March 5th, 2003
|11:45 am - Cool beans? No, cool dreams|
Slept from maybe 2:30 or 3 to 11. First dream: in the USA, in some state next to Ohio. (Don't know which one.) Am in a car with lots of people who I can't recognise but know to be from the HP fandom. We are travelling some distance to pick some other fandom folk up before going to play some game. Travelling through this state is fine, but the weather is significantly snowy. Then when we get to Ohio, the journey becomes more difficult. We have to travel through a number of speed-controlling restrictions which have been put in the middle of the road to reduce the wide highway down to one lane. I think we hit at least one of them and just bounce/skid a bit, racing game style.
The road gets a lot twistier, though - effectively, it becomes a curvy mountain path where the mountain is on one side and a fatally deep drop is on the other side. There are no barriers protecting cars from falling down the drop. The road gets twistier and twistier, becoming more and more difficult to follow. We go slower and slower. Eventually the road starts bouncing up and down and we come to a stop, scared and unable to continue. Someone reveals their LJ username to be something like adscasnu (I can't remember the details, but I recognise it to be Aaron Solomon's old e-mail address, up to the @, from about 5-8 years ago.) I feel scared for my life and physically wake up, go to the toilet and go back to sleep.
Also in that one dream: prominent TV comic Jonathan Ross has either been in the car or been giving commentary on the car journey, making light of the difficulty of the road. Earlier on in the dream - not sure how this connects if at all - I had met up with a few US folk in the game show fandom, some of whom I recognised and aren't on LJ, others of whom I didn't recognise. I had sent them Christmas presents which had only arrived that day, so I got to see them opening them. They weren't very impressed with the presents. Some of them got little bottles of some sort of liquid which were almost empty, though it wasn't clear whether they were after-shave or some sort of liquor. One of them (the afore-mentioned Mr. Solomon) got some sort of DVD or CD from me. However, none of the people who I had given presents to were at all pleased with them.
Later dream: this one skips around a bit. At one point inevitably I find myself on the London Underground, though only travelling a stop or two and realising that the map that was available in the dream seemed to be missing a few routes which I also knew where they went. I ended up taking some sort of strange fire exit to get from the platform to the surface and saw an information sign about some of the poles within the underground trains' carriages. I remarked with amusement that these signs mentioned the word jiggery-pokery. Some other people who I hadn't seen for years were there. (I remember one of them being David Wallace, who addedentry and a few others might know.)
But I got to my destination, which I think must have been Dalston or Hackney because I knew I was there to try to find the house of Nick Parish and his fiancée who were soon to get married in the dream much as in real life. I had to walk down a hill, past a shopping centre, then discovered I'd walked too far and missed the side road which led to their flat's front door, so I walked back up it. For some reason, though, I was carrying a great big two-handed sword. (No, didn't get to play D&D at the games club last night, if that's relevant.) I'm the only person carrying one, it's of great encumbrance and I feel rather self-conscious about it. I see that one of the shops I pass on the way sells large swords and scabbards and also good quality fantasy clothing (capes etc.) which I'd like to go in and buy, but I can't afford it. I find Nick's house but am still not sure what I'm meant to be doing with the sword.
Elsewhere in one of the dreams, there has been a swordfighting scene. I'm not sure whether I'm doing the fighting or not, but I do identify with one of four colour-coded participants. It's fairly comical fighting - it could well have come from something like the Raven game show (see January, passim) or possibly like the live role-playing back at Oxford rather than deadly combat. Somewhere along the line I, or the character I identify with, abandon the sword for a sizeable axe which proves an unwieldy, ineffective weapon. Can't remember if I win, but I think I make it to the last two. All the same, it's pretty cool.
Later on again in the dream, I am a Formula One co-driver (such a role does not currently exist) and co-driving David Coulthard's car. The new F1 regulations have made cars look very, very much like normal road ones, though they still go at tremendous speeds. We are at a place I identify as being Monaco, but it's nothing like the real racetrack. We travel about half the lap and it's all sharply uphill. I realise that we must have an extremely sharp downhill coming soon and don't look forward to this. Once we reach what may be the top of the hill, there is an extremely sharp right-hand turn, which we miss; because we are going so quickly and so strongly uphill, we drive off the side of the racetrack and fly through the air. David is quite unconcerned about this.
