27 Feb


Last week, I had several dreams that are worth writing home about, so here goes:

The most frustrating one took place in a small high school cafeteria. I was proctoring a big essay exam for about 120 students, all of whom were seated very close to each other at those tables typical of high school cafeterias — you know, the ones that are like long picnic tables that fold upward in half. One of my students happened to be Mark Nepper, a colleague of mine in the English department. At one point, he was blatantly cheating on the exam, talking to a girl across the table and four seats down, telling her exactly what he had written. I went over and said angrily, “you can do this. You’re cheating.” He responded by looking up at me and very calmly saying, “knowledge is for everybody.” I couldn’t think of a reply. I just stood there speechless and angry.

A day later, I had a very different dream. It was at my cousin Casey’s house — specifically in his basement. There were these big tick-spider things that would pop out of the ground like those big worms in the movie “Tremors” (with Kevin Bacon). They were about the size of a coffee table. At first, the problem was fairly manageable. You’d go down to the basement to grab a soda from the fridge or something, and before they popped up, you could see the ground move a little, so you simple stepped away. They were blind, of course, so they couldn’t see you and come running after you. As long as you got out of their way when they popped out of the ground, you were fine. Unfortunately, they evolved quickly to become mobile above ground. They were still blind, though. So you could just throw a chair in front of them and they’d hit it and go back underground, having realized their failure to catch you. The real climax of the dream came when our dog and Casey’s dog went downstairs. Then I was freaked. Casey came down and reassured me that the dogs know how to get out of the way. We were standing on the lowest step of the stairs. He then arrogantly said, “watch this,” and he stepped out on the basement floor. I pointed and shouted, “one of them is going to pop up right in front of you!” He backed up a little, and I watched in terror as the thing burst out of the ground right in front of him. Then he kicked it and it went back underground. “See?” he said. “That’s all you have to do.” I wish all nightmares ended like that.

By far my strangest dream last week was the one about the angry midget. I had heard in passing that the Badger Hockey team played a game on Lambeau field, which I think inspired the premise of the dream, which was that the Badger Football team was playing on a highway. I drove there with a carload of friends; we actually drove across the field and then circled around to a parking lot. There were people tailgaiting at the parking lot; we got out and started walking toward the field, on the way passing a few sand volleyball courts. Next to the courts was an intimidating group of fat, tan, shirtless men, tattooed and drunk, making lots of noise. My friends didn’t want to walk by them, but I had no fear. In fact, I was so confident in my abilities to kick ass, I almost wanted four or five of them to start something with me. As we walked by them, however, they must have sensed my confidence and they backed off, giving us space. Then suddenly, one of the drunk bikers shouted from amonst the crowd of his friends, some of them parted, and the man who had shouted came running toward me. He was about four foot six, and he was naked. He had a grotesque body. It was kind of cone-shaped. He had these firm folds of fat that didn’t jiggle, which gave him a waxy appearance, like a melted candle. He ran at me, clearly intending harm. I quickly stepped out of the way and grabbed his arm, pulling it down and in the direction of his momentum so that he went straight past me and fell face first on the ground. He got up and came at me again. This time, I evaded him again and karate-chopped him on the back of his neck. He fell face first in the sand. We repeated this procedure once more; the next time he was on the ground, he rolled over, looked at me angrily, and spoke with a slight lisp, saying, “seduce me.” He ran at me, I pushed him down, he again lisped, “seduce me.” I realized he was enjoying getting his ass kicked and it disgusted me. I shouted, “get away from me!” After pushing him down a couple more times, I didn’t even want to touch him again. That’s where the dream ended. I prefer not to analyze it, thank you.

16 Feb

Snow Day!

I left for school early today so I could swim, but when I got there, the door was locked. I walked around to the principal’s parking lot, where there’s a door that’s always open so long as the school’s open. On my way I ran into a custodian running a snow blower. “You know school’s cancelled today, right?” she asked.

“Really?” I replied. “Why?” It hadn’t snowed much overnight. We got about five quick inches of snow between 7:00 and 9:00 last night, but no more.

“They’re predicting another seven inches before 3:00,” she said.

“Wow! So that prayer worked,” I said, once she had turned the snow blower back on and couldn’t hear me.

When I got home, I started working on polishing up my screenplay. Eight Mile Below tells the story of a rogue band of sled dogs whose abilities as rappers might be their last hope to get out of the oppressive antarctic. I need to add some finishing touches to the story, which is currently in production. The studio has put together a trailer for the film, which stars Eminem, Brittany Murphy, Mekhi Phifer and Kim Basinger. Click on the photo for the trailer.

8 Mile Below