cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
In my dreaming world, there are 24-hour automated rest stations filled with have beer vending machines, pop and juice vending machines, taco vending machines, and a row of pachinko gambling machines. It is a strange sort of idyll.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (nonstandard spacetime)
I dreamed of a monolithic, hoarfrost-covered space station with rotating rings. Maybe it was alien. We didn't know how it worked or what had happened. Something had gone wrong and killed or vanished all the inhabitants. On the outer rim, where there used to be a park protected from space by a force bubble, now there were ice sculptures, frozen bodies caught forever in play, and no oxygen at all.

The rest of the investigation team had been there for a while when I showed up. I was a teacher. "Sensei," the woman whose culture was a strange mix of Indian and Japanese said, "who are you here to teach?"

"Maybe an artificial intelligence," I said. "Maybe an alien artificial intelligence."

A small, daddy-longlegs-like metal spider, a cleaner bot, skittered up and began trying to eat my skirt, and I had to shift to persuade it to go elsewhere without hurting it.

There were no real walls in the main body of the station, just wall that was really a honeycomb of hollow hexagons, with a force field to keep out sudden death. I experimented, poking books through one honeycomb. They should have fallen out into space, but instead they were transported to another hexagon, and when they got pushed through that one, another.

When the rest of the team were investigating the frozen park, a maglev train circled around the side of the station, filled with light and life and happy people. But nobody wanted to get off the train at the station. I persuaded one woman to get out of the train, and then another jumped off and came along too.

They said they didn't know what had happened. Later, the second woman burst into flames while she was sleeping. I woke her up before she burned, and the flames vanished. She woke up laughing. "You came along to protect [the first woman], didn't you?" I asked her.

I attribute most of this dream to reading Hull Zero Three, by Greg Bear. It's quite different from this dream, but the common elements are there..

x-posted to [ profile] penthius.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
When I followed up on the whole HARP refinance program for homeowners who owed slightly more on their house than it was worth but want to take advantage of the current low rates and maybe lower their monthly payment some, I found out that we're also eligible for the HAMP program, the one for homeowners who have some financial hardship and have more than 31% of their income going to their mortgage. Ug. It's nice knowing that we'll be able to refinance, but knowing that we qualify for the federal program for homeowners who are completely fucked? Not so reassuring.

However! We won't be doing the HAMP program, because it totally messes up the credit score. HARP is looking likely if we get a deal that would make significant savings. That requires negotiations with our bank mortgage holder, though. The federally approved, free financial counselor was very nice and walked us through our finances and everything and sent the report on our conversation to both our bank and to us. I also have the number for the follow-up program, who are basically the people to call if the bank gets sticky about something. Then they swoop in wearing their shiny armor and fix everything. The next step is to contact our bank and talk brass tacks.

PSA: If your significant other is the only person on the mortgage, have them authorize you to have conversations with the bank and such. Do this now. It will save you much hassle in the future. The same goes for if you're on their health insurance or other benefits.

I set up an interview with Pro Staff for today. More of an interview+tests, actually, but it has to be done. Any nest egg growth/debt clearance we can get before August is a reallyreally good thing. In preparation, I did a PowerPoint tutorial--probably should have been doing tutorials for the last week, but I wasn't. It's been ages since I've been on this side of an interview. I think I have some anxiety about it, since I didn't sleep well last night and two out of three of my dreams (more about which anon) were related. The third dream was about a T-Rex.

I trekked to the post office and mailed off our federal taxes. Go go gadget moneyback!

I cleaned out the Roomba's gearbox and discovered the brushes still aren't spinning. This exhausts my Roomba fix-it knowledge and means it is probably really broken (the battery was dying anyway). Phil says there is no budget space for a new Roomba, but if it comes on Woot, we'll see about that. Roomba is necessity, like dishwasher. :(

