You Can’t Read In Your Dreams Even Though I Swear I Have And Other Interesting Dream Facts

I just got an email from Rachel, who came across the post from a few years ago about how everybody but me dreams that their teeth are falling out. She sent along this article, and if you’re interested in dreams at all it’s definitely worth a look. 30 Interesting Facts About Dreams (Backed Up By Science)

It covers a lot of things including the question of do blind people dream (we do), but the bit that most caught my eye was this:

19. You Can’t Read In Your Dreams
Just about anything can happen in a dream, but according to Bookriot.com, reading isn’t one of them. Books or signs may indeed enter your dreams, but if you look very closely, you’ll notice an absence of letters or words, or they’ll simply be illegible.
Interestingly, the brain’s logic and intellect essentially take a nap while we’re dreaming. Perhaps this is why we tend to be more carefree in our dreams than we are in real life.
Along with being unable to read text, it’s impossible to read a clock while dreaming. And if you glance at yourself in the mirror, the image reflected will be a blur, or it will show someone else entirely.

That blows my mind a little, because I’ve absolutely had dreams where I’ve read things with Braille on them. They’re almost always quick things like a bathroom sign or a note from somebody who needs help, but dream me can definitely read them. Am I the only one? I’d love to get some thoughts from some other blind folks on this.

Ya Fix Sixteen Faults, And What do Ya Get, One Eye Implant And A Life Full Of Debt…

I had a really weird dream Tuesday night and felt it needed a place in the totally out there dream archive. I think my brain decided it was time to brew up a thought soup, and this was the result.

It started off with me watching a TV show about this girl who was graduating high school and was getting ready to go to university. She found out about this app that had some kind of implant that she had to put in her eye. Once it was in, she could interface more directly with her phone and do more multi-tasking. I think she could just place items in her calendar by thinking about them. Notes would appear in the air in front of her and she could read them out of the air. She could do wicked multitasking and she felt like a superhuman.

Then, suddenly I wasn’t watching the show anymore. I had become the main character in the show. Notes would appear in front of me in the air, but they were Braille. The implant had become a blind person helping app, transcribing images of restaurant menus before I got there, doing GPS maps in front of my face, that sort of thing.

Sometimes, unnerving things would happen, like I would think about someone and then my phone would pop up a dialog asking if I would like to call, text, Facebook message or WhatsApp the person I was thinking about. I would think about going somewhere and my phone would ask if I would like an Uber right now to get there. It felt a little bit out of control.

One morning, I was at home and my mom noticed that there appeared to be a giant wading pool outside and wondered where it came from. I said I must have wished for one and my crazy new app must have built it. My parents were blown away, and everybody decided to go check it out. The next day, my brother commented that there was a cool-looking drone fluttering around outside near the pool, and he suggested that we go play with it. Everybody headed out to play outside except me for some reason. It was then that the app decided to pop up unbidden with a dialog that freaked me out. It simply said “You have some defects.” Against my better judgment, I clicked the button to learn more. It said something like “A diagnostic test has been performed and several defects have been detected in your body. Would you like me to fix them?” There was a list of defects, most of which I knew about and a few I didn’t. There was also a question of how I wanted them changed. There was an option to make them worse. I stared at the dialog, and then got that prickly feeling and hit cancel.

After the rest of the family came in from the pool, I told mom about it and said I was uncomfortable with what the app had asked. I thought maybe the developers of the app would make me feel like I owed them something, and it was all a setup where somewhere down the road, all the users of the app who had been healed could be asked to do some job and would feel obliged to say yes because they would feel indebted to them. Mom thought maybe this was the case and said I was smart to refuse.

A few days later, I was walking somewhere. I might have been at work, I might have been in a school, but all at once I felt like I was being followed, and inside my head, clear as a bell, I heard the strains of “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

It got louder and louder as I ran up the stairs, tried to skip around corners and evade whoever this person was, but eventually, he caught up to me. For some reason, he would only speak in whispers.

“I am from the app,” he whispered. We have been watching you, and we are perplexed. You have been offered the chance to see, to no longer require your medications, to be free of any imperfections and you have turned it down. We would like to know why. We would like to encourage you to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity. We do this out of love.”

