It was famous comic people night in Anne’s head

I had a beautifully long post here about a very strange dream I had.

I met comic author Lea Hernandez and her son at the supermarket, and they helped me find the right yarn for the project I want to knit (it was in the refrigerated section between the Coca Cola and the milk), and we all got free cookies that Fox picked out because i won a contest at the supermarket.

Then I went to a party with my friend Steen and her daughter at a ski lodge, where some of the guests from another party, including Neil Gaiman, thought our party was cooler so they joined us. (Neil had planned to hang out with Scott McCloud and Amanda Palmer, but Scott was sick and Amanda was in New Zealand. Scott, if you’re reading this, get well soon! Amanda, I don’t know if you’re really in New Zealand right now, but it sounds awesome.)

Then we all went back to my house (which wasn’t my house – it was located where my parents house is, but it was my friend Camille’s parents’ mountain cabin from that trip we took 20 years ago) but we got lost on the way. This happens so often in my dreams that it didn’t even stress me out (this time). Friends shouldn’t let friends dream and drive. But if you have to dream and drive, it helps to invest in a good dream-based GPS, which apparently I had with me, in the purse I carried in high school.

Once at my house, we figured out who would be sleeping where (Steen and her kid got the big bed because there was a Tinkerbell decal with “Christine” over the bed, and Neil Gaiman was totally OK with taking one of the two twin air mattresses on the floor. My brother took the other one.) and we got down to the task of partying, which consisted of some people jamming on the guitar, others talking about writing, and still others playing Killer Bunnies.

The reason I wrote this beautifully long post was because as I wrote it, I realized that a whole bunch of situations that would have totally stressed me out when awake (like, how do you ask an autistic kid to help you at the supermarket? Is it rude to just assume he could and would help? And how do you say “Just pull up a chair,” to Neil. Fucking. Gaiman? And is it really OK to give the only guest bed to the person with the kid when you have people with bad backs and people who get cold easily and famous people in the house? And why do all my dream parties look like high school theater cast parties?) totally failed to stress me out at all.

In fact, I woke up because in the dream I was starting to stress out about what I looked like and suddenly had the need to put makeup on (which, by the way, I screwed up. I painted lip gloss on my eyeball, trying to use the lip gloss as eye shadow) and guests started asking me questions like “Do you really think Neil Gaiman wants to be at YOUR party?” and I realized I must be dreaming because I hadn’t been stressed out about this stuff the whole night and it was stupid to put on makeup just because someone famous I wanted to be friends with was at my party.

It turns out I am a much better person when my left brain is asleep, because my right brain doesn’t care if people might be offended or might think I’m a no-talent hack or stupid or ugly or I haven’t updated my comic in months. My right brain says, “say hi, be polite, and you might get something awesome.”

My left brain tries to put green lip gloss on my eyeball to make me look pretty for my guests, all the while telling me I can’t possibly look pretty enough for them to like me. Like whether I look nice was going to matter to Lea Hernandez and her son.

And then I had to exit the post for a split second because of an incoming text message, and WordPress ate the entire goddamned beautiful post.

I lost easily a half hour of writing, nuance, and description on a dream that it now rapidly fading from my mind as it’s replaced by grouchy dog whining.

So goodbye beautiful post and beautiful dream, good morning world, and fuck you WordPress app. I’m going to go feed the dogs.

Ow my brain.

I think the best way to qualify what I just woke up from was a “defrag dream” (thank you Jo for finally giving them a name), partially because it was a weird “will it blend?” of work, the conference, family, and hell, anything else my brain could come up with, and partially because after two awesome awesome awesome days of An Event Apart: Seattle, I have a hell of a lot to defrag.

I’d tell you about the dream, but I can’t remember it because of the end of the dream. And it’s really the end of the dream I’m writing about because I want to know if this happens to anyone else.

Last night, I went to a rockin’ party, where I didn’t drink (only relevant because we’re talking about brain behavior), came back to the hotel, watched about a half hour or so of SportsCenter while surfing twitter and catching up on my email, and fell asleep.

I woke back up, got into bed, and turn on the music I usually sleep to. (Look up Dan Gibson’s Solitudes on your music store of choice. No relation, btw.). I don’t remember setting an alarm.

Normally, that would be a massive error on my part. I regularly sleep through my alarms at home, which is why I set three of them when it’s something important.

As an added bonus, I neglected to actually plug the phone into the charger. It was down to below 45% charge when I went to bed, and I was playing music at the time. It had no shot of living to morning.

