Category Archives: Dorky Dreams

While I Was Sleeping.

Last night I came home to find a pile of envelopes with my name on them.  They were from places like UCLA Health, Keck Medical Center of USC, Wells Fargo…oh, and that company I have to pay to keep our water on.

“Fuck, fuck, fuuuuuck” I muttered while sorting through the pile of bills, bills, biiiillllls.

My roommate laughed.  I laughed.  Then I sighed.

“Dude, I know that once 2014 gets here my life is still gonna be my life, but I really need 2013 to be over.”

“Yeah,” she said, her tone softening.  “You’ve had a pretty rough year.”

I had a difficult time getting to sleep.  When I go to bed anxious — as in, “I’m lying down — why is my heart racing?” anxious — I have a tendency to, ya know, fall asleep for a few seconds and then wake up gasping for air.  It’s very strange.  Eventually I’ll fall asleep and stay asleep and everything will work the way it should, but during those moments where I find myself suddenly sitting up in my bed panting…well, it’s terrifying.  I described it to a doctor recently.  She still said I was healthy enough to be operated on (thus the bills), and she turned out to be correct about that.  I’m basically saying I don’t have regular Sleep Apnea.  I don’t think.  I mean, when I go to bed in a perfectly fine mood without a care in the world (rather, with a manageable amount of typical day-to-day worries), I sleep like a friggin’ log.

Anyway.  Enough about my myriad anxiety manifestations.

When I finally conked out, I dreamt I was at a party.  I don’t remember who hosted the party, but it took place at a beautiful cottage in a picturesque, woodsy location.  Imagine a Thomas Kinkade painting and then add a bunch of people standing around with red SOLO cups.  Everyone was outside talking, and CHRIS O’DOWD was there.  That’s right, ladies — Chris Friggin’ O’Dowd, the cutie-est, most patootie-est Irishman around.

Here he is in HBO's "Family Tree."  ::Sigh::

Here he is in HBO’s “Family Tree.” ::Sigh::

You guys, he was so into me.  Yes, in the dream.  He was…he was just down.  He was so down.  He wanted The Steff.  More than that, though…he seemed to genuinely like The Steff.  He kept smiling at me and laughin’ at my jokes and givin’ me compliments like, “You’re so interesting!”  I was so happy, you guys.  I was so tremendously happy.  Somehow, for some reason, Chris O’Dowd wanted to hang with little old me, and it felt perfectly natural and perfectly perfect.  He was a gentleman and a sweetheart and I felt completely at ease with him.

Now, years ago, I described a celebrity-themed dream to my first therapist (I say this like I’ve had dozens…I haven’t).  In my dream, Dustin Hoffman guided me across a busy crosswalk on the Las Vegas strip.  He looked me in the eyes and told me something profound, which I ended up forgetting, and then I woke up.  My shrink was trying to help me figure out why Dustin Hoffman, of all the artists in the world, was the one who was offering me guidance.  To her, it was no accident that my brain conjured up images of Dusty while I slept — there was a very real explanation.  You can read about it here.

So, why, out of all the cute men in the world, was Chris O’Dowd the one making me feel special at a party?  I don’t know the man.  I don’t read internet gossip about him and I don’t know anything about his personal life besides the fact that he’s married (to a woman who has her own interesting damn career).  What I do know is that I find him very funny in his movies and television shows, and I find him very charming in interviews.  I love that he was on Girls.  I love that he was in Bridesmaids.  I love that he was on a Christopher Guest show.  I love that he stars in the film adaptation of one of my favorite books (that happens to have a kickass female protagonist).  I love that he co-created and co-wrote a comedy series about a little boy with an imaginary friend.  It’s called Moone Boy.  It’s on Hulu.  It’s the sweetest show ever.  Watch it now.  

 

"Moone Boy"

“Moone Boy”

If I ever learned that Chris O’Dowd was a total asshole, I would not only be very disappointed, I would also be very surprised.

Still, why him?

Because he’s entertaining.  Because he seems like he’d be fun to hang with.  Because he’s creative and has interesting ideas.  Because he’s not a Hollywood dickhead and his beard is awesome and I love his curly hair.  He’s unpretentious.  He’s hilarious and OUT THERE without being over the top.   He’s driven.  He’s successful.  He gets shit done.  And dude, when you watch Bridesmaids, you’re supposed to root for Kristen Wiig to end up with Chris O’Dowd, not Jon Hamm.  And ya know what?  It works.  Ya don’t sit there thinking, “Yeah RIGHT.  Like this Irish dude could ever upstage The Hamm.”  Ya sit there thinking, “Girl, he made you a cappuccino.  Calm down and get back into that damn bed.”

But really, I want to wake up tomorrow and find Chris O’Dowd in my room holding a cappuccino talking about how he wants to bake all day.  I would feed him allll the cupcakes.

Perhaps I’ll dream of that tonight.  But for now, back to last night’s dream…which took a rather dark turn right after I told Chris O’Dowd I was going to go inside the cottage for a drink.

“I’ll save you your spot,” he said, smiling.

By “spot,” he meant the spot where I was sitting.  At that point, everyone at the party was sitting on a wooden railing that lined a concrete walkway that lead to the cottage.  I smiled at Chris O’Dowd.  Then I stood up and walked away.  Moments later, I heard a loud CRACK.  Then I heard screams.  Then I heard a large THUD.  I turned around and saw that the wooden railing had snapped, sending the guests tumbling to the concrete.

They all landed on their heads.

Including Chris O’Dowd.

I screamed.  I looked around to see if I was the only one who hadn’t been sitting on the railing when it snapped.  I saw one dude standing by the railing — his eyes were popping out of his skull as he he struggled to remove his cell phone from his pocket.  He kept dropping it and picking it up and crying.  I ran over to him and yanked his phone out of his hands and called 9-11.  After I hung up I ran over to Chris O’Dowd to see if he was ok.  He was unresponsive.  As I sat next to him trying to wake up him, I noticed that a few of the people who had fallen had opened their eyes.  A few of them were wriggling around, trying to stand up.  One of them looked directly at me — his eyes were completely white.  Completely.  No pupils.  No irises.  He started grunting.

