Contaminated Convenience

In another dream, I was a senior scientist working in a research lab.  I was having a conversation with a few new hires about computers.  They had overheard a conversation I was having with a colleague on a telephone.  In that conversation, I was discussing articles in the New York Times that compared high schools in New York to those in other parts of the country.  I was lamenting the poor state of education and made a comment about “box people.”

The new hires asked what I meant by “box people.”  I explained that I had been familiar with computers for a long time, and that I was not a “box person” and I was not the other extreme.  The other extreme involved people who built computers piece by piece, much as if they carved every block of every letter to build a printing press.  However, they did have the advantage that, if something broke, they usually knew what it was and could quickly locate and repair or replace it.

On the other hand, “box people” tended to want a computer to be a single monolithic box.  It was easy to purchase (but expensive) and easy to install.  However, if it broke, they could not repair it.  They had to send it off or throw it in the trash and buy a new one.

My comment was that I preferred to be in the middle of those two extremes.

Then I had to leave the lab where we worked.  I went to a nearby convenience store, but it was late at night.  And, some homeless people had slipped into the store.

I had to be careful not to touch or be touched by them.  In the lab where I worked, contamination could be an issue.  (Apparently I was working in some kind of biological lab.) 

Take This Job and Shove It

Dreamed I was temping in a building about 6 to 10 stories talk and made of black glass (on the outside, anyway).  One could call it a “Black Box.”

“Ran late” for being there; they expected us to be there early to login to the computer even though they did not pay us until the shift started at 8a.  I wore a button down shirt and khakis, and they were unhappy with this expecting me to were a sport coat and tie on a the pay of a temp.  (The rest of them were probably not paid so well either.)  Most of the staff was female and anywhere from mid 20’s to mid 30’s.

(This was the last in the series of dreams, each being a day in the work week.)  On this occasion I arrived to find the workstation they had for me occupied by someone else: another temp, female and dressed the way they wanted, and obviously better accepted than me.  I had the impression that the most she could hope for in life would be to be a cube dweller like the rest.

I was pointed to one “workstation” that turned out to be a keyboard similar to a piano keyboard.  Oddly, I could play it, but that did not do the job I was paid to do.  I was pointed to another workstation, but then told that was “the nurse’s workstation.”  It was decorated with fuzzy red & green Christmas things (flannel dolls & such), and it was not the right spot for me.

Then I was told I could work at so-and-so’s station.  So-and-so would be back tomorrow.

I had been told that, when I logged on, that I had to complete their time sheet.  I did this a bit resentfully since the temp agency had their own time sheet.  But, I did not bring that with me because I was afraid that the co-workers would steal it.  So, I wrote down my time on scrap paper (to transfer to the real time sheet later).

Could not find my “training manual” so I had to borrow one.  I was given a speech about this as well.  Only a few sheets of paper, I knew the speech was a load of crap.

Finally, I started work.  I knew that I did not want to be in this environment with these people, but I was not sure what I should be doing next.

The Apple and the German Bank

Dreamed that I was living and working in Europe.  This dream appears to be set anywhere from 20 to 40 years ago.  I was an American, an expatriate, living and working in Germany or Switzerland or some mix.  I rode the train quite a bit.

In the dream, I kept having to deal with European banks, and that was a somewhat more complicated process than dealing with U.S. banks.  In the dream, the European banks (and other similar entities) were still using punched cards for certain functions.  As customers, we had punched cards (that we received in the mail, and other sources, much as AT&T did in the 1970’s and even into the 1980’s).

(In the 1970’s, receipt of your telephone bill from The Telephone Company (i.e. AT&T) meant that you received a punched card with the famous “Do Not Bend, Fold, Staple, or Mutliate” moniker.)

After being a bit frustrated in dealing with yet another problem with a punched card, I managed to make my way into some inner realm of some back office.  Even though the dream was set in a German speaking country, the back offices seemed like something from a movie set in a Latin American country.  Fans were leisurely moving overhead and workers seemed to be barely constraining their frustration which was fed by both physical and institutional heat.

