an aside

I’m on the east coast for a week – Charlottesville for work, then Harrisonburg, then DC. Hurricane Sandy blew the color off of the trees, but otherwise did very little where I am apart from lulling me to sleep with persistent rain last night.

And then, sometime in the middle of the night, between the storm breaking and the sun rising behind the clouds and the mist, I woke from a dream of my grandpa, a dream so vivid that when I woke from my dead sleep, it was with tears in my eyes and a sob caught in my throat. I don’t believe in ghosts, or in the interpretation of dreams, but this one was so real that I have tears in my eyes just remembering it.

I’m tired, drained of all enthusiasm, ready to hibernate for the winter, or at least until responsibility and obligation drag me out of my too comfortable bed in the sweet Airbnb space I’m renting. I wonder who will visit me in my sleep tonight.


@ The 2007 Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival
Photo from Heartlover1717

I woke up at 5:30 this morning with a terrible crick in my neck and pain in my lower back. After a small breakfast, I headed straight back to bed with the heating pad in hopes of getting some relief and going into work late. When I woke up, Shane had just gotten out of the shower, and the cats were executing some amazing jumps straight in the air. It was then that I noticed that the ceiling of our bedroom was full of balloons. Not only that, but Mina was floating in the air, held up by a balloon attached to her middle by a ribbon. It was amazing!

I was, of course, not actually awake, and would go on to have two more brief dreams in which I also was not actually awake but dreamt about waking up and calling the doctor for Shane (he was running late for an appointment) and also encountering a stranger named Gary in our bathroom. But how awesome would it be to wake up with a bedroom full of balloons?!


I’m officially sick with whatever zombie bug Shane brought back from Vienna.  I’m not a zombie in the brain-eating sense or in the Fela Kuti song sense, more in the shuffling around mumbling because my brain isn’t functioning properly sense.  This resulted in some very interesting dream fragments:

  • I was reading Superman graphic novels.  But like, the old Superman, not the new Superman, even though neither my waking nor sleeping brain knows anything about it.  I also rolled down a big green hill.
  • Amy was selling antiques and crafts (though not anything fiber-related) at a swap meet and I was helping out, except that I didn’t know anything about what we were selling, including price or provenance.  This made it complicated when people asked for more wine.
  • We weren’t selling wine, but we did have an astounding array of small bottles of wines for the many people who were working at Amy’s booth.
  • A girl asked me about a person who was mentioned in some olde timey pamphlet that she found at the booth.  For some reason she had decided to do her research project about this person, even though she knew nothing about this person OR the project.  I asked lots of questions and felt like a real reference librarian.

Now it is 10am and I’ve bought two bottles of NyQuil and dropped a big chunk of honeycomb in my tea, so I need to attend to the waxy bits floating in my mug and also to the NyQuil and then to the inside of my eyelids.  I will report back if I have any additional interesting dreams.

More Notes from My Unconscious

In one of my dreams last night, my parents had given us money as a wedding gift – a LOT of money.  Some of it was in olde timey currencies – like colorful pre-Euro Dutch money, but also money from when the states issued their own currencies – and some was US money in denominations that do not possibly exist – like the $1,000,000 bill.

In another dream, we were at Wonderland picking something up and they were super short-handed so I went behind the counter to ring something up, except that the counter was now the size of the entire old store, and in the back were racks and racks of stuff that someone was improbably climbing in the same way that I used to climb up to the top shelves to do inventory – one foot on one side of the aisle, the other foot on the other, back and forth up to the ceiling.  Not exactly OSHA-approved, but whatever.  The book I was trying to scan wasn’t scanning, and it had all of these labels on it, like the used textbooks that are stickered each time they’re resold.  I eventually got it to scan, but then I had a hell of a time gift-wrapping it. [1]

I’ve slept poorly since Shane left for Vienna on Friday, and maybe this is why!

[1] I’m sure the scanning part of the dream is lifted from reality – I picked up a few things at Target last night and the “new team member” had a hell of a time with her register and scanner.

Notes from my Unconscious

The following things happened in my dreams last night:

  • Jon Hamm was married and had a kid and was at Karin’s birthday party, where he went on and ON about how much he loved Zima.
  • Karin’s birthday party was circus-themed.  She was dressed up as the ringleader, complete with a top hat.  Her entrance was announced by guys doing cartwheels and maybe also some fireworks?  This was in an apartment, mind you.
  • Rachel was there and wasn’t sure why the whole thing was circus-themed.
  • Shane and I and David and Mary Clare and one other person that I can’t remember had to deliver a whole lot of pizzas, some to Rockford, which was 45 minutes away.  I don’t know why.  None of us were generally responsible for pizzas in any capacity.
  • Shane thought the best way to deliver a surprise pizza was by asking the dad (the surprisee) for directions to somewhere, during which time either we would sneak up with the pizza, or maybe this whole part was just Shane confusing the guy about why we were driving through his neighborhood?
  • We picked up the pizzas from the pizza place, then left them in the car for almost an hour before we left to deliver them.  I was as confused by this in the dream as I am now.

Man, what in the world is going on in my head?!

