Friday, March 30, 2007

Dream Diary: Mind Control

This one was pretty extraordinary for how it ended.

I was on one of the older fairy boats that used to cross between PEI and the mainland. Naturally it wasn't one in particular, but a mixture of features and rooms from the different ones. I wasn't there with any particular group or with any particular purpose, just riding back home, presumably.

On the boat was a cafeteria, where everyone ate their food from trays, I don't remember eating, just holding the empty tray to carry to the back of the room to put away. As I'm walking past the other tables I clearly spot an ex of mine from a few years back. She stands out, as she always did, but wasn't looking particularly beautiful or ugly, just there. As I pass, I look down at her as if to notice her there, and she looks up and repeats an inside joke we used to share, about one of the lunch room workers at UNB who would repeat the same phrase over and over again to every student who passed her and emptied their tray and sent it on the conveyor belt. I forget the exact phrase that it was, in my mind I heard it as "Guardian? Guardian?" i.e., just a repeated nonsense phrase. We both laughed, and it felt nice, but I kept walking, put my tray away and that was that.

Then I wondered if I could run into this girl, v., again. Just to see if I could talk to her. I think I went semi lucid at this point, starting to be aware that this wasn't real and wanting to take agency myself.

So I walked by again past the table where I thought she was, but in her place was a particularly annoying young girl who brought back memories of very annoying people, and who smelled strongly repulsive.

This strange girl greeted me warmly and was very happy that I had said hello, I get up to move on and as I do, the familiar image of v. quietly comes and sits down across from me, to the right of this other girl, as I'm up and walking off to the left again.

Then it's time to get off the boat, but I make one more attempt to go and see v. to talk to her. I get to the upper card deck, there are two on this boat, and I see her car there and I can see her in there and hear her voice talking to some unknown other people, possibly including annoying girl. Then I hear an alert sound, which was to say that it was now definitely time to be in your cars to get off the boat, so I take off down the metal staircase with painted yellow steps to emerge into the lower garage and start looking for the car I was supposed to be in, not really knowing what it looked like or who even I was with, since I clearly couldn't be by myself.

But as I step off the last step and onto the lower deck, a vehicle that was actually a moving staircase blocks my way, cuts me off between the wall, the stairs I just came down, and itself. I'm now trapped, and it's coming down to crush me. At this point I think the phrase: OK, time to allow myself to be fully aware of the waking world again, so I don't have to feel myself being crushed.

Now something strange happened, I became fully awake and aware of my surroundings in my room, but the dream kept going. I could hear the machinery moving, I could see the mobile staircase come in to merge with the one I had just descended, I had tried to bold back up but there wasn't time and I was caught, and then I could envision moving gears all moving in one direction. I get the idea that maybe I could control the image of these gears with my mind and get them to stop. No luck, they keep going. But then I see an image of people walking by to the right. Then horses walking by to the right, and I think 'horse power -- horse power powers machines, can I control the horses and get them to move backwards?' I concentrate really hard, still in the half-awake half-dreaming state, aware that the machinery won't actually kill me, but wondering if I could stop it anyway. I concentrate on the image of the people and horses all walking to the right that I had in my head. I got them to slow down.. then they stopped. Then they started moving forward and to the right again, and I saw the image of the gears moving again.

Then I tried again They slowed down, then started moving backwards, very awkwardly, as I remember when I rode horses that it was rather an unnatural movement to get a horse to walk backwards. I was seeing this now, but also seeing that the gears were finally moving in the opposite direction, which meant I would be safe, so to speak, if I could hold control of the motion of the people and the horses, who were now walking slowly backwards along a beach. A couple of times I lost total control and they'd start forward again, I felt like their natural motion was forward and not backwards. Then I managed to get the horses to turn completely around and start walking forward, but back to the left instead of to the right. Their movement was much more comfortable now, and they moved quickly across my field of few, with the people following them. The gears were now moving in the opposite direction comfortably, and I was out of danger from the moving staircase machine. Then I let control go, and all the horses and people walked off in different directions.

Then I fade out of dreaming and am fully and totally awake.

This was quite an experience. I have only one memory of lucid, or semi-conscious dreaming, and that just involved halting the narrative of the dream and trying to walk around and explore, but the environment suddenly contained no people or living objects, I was just walking around a series of long warehouse or greenhouse-like buildings on a grey day.

