Summer Camp

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Sorry about the hiatus, friends. Major life changes (I’m in a new country and starting my master’s degree) mean that my writing time has been cut into quite a bit and it was difficult to make it back here.

But here I am! And better than ever. Let the dreams begin.

It’s a dark and stormy night, three soldiers are sitting on a wall. JK! (Oh god, I’m becoming my mother.)

It’s almost night time, which means that it’s the perfect time to take all your nieces and nephews out to the abandoned woods and go to summer camp. Yay. Except this is the summer camp that I used to work at, and I decide that the best time to take them to experience the hubub of camp life is during. dead. winter. Let’s think about that for a minute. I am not doing a great job of making them think that camp is a wonderful place full of fun activities and life-long friendships (BTW, if you ever want me to sell anything, an experience, new shoes, etc., it looks like I am not the person to do it.)

As we begin to unpack and find a cabin on stilts, it begins to rain (Clearly, my dreams like a lot of rain). Instead of staying indoors like normal people do, we climb down the ladder of the FREAKING CABIN ON STILTS and find an IDENTICAL CABIN. However, this is not perfectly identical because of one difference: a certain person.

Prepare yourselves. The terror is coming.

This person is the person who NOW HAS MY JOB. (Shudder.) But instead of just taking care of the waterfront like my job is supposed to entail, he has taken over all the camp’s activities and chosen to make camp into more of a day camp. This is pure anarchy. Trips to the science center. Trips to go paragliding. HE WANTS A FRIENDSHIP BRACELET ROOM BUILT. (well, actually friendship bracelet making is actually pretty normal for summer camps). Still, everything about this is wrong. Who starts planning summer camp activities in winter? Everyone knows you think of what to do on the fly….

And so I say goodbye to my camp forever. It’s not worth it anymore.

A Student’s Worst Nightmare

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As you may or may not know (or have guessed by now) I am a student. And as a student, I have a very special set of triggers that set off fears and anxiety while I’m sleeping.

Apparently those fears involve running out of contact solution, and I couldn’t get back to sleep unless I checked that I had enough solution to wear my contacts for another day.

Not the $500+ speeding ticket that was so graciously bestowed upon me on my way to spring break, or even my normal fears of (very VERY vivid) spiders crawling on the walls.

My eyesight and ability to see a whiteboard is the most important thing to me right now. If I have to use my glasses, two things will happen:

(1) my field of vision will be reduced to a visual angle of approximately 1 degree and

(2) my too-long eyelashes will deposit mascara film all over my lenses, ruining the said 1 degree of visual angle.

These could mean failure. FAILURE I TELL YOU (or I’ll miss a few points from the powerpoints).

However, while my sleeping mind (she should have a name by now, shouldn’t she?) was wise in making sure I had enough contact solution, she forgot the one thing more important than my vision.

MY SLEEP.

Recurring Dreams

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I’ve always thought the phenomenon of recurring dreams was odd. How is it possible to have a dream that comes back tie and time again? Or are most of our dreams recurring, but we only remember a certain one happening all the time?

I won’t answer those questions. Instead, I will tell you a yarn of a little girl and her greatest fear.

The dream began on a normal night, as I ate dinner with my family in our apartment behind our house. The city was quiet and dark, yet peaceful. We finished dinner, and as the night grew deeper, my parents tucked me and my brothers into bed. I fell asleep quickly, happy with my life and my family.

I woke up soon afterwards with a strange feeling in my gut. I instantly knew something was wrong. I lept out of bed, and ran around the house looking for my dear family, which was nowhere to be found. I looked throughout the apartment and in every room and under every crevice. No one. My dad, mom, and two brothers were gone without a trace.

Why did they leave? More importantly, why did they leave me? Who do I turn to?

As I left the apartment, there was an even more horrifying discovery: There was no one at all in the entire city. No matter where Ii looked or which alleyway I peeked into, there was absolutely no one that I could find. The streets were empty. The buildings were empty. The shops were empty.

THUMP. THUMP. THUMP.

I slowly turned around. I didn’t want to know what was behind me, but I needed to look. There was an enormous monster, several stories tall, with sanguine eyes and teeth like my mother’s kitchen knives. It was dark, so I didn’t see what color it was, but I didn’t need to. You know Godzilla when you see him (at least in a dream).

And so Godzilla begins to chase me down the dark and empty streets, and there is no one to help me but myself.

That my friends, is where the dream ends. I used to have this dream on about a yearly basis from the time I was 6 to about the time I was 12. The funny thing was, Godzilla wasn’t the scariest part of the dream; being alone was. Despite my extremely shy nature as a kid, I would hate being completely alone without anyone in the world. Even to this day, the thought of being alone on this planet is frightening (and is the reason I hate watching I Am Legend).

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Special thanks to Ian Johnson for the illustration, and all the previous illustrations for that matter!

(Sleep)walk And Talk With Me

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“There’s a komodo dragon on the ceiling! THERE’S A KOMODO DRAGON ON THE CEILING!!!!!”

 

This began my journey into sleepwalking, or at least the sleepwalking that I know of. I never thought I sleepwalked until I came to college, mostly because I never shared a room with anyone as a kid (huzzah for being the only daughter at home) but also because I don’t believe my sleepwalking became worse until I experienced true stress. And as we all know, college can definitely be stressful. (finals week, anyone?)

