Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hi there.

So apparently the economy is melting like a wax museum on a hot day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Residents - The Third Reich & Roll (1976)

First of all, you like the new title? I do.

Here is my article for next month's issue of Culture Week. Since I realize most of you reading this don't actually live in Bloomington, consider what is actually a sneak preview my (monthly) gift to you.

Some six decades after the formation of the irreverent, nonsensical Dada movement in Europe, the San Franciscan avant-garde combo The Residents released The Third Reich & Roll. The album is a full-on Dadaist assault on pop music, making the accusation that this seemingly disposable art form was brainwashing the American youth. And why not? The members of the band – whoever the Hell they may be (the band has maintained full anonymity since their formation in 1972) – no doubt grew up listening to the songs they lampoon on this record.

The recording process for this album is interesting: the band played along with these 60’s pop songs, committing the results to tape. They then mixed out the original tracks they played with, leaving only The Residents. What results is easily one of the most bizarre albums this side of Captain Beefheart. Using a very stream-of-consciousness editing style, where one song simply fades into another, ends with a jarring cut, (as if waking from an intense dream), or in some cases combines songs in similar keys. The best example of this comes as a sort of punch line to their 35-minute long joke: the angelic, if hypnotic, refrain of “Hey Jude” (yes, they even skewer The Beatles) increasingly becomes more discordant; at the same time the instantly recognizable backing vocals from “Sympathy For The Devil” fade in, as does its searing guitar solo. The idea of something seemingly sweet – The Beatles’ most successful single, and a song of positive encouragement – slowly becoming corrupted by evil (literally, a song about the Devil,) is a stark metaphor for the pop industry: sure, on the surface these songs are fun and happy, but at its core is a world run by the almighty dollar, where careers can be broken at the drop of a hat.

If you can’t tell already, this isn’t an album for everyone. To begin, there is no real distinction of tracks. The album only has two tracks (one from each side of the original LP) with catchy titles that both your veteran grandparents and friends of Semitic origin will just love: “Swastikas On Parade” and “Hitler Was A Vegetarian.” It also bears mentioning that the cover (banned in Germany for some strange reason…) features Dick Clark in Nazi regalia holding a carrot, surrounded by little Disney-like dancing Hitlers. Not that the band was a group of pop-hating Neo-Nazis; far from it. Like the Dadaists, The Residents used irreverent humor and imagery to make a point. Anyone offended by it doesn’t get the joke, much like Frank Zappa’s more controversial moments. Those who do get it will love it.

(Note: The Residents are hard to find; their albums go in and out of print every so often. Search this album on YouTube to see their promotional film for it. If that hasn’t scared you off, acquire this album by any means necessary!)

Next Month: Cheap Trick, Next Position Please

Since you're reading this on the Internet and not in a newspaper, not only can I provide the link to The Residents' promo film for the album, I can embed it:

And if you find yourself liking it, here's "The Third Reich & Roll Concentrate" from their 1997 retrospective Our Tired, Our Poor, Our Huddled Masses. The "concentrate", as its name suggests, compresses the 35 minute album into a ten minute track. Other albums receiving similar treatments on the retrospective were Have A Bad Day, Hunters, The Gingerbread Man, Freak Show, Cube-E, God In Three Persons, The Mole Trilogy, Fingerprince, Not Available, and Meet The Residents.

Not that it matters, since I'm proud to say I have all their albums up to 2001's Icky Flix.

Forrest - you might like their treatments of Hank Williams numbers.

I truly do think that, like Zappa, there's something for everyone out there with The Residents. The Third Reich & Roll is probably a horrible place to start for all but those with the strangest and most eclectic of tastes. That or a twisted sense of humor. Still, bear with me as I work my way through their catalog and share thoughts, opinions, and of course the obligatory embedded YouTube video featuring the music in question.


Monday, September 15, 2008

"There's more to the picture/Than meets the eye...."