2/24/11, Thursday

Circus of Brass and Bone Writing Log


Episode 10

New words: 1,067
Total words: 60,205
Overused word: people
Gratuitous word: gewgaws
Type of scene: How the city works now.
Challenge(s): How much is too much, how much is not enough.
Which line is it anyways?Of course, the instant she tried not to think about it, her imagination conjured up all sorts of gruesome images.
Researched: New York transport history
Added to spellchecker: horsecars
Notes: I find this sort of thing fascinating--how society changes after a disaster like this. But I worry that readers will want more action. Of course, Episode 11 should satisfy that need. Also, I'm at the wrap-it-up wordcount for this episode, which means it'll probably go live (for those with early access) early next week.
Other writingy stuff:
* Posted freewriting and writing log.
* Fiddled with trying to get the CoBB iTunes feed working. Needs more work. Damn iTunes-specific feed crap.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Fun side-effects from pregnancy: the whites of my eyes are whiter; my skin is glowier; my fingernails grow like a Chinese super-villain's (supposedly hair does this too, but I can't tell the difference); I can sleep forever; I feel warm a lot more of the time, which is very nice in Winter; and my dreams have been turned up to 11.

The dreams thing is really cool. I'm having awesome dreams pretty much every night that are vivid enough that I remember them clearly without effort. Of course, this might also have something to do with the getting up to pee three times a night.

Last night? The thug mercenary aliens from The Fifth Element had come up with a complicated plan to conquer Earth by persuading militia groups that it was the right thing to do. So they were having, basically, "how to be an evil footsoldier" classes that involved things like being okay with letting children cry, and sending toddlers down slides without waiting at the bottom to catch them. It was pretty hilarious, and took place in an oddly verdant Arizona desert.

These guys!
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Had a very silly dream that registered on my waking mind as an actual memory of a conversation, until I realized how ridiculous it was. Me, [ profile] discoflamingo, B. Doom, maybe another--all seriously discussing how wonderful the topknot was as a hairstyle, because then you were *prepared* in case ninjas attacked.

And all of us wearing one.

Well, how can I resist? Today is clearly a topknot day. In case of ninja attack.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Had one of those ridiculously vivid dreams.

Woman, male acquaintance, and cop are hired to rob a (place with lots of money and lots of customers). Woman realizes they're being set up for a double-cross, but can't figure out a way for them to get the money without getting caught, but they're trapped into having to go. Somehow she was going to be caught. She wants the money to leave her husband.

She comes up with a plan to go there with her cat, so the gunman can pretend to threaten her cat if she doesn't do what he wants.

They're there, and her husband comes in. Turns out he was the one hired to do something that would get in their way (though neither of them knew it). He sees the cat doing something he'd threatened it over earlier, and points the gun at it. She lunges and knocks him down. He fires but the cat escapes, and she's so angry that she knocks him unconscious or otherwise severely injures him.

He comes to and says that he hasn't told her "what he did for them yet." Something about putting a substance in the coffee vending at a major stock trading firm that will disable the traders, along with a program in the system that will skew which stocks are valuable.

The police come, the would-be robbers are heroes, they send a message to warn the traders about the coffee but still buy the right stocks (Pickles? Something about encouraging healthy, responsible stocks and not evil ones), so when the stock market goes crazy, they end up wealthy anyway.

"Like a fat little iguana"
"I thought that too--except a larger iguana! But I thought you'd mind my saying it."

In the dream, I thought this was a fantastic movie, so maybe it would translate to a good story? Or maybe not.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (nonstandard spacetime)
Dreamed a strange dream that was half a comic book within the dream.

Full-page spread with characters moving about on the page. In the center, the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland, pedaling furiously on a weird contraption that incorporated the Wicked Witch of the West's bicycle. Along the bottom of the page were various dream symbols and characters. In the upper corner, an image of an icy North Pole, but instead of a pole, there was a gaping hole like a mouth.

I recoiled from fear that the Red Queen would get me, which apparently she was trying to do in the "real world" of the dream, but a voice assured me that I was safe. Because she was in the world of owned things (the comic book), she couldn't see me, and she thought she was on her way to the top of the world.


Jul. 13th, 2010 08:26 am
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (nonstandard spacetime)
Dreamed I went back to college at Macalester. Same age I am now, but I stayed in the dorm. The cafeteria was still seen as being dire, though the name it was called was different. It was fun, and made me wistful upon awakening. Someday, I may have the money and time to do it for real.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (alas)
I dreamed I was in an old Victorian mansion, a huge thing, that we were trying to live in, but it kept falling apart. The ceilings/floors just collapsed. A giant apple tree was in the backyard, and the ground was covered with branches and fallen fruit that I had to try and save before it went rotten.

My dream symbolism, it finds subtlety unnecessary.