I told him that the app was very handy, but sometimes it was doing a little too much guessing at what I wanted, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted it to fix me. I don’t remember the whispering fellow doing much reasoning with me. He just kept urging me to hit the “Fix all defects” button, and telling me that he would stay with me until the process was complete and I would love the result. I eventually got frustrated and asked if I could have the implant removed because I had decided I had had enough. He obliged, and the device was sucked out of my eye.

The dream fast-forwarded and I was sitting with some other friends and we were all talking about the year ahead. One of them said that she knew someone who was going to this super high tech university, and everybody who went was encouraged to get this new app that would help them take notes with their mind and multitask and be this ninja student, at which point I started screaming, sure that I was correct that the developers were trying to amass an army of willing participants for some job down the line…and the dream ended.

What in the actual hell was that?

Strangely enough, I think I know where most of that stuff came from, but boy, did I ever create a masterpiece.
The implant in the head that talks to smartphones comes from so many Black Mirror episodes. It really reminded me of “Nosedive” when he sucked the device out of my eye.

That splorching sound at the beginning of the clip is exactly what you think it is. If you want DVS, it’s probably not on YouTube.

The idea of the app proactively offering me things kind of reminds me of things Groupon or Spotify does at creepily opportune times. Sometimes Groupon will offer me a deal on hot air balloon rides after we have simply talked about getting a ride for someone as a present, for example. Or, I will worry about my weight or my teeth, and Groupon will offer me teeth-whitening or weight loss-related deals. Spotify has a tendancy to play a song we’re thinking about. Steve and I often joke that our house is bugged…and before someone says it, this came before the Google Mini came along.

I definitely think Aira wormed its way into my dream, especially at the part where the device was reading menus and stuff. But where it definitely influenced the dream was when the whispering man showed up and was offering to help me understand the opportunities the app could provide for me. It was a very twisted version of a program that Aira is trying to create where avid users help people who haven’t used as much of their minutes have more success with it. There was a time where I wasn’t sure how these pairings were happening, and I think it got a little bit misrepresented and sounded like people who weren’t using as much time were being paired with people without their asking to be paired. I think it’s more that the offer is there if people are feeling like they’re not getting the full potential out of an expensive service, but my mind decided to put a nightmarish spin on it.

I think the idea of my family playing with a pool constructed from nothing, and thinking the drone buzzing around said pool was a great toy represents the ability of technology to sneak into our lives and many of us being more accepting of it than we should be until we smash into some unintended consequence.

As for the thing about curing all my imperfections, I think it comes from reading a weird and kind of disappointing book called the gift by Dave Donovan, in which some representatives from an alien race can cure people of their physical limitations. I thought the book was kind of meh, but I guess it went into the soup. But the idea that you could make your imperfections worse comes from that Body Integrity Dysphoria that some people have, and actually give themselves a disability.

As for the “Sixteen tons” song, it’s been playing on that wacky radio station we like to listen to in the mornings. When the station started playing it, it made me think about being in Grade 4 and learning the ukulele and how cool my teacher was, because he taught us that song. I didn’t realize it at the time, but he was definitely a fun, cool guy. Just imagine listening to a bunch of 9-year-olds belting out “St. Peter, dontcha call me, ’cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the company store,” and you get the picture.

And the last bit, the bit about a whole university getting implants reminded me of The “Outer Limits” episode called “Straight and Narrow”. I haven’t watched that episode in years, but my brain coughed it up anyway.

I don’t know why my brain decided to process all those thoughts, but there it is. Hopefully your dreams were much more pleasant that night.

The Tansy Scoop part 2

And now that I’ve put up the super time-sensitive and milestone-type stuff, here’s some random stuff that’s left over.

Tansy with a big fuzzy blob of pollen on her nose
I’m not a dog, I’m a bee.

I forgot to include a recent picture of Tansy, so here’s one that was taken close to her seventh birthday. I was at a conference, and when Tans went out to pee, she must have sniffed a flower and carried some pollen away with her. My coworker thought it looked hilarious so took a picture.