Like a zombie.

Then they all started wriggling and grunting and murmuring and I was terrified.

I looked toward Chris O’Dowd, but he was gone.

Just then, the paramedics arrived.    They did a quick examination of the guests who had fallen.

“They all have brain damage,” one paramedic told me.

I gasped.

Then my alarm went off.  And I woke up.

Perhaps I need to start looking on the brighter side.  Ya know.  Just bright enough to prevent future dreams of finding a worthy companion and then immediately losing him to a freak accident.  Perhaps this is simply a dramatic re-telling of every relationship I’ve ever been in.  Perhaps this is an unearthly, yet spot-on representation of the last year of my life.

Perhaps all of the above?  And perhaps tonight I’ll watch some Moone Boy before bed…just to help put me in a slightly better mood.

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I Had a Dream, Joe.

All right.

I dreamt last night that I was flying in an airplane to some place.  I don’t remember where.  I don’t think it was ever explicitly stated where I was going.  All my friends and family were on the plane, too, along with the cast of season four of RuPaul’s Drag Race.  Best show on television, really.

I was standing near the Emergency Exit when, suddenly, it opened up and a man walked in.  He was in his 60’s, with a shaggy gray beard and a bald head.  He was wearing a t-shirt and jeans that had some white paint splattered on them.  Basically, he looked like an electrician from Santa Cruz.

In REAL LIFE, the image of the paint-splattered Santa Cruz 60-something makes me think of Richard, a man I met my freshman year of college.  I was downtown one night doing some shopping when I heard someone playing Bob Dylan songs on guitar.  I walked over and sat down on the sidewalk and watched Richard for about 45 minutes.  He played “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” and “Idiot Wind,” for God’s sake.  Of course, he kept forgetting the lyrics, so I kept having to sing loudly to get him back on track.  He was absolutely HORRENDOUS, but I was in heaven.  For an encore, he sang some Alice Cooper.  He fell to his knees every time he slurred, “I’M EIGHTEEN!”

It was a great night.  I mean, it was completely weird, but, okay, whatever.  The DREAM.

So this Santa Cruz-like man stepped onto the plane while it was 30,000-some-odd feet in the air, and he started kinda babbling at me.  Being immune to strange men babbling at me (IE: Richard), I tried making conversation with him.  He pulled out a gun.  I fell to the floor and rolled underneath some seats.  I grabbed a blanket and wrapped it around my body, then I wrapped my arms around my head.  I somehow figured that maybe, if Richard actually decided to hunker down and shoot underneath the seat, it would be better if he got me in the arm than in the head.  I began pondering the possibility of my arm bone actually stopping the bullet before it got to my brain, when I remembered, “Wait a second, this is all gonna get worked out right away.  All the queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race are training to become policewomen!”

I waited for one of the queens to come to the rescue.  Nothing happened.  Then, I heard a gunshot.  I peaked out from my hiding place, and it appeared that Richard had fired a warning shot in the air.  I got up and ran to the back of the plane and hid in the small space between the bathroom and the little kitchenette area where the flight attendants hide the coffee.  You know what I mean.

I waited there for a few seconds, and FINALLY, thank you JESUS, the incomparable Sharon Needles stood up from her seat with her gun in her hand.

Now, the best part about dreams, really, is that certain things take place that only make sense to the person who is doing the dreaming.  You see, in my dream, Sharon Needles looked like Megan from Mad Men.  Oh, she was definitely Sharon Needles, but she appeared in my dream as Mrs. Draper herself.

In REAL LIFE I’m a huge fan of Mad Men, and I really, really like the new Mrs. Draper.  Sometimes, though, I forget her character’s damn name.  To make it easier for myself, I often refer to her as “Sharon Needles.”  I’m okay with the fact that I’m the only person who thinks they look alike.

It’s stupid, I know.  Anyway, Sharon Needles was played by Mrs. Draper, aka: Sharon Needles.

She stood up, held her gun above her head, and, with trademark Sharon Needles confidence, she bellowed the dumbest freaking drag pun I’ve ever heard in my life:

CUNT OR QUIT, PEOPLE!”

Yes.  That was what my subconscious came up with.  In real life, I hardly EVER use THAT WORD.  In fact, I really only use it while driving in terrible traffic.  I’m never the girl who shows up somewhere and says to her friends, “What’s up, you stupid THAT WORDS?”  I find that behavior rather deplorable.

But anyway, Sharon Needles used THAT WORD in her rallying cry.  (I like that she used THAT WORD as a verb.  Ya know, in the way that you can BE a “bitch” and also participate in the act of “bitching,” which is “to bitch.”  I suppose she meant that in order to survive, someone was going to have to step it up and get things done.  To take some serious action.  To THAT WORD.)   She then ran down the aisle to the front of the plane and shot the unwieldy Richard.

We landed.  I don’t know where.  I have a vague memory of standing in the hallway of the on-campus apartment I lived in my sophomore year of college and having a very heated discussion with Sharon Needles about whether or not I liked her.  I kept insisting to Sharon Needles that she was one of my all-time favorite human-beings to ever walk the earth and I had no idea what gave her the impression that I ever, for one second, felt otherwise.  Eventually, she believed I was being genuine.  We stopped fighting.

Suddenly, I was on a plane again.  This time, not only was I joined by my friends, my family, and the gun-toting queens of season four of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I was also joined by my other favorite freaking people, the Bad Seeds.  Not Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, just the Bad Seeds.  That’s right — Nick Cave was not on the plane.  He was somewhere else doing Lord knows what.