This dream had people and objects, and I seemed to be aware, at some level, that they were all symbolic, and assembled from memories. Apparently something I picked up reading Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung just recently might have stuck. Wow.

It wasn't a particularly good dream, and running into my ex in real life would probably elicit the same reaction as my first instinct in the dream, to acknowledge, remember some common bond we shared, and move on. Where things started to get weird in the dream was when I was trying to talk to her again.

But the idea of using a symbol, the horses, to control another more foreign entity, the gears of a machine, and being successful by remembering the nature of the horses' movement and how to get them to move more comfortably.. this made me feel an incredibly charge of.. not power, but.. agency, which compelled me to write all this down at all, so I can be sure to remember doing it.

This is something I want to explore further if I could. This state of becoming awake but still going on dreaming, and being conscious in both worlds at once, strikes me as having incredible potential for extracting usefulness out of dreaming.

Phew. Not getting back to sleep tonight. It's 03:52. I should go and make a cup of tea.

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By al - 3:23 AM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Memos: Hey Pussycat, Smile a Bit

  • Felt really gross today at work, exhausted even though I had 8 hours of sleep, and stuffed up and my stomach felt weird. I feel better now, though, which is good because I'm giving anotehr course at work tomorrow.

  • Finished re-reading Breakfast of Champions today. What I love most about the book is Vonnegut's way of mentioning an object or a concept and the ngiving a humourous description of waht is is, as if the reader was fro manother planet and was unfamiliar with things like pornography or fast food. The thing I am most fascinated by with him ersonally is his stated unconditional love for music. He says even a military marching band, who's purpose is to celebrate the thing he hates the most, violence and obedience, can bring a tear to his eye.

  • Somethi9ng I love about the show Heroes: when Hiro and Ando are speaking in Japanese to each other, the subtitles don't just appear at the bottom of the screen, rather they are all over the place, and it reminds me of a comic book's speech bubbles. Man I am agitating waiting for NBC to show another new episode. The last of April can't come fast enough. Same goes for The Office.

  • What is with CBC radio on PEI's right-wing, pro-business content? It just seems so out of place. Who's pulling the strings there, anyway? I think I'll write a longer post about this next time Michael Hlinka spews his horseshit and I'm not fortunate enough to be out of radio earshot and I'm consequently worked up.

  • I went out to dinner with my dad today at Pizza Delight in the 1911 Jail. It was pretty good for what it is, but I noticd that the pizza I ordered was pretty much exactly the same quality as what you can buy in the grocery store nowadays. I remember as a teenager how awful frozen pizza was. But the best was still when I was on a made-from-scratch pizza kick. You could get really good fresh dough from the Sobey's in Saint John, where I was living at the time, when I worked at Point Lepreau, and I'd cook up sausages and use canned pineapples and good little red onions.. I should do that again. I just don't seem to enjoy cooking as much these days, though. I think what happened was that when I was working at Lepreau I would get home at 4:30, watch Win Ben Stein's Money, then start to make supper. And by the time I had everything prepared and cooked, had eaten, and then cleaned up after everything, it was rolling up on 8:00pm, and since we had to get up so early to get on the road for the 45 minute to an hour commute, that meant it was nearly bed time. I like it on the weekendss, though, when I can relax and cook and not feel like I'm taking up too much time.

  • Recently every time I'm out in public at a restaurant or someplace, and there's a lull in my own conversation, and I overhear the people at the next table over talking, about 50% of the time they're talking about facebook. Ugh.

  • Book question: I thought The Da Vanci Code was very very overrated, but I seem to hear better things about Holy Blood, Holy Grail. To anyone who's read both: Is Holy Blood Holy Grail any better than the other one? Or should I just skip it?

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By al - 11:27 PM | (3) comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Quebec Election

Quebecers seem to have the most cunning voters around. Back in 1999 they managed to elect a PQ government but give the Liberals more total votes to spook the separatists and postpone any referendum plans. And now this year they managed as best they could to say 'wow, we aren't particularly impressed by any of you' and divide up the vote 32%, 31% and 28% between the Liberals, the Action Democratique and the PQ.

This means that there probably won't be another referendum in the next decade or so, and separatism may lose its place as the baton people grip when they feel alienated and marginalized.

Unfortunately that position may have been replaced by a weird right-wing protest vote that will bring some pretty borderline candidates into the legislature in positions to hold the government hostage if they want to.

