27 April 2011

I must fall before I can climb

I am attending a Paul Reiser concert. It's a small place with just a few dozen people; Reiser interacts with the audience as he performs his standup. After the first act, the concert moves into a different room. In this room, the audience sits in folding chairs in the center of the room. Reiser runs around the perimetre on all fours twice. The third time around, he stops below a large bird cage hanging on the left side of the room and imitates a dog. I seem to have a lot of papers with me (I don't recall what they were). Throughout the performance I am thinking about trying to obtain an autograph afterward.


The layout of the second room seems based on a room I spent time in recently at a class I took to get a taxi driver's licence. I loved Mad About You in the 90s. I know Paul Reiser has a new show on NBC and (even though I've heard it's not very good) I've been wanting to watch it at least once, but I haven't seen an episode yet. paul reiser autgraph Besides seeing a few commercials for his new show, Paul Reiser also is on my mind because his face is on the cover of my sheet music for "Final Frontier" (the Mad About You theme song), and this piece of sheet music was among many old songs I dug out recently to bring to a restaurant where I have been playing piano Saturday afternoons.

Last week I dreamed of stairs (risers), and this week of Paul Reiser. My position at work and in life have been very much on my mind. I feel very precarious at my current job because I feel I haven't been performing up to their standards there. In addition to my anxiety regarding my security at that company, I also have deep ambivalence as to whether I even want to continue in that field at all. Living in a cubicle for nine hours a day, having only ten vacation days a year, and being too exhausted most days when I get home to do much of anything else is not my idea of a life worth living. I have been trying to start my own business, but this has been extremely difficult to manage while maintaining my full time job, especially when so many things I have to do (visit government offices to obtain permits, telephone suppliers to place orders) can only be done during M-F 9-5 hours. I also want to devote more time to writing seriously, and I want to actively pursue opportunities for musical performance. I believe that having a "day career" (as opposed to a "day job") is robbing me of the time, energy, and scheduling flexibility necessary to make an earnest attempt at fulfilling my major goals.
Therefore I have been considering downgrading from this full-time job to something with less mentally demanding requirements and more flexibility such as a bartender, temp, or taxi driver. However making such a change is very scary-- I would have an unreliable and drastically smaller income and no health insurance. Yet the consequences of not making this change may be even less acceptable-- letting another decade of my life elapse without dedicating myself to the pursuit of my true vocation. I already have deep regrets about choices I made (or failed to make) in my twenties. If I continue to follow the same regret-ridden path through my thirties, adding links to my chains each year like Marley's ghost, will I be able to bear that burden when I am forty?

I will have to make a descent (leave my current job, and accept all the risks that that entails) before I can rise (fulfill my musical and literary goals). In the dream, a birdcage is suspended from the ceiling: even though my current job is fairly "high" (it provides good compensation and benefits), it is a cage that traps me. I may have to lower myself, and crawl like a dog, in order to escape it.

10 April 2011

Descent hindered

Last night's dreams were very random and disconnected; there was no narrative thread to relate. However, elements of one particular image occurred twice, so those scenes seem worth reporting.


D and I have driven to another city. We park in a large (several storey) parking garage. The interior of this garage is very grey and blue-grey. We enter a stairwell to descend to street level. The stairs are very odd. Each riser, instead of being positioned with its broadest surface parallel to the floor, is situated at a severe angle, with the flat surface nearly perpendicular to the floor. I am wearing chunky-heeled boots a couple of inches high, and I see there is no way I will be able to get down these stairs.


I am trying to go down to the basement of my grandmother's house, but all the stairs seem to have been replaced with whimsically patterned slats. Grasping the railing, I try to descend, but the risers are very weak wood, or perhaps cardboard. I try placing my feet at the very outer edges of the stairs, but to no avail; each one breaks as step on it. (Yet somehow I don't crash through the entire structure and fall to the bottom.)

06 April 2011

Walken rapture

I had this dream as a young adolescent, maybe fourteen years old. I was a virgin (and extremely enamoured of Christopher Walken!) at the time I had this dream.


I am having sex with Christopher Walken in my parents' bedroom at my grandmother's house. [As a child and teenager, I spent at least one night a week with my family at my maternal grandmother's house; her house was a second home. My mother's childhood bedroom in that house was her and my father's bedroom there from before my birth until my grandmother's death my sophomore year of high school.] Suddenly I experience a sharp pain, so he stops. He goes into the bathroom to finish without me. When I wake up, I have a feeling of ecstatic euphoria that is so intense it stays with me all day.