We descend nose-first to the ground at apparently quite a controlled rate and are able to project our car so that it lands either in the sea or in a big lake. It's quite a gentle touchdown and the water is not too deep, though not problematically shallow. We get out of the car without any problems and get to the mainland, where we meet someone who's there as either a fan or an engineer. However, he's supporting Ferrari so he isn't very impressed with us. We dive back in and manage to rescue the car from the water. Later on, we discover that David has still managed to qualify for the grid in tenth position out of twenty, which makes David laugh out loud. He might have been laughing at the fact that he still qualified so well, or at the person who qualified twentieth, about three times as slowly as anyone else. The other strange thing is that this official F1 graphic also lists who each driver has as their "outboard visa" and most of the names look like those of my Friends. The only one I recognise straight away is that of hermorrine, though I don't know which driver she was associated with.
The other thing tied up in that dream is that I realise a Friend with whom I have been swapping some fairly deep and intimate e-mail turns out to actually be a famous pop star. Not one who I know, but one whose name I recognise because you lot keep talking about her - either Michelle Branch or Avril Lavergne (sp?), I think. I do a bit of wandering around trying to come to terms with the consequences of this and wondering whether she'll still want to know me, whether she'll still want to be bothered with me when she has so much else going on.
I think that's everything I can remember - as you can imagine, I'm trying to rush this down into a LJ entry while I can remember as much as I can of it. Quite impressed with these, actually. :-)
Current Mood: impressed
Current Music: Nothing yet. Test: jiggery_pokery
I suspect there may be a bit of inadvertent linearisation going on when I come to recall the dreams, partly because I'm not sure how I would recall dreams in a non-linear fashion. (I suppose I could do something fancy with the <table> tag...) It may well be the case that I've got the order of the parts of the dreams wrong, but today I think they're pretty well-sorted.
Well, one theory (although I don't have the wherewithal or awakeness to go find sources for it now, so I may be misrepresenting somewhat) would be that, since dreams usually require a sort of active remembering to get consciously remembered in detail, there's some serialization that occurs as a normal part of fitting the dreams into some semblance of a coherent narrative. [Insert giant epistemological rant here about humans-as-narrators, time permitting.]
Speaking of which, I am amazed at the level of recall here, something which I normally associate only with just-upon-waking dream journaling. Do you keep a dream journal, or are you simply lucky enough to have much better dream recall than most?
Also, I have driven on the dangerous road you refer to, but it's in the Sierra Nevadas, not Ohio. It is called "Steep Narrow Road," which is a sign that the National Park Service is nothing if not helpfully descriptive. It is one of the only truly frightening experiences in my life (in the sense of palpable mortal danger, rather than just a scare).
Do you keep a dream journal
Not formally, though I've always taken quite an interest in this sort of thing, I tend to take particular interest in other peoples' entries where they talk about dreams (though they are entries where I seldom feel qualified to comment) and had a bit of practice at getting these things written down. I've a few in my paper diary, though I suspect I've never been able to go into as much detail before as I had about that one. Maybe part of it is that I'm happy enough with typing to try to get all the nuances and embellishments down, whereas when I've had to write them down in the past, it's been enough of a hassle that I've kept things reasonably short.
I nearly once went on a LA-to-Texas road trip which was planned to include a trip around such a road, which I suspect would been the one in the Sierra Nevadas you mention. ('Twould have been with Jake Tanner after GSC 5 in '96, I think, for those from the game show fandom who would be familiar with the names.) A little too much humming and ha-ing ruled it out in the end, Jake didn't go to GSC 5 and so I ended up taking a 48-hour Greyhound trip from LA to Atlanta instead. All's well that ended well.
Is it by now completely obvious that I don't actually know where the Sierra Nevadas are? :-)
Well, your lack of a dream journal only makes me that much more impressed that you have such detail of recall. I tend to lose dream memories rapidly in the first half-hour of awakeness, although occasionally they'll be intense enough to stay with me more consistently. But I think even then I have to consciously fill in some narrative gaps to make any linear sense of it.
Geological map of California here
. Scroll down for links to larger versions. Sierras are the gigantic red portion on the east side of the state and in the middle; Yosemite is clearly marked and readable in the larger pics. LA is also marked, and probably if you took the direct route you'd pass through the Mojave rather than the Sierras. "Peanuts" buffs will note Needles, CA on the right edge of the map, almost directly across from LA, the desert home of Spike, Snoopy's brother.
You have almost certainly not been on the road unless you've actually camped in the Sierras, since it is a 40-mile access road to one of the lakes in the middle of nowhere. But the US is full of such roads, built to nominally handle motor traffic, but not really ever intended for the sort of use the Parks see today. (Er, actually, the Sierras are a National Forest, but you get my drift.)