The one thing the two main parties in Quebec have agreed on in the last 30 years is on an over-archingly socialist model for governing. That there was this backlash coalescing behind the ADQ in Quebec City and in rural Quebec that was mainly a resentment of the dominance of Montreal in Quebec culture that was picked up by right-wing radio in Quebec City and Mario Dumont sensed it and played to it very deftly.

What is worrying now is whether the former federal Conservative Party leader, Jean Charest, who may owe his political life to a gigantic budgetary bribe from his former federal party, might see the writing on the wall and realize he needs to co-opt the right-wing ADQ and bring them into a coalition against the solidly socialist PQ, and start slashing taxes (something he was critiziced for not doing in his term in power) and allowing the ADQ to play to cultural (perhaps even racial) isolationist feelings rather than be so focused on just the language aspect.

If I was Stephen Harper I'd call an election in the next six weeks, this huge protest vote in Quebec shows that the Bloc could be taken down in the PQ's wake, and that Quebecers might be ready to vote for the Conservatives again.

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By al - 4:55 AM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Memos: Buckle Buester Edition

  • I'm having a really frustrating problem with my new iMac. The jack for the speaker cable I had plugged into it broke off inside the port, so now there's a tiny bi of metal in there that I can't get out becaause Idon't have a teeny-tiny pair of tweezers and I don't have sound on my computer because the internal speakers won't work when it thinks there are headphones plugged in to the speaker port. The best solution I could think of was to buy a Griffin iMic from Ebay, but I'll be grateful to anyone who can help me fix the actual problem. I'll then be able to use the iMic for higher-quality recording from my laptop for when I get around to starting podcasting again.

  • Had a really great visit with Justin yesterday. We hung out at his place for the afternoon and then went to Razzy's and ate lots of greasy food and stuck around and had great conversatoins about the usual topics; music, music and music, with a little contemplating the universe in between. It turns out that the world's biggest Kurt Cobain fan lives in Charlottetown and works at Razzy's Road House. She was enjoying sitting and talking to us, seemed like she was starving for interesting conversation.

  • Probably goiing to see Fuck the Facts at Baba's tonight. I love when they do the Sunday night heavy metal shows. The band is has quite a dirty sound, hardcore-influenced grind and some trash elements thrown in. My ability to sling obscure heavy metal genre names like a pro has slipped sinc my metalhead days. I wonder what it is about metal fans in particular that predisposes them to such ludicrous lengths of dtail when categorizing the exact types of music they listen to. Maybe it has to do with an appreciation for structure and order that might have attracted them to metal in the first place, since the music itself can be quite complex. On a side note: apparently gifted kids are more likely to be into metal than other kids. Go figure.

  • My DVD player can play DivX movies that I download and burn to DVD. Being able to fit 13 episodes of Heroes onto one $0.50 disc is beyond sweet.

  • I seem to be encouraging all of my friends to move away. What's up with that? The fact that I actually like it here most of the time seems to make me a rarity to hear most people talk.

  • I'm starting to listen to the audio book of Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut. Even though I've already read it it's en even better experience to have it read by a skilled reader, the bitterness and wry humour come out so much better.

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By al - 4:57 PM | (5) comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Green

green~ ah, the green people. you're the ones who know what's really going on, because you're read up on it, done some investigation yourself, carefully observed and assessed the situation. you get drunk on knowledge. you value intelligence, insight and justice. you demand explanations and answers. emotions don't run your life. you're the brains of the operation. you live by your own standard and wouldn't have it any other way, because you know better. you're a natural non-comformist, and you probably get a real kick out of it when you see people desperately trying to conform, or even better, people who try so hard not to conform, but ultimately end up looking and acting just like all the other "non-comformists".

you already know that one of your character flaws is that you can sometimes be a bit of a know-it-all, but you know what else? green people are the rarest of the four personality colors. you are brilliant and soak up facts, but put the books down and go outside and get a little fresh air. give your brain a break and discover the joys of dumb, mindless fun, if you haven't already.

Link: The personality color Test written by ittakesawhile on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

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By al - 8:53 PM | (2) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, March 18, 2007

F1 Australian GP

Yep, that's how I spent my St. Patrick's day evening, nerding it up at Kelly's house with her and her husband and another guy from work watching the F1 race on her TV and playing with her little mop of a dog, Kodak.

Just a few thoughts from the first race:
  • Lewis Hamilton is damn impressive in his first race. Whenever a top team starts a rookie you always wonder what they're thinking but now and then they really do find someone who can start at full speed.

