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 Just woke from inclomplete dream in which I was somehow channelling a certain spider man. Not Peter Parker.
There was a lot of dream-plot that led up to this, and I can't recall it now. He liked gold makeup -- makeup generally-- and some particular perfume that in the manner of dreams happened to be to hand. I was wearing a skirt, but neither this nor the makeup appeared to make any difference in the subsequent series of events as to what gender (and I suspect, race) others perceived me as. I still don't know what the overall plan was, as I was just following along. I swaggered into a bar (we seemed to be near a university campus) where a young man asked me for a favour -- he was trying to catch the eye of a woman across the room. I sat down beside him as his slightly sleazy best friend wing man, and waved her over, saying someone had bought me a drink and it was now my obligation to keep the chain going. I introduced my man, asked her my name, didn't really give mine. She was on to me, or mostly, but it didn't matter as she was genuinely liking him, and they began chatting. Privately I knew I didn't have any cash on me, and briefly toyed with the idea of putting their drinks on the credit card another man further down the bar was being rather careless with; but I slipped out, figuring I'd done what he'd asked and he could cover the drinks himself. I continued walking, looking for a place to change. I fumbled the shades I'd been wearing and eventually put on a pair of my waking-life glasses, the serious squarish frames.  There's some sort of sloppy bit here where I was dodging in and out of stairwells trying to avoid someone I worried might recognize me, and then I was in some sort of hospital.
,Oh, are you the overnight attendant they sent for?" asked a woman behind a reception desk.  "The patient's just upstairs." 
"Third floor?"
"Yes, that's the one." As I got in the elevator I said to myself: "And now, I am going to steal a Kandinsky." I had no idea how, or why. In the elevator I felt my expression and stance turning dorky and sincere. My hair was short in the dream, but it was at this point I remembered I was in a skirt. I guessed no one in the bar had noticed because I was sitting down.The patient was a dying old man, of course. We talked. I forget about what. Then I went looking for a washroom and wandered into a sort of lounge, into which I was followed by a smiling man who said that this area was a sort of private club for staff and important donors only, so unless I was planning to join or give the hospital some money.... As I turned to exit I saw the Kandinsky on the wall. Except, this being a dream, it was a Grosz, or something very like. I left the private lounge and strutted around the corridors, getting quietly angry at the hospital. In the background I could hear the man and others beginning to phone their higher ups, worriedly confessing that they'd somehow insulted a member of the staff, a senior professor, by mistaking him for a dementia patient who'd wandered in. I was just wondering how, even as a miffed senior professor, I was going to parley this into being allowed to take home the Kandinsky/Grosz, when I woke up. I'm still not sure how the old man factored into this, although I'm beginning to suspect he, or his family, had once owned the painting. I'm still not sure if this was all still part of the scheme to get that guy and girl from the opening bar together. Anyway, I'm grateful and enough for what I can recall, and wary enough of my ability to still have even that in the morning, to get up and type this all down.
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 Awoke from a dream I spent some time trying to recapture. I can remember the atmosphere between than the details -- there was a treehouse, or something, a haunting, a security guard, 1940s music. I was climbing to a window with a bunch of cherries held between my teeth. Anthony Perkins was trapped inside the dial of a watch? I think at one point I drew a sketch of Boris Karloff. There seemed to be rather a lot of men of types I find attractive aesthetically but not sexually, so it wasn't an erotic dream, exactly. It was a dream of exquisite longing, of arousal without focus.

I'm beginning to think my orientation should be described as "persnickety."
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 After a number of dreams about nuclear war or other threats, I suppose last night's, in which I converted to (presumably Reform) Judaism and also became a stripper in order to pay the bills while I did social work, was a great improvement, if a bit weird. 

ETA -- near the end of the dream, I also finally got a paid knitting assignment, which in fact just happened now, so, uh, l'chaim?
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I don't usually get nightmares, but lately, due to politics or other stress, I've been having a lot of dreams involving threats, conspiracies, falling, or post-nuclear wastes. I still don't know if they count as nightmares -- I'm usually too detached in my dreams to feel anything more than unease. Still, last night's dream was a welcome change: I was at a party where I didn't know anyone except the host and his girlfriend (who seemed to be older versions of Wyatt and Caitlin from the animated show 6teen); but I was enjoying myself -- music was playing and we were all drinking cocktails from lab test tubes. Suddenly my mother walked in, asked a bunch of questions about gardening (not-Wyatt's place was a suburban ranch-style house), then left after a few minutes. I started asking everybody if they'd seen her too, or if I'd just hallucinated the interruption.

