Blogaversary

Five years ago today, I broke ground on my blogger blog. It was actually five years ago to the minute that I published my first blog entry. A couple of you remember that blog. We’ve come a long way, my friends, and it’s been a wild ride. I’m going to try my best to make the second half of the first decade infinitely better than the first. Will you come along for the ride?

Weird Dreams Again

And, this a couple nights in a row.

On Saturday night, I had a dream that I was helping to move a house. I’d received a phone call from a friend who asked if I wanted to make some easy money. I asked for more information, of course. My friend explained that they were moving a house for hire, and they wanted to contract with creative, mechanically-minded people who had experience moving awkward objects. I used to move pianos with my dad in real life. The goal was to make the job faster and more precise so they could charge the customer a premium for the convenience. The plan was to then pay more to the contract labor. Sounds good to me!

So I drove to the job site on the agreed upon morning, which was way out in the woods. It was still fairly dark when I arrived, but I could see a barn and a stable, and what looked like an old wooden sailing ship with the very bottom of the hull sunk into the earth. There was a door on the side of the ship, and light coming through the window in the door. Apparently, the ship was the house we were moving. There were no other vehicles around, so I parked my car some distance from the odd building.

When I knocked on the door, an elderly lady came to it and without opening it, asked what I wanted. I explained that I was one of the workers that was hired to move her house, and asked if I could get a glass of water. She invited me in and led me into a dining nook that was located in the stern with a large bay window. There she had a table prepared and there was a little girl finishing her breakfast at the table. As I came in, the girl was clearing her dishes and left to somewhere else in the house.

“Won’t you please have a seat?” asked the old woman as she poured a glass of water for me. So, I sat and looked around the room. It was cozy and there was a lot of woodwork, but it was not at all ship-like. The woman handed me the glass of water and asked if I would take a cup of tea. I hesitated for a moment, knowing that the rest of the work crew would arrive shortly. But, I didn’t really see the harm. We made small talk as the kettle heated on the stove and the woman ate her breakfast. When she got up the clear her own empty dishes and to bring the tea, I felt a strange motion. It was as if I was tipping backwards. I suddenly realized that I was indeed tipping backwards, as the entire structure was being tipped on its side!

Then, I felt a surge as the ship/house started moving along the ground. I pulled myself upright and looked out the now sideways bay window in disbelief. I watched my car disappear into the distance as the ship/house was dragged away. By now, the sun had breached the horizon and it was bright outside. We continued to accelerate, and bump along the dirt road toward the interstate. Plowing under a low overpass, the side of the ship was sruck against stone, and it splintered and tore out with a deafening crash and now there was open air above my head. When we made it to the interstate, the ride got smoother and quieter. I righted a chair and sat down to watch the road through the bay window.

Instead of the old woman, a man with a crazy beard came in with a cup, “Here’s your tea.” Strangely, the man was a guy named Steve who I worked with as a mechanic in real life, years ago. He sat down next to me and thoughtfully looked through the window at the traffic behind the ship. That’s when a car caught my eye. It was a bright green Honda, a model that I had never seen before. I pointed it out and commented that I wasn’t familiar with it. Real Life Steve didn’t care much for Hondas and always gave me a hard time about my Civic. In the dream, he made some comment showing his disdain for the car that I had just pointed out. Then he said, “Mike, you know about car stereos, right? You’ve installed those things, haven’t you?”

“Yeah,” I answered, “I’ve installed a bunch of them. It’s pretty easy, even if you haven’t done it before.”

“Well, I’d just as soon pay you to do it if you’ve done it before and know what you are doing,” Steve commented, contrary to Real Life Steve’s character.

“I guess I could do that for you,” I shrugged.

He then added, “I need one installed in my motorcycle trailer.”

“Huh,” I said, “That’s a little different application than I’ve dealt with in the past, but the principles should be the same.”

And, on went the conversation as we skidded down the freeway in an overturned ship/house thing, presumably on the end of a rope tied to a diesel pickup. We went through a long curve and just as a skier on the end of a line, we left the roadway and went up the grassy embankment. As we came out of the curve and slid back onto the pavement, the whole ship started to rotate until we were going forwards for once. I could see the long rope that tethered this bizarre structure to the truck that towed it, and I could see another curve in the road with an overpass immediately after. The ship again slid off the pavement and up the grass embankment, rotating backwards again. And then it was violently yanked off the embankment and under the overpass, and that’s about when the alarm went off.

Yeah.

So, that was weird.

Then last night, I had another strange and vivid dream that wasn’t nearly so long.

Jenni and I had been out together, having a bit of a date night. We had each had a couple of beers and were feeling cheerful and fun. As I walked up the sidewalk to our front door, Jenni walked to the gate and wandered into our back yard. Confused, I abandoned the front door and followed her to the back.

“What’s up?” I asked.

She answered, “I just wanted to take a look back here before we went in.”

“Okay,” I said, “Anything in particular you’re looking for?”

She explained, “Not really. I just had a weird feeling.” She began looking around our back porch and back yard. Noting a couple of items that seemed to be a little out of place she indicated our sliding glass door, “I think someone’s tried to break into our house!”