I spoke to a manager with a white shirt, a loose tie, and a balding variant of a 70’s haircut.  He was a brunet male with a smidgen of charm covering the curt demeanor of someone with not enough time to complete the busy work assigned.

Apparently Apple computers existed, and I mentioned them somewhere in the conversation.  I spoke of how micro-computers (meaning what are today called desktop computers) could speed up certain operations and (generally) make life easier.  The manager was polite, but but he did not take me seriously.

I am not certain, but I think I spied an abandoned Apple computer on a shelf, with cables wrapped around it and shoved there by someone who did not have a clue regarding how to use it.

As I left, and as I walked back through the “boiler rooms” of pre-cube days with desks but no partitions, I spied a book on a shelf.  The year must have been some time after 1979 (because the book was published in that year).  Named Goedel, Escher, and Bach, I asked the nearest employee about it.  He let me know that it had been a gift to someone, that a few looked at it, and then it had been abandoned on that shelf.

As I walked into the lobby, and prepared to leave, the manager I had talked to caught up with me, moving in a trot.  He had changed his mind and wanted to talk to me some more.  (And, I was hired as a contractor to setup a system of micro-computers for the bank.)

(What I did not know was that the book was given to him by their last contractor.  He had fired that contractor, and that turned out to be a mistake.  The contractor went somewhere else, probably to a competing bank, and successfully implemented what this organization had resisted.  And, that gave the competitor a successful advantage.  But, no one could really understand what the contractor had been saying, and they could not understand the book, either.  The manager deduced, correctly, that I understood both the book and how to do what the other contractor had proposed.)

Lessons: No particular lessons seem to leap out.  Rather, this seems to be something seen through someone else’s eyes.  However, I have known a number of people like the people in the dream, including the contractor whose eyes I was seeing through.

Staying Too Late and Old Sweethearts Lost

First, a general note: as I work on this blog, my recall of various dreams is becoming more clear, and I am beginning to recover multiple dreams.  Three captured this time:

(1) Seeing through the eyes of a young person, a college aged or adolescent male who stays too late (and does not realize it is time to leave); had a dream within a dream: Paul Drake does not realize he is not supposed to be at the meeting in the conference room with Perry (Mason) and Della (Street)  (Most of my dreams are in color, but this one was in black and white, just like the 1960’s television show.  Also: a local TV channel runs those old shows here in DFW.)

(2) Living in an old-fashioned boarding house (clean and elegant but a bit austere) and leaving to go to a convenience store to use the pay phone; long and somewhat arduous walk uphill along a manicured boulevard set in a sleepy college town.  This dream captured a strong sense of impermanence: everything in life is temporary and fleeting.  After this dream, having a cell phone seems like quite the luxury that it really is.  (I might also add that this dream could have been from long ago, possibly the 1960’s or earlier.  If so, then through someone else’s eyes.)

(3) Continuation of #2 Found Royal Blue pouch in room that had info (and a postcard) about an old sweetheart from many years ago.  [I have such a pouch “in real life,” but it merely contains pens & such.]

Apparently, in the dream, she has fallen on hard times and is living somewhere in a shelter in New Jersey (Name of town started with an M.  Possibly Montclair or Montford.)  In the dream, she drifts from state to state and from battered women’s shelter to shelter.  Essentially homeless (and going from bad relationships to worse ones), she will likely never find her way.

I felt a profound sense of gratitude for my home and my life upon awakening.  (Things can always be worse.)  As some people say: “but for the grace of God, there go I.”

I see several themes in these dreams:

(1) Impermanence: Life is short, and we must learn to fully experience the day.

(2) Release: Sometimes we must intentionally release or let go.

(3) Gratitude: As part of #1 and #2, being grateful for the gifts we have helps us to more fully experience what which we have.

Eager to Learn and Tables Turned on Investigators

In the first dream, I was studying a special degree in business administration at a community college.  We learned that we might have the day off from classes, and all of the other students were ready to leave.  But, I was disappointed because I was eager to learn something new.

In the second dream, I was walking in a parking lot.  I encountered three people who were investigators.  They were trying to pry information out of me.  They did not know that I was a successful attorney at law who had a team of skilled investigators who could get far more out of them.  And, they were people who had something to lose.  (They had what could be called “unfavorable backgrounds.”)

