the window seat in the back of the right side of the plane.  I opened the shade and could see that we were indeed crashing.  It was light outside, and I could see the ground passing by at lightning speed.  We appeared to be flying only a few stories off the ground.  The wings of our plane were snapping power lines.  The pilot told us to brace ourselves for a crash landing.  We landed hard on an empty interstate highway, but the plane stayed intact, and we all survived.

Flash to not being in the plane any longer and watching the crash landing on TV.  The news showed the plane crash landing on a Texas interstate.  It was a Malaysian Airlines plane that was white on the outside with light green and red pinstripes.

Flash to being back on the plane.  After landing on the interstate, the pilot continued to drive down the road.  The road was very hilly, and we kept going up and down the hills.  Eventually, we made it into a more inhabited area with some houses, utility polls, and power lines on the side of the road.  Everything was gray, white, and tan outside.  We approached an underpass underneath a set of train tracks.  I saw that the plane was going to have to go under the underpass to continue to travel on the road.  I was worried that the underpass wasn’t wide enough to accommodate the plane’s wings.  I was right.  As we drove through, the walls of the underpass ripped the wings off the plane.

The end.

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.

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.  😀

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.