Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spending Time

I dreamed that I was spending Christmas with the family of one of my Indian coworkers. I do actually have some Indian coworkers, but this particular person was a fictional coworker conjured from the ether expressly for the dream.

The members of my coworker's family seemed to be fairly well divided with respect to what they were allowed to eat. Some had only rice and water. Others were vegetarians. Still others were eating beef. I don't remember now what I myself was eating.

I was asked to take part in some kind of family ritual. Actually, I wasn't exactly asked. The patriarch of the family, who spoke no English (in fact, I don't remember hearing him speak at all in any language), gestured to me to take part. He gave me some sort of sea horse shaped casing made from some plastic-like organic substance in which was contained some kind of shimmering silver-blue dust. I did as the others did. I used a knife to cut the end of the tail and shook out the dust into a pool of water. I don't remember whether I ever learned the significance of this act.

Later, I was speaking with an older gentleman who looked like the sort of man who might portray a Colonel or General in a movie. Maybe a little like Bob Gunton. I think he was trying to set me up with his daughter or granddaughter or niece or something. I think I was some kind of national hero, which is why he liked me.

At the end of the evening, I was speaking with my coworker, and I realized that I had started speaking with his accent. I didn't want to offend him, so I forced myself to speak like myself again.

"You know," I said, "I was thinking. If I saved up all the money I spent on soda and candy, by the end of the year I'd have a lot of money saved up."

"Or..." he said. "The vacuum will suck up your money, you'll drink a bit too much vermouth, and the Dark One will show you a good time."

~   ~   ~

I don't know who he meant by the Dark One. I suppose he might have meant himself, referring to his skin color, but I doubt it. I'm not sure what religion he practiced. I was never aware of whether Hinduism or Sikhism had any villainous entities in their theologies (I suppose now that they probably do, though I still have not checked). He might have been Muslim, but I don't think so, and for that matter, I'm not sure whether Muslims ever describe Iblis as "the Dark One." I suppose this particular Dark One may not have anything to do with any organized religions. Well, whoever he is, I don't think I want anything to do with him.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dreams of a Swaly Gaum

I am a Gaum. If you don't know what that means, then in all likelihood you don't need to know. But you seem so earnest in your curiosity. I might as well explain it.

It's simple. I am a monster. A beast of evil company. That reprehensible thing that is the object of revulsion for those who dwell in the light. The one who delights in the suffering of the innocent. Usually the one who causes it.

Well. In my case, little of this is really true. I have done nothing to warrant being called Monster. No one from the light has had any chance to revolt at my hideous countenance. I have witnessed no suffering. How may I delight in it? I've certainly caused none.

I do keep evil company. That is a fact. This is difficult to avoid when you are born a Gaum. It is an evil world.

I am hideous. This is also difficult to avoid. Surely if a light-dweller were to cast their light upon me... hah hah...

Affection is not my destiny.

Still, I find it difficult to accept fully what I know to be unavoidable. I am a monster. There is no other course.

Yet I know myself to be different. Perhaps this is on account of my inexperience. Perhaps it is simply my youth. Perhaps it is because I am alone.

The others do not speak to themselves. In my solitude I find solace in conjuring companions to hear me out. They listen to the ramblings of a young neophyte. They speak not a word. Still, they direct me to further my ramblings. The curiosity of an imaginary companion. Does this belie an impurity in me? Am I insane?

I have been trapped in the shadowy passages of this damned castle for too long. I long to return to the comfort of the Turned Worlds. There I have no need for ramblings. I would have tangible companions. Mired in groupthink, I would bury my thoughts beneath an ocean of subservience.

Subservience. This is why I am alone in the first place. We all must assume our posts in such places as this castle. Anyplace where the tendons binding the Turned and the Upright are strong and well dispersed. Intruders must perish. The Pendants must be found. It is commanded that these places must have a Gaum present to ensure that the Evil One's ends are achieved.

Why must my post be established in such a deserted and pointless place? Why did I have to grow old enough? Why couldn't I simply have died a whelp? In death there is the greatest darkness. In darkness there is stillness. Stillness. Stillness.

I need to move. This motionless palaver with the ghosts in my mind is leading me nowhere useful.

My claws make no sound as they usher my long frame along the stone corridors. My abdomen, menacing in its slenderness but somehow housing a full system of organs, sways little and hovers inches from the floor. A pale carpet made black by the shadows. I imagine my black eyes gliding through the darkness. Ebony gems submerged in the inky air that rules this place. They do not bob or sway. They simply slide forward, searching for the purpose that the Evil One has determined for them. Their victims would not see them before they perish. They are silent sentinels that serve my claws with information.

