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.


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.

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. ???


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.

Mexican Chickens and Semi Trucks

Cast of characters:

  • Max – A good friend and former colleague who lives in Burma.  I haven’t seen him in about 5.5 years.
  • Unknown semi driver
  • Me

Historical context:

  • Jessica F. and I went to Ixtapa, Mexico, eight or so years ago and visited a glass-blowing workshop a way out of town.  We took a public bus to the middle of nowhere, at which point we walked along a dusty highway in the desert to get to the glass-blowing workshop.  Many semi trucks passed us along the way, and they invariably all had a button that they could push when they passed us that whistled a little cat call at us.
  • Semis of all sorts scare the crap out of me.
  • I love Mexico.

Last night’s dream:

There I was, standing in the middle of the Mexican desert… hot and dusty with a bright blue sky and silence filling the air.  I was looking for a pottery studio, walked around for a bit, and found it.  I purchased a set of six pottery chickens that nested inside one another, just like Russian nesting dolls.  The chickens had big round bellies with small head and tails.  They were all painted identically in bright red with floral decorations on their sides in purple, green, and white.  I took all six of my ceramic chickens to the highway and proceeded to line them along the white dotted line in the middle of the highway heading East.  I lined the chickens up from biggest to smallest, all about eight inches apart from one other.  After the chickens were properly lined up, I left the road.

Flash to me standing in a dusty parking lot next to a semi with Max.  The driver was in the truck, and the motor was running.  I explained to Max that I had a present for him but that we’d have to get in the truck to drive to go see it.  Max and I jumped into the truck; I sat in the middle next to the Mexican driver, and Max sat in the passenger seat.  We slowly drove North toward the highway where I lined up the chickens.  When we reached the intersection with the highway, I could see that my chickens were still lined up in the middle of the road and that no one had run them over yet.  I specifically told the driver that he could not turn right into the first line but rather that he must turn into the far lane.  As he turned right into the far lane of the highway, I told Max to quickly roll down his window, stick his head out, and look down.  The driver drove slowly past the chickens so that Max could see them lined up in the middle of the road.  After we passed them, Max and I sat cheering in the cab of the truck.

That’s it! 😀