chipotle: (Default)

I don’t often remember my dreams. I’ve come to suspect that I rarely dream deeply unless all my conditions for a deep sleep are met: cool temperature, moderate humidity, quiet environment. We don’t have central air conditioning, and in the months from June through September, the temperature in my room stays a little warmer than my ideal until four or five in the morning—unless I leave the fan in the window on, which, of course, makes me feel too cold with just a sheet over me. (A blanket is right out until late October.) When I do remember them, what I’m left with are often very surrealistic, foggy snatches. This makes last night doubly unusual: first for remembering a dream at all, and second for realistic and very clear images.

In the first part of the dream, I was on a road, a straight interstate-type highway with a long bridge stretching out ahead of me that crossed over a river as well as canyons. This was the typical interstate elevated highway look: two spans, utilitarian design; it was only the panorama of the landscape that made it beautiful. There was a big city in the distance, something the road obviously led to—kind of an Emerald City vision, although it didn’t have that level of fantasy to it. The day was bright, although it was cloudier toward the city. I thought of the river—while in the dream—as the Hood River, which I’ve never seen; the major river that goes past the town of Hood River is the Columbia, which also goes past Portland. In retrospect, the landscape reminds me more of northern New Mexico than the Pacific Northwest. Portland has ten bridges that cross into it, none of which look anything like the approach in the dream, which I’m fairly sure was coming into the city from the east.

In the next part, I’d gotten to the city and I was in a hospital. Not as a patient, though; I’d walked in—it was dark (I remember the night cityscape, even though the first part of the dream was in sunlight), and the hospital was on a waterfront (although I’m not sure it was the river from the road). The color scheme I remember for the outdoor street scenes—sepia, neon, dark blue sky with sunlight fading (or perhaps rising in early morning?) around the edges—is one I associated after I woke up with Seattle. (If you took out the “Public Market” signs from the photo, that’d be it, almost exactly!) I was trying to get help of some sort for [ profile] hellesfarne, which inexplicably involved calling another hospital, the one he actually needed help from. Despite all the medical aspects here, there wasn’t any sense of urgency about this; it was a consulting question of some kind, not an emergency. I was familiar with the hospital because I drove past it on the way to work every day—presumably, I worked in the city, and took the Emerald City highway as part of the commute. Curiously, I don’t remember [ profile] hellesfarne actually being present while I was on the phone, although I think he was there with me.

I think I woke up briefly about that time; I don’t remember anything in that dream afterward, nor any other dreams I might have had last night.

chipotle: (Default)

It’s been two weeks without an update from me. Sorry about that; I’m still here.

I should have written about my last two weekends; I’ve taken spur-of-the-moment train trips into San Francisco and car trips down along the Pacific Coast Highway, made it to a great tequila bar, and done slightly more cooking than I have been. I saw the beginning of the Chinese New Year parade, and spent a couple hours in an eclectic coffee bar in a loft over an art-house movie theater in Monterey. I was snowed on halfway up Mount Diablo, and saw snow in the Santa Cruz mountains on my way to a breakfast in Santa Cruz’s beach-beatnik downtown area.

At the office, I’ve been reacquainting myself with Perl and Ruby and realizing that I really do like Ruby more. Unfortunately for me, the company is pretty standardized on Perl as a scripting language, and from a practical standpoint it’s better for me to adapt to them rather than to try to get them to adapt to me. This is good, though, because it’s something different. A little scary for the same reason—it involves an engineering problem I’m not sure how to solve yet—but, challenge is good, right?

The downside was fights with two friends two weeks ago online, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. If you’d asked me then which one I’d expect to be talking to two weeks later, I’d have guessed the one on Saturday. As it’s turned out, though, the one on Sunday and I had a bigger fight later which ironically seems to have resolved a few things. We’re getting along much better now than we have in months.

The one from Saturday, meanwhile, wrote me off; I finally opened up about some things he’d done I found hurtful, and it went downhill. Apparently, from his point of view I can’t admit that I’m wrong and I don’t want to reconcile. From mine, getting painful things out is the only way toward reconciliation; I’d said what I wanted from him to move past that, and my feeling is he finds my “terms” unacceptable. Is that just a case of me not admitting I’m wrong? Some old lyrics from a Don Henley song always stick with me: There’s three sides to every story: yours and mine and the cold, hard truth.

When I wrote “cooking” it’s not strictly true, as I’ve been doing a few things that don’t involve cooking, or involve very little. Two nights ago it was my apple and grilled cheese sandwich again (mostly spurred by a conversation with [ profile] ladyperegrine in which she mentioned them). I’d also bought some of Lunardi’s prepared salads, a carrot and raisin salad and ambrosia salad, but both were resoundingly mediocre. That did spur me to make my own ambrosia salad last night, with an improvised recipe I figured would be better than the ones I was finding online—and it is, although in the spirit of never leaving well enough alone I’m thinking of a couple tweaks. (I’ll put the recipe up later if people are feeling sufficiently 1950s homemaker to be interested.)