To begin on an optimistic note, and specifically something I've (deliberately) kept mum in the event it came to nothing, I have joined another band in Bloomington. The guy who lived across from Daniel and me this summer - once again, his name is Eric; what is up with this? Dad, my brother, Condon, my brother's future father-in-law... - bumped into me and it turned out to be at just the right moment. We talked about music, I mentioned how my status as a musician was "single and looking."

He got in touch with me earlier this week, and as it would turn out I knew another guy in the band through Eric Condon. Small town.

Anyway, the music was good. Not really like anything I've ever played before, in that I'm a lot more subdued. I like it - and quite frankly it takes skill to be able to play in a tempered style without going apeshit all over the kit. More importantly, the songs themselves were carried musically by the entire band, not just the rhythm section (the band actually doesn't have a bassist right now), not just a hot-shit guitar solo in every single song, not just an eccentric lead singer. Not that I dig the music of the group The Band (in fact, I gave my copy of their greatest hits to Forrest), but I can certainly understand how a group that existed for the sake of music seemed like such a breath of fresh air to people like George Harrison and Eric Clapton. Especially since neither of them were in ideal situations in their bands at the time (Clapton was in Cream when The Band appeared on the scene.)

Speaking of The Beatles - and I'm not complaining here - but Shelley's iTunes on random play has shown favor toward Beatles tunes from 1969: "Don't Let Me Down" (underrated), "I Me Mine" (amazing), and "Old Brown Shoe" (an unsung favorite of mine) out of the past four songs. Maybe there really is a little man in their pushing buttons...

I spent most of Wednesday at the music library on this very laptop hijacking the music of Captain Beefheart and The Residents. So far, so awesome. I don't really know where to begin, both talking about them to you or listening (especially with a band as prolific as The Residents.) All I can say is expect an occasional rant about them.

And m@: "O Superman" by Laurie Anderson is on the listening list for the 70's and 80's class. Shelley thought it was great, I thought it was good. I was blown away by Brian Eno's music, as well as the precursor to Cheap Trick's albums 'Heaven Tonight' and 'Dream Police' that is the song "Fox On The Run" by Sweet (of "Ballroom Blitz" fame). Also, after much deliberation, I still can't abide most British art rock. I find it to be the definition of pretentious crap (besides Stan Brakhage's horseshit experiments in cinema). Each time I hear it, I think to myself, "No wonder punk rock swept in and took over so easily...and THANK GOD!" At which point the MP3 player in my head cues up "Anarchy In The U.K." by The Sex Pistols at top volume...

Man! Is that not a bucket of cold water in the middle of July? A shock at first, but in the long run just what you needed?

In other news: Sarah Palin. I hate her guts. Let's leave it at that.

As a follow-up to my last entry about how crucial it is that I bust ass out of here as soon as I can, I can only say the signs in real life are/have been stacking up. And before I enumerate them, I'll go ahead and say yes, I know sometimes I'm picking and choosing things and saying it applies to me and/or is a message. But it works for me, this is my blog, and if you don't like it then you can create your own and say so.

To begin, there's my living situation. I've actually sat down and talked with Kieth a few times this past week. He's a nice guy, very down-to-earth and has a big heart. What he went through with his parents doing all sorts of nutty shit in the name of Jesus I wouldn't wish on my worst enemies. More importantly, his is a completely different perspective on their relationship, told in confidence - which I shall respect - and not rehearsed and told and retold again and again. (Do you see what I'm hinting at?) I heard things that convinced me I wasn't being told the complete truth, not to mention that I gained a lot more sympathy for Kieth regarding both his past and his present.

What I can say is this: Graham's complaint that Kieth was cold and distant can actually be more easily said from Kieth about Graham. Graham had his facts straight, he just painted himself out to be the victim.

On the subject of my past statements and assumptions: the big one is I stand corrected in believing everything I hear. Though, in my own defense, I was convinced I was being told the truth.