Apr. 18th, 2010 11:43 am
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Had a wonderful dream inspired by Leverage last night--can only remember bits and pieces, but there was a con, and a murder attempt, and Elliot (from Leverage), and dinosaurs, and zombies, and skyscrapers. Of course, the dinosaurs were like inflatable automated ones that I was riding in a race (except mine was rusty and mechanical) as part of a plan to make the zombie outbreak more--family-friendly?
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
I dreamed of penguin-farming. I had a farm, with penguins. And then we all went to the grocery store, and a hit-and-run driver killed (tried to kill?) two penguins, and it became an investigation of who would try to murder penguins.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
I dreamed of shark-parasailing. I and a friend of mine went to the ocean, with my wife (I was male in this dream) and adorable little blonde 4-y-o daughter. We had a shark cage, although it was a puny wooden thing, with a parasail attached. My friend went into the shark cage and we threw it in, while I harnessed myself into the parasail. The shark took the bait, grabbed the cage my friend was in, and towed it around the ocean, while I flew above. I was a little worried because we kept going so long. Then we got to the edge of a bluff, and I landed and pulled the shark cage up. My friend unlatched the door and tumbled out, but the shark had come up too, and it held on with teeth and stubby little hands that didn't work very well yet. A small manta ray flopped up on the sand, trying to avoid the shark, meeping in desperation. My daughter felt bad for it, so we found it a safe inlet to stay in, and we petted it for a while. But then when we tried to leave, it would hop out and hug our legs with its wings.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Dreamed I was taking "Fairyland" pictures of myself while my friends took a break outside. Apparently, Fairyland pictures are ones where 1) you hold a feather and pretend to be flying, or 2) you're playing a pipe. And according to dream-[ profile] fayde, you absolutely *must* be wearing a hoodie.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
Night before last, I dreamed that the roof was falling apart. I was running back and forth in the attic trying to put buckets under the leaks, but above me the drywall was crumbling and I could see through to the sky in some spots.

The source material for that dream's not hard to find, given that that afternoon I'd signed over two insurance checks plus written a ridiculously large check from us to pay for the new roof and many of the other repairs we've had done. I really really really don't want to have to do that again any time soon. Really.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
In my dreams, half the time I'm male, and half the time I'm female. One-quarter of the time, I'm much older than my real age, and half the time I'm younger. I find this interesting. Last night, I was an older man, kind of a retired-badass sort of character. Also, there was river surfing on 2x4s, which totally wouldn't work in the real world.


Some combination of my mule-headed stubbornness, devil's-advocate tendencies, and "I can write anything"-itis results in my brain clicking over into plot-generating mode as soon as somebody issues a challenge, or doubts that a story type can be done well, or mentions how rare a certain kind of story is. That's how I got a Highlander parody involving the evolution of mallows nesting in my story idea file. Can't somebody just pay me for my plots?
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (russian)
I was in a darkened building with long hallways and tile floors--half college, half business. Fu Manchu ran out ahead of me and there was this horrible hissing and growling. I ran around the corner and saw a big black tomcat stretched out on the floor, bleeding. Fu Manchu stood behind him. On the other side were a whole bunch of cats growling at Fu Manchu. I knew that the tomcat had put himself between the other cats and Fu Manchu, to save him. He had a huge gash from his chest to his belly. I knew that I had to get him to a vet, but I only could carry one cat at a time in my hands, so I squished Fu Manchu into my backpack and zipped it up, but Fu Manchu kept pawing open the zipper, so it was very difficult to get him to stay inside. Then I picked up the tomcat and pushed the freight elevator button.
Read more... )
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Dreamed that we were in a vast forested park that was also a cellar. Tall trees, grass, campsites--and small basement windows high up, and stairs leading out beside the house above. It was a planned family/college reunion, but we'd just found out that there was a zombie apocalypse expected imminently. Everybody started scrambling to get ready for it. So far we knew that a couple of pets were infected in the house above, and maybe one of the neighbors. People put little blaze orange jackets on dogs that weren't infected so that they wouldn't get shot by accident. One guy found a tiny, soft-shelled zombie turtle that kept trying to bite him, but it had no teeth, so it couldn't break the skin and infect him. We kept forgetting things and having to go back up for them--our coleman lantern, the cats and their pet carriers, canned food--that sort of thing. I found a tennis court that was an excellent place for a defensible camping spot, just in case the zombies got into the cellar/forest--chain link all around the outside, and then on the inside there was a long room with really solid windows and doors that locked on the inside. So then I was happy.
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  • 09:32 --- Do *not* need dreams of dealing with housing contractors, thieves, and raped friends who show up on my doorstep for help, thankyouvmuch!
  • 13:41 +++ Kitten stopped playing, went "Whrrrt?" and trundled across the room at high speed to use his litter box . Good kitten!
  • 14:44 22.4 GB of photos = Very Unhappy computer with only 28.1 MB of space left. Lots of warning messages. Very bad. Very sad Abra.
  • 14:52 -- Think I need 2 TB hard drives. #1 to keep older photos on. #2 to backup all photos/writing and keep at friend's place in case.
  • 15:18 1 mo. post-surgery, I find that they *did* mail me pre-surgery instructions--in May. My to-do pile ate them. Bad to-do pile.
  • 18:33 Phil, during a debate about whether kitten's butt needed cleaning: "I didn't say I was a good mama cat, honey! I'm a boy cat!"
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (knee x-ray)
This whole "being dependent on Phil to get me anything that can't be carried in a bag" (since I'm on crutches and don't have a hand free to hold stuff) and "Phil has to do all the cleaning" thing is getting old. He's frustrated because he doesn't really want to cook and doesn't really know how to cook the CSA stuff. He's decidedly cranky about the amount of stuff that just isn't getting done and the number of requests I have. And I am cranky that he gets annoyed and says he's not going to get me something rightthenwhenIwantitnow! That said, I'm very grateful that he's here and taking care of me and generally being patient and supportive. Hopefully this Friday the doctor will say I can go to a cane and a knee brace, which will at least make me capable of doing some stuff.