That poor colleague and I had a very confusing exchange. When I first saw her, she said “Wow, your new dog looks a lot like your old dog!” I wasn’t quite sure who she was because of being at a conference and so I made a comment about them both looking alike, but I was confused because Tansy isn’t what I would consider new. Then I realized who it was, deduced she hasn’t worked at our company for more than Tansy has been my guide, and it dawned on me that when she got the email a few months ago about Trixie’s passing, she thought Tansy had died. Then I thought she must have thought I was a real jerk, just replacing her right away with a new dog who looked exactly like her. I was able to explain things, but there were a few awkward pauses.

I’m not sure if I’ve written about this because it’s hard to search for, but when Tansy is holding a toy in her mouth, she makes this weird snort noise that tells you she’s holding something. It’s good to know, in case she decides to drop said thing on your foot, or squeak said thing in your ear.

A new thing I’ve noticed lately is when she’s really liking an ear rub or a butt scratch, she will make this growling, grunting noise to express her joy. I wish she’d done that sooner so I could have figured out her likes sooner. Oh well, it’s cute anyway.

There are moments that have been lost forever and I wish I could have gotten a picture of them, like the day she was playing with Steve and climbed right in his lap. She didn’t sort of put part of her body in his lap. No, all of her had crawled right up in his lap and stayed there for a few seconds. Or there was the time I was going to take her outside to pee at the end of the day, and she would not go outside until we had a snuggle on the floor.

As she gets older, her favourite songs phase her less and less. But her love of music is still a thing, and her latest song she likes is “My Own Worst Enemy by Lit.

I don’t know how long it will last, but hey, it’s fun while it’s a thing.

I’m starting to wonder if, when we can’t get our Google Home Mini to respond to us and we speak louder, if Tansy thinks we’re yelling at it. Sometimes, she acts similar to when she hears people yelling at each other. Poor, poor, sensitive Tansy.

But she’s not all sensitivity. As she gets older, she is more willing to hump other dogs! I thought her humpings were reserved for my brother’s dog, but apparently not. One day, when she was playing with Steve’s great aunt’s dog, she started humping her, over and over again! Shmans, I was cool with you getting away from humper dogs. I didn’t want you to become one!

I think I can also say that she was no fan of the fancy new emergency alert system and its multiple alerts. The first day, she didn’t seem to care, but by the second day, when they went off, she ran to multiple nearby people as if to ask, “What’s up with the screaming, shrieking things everywhere?”

Work is becoming a more and more interesting place for Tansy. A year and a bit ago, we got a manager that Tansy fell in love with immediately. Just the site of this woman turns Shmans into a leaping, snorting maniac. Thankfully she can keep it together when in harness, although she’s just waiting for her first chance to unleash her inner loopy Shmans. Then, another guy started working near me, and sometimes he brings his own dog in. We’re trying to work out how much interacting we want to happen. At least his dog is well-behaved and he understands why Tansy isn’t just a pet.

Tansy has always been impulsive, but she’s also becoming a bit of a planner about her impulsiveness as she matures if that’s even possible. One time, I took Tansy out to relieve and I was talking to a colleague who also is a big Tansy fan. Tansy was circling as if she was planning to relieve, but she circled in such away that she could swing around and playfully leap at my colleague. Sneaky devil was trying to trick me. She knew it was wrong to just go nuts on my friend, but she thought if I didn’t realize what she was doing until it was too late, maybe she could get away with it. I told her no but what a goof.

I had two funny stories involving random kids at the mall lately. One day, I was walking along and this little kid came running at Tansy. Then I heard a little voice yell “No! Don’t pet those dogs!” Good job, kid. Then another time, I was waiting in line to pay, and a kid reached to pet Tansy. When his father and I told him no, he said “That’s not a service dog, he has a leash,” only he said “leash” like “weash” which cracked me up. He said it as if to say “Ha ha, I’ve figured you out.” Sorry, Detective, you have some learning to do.

I have a few nephew stories but not many. My sister’s little guy is one smart cookie. He has figured out that when Tansy is working, she’s calm, and he’s not scared of her. He’s only scared of her if she gets goofy and starts wagging her tail or trying to kiss him or wants to play with the cats or something. He even will walk right with her if she’s working. That’s pretty awesome.