Sertralini Dreams

Since going on Sertraline last month, I have had extremely lucid dreams almost every night. Fortunately I have yet to dream about my cats being cooked in a sandwich – but they’re no less weird. In the last two weeks, some highlights have included:

  • Worrying about the link structure of our website changing when we go to a CMS, and so writing a note on my hand to remember to talk to David about redirects
  • Receiving mashed potatoes as a gift from my boss’s boss
  • Mint chocolate chip ice cream is now called ‘Chinese tea’ ice cream
  • A particularly inept candidate interviewed for an electronic resources-type job at the library (not necessarily mine). He previously worked at the library, and as part of his application packet had included something with citations, most of which were formatted incorrectly. A coworker pointed out that he didn’t cite the databases from which he retrieved the articles. OMG. The interview ended abruptly after he casually put his arm around me, and then everyone was uncomfortable.
  • Wandering around a festival or fun fair in a type of convention center, trying to figure out why a man was singing a Carla Bruni song.
  • I was engaged, and we called off the wedding, but somehow it got rescheduled and was going to happen at my grandparents’ house. I had just gotten back from a run and didn’t have time to get cleaned up and was going to call the thing off anyway, so I went downstairs in my sports bra and a skirt (I think) to explain to all of these people in black tie dress that a wedding was definitely not happening. Someone told me I did the right thing.

I have to say that if this is the main side effect of the medication, I’m totally cool with it.

Last night I had a dream about a digital library of advertising jingles – except in my dream, I conceived of it as Flickr for advertising jingles. Anyone know of such a thing?

Also, tonight SB and I made dinner: roast chicken with organic fingerling potatoes and sweet onions, pan gravy with white wine, and a simple salad. The newly operational ice maker is chugging away, and on the stove I have a pot of this and that reducing into chicken stock for tomorrow’s soup.

Tomorrow I start my job, but for tonight, it’s lovely to be simple and domestic.


Not much to say, for it’s been a quiet weekend. I suppose most weekends are quiet around here, and that’s mainly a good thing. I’ve had enough insanity for one twelve month period.

Friday night my network and internet connections decided to fail – still not sure why, because after a couple of reboots and 45 minutes on hold with tech support they spontaneously came back to life. Ahh blessed internet, you are my friend. I cleaned my apartment, then Shawn came over after four hours of minestrone-induced coma – we had dinner, which tasted much better than it looked, then watched Once Upon a Time in Mexico. I’ve seen Desperado, but not El Mariachi, which we also rented – maybe I’ll get to that later today or tomorrow. Anyway, Once Upon a Time in Mexico was fun, but definitely rental fun, not $7.50 movie ticket plus popcorn sort of fun. Johnny Depp is insane, and Antonio Banderas is pretty-pretty, but shouldn’t talk much. He’s v nice to look at when he’s emoting. 🙂

Saturday we slept in, then exhausted my breakfast resources with french toast. I took Shawn home around noon, then bummed around the apartment for the afternoon. I took a long bath and read Steve Martin’s The Pleasure of My Company, then picked Shawn up so we could go to dinner with the kids for Hannah’s birthday (which is actually today – happy birthday!). We all convened at Radio Maria, which was excellent for the second week in a row. It was so much fun to have everyone there – that hasn’t happened since before my arrival down here – Sarah, Hannah, Amity & Chris, Sam & Brian, Dan & Mariko, Sara L, Oday, Shawn, and I. I had the chicken tangine which was remarkable – it was served with apple-mint couscous and a coconut cilantro chutney that was to die for. After dinner we traipsed down to the art theatre to see The Company, which was better than I expected and elicited a few gasps of remembered pleasure from me because Neve Campbell’s character worked at Neo, my very favorite Chicago club. (Ahh, Neo. Such fond mmmmemories of my last visit. That wall in the alley – wow. OK, we’ll leave that one alone. It’s a good wall.) Anyway, the movie was lovely, and I’m glad I saw it. Went back to Shawn’s afterwards, fondly rehashed Neo, then watched the ultimately forgettable SWAT.

Slept in late this morning, then read in bed for a while. I dreamt last night that I failed the GRE’s because I had to fill out some sort of registration paperwork, which was blown out of my hands into the Mississippi River, and I was on some sort of precipice and couldn’t get down to it – and they wouldn’t let me reregister. Don’t know where that one’s coming from. I also dreamt that Shawn was moving from his current apartment to a new one tomorrow, only he didn’t have a new apartment yet, and somehow was going to move all his books without any sort of boxes. And after those two, I laid awake for a while, worrying about money. I’ve decided that I need to make a serious effort at getting a part time job – even an extra $100/month would really help out. The CPL is hiring, as are a couple of other places I’ve seen, so I’m going to send out a couple of applications and see what happens. That would also help with the loneliness and downtime as my friends get busy with school and I remain, well, not busy with anything. And then I started worrying about grad school again, and about whether or not Nate was taking care of his end of the divorce (aka signing the paperwork) – and then Shawn made coffee, very kindly threw a shirt at my head, accused me of stealing the blankets and not being conscientious of the sheets’ feelings, and neglected to apprise me of the morning’s plan until he was putting on his shoes and I was still clad only in the aforementioned shirt. It was silly and random – and just what I needed to snap out of it this morning. We went to Aroma for lunch, where I finished In a Sunburned Country (which has to rank as my second favorite book, behind Microserfs) and was charmed by two ten-ish girls who plopped down in the chair next to us and talked about coffeeshops and complimented each other on their respective braces. I took Shawn home in the blustery cold – at some point it started snowing in earnest – and am now sitting on my couch with a cat in my lap, trying to decide what to do for the rest of the day. The last few Sundays have been dominated by reading, then dinner and Law & Order at Shawn’s, but he has work to do and the Golden Globes are on anyway. So we’ll see.

Oh yeah, and we joined Netflix this weekend and already have approx 75 movies in our queue. Any suggestions are welcome. 🙂