  • The new Renault colour scheme is beautiful.



  • Honda's no-sponsor earth paint job looks kind of bad, sadly, since the intensions are good. Still, slapping an environmental theme on the single least fuel-efficient vehicle they build is probably not the best place to start a public image makeover.



  • I still find it hilarious that Honda's "B-team", Super Aguri, out qualified both Honda cars. I was hoping Super Aguri would get at least a point in this race but they finished just out of the points.

  • BMW are doing really well this year so far, I hope they rise up to become a top team, if only to show that the base that Sauber built is a strong one.
I can't wait for the next race in a couple of weeks. It's really great to have a couple of friends around to watch races with.

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By al - 4:30 PM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

LCD Glow

LCD GlowThere's something really peaceful about being up late, in a totally dark room with no background noises and just working on something totally engrossing at the computer. I miss being able to work like this more often. Offices are so bad for allowing creativity to come out and even worse for encouraging concentration.

In school my best work was always done after 2am for some reason, at least when I was working in my room. Other really great times, when I remember actually enjoying studying, were in the Harriet Irving Library at UNB in those little desks at the end of the dusty bookshelves on the second floor. Being in a space built for studying, as bare as it was, really helped set the mood and orient the brain towards a purpose.

OK, I just realized I'm hungry. Think I'll grab a little snack and make another cup of tea and look for another iTunes ambient audio channel.

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By al - 1:24 AM | (3) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Post About Nothing

I thought about posting something since I haven't posted anything in a while, but nothing really significant has happened really. A lot of the same old, fixing stuff of the computers, house maintenance, paying bills, and taking care of stuff I've been meaning to do for months or years. . .

The yearly employee performance reviews were up at work recently. Not too surprising, I did really well. I've been working hard to get promoted especially since I'm much more valuable then what I'm being recognized for. A few impressions things I walked away from the review with: I'm performing well enough to be considered for promotion. I haven't been considered for promotion. This is the second year my manager dangled the idea of promotion at me. I've seen the people around me promoted the past year. I normally don't mind, but one of the guys I work with is now the same level as me; I just compare what he does to what I do and for some reason that pisses me off. I was planning on working there for at least a couple more years, but the review really changed that. My current sentiment is if I don't get promoted by next year, I'm moving on.

I've been trying to not take on more work for myself since I'm still trying to finish off stuff I've been meaning to do for months or years now. I finally threw my hat into updating the Moncton Motorsports Club web page. That thing hasn't been updated since mid-last year and hasn't been overly informative for quite a while now. About the only part that is updated is the weather link to the weather network and the event results. The software that runs the site is apparently really old and not very user friendly, so I suggested I convert the site to a blog. Hoping to make some time to do that next week. . . that might be over optimistic given my track record though. Since I'm getting back into the web maintenance mode, I've been thinking of updating my own web page again. I guess it's that kind of thinking that gets me into trouble.

I don't know how Microsoft does it. I actually installed Windows Media Player 10 on the laptop and it is absolutely horrible. It's worst than Windows Media Player 9. How a company survives by releasing products that are worst then their predecessor is beyond me. I started using the VLC media player, but that has it's issues as well. Anyone know of a good media player I can use to watch anime with?

By Ming - 9:55 AM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Saturday, March 10, 2007

incase you didn't know

if one day you go to the farmer's market...get a veggie samosa and for whatever reason don't eat right away ( you know, like the fallafle you ate got in the way) . That Samosa is pretty awesome after a drink and reheated. Better than cold pizza

By Sabrina - 11:35 PM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Friday, March 09, 2007

Favorite

what's your favorite Warner brother character?

By Sabrina - 7:18 PM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Claddagh Room

So Sabrina and I have decided to eat Macaroni and Cheese and Chef Boyardi five nights a week and then go somewhere really nice once a week. This makes sense to me.

So last night we went to the Claddagh Room, just because my friend Kelly keeps raving about the desserts she just had when we get together in the evenings. I'm surprised it took this long for me to try the food there, actually.

It's the kind of place where the waitress takes your coat but doesn't pull your chair out for you. We were seated next to a table of Russians who were ordering oysters by the hundreds who were pretty loud and boisterous but in a genial kind of way so it was fun to listen to them.