On an unrelated topic, thanks and good luck to everyone marching for Science! today.
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 Kept waking during the night and thinking "I must remember this," or telling people in my dreams about something that had just happened that I needed to remember. Let's see if I can.

i. I was looking at a shelf of what one might call "esoterica" -- archeological and scholarly publications mixed with neo-Druid and Wiccan books,  Lovecraftian fanfic, and softcore porn with a fantasy veneer. I picked out a graphic novel and noticed that several characters from Dykes to Watch Out For made a cameo appearance on two pages, watching and commenting on the story, but it was in another language so I couldn't tell what they were saying.

ii. I was in another place, looking through a different set of books and papers. These all seemed to be writings by, sometimes about, Amazons, who in the dream were quite definitely a real ancient culture, neither a legend nor a Greek exaggeration of gender roles among the Scythians. They were kind of like the legends, kind of like the DC comics, and kind of neither. I was reading a paper about some love poetry, or possibly tomb inscriptions, it was hard to tell because as I recall thinking, the Amazons were surprisingly gothic. I know the part that struck me as important involved a scarab or other beetle being compared to a tiny skull. I think I needed to tell [personal profile] sovay  about this. I'm sorry it doesn't make as much sense now I'm awake.

iii. Knitting sweaters for cats, who seemed remarkably willing to wear them. This may be the dream version of knitting pussy hats for the Women's Marches against Trump this weekend. In the dream it did seem to be some kind of bulwark against monsters. 
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 Years ago, I had one of those dreams where you remember your house has one or more extra rooms you never use. In this case, I was in another neighbourhood, at night and in the rain, and suddenly remembered I had another apartment nearby where I could stay the night.

I can't picture the place in any detail, but the architecture and decor were sort of 1930s-40s Modernist, with a melancholy yet comforting vibe. Recently it occurred to me it was like the Thorne Rooms' California Hallway, and also like some of Paul R. William's work. I think at the time I also identified it with the Hotel Central, Belem, described in the intro to Daisann McLane's Cheap Hotels.

I've never managed to conjure it up again, but when I can't sleep, I remind myself I own an Art Deco flat in my dreams.
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Forgot to write this one up this morning:

I was watching/reading a series about a school. The plots tended towards the fantastic but in varying degrees -- frex, one episode might involve some students becoming haunted after having remixed a hospital recording of a heartbeat into the music for a school dance; another episode might just be about a bake sale.

"I can't tell what decade this is set in," I said at one point. The technology and social mores seemed contemporary, but there were occasional touches that suggested the 1970s or earlier.

Just before I woke, the story involved one of the teachers, a chubby blond man who basically looked like a human version of Desk Sergeant Clawhauser from Zootopia, going through some historical-research notes. He was in a bar, after work, and another guy kept trying to flirt with him but he just kept going on about the importance of comparing primary sources. I think he even used the word epistemology.
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A couple of weeks back I read a piece about the 1920s "Day Hotel" under Milan. It's described as a hotel with everything but beds, but it strikes me as more like an underground shopping mall with bathhouses. Anyway, probably because of this, and maybe because of the other news stories on trans-panic washroom bans, I had a dream in which I went into the women's washroom in a mall and it had a pool and change rooms and a salon inside. "Nice to know this is here," I thought, but I didn't have time to stay. I sort of wish washrooms really were like that, but I'll settle for everybody being allowed to pee in peace and safety.

Meanwhile, Andrew and I have acquired a bit of antique practical comfort in the form of a vintage banker's chair that Don sold to us for $20 plus the $40 taxi fare to get it to our place. I'm afraid the poor guy had to sit outside our building for a while because I'd expected him slightly later, and also didn't notice for a while that Andrew had unplugged our phone (he doesn't want anyone disturbing him during the day.) The chair was made in Guelph, Ontario sometime in the early 20th century, has leather armrests and an adjustable leather back, and is generally very nice to sit in. Pictures to come.
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 (Middle of the night)
In a warehouse, Salma Hayek was organizing some kind of jumble sale for charity. I was a volunteer assistant. David Bowie showed up with some clothes to donate, though I can't recall whether they were stage costumes or just normal stuff.

(Later, before and after various awakenings)
I was back at university, and living in a residence where everyone shared one big room full of bunkbeds. I had a single bed, though, with a small living room area (square, with little globe-shaped lights at two of the corners) in behind it.

