Failing the Clucking Test

Who hasn’t dreamed of being back in a classroom and finding oneself completely unprepared for a test? For years I had those kinds of dreams fairly often, but it had been a long time and I guess I thought I was finished with them. I guessed wrong.

Last night I dreamt that I was in a class for sports broadcasters and the final test consisted of doing the play-by-play for a major league baseball game. In the dream I watched my fellow students step up to the microphone, and with varying degrees of success, put their own special spin on the broadcast. I wasn’t worried even a little bit. Then it came my turn.

First. I lost the microphone. It was right there, and then, poof! Gone. I searched and searched, all while the instructor tapped his foot and looked pointedly at his watch. Finally I found it—under my shirt of all places. I plugged the mic in and began my broadcast, only now there weren’t baseball players on the field, there were chickens.

I looked helplessly at the instructor. He just said, “Banter and schtick!” Or maybe he said “banter and chick.”

So I launched into a weather report interspersed with a great many “ums” and “uhs.” The chickens were running about cackling and clucking as chickens do, and the instructor made a slashing motion across his throat. “Cut!”

I’d failed.

I curled up on the baseball field in the fetal position and cried.

Now, it doesn’t take a genius (thank goodness) to interpret this dream. Having just launched my second book—and my first attempt at a romance novel—I’d had a failure dream. One could say my field of dreams was a massive cluck-up.

The book’s doing okay, though. I’m anxious about first reviews, but hopeful, too. Mainly I hope the chickens don’t come home to roost again tonight.

Peace, and sweet dreams, people.

Faking It

I had an embarrassing dream last night. Apparently I’d told a group of people that I could play the trumpet, thinking that I’d never have to prove it, or that if someone did ask for proof I could somehow fake my way through it.

In the dream I bought a used trumpet and an instruction book, but never bothered to actually learn to play. Of course, in the dream an emergency situation called for a trumpet player and the group turned to me.

You know how in dreams the magical can happen? You need to be able to fly, so you fly. Or you’ve met Huey Lewis and he falls in love with you? Yeah, this dream wasn’t like that. I carried my trumpet on stage, put it to my lips, and went Pvvvttvvvpp!

The audience smiled politely, probably thinking I was just warming up, and then it happened again: Pvvvttvvpp! Pvvvttvvpp……!

There were loud boos, and somehow worse—looks of disappointment. Someone from backstage came forward and pried the trumpet from my hands. I recall wishing I could sink between the boards, but I just stood there taking my punishment until in the real world my cat patted my cheek and woke me up.

Analysis? I think maybe the trumpet represents my current frustration with editing and revising my romance. Someone’s going to come along and yank it out of my hands before it goes Pvvvttvvpp. I’d call it Imposter Syndrome, but that connotes some level of success that I have yet to achieve.

Or maybe I just ate too much too close to bedtime.

Peace, people

In Her Dreams

Hovering on the

Edge of nothingness

Visions quiver ‘neath closed lids

Watchful

Hoping, yet

In the fourth state

No kingdoms conquered

No triumphs over death’s grip

Nary a prince kissed

At the very least

Shouldn’t she be the hero,

Star in her own dreams?

Artist Kinga Britschgi

What’s in Baltimore?

Last night was both a hit and a miss in the sleep department. I initially fell asleep quickly, but awakened approximately an hour later, eyes wide open, thoughts swirling like frantic snowflakes in a blizzard. I read a while until those flakes blanketed the ground of my mind and I was able to doze off again. I repeated the pattern to some extent all night long. Some sleep periods were longer, others shorter. I did dream, though, which is always a good sign.

In the one dream I can recall I had been working in some distant city and was trying to return home to Baltimore, Maryland, via train. I was so sleepy in the train station that I couldn’t stand in the ticket line without dozing off. When I finally managed to speak to a ticket agent I couldn’t remember my address in Baltimore, so she sent me to the back of the line until I could.

Now, I’ve been to Baltimore. I once worked for a company that was based there, and my initial two weeks with the company were spent in the suburb of Towson. But I live in Florida. I’m not sure why my brain thought I needed to go home to Baltimore.

I did finally get on the train in my dream, where I sat next to a man who’d been a social worker before retiring to paint landscapes. I told him I’d come “this close” to being a social worker–a blatant lie–but that I’d chosen a career as a teacher instead. I also told him I could paint. Another lie.

“It will all be clear when we get to Baltimore,” I told him solemnly, before waking up.

Since I have no plans to visit Baltimore any time soon, I suppose things will stay muddy. As usual.

Peace, people.

When You Rhyme in Your Sleep

Such a poor rhymer,

A nickel and dimer,

A shell without primer,

Rusting away.

Throw out the words, son

Steer away from the bad pun

Avoid the over done

This ain’t child’s play

Can’t help but dream

In a metronomic scheme

Nothing’s easy as it seems

These visions never stay.

(Michael Cheval is the artist featured in this post.)

I woke up (at 2:37 a.m) with the first stanza rolling around in my head. I told myself if it stuck around, I’d write it down. Almost wish it hadn’t.

Peace, people.

Library Dream

Last night I dreamt about a vast library. Oddly enough the dream was set in New Salem, North Dakota, a town Studly Doright and I, along with our two children, lived in briefly during the early 90’s. I don’t remember the town of fewer than 1,000 souls having a library other than the ones at the town’s public schools; although, a quick google search shows there is a small one.

In my dream, the New Salem library was housed in a modern log cabin with soaring beamed ceilings and shelves that required ladders at least 20 feet tall to reach the top rows. The aisles extended so far in every direction that one could not see the far walls from the library’s center.