As for food I ordered chicken samosas as an appetizer, , they came with spinnach that made me cry when I think of what you get from the grocery store. They were perfect, thick little leaves with a little bit of lemon juiceon them and all I thought eating them was 'this is what food is supposed to taste like'. The samosas theemselves were naturally a far different affair than the ones they sling at the farmer's market.

For the main course I ordered the feature of the night, which was seafood bouillabaisse, which was pretty much just a really indulgent pile of mussels and shrimp and salmon and holy christ it was good. The soup base was light and didn't intrude on the seafood's flavour at all. I didn't have good seafood since the Summer so it tickled some tastebuds that have been languishing for months. I was so stuffed at the end that I didn't even get dessert, I just stole a little nibble of Sabrina's cheesecake which had raspberries baked into it and looked beautiful.

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By al - 9:32 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Memos: Up Late Again

  • Idiocracy is the funniest movie I've seen in years. Yes, that appears to be what Sabrina was referring to in her previous post. (Remember kids, only you can prevent PUI - posting while impaired). I'm pretty sure I'll never not crack up at the phrase "Welcome to CostCo. I love you."

  • Tonight I have to finish coming up with trivia questons for tomorrow since I'm hosting it again. Rather than repeat myself here, I'll just link you to the Facebook event here. Yes, the entire universe is on facebook now, except you. You're the only one left. What's wrong with you, anyway?

  • I'm slowly working my way through Heroes and it's taking over my life. I'm up to episode 8 now. I'm only continuing to watch it because no one can learn perfect English and drop an accent in under a month so I know Hiro is going to be OK. The rest of the characters can pretty much go to hell.

  • Has anyone tried the new restaurant that has set up shop where Leo's used to be? I hear it's pretty intense, so I need a date to check the place out with. Inquire within.

  • I'm slowly getting aclimated to Robin's Donuts coffee since it's the only game in town out in hell Stratford. But one thing I can't handle are their breakfast bagels. They're even more ghetto than usual for Robin's. They use boiled eggs instead of the wonderfully fattening fried way McD's and Tim's do, and instead of toasting the bagel they heat up the entire thing in the microwave, bagel and all. Have you ever eaten a microwaved bagel? It's like chewing raw dough who's main ingredient was Vaseline.

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By al - 2:01 AM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, March 04, 2007

drinking with al and his work buddies

kay the night started out with the idea that we would do something and al's friend and co worker Kelly was going to come over but, my ex roomies steve and mat were going to go out for Nachos with me at the Guahan house first...that fell apart. So Al and I started drinking a bottle of red wine that I had and watching the Tv show that is al latest addiction and is actually pretty good. We watched that and each had a glass and a second when Kelly showed up. The adventure starts with more red wine and some white and then the young fella Matt I think his name was ( if you read the blog al like's to post on forgive my drunken state as I can't be positive of your name) and we watch something al liked, the name something like idio...something (again the drunken brain cells are getting in the way of making a good post out of this. we then went to Baba's and I ran into all kinds of people and had a good time...I do realize that al is right I need to get out more.

By Sabrina - 12:57 AM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Most Serene Republic @ Hunter's

I just want to say that I'm very disappointed in all of you, and by that I mean all you peolpe with jobs and real lives who decided against staying out until 1:30am on a Wednesday night.

What you missed was the best musical performance by a rock band her ein months and months. Every local band should have come with a notebook opened to a page with the title "This is how to have stage presence."

They were a lot more energetic than I was expecting from their album. I actually have a hard time listening to Underwater Cinematographer all the way though because it's rather drawn-out, but live they really operate on a much more charged frequency, I couldn't get enough of it.

It might be time to consider early end times for shows during the week. I had to take a nap after work to even consider going to this. For a local band that is playing to keep people around and spending money after, say, Trivia on Thursdays, sure, stretch it as late as you can. But if it's a band that you want to attract people who aren't regulars perhaps it's better to start the show so it ends at midnight. I know a lot of people at my work whom it would be easier to convince to come out for a good show if that were the case.

Link: The Most Serene Republic @ MySpace

Update: Hey, the Internet is actually good for something now and then. From Steve Barber, manager of Hunter's Ale House: Link.
i would assume everyone is cool with the 11pm starts on Friday and Staurday right?>

Well Tuesdays Don and Laura are now starting at 9:30ish
Wednesdays we could get under way a lil earlier if that woudl help everyone.
Thursdays are trivia until 1130pm so shits out the window then!

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By al - 1:45 AM | (2) comments | Post a Comment

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