01 April 2011

A corpse at home, a mailled DJ, construction on the balcony, and a guest ignored

I'm riding in the back seat of my parents' car to my grandmother's house on a Friday. I realise I don't have my keys-- I think maybe I left them at Grandma's last time I was there. I want to make sure I have or can get my keys because I want to have the option to be able to leave without my parents. I ask what time are we leaving tomorrow and my mother says probably by noon. I'm glad we are leaving so early and not spending all of Saturday at Grandma's house.

When we arrive, Grandma is watching a large flat-screen TV. [Her house looks a lot more like my parents' house does than like my grandmother's house did. And in fact, Grandma herself doesn't really look like my actual grandmother did.] It looks like maybe a soap opera is on-- something with a beautiful blonde woman on the screen. I sit on the couch to Grandma's right. I think my mother or father might be on her left. My mother asks my grandmother how she likes it. I think she is referring to a DVD player I see in the entertainment setup, but then I realise she is asking how Grandma likes the television. Grandma says something like she likes it ok. As we watch the TV, large (like an inch or two across) hexagonal outlines start to appear in the picture. Within many of the hexagonal cells the TV image is drastically pixelated. I say the pixels in her screen are so big, she needs a better definition TV. Then a man on the television, like a game show host or morning magazine host, even mentions how oversize the pixels on this television are, and some white lines (like the ones that sometimes illustrate a football play) appear on the screen circling some of the pixels. Grandma jokes to me something like, "Maybe only you and the whole world noticed it." Then her eyelids flutter quickly (I notice her lashes seem quite long), her eyes roll back in her head, and she dies. She falls backward onto whomever is on the left side of the couch. I think about an article I read recently that talked about how death used to be handled in the home. When I look up, my grandmother's corpse is sitting upright in a chair instead of on the couch. I think that now my mother will prepare my grandmother's body for a wake we will have here at the house. The corpse says something about [in a home wake situation] there is just a general smell that you can't really tell where it's coming from [meaning the dead body smell is sort of diffuse and tolerable] as she slides down the chair onto the floor.

I am in some kind of cafe/nightclub. There is this really hot girl there. I hear or somehow know that she is a model from Russia. She is the DJ at this club. I see she is hanging on the wall a few feet above the floor, attached to the wall at her wrists and ankles. [In the dream, this doesn't seem any stranger than, say, go-go dancers in cages seem in waking life.] She is wearing an open-weave metal bustier, its composition is like that of a rigid screen. A genial older lady with short red hair passes by me and I ask her "Who's singing that?" referring to the song currently playing in the club. She tells me it's Lou Reed. "Oh, I thought it was Lou Reed," I say. "I just thought like, maybe you only play new songs here."

There are several men working out on balcony of D's and my apartment. They are working with cement and jackhammers as if it were a construction site. My boss S goes out to help them. There are two heater/air conditioning units in the apartment, one on each side of the balcony door [not really]. The apartment is already too warm, and the unit on the right is blowing hot air. I try switching it off, but nothing happens. I have to hold the small "reset" button for several seconds before it shuts off. The heater/air conditioners are acting strangely because of the work being done. The unit on the left is blowing cold air, which also is not needed, so after trying the off button on that one also unsuccessfully, I shut it off by holding the reset button.

On my way back to the couch from the air conditioner, I lift my shirt up to adjust my pants. I think I am wearing a leopard-print bra. When I get to the couch, I see D's high school friend K is on the couch, with two very large pillows completely covering his upper body and face. He had put the pillows up as a screen to my inadvertent display. I am thinking something to say, like "Sorry, I forget I can't disrobe when I'm not alone in the house," but I don't think I finish forming my reply or actually speak it. [At this moment I am woken by the alarm.]


The clearest meaning in this jumbled bunch of dreams is S's joining the workmen on the balcony. I feel that S tends to butt into his subordinates' work; any time someone is working on a critical piece of a project, S comes over to his desk and personally "helps" with the task (or "supervises" it or whatever). In the dream, S clearly felt that whatever work was being done on my balcony could not be completed properly by the construction crew on their own; he had to go out and help them to be sure. This dream could double as a bit of self-criticism as well. I often doubt the ability of others to complete tasks to my personal standards. For instance, I loathe delegating the laundry to D because he does not do it exactly the same way I do; rather than permit D to help with this household task, I usually prefer just to do it myself.