I kept coming across footage of a Spanish Surrealist poet, who had later gone to Hollywood become an actress at Universal -- handful_ofdust recognized her from something called <i>Daughter of the Wolfman</i> (?) Her name was Yva or Ysa something. I think my brain was actually basing her name off Yves Tanguay.

Some kind of cartoon about pigs wearing overalls?

I was suddenly married to a guy named Han (big bearish guy, curly hair, possibly Polynesian) who had a small stepdaughter. They were nice, but I was vaguely worried that I couldn't recall how we'd met or that we only seemed to have known each other a week. Trying to brush my teeth before bed, I kept picking up what I thought were tubes of toothpaste but invariably turned out to be hair gel or some other non-toothpaste substance.
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Last night's involved a video game/sometimes a live theme park loosely based on Greek mythology. I say "loosely" because I didn't actually recognize any plots or characters, but everybody was wearing some variant on a chiton and there was a general Bronze Age Steampunk vibe to everything.

The actual gameplay/narrative was all puzzles and escape-the-room type stuff. There were a lot of crowds of.. sort of zombie/Sirens? They looked pretty and friendly until the light hit them just the right way and you could see their true forms.

Supposedly the player could acquire superpowers by solving the right puzzles, but I didn't manage to.
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Busy night for dreams -- I can only clearly recall the last batch:

Gillian Anderson, playing a soccer-mom type, was tending a small deer with a human head that breathed fire and also looked like her. She complained that she’d just found out the cleaning wipes she used on her daughter (the fire-breathing human-headed fawn) were the same brand used by a restaurant that served meat, and this disturbed her. We could also we a photo of her and her family, rampaging across a battlefield sowing terror. Her husband bore a shield with the word “Darling” on it in cursive. This became an image on a calendar.

I was in a hospital — nearby a young man who’d just been brought in was having trouble getting any attention — I was trying to figure out the phone extension to call someone to his gurney, but he kept moving towards the stairwell and i wasn’t sure what floor to say he was on.

Wandering through the woods — people were discussing whether or not they liked talking beasts in their fantasy, while I mused that for purposes of film/tv adaptations, beasts were probably easier to do with puppets than beings without fur, i.e. gnomes.

Ahead, there was a cabin. Several people appeared, having a family quarrel — they were all wearing odd yet stylishly co-ordinated clothes, and had the stark expressions and uncomfortable poses of models in a Comme Des Garçons fashion shoot. I recalled a Tumblr commenter earlier in the dream having wondered whether clothes in the future would be anything we today would recognize. I hoped to myself that instead saris would take over.

An elderly shetland pony was sidling past a younger horse, feigning as much weakness and pathos as he could until he got close to the oats, then diving in and swiping them from under his rival’s nose. He may have referred to himself as “The Warlord” while doing this. I was with a party visiting an airfield in the neighbourhood; we had elaborate cupcakes with hats of on them; I took off one of the sugar hats and held it against the head of a small portrait bust nearby. One of the busts was of a bespectacled youth, a pilot from the airfield’s WWI days — he had some unlikely name like Fotheringham; I identified him somehow with the pony from earlier. Someone complained about grouchy the cabbie had been who had driven us out there. The scenery means nothing to them, I said, if they drive people here every day. Now it became a blog post or online article about the airfield; they had diaries and letters of some of the WWI pilots, including Fotheringham, who the article described as sounding “intelligent and spoiled, and alive as if he’d only just now taken the King’s shilling.” It went on to note he was one of the rare pilots of the time who confessed fear in their writings. Thinking of that bespectacled face, I wanted to say “maybe that was his Clark Kent persona,” but I couldn’t find the comments button. I woke up trying to find it.
moon_custafer: (acme)
In my last dream before waking, I stumbled across a movie or tv episode, from the late '70s or early '80s -- it had that I, Claudius look of the designer doing their best on a low budget, and mostly succeeding. The plot involved a minor official in Edo Japan who oversteps his authority to save a mysterious woman from execution, only to realize she's a yokai because of course she is.

Thing is, all the actors were pretty obviously white people in makeup, and even allowing for the time and place it had been made I found this somewhat creepy and embarrassing, and frustrating, because it was still a good story -- the yokai was some sort of shark mermaid; I think she sometimes also appeared as a large cat as well. At any rate she was the kind of supernatural being where it's almost as dangerous to be on their good side as their bad one, because their attempts to show friendship and gratitude aren't grounded in any understanding of how humans actually work. The official was the type who in most stories would be comedy relief, or a minor obstacle -- a hapless pettifogger who suddenly has to deal with the social repercussions of being conspicuously followed about by an enigmatic beauty, while things go his way and very much not his enemies' way with suspicious regularity.