This morning I woke up from a dream which involved [ profile] tugrik, [ profile] revar, [ profile] reality_fox, and my friend and housemate of a decade ago, [ profile] chastmastr walking to Chili’s. For some reason we split up into two groups, and [ profile] chastmastr and I were walking alone. It was dark and the landscape was flat and mostly wooded. Before the group had split, [ profile] chastmastr had been repeating the same joke in multiple ways, and I’d been explaining as we walked that one time was enough, and at some point I said, “But that’s just a suggestion.” “Selection?” he said. “No,” I said, but somehow this led us both on a tangent about selections. (Anyone who’s heard us talk together knows we could go on for hours this way.) Then I realized we’d been turned around—I was theoretically the one who knew where we were going—and we set off down another street. I woke up about when we could see the Chili’s sign in the distance.

I have no idea what any of that means, unless it’s a suggestion I should go to Chili’s for lunch.

While I was in Santa Cruz, I managed to lose my check card, so I’m waiting on a replacement. As of right now, the online banking screen is refusing to tell me anything about my checking or savings account, which I find somewhat alarming—I know there was money in both accounts when I called the bank and had them shut off the card, but this is still a little nerve-wracking. Wherever I do end up for lunch, it has be some place that accepts credit cards…

chipotle: (Default)

Around 1998-1999, I had a feeling that I needed a change. It wasn’t a “things will change” feeling, but rather a “things should change,” that my work was becoming progressively less fulfilling, that I had no real way of moving forward by staying there. Even so, I wanted to stay there; stagnant or not, Intermedia seemed to have the potential of a career job, and I was happy to have been there going on four years while so many friends and acquaintances were doing a frantic dot-com tango I expected could only end in collapse. (Mind you, I wasn’t expecting the kind of economic meltdown that did happen.) So I ended up staying there, until Intermedia was bought, and one of the opportunities I occasionally pursued came together shortly thereafter.

While getting out of Intermedia at that time proved a good idea (the company that bought them was WorldCom), the company I moved to had more than its share of problems; looking back at my journal during that time shows an amount of acerbic unhappiness that surprised me when I read it recently. At the start of 2002, I had the same kind of feeling, but this time it was definitely a things will change; I wrote in March that I’d started the year with the strong feeling that I’d finish it living somewhere else. And, of course, in the middle of that year I was laid off, and by the end of the year, I was living out here.

This is on my mind now because that feeling of impending change is back with me. In some ways it’s never left. Since I’ve been here, I’ve never felt completely settled. My life has continued to feel “transitional,” even though I’ve been in the same place for two and a half years. I’d expected, with no timetable, I’d get a stable job which would pay me enough to move out on my own if I wanted to.

Well, that could easily be another $500 in monthly expenses. This job could actually cover the money part, I think… but the stable part, not so much.

So what’s bringing on this feeling of impending change? In part, the project that I’m on at work is winding to a close, and I have to know whether they’ll be interested in keeping me for the planned second phase or for other projects. (When I was hired, the contract was described as being “two to nine months,” and I’ve been here over six.) There’s some change coming, although I don’t know what it’s going to entail.

I’m also not sure what my housemates might be thinking of doing. This is not to suggest that I’m expecting them to do anything like sell the house and move together to Alaska, but from the degree of restlessness both of them have evinced recently, it wouldn’t completely surprise me, either. (Well, okay, Alaska would.)

So between the possibility of a lack of income, and the more remote but greater than zero possibility of housemates looking another place to live themselves, I suspect I need to be ready to move. Not to plan on it, but to… y’know, contemplate contingencies. Think about where I’d go, both in the Bay Area and, if necessary, elsewhere. I like a lot of what I’ve seen around downtown San Jose, even though this boggles many friends when I say it. There’s some interesting places lurking around the East Bay, too. Of course, I liked Santa Fe when I visited there a few years ago, and I liked Portland a lot when I visited there just a few months ago. Moving there would be starting just about completely from scratch, but that doesn’t scare me as much now as it did three years ago.

You know, if I had about four times the savings that I have now (and a quarter the debt), I’d probably be more prosaic about this feeling, but as it is, it leaves me… prickly. The part of me that half-jokes about selling everything but the laptop, getting a used camper van and driving around the country is in ascendance these days. (Or another country. One might argue that there’s never been a better time to become an expatriate.)

I don’t have quite the same feeling that I did in 1999, and in 2002, but it’s close.

I hope this isn’t going to end up being a three-year cycle for me.

chipotle: (Default)
I went to bed last night at a pretty reasonable time--one might say positively early, just a little past 11pm, and set my alarm clock for 6am. I figured I might manage to get myself out of bed a half-hour after that and have a good 60-90 minutes before getting out of the house.

So, of course, I spent nearly two hours hitting the snooze button.

I'd try to blame it on the cloudy, rainy weather outside and the lack of sunshine coming in to help the alarm clock, but I'm pretty sure I was still managing to get rest through that time. I had snatches of strange "dreamlets" in those nine-minute periods. It's the state of consciousness where I'm most likely to talk to characters of mine and get unexpected things back.

As I have before, I have a nebulous idea of "getting things done" in the morning. On Sunday evening, maybe I'll try and fall asleep thinking about a specific thing to get done, so if I set my alarm clock this early again, I'll wake up remembering just why.

On the bright side, I do feel like I've slept better than usual...


chipotle: (Default)

February 2018

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