I told both of them in April I was going to remain neutral in all conflicts, but unfortunately when they break up, one of them has to leave. And it won't be the one enrolled at IU Bloomington. So I'm already on a side by default. To be honest, I'm not sure it's the right side anymore. I know to take Kieth's word with a grain of salt, but I also know to take Graham's with a cup.

The second sign I have to get out of here is my job at Spencer's. No reflection on my coworkers, I enjoy working, joking, and making fun of people with them. It's a reflection on the people I see come into the store. I have heard this from Mom so many times already: there's idiots wherever I go. Fine. I just want to go to a more liberal environment, because once you get out of Bloomington's gorgeous downtown area you are in the land of meth-heads and in all honesty it's just as dreary as Seymour or Muncie. But dammit if there isn't that one-mile radius of people with Obama bumper stickers covering up their Hillary bumper stickers on the back of their Subaru station wagon...the rich, uppity white American "progressive" are actually higher on my enemy list than the neck-tattoo sporting trailer trash that come into the store. At least the trailer trash aren't shameless phonies.

On the other hand, this is coming from a soon-to-be card-carrying Socialist who has a big nose and, if you haven't noticed by now, is a dick.

(An extension of my second reason is published below in a separate entry.)

My third reason involves my hatred of the Bloomington music "scene." I use quotes because it's a clique. It's a clique that our kids will blow of as a "good old boys" mentality, where a guy on the activities board at the Union will book both (yes, BOTH) of the bands he's in for shows all across town. Man, this town is just diverse, isn't it?

Bloomington: just because you're a college town that has bars with stages and sound systems in them doesn't mean you have a "scene." It's more like the same group of rich kids from the north side of Indianapolis (who dress like it's 1983 or earlier - and live in squalor) hang out at different bars every night. I speak, naturally, of my dear friends, the "hipsters." Fuck them.

Reason number four relates to stuff on the IU campus and in Bloomington. There was a rape downtown this past weekend, and it happened apparently in fairly plain sight. Did any chivalrous gentlemen rush to the girl's defense? Did anyone kick the rapist until he started bleeding from his ears? Did anyone do anything besides maybe take pictures with their camera phone?

Last weekend a group of students suffered injuries when an unknown assailant ran by and slashed them with a knife.

"But Alex, murders happen daily in cities!"

I know, cities are sources of colossal violence. It's pretty simple: don't ever go out alone past dark, and don't ever go out in an unfamiliar part of town alone or with someone else past dark.

My problem with violence in such a concentrated area is twofold: in an urban location driving everywhere is practical. By contrast, I walk EVERYWHERE in Bloomington. I walk home from Shelley's on a weeknight. Alone. I would never walk anywhere alone at night in a city - that's just common sense. But the knifing happened in a well-lit part of campus...and I can honestly say I don't feel safe here. There are bad parts of town in Bloomington, but since the campus and region immediately surrounding it attract locals just as much as students, it's as if every single BLOCK is a different part of town.

Lastly, to foster some discussion, two versions of the same song:

"My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)" by Neil Young

My my, hey hey
Rock and roll is here to stay
It's better to burn out
Than to fade away
My my, hey hey.

Out of the blue
and into the black
They give you this,
but you pay for that
And once you're gone,
you can never come back
When you're out of the blue
and into the black.

The king is gone
but he's not forgotten
This is the story
of Johnny Rotten
It's better to burn out
than it is to rust
The king is gone
but he's not forgotten.

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye.
Hey hey, my my.

"Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)" by Neil Young

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye.
Hey hey, my my.

Out of the blue
and into the black
You pay for this,
but they give you that
And once you're gone,
you can't come back
When you're out of the blue
and into the black.

The king is gone
but he's not forgotten
Is this the story of Johnny Rotten?
It's better to burn out
'Cause rust never sleeps
The king is gone
but he's not forgotten.

Hey hey, my my
Rock and roll can never die
There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye.

