Other people’s dreams are dreadfully wearisome
I don’t know who said it, but I’ve tried to live by it. I don’t like to talk about what happens in my dreams; boring people describe their dreams.
But if I can’t talk about content, can I talk about character? I often wonder if I dream the same way that other people do. My best evidence of this is lacking in credentials: television and movies. Whenever there is a dream sequence there, it is either mistaken for reality or it makes no sense.
The dreams I have, or at least the good ones that I have a chance of remembering, do have plots. The events that happen all build off one another. There are unexpected twists, but nothing that makes no sense. There are even hints of foreshadowing. The biggest weirdness is usually that my perspective changes to different characters.
It often feels like an improvised play, where little things casually mentioned earlier become very important. The rules don’t always make sense, but they are generally consistent. E.g. in this reality it is vitally important that I go for a walk in these woods even if I have evidence that there are people trying to kill me in it.
Is this consistent with the ways other people dream?
What brought this on was that I had a dream that was set near my parent’s house. The landscape was different, but even after I woke up I was sure that was what the area looked like. It was only after actively thinking did I realize that that was not true. But it reminded me of other remembered landscapes near my parent’s house that I thought were real. But if I tried to think how to get to them, I realize those were from dreams as well.
And that is unfortunate, because there were apparently some really good running trails out there.
Well, in a strange series of events, I am now employed. Negotiations took awhile, so I only discovered that I had a job about twelve hours before I had to show up for work. It’s good news, but I wasn’t prepared for it. Well, actually I wasn’t prepared for life with a job. I had planned to leisurely go grocery shopping and do some important cleaning of my place. Suddenly my free time evaporated. I’ve got a turkey to cook on Sunday and I need to get ready!
It is a small company, and I’m amazed at how much I’ve missed that. I get to go to work with the feeling that I can make a difference. I had to take a cut from what I previously made, but I’m under the impression that I will be doing interesting work. I’m not in financial straits, so that may be a good trade.
I had a job interview the other day. There was a terrifying moment in it; they actually browsed to my website. This blog is linked from there. And this is a blog that I put my personality into. I don’t want to have to worry that someone might be offended by something I say.
In other words, I don’t want to have to act like a politician here. I want to be myself. Is that going to affect future job prospects?
In an hour I will be 37. I’m not feeling as much of a sense of loss this birthday. I’ve accomplished some big goals in my life that had been keeping me from being happy.
But the thing that strikes me is that 2009 was a very good year. I look back on it with happy memories, and I’m surprised how many of them deal with running. I look at a map of DisneyWorld and I try and figure out the exact route my marathon went, including the long walk in the marshalling area. I did the Alberta Triple, which doesn’t fill me with pride, but with a good feeling of accomplishment. The Lost Soul Ultra was my pinnacle run; a run I remember hating while I was doing it, but is now the source of many tales. The trip to Jamaica that finally made me feel complete.
The worse experiences give the best stories. Or to better say, do interesting things and you will have an interesting life.
Being without a job has been different for me. I’ve had time to do things I had never gotten around to. I’ve gotten my program out there and feel I can be proud of it. But I also want to add to it. Pride in my work.
But without a job, there has been no structure. So more often than it should be, I accomplish nothing in my day. I need to start focussing. Not just on hunting for a job, but giving myself a schedule of things I need to do each day.
And part of me wants to relive 2009, with all the running involved.
Yesterday was my first run in two and a half weeks. It felt good. Well, it felt good at the time. My muscles are complaining today.
As a point of interest, I’ve now run over 9 km with my Vibram FiveFingers. My feet ache along the sides after about 7 km, so I don’t think I’ll be raising the distance much until that is cured. But progress is coming.
I wonder if it is changing the size of my feet? If my foot muscles are getting stronger, will they get bigger? Will I need to get different sized shoes in the future?
Right, I’m back and I need to start being productive.
I arrived back home at about midnight on Saturday night. The airport shuttle wasn’t actively hostile against me, and when I was on Whyte Avenue I was able to follow two police officers most of the way with my luggage. Felt safer.
Sunday, I was thinking about going for the morning run, but I slept in instead. If I had been aware of the time change, I might have been able to go. I still went to brunch with my running friends. But in the afternoon I slept.
One reason I like flying Air Canada more than WestJet is that Air Canada has better seat televisions; you get to choose the movies you want to see and are in full control of them. WestJet just shows regular television, or pay-per-view movies. I had a better idea this time. I took some old DVDs that I hadn’t gotten around to seeing and uploaded them to my iPhone. I could watch them at my leisure on the flight. Bonus: I didn’t feel like I was missing anything if I wasn’t watching a movie while flying.
That’s the Mississippi river below us. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it before. It doesn’t look that impressive, but from 41,000 feet up, there isn’t much to compare it to, so the perspective is off.