I kept trying to look up the history of the production, wondering if it was based on a Japanese original, but had trouble finding any reference to it -- it had apparently come out of nowhere and sunk without trace. Just before waking up I learnt it had been based on an opera.
moon_custafer: (acme)
I was in Australia, where the ocean had a skin on it — I knew somehow that this phenomenon had to do with temperature differences between the layers of water, causing the surface tension to be far greater than it normally would be, so that it was possible to body-surf without getting wet.

I was trying to do a graphic novel about a romance between two artists — one was Aboriginal, I think — and I kept digging through notebooks and finding different versions of the story to show my publisher: “wait, this one’s better!”

Also I ate a roast bat (well, part of it. I was uncertain about eating the head).
moon_custafer: (acme)
A lot of dreams, veering from epic (The cosmos in danger! How do you evacuate the populations of entire galaxies?) to mundane (student life, baking, Elvis impersonators, a costumer who was perpetually stoned on paint fumes).

Just before waking I dreamt I was reading, or trying to read, a book called something like The Immortal and the Undying Hunter. The main characters had unpronounceable fantasy-genre names, but I could see them; one was a rising star in a guild of story-tellers. I think he had some kind of glamour on him -- he looked like a young man with dark, shoulder-length hair and a handsome face that struck me all wrong. Occasionally I could get a glimpse of some sort of damage to his right eye, and then the image would cover it over again. The other character was a humble repairman who also liked to tell stories into the bargain -- one day he'd been called to the headquarters of the Story-tellers to do some work, and had ended up entrancing them. I suppose he must have stolen the other one's thunder or something, and he'd vowed vengeance. He was the Undying Hunter, though I can't remember how he or the repairman became immortal.

Years passed. The repairman prospered, married his sweetheart, and was renowned for his hospitality, surrounding himself with houseguests who looked similar in general type to himself or his wife -- the real reason for this, of course was to confuse the storyteller, who continued to stalk him.

Around this point the book stopped abruptly -- I began looking around for other copies, suspecting there ought to be more to the story, and found a larger copy, collated from many different editions of the book, but the pages weren't quite in the right order, and many seemed to be on the point of dissolving into sludge as I read them. Some kind of war or disaster had broken out -- the repairman's foster-daughter (the daughter of two of the lookalike guests) was a doctor on the front lines -- the storyteller's hate which by now extended to everyone around the repairman was slightly mitigated by hearing of her good works, but would it be enough? -- his hate grew fiercer as he drew geographically closer to his targets, so any mitigation only kept it level...
moon_custafer: (acme)
This dream, without actually involving any false awakenings, contained nested narratives. In the first, I am part of a small group, led by a Cadfael-like monk, investigating a witch who is menacing a village, or possibly a monastery. Our level of technology is late-medieval, but hers is roughly eighteenth-century. When we enter a flooded room (there are floating platforms to get across it), I notice a long copper wire fixed to the walls just above the waterline; there are silhouettes, like weather-cocks, made from other metal and attached to it, and I suspect some kind of trap, but before I can point it out to the monk to scenario shifts.

It's now the 1930s, and Orson Welles is making a movie on location about the local legend of the witch -- but the locale is Russia, and he and his crew are in more danger from the government than they are from any supernatural forces. The villagers, meanwhile, are just trying to survive. They know nothing of the legend of the witch; they're a completely different ethnic group whom Stalin has forcibly relocated hundreds of miles to repopulate this village, and they've got enough to contend with dealing with the difference in climate. Welles has a translator, who's actually a Canadian, one of a group of Western communists who came to Russia a few years earlier. He's a thin, greyish man, and snarky as hell, an idealist turned cynic. Welles' wife isn't any of the women he was married to irl, but she's a brunette with a photographic memory and a talent for mimicry. When he is forbidden to take pictures of officials, Welles uses her to recreate the expressions of the principals afterwards, and sketches them in a little notebook.

Without seeming to awake, I find myself describing all this to a friend, and suggesting he work it into the plot of the RPG he is planning; at the back of my mind, I worry I may be overwhelming him, as he has several projects on the go already.
moon_custafer: (acme)
"The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report what my dream was."

Following the events of A Midsummer Night's Dream, a maidservant cleans up. Some young men (Oxbridge versions of the rude mechanicals?) have been on a boating trip (there were a lot of shallow canals) -- there are flowers to clean up from that, too. She walks ahead of them, or they follow her, as chains of flowers leap to greet her. Awed, some of the young men propose marriage. The maid just shakes her head and laughs as she walks on, parade of flowers falling in the night.