 

So when I came to college, I would hear stories of what I had done in my sleep. “Did you know what you did last night?” became a common morning question. Usually whatever happened involved some sort of animal (usually of the exotic variety).

 

The first time that I knew about my sleepwalking happened my freshman year. I decided to go to bed early because I’m secretly an old woman, while my three other roommates stayed up and studied. I was dead asleep after lying in bed for a few minutes, but after a while, I sat straight up in my bed and exclaimed, “THERE’S A KOMODO DRAGON ON THE CEILING! THERE’S A KOMODO DRAGON ON THE CEILING!!!”

 

Ever since then, I have realized that when I’m in situations where I’m stressed or in a new place, I have more of a tendency to sleepwalk and sleep talk. Another time that this happened was when I went to New York City. A friend and I had traveled there together, and I decided to sleep on the couch in the living room. I had a dream that there were ants all over the coffee table, so I got up from the couch, lifted up my arms over my head, and slapped the table until I was confident that all the ants were gone and would NEVER return. DON’T MESS WITH ME, EVEN WHEN I’M SLEEPING.

 

Even if I don’t always remember why I did the things I did, the aftermath in the morning can be just as interesting. Just this past week, I’ve found that I’ve moved my bed almost a foot away from the wall and one of my posters has been ripped from the walls.

 

I guess sometimes the best sleepwalks are the ones you can’t explain.

A Wasteland Business Convention

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This one requires musical accompaniment.

I was invited to a business conference of sorts for up and coming business leaders. However, this convention was not in a convention hall or anywhere like that. It was at a truck stop.

Being the enterprising individual that I am, I spend half of the nights sleeping on the sandy wheel paths the trucks have made (without even worrying about the trucks themselves coming in at night), and half in my own room, which appears to be relatively close to the truck stop and even had an extra bed or two in it.

Oh, and also I didn’t take a shower during the entire conference.

Despite this, I still managed to attract a guy and break his heart. As I left the truck stop for the last time, he just stood there, dirty and disgusting, as I ran away from him in slow motion. I only wish this could end with my long tousled hair waving in the breeze, but yet, my hair was tangled and caked together so much that it was beginning to make it hard to run, so I eventually had to stop in the middle of this dramatic dash and just walk.

I think this would be my own hell on earth.

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An Introduction: The Cat Card Dream

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I have crazy, freaky, weird, and psychedelic dreams. Not just “I dreamt I was naked in public” dreams or dreams of cheating on your significant other. No no.  Ever since I was a little girl, logic has had no part in my sleeping mind, and stories of komodo dragons, mysterious monsters, and situations too impossible to even consider in any storybook were everywhere in my dreams despite my real life being fairly normal. Maybe I subconsciously don’t want logic there; maybe it was pushed out by all my brains as a kid; or maybe certain parts of my cranium decide to slumber when they wouldn’t in a normal person. Regardless, I have been blessed with a gift; a gift of crazy stories and tales that I remember the next morning if I’m lucky.

I’ve decided to pass these little nuggets of nonsense on to you, dear reader, in hopes that you find them entertaining and maybe even a bit inspiring (but probably not in most cases).

So without further ado, here is the first and perhaps most memorable dream I ever had: The Cat Card dream.

One humid summer day, my family and I were preparing to go on our annual trip to go visit family in Kansas, which was about two days drive away. However, there was a big storm, and so my family decided to wait till the next day to leave. We didn’t stay at our perfectly fine house though; no no. We packed all our stuff and braved the storm for a few minutes in order to walk over to the neighbors’ house.

It was there that my dad pulled me aside into one of the back rooms.

“I need to tell you something important,” he said as he sat me down on the bed. He pulled out a playing card with an obese orange tabby cat on it. The cat was lying on its belly, with a somewhat surprised look on its face, and there was a paper sleeve around the middle third of the card.  “I got this card, and I’ve heard some odd things about it. People say that if you remove the paper sleeve and look at the entire cat, you roll up into a little ball and die. I don’t believe them though, so I’m going to look at the whole cat.”

Intimidating, huh?

Intimidating, huh?

And he did. And he rolled up into a little ball in midair, there was the sound of a little bell, and he was gone. Forever.

It is now assumed that I am the keeper of the Cat Card. But I am a horrible master, and people start dropping like flies. There are so many funerals that my 2nd grade class starts going to them together instead of with our families, and we barely go to class. I go to the funerals of my classmates’ siblings, and the most notable of these is the funeral of the Amazon-child (no, I’m not trying to be racist; that’s apparently what everyone called him in the dream) that my friend’s family had adopted, and while he had lived in the States for awhile, he still only wore a loincloth. We all went to Brazil and watched his funeral happen on the river, and even though the funeral was in the Amazon, we still came back home by van.

It was on this journey that I pulled the card out of my pocket to show my friends.

“Listen guys, I heard that this is the card that is causing all of this, but I don’t think it actually hurts people. I think I’m going to look at the whole thing.”

And I did. And I rolled up into a little ball in midair. And there was a bell. And I disappeared.

The end! Now for the kicker: I had this dream when I was only 8 years old. I promise I was a normal child during the day, I really do.