I remember talking to him earlier in the dream outside of Pink’s Hot Dogs in Hollywood.  We were having our picture taken together, and the photographer told us that the flash of the camera might kill us.  We were both scared, but we let the photographer take pictures anyway.  The photographer seemed to really enjoy taking his time while counting, “One…two…three…”.  I was tempted to run away a few times, but somehow I mustered the courage to stay put.  Nick Cave and I both felt somewhat rejuvenated when the photographer finally thanked us for our time and walked away.  That is all I remember about any interaction with Nick Cave.

Anyway, back to the plane.

I was not all that upset by Nick Cave’s absence, because I was seated next to a very young and very cute incarnation of Bad Seeds guitarist (drummer, bassist, organist, backing vocalist, freaking tambourine shakist…) Mick Harvey.

So, okay.  In REAL LIFE, I haven’t stopped listening to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds since February of this year.  I picked up a copy of Let Love In at Rasputin’s in Berkeley, California during a totally weird and utterly fantastic road trip I took by myself after quitting my job.  Ever since listening to “Loverman” on repeat from Alameda to San Francisco, I really haven’t found any reason to listen to any other band.  Like, really.  There’s just no reason.  I mean, I listened to both Grinderman albums and I liked ’em just fine, but it’s hard for me to declare myself a Grinderman fan.  Had it not been for the Grinderman side project, Mick Harvey may not have left the Bad Seeds.  For as much fun as it is to put on “No Pussy Blues” and jump around, nothing beats grooving to “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!”  (Well, okay, it’s only fair to mention that based on what I’ve read, which is mostly speculation, the musical rift between Nick Cave and Mick Harvey began to take form as early as The Boatman’s Call days.  Seriously, though, The Boatman’s Call is worth a hundred rifts — the same just cannot be said about a Grinderman album.)  Now that the only long-standing Bad Seeds left are Nick Cave and Thomas Wydler, I worry that the next Bad Seeds album (if there is a next Bad Seeds album) will just be, well, a Grinderman album.

So anyway, in REAL LIFE, I’ve been paying more attention to the other Bad Seeds lately, especially Mick Harvey.  I’ve determined that while I have absolutely no right to judge any of the Bad Seeds as human-beings because I’ve never met them and they don’t know who the Hell I am and my relationship with all of them only exists in my head, it’s probably somewhat safe to say that Mick Harvey is one of the more modest Bad Seeds.  Look at him.

He’s just a baby right here.  Look at that sweet little face.  Now look at him during his Birthday Party days.

Mick Harvey is in the middle.  Now, the Birthday Party days were dark days for everyone in the band, but Mick Harvey consistently looked the most conservative.  I mean, this isn’t that wild of a picture, but this is still a good example of what I’m talking about.  For instance, I’m sure the hair product was mandatory, but Mick Harvey’s hairstyle is definitely the least ostentatious.  Also, observe how he isn’t looking into the camera with either Nick Cave’s “You want me SO BAD” look (with which I have no problem — he’s the freaking frontman), or Rowland S. Howard’s “I’M A COLD ASS ROCKSTAR” look.  He’s just like, “Take the picture, please.”

And look at him now.  He’s aged very well.  He’s just a cute Australian man.

ENOUGH OF REAL LIFE AND REAL LIFE MICK HARVEY.  BACK TO MY DREAM.

So, I was sitting next to young Mick Harvey.  Again, I don’t know where we were going.  Mick Harvey and I were having a lovely conversation when a voice came on over the speakers announcing that our plane was being hijacked.  Yes.  Mick Harvey and I were concerned, but not too concerned — after all, we both knew we were on a plane full of drag queens with guns.  It was only a matter of time before someone saved us.

SUDDENLY, our plane took a freaking nose dive.  It was seriously just falling out of the sky, face first.  Mick Harvey wasn’t able to hold it together — he started to freak out.  I closed my eyes and tried to remain calm.  I was terrified, of course, but if I was going to die, I didn’t want to spend my last few seconds in an agitated state of mind.  Instead, I wanted to die knowing that I was on a plane full of friends and family.  And Bad Seeds.  And drag queens.  And that the Bad Seeds and the drag queens were all [somehow] close, personal friends of mine.  I mean, I had everything I wanted, really.  Why be too upset?

One of the men hijacking us (another old white dude with a gray beard) started running up and down the aisle threatening to shoot anyone who moved.  Now, that did upset me.  I didn’t wanna get shot.  I was fine with the plane crash because there was nothing I could do to prevent that from happening.  But getting shot?  I wasn’t gonna give up without a fight.  I grabbed Mick Harvey and led him to the back of the plane.  I locked us in the bathroom and instructed Mick Harvey to stay quiet.  A few seconds later, we opened the door and peaked out.  Who was strutting by but Miss Congeniality herself, Latrice Royale.

In REAL LIFE, Latrice Royale is too good for this world.  She may not have won the competition, but she won my undying affection, that’s for damn sure.  She was in prison, dude.  She has seen some serious shit in her time.  And she’s FIERCE.

She really never got bitchy to anyone.  Sure, she had moments of unrivaled sass, but she didn’t cause any damn drama.  During the Drag Race reunion, she offered some of the best advice I’ve ever heard in all my 25 years.  You really should watch this; it’s short:

Trust me, I’ve had Latrice Royale in my head a lot during the last few weeks.

So, back to the dream.  There I was with [seriously cute] Mick Harvey, peering out of the plane’s bathroom.  We saw Latrice Royale strutting down the aisle holding her gun over her head.  She stopped, posed, and cried, “THE CHUNK RISES TO THE TOP OF THE CREAM!”

What the Hell, right?  In REAL LIFE, my friend, Alison, showed me endless videos of Macho Man Randy Savage during the Santa Cruz phase of my kickass road trip.  At one point, after my iPod was stolen from my car, I started to feel rather shitty.  I even toyed with the idea of driving back home.  I told Alison to put on Macho Man, and she selflessly indulged me.

 

That explains that.  Yes.  BACK TO THE DREAM!