It is the claws that are masters here.

I hear a sound. I stop. My heart beats its flattened Gaumy rhythm a little faster. Soon I will be called Monster.

The masters take me quickly to one of the outer halls. The servants shall do their work without question. It is the coming of light-dwellers to this miserable place that will steel my mental faculties and make perfect my existence. It is their deaths that will lend sense to my purpose. I will yield to the subservience that is my destiny.

There is light in the room ahead. I enter, careful not to allow the light to touch me. The sentinels behold them now, climbing the staircase at the far end of this outermost hall. A trio of humans. Not dangerous. They will be a trivial group to dispatch. All the better. Their complete innocence will make my purpose all the more pure. I am a monster.

They are a family. The father is old. He carries the torch that lights their way. His hair is messy and thick along the sides of his wide face. His chin is bare. The hat he wears is too tall. I find him repulsive.

As foolish as the man appears, his wife is easily the more innocent. She is here only because he brought her. She trusts him too much. He leads her to her death. She wears her hair up in a thing that resembles the eggsacks of the Great Worms. Scaled down, of course. This is no Great Worm that wears this dress embroidered with flowers of every color. Hmm. Her face is nearly as fat as a Worm. She is disgusting.

The third is their daughter. She is in her late adolescence. She is interesting. She wears a dress as black as my eyes. Her hair is as dark as the air through which it flows. Her face is a delicate thing. It is slender and easily broken. Yet, I detect a determination that defies her enemies' power to break it. I cannot break it. I am powerless.


O sweet disillusion
That I, a Gaum of swale, I am by riddle rendered swain
A Gaumy swain in truth for to deny would but constrain
But for emotion newly felt, wherein to swell I'm fully fain
Is denial unfair in full? Is it constraint to wane?

O blackened spirit! Wherefore ask the truth of swage and swell
When hordes and worlds and death itself in question surely tell
That acts of swell fall to upright and swage does fall to darkened fell?
If bear ye lust for newfound loft, then shed this swaly shell!

But I cannot. No more can I break my own bonds of physical form than I can break her jaw from its rightful place. Through the link from eye to claw, the girl has made the master her slave. I am powerless to achieve my purpose. And I am powerless to shift my purpose. Surely the girl would look upon me and despair. And I would find a new form of self-revulsion. This cannot be.

I make my escape as silently as I came. I am careful not to allow the light-dwellers to witness my departure. They must not know my presence.

I choose passages at random. I care nothing for my destination. I lose my way. I have not been in this part of the castle before. I will move until I hear no more sound. Then I shall make my departure. They shall not discover me.

I stop. I am in silence. Yet my heart beats. I cannot silence my heart.

I shut my eyes. I seek the fibers that bind the Turned Worlds and the Upright. They are strong here. I guide my spirit toward them. The ether pulses. I ignore it. I drift away into the Turned Worlds, but I cannot control myself. The ether pulses. I resist. Stillness. Stillness. But there is no stillness. The ether pulses, and I am catapulted through the worlds between the worlds. I feel fear. Is this the justice of the Evil One?

I open my eyes. I crouch before an altar in a dim stone room. Beyond the altar is an abyss of impenetrable depth. I would cast myself into this abyss but for the object that hovers above the altar. It draws me near. I recognize its crescent shape from the tales of my father. A crescent moon of stained glass, an iridescent codex of color-formation. It is one of the three Godly Pendants, lost from the kingdom of the Light in ages only the Light and the Evil One still know.

How did I come upon this place? I have searched the reaches surrounding my post with the greatest care. No corner, however obscure, could have escaped my wanderings.

I am a fool. It did escape me. The girl's power drove me into places I did not know. I avoided parts of the castle. Did I reserve such places of mystery by subconscious action? Was it by intervention on the part of the pendant that it was not found? Surely the pendant was itself responsible for my arrival here as I attempted to fly to the Turned Worlds. Why would it hide itself for so long only to summon me now?

No more questions. I take the pendant's glittering chain delicately between two nails of my left claw. I guide the chain over my head and it nests itself around my neck. I feel powerful and powerless. The pendant is an artifact of greatness, but can I wield its greatness?

The chain tingles upon my neck. I shift the pendant. The tingling ceases. I am content. The tingling begins again. I shift. It ceases. It begins again.

Why does the Evil One desire this thing?

~   ~   ~

The tingling on my neck awoke me. It turned out that this tingling was my ten month old son sleeping next to me, tickling me with his outstretched fingers. What he was dreaming about, I can only guess at.