I am once again in what I consider “the worst seat in the plane”. I asked for the emergency exit row, but they gave me the one in front of it. Is there something in the Caribbean WestJet training that prevents that understanding? However, I’m not going to complain (much). There are 22 people on this plane that can hold 138. I have an entire row to myself and have taken advantage of it to nap. I could sit almost anywhere in the plane if I really wanted. The stewardesses are completely bored.
The reason for that is that WestJet just started flying directly to Montego Bay from western Canadian cities. This is the first flight back from Calgary, so it should be fuller in the future.
Yesterday, I tried sleeping a lot. It was never a restful sleep though. The weather wasn’t spectacular, so I didn’t sun myself. I still stayed up late, but I can’t really describe anything exceptional I did. Most of the time was reconnecting with old and making new friends.
I did meet someone who claims to be a rock star in a famous punk rock band. I spent about half an hour talking to him about what it was like and the affect of the internet and iTunes on his record label. I don’t know punk rock, so I can’t claim to have heard of his band which has been around for two decades; I’ll look it up when I get home.
I’m glad to be going home. I’m tired of this vacation. I want to sleep in a bed with a thick comforter in a room-temperature room without an air conditioner overhead. I want to work on the computer and create great software. I want to play a game of D&D. I want to go on a long distance run. I want to be awake and have energy.
I want to go back to my regular life.
They started an edge trimmer outside my room at 9:30 this morning.
I’m going to try and get some breakfast.
I just came into my room. Surprisingly, neither my bed, nor my roommates has been slept in.
This has been a good day. Night? The sun is rising. It is rather windy. Has it always been windy in the morning, but I’ve been too asleep to notice?
I wish I could say that my bed is clean because I spent the night in someone else’s, but no, I’m just up really late. I’ve had a good night talking with my friends; surprising level of honesty. Even did the waterslide, which is really cool when it is dark and you can’t completely see where you are going. I am right now wide awake without the barest hint of sleepiness. I’ve usually woken up feeling more tired. It may be an illusion, but we’ll see. I’m going to force the issue by going to bed after updating my journal.
Or, if I wait long enough I could go get breakfast at 7:30…
My roommate has been very good. Because he is a rock star, he travels often with weird roommates. He has a solution for everything and is very accommodating. I feel that if he walked in on me stuffing a chopped-up dead hooker into the toilet, he would be there to help me flush often so that the pipes didn’t clog.
My left arm has a nasty bruise forming.
After a pleasant afternoon that I spent sunning myself (without sunscreen, but it was cloudy and I wasn’t there long) the “gang” went to Rick’s Cafe. (For some reason, I keep calling it Ric’s Grill.)
Rick’s Cafe is a tourist spot that I suppose is famous, but I didn’t really know why. I wasn’t actually looking forward to it, because I assumed it was a bar that would be noisy and crowded; not the kind of place I really want to go to.
But it is famous for a reason: cliff diving. It is built high up and has several places where you can jump into the deep water. The locals show off, of course, by climbing high up on trees that look like they are on their last legs. From there they do several twists before plunging headfirst into the water. The tourists are more likely to use one of the reasonable heights that don’t involve going up the foliage.
Having no interest in drinking or eating there wasn’t much else to do. So I did the plunging from the highest tourist spot, because if you are going to do this, you have to do it right. I looked over the edge, and it suddenly appeared a lot higher than it used to. Still, friends are watching and I’m not going to disappoint them. So, shut off the brain and run forward! Okay, I’m in the air now. Shouldn’t I have hit the water already? Oh, there it is, coming up fast. That doesn’t look good. What position should I be in? I don’t know, my brain turned off several metres ago.
First time I landed on my rear end. It is probably going to bruise badly. There isn’t much to say about my second leap, but I should stress these are leaps/jumps and not dives. By the time the third leap rolled around I had learned to have your body as straight as possible. Unfortunately I have the instinct (from swimming lessons when I was little) to have your arms out so you don’t go deep into the water. My arms will really bruise I’m sure. Some friends were remarking on the loudness of the slap they made.
Then the sun was setting and, although there were lights on the water, they shut it down. For the best I’m sure. I wouldn’t want to leap in the dark. And I wouldn’t want to be in the water when a person diving in can’t see that I’m there. So I mingled with my friends. Thankfully we decided to leave early, because without the diving it is just like the resort, except you have to pay for stuff.
Unfortunately political instability hit Negril while we were out. People were protesting the wrongful death of an innocent businessman shot by the police. And to protest here, they block the road and light it on fire. A couple had tried to leave early by taxi and got stuck in the middle of it when the protesters were attacking a fire truck. They were able to get back to the cafe where they joined us on the bus. When we arrived, the police and army were cleaning up, and we got back safely, although it took quite some time and we contemplated taking a detour through the inland jungle.
Didn’t I have a pair of sunglasses when I left?
