Dream Journal: Quidditch Olympics, Cat Actors, and Other Oddities

Quidditch was an Olympic sport, and it was being broadcast on wall-size TV screens in what looked like a mall food court. Among the competition was “Team Hogwarts” (they weren’t really from Hogwarts – it was a team of character lookalikes put together to appeal to Harry Potter fans) and a team of kids from various Pennsylvania cyber schools. Quidditch also had an academic quiz component. Both teams wore maroon uniforms.

In the food court was a Taco Bell/Domino’s/Little Caesars. If you wanted pizza right away, they served you Little Caesars “Hot-N-Ready” pizza. If you wanted a custom order, they served you Domino’s. No one wanted Taco Bell. I was confused and struggling to figure out when all three became one restaurant. Domino’s was making the “world’s largest” (but not really) pizza while we were there. It involved a man break dancing inside a giant ball of dough in order to flatten it onto a pan. They gave us an extra slice of pizza because someone in our group was having a birthday. I don’t think they were trying to break a world record. I think they just make really big pizza.

Also in what looked like a mall, I was standing with a few older women who just discovered I was a couple months pregnant (ONLY in the dream). I kept trying to tell them I was only a “little bit pregnant” and that it felt more like a food baby than a real baby. They insisted on trying to feel my belly. It was annoying. Meanwhile a really old hippie woman in a purple dress was leaving the store across from us, and she was WAY more pregnant that I was. They didn’t seem to notice.

My sister told me I had to go home immediately after dinner. I hadn’t packed yet.

On my flight home was the husband of Britt Nicole, a Christian singer. Or rather, on my flight was the widower of Britt Nicole. (In the dream, she had very recently died.) He was standing next to me on the plane, which didn’t have real seating. It was like a flying subway car. He asked the flight attendant to copy down some information he had about Britt, but he was incredibly offended that the flight attendant did not know who Britt was or that she had died. Another flight attendant, who was like a less abrasive Wanda Sykes, took over the task and calmed the man down.

I was not only flying home, but I was also flying for work. My job was to transport lost and found jewelry back to the owners. A girl I was traveling with wore some of the jewelry, which I thought was incredibly unprofessional. If I wanted the jewelry back, I had to figure out how to quit the level of Candy Crush that was on the screen in front of me. The girl (who was now Olivia Wilde) eventually returned the jewelry: a necklace with a gold plated pendant that was essentially a hex nut with a star-like shape cut into it.

I also saw a cat that froze in mid-step and made dramatic facial expressions. He did multiple takes if necessary. I wondered what the competition was like for cat actors and how difficult it is to train them.

Dream Journal: The Haunted Classroom

Details are a little spotty on this dream, because I forgot to take notes. It was crazy and kind of scary, so I’ll try my best to set the scene.

A few years ago, I was a residential counselor for the Boston Ballet Summer Dance Program. I lived with the students and was their R.A./camp counselor/mom away from home. Last night, one of my former residents friended me on Facebook, which might explain why, in my dream, I was a counselor for a similar summer program.

It was evening, and all the students and counselors were back at the dorms, which was actually more like a hotel. There had been some mysterious occurrences happening in their classrooms recently – things going on that could not be explained. Maybe it was a ghost haunting the school. Maybe it was a demon. For some reason, I was appointed the leader of the group who would get some answers.

It probably wasn’t an official assignment, at least not one authorized by my supervisors. We tried to do our best to keep all the students safe and follow some kind of protocol to prevent the supervisors from panicking. We set out for the school in two cars. There were three counselors including myself and at least ten students. I knew that we would have to do a roll call so we could notify the counselors and supervisors back at the dorms which students were on this excursion. Since we were already on the road, roll call would have to wait until we got to the school.

When we arrived at the school, we all gathered in one of the main classrooms where most of the unexplained activity had been taking place. Some of the students were listening to music on the radio as we settled in. They realized that this was a serious situation and wasn’t a time for fooling around. When they saw that the counselors had something to say, they immediately turned off the music, stopped talking, and listened for directions. We told them that we had to take attendance, and we would be texting their names back to the dorm. They gathered together, and we prepared to begin the roll call.

As we started reading off names, the windows in the classroom doors began mysteriously breaking, showering the kids with broken glass. Frightened, we huddled close, and the counselors attempted to shield the students from the flying shards. Though there only two doors, the glass kept coming.

I turned around to face the door and tried to see what was causing this event. Though I didn’t see anyone breaking the glass, I saw something else. Myself. I couldn’t see the person’s face, but it looked just like me from behind. This person was using her bare hands to tie six-inch water pipes into knots. Obviously, whoever was out there wasn’t exactly human.