1.) Did you like the song?

2.) Which one do you like better?

3.) What does it say to you?

4.) Do you like what the song says?

Think. Comment. Discuss.


PS - I received a very strange message from Bowser, who is back in Indiana after a 12-day stint in Los Angeles. Aside from responding to and commenting on your responses and comments, that will most likely be my primary focus next time.

Why I Hate Liberals (I Mean, "Progressives")

The summary of my second reason to leave the state: the demographic. It's still Indiana, a culturally ass-backwards state. The truly uneducated masses are of no specific economic or political background, whether it's a ninny who openly declares they won't vote (did I mention Graham has said he isn't going to vote, as this election "isn't important"?), an out-and-out racist who will gladly tell you that they will be voting against the colored man (yes, Indiana, the state that forgot it was north of the Mason-Dixon Line. How's THAT for a bumper sticker!), or the really, really cute hippie who would love to buy you some organic coffee and tell you about how bad sweatshops overseas are, and how I-69 is the work of the Devil himself. When in fact the whole deal about both organic food and sweatshops is that it boils down to pressing the average "progressive" white person's most sensitive buttons: being offended, and thinking they know what's best for poor people.

(So much for this being a summary.)

One thing the average person doesn't know is that Genetically Modified Food was grown with the express purpose of breeding higher-yield crops. The excess is shipped to places where it is needed. But then again, saying Genetically Modified Food is part of a government plot that uses the American people as guinea pigs sounds much better than the fact that what you're opposed to is actually saving lives. Moreover, it's also really easy to be opposed to anything on a full stomach.

(I'm not going to dignify the crackpot behind it, but if you're feeling like you haven't heard enough horseshit, watch this. None of it holds ANY scientific or factual basis.)

Sweatshops? We had them a century ago. The UK had them a century ago. Places that have sweatshops today are technologically behind us by many years. Also, what else are the children of said nations to do besides have sex with American tourists? It's not like the education system of Indonesia is widely praised for its low dropout rate...or the fact that it's even available to those other than the richest of the rich.

And I-69 is the smartest thing to happen to Indiana in decades. It will save man-hours. It will save money. It will result in an Interstate running through the poorest county in the state (Orange County, site of the French Lick and West Baden casino resorts), giving both jobs and revenue to an area that needs it. It will run through Bloomington, making the trip to Indianapolis roughly 20 minutes shorter. It just sounds scary because *gasp* BIG BUSINESS IS INVOLVED! Guess what? Big businesses, when run properly, do great things. In a word: Apple. (That's right, white folks, Apple is a big business. Just like Philip Morris, McDonald's, Disney, and...Microsoft!) Also, what's our other option? Having government contractors do it? Sounds great: COMING IN MAY 2035: INTERSTATE 69!

Oh, and bitching about the government moving people out of their homes might sound to you like something straight out of Orwell, but it's actually in the law of the land, the Constitution. It's called Eminent Domain, and it is part of the Bill of Rights, just as much of a part of the Bill of Rights as owning a gun, as publishing outright lies about some Illuminati/New World Order plot relating to GMO's and the Codex Alimentarius, and of course as never shutting the FUCK up about how you know what is best for everyone else.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

The one where you all realize I'm crazy and slowly, but surely, make your way to the door.

Sorry for the long, long delay in my return to this beloved site. Move-in was a busy, busy time. More importantly, my computer doesn't have Internet (I'm typing this entry from Shelley's computer). It's also been a busy week.

Regarding the beach trip...all I really want to say right now is I left with mixed feelings. Eric griped too much about life. He seriously said at one point that he "sound(s) like someone who has seen the horrors of war and lived to tell about it." He's 23. A year younger than my brother Eric, and he's saying that with a roof over his head, never going to bed hungry...I'm sorry, but that was ridiculous. All that's wrong is he has a shitty job.