This morning's a case in point. I wake up when his alarm goes off, and, er, nature's urgent call means I can't just wait until he's gone to trek upstairs and take care of things. Plus he usually snoozes the alarm for a half hour anyway. I go upstairs, and since I'm up and it's early and I don't want to have to do this again, I go through the whole nine yards: getting a clothes I can wear; unstrapping the knee brace; waterproofing my incisions (saran wrap + waterproof tape); showering; reapplying bandages; strapping on the knee brace; and brushing teeth. This process delays Phil enough that he has to rush out the door in the morning, which means he doesn't have time to make me cereal. And the poor SOB still has to return a library book and pick up pain pills for me on his way home. Not to mention Mt. Washmore in the kitchen.

Then, of course, I fell back asleep, on and off, until 1 PM. I wake up, strap on the knee brace to trek up the stairs to freshen up, take pain pills, make myself a lunch that I can carry in a bag (toasted asiago bagel with a little cheddar cheese--yum!), eat, strap on the knee brace to move the chair closer for my knee stretches, do my knee stretches (owieeee!), strap on the knee brace to get ice, ice my knee, strap on the knee brace to return the ice to the freezer--and it's 3 PM.

I need to figure out how to reprogram myself to think not, "I should remember this for XYZ," but, "I should write this down." All I can remember of the awesome dream I had this morning is that something was eating a cave full of people, but first it dipped the edges of the cave in something that stood in for margarita salt, and I thought it was hilarious. See? Not useful. And a couple of days ago, in the shower, I had a great idea for a Twitter-length short story, and I have no idea what it was now. Corollary: I need to keep pen and paper within reaching distance in the shower. I've had so many great and now-faded ideas in there.
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (dark mirror)
Had a stress dream this morning about the photo gig this weekend. I dreamt my camera batteries all died, and I didn't have the right equipment, and I was late and couldn't make it across town in time for the second part, because I was on foot and everybody else had left without me.

Also involved was the idea that there was a strange supporting-artists program in the warehouse district of Minneapolis that meant every artist got a storage locker and a giant rusted-out shipping container to work in as a studio. But the shipping crate didn't have electricity, so I couldn't charge my camera batteries in there.

The first thing I did once I woke up was double-check that I had enough batteries for my small automatic and then plug in my spare DSLR battery to charge up. Once that's done, I'll switch it with the one in my camera and charge that one up.

That's what stress dreams are for, right? To remind you to get things done?

And I would love to have a rusted metal shipping container to work in as a studio. Industrial decay = teh hotness.


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Abra Staffin-Wiebe

March 2019

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