Not all of this post came directly from my dream. I elaborated on a lot of the musings of the Gaum, who is actually a character that has appeared in my dreams before. In fact, I wasn't aware of the Gaum being the protagonist here until after waking. Another fabrication. Aside from this, most of this is intact directly from the ether. In the actual dream, I spent more time watching the family as they explored the castle, and I did not actually feel any malicious intentions toward them. These are all things that I came up with later.

The little poem in the middle was not in the dream. This is something I wrote many years ago and have now refurbished with slightly different language and rhythm. I have tried to make it as good as possible, but I'm not exactly Shakespeare.

As far as I can remember, the girl looked a little like Krysten Ritter or Laura Donnelly or Kate Micucci or someone in that broad category of person.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Tide is Coming In

Last night I dreamed that I was driving some kind of classic Cadillac down to the beach where I was going to pick up my wife and son. When I got there, I discovered that the tide had come waaaaay in, and the ocean was overflowing onto the streets. Furthermore, some people told me, "No, your wife is up by the train station," so I turned around.

Now, the water was getting higher by the second, and I needed to get out of there fast, so I decided that it would be faster (and probably safer) simply to carry the car and walk instead of driving it. So I picked it up and made my way up the pier to the train station.

At this point, I suddenly realized that the car was really more of a cart or some sort of dolly for moving large things (or like, one of those big carts at the Home Depot or something), so I leaned on it and kicked off the ground, riding the cart all the way over to the station.

Once I got there, I learned that No Doubt was playing a concert for the company I work for, and all my coworkers were there. However, for some reason, they were all dressed as though they were going to a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Also strange was that No Doubt was playing a bunch of slow and gentle contemporary Christian worship songs. The song I distinctly remember them playing was "Forever My Love" (forever my heart, forever my life is yours, etc.).

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Post-Traumatic Math Disorder

Last night I had one of the usual "oops-I-forgot-we-had-a-calculus-test-today-wait-didn't-I-graduate?" dreams. Not a whole lot to say about it, except that I went through the test once and found it relatively easy, then looked at another student's test and realized it was harder than I thought at first.

"Oh! That one is an integration by discs problem? I'll go back and fix it."

"Oh! This one is more complicated than I thought! What was I thinking?"

"Oops! There's three more problems that I skipped somehow on the first pass! What a dummy."

And so on.

The professor didn't seem to mind that I had borrowed my classmate's test, so I guess it was one of those oh-so-popular "open everything" tests. Side note: I took a class once that was basically "How to Use Maple," and one my classmates suggested that we should have a group final, to which the professor responded, "Oh! That's kinky!"

Is there anything sexier than 3D graphs?

I was also buying books for the following semester or quarter or whatever, and the bookstore had a promotion where the first person to spend precisely $118 (before tax) would receive a $30 discount.

~  ~  ~

I had another longer, more interesting dream the night before. I'm thinking about how to handle putting that one up. It's not something I can do quickly. We'll see...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Modus Promotion

Some time ago I dreamed that in one particular episode of Ugly Betty, it was revealed that a very peculiar tradition existed at Mode Magazine. At the time when an employee is awarded a promotion, it is customary that they should be wrapped in a bedsheet. If the employee had their clothes on under the sheet, it was called "modus ponens." If the employee was nude under the sheet, it was called "modus tollens."

You can go ahead and make of this what you will.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


So... long story short... There's a game making exercise at SuperFriendshipClub with a theme of "Symmetry." So I made this little game/kinda-not-really-a-game-thingy:

Click here or here for the files. Sadly, it's Windows only right now.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weird Tales and Community

Last night I dreamed up a series of misadventures experienced by some of the cast of NBC's Community.

The gang were being harassed by an evil statue of a woman, and Troy decided that the only solution was to relocate the statue to a mythical island covered with landmines, where "no one could possibly be happy, except for someone who can't move, like a statue." Upon arriving at the island, Troy, careful to avoid the landmines, set about searching for a good spot for the statue. However, he discovered that the island was guarded by a legendary creature that he had to overcome. This creature was a female American Gladiator.

Everyone tried to play a prank on Pierce that involved setting something on fire. However, the random kid designated to ignite the thing accidentally ignited a small plant nearby that had been specially bred to be completely inextinguishable if inflamed. This led to the tragic burning down of the building housing the college swimming pool, referred to in the dream as the "Swim House." For some reason, Pierce was blamed for all of this, but he later diverted the blame onto Winger by revealing that Winger had inadvertently included Pierce in the mass text messages detailing the plan for the prank. This, by standard dream logic, did indeed make Winger responsible for the damage done.