He and Graham both are the kind of guys who - to use a crude metaphor - would shit their pants and then spend hours complaining about the smell.

Speaking of Graham, he went to the hospital Wednesday for foot fungus because he doesn't change socks...and apparently we have bedbugs? I forgot this was 1357 and not 2008. Moreover, he was confused about whether or not they can spread. He said no, but our neighbors said yes. So yeah...fucking awesome.

Pretty sure it's a ticking time bomb before I move the Hell out.

Being a G.A. is a surprisingly fun job.

I met a guy who got in touch with me over Facebook because he was interested in the Rock & Roll history program. He's really friendly and eager to hear new sounds. It's cool to be the older guy who's been around a bit and knows the ropes, much like a very different Eric was to me my sophomore year, my brother Eric was my freshman get the drift, circle of life, etc.

The last thing, and if there is one thing I want you to have inside your mind as you leave a comment and move on...I had a fantastically realistic dream. More importantly, and this is something I have NEVER had happen to me before, it involved a dream within a dream.

Without going into a typical Alex rant on the power of dreams and how some might consider it pseudoscience, let me just say this: I believe in the power of dreams, both as signifiers of the sub/unconscious mind and dreams when defined as a synonym for "goals." It involves both of them.

It's well-known that things that are on your mind will manifest themselves in your dreams. For example, ever since the beach, I have been dreaming about it in numerous variations, from being in someone else's house to feeling like I'm still there and exasperated.

The other big thing on my mind is the situation with Graham and his boyfriend Kieth (that's not a typo, point in fact he took great pride in correcting me when I typed it right/wrong in my phone). The first part of my dream involved them. We were first at some outdoor carnival, though it may have been a religious ceremony. It was in the hills, lovely rural hills with fog so dense you couldn't see the bottom. We were atop said hills.

A man (who bore strong resemblance to a short Hispanic guy who buses tables at Max's Place downtown) took me up extraordinarily high in a cherry picker. Much like The Who song, I could see for miles and miles... I don't know what this has to do with the rest of my dream, but I was then somehow in a mighty cathedral. The kind that has an interior made out of lovely dark wood. For some reason I was there with Graham. For some reason, Graham was frustrating me greatly and we decided to leave. As we walked out of the main sanctuary there was another secondary chapel - again, all with this gorgeous dark wood, like an English castle interior - but Graham was speaking ill of all religious people and more surprisingly being very loud about it. I recall it pissing me off.

At one point we floated up a staircase, which was where we found the main sanctuary's balcony as well as the chapel. But once again, it wasn't bizarre to us that we were able to levitate. In fact, in my dream, it seemed perfectly natural. It was also at this point that I felt like I was having a lucid dream, that is to say a dream where you realize you are dreaming and thus possess at least some control over the goings on. This is important when one considers the next paragraph.

We were going to leave, but he needed me to get my car to pick him and Kieth up. In his typical know-it-all manner, Kieth was telling me before I left which intersection I needed to go to (and here's the thing: I was somewhere I'd never been before, but knew exactly where to go. At this point, the city looked like Indianapolis around Circle Centre, which is where the four of us spent some time as separate couples before taking Kieth to the Greyhound station).

Anyway, I was heading in the wrong direction, and I could hear Kieth laughing at me. I'd had it, and I told him off and what a loser I thought he was and how he was/is destroying my friend's life, that he was dragging him down...when I started my tirade he was ready to slug me, but by the time I was finished he was curled up in the fetal position, as if frozen in place.

I woke up from my dream inside a dream in my boxers (or maybe naked - I can't recall), and oddly enough neither I nor the passersby - there weren't many - seemed to care. I had woken up in a little patch of dirt (it seemed like a garden, though a tiny one and kind of ugly) outside what I knew was Shelley's apartment. Except we weren't in Bloomington. We were in New York City - again, like me knowing it was Shelley's place, it was just known, it wasn't said to me. I just knew it - and there was a cinematic style jump cut to us walking up a busy street talking about life in New York City...and my attending school there. Whether it was as a grad student or a teacher was unknown.