It all made some kind of sense at the time. It was part of a performance of a series of three plays -- A Midsummer Night's Dream and two others that I can't recall but which, in the dream, were well-known. Sometimes I played the maidservant -- there was no script but I had no dialogue anyway. [ profile] handful_ofdust and [ profile] sovay were in the audience, along with other IRL friends. Sometimes Andrew wanted to go home early and it never happened and I was upset with him for leaving and with myself for going along with his desire to leave. Sometimes it was a totally different story, students being culled from a classroom as part of some creepy eugenics program.
moon_custafer: (acme)
Lots of dreams last night, most of them hard to describe. Events always loop in my dreams, as though even in the dream I'm thinking about them and re-running them. I don't know what that says about how my mind works.

1. A hipster couple's relationship turns strained after he tells her he shot Hello Kitty. I don't know if he meant the Hello Kitty, or someone in a Hello Kitty costume, but more likely the latter. She attempts to join in and they become Hello Kitty serial killers for a while, but her heart isn't in it.

2. A young boy hiding from venomous creatures takes refuge under some giant six-legged creatures. Despite their beetle-like shape, I'm not sure if they were insect or mammalian. They were warm.

3. Something that took place in France, and involved a little girl wearing a red dress? Possibly also a crystal or glass statuette. There were also a lot of bugs in this one.

4. This one I couldn't reconstruct very well upon waking. It involved time-travel, sex, comedians (I think Jack Gilford showed up, as well as several of the Carry On crew), menus, and me trying to rearrange pictures in a room I'd claimed for myself.

5. Learning to write by studying trashy novels, to see what doesn't work, or what (despite the sneers of critics) actually does work. Most of these were in newspapers and introduced as "the next Fifty Shades of Gray." At the top of one (which I must have been reading on a tablet) was a gif of some celebrity family, taken underwater in a pool. They were all trying to stay in frame, and to keep the youngest from floating away. There was a rather sarcastic caption about how everybody ought to have this as their phone wallpaper. I scrolled down, and must have scrolled too hard, because I suddenly found myself reading a novel by Donald Trump, or someone like him. Scrolling back to the top, the swimming-pool photo had vanished.
moon_custafer: (acme)
My brother and some of his friends had purchased a run-down cottage and spent the previous summer renovating it, with surprising success. I and some others decided to try doing the same, and located a nice small property near a lake. However the nearest town was a slightly ribald place whose local economy seemed to be based on holding political conventions -- there was only one small hotel, but it was made attractive by extremely liberal local liquor laws. While in town, someone began showing me a sheaf of old newspaper cartoons she'd been given but didn't understand, and I began trying to explain that the first one was Little Nemo, although not a very good example (I can't dream proper Winsor McKay, it seems).

Also somewhere in the middle of all this I think an incongruous 18th-century couple were having an extramarital affair.
moon_custafer: (acme)
Early 20th-century gangsters were meeting up in some kind of dive. One of them actually was played by James Cagney. They were handing around a small, beribboned wreath -- letters on the ribbons spelt out the names of the members of the gang, but intertwined, the names were encoded. A blonde woman, the wife or girlfriend of one of the gangsters, stored the wreath and the code-ribbons in her home. I'm not sure what she actually thought of all these schemes. I was a dark-haired woman, my dress and hairstyle more 1940s. We were now on the shore of a shallow lake with a large house on a small island in the centre -- it belonged to a local millionaire. Cagney was swimming about and I asked him how deep it was prior to diving in. The answer turned out to be "not very," so I waded in, and kept wading until I found myself on the island and approaching the house, which was actually a very ramshackle affair. Upon waking up I decided that the millionaire who owned it must have been very miserly and also controlling, as the house was inhabited by his wife and offspring who were very poorly dressed -- indeed the first thing they said (after recognizing me as the person who'd made an appointment to come to the house) was an apology for not having clothes to put on the youngest member of the family, an infant of about six months. I offered to try and make him a shirt, and was pondering how to make him one from some spare handkerchiefs as I headed back to shore, when I woke up.
moon_custafer: (acme)
As usual, busy and confused, but I recall a biography of some couple from the early twentieth century; then it began getting into odd and interesting period details -- apparently there used to be a fad, pre-WWI, among adolescent girls for dressing up as bats/airplanes and flying about in formation. While looking for more information on this I found myself watching an animated film set in an elaborate gambling den, trying to separate a pineapple into cuttings and plant it, and buying an e-hookah (which may just have been a humidifier, actually.)


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