Somehow, all the students and counselors made it safely through the night. I don’t know if someone rescued us or if the danger just subsided. One of my supervisors came to the haunted classroom, and I immediately went to her to apologize. “I’m so sorry. We were going to do a roll call so you would know who was with us, but when we started, the glass started shattering.” Surprisingly, my supervisor wasn’t worried about roll call. She was more concerned that we had left a senator dead on the floor inside that building.

That statement was just as confusing in the dream as it is now.

Dream Journal: Martha Graham and Carly Rae Jepsen

I sat backstage at our dance studio’s end of the year recital, but rather than lots of little kids on stage, there were older teenagers performing. Through sheer curtains that lined the wings, I watched them expertly perform choreography by modern dance icon Martha Graham. Though Ms. Graham passed in 1991, the studio had brought in an instructor from New York to teach her repertoire to the students. I was surprised that the studio had spent so much money to hire the instructor and that there were enough older, professional level students to perform.

I left the performance and returned to the studio, where I had to teach my Monday night jazz class. That night, Kirsten, the owner of the studio, was evaluating me as a teacher. For some reason, Lucas, a coworker from my full-time job, dropped by. We both thought it might be fun if he guest instructed my class. The students and I did several dance combinations across the floor as Lucas supervised. The music stopped playing, so Lucas checked the connection between his iPhone and the sound system. He then realized that he had an app open on his phone, which was interfering with the music. He closed the app, and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” began.

The students lined up to do more combinations across the floor, and as the first student began, Lucas let out a shout of disgust. “UGH!” he yelled at the student. “UGH! I don’t care for it.” Kirsten walked by and told Lucas, “I’m sorry, you need to find something else to say.” Confused as to what was going on and why this man was teaching the class, she dismissed everyone in the studio except for a few students who needed to rehearse for an upcoming performance. I had a feeling that I was going to be in trouble, because I was supposed to be teaching and instead allowed someone who insulted the students to teach instead. I would not do well on my evaluation and would probably lose my job at the dance studio.

As Lucas left the studio, he called out, “You owe me a slushie tomorrow!” Outraged, I stomped across the studio and yelled at Lucas. “I don’t owe you a slushie. You ruined EVERYTHING, and you’re going to spend the rest of the week making up for it.” I walked away crying and shouted through tears, “PLEASE LEAVE.”

I watched through the window as Lucas left, and our other coworker, Lance, met him outside. They had driven to the studio together, and Lance went to get dinner while Lucas taught class. As they left the parking lot, Kirsten asked me and another teacher, Lindsey, to get ready for rehearsal. We would be performing at a new church, Epicenter, for its grand opening celebration. This church would be the “epicenter” of the arts. We would rehearse and perform there before any of the congregation would enter or even see the building.

As we prepared to rehearse, I was responsible for starting up the music, which I couldn’t find. I was now even more nervous that I would be in trouble, because on top of the teaching fiasco, I had lost the CDs for our performance. I soon found them in a yellow folder by the window. We began rehearsal with a series of plies, releves, and turns. Kirsten mentioned that part of the performance would be a leaf dance, but we wouldn’t use real leaves until later.

[When Lucas walked into the office this morning, he had a container of Rice Krispie treats and chocolate-covered pretzels. I told him he had been redeemed from ruining my life.]

Dream Journal: Dream or Memory?

I was just about to fall asleep, but then I remembered a work email I needed to send. As I laid in bed with my laptop, I quickly typed up an email to a client about needing to cut several tenths of an inch off her organization’s advertisement for my company’s magazine. I hit send, closed my laptop, and went to sleep.

When I woke up in the morning, I vaguely remembered emailing the client before bed and was going to tweet about how I wasn’t sure if sending the email was a dream or a memory. It was a memory, but it apparently didn’t happen exactly as I remembered. I soon got a phone call from my coworker Lance. He was in Chicago (both in the dream and in real life) on business at an industry event. He said that a woman had received an email from our company, but she was concerned because it had been marked as spam. He started to describe the contents of the email, and it sounded like the message I had sent.

“Yes, I sent that email last night before going to bed. Does it say something about an ad and several tenths of an inch?”
“Yes, but are you sure?” he asked. “Are you sure you didn’t send it while you were asleep? It’s all backwards.”
“Backwards?! What do you mean?”
“Just check your sent folder.”

