Dream Journal: Haunting Melody

DS(2) in which I assumed the identity of a girl whose spirit was trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. The environments were all dimly lit and time seemed to pass very slowly. I rarely find myself getting bored in dreams, but this dream was boring. I kept just wanting morning to come.

The dream switched to a DS(1) near the end in which I was in the “play room” at my grandparent’s old house. I almost teared up looking around at the old toys and board games- so many memories of times never to be revisited- except in dreams. Actually the play room is one of the most reoccurring dream environments I have, so no point in crying over it. As often happens in this room, a bunch of strangers (adults sort of within my general peer group) came in to play. Someone set up a video game console and loaded a game about being a ghost; trying to scare the living out of their houses (a RIPoff of Polterguy). The graphics were brightly lit cartoon animations, and the rules and logic of the game seemed very confusing. The opening involved picking a thread to follow to a portal which would open into one of several houses to haunt. I remember one part where the player had to play a spooky melody on an organ; one of family members who was trying to be spooked helped teach the ghost some music theory to make the melody more dissonant. “Now, that was scary!” He said proudly upon completion. Weird how the antagonist would help the protagonist to succeed in scaring them out of their own house.

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Dream Journal: Hand Writing

I became lucid last night while experiencing a rapid succession of DS(1)s. I could tell that I was still many hours from dawn and my chances of remembering the contents of the dreams were low unless I woke myself up, got out of bed, and wrote it all down. I brought myself close to waking and realized my body was way too comfortable in bed to rally for this mission, and besides, I’d interrupt the flow of imagery if I woke myself then. So, I just materialized a marker in the dream and began writing key words on the back of my hand to try and imprint into my memory. I kept looking down at my hand to find the marker rubbed away but a faint impression which I kept trying to retrace- eventually forgetting.

By the time I woke I completely forgot everything I was trying to remember, but it may come back to me later in the day if I keep thinking back to it.

Dream Journal: Mall Goths

DS(1) which started off in my parents old house in Pennsylvania. A friend from middle school had come over to reconnect and go out to the mall after not seeing each other for over fifteen years (since high school). The house was exactly as I remembered it in the early 2000s, which oddly didn’t tip me off to the experience being a dream even though I know my parents moved out of that house long ago.

We, however, were grown up- well, as grown up as two 30 somethings planning to revisit their middle school hangout can be. As grown men do, we proceeded to riffle through my parents closet (which had all my old clothes from teenage years) and help each other decide what to wear. I picked out my all time favorite Skinny Puppy, long sleeve, large format screenprint of the remission album on the front, stylized SP logos running down the left sleeve, bootleg shirt that I got at the Jersey Shore. My friend decided to wear my other Skinny Puppy t-shirt with the graphics that were literally just a very thin dog, probably designed by someone in Korea who didn’t even know who Skinny Puppy was, and sold in Hot Topic.

Yeah, we were going to the mall wearing matching band apparel, because that’s what adult men do, right? I told him I wanted him to keep the shirt as a token of our friendship. “Are you sure, man?”

“Yeah, I haven’t worn that one since ninth grade and it looks better on you anyways… Now let’s go beat up some douchebag jocks!” I said and we both fist bumped (a somewhat ironic douche jock thing to do) and then headed to revisit our youth as mall goths. Don’t worry- we never were the violent types, and I want to assure any jocks reading this that this last line was said more tongue in cheek than with actual against your ilk.

Very quickly into our mall excursion, I had to take a dump really bad. After someone informed me there was a five dollar minimum to get a token to unlock the bathroom we headed outside. Shitting in public spaces was just the thing I needed to relive those simpler times. Unlucky for me, there were other mall goths all gathered around the spot where I was trying to squat. Never one to shy away from controversy around my peers, I proceeded to hold my cheeks open to best facilitate a clean toiletpaperless shit. Just when the poop was about to exit, a mall cop appeared to hassle us.

I managed to barely stop myself from shitting and then made a mad dash into the mall to frantically search for the best place to spend five dollars and a bathroom. I passed by a Hot Topic, realizing that truly there was nothing there worth buying (and besides that’s where like poser goths shop; I’m too cool for that now that I’m in my 30s). Some stupid maze of poorly placed kiosks got in my way and I found myself pushing through a sea of budget women’s fashion. A coworker from a more recent job was doing temp work at one of the kiosks and after we made eye contact said,”… no way. That’s not you, is it?” No time to explain, as the shit was creeping out my butt. I just kept running- more accurately walking really fast, as running would have made me shit my pants.

