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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reality Checks


When I was in Hawaii I attended a Lucid Dreaming Workshop. One of the techniques we learned to aid in lucidity is to do reality checks throughout the day - that is, whenever things seem a little odd to stop and check to make sure it isn't a dream.

The other day, for example, I went to the gas station and while I was filling the tank I noticed a very tall man who seemed to be wearing no pants, or if he was wearing pants they were shorter than his shirt, so it had the effect of wearing no pants. He was waiting at the bus stop up until it was time for me to pull back into traffic, at which point he stepped right into the oncoming traffic motioning for the cars to stop. Horns blared, cars swerved, people shouted, nobody stopped, but luckily the man was not hit. Then unfazed, still standing in the middle of the traffic lane he turned and looked at me. I shook my head at him and pointed at him and then at the sidewalk to indicate that he should get out of the road. This he did and went to the corner waiting for the light to change before crossing the street, apparently forgetting about the bus. Maybe he realized he needed pants, or longer pants.

This was followed by a couple of days of things in general not functioning. The power went out for a few hours, an application on the computer stopped working and while looking for the software the lighbulb on a halogen light blew out. Hmmm, my dreams are so normal in comparison.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Unpack or Not?

I got back from my trip to Hawaii early on yesterday morning. By early I mean just after 5am. I didn't hear very much news while I was away. I heard a little about the stock market meltdown and a little about the debate, but while I was waiting for my flight home at the Honolulu airport I checked my messages and there were a couple that were alarming - something about a fire in the vicinity. I managed to reach someone on the phone (before my battery died) to learn that the fire was considered under control. However as the car approached the junction of the 118 and 210 freeways on the way home I saw a hillside in flames and then the car was driving through thick smoke. Apparently high winds had rekindled the blaze. Flames climbing the crest of a mountain on the horizon were visible from my house. I took pictures of the fire from my front door - which didn't come out due to darkness - and then, why not, I went ahead and hosed down the house and trees for good measure.

The fire was 5 or so miles away with the wind blowing the smoke and flames in the other direction. I did eventually unpack my suitcase. I thought that if things took a turn for the worse I should have clean laundry to take with me during the evacuation. I'm feeling lucky that it didn't come to that.