I logged into my email and checked the sent folder. There was the email I remembered sending. When I opened the email, though, I was really confused. The words were all jumbled and running together. There was a string of random numbers as well as an unusual link to an unfamiliar website. The email had been sent to Gail Rudowicz (a real person who is an icon of our company’s industry), who was NOT the intended recipient of the email I thought I had sent.
I was trying to make sense out of everything when I finally got to work that day. Was that email a dream or a memory? Both, I guess. I really did send an email, so that was a memory. However, staying awake to type it and hit send was completely a dream. Who knew that sleep-emailing was a thing?!
You can imagine my confusion and concern when I woke up in real life…

Dream Journal: David Choi and the “Toilet Bowl Composition”

Look out, Philip Wang! It looks like David Choi is competing with Phil and the Fangirls for “man of my dreams” (like, literally, my dreams).

I was on vacation with my mom’s side of the family – at least 40 aunts, uncles, and cousins. We were possibly camping – nothing too fancy. We were all divided into various sleeping quarters (basically a bunch of tents on a hill), but we also had a tour bus/RV for some relaxing, air-conditioned cooking space.

It was 6:25 AM. I was still sleepy but awake, making my way from the sleeping quarters to the RV. I hadn’t yet gotten ready for the day, so I was still in glasses and sweatpants with my hair messily pulled back. As I got closer to the RV, I saw David through the window.

David and I had recently gotten married. Though we were on vacation together with my family, it had been a couple days since I had seen him. As I climbed the steps into the RV, I noticed I wasn’t wearing a wedding ring and then remembered that David and I hadn’t gone public with our marriage yet. We weren’t Facebook official.

Inside the RV were David and two of my older cousins. David was standing by one of the counters as he worked on his laptop. My cousins were sitting around and eating breakfast. One cousin mentioned that the rest of the family couldn’t sleep either. She pointed to the tents on the nearby hill and said that the other cousins were waking up, too.

David was busy working, so I didn’t want to disturb him. Instead, I sat down on one of the benches and grabbed a piece of granola from a tray on the counter. It was homemade granola with a layer of peanut butter on the bottom. Suddenly my mom and a couple aunts were also in the RV, which now looks like my parents’ kitchen. As they stood by the granola, I thought I heard buzzing. It sounded like a swarm of bees, but I didn’t see any bees in room. I even got up to take a closer look at the granola, just in case the peanut butter was attracting flies. Nothing. I realized at that point that the almost deafening buzzing was just the sound of my mom and her sisters talking and laughing.

David finally looked up from his work, and with a smile, we made eye contact. I got up from my bench and went over to where he stood. “I feel like I haven’t seen you in such a long time,” I said as I hugged him and rested my head on his shoulder. His shirt was soft – light gray with blue, irregular circles all over it.

“I’ve been busy,” he replied, sounding tired.

“How’s recording going?” I asked, almost falling asleep on his shoulder and struggling to keep my eyes open.

“I need to take a break. I mean, I have three string tracks,” he said, thinking it was a bit excessive. I looked down at his laptop where he was editing a new song. I looked up and realized that his face was no longer David’s but my mother’s. I thought nothing of it.

“But I just keep recording them,” he continued, “because I know how much the tracks degrade whenever I adjust the tone.” (It’s like the string tracks are recorded on vinyl, so he felt the need to record back-ups since the tracks get worn down every time he plays it back or fiddles with some dial.)

“That’s why they call it… Oh, what’s the phrase?” my cousin chimed in. “Oh, that’s right. Toilet bowl composition.” (I guess that was supposed to refer to string arrangements and how the layering of degrading tracks makes it sound like everything was just thrown into a toilet bowl. Or it just sounds like crap.)

I woke up from this dream around 3 AM, and just before I fell back asleep, I remembered David’s most recent Facebook post:

So I’ve produced, arranged, recorded, and played almost every instrument on my last three albums. “Only You,” “By My Side,” and “Forever and Ever.” It’s a LOT of work. Rewarding, but still a LOT of work… and stress. For my next album, I entertained the idea of having a bigger well known producer help me out this time which means I would NOT do the producing, arranging, and recording. Which ultimately means it would sound a bit different… not to mention cost lots of money. Of course the songs would be 100% written by me. What do you guys think?

Do it for us, David! Do it for us.

Well, David… If we were really married, I would want you to hire a producer. I didn’t particularly like going several days without seeing my “husband” because he chose to spend most of vacation working… Is doing all the work worth what you would have to sacrifice? I think if you can find a producer you trust as an artist, business person, and human being, it might be worth the risk and the cost.