Mick Harvey and I waited in the bathroom for something to happen.  Suddenly, we felt someone gain control of the planeLatrice Royale came on over the speaker and said, “All right, honeys.  I am gonna land this plane, but y’all need to grab a parachute and jump out.”

Mick Harvey and I ran out of the bathroom and grabbed two parachutes.  The Emergency Exit was already open, and the rest of the plane’s passengers — my friends and family and the Bad Seeds and the drag queens — were all hovering in the air, holding hands in a giant circle.  Mick Harvey put on his parachute and told me to take his hand.

I was too scared.  I didn’t know what string I had to pull to release the parachute, AND, to make matters worse, the parachute’s harness wasn’t fastening on me correctly.  I told Mick Harvey to go without me.  He jumped, and joined the circle with no problem at all.  Everyone turned to look at me and begged me to jump.  I was terrified.  I was worried that maybe my parachute would fall off me and I would plummet to my death.  I was worried that maybe I wouldn’t pull the right string…and I would plummet to my death.  Death death death death DEATH.  The weird part (yes, aside from all the other obvious “weird parts”), is that just a few minutes before, when the plane was falling out of the sky, I was able to remain calm.  The same thing happened when that creepy photographer at Pink’s Hot Dogs told Nick Cave and me that his camera might kill us.  In the face of actual disaster, I was somewhat composed.  In the face of figurative “WHAT IF?” disasters, however, I was a total mess.

I looked out at my flying circle of loved ones.  Mick Harvey was holding hands with Blixa Bargeld, the other Bad Seeds guitarist who sadly left the band.  They both looked at me, let go of each other’s hands, and yelled at me to come join the circle.  I looked down at my pitiful parachute.  There were two straps in the front of the harness thingy that were supposed to stay together, but they kept coming unhooked.  I took both straps in my right hand, took the parachute string in my left hand, and jumped out of the plane.  My landing was somewhat bumpier than everybody else’s, but I still landed safely.

The next thing I remember is hanging out inside of what appeared to be the arcade of Circus Circus in Las Vegas.  Blixa Bargeld and I were standing in line to ride the Merry-Go-Round.  He looked rather intense.  I was in heaven.  I thought, “Maybe I’ll get to sit next to him on the next flight!”

Blixa Bargeld was not young, emaciated, oddly beautiful Blixa Bargeld…

…he was this era of Blixa Bargeld.  And he didn’t give a shit.

The last thing I remember is sitting on yet another plane, next to my REAL LIFE friend, Veronica.  We were talking about our near death experience with the hijackers, and I was telling her all about how Mick Harvey and I locked ourselves in the bathroom and how we saw Latrice Royale strut by on her way to save the day.  Veronica and I laughed uproariously at what a character Latrice Royale is, and then we pulled out our finger puppets (which we do, in fact, own in REAL LIFE) and entertained Blixa Bargeld with a rendition of “The Origin of Love” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  Of course, I use the word “entertained” rather loosely — I think we enjoyed our performance more than he did.  Still, it was a thrill to be near him.

::Sigh::

In REAL LIFE, I woke up in a frightfully good mood, and not just because of the dream.  Everything is finally falling into place.  Training for my new job starts in two days, and I couldn’t be happier.  After months of feeling like a useless waste of space, I’ll finally have a reason to get up in the morning.  I’ll have a reason to wear makeup.  I’ll have a reason to shower.  Like Latrice Royale said, it’s time to “Get up, look SICKENING, and make them eat it.”  I’m so damn ready.

While my life seemed like it was spiraling out of control for a little while, I realize now that I had some incredible back up.  Things got bad, but there was always something or someone reminding me to just keep going.  I had my family.  I had my friends.  Excellent music.  Excellent drag queens.  What more does a person need, really?  Eventually, when it was time to just stop it with all the, “I’m scared” nonsense, I [somehow] managed to psyche myself up and take a risk. The photographer didn’t kill me with his death camera and the parachute didn’t fail me.  In the end, I made it through reasonably unscathed.  I just had to trust myself, really.

I have to say one more time, though, that while I do give myself some credit for surviving the last four months, I probably couldn’t have done it without Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.  That’s just a fact.

Here is a video of Nick Cave performing “I Had a Dream, Joe” on David Letterman.  The LETTERMAN HOUSE BAND is playing with him.  They are…they are not the Bad Seeds.  The only other Bad Seed present?  Mick Harvey.

One…two…three…

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Got A Machinehead Better Than The Rest, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Play The Drums.



Last night I dreamt that I had tickets to see Bush. I’m not talking about the corrupt asshole who shit all over the world for eight years — I’m talking about the post-grunge band. The post-grunge band formed by those guys from London. The post-grunge band formed by those guys from London who gave us “Glycerine,” a beautiful song of poetic proportions…


It must be your skin I’m sinking in
Must be for real ’cause now I can feel
And I didn’t mind, it’s not my kind
It’s not my time to wonder why…

…and “Comedown,” a song rich in symbolism, and…rhymes…

No one knows never will
Mostly me but mostly you
What do you say do you do
When it all comes down

…and “Swallowed,” a beautiful song about…something…

Warm sun feed me up And I’m leery loaded up Loathing for a change And I slip some boil away
All right, so lyrics were never Gavin Rossdale’s strong suit. The question of “Nirvana or Pearl Jam?” will never expand to become “Nirvana or Pearl Jam or Bush?” Never. Likewise, the question of “Kurt Cobain or Eddie Vedder” will never expand to become “Kurt Cobain or Eddie Vedder or Gavin Rossdale?” However, if the question were, “Would you rather spend the night with Kurt Cobain or Eddie Vedder or Gavin Rossdale,” I gotta say, plenty of people would answer….

“Wait, who’s the last person? His name sounds familiar.”
“The lead singer of Bush.”
“BUSH! Oh my God, I remember them! That guy was hot! So wait, what was the question?”