I slept well. I got to bed early and got up an a not-unreasonable time. I found that breakfast is much better if you go early: fried plantains, waffles, plums. Usually I’ve just been going to the omelette station, but I’m sick of those now. Toast! Could be better jams.
With my new powers of alertness I went scuba diving: 55 feet maximum depth for 35 minutes at a place called “The Arches”. It was nice and I was able to take some pictures with my cheap underwater camera. No idea how they will turn out though. The cool part was going under the arches, some of them fairly wide. Almost spelunking in a way. I was actually surprised there wasn’t more air stuck to the ceilings. How does it get out considering how many divers have gone through? Is the rock porous? Do fish steal it? Does the ocean absorb it?
I am not eating right. For a free, all-you-can-eat buffet almost constantly available, I seem to be unable to eat anything. I get up late, so I eat breakfast at about 10:30 to eleven o’clock. Lunch is server an hour later, but I’m not hungry, so I don’t eat anything by the time it ends. I get peckish around six o’clock when the beach restaurant is shutting down. Then dinner at seven o’clock is when I’m most likely to eat my next meal. If things are interesting, I’ll miss the midnight buffet when it ends at two in the morning.
Did I mention I’m a touch hungry right now.
After dinner there were parties. I hung out with interesting people and beautiful women. I learned a new, fun, technique for taking pictures in nightclubs. I watched people snort cocaine for the first time. I did karaoke. I had nice conversations with old friends and new.
For instance, I might be getting this wrong because his accent is sometimes hard to follow, but my roommate thinks he is in love. It’s that beautiful girl I met the day before halloween that seemed to like me to. I had been sensing it for awhile, especially when he didn’t sleep in his bed last night. And then there was the mood lighting in our room late this evening.
I’m supposed to be happy for him, aren’t I?
I seemed to be reasonably functional today. What did I do? I ate breakfast right before it closed. I then sunned myself for half an hour. I would have gone longer but I was sweating so much I wasn’t sure my sunscreen was staying on. Plus the magazine I was reading wasn’t as thrilling as advertised. (Does The Economist advertise itself as thrilling?) I then went to the official pool party and hung out there for awhile.
At around three I helped a model do a fashion shoot. Originally I was just acting as shade for a professional photographer, but he had to leave to do another shoot. I then used my camera for the next two hours and got some great shots. She liked what I got, and she got the pictures immediately. With the professional she didn’t know when she would be able to get them.
By the time that was all done it was evening and I still haven’t had a lunch. The only real calories I’ve had this afternoon are three dirty bananas; they look like milkshakes.
Being introspective, I think the reason I’m feeling good today is that I gave myself permission to have fun. After all the talk of yesterday, I’m trying to be more outgoing and not try to be cool. Have fun. Don’t overthink. It seems to be working.
Of course I tried to sleep in as much as possible, but breakfast ends at ten o’clock, and I was hungry. But after that, I was stumbling through the day.
I think the highlight of the day was at the pool party; there was a transparent inflatable ball that you could climb into. Then you can roll around in the pool for awhile, although rolling doesn’t actually move you at all. No friction. It is really hard to stand up. Interestingly, I had to be told to get out. I wasn’t feeling bad or anything, but I was getting red. Since you only have the limited supply of air that you brought with you into the ball, oxygen deprivation is a risk.
I was also asked by a gentleman and his wife if I was bi-sexual. I think this is the first time I’ve ever been propositioned. It’s a nice feeling to be on the other end. (Oh, and the answer is “No.”)
Tonight was the resort’s 29th anniversary, so they made a big spread. They were really promoting the lobster bisque, but now that I know I’m allergic to it, I had to make do with the turkey and stuffing. And some Jerk Chicken.
At dinner, I was practically falling into my meal. I didn’t think I could make the party at nine o’clock, so I collapsed into a gazebo/bed near the main dining area. I didn’t feel much better after an hour nap, but it was enough to supplement half of a 5-hour energy shot (i.e. a 2.5 hour energy shot) to last me eight hours. With new found energy I went to the next party.
That ended at about three in the morning, and I spent the rest of the time lounging in a hot tub with friends. I spent a lot of time talking with my therapy friend who continued to give good pointers. I know now how better to act at parties, but it will be hard to be extrovertive enough. I need to put a lot of work into my social skills.
I better get to bed if I want to get up early enough to eat breakfast.
I had a good evening. It wasn’t that well organized, and there was general milling about for a lot of it. A friend won the costume contest and the skit contest, and now they have another week in this resort available to them. The disco wasn’t that exciting, so we just hung out. And I spent a lot of the evening with a lovely lady from Seattle; unfortunately married, but she was nice to talk to.
I had a good time.
Now I’m tired. If I stayed up a bit longer I would probably see the sun rise. There is a jungle river rafting excursion that is in three and a half hours. I enjoyed it last year, but I think I’ll have to give it a miss this one.