I never dream about Shelley, though she apparently dreams about me just about every night. That in itself was strange. But in my dream, we were together and happy...and I was able to use my memory in my dream and think to myself that the stuff I had dreamed of being up in the hills and being in the church with Graham and telling Kieth off, all of those things seemed in the past tense. As if in my dreams I was revisiting things that had already happened.

There is a site I visit each time I wake up with interesting visions in my head that lists all sorts of potential things or scenarios you could experience in a dream - and what they mean.

Let's start with the hills/mountains, the ones laden with fog, where I was taken even higher on a cherry picker:
(Forgive the comma splices, I'm trying to get this out as quickly as possible and don't have time to edit these copy/paste jobs.)

"To dream that you are going through a thick fog, signifies much confusion, troubles, scandal, and worries. You may not be seeing things the way they really are or you may have lost your sense of direction in life." Here's the thing: we were on TOP of the thick fog, above it all...thus above confusion, troubles, and worries. From our vantage point, we could only look upward. Oddly, this ties into the next few symbols.

"To dream that you are standing on top of a hill, signifies that you have succeeded in your endeavors or that you have now have the resources to complete a task at hand." I feel like I am succeeding in life, in school and overall, and I have a stable existence that gives me the strength to keep trudging forth on my senior project (which seems like a brand-new one since my decision to revise it.)

"To dream that you are at a great height, signifies that you have reached one of your highest goals or objectives." Studying rock and roll history in college with the plans to go on and teach it someday? Me? If you have to ruminate on that for more than a second, you clearly don't know me.

"If you are on top of the mountain, then it signifies that you have achieved and realized your goals. Alternatively, mountains denotes a higher realm of consciousness, knowledge, and spiritual truth." So here I am, ABOVE the confusion and fog. Achieving or having achieved my goal...and I am only taken higher on a cherry picker - the higher realm of consciousness, knowledge, and spiritual truth. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I have always been a deeply spiritual person, though not necessarily a religious one - as you may know. More importantly, I recall having a slight fear when I was lifted up, that maybe it was not stable, and more importantly that I was up there with a total stranger...not anyone I knew. Is it the sign of a gift, intellectual or spiritual? Am I afraid to admit to it, or rise up to it? This sounds like something I need to talk to a spiritual guide about, either in Seymour (*ahem* m@) or in Bloomington.

Moving on to the weird church where Graham and I floated:

"To dream that you are in a church, suggests that you are seeking for some spiritual enlightenment and guidance. You are looking to be uplifted in some way. Perhaps you have made some mistakes in the past which have set you back on your path toward your goals. With proper support, you will get on the right track again. Alternatively, it may also mean that you are questioning and debating your life path and where it is leading. You are reevaluating what you want to do." See previous comment on the symbology of height. Choosing the second major has been a major detour for my academic career, and it has brought with it already some new, interesting friends. As for past mistakes that kept me from my goals - leaving Shelley, a degree in film studies...not working on my Kinks project as much as I could/should have this summer.

"Flying dreams fall under a category of dreams where you become aware that you are dreaming, known as lucid dreaming. Many dreamers have described the ability to fly in their dreams as an exhilarating, joyful, and liberating experience." And it was.

"To dream that you are floating, implies acceptance, letting go of your problems or worries and just going with the flow. You are experiencing new-found freedom. It also signifies that you will prove victorious in your obstacles that may presently seem overwhelming." This summer I decided to stand up for myself against Joel, and to just stop worrying about such mundane shit like keeping Shelley a secret for so long from my parents. I unwound from the jerk I was a year ago and stopped being so uptight about some things. I'm sure some of you are the same way, where at the time you think to yourself, "I'm fine, things are great," only to look back a year or so later and say, "Man, what was I THINKING?!" Have you ever?