In my dream last night, Bush was playing in someone’s backyard. (Perhaps that was my unconscious’ attempt at wit?) A couple hundred people were in attendance. There was some BBQ action goin’ on and everyone was really laid back and cool. I think I was there by myself, actually, which is odd, because I don’t know how the Hell anyone could say, “No” to, “Hey, wanna come with me to see Bush perform at a backyard BBQ?”

I was hangin’ out against a white picket fence, eating and drinking and chatting, when the beautiful Englishman himself approached me. He said, “We need someone to play drums for us tonight. You wanna play?” I said, “I don’t know how.” He said, “It doesn’t matter. I like your vibe.”

The sound check started, and Gavin Rossdale and I got to talking. He was very nice, and as our conversation went on, I began to develop a bonafide crush on the guy. Gwen Stefani was nowhere to be seen, and, figuring she could have very well played drums that night, I jumped to the dream conclusion that she and her hubby were no longer together.

Sound check ended and Gavin Rossdale went to get some food. He said, “I’ll be right back.” Ya know, to reassure me that he wanted to continue our conversation. I sat down on the ground and leaned against the white picket fence and waited for him to return. Suddenly, a tall man in a white suit approached me. I looked up, and Holy Shit, it was Michael Jordan. He said, “Hello, there.” I said, “Hi…Michael Jordan…”. Suddenly, all the Bush fans became quiet and turned to watch the interaction between Michael Jordan and me. Also, the backyard was no longer a backyard, but a gymnasium.

Man, that Michael Jordan has a filthy mouth!

Michael Jordan wanted me bad — so bad he was willing to say the dirtiest, freakiest things to me to persuade me to ditch Gavin Rossdale. Now, in real life my dad once told me that the golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife were swingers, and that Michael Jordan had once had a playful evening with Phil’s wife. When I heard this, I wasn’t sure if my dad was referring to the basketball legend or a golfer by the same name. I said, “Wait, Michael Jordan? As in…”. My mom, God bless her, chimed in and said, “Michael Jordan. The basketball player from the Bugs Bunny.” Yes. She literally said, “From the Bugs Bunny,” implying that my only exposure to Michael Jordan had been through the movie Space Jam.

Anyway, in the dream I remembered the bit about swinging, and I got very nervous. I thought, “Shit, if he’s really into that stuff then he’ll stop at nothing!” I did my best to hide my nervousness and stuck to saying things like, “I’m flattered, but I’m having a great time here and I don’t feel like leaving just yet,” and, “Ya know, I can’t ditch these guys just yet — I have to play drums.”

I don’t remember exactly how I got Michael Jordan to leave me alone. He did, eventually, walk away, and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Everyone asked about what Michael Jordan said to me, but I didn’t want to repeat any of it. T’was too nasty.

I waited around for Gavin Rossdale to return. I waited. And waited. And waited. And that bastard never came back to me. I didn’t get to play the drums, I didn’t get to have my night with Gavin Rossdale, and I didn’t even get to hear “Machinehead.”
Oh well. In the end, I’d say it was an interesting evening.



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A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes…In Which Case, What The Hell?

If you’ve been friends with me long enough for me to tell you about my bizarre dreams, then you know my dreams are rather intricate. Whenever I tell someone about a dream I just had, that someone usually says something like, “Wow…you remember a lot more about your dreams than I do,” or, “Wow…what a vivid imagination, Steff.”

I’m always somewhat surprised when I hear these reactions. For whatever reason, I have managed to maintain a “Doesn’t Everybody?” sort of outlook when it comes to my freaky memory and my freaky nocturnal adventures. (My dear friend, Kaley, is an exception. Her dreams tend to be as strange as mine. Thank God.)

All of my dreams, while utterly fantastic, tend to feature realistic elements of my personality that only arise at the most inconvenient moments. For example, a few years ago I had a dream I had a chance to score with an irresistible young British man, and as he was leading me up some stairs to his bedchamber I realized that beneath my party dress I was wearing Enormous Granny Panties. No, ladies, I don’t mean “Granny Panties” as in your typical full-ass underwear — these things went up way above my hips. My actual hips, that is, as opposed to the area where those Godforsaken low-rise jeans cling. Now, I don’t wear Enormous Granny Panties everyday. No. Not quite EVERY day…but wearing them under a “Beyonce, can you handle this?” kind of dress is definitely something I would do. I would assume that my dress would stay on, and, therefore, I may as well wear comfy undergarments.

You may have read about the time I got Jack Nicholson a bit excited when I gave him a hug. (http://thegraduate-steffic.blogspot.com/2010/08/slightly-more-sane-still-fcking-crazy.html) You may also have read about the time Dustin Hoffman visited me in my sleep and offered me his Jedi guidance. (http://thegraduate-steffic.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-spirit-animal-is-dustin-hoffman.html) Both dreams had realistic elements — Jack was coming over to watch a Laker game with my dad, and I met Dustin because I was disgusted by the glucose-free pomegranate martini that was being offered at the bar where my friends were chillin’. Well, last night I had another dream involving a celebrity, and, I have to say, I find it both hilarious and somewhat frustrating that even in my dreams I’m a total paranoid dork.

All right. So last summer I got into the habit of falling asleep to the movie Tropic Thunder. Since then, there have been many films in my What Do I Fall Asleep To Tonight? rotation, including:

1.) Taxi Driver (Always asleep before, “You talkin’ to me?”)
2.) The Deer Hunter (Always asleep before, “MAO!”)
3.) Raging Bull (Always asleep before, “You fuck my wife?”)
4.) A Streetcar Named Desire (Always asleep before, “STELLA!!!”)
5.) Last Tango in Paris (Always asleep before, “Go get the butter.”)