During my dream visit, members of the library guild were hosting a membership drive. In every nook and cranny of the building there was some vignette set up–a play or live music or just a visual display–enticing visitors to join. For some reason oversized boxes of Kleenex tissues were stacked decoratively in key places, as an overarching theme for the event.

I desperately wanted to become a member of the library guild. I wanted to be part of this grand building with boxes of tissues stacked in the shape of the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building. But when I finally found a guild member and completed the necessary paperwork I realized I didn’t have the amount of cash on hand to pay the $94.00 joining fee, and the guild didn’t accept credit cards.

Frantically I began working odd jobs within the library itself in order to raise the money. I carried patrons’ books for a quarter. I shined shoes and moved the card catalogues. I stacked tissue boxes. After what seemed like many hours had passed I realized that I had raised $93.95, and I had one nickel in my pocket. I eagerly handed over the money to the nearest guild member, and abruptly awakened to the sounds of Studly Doright brushing his teeth.

Since I didn’t receive my receipt am I a member of the New Salem Public Library Guild or not? Seriously.

Peace, people.

You May Say I’m a Dreamer

You may say I’m a dreamer, and in my household I am the only one. Where my dreams are typically vividly technicolored, Studly Doright’s are seemingly non-existent. So when I got this text first thing Monday morning, I was intrigued:

(Ignore the odd punctuation. If I’d known this was going to be blog fodder (blodder?) I’d have taken more pains with my text.)

According to Studly, he never dreams. Of course I’ve informed him that we all dream every night, but not everyone remembers their dreams. Stubbornly he persists in claiming that he is the exception.

All day I waited for him to come home, so I could hear the details. Part of me hoped he’d dreamed winning lottery numbers. Had that been the case, I’d have bought a dozen tickets immediately. Another part of me was concerned he’d dreamed about his soul mate–and it wasn’t me! As promised in the text I made potato soup for dinner, always with one part of my brain on Studly’s dream. Do I need a life? Most likely.

The second he walked in the door I asked the million dollar question. “What was the dream?”

“Mmmm, that soup smells good!”

“Damn it, you don’t get soup until you spill the dream beans.”

He said, “It was weird. The whole time I was dreaming I kept thinking it was the kind of dream you’d have.

“There was this creature, maybe an alien, maybe an animal, and a little boy. Somehow they communicated, and if there was any danger the creature would surround the boy with a protective cloaking shield.”

I managed to nod encouragingly, all hopes of a winning lottery number dashed.

“And this kid had family members he could pull inside the shield.”

“So, what happened?”

“Nothing! I couldn’t get past the shield part. The dream never moved forward. It was frustrating.”

As we ate our potato soup and cornbread I tried my amateur dream interpretation skills on him:

1) Studly is the little boy who feels like he needs protection for himself and his loved ones.

2) Or he is the outsider providing protection for others.

3) Or he had an upset stomach and as a result a weird dream.

4) Or he was hoping for potato soup for dinner.

At least he didn’t dream about his soul mate. Unless, of course, the alien filled that role.

Peace, people!

Swimming With Beasts

A few nights ago I had a dream in which Studly Doright and I had taken our kids and grandkids on a trip to an indoor pool. The pool was huge, larger even than Olympic sized, but that wasn’t the oddest thing about it. As we walked around we realized that large animals were swimming with people in the pool.

There were lions and sharks, alligators and tigers swimming menacingly, seeming to stalk the humans who’d risked their necks to join in the activity. I was appalled, but everyone else in our family group began to jump in. My youngest granddaughter and her dad raced a cheetah to the side of the pool, narrowly missing becoming a snack for the feline.

I was pacing up and down urging everyone to get out of the pool before it was too late, but they all just pooh-poohed my concerns. A shrill blast from the lifeguard’s whistle signaled that it was time for a change in animals, so all of the humans were herded into cages while the pool was cleaned and the new animals emerged.

This time there were elephants and polar bears, llamas and giraffes in the pool. I found myself tempted to enter the water figuring it might be my only chance to swim with an elephant. Just before I took the plunge Studly Doright awakened me to lean over and kiss me goodbye before heading off to work.

“Whoa!” I mumbled. “I thought you were a polar bear.”

He didn’t bat an eye, responding, “That’s because I’m so chill.”

Peace, people.

TV Marathon Dystopia

A couple of days ago I wrote about being addicted to sappy, family-friendly Hallmark Channel movies. On Saturday, though, I realized there was a Walking Dead marathon on AMC in preparation for the mid-season finale scheduled for Sunday night. So without hesitation I changed channels, and now my brain is having a heyday as evidenced by last night’s dream:

A beautiful young television reporter is caught on a live mic saying she hates Christmas–immediately following a segment on ways to spread holiday cheer. Her public reacts negatively, and in order to boost the show’s ratings the station manager sends her and her handsome producer to North Dakota where they’ll shoot a week of programs from a little town that bills itself, “The Christmas Capital of the U.S.”

Unfortunately, the duo arrives in North Dakota to find that the zombie apocalypse is in full swing. No one in the rest of the country knew about it because, well, it was North Dakota after all. Undaunted, although a bit confused, the couple gamely make their way to “The Christmas Capital of the U.S.” where they take refuge in an old hotel with a handful of other survivors. 

They film their segments about Christmas while gamely shooting zombies and subsisting on canned foods they’ve scavenged from abandoned homes. The beautiful young reporter learns to love Christmas and falls in love with her handsome producer. Unfortunately, they’re both attacked by zombies and become walking dead themselves. 

Now that’s a dream one could sink their teeth into. Am I right?