Dream Theater

(slightly expanded from the Twitter record shortly after waking.)

DREAM: You’re a girl making her way to the frontier to find her fortune.

ME: Premise accepted!

DREAM: You have a feckless brother with you.

ME: He won’t last long.

DREAM: You meet a lovely woman, who vaguely resembles the County Extension officer, who will take you as an apprentice. Soon you will go downstream from the town and make money doing frontier-y things.

ME: With you so far.

DREAM: She is concerned that you bring enough socks.

ME: Seems legit.

DREAM: Axe murder! Everyone in town is now dead except you and the woman and the axe murderer.

ME: These things happen.

DREAM: You hide under anachronistic sheets of injection molded plastic as the axe murderer stalks the town.

ME: Yay injection molded plastic!

DREAM: Also, your brother is lost on the tundra.

ME: See, I knew that’d work out.

DREAM: Sexy Idris Elba shows up.

ME: HELLO SEXY IDRIS ELBA MY WE ARE SHIRTLESS TODAY

DREAM: The woman tells you she is a member of the cult of midwives. She has a necklace with a weird symbol on it. Kinda looks like an anarchy symbol only with labia.

ME: Don’t care, go back to Idris–oh damn, a cult of midwives? That’s pretty good. I should take notes.

DREAM: Sexy Idris Elba leaves.

ME: Nooooo!

ME: My bitterness overwhelms me.

DREAM: Axe murderer!

ME: Screw it, I kill that guy. He might hurt Idris.

DREAM: …uh.

DREAM: Not where I expected this to go. Give me a minute.

ME: I’ll wait.

DREAM: Your brother returns! Possibly he is also an axe murderer! At the very least, he is lazy and did not actually go on the tundra after all. He has been in the barn.

ME: Can I kill him too?

DREAM: What?

ME: He cut a hole in the barn because the door was on the other side and he was too lazy to walk! I’m getting the axe!

DREAM: …this would be frowned upon.

ME: Chance I’m willing to take.

DREAM: OH LOOK SHIRTLESS IDRIS ELBA IS BACK

DREAM: He is telling you about his visions.

ME: While not wearing a shirt, right?

DREAM: Lotta visions. Like a frontier blog.

ME: As long as he’s shirtless, it’s all good.

DREAM: The townspeople are all back. Turns out they weren’t murdered after all.

ME: This is dreadful.

DREAM: They have arrested Idris for axe murder!

ME: It seems this situation could be solved with a WHOLE LOT MORE AXE MURDER. Just sayin’

DREAM: …You are out on the tundra. Alone.

ME: But do I have an axe?

DREAM: NO ONE GETS AN AXE. THE AXES ARE GONE. THERE WILL BE NO AXES FOR ANYONE.

ME: Well, this sucks.

DREAM: The clouds are doing something weird and uncanny and have cat and crow heads.

ME: No time, gotta save Idris.

DREAM: It’s really neat, though? Like, they’re all twisty and swirly and stuff?

ME: A SEXY MAN NEEDS ME

REAM: We blew the entire budget on these clouds!

ME: You’re going to execute shirtless Idris Elba. I AM BUSY.

DREAM: This one’s a dragon with like a skeleton in its mouth and that one over there is a herd of buffalo with crow heads.

ME: I ride back to town! I will save Idris!

DREAM: You have to fill out paperwork saying you’re his alibi.

ME: …Anticlimactic.

DREAM: You can’t use a fountain pen worth a damn in a dream, either.

ME: You just can’t give me anything here, can you?

DREAM: But wait! If you sign this form, your reputation will be compromised because you, an unmarried young woman, were alone with a man! Unchaperoned!

DREAM: The townsfolk will judge you!

ME: Nathaniel Hawthorne? What are you doing here?

DREAM: Ok, you’ve saved Idris but now you’re a fallen woman.

ME: …

DREAM: NO AXES

DREAM: Idris decides the honorable thing to do is compromise you further.

ME: I forgive you for everything.

DREAM: Ha ha, sucker! Evil clouds are back!

ME: Nooooooo!

DREAM: The clouds are emanating from a monstrous device buried in the tundra!

ME: Okay, but how compromised are we talking?

DREAM: Huge machine! Gouts of clouds erupt out! No one is getting compromised!

ME: Then I don’t care if they kill us all now.

DREAM: You must pry open the grate on the machine while cloud monsters attack!

ME: And sexy grateful Idris?

DREAM: Went to get a shirt.

ME: KHAAAAAAAAAAAANNNN!

DREAM: There’s a piece of meat stuck in the grate. Looks like bologna or something.

ME: …ok.

DREAM: That was the problem.

ME: wut

DREAM: Evil piece of possessed meat drove the machine mad. It happens.

ME: What?!

DREAM: HEY LOOK IT’S IDRIS AGAIN

DREAM: He’s brought you a quagga hide. He’s very grateful.

ME: Oh yeah oh baby–wait, quagga hide? Where’d he get a quagga?

DREAM: …

ME: This is important! Does he know where there are quaggas?

DREAM: HE HAS NO PANTS

ME: Then put on some damn pants and find me a quagga!

DREAM: You know what? I’m outta here. I can’t work under these conditions.