Lately, my bedtime story of choice has been True Romance (1993), starring Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette, written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott. (No, I do not believe this movie would have been better if Tarantino had directed it. I believe this movie would have been longer if Tarantino had directed it. I love Tarantino. The End.) According to imdb.com, the plot synopsis is as follows: “Clarence marries hooker Alabama, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood, while the owners of the coke try to reclaim it.” While I agree that yes, that is pretty much the plot, I have to say this movie is also — surprise surprise — a love story. Don’t forget, the movie is called True Romance, and truthfully, I consider it one of the most romantic movies I’ve ever seen. I guess that makes me a bit screwy by society’s bullshit Nights In Rodanthe standards, but hey — FUCK society’s bullshit Nights In Rodanthe standards.

The movie begins with Mr. Slater at a bar talking about Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock. He says, ”In Jailhouse Rock he was everything rockabilly’s about. I mean, he is rockabilly. Mean, surly, nasty, rude. In that movie he couldn’t give a fuck about nothing except rockin’ and rollin’, living fast, dying young and leaving a good-looking corpse.” He says this in close-up, and when the camera pulls back, we see that he’s, well, not really talking to anyone, or at least not to anyone who’s actually listening. There’s a woman sitting to his left, puffing away at a cigarette, looking somewhat intrigued, somewhat bored. Indifferent, really. Mr. Slater works up the gonads to ask her out:

Clarence Worley: How ’bout you go to the movies with me tonight?
Lucy: What are we gonna see?
Clarence Worley: A Sonny Chiba triple feature. The Streetfighter, Return of the Streetfighter, and Sister of the Streetfighter.
Lucy: Who’s Sonny Chiba?
Clarence Worley: (somewhat taken aback) Who is Sonny Chiba? He is… he is bar none, the greatest actor working in martial arts movies today.
Lucy: (genuinely confused, unless she’s really just as bad of an actress as I think she is) You wanna take me to a kung fu movie?
Clarence Worley: (bashful) Three kung fu movies.

She turns him down, of course. Mr. Slater looks a bit bummed for a second, but he gets over the rejection and goes to the movies by himself.

Yes, I identify with this scene. Yes, I often find myself babbling about movies that nobody gives a shit about (which, in my opinion, is everyone else’s own damn fault). I moved back to Agoura fucking Hills on July 13th because there was going to be a showing of The Godfather at the Regency Theater on the 14th that I could not possibly miss. Some of the best dates I ever had with dudes were centered around either seeing movies in a theater or watching movies at my humble abode. I’m a movie freak. It’s true. Therefore, when Mr. Slater meets Miss Arquette at the Sonny Chiba triple feature and sparks fly, I swoon.

Finding true love via cinema is one thing, but let me tell you, the first time I ever saw the scene where Mr. Slater comes home and tells Miss Arquette that he’s just killed her pimp and she says, “I think what you did was so romantic,” I was thinking the same exact thing. And the scene where they make love in the phone booth? HELLO.

As far as Mr. Slater goes, he’s all right by me. I know he ran in to some trouble involving drugs, but hey, that’s par for the course in Hollywood. I consider it a huge injustice that Charlie Sheen gets to film an indefinite amount of episodes of 2 1/2 Men while poor Mr. Slater is lucky if he gets a guest role on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Mr. Slater is way hotter, I’m not gonna lie. Maybe it’s all in the Jack Nicholson impression, but truly, I don’t care. I’d watch kung-fu movies with him any day.

All right. So I’m a weirdo who thinks True Romance and Last Tango in Paris are two of the most romantic movies out there. Moving on, now, to what this has to do with anything at all.

Last night, as I have for several nights now, I fell asleep while watching True Romance. I dreamt that I was in a large room with three king-sized beds. I was in the room with Mr. Slater, and yes, I’m talkin’ 1990’s Mr. Slater. We were kissing. It was raining outside. It was hot. We made our way to one of the beds. We, uh, mounted the bed. Mr. Slater said, “This is the bed where I lost my virginity.” Weird, eh? I said, “Cool.” We continued kissing, although I could tell Mr. Slater wanted to take things to the next level. Goddammit, even Dream Steff can’t handle that stuff smoothly. Mr. Slater tried to remove some clothing, and, ya know, I asked him what he was doing. He straight up told me what was on his mind, as if I hadn’t already figured it out.

Sigmund Freud said that dreams are wishes. Explain, therefore, why my response to Mr. Slater’s advances was, “When was the last time you got checked for STD’s?”

Talk about the Blue Balls Heard Round The World. Mr. Slater looked at me like I was insane. He said, “Well, how ‘bout we just do it now, I’ll get tested tomorrow, and I’ll let you know what the results are.” I said “No.” It wasn’t “the right time.” Then, in true Steff Callas Dream fashion, Mr. Slater said, “Well, can I at least see your cute little dub?” Dub. My “dub.” My “DUB.” MY DUB. Dream Steff did NOT show Mr. Slater her “dub,” for Dream Steff is a lady.

Umm, yeah. I’ve now shared that with the internet, or BLOGGED, if you prefer. I’m not ashamed. I’m not embarrassed. I’m just…confused. Again.

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Slightly More Sane, Still F*cking Crazy

I’ve been crying my eyes out at night lately and I’m loving it.

I’ve been told that it’s the key to mental health. At least that’s what my shrink told me right before I moved away from Santa Cruz. I was telling her that I had watched the Woody Allen movie Everyone Says I Love You the night before, and that I started crying rather dramatically when Woody sang, “I’m through with love, I’ll never fall again…”. It wasn’t a particularly sad moment in terms of the plot. Woody was simply standing alone in his apartment looking longingly out the window singing a sad love song, and yet that image was all it took to bring me to tears. Lots of them. She told me that because I was just beginning to learn how to be vulnerable again, I may start crying at seemingly random moments, “Even while watching a silly Woody Allen movie,” she added with a smile. She also said to me, “I think if you keep crying you won’t have any more panic attacks. You may have one, maybe two…”

The idea of eventually conquering this whole panic thing is more appealing to me than a soaking wet Stanley Kowalski fresh out of anger management. Needless to say, I started to make damn sure to cry my eyes out whenever I felt the inclination to do so. If good ol’ Woody Allen reminded me of my past heartbreak, I allowed the water works to run their course. This fairly simple exercise seemed to work: I didn’t feel so tightly wound, I was sleeping like a baby at night, and, more importantly, I wasn’t having panic attacks.