When is a deal not a deal?

Dreamed that I started a school teaching something (“wisdom”) in an old hardware store in a rural setting.  The students that showed loved the classes, but few showed because the setting was so remote.

I had chosen the location because “I got a deal on it.”  But, depending on my goal, maybe a different (more expensive) location might have suited my needs better.  If one is at least “breaking even,” then it depends upon one’s goals which choices are made, I suppose.

Reminds me of a special I saw on kites and kite building in which one kite builder addressed the issue of the business.  He explained that his hobby business broke even each year, and that meant either one of two things: (1) he had a hobby that paid for itself, or (2) he had a business that did not make a profit.

Filtering through the Papers

I had a dream that I was in a basement looking for papers in a stream of papers that had been contaminated by sewage.  I was wearing all the gear (including gloves, of course) to protect me.  But, it was an unpleasant experience.

Later in the day, I developed some digestive upset.  The dream preceded the illness.  Cause and effect are difficult to decide here.  Did the dream cause the illness, or did it merely predict it?  Whatever the case, the dream was what economists describe as a “leading indicator.”

Psychology at the Karate School

Dreamed that I was a professor of Psychology, and I decided to train at a traditional (either Japanese or Okinawan) Karate school.  The teacher was a thin old man and was very tough.  Not only did he teach Karate, but I suspect that he’d been in more than his fair share of bar fights.

As the lessons progressed, both the students and the teacher became interested in my background in psychology.  Eventually, in collaboration with the teacher, I developed a psychology course for the Karate school.  Essentially, it was a course in the psychology of conflict.

Writing Dreams Down

I had a string of particularly vivid dreams that I planned to post, but I did not write them down.  They have since evaporated.  But, I think at least one of them was about someone being robbed.  Maybe a college student being robbed by other college students.

Sounds like I’d better keep a notepad near the bed.

Drug Dealers and Teddy Bears

Had two this afternoon, both a bit disturbing.  In both of them I was watching something.  The first was a television show I was watching; the second was a movie.

The first was about a college student (early 20’s) who becomes involved with an “older” (late 20’s) black woman.  The woman was a middle class clerical employee by day and small time drug dealer by night.  The woman provides the kid with drugs, and they “party together” initially.  Then, the woman’s dealer, part of a dangerous gang, effectively enslaves the kid.  (The kid was not smart enough to know that drugs are tied to organized crime.  This appears to be a warning dream.  Since I do not have these issues in my life, I assume it is a warning dream for someone else.  Either that, or an idea for network television production.)

The second was a movie, a complex multi-generational tear jerker about a wealthy family who loses everything due to mis-management.  As I kept watching this, I would periodically shout out a comment, something like “watch out for that guy” or “don’t do that.”  The audience became increasingly annoyed, of course.

In the end, the last scene, a woman was holding a flourescent teddy bear, flourescent yellow, I think.  She was near a river, and their few remaining possession, mostly sticks of furniture, were floating down the river.  The bear had never fit into all the old classic antiques, and maybe it was why it was the woman’s most cherished possession.  But, in the final scene, she finally let go of even that.  She left go of the dirty and bedraggled bear, left with nothing.

I am not certain what this second dream means, either.  Again, it looks like a movie plot.  But, maybe it has meaning to someone else out there.  Anyone have such a bear?

Grand Dreams: Dreamwork by the Author of Grand Trines

Chances are that you found your way here from an astrology blog called “Grand Trines.”  If so, welcome.  If not, welcome.

The first dream is called “Rebuilding the Altar.”  It was a dream consequent to a long nap.

The dream was simple.  I was in an old apartment from long ago, one that I actually lived in at one time.  (In real life, that apartment was razed, or destroyed, to make way for newer construction.)  It had been hand built, and it had exposed beams in what some call a “cathedral ceiling.”

In it, I found it necessary to clear a surface that had become cluttered.  After clearing the clutter, I began to organize the items, keeping some and discarding others.  And, as I did this, I came to realize that I was building an altar at which my dreams could be manifested into reality.