Dreams of Death

I died in my dream last night. And not a death at the end of the dream that snaps me awake, but a death at the beginning of the dream.

I was at Staples, and something happened. Not sure what, but I died. Scott found my body and was seriously freaked out by it. I was brought to the hospital, and was still sort of alive, but then I died, and was standing next to my body, a ghost.

I followed the doctor as she went out to tell Judy I was dead. She was upset, but I spoke to her, telling her I was still around. At first she couldn’t hear me, but eventually she could, and I was able to talk to her.

I knew that my body could be repaired, that I could come back to life, but that it was risky, because it would take a week to repair my body, and most spirits faded out after 3 or 4 days. I explained to Judy what needed to be done to my body to get it working again, and she agreed to take care of it.

Then I was on the beach, walking over the sand dunes with Snooj. He thought I should move on, that it was too risky to try to hold out for my body, that I should embrace the next plane. I nodded and pretended to agree with him, but I was still planning to try and last long enough to get back to my body.

I knew that if I failed, one of two things would happen, either I would dissapate completely, or I would lose my memories and become a haunt, thumping around between planes, bumping against reality like a moth against a windowpane, barely noticable but disturbing.

As time went on, I began to weaken. I watched over the proceedures done to my body. As I was about to fade away, I remembered something, some key truth that gave me power, and I re-formed, stronger than ever.

Finally my body was ready, repaired and in a temporary coma. I flowed back into it, feeling stiff but back on the material plane.

Then I woke up.

It left me feeling oddly refreshed, with an appreciation for life, and a carpe-deim sort of mood about me.

“I hate video games”

Sometimes, someone I know says something so unexpected that I am taken aback, momentarily literally stopped in my tracks.

We were walking downstairs to get coffee, when my co-worker Lyn says “I hate video games”. Now, she’s a smart person, and this kind of blanket statement struck me as so short-sighted and ignorant that I was momentarily stunned.

It is one thing to condemn a work, or even a theme, but to condemn an entire medium seems like an awfully broad stroke.

It frustrates me when people have a narrow view of a medium because it is “new”, treating it as special or different because it’s not exactly the same as what came before it.

Comic books/graphic novels, for example – people make assumptions like “they are just for kids” or “they are a waste of space” or “they aren’t art” just because the few they have seen are less sophisticated (if they have even seen any, many judgements of this type are based on second- or third-hand information). But if they were to read Maus, could they then say that comics were not art, and a waste of space?

Video games are now in the same spot. Recently, Roger Ebert declared “video games can never be high art”. I strongly disagree, for a number of reasons. His main arguement is that because video games are interactive, they cannot be art, because the artist doesn’t have complete control over the viewer. Does this mean that scuptures are not art, because the viewer is free to walk around and see it from any angle? Or interactive art installations are not art, because they are interactive? Saying that interaction negates art, or relegates it to “low art” seems like a very limited viewpoint.

The other part of his statement, that video games “will never be” high art, is similarly limited in vision. He is making a firm prediction for all of time. Video games are in their infancy, but even now there are games that I would say qualify as art, such as “Ico” or “Flow”. I think his exposure to video games is also pretty limited, he has seen a handful of games and is basing his views of the entire medium on that small group. That would be like seeing “Son of the Mask,” “3 Ninjas,” “Kazam,” and “Lawnmower Man 2” and declaring that movies can never be high art.

In the end, I cannot contridict the statements “I hate video games” or “I think video games will never be high art”, because they are opinions. What I can do is strongly disagree, and offer my own point of view.


I’ve been doing a little slide scanning, when I was at my grandfather’s house after the funeral, I found a few trays of slides in his basement, under some odds and ends. I’ve scanned about 60 so far. A lot of the photos are over or under exposed, to the point of not being useful, the slides weren’t sorted, just slapped into trays. There are even black slides and end-of-roll slides in there.

Right now I’m just scanning them in and saving them, I chose to do them at 600 DPI, seems a reasonable tradeoff between quality, size and speed. If there are any standout images I’ll do touch up and restoration work on them.

Here’s kind of a fun one, it appears to be my parents dressed up for halloween, my mom looks like she’s dressed as Rosie the Riveter, my dad looks like he’s dressed as a millionaire.

Cleaner Freezer

I bought some more plastic containers and finished converting from bagged storage to plastic bin. Much cleaner!

cleaner freezer

p.s. the bottom shelf is Adam’s.

p.p.s. The Skinny Cow ice cream cones are super-delicious. (150 Calories, 3g fat, 3g fiber = 3 points)

Simpsons Movie

Saw the Simpsons Movie last night with Sarah. Good stuff. It was a little slow in a couple spots, but overall pretty funny.

Had a Homer Simpson moment on the way home from the theater – missed a turn, so down the road a bit went to turn around in a driveway. As I pulled into the driveway, my headlights fell on a sign saying “Do not turn around in this driveway.” D’oh!

Well, it was too late. I did anyway – I got away with it, and I’d do it again. You heard me.

Dreams of Gothic Real Estate

Had a strange dream last night. I forget most of it, but the last part went like this:

Neil has a house he is trying to sell. It is a large black Victorian house. I’m not sure where he got it, but he’s having a hard time selling it, so I go out to take a look at it. There are rumors that it is haunted or something.

It is a large, imposing structure, looking like a cross between a Victorian house and a church. There are large windows, the kind that are tall and rectangular and taper at the top to an arch, and divided into cells like stained glass. Except they are not stained glass, they are regular glass, and a number of the panes are broken. I wonder how much it will cost to replace all those custom panes.

Kind of like this, but without the tower, and add on an Addams Family type Victorian house section.

There is an old hearse in the driveway. I am convinced the house is a converted funeral home, but I am told it used to be the headquarters for a circus. When I go up to the front door, it has a brass plaque, saying something about the circus and the owners. I go inside.

It is set up like a museum, with an area for walking and displays on either side. The displays are plaster reliefs proclaiming the wonders of the circus. They are in the style of old woodcuts, but in high relief and painted in bright, glossy colors. One of them shows women whispering to one another. “If you hear, you’ll wish you’d seen!” the text below the women declares.

The style of the illustrations, although the composition had kind of a WWII propaganda poster feel.

There is a large sign pointing downstairs that says “See the blast site! Actual soil samples!” with a picture of a jeep in the desert or savanna. The people in the jeep look like they are going fast over bumpy terrain, they are holding onto their hats and pith helmets. I get the feeling it is something about World War One in Africa. There are two stairways going down, they both look like they go to the same landing. I take the one on the left.

The lower level is even more like a museum, with glass display cases, descriptive text plaques, and buttons you can press to start a narration or animation. The first one is like a huge terrarium, but filled mostly with dirt. There is a robotic arm with a scoop attached which is poised to scoop some of the dirt, like a mars rover. I press the button to start the display.

The display case lights up, and the robotic arm scoops some dirt into a container. A woman’s voice comes on, describing how the soil is from the original site where the bomb went off, and goes on to say something about soil analysis and stored memories.

The next display has a microscope and some flower petals. When I press the button, the flower petals flutter, blown by an unseen fan. The lights come on, but are flickering. A display screen comes on showing the microscope’s view, but I’m not sure what I’m looking at. The woman’s voice starts, but there is something wrong with the recording. “Conspiracy theorists believe… Conspiracy… Conspiracy theorists beli… Conspiracy th…” the voice repeats endlessly, stuck at the beginning of the lecture.

Before I can explore the rest of the exhibits to figure out what it’s all about, I wake up.