It was during this relatively healthy period that Dustin Hoffman visited me in a dream and told me he was my spirit guide. (If ya missed hearing about that, you can catch up here: http://thegraduate-steffic.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-spirit-animal-is-dustin-hoffman.html). I was already feeling great thanks to my weeping regimen, but after meeting Dusty in Las Vegas I was just plain giddy. For weeks. I even felt giddy the first few weeks I was back in Agoura. I wasn’t worrying about the job market or My Future or the fact that I now share a wall with my parents — I was only concerned with my Netflix queue. My only mistake, which turned out to be huge, was that I didn’t allow myself any time to really think about how my new [old] surroundings made me feel. When people would ask me how my transition was going, I would use my automatic I-Don’t-Give-A-Shit tone and say, “Eh, it’s fine.” In reality, I had no idea how the transition was going. I hadn’t thought about it, and, more importantly, I hadn’t really felt it. Feelings are scary, and I was too scared to know how I felt about my new [old] life in Agoura Fucking Hills.

I did not get away with operating on autopilot for very long. Not at all. Last weekend I drove up to Santa Cruz to see my friend Danielle perform in a production of The Music Man. I had a great time and I’m very thankful I was able to make the trip, but alas, I had to fight off a panic attack for the first hour of the drive back to Agoura. I pulled over at two different Call Box turn outs in twenty minutes, and as soon as I made it to Highway 101 I pulled over to the nearest restaurant and drank copious amounts of water. I even read a chapter of The Godfather in hopes I’d get lost in the story and forget about the tingling in my left arm, a sensation that is symptomatic of panic attacks, yet always convinces me that I’m going to die of heart failure as a 23 year old, menstruating woman. Eventually I calmed the Hell down and got home just fine, but because the panic attack I was fighting never fully developed, I felt a bit off for the next few days. I’d feel dizzy here and there, and my left arm still tingled from time to time. Instead of taking it easy, I got mad at myself. I was doing so well and then dammit, I was an anxious dick again.

Last Wednesday, aka: day three of tingly arms and a rapid heartbeat, I went to go watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s on the big screen at the Agoura Regency Theater. (They do these flashback Wednesdays. They’re fun. Although now that I think about it, I realize I will not be able to make it to Monty Python and the Holy Grail this week. Damn.) I had a perfectly lovely time, and by then, while I still had not looked inward and figured out why I was feeling so off, I was at least no longer angry…that’s what happens when I choose to just ignore things, anyway. During the last scene of the movie, Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard are sitting in a taxi cab having one of those final showdown arguments that happen in romantic films, and Audrey Hepburn says that she can’t be with him because he just wants to “put [her] in a cage.” George Peppard looks at her and says, “I don’t want to put you in a cage. I want to love you.”

Forget “I’m through with love.” That line of dialogue almost killed me. By some miracle, I was able to hold in my sobs until I was at home in my room ready for bed. But shit, did I ever let it all out. All I had to do was think about that line again, and the next thing I knew I was hyperventilating in the fetal position, covered in tears and snot. I cried about everything. I let all my negative thoughts pop in to my head, and then I cried ’em all out: I miss Santa Cruz, I hate the mall, I’m not dating George Peppard, and so on. It was great.

It has now been a week since I got back from Santa Cruz feeling like Tony Soprano after a plate of gabagool, and life is infinitely better. The tingly feeling in my left arm is gone, so unless fatal heart conditions come and go, I’m rather positive that it was psychosomatic. More importantly, I’m not mad at myself anymore. I tried to ignore what was going on in my head while I was visiting my favorite place in California, where I no longer live, but hey, I suppose it’s not too early to say that I finally learned my lesson. It’s simple, really: Feeling = [Moderate] Serenity, and Not Feeling = Shallow Breathing At A Call Box.

Dustin Hoffman visited me in a dream again. It was Saturday night, and I dreamed that I was sitting at a round table having dinner with my immediate family, and Dusty was sitting next to me. Like last time, I don’t remember anything we said to each other. What I do remember is that everyone had a good time, dinner was delicious, and Dusty was all smiles. In the dream I wanted to tell him that I was so very thankful to be having dinner with him, but I kept it to myself. I knew I’d see him again.

Then, as dreams do, the dinner scene faded away and I was suddenly in my parents’ house one sunny afternoon. My dad was having some friends over, maybe to watch a game on television, and so when the doorbell rang I walked up to answer it, knowing that it was most likely one of my dad’s guests. Through the window, I could see that the guest was my dad’s good buddy Jack Nicholson. (My father isn’t actually friends with Jack. This is dreamland.) He was wearing a white linen suit and sunglasses. (Duh.) I was happy it was him, and when I opened the door I squeeled, “Jack!” and threw my arms around him. I mean, Jack and I were good buddies as well and seeing him at my doorstep was not at all out of the ordinary, but still, I had to take advantage of embracing him. I mean, he’s JACK. As we hugged, Jack said, in his smoky, old man voice, “Oh, baby.” I pulled away, smiled at him, and he looked at me and said, “I haven’t so much as shot a pool cue in over a month.”

Oh, Jack. You may not be Dustin Hoffman when it comes to spirituality and tranquility, but you sure are fun. And the fact that you came to my house in boring old Agoura Hills to hang out with my dad and watch some boring sports game shows stupid little Me that my life, at this moment, is much more exciting than I think it is, not to mention the fact that I managed to work your ancient hormones in to a frenzy. Oy.

Bring on the confusion, the exhaustion, the laughter, the tears, and please, let’s keep the symbolic dreams of Hollywood legends coming night after night.

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My Spirit Animal

Perhaps I am assuming a lot when I say that all of you out there who read this blog (which is an assumption itself…) have already read my short tidbit about my dream involving Dustin Hoffman and the Gourmet Cupcakes. (Future rock band?) Whether you did or did not, let me give more details.