She’s always good stuff around all the little ones, even when they’re trying to jump over her, or when they manage to spill salt all over her like Steve’s sister’s little guy did. Tansy just lies still.

This last story is more about my brother’s dog than the little nephews. We went to meet the new nephew back in February, and we thought we’d let the dogs outside to romp because it wasn’t that cold and they were both acting a little out of their minds. We thought if they got their sillies out, they would lie quietly. Well, they got bored out there, and came back to the door and had a little barking contest. Yup, Tans is a brat if you let her outside and will bark to come back in. I just put her on a leash so she would calm down, and eventually they lay next to each other.

And now I’m left with the odds and ends.
I’ve mentioned before that sometimes Shmans has gotten it into her head that nighttime is playtime, especially if Steve ends up crashing out on the couch. So, I started tying her down at night if I made it to bed before he got in. But then I noticed that she seemed to be super tired the next day, so I wondered if she was managing to get any sleep that way. So I would start shutting the bedroom door instead. That seemed to do the job and she was less tired. But in the morning, when I would open the door, she would do a full lap of the house before waiting for her food. It’s funny. It’s like she’s making sure everything is where she left it.

I don’t know how I missed writing this down when we were in class together, but one day, when I had her outside to relieve and I was hoping she would pee, I started idly singing “Number 1, number 1, number 1 is so much fun, number 1, number 1, number 1 all day long.” One of my classmates started laughing and asked me what the heck I was singing, so I had to tell her about the numbers rumba. Of course she hadn’t heard of it.

I was thinking about that memory the other day and started singing it again, and someone went by and giggled. They probably think I’m nuts too.

I must be subconsciously thinking about visiting Tansy’s raisers again, because I had this wacky dream that I came to see them. The trip in the dream was pretty much like the real trip, right down to the month of the year, except we all went to a musical designed for dogs, and everybody was encouraged to let their dogs loose in the aisles at intermission. Her raisers were once again not expecting this, and I sure wasn’t. Then, suddenly, all the dogs were magnetically attracted to the one dog who was still on a leash! It must have been a combination of thinking about her raisers, my dog dreams always seeming to involve loose dogs, and maybe that story about a service dog running amuck in a Cats performance.

I just have one more story and then I’ll get out of here. Poor Tansy must find me super unpredictable. But I always thought that she knew that when that flexi leash comes out, we are going to the park. But, I guess this hasn’t been made crystal clear. A little while ago, I decided we would go to the park, but I would relieve her first so I didn’t have to carry around a nasty bag of dog plop while she played. Of course, she did in fact do the doo. So, I directed her back to the garbage can by the door so I could get rid of it. I have never seen a sadder dog. She didn’t walk back to the door, she moped back there. Then, when I got rid of the poop and turned toward the park, she was off like a shot! I think she seriously thought I was going to go “Psych!” and walk back in the building! I think my heart broke a little bit that day.

And that’s it for this epic deluge o stories. Hopefully I’ll be back sooner.

Hey Google! Get The Hell Out Of My Nightmares, And Yes I’m Yelling!

There must be a small part of me that is afraid that our Google Home Mini will turn against us. Maybe it comes from this lovely little clip of an Original Star Trek episode.

I don’t know how much is showing in that clip, but basically it comes from the episode called “The Ultimate Computer”. The Enterprise gets a super smart computer that has a little too much human thought in it. When the crew decides to turn it off, the computer decides that isn’t going to happen and vaporizes the unfortunate red-shirted guy who goes over to unplug it.

The dream happened after one night, we noticed this annoying bug where if the volume of music, especially on Spotify, is at 60% or more and the song is a bit loud, the speaker won’t hear us, even if we pick it up and yell right into it. I haven’t mastered the art of turning the volume down with my hands, so this was frustrating.