ME: *wakes up*

ME: …well, crap.

There is probably a moral here, but I think this just speaks to my priorities as a human being.

Finnish Candy & Kingfisher Dreams

So we recorded KUEC last night, and made, on air, salmari, from a recipe and candy sent to us by our Finnish Correspondent. This is salted black licorice hard candy. You simmer it in vodka in a jar for two hours.

I do not know what is in that candy, but if you have a shot (only a shot! the bit that wouldn’t fit back in the bottle!) of the resulting infusion, while you have been drinking “sipping tequila” (courtesy of Friend Of The Show Petrov) you will have the sort of dreams that religions are based on. (I am told, by our Finnish Correspondent, that this is a known side-effect. Also, the hangover that would kill a demigod.)

I distinctly remember getting up at least five times in the night to drink water and visit the bathroom and I would then fall asleep back into the same dream.

Parts of it were complex and nonsensical and there was a long stretch where I was trying to identify birds in a strange dystopian South Africa with ruined monorail lines hanging over these odd little neighborhoods, while visiting my friend Foxfeather (who actually lives in Minnesota, which may not be the farthest point on the globe from South Africa but is arguably in the running) and fighting off a groups of possessed MRAs who were dressing up as my books to attack the house, and also a woman’s bathroom that included an X-ray machine. This sort of thing is normal in my dreams and not particularly significant. It was when I was driving to the airport (which was in Mumbai, also not terribly close to South Africa) that I stopped at a temple, and things got…odd.

Stylistically, this temple was all over the place–Chinese historical drama architecture with Sri Lankan gold details; statue of Buddha-only-more-like-Shiva-only-hey-have-some-Assyrian-winged-bull-in-there-too-too; held up by Greek columns; with a tiny museum in the front that very strongly resembled the Butter Museum in Cork; and an entryway that was the classic circular driveway, glass & brass luxury hotel affair. Plus when I was upstairs taking photos, I think I was in the Guggenheim. My brain was clearly just throwing every damn thing it had at me to Be Impressed By This.

The temple was 30,000 years old, I was told, and when I said that was a lot older than Jericho, the person at the little museum out front said “It’s been here for awhile.” (I have absolutely no idea where my brain was placing this temple–along the road from Johannesburg to Mumbai, which apparently ran through Ireland, so take your pick.) I wandered around taking pictures. (There followed a sequence where I couldn’t get my phone to take high-resolution photos and much flailing until Kevin fixed it. Sometimes my dreams are tediously realistic.) Then I went into the sanctuary and accidentally stepped into an offering bowl lurking in the shadow of a pillar.

At that point, I realized that the temple was full of people praying and I had just committed a dreadful faux pas. I picked up the bowl, which was full of some kind of shredded fruit and rice, and went to apologize to a priest for having been clumsy. The priest, somewhat annoyed, told me that if I’d touched the offering, I had to eat it–but apparently the head priest wanted to eat with me. So I sat down for a meal with the head priest, during which I apologized a great deal and ate slightly squashed fruit salad, and the head priest told me to come with him. We passed under transparent red silk hangings and into a huge warehouse-like room with branching paths laid out of the floor. He told me to pick one and I wound up at a door with a pale green circle on it.

He opened the door and I was in a long hallway full of wood-carving equipment–work tables covered in wooden blanks and chisels and sawdust. There was a shelf running along both sides of the top of the hallway and it was covered in carved kingfishers, all sorts–I remember half-finished ones with red heads, like a red-crested cardinal. I was completely flabbergasted, and went down the hallway, looking at all these carvings, and then got to a door at the end. It had circles on it like an elevator, only with no floor numbers, and when I touched it, one of the circles turned pale green again, with the number 1 on it.

“The Garden of the Harsh Voice,” said the head priest, and opened the door. It led to this garden full of low bushes, with a huge fish pond, very naturalistic, like a marsh, and the head priest roared and this gigantic pike came out of the pond and roared back. And kingfishers descended into the bushes, all chattering–mostly European kingfishers, I think, maybe a few malachites in there–and I burst into tears and tried to explain to the priest what kingfishers meant to me and showed him my tattoo. And then he ushered me out the temple, and said “Of course I knew that would happen, why else would I leave an offering bowl on the ground like that where someone would step in it?”

And then, because it was a dream and dreams are like that, I discovered that during this incredible experience, I had missed my flight and ended up calling my publicist because my subconscious apparently believes that my publicist is capable of ending all my travel related woes, (which she does when I’m on tour and sends me hour-by-hour itineraries of where I am supposed to be and what happens next and who is taking me there, and I am pathetically grateful for this because by the third day of school visits my brain is a gentle mush congealing at the bottom of my skull) and the rest was spent wandering through a strange city trying to find the airport by following the logo, which was a dancing blue goat with a little arrow on it, and my publicist saying that there was no problem, she had booked me on a direct from Mumbai to Spokane.

I am quite certain there is not actually a direct flight from Mumbai to Spokane.

Anyway, I woke up quite early for me, feeling peaceful and euphoric and lovely except for the bit where I was godawful hangover. I do not know how the Finns drink this stuff regularly and survive.