I had a dream on Friday night that I was in Las Vegas with two of my best friends from A-Town. (In real life, Vegas is not my favorite place. I have only been there one time since I turned 21, and while I had fun, I still think the place is pretty damn weird. This is not to say I’ll never go again…) The two of them were all dressed up to go out, and while I’m sure I was dressed up as well, the dream was from my perspective and I couldn’t see myself. We were at some larger-than-life-caricature of a bar, and one of my friends kept telling me over and over again that she wanted a “Glucose-Free Pomegranate Martini.” True to my real-life values, the idea of ordering a “Glucose-Free Pomegranate Martini” sickened and annoyed me, so I went outside to take a walk. The city streets looked a lot more like Manhattan than that good ol’ cartoony Vegas strip, and I suddenly felt very comfortable. I crossed the street and decided to peek inside a gourmet cupcake shop on the corner. As I stood in line deciding what I wanted, I suddenly noticed that the person ordering in front of me was Dustin Hoffman.

“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me!” “WE’RE WALKIN’ HERE!” “My dear boy, why don’t you just try acting?”

After Dustin Hoffman was done paying, he stepped to the side and let me order. I ordered a cupcake with blue frosting. There was nothing gourmet-looking about it. I paid, and when I turned around I saw that Dustin Hoffman was holding the door open for me. Yes, Dustin Hoffman had waited for me to complete my transaction so he could be polite. To me. As I walked through the door, he looked in to my eyes and said…something. I don’t remember what it was, but I do remember it was deeply profound. Zen-like. He closed the door behind us, and then we stood on the street corner together waiting for the light to change. When the pedestrian WALK signal appeared, he put his arm around me and we crossed the street together. He had his other arm around a small boy. The three of us walked together to the other side, and when we reached the entrance to the bar where my friends were enjoying their ridiculous nouveau health-nut cocktails, Dustin Hoffman turned to face me, put his hands on my shoulders, looked into my fucking SOUL and said…something else. Again, I don’t remember what it was, but I do know that what he said was wise beyond human comprehension. He was a fucking Jedi Master.

When I woke up the next morning, I felt (1.) disappointed that I hadn’t actually met Dustin Hoffman, and (2.) suddenly desperate for a creative outlet. What’d I do? I created this blog. Small, I know, but I needed to do SOMETHING. (I then went a little crazy and created accounts with several other internet networks, largely because they might help me find a job, but mostly because I wanted to link my blog to them.) When it became time to give my blog a title, Dustin Hoffman popped in to my head again. “The Graduate.” Perfect. I am, after all, a graduate who has no idea “what those four years of college were for.”

It’s been a year since I graduated, and while I can safely say that I’m done being a lazy ass kid with zero responsibilities, I still don’t quite know how to go about becoming a successful, autonomous adult.

This is something I talk about quite often with my therapist.

When I met with her today, I told her about my productive weekend — creating this blog, etc. She was happy to hear all that. Then I decided to tell her about my Dustin Hoffman dream. She listened, and then she asked, “How did the dream make you feel?” I said, “Well, I was bummed out when I realized I didn’t actually meet Dustin Hoffman.” She shook her head, and said, “Oh, but you did.” Then she asked, “What does Dustin Hoffman mean to you?” I told her that for the last several months I’ve been absolutely obsessing over the important movies of the 1970’s. Ya know, Papillon rules. She didn’t care to hear all that, really. She asked, “But what is it about Dustin Hoffman? What stands out about him?” “Well, um, he’s short.” “Uh-huh.” “He had no real plan to become an actor. It just kind of happened.” “Uh-huh.” I started running out of things to say, but then I said, “He’s a real artist. I know he’s an actor, but he’s really good at what he does, and he was at the height of his career during a time when everything wasn’t all so mass produced. He’s five foot five with a huge nose, and he was a leading man! That would never happen today. Today he’d be the short, funny sidekick.”

She cut to the chase: “How do you think all of this relates to you?” I paused, and then I said, “I would like to be like that.” “Future tense?” she said. “How about you are like that?” Naturally, I couldn’t accept this. “Well, I mean –” “Dustin Hoffman held the door open for you. He even walked you across the street. You have everything you need within you, and Dustin Hoffman is helping you along the way. But you’re there.

As of today, I now know Dustin Hoffman is my Spirit Animal. He’s a short Jewish guy with a big nose who went to Santa Monica Community College, and yet he’s still a leading man. An unlikely shining star. There’s just something about him, and it kicks ass…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e-B2XQ8LYM

…And somewhere out in the cosmos, he’s holding The Door open for me, ready to guide me across The Street.

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Last Night…

…I dreamt that my friend Scotty K owned a racehorse. He went out of town for a weekend, and he asked my friend Kelly to babysit the horse. I got a hysterical phone call from Kelly begging me to keep her company while she babysat the horse. I asked if the horse was being unruly, and she said no, she was just bored because Scotty had given the horse a tranquilizer. She was sitting in a tiny room just watching the horse sleep, and all that Scotty had left her for entertainment was a Devo record. I rushed over to keep her company, and when I arrived Kelly told me that the tranquilizer was wearing off and the horse was squirming around on the floor and she didn’t know what to do. I jumped out of the room and called Scotty and told him what was going on, and he told us to feed the horse some toast. I brought Kelly some toast to feed the horse, but it didn’t work. The horse was pissed off, and all I could hear from the other side of the door was the sound of the horse clomping around and Kelly saying, “Shhh, shhh…Calm down….” and “Mongoloid, he was a monogloid, happier than you and me…”

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Last Night…

…I dreamt that I met Dustin Hoffman at a gourmet cupcake shop in Las Vegas. As I was leaving with my purchase (cupcake with blue frosting) he held the door open for me. He put his arm around me as we crossed the street, and then bid me Adieu. ::Sigh::

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