Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Open to interpretation

If you're like me, every once in a while you'll have a really crazy, strange, vivid dream that doesn't seem to make any sense yet it sticks with you throughout the morning and keeps you asking yourself "WTF, man???"

So here's how it went down last night. To set the scene, I find my dream self on his way to attend some sort of fishing seminar. And I'm not talking about fishing in the Internet spam sense. I mean like fishing, like actually trying to catch fish in an actual (dream) river.

So I'm on my way upstream to this seminar that takes place in the wide bend of a river. I'm in this old sputtering rust bucket of a boat that reminds me of the old vintage blue Ford pickup that my high school cross country coach used to haul the team around in (back in the day when a public school employee hauling high school kids around in the back of a rickety pick up truck didn't prompt the kind of nambie pambie safety backlash that would surely plague my coach were he in the "more refined" 2010s. Man, the 80's were awesome!).

Anyway getting back to sureality, I'm in the boat following what the instructor says about fishing (whatever that was) when it starts to get super windy. I mean gale force, Kansas summer afternoon windy. The river gets really choppy, and I'm there trying to balance in this boat of questionable river-worthiness. While trying to keep my balance, I accidentally drop a gadget of exceedingly high importance. What the object was isn't clear anymore. Could have been a tool of some kind, or keys. But it fell into the river, and it was important enough for me and two other seminar attendees to dive in after it.

And here's where things get really weird.

We're swimming down, down into the unrealistically deep river, chasing this important object. Along the way, we're swimming passed a boatload of different kinds of fish. And they're huge. I mean, they're like bigger than a Pacific Bluefin Tuna ("the cow of the ocean"). And they keep getting bigger.

Eventually the three of us dive deep enough and fast enough to catch up with the sinking object. It's really dark down here and muddy like a Kansas creek, but now the object seems to be emitting it's own light for some reason. When we reach for it to take it back to the surface, the muddy water seems to close in around us. Suddenly, we get the feeling that we're in an enclosed space, like a large conference room, but it's too dark and murky to see exactly what's going on. So I turn on my flashlight that I suddenly have in my hand (yeah I know, dream physics).

I swim a couple of yards and come to a wall. Well, a sort of slightly concave wall-like structure made of a pinkish, striated material. I follow it to the left for a few feet, then start swimming "up" and follow it some more. I then reverse myself and follow it down and find that it curves into a floor.

At last we all realize where we are - in the belly of a great fish!

We all stand around discussing the problem for a few minutes. It's surprising because we weren't really panicked, and we were breathing and talking underwater (but again, dream physics). We conclude that one of us, that being me, is going to have to swim out the exit and get help.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the exit. It turns out there was only one way out, through the exit - the natural exit that you would expect to see from inside the belly of a fish.

So it fell to me to somehow struggle through the muscular sphincter of the leviathan and wiggle Shawshank Redemption-style through the digestive track to the freedom of the river. When I got the outside of the fish, I used the 8-inch fishing knife that had dream-physics appeared in my hand to cut the fish open and free the two nameless faceless guys with me.

At that moment we see below us an even bigger fish waiting on the bottom of the river. It's like the older, bigger, scarier uncle of the fish whose digestive tract I just crawled out of. Given the harrowing ordeal we'd just gone through (not to mention the 20 or so feet of fish doo doo), we start kicking for all we're worth toward the surface. But before we could make it...

... the sound of my wife's hair dryer from the master bath woke me up. Man, I hate that sound.

I know this kind or weirdo scenario is rife with all kinds of symbolism. There's the whole being chased thing, losing something valuable (but you don't know what it is) and of course the Old Testament "Jonah and the Whale" parallel. Feel free to offer your own armchair psychoanalysis in the comments.

But I think the biggest affect this unusually vivid dream on me has been that I no longer have much of an appetite for sushi.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

YouTube Tuesday: Bucking the trend

Some of you may know that I've taken up cycling again after a long hiatus. Just for my health, mind you. Not really competitive.

Anyway, it was such a beautiful weekend a couple of weeks ago that I decided to hit up a nice trail i know of in the Konza Prairie Reserve. My friend and I were cruising along one of the trails. Luckily, he had his video camera on getting some shots of the beautiful landscape (if you've never been, you really should), when...

... Well, let's just say, I'm glad I was wearing my helmet.

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