I cocked an incredulous eyebrow at her, “Honey, if someone had tried to break into this door, I think they would have been successful. You’re freaking out over nothing.” Again, very uncharacteristic of Real Life Jennifer.

“True,” she conceded, “But, something seems wrong.”

For a moment we stood on the deck in the moonlight, quietly pondering what she could have been perceiving as off. That’s when Old NFO walked around the corner wearing his 511 Tactical pants and combat boots with a t-shirt. He even had his Scar slung over his shoulder.

“Old NFO!” we shouted unison, “we didn’t expect you!”

As he shook my hand and hugged Jenni, he said, “I just felt bad that I missed your blog shoot and I was in the neighborhood, so I decided to stop by. What are y’all up to?”

“She thought that someone might have tried to force our back door open, so we’re checking it out,” I explained.

“Well, it wasn’t me!” Old NFO exclaimed, much to our amusement.

And that’s about when the alarm went off this morning. What in the world did I eat? What will I dream about tonight? Does this mean I’m crazy? LOL!

Strange Dreams Last Night

I had a dream last night that I bought a cow and buried it in the front yard. I buried it alive, but I left a little tunnel from the surface to its head, so that it could breathe and I could provide it with food and water. Other than that, the animal was buried – its body completely encased in soil. The thought was if I could figure out how to make this work, just think of how it could revolutionize the beef industry! Besides that, domestic cows are not exactly active creatures. They just stand around and eat grass all day. They could do that any old place – like in a hole in the ground!

Of course, in real life, the thought of treating a living creature in such a manner is revolting, and it is very clear that there are many reasons that this would never work, but the dreaming mind doesn’t necessarily consider all of the same implications that the waking mind does. My friends and family were excited about my cow. They were constantly asking, “How’s that cow experiment going?” My initial thought was that I would bury the cow, making provisions so that it could live, and I would dig up the animal after a week to record and analyze the results.

About two days into the experiment, we had a get together at our house where we cooked on the grill. Our friends and family came to eat and have a great time with us. Someone in the party was asking me about the cow and my experiment. That’s when it dawned on me – although I had made provisions for air, water, and food to get to the animal for its consumption, I had made no provisions for the urine and feces. And even worse, I had the animal’s body buried with no room for it to expand as the cow breathed. I was mortified and discouraged as I realized what I had done. I answered the question at the party, “I’m pretty sure my cow is dead.”

Now, please allow me to interpret:

I believe the dream represents my latent fear in going into business for myself. The cow directly represents my leatherwork, and indirectly the financial investment in the tools, equipment, and raw materials. The experiment – burying the cow, digging the air/feeding tunnel, pretty much every effort of the experiment represents the real-world effort that I’ve put into learning how to make great leather goods. The very fact that I did something as outrageous as burying the cow both represents that I want to accomplish something truly unique with my efforts, and it represents planting a seed – in this case, planting the seed of my business.

The fact that I came to a sudden realization that I had done something horrible, and destroyed all the investment, and that all the effort was for nothing – that represents my fear of the unknown. In real life, do I have any idea how much money I will or will not wind up making by the end of the year? No, I have no clue. Do I have any guarantee that The Holster Site will make a living for me and my family? No – but I had no more guarantee this time last year that I would continue to work in a traditional job.

The fact of the matter is that the fear itself is kind of freeing. In traditional employment I enjoyed the illusion of stability, when I had no more job security than I do now. Frustration then came in the form of not feeling like I was being appreciated for my accomplishments and abilities, but that was the price I paid for the illusion of stability. And, I accepted a ceilinged-out paycheck that was probably less than I was worth in return for the false security that the next paycheck would be exactly the same as the one before it.

Had the dream with the cow continued, I would have liked to see myself do something wily and industrious with my failed experiment. Perhaps I would have discovered that burying beef for several days tenderizes and seasons the meat and makes it uniquely delectable. Conversely, maybe I would have discovered that my fears were in vain, and the cow had actually thrived in those bizarre conditions. I don’t know, but I think that’s the point – the dream was supposed to be a cliff-hanger. The lesson I take away from it is to not let my fears win. I will win. I will make the best of my situation, take the steer by the horns (as it were), and make my own destiny.

As I continued dreaming after the cow dream, a neighbor down the street had a shack in their back yard. In that shack was a hideous creature that appeared to be a cross between a human child and a piglet. They kept this child-pig in a chicken wire cage in the shack. There was a six-inch tall bi-pedal dinosaur that was in the cage with the child-pig. The child-pig would draw the dinosaur in and snuggle with it, but the dinosaur was uncomfortable with this and wanted to escape. A ninja-like character crept into the neighbor’s yard and entered the shack. He used a shovel to pry the chicken-wire cage open and scooped out the tiny dinosaur with the shovel. He tossed the dinosaur into the trees behind the shack. The child-pig was furious! It screamed and squealed and threw such a tantrum that the entire shack swayed and creaked. Just as the ninja made his escape, the child-pig’s tantrum peaked and he literally exploded in a burst of fire which leveled the shack to splinters and ash. And, that was all.

I don’t have an interpretation for that last one. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I watched Beowulf before bed last night. That makes more sense than anything else I can think of.