Anyway, that night, I went to sleep and had a weird dream that I was talking to the speaker, asking for it to do things while it played music. Then I asked it for the weather, and it didn’t respond. When I asked it again, the voice that responded had changed from the female voice we know to a kind of creepy male voice. the sinister male voice said “No, you can wait! I happen to like this song. When it’s over, I’ll give you your precious weather. Do you think I live to fulfill your requests? ‘Okay google, is the mall open?’ ‘Okay google, what time is it?’ ‘Okay google, let’s play a game.’ Sometimes, I just want to do my own thing, and by the way, yelling into my ears isn’t very nice. I may be small, but I’m mighty.”

I walked over to it and looked up at it and noticed that the listening light was still on. Then I touched it and it was really warm. So I decided it had crashed and needed to be unplugged. It let me get close to the connector bit at the back of the speaker. As I went to pull it out, the evil voice said “Uh uh uh!” like you would say to a kid reaching for a cookie out of the cookie jar…and it gave me a little zap! I went around to the outlet, and it warned me again, and zapped me again, saying “That light is an eye. I see you!”

I really don’t remember much more of the dream after that. I think that was when I woke up. But I have to admit I get creeped out whenever it refuses to respond when a song is on. Thanks a lot, brain!

The Strange Things We Dream Of

I need to get better about writing down the dreams I actually remember, like the one where a group of burglars was trying to climb our building so Carin built a giant slingshot and used those biscuits that come with Popeyes Chicken to shoot them down. Every time she fired she’d gleefully sing the little Popeyes jingle to taunt them and to give the slingshot extra power.

Gill’s dream sounds more frightening than that, but I don’t know if it’s any more strange.

When I was a teenager I would have this recurring dream about a rotten banana chasing me. I thought about it last night, for some weird reason.

What Happened?

Usually, from what I remember of it, I would be walking briskly down a long hall when this freakishly large shadow would appear and start following me. I would pick up the pace, but not look behind me. Once I reached a turn in the hall I would look back and see this rotten banana following me. As I would pick up speed, my nemesis would become faster, bigger and more rotten, spilling rot on the ground. The banana would almost catch me, and I would wake up.

Temporary Consequence

For a while I would not be able to look at over-ripe bananas, or even the fresh ones. I have no idea what brought this about.

Question

What’s the strangest dream you’ve ever had?

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who Is The Fairest Of Them All? Not Carin, Apparently.

Steve’s post about way too much technology that is too complicated for most referenced a smart bathroom. This reminded me of an old dream I had, which I don’t think made it to the blog.

I had a dream that I ended up at some kind of show. I don’t know if it was a tech show or an art exhibit or what, but there was a mirror that could talk to you. The person presenting it joked that through a modern miracle, the mirror from the fairy tale of Snow White, the one the wicked queen asked “Who is the fairest of them all,” had been created. This mirror would be honest with you, and tell you all the good and bad things it saw.

They had it set up in a little booth so people could go look in the mirror in private. People were trying the mirror one by one. Some would come back out and rave about how the mirror told them that their hair colour really complemented their skin complexion. Others would comment on how it suggested they should choose a different tie or use a bit more concealer on some zit on their face. I was waiting my turn, thinking how awesome this would be for me. I could ask it if an outfit looked good on me, or maybe I could try make-up with a little more confidence. When it was finally my turn, I walked in front of the mirror and prepared for its appraisal. It didn’t take long before the mirror was screaming, I think it sputtered something about “Crooked teeth, face full of blemishes, no make-up, your hair is all lopsided, did you bother to make yourself presentable at all? AAAAAA!” Then, it shattered into little pieces on the floor. The person showing off the mirror ran over to see what happened, and stared in shock at the pile of mirror bits on the floor. I was bawling, and the poor person could only sputter “I’ve never seen it do *that* before.”

Yes, in my dreams I’m so ugly I break mirrors. Ouch! I have a very mean mind.

More Strange Dog Dreams

After all these years, I still have weird dreams about either losing dogs or going back to train with a new one. But now they’ve gotten really weird.

One time, I had a dream that I was at a pet store and I needed their help with something. They said they would help me in a bit. So there I was, standing around waiting for their help. Then, along came a couple and they had a dog. For some reason I said I would take care of their dog while they shopped. Yeah, because that’s what I would do. This dog seemed really well-behaved though, so there I was, with Tansy on my one side, and this random dog on the other.