I found the bathrooms and decided to test luck by trying to access them without a pass token. For some reason there was a woman trying to get in the men’s room without a token in front of me. She yanked the handle with no avail. I tried anyways and miraculously the door opened. I then held the door for this stranger because I’m a gentleman and she probably needed to take a major dump as well. The dream ended with me picking the handicap stall for better leg room and then pulling my pants down. I woke up to the feeling like a turd was coming out of my butt, but when I raced to the bathroom I realized it was just a wedgy I given myself in my sleep.

Update: Contacted my brother and he relayed a message from a few months ago that I was too busy to register: apparently my friend from this dream tried sending me a link to his music and sent me his phone number. I will call him when I get a minute. A lot of people I need to call. I get so wrapped up in my own shit I forget to keep in touch with people who try to reach out. Whatever, we will all reconnect one day in this life or the next- better sooner than later.

Sync Photo Journal: Art Opening

Tonight I went with my mom to the opening night of the gallery I had recently submitted paintings to. My main reason for going was that there was a series of colorful abstract paintings that I saw while dropping off my submissions and I wanted to meet the artist and potentially make a new friend. I imagined they would be around my age and male based on their aesthetic. I told my girlfriend this and she thought I was being presumptuous- which I was.

My mom wandered off and ended up meeting up with a friend of hers from her master gardening course who she then introduced me to. Her friend was very informative- telling me of different opportunities to show art in the area. After a brief award ceremony for those who had won the juried competition the three of us walked around talking about some of the pieces. I saw one of the paintings that had previously caught my eye and headed towards it to get a look at the artist’s name. My mom’s friend proceeded to describe her process and I realized she was the artist I had come to meet. Ha! That was convenient.

So much for my preconceptions. As usual, things work out with more connectivity and less predictability than what is imagined in my head, and I am better off for that. She gave me a lot of good advice and recommendations to follow up on. It is nice to know that my mom has some cool friends here that I can be friends with also.

Czech Mate

Fairly soon after creating this web log I began to notice a steady traffic of views from the Czech Republic. I immediately suspected it was someone using a proxy server, and then noticed that the IP was tracking links I’d send to other people through signal and protonmail (both cryptographic services)- following the links before the messages or emails were received by the individuals I was contacting. Over the course of several months I tested this effect to try and deduce whether it was automated or human activity. The response rate would vary considerably from seconds to hours and when I’d send the same link to multiple people the traffic wouldn’t track each individual instance- suggesting human traffic; not a bot.

Besides traffic from the US, this traffic from the Czech Republic constituted for most the views on my site up until October when I revealed through messages sent to various people via signal and protonmail that I had been noticing this for some time and was curious why someone would go to such lengths and not bother to mask their IP or use a VPN (both of which are somewhat noticeable in traffic anyways). As soon as I did this the traffic from the Czech Republic stopped entirely, further indicating a person was actually reading my private messages. Clearly they didn’t realize that wordpress comes with an analytics feature to view web traffic. To be honest I was more flattered than spooked and only wished that whoever it was would contact me directly to discuss whatever it was they were so intrigued by.

Under the presumption that all of my web traffic was being monitored I went on to construct scenarios which would implement myself in a way which would agitate anyone trapped by their desire to maintain plausible deniability- with interesting results. By the end of December I pretty much had exhausted this little sideproject with still no idea who or why but enough information to conclude that indeed I was being monitored by someone with a lot of oversight and strings to pull. It all just makes me wonder what is going through their head, how oblivious they must have thought I was, and how surprised they are that I was essentially putting on a show for them. In the end neither them nor I have really learned much of anything about each other- except the extent to which humans can act out deception.

So, mate, what do you say we put down these masks and have a little pow-wow? You have my contact information.
दसविदानिया– E

Dream Recall: Retro Game Recursion

DS(1) from 2017 in which I was reunited with a childhood friend to embark on a hyperdimensional journey aided by a mysterious retro game console. I remember faux wood paneling on the console, which resembled an Atari, and bulky game cartridges which seemed oddly primitive for what they ended up being capable of. I can’t remember what cartridge we selected, but upon turning on the console the television screen turned into a portal through which we entered into the game as a completely immersive experience.

The game environment seemed like a low-resolution version of the room we were already in and we discovered that it was complete with a console of similar design which opened into a game within the game- leading towards infinite recursion into lower and lower resolution simulations of the same environment. Things quickly got too low-resolution to function and we found ourselves struggling to figure out how to return to base reality.

I was inspired to call this friend, who I hadn’t spoken to in several years. “Reminds me of this book, Ready Player One.” he told me after recounting the dream to him. I ended up reading the book, enjoyed it’s nostalgic appeal, and was excited to learn there was a film adaptation on the way. It ended up being a terrible movie for many reasons- in part because the resolution was too damn high!