"To dream that you are floating, but are afraid to move, suggests that you are questioning your own abilities. You are experiencing doubts in yourself." Once again, since it just seemed so understood that in the reality of my dream mankind had the ability to float - there was no fear of floating. I know my abilities and am comfortable with them.

Lastly, me waking up inside my dream, either in my boxers or naked, and living in a city with Shelley:

"To see sparse, weed-infested garden, suggests that you have neglected your spiritual needs. You are not on top of things." Odd, given the earlier metaphors of height and mountains. More importantly, I feel there is some way I could be feeding my soul...if only I knew how. Should I get some philosophy books from the library? I can't go back to Judeo-Christian philosophy. Do I need - and I ask this with all seriousness - to contact a practitioner of an Eastern faith?

"To dream that you are in your underwear, signifies a situation that has created a loss of respect for you. Alternatively, it symbolizes some aspect of yourself that is private. If you feel ashamed of being seen in your underwear, then it indicates your hesitance in revealing your true feelings, attitudes, and other hidden habits/ideas." Well, it was no big deal for me to be in my underwear in a public area - and it never really is when I have done it.

"Many times, when you realize that you are naked in your dream, no one else seems to notice. Everyone else in the dream is going about their business without giving a second look at your nakedness. This implies that your fears are unfounded; no one will notice except you. You may be magnifying the situation and making an issue of nothing. On the other hand, such dreams may mean your desire (or failure) to get noticed." Um, all the hang-ups about my looks? Yeah, I'm not an unattractive guy, but I still see the fat little twelve year old from time to time. And failure to get noticed? Isn't that everybody's worst nightmare?

"For a small percentage of you, dreaming that you are proud of your nakedness and show no embarrassment or shame, then it symbolizes your unrestricted freedom. You have nothing to hide and are proud of who you are. The dream is about a new sense of honesty, openness, and a carefree nature." I wasn't necessarily PROUD, but it wasn't a moment of "Sweet Jesus, I'm naked! Mother Mary 'n Joseph get me a towel!" And yeah, honesty? Openness? Carefree? Sounds like some guy I might know him, too.

"To dream that you are dreaming, signifies your emotional state. You are excessively worried and fearful about a situation or circumstance that you are going through." This dog-shit with Graham yo-yo'ing again and again with whether or not he's happy with Kieth. I don't know if it's a love affair with being miserable, but my attitude is one now of frustration - either piss or get off the pot is becoming my mantra. Anyway, that and the recent (supposed) bug infestation...yeah, that's on my mind. I'm constantly thinking about death and worrying that if it's all a hoax ("it" being religion) and we really do just's a frightening concept. My refusal to embrace that concept is a red flag that I would make a terrible atheist and could never fully reject my inherent spiritual beliefs in life after death. (So much for me thinking my spiritual journey had come to a successful conclusion...)

"To see a city in your dream, signifies a sense of community and your social environment." I'm connecting with new friends, reconnecting with old ones...just as I was worried a few years back when I saw my brother Eric as a senior, estranged from Newlin (permanently), all of his friends having graduated, still in the dorm, and missing Maddie.

"To see your girlfriend in your dream, represents your waking relationship with her and how you feel about her." Um, DUH! We were holding hands walking down the street (as we do a lot) and talking about how happy we were. Let's see, get out your notepad and take a seat in the overstuffed leather chair. I'll lie down on the couch and being waxing. Not whacking, waxing.

Anyway, read the entry. If it doesn't make sense, re-read it. Let me know what you think of all these visions.

The basic feeling I had when I woke up, other than the obvious "THAT WAS ALL JUST A DREAM?!" was the realization that I need to get the Hell out of Indiana as soon as I'm done here and get my ass to a city. And not look back.

If you don't regularly comment (Eric & Maddie...), you should, either on this public forum or through an email or Facebook message. I need to know what you guys think of all this. I'm especially eager for Shelley, m@, and Forrest to respond.