So I’m asleep, and I’m dreaming all kinds of crazy shit about trying to get something work-related redesigned using css3 on my iPhone while waiting on the tarmac of the plane back to Philly, except the plane won’t take off because the runway is packed with people who got off their planes to go to the IA Summit and decided to just sit down in the middle of the runway to eat lunch… there were many dogs involved, something about us actually being in Japan, I was being followed, a few bits were animated, the plane has hotel furniture in it… see? Defrag dream.

Anyway, the phone in the hallway of the hotel (which was somehow in the plane) (and which looks really cool, I’ll try to grab a pic shortly) starts ringing. I know it’s my sister, in that it’s-a-dream-you’re-psychic way, so even though I’m in a hallway of a hotel inside an airplane in Japan, I answer it.

Here’s where it gets weird.

(Don’t give me that look.)

The voice on the other end sounds like a hairy monster. Pick a male muppet not voiced by Frank Oz, make him sound gruff, turn him into a faceless scary thing (that’s only about 2 feet tall). He screams about four words at me. When I say screams, I mean THIS BIT OF THE DREAM WAS 10 TIMES LOUDER THAN THE REST and I didn’t even know dreams had volume controls. I can’t understand any of the 4 words because they’re cut off like bad cellphone connections.

Instantly, I wake up. And it’s the exact time my first alarm would’ve gone off, if I’d set it, on the iPhone that’s dead anyway.

So here’s my theory: Rational Brain and Emotional Brain are working together to clean the house, and Emotional Brain (which by the way is better at cleaning) is in charge. Neither of them is watching the clock, but Rational Brain slipped Dinosaur Brain $20 and a bottle of Bacardi Mojito earlier to make sure we get up on time, because it knows we’re in trouble. Dinosaur Brain is very good at keeping time, so when the alarm needs to go off, it cuts in Matrix-style and violently disrupts the dream with extreme loudness. But since it’s Dinosaur Brain, it can’t talk to me in words, so Emotional Brian translates the entire mess into the next closest thing: a bad signal from AT&T.


Dream log

Just woke up from a dream where we (mom, dad, someone who kept switching between my aunt Ginny & my sister, & I) drove up to visit my great grandmother because she needed help.

When we arrived, we found out that yes, she did need help getting her meals together and organizing her medications and fixing a few things around the house…. But meals on wheels & some other hired help was already doing that, & had been for a while. By the looks on their faces, they were pretty frazzled dealing with her, too.

But she’d really wanted us to come up and take care of Irving, her pet turtle, so she could go to the doctor. She was afraid he’d pee on the rugs while she wasn’t home.

So I explained that some newspaper on the floor of the kitchen, a few baby gates, and some lettuce, would keep
Irving happily occupied so she could leave the house.

The adults (suddenly I wasn’t one, I was only 6) then talked to her about her health, etc. while I used a hot paint gun (picture a soldering gun with a q-tip at the end that you dipped into paint) (yes my brain made it up) to write “ANNE + NNANA” on things. The extra N was a mistake but I’d decided if my grandmother was Nana, then my great-grandmother being Nnana made perfect sense.

Before I could graffiti on more than a box of cereal & an already graffiti’d book, it was time to go. Dad confided in me that mom had had enough. Nnana didn’t want to eat the healthy meals provided by the meals on wheels folks. She wanted an egg mcmuffin and gingerbread for breakfast every day. So we were going home. My sister and I got in the bed of the truck Mom & dad were in the front.

But the old Toyota pickup truck, which was navy blue at some point but was more rust than truck now, was broken in half at some point in the past, so the truck cab & bed were tied together with clothesline. While we were merging onto 422, the knots gave way. I was the only one brave enough to grab the rope, pull the two pieces back together, and retie the knot so the truck was one piece again.

Having saved the day again, I woke up.

My great grandmother on my dad’s side did live in a big old house on her own. She died when I was pretty young & the only thing I really remember is that we weren’t allowed to touch most of the stuff in the house. I doubt she had any pets. My mom is by far the most patient person I know when it comes to stubborn people, so the idea that she is the one who lost her patience is hilarious to me.

We never owned a Toyota pickup because they were always too small. My dad never would have let one go to that level of disrepair. I did ride in the bed of the truck we did own, but never on the highway, and I’m not sure my sister has ever ridden in the bed of a pickup.

And I had gingerbread for dessert last night.

And maybe I’ll have some for breakfast, too.