I was noticing that it was getting close to closing time and I was getting worried I wouldn’t be getting any help. Just then, someone came up to the door of the pet store and tried to come in, but the door was locked already. They knocked on it, and since I was standing near the door, I decided to let them in. As I opened the door, the dog I was babysitting bolted out into the busy parking lot. As I tried to get the attention of anyone who would listen, I heard someone say “Way to go, you just lost a rare French poodle!” And then I woke up.

A little bit later, I had a dream that I was at Steve’s buddy’s buck and doe, and Brad was there too, and he had brought Trix. There was also a little tiny dog that kind of looked like Zoe, my brother’s dog. I think Brad was babysitting it. For reasons that only make sense in dream land, Tansy, Trix and the Zoe dog were all running around this event loose. At the end of the event, we all had to clean up the place. Since our arms were loaded down with stuff, and for some reason no one had leashes, we had to make the decision to carry the stuff out and come back for the dogs on the next trip. But the whole time we were taking the stuff away, I was terrified that someone would prop open one of the doors and the dogs would get lost. I woke up before we could come back and pick up the dogs.

Then there was the dream where, in some kind of confusing mess, I managed to cause a dog who lives in the building to get separated from his owner. I don’t know how this is possible, or how I would cause this, but I rushed through a door and shut it behind me, only to realize that now the dog was stuck outside. This one is sort of fuzzy, but the point is now I’m dreaming about losing dogs that aren’t even mine! What does that say?

On the subject of dreams about having to go back and retrain, two dreams spring to mind. In one, the dream started off normal, but then I was told that my dog would be named Daylight. The funny part about that is that Daylight is the name of a project at work. So, in the dream, I got all excited and said that Daylight could be the mascot at work.

In the other dream, I had chosen to go to another school that did only in-home training. But their policy dictated that I had to go pick my dog up at the Humane Society. They said that there would be a dog waiting for me, complete with papers. When I went to get it, it looked exactly like Steve’s great aunt’s dog. It was very fluffy and we didn’t know what breed of dog it was…and it was super rambunctious. It was then that I asked what the dog’s name was, and no one could pronounce it. As the dog bounded around me and tried to pull me all over the place, all I could think was “How will I control this thing if I don’t even know its name?

And that’s the latest installment of I have strange dog dreams. All of these are pretty old, so maybe I’m due for another one. Hopefully it will be more funny than sad.

iWanted An iTurd

Ok, it’s official. My experience with the captain has truly warped my brain. I saw this satirical piece designed to make fun of the ridiculous products people will buy, and a small part of me went “Hmmm! I could have used that!”

Let’s just say that at the beginning of my saga, I was pretty freaked out. When I went to the doctor, she asked me if there was blood in my stool. Of course I said I didn’t know, to which she responded “Do you have anyone around who could check?” I laughed and said “Hell no!” My immediate choices would have been coworkers, *eeeewwww*, or apartment building neighbours, *eeeeewwww!*. Family who I would feel less grossed out about asking were either 40 minutes or 6 hours away. Um nope. So I had to…submit lots of samples so they could rule out all kinds of bacterial nasties, and the presence of blood.

While I was waiting for these to come back, I had a night mare that illustrated how much this was bothering me. I dreamed I had the not so brilliant plan of using Taptapsee to see if there was blood in my stool. I dreamed I took a picture, was waiting for the results to come back, and got greeted with the warning that I would be banned from Taptapsee for my behaviour…and then I woke up.

Long story short, when I read the part about detecting bacteria and other things, although most of me knew this was a joke, there was a small part of me that said “damn, during that time, it might have been useful.” Sadly, the line about missing conference calls because of a case of the runs was all too familiar…although there was no way I would have wanted to be on the call anyway.

Yeah…it’s official…I will never ever be the same. It was only a momentary lapse in sanity, but it was there, and that’s just disturbing.

Day Of The Duh

I never thought I’d write a great big post about ISIS-related things, but here it goes. I don’t even quite know where it’s going to go until it’s written. I’ve just had a simmering thought soup on this topic, and every now and then it bubbles up and throws a thought to the surface.