Troy somehow captured a ghost by leaping over a pool of mercury. The ghost turned out to be the owner of a chain of steakhouses called Berther Werther, and his method of marketing involved haunting people.

On account of his sensitivity towards being excluded, Pierce tried to get into the college's Biology class, which was historically reserved for 8 to 10 year old blond boys. He claimed his motivation was "because the class leads to getting into Chemistry." The young kids were trying very hard to prevent him from enrolling in the class.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Indiana Jones and the Fruit Sherry

A dream I had last night basically took the form of a short Indiana Jones film. In the midst of a dry spell in the market for adventurous archaeology, Indy took a part time job as a Data Entry Operator. The company that hired him immediately set him to work typing the text of several books into a computer.

Having completed the work several hours later, Indy attempted to report to his supervisor only to find that he, along with the entire company, had vanished. He immediately realized that they had actually been con artists and that he would be receiving no payment.

Indy's reaction to this predicament, of course, was to seek out Sallah for help. Upon finding him, the two visited a local cafe for drinks. Indy asked Sallah if he could cover his bill, as he was a little short on cash, having just been egregiously swindled. Being the friendly type that he is, Sallah happily agreed. However, when Indy ordered a "fruit sherry," Sallah became immensely angry at his friend so blatantly taking advantage of his generosity. When the drink arrived, it was merely a plastic cup filled with pineapple juice and chunks of pineapple. Presumably, the juice was mixed with sherry, but I cannot verify this, as I did not taste the drink.

Indy informed Sallah that he had come into the possession of a rare treasure map, and he wanted to know if Sallah would be interested in joining him on an adventure. Sallah said he would, and so the two set out.

When they arrived at the site indicated by the map, they discovered that it was already being excavated by a group of Cuban treasure hunters.

Here I awoke, but that's okay, because this film was titled Indiana Jones and the Fruit Sherry, not Indiana Jones and the Cuban Dig Site.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Null Terminator

I have to preface this entry by explaining who Null Terminator is. Null Terminator is a composer, a sort of kindred spirit to myself, whom I have been working with on and off for some time now on a forthcoming album of electronic music. But there is another Null Terminator. He is the protagonist of the story set forth in the album. He is a sort of space age superhero, granted authority in the late twenty-second century by the Catholic Federation to use lethal force against any of a select group of evildoers, one of whom is called Sentinel, another of whom is called The Void Star.

A week or two ago I dreamed that I was Null Terminator, and I was fighting against both Sentinel and The Void Star simultaneously using advanced martial arts techniques. For some reason, I was also fighting against Batman and Robin and Jackie Chan. They had all ganged up on me in the hopes that through sheer force they might be able to take me down.

Nevertheless, I summarily trounced them, every last one.

~   ~   ~

I should point out that although this entry is very short, the dream was in fact quite long, and the battle was basically just one long sequence of them trying to punch and kick me, me blocking every last attack, and then at the end me incapacitating them with a single blow. Thus, I have tagged it as Important (Long).

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Hand that 30 Rocks the Cradle

Several nights ago, I dreamed that the final season of 30 Rock found the show reinvented as a "Political Intrigue/Science Fiction Thriller Serial Drama." The secret behind Jack Donaghy's success was revealed to be the fact that he is actually a set of identical triplets posing as a single person. Each Jack's personality, of course, was fashioned according to the treatment he received from his dear old mother, who for some reason deemed it appropriate to pick favorites. At the beginning of the final sequence of episodes, Liz Lemon and Good Jack were on the run from Evil Jack, who presumably intended to take over the world or destroy it or something along those lines. I cannot recall whether I knew the whereabouts of the third Jack or whether he was good or evil, but I have an inkling that Evil Jack killed him. Of course, this means he's probably going to do the old deus ex machina thing and turn up alive and well in the final episode so he can help Liz and Good Jack save the day.

I can't decide if I actually want this version of the show to exist or not.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Gospel According to Virginia Woolf

Last night I dreamed that Virginia Woolf wrote a set of four novels, referred to as companion novels, that all depicted the same set of events from the perspectives of four different people. Two of them were titled Virginia and Ophelia. I cannot remember the titles of the other two books. Within the dream, my father remarked that the first scene was very accurate between the four books.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolution

I am thinking of making a commitment to composing a new piece of music, however short, and posting it to the Internet every two weeks. Perhaps the time frame may need to be adjusted, but If I make this resolution, I believe I will try every two weeks to begin with and then adjust accordingly.

I have been posting my music to my soundcloud profile:

This is the source of inspiration for this resolution.