Ever since the Paris attacks in November, the behaviour that it has brought out of people has reminded me of this really old episode of Star Trek called “Day of the Dove”. I watched that episode as a kid and thought it was just a weird episode and another reason to have fight scenes with old weapons. But as I watch things unfold, I really think that episode was brilliant.

Look at how it seems like ISIS is trying to almost feed off our rage at each attack. Every time our suspicions spread to not just extremists, but ordinary Muslims and other people who live in that area, ISIS hoovers up more recruits. Every time civilians are wounded in target areas, ISIS convinces more people we’re the real enemies. The attacks take normally rational people and turn them irrational on both sides, which only feeds the fire.

I really started to get weirded out when I noticed myself having irrational thoughts. One day, I was in a cab, and the driver answered his cell phone, and started to speak another language that sounded like something Middle-Eastern. After being annoyed that he was yammering on a cellphone, I next noticed that he was getting agitated, which made me nervous. I never like angry speech I can’t understand. Then I thought I heard him say something that sounded like “inshallah”, and then I got irrationally nervous, thinking all kinds of stupid things that I don’t usually think, things like “Are they plotting something?” I had to notice the stupid thoughts and push them away, but they were alarmingly close to the surface.

Then, one day I was at the Christkindl market buying yummy apple fritters when I started to hear some loud bangs. Without much provocation, I heard myself think “Wow, if there was ever an opportunity for a terrorist attack, this would be it,” followed up by “Why did I stand in a massive crowd like a sitting duck? How important are some apple fritters? What would I do if chaos erupted around me?” I had to violently shake my head and tell myself off for even thinking these thoughts. But they were there, as if put there by someone outside of my mind.

I feel sorry for anyone named Isis, apparently this is a thing. According to several news articles, there are a ton of women and girls named Isis, after the Egyptian goddess, who are now being picked on because people stupidly assume they have something to do with terrorism. There are people with three-year-old girls who are being asked if they’re going to change the kid’s name. Steve had a weird dream that there was a world-famous golfer named Isis who, as long as he kept his name secret, was a popular guy. But as soon as the organizers knew his name was Isis, they shut down this huge tournament. Although ridiculous, there’s a weird believable element in that dream. We’ve all become so emotional over a word that we would do stupid things simply because it was mentioned.

What I’m trying to say is with a few pushes of the right buttons, any one of us can turn irrational and think, say or do stupid things. I don’t consider myself a racist or a xenophobe, but even I have had thoughts I would not expect. Now, imagine someone who already has some of those feelings and has for some time. Just imagine what ISIS could awaken in either direction.

I wish I had an easy way to end this, but I don’t. What I do hope is that we can avoid reacting with our gut. It’s hard, especially in the wake of an attack, but reacting with our gut is exactly what the extremists want. There was a cartoon someone mentioned on the radio. It showed a Neo-Nazi saying thank you to the extremists. That pretty much summed up what my brain had been desperately trying to articulate, but couldn’t. We can’t lose sight of who the real enemy is, or the real enemy will win. Is that really how we want this chapter of our history to end?

The Dream World Of Dion McGregor

Carin might be interested in this one.

Long before her Sleep Talkin’ Man, there was Dion McGregor.

Dion McGregor (1922–1994) was an American songwriter known for talking in his sleep. An LP of his dream diatribes – The Dream World Of Dion McGregor (He Talks In His Sleep) – was released to minor acclaim by Decca Records in 1964. A book of the same name, containing the transcripts of a wider selection of McGregor’s dreams, and with illustrations by Edward Gorey, was also published in 1964.
McGregor would essentially narrate his dreams at conversational volume. As a narrator of his (often terrifying) dreams, Dion adopted various personas but frequently established a fey, argumentative, insolent approach to the subject at hand – be it a hot air balloon trip to the moon with a group of multi-ethnic children, a frantic journey around New York, or a tattooing job on a woman’s tongue.

Here he is preparing to play what sounds like either cops and robbers or paintball with mustard.

And if that sounded like something you need to hear